Archive for the ‘Election 2012’ Category

Our Crisis

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Thomas Paine

I was interested to read a piece and listen to the commentary by “Mr. L” posted on his Mr. L’s Tavern blog about why he won’t be out beating the drum for Mitt Romney this Fall, and I find that I simply cannot disagree.   His reasoning is sound, and in many ways, he repeats the complaints I’ve lodged, as well as those leveled by other staunch conservatives who realize Mitt Romney simply isn’t a conservative, by any measure, or in any significant way.  To be blunt about it, Mitt Romney is a liberal Republican, and while he may well be the party’s nominee, he’s not my candidate, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to hold my nose and vote for him.  I’m not alone, apparently, but there exists a growing number of people in the Republican party who are so desperate to be rid of Barack Obama that they will accept almost anyone.  I don’t like counterfeit conservatives, and in fact, it’s fair to say that in many respects, I dislike them even more than Obama, and it’s because they do more to undermine our nation than Obama ever will.  How many times have we been undermined by Republicans who rush to surrender to the statists?

In war, the only thing worse than the enemy is a saboteur or spy or collaborator, who pretends to be one of your own, while working to undermine you.  This is the reason that in war, we traditionally deal severely with traitors and such, because in fact, they are worse than the enemy because you’ve relied upon them to be on your side.  I have come to view the entirety of the Republican establishment in that light, and there’s really no getting around the fact that in many ways, they serve as a fifth column for the statist phalanx.  They pat us on the head like children, with all their solemn assurances that they understand the conservative point of view when they want and need our votes, but when it comes time to implement policy, the pat on the head is replaced by a swat on the behind as we’re sent to a perpetual time-out in the corner of the classroom.  After decades of this, we should begin to bring our own dunce caps.  We’ve been snookered again, but not by Barack Obama.  Despite the great Presidency of Ronald Reagan, the GOP establishment has never accepted our ideology, while they have accepted our votes and financial support.

We should expect Obama to lie, and to advance the cause of statism at every turn.  He’s a statist, and we’d be shocked if he did anything else, and for that reason, we have risen to oppose him.  The problem remains that we are still losing, but the reason we’re losing is not because Barack Obama is such a masterful politician.  He’s simply not that good.  Instead, we are losing because we accept leaders who dither and negotiate and squander every tactical advantage in pursuit of a strategy that doesn’t include any concept of victory you or I might accept.  Instead, the GOP establishment leads us from retreat to surrender, on one battlefield after the next, and the truth is that until we supplant them entirely, and until we push them out of the party, or abandon it to them, going off to form our own, we will never find victory, as it is ever delayed, forestalled, or abandoned as an idealistic goal never to be achieved.  Their approach rests on the basis of the “pragmatic” calculation that politics is all about the “art of compromise,” in establishment terms, but translated into language you and I understand: “Complete and unconditional surrender…over the long run.”  The Republican establishment offers that the statists are like The Borg of Star Trek infamy, and that we “will be assimilated.”

Mitt Romney is part of the greater parcel that ails the Republican party.  He’s exactly that which most conservatives can at best hold their noses to support, but at worst can merely look at with disdain, or even contempt.  As a matter of factual consideration, the truth is that Romney’s operatives were already undermining the McCain-Palin ticket during the 2008 election cycle in October, before the defeat, and they were already establishing the narrative that it was Sarah Palin’s fault.  Mr. L picked up on this fact, and I’ve discussed it here before, but I raise this only because Mr. L, while delivering the bill of particulars against Mitt Romney, mentions that the Romney bunch had been attacking Palin as early as Novemeber 5th of 2008, but I beg to differ only inasmuch as we now know they were attacking her a good deal earlier, in October.  It’s a minor point, but it’s not insignificant, as many of you voted for John McCain solely because he picked Sarah Palin to join him on the ticket, and in the context of a political “war,” it’s important to know who was working on behalf of Benedict Romney in shoving Palin under the bus, and when.  They didn’t wait for the defeat, but proactively began to establish a narrative aimed at undermining Palin for the future, and of course undercutting McCain-Palin in that cycle.

Bearing in mind that many of you were holding your noses to vote for McCain at all, motivated in large measure by the prospect of the able young Governor of Alaska as his running mate, it’s important for you to recognize who it is that you’re now being asked to support.  I say “asked,” but the truth is more like “cajoled” and “prodded” and “urged,” and in a few cases, “bullied.”  I won’t be bullied, so those vocal Romney-oids can cease with the e-mails.  I’m much too busy to read much e-mail these days, but what I do read won’t be the various iterations of “support Romney if you’re a real patriot.”  Excuse me?  The next time I see somebody named Romney walking a mile in the combat boots I once wore, talk to me about patriotism.  Otherwise, they can shove off.  While some of these were still in diapers, or standing on a stool to be breastfed in the absence of a Time magazine photographer, I was following orders all over the globe at the behest of a real Commander-in-Chief, so lay off the ridiculous appeals to a misplaced sense of patriotism.  It won’t work on me, so forget it.

You see, this is my basic dilemma, and it’s no different from what many of you now share:  Romney may well be all there is in 2012, but can we survive four more years of Obama?  I’ve decided that for me, the answer doesn’t matter any longer, even though I think the answer is “yes.”  Yes we can.  Yes we will.  What I’ve decided we cannot survive is another four years of an “opposition party” that doesn’t oppose diddly.  That’s right, I said it.  I have come to view the GOP establishment as the political enemy I must defeat.  I can’t defeat the statists by siding with their gentler , plodding version.  The constitutional republic will not be restored by going somewhat more slowly into that good night.  I recognize that many view Romney as a stalling tactic of sorts, and as a way to buy a little time to shore up Congress, take back the Senate, and so on.  I say to you that if you shore it up with Boehner, Cantor, and their ilk, while capturing the Senate only to place it in the hands of Mitch McConnell, there’s no point, and you’re not even delaying the inevitable.

I may find in short order that I am writing to read my own typos, and little else, but that’s okay by me. From obscurity only to return to obscurity is fine where I’m concerned.  I realize some conservatives have such an over-riding fear of Obama that they would vote for anybody at all who would oppose him, but I must tell you that I am not that desperate.  I am not afraid of the big bad wolf, huff and puff though he may.  My emotional, political and philosophical house is made of brick, and besides, I’ll always resist the further encroachment of government.  Over this last month and one-half as I have dealt with issues of a personal, professional, and agricultural nature, what I began to recognize is that Ayn Rand was correct: The only way to resolve such a problem is to withdraw your material support.  I think most of you already do that, each in your own way.  After all, how many of you have contributed to the GOP lately? You might selectively contribute to candidates or causes, but the party?  No. You’re not foolish, and you don’t wish to oil a machine that continues in many instances to work against you.

My question must then change:  If I do not wish to give my material support to the Republican Party, should I give the most precious thing I have to give — my vote — to the service of a party that has worked non-stop for three-and-one-half years to shove Mitt Romney down my throat?  A vote is a valuable thing, and I view it a bit like one’s virginity.  You shouldn’t yield it frivolously, because once you’ve done so, there’s no getting it back.  The glorious thing about a vote is that you have a new one to give in each election, although it can never fully repair any damage you may have done with its predecessors.  I want politicians to understand that my vote isn’t automatic because one has an “R” appended to his or her name, and that I expect performance.  The same is true of parties, and causes, and virtually anything in politics or the free market.  I don’t yet know how I will vote, but I am inclined to withhold it from either major candidate at this time.

There will be the inevitable cursing and gnashing of teeth aimed at me, along with the many others who may decide to stand in opposition to the GOP establishment.  I welcome it as I do the aches and pains of age that now greet me each morning , confirming  by unpleasant means the good news that I remain among the living.  In the same way, I expect that I will find that there exists some number of conservatives who will dislike my stance…immensely, but I will take their vocal displeasure as evidence that they understand the implications of my stand.  If the people who would tend to vote Republican in lieu of a conservative candidate wish to win the White House, they’re going to find their path difficult.  Like Mr. L, I will not “rah-rah” for a liberal Republican.  I will not trade my virtue for momentary satisfaction that will leave me feeling empty in the searing light of the morning after.

I recognize there will be those of you who disagree with my position on this, but that’s a deeply personal choice we must make, one and all.  I’m not so afraid of Barack Obama.  I’m not frightened of all of the things we believe he might well bring about, because I now view most of them as inevitable, and I know that Mitt Romney will neither stop them, nor even be inclined to do so if he could.  I also know that in another generation, we won’t have so many people willing to resist as we do now.  This is and has been the intention of the statists right along, as they have propagandized our children for five decades.  I have long agreed with the words of Thomas Paine, for so long as I’ve known them, and now that the time is drawing nigh, I will not wilt from them, or pretend they hadn’t been uttered, or written:

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace. ” –Thomas Paine

Is this not the sentiment of all conservatives?  I think it so.   Will a battle with the GOP establishment be messy?  Undoubtedly.  Will conducting it whilst the raging statism of Obama continues apace make it all the more desperate a battle?  Surely.  Will I yield for the sake of a false unity that abides no satisfaction of my complaints?  No.  These times truly are what Paine reported as he wrote of The Crisis:

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.”

If this is not the character of our resistance to tyranny, I must ask “Why bother?”  Do I trade my vote to forestall it only?  For what will I next trade it?  A month’s delay? A week?  Another miserable breath?  If I must ask myself about the character that has been my life, I cannot for so paltry a sum diminish it.  Life may abound in compromises, but even so, knowing what constitutes compromise from that which embodies surrender is a critical distinction I cannot ignore.  I will not be bound to Mitt Romney, and I will not admit that Barack Obama controls my fate.

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Delegate Drama: Brokered Convention Still Feasible

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Brokered Convention Still Possible?

I just received this video via email, and I thought I should share this with readers because it provides an interesting report on the matter of delegate counts, and whether this primary is really over after all.  More, it provides some interesting tidbits on the activities of the RNC.  As you know, Ron Paul is still in the race, as is Mitt Romney, and the reason that’s important is because RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has directed staff to “open up channels of communications” between Romney’s campaign and the RNC. That would most definitely seem to violate the RNC’s rules while there are more than one contestant in the race.  We’ve known the RNC was in the tank for Romney for some time, but once again, this serves as further evidence of how they will do anything to advance their chosen candidate.  Here’s the video report from Ben Swann on Cincinnati’s WXIX News:

As you can see from this report, if the “unit rule” isn’t applied, then Mitt Romney may be looking at an open convention after all.  Look out!  “It ain’t over ’til it’s over…”

Swann also provided the link to thereal2012delegatecount.com in the course of his report.  At present, the count shows 697 delegates for Romney, but he needs 1144.  It would provide the irony of ironies if Ron Paul actually wound up forcing a brokered convention.

Scapegoating Conservatism: Post-Defeat Planners Redux

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Conservatives?

One of the things I’ve already noticed is the start of the excuse-making on the part of the Republican establishment.  They shoved Mitt Romney down our throats, but some of us have vomited him out of our mouths because we simply cannot tame the bile-raising nausea we feel in the pits of our stomachs.  The immediate response of the GOP establishment has been to manufacture a narrative that will effectively blame conservatives if Romney loses.  They won’t blame his lack of conservatism.  They won’t blame his duplicity or his negative primary campaign.  They won’t blame their own complicity in setting us up with a candidate we don’t want, but what they will do is blame we conservatives, and it’s starting already.

I don’t play that game.  If they wanted to win this election, they could have supported a conservative candidate for a change, but they are very much a take-it-or-leave-it crowd.  You see, if they don’t get their way, they take their ball and their donations and go home, all while they insist we conservatives are to blame if we respond similarly, leading to the defeat of their chosen candidate.  The problem the establishment faces is that conservatives still remember Ronald Reagan, and they know too well that genuine conservatism wins.  They can continue to scapegoat conservatism, but we shouldn’t accept their excuses any longer, and we shouldn’t fall into the trap that this year’s crop of post-defeat planners are already laying.

If I owned a hot-dog stand and after years of selling barely palatable wieners,  I go to something even worse, my customers will likely find them disgusting, causing them to flee.  Do I blame them for their lack of “loyalty?”  I might even cry “but you’ll starve without my hot-dogs,” but will they?  I might appeal to their sense of loyalty as customers of long-standing, but if they don’t like my product because it’s terrible, who is to blame?  Them?  Or me?   In making the loyalty argument, I must purposely evade a concept my customers would be right to throw in my face:  If I were loyal to them, I wouldn’t try to feed them bad product, and rather than worsening it, would concentrate on improving it.

They may even appeal to my patriotism: “How can you let Obama win?”   As with the loyalty argument, I again turn it around:  How can they offer us a candidate who they know many of us will not be able to support, if they care about the country?  In a free market, such intransigence would soon lead me to go out of business, and the fact of the matter is that the same is true of the GOP establishment.  Of course, they’ve tried to rig the market in their favor, but it’s really not possible in the longer run.  They use their influence, given them by means of our votes, to solidify their hold on the “market” of political ideas, and it is our willingness to do so that enables them to continue.

The good news is that we can still make gains from this election cycle.  We can still elect conservatives to all of the down-ballot seats, and as is now plain from polling data in Indiana, where Richard Mourdock is now leading Dick Lugar despite a multi-million dollar campaign against him, it’s evident that we conservatives can still turn the tables on the establishment.  In Texas, we’re having a bit more of an uphill battle as the establishment guy, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst continues to run slightly ahead of Ted Cruz and a whole slate of lesser-known candidates, but with less than a month to go, it’s still close enough that it’s anybody’s race and we may well wind up with a run-off, in which case Cruz looks stronger.

The basic point is that irrespective of the Presidential race, we can still have a significant impact in 2012.  If we can sweep away some of the liberal Republicans in the Senate, and replace a number of the Democrats who are up this year with conservatives, we can stymie President Obama and aggressively pursue him should he continue to use illegitimate executive powers to run an end-around on Congress even if Romney loses.  If Romney wins, it will leave us with some means by which to exert control over him.

