So Romney wins Washington. He is going to win it pretty comfortably, but second place isn’t so clear cut. The underdog Ron Paul is in second right now, but he is only 300 votes ahead of Rick Santorum and 20% of ruhr votes haven’t ben reported yet. Coming into the day Santorum want expecting a win, but thought he might get lucky and make it competitive. I don’t think at this stage of the game he thought he would still be battling for position with Paul. Ron Paul is the only candidate who spent the day in the state of Washington and his every state approach seems to have somewhat paid off. He didn’t come close to winning the state, but he gains momentum by finishing ahead of one of the front runners and doubling the percentage that Newt Gingrich was able to come away with. Next up is Super Tuesday! Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich are already in Ohio where 66 delegates will be up for grabs. No repub has ever been elected President without winning Ohio in the general election so a strong showing there is going to be important. Ten states and 419 delegates total will be in play on tuesday. Romney is feeling good, Santorum is feeling pressure and trying to apply pressure, Gingrich is waffling along, and Paul is on a mission. Not a mission to be President, but a mission non-the-less.
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The sprint to super Tuesday has begun. A long neck, nose high, awkward running stallion has a slight lead on a Buick stock car that in true Nascar fashion is beginning to look tattooed with bumper sticker messages seemingly picked up at each pit stop. With each stop he seems to get a shot of turbo energy jet feul (funded by big oil money), but seems to blow a tire just before reaching the next pit stop. And trailing them is a porcupine like creature hoping that he can confuse a few on lookers into thinking that he is going to win by crossing the lap line ahead of the two front runners. The “catch” being that the two currently leading are a few laps ahead of the porcuwhine and only notice him when they are lapping him. And not too far behind all of the on-camera action is a turtle who seemingly finds solice in the crowd getting behind him as they did Rudy(The football player, not the mayor) and also knowing that he will have the energy to cross the finish line standing and have his picture taken with the eventual winner. As these fair game competitors begin to push to reach their peak and position themselves for the home stretch, a Black Eagle waits at their finish line alternating looks from the race going on behind him and ahead at the race he’s preparing for. If you can decipher my not well masked, but well measured metaphor you can tell who is who and what is what.
As I was playing with that idea it caused me to reminisce on a metaphor that I have used in discussions with repubs, conservatives, and republican conservatives about reperations and/or affirmative action. I found it effective and accurate to portray the “freedom” of black people in a capitalist Americaakin to a one mile race where some of the contestants were allowed to start one quarter mile ahead. The competitors who were not privy to this advantage had to carry these privileged contestants on their backs to the quarter mile marker and then had to scurry back to the starting line before the starting gun went off or they would be disqualified. And those who did make it back to the start line in time had to again turn and race to catch up to those already ahead by a quarter mile and try to win the race with all else being equal. I asked what would you do in that situation and the responses varied. None ever responded in the terms of the metaphor because they new it was an unfair race.
The 2012 Presidential election has the indications of being such a race, but instead of history repeating itself it has done an about-face. The difference is the repubs did not carry Obama ahead. With that consideration the current race the repubs are running may serve as a good warm up, instead of wearing out. And that’s where it gets good.
After the first couple of debates when Rick Santorum wasn’t getting asked many questions, and wasn’t very declorative when he did answer, and when Rick Perry and Herman Cain were still being loud I foresaw him gaining ground if he stuck around. Back then he seemed like the repub that repubs want to be, but wasn’t well known (at least not by me). I thought the dems should worry about him. Where I was wrong was that I thought the rightest of the right wing would embrace him because he thought like them, but because he didn’t act like them he would find favor with the heads of the grand old masters of the party, who know they have to have someone they can sell to moderates to actually win a National election. I thought to myself that not only Obama, but the whole dem party had better prepare their A-game. Turns out I was wrong. The more we get to see Santorum, the further left we have to turn our necks because he keeps going further right. I mean, the idea of the powers of the church being separate from the powers of the state makes him physically ill. Are you not sure how to take that? He is ok with the powers of the church making rules for the state and the people of the state, but is adamantly opposed to the powers of the state making rules for anything that claims they are affiliated with the church. Not clear? What do I mean? He wants it to be illegal for gay people to get married because his religion says it is wrong. He wants it to be illegal for women to have abortions because his religion says it is wrong (the church making rules that everyone has to follow regardless of whether or not everyone follows the same faith). But he heaves at the thought of the state making employers provide insurance options that would cover the cost of contraceptives. These rules would not be for churches, but for-profit businesses who are affiliated with churches or religions (the powers of the state making rules for something affiliated with the church). I wish I was making this stuff up because I could probably sell more books than Harry Potter.
So Mitt Romney who reminds me of a republican John Kerry now has a fight on his hands. He has done a good job of appearing to be the more grown up of the two, but he can’t decide whether it’s good to be rich or not. And you know how repubs hate flip-flops. In addition to that he is a Mormon, which is a big taboo for many Christians in areas where Bible thumping is considered patriotic. Though Mormons are considered, or at least consider themselves Christians, the basest of the repubs would never vote for someone who doesn’t share the same religion their preachers and pastors preach. (S/N, He actually explained how his responsibilities to his faith made him into a better man and it sounded pretty respectable.) Romney has won the last three states to hold primaries and has regained some of his momentum, but that will be tested again today in the State ofWashington. Early indications in show that it will be another photo finish today and whoever wins may get the necessary bump to get them ahead riding into Tuesday when 10 states will all hold their primaries on the same day.