TOC first contributed the following for the website move-on-up.org on April 16, 2012
Last week, GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney all but sewed up the GOP Presidential nomination after his biggest rival, Rick Santorum, suspended his campaign to become president. With that decision, the nomination process was effectively ended as no other potential nominee had a delegate count remotely close to that of Romney’s.
The nominating process for the Republican Party has been a rather brutal one this year, with many pundits observing that the Republicans did more to hurt their cause than help it during the campaigning. I will abstain from the natural (and justified) discussion around how the mainstream media has a left-wing bias. While that may be the case and most media outlets did all they could to paint Republicans in a negative light (giving us Romney’s gaffes out-of-context, for instance), there are many repercussions of the prolonged process that were not fabricated by the media. There were, and still are, a lot of hard feelings by many moderate conservatives, social conservatives, and Tea Party conservatives.
My view is that, although Romney may not represent the exact candidate that every faction in the Republican Party desires, the groups that make up the party – as well as the left – have a lot to gain by the process effectively ending. Moderates and moderate conservatives (me included in the latter group) have a candidate that is pragmatic on a number of key issues. Romney has shown willingness to compromise and work with differing parties to govern to the will of the people while at the same time exercising veto power to maintain certain standards. Although I do not agree with Romney Care, I take comfort in the fact that it is not a violation of the 10th amendment (implied powers are granted to the individual states) as the federal version – Obama Care – is. Tea Party conservatives gained through Romney’s nomination as well, as their agenda was such a large part of the discussion during the nomination process. Indeed, all candidates were forced to move to the right in order to cater to the Tea Party, as this faction has become a true force within the GOP. Finally, even the left has a lot to gain by the ending of the GOP nomination process. President Obama must give an account of his first 4 years of office. He must explain to everyone why he believes his agenda is best for the nation. While those of us to the right-of-center (including this blog’s author) may not believe Obama’s policies will ever work in the first place, ALL of us deserve and should want him to give an account as to why we have made no progress in closing the employment gap and the education gap felt by African Americans in this country or why true economic recovery has not taken place (yes unemployment is down, but the labor force participation rate has yet to recover – a link is provided here).
It always pains me to hear from liberals who wanted to see the Republicans continue to be weakened through the nomination process so that Obama would have an easy path to re-election. We should all strive to make sure our elections give as much of an opportunity as possible to vet our candidates – these are not popularity contests. We do not have the luxury, particularly in the African American community, of choosing someone because they can do renditions of Al Green songs. We HAVE to have serious discussions about the problems our nation and our people struggle with daily and continue to threaten our future.
Now that Mitt Romney has the nomination, I hope that those conversations can begin.