Is Mr. Romney already damaged goods? Is he already making himself unelectable? Are the Republicans facing such an incredible defeat that they will lose the House and any chance of winning the Senate? His positions have already made him a “hard to love” candidate for the Evangelicals, the conservatives, the Tea Party, the moderates and the independents. Has his refusal to provide additional tax returns, be transparent regarding his offshore accounts and be honest regarding his tenure at Bain Capital placed him in an untenable position? According to Speaker Boehner, 95% of those who vote in November will be voting for or against President Obama, not for Mr. Romney.
What if the majority of those who attend the Republican National Convention realize that they, in fact, have buyers’ remorse? Is it possible for a fast growing tsunami of Romney rejection to sweep the floor of the Tampa convention hall? If a majority takes the attitude, “rules be damned” we want a new candidate, could this movement be ignored? Remember, a large number of the convention attendees are relative novices, having entered the battle with the Tea Party in 2010. They have no investment in yesterday’s rules.
Let’s say that this unlikely scenario actually occurred. How would it play out? There would be nominations from the floor, and a major floor fight. The various wings of the Republican Party will battle each other for supremacy and a great purge will occur. By this time the Party will be so fragmented and damaged that mounting a successful national campaign would be almost impossible. But the Party, in the years to come, will again become a political entity that understands that politics is the art of compromise, and that the good of the nation is more important than the good of the Party. The great implosion of the current Republican Party will create an opportunity for it to reassess its role, beliefs and methods. The nation as a whole will gain from this process. Future candidates will understand their obligation to bring us together, not divide us.
As I said, it is an unlikely scenario, but I can dream. But even without this scenario playing out, Mr. Romney will not feel the love from the convention attendees. They know they should reach out and try to love him, but as Speaker Boehner said, they will only be able to bring themselves to vote against President Obama, not for Mr. Romney.