Skip to comments.Decisions, Decisions
Posted on 02/22/2012 11:08:34 AM PST by evilrooster
How does one go about deciding whom to support as the Republican Party nominee for president? Should the decision be based on looks, charm, likeability, electability, soaring rhetoric or grand promises? Absolutely not! Unfortunately, these are the very criterion that Americans usually rely upon when casting their ballots. If those are the criterion to be used to judge whom to support, even Republicans should simply vote for the current occupant of the White House. Most Americans find Obama neatly fits nicely with most, if not all, of the above criterion and yet he is, unquestionably, the biggest disaster of a chief executive this nation has ever had. No, the one thing that speaks louder than words, the one criteria that should be used to judge a candidate is the candidate’s record of accomplishment in public office. The record of past accomplishment is the one thing that no candidate can escape or spin and is the only criteria that place all the candidates on a level playing field for fair assessment and judgment.
Promises can be broken and often are. Declaring a stance on any given issue can be fleeting, especially in the case of Romney. Finding conservative apostasies in a candidate’s past is too easy a sport as they have all committed heretical acts in their voting past for one reason or another. That is why negative ads and attacks are so prevalent and so useless in making an informed decision. There is enough fodder to go around for all; it is in limitless supply. The search for ideological purity is a search for the Holy Grail. It may be a grand and noble pursuit but it remains a quest that will inevitably end in failure.
Only on the basis of comparing the candidates’ signature achievement(s) while in political office can we fairly judge the candidates. It is the only apples to apples comparison that can be made to determine whether or not a candidate will govern successfully and with an ideological purity that is acceptable enough for the Republican electorate. Below is how I judge the candidates:
The Congressman’s signature achievement has been pointing out to the American people that the federal government has moved far, far beyond its original and necessary constitutional constraints. To be sure, Ron Paul points out what he sees as a number of flaws in America’s policies, some real and some imagined. Some of his canary-in-a-coalmine warnings are noteworthy for discussion, such as a failed monetary policy, while others are downright dangerous to the nation as is his non-existent foreign policy stance.
As much as I would like nothing better than to return to the days of powdered wigs, knee breeches and dueling, it just is not going to happen any time soon. Paul’s signature accomplishment is not even an accomplishment, per se. It is a dire warning that must be heeded. Had Congressman Paul actually returned the United States to its constitutional constraints at some point in his career then I would vote for him with enthusiasm (mainly because I believe dueling should be re-instated as a means of resolving disputes among politicians and powdered wigs could once again become fashionable, but that is beside the point). He has, however, never actually accomplished anything. I cannot support Ron Paul for a number of reasons but primarily because of his lack of achievement.
The former governor had many achievements in his political career. His supporters will point to a few of them while making attempts to justify others. His major accomplishment is, however, Romneycare. No matter what Romney says, no matter what spin his supporters may give, his signature piece of legislation is, without question, the foundation on which the abomination that is Obamacare was built.
It is not something Romney is proud of. He has not unleashed a blitz of ads nationwide touting his trademark achievement. He also does not fall prostrate upon the ground begging forgiveness of conservatives as a humble penitent. He actually attempts to defend it when it is brought up for discussion. He makes every effort to justify it even though he makes sure that he never initiates the Romneycare debate. On this basis and this basis alone Romney has disqualified himself from consideration as a Republican candidate. His record is that of another liberal Democrat yet he tries, unconvincingly, to tell us he is “severely conservative.” Romney’s signature legislation and his campaign’s response to it demonstrate he is a lowlife political opportunist and nothing more.
Pinning down Senator Santorum’s signature achievement is similar to pinning down Jello. Santorum is, undeniably, a good conservative and an even better Republican (the two are not the same). He was, however, one of 100 senators and touting actual accomplishments is something of a challenge. He can point to his voting record but that is simply passing judgment on the legislation of others. A trip to Santorum’s own website highlights what he considers his greatest achievements and the reasons voters should support him. The very first “accomplishment” that Santorum himself points to on his Why Rick page is:
Senator Santorum was a member of the famous “Gang of Seven” that exposed the Congressional Banking and Congressional Post Office scandals.
