Skip to comments.Rally for Romney: Conservatives need to act now, before it is too late.
Posted on 01/31/2008 10:37:41 AM PST by Delacon
I have spent nearly four decades in the conservative movement from precinct worker to the Reagan White House. I campaigned for Reagan in 1976 and 1980. I served in several top positions during the Reagan administration, including chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese. I have been an active conservative when conservatism was not in high favor.
I remember in 1976, as a 19-year-old in Pennsylvania working the polls for Reagan against the sitting Republican president, Gerald Ford, I was demeaned for supporting a candidate who was said to be an extremist B-actor who couldnt win a general election, and opposing a sitting president. And at the time Reagan wasnt even on the ballot in Pennsylvania because he decided to focus his limited resources on other states. I tried to convince voter after voter to write-in Reagans name on the ballot. In the end, Reagan received about five percent of the Republican vote as a write-in candidate.
Of course, Reagan lost the nomination to Ford by the narrowest of margins. Ford went on to lose to a little-known ex-governor from Georgia, Jimmy Carter. But the Reagan Revolution became stronger, not weaker, as a result. And the rest is history.
I dont pretend to speak for President Reagan or all conservatives. I speak for myself. But I watched the Republican debate last night, which was held at the Reagan library, and I have to say that I fear a McCain candidacy. He would be an exceedingly poor choice as the Republican nominee for president.
Lets get the largely unspoken part of this out the way first. McCain is an intemperate, stubborn individual, much like Hillary Clinton. These are not good qualities to have in a president. As I watched him last night, I could see his personal contempt for Mitt Romney roiling under the surface. And why? Because Romney ran campaign ads that challenged McCains record? Is this the first campaign in which an opponent has run ads questioning another candidates record? Thats par for the course. To the best of my knowledge, Romneys ads have not been personal. He has not even mentioned the Keating-Five to counter McCain's cheap shots. But the same cannot be said of McCains comments about Romney.
Last night McCain, who is the putative frontrunner, resorted to a barrage of personal assaults on Romney that reflect more on the man making them than the target of the attacks. McCain now has a habit of describing Romney as a manager for profit and someone who has laid-off people, implying that Romney is both unpatriotic and uncaring. Moreover, he complains that Romney is using his millions or fortune to underwrite his campaign. This is a crass appeal to class warfare. McCain is extremely wealthy through marriage. Romney has never denigrated McCain for his wealth or the manner in which he acquired it. Evidently Romneys character doesnt let him to cross certain boundaries of decorum and decency, but McCains does. And what of managing for profit? When did free enterprise become evil? This is liberal pablum which, once again, could have been uttered by Hillary Clinton.
And there is the open secret of McCain losing control of his temper and behaving in a highly inappropriate fashion with prominent Republicans, including Thad Cochran, John Cornyn, Strom Thurmond, Donald Rumsfeld, Bradley Smith, and a list of others. Does anyone honestly believe that the Clintons or the Democrat party would give McCain a pass on this kind of behavior?
As for McCain the straight-talker, how can anyone explain his abrupt about-face on two of his signature issues: immigration and tax cuts? As everyone knows, McCain led the battle not once but twice against the border-security-first approach to illegal immigration as co-author of the McCain-Kennedy bill. He disparaged the motives of the millions of people who objected to his legislation. He fought all amendments that would limit the general amnesty provisions of the bill. This controversy raged for weeks. Only now he says hes gotten the message. Yet, when asked last night if he would sign the McCain-Kennedy bill as president, he dissembles, arguing that its a hypothetical question. Last Sunday on Meet the Press, he said he would sign the bill. Theres nothing straight about this talk. Now, I understand that politicians tap dance during the course of a campaign, but this was a defining moment for McCain. And another defining moment was his very public opposition to the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. He was the medias favorite Republican in opposition to Bush. At the time his primary reason for opposing the cuts was because they favored the rich (and, by the way, they did not). Now he says he opposed them because they werent accompanied by spending cuts. Thats simply not correct.
