Politics is all about the negotiating of power. It answers the question of “who has authority, and over whom?” Its outcomes are the deciding factor for how much authority is given and to which person or groups of persons. Too often the decisions about who wields power are made on a whim, or they’re based upon the person who looks best in public, has the most attractive personality, or the one who makes us feel as if we matter through the use of media messages and portrayal in art. Not a small amount of influence is exercised by the so-called “mainstream” media as it picks our winners and losers (such as it did for us in 2008).
It’s quite clear to me that Barack Obama, being inspired as he is by Marxist ideology, has obtained the most powerful job on the planet as a means for bringing massive economic and social change to the United States of America. The Constitution that sets up the government over which he presides is no deterrent to him. It’s simply a tool for his manipulation and an occasional obstacle to be reinterpreted. For constitutionalists like myself, the Constitution is a contract to be interpreted conservatively and plainly. For Obama it’s a “living document” that changes shape and purpose depending upon the whim of powerful politicians and their agendas for control.
As the GOP meanders toward the day that it will choose its nominee to replace Obama, there is much that is worthy of remark. Will Mitt Romney succeed in his role as the “presumptive nominee,” or has the Newt Gingrich star risen permanently? Will Rick Santorum gain momentum, or did mistakes in Iowa vote-counting cost him his dream? Has Ron Paul topped out already? Polls in Florida suggest that results there could be much like South Carolina, but this could change in an instant.
I’m going out on another limb here, and perhaps sooner or later all of this political branch-scooting will cause me to have to eat my words, but I’m going to do it anyway.
My prediction is that the next candidate to leave the race will be Rick Santorum and here’s why. I don’t think he excites voters to any considerable degree. With him in the White House we’d all feel like George W. Bush had come back. When he says he’s the “real conservative” in this race, he means he’s the real social conservative because that’s his base. I think he has overplayed that hand, though it may be useful when the eventual GOP nominee goes a-courting for a VP running mate.
Recognizing the tight race that is theirs, Romney and Gingrich will continue to snark at one another and reveal every possible weakness worthy of discussion–and some that aren’t. Each of them will claim to be the “real conservative,” though each simply means by that terminology that he’ll increase the size and power of government in ways that differ from the other.
I suspect that the Ron Paul base will continue to grow as Santorum fades and as Gingrich and Romney blast one another over the next few weeks. My expectation is, however, that Gingrich will eventually melt down in one of those candid moments when he allows something in his brain to leak out–something that is better left unsaid, something that will alienate potential supporters. We’ve seen this before, and it’s one of the reasons he was pushed out of the office of Speaker of the House. I still predict a Romney nomination.
The next President is ours to choose. We can have anyone we want. Getting Barack Obama out of the White House, however, is only the start to a brighter tomorrow. I may fully expect Mitt Romney to take the GOP nomination, but that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. It simply means I can see the direction of the tide.
Truly, the power is ours. But until we decide as a people that we really want a different kind of president, one who sees the nation’s answers elsewhere than Washington, very little in going to change in the halls of federal power.