Posts Tagged ‘GOP Nomination’

Loser 2.0: One Question for GOP Establishment Types

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

Version 2.0 Can't Win Either

In a recent article, I mentioned it briefly, but I don’t think that I have made the point explicitly enough. The GOP establishment, and all its myriad shills in the media along with their numerous allies on the left tell us that Mitt is inevitable by virtue of his wins in New Hampshire, Florida, and Nevada, and his second-place finishes in Iowa and South Carolina.  I’m now faced with a question born of two problems I see with his victories, and I wonder if the GOP establishment would be willing to explain them.  At present, Romney has a vast financial advantage over even the best of his competitors, and the support he’s been getting from SuperPACs is a big part of that advantage. In a general election, Romney won’t enjoy such an advantage over President Obama. Those states in which he now exploits a home turf advantage over fellow Republicans because he is the more liberal won’t necessarily be an advantage in the general election.

I think his win in Florida and second-place in Iowa owe entirely to the money, when you look at the how asymmetrical the spending had been in those states.  New Hampshire was home turf, and arguably, so was Nevada. South Carolina could be said to be home turf for Gingrich, but remember Romney had a large lead there for weeks.  The problem is that Romney’s advertising advantage was not so huge, and Gingrich’s good week in the debates helped seal Mitt Romney’s fate.  I still don’t understand how he or other establishment types can contend that he’s the most electable, however, because I can do the math too.

Let’s take a state for examination that has not yet held its primary:  Massachusetts.  One would expect that since he was governor there, he might have a significant advantage, at least in the primary.  It’s his home turf after all, and besides, Massachusetts is a liberal state.  As the most liberal Republican in this race by a clear margin, one would expect that he’d have an easy win there, and he probably will – in the primary.  Once we clear the nomination process, who in the GOP establishment believes Mitt can beat Obama in the Bay State? What amount of money will he spend there on advertising?  He shouldn’t need to spend much, as name recognition should be his friend there, if nowhere else.  Yet in the primary, he may need to spend a goodly sum in advertising there to attack his rivals, and tamp them down.

This simply doesn’t add up to victory in November, despite the countless stories proclaiming Romney’s inevitability.  In all those states, particularly in the South, where he will need to spend tremendous sums to capture the primary victory, or like in South Carolina, finish second, he will not motivate the base of the party this fall.  You know it.  I know it.  Mitt Romney knows it.  Romney is so uninspiring that in fact he might manage to lose states like Texas in the general election.  In the Northeast, where his policy positions are more palatable to voters, they are such deeply blue states that Obama can win them by simply running a competent campaign while show-casing Romney’s flip-flops.  Romney will not carry New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and may be sorely challenged to win in Maine and New Hampshire.  He will not capture California, Oregon, or Washington on the West Coast.  He will not capture Minnesota or Illinois, and probably not Ohio or Michigan. Even with his good showing there, he may not pull Florida over in a general election.

This leaves you with just the Southern states, and the states of the Great Plains and the Rockies, along with the Southwest.  These will be contests in which the base matters, but Mitt Romney does not appeal to the base.  He will surely carry a number of these in close races, but he will not carry enough, and with the weight of the northeast hammering him, and the West Coast anchoring Obama, there is no way I can see Mitt Romney winning without being able to saturate the airwaves with  negative ads as he’s currently doing, state-by-state, with Gingrich.  He won’t be able to do this against Obama.  Obama will rule the airwaves with his ads, as his war-chest far exceeds whatever Romney will muster.

The takeaway here is that having a distinct money advantage over his more conservative rivals does not and will not translate into victory over Obama in November, because he will have no such advantage, and in fact may be on the receiving end of a similar disparity in campaign cash.  If you believe that some Republican voters are too easily swayed by such ads, don’t ponder too long how so-called “independents” or “moderates” can be pushed by such campaigns, never mind the liberal voters. In such a race, Mitt Romney cannot win, and he won’t.  To win, the Republicans must nominate a candidate whose sole advantage is something other than money over his Republican rivals.  That candidate must have a clear and understandable agenda, and an ability to convey it with an unremitting passion that transcends money, and if you’re waiting for Romney to break out with that, you’re in for a very long wait, indeed.

Realizing this, Republicans who have any hope of defeating Obama must hop off the Romney train now.  We haven’t another four years to wait in the wake of another presidential loser.  If we hope to win, and to undo Obamacare, and to capture the Senate and strengthen our numbers in both houses of Congress, we must nominate somebody else, like Gingrich, or maybe even Santorum.  The problem is that we’ve been here before, and by now we should all have the t-shirts.  Winning in 2012 will be impossible with Mitt Romney, and our desire to unite the party should not obscure our vision of this fact.

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Political Deal-Making: Does It Matter to You?

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

It's a Deal! Or Is It?

The old lament about the legislative process contends that it’s like making sausage, in that while the final product may taste great, the process of making it can be downright ugly.  In politics, that’s frequently the case too, as people make back-room deals for support and endorsements and future patronage jobs, and for conservatives, it all begins to take on a stench that has nothing in common with sausage.  We see the deals after they’re made by the politicians we once admired, and they seem to be speaking on behalf of us, but at no time do they seem ever to ask our opinions, and there’s a presumption about our continuing support when they change directions.  The recent story about Ron Paul is an example of this sort of thing, wherein what he may be angling for with his current campaign may not be the presidency, but something much less important.  If that’s the case, it makes one wonder what other sort of deals may have yet to be brokered or revealed as we race on toward the nomination.

We all like our politicians to be pure in this regard, and whatever our political stripe or whomever our particular candidates, we want to know that they will stand staunchly and mostly implacable against political tides and trends rather than rushing out to meet them, in seeming surrender to what may turn out to be a political fad.  This has been one of the knocks against Newt Gingrich, for example, as he sat on the couch with Nancy Pelosi to talk about “global warming” just a year before the ClimateGate scandal poked the theory full of ethical and logical holes over rigged science and nasty backroom politics.  Of course, Gingrich is hardly alone on this score, and there are some who still claim to be aboard on the issue.  For instance, Mitt Romney still insists Global Warming is real despite the mounting evidence of pseudo-science with a political agenda, but now he allows that perhaps it’s not man-caused after all.  These sorts of shifts really drive conservatives crazy, because we see this as revelatory of a lack of clear principles, or worse, the tendency to become suckers for fads.

One friend asked me if it wasn’t true that they all make deals, and I told him that most do as a matter of practicality.  For instance, Ronald Reagan accepted George HW Bush as his VP nominee after a bitterly fought campaign.  You and I might have had some trouble doing that, because we’d have seen the elder Bush as part of the trouble the party faces, and it is true that by the end of the second term, the Bush clan’s influence was on the rise, and frequently caused trouble for Reagan.  Nevertheless, he did so in an attempt to unite what had been a very divided party in another fractious primary campaign season.  It helped bring the establishment a little way back into the fold, which helped to get their money for the campaign, but did not give them all the power they wanted.  Would you say of Reagan that he had been too compromising, or would you contend like so many others that he had the wisdom of a statesman in choosing George Bush?  The fact that he won doesn’t prove anything, except that his decision was at least as valid in electoral results as any alternative we might now imagine.

As we push forward into the campaign season of 2012, we’re beginning to see alliances form and take shape.  We’ve seen a number of significant endorsements, and a few voter “recommendations,” but the season is young and I expect we will yet see many more.  There are those who are scrambling to leap into bed with Mitt Romney, and while they may see it as an expediency they cannot avoid, voters will watch with great interest, particularly conservatives, to see who ultimately sides with whom. The irony in these situations always happens later, when it something happens along the way to upset the conventional wisdom now in force.  For instance, at present, many see Romney as “inevitable,” but a few weeks like the last one, filled with gaffes and reversals will be enough to perhaps cause him to crash and burn.  In that case, you must then wonder if we arrive at the convention with somebody other than Romney as the front-runner, what will happen to those who had earlier supported him?  They will change to support the nominee in most cases, but they’ll be left to explain why they picked the loser first in such a scenario, calling into question the value of their support.

Conservatives at once hope the rare politicians they admire will choose wisely, and keep their powder dry until there’s no alternative but to speak up or go down to defeat, and we may soon approach that moment when a whole parade of endorsements either fall on Mitt Romney or go elsewhere.  When that happens, it will be either a sign of an open war within the GOP or a sign that the battle has entered a nervous internal cease-fire in order to first defeat Barack Obama.  In honesty, I hope for the former, because I’m not satisfied yet that we have a candidate who can withstand what Obama will heap on him, and I don’t think we’ve yet seen more than a small sample of what Obama will be willing to do.  For now, Obama is focusing on Romney, and expending a lot of time, effort and money tackling him.  If Romney turns out not to be our nominee, Obama will have chased along the wrong trail and that by itself will have given us something about which to laugh.

I think we shall see deals, promises, and all sorts of things happen before this primary season concludes, and while this is a sore spot for many conservatives who can smell a compromise of our principles from a mile away, at the same time we must at least consider the long view, and measure them each on the basis of their merits.  We will ultimately be happy with some, and disappointed by some more, but it won’t matter if we win.  On the other hand, if our nominee loses, today’s deal-making will cause no shortage of political blood-letting later, as the blame-game begins.  Win, lose or draw, I believe that on the day after the election, we may see whatever war was paused within the party re-ignite with new fervor, and I must say that I am keen for that fight.  Like most conservatives, I think there has been far too much compromising of principles along the way, and that has landed us in our current national predicament.   Our movement needs to begin to reassert itself not only at the polls, but in elected office.  We need to develop an under-card of newcomers who we can promote and move in, and those that warrant it will eventually move up, but along the way, there will be deals made.  Make no mistake about it.  The question for conservatives must be:  What are the terms, and at what point does the palate-pleasing become something we can no longer stomach?

What Turned South Carolina for Newt?