Of course, the establishment won’t go quietly.  They will continue their game, and part of their play is to make you feel as though you must support their guy.   Once you realize this, it’s easier to understand how it is that they can sell you a lower quality hot-dog, and you will be forced to swallow it, disgruntled though you may be.  In the end, they know that while they are not really the sole source, or the sole choice, they are the sole choice you can bring yourselves to make.  It’s true in both parties, but what this really means is that in most respects, our country is ruled by a political oligopoly that wishes to leave you with no other alternative.  They can afford to wait you out in most cases, because even if you sit out an election or two in protest, you’ll eventually be ripened by some issue to come back to them for harvest.  This is why they’re willing to lose elections in order to punish you.  After all, it won’t hurt them much, but let’s examine who loses what, and under which circumstances the losses really occur.

If Mitt Romney loses in November, does the GOP establishment lose?  I contend to you that they not only win, but they have set up the manner by which they will win big in 2016.  By then, assuming the country endures(and I believe it will,) they will have managed to create some substantial sense of Obama-fatigue.  Its early manifestations are already showing up in the polls, but you see, for the elites of the GOP establishment, none of it will make any difference to their immediate health, safety, or prospects for continuing profits.  In short, they won’t be hurt because their money insulates them.  Your farms may go down, your businesses may crash, your jobs may disappear, or you may find yourselves in other calamities, but none of that will bother them.  In fact, it will tend to make you more compliant with their desires and demands in the future.  If you’re starving, you’ll take my low-quality hot-dog any way I wish to serve it.

It’s for this reason that they don’t mind losing an election or two(or ten.)  If it serves their long-run interests, it may even be preferable to victory.  It also gives the Republican establishment an opportunity to defame conservatives[again.]  This makes it easier for them to win in the future, because if they can succeed in painting conservatives as heartless, inflexible ideologues who would rather lose than compromise, it makes it all the easier to sell the American people a “compassionate conservative,” who does not actually exhibit the first substantially conservative trait once examined closely.   It’s for this reason that I believe the Republican establishment will be happy to see Mitt Romney lose, because in 2016, you’ll be only too thrilled if they offer you Jeb Bush.  At that point, you’ll vote for the most liberal Republican they throw at you if only you can get rid of the Democrats.

Viewed in this manner, the GOP establishment knows it has conservatives over a barrel, and that’s what they’ve been working to do throughout this election cycle, and in perpetuity.  I realize that the choices they offer us are abysmal, because that’s the nature of their game.  Where I will not budge is on this notion that conservatives will have been at fault if they do not support Mitt Romney in November.  Viewed as any other business competing for customers or clients, the Republican Party has a responsibility to put forth an acceptable candidate.  Failing that, it is they who are to blame, and it is they who are culpable in any defeat suffered.

Of course, that assumes they want to win(in 2012,) but given Mitt Romney’s record as Governor of Massachusetts, I’m not convinced that’s the case.  They have intentionally put forward a man who is a veritable “poison pill” for many conservatives, and I don’t believe it’s accidental, or somehow the result of political happenstance.   Besides, from the GOP establishment point of view, this allows them to kill off a whole flock with a single stone.  Conservatives and Tea Partiers will take the blame, and they’ll be able to sell us on almost anybody in 2016 when they’ll have an easier time winning the Oval Office because it will soon be vacated anyway.  That’s Win, Win, and WIN from their point of view.

Conservatives and Tea Party types should be prepared for the moment when the blame game begins in earnest.  They’ve already begun to push this narrative, and that’s to be expected, but should Romney lose(and many are fairly certain he will,) you can bet that the morning of November 7th, the questions will commence on FoxNews and other establishment outlets:  “What’s wrong with conservatives?  Why are they so hard to please?  What will we do about the Tea Party?”  Bank on it. Even now, the recriminations are beginning, softly, gently now, but they will build to a crescendo by November the 7th.  I actually had a telephone call from one conservative campaign fund call and urge me to contribute on the basis that Mitt Romney probably cannot win, so we need to shore up the Congressional side, and yet there are those conservatives who say I am a gloomy guy?

On the other hand, if Romney manages to win, this will be an even bigger victory for the GOP establishment:  They will have been able to put up a liberal Republican, and out of sheer desperation, have conservatives support him.  Game over! At that point, conservatives will have no means by which to restrain a Romney administration, because they will have been a paper tiger.  This is the dilemma we conservatives face, which is why I still hold out hope, slim though it may be, for a brokered convention.  There’s a reason Romney is having a closed-door meeting with Santorum, and you’d better believe it’s about trying to get more support.   I don’t think conservatives can afford for either Obama or Romney to win, whether out of desperation to rid ourselves of Obama, or in order to avoid the inevitable scapegoating.  In particular now, it seems the GOP establishment is going after Palin supporters.  Ah well, yes, most of us are accustomed to that, as the same crowd tried to make a scapegoat of Sarah Palin in 2008.

The simple fact remains:  I can’t see how Mitt Romney’s supporters or the GOP establishment will be able to carry off such scapegoating with any credibility.  After all, how unpalatable must a candidate be to lose to an incumbent who has unemployment at around 8%, has record deficits, has added trillions of dollars to the national debt, has overseen the devaluing of the dollar, starved us of fuel and energy resources, hobbled our military, aided our enemies, abandoned our allies, and generally made a wreck of things?

Just how bad must a Republican be to lose in that kind of environment?  How thoroughly must he have been disliked, not only in the general electorate, but in his own party in order to lose despite such conditions?  How thoroughly has his campaign offended some sizable number of conservatives?  Should he expect such voters to shut up and eat the week-old hot-dog he’s selling? Are you ready to paste your palate with that stale, low-grade bun that’s been in the steamer rack four times this week?  The GOP knows what it’s doing.  You still believe, innocently, that they want to win, but it’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that they do not, and I’m not willing to let them off the hook by playing the role of scapegoat, and I won’t eat sorry hot-dogs for a notion of loyalty that is clearly unidirectional.

Do You Fear Obama?

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Do You Fear This Guy?

Listening to conservative commentators, one can witness a kind of fear of Barack Obama that I’ve never encountered in domestic politics before.  Sure, back in the 1990s, there were some conservatives who were fearful about the things Bill Clinton might do, given a chance, but the unmistakable terror some exhibit at the mere idea that Barack Obama would somehow be re-elected is astonishing to me.  Is he horrible?  Yes.  Is he actively undermining our nation?  Certainly.  Is he a demagogue?  You bet!  Nevertheless, I do not understand the fear that seems to grip so many on the right side of the political divide.  I don’t fear Barack Obama.  He doesn’t impress me that much, and if he takes the country all the way to and over the brink, patriotic Americans will stop him.  I’m not scared of Barack Obama.  I’m not threatened by a temporary political hack.  The thing that makes me fearful is the tendency among conservatives to imagine more power on the part of Obama than he actually possesses, but worse, the willingness on the part of establishment Republicans to cede to him such power.  The power of the presidency doesn’t belong to any man, but to the people, and all it takes to stop any President is their will.

Fear is an important tool used to herd us in the direction of the establishment’s favored candidates.  I am not driven by that sort of thing.  What makes me fear for my country is the endless parade of candidates who are put up by the Republican establishment every four years who leave us with a choice between the wholly unpalatable and the unconscionably unpalatable.  It’s like a perpetual taste test between excrement sandwiches where the only question is whether the prime course originated with a horse or a bull.  What drives me to something like real fear is when I see the uncritical thinking that pervades so much of our culture.  When I hear alleged conservatives saying that they think George W. Bush was a “real conservative,” I shake my head and walk away.  There’s no point to an argument over the matter.  He wasn’t a conservative, but for those who think he was, there’s no convincing them, no matter how many instances of his big-government statism his record provides as evidence.

I don’t fear Barack Obama because we already have an example of how to make a leftist President ineffective.  Newt Gingrich showed us through determined leadership in the middle 1990s, and except for betrayals from the establishment wing of his own party, he might well have accomplished more.  The problem is that the same people who destroyed his campaign this year by one act of dishonest infamy after the other are representatives of that same group that undercut him nearly two decades ago.  Even at this late date, with Gingrich effectively out of the running, still there are attacks by the Romney campaign on Gingrich.  Why fear Barack Obama?  With “friends” like this, who needs enemies?  Still, Gingrich showed us what we can do by his example in 1994.  To do it, we will need to change the face of the Senate.  That’s where Gingrich ran into the most trouble, and apart from our tepid House leadership today, I think this is where we must begin.

We need to eject RINOs like Dick Lugar from the Senate, and send in conservatives like his opponent Richard Mourdock, and just as Kay Bailey-Hutchison is departing the Senate, I will be happy to send Ted Cruz there rather than establishment tool David Dewhurst.  I was a bit astonished, after his appeal to Tea Party types, to see Rick Perry endorse Dewhurst.  Of course, Friday, he also endorsed Romney. I guess we know all we need to about that, but it’s another example of our problem:  We need to defeat not only Democrats who are holding Senate seats, but also a number of Republicans who shouldn’t be left in charge of anything.  You see, we don’t need the Presidency to run the country.  We merely need a large enough majority in both houses of Congress, but that will still only help us if they’re not a pack of establishment types.  While John McCain came out to endorse Dick Lugar, Sarah Palin instead endorsed Richard Mourdock, continuing to demonstrate that one needn’t have a title to be effective, and we need more of that kind of leadership from high profile conservatives.  From the Republicans’ presumptive nominee, Mitt Romney? Silence.

I don’t fear Obama, but if you want to see me afraid, observe my reaction to the wasted effort the GOP establishment has made of the Tea Party’s victories in 2010.  There was momentum and vigor, but by a long list of sorry surrenders, Boehner and McConnell have sapped the energy out of the movement.  I fear that the Tea Party waited and waited for a Presidential candidate to emerge who would carry their banner, and when one didn’t appear, or at least didn’t stick around, and while the establishment undermined conservative alternatives to Mitt Romney, the Tea Party seems as though much of its energy has been spent.  I hope I’m wrong, but with Romney emerging as the probable nominee, it’s hard to imagine the Tea Party getting very excited.  Who can blame them?  The establishment of the GOP is intent upon giving us a guy who lost to Ted Kennedy by double digits in 1994, a year Republicans made huge strides and took both houses of Congress.  Do we expect to defeat Barack Obama, and even if we do, to what end?

I don’t fear Obama because I know that he’s just one more step down a path our country and culture has been following all my life.  If it wasn’t Obama, it would be somebody like him.  If it wasn’t Romney, it would be somebody like him.  They fit their respective templates, and they fulfill their respective roles.  We’ve been railroaded into a notion of America that is top-down, and I simply don’t buy it.  There are three-hundred millions of us.  Do you really think Washington DC can impose anything on us that we(or some sizable number of us) refuse to do?  The problem I see is that the longer we let this fester, the more foot-soldiers for the cause they breed.  Do you really wonder why neither party is serious about controlling illegal immigration?  Do you really wonder why it is that our social safety nets are encouraging more of the same, now largely hammocks in which too many people recline endlessly, while you work like rented mules to carry their burdens?

Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t believe we need a third party.  I’d be happy with two.  Unfortunately, from my point of view, I’m finding it impossible to discern much difference at the upper echelons, apart from the much too rare sort best exemplified by Sarah Palin.  The establishment in DC plays both sides of the street, and neither side is composed of conservatives.  This whole system is full of corruption, and it’s not because the system was built to be corrupted, but because we the people, by our shameful inattention, and our general unwillingness to do our homework have left the store undefended, the till untended, and our alleged ‘public servants’ unaccountable.  When I say “we,” I don’t mean you and I, though we surely should do more, but I look around at the popular culture, and I note with dismay that there are hundreds of television channels available, and apart from C-Span, there are perhaps a dozen or so that cover public affairs, politics, and political news, and none of those garner as many viewers as the average prime-time sitcom.

If you want to know why America is in decline, you need only observe the priorities of most people.  The amount of time daily that most Americans devote to public affairs is minuscule.  Most of them can’t recite so much as the preamble to the constitution, and few can recite, verbatim, any of the amendments, even the first ten.  Don’t ask them to provide from memory some notion of the structure of the constitution, and don’t ask them to tell you anything about the enumerated powers of Congress, the President, or the courts.  As long as this remains true, there is no chance to reform the country. You and I can go to Tea Party rallies, and the GOP establishment will do its best to co-opt them.  The broad body of the American people remains unmoved, and nothing short of catastrophe is likely to move them, but as with most such things, the catastrophe will be evidence that they’ve been roused from their slumber too late.  We say we believe in citizen-legislators, and the form of self-governance our founders gave to us, but too few of us who are able step forward to take the risk.

On the other hand, I don’t fear Obama in part because I know that common sense will eventually trump him.  A good example of this is the proposed regulation out of the Department of Labor that would have made it illegal for anybody under 18 to perform certain chores or work in certain jobs in an agricultural setting.  The backlash was so strong, even among Democrats, that the Obama administration actually rescinded the proposed regulation, at least for the time being.   The administration and the Department of Labor were deluged with a huge number of tersely worded communications from across America telling them to back off or else.  One farmer I know locally, whose two sons routinely help him operate tractors and so on actually called and told some government stooge in Washington DC that he was free to come and impose his regulations if he thought he could. Ladies and gentlemen, there are three-hundred millions of us.  Even if fully half have “gone over to the dark side,” the government can’t impose anything on the rest of us if we refuse.  People wonder why I don’t quake in fear about Obama, or any other tin-pot dictator who might set up shop in DC, but this is the reason.

A government loses its legitimate claim to authority at some point, and small incidents like the backlash over farm labor rules is just one such instance.  Another bit of evidence comes in the form of gun and ammunition sales, still at record levels these last three years as people prepare for…come what may.  Sure, it’s only a small fraction of Americans who are preparing to any substantial degree, but that’s still a goodly number.  As they liquidate debt, pull assets out of markets, buy durable commodities and stored goods, and make ready for the possibility that this society may break down.  The core that keeps this country afloat is doing what it has always done: Through prudence, thrift, and industry, they are preparing to the best of their ability for the worst that the world may throw at them.  They don’t fear Obama either.  Like me, they’re more inclined to fear the legion of unprepared network television viewers who will be standing there with one hand out-stretched, gun in the other, issuing pleas for help in the form of demands, if and when things go even more badly for our country.

