I trust others besides me have noticed that the last week or so has been the worst for conservative Republicans since Barack Obama won the Presidency in 2008?
It started last week when the Komen Foundation, at the behest of right-wingers so dead-set against Planned Parenthood, one of the nation’s leading health care providers to women, tried to screw the organization out of breast cancer screening funds, and in the process only succeeding in destroying their own good brand. Komen is still writhing around in the muck, trying to salvage what little is left of their organization, without much success. Planned Parenthood, meanwhile, has raised millions in extra funding and will undoubtedly step up, not cut back, on breast cancer screenings and other crucial preventive health care services.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 1
Next, the new job numbers came out. Turns out that despite Congressional Republicans’ best efforts to block as much of the President’s plan to right the economy as they can, the Obama administration’s efforts have been humming right along, and there is new optimism that the economy is going in the right direction, after years of worry. Suddenly the people who have tried for two years to pin the unemployment picture on Obama were arguing that presidents don’t really affect employment anyway, so it’s irrelevant. Right.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 2
In another development which is undoubtedly directly attributable to the news on jobs, National polling immediately showed an up-tick in Obama’s support, for the first time opening up some daylight in the theoretical general election match-ups, and showing Obama beating Mitt Romney in November.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 3
But speaking of front-runner Mitt “pink slip” Romney, funny thing happened on the way to the Republican nominating process yesterday in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Romney didn’t win any of them. Neither did the self-proclaimed conservative alternative to Romney, Newt “vagina whisperer” Gingrich. Instead, back-bencher Rick Santorum won them all, in a stinging rebuke of virtually every big money Republican funder and every establishment Republican leader, except for the evangelical leadership most out of tune with general election voters.
After Romney’s big come-back in Florida, Romney had about ten days to consolidate his support into a national movement. And with all the money and organization in the world to do so, he failed. Gingrich, being the chief architect of his own demise, has made himself seem qualified to be nothing more than the governor of our newest state, the moon. Which left Santorum to reap the benefit of one of the biggest leadership voids to hit the Republican Party since Herbert Hoover.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 4
So where do they go from here? The Republican nomination is in complete disarray. This, by itself, is not necessarily a train wreck for them – need I remind Democrats that at this point in our own nominating process four years ago, we were incapable of making a decision between Obama and Clinton?
No, here’s the train wreck, and the difference: four years ago, Democrats couldn’t make up their minds because our choices were both so damn good. Republicans today can’t make up their minds because each of their remaining four choices is so utterly and fundamentally flawed. The conservatives who make up the bulk of the Republican base hate Romney’s policies. Gingrich has made himself completely unlikeable to more mainstream establishment Republicans. Ron Paul is very busy being Ron “you kids get off my lawn” Paul. And Rick Santorum, being the new guy with the wind at his back, is about to have the worst three or four news cycles of his life, dealt him by Romney’s attack machine, which has all the cash.
Republican voters freshly supporting Santorum do so knowing very little about the man – they’re just opposing Gingrich and Romney. They’re about to know more about Santorum than Mr. Santorum ever wanted them to know.
Score: right-wing Republicans: 0, everybody else: 5
And that’s just a week. Have a great day, Republicans.
Update: oops, I forgot about this, the Proposition 8 ruling supporting Californians’ civil rights, despite me listing it in my head earlier before I got to my computer.
Score: Republicans: 0, everybody else: 6