Mitt Romney's in It to Win It
Mitt Romney will beat President Obama in this fall's election, most likely by a substantial margin. There. I said it. I may have a plate full of hat in my future, but I doubt it.
Pundits will give you the usual reasons for a Romney victory, but it all boils down to two things: first, Romney took the time to build an organization and second, and most important, he wants to win. Tea Party patriots and constitutional conservatives would be smart to learn a lesson from this.
While many conservatives were swooning over the latest firebrand candidate to carry their cause, Romney was already running out the clock before the game even started. Since before the 2008 election, he has been steadily building a campaign Team, networking, collecting endorsements and raising money. He knew how the system worked and used it to his advantage. The Tea Party movement has only been in existence since 2009, and then made the mistake of not coalescing behind a single candidate early enough in the race to counter Romney. We swung for the fences and struck out. Team Romney took walks, stole bases, hit singles and scored runs. The lesson that needs to be taken from this is that the Tea Party must start building their bench right now in order to have one of their own win the presidency. Although there are some admired personalities, none of them possessed what it took to beat Romney.
Some may point to Obama's meteoric rise from obscurity and argue that all it takes is a well run campaign and a weak opponent to win. This would be a false argument. You would have to discount the fact that the Democratic Party has shifted to a party run by the far left in all its forms: elitist intellectuals, communists, crony capitalists, and race baiters. The mold was poured and Obama fit perfectly. He was the one they were waiting for.
What may be the most important factor favoring Mitt Romney, though, is that it is becoming increasingly clear that he actually wants to win. Initially, many of us were worried that Romney would play hardball in the primaries and then lay down in the general election. McCain did this in the last election by making too many of Obama's flaws off limits. Many of us waited for that strike that never happened. Many of us voted for Palin because at least she was not afraid to fight and we knew it. As evidenced by Romney's quick rebuttal of the dog on the roof, the nimble timing of the Solyndra speech and his bus honking the horn at an Obama rally, he's not afraid to get under the president's skin. He is aware of his own weaknesses and stays away from them but is not afraid to fight back.
Why is this important? We need to look no further than Patton's speech to the Third Army in 1944. "Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle." Despite the efforts of the politically correct to breed this out of us, there are many of us left to whom these words still ring true. Ron Paul's people were not afraid to fight, to use any tactic necessary to win, and made gains rarely seen against the Republican establishment. Barack Obama played hardball to stun Hillary in the caucuses. Her people, especially many white, traditional Democrats, never had a chance. Neither Paul's nor Obama's people were afraid to bend or even break the rules. The difference was one group had the majority of the party behind it.
Tea partiers speak in reverent tones of the patriots who took part in the original Boston Tea Party, but many would be appalled at the antics of the real Sam Adams. The original patriots knew what was at stake and were not afraid to do what it took to win. They built their organizations and weren't afraid to upset people. They didn't play nice.
Mitt Romney is not the choice of many conservatives, but helping him win accomplishes two things: it removes very dangerous people from the knobs of power in this country and it buys time to build a real organization. Worst case, it is still preferable to be in a bus doing ninety miles an hour heading towards the cliff than to actually be over it. Meantime, Mitt Romney may surprise us and govern as a conservative or he may not, but one thing seems sure, he is in it to win it.
Ebben Raves is a veteran, constitutional conservative activist, Project Appleseed instructor and speaker who teaches American history and has been a guest on several talk radio shows. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.