This morning RedState's Erick Erickson penned a lengthy takedown of Mitt Romney, arguing that Romney will win the primary and then lose to Barack Obama, killing off conservatism in the meantime.
Erickson's piece is recommended not because he's supposed to be taken as some kind authority on what constitutes conservatives, but because he consolidates almost all of the key datapoints on Romney's shortcomings into one post. He also notes that the only reason Romney looks poised to take the nomination is that "the other candidates, right now, are a pretty pathetic lot."
Relatedly -- or not? -- Marc Thiessen's column on Sen. Jim DeMint's decision not to endorse anyone in the primary included a number of interesting points about DeMint's strategy for 2012. DeMint claims that he is indifferent between the presidential candidates, which is to say none of them appeals to him in a special way (remember that he endorsed Romney in 2008, which he won't do this time). So his plan for being prepared for the next Congress is to focus on electing conservatives in the Senate: "I've got to keep my focus on electing conservatives to the Senate who are going to come in here and help us change the spending culture and help our new president turn the country around." DeMint's silence on the presidential race is significant, because his endorsement alone, without any financial or other help attached, is valuable, especially in South Carolina. Endorsing a candidate wouldn't distract him from electing conservative senators.
In other words, the best thing that can be said of Romney is that, if he wins the general election, he'll likely have a Republican Congress pushing him around. The more Tea Party-types there are in the House and Senate, the better a President Romney looks -- something that's true of President Obama as well. Better to just write the presidency off, and get to work on other elections?
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