Even worse than denying his own record, McCain is flatly lying about Romneys position on Iraq. As has been discussed for nearly a week now, Romney did not support a specific date to withdraw our forces from Iraq. The evidence is irrefutable. And its also irrefutable that McCain is abusing the English language (Romneys statements) the way Bill Clinton did in front of a grand jury. The problem is that once called on it by everyone from the New York Times to me, he obstinately refuses to admit the truth. So, last night, he lied about it again. This isnt open to interpretation. But it does give us a window into who he is.
Of course, its one thing to overlook one or two issues where a candidate seeking the Republican nomination as a conservative might depart from conservative orthodoxy. But in McCains case, adherence is the exception to the rule McCain-Feingold (restrictions on political speech), McCain-Kennedy (amnesty for illegal aliens), McCain-Kennedy-Edwards (trial lawyers bill of rights), McCain-Lieberman (global warming legislation), Gang of 14 (obstructing change to the filibuster rule for judicial nominations), the Bush tax cuts, and so forth. This is a record any liberal Democrat would proudly run on. Are we to overlook this record when selecting a Republican nominee to carry our message in the general election?
But what about his national security record? Its a mixed bag. McCain is rightly credited with being an early voice for changing tactics in Iraq. He was a vocal supporter of the surge, even when many were not. But he does not have a record of being a vocal advocate for defense spending when Bill Clinton was slashing it. And he has been on the wrong side of the debate on homeland security. He supports closing Guantanamo Bay, which would result in granting an array of constitutional protections to al-Qaeda detainees, and limiting legitimate interrogation techniques that have, in fact, saved American lives. Combined with his (past) de-emphasis on border-security, I think its fair to say that McCains positions are more in line with the ACLU than most conservatives.
Why recite this record? Well, if conservatives dont act now to stop McCain, he will become the Republican nominee and he will lose the general election. He is simply flawed on too many levels. He is a Republican Hillary Clinton in many ways. Many McCain supporters insist he is the only Republican who can beat Hillary Clinton or Barak Obama. And they point to certain polls. The polls are meaningless this far from November. Six months ago, the polls had Rudy winning the Republican nomination. In October 1980, the polls had Jimmy Carter defeating Ronald Reagan. This is no more than spin.
But wouldnt the prospect of a Clinton or Obama presidency drive enough of the grassroots to the polls for McCain? It wasnt enough to motivate the base to vote in November 2006 to stop Nancy Pelosi from becoming speaker or the Democrats from taking Congress. My sense is it wont be enough to carry McCain to victory, either. And McCain has done more to build animus among the people whose votes he will need than Denny Hastert or Bill Frist. And there wont be enough Democrats voting for McCain to offset the electorate McCain has alienated (and is likely to continue to alienate, as best as I can tell).
McCain has not won overwhelming pluralities, let alone majorities, in any of the primaries. A thirty-six-percent win in Florida doesnt make a juggernaut. But the liberal media are promoting him now as the presumptive nominee. More and more establishment Republican officials are jumping on McCains bandwagon the latest being Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has all but destroyed Californias Republican party.
Lets face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives dont unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.
Mark Levin, a former senior Reagan Justice Department official, is a nationally syndicated radio-talk-show host.
Charles Manson is a known felon.
However, my model does allow Paul of Tarsus to lead the Christian church.
It would allow Reagan (once a Democrat) to be our President.
Look, I understand the “too quick” argument. It’s the reason I was hoping Fred would get more support, because I would have loved to have Fred for 4-8 years, with Romney as VP proving his conservative credentials.
But that’s a completely different argument than the “he isn’t conservative” argument. Doubt is not fact.
Of course, I’m not saying that Romney is “presenting” a good platform. I’m saying he is believable in presenting that platform. His demeanor, his words, his actions all indicate that he believes what he is saying, and that it is what he will do.
Of course I wouldn’t vote for someone just because a talking head told me to. But Fred’s problem was exposure.
Huckabee broke out of the pack because the MSM suddenly started to publicize him. For a while there, they were pushing him hard. The NY Times Magazine section put him on their cover! Then he started doing so well they all got scared of him, and turned against him for fear he might actually become president.
Thompson, on the other hand, never got any exposure. He had far more energy than McCain, but you rarely heard anything about him. Most people hardly knew he was running.
If the conservative and alternative media had given him some exposure, that might have been enough to bring him to Joe Sixpack’s attention. But it never happened. As you say, unlike Huckabee he woudn’t have faded. But he never got the chance to show himself to people.
