The Republican caucus/primary process has been a positive. The debates, advertisements, articles, blogs, talk shows, endorsements, etc. help the electorate get a good look at the candidates. The public knows what the candidates are and are not. The vetting process has allowed the eventual nominee to be him or herself.

Mitt Romney has been getting endorsements from establishment Republicans and Tea Party folks as well as favored GOP candidate status from the MSM and the Left. The GOP establishment endorses Mitt Romney for political purposes. They see him as the eventual nominee and want to be ahead of the curve. The latest example is Nikki Haley’s endorsement of Mitt. Now, Romney did originally endorse Haley for the South Carolina Governorship in 2010; however, Nikki Haley can in a future campaign call Mitt and ask, “Hey, remember when I endorsed you and helped you win South Carolina? Yeah, well, I need your help in my reelection campaign.” Politicians being political, who knew?

What’s disturbing about Romney is that for some reason the MSM and the Left seem to prefer Mitt over the rest of the GOP field. One possibility for their sanguinity is that the MSM and Democrats might be holding back a possible October Surprise to harm Romney. The nightmare scenario is a replay of what happened to Bush 43.  On the Thursday before the 2000 election it was revealed that George W Bush had the equivalent to a DUI in the 1970s. There was not enough time for the Bush campaign to do damage control and the polls dropping proved it. Bush had an election win without a plurality of the vote, which affected the races down ballot. This led to a small GOP majority in both Houses of Congress (On May 24, 2001, Republican Senator Jeffords switched parties to an Independent and caucused with the Democrats in the Senate). His administration was terribly affected by this until 9/11.

The vetting process this time around should minimize the possibility of a fatal bombshell; knock on wood. But I have a theory on why the Left wants Romney. They see Mitt as the GOP version of Bill Clinton – someone who has no core values and only cares about being elected and leaving a legacy. If Obama loses the election, at least Mitt is reasonable and will try and fix the welfare state. Mitt would be a weather vane that can be influenced by the Left if their ideas work. I fear they are right.

What is the solution? Pick someone with some kind of executive experience who will try and reduce the size and scope of government. The problem is the field. The field is just weak. I cannot endorse a Not-Romney. I support Newt Gingrich because he seems to have the skills to beat Obama and to be a great President. But unfortunately the public cannot look past his personality and baggage. If I have to pick a second choice in the field, Mitt Romney would be that guy. He has the executive experience, skills, and electability. The number one goal is to vote Obama out of office. And Mitt will accomplish that goal.

What now? There needs to be a Plan B. The layout of the system has to be set up in a way to maximize conservatism, liberty, and reduce the size and scope of government. I have a three phase solution to remake Romney into a future conservative President.

Phase one: the primaries. Mitt Romney needs a fight in the primaries. The Constitution, liberty, America, etc. need to be debated well into the primary season. Currently Mitt is performing a “prevent defense” through the primary season. For all you non-football fans out there, the prevent defense prevents you from winning the game. It’s playing not to lose instead of playing your normal game and maximizing your skills to win the game. Mitt needs to be forced to fight for the nomination. He will need those learned skills to go and defeat Obama in the general election. Obama needed Hillary to push him in 2008. Bush 43 needed McCain to win New Hampshire so Bush could fight to win South Carolina in 2000. Bush 41 needed Bob Dole to challenge him in 1988. Reagan needed Bush 41 to win Iowa to set up the “microphone moment” in Nassau, NH in 1980. Anointed candidates are typically losers.

Who will be Romney’s rival? Ron Paul seems to be filling that void. His cult-like supporters will go to any length to make him win. His problem is his politics. Paul is the true RINO (Republican in name only). The GOP nominee has to stand near the center of the Republican coalition. The major planks of the coalition are fiscal conservatism, social conservatism, a strong military and an America’s interest first foreign policy. Ron Paul stands firmly on the fiscal conservatism plank, but is 180 degrees out of phase on the social conservatism, strong military, and America’s interest first foreign policy planks. Because of this simple fact, Paul has a low ceiling of support within the GOP. By attrition, Romney destroys Paul in a head to head match-up. This would help Mitt gain sudden support from people who don’t like Romney due to the “Overton Window” (if someone stands on the fringes of an issue/issues, the voters will end up voting against them but move the debate in their direction).