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Newt's Night

It’s clear that Newt Gingrich really man-handled the media, and this by itself is probably the largest factor in his overcoming what had been a significant deficit in the polls just more than a week ago.  Even early this week, Drudge continued to run stories of polls in which Romney led Gingrich by double digits in South Carolina.  There were four things that fundamentally changed this, four events really, and there is no denying that these led to Gingrich’s success in the Palmetto state, where it looks as though Gingrich will have won there with more than 40% of the vote.  That’s a rousing turnaround, with Mitt showing in the high twenties, followed by Santorum, and then Paul farther back in the teens.  Let us examine the four major game-changers that put Gingrich over the top.

The first significant boost for Newt Gingrich was his debate performance on Monday night. His public demolition of Juan Williams’ premise simply made him the runaway winner in that debate.  He was sharp, and at times afire, and it surely seemed he brought passion to explaining why work is important to the very real question of human dignity, as seen through the eyes of conservatives. It was not insignificant that on the evening, Romney seemed trapped, and cold, and distant, and his few warm moments seemed to fade as they went on.  Gingrich, in stark contrast exuded the confidence of his convictions, and this permitted him to start the week out with a big win.

The next event that had significant impact, and the one that may have really turned the ship around most quickly was when on Tuesday evening, in an interview with Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin said she would vote for Newt Gingrich if she was a voter in South Carolina.  This was a signal to many who had hoped Palin would enter that they ought to vote for Gingrich, and from that moment forward, you could see a shift in momentum that ran through the day and on into Wednesday, until the big ABCNews smear of Gingrich broke on Drudge.  It threatened to stop him cold, but a few things happened that caused the story to be insignificant.

The first thing that really prevented Newt from getting too terribly hammered over the ABC story was that voters were suspicious, but they were moved to double suspicion when on Thursday morning, Rick Perry withdrew from the race, and promptly endorsed Newt Gingrich. This stopped the bleeding long enough for the last major event that turned things for Gingrich.

The Thursday night debate merely provided Gingrich an opportunity to respond, but also to deal harshly with the media. His rough treatment of CNN’s John King, followed by statements fro the other candidates more or less in support of Gingrich’s statement, but later capped off by the airing of the Marianne Gingrich interview that provided no new revelations. Combined with the fact that he had clearly won the debate over a rattled Mitt Romney, this set the Newt train rolling at full force again, and it’s clear that it never looked back.

Of all these factors, one in particular stands out in my view, because until Palin made her statement on the matter of for whom she would vote if she was a South Carolina resident, Newt’s debate performance had turned some heads, but hadn’t got the momentum going thoroughly.  It was after Palin made her statement that things started to turn in Newt’s favor, and voters clearly started crossing over to his side.  Skepticism of the media in conservative quarters sustained him through the story until he could punctuate the matter Thursday night, but what got voters going in his direction was the Mama Grizzly, and you’d better believe Gingrich knows it, and in fact gave her credit for it earlier.

South Carolina Primary: Poll

Saturday, January 21st, 2012

Palmetto State Polls

As voters in the Palmetto State head to the polls on Saturday morning, I thought it would be interesting to put up a some poll questions, not only for South Carolinians, but for readers generally.  Obviously, there’s quite a lot at stake in this small southern state, but given the media focus on the contest, and all the controversies that have surrounded it, size seems not to be an issue.  Candidates have been pressing the flesh and volunteers have been working overtime, as the media bombardment of advertising has hit an all-time record, not only in the sheer volume of it, but also in terms of the content.  By many accounts, this has been one of the nastiest campaigns people on the ground in South Carolina can remember.

Many will be happy when this day comes and goes, so their phones will stop ringing with robo-calls and their mailboxes will contain anything other than the SuperPAC junk mail that has been flooding the state.  Finally, they’ll  be able to turn on the television without being bombarded by political ads,and we will know who this state has chosen.

Here are three poll questions for you, and I will reveal the results after the polls close in South Carolina.

Mitt’s “Ooops” Moment in Debate

Friday, January 20th, 2012

The "Oooops" Moment

If you missed last night’s debate, you missed a good one. At one point, Mitt Romney was answering one question, and then had to return to another, and seemed to lose track of it.  There was an awkward moment, and he stammered, and looked pleadingly at Newt, who shrugged and actually bailed Mitt out by making a joke, giving Romney time to recover. Romney then went on to attack Gingrich in his answer to the question he finally remembered.

Here was Mitt Romney’s Perry-like “ooops” moment:

You can read complete coverage of Thursday’s South Carolina CNN Debate, complete with video, here.

Chicken-Mitt? Romney Considers Abandoning Debates

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

HotAir is reporting that Mitt Romney may bow out of any further debates.  After Monday night’s performance, I can’t say I blame him, but I think this will play into Newt Gingrich’s hands if the former speaker is up to the chore, because if the front-runner won’t participate, one has to ask if he deserves to the title.  I can’t imagine that working out well, and it also means that if the debates go on without him, he’ll be giving them unchallenged air time to say anything and everything they wish to say about him, with no response.  I think that Mitt is gambling that without the front-runner, the debates will be canceled, but I think that’s a poor gamble, and one that’s apt to see him fall rapidly from front-runner status to third or worse.  What it really hints at is Mitt’s tendency to be a sore loser, and if that idea catches fire, it will end his campaign in a short order.  If he’s really the front-runner, he can’t afford for that theme to build, but he also can’t afford another sorry performance like the one he put in on Monday night.  I think it’s come down to a case of picking his poison.

The Washington Examiner makes this observation, and I think it’s something the Romney campaign shouldn’t ignore:

“The problem for Romney is that even if some in the campaign are tired of debates, the viewers — the voters — aren’t.  Television ratings for the debates have been quite high all year, and it’s likely that trend will continue for the South Carolina debates.  In addition, even at this late date, a lot of voters are just now tuning in to the Republican race.  In a casual conservation Sunday, a top South Carolina Republican recalled an extended-family dinner over Christmas in which he asked relatives whether they had watched the debates.  No one in the family — several dozen people — had watched even one.  Now, with the campaign in their state, they’re taking a look.”

This is undeniably true.  Many people are  just beginning to tune into the debates, and the entire primary process.  This is why I have argued that much of this is foolish, and that the long campaign throughout 2011 was largely an exercise in futility.   One could make the case quite easily that it  certainly didn’t help Bachmann, Cain, Huntsman, or for that matter, Rick Perry, who would have done well to have avoided some of the earlier debates.  Part of this is driven by the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Florida.  Candidates believe that with all the emphasis in the media on these states, they have no choice but to be in it for the long haul.  At this rate, the next presidential election cycle will start in 2014, but not end until 2016.  Much of this is driven by media, and most of these people, apart from gaining some of the much-needed name recognition really would be better off with a shorter season.

If Romney checks out on the debates, it may be his undoing, but too many performances like Monday might likewise spell doom for his campaign.  It’s “damned if you do, and damned if you don’t,” but if I were Romney, I would gamble on my ability to at least hold steady in the debates rather than hope I wouldn’t be seen as an arrogant spoil-sport who’s walking off the field before game’s end.

Christie Tells Oprah He’ll Be More Ready for Presidency in 2016

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Christie Sits Down With Winfrey

Those of you who are Romney supporters, like Governor Chris Christie, will need to explain this to me: Why would Chris Christie say he’d be more ready for the Presidency in 2016 if he thinks Mitt Romney will win in 2012?  To me, that’s a kind of admission that he doesn’t have much confidence in the man for whom he has been a constant campaign companion over the last two months.  If Chris Christie’s whole heart and mind is all-in for Mitt, why this talk of his own readiness for 2016?  Let me suggest an answer:  Chris Christie knows what I know, and what the GOP establishment knows.  It’s clear Mitt Romney cannot win in 2012.

Gov. Chris Christie told Oprah Winfrey in an interview broadcast tonight on OWN that a lot depends on whether he’ll run for president in 2016, but one thing’s for sure: “In terms of me, I’ll be much more ready four years from now,” he said.

Really?  I would think Chris Christie could stand down until at least 2020, since Mitt is going to win, right?  What this really constitutes an admission that Romney will fare no better than McCain, and while I’m certain Christie would deny this had been a confession of his truest thinking on the matter, most of us are already aware that the GOP establishment would rather yield 2012 to Obama than let any conservative win.

Christie went on to say that Barack Obama is one of the “best politicians [he’s] ever seen,” and that Republicans take this election for granted “at their own peril.”  At the same time, he had another description for Romney:

On GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, Christie conceded “he doesn’t really communicate it all that well,” but called him the most qualified candidate for the job.

John McCain was most qualified, too.  So was Bob Dole.  Hell, George HW Bush was holding the job, for goodness’ sake.  Barack Obama wasn’t qualified to walk my garbage can out to the street.  Since when does “qualifications” win an election?  That’s what Romney offers us?  A resumé?  If this is the pig in a poke the establishment wants us to buy, I will have none of it.

Mitt Romney’s Top Contributors

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Thanks to Dan Riehl(@DanRiehl) for tweeting this story.  If you’re not following Dan on Twitter, you might well consider it, as he runs a large number of important daily news stories. The original statistics come from the campaign money tracking site OpenSecrets.org, and I must admit it’s pretty astonishing to see such a list, even for Romney.  What it offers is some insight into where Romney’s support originates.  According to Zerohedge, Mitt Romney’s biggest contributors constitute quite a round-up:

That isn’t exactly a list of Mom and Pop shops, is it?  Nobody should be surprised that this guy doesn’t represent rank and file Republicans. Main Street? Not so much.  Wall Street?  You bet!

What remains to be seen is if all his high-powered contributions will lead to the nomination.  Mitt’s betting that it will, but that really up to you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Romney Can’t Win: It’s Obama-care, Stupid!

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Romney Will Do His Dirty Work

One of the problems with our current Republicans field is that its putative front-runner effectively nullifies the entire issue of Obama-care as an effective election issue on which to defeat Barack Obama.  This is because Mitt Romney’s own Massachusetts health-care reform law, known widely as “Romney-care,” is essentially the forerunner of President Obama’s own signature legislation, known widely as Obama-care.  I need Republicans to listen closely:  If you want to defeat Obama in November, and have any chance of repealing Obama-care, you need to focus on this as an electoral issue in the primaries.

