Originally posted at AMERICAblog Elections: The Right’s Field
Jonathan Karl, ABC News, February 17, 2012:
A prominent Republican senator just told me that if Romney can’t win in Michigan, the Republican Party needs to go back to the drawing board and convince somebody new to get into the race.
“If Romney cannot win Michigan, we need a new candidate,” said the senator, who has not endorsed anyone and requested anonymity.
George Stephanopolous, ABC News, February 28, 2012:
“What [Romney’s performance] tonight has done, I think, is kill any talk in Republican circles of finding another white knight to come into the campaign.”
At least for the moment, that is. Losing his home state of Michigan would have been devastating for Romney. But as it is, he only barely won and Rick Santorum will take home the same number of delegates as Romney. To the extent that Romney has killed the talk of a new “white knight,” it is just barely and just for the moment. He certainly hasn’t suddenly created a popular groundswell in the Republican base for his candidacy. Super Tuesday is a week away and it will be a major test that could produce wins for Romney, Gingrich and Santorum. If Romney gets his clock cleaned next Tuesday, watch for the talk of the white knight to reemerge.
To close out a very strong piece on the lack of honesty in public discourse around housing and the economy, Matt Stoller writes:
There is no honesty among our political elites, and by that statement, I don’t mean that they are liars. There are liars everywhere, and truthtellers as well. Most of us are concurrently both. What I mean is that the culture of the political elite is one in which a genuine conversation about the actual problems we are facing as a society simply cannot be held with any integrity. Instead, we have to chalk up problems in a very busted housing market, and a generation saddled with indentured servitude disguised as a debt, as one of “hormones”.
It sounds cute that way, I guess. Eventually, we will see integrity in our discourse. It’s unavoidable. You can’t operate a society solely on intellectual dishonesty because eventually all your bridges fall down, even the ones the rich use. For a moment, from 2008-2009, there was real discourse about what to do. We’ll see a moment like that again. Only, the environment won’t be nearly as conducive to having a prosperous democratic society as it was in 2008. There will be a lot more poverty, starvation, violence, and authoritarianism when the next chance comes around. Catastrophic climate change, devastating supply chain disruptions, political upheaval, geopolitical tensions and/or war – one more more of these will be the handmaidens of honest dialogue.
The tragedy is not that our circumstances will worsen dramatically, but that it just didn’t have to be this way.
I think that this is one of the most important aspects of what’s happening in America today. I also think the forceful, honest description of what is wrong with our society is what propelled the Occupy movement to popularity last fall. What we need now is not just accurate descriptions of the problems we face, though, but honest discourse on what we need to do to get out of this situation. Stoller’s right – it’s a tragedy that we’re in a moment where it is not happening and only by things getting worse is it likely to change.