From Donald Trump to Michele Bachmann to Herman Cain, the Republican activist base has again and again fixed its hopes on people who have never held an executive public office — and who defiantly reject the very idea of expertise.
Meanwhile Mitt Romney — the man who saved the 2002 Olympics and who inaugurated the nation’s first universal health insurance program as governor of Massachusetts — can’t rise above 25% or so among Republicans. And the seemingly most logical alternative to Romney — Texas Gov. Rick Perry — has collapsed in the polls. Perry may not be the sharpest pencil in the pack, but he can at least claim experience in government.
The Trump, Bachmann and now Cain boomlets reveal a worrying disinclination among some Republicans not to value government management very highly. These voters assume that if a candidate professes the right values, he or she will make the right decisions.