You can talk about the economy, jobs, and all the rest, but there is no single issue on which you have more clear-cut support, and no other issue that has two-thirds of the American populace behind you.  To nominate Mitt Romney is to mute yourselves on this issue, because Romney-care is essentially the same thing.  You won’t win with this lousy contradiction stalking your every step, and until you confront the fact that your best winning issue is Obama-care, you’re doomed.  If in 1992, as James Carville then said, “It’s the economy, stupid,” then in 2012, the refrain must echo in the rafters, if Republicans are to win: “It’s Obama-care, stupid!”

Of course, as Doug Brady over at C4P writes, there’s reason to believe that some in the GOP establishment are increasingly comfortable with the idea of Obama-care remaining the law.  Once you consider that companies contributing to establishment Republicans are happy with the arrangements provided under Obama-care, you start to realize how the fix might well be in.  Ann Coulter has offered that repeal of Obama-care will never happen if Obama is re-elected, and she’s right, but she offers this as rationale for why you should support Mitt Romney.  The problem with this argument on her part is that it is precisely the Romney-supporting establishment wing of the GOP that really wouldn’t mind if Obama-care went into full effect.  Even if they did oppose Obama-care as thoroughly as do most Americans, Mitt is the wrong person to make this case since he actually implemented a plan on the state of Massachusetts that is every bit as crippling to that state’s economy as Obama-care will be to the entire nation, and similarly dictatorial with its individual health insurance mandate.  How will Romney argue with Obama over this?  The simple answer is that he won’t. He can’t. He’s neutered on the issue, and if you pick him as the party’s nominee, it’s over.

Some of you are hoping the Supreme Court will ditch Obama-care, but as Brady links to an article by Andrew McCarthy, it was McCarthy who pointed out back in November that Obama-care may well pass muster before the Supreme Court.  If that disaster occurs, then there will be only one way to overturn that piece of tyrannical legislation and it will be by full repeal by Congress, signed into law by a president.  If that President is still Obama, you can forget it, and if the program stays in place through its full implementation, you can forget it, because nobody will repeal it seven years after-the-fact, just like there was no stopping the other entitlement programs once they were up and running.  This truly is your last chance, and it will depend upon defeating Obama this coming November with a candidate who is a credible opponent to Obama-care, and who will make that a focus of the campaign. Anything else will leave the GOP picking around the margins of a host of issues, but if any of them happen to break in Obama’s favor, he’ll win the day.

There’s no way around this: If you select Romney as the nominee of the Republican party, not only will you never repeal Obama-care, but you will never win the election in November.  Obama has it in his power to rig job numbers, and the expected vote fraud of his legions of illegal immigrants will undoubtedly help him in the fraud at the polls.  Romney will not be able to make the argument against Obama-care, and by last measure of which I am aware, over 60% of the American people want it repealed.  Nominating Romney is Obama’s great hope, because it enables him to neuter the Republicans across the board.  He may even re-take the House, since a losing Romney would certainly offer no coat-tails.

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to shake the trees and rattle the cages: If Mitt Romney is permitted to win the nomination, the country is over.  It’s really as simple as that, and the sooner you grasp how badly Obama wants Romney to be the nominee, the better the chance you will be able to change that outcome, and give Obama something he does not want:  A candidate who will be able to oppose him effectively on his signature legislation, that the vast majority of the American people hate, and want repealed. Just as we shouldn’t permit 20-30% of political thinking in the country dominate our health-care choices, neither should we permit 20-30% of the thinking in the Republican party dominate our electoral choices.  It’s time that we stand up to the threat posed by Romney’s timid, evasive posturing as a conservative, and remind the establishment of the GOP that we are the deciders.  Not them.  No to Obama-care, and no to Romney.  The two go hand-in-hand.

Or hand-in-glove…

Romney Endorsers – A Lot of Money Goes a Long Way

Friday, January 13th, 2012

What Can't Money Buy?

Salon Magazine is certainly a leftwing source, but I think it is wise to know what others are saying if only because you will know how to respond when you find yourself in an inevitable conflict with them.  Occasionally, they can even provide you with a little insight into what is wrong on your side, and in this respect,  Edward Mason of Salon has written an excellent article on the question of Romney’s endorsers, and how the pay-back game is working out for the Mittster.  According to Mason, Romney takes the behind-the-scenes endorsement game “to a whole new level.” It’s a story of the way in which money greases the wheels in politics, and while there’s nothing novel about the fact that it happens, what Mason reports that is different about Romney’s operation is the degree to which it is scripted and is paying dividends in the realm of primary endorsements, because he bought the widespread support in advance.  Mason starts here:

“Money may not be buying Mitt Romney much Republican love, but it’s going a long way toward helping him buy the next best thing: endorsements in the GOP primaries.”

That’s not the half of it.  According to Mason, we can now understand quite well why it is that Gov. Nikki Haley became an early endorser of Romney, despite the fact that she had been a Tea Party favorite:

“South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley came out for Romney last month – a year after his Free and Strong America PACs funneled $36,000 to the Tea Party darling’s 2010 election bid. And 19 state and Washington, D.C., lawmakers in three Super Tuesday states – Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia — are backing Romney after his PAC poured a total of $125,500 into their coffers for elections held in 2009 and 2010.”

What Mason details is the manner in which Mitt has leveraged his contributions into state and local endorsements.  While we can all wonder about the efficacy of endorsements in small numbers, it’s clear that what Romney hopes to accomplish is to get so many endorsements that it will support the notion of an “inevitable nominee,” and thereby overwhelm his adversaries in the primaries.

One of the more stunning revelations in Mason’s informative article is this:

“According to the Federal Election Commission and OpenSecrets.org, the PAC donated $890,299 to some 167 congressional and Senate candidates in 2010, while distributing another $404,226 in 2010 to state and local candidates, according to state campaign finance records collected by FollowTheMoney.org.”

That’s a sizable chunk of cash, and that it was spent in supporting these state and local candidates tells the tale, because quite obviously, they’re now all coming out of the woodwork to endorse Romney.  There’s nothing illegal about any of this, but it’s not the legality of the matter with which should be concerned.  It’s a stunning display of how a well-heeled candidate can buy his way to a nomination, and those who don’t see it coming are in for a terrible surprise.  It’s small wonder he’s got such an advantage in early states, and it’s now clear why the schedule moved up:  Romney intends to close this down, and fast, lest conservative voters realize they’ve been led down the garden path by a campaign that has been playing hardball since its defeat in 2008.  Romney may have lost last time out, but this time, he’s throwing everything he has at the endeavor, and has been since almost immediately after his 2008 defeat at the hands of John McCain, and so far, it’s paying off.

Read Mason’s article. If you didn’t understand how this works, this will clear it up.

Flashback: Are the Post-Defeat Planners Still In Charge?

Monday, January 9th, 2012

It was just a week shy of the 2008 election, and The American Spectator was on the job.  Their Washington Prowler column included some interesting tid-bits we might be interested to recall as we rush head-long toward an “inevitable” Romney coronation as the party’s nominee to face Barack Obama in 2012.  The important part of this column on 27 October, 2008 included the subheading “Romney anti-Palin.”  A diligent reader reminded me of this story, and so with increased interest, I now pass it along to you.  The gist of it was that Romney’s campaign crew, some of them employed by McCain-Palin after Romney’s nomination defeat, were working frantically even in advance of the 2008 election to undermine Palin’s future prospects because they saw her as the biggest obstacle to a Romney coronation in 2012.  Of course, the truth with Willard “Mitt” Romney is that there is always somebody propping him up, or doing his dirty work so he can remain cleanly unconnected to all the behind-the-scenes dirty-work that goes on.  He’s admitted that he’s fine with dirty political ploys, effectively arguing “that’s the way it is,” and the expedient reflexes of Romney’s campaign style may yet work.

There have been suggestions by some that Romney actively tried to undermine McCain after losing the nomination fight with him in 2008, actually working to see to it that McCain-Palin would not be elected in order to have an opportunity again in 2012.  While that may be a bit of a reach, and surely more difficult to substantiate, what’s clear is that the Romney crew did seek to take Palin out of the presumed contender’s spot in 2012.

The following quotes are attributed in the Spectator article to an unnamed Romney aide in 2008, shortly before the election:

“Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won’t be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012,” says one former Romney aide, now working for McCain-Palin. “The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney. He’s in charge on November 5th.”

That’s pretty rough, and exceedingly presumptive with respect to 2012.  The fact that this Machiavellian lot was already working to overcome any Palin candidacy at least as far back as October 2007 certainly says a good deal about how far they were (and still are) willing to go to rig things in their candidate’s favor.

Some of you will remember Kathleen Parker and her snide column acknowledging the existence of God because Palin had decided not to run, but what you must remember about Parker is that she had been a Romney supporter all along, as this bit of excellent journalism by Alec MacGillis demonstrates.  This demonstrates part of the problem with some members of the press:  They may never disclose whose axe they’re grinding when they commence the stone to turning.

Of course, Parker was hardly alone, and certainly not as much an insider that others involved in this little plot had been, including Kevin Madden, Romney’s 2008 Campaign Spokesman, who was out blasting Palin on the eve of the 2008 election.  So where is Madden today?  He works for JDA Frontline, the outfit that laid the groundwork for Romney’s South Carolina insurgency.   Erick Erickson of RedState fame even talked about this, but at the time he wouldn’t, in his own words, “put the finger on Romney” and thought it was merely some of Mitt’s staff.  I wonder if now that Romney’s essentially using the same people, if Erickson might change his view.

