The GOP is split into four overlapping factions: the libertarians, fundamentalist theocrats, pragmatic Republicans and the Tea Party. It would be ideal that a leader would emerge that would unite the factions, but that will be unlikely. What is more likely is that Obama will unite these factions like only a common enemy could.
Newt, who filmed a global warming ad with Nancy Pelosi and bashed Mitt for being a capitalist is deemed the truer conservative than the man with experience in the private and public sector who actually got elected and governed as a GOP in a dominantly Democratic state. Men with records have something to shoot at. Both men have made attractive targets.
In a game of football you achieve points by moving the ball down the field. If you move it at least ten yards you get to keep moving. If you don’t move it ten yards you either hand the ball to the other side or kick it to them. You can go for the Hail Mary Pass, a desperate measure in the final minutes of the game, but if a desperate measure is a part of your early strategy you will not likely win.
Mitt is playing traditional football, moving the ball to the goal, one play at a time. Mitt understands a critical factor that the Tea Party seems to miss; there is opposition in the political game. It is easy to pontificate opinions as I do in this blog. It is quite another to govern; to pass bills and make changes when there is opposition.
Mitch Daniels referred to RIMOs (Republicans In Mouth Only). These were Republicans who could talk a conservative pitch but were clueless to the realities of governing. He often found that when he tried to move the ball toward a more conservative goal, his biggest opposition was from fellow Republicans who complained that he was not moving the ball far enough down the field. Due to the opposition from his own party he sometimes failed to move the ball the ten yards toward the goal and ended up fumbling any progress.
The Tea Party keeps Twittering and Facebooking to their choir and have become blind to the political realities. We need candidates who can consistently move the ball ten yards at a time. In the NFL Roger Staubach (a Roman Catholic) said, “I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary.” It may have worked for the Vikings in a 1975 playoff, but it will not win the White House.