This year Mitt Romney won the GOP nomination. He beat a radio host, a disgraced former House speaker, a defeated Senate candidate, a former appointee of the Obama administration, a tongue-tied Texas governor, a religious zealot who happens to serve in the House of Representatives, and a cranky libertarian doctor...He is his party’s nominee because he is just the best of the worst.
Since Republicans are so focused on the individual and not on the system that produced him, they miss what the real problem is. The system in this case is the series of damaging primaries and caucuses that in the crucial early stages produce a candidate who could sweep Bavaria.
The Iowa caucuses alone take the GOP so far to the right that it all but dooms the winner. Romney had to vow to stop thinking. He had to virtually declare himself anti-Hispanic (criticizing Texas for providing tuition discounts to the college-age children of illegal immigrants) and while he has now moderated his approach, it is a bit late.
Across the board, Romney pandered to the right. A GOP candidate has to oppose same-sex marriage, deny global warming and insist that local control of education is the best. The only way around these positions is to skip the Iowa caucuses entirely. It is no place for a moderate. It’s preposterous that Iowa — 30th in population among the states — gets to be the gatekeeper for the Republican Party and, in a sense, the entire nation.
The list of Republicans who looked at Iowa’s daunting demographics and did not run is more distinguished than those who did.
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