The thing we must all remember is that as bad as Obama is, he is temporary.  He may do this or that, and he may make a wreck of things for the nation, but he’s temporary, and there’s nothing he can inflict that we can’t undo.  The only thing that makes a guy like Obama dangerous are the people ostensibly on our side who seek to collaborate with him.  It’s the moderates who undo us each and every time.  I offer the debt ceiling debate of last July to any who doubt me.  No, I don’t fear Obama, bad as he may be, nearly so much as I live in terror at the prospects of the next surrender of the Republican establishment.  That’s what makes our situation seem hopeless.  Who among you harbors the delusion of John Boehner riding in to save us?  Mitch McConnell?   Mitt Romney?  That’s what demoralizes our conservative activism.  That’s what cuts the heart out of the resistance.  We won’t be delivered into communistic despotism by Barack Obama, but instead by some gutless cabal of establishment Republicans hurriedly cutting a deal to save their own necks, thereby damning the rest of us into servitude.  It is ever the betrayers, the surrendering class, clamoring to hold onto some vestige of what they see as their rightful place, or even merely to save their own hides.  I see this as the most pressing issue we face.  Barack Obama is only possible because of the sell-outs.

For all appearances, Mitt Romney seems to be part of that class of Republicans, and if you ask me what it is that I fear, it is that once again, we will be saddled with a nominee who is not one of us, doesn’t understand us, and doesn’t see the world from the point of view we mostly share, out here, where the country is made to work by the choices, the goals, and the devotion of millions of individual Americans, each working to better his or her own life, and the life of their families, but actions that also redound to the benefit of the nation at large.  When I listen to Romney, I am left with the unmistakable impression that I am hearing a man who wants to rule over me, the same as Obama, but with slightly different aims.  I hear a man who is speaking to collectivized notions of American greatness that defy 250 years of the history of individual achievements linked by the consent and volition of the achievers.  What I hear is: “New boss, same as the old boss.”  If you tell me you fear Obama more, I can’t help but wonder why.  Nothing is more terrifying to me than the thought that Mitt Romney is the best we could do in the face of Barack Obama’s four years of rampant destruction.  If true, it may mean we’ve already lost the country, and there is nothing about Barack Obama so frightening as that possibility.

 

The Clock Is Ticking: How Long Until Romney Retreats?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Crowning Himself

With his speech Tuesday night, it became evident that Mitt Romney intends to take the advice of his establishment GOP friends, and will soon begin a full-on retreat from conservatism.  It’s not that Romney was ever a conservative, but that he was putting on just enough of a show to make some primary voters believe it.  All of that will soon change, and we will see the real Mitt Romney soon, to the degree there is a real Mitt Romney.  He delivered a speech in Manchester, NH, Tuesday night as a victory speech for the primaries on the day, and in so doing, I decided I not only dislike his brand of dishonest politics, but that I’ve begun to really dislike him.  I abhor platitudinous rhetoric spoken with no philosophical backbone, and in my estimation, his speech was full of it.   FoxNewsInsider.com provides the transcript of the speech, and I’ll provide the commentary:

Thank you Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York! And tonight I can say thank you, America. After 43 primaries and caucuses, many long days and more than a few long nights, I can say with confidence – and gratitude – that you have given me a great honor and solemn responsibility. And, together, we will win on November 6th!

Yes, it’s all over, right?  That’s it. All done! Texas hasn’t voted yet. See if you can win the presidency without Texas.  Texas may wind up supporting you, but you presume too much, Governor Romney.

We launched this campaign not far from here on a beautiful June day. It has been an extraordinary journey.

Nobody really remembers your campaign launch, because at the time, Sarah Palin was in the vicinity, and the crowds all went to see her instead.

Americans have always been eternal optimists. But over the last three and a half years, we have seen hopes and dreams diminished by false promises and weak leadership. Everywhere I go, Americans are tired of being tired, and many of those who are fortunate enough to have a job are working harder for less.

Apparently, you don’t know the same Americans I know.  On the one hand, you tell us we’re eternal optimists, but on the other hand, you tell us we’re tired of being tired?  Which is it? Even if you succeed in getting the nomination, Americans who are tired of those false promises and weak leadership will turn their focus on you, since you also have a record of similar leadership.  Most Americans I know are tired of leaders blowing smoke up their backsides, and to date, you’ve offered nothing but platitudes to demonstrate you’re anything more than just another of the same.

For every single mom who feels heartbroken when she has to explain to her kids that she needs to take a second job … for grandparents who can’t afford the gas to visit their grandchildren … for the mom and dad who never thought they’d be on food stamps … for the small business owner desperately cutting back just to keep the doors open one more month – to all of the thousands of good and decent Americans I’ve met who want nothing more than a better chance, a fighting chance, to all of you, I have a simple message: Hold on a little longer. A better America begins tonight.

What is this?  The litany of pandering?  Stop trying to describe in sympathetic terms every conceivable interest group and simply start talking to Americans.  You don’t need to throw a rhetorical bone to women, seniors, and small business owners. And you certainly shouldn’t be borrowing from George W. Bush’s “help is on the way” theme.  If yours is like his, little more than a rhetorical flourish, you’re definitely off to a bad start.

Tonight is the start of a new campaign to unite every American who knows in their heart that we can do better! The last few years have been the best that Barack Obama can do, but it’s not the best America can do!

Looking at your record, I’m not sure Americans will be heartened by their prospects.

Tonight is the beginning of the end of the disappointments of the Obama years and the start of a new and better chapter that we will write together.

To be replaced by the disappointments of a liberal with an “R” after his name?  You’re sounding dangerously like the establishment Republican version of “Hope and Change.”

This has already been a long campaign, but many Americans are just now beginning to focus on the choice before the country. In the days ahead, I look forward to spending time with many of you personally. I want to hear what’s on your mind, hear about your concerns, and learn about your families. I want to know what you think we can do to make this country better…and what you expect from your next President.

Long campaign?  Well yes, you’ve been campaigning continuously since 2007, or sooner, so I suppose that is a long campaign, but I have news for you:  It isn’t over yet.  As your shills in the media continue to put you forward as the inevitable nominee, I’m not finished with you yet, and neither are a number of others.  I just want to know one thing:  If you think you don’t need to compete in Texas for our primary support, what makes you think you’ll have deserved any support you may want from us in November?

And I’ll tell you a little bit about myself. I’ll probably start out talking about my wonderful wife Ann – I usually do – and I’ll probably bore you with stories about our kids and grandkids. I’ll tell you about how much I love this country, where someone like my dad, who grew up poor and never graduated from college, could pursue his dreams and work his way up to running a great car company. Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car.

I know the bio.  Tell us about you.

I’d say that you might have heard that I was successful in business. And that rumor is true. But you might not have heard that I became successful by helping start a business that grew from 10 people to hundreds of people. You might not have heard that our business helped start other businesses, like Staples and Sports Authority and a new steel mill and a learning center called Bright Horizons. And I’d tell you that not every business made it and there were good days and bad days, but every day was a lesson. And after 25 years, I know how to lead us out of this stagnant Obama economy and into a job-creating recovery!

Twenty-five years condensed into a paragraph, but not one word about your four years as governor of Massachusetts?  I suppose that’s a space-saving measure.

Four years ago Barack Obama dazzled us in front of Greek columns with sweeping promises of hope and change. But after we came down to earth, after the celebration and parades, what do we have to show for three and a half years of President Obama?

He didn’t dazzle me, and he didn’t dazzle other conservatives, so now I’m certain you’re not talking to us.  Already shifting your focus, aren’t you, Willard?  What do we have after three-and-one-half years of Obama?  Let’s see: We have more debt, a highly socialized healthcare program the burdens of which will not be fully known for years.  We have a head of state who introduces radical environmental regulations without respect to our legislative body.  In other words, it’s not much different from what the people of Massachusetts had after four years of Governor Mitt Romney!

Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Do you pay less at the pump?

Did the regulations you imposed on the State of Massachusetts make fuel less expensive at the pumps?  Did the healthcare plan you inflicted on that State make healthcare better? I’m asking these questions because these are some of the things the Democrats and their legion of shills in the Lamestream Media will ask of you this fall, and I suspect your answers will be no better than Obama’s.  You may be treated with kid gloves on the ever-fawning FoxNews, but that’s not going to cut it this Fall.

If the answer were “yes” to those questions, then President Obama would be running for re-election based on his achievements…and rightly so. But because he has failed, he will run a campaign of diversions, distractions, and distortions. That kind of campaign may have worked at another place and in a different time. But not here and not now. It’s still about the economy …and we’re not stupid.

Barack Obama hasn’t failed.  He’s achieved at least the initial stages of what he set out to accomplish: He is willfully destroying the country, and transforming it through destructive reorganization.  The fact that you don’t recognize this is precisely why you shouldn’t be trusted with the Republican party’s nomination.

People are hurting in America. And we know that something is wrong, terribly wrong with the direction of the country.

Nice platitude. Even in the best of times, somebody, somewhere is hurting, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Stop pretending otherwise.  As one good friend reminds me, “Life is tough.  Get a helmet.”  The direction of the country will not be changed by more platitudes constructed to deny reality.  Are you familiar with John Galt?  He’s trying to give you a clue.

We know that this election is about the kind of America we will live in and the kind of America we will leave to future generations. When it comes to the character of America, President Obama and I have very different visions.

Do you really? What concretes exist in this speech to evince that difference?

Government is at the center of his vision. It dispenses the benefits, borrows what it cannot take, and consumes a greater and greater share of the economy. With Obamacare fully installed, government will come to control half the economy, and we will have effectively ceased to be a free enterprise society.

Free? Like Massachusetts?

This President is putting us on a path where our lives will be ruled by bureaucrats and boards, commissions and czars. He’s asking us to accept that Washington knows best – and can provide all.

Ruled from a distant capital? Like Boston?

We’ve already seen where this path leads. It erodes freedom. It deadens the entrepreneurial spirit. And it hurts the very people it’s supposed to help. Those who promise to spread the wealth around only ever succeed in spreading poverty. Other nations have chosen that path. It leads to chronic high unemployment, crushing debt, and stagnant wages.

Yes, we have. The people of Massachusetts have intimate knowledge.

I have a very different vision for America, and of our future. It is an America driven by freedom, where free people, pursuing happiness in their own unique ways, create free enterprises that employ more and more Americans. Because there are so many enterprises that are succeeding, the competition for hard-working, educated and skilled employees is intense, and so wages and salaries rise.

Freedom like Romneycare?

I see an America with a growing middle class, with rising standards of living. I see children even more successful than their parents – some successful even beyond their wildest dreams – and others congratulating them for their achievement, not attacking them for it.

I see that America too, but Mitt Romney isn’t its president any more than Barack Obama has been.

This America is fundamentally fair. We will stop the unfairness of urban children being denied access to the good schools of their choice; we will stop the unfairness of politicians giving taxpayer money to their friends’ businesses; we will stop the unfairness of requiring union workers to contribute to politicians not of their choosing; we will stop the unfairness of government workers getting better pay and benefits than the taxpayers they serve; and we will stop the unfairness of one generation passing larger and larger debts on to the next.

Great! Now, who pays for that school choice? One of the principles of freedom is that he who pays is he who chooses.  Who is paying for the education of urban children?  The parents of those children, or somebody else?  And not only urban children.    Who is paying for this failed education system?  How do people who do not pay expect to have a choice at all?  As to politicians giving goodies to friends, I a much in favor.  How will you stop this, specifically?  Can I see the legislative language?  More McCain-Feingold humdrum? Or real and lasting reform? As to government workers, could you provide us the statistics on average salaries for state employees in Massachusetts both at the beginning and end of your term as Governor, so that we might see an example of what you would do at the Federal level?  What did you implement, as Governor of Massachusetts, that would dramatically reduce the tax burden on the future tax-payers of that State?  You may not answer me, but you’d better be prepared to answer it, because while no conservatives in media are asking, you can bet the left will throw it in your face if you’re the nominee.

In the America I see, character and choices matter. And education, hard work, and living within our means are valued and rewarded. And poverty will be defeated, not with a government check, but with respect and achievement that is taught by parents, learned in school, and practiced in the workplace.

Kind of like “welfare wheels?” Not only did you dispense government checks, but you also dispensed automobiles.  It’s no wonder that you should want Americans to forget your years in government.

This is the America that was won for us by the nation’s Founders, and earned for us by the Greatest Generation. It is the America that has produced the most innovative, most productive, and the most powerful economy in the world.

Governor Romney, you have a collectivized view of America’s successes, but the truth is that it was millions of individuals who created the most powerful economy on the globe.  Your fixation with collectivized notions of national greatness are disturbing to economic conservatives and libertarians, and for good reason.  The misleading aspect of your view is this: That America, as a nation, was the beneficiary of millions of individual achievements offers no answer to the problem without first understanding that it is only through the promotion of individuals, their goals and their ambitions, through individual actions that the collective you repeatedly reference may see any benefit.  You cannot speak to America as a single body, or even as classes, but instead, you must see America as a diverse universe of people, surely with similarities, but also unique and each one different from the next.  Capitalism doesn’t succeed when people focus on collectivized notions of success.  Capitalism succeeds when individuals succeed, and we notice, after the fact, that the net benefit to the nation as a whole has been positive.  Drop the collectivism.  It makes you sound like a Northeast Liberal.  Oh, wait…

As I look around at the millions of Americans without work, the graduates who can’t get a job, the soldiers who return home to an unemployment line, it breaks my heart. This does not have to be. It is the result of failed leadership and of a faulty vision. We will restore the promise of America only if we restore the principles of freedom and opportunity that made America the greatest nation on earth.

You continue to mention these principles that must be restored.  Can you list them?

Today, the hill before us is a little steep but we have always been a nation of big steppers. Many Americans have given up on this President but they haven’t ever thought about giving up. Not on themselves. Not on each other. And not on America.

