As Republicans bemoan the growing lead Barack Obama has over Mitt Romney in the polls, they are turning on Romney, calling him a bad candidate. That's passing strange. Romney has espoused all the party's current positions -- even if they are contrary to positions he has held in the past.
Richard Cohen writes in The Washington Post that -- even if Romney is a robotic candidate -- the real problem lies not with Romney but with his party and its primaries:
Since Republicans are so focused on the individual and not on the system that produced him, they miss the real problem. The system in this case is the series of incredibly damaging primaries and caucuses that, in the crucial early stages, produce a candidate who could sweep Bavaria. The Iowa caucuses alone take the GOP so far to the right that it all but dooms the winner. Romney had to vow to stop thinking. He had to virtually declare himself anti-Hispanic (criticizing Texas for providing tuition discounts to the college-age children of illegal immigrants). While he has now moderated his approach, it is a bit late. Hispanic is not Spanish for Stupid.
Consider what have become core Republican beliefs:
A GOP candidate has to oppose same-sex marriage, deny global warming and insist — against all evidence — that local control of education is the best. The only way around these positions is to skip the Iowa caucuses entirely. It is no place for a moderate. It is, really, no place for a thinking person.
The truth is that Mitt Romney is the last of a dying breed -- the moderate Republican. Names like Edward Brooke, Charles Percy and Mark Hatfield spring to mind. Go a little further back and you'll encounter Everett Dirksen and, yes, Dwight Eisenhower.
Romney is losing because the Republican Party has no place for him. And this election is proving that the majority of American voters have no place for the Republican Party.
This entry is cross posted at The Moderate Voice.