A fair number of deluded people still think of McCain as a conservative. I think Rush and others will educate them, but maybe too late. And besides, where’s the conservative alternative, they wonder?
Romney is a silent partner. Sorry. He hasn’t given up all interest in his “house.”
COuld you give me a link the ANY ad Romney ran that lied about Fred Thompson?
How about an Ad that lied about Rudy Giuliani?
How about an Ad that lied about Mike Huckabee? WHen Huckabee had a chance to present a response to “lies” about his record, his response did not call a SINGLE claim of Romney’s a lie, or offer any refutation at all.
How about an Ad that lied about John McCain?
Did you read the 1st post by the coffee260 who posted Medved’s collumn? Here it is. Sums it up nicely.
Senator McCain supports Free Speech? Who knew?
Why should anyone fawn all over the fact that Senator John McCain supports the Constitution? So McCain isn’t for squelching all of our First Amendment Rights. Whats so laudable about that?
On the one hand Senator McCain wants restrictions on political speech. But on the other, King McCain will let us peasants have our talk radio. For now. Oh, Thank You! Thank You, Senator.
Give me a break. Since when has not assaulting our GOD given rights been seen as a gift? I’ll tell you when. Since this very same Senator has taken his legislative pen to our rights to free speech. Only then would he have to be defended for not going even further.
If you think this helps John McCain with conservatives you are sadly mistaken. It only shows that while he pushes legislation, such as McCain/Feingold, Mr. Freedom of Speech has decided to leave the Surfs talk radio alone. How gracious of him.
What next? Postings of the Declaration of Independence arguing, Senator McCain believes we are still endowed by our creator? (George Orwell, call your radio station.) The irony is delicious.
I do wonder what excuse you’d have if he did, in fact, decide to support the Fairness Doctrine.
“Senator McCain, while supporting the Fairness Doctrine, has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution.”
“Talk radio has demonized Senator McCain, A WAR HERO, for supporting the Fairness Doctrine. Did I mention he’s A WAR HERO? Don’t these talkers know he’s A WAR HERO and that he took an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States?”
1 posted on 01/31/2008 9:18:03 AM PST by coffee260
The poster in question has a tagline referencing a joke Mitt supposedly told to a phone bank that was calling people who were prospective donors to his campaign, representing it as if it was a public statement Romney made about how to get people to vote for him.
The poster in question has never in a thread I’ve been in offered any quotes, references, or other information suggesting he had direct access to Romney, or to any other direct sources of information.
If the POSTER in question believes I have spoken in error, he may tell me otherwise, and I will apologize accordingly.
In the meantime, your statement “I can’t believe how out of sorts you are” also suggests a degree of mind-reading, but which is actually as well simply your interpretation of what I am writing.
In fact, I simply wanted to explain to the poster that so long as he simply voiced an opinion with no factual basis, I would be trusting Mark Levin’s opinion rather than his opinion.
I know people will oppose Romney, and don’t expect to change their minds, but for those who are still looking to make a rational decision, I feel it is helpful to note the comparative worth of the opinions being offered.
I hear ya. You’ve got some good points in there. Medvid, that was a hoot... right on unfortunately.
Well, not exactly. I say it's more likely that a Dhimmiqrat POTUS would have FOUR appointments to SCOTUS -- which means our side will be wandering in the wilderness for at least another twenty years.
So long as there are three candidates, it is hard to determine how many votes are “for” someone, vs how many are “against” someone.
For example, a Huckabee supporter might say they chose Huckabee because Mitt is a Mormon. OK, that’s not good. But would that same voter choose Obama because Mitt is a mormon? We don’t know.
When asked, 40% said they wouldn’t vote for a mormon. But that’s the same number that said they wouldn’t vote for Romney. IT’s clear that somehow the pollster let it be known that Romney was a mormon, and the “mormon” question was a “romney” question.
And at this point, if a poll is of the general election, you are going to see 40% oppose a candidate, because that’s the 40% that are for the other party no matter what.
Anyway, McCain should be a slam dunk but he can’t break 38%, and Huckabee supposedly is a conservative AND a christian and he isn’t getting the votes either.