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, with Romney the overwhelming favorite, it might be useful also to recall this article in RealClearPolitics, when back in 2008, McCain was upset with Romney for dropping large piles of cash into television ads that his less-wealthy rivals had not the money to refute.  Romney has repeated this tactic with precision by doing the same to Gingrich, throughout the month of December, driving Newt’s numbers down, and Gingrich without the cash to respond.  Of course, the big target where Romney’s supporters have been working overtime is South Carolina, where Romney picked up the endorsement of Governor Nikki Haley.  Haley has been working for Romney’s campaign, making many joint appearances with Romney and generally carrying his water, and yes, there are rumors she’s on Mitt’s short-list for the VP job, or other cabinet posting, and it would make sense as her re-election bid seems less than certain at this point.  In any case, expect Romney to press hard for South Carolina, and expect him to continue to hammer on his opponents on TV, whose advertising budgets aren’t large enough to refute the dishonesty Romney and his pals are spewing.

Romney likes to point out that “that’s politics,” but I’d remind my fellow conservatives that this business cuts both ways.  If a man thinks it is permissible in American politics to lie about one’s opponents because that opponent is less able to effectively respond, this should tell you something about the nature of that man’s character.  What is all too clear is that Romney is willing to damage anybody he needs to harm to win, by whatever means necessary, and we’re well past the point of chalking this up to rogue staff.  True, Romney is an expert at the art of compartmentalizing himself away from direct linkage, but let’s be blunt:  We all know what Romney’s up to and we all know he’s an “ends justify the means” kind of guy.  New Hampshire voters should be reminded of this as we head into that state’s primary. but conservatives in particular should be reminded that this guy plays dirty, and if he’ll do so with people he pretends to like, there’s no telling what betrayals he has in store for you.

The Candidate We Want But Can’t Have

Friday, December 30th, 2011

What You Want?

I’ve spent a good deal of  time looking at all of the Republican candidates, and I’m going to brutally frank and suggest that if this is the best the Republican party can do, it deserves to lose in 2012.  It’s not that each of these candidates are without good ideas, but it is to say that none of them are the complete picture of what a Republican nominee ought to be.  I have resigned myself to the notion that the establishment is going to foist Mitt Romney on us after all.  “He’s inevitable.” Fine.  So is defeat in 2012, if he is to be the party’s nominee.  The simple fact is that it will be “risen-from-poverty Obama who loves the working man and hates the rich,” against “born-to-privilege deal-maker who favors the wealthy and the privileged.”  It will be liberal versus the less-liberal.

Yes, we’re going to get our asses kicked with that.  Just four days from the Iowa caucuses, it seems nothing can save us now.  I don’t take loyalty oaths to political parties, because this isn’t the Soviet Union(yet,) and I see no reason in the world I should pretend to be happy with this slate of candidates.  Perhaps we should look ahead to 2016, with the country in ruins, and wonder what sort of Republican we’d nominate then, if we had the choice, and assuming the party hasn’t introduced nation-wide loyalty oaths by then.

My “perfect candidate” isn’t a perfect human being, but would have a perfectly honorable desire to reform our government and clean up the insider trading, the crony capitalism, and the backroom deals that characterize Washington DC.  I have found over my lifetime that while there are no infallible humans, people can possess an infallible devotion to choosing the right over the wrong given the best available information.  Such a candidate would not be indebted to the party establishment, or the media, and would simply govern according to the ideal that one ought to do what is right, even if it isn’t what is easy.  Right by what standard?  By the uniquely American standard described by those principles enshrined in our Constitution. That candidate would hold the Congress to its appointed constitutional role, and would nominate judges who actually revere our founding documents more than foreign precedents, or the meandering sentiments defined by their personal policy preferences. Most of all, that candidate would have the intellectual and moral soundness to simply say: “No.”

My  favored candidate would turn the government in defense of individual rights again, and would begin the process of restoring government to its original, limited purpose as the guarantor of those rights, and not the primary oppressor of them.  That candidate would sign a repeal of Obamacare, and strip it from the law, and reverse the trend of ever-larger governmental intrusions into our lives. That candidate would happily repeal the coming ban, starting Sunday, on incandescent light bulbs.  That candidate would tell the regulatory agencies involved that they have no business telling Americans how much water per flush their toilets must use.

My kind of candidate would have a solid record of governmental reform, but also a firm grasp on foreign affairs.    That candidate would use the military might of the United States sparingly, only when justified, and only to the degree it had been in America’s national interests, but not because some imbeciles at NATO or the UN had thought it politically expedient.  Such a candidate would understand that to permit an attack upon Israel would be to open the door to a global conflict in which many Americans would lose their lives.

My preferred candidate would place a high value on creating and maintaining the conditions necessary for all Americans to achieve prosperity, but would also understand the reality that not all Americans will attain it.  That candidate would insist on a sound monetary policy, and would institute fiscal restraint, with liberal use of the veto pen when necessary, to reduce and reverse the accumulation of public debt.  Such a candidate would know that each dollar printed reduces the value of all the others in existence, and thereby steal their value from all the men and women who have worked so hard to acquire them.

My ideal candidate would know that there is no way to have a country without controlled borders, and that the path to citizenship begins at the back of the line, just as it has for generations.  Such a candidate would know that America can grow and prosper by immigration, but it can only be diminished by the illegal variety, and that to reward the latter is to punish every person who has played by the rules.

My chosen candidate knows that America runs on energy, and that we cannot grow our economy and forge real prosperity while restricting the supply of the power that runs it.  That candidate would understand that every additional penny poured into our fuel tanks is a penny not spent on improving our lots in life, and would also know that to restore our nation would require an America that had been fueled to success by developing its own natural resources.

These are some of the things that constitute my own notion of an ideal candidate.  I don’t expect perfection, but if a candidate wants my vote for the highest office in the land, that person is required to be substantially better than Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry and Huntsman.  Please don’t bother me about Donald Trump.  I mention him here only inasmuch as I don’t want anybody to offer him up as an alternate.  Each of these have their virtues, but none of them round out the picture of what a president ought to be.  At this moment, I find I am unable to support any of them, and I don’t believe there remains anything that I could learn about any one of these that would make me think substantially more of them.  I can see lethal flaws in all of them, and when I consider who the nominee will be called upon to oppose in the general election, I know that as imperfect a candidate as Barack Obama may be, he will be difficult if not impossible for any of these candidates to defeat.

A Republican nominee that would have any serious hope of winning would need to be clearly different in every measurable way from Barack Obama, but sadly, I can go through the list of the seven now running and find too many ways in which he’ll be able to deflect criticism by virtue of similarities:

How can Romney escape Romneycare?  How can he avoid that subject while campaigning to repeal Obamacare?  He cannot.  How can Ron Paul argue that his foreign policy is substantially different, or will make America more safe than Obama’s?  It’s not possible.  How can Newt Gingrich claim that Obama is too much like a Harvard professor and too much unlike a common sense American?  He cannot.  How will Rick Santorum argue that he’s substantially better than Obama on earmarks when his own career was spent gathering them for his own state?  He will not.  How will Michele Bachmann point out Obama’s lack of executive experience?  She dare not.  How will Rick Perry pretend that his own crony capitalism had been fine, but Barack Obama’s Solyndra mess had not?  He’ll be laughed out of the room.  How will Jon Huntsman criticize the foreign policy of a President who chose Huntsman to be an ambassador to China?  The contradiction alone would destroy him.

This is the state of your field, and if you’re satisfied with it, let me tell you flatly that I am not.  I am mindful of the sort of candidate I would prefer, and cannot find evidence that such a candidate exists in this field.  If only it were possible by some cosmic magic to create a composite candidate from the best traits of all these, one might begin to construct the sort of candidate I envision, but sadly, this is not a world in which such wishes come true.  As it stands, there is a movement of people who seem to believe much the same thing, and many of them are now engaged in what they’ve termed the Sarah Palin Iowa Earthquake, and their hope is to caucus for the former Alaska governor based on the notion that they can make a show substantial enough to convince her to reconsider her decision, as announced on the 5th of October, 2011.

This group consists of a number of very passionate people who strongly believe that Governor Palin represents the sort of leader I’ve described, but like me, they heard her announcement on October 5th, but it seems they’re not taking “no” for an answer.  Myself, I have great sympathies with the members of this group inasmuch as I have thought for more than three years that Palin represents the right kind of leader to restore our nation, but I also have some ethical problems demanding that somebody else seek a job I know I would never be willing to seek, and that I acknowledge I would never wish to hold.  In short, who am I to ask of Sarah Palin what I would not voluntarily undertake, and what I know would be a grueling and difficult task under the best of times, never mind the dire circumstances in which we now find our nation?

Others have noticed the insufficiency of the current field as well, including William Kristol and a number of other pundits, but what I find astonishing is that while they all know the answer, few of them dare say it:  Sarah Palin has the ability to unite the party and go to victory in November, because she knows how to motivate the best in the people who would follow her lead.  Her record exemplifies the characteristics most conservative Americans seek in their standard-bearer.   I realize this will not sit well with some of the establishment mindset who think her time has passed, and that she ought to remain quietly in Alaska, and come out only to rally folks for Tea Party events, but that’s not what the rank-and-file are thinking.  Even now, the Iowa Earthquake Group is running ads in that state to convince people to caucus for Palin.  The fact that this effort has gained so much traction should offer at least a glimpse of how committed they are to this cause, and how thoroughly disappointed they’ve been with a slate of candidates they see as a less than worthy.

I will take Palin’s answer of October 5th as gospel unless and until she says otherwise.  As I’ve mentioned, I have resigned myself to a shocking defeat at the hands of a man who shouldn’t have earned one term as President, never mind two.  I have resigned myself to the fact that John Boehner and the House Republicans will make it increasingly difficult to send them additional support in November, and I wonder if the Senate is now attainable at all, not because we haven’t the people, but because with the GOP’s nominee to come from this list of choices, I cannot see how that candidate will have positive coat-tails. More importantly, if that candidate cannot get the base out to the polls, I don’t see any way to win in the down-ballot races. If that turns out to be the case, I do not see how we will restore the country, or even stem the tide.

