LOS ANGELES, February 10, 2011―A pair of poll results came in, and Mitt Romney won both of them. The losing candidates will most likely argue that the results do not matter.
So before dissecting the actual results of the CPAC poll and the Maine Caucus, let’s create an integrity zone free of excuses. Finishing first is a win. Will Ferrell summed it up best in “The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” when he said, “If you’re not first, you’re last.”
There are no moral victories, and exceeding expectations is nonsense. Being the most improved player is not the same as being the most valuable player. Close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
Refusing to compete is not an excuse for losing. Every single one of the candidates has at some point downplayed the results of a contest because it was not “friendly terrain.” What this means is they did not compete because they knew they would lose anyway.
Discounting results and declaring contests unimportant after results come in is self-serving nonsense. To declare some contests “beauty contests” is disrespectful to the many people who come out all across America, often on cold, snowy nights, to participate in democracy.
The CPAC results and the numbers from Maine both brought the same result, one that only those disputing cold, hard numbers could refute: Mitt Romney won.
That is it. There is no “almost” or “yeah, but” about it. Mitt Romney won. At CPAC, Romney finished with 38%, Rick Santorum 31%, Newt Gingrich 15%, and Ron Paul 12%.
This was clearly a disappointing finish for Gingrich. He thought he had Santorum on the ropes a week ago, and then Santorum won a clean sweep in Colorado, Minnesota, and Missouri. Santorum and Gingrich together won more votes than Romney, but neither of them is backing down. Santorum could have won at CPAC, but he did not. As for Gingrich, he excels in the debates. The next debate is February 22nd in Arizona. This race remains fluid.
As for Dr. Paul, he again finished dead last. Every time he finishes dead last, his supporters prepare their list of excuses. Conspiracy theories and plots against Dr. Paul are often more palatable for them to stomach than the notion that most GOP voters disagree with him. The problem is that the Paul supporters often disagree on a varying number of excuses that are contradictory. Since the other candidates and their supporters do not make excuses with such fervor and frequency, it is best to help prepare the CPAC excuses for Paul supporters so they can pick their preferred cop-out.
Excuse # 1: Dr. Paul was deliberately excluded from CPAC. This is part of the ongoing plot to marginalize him. Therefore, the results are skewed because his supporters did not attend to vote.
Excuse # 2: Dr. Paul skipped CPAC because CPAC is irrelevant. By Dr. Paul refusing to participate, CPAC is marginalized. Maine was much more important, and zero delegates were at stake at CPAC.
The Ron Paul supporters need to have their own special excuses caucus because excuses #1 and #2 cannot both be the reason he finished dead last. Whatever excuse they choose, CPAC was much more successful than last year due to his supporters staying away. They preach fiscal responsibility, but they attended last year in droves because it was free. This year only people willing to pay to attend CPAC attended. The young college kids did not have somebody else’s money to get them to party for three days. CPAC is not for people to run out around screaming and shouting.
CPAC is meant to be a serious discussion for conservative activists to promote ideas in a serious manner. The lack of a Ron Paul presence led to a much better CPAC Convention.
Dismissing CPAC is a tough sell because Ronald Reagan spoke there many times, and it is the premiere conservative convention in the United States. Yet CPAC survived without Reagan speaking, so naturally it did just fine without Paul in attendance. Nobody is indispensable, another issue the Paul supporters disagree with.
CPAC seemed to matter to the Paul supporters when he won, so it should matter when he lost. So the only choice for his supporters is to blame CPAC for excluding him, even though this may not be the case. It seems he just rolled the dice and went to Maine.
Paul does not get a free pass for skipping CPAC, just as Santorum and Gingrich do not get free passes for skipping Maine. The number of hostile responses expected from their supporters about this fact is expected to be zero.
Only two candidates competed in Maine. Ron Paul spent days there, while Mitt Romney spent one day there at the last moment. While some wanted to dismiss Maine as unimportant, the event was serious because Charlie Webster is the Maine GOP Chairman.
I have never met with or spoken to Webster, nor have I ever been to Maine. Yet Webster resembles a walrus, and people everywhere trust walruses. So despite Chairman Webster insisting that this was a non-binding, unofficial result, his slight resemblance to Captain Kangaroo gives him automatic moral authority and seriousness of purpose. The results did matter.
Romney finished with 39%. Paul earned 36%. Santorum ended with 18%, and Gingrich finished last with 6%. Romney won. Everyone else lost. The Paul supporters again had to decide between contradictory excuses.
