David Frum shares a letter in a recent posting on The Daily Beast in which the writer asks now that we've seen a clear pivot to the center who would a Mitt Romney be beholden to, assuming he wins the election? The voters who voted for him believing he would govern as he did in Massachusetts or the GOP-lead Congress?
Frum responds, "I'm hoping a President Romney will see the House GOP as labor. Then they're really f***ed."
Cute. Actually I kind of feel bad for people like Frum. I can't imagine what it must be like to be a sane conservative these days and have to sit back and watch my party be kidnapped by a bunch of lunatics. Kind of like a parent watching his or her kid get abducted. Even during the '80s, when the Democrats were about as far removed from the political mainstream as Mars is from the Sun, I at least took some solace from the fact that my party wasn't nuts.
But if I may be so bold as to answer that "liberal" writer, I'm afraid your hopes that "moderate" Mitt will suddenly appear and build a bridge back to the days of Eisenhower are wishful thinking in the extreme. Even if Mittens were capable of such an epiphany, the very plain and undeniable fact is the current GOP would never permit it.
Make no mistake about it, people like Grover Norquist, Eric Cantor and even Paul Ryan are not interested in a strong leader who can transform Washington. What they want is someone who will look good in a suit and sign the legislation that gets placed on his desk dutifully. The Tea Party has made its intentions painfully clear and no matter how hard old Mitt shakes that etch-a-sketch, he can no more escape that reality than I can grow wings and fly.
The only hope the Republican Party has of having its Walter Mondale moment is for them to lose this November and lose big. Even then, it is highly doubtful that any clarity will seep into their collective consciousness. Unlike the Democrats in '84 and '88, the forces that currently control the GOP are too deeply entrenched in the leadership positions. It would take a complete housecleaning of the kind not witnessed in the history of the Republic.
Sorry, my friend. There is no plan B here.