Posted by: Ann Corcoran | September 24, 2012

Will 2012 be the end of the line for the Republican establishment?

And, will Romney’s chosen “firewall” help push us over the edge?

Pollster Scott Rasmussen foresees such an outcome if Mitt Romney loses in November, or even if he wins and if he doesn’t solve some of our most intractable economic problems.  And, to do the later, says Rasmussen, he will need to throw the bums (the insider club) out of Washington.

If not much change in Washington, conservative voters will have had it!

Writing at TownHall last Friday, here is Rasmussen (hat tip: Judy), emphasis below is mine:

Mitt Romney’s comments about 47 percent of Americans being dependent on government and locked in to vote for President Obama highlight a fundamental reality in American politics today: The gap between the American people and the political class is bigger than the gap between Republicans and Democrats in Washington, D.C.

Romney’s remarks are the GOP equivalent of Obama’s notorious comments about small-town Pennsylvania voters bitterly clinging to their guns and religion.

Both Romney and Obama highlighted the condescending attitude that political elites hold of the people they want to rule over. A National Journal survey found that 59 percent of political insiders don’t think voters know enough to have meaningful opinions on the important issues of the day. That’s a handy rationalization for those who want to ignore the voters and impose their own agenda.

Not much difference between Democrats and Republicans among today’s establishment insiders.

Establishment Republicans in Washington broadly share the Democrats’ view that the government should manage the economy. They may favor a somewhat more pro-business set of policies than their Democratic colleagues, but they still act as if government policy is the starting point for all economic activity.

Republican voters reject this view. They are more interested in promoting free market competition rather than handing out favors to big business. They detest corporate welfare and government bailouts, even though their party leaders support them.

2012 could be the end of the line for establishment Republicans like Romney.  Unless….

The Republican base is looking for someone like a 21st century Ronald Reagan, who will display his faith in the American people. The Washington Republicans are more comfortable with politicians like George W. Bush, Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney. Though the establishment has dominated the party since Reagan left the White House, the 2012 election could well be the end of the line.

If Romney loses in November, the Republican base will no longer buy the electability argument for an establishment candidate. From the view of the base, the elites will have given away an eminently winnable election. Someone new, from outside of Washington, will be the party’s nominee in 2016.

If Romney wins and does nothing to change the status quo, the economy will falter. He will end up as the second straight one-term president, and the nation will desperately be searching for an authentic outsider in 2016.  [Romney was attempting to make sure an outsider would have less chance with that little rule trick in Tampa—ed]

If he wins the White House, the only way for Romney to succeed will be to side with the nation’s voters and throw out the club in Washington. That will be great news for the country but bad news for political insiders on both sides of the partisan aisle.

Richard Falknor, writing a Blue Ridge Forum has more to say on the Rasmussen opinion piece, links it to Codevilla and the Ruling Class v. Country Class thesis (Rasmussen channeling Codevilla!) and also directs us to a commentary by Daniel Horowitz in which he asks why Romney is not courting blue collar voters by not addressing red-meat issues like these:

So here’s the million dollar question for Mitt Romney.  Why is he not courting these voters?

Well of course they are, you might protest.  However, have you ever seen him hit Obama on cultural issues?  Have you seen him nail Obama for handing their jobs to illegals or his administrative amnesty?  Have you seen him hit Obama hard on his un-American foreign policy?  What happened to Obamacare?  What about Fast and Furious and Obama’s insidious plan to impose gun control?

Good questions!   By the way, on foreign policy, we should look for Romney to come out with both barrels blasting within the next couple of days on Obama’s Middle East policy which is now up in flames.  Voters want to know what Romney’s Middle East policy will look like!

FoxNews talking heads last night suggested we should see that happen.  If we don’t see it happen, it’s a good sign that Romney may be a nice guy, a well-intentioned guy who is being controlled by certain questionable actors within his campaign.

Romney’s firewall!

Romney’s firewall, according to a report in the Weekly Standard back in January, includes:

…three of his top advisers—Eric Fehrnstrom, Ben Ginsberg, and Stuart Stevens.

Do those campaign staffers have malevolent intentions or are they simply squishy or incompetent?  You decide.  Here is a report on top advisor Stuart Stevens who some have “credited” with hurting a few campaigns he was supposed to be helping.

And, of course Ginsberg we know as Romney’s lawyer who, in anticipation of 2016, pulled that utterly foolish rule-change trick on Tea Partiers and conservatives generally at the RNC Tampa convention, here.  By unnecessarily chilling grassroots enthusiasm for Romney, it makes us all wonder if Ginsberg actually has a death-wish for the Romney campaign.

More later!



  1. It’s hard to make a case that the “majority” of Republican voters don’t like Romney’s approach to government – because he clearly won the majority, and defeated each and every one of the more conservative choices. I would also add that Romney is probably more conservative than you might imagine. He’s smart enough to start a lot of good businesses, so he obviously has the practical knowledge of how the free marketplace works. that’s a lot different than then career politicians we have often seen in RINO uniform, who have gotten elected many times in the past.

    Clearly NO single candidate is going to please everyone. The mature posture is to take the “pick of the litter” and I think Romney comes pretty darn close to that. He has shown enormous strength of character and intelligence — and determination — having run for President 4 years ago.

    Trying to measure everyone with someone in the past, like Ronald Reagan, is just a false comparison. Ron was not perfect. He made mistakes; some rather serious, that we have to live with today. (For example, funding death squads and granting “Amnesty” to the fleeing natives of central America) How about “energy” issues? — where is energy independence we should have had after 8 years of Ron’s policy making?

    Let’s give Mitt a chance. The alternative is too terrible to contemplate anyone. Romney is the one — we should be enthusiastic and grateful for such a great choice.

    In 2008, I proudly supported John McCain, (even more after Palin was on the ticket) and I don’t understand so much “sit out” in that election by conservatives. I kept thinking “he’s not Bush” — but the news media was painting pretty pictures otherwise; I think too many so-called conservatives were listening to the “news” more than their commonsense. Let’s don’t make that mistake this time.

    We live with the consequences of our action. Can anyone seriously say that John McCain would not have been a far superior choice to the Obama rabbit hole path to economic ruin? Remember, John’s commitment to end ‘earmarks’?

    All that said, we have today’s problems to take care of. In the future, we can fine-tune, improve, and make adjustments in the Republican party down the road; and that is already happening. It’s not the fault of the politicians — but ours. Speaking for myself, I’m tired of being solicited for signing one frantic petition after another to urge brain-dead political leaders to “respect” commonsense in government. We need to elect some that have ears and and eyes and brains, and know how to use them wisely. We have lots of good (not perfect) choices — and Romney’s one of them. Let’s give him and others a chance to see what they can do.

    Lee Havis

    • Lee, Please don’t think that my criticism of the Romney campaign is to sabotage Romney, instead it is to warn Romney that he could lose it all if he allows some of his advisers to play it too cautiously and thereby dampen grassroots enthusiasm now.

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