It’s for these reasons that I do not look with relish upon the coming campaign.  I look at the efforts of those hard-charging Sarah Palin Earthquake folks in Iowa, and elsewhere, and I think maybe they’ve got the right idea, even if their chosen candidate ultimately refuses.  I don’t see any way to victory with the slate of candidates we now have.  Like Bill Kristol, I now believe for Republicans to win the White House in 2012, something dramatic and different is necessary.  The Republican party needs a candidate for whom the conservative base is willing to wage a veritable war.  Many still believe Sarah Palin is that candidate, but until she changes her mind, we’re going to be left with a list of hopefuls about which we have little or no enthusiasm.  It’s impossible to fake it, and you really can’t build a winning campaign simply as a matter of opposing somebody you allege is worse.  2012 may turn out to be the year of the candidate we wanted, but couldn’t have, and if so, it is likely to be another of those critical times in American history when second-best simply wouldn’t do, and predictably didn’t.

Mitt Romney Is a Big Government Stooge

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

What to Wear When You're Shoveling BS

I’ve had just about enough of those who would like to pretend that Willard “Mitt” Romney is anything but a big government stooge.  American conservatives should run from this man as if they’d stumbled upon a leper colony.  There’s simply no excuse for the pretense we here from those in the GOP establishment that this man is a conservative.  In this video of an interview with Romney on Wednesday, what is revealed is that he still favors governmental mandates for health insurance.  Once again, Romney argues that his is a position of fiscal responsibility, and personal responsibility, and therefore conservative.  If you believe this is what constitutes conservatism, you’ve been horribly misinformed, or you’re dishonest, and I will not permit this lie to go further.  Let us be clear that when government mandates anything upon the individual, it is fundamentally restricting their rights, and arrogating to itself the choices people ought to be able to make in a free market.

What Romney offers here is just socialist bilge, clothed in a statist’s lies, and it’s time to put an end to it.  Watch the video, H/T Rich Lowry at National Review:

Hogwash!  Let’s consider briefly what he has said in this interview.  Romney offers that since the people of Massachusetts still favor his healthcare plan by a ratio of three-to-one, we should assume this is a good program.  In a state where more than 60% of the electorate leans Democrat, and only 26% lean Republican, what Romney has just admitted is that Democrats in Massachusetts support his healthcare plan, because 60-26 is already more than two-to-one.  This would be fine if he were challenging Barack Obama for the Democrat nomination, but it is entirely unbelievable unacceptable for a candidate seeking the Republican nomination.  Who expects Willard to repeal Obamacare?  Not I.  No approximately conservative person can view his justification of the Massachusetts mandate and fail to notice that it is merely another socialistic, big-government, welfare-state solution.

He spends most of this clip trying to explain why a mandate is a conservative idea.  It’s not.  A conservative knows that government has absolutely no role in healthcare whatever, unless its for soldiers or veterans.  That’s a conservative reality.  What Willard hopes is that by making this contextual shift, you won’t notice what he’s done in making this claim. He constructs it this way:

Proposition: It is right for individuals to pay their own way.

Conclusion: Then it is right for individuals to be compelled to pay their own way.

This is a ghastly lie. Let’s look at the real logical constructs underlying Mitt’s grotesque characterization and definition of conservatism as applied to this context.  What Romney here pretends is that the government has no choice but to provide goods and services, in this case, health-care, to any who desire it, or who can make some claim of need.  That is a lie. Government may say “no,” at least until people like Mitt Romney run it.  What Romney pretends is that you will be compelled to have insurance so that if you need healthcare, it will be paid for and you will thus not become a burden on tax-payers.  Let us be blunt: The only reason people are permitted to become a burden on tax-payers is because governments and tax-payers(or voters) allow it.  The real conservative solution is not to mandate healthcare coverage, but to begin the much more important and difficult chore of telling people “no.”

When Romney pretends his healthcare mandate is “conservative,” he’s lying, and he knows it.  I will not support Mitt Romney for any office, whether dog catcher or President, because he is a liar.  When you see politicians making these sorts of statements, you know they are avoiding something, and in this case, it is the real underlying question: Why do you think anybody ought to pay for your healthcare?  That is the first question an actual conservative must ask, and any jack-ass in a suit can propose mandates in the face of false suppositions about who ought to pay.

Health-care mandates aren’t conservative.  What they are is a method by which to get some who use little healthcare to pay for the healthcare of those who’d rather not pay, but it’s been all dressed up in the costume of personal responsibility.  Here’s personal responsibility:  No pay? No healthcare!  That’s conservatism.  That’s the free market.  That’s what I expect politicians to tell people, because it’s the truth.  Anything else is a lot of tyranny, and we have too much of that as it is.

Romney is no conservative, and I each time he claims to be one, I am going to point this out as another reminder of why he is nothing more or less than a big government stooge.   Romney’s healthcare mandate in Massachusetts is one reason conservatives must not support him, but the greater and more important reason to reject Romney is because he’s lying.   Conservatism doesn’t use pretenses like this to sell bad ideas that destroy liberty by their implementation, and actual conservatives know better.  At least, this one does.

 

A Question of Morality

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Whose Moral Standard?

I’ve heard a great deal of panting, breathless speaking by various conservative pundits who point to Ron Paul’s statements, as late as 2009, that he wouldn’t have sent troops to fight Hitler, even if he’d known about the camps where Jews, gypsies, and others were being starved, tortured and murdered.  On its face, most people will gasp at the thought that anybody would seek to intervene, and almost immediately, conclusions are drawn about Ron Paul’s moral character on this basis, fueled by an emotional reflex, but often without considering it fully.  I find it interesting because it offers us an opportunity to learn about Ron Paul, his supporters, and his critics, and it gives us a chance to consider what we believe.  The premise put forth by so many commentators is that Paul’s position is an exercise in moral abdication, while a few note that he maintains his philosophical consistency.  Who’s right? Is it possible that both are correct?  It’s important to understand the moral underpinnings of Ron Paul’s position before we leap into the fray and join in condemnations of him, if for no other reason than because we hate this sort of thing when it is done to us or the candidates who we support.

Many people screech about the “moral implications,” but before we can answer that, we must first ask:  “Whose morality?”  Or: “Of what does that moral code consist?” This is key to understanding Ron Paul. Here is the question and answer at controversy:

And so I asked Congressman Paul: if he were President of the United States during World War II, and as president he knew what we now know about the Holocaust, but the Third Reich presented no threat to the U.S., would he have sent American troops to Nazi Germany purely as a moral imperative to save the Jews?

And the Congressman answered:

“No, I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t risk American lives to do that. If someone wants to do that on their own because they want to do that, well, that’s fine, but I wouldn’t do that.”

Ron Paul is a libertarian, and the first thing to know about libertarians is that they believe first and foremost in individual rights.  To understand how this position makes for completely different judgments on issues such as the question of Paul’s statements about Hitler, we must first understand how his moral context differs entirely from that which has been deemed the conventional wisdom on the matter.  Most people hold that it was right to intervene in Europe in the second World War, if for no other reason than to put an end to Hitler’s campaign of ruthless destruction waged against the Jewish people of Europe.  The position is that such a thing should never be permitted in a civilized world, and that from the moment Hitler commenced his holocaust, every nation had a moral obligation to attack his death machine.  This is the moral context we understand, and most of us accept in uncritical agreement.

What does such a position require?  For starters, it meant mobilizing armies and armed forces of every description against the Nazi war machine.  What does that entail?  It meant building ships, planes, tanks, rifles and machine-guns in gargantuan numbers, and it meant supplying them to our allies as well.  It meant spending vast sums of money that the American taxpayer would work for generations to repay.  It meant drafting young men into the armed forces, and compelling them to take up arms against a distant enemy.  These are the direct necessities of such a war.  This is not imagination, or pondering, but the blunt fact of what was done.  Now, let us consider all of these things through the moral lens with which Ron Paul and other libertarians consider it.

Only a statist mind views one man’s life as the means to its own ends.  By this method, one could call anything a “moral imperative” according to a particular moral standard, and demand that others serve those standards.  What Ron Paul and other libertarians assert is that one person has no right to make such moral determinations for another.  For instance, and as only one of endless possible examples, consider this formulation:  Imagine in 1942, you’re a robust eighteen-year-old male, and you’re working your way through college working at the grain mill in your small town.  You receive a draft notice in the mail, ordering you to report for duty at some location, to serve in the Army.  Stop.  We enacted an amendment that makes slavery or indentured servitude illegal.  That Amendment, the thirteenth, reads simply:

Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

On what basis can you be drafted into anything?  Please demonstrate for me that portion of the United States Constitution that permits conscription on any basis whatsoever.  The constitution only mentions that Congress may “raise and support Armies,” but nowhere is Congress granted the authority of conscription.  If it had, the 13th Amendment would make it illegal, having amended whatever came before it.

On this basis, I ask you again:  According to what moral imperative may you demand of a young man that he place himself in harm’s way, though he may not agree with your moral judgments, or the object of your moral imperative?  Would you then demand, as a statist does, that the young man place his future in the service of your purposes?  Ron Paul’s stated position is that as President, he would not.  This goes a long way to explaining why so many of his supporters are young men who have only recently been compelled against their better judgment to register with the Selective Service.

You might argue that they have a moral obligation even if they’re too young or unwise to know it.  I’d say to you that this is no better an argument than leftists who tell me daily how we ought pay more taxes to support the welfare state, as an act in accordance with a moral imperative I am too stupid to recognize, so they say.  Just as I reject the leftists’ claims of a moral imperative whereby I work away my life in service of their moral ends, I likewise find myself rejecting those claims wherever they arise, and from whomever may give them voice.  I am not fodder for anybody’s ends, and neither is anybody else, and yet what people are insisting about Ron Paul is that he’s abandoning morality.  I ask only: Whose morality?

Now come those who will point out “but hey, Mark, you were in the Army, and you served at the leisure of the Commander-in-Chief.”  This is true, but when I enlisted, I did so for my own purposes.  I believed that if I wanted to live in a free country, I ought to help bear that burden.  In short, I was willing for a time to pay the price associated with the freedoms we enjoy.  Still, none of my four brothers ultimately shared that view, but my sister did.  Among the six of us children, only the eldest and the youngest chose that course.  Do I consider my four brothers who did not serve to be lesser men?  No.  I know that such matters must be a question of one’s own internal moral choosing.