The hill before us is vertical.  It’s a cliff.  Our current President is marching us off, over, and into the abyss.  Most Americans are blindly following.  If they follow you, where will you lead them?

In the days ahead, join me in the next step toward that destination of November 6th, when across America we can give a sigh of relief and know that the Promise of America has been kept. The dreamers can dream a little bigger, the help wanted signs can be dusted off, and we can start again.

How?  Don’t offer me 59-point plans that have been cooked up by the torments of technocratic gobbledygook. Instead, list out those principles you reference, but never name, and tell us how you will apply them.

And this time we’ll get it right. We’ll stop the days of apologizing for success at home and never again apologize for America abroad.

We had it right before.  We know how to get it right.  What we need is for you to get government the hell out of the way. Is that what you did in Massachusetts?  I don’t think so.

There was a time – not so long ago – when each of us could walk a little taller and stand a little straighter because we had a gift that no one else in the world shared. We were Americans. That meant something different to each of us but it meant something special to all of us. We knew it without question. And so did the world.

Most of us are still Americans.  To be an American isn’t about where one is born, much as your father would have known.  To be an American is to exhibit an historically peculiar mindset that abhors collectivized thinking.  To date, you’ve shown little evidence that you understand that.

Those days are coming back. That’s our destiny.

Our destiny?

We believe in America. We believe in ourselves. Our greatest days are still ahead. We are, after all, Americans!

I believe in America. I believe in the prospects of individual Americans, as individuals.  Quit blowing collectivized smoke. One thing real Americans hate is B.S.  In the main, you’ve delivered a load.

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Indeed.  Texas will hold its primary May 29th, but since you don’t need us, you needn’t campaign here.

Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to apologize.  Let me suggest to you that if Mitt Romney is the best the Republican party can offer, we might as well join hands with Obama in leaping off that cliff.  At least it will be quick.  I may be at odds with some conservatives who would support anybody to avoid Obama, but so be it.  If when the Texas primary arrives, Romney is the only remaining choice on the Republican side, I will write in somebody else.  Of course, at least for now, Romney is not the only choice, and I will vote for somebody who has actually led a conservative insurgence in Washington DC.  I suspect that the reports on Drudge are false about an impending exit by Gingrich, if only because virtually every other story Drudge has run on Gingrich has been hyped or plainly false.  Mitt may want this primary season to end, and his friends in the GOP establishment have done a remarkable job of orchestrating it so far, but that doesn’t mean we conservatives will necessarily go quietly.

Sorry Mitt. It’s not over.

 

Will the Establishment Ever Learn? Will We?

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

The Best We Can Do?

I’ve watched with some interest as the media has all but coronated Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee, and it’s fascinating to see all of the RINO-types emerge briefly from the shadows long enough to tell us to jump on the Romney bandwagon, but frankly, I don’t give a damn about the establishment except inasmuch as they are another faction of anti-American sentiment that must be defeated.  I really wonder if the Republican establishment thinks conservatives are aboard for all of this, and to watch a news outlet like Fox News, you might have formed that impression, but for my part, I’m not interested in Romney, and I don’t believe this race is over.  My state, Texas, has yet to hold its primary, scheduled for the last Tuesday in May, and I’m not voting for Romney in that primary.  Bank on it.

When May 29th comes around, I will be voting for Newt Gingrich as the only alternative we conservatives now have, but also because Mitt Romney remains unpalatable to me.  His latter-day conversion to something approximating conservative views simply is not convincing, and I refuse to support the Massachusetts liberal.  What the establishment of the Republican party should begin to ask itself is if it gets its preferred candidate, what will have been the cost?

How many conservatives will now abandon them? It’s not fair to say I am unenthusiastic about Mitt Romney.  The notion of a lack of “enthusiasm” does the concept no justice.  I am stridently opposed to Mitt Romney, and I would like to help my conservative friends understand my reasoning.  For decades, I have watched the establishment of the GOP act as a fifth column for the Marxists on the left, always undermining conservatism, and always cutting deals with the left.  For a time, I believed they were merely misguided people who foolishly believed in a Chamberlain-like appeasement policy, but as time has gone on, I’ve realized they are much worse than that.  It’s not a matter of incompetence, but instead, a matter of malevolence.  The GOP Establishment doesn’t like conservatives, and if the truth is told, they prefer the company of their leftist friends.  In too many instances, even during the short lifetime of this blog, we have seen a number of sell-outs by the establishment of the Republican party, particularly in the legislative temperament of Speaker Boehner, who has undercut the conservatives in his own party with deals on critical issues imperiling the nation’s future.

All of us on the conservative end of the spectrum knew what would happen if Boehner cut a deal on the Debt Ceiling increase last summer, and despite our warnings, and in spite of our attempts to get them to reconsider, they went along with the insane lunacy that provided Obama trillions more in borrowed money, a piggy-bank he is already breaking in order to help his own re-election.   We knew it.  We urged Boehner and the House Republicans to stand strong.  Boehner made a deal with Reid even before the ink was dry on Cut, Cap & Balance, leaving us dangling in the breeze.  This form of surrender, whereby we find that we have no support for the most critically important items on our agenda is simply a continuance of the same old thing:  Conservatives fight for a conservative agenda, and the establishment, that gives lip service to conservatism, walks it all back at the first opportunity.  The problem with Mitt Romney is that he is a perfect example of this kind of Republican, and to date, everything he has said that claims a conservative inclination, I fully expect him to walk back.

I don’t need another president like that.  Moderate establishment types assure us that Mitt Romney is at least somebody we can hope to control, but I don’t want a President who needs to be led or controlled by conservatives in order to govern in a conservative fashion.  What’s the point in that?  If we need to spend four years of a Romney administration preventing him from surrendering to the left on a whole range of issues, I’d just as soon not have a Romney presidency.  Try, if you will, to see it from my point of view:  I’m one of those guys who pays attention to what lame-duck sessions of Congress may be doing.  Most people go back to their daily lives, post-election, hoping things will work out.  What I know is that they seldom do work out.  Instead, the permanent DC political class continues its agenda full-time, and when most Americans stop paying attention, they’re working their worst at our expense.  If Mitt Romney is President, you will do what?  How closely will you pay attention once the election is over?  Most Americans go back to their ordinary daily grind, and their usual diversions.  It’s the nature of things that the greater body of the electorate pays attention for roughly ten weeks before an election, and roughly one week afterwards, the rest of the time ignoring it unless something big happens that cannot be dismissed.  It is this that gives me pause about the notion of another President with an “R” next to his name that we conservatives would be forced to battle in order to prevent Chamberlain-like appeasements of the left.

Many like to point to the US Supreme Court as one reason that we should accept any Republican over Barack Obama, and while at first blush, this seems true, the fact is that we suffered with David Souter as a result of the presidency of George HW Bush, and had conservatives not lashed out in vigor, George W. Bush might well have appointed Harriet Miers to the court.  You see, I don’t want a Republican president who we will need to fight on judicial appointments.  Even the record of Ronald Reagan on this matter was a bit spotty, at least on the high court.   If we’re going to have a Republican president, I’d just as soon have the sense that conservatism was the default philosophy used in making decisions, rather than having to worry that it’s not going to be observed as a guiding anchor in a new administration.  The simple fact is that with another moderate, or even liberal Republican in the oval office, too many people will again assume that the policies issuing from such an administration will be conservative, but as we have seen repeatedly since the elder Bush, that’s not the case.

Conservatives simply won’t fight a Republican president, no matter how liberal, as strongly as they would a leftist demagogue like Obama.  This is not an endorsement of Obama, but what I’m waiting to see is what conservatives will explain as the method by which they will exercise control of any sort over a Romney administration, the campaign for which has done everything conceivable to ignore conservatives and win the nomination in blue states without them.  Exactly why would Mitt answer to we conservatives?  I can’t think of a single reason.  It’s for this reason that I will continue to fight for Gingrich, and hold out for a brokered convention.  I don’t blame any conservative who evaluates the record of Mitt Romney and finds it sorely lacking.   In short, I’m right there with you.  Romney simply isn’t a conservative, and he knows it.  So does the GOP establishment, that hopes to win the nomination for him, with or without conservative support. I don’t have any interest in supporting another moderate Republican in the primaries, so when the Texas primary comes around, I’ll be voting for Newt Gingrich.  He understands conservatism, even if he has not always been its most perfect practitioner.  Romney is still unpalatable to me.

Will the GOP establishment ever learn?  I suppose the answer to that question lies in the evidence.  After all, maybe they have learned.  Maybe the real lesson for the establishment is that if we conservatives have no remaining options, we’ll ultimately surrender, and go along to get along, that we conservatives will ultimately accept their leadership if only to prevent worse under leftists like Obama.  Maybe the question shouldn’t be whether the establishment of the GOP will ever learn, but whether we conservatives will ever exhibit the determination to defeat the establishment.   After all, come mid-November, as we go back to our football and our plans for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, who will be minding the store?  Us?  Or the GOP establishment?  I see this as the real problem.  It’s not a matter of Mitt Romney, so much as it is a question of our diligence.  The establishment we fight knows we will shut up, most of us, and go on quietly about our business while they run the country.  It’s not their fault.  It’s ours.

 

 

 

Romney’s Stunning Hypocrisy

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

 

How Different Is He Really?

This is the second time in a week that Mitt Romney has said something on the campaign trail that I thought sounded suspiciously familiar.  Both remarks were in the context of Barack Obama’s “hot-mic” incident with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.  In both cases, Romney asserted that Barack Obama is hiding his true agenda from the American people, but the problem is that while he complains about Obama’s stealth agenda of radical leftism, and that Obama is just trying to fool Americans into voting for him by sounding more centrist, he’s merely holding off his real agenda until he can secure the election.  The problem is that with respect to conservatives in the GOP, Mitt Romney is doing precisely the same thing.  If he can secure the nomination, Romney will be moving a good deal to the left himself.

In describing Barack Obama on Wednesday, from the Reuters report, Romney said:

“He is intent on hiding. You and I will have to do the seeking,”

Many conservatives will read this and will wonder immediately why it is that he has been hiding from his true record as a liberal Republican from a deep blue state.   It’s not that Obama isn’t hiding, but that Romney is also in stealth mode during this primary season too.  Romney’s dishonesty about his own agenda will make it difficult for him to make these arguments about Barack Obama with anything like a sense of moral authority, because he’s guilty of the same thing.

We already know that Mitt Romney will abandon his positions that sound vaguely conservative, thanks in part to Pam Bondi and others, because he intends to re-reform health-care in his own image.  He will set up a very similar system to that which exists under Obamacare, and indeed exists in Massachusetts, probably minus the mandate.  If he manages to get the GOP nomination, he will begin to quickly separate himself from the so-called “hard right,” although in truth, there is no “hard right” politician in this race.  In fact, I dare say there are not many “hard-right” politicians in the country at the Federal level.

What this exemplifies is the art of “positioning.”  Romney has been using the image as a “Massachusetts Moderate” to attract votes in very blue states in which he has won, and while he occasionally remarks on being a conservative, as readers will have noted, it’s not been a very passionate sort of claim.  Even those tepid claims will be discarded when the general campaign arrives, should he happen to be the nominee.  Of course, we’ve known he wasn’t sincere since he described himself as “severely conservative,” because the negative connotations of the word “severe” in association with conservatism is a view held by the left and by liberal Republicans. Mainstream conservatives don’t consider themselves “severe” in any respect, and this phrase by Romney offers us a bit of insight into his real views.

For this reason, it’s a bit astonishing to see him make these claims about Obama.  It’s undoubtedly true that this President is attempting to hide the radical nature of his agenda, but that’s not exactly new.  What’s new in all of this is the disingenuous nature of Romney’s attack, because for all intents and purposes, he is doing precisely the same thing to conservatives at present that Barack Obama is doing to the broader electorate. Romney isn’t conservative, any more than Barack Obama is a moderate, and in point of fact, there are fewer points of separation between the records of the two men than either might wish to admit.

Romney is definitely misleading conservatives, whether mild or “severe” in their conservatism, because he needs votes from that segment to secure the nomination.  It is much the same as Barack Obama’s attempt to capture independents and moderates:  It’s a lie, and it will bear no resemblance to how he runs a general election campaign, or how he will govern.  Mitt Romney isn’t a “severe conservative,” but instead a severe fake.  April will be a month in which Romney gains many delegates in blue states, but he should not be permitted to get to 1144.  If Mitt Romney can call out Barack Obama’s intended deception in hiding his true agenda, I believe conservatives should waste no time in pointing out that Romney is engaged in a similarly disingenuous appeal.  Mitt’s no conservative, and if he secures the Republican nomination, the “Etch-a-Sketch” will be shaken, and conservatives who had been fooled by all of this will see how severe the deception had been.

And it will be too late to do a damned things about it.

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

The Insufferable GOP Establishment Is Now Whining

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The Establishment Fears You

An article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times that should strengthen your resolve and hearten your efforts to defeat the Romney machine.  It’s titled Analysis of Rubio-Bush-Ryan Plan to Stop Rick Santorum,  and if ever you wanted to know what it looks like when the GOP establishment crowd is made to sweat, this is it.  The author, Marc Caputo, fairly gushes over the three well-known GOP politicians Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Paul Ryan.  When an article starts out this way, you have to know that it’s a real sob story:

Marco Rubio sounds worried. So do Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.

Their candidate, Mitt Romney, is losing to President Barack Obama. The GOP primary is becoming “counterproductive.”

The assumptions made here are sickening.  First, there is the entitlement mentality, that suggests these guys have some right to expect their candidate to be the nominee.  What they know is what you should already know:  Romney’s presumed nomination is in trouble, as they’ve looked at the numbers and realize that 1144 delegates could be out of reach if Rick Santorum can make it through the month of April and into May.  The article acknowledges what I’ve been reporting about a potential brokered convention too:

“They are saying the only way they can win this race is by having a floor fight in Tampa in August,” Sen. Rubio said Wednesday of the “recipe for disaster” on Fox News. “I think that’s a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama. And our country — forget about the Republican Party — our country cannot afford that.”

