In an earlier post, I wrote about Rush Limbaugh lamenting the fact that the Republican party establishment wants to avoid fighting a culture war election, which he thinks would be a winner.
The Republican party establishment can read the polls as well as anybody and they must be seriously concerned by surveys that show appallingly low approval ratings for Congress coupled with the majority view that the GOP agenda in Congress is too extreme. This is why a senior party figure fears a Rick Santorum victory because if he is the nominee a culture war election is exactly what we are going to get, big time.
What the US has is a one-party state with two factions. The unified part serves the interests of the oligarchy while the two factions (Republican and Democratic) differ mainly on social issues (though there are also some minor factional differences in terms of oligarchic preferences). What each party wants more than anything is to win control of the many legislative committees so that they can be the beneficiaries of all the money, lobbying, and attention of those seeking to benefit through legislation.
Putting myself in the mind of the Republican establishment, I can see why the party wanted to run on economic issues as providing their best shot at retaining control of the House of Representatives and maybe winning the Senate, and thus favored Mitt Romney or someone like him as the candidate most likely to help them do so. Late last year there was deep gloom and pessimism about the economy and unemployment and this issue must have seemed like their best bet.
But not only is the state of the economy no longer such a sure winner, the way this current primary race is playing out, with the current crop of not-Romneys being their worst nightmares, is a reminder that even the best laid plans can gang agley.