The Inadequate Political Magick of Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney, Shining Knight of the East Coast GOP Establishment

  • Political Authenticity
  • Political Literacy
  • Political Competence

Mitt Romney is the sophisticated patrician of the race -- our Knight groomed from boyhood to know how to wear his polished, expensive armor. With his usually calm and collected manner he's had the mores and rules of the last 40 years of our political culture fused into this essence. No one doubts his Political Literacy.

Romney's lifetime of navigating through the elite corridors of power have taught him caution. To succeed at Harvard Business and Harvard Law, to live up to his father's hopes and expectations, to profit within the corporate world -- all require a careful, political temperament that knows when to shift and how to hedge bets. One does not rise up in these channels by challenging corruption, bucking convention, or reevaluating a broken system's root flaws.

And so we now see that these two apparent blessings -- knowledge of the political game and the discipline to play it properly -- manifest as a curse when it comes to the third spell of Political Authenticity. One cannot have the record of a Massachusetts Rockefeller Republican and any hope of dominating a national political primary in which the Tea Party sets the agenda.

It's too bad for Romney that he's running in 2012 instead of a repeat of 2008. The political culture has shifted too deeply against him and all that he symbolizes. While his Political Literacy and Political Competence may be enough to secure him the nomination, however if that happens it will be because of the failures of Romney's opponents.

Yet in spite of all the very reasonable objections that the anti-Romney, Tea Party brigade lay out, the reality is that he'd probably be able to defeat Obama and certainly be an extraordinarily competent president. Will he rule as a so-called "RINO" as Tea Partiers eager to shrink government fear? It's certainly possible, but more likely in my view is that finally Romney's finger-in-the-wind, pragmatic approach to politics may lead him in a direction most Tea Partiers would approve.

Tea Party conservatives should not forget that the wind is now blowing in our direction. As the national debt grows higher and economic chaos continues with Europe's PIGS crisis more and more Americans will continue to naturally be driven toward Tea Party politics.

Next: That the Conan the Barbarian remake flopped at the box office is not a good omen.