Senator Rubio is simply wrong. A floor fight isn’t a recipe for disaster unless you’re a Romney supporter.  They way the establishment has controlled, manipulated, and rigged this process is a disaster for the country.  A real recipe for disaster in November would be for Mitt Romney to lose the election because he is incapable of positioning himself to defeat Barack Obama in any argument in a general election.

Predictably, this is where the article turns its attacks on Santorum, prefacing the assault this way:

“It’s as if Obama’s campaign is writing Santorum’s attack lines about how Romney is virtually indistinguishable from the president.”

Really? It’s as if a DNC ad-man wrote the article.  Media bias is what it is, but I have tired of people purporting to be part of News organizations, posing as journalists of some sort who make statements like this:

“If Romney loses Florida, he probably loses the election. If Santorum stays in and wins the huge Texas primary May 29, it’ll continue to make Romney look uninspiring and like the weakest of frontrunners.”

Note to Mr. Caputo:  Mitt Romney is uninspiring.  He is the weakest of front-runners. He won’t win Texas.  Of course, the absolutely most laughable part of this whining, pathetic plea is this:

“Santorum and Gingrich bear some responsibility for Romney’s problems. So does gaffe-prone Romney. Also, this poll and others indicate that the GOP’s stances on contraception and abortion have hurt the party’s brand among women and independent voters. The improving economy has worked against Romney and in Obama’s favor as well.”

It’s Santorum and Gingrich who are to blame for Romney’s inadequacies?  Mitt Romney has spent tens of millions of dollars on ads absolutely hammering his opponents, and we should blame his opponents for his unpopularity and his continuing inability to sew up the nomination?  Caputo’s article concludes with a plea that should embarrass anybody who is actually in the news business:

“Will Santorum give Romney the chance to make that case in time?”

Mr. Caputo should understand, as should the whining GOP establishment: Conservatives have no obligation to cede the race to Mitt Romney, or make it easier for him, or in any way enable his candidacy.  He hasn’t shown any inclination to get out of their way either, and I want to know only one thing from Mr. Caputo and those like him:

“Will Romney give Santorum and Gingrich the chance to make the case against Barack Obama in time?”

No? Then shut up and fight.

You’ll notice how the idiotic questions they pose for conservatives are never offered to the establishment.  They hope sincerely that we will not notice the fact that every question of this sort that they throw at conservatives could be turned around and thrown right back.  For instance, they are always demanding:  “But you will support Romney if nominated, right?”  I have yet to hear anybody in the big media ask Romney: “But you will support Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul, if nominated, right?”  Of course we won’t hear that question, because it would imply Romney could lose.  Newsflash:  He could lose.  Caputo’s article is proof of that fact.

 

 

Speaking of April Fools…Coulter Attacks Palin Again

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Here We Go Again...

Ann Coulter seems intent on snuggling up close to the GOP establishment, and her liberal friends in media. On Sunday, notably a day for fools like Coulter, she joined the round table discussion on ABC’s “This Week.”  The problem is that as with all such things, it seems as though the only real intention here was to smear Palin.  The comment was an aside without substantiation, and I now believe she does it just to ingratiate herself with the liberal Republicans and the left.  It’s typical of Coulter to make snide remarks as a throwaway line, but this isn’t the first lately aimed at Sarah Palin.  To attack the former Vice Presidential candidate as having been some sort of “novelty candidate” when she was picked by John McCain as his running mate is simply ridiculous.

Here’s the video:

I think Coulter is losing her grasp on the conservative movement.  Slowly but surely, she’s turning into precisely the caricature the left has painted of her over the years.  Naturally, in discussing the Vice Presidential pick, she acknowledged many are talking about Marco Rubio, and she fairly drooled over the prospect of NJ Governor Chris Christie again, but that’s no surprise.  Coulter has worn out her welcome with me, as she continues to take cheap-shots at conservatives, particularly Sarah Palin.

This Primary Race Isn’t Over

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Time to Stand

I wish to address this to discouraged conservatives, because I am among your number, and because I don’t think we’re done quite yet, and I don’t think we must settle for Mitt Romney.  Some of you will have rationalized this already on the basis that his alleged “inevitability” seems to be on the brink of becoming true, but let’s not set aside our beliefs in favor of going along to get along.  If Mitt Romney is nominated and loses in the fall, I don’t want it to be for lack of effort to get a better candidate to stand for the general election.  The GOP establishment and nearly the entirety of the media is telling us this is a fait accompli, but I must tell you that I don’t believe there’s yet any reason to accept that this race is over.

Part of the approach of the establishment has been to convince we conservatives that it’s all done, and that but for the formalities involved in the last three months of voting, we have nothing to gain and no chance to win for any candidate but Mitt Romney.  Let me state it bluntly:  This is a lie and its purveyors know it, but they’re hoping you’ll go along with the script.  Nearly seventy percent of self-described Republicans do not believe Mitt Romney can win, and further would like to see some other candidate.

It is for this reason that I believe the real fight against Barack Obama must be now, in the primary season when we choose our candidate.  Look at the turn-out.  Do you know why it’s down?  I can tell you, and it’s simple:  The conservative base of the party has bought the sorry notion that Romney will be our nominee because the fix is in and there’s nothing we can do about it.  The fix certainly seems to be in, but in the end, for it to succeed still requires your silence.  If you’ve supported any of the other three remaining candidates, get off your duff on your state’s primary or caucus day, and go support your candidate.

The establishment always wants you to believe your vote doesn’t matter in this process.  That’s how they manage to dominate the process in election seasons one after the next.  We conservatives seem to find our voices in off-year Congressional elections, if at all, because while the establishment has their favorites too, they campaign is much more diffuse, making it harder for them in many respects to dominate the process. What we conservatives need now to do is to remain standing firm on our principles, and show up and motivate others to show up in the name of the values we hold dear.

Nobody ever promised it would be easy to overcome the Republican establishment, and nobody should suspect they will ever  move aside.  Some have talked about third-party candidacies as a way to get around the “inevitable candidate,” but I would suggest to you that the only way for conservatives to prevail is either to reclaim the Republican party, or make it moot.  The latter holds no short-run promise, but neither does the former.  The fact is that it’s been more than 150 years since we’ve seen one party abandoned entirely to make room for another.  That was the birth of the Republican party, and it displaced the Whigs.  The Whigs had become the establishment party of its day, the functional equivalent of today’s GOP, and like today’s GOP, they didn’t go quietly or easily until the base of the party walked away.

That’s not a process that can occur in six months, and maybe not four years, but it is something we must soon consider, or find ourselves back in this same position again, four years hence, with untold damage having been done to our country if Obama remains and with four years of uncorrected damage if the establishment’s candidate somehow manages to win this November.  Our best path still remains to take the GOP over and to do that, we’ll need to stop Romney, either by defeating him outright, or by denying him a pre-convention victory. In a numerical sense, the brokered convention is still a very real possibility and offers us our best chance.

We won’t attain either if we permit the establishment’s talking points to go unchallenged, both in the media, and at the polls.  We need to stand up now more than ever and be counted or admit we entered a game unprepared for the severity of the battle.  I would hate to think that this had been true, given all the efforts of so many fine conservatives, who have given it their all despite the odds against them.  The truth is they’ve been outnumbered because we’ve not rallied our base, having let the establishment poison the well from which we must draw forth more conservatives to stand on the line beside us.

This should be the primary season in which we conservatives make a stand against the GOP establishment.  They still believe they own the party, but the truth is that when we’re motivated, we outnumber them by a wide margin.  Their tactic of discouraging conservatives will succeed only if we happen to permit it.  I’m asking you to take that stand now, because the situation finally demands it.  We won’t know what the Supreme Court has decided about Obama-care for another three months, but we must behave as though they will uphold it in order to remember why we must fight this issue on the floor of Congress, but also in our nominating convention in August.  Let’s no surrender just yet.  Too many states have yet to voice their preference, and there is nothing that says we can’t force the issue.  It’s time for conservatives to stand, because this race isn’t over unless we surrender.

Yes, I Still Support Newt Gingrich

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Still with Newt...

Periodically, I get a number of emails from people from various camps asking me why I don’t abandon Newt Gingrich and go along with one of the others, and surprisingly, it’s not usually the Rick Santorum supporters who do this, as I suspect they get much of that from others themselves.  What makes it interesting to me is that it always takes the form of a question usually along the lines of “Are you still sticking with Newt?” This is followed by a string of talking points that broadcast the Romney narrative of the day.  I love the people who take the time to e-mail me, but the copy-and-paste pollution in my inbox really needs to cease, so I’m going to explain to you in detail why it is that I support Newt Gingrich, and why I’ve remained unconvinced by any of the arguments lodged with me against him.  As I’ve noted many times, my preferred candidate announced she would stay out of the nomination chase in October, and that left me with a difficult chore in looking through the many candidates who were still in this race at that time.  I began to take on the process of measuring twice, or thrice, in the hope of cutting just once, so I patiently waited to see what would happen as I weighed their records in detail.

If you’ve been a reader here for any length of time, you will know that I don’t think much of the Republican establishment, because too often, their reflexes are to big government, and this makes me cringe as a conservative.  I started going back and looking at speeches that various candidates had made throughout their careers, and I noticed that one of them had said some things at times that seemed to clash with the conventional wisdom at the time, but later turned out to be almost precisely correct.  One of these was Newt Gingrich’s claim as early as 1993(that I found) that the Democrats were going to be in real trouble, and that he saw the very real possibility that Congress could turn over to Republican control.  The media scoffed.  The establishment chortled endlessly.  In 1994, following the lead of his “Contract with America,” the Republicans indeed took control of both houses of Congress for the first time in my lifetime, and the lifetimes of many who were more than a decade my senior.  The Republican party in Congress had moved from what seemed the permanent back bench to the front row, and I was ecstatic to see it.  The vision to attack the problem and see it through was the product of the work of many people, but none more than Newt Gingrich.

The “Contract with America” by itself was a unique prospect in American politics.  This bill of particulars offered real and dramatic reforms in the way Congress would function.  Gingrich couldn’t promise passage on all of the items, because some would require the signature of the President, and others would require super majorities, but he promised to bring them all up for a vote, and at least give us a chance to see these items debated, and voted on the record.  Not everything passed, but that was fine with most voters who recognized the effort entailed in getting all of this even into consideration.  There’s a reason it’s called the “Republican Revolution of 1994,” and that revolution’s general had been none other than Newt Gingrich.  While Mitt Romney was running away from the legacy of Ronald Reagan in his losing Senate fight with Ted Kennedy, Newt was busy leading his party to the largest victory and swing in party control in history, reaching all the way down into State and local elections, with whole legions of lower-level politicians abandoning the Democrat party to join the Republicans.

I also remember that in 1993, when Bill Clinton had made his first lady the lead on pushing his health-reform plans, it was Newt Gingrich who rallied what was still a dismally weak minority party to stop the advance of socialism in the form of what was then known widely as “Hillary-care.”  He coined several phrases, and radio talk-show hosts ran with them, and the people became angry and burned up the phone lines to Washington DC in protest, and the whole sorry affair terminated with a stunning rebuke of an ambitious health-care overhaul that may have been in many ways even more obnoxious than Obama-care.  Without the tireless efforts in opposition laid down by Gingrich, there might have been a pretty good chance that we’d have been shafted nearly two decades earlier by the socialistic ambitions of the Democrat party.

I also remember that when the government shut-down occurred in 1995, Bill Clinton began running against Congress for his upcoming re-election campaign, but that until Bob Dole wavered, then a candidate for the GOP nomination, there might have been a good chance that the “Gingrich who Stole Christmas” might well have prevailed.  Instead, the Senate Republicans began to waver, and it fell apart, and Clinton rode that opening.  What few people note, but I have not forgotten, is who had been left bleeding (politically) on the field of battle that day, and it was Newt Gingrich.  He took the hits, and he took the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but still he managed to push a welfare reform bill through that at least began the process of rolling back big government.

People like too point out that Mitt Romney had balanced budgets as governor of Massachusetts, but like any reasonable person will notice, under the laws of that state, there’s no choice but to do so.  That’s not the case with the Federal Government, as they have such deficit spending authority as they can enact.  Still, Gingrich pushed the United States to a condition approximating a balance budget for the first time since I was a toddler, not because he had a legal requirement to do so, but because he thought that the ethics involved in restraining the debt we pass to our children demands it.  As you have seen with subsequent Congresses, that’s hardly been any real restraint upon their big-spending ways.  For the terms Gingrich led the House, it had been a matter critical to the notion of responsible governance, and while they failed to pass a balanced budget amendment, they made the determination that they needed no law commanding them to do what is right by the American people.

There are those who have been critical of some of the positions taken by Speaker Gingrich in the interim, and admittedly, at times I have been among their number.  As he’s admitted, the episode with Nancy Pelosi talking up Global Warming was one of those instances in which he had it wrong, but he’s since recanted and amended his position, and he’s accepted that it was a mistake for which he will rightly take a bit of a black eye.  While this is politics, and such bruises seem to live forever, I remember that while he may have made an advocacy commercial, when he was in power he never imposed policies in pursuit of such thinking, unlike Governor Romney, who actually implemented his own regulatory scheme as Governor that were for all intents and purposes the forerunner of a rudimentary cap-and-trade system.

One of the other things that’s been a matter of focus of the negative attacks against Gingrich has been the complaint that at one time, he advocated what sounded like a health insurance mandate.  Since I’ve been paying attention to politics for a long while, I know that when Speaker Gingrich says now that it had been a mistaken position then, born of a desire to reduce free riders in the system but something from which he and others moved away, I know he’s telling the truth because I remember those discussions.  (And I was one of those people loudly yelling to ditch the idea.)  That notion had been the growing conventional wisdom through the mid 1990s, and Gingrich explored it before ultimately rejecting it.  That differs from Mitt Romney, for instance, who actually imposed a health insurance mandate on the people of Massachusetts, and who now makes the sorry claim that it’s different because it’s the state acting despotically rather than the Federal government.