So what needs to happen is a Not-Mitt-Not-Paul has to rise up to challenge Romney. Who would that be? No idea. Romney needs someone to rise from the crowd to fight Mitt one on one. Force him to win the race by being the better candidate. The longer the primary season goes, the better. It sucks the oxygen out of Obama’s campaign. The candidates are exposed and Obama is forced to face his record. Every attack Obama makes is old news. The people already know about the GOP nominee.

Phase two: the Vice Presidential pick by Mitt. The VP pick will be crucial to the future of conservatism. This person will be a message to the public. Mitt will trust this person with the White House if he dies or as his eventual predecessor. This person needs to be favored by conservatives and Tea Party folks alike. Who fills this role perfectly? My answer: Jim DeMint. He endorsed Mitt in 2008, and has held his endorsement back this go around. I believe he is waiting until South Carolina’s primary to deliver his endorsement of Romney. He was the Senate candidate in 2004 that Bush 43 didn’t want to win.  He went to the 9/12 Tea Party in DC in 2009. He has the conservative, Tea Party credentials. He wants to move the country in a conservative direction. He stands firm in the GOP center. He is competent and capable to fight for the Tea Party causes. DeMint also acts and looks like a statesman. He needs to be elevated to the national stage. Plus, that helps with solidifying the South.

Phase three: the Congress. Mitt appears to have no real core, and the size of the welfare state and sanctity of the Constitution mean little to him. He does not seem to care about dependency on the government, liberty, and conservatism in general. Yes, he will say that he is a true conservative, but his meaning of conservatism is different from most in America. Mitt is a conservative in the Edmund Burke classic conservative sense of the word. He believes in strong institutions and preserving what is around him. He is a problem solver, someone who just wants to make the Leviathan work. He would keep the Bush 43/Obama policies but make them function in a manner the masses will appreciate. On ObamaCare, Romney did say he would throw out what’s bad in ObamaCare and keep what’s good about it. But is that what conservatives want?

A classic example of this is Mitt’s prescription for Medicare. He believes maximum choice is conservatism. He wants to both keep the current system but allow choice. Give people the option for government allotments to purchase their own health insurance/plans. But nowhere in this thought process does he ask the question “Should government be paying for health insurance/plans in the first place?” His instincts are to do the minimum necessary to make people happy. But sometime a father figure has to tell the public, “Sorry but government’s job is not to take from Peter to give to Paul.” This is the problem of democracy. People can vote for goodies.

So the answer has to be to force Romney to do the right thing. All bills start in the Congress. The President only has the power of the veto or to keep the status quo. Congress has to keep moving to the right. The Tea Party and conservatives need to primary people who don’t follow conservatism. Here is where the real battles need to occur. The leadership, chairmanships, etc. need to have our best interest in mind. If not, vote them out. Obviously, use proper judgment. For example, Scott Brown has been a good Republican Senator from Massachusetts considering how liberal that state is; however, Senator Lindsey Graham needs a primary challenge in South Carolina for being such a moderate squish in a state that has a Tea Party favorite – Senator Jim DeMint.

Phase three B: down ballot. This is the critical part of the election. This is the farm team. We need good people to run and win races, ferment in their offices, and then go for higher office. We need to recruit people to run, fight for them, and then have their feet kept to the fire.

This will be a long process, probably beyond our lifetimes. It took generations to get to where we are and it will take generations to fix this mess. This will take time and effort. Keep your spirits up. Put Mitt on the surfboard to beat Obama, pick DeMint as a symbol of a real change to the culture of the GOP, and fight it out in the Congress, governorships, and state legislatures. Easier said than done, but it’ s better to have a strategy than just mope that Mitt will be the GOP nominee.