I don’t like Mitt Romney. Given the choice between Romney and nothing, to turn the old adage upside-down, I’d take nothing. But in politics “nothing” isn’t one of the choices.
Correction: You can vote for nothing, but then worse-than-nothing wins by default.
So keep that in mind when I call on Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to surrender gracefully tonight, and to pledge their delegates to… this isn’t easy for me to say… to pledge their delegates to Romney.
Santorum has proven he can win — just barely — in states the GOP is likely to take in November regardless. Newt has proven that he can win his home state, and the one state that hates Mitt Romney almost as much as it hates Barack Obama. And I’ll miss Newt — I really will. I want to see his Old Media Crusade go on and on.
I don’t call on Ron Paul to pull out because he won’t. And even though I’m a small-l libertarian who thinks that Paul mostly hurts the libertarian cause, I’d like to see him win enough delegates to have some influence on the 2012 party platform.
But mostly, I want the bloodshed to stop.
Before Super Tuesday, Romney had more delegates than Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum combined. So, not only does “Gingrich, Paul, and Santorum” sound like the world’s worst folk group, together they can’t even beat Mitt Effing Romney. After Super Tuesday, that math will not have changed very much.
And the bloodshed has got to stop. This vicious campaign — and spare me the pointing fingers, please — is driving up everyone’s negatives. Everyone’s, that is, except for President Obama’s.
Eventually, the GOP is going to have to settle — and I do mean “settle” — on someone. Best to settle sooner rather than later, so that the real campaign, the campaign to unseat a sitting and powerful incumbent, can begin.
I never wanted Mitt. But Mitt it is. And the sooner Newt and Rick can ad-Mitt it to themselves, the better.