Of course, these days one of the big reasons to support Newt Gingrich is that he’s the one candidate who is putting the focus on the cost of fuels, and energy generally, and how the lack of new development is killing our economy.  This should be evident to any first year college student who has taken the most rudimentary course in macroeconomics, but for some reason, neither Obama nor the other Republican challengers seem quite able to grasp how important this is to families, and to the economy at large.  Romney seemed unconcerned about it recently, and Obama’s movement on the issue in symbolism on the matter, though not in substance, indicates that Obama may actually get it as well as Romney, which is to say: Not much.   Newt’s $2.50 pledge is likely to be realized if he gets into the White House, because he’s pledged to remove regulatory burdens and obstacles to enable our energy industry to tap our own vast resources.  Many people, Obama included, don’t seem to realize how even small movement at the margins of supply can have a dramatic effect on prices, but Gingrich understands that even tiny surpluses or shortages can change the underlying dynamic in a market.

Gingrich is also much more realistic about the scope of the task before us.  Others seem to concentrate on “finding efficiencies” and “tapping into synergies among departments,” and all of the other buzzword-bingo terminology that translates into only one thing:  Taking the current bloated government, stripping it of no authorities or responsibilities, and simply stream-lining it to make it more cost-effective.   While I am sure Speaker Gingrich would be the first to tell you that’s an important part of the reforms we need, still it fails to address the underlying trouble of having a government that is in all things and at all times, to the extent that it’s choking off the life of our economy.   There is no possibility that the economy can grow and flourish so long as the Federal government is spending 25% of our nation’s gross domestic product, so that reducing government’s reach and scope becomes even more critical to the nation’s economic health than all the tinkering, adjusting, and “perfecting” of the machine could ever hope to create.  Romney starts from the position that the government is doing what it should, whereas Gingrich starts from a different point of reference, first asking whether the government should do a thing at all.  It is this distinction among the mindsets of the candidates that led me to my conclusion.

I recognize that former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a few warts.  In politics, there are none who escape without a few of some note, but when I look at the totality of their respective records, I can’t help but notice that the one candidate who has ever led any substantial movement of change is the same person who took an unfairly bad rap in the 1990s for leading such change.  I still remain committed to this principle, while others hop from one campaign to another, and yes, it true that Gingrich has a hard road to the nomination, but he’s not only the first to admit it, but also to point out that this is a reason we conservatives mustn’t fear an open(or “brokered”) convention: Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

I remember watching Gingrich’s “Renewing American Civilization” lecture series in the 1990s, on Paul Weyrich’s satellite network, then dubbed “National Empowerment Television.”  In one of the lectures in the series, he talked about the history of our country, particularly our founders, and how those people came to terms with doing what is “hard.”  His matter-of-fact expression of this difficulty so many face when confronted with large and abiding problems sticks with me because it was inspiring.  At some point, you must simply confront the matter at hand and ask yourself: “Okay, it’s hard… Now what?”  The question lays out the choice, and the very first choice is one we all face in ways large and small each day:  Do I stay immobilized for fear of the difficulties, or do I begin the process of pursuing this goal?   Do I wait for somebody else to act?  Do I hope things will somehow come out my way?   I am inclined now to ask  the same question, albeit in a different context: If getting to a brokered convention is the only way we can begin to restore our country, and we acknowledge the fact that such a road is difficult, my question to conservatives is: “Okay, it’s hard.  Now what?”

The question lingers in empty space, waiting for you to answer.

 

 

 

Why a Brokered Convention Offers Conservatives Real Hope

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Should We Fear It?

At this point, it doesn’t much matter if you favor Newt Gingrich, as I do, or whether you like Rick Santorum, but if you’ve come to see Mitt Romney as being nearly as bad in some respects as the President we all hope to replace, you might wish to consider getting excited about a “brokered” or “open” convention.  The mathematical realities are hard to ignore.  Of all the Republican candidates, Mitt Romney has a substantial delegate lead, but he still needs to get to 1144, and for the rest of us, the question isn’t merely how to get our own preferred candidate into the top slot, but how to prevent Romney from managing to steal away with it.  The key to doing so will be to get out the vote in favor of Gingrich or Santorum, but how do we do that?  Many conservatives have given up, and in the face of the endless waves of well-funded Romney attack campaigns against the other two, many voters are turned off.  This is Romney’s plan:  Disparage, divide, depress and conquer.  When you consider what he faces, it’s easy to understand why he must follow this approach:  If conservative turn-out swelled at the polls, he’d be done and gone quickly.

Members of the GOP establishment like to say that a brokered convention is too disorderly, and that it puts the party into chaos, but what they really fear is that on the floor of the convention, conservatives might well find their voice and unite behind a non-establishment candidate.  As some have pointed out, in 1920, Warren G. Harding came from single-digit obscurity to capture the nomination in a brokered convention.  In 1860, on the third vote, we got Abraham Lincoln in a brokered convention.  In 1976, we came within a whisker of a true brokered convention and nearly got Ronald Reagan four years earlier.  Imagine all the pain the country would have avoided, but then again, had we not gotten Carter, we’d have absolutely nobody to whom we could compare Barack Obama’s miserable record as president.  The fact is that brokered conventions often serve to set things right in the Republican party, and I don’t think there’s any reason to fear it.  Instead, I believe conservatives should view a brokered convention as the last chance for a “do-over” when it’s clear the party establishment is pushing a flawed, uninspiring candidate like Mitt Romney.

For the rest of us to have a shot, whether you  like Newt or Rick, the answer must be that we should rise in both camps to do battle against the establishment.  I realize that we’ve been trained to compete with one another as rivals, and I understand why the Gingrich camp wants the Santorum camp to give over, and why the inverse is also true.  It makes sense.  We’re Americans.  We naturally seek the advantage in order to win.  We’re good at competition, but I think this year that our competitive tendencies are being used against us.  Every time something comes over the transom that is devastating to Mitt Romney, suddenly we’re faced with a story of lesser import aimed at one of the others, and what always gets lost in the shuffle is Romney.  You don’t need special insight to observe it in action.  After the disaster of “Etch-a-Sketch,” the Romney camp had to find some way to blunt it, so they cooked up narratives about Santorum’s remarks twice in four days, and packaged them so as to give an impression that was a misrepresentation of what Santorum said, even if  we admit he said it clumsily, or with a lack of precision.

It’s not like the Gingrich camp hasn’t experienced this several times before.  If any should be able to see when the mud-slinging is about to commence in earnest, it should be the Gingrich supporters because they’ve had more dirt shoveled in their direction than any Republican candidate for any office since Sarah Palin was the VP pick in 2008.  The phony narrative about Newt’s ex-wife, and the whole week of ginned-up nonsense leading up to Florida should remind Gingrich supporters how conveniently the dirt is heaped in our direction in order to help Romney escape his own latest troubles.  This has happened so often and with such predictable regularity that when I see Romney has managed to step in “it,” I begin immediately to watch instead for where the attack against one of the others will originate.

Don’t be fooled by this, and don’t let yourselves become discouraged. As Speaker Gingrich has pointed out, if we get through the last primaries in June without a clear nominee, this really does become something of an etch-a-sketch in terms of the race.  We’ll have two months of an intense pre-convention run-up during which there will finally be a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  My view is that any of these candidates would be more effective against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney, and while reasonable people may disagree on which particular candidate, let’s be honest:  Mitt Romney doesn’t represent we conservatives in  any measure, and his Romney-care program(among lesser indignities) makes him every bit as objectionable as Barack Obama.

I think it’s time both the camps of Gingrich and Santorum consider that for either to prevail, Mitt Romney must be stopped.  We’ll never stop fighting with one another completely, because it would be contrary to the nature of the competitive spirit that is inherent in our conservative beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be smarter about it.  At this point in the campaign, it’s all over if we let Romney obtain 1144 delegates, or anything close to that number.  We can’t stop him from outspending Newt and Rick 10:1, 20:1, or even 50:1 as has been the case thus far in Wisconsin, but we can debunk it all, whomever it’s aimed at.

My thought is that what we need to change our focus: Mitt’s the problem.  Mitt’s the obstruction.  Mitt’s the guy throwing millions upon millions at his more conservative rivals, but most astonishingly, he does so while claiming he is the real conservative.  It’s a laughable claim, but while we laugh, he’s managing to get away with it.  You might join me in preferring Gingrich, or you might be like my sibling who prefers Santorum, but we’re brothers, after all, and one thing we can agree upon is that Mitt Romney is not the guy we want to see go up against Obama this Fall.  My brother and I have made a bit of a truce on the matter.  We’ve agreed, one to the other, that we’ll not spend our time hammering back and forth, but we will focus instead on the guy who will sneak away with it all if we spend too much time fighting between us.

My brother and I talked about this at length, and what we decided is that for the good of the party, but more importantly, for the good of the country, we need a brokered convention as our only means by which to reset all of it.  Growing up as we did, we often found ourselves in situations in which one of us needed to have the other’s back.  It wasn’t that we didn’t squabble and fight between us, because in truth, few fight like brothers against one another.  The thing we always tried to remember is that that while our fights were fine and dandy when the struggles were among and between us, you didn’t let somebody else step in and divide us to his own advantage, ultimately defeating us both.  Instead, we’d team up against the interloper and deal with our own differences later.

I think that at this point, whatever our differences, they pale in comparison to our similarities.  I’m not suggesting to you that we circle ’round and sing Kumbaya, and that this will cure all differences between us, but I think we ought to deal with the interloper first.  Mitt’s not a conservative, and the truth is that a fair number of the people now voting for him will not be there for him in November, and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of DNC mischief picking our candidates.  I’ve heard a few rumors about DNC operations trying to help Santorum, but it’s hard to find evidence, since the counties in which Santorum lost in Michigan and Ohio were really fairly strong Democrat areas.  In Florida, Newt lost in the South end of the state, but in the panhandle, Newt won.  In fact, if you look at these election maps, what you will notice very quickly is that they appear much as if  the conservative had been running against Obama:  The more urban counties went heavily for Romney.  This trend has been repeated in battle-ground states, one after the next.  You’ll remember that analysts loved to say it was about education, smearing either Newt or Rick on the basis that only dumb, hick, rednecks were supporting them.  My question has been:  Who’s supporting Romney in all of those heavily Democrat counties and districts?  Conservatives?  Hardly.

Make of it what you will, but I’m telling you what I see, and it looks something like this:  If conservatives permit Mitt Romney to be the nominee, I can see four more years of Obama, which may be an eternity for all intents and purposes.  Even if Romney were to some how pull off the win, I don’t see where that would advance our cause much.  He’s already got Pam Bondi working on a task force of some sort for the “replacement” of Obamacare, which is to say that we’ll get some form of Romney-care that will still run our country into the ground, and destroy the private insurance market.  In other words, I don’t see much hope for the country even if Romney wins.  He won’t fix it, and chances are that while he won’t break it quite as much, or quite as quickly, the destruction will continue.  If we’re going to prevent that, we must do so now by dragging our conservative friends to the polls to vote for Newt or Rick.  Either way, it’s a vote against Mitt, and we need all those we can get.  After we stop him, we can refocus on beating one another in a more honest competition.  After all, it’s the brotherly thing to do.

 

 

 

Reader Submission: Romney Vetting Video

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

What Will He Say Next?

This is a nifty little video that presents Mitt Romney various varying positions on a number of issues.  This should give you a real, solid understanding of why “Etch-a-Sketch” remains a serious issue, and why we cannot afford a candidate who flips and flops, and will effectively sell us out once he has the nomination.  Mitt Romney has suffered some setbacks because of his constant changing of positions, and worse, his constant walking-back of the walk-backs.  Conservatives don’t trust him, and while they may support him in the fall out of a sense of desperation over Obama, what’s clear is that the “Etch-a-Sketch” theme has hurt him.  Here, a video that compares his various statements on issues, contradicting himself endlessly, demonstrates why conservatives are worried about Mitt.  There’s plenty of evidence they should be worried, as Romney’s Communications Director likened the upcoming general campaign to the child’s toy.

Here’s the video:

Effective, and with interesting musical accompaniment.

Gingrich is Right: Romney Is the Weakest Front-Runner

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Holding Out for Overtime

Newt Gingrich is right: Mitt Romney is the weakest front-runner we’ve had since Gerald Ford in 1976.  I think it’s one of those situations where we really need to reconsider the entire narrative about the “inevitability” of Mitt Romney’s nomination.  I believe that were we to have a brokered convention, Mitt Romney would not emerge as the nominee, and I think Romney is well aware of that fact, which is why  the establishment is working so hard to kill this process now.  We can’t afford to put up another moderate, middle-of-the-road candidate who is just waiting to be roadkill in the midst of speeding traffic.  What we need is a candidate with a record of fighting for real reforms, and who knows how to get government out of the way.  Mitt Romney is not that candidate.

Here’s Newt Gingrich from CNN with Wolf Blitzed:

This is undeniably true.  The best way for us to avoid a Romney nomination at this point is through a brokered convention, and all conservatives ought to support one of the non-Romney candidates for this reason.  When the Texas primary is held in late May, I will be polling for Gingrich. I know many who will stand with either Gingrich or Santorum because it’s the one way remaining to stave off Romney.

Hey, I Agree With Santorum: It’s Bull…

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Rick Gets Testy

I listened to a number of people today attempt to describe Santorum’s response to a NY Times reporter as “intemperate,” “petulant,” and “immature.”  I’ll be honest with you:  If I had to face these interminable jack-wagons in the press, always fishing to present me out of context, I would probably blow a gasket now or then too.  It’s not that Rick Santorum is my favorite candidate, because of the four remaining, I would choose Newt Gingrich, but just as the media tries its best to catch Gingrich saying something a little off-key, this is the same thing the press is doing to Rick Santorum, and I can understand how any of them might grow a bit fatigued with this approach.  Rick Santorum has been saying for months, in virtually every appearance, and in every campaign stop that he believed that Mitt Romney was least able to battle Barack Obama because of Romney-care.

