Jordan Bloom reviews Romney’s political fortunes as Super Tuesday voting draws to a close this evening:
Initial projections, raw delegate counts, and sheer momentum all indicate that Super Tuesday will enshrine Mitt Romney as the inevitable nominee.
After beating back Santorum’s surge with wins in Michigan, Arizona, and Washington, Romney finds himself with double Santorum’s delegates with momentum on his side.
Whenever people have asked me who the nominee will be, I have always said that it would be Romney. When pressed to explain why, I posed the simple question, “Who is going to beat him?” The answer is no one, and most of the results from today’s contests will confirm this. When I first started talking about Romney’s dreadful inevitability, I may not have emphasized the dreadfulness of the inevitability enough to get my point across. It is a calamity for the Republican Party that arguably the most competitive candidate they have is a completely unscrupulous liar who embraces the worst elements of the Bush-era consensus c. 2007-08.
Looked at this way, Romney’s nomination is a fitting punishment for a party that has learned nothing from its disastrous control of unified government in the previous decade. He may not be the nominee that many activists want, but he is the nominee that a lot of them deserve. This will be the third national election of the last four in which the GOP will suffer politically because of its embrace of the Bush-era consensus, and for some reason most Republicans seem unable to acknowledge that they continue to struggle partly because they have failed to confront the legacy of Bush’s failures and the party’s role in making them possible. Romney’s loss in the general election could force Republicans to start to learn from the errors of the last decade, but so far electoral drubbings have had little or no effect.