This writer says there are five reasons conservatives should hope Mitt Romney loses the election. Reason No. 4:
If Romney wins this election, odds are he’ll automatically be the Republican nominee in 2016. Regardless of whether he wins then, this will effectively kill all prospects for putting a more serious Republican reformer (such as Wisconsin’s Rep. Paul Ryan) in the White House until 2020 or 2024. It might be far better to swallow hard and accept another Obama term to keep the path clear for a Republican more likely to deal with our fiscal and political dysfunction, rather than elect President Romney and block that possibility for another generation.
Tough call. If I didn't think an Obama second term, unhindered by the president's need to win re-election, would be so dangerous, I could buy this. George W. Bush did great damage to the conservative brand because he was widely regarded as a conservative and even claimed to be one, so conservatism took the hit for some of his big-government initiatives. The lack of a principled core evident in Romney's statements indicate his presidency might do even more damage. And the great debate over the direction and vision of the Republican Party would probably not be aided by one term or two of Romney's "visionless, ruderless, gaffe-prone presidency" (reason No. 5).
But a second Obama term would be disastrous for the country, so wouldn't it be self-indulgent of the GOP to want to stay in the wildnerness for four more years to get its act together?