Excuse #1: Maine is irrelevant. Walrus Webster said so himself. Everything is about delegates, so caucus results do not matter. This was a beauty contest, and even Dr. Paul would admit that Mr. Romney is handsomer. Look at him. The guy is a male model. Paul is older and far less likely than Romney to be on the cover of GQ Magazine. Gay and straight men can unite in admiring Mitt Romney’s hair and jawline. Therefore, the beauty contest in Maine is meaningless since we are electing a leader and not a model.
Excuse #2: The media deliberately made Maine irrelevant to marginalize Ron Paul in case he won. Every established journalist in America, in a desperate attempt to stop Ron Paul, began shouting, “Remember Spain, to hell with Maine!”
Excuse #3: Ron Paul really did win, because only delegates count. The will of the people in actual votes taking place does not matter.
So first the Paul supporters need to argue amongst themselves over whether to declare victory, declare the contest meaningless, or blame the entire world for not recognizing how meaningful it was. That again requires a separate Paul caucus.
Ron Paul himself refused to dismiss the event, so declaring victory was really the only viable option. Fox News cut away from his speech due to technical difficulties, but before the conspiracy theorists can howl, CNN carried the whole address. If Paul supporters complain this is meaningless because nobody watches CNN, on this point they may be right. Fox News had a glitch, and it was unfortunate.
Dr. Paul could not claim a lack of attention because he had the whole state of Maine to himself for several days. Mitt Romney barely showed up. Dr. Paul had virtually all of the attention. Yet Romney won and Paul lost. Since actual numbers no longer matter, Dr. Paul saw the results a different way.
In his non-concession speech, Dr. Paul said “It’s almost like we could call it a tie.” Then he pointed out the difference between delegates and poll votes.
Make no mistake about it. Had Ron Paul actually won, his supporters would be declaring him King of Maine. Maine actually has a tradition of independent libertarianism and kings. This may seem contradictory, but Angus King was elected Governor of Maine as an Independent. Ross Perot won 30% of the vote in Maine in 1992, good for second place, also known as a non-win. Unlike Perot and Paul, Angus did win, as the King became the Governor.
(Angus King did not play in ACDC, and does not have anything to do with “Thunderstruck” or “Moneytalks.” That was Angus Young.)
Ron Paul was trying to declare himself the Vice King of Maine when Wolf Blitzer asked him an important question.
“Why can’t Ron Paul compete in a primary state?”
Dr. Paul pointed that Florida was a winner-take-all contest, and the issue was money. He said he would compete in any state that has proportional allocation of delegates. The problem is Dr. Paul may be wrong. Mr. Gingrich is contesting the Florida delegate allocation, arguing they should be doled out proportionally. He may win this argument.
While there is nothing illegal in pursuing a delegate strategy, the overwhelming popular vote has rejected Ron Paul.
Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum have all won multiple contests. Newt Gingrich has one primary victory. Even Pat Buchanan won one primary, New Hampshire in 1996. Even Jesse Jackson won Michigan once. So far Ron Paul has the same number of victories as Lyndon Larouche and Pat Paulsen.
Mitt Romney won, and now the fight goes to Arizona and Michigan. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will soldier on, without making excuses.
As for Ron Paul, his supporters can explain the results of CPAC and Maine without a hint of irony.
The contests do not matter, except when they do. He was excluded, even though he chose not to compete. He chose not to compete because the contests don’t matter, even though if he had won they would. The media has totally marginalized him, or only covered him in a negative light.
The main culprit is me, proof of evil journalists and reporters for covering him in a biased and slanted way. My repeated proclamations of being an opinion columnist who has every right to be biased are ignored. For those who want just the facts, they are as plain as daylight.
Ron Paul is a demigod, the most handsome, fearless, and perfect dear leader since the late Kim Jong Il. Any criticism of him shall result in verbal violence. Everyone loves him, which is why he wins every contest and has virtually 100% of the popular vote.
Those few misguided souls not worshiping him will be given the compassion of those in Iraq who voted against Saddam Hussein or those in China not adoring Mao Tse Tung. Verbal violence will be used against all not hailing the lord of the Planet Rapulon.
A few precious supporters of Ron Paul will do the one thing that could get them banned from the Ron Paul movement. They will be introspective. They will ask a simple question. If we are so awesome and everyone else is so vile, why do we keep losing?
Supporters of the other candidates do not have time for such painful self-analysis, despite having the ability to conduct it. They are too busy winning, although in varying degrees.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
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Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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