That’s it? That is the best Santorum can do? You have got to be kidding me! He was one of several that exposed a scandal that 99% of Americans cannot even provide one detail about and have no recollection of! Perhaps the Senator is just starting out small (very, very small) and building up the crescendo as a good novelist would (a good novelist would also capture the reader’s attention and this is anything but attention-grabbing). What’s next?
He was also an author and floor manager of the landmark Welfare Reform Act…
That is certainly better but here Santorum notes that he was “an” author and not the sole author and architect. In addition, Santorum points out that he was also the floor manager. If a company goes bankrupt who gets the blame? Is it the floor manager? No, of course he doesn’t. The CEO gets the blame. The CEO, if you will, at the time of the Welfare Reform Act would have been Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. It was, unquestionably, one of the Speaker’s signature pieces of legislation, not Santorum’s. Santorum is to be applauded for working diligently on behalf of the Speaker and on behalf of the American people but, again, this is not Santorum’s landmark achievement. He is touting his opponent’s record.
Santorum finally gets around to what an informed voter should be looking for, his signature accomplishments. Santorum sponsored, and was the primary architect of, a number of significant pieces of legislation regarding the protection of unborn infants, limiting federal funds when it comes to abortion, conscience clauses, religious freedom, and bioethics. Many passed into law while, regrettably, others did not.
Obviously, Santorum was a leader in Congress when it came to matters of conscience. He took a principled stand on what many would consider to be controversial issues. It is here, however, that Santorum’s major accomplishment, leading the charge on issues of conscience, ends. Of course he voted correctly on countless other issues and even sponsored a number of them in a variety of areas but at this point we are back to pinning down Jello. Here, Santorum was just one of 100 and, in a respectably conservative fashion, passed judgment on the bills of others.
Santorum is a good man, a good conservative and good Republican. He can be characterized as a good leader, however, in only one small, albeit important, subset of issues facing the nation. His grandest achievements were important but not necessarily wide ranging nor sweeping.
The Speaker’s personal flaws are many and distracting. His political missteps are the equivalent of the missteps of an Arthur Murray Dance Studio student on day one. His actual achievements are, however, many, sweeping and memorable. Which is his signature achievement? Which shines most brightly above the others? It becomes an impossible distinction.
All of this, mind you, was accomplished with a Democrat in the White House.
Any arguments that do not revolve solely around the accomplishments of the actual candidates, as noted above, are pointless. Pointing out only the flaws of the candidates, as most tend to do, are akin to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. It becomes endless folly as unlimited ammunition is available for all.
There is, in my opinion, absolutely no comparison of records. Their records of achievement speak for themselves. There is only one candidate that deserves the Republican nomination based upon accomplishments. Only one man has shown that he has fought for conservatism and, most importantly, been successful in doing so on a scale that no other candidate can match. Only one man stands out. That man is Newt Gringrich.
I want someone who is a conservative, knowledgeable and can get the job done of reversing the devastation that Obama has wrought as “our first dictator”.
Pssst....That WOULD BE Newt!!
I’m hoping that the GOP voters will come to their senses and nominate Newt. He is, by far, the most substantive of the candidates and the most knowledgeable and has accomplished the most. And, should he be the nominee, the American people will come to realize this as the campaign continues. Newt will beat Obama. Romney or Santorum “might” but I’m not confident.
Strongly agree, with all of that. What should be terrifying to any thinking American is that the blatantly obvious is not so blatantly obvious to a majority of voters.
Seems like so long ago, but there really was a time, when only half the population was below average.
Now the whole damn world has gone crazy, and 95% of the people are more dense than a bucket of dirt. "Average" is worse than swamp mud.