If Huckabee drops out, and Romney can’t get more than 50% against McCain, then it’s clear he isn’t the person we hoped. On the other hand, there’s also no reason to believe that 80% of the people voting for McCain in Florida wouldn’t vote for Romney against Hillary and Obama.
Romney has actually improved somewhat in head-to-heads, and frankly he STILL is not a household name like McCain.
Seriously, he has talked about the wall. It's on his web site:
Secure The Border. Follow through on Congressional commitment to build a physical and technological fence along the southern border, and secure other points of entry.
sneaking suspicion is more important when you have another choice that is better.
But I don’t see how it wins out over certain catastrophe.
It’s like you are standing on a ledge, and the bear is about to attack you. There’s a bridge, but it looks shaky, and you have a sneaking suspicion that it might break if you run over it.
So instead you just sit their and let the bear devour you.
It just doesn’t make sense. If there was a better option, then it might. If the bridge wasn’t there, it would make sense.
But you don’t have to sacrifice your principles to vote for Romney, because you are voting for a man with a solid conservative platform. You only have to suspend your disbelief. That’s not a “principle”, that’s a hope and a prayer.
It’s not “unprincipled” to vote for a man who says he will do what’s right, simply because you think he might be lying. It may be naive, or simple, but when there are no alternatives, what’s the harm?
You left of the option in question, choice number three, the "I won't elect a democrat, but I ain't votin' for no Mormon, them thar republicans have done lost their minds, I'm goin' fishin'" vote.
You also leave off the "Mitt Romney's record is spotty at best, I think I'll let it slide this time and hope someone sensible comes along in 2012"vote.
Like I said Charles, Mitt's issue is not beating Hillary but winning key parts of the base and there is more than enough who will not bite at any price to cause his loss.
He may well be a born again hard Conservative, but he was a bad choice for a candidate on a national level. He looks really good and sounds good but that is a lousy basis to chose a leader on. Everyone got stars in their eyes and now we are stuck.
Most of Romney’s picks were for circuit courts, which never have a “political” qualification. Judges are NOT SUPPOSED to be political, and at some level some people still understand that you don’t have to join a specific political party to get a job.
And believe it or not, there are people who associate with the democratic party who still believe that judges should not write laws.
In a state where an overwhelming part of the applicant pool was democrats, Romney did well on appointing those of all persuasions.
I don’t think Romney went out of his way to pick republicans, or democrats. But he has explained exactly what he will do as President, and I don’t see anything in his record of appointments to suggest that he won’t do what he said. He didn’t run for Governor promising to shut democrats out of the judicial branch.
And he’s got a stellar team on his judicial staff, people we can trust who are behind him and trust him to do the right thing.
Is there something on that list you don't like?
The only difference is that I trust Mitt Romney to BE what he says he will be. That may make me naive, or a fool, but it doesn't make me unprincipled. I am voting for the man who has a chance of winning who has the best conservative platform.
John McCain is John Kerry and Bob Dole rolled up into one uninspiring, smirking package.
Just like those two other Senate fixtures, McCain thinks he is “due.” He has put in his time in service to his country, and now he believes it’s “his turn.” He expects his party to reward him, even after his years of stabbing the party in the back.
Just like Kerry, McCain mentions his Vietnam service whenever possible. Just like both Kerry and Dole, McCain is dry, dull, boring, and monotone. He’ll get destroyed by either Obama or Hillary.
Romney was the first choice of very few people. But you have to look at what’s left. Do you want a guy who voted to take away first amendment rights when it comes to financing candidates? Do you want a guy who thinks Sam Alito is too conservative? Do you want a guy who is pro-Amnesty? Do you want a guy who likes Hillary and thinks she would be a great president?
You want blanket amnesty? No borders? You want to coddle terrorists? More taxes? Higher energy? Liberal judges? Vote for McCain.
Electing McCain will destroy what remains of our sovereignty.
Bears? Bridges? What the hell are you talking about? McCain is less of a conservative than Romney. Both are less conservative than Thompson, Hunter, or Tancredo. Cons are whining and acting like they will take their bat and ball and go home or join another league just so they can feel better about themselves because they didnt get a chance to be pitcher. Better analogy. :)