Thursday, February 23, 2012

Caucuses cause criticisms

By Thomas Haines, Opinion Columnist

After a total of nine caucuses and primaries with 47 more to go, predicting the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States would be foolhardy.

6262125642_2999cc3114_oPhoto courtesy of Donke HoteySome rights reserved

However, one thing these early primaries and caucuses will be able to give us is a quick glimpse of the general election.

In my opinion, the longer the uncertainty between the frontrunners goes on during the early elections, the more harmful it will be for the GOP during the general election.

The main problem for Republican candidates will not be their specific ideologies but their marginalizing and attacking fellow party nominees.

These primaries have seen republicans spend millions of dollars on negative advertisements.

As of Jan. 31 GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney has spent $19 million and fourth place runner up Ron Paul has spent $15 million.

Since there can only be one Republican Party nominee for the presidential bid, the other candidates will eventually have to throw their support behind the one who wins the nomination.

Earlier in the primary season, Jon Huntsman criticized Mitt Romney in debates and questioned many of Romney’s policies and decisions during his governorship of Massachusetts.

However, when Huntsman dropped out of the running for the Republican nomination mid-January, he turned around and threw his support behind Romney.

This is not the only example of a former candidate for the Republican nomination supporting someone he or she previously criticized. Rick Perry, who dropped out, now supports Newt Gingrich.

Many people will notice the hypocrisy in the Republican party when those who previously attacked and criticized a Republican nominee now support him.

So, as the primaries drag on and GOP candidates continue to focus their energy on attacking each other instead of focusing on promoting their own ideas or attacking their political opponent on the opposite side of the party line, Barack Obama, the Republican party will have some problems come the general election.

Thomas Haines is a junior at Pacific Lutheran University studying history. He is the vice-president of the PLU Democrats and secretary for the PLU Secular Student Alliance.