Romney’s shed his goggles and left his helmet swinging from a hook in the garage–never again, alleges the former governor, is he willing to get behind the wheel in a presidential race. But the GOP primary isn’t so much race as demolition derby, a fact Romney doesn’t recognize because of a flaw inherent in politicians: enormous egos eclipse reality.
So for seventeen irksome months a bevy of Republican White House aspirants will recklessly weave, swerve, and thrash into one another. So engrossed will they grow in demeaning, mocking, and contradicting their competitors that not one of the lot will foresee their party’s ritualistic presidential-year demise. A survivor of the voluntary destruction will eventually limp into Cleveland for the 2016 GOP Convention, radiator steaming and tires flattened, fenders dented and upturned. But Democrats will have sheltered their imposing Rolls Royce on blocks in an immaculate workshop, meticulously buffing it with a chamois. It matters little that Bondo and chewing gum hide the defects and peril in continued Democratic presidency: by election day naïve voters, again mesmerized by that shiny Dem limousine, won’t dare vote for the wreck of a Republican flivver the media are sure to publicize.
Hence Mitt, declining to mount the Republican dais as candidate, is positioned ideally to raise his stature as party leader. Before the demolition grows harsh and YouTube laughter rises at GOP tongue-slips and barbs, he should assume the mantle as sage who reins in each man-who-would-be-president and guides the party to project a consistent and amicable image. America, well in advance of the 2016 election, should suffer no doubt that liberty and prosperity are synonymous with the Republican platform, stark contrast to Democratic ideals of government overreach and ruinous redistribution. As voters increasingly avert eyes from fenders mangled and chassis twisted, Romney needs to occasionally stretch an avuncular arm around a foundering candidate’s shoulders while dropping the hint, “Enough damage, don’t you think?”
Without Romney–or some other venerable statesman–filling the Republican leadership void and staving off impending destruction, Hillary, with a tub of popcorn to devour, will seat herself high in the bleachers while cackling at the good show. And the country, if Obama hands her the Oval Office keys, will find itself beset by another four years of Democratic demolition.