I’ve been telling you that same thing, because everything suggests that it’s true.  The latest Gallup polling results show that as many as 72% of Americans now believe the insurance mandate in Obama-care is unconstitutional.  If they believe that, then it’s likely that they won’t be altogether receptive to the 10th Amendment arguments of Mitt Romney on Romney-care, for all the reasons I’ve mentioned before.  States may have their authority, but that authority does not permit them to step on individual liberties any more than the Federal government may.  Others may accept that argument, but I think most Americans would tend to reject it, and I think that would be a real problem for Mitt Romney especially when Obama openly admits that Romney-care and its mandate were the model for Obama-care.

Apparently, in campaign stop in Wisconsin, Santorum repeated his general theme, but because he changed the way in which he said it, it left an opening for a smarmy NY Times reporter to take a shot at him because his statement during this particular speech seemed more open-ended, and he said Mitt Romney is “the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.” He got a little angry with the reporter, Jeff Zeleny of the NY Times, because he seemed to be trying to set Santorum up, and I think Santorum got a little miffed.  To be sure, it probably was a bit intemperate to hurl the expletive “bullsh..,” but almost every person I knew who had seen it voiced approval.  It seems conservatives have gotten a belly-full of the press this campaign season, and after months of dirty tricks and negative ads primarily focused on the conservatives in the race, it’s not surprising that Santorum lashed out a bit.  Many conservatives were heartened to see it, because it exhibited a passion for his position, but in fact, I also noted something else:  Many of the conservatives to whom I spoke about the incident actually thought he shouldn’t have qualified it at all, because there’s a sense among many conservatives that Romney is the least electable versus Barack Obama, and I think the “Etch-a-Sketch” was the last straw for many.

These are the same reasons, in fact, that when Gingrich faced the questions in the South Carolina debate, and he took the moderator to task, he got the positive response he did:  Conservatives are tired of getting kicked around in the press, and the willingness of Newt Gingrich to confront the press was an endearing quality to many conservatives.  I think this latest flap with Santorum evinces the same theme, because conservatives simply don’t like the media, because they’ve long recognized the media will not afford conservatives a fair shake.  Some will say that Santorum had been a little too combative in this instance, and others will nit-pick him over the wording of his remarks, but his point was generally true on both counts:  He has stressed for months the “unique disqualification” of Mitt Romney due to Romney-care, and he made his remarks about Romney in this instance in the general envelope of the same context, although he worded the lines somewhat differently, and these are the “gotcha” games with which conservatives have become disgusted.

You can watch the video of the exchange here:

Santorum may not be my favorite candidate, but he’s certainly preferable to at least one in my view, and I’m glad to see him take on the media a little bit.  It’s time to deal with reality, and the press is too busy taking Obama’s part against all Republicans, and Romney’s part against all other Republicans for me to think much of the media.  I think Newt should remember this too, as it was part of what drove his climb back in South Carolina.  Conservatives hate the mainstream media these days, and they have every justification.  Candidates should remember this when they face the press.

 

Despite Establishment Talking Points, The GOP Fight is Far From Over

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Math is Hard

The talking points suggesting that this race is all but over have really begun to get on my nerves, because there’s really no evidence this is true.  As long as Gingrich and Santorum remain in this race, the race continues until somebody obtains 1144 delegates, or we wind up at the convention.  The question is whether it is numerically possible for anybody but Romney to get enough delegates, and as Drudge couldn’t wait to point out to the world Sunday, it’s going to be tough for Santorum or Gingrich, in second and third in the delegate count respectively.  The truth this conceals is that Romney isn’t in much better shape at this juncture.

Demonstrating my point about Romney, and the reason the Drudge page pointing out Santorum will need 74% of delegates to win was a bit dishonest, what is missed in all of this is that it omits the fact that Romney’s path isn’t exceptionally better. Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele makes this clear in the following video of a March 16th appearance on MSNBC:

From my point of view, the thing that must happen throughout the remainder of this primary season is that Gingrich and Santorum must arrive at the convention having prevented Romney from obtaining 1144 delegates.  If they do this, anything is possible, and it could be that between them, they are able to forge some sort of strategic alliance to overcome Mitt Romney in a brokered convention.  This is why Romney and all his surrogates in media continue to press the theme that either Newt Gingrich or Rick Santorum should get out: If either one does, it will make Romney’s job of obtaining 1144 delegates that much easier.

I don’t think most conservatives are interested in seeing that happen, whomever they support, because the fact is that we are still in the position where roughly 60% of the party wants somebody other than Mitt Romney.  Of course, Romney’s defenders are quick to point out that the others are in worse shape, but that ignores something critical:  Romney is the apparent front-runner, and as yet, he has shown no ability to put the contest to an end by defeating all of his competitors, at once and finally.

For Those Who Believed “Etch-a-Sketch” Wouldn’t Matter…

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Sure, It won't matter...

The Democrats have other ideas, and the sad part is that predictably, they’re going to use it dishonestly, but nevertheless, they will use the Fehrnstrom “Etch-a-Sketch” remark to attack Mitt Romney.  This is why we should never permit this guy to be the GOP’s nominee:  He’s another one who claims to be conservative, but isn’t, and that’s not going to stop the left from trying to beat him up for his so-called conservatism, even though he isn’t one, and won’t remotely govern or campaign like one.   Yes, of course the Democrats are lying, but that won’t stop them.  It never does.  More, Romney gives some credence to their claims because he is an “Etch-a-Sketch” candidate, although not in the manner the Democrats will pretend.  The Democrats are pretending he’s a conservative who will move left for the general election, but what you and I know is that he’s a moderate who has moved right for the primaries.

Here’s their video:

This is the problem:  Mitt Romney will have to do what to combat this ad? He’ll say: “I’m not a conservative,” or he’ll respond with some half-hearted, tepid defense of conservatism, but because he doesn’t really understand conservatism, he’ll fail.  He will be forced into a position of abandoning conservatism in some manner, and it will show the voters that he is “etch-a-sketch,” whatever they think of his relative position on the ideological spectrum.  The voters who will be the intended audience for this are moderates and independents anyway, so you can imagine the effect.

We’re in for a beating if we don’t dump this guy soon.

 

What is the Difference Between the Left and the GOP Establishment?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

How Friendly Are They?

I find it bothersome that when I listen to some of the obvious establishment hacks, what I hear from them sounds suspiciously like the things I hear coming from the left.  They attack Sarah Palin, and as Breitbart famously pointed out, it’s almost like a membership card that people in the GOP establishment throw down to prove their credentials with the leftist media and cocktail crowd. Those who want in must pay the toll, and that will mean running down actual conservatives whenever possible.  They tell us it’s because we are all blithering idiots, and that’s evidenced because we don’t understand the art of compromise, but that too has the suspiciously similar ring of disdain that we most frequently get from the left.  Worse, when a conservative overcomes the GOP establishment, they tend to think all that remains is to defeat the left, but slowly and surely, the establishment crowd works its way back in.  Conservatives frequently find themselves wondering if there’s any difference between the Left and the Republican establishment.

One could examine the politics of Alaska to get an idea of how that all works.  Sarah Palin was a marvelous reformer who defeated a bastion of the GOP establishment when she beat Frank Murkowski on her way to victory and gubernatorial success. In 2010, Joe Miller defeated Murkowski’s daughter Lisa in the GOP primary, but as an establishment insider, Murkowski ran instead a write-in campaign, and defeated Joe Miller from the left.  This is emblematic of the way the establishment plays the game, and what quickly becomes apparent is how they’ll do anything to maintain power.  Lisa Murkowski won the Senate seat, but she had to abandon the base of the party she had claimed to support in order to get it done.  The Democrats voted defensively, by supporting her over their own candidate in many cases, because they knew they’d rather have Republican Lisa Murkowski than Tea Party-inclined Joe Miller. What that will mean in the future for Alaska politics is unclear, but I suspect the Tea Party and conservative base there are seething over her actions.

Naturally, this is just a microcosm of how it works in Washington DC.  where the establishment rules the Republican roost. When you notice that Republicans have wavered on this or that, you can almost always be assured that you will find one of the establishment pack at the root of the surrender.  It leads many to wonder, nowadays openly:  Is the Republican establishment really any better or any more than a fifth column for the institutional Left?  Of course, much like the Devil, whose best trick is purported to have been to convince others he didn’t exist, the GOP establishment denies their own existence too.  It’s actually a bit of a farce for George Will to have said this, but say it he did, and they run around pretending they do not exist.  Part of it is that they’re a bit slippery, because they will pose as conservatives on this bill or that, and come up with some dandy rationalizations for their sell-outs of conservatism.

Part of what makes conservatives wonder about the possibility of a “fifth column” appearance of all of this is that without fail, these are the same people to whom the media turns when they want a “republican” or “conservative” opinion.  Asking John Boehner on to speak on behalf of conservatism is roughly equivalent to asking Joe McGinnis his opinion on Sarah Palin.  John Boehner isn’t a conservative, though he frequently claims the title.  What Boehner really represents is a mind-set that Washington DC commands all, and that sometimes one must go along to get along.   The problem with Boehner, Cantor, et al, is that they really don’t care about the underlying principles in any issue.  They’re more interested in the appearance of a deal, but the deals are always with leftists, and they never, ever work out as advertised.

The great Debt Ceiling debate of last July is an example.  Boehner was catching hell from every direction, but in the end, who did he abandon?  Did he abandon his make-nice with the President?  No.  Did he force the issue via a shutdown?  No.  Instead, he sent another bill to the Senate after the bill his whole caucus had supported was pronounced “dead on arrival” by Harry Reid.  The truth of the matter is that the deal had been done for some time, and he was looking for cracks in his own party in order to push it through.  Boehner knew it, Reid knew it, and Barack Obama knew it too.  When you know your adversary’s alleged leader is undercutting his own folks in order to make a deal, you can go a long way in really pressing your advantage.  The Debt Ceiling debate ended with a victorious Obama and a devastated Republican base.  We watched people in whom we placed a great deal of hope walk the plank for John Boehner, and all to end up in the same boat just a little later in the year.

This prompted the question among many in the Tea Party at the time, including in this blog: “With friends like these…”  Of course, at the time we were turning our attentions to the Presidential primary season, but little did we conservatives suspect, with a field brimming with actual and potential candidates that the Republican establishment had a plan brewing for this too.  They managed to manipulate the early states forward, moving up the process for a purpose I still don’t think most have grasped.  Those early states are now bound by the rules to yield half of their delegates to the National convention.  Who will be choosing them, and who do you suppose they will be?  Conservatives?  Or more establishment hacks?  So you see, that’s been part of their back-up plan too, engineered to make sure they have a number of delegates they can throw to Mitt Romney if it comes down to it.  Drudge is happily running a story pointing out that Santorum will need to win 74% of delegates in order to win, but what he’s not reporting to you is that Romney will need almost 60% from this point forward.  While Santorum’s chore is an order of  magnitude more difficult, Romney’s road isn’t easy, even with the sandbag delegates the party now has put-away for just such an emergency.

All of this is much like what they did to Ronald Reagan in 1976.  They did everything possible to stymie him and still it came within a whisker of going his way.  I suspect if they could have stopped him in 1980, they would have, but they still managed to get one of theirs on the ticket.  In many ways, the conservative base of the party has been paying a price ever since.  Let’s be blunt, if we may, and suggest that in the halls of power, and where it matters, and in the money of the GOP, George HW Bush is still a terribly powerful force, or at least his legacy has been.  They’re already preparing the next generation, both for the Presidency, and up-and-coming, and there’s little doubt that they prepare a back-bench thick with their folks, ready to retake control when the opportunity arrives.  Given the way the GOP has been run since the Bush establishment took over, I wonder if we’ll ever see a time when our country is free of them, and if it’s even possible any longer.

I tend to agree with those who say that in order to be rid of them, the GOP must ultimately go the way of the Whigs.  The GOP establishment is nearly indistinguishable in their methods and goals from the institutional Left who is our open adversary, and in any case, they’re dragging the country in the same sad direction, albeit somewhat more slowly.  Win, lose or draw, when this election cycle ends, whatever happens, we’re going to be forced to confront this issue or accept that we’ve lost our country.  We tend to think of our fight for the country in terms of our battles with the Left, but I believe we must consider amending our thinking because I don’t know that we can ever defeat the left until we oust their friends from among our number.  We must at some point ask: Are these the actions of a friend?

 

 

Vetting Mitt Romney – Video

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

It's about time...

This one just came over the transom and I thought readers might want to take a look.  It’s a pretty sharp critique of Mitt Romney’s record, and I think the more conservatives know about his record, the less attractive he is as a candidate.  The video touches on a number of stories I’ve covered here over time, so much of this will be at least vaguely familiar. There has been a great deal of vetting of Mitt Romney’s record on the Internet, in blogs and on conservative websites, but the problem is that most of it never gets into the mass media.  They’re simply not interested in showing Republicans much of his record as it pertains to governance, including particularly the Romney-care debacle under which the people of Massachusetts now live.

Viewing time is approximately three-and-one-half minutes:

Ron Paul Doesn’t Like “Etch-a-Sketch:” Why Not?

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Will Paul Send Romney the Bill?

It’s hard to understand why a politician would run an ad that seeks to minimize the story that is doing the most political damage to one’s chief rival.  In my view, to hit Gingrich and Santorum while leaving Romney untouched hints at another motive.  Ron Paul’s camp is running an ad slamming the two non-Romneys for their focus on Romney Communications Direct Eric Fehrnstrom’s “Etch-a-Sketch” remark.  He apparently thinks it’s ridiculous to be focused on what he considers a sideshow, but I wonder if that’s his real objective.   After all, he’s been rather friendly with Mitt Romney, and at times it has seemed he was working on coordinating his attacks on the others with the former Massachusetts governor, who one would think would receive the most scrutiny from the Paul camp, since Romney is clearly the most liberal of the four.

