Mitt Romney claimed to represent the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party,” attacking the “liberal” Rudy Giuliani. John “Maverick” McCain, laughably insisting that “I’m not going to con you,” countered that he’s more Republican than Romney since Romney registered as a Democrat in 1992. So, who really represents what wing of the Republican Party?
John McCain. Let’s be clear about John McCain. John McCain represents the “John McCain wing of the Republican Party.” He undoubtedly has some real principles that he truly cares about, mostly related to the way veterans and the Armed Forces are treated, but his number one agenda is to get John McCain on TV. He has fought the mainstream of the Republican Party on important issues to advance his own agenda, the promotion of John McCain, at least since his brush with prison led to his conversion to the cause of campaign finance reform.
Mitt Romney. Romney’s claim to represent the “Republican Wing of the Republican Party” has more trouble than just a 1992 primary vote. Mitt Romney represents the “Great Hair Wing of the Republican Party.” His claim to the Presidency, aside from some sort of also-ran imitation of the Bush dynasty, is largely that he looks and sounds Presidential. It’s rarely clear what he’s saying and one gets the feeling that he would consult the lawyers about an attack on Iran only after he consulted the pollsters. Sort of a Republican Clinton-lite. I wonder if the same traits were what Ayn Rand had in mind when she referred to George Romney as a “soft shelled thing.”
Ron Paul. Ron Paul represents the “Goldwater Wing of the Republican Party.” You might also call it the “Fed Up Wing”. One can easily imagine Ron Paul accepting the nomination with the phrase “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue” and having Karl Hess, were he still alive, write the speech for him.
Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani represents the “Reagan Wing of the Republican Party.” You didn’t know the Reagan Wing was different from the Goldwater Wing? Well, for you and I, it isn’t. For the actual politicians, the difference is between running a bold, but losing campaign about ideals and running a winning campaign for Governor of California, Mayor of New York City or President of the United States.
Mike Huckabee. Huckabee represents the “Flyover Wing of the Republican Party.” Other than some mutterings about taxing cholesterol and that whole thing of adding kid’s physical condition to their grade cards, he seems to be mostly reasonable for a Baptist preacher. His big draw is the Jimmy Carter card – southern Governor seen as a nice guy and a Washington outsider.
Sam Brownback. Brownback represents the “Abortion is My Only Issue Wing of the Republican Party.” There’s a hardcore group who simply will not vote for anyone but a pro-life male Christian, regardless of their stand on any other issues. This is the crowd that isn’t really comfortable with an exception for abortion where the mother’s life is in imminent danger.
Alan Keyes. Keyes represents the “Pat Paulsen Wing of the Republican Party.” He’d like to represent the “Abortion is My Only Issue Wing of the Republican Party,” but a certain contingent of that wing secretly has one other issue and it’s one Keyes is physically incapable of overcoming.
Tom Tancredo. Tancredo represents the “Xenophobic Wing of the Republican Party.” He’s admitted he wants to halt legal as well as illegal immigration. He apparently has opinions on other things, and it appears there might even be a few I agree with him on, but he’s as much as admitted that he’s running a hopeless campaign just to draw attention to this one morally and politically flawed cause.
Duncan Hunter. If there’s one guy that does represent “Republican Wing of the Republican Party” it’s Hunter. The simple fact is that the solid Republican in the field is Duncan Hunter. He is, additionally, a mostly solid conservative, but if he represents anything, it’s the solid party workhorse. Unfortunately, he’s little known outside pundit circles even after months of campaigning and debating, so he’s running neck and neck with Alan Keyes to represent the “Snowball’s Chance Wing.”
Fred Thompson. Fred Thompson either represents the “You Snooze You Lose” or the “Save the Best for Last” Wing. Time will tell on that one.