This is the argument, therefore, at the heart of Ron Paul’s statement about whether he would have sent men to war only to stop the holocaust underway in Europe.  Paul, to his credit, remained true to his philosophy, which is to say it would have been more popular to say “Yes, I’d have sent Patton to personally kick Adolph Hitler’s backside.”  It also would be to abandon what Ron Paul believes about choice, and the individual rights of all people. The question his position poses is this:  What right does a President have to make this life-altering decision on behalf of others, for purposes and ends that may not serve those others at all? By what right do you claim the authority to send others to fight your moral battles?

Now, rest assured that Ron Paul’s notions don’t end there.  He would tell you that even had every serviceman been a volunteer, ready to go off to war in order to liberate the Jews being tormented and murdered under Hitler’s boot, still he would not have sent them only for this purpose.  You might ask why, and I will tell you that he views the money taken in taxes to support such an effort as involuntary, and in this respect, no less egregious in moral terms.  When the government comes to collect the tax it believes you owe, it isn’t in the form of a plea for support, but instead in the form of a stick-up man with a gun to your head.  Ron Paul’s moral position holds this as a great evil too, but you might be surprised to know that in the main, I agree with him here also.

After all, whether you collect the value of my labor directly, or some time after the fact, if you do so by virtue of compulsory means, it is no less slavery except that in the form of the income tax, I have one bit of choice: I can choose to have no income. What Ron Paul argues, and where I would surely agree, is that it is morally unconscionable to leave a person with the choice:  Produce, and we’ll seize your production;  produce not and we will leave you in peace.  In short, if you are willing to live under a bridge, or as a ward of the state, they will not tax you substantially.

This may all seem far afield from the original thesis of this post, but in truth, it’s no more than a short distance from demanding one’s life in servitude to demanding one’s labor in servitude.  Both signify precisely the same thing: You have not ownership even over your own person.  Realizing this, I’d ask you to re-evaluate Ron Paul’s stance in a light different from what has been presented to you by the mainstream media.  It simply isn’t fair to suggest that Paul takes this position because he harbors some ill will toward Jews, or others.  The simple fact is that he sees no basis for which to demand that others pay with their lives and labors in a purpose not their own.  The founders did not demand other men serve.  George Washington’s army was not comprised of conscripts, but instead only of volunteers.  Various states had a variety of forms of militia requirements, but the United States had no national conscription in any form until the Civil War, a fact that leads many, including Ron Paul, to view Lincoln as a great tyrant.

I recognize that some of this will cause some heartburn among many who consider Ron Paul a “kook” or a “loon” precisely because of statements like his response to the question on Hitler, but I’d urge you to reconsider his position in the full light of the philosophy behind it, even if you disagree.  Remember, Ron Paul is a doctor, and in treating his patients, he is sworn to observe the Hippocratic oath, and “first, do no harm.”  This means that before he can prescribe a course of treatment, he must be sure it will not kill the patient it was intended to treat.  Does a President of the United States impose his desire to save the lives of non-Americans upon the lives of Americans?  This is really what Ron Paul is asserting:  A President of the United States must first serve his own people and their interests, before he worries about the lives and interests of non-Americans, whatever the cause.  It is essentially the same argument we have had over the question of “nation building,” but writ large on the pages of history.  After all, the Marshal Plan was nothing if not nation-building, and so was our occupation of Japan after their surrender.

At the same time, one might ask of those who decry Paul’s position as “heartless” whether we ought not have done as Patton suggested and march on Moscow right after the defeat of Germany.  Stalin was doing as much killing and brutalizing as Hitler, and some time later, Mao did even more.  Why did we not intervene in China?  If “moral imperative” is the reason, why don’t we intervene in Venezuala, or Iran, or Syria, or North Korea, or any of a hundred places in which brutal dictators make chattel of their fellow man? The job of the President of the United States is not to press its war-fighting capabilities to the humanitarian purposes of the moment, but to defend our nation from attack, and take up that cause when it happens.

All of this is a hypothetical exercise, because in truth what I will now be asked is whether I would have made war against Hitler’s Germany were I to be placed in the same proposition.  My answer is simple:  Germany answered the matter for us when after Pearl Harbor, Hitler declared war upon us in accordance with his treaty with the Empire of Japan.  Roosevelt had promised not to send our sons to war, and he was well aware of what was going on in Germany with the “evacuations” of the Jews.  He was stuck until such time as Germany made open war against us, or joined with others who did.  Pearl Harbor settled the matter along with Hitler’s declaration of war, making moot all of these questions in the context at hand.  FDR did not launch war against Hitler to stop the holocaust, and to suggest otherwise is to repaint history with an altruistic brush that never was.  Our liberation of those camps was a side-effect of our eventual victory, but they were not the objective when the corpses of our young  men piled up on the beaches at Normandy, as their blood ran into the English channel.  The more relevant question that still remains to be answered is this, and it is the question I would ask of Ron Paul if I could:

“If you were in place of Franklin Roosevelt, and Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Imperial Navy of Japan, and Hitler and in the aftermath, Mussolini likewise declared war against the United States, would you engage that war?”

Put this way, I wonder if Paul’s answer would be different, and upon that answer rests his suitability for the presidency.  What Americans should want to know is to what degree and under which circumstances Ron Paul would act in defense of the nation.  That’s the role of President.  If we find he is unwilling to take up arms against those who attack us or who openly threaten attack, then he is not suited for the job, but his unwillingness to use the United States military as an instrument of humanitarian objectives makes no breach of that office or its high qualifications in my view.  Would he honor treaties with allies?  Would he protect direct American interests?  Would he defend our nation when attacked, or when attack was imminent?  If he would only do these, that would be satisfactory, because his inclination to think first of American lives is precisely the mindset every soldier who volunteers to serve wants to recognize in a commander-in-chief.

The Virginia Mess and the Establishment’s Gambit

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Rigged for Romney?

I would ask my readers to look around.  You’re being herded, and if you haven’t noticed it yet, you should begin to notice something odd about the events in Virginia, and more, the happenings in the media.  At present, there are to be only two valid candidates on the Virginia Republican primary ballot for the presidential nomination: Willard “Mitt” Romney, and Ron Paul.  All of the others have been disqualified for insufficient valid petition signatures, and while there is a controversy arising surrounding the validity of signatures for Gingrich and a potential recount, what’s clear is that some sort of monkey business is going on.  There are those who are seeking to use this as an opportunity to build a write-in campaign for Sarah Palin, but the question is then whether those ballots would themselves be valid.

The idea is to deny Virginia’s convention delegates to Romney, but this approach using a write-in candidate may not be a valid method.  If so, this would cause voters to throw their votes away, and more, would still guarantee Romney the delegates.  As all of this goes on, the all-out war in the media against Ron Paul has gone nuclear.  There can be only one reason for this timing, and it’s really quite simple:  The establishment knows that they must make Ron Paul so thoroughly unpalatable to mainstream conservatives and Tea Party types that the people of Virginia will not support him as a protest vote against Romney.

I’ve been looking at some of the suggested approaches by grass-roots types to stave off a Romney win in Virginia by agitating a write-in campaign.  Since Virginia is a winner-take-all state, where any candidate who gets more than half the votes will walk away with all of the delegates to the national convention, the only way the votes are apportioned is if no candidate manages to make 50%.  With only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney in the race as valid candidates, somebody is going to make 50%, because it would take at least a three-way race to prevent that outcome.  What the proponents of the write-in campaign are suggesting is that a write-in that would siphon votes primarily from Romney would enable an apportionment, and at least prevent Romney from walking away with all of Virginia’s delegates.  The problem is that the question of how such write-in ballots would be treated.  They may be discarded, and therefore not count in the total, making no difference whatever to the final percentages, and presumably, the Romney-takes-all scenario.

There is only one method that is certain to deny Romney the delegates that will be awarded in Virginia, and it’s the only way I can see under the law that this is possible: Virginia Republicans would need to choose Ron Paul, giving him all of the delegates.  Now this may be distasteful to some, as Congressman Paul’s record on foreign policy is pretty hard to swallow, but that’s not the question that now rests on the table before Virginia’s primary voters.  The question is:  Are you satisfied being denied your choice for the Republican nomination by the establishment that so thoroughly dominates Virginia’s Republican party?  If you’re in Virginia, and you’re a supporter of Bachmann, Huntsman, or Santorum, you know your candidates did not even make a serious effort to get on the ballot.  Have you asked “why?”  If you’re a Gingrich or Perry Supporter(and Gingrich still polls as the front-runner in Virginia,) you might want to know why there was a rule change to the method by which petition signatures were validated just for this election cycle.

Here’s the thing you must understand, however: If you’re left with the choice of Ron Paul and Willard “Mitt” Romney, choosing the latter helps him defeat the candidate you prefer in the overall delegate count necessary to win the nomination.  Consider it another way:  If you sit home, saying “screw the primary,” out of disgust and dejection, you’re not choosing Romney, but you’re not voting against him, either.  If you go to the polls and reluctantly support him, you’re killing off the chance that Gingrich or any of the others will be nominated.  If you go to the polls and support Ron Paul, you’re voting against Romney, you’re voting for a candidate who will not likely get the nomination, and if he wins all the delegates, it hurts Romney much more than it helps Ron Paul.

This is why the flurry of stories about Ron Paul have been going viral these last few days:  They must make Ron Paul unacceptable to you, so that you don’t support him as a form of protest vote.  I’m not suggesting to you that Paul’s statements make him palatable, because they don’t.  I’m not telling you Ron Paul should get the nomination, because I don’t believe that he should, particularly based on his foreign policy views.  What I’m telling you is that if you want to derail Romney, Ron Paul presents the best vehicle for so doing, at least in Virginia.  In other words, I’m not suggesting you nominate Ron Paul, but I’m asking you to think strategically like those in the establishment have been doing. If you want any candidate other than Willard, this may be the only way to stop him.

