Let's take a stroll down memory lane right quick. Back to the late Summer of 2012 to a little place called Tampa, FL and a little event known as the Republican National Convention.
As I reported back during this time, the GOP, for some unexplained and borderline-obsessive reason, was desperate to "maintain the narrative" that they were 100% united behind Mitt Romney. They thought it would be a good idea to completely re-write longstanding GOP rules and bylaws to keep Dr. Ron Paul from getting the guaranteed speaking slot that would come with his having captured the plurality of delegates in five states. So, led by Romney's lawyer, Ben Ginsberg, and the most awful Republican of all time, John Sununu, the GOP did just that - completely reworking and reshaping the entire power structure of the GOP.
As Rick Ungar mentioned in his column at Forbes.com yesterday, the main reason this was done was to put out that pesky Ron Paul fire and also to ensure a smooth process for Romney's reelection during the 2016 delegate process. Of course, there is one little problem there. Romney didn't win, so now the GOP is stuck with Rule 40 that now mandates that a candidate has to have a majority (rather that plurality) of delegates from eight (instead of five) states.
With the very crowed field that the GOP primary season will almost undoubtedly see, is there a real concern that we might get to the 2016 Convention without the ability to nominate a candidate? According to Ungar, that answer is a very possible yes. And also according to him, there is nothing that can be done about it until the RNC starts up the 2016 convention and who knows what the Rules Committee might look like. If it's made up of people all supporting different candidates, this thing has the ability to be a full blown mess.
So, the law of unintended consequences and the whole "be careful what you wish for - you just might get it" thing.
And one final recollection of mine from the day after the November election:
Looking back on it, it should have been obvious. The GOP had a death wish. It seemed as if they were, at every, single turn, making all of the WRONG decisions. On everything! Flipping the middle finger to all of the Ron Paul supporters wasn't one of their finer moments, for sure! With the polarized electorate we now have, you've got to be as inclusive as possible, not completely exclusive.
Has the GOP learned its lesson? I'm wanting to maintain some optimism at this point. It seems, from where I'm at, as if more and more long-serving and rank-and-file GOPers are getting on the Rand train. So maybe. But what about the mid-terms this year? Can the GOP keep from snatching defeat from the jaws of victory?