Here’s the ad:

Not once in this ad are viewers informed about the nature of the controversy, although you do get a clip of Fehrnstrom’s remark,  but what viewers receive is a series of repeated iterations of Gingrich, Santorum, and media saying “Etch-a-Sketch,”  portrayed in such a way as to mock the subject.  Romney’s been playing damage control ever since his Communications Director’s remarks, and they’ve tried several approaches to change the subject.  I suppose if all else fails, you let Ron Paul’s campaign do your dirty-work, and try to downplay the meaning and impact of the “Etch-a-Sketch” remark.  Of course, this could be Paul’s way of trying to get a little attention, but whatever his motive, I think it’s dishonest to downplay the significance.  After all, if the Romney campaign will bear a resemblance to an etch-a-sketch if he secures the nomination, one would think this is information all of the other candidates would want voters to possess.  To me, this looks like an attempt to minimize the damage to Romney.  Is this part of a collusion between Paul and Romney?  Nobody’s certain but it’s odd that Paul’s campaign would posit a thesis that reduces the damage to an opponent.

 

Santorum Wins Louisiana Plus New Santorum Video: Obamaville

Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Something to Celebrate

With very nearly half of the vote, Rick Santorum easily defeated his Republican opponents in the Louisiana GOP Primary.  Mitt Romney finished second, more than 20% behind Santorum, with Gingrich back in third, and Paul finishing out of sight in last.  This sets the stage for a continuing primary fight, and it’s one that may go all the way to the convention.  At this point, it may take a brokered convention to keep Romney out, although the math becomes muddled once you consider all the possible permutations.  What’s clear at this stage is that while Romney remains the front-runner in the delegate count, he’s in for a hard road ahead.  My thought is: Good!  I would prefer a brokered convention at this point, since it seems that it will be the only available method by which we get a nominee who stands a chance of defeating Barack Obama.

Santorum’s campaign released a new ad on Saturday, presenting a dramatic portrayal of the future should Barack Obama be re-elected, but then again, much of it is already true.  The ad runs just more than a minute, and it makes the point perfectly clear: Barack Obama must go.  The alternative is Obamaville:

 

The Questions Romney Doesn’t Want to Be Asked

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Some Questions Too Tough?

I’m a talk radio junkie, and like so many, I listen with great interest when the various candidates for public office appear on the various talk-shows.  Some talk-show hosts won’t ask very hard-hitting questions, while others will ask the tough questions even of friends.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to make an educated guess about which sort of host gets many more requests for air-time, and which do not.  Still, the thing that I use as a gauge of the worthiness of a candidate is their relative courage in facing hard questions.  Many of you will have noted that I hold Mark Levin in high esteem, because his passion and his intellect combine to make for one tremendously good show. He’s funny, outspoken, and most of all well-reasoned, and he’s always polite to guests though he has been firm.  During this campaign season, he’s mentioned his preferences for Bachmann and then Santorum when the Minnesota Representative bowed out.  He was always gracious to them, but that didn’t stop him from asking some tough questions.

He also talked to Gingrich, of whom he had been fairly critical, and he was tough but fair to Gingrich, and even defended him against the blatant hit-piece by Elliot Abrams.  He talked to Cain, and to Perry, and has had a standing invitation for Huntsman, Paul and Romney since the beginning of the campaign season.  Huntsman quit the race, but Paul and Romney haven’t done the show, and he’s been particularly critical of Ron Paul at times, so I understand he might have burnt that bridge a little, but he’s said repeatedly that if Mitt Romney is the nominee, he would support him, and yet Romney is always too busy to be on, and Levin doesn’t talk to campaign staffers in lieu of candidates.  I realize Levin has been tough on Romney, but no more than on Gingrich, and this distinction was telling for me.  If a candidate won’t face Mark Levin on-air, how is he to be expected to compete in a national debate against Barack Obama and the moderator(s) who will almost assuredly be predisposed to Obama’s side?

I was actually impressed by Newt Gingrich when he went on Mark Levin’s show, not merely for his answers to Levin’s probing questions, but mainly because he had the courage to go on, despite the fact that Levin had been fairly critical of Gingrich.  Mitt Romney has exhibited no such courage to date, and it’s interesting to me because if you want to “audition” before an audience of conservative and Tea Party types for the job of President, stepping up to the plate on Mark Levin’s show is a good way to demonstrate that you’re willing to stand in the batter’s box even when a few fastballs are high and inside.  Romney continues to show no such inclination, and that’s troubling to me and to millions of other conservatives who’d like to hear him answer a few questions from “the Great One.”  The problem is that Romney isn’t interested in an appearance with Levin just now.  I’m sure if he’s nominated, he’ll appear thereafter when it’s “safer,” because Levin will be on the team at that point.

For a listener and a conservative, this is troubling to me, because it hints at Romney’s strategy of winning the nomination with only sparse conservative support.  His calculus is clear:  If he wins the nomination, you’ll be faced with the choice to support him, Obama, or simply stay home, and he’s hoping you’ll do the former in preference over the other two alternatives, and it’s his operative assumption that you will.  For my part, I’d prefer a candidate to work a good bit harder for my support, because he believes I might well exercise one of the alternatives.  After all, the vote is the only real leverage we have with any of these candidates.  Let’s call that the “conservative nuclear option.”  What a candidate like Romney gambles is that you will see that the fall-out will land on your own head, thus giving you just enough motivation to forgo that messy option.

It’s for this very reason that I always keep my voting options open.  I want candidates to understand that having an “R” next to their name doesn’t make anything “automatic.”  It’s the only tool an average voter like me has to use as leverage, and if I give that up, I’ve got nothing else, and they know it.  You might suggest that this is “extreme,” but I’d ask you what I have otherwise.  What keeps any politician even vaguely in line if they don’t have fear of losing our voting support?  When you’re talking about a Gingrich or Santorum, without a crowd of deep-pocket contributors, it’s important, but when you’re talking about a deep-pocketed Mitt Romney, it’s really all we have.  Rick and Newt need our fives, tens, twenties, and fifties.  Romney can live without them. As an example, he’s presently outspending Santorum in Wisconsin by a ratio of 50:1.  With this in mind, what Romney wants and needs from us is the only thing we have with which to influence his course: Our votes.

For those of us who can’t contribute thousands of dollars, or millions,  what it should make plain is the value of our votes, not in terms of dollars, but in the serious impact they have on the future of the country.  You would think with all of that at stake, Mitt Romney would find the time to appear on Mark Levin’s show, but so far, he hasn’t and conservatives like me are beginning to wonder why.  We know Levin has taken him to task, but no more than Newt Gingrich, and Gingrich had the fortitude to appear, leaving conservatives to fill in the blanks on their own:  Is it that Romney is afraid of that interview now, or is it that he simply doesn’t care about the opinion or the votes of an audience he assumes will come back to him for lack of options later?

I tend to think it’s more of the latter than the former, because while Levin asks some tough questions, he doesn’t overplay his hand or go off the deep end with GOP candidates in that fashion, so other than the possibility of a slip-up, I don’t think Romney has anything to fear.  I think he’s simply playing it safe.  I believe he assumes that 98% of that audience will have no choice but to vote for him in the general election, so why risk it?  I don’t think candidates should be permitted to make such assumptions, but for obvious reasons, it’s easy for them to get away with it. I don’t know what Mark Levin might ask Mitt Romney if given the opportunity, but I have my own short list:

  • Governor Romney, if you did not win the nomination, could the Republican party still count on your active support in the November election?
  • If you are nominated and elected President, you’ve said you would repeal Obamacare.  Is that still the plan, and if you succeeded in overseeing its repeal, would you seek to replace it with something else, and if so, what?

I believe he’d answer the first appropriately, although if it came to pass, I have my doubts about how active his support would be based on 2008.  I think the second question would be the one to trip him up, because it’s the one nobody in media is really asking.  They ask him if he’d repeal, and he says yes, but what is never discussed is what he would then do on the issue.  Would he simply return things to their pre-Obamacare state, and walk away, or would he seek to replace it with something similar albeit not much less egregious?  Would he tinker with it around the edges instead?

These are the questions conservatives would love to hear answered, because I suspect that he plans the latter option, if he’d move on the legislation at all.  I think if he were pinned down by this question, he’d be forced to either reveal his plans or tell a whopper.  Of course, I’d love to hear the answer to one question I suspect Levin would ask:

  • Governor Romney, you’ve said you would issue waivers to every state immediately.  Could you tell me which section of the statute permits such waivers?

This is one of the bits of Romney’s repeal pledge that has been suspect in my mind for some time, and Levin was really the only person in media I’m aware of who picked up on the significance. I have looked, and I can’t find where there is authority for any waivers in the statute, and any such “waivers” would likely result in immediate legal challenges launched from the left.  Sure, they won’t say anything about it now, because it’s their guy issuing phony waivers, but those waivers won’t be permanent in any case, and you can expect that if a Republican president issued such a waiver to states, the left would mobilize to the courtrooms to argue there is no such statutory authority.

I believe this last issue is certainly one reason Mitt Romney won’t get within a country mile of a phone line upon the other end of which is the Mark Levin show.  It would be a fiasco if Levin asked him this and he was unable to satisfy the question with an answer.   As you can see, there’s every reason for Romney to play it safe and avoid Mark Levin like the plague during the primary season, but it’s also the reason I can’t get behind Romney.  By avoiding Mark Levin, he’s really avoiding all of us who want to hear his answers to these questions.  It would have been great to get an answer to these in a debate, but for all the smoke and mirrors, these were never raised in full.  If Mitt Romney wants the support of conservatives, he’s going to need to answer these at some point, or risk going into the general election unsure of whether conservatives will give him their unqualified support. He’ll need every vote to defeat Barack Obama.

 

 

 

Flashback: Meet Mitt Romney circa 2002

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

Who? Me? Republican?

Here’s a quick video clip from 2002, when Mitt Romney was seeking the office of Governor in Massachusetts.  He disclaims his association with the Republican party.  What many of you from around the country may not know is that it’s common practice in the Northeast for Democrats to run for office as Republicans because in many cases, they can run unopposed in primaries since there are so few (relatively) Republicans vying for office.  I can’t say that this had been what Mitt tried to imply here, but I wouldn’t be surprised.  After all, as you may remember, he spent most of his 1994 Senatorial campaign against Ted Kennedy trying to distance himself from Reagan.

This is the guy who wants to be your Republican nominee?

While Etch-a-Sketch will try to re-write the meaning of this clip,  I prefer to focus on reality:  Mitt Romney is no conservative.

This is simply one more piece of evidence.

The Word From On High: Shut Up About Romney

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

He Wants Us To Shut Up

This is what is being pushed today in conservative media.  At first, I thought it was just me receiving emails urging me to begin rallying around Romney “for the good of the party” and “for the good of the country.”  Apparently, I’m not alone, and apparently, Mark Levin is receiving such emails too.  I thank those of you who sent me such emails, but I’ll give you my answer here, in the open: I have deleted your emails with extreme prejudice.  (That means that I deleted them, then undeleted them, and deleted them AGAIN…just for fun.) I actually printed one out that had been particularly annoying, and deleted it with a match.   The Romney Campaign does not pick the nominee on this blog.  Don’t email me as an activist for the Romney campaign, urging me to stop talking about Romney.  I’m going to talk about Romney’s extensive failings until he wins or loses.  I’m going to remind my readers of the truth about this candidate.  While a blog is like an “etch-a-sketch,” or like Mitt Romney(apparently the same,) I am not.  Conservatives don’t give up or give over that easily, and I’ll be damned before I’ll be prodded into it.

Even tonight on the promo for the 8pm-er (Bill O’Reilly,) he was hollering about “stop[ping] this stuff.”  I see.  When Mitt’s campaign staffer came out and shoved both hooves down his own throat on CNN yesterday, we should ignore it, get beyond it, and stop talking about it, but when Newt Gingrich said two words about Mitt Romney’s activities at Bain Capital, we should pile on for weeks on end.  Or, when Newt Gingrich’s ex-wife is trotted out to slam him by ABC News, we should talk about it for weeks on end.  When Rick Santorum mentions the evils of pornography as an aside, that should dominate the headlines and stories for weeks.  When Mitt Romney runs ads accusing his rivals of being less than conservative, while claiming he is, we should ignore Eric Fehrnstrom’s remarks to CNN.  I see…

Well, I don’t see!  I don’t see why Mitt Romney is somehow exempt, or why it is that the flubs and foibles of his campaign should be ignored, while his own operatives in media spend time hammering away on his opponents.  You Romney flacks(and I don’t here mean average Romney supporters, I mean his activist set) are full of yourselves lately, and it’s getting out of control, and there’s a reason your candidate’s negatives are on the steep incline: Your candidate has been repeatedly exposed as non-conservative, and yesterday’s remarks by Fehrnstrom are merely confirmations of what we’ve known.

It’s time to deal with reality. The conservative base of the Republican party doesn’t want another establishment candidate.  They may be divided over which of the others should be the anti-Mitt, but they’re sure it shouldn’t be him.  The reason is simple, and despite the cajoling, I’m not going away, and I’m not going to forget.  I’m going to remind my readers every time it strikes me to do so that Mitt Romney is fatally flawed.  Today, Barack Obama provided an example of what he’s going to do to Romney over health-care, and it’s why Romney will abandon the issue of Obamacare come the Fall campaign.

Get ready for it.  Get ready for it to be the issue Romney avoids like the plague, and Obama is already testing the waters of his campaign on that basis.  (More on that later.)  The thing to realize is that the Romney campaign and all of its myriad establishment surrogates are making a big push to kill this process off before they get to the states in which he’ll be weak.  More, the Etch-a-Sketch remark is doing substantial damage because it taps into what many conservatives worried about Romney from the outset: He’s ideologically flimsy at best, and I would argue simply vacuous.  While none of the writers who contacted me on Thursday on Romney’s behalf admitted or purported to be part of the Romney official campaign, I noticed none of them were subscribers to this blog either.  That’s the giveaway, along with the very narrow window in which all the emails arrived. Conservatives shouldn’t permit themselves to be bullied by the Romney campaign.   You can bet I won’t.