Saturday, September 22, 2012

Why Conservatives Aren't Too Despondent About A Possible Romney Defeat

In case you haven't noticed, the Romney campaign's recent travails have led many prominent conservatives to sharply criticize him, and to generally give the impression that he is a hopeless cause.  This is especially surprising, considering the conservative bloc's typical party discipline.

One conclusion I've drawn is that many conservatives have a lot to gain if Obama gets re-elected.  That might sound counter-intuitive, but it makes sense if we look at the broader picture.  If Romney loses, the hard right will then crow that the party needed to nominate a "true conservative," making their hold on the party that much stronger.  If Romney wins, they would also lose their biggest lightning rod: president Obama.  The unmitigated hatred spewed at him by the right has galvanized and united conservatives of different stripes; without a common enemy, it will be hard for the right wing coalition to not devolve into sniping and back-biting.

If Romney wins it would also put conservatives in the unenviable position of having to stop throwing rhetorical bricks and actually govern a system that has become increasingly ungovernable.  It's much easier for them to wield power the way they do now, by obstructing every piece of legislation that they don't like.  Why would conservatives give that up for having to actually be judged on their leadership?  I have a feeling that they would much rather wail and howl and engage in their false victimization narrative.  After this November, expect four more years of exactly that.

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