Put it this way, if you like:  If Gingrich and Romney battle closely in states where delegates are apportioned, it will be close, but if either candidate captures significant states where the rules are “winner take all,” that upsets the balance, and the race becomes a blow-out.  Since there are now to be only two candidates on the ballot in Virginia, it is guaranteed that one of them will get all the delegates to the convention.  If it’s Romney, it’s almost certain to sew up the nomination for him. If you’re a supporter of any of the non-Romney candidates, Virginia now offers him the opportunity to finish your candidate’s chances of capturing the nomination.

With so many states having yielded half their delegates to the national party in order to move their primaries up to an earlier date on the calendar, it was already going to be difficult to defeat the establishment GOP’s will in this contest.  You can bet all of those additional at-large delegates will wind up supporting whomever the party insiders decide should be the nominee.  That’s right, you’ve been hosed, again, and this is why for those of you in Virginia who don’t like Romney, but also can’t stand Paul, it’s time for you to join the world of making choices from the point of view of the “big picture.”  It’s therefore a simple matter at present, and assuming Gingrich is unable to get his name on the Virginia ballot,  voting for anybody other than Ron Paul effectively gives Mitt Romney the nomination, despite roughly 75% of the party finding him to be something between poor and completely unacceptable.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, and I realize walking into the voting booth and holding one’s nose while throwing the lever for Ron Paul seems unacceptable to many, but let’s be blunt:  That may be the only chance you, or anybody else in this country has to affect the outcome of this process in any substantial way.  It’s been rigged, and by now you should know it, and if you don’t, it’s time to wake up.  Otherwise, the “inevitable nominee” will be, and you’ll spend the fall wondering why we’re losing to a jerk like Obama.  If Romney wins the nomination, think “Bob Dole,” and remember how well he did.  Romney will fare no better.

Why Mitt Romney Won’t Cut It

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Looking for Backbone

When you boil it all down, one of the most upsetting things to many conservatives about Mitt Romney is his unwillingness to use the “S-word:” Socialist. Ann Coulter can poke fun at Tea Party folks and real conservatives if she likes, but the truth is that somebody who can’t seem to muster the courage to call Obama by what his own professions and pronouncements clearly make him out to be is somebody that we cannot afford in this election process to become the nominee of the GOP.  Asked by Bill O’Reilly if he thought Obama was a socialist, Mitt looked incredibly uncomfortable and half-stammered on the way to answering:

Here’s the problem, and Mitt knows it: If he now labels Obama as a socialist, people will necessarily remember Romneycare, Massachusetts’ health-care program signed into law by his own hand when Governor, and Obamacare, that is Obama’s signature socialist program, and conclude that Mitt is also a socialist.  More, Mitt doesn’t want to sound “bombastic” by using that term, as Ann Coulter would describe it, so instead Romney simply sticks to his talking points and describes Obama as a “big government liberal.”  Once again, if this is what Obama is, then we must ask: What is Mitt Romney?

This is one more reason that Romney has been unable to crack the 25-30% support level among the GOP electorate.  Most Republicans realize this is not the year for weasel-worded euphemisms, and the problem for Romney is that he has little else to offer.  He dare not use the term “socialist” at the risk of defining himself, so he sticks to something a little less “bombastic,” just in case.  Some people wonder why Romney doesn’t poll higher.  Here’s the answer.

Gingrich Wins Tea Party Patriots Straw Poll

Monday, December 19th, 2011

CNN is reporting that Newt Gingrich is the winner of a Tea Party straw poll in a conference call including over 23,000 participants.  He won it by roughly 3 percentage points over runner-up Michele Bachmann.  According to the CNN piece, “An overwhelming number of activists from around the nation showed they are serious about electing a candidate who advances tea party principles,” said National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin.

Here is the complete breakdown direct from Tea Party Patriots:

  • Newt Gingrich 31%
  • Michele Bachmann 28%
  • Mitt Romney 20%
  • Rick Santorum 16%
  • Ron Paul 3%
  • Rick Perry 2%
  • Jon Huntsman 0% (.34%)

That’s a pretty clear win over such people as Rick Perry, once thought to be a front-runner, and it’s a handy move upward for Rick Santorum.  With Mitt Romney finishing a distant third, it invites discussions of other possible late entrants as have circulated at least twice on Monday.  Still, 31% for Gingrich may not be enough to seal the deal, but considering that the Tea Party is expected to have a significant impact on the nomination process, it’s one cannot discount this straw poll.  After all, 23,000 is a rather large sample when compared to most polls, so this may well be indicative of the state of the race, at least in states where the Tea Party is thought to be stronger.

H/T to Dawn Larson for the breakdown on the vote!

One Factor That Favors Ron Paul

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Washington's Nightmare?

I think if you ask most conservatives and Tea Party folk what makes them angriest about the Republican party, they’d tell you without much hesitation that it’s the establishment wing of the party that denies its own existence.  We all know the players, and we all know how it works:  Election after election, they trot out their conservative credentials when they think they need us, but the rest of the time, their basic answer to our complaints is roughly: “Take a hike.”  This may be the one factor that makes Ron Paul more viable than the others, inasmuch as while some have considerable heartburn with his unrealistic foreign policy, as the Washington Examiner points out, if he were to win in Iowa, the long knives would come out from all quarters to attack Ron Paul.  They make a very worthwhile comparison to Patrick Buchanan’s losing campaign, and they’re right:  If Ron Paul manages to pull off a win in Iowa, the establishment wing of the Republican party will join with the leftist media on a tactic of scorched-earth against Ron Paul.

It’s plainly true that if there’s one candidate the whole establishment in Washington DC hates, it is certainly Ron Paul.  Perhaps only Sarah Palin could have roused them to greater vitriol, but since she’s not in this race, Ron Paul may be the recipient of their rage, particularly should he manage to pull off the win in Iowa.  I would expect that within moments of such an event, the GOP would begin to trot out its spokesmen, official and otherwise, to minimize the importance of Iowa in the grand scheme of things.  You would in such a case be told that Iowa is symbolic only, and a poor predictor of electoral prospects.  In the mainstream media, dominated by leftist thought, there would be a sudden and undeniable sympathy for the GOP and its moderates, leading readers to believe that “if only we had a more moderate candidate,” there might be some hope of defeating Obama.

Those of who watch politics closely can scarcely be unaware that the only thing more frightening to Washington DC than the prospect of their opponents’ victory is when it is somebody considered out of the Washington establishment mainstream.  It’s true that Ron Paul fits this mold to a large extent, because his views on many issues are not in alignment with the party chieftains from either side of the aisle.  They will call his views on entitlements “extreme,” and he will be constantly challenged on his foreign policy ideas.  Even Republicans will scoff at the notion of cutting $1Trillion dollars of spending in his first year, as the Congressman proposes, and the notion will be quickly spread that he would feed granny dogfood and poison the water, and all of the other charges ordinarily made by Democrats against conservatives, the solitary difference being that this time, those making the charges will be Republicans, only backed up and aided by a willing leftist media.

Whatever else you may think of Ron Paul, it is undeniably true that his platform is of the sort that poses an immediate threat to much of official Washington, because it promises a return to limited government.  Most all Democrats, and all of the establishment Republicans will be on a search and destroy mission if Paul should happen to pull it off.  Polls suggest some tightening in Iowa, so it may be that he will offer a serious challenge, and if he does, expect Iowa to be minimized in its import in the reporting that follows.  While I am on record as having said repeatedly that I think his notions about foreign policy are naive and irresponsible, I favor much of what he has to say on the matter of domestic policy, and this election may favor domestic issues given the economic disaster through which we’re now living.  If something significant happened in the economic sphere, for instance the collapse of the Euro, expect for Ron Paul’s credibility in his discussion about the Federal Reserve to achieve a whole new level of political capital.

Only fifteen days from Iowa’s kick-off, we’re apt to see fireworks in the coming two weeks, and you can expect the stump speeches to become ever more heated.  So much for “tidings of comfort and joy.”

Sarah Palin Discusses GOP Field

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Weighing Our Options

In a telephone interview with Shannon Bream on FNC today discussed the GOP candidates, and Tim Tebow.  She said she’s “just not there yet” with respect to the GOP field, and wants to withhold any endorsement until she can sincerely make one.  Bream asked what is to many conservatives and Tea Party folk the million dollar question:  “Does that person does exist in the field as it now stands?” Palin replied “We’ll see, I honestly don’t know yet.”  She mentioned that she believed Bachmann and Santorum would likely do better “than some RINO pundits predict.”

It seems that the former Alaska governor is taking her time and has yet to draw a firm conclusion about the field, but I suspect it will be comforting to many conservatives and Tea Party folk that at this late date, Sarah Palin shares in their lack of clarity about who to support.  She also made a very important point about candidates promising reform now, but who have to one degree or another failed to deliver such reforms when they had those opportunities in office, whether in Congress, or in state governments. Palin mentioned the desire to feel enthusiasm for a candidate, and she described what many conservatives feel about this race.  She also downplayed the value of endorsements in general, and pointed out that independent-minded Americans don’t necessarily weigh endorsements of others very heavily.

Des Moines Register Endorses Romney – Does Anybody Care?

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

They Picked Me?

I read the news of the Des Moines Register’s endorsement on Saturday evening of Willard “Mitt” Romney in grim amusement.  Apart from the fact that I question the value of endorsements in general, I have some specific problems with the Register’s endorsement of Governor Romney.  They cited “Sobriety, wisdom and judgment” as the basis for their reasoning, but I am now left to wonder whether the Register is a valid judge of those traits, partiicularly where conservatives and Tea Party patriots may be concerned.  I don’t know whether the Register is up to the chore, and reading through their endorsement, I believe many will take issue with their specific justifications, but I also believe some will share my amusement.  This is further evidence of the absurdity of the establishment media, and one more reason to ignore it. Let us examine it together.

Under the heading of “Sobriety,” the Register said:

While other candidates have pandered to extremes with attacks on the courts and sermons on Christian values, Romney has pointedly refrained from reckless rhetoric and moralizing. He may be accused of being too cautious, but choosing words carefully is a skill essential for anyone who could be sitting in the White House and reacting to world events.

