The gloves are coming off

Hell broke loose again in Michigan last night. The Republican field of could-be/would be/should be presidents refuses to decrease after Mitt Romney’s win in his father’s home state, and a seemingly inevitable conclusion looms in the back of the head of every Repulican strategist these days:

The party will have to keep this show on the road all the way through primary season.

That wasn’t the plan. It wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. And it’s definitely not what the party should wish for, even less so if the situation of Edwards dropping out before SuperMegaHiDefThunderStorm Tuesday (common name: Super Tuesday, before virtually every state in the US put their tickets in the same hat) allows Obama or Clinton to wrap up the field in early spring. A scenario like the one the Republican voters in New Hampshire, Iowa and Michigan have put on the table, could be disastrous for the GOP. That would allow Democrats to unite and celebrate and crown their new King or Queen, while their Republican counterpart, still busy with ripping the hearts out of their less-than-perfect presidential contenders, have to focus on the next pit stop on the never ending primary calendar.

Last night, Mitt Romney finally won something. He’s been trying to put up his scariest fighting face (which is scary no matter what occasion, that’s not a major problem) after the nasty defeats in N. H. and Iowa, states where he for months was predicted to just swing by and pick up the votes. If Romney lost Michigan, his campaign would have been doomed. Now it’s back on track, securing another train to wreck immediately: the GOP race.

With Romney’s latest win, Republican voters have re-shaped the nature of this primary season. Now Huckabee’s got one. McCain’s got a win, and Romney is on that list, too. None of them has been given any significant boost following their win, resulting only in a further muddling of the field. Coming up is South Carolina, the first state in the South, where some even are predicting a comeback from the Churchyard Of Tired, Bored and Very Dead Presidential Contenders by Fred Thompson, whose abysmal showing in the early states should have forced him out of this mess a long time ago.

If Thompson should happen to win in S. C. on Saturday (not likely), the Republican field all have to wait for Rudy Giuliani to get on stage in Florida before the aforementioned GigaHyperSmashdown Tuesday. If Rudy takes Florida, nobody can see how the brawl of 22 states could settle anything.

That scenario isn’t depending entirely on Thompson recovering, though. That’s probably never gonna happen anyway.

No matter what, the bets are off. Republican primary voters just won’t settle with what they got.

The next week or so should get us informed on whether we’re up for a brokered convention West Wing-style, or if voters finally get their act together and choose the candidate they are least likely to despise.

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