The GOP has a secret campaign plan. It's so secretly convoluted that no one - absolutely NO ONE - can figure it out. Now that Jeb Bush and Sen. Demented of South Carlina have announced that the GOP nomination process is over, let's look at this crafty GOP plan.
Here are its main features:
1. In a party dominated by Southern far-right rural evangelical types who consider Mormonism to be a non-Christian "cult", run a moderate urban Yankee Mormon. (Well, I admit we don't really know if he is a moderate.)
2. In a year when anger is high against the 1% rich who have slurped the trough dry for the other 99%, run someone who is not just a member of the 1% but of the one-tenth of one percent.
3. While a lot of folks are suffering unemployment and home foreclosures, be sure the candidate talks about his wife driving plural Cadillacs and his friends who own sport franchises.
3. In a nation where seniors are the most reliable voters, run a candidate who embraces the Paul Ryan budget that threatens both Social Security and Medicare, the programs that seniors need to survive.
4. In a nation where the fastest growing population segment is Latino, be sure the candidate embraces the Arizona laws which require the cops harass anyone who looks Latino.
5. When the candidate is revealed to be paying only a 15% income tax rate on his $20 million A YEAR income, be sure he campaigns on giving further tax breaks to the very wealthy and increasing taxes on the definitely not-wealthy.
6. Appoint a major spokesperson for the campaign to announce on CNN that the candidate is an Etch A Sketch who will flip his previous well-documented flip-flops yet again once he's the official nominee. This announcement not only relieves us of any suspense about further flopping but gives all humankind a wonderful, visual symbol for the candidate and triples the price of the stock of Etch A Sketch-maker Ohio Art Co. by a factor of three. (See! Romney IS good for the economy!)
7. Be sure that all along the nominating road the candidate is relentless attacked by his nomination rivals so that there will be lots of good video ammunition available to the Democrats in the general election. Also be sure that the GOP raises a War on Women, so that 50+% of the electorate are outraged.
8. Prepare ahead - and this was several years ahead - by securing Supreme Court appointees who will issue Citizens United and thus set the stage for just TWO individuals (one billionaire for Santorum and one for Gingrich) to keep the attacks going against the main candidate so that he loses a big chunk of "favorable" support.
9. Follow the GOP system of "It's his turn", meaning that the candidate will be the guy who ran last time for the nomination and got beaten by someone in his own party. (Think about it. This system means that over time the candidates are ever weaker. It's Darwinism reversed. It's evolution by failure!)
10. Since the GOP cannot win an election without winning Ohio, be sure the newly-elected GOP governor of that state wildly attempts to emasculate the unions and thereby generates an effort to recall him which, in turn, creates a powerful, full-throated Democratic network in the state, ready and able to roar into November
11. Since Ohio and Michigan, both key swing states, depend heavily on the auto industry, run a candidate who opposed the auto industry bailout. And still does.
12. Since the winning issue for the GOP in 2012 could be opposition to the Affordable Health Act, run a candidate who virtually invented the health insurance mandate while governor of Massachusetts.
13. Forget the past and how Nixon ran in 1968. Like the present candidate, Nixon was Mr. Stiff, painfully uncomfortable in talking to people unless their names were Halderman or Erlichman. So Candidate Nixon just didn't talk to people. No "retail politics" for him! No press interviews. No guest appearances. Just a stage, a smiling Nixon waving his arms and lots and lots of balloons. (Nixon invented the balloon campaign.) It was all about "image" and it worked.
14. Have your pudgy-in-the middle candidate wear mid-life-men's jeans. Nixon didn't wear jeans. Reagan didn't wear jeans until after he won the election. But what the hell did they know about winning elections? (For me, Romney in those jeans is as bad as Dukakis in the helmet in the tank. And worse than Kerry wind-surfing. Yucky!)
15. Be sure the candidate is so lame and unpresidential that the more exposure he gets, the less people like him so that his favorable ratings keep sinking. And sinking.
16. Forbid the GOP heavyweights (except really heavyweight Chris Christie) from endorsing the candidate until it's virtually too late to matter.
17. Finally - be sure the candidate's son tells about his dad strapping the family dog to the roof of the car for a trip to Canada. So heartwarming and so sure to get the dog-lovers' vote.
And there you are! A plan that is so seemingly insane and inane that it must be truly sinister and crafty. Somehow, somewhere in this apparent craziness, the GOP has surely carefully crafted a road to success. But this road to success is so well-hidden that - damn it! - I can't figure out what it is!