In one respect, this may well be true unless you and I happen to think in so doing, he was pandering to the establishment class who values the notion of a dispassionate candidate.  The chattering establishment class sees a passionate advocate as a “firebrand” or some such thing, and they prefer a nuanced, flexible, flip-able, flop-able candidate as being better able to avoid pitfalls.  Meanwhile, ordinary Americans want to know what a candidate believes, and the only outward sign they might glimpse of this is through the passion and consistency a candidate shows to the world in spite of some criticisms for strong stances.

In considering his”Wisdom,” the Register opined:

Romney obviously is very smart. He graduated as valedictorian at Brigham Young University and finished in the top 5 percent in his MBA class at Harvard, where he also earned a law degree. Romney also exhibits the wisdom of a man who listened and learned from his father and his mother, from his church and from his own trials and errors in life. He does not lack self confidence, but he is not afraid to admit when he has been wrong.

Is he?  While I am certain Governor Romney isn’t a dolt, neither do I view him as a brilliant man.  He is clearly very disciplined, and knows how to stick to a plan.  I am happy that he had good parents, and that he is a man who has a strong moral underpinning, but does it seem odd to you that the same publication that only a paragraph earlier criticized the practice of “moralizing” now goes out of its way to tell you Mitt Romney is a moral man?  This sort of crudely constructed self-contradiction shouldn’t be permitted in polite society, never mind an editorial board’s meeting room.

Romney should have no problem admitting having been wrong on an issue, as there are few issues in which he hasn’t at some point embraced both sides.  With a record like his, admitting one’s errors ought to become habitual.

On the matter of his “Judgment,” the Register offered:

Romney disagrees with Democrats on most issues, but he offers smart and well-reasoned alternatives rather than simply proposing to swing a wrecking ball in Washington. He is a serious student of public policy who examines the data before making a decision. His detailed policy paper on the economy contains 87 pages of carefully crafted positions on taxes, energy, trade and regulatory policy, complete with 127 footnotes.

Well, Hallelujah!  (Perhaps I should find another word, if I’m to please the Register.)  Let us stipulate to the Register’s knowing that he is running as a Republican, after all, and it should be no surprise that he lately disagrees with Democrats, but what is most telling is that they here reward him for his bipartisan approach to reform. I know, they didn’t say “bipartisan,” but in the establishment media, “smart and well-reasoned” and “bipartisan” are interchangeable descriptions.  Which of Mitt’s opponents for the nomination does not examine data before making decisions?  His detailed policy paper on the economy is carefully crafted to promise everything and nothing at once, and there is no consistent underlying philosophy of economics with which I am familiar, but there is a consistency in another form: It consistently avoids serious hot-button issues.  They seem impressed by 127 footnotes.  If so, I’ve seen more in fewer pages, but I still don’t know how this tells us anything about his judgment.

The Register goes on to stress his record in business and on economics, but let’s be blunt, shall we?  The state of our economy is not merely the result of mistaken economic policies.  The state of our economy is an effect born of a much larger cause to which the Register never wishes to speak:  The moral decline of our nation has birthed the intentionally disastrous economic policies we are now facing, and it is that moral schism that threatens the continuation of the Republic.  A president who replaces Barack Obama will be forced to effect change greater than mere economics if he or she hopes to mend the nation.  We will need a president willing to go to bat on moral arguments, and Mitt, by their own admission, is terribly uncomfortable in so doing.

This is precisely the sort of endorsement I’d expect from an old media rag, and exactly the kind of thing conservatives and Tea Party patriots have come to expect from the establishment.  More than speaking to the limited virtues of his candidacy, it is code for telling the establishment that he’s the safe bet, and that this is the candidate least likely to offend anybody, including particularly the most offensive of characters.  You can take your advice from the Des Moines Register if you like, but you’ll excuse me if I form my own conclusions.  They’re apt to be a good bit more accurate.

Bombshell: Who Wrote the Controversial Ron Paul Newsletters?

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Telling the Truth?

Ron Paul had denied authorship and editorial control of his newsletters, particularly those things that have been questioned as seemingly racist in nature.  Now, as it seems to be turning out, it looks like the newsletters had been authored by Ron Paul himself.  This conflicts with his statements, and claims that he hadn’t written them, and that he wasn’t responsible for all of the comments or content.  As Conservatives Network is now reporting, it seems that the author had been Congressman Paul all along. H/T to Mark Levin for “tweeting” the story with a link on American Spectator’s website.  This controversy first arose in 2008 because of comments in newsletters that seem to be tinged with overt racism.  The explosive disclosure by CN seems to put the matter of editorial control to rest.  Whether Ron Paul is a racist is another matter entirely, but it’s clear that he was responsible for editing the newsletter and authoring much of its content.

Ron Paul has some explaining to do, and this is one more instance in which a politician attempted to side-step his past, but was finally caught.  I expect Ron Paul’s supporters to be initially aghast at the truth of the matter, but then to quickly return to denial.  Ron Paul is not suited to be President, and his lack of candor about his newsletters is one more reason to dismiss him. It’s actually a matter of some sadness, in my view, because Dr. Paul had brought more focus to the issue of the Federal Reserve’s fatal flaws, and to some of the budgetary issues confronting the nation, but the truth is that he was never a genuine conservative, but instead a libertarian who has made his career subservient to pandering to libertarian views on various issues.

Here’s video of Ron Paul’s denial in 2008(He also insists on his libertarianism, rather than conservatism.):

The editor of ConservativesNetwork has a response ready for Ron Paul’s supporters.  Here’s a sample:

Saying NU-UH, doesn’t make the facts above go away.
Shouting, “LIAR!” – doesn’t make the facts above go away.
Giving a link to a Ron Paul denial doesn’t make the facts go away.

Shouting neocon, shill, warmonger, hit piece, or any other word in your vocabulary, doesn’t make the above facts go away.

Saying this is old news, doesn’t make the above truth go away. If a candidate for president built wealth for two decades off of being racist, voters deserve to know.

Saying this was debunked years ago, doesn’t make the truth above go away. The above facts debunk any supposed debunking from Ron Paul.

What this suggests to me is that the editor has had his run-ins with with Paul supporters a time or two.  Believe me, I know the feeling, but I also think it’s fair to say that this has been one of the recurring problems with Ron Paul: He doesn’t do well when criticized, and his supporters seem incapable of accepting any criticism of Paul, on virtually any issue.  I was willing to allow that Ron Paul might have been to far removed from editorial control of his newsletter, but now it seems as though he was trying to trick people with that statement.  He was the editor.  What else can one say about that?

Pot Calls Kettle Black: Romney Blasts Gingrich

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

 

Is Romney Kidding?

Dan Balz, writing for the Washington Post, reports that Willard “Mitt” Romney criticized Gingrich as being “extremely unreliable” as a conservative leader.  Of course, Mitt goes on to admit that he made a mistake in 1994 by not supporting Newt’s “Contract With America” while he ran a losing campaign against Edward “Ted” Kennedy of Massachusetts for the Senate.  If we’re to believe Mitt, he’s a conservative, but Newt’s not.  If ever there had been a case of the pot calling the kettle “black,” this must be it.  Romney is not now, and never has been a conservative, and as late as 2002, he admitted that much as he campaigned for Governor of Massachusetts, fairly bragging about being a progressive.

Let’s be honest enough to admit that neither are conservative in the sense of the word most American conservatives and Tea Party patriots use the word, but let’s also stipulate that if anybody is going to criticize Gingrich on the matter, of all people in this race, it should not be Romney.  This is why the Republican electorate doesn’t trust Mitt, and hasn’t made him the front-runner:  He’s simply not credible, and this line of attack on Gingrich simply punctuates the matter.

There’s no reason to belabor the point: Mitt Romney isn’t a conservative. To now come out and assail Newt Gingrich on some of his decidedly un-conservative views merely demonstrates Willard’s desperation, particularly since we know Mitt doesn’t like to be pinned down on his own positions.  If ever there had been a case of the pot calling the kettle black, this is it.  The video below helps demonstrate the point even more clearly:

Let me state this one more time, lest some become confused about my position: I do not support Newt Gingrich either, having made no decision about who I may support in the primaries, but I thought all of the attacks on him emanating from the Romney camp and Romney surrogates needed to be placed in context.

When a candidate assails another as being other-than-conservative, I would suppose that candidate would do so from a strong position of a thorough conservative record of his or her own.  Sadly, Romney’s finally realized that he cannot win the nomination without conservative support, and he’s trying to undermine Gingrich on that basis.  I’m sorry, but it’s simply too late for Willard to now come looking for my support by attacking Newt as a progressive or liberal, because Romney has been one virtually all of his political career.  Until now.  Now he sees he will need the votes of we conservatives and Tea Party members.  Now, “Newt’s not conservative.”

Congratulations Mitt!  The problem is, neither are you.

Flashback: Romney Brags He’s a Progressive

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

How Does Mitt's "Conservatism" Measure Up?

Back when Mitt Romney was running to become governor of Massachusetts, he couldn’t wait to explain to people that he was a progressive, and not a partisan Republican.  Let’s knock off the nonsense about Mitt Romney being a conservative, because it simply isn’t so.  Romney has never been a real conservative, but he’s spent a good deal of time re-calibrating his image to have greater appeal to conservatives.  Of course, he’s not the only progressive running for the GOP nomination, but of late, he’s been trying to sell himself as a conservative.  There should be nobody who examines Willard “Mitt” Romney’s  record who will believe that.  H/T The Blaze for digging up the video:

It’s easy for candidates to claim that they had been conservatives all along, only now, when they want the votes of conservatives or Tea Party patriots, but Mitt’s surrogates in the media pretending he is a conservative is a laugh, since we see where Mitt was as recently in 2002.

Or was Mitt lying to the people of Massachusetts when he said he was a moderate, with progressive views?  You decide. I don’t think Barack Obama can be defeated by a progressive Republican.