The paltry menu of downcast Republican contenders for the 2012 election has left many conservatives wanting. But the truth of it is, Republicans already have a candidate who fits their desires and who has one of the most dependable assets for Election Day success on his side: incumbency.
Bush Republicans, at least, seem to have their dream candidate in the White House already, so why not cast their votes for Obama in 2012? Once you strip away the tribal commitment to party that most Americans apply every four years, it would only be sensible to vote for the president’s reelection.
On taxes, Obama is their man. He was happy to keep the Bush tax cuts and though he may push for higher taxes in his second term, many a lionized Republican hero has been willing to do so as well. Reforming the tax code to avoid the loopholes rampant in the current system has been a conservative talking point in the past as well.
On the budget, Republicans truly can’t complain. Yes, Obama has increased deficit spending to levels not seen since WWII, but massive expenditures and debt-ridden government are an honored pastime for Republican presidents. If debt and deficits were a Facebook status, Republicans would “Like” it. The big hoopla over the so-called “budget showdown” was mere political posturing, as the courageous slasher Paul Ryan’s $38 billion in cuts turned out to be $352 million instead, which is inconsequential enough to the overall budget for it to have not happened at all.
On healthcare, Republicans again seem to have their best shot with allegiance to Obama. Their ostensible top contender Mitt Romney is a vigorous supporter of ObamaCare, having established it in Massachusetts as governor. Furthermore, as House leader John Boehner said recently on ABC News, the Ryan plan Republicans got behind “transforms Medicare into a plan that’s very similar to the President’s own healthcare bill.”
On keeping terror suspects locked up, Obama is a Republican wet dream. He rather quickly abandoned his plans of closing Guantanamo and bringing those detainees to trial, instead opting for the Republican plan to keep the torture chamber in operation and leave the detainees imprisoned indefinitely without charge or trial. Recent revelations from Wikileaks documents have made public the gritty details.
On war, it’s hard to imagine a more hawkish Republican ideal than the guy they’ve already got in the White House. The Iraq War is ongoing and U.S. troops are likely to remain for years. Obama’s surge in Afghanistan was right out of the Republican playbook, and seems similarly unending. The Libyan intervention was lauded as the right decision by most Republicans. The less public wars going on in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere are perfectly in line with Obama’s Republican predecessor (except in cases where Obama has out-Bushed Bush). All this coincides with Obama’s unyielding increases in defense spending, a Republican talking point if there ever was one.
All in all, the chances the unimpressive 2012 Republican contenders could win – coupled with the fact that Republicans seem to have their ideal candidate in office as it is – leads one to believe their efforts to try to elect a Republican would be wasteful indeed. Save the time and resources and just print your Obama 2012 stickers for the next Republican National Convention.