Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cheers to the Republican dropouts!

Whatever happened to patriotism? Whatever happened to the ideal of personal sacrifice? Whatever happened to all that Republican rhetoric about how disastrous the Obama administration has been for the country? Here is what some leading Republicans have said about their choice between the need to do what it takes for the good of their country, and their personal desires:

Mitch Daniels (5/22/11):
“Simply put, I find myself caught between two duties. I love my country; I love my family more.”

Donald Trump (5/16/11):
"I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately, the general election. I have spent the past several months unofficially campaigning and recognize that running for public office cannot be done half heartedly. Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion and I am not ready to leave the private sector."

Mike Huckabee (5/14/11):
"All the factors say go, but my heart says no."

Obama supporters can't help but find these statements amusing. It is satisfying to watch some supposedly leading Republican candidates recognize the gulf between their rhetoric and the reality that their chances of success next year are slim. But I for one do not want to see the entire Republican field collapse. I would rather see the Republicans run the strongest possible candidate they have in 2012. I'm not sure who that would be, but Republicans (unlike Democrats) can usually be counted on to unite behind their strongest possible candidate. They have done so in every presidential election since at least 1964 (when there was probably no candidate who could have won), and they will probably do so again next year. And that is a good thing, because when Barack Obama wins a second term, those questioning his legitimacy as president will have no excuses, and will just have to accept his leadership for another four years, just as those on the left who questioned George W. Bush's legitimacy after the 2000 election had to accept Bush as president after 2004.

So good luck to Tim Pawlenty, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, and whomever else decides to jump into the race. May the best among you win the nomination (and then lose the election).

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