The only thing standing between the GOP primary electorate and a better choice is the misguided belief that there is no alternative to the current crop. Well, that and someone who is willing to make a “sacrifice” of a few months to see if he can capture the nomination and give his party a better shot at the presidency. We just went through a weekend of tributes to the sacrifices of servicemen and women and their families (not to mention ordinary civilians caught up in an attack on America). In light of those sorts of sacrifices, it really too much to ask for one of these Republicans to give the presidential race a try?
The endless complaining about the quality of the 2012 field has become quite tiresome, but what’s worse is this phony call-to-duty rhetoric that keeps cropping up whenever a pundit sees flaws in the declared candidates. “How can [X] ignore his obligations to America by continuing to do the job he was already elected to do?” The comparison with people who died in the line of duty is simply wrong. Trying to win a presidential nomination isn’t a sacrifice on behalf of others. Once we get to the heart of the matter, it is the pursuit of enormous power. While it undoubtedly takes enormous energy and endurance to seek the office, it is not a selfless or self-sacrificing act. It is not a failing on the part of the various governors and former governors Rubin lists that none of them is angling for a presidential nomination.
The reality is that Republicans have the field of candidates from which they will select their next nominee. If the field continues to underwhelm a lot of partisans, that says something about the quality of candidates that the party is capable of producing, and it also says something about the insatiable character of many conservative activists and pundits. Adding one or two more candidates isn’t going to improve matters, especially at this late stage, because the flaws of the new candidates will come to light just as that Bachmann and Perry have revealed their weaknesses before a national audience. Besides, any candidate joining the field so late will begin with the large liability of having no organization and lower name recognition, which will compound whatever existing problems he might have had.