Four: If Romney wins this election, odds are he’ll automatically be the Republican nominee in 2016. Regardless of whether he wins then, this will effectively kill all prospects for putting a more serious Republican reformer (such as Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan) in the White House until 2020 or 2024. It might be far better to swallow hard and accept another Obama term to keep the path clear for a Republican more likely to deal with our fiscal and political dysfunction, rather than elect President Romney and block that possibility for another generation.
Five: The GOP is in a state of intellectual flux, illustrated perfectly by the ideological heterodoxy of its presidential field. Various strains representing different interests are fighting for the soul of the GOP: The neocons are duking it out with anti-war Paulistas. Social moderates are trying to wrest some space from pro-life religious conservatives. Deficits and debt worry everyone, but there is no consensus on entitlement reform. The GOP allegedly stands for the free market--but it has yet to figure out whether Bush’s financial bailout was right or wrong.