I tried to post this in response to the two great comments by Charlie and Anonymous to my Letter to the Editor post, but it wouldn't accept me commenting on my own post for some reason, so I'll do it here:
Great points by both of you, and Charlie, as you suggest, the R's are missing a great opportunity in 2012. They could nominate a pragmatist - someone who speaks to the middle, acknowledges past successes and failures, without regard to party, and similarly, can make proposals, involving tax increases and obvious areas for spending cuts and I think he or she could win. But the R's are so impacted by the far right, it's hard to see an electable candidate emerging. I don't think the tea party is as strong as the press and the Rs in general think they are and if someone would stand up to them, it would help them as a candidate in the short and long run. The one guy I think may be able to do it is John Huntsman.