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The Establishment Moves Rightward (Shrink from the left, shift to the right)
National Review ^ | 12/28/2011 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 12/28/2011 6:03:28 AM PST by SeekAndFind

I’ve made a disturbing discovery: I am a member of the conservative “establishment.” I feel like Michael Douglas at the end of Falling Down: “I’m the bad guy?”

Largely in response to the real and perceived excesses of the Bush years and the overreach of the Obama administration, the base has become more populist. In particular, the rank and file of the GOP and the conservative movement have become deeply disenchanted with what they see as the rubber-spined, foot-dragging quislings drinking from a trough of Chablis at some Georgetown party. The term “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) has become an epithet of ideological enforcement, spit out in much the same way Mao cursed “running dog capitalists.”

In 2010, the tea parties and the conservative base (not always synonymous terms) tried to cull as many RINOs from the herd as they could in the primaries. They were extremely successful, with only a few stumbles.

Things are messier this time around. And to some extent this is to be expected. Presidential primaries rely on much larger pools of voters than primaries in midterms. Moreover, rather than a single Tea Party candidate challenging a worn-out incumbent, the field has had lots of candidates seeking the Tea Party or “true conservative” mantle.

Each of them has tried to play the populist card, not just against the liberal media establishment but also against the so-called conservative establishment. “I believe it is a deliberate attempt to damage me because I am not, quote unquote, the establishment choice,” explained Herman Cain when asked about his troubles.

Though he never intended any of this, Mitt Romney is largely to blame for the anti-establishment tumult. Somehow, he has managed to become the Arlen Specter of the 2012 field. (Specter is conservative-speak for “demon RINO from hell.” You’re supposed to spit on the ground after you say “Arlen Specter.” Ptooey.)

In 2008, Romney was the conservative alternative to John McCain, earning endorsements not just from National Review but from many titans of right-wing talk radio — Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham. Now Limbaugh insists that support for Romney proves that “the Republican establishment does not want a conservative getting the nomination.” Erick Erickson, a CNN contributor and editor of the conservative site RedState, says that if Romney is the nominee, “Conservatism dies and Barack Obama wins.”

Recently, after National Review issued a stinging anti–Newt Gingrich editorial, many of the same voices insisted that the magazine (where I work, though I didn’t write the editorial) has, in the words of one right-wing blogger, lived long enough “to become the villain.” Fox News, Karl Rove, Charles Krauthammer, George Will, and even pro-Romney columnist Ann Coulter are routinely denounced as part of some RINO cabal.

It’s difficult to catalogue all of the oddities. Hugely successful, powerful, and rich conservatives are lambasting the establishment as if they are in no way part of it. Gingrich has gone from being too establishment to being too anti-establishment faster than you can say “Freddie Mac.” And you can only wonder how befuddled Romney is, given that he’s moved even further rightward since 2008.

Frankly, I can’t blame anyone for being underwhelmed by Romney, or begrudge anyone their frustration with the field. What’s harder to understand is how nobody has noticed that the conservative establishment, which includes many of my friends denouncing it, has become vastly more conservative over the last two decades. It’s more pro-life, more pro–Second Amendment, more opposed to tax increases.

The political corpses of RINOs litter the roadside of this great migration. Rockefeller Republicans went out with 8-track tapes, leisure suits, and Kevin Phillips. And yet people talk about the conservative establishment as if David Gergen is calling the shots.

The mere fact that there’s something one can meaningfully describe as a conservative establishment today is a victory, never mind that it is more conservative than it has ever been. But a conservative establishment is useless if it doesn’t bring the nation with it. The frustration on the right stems from the fact that none of the candidates seems up to that task.

— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: conservatism; establishment; gop; right

1 posted on 12/28/2011 6:03:34 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
Richard Nixon said to win the nomination you run to the right, and to win the election you run to the left.

They didn't call him Tricky Dicky for nothing.

2 posted on 12/28/2011 6:05:53 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (FOREIGN AID: A transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries)
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To: SeekAndFind

“Hi Jonah!”

(outstanding article)

Thinking from the article, he’s clearly a FReeper.

Nicely written Sir.


3 posted on 12/28/2011 6:06:49 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
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To: SeekAndFind

“rubber-spined, foot-dragging quislings drinking from a trough of Chablis at some Georgetown party”

Target acquired—Launch ordnance.


4 posted on 12/28/2011 6:07:50 AM PST by Arm_Bears (Journalists first; then the lawyers.)
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To: SeekAndFind

And you can only wonder how befuddled Romney is, given that he’s moved even further rightward since 2008.


That’s the problem with Romney. He has to move, he has no foundation. What happens when he needs to move left???


5 posted on 12/28/2011 6:11:32 AM PST by Linda Frances
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To: SeekAndFind
On a related note....

Throw 'em all out...And good riddence!

6 posted on 12/28/2011 6:11:32 AM PST by mewzilla (Santelli 2012)
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To: SeekAndFind
(Specter is conservative-speak for “demon RINO from hell.” You’re supposed to spit on the ground after you say “Arlen Specter.” Ptooey.)

Hilarious!

Wayta go, Jonah!

7 posted on 12/28/2011 6:12:53 AM PST by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

I differ with Goldberg on one major point: that Romney has moved right since 2008. I think the opposite is true and I think it’s one reason Romney is stuck on 25%.

Now Goldberg is right that Romney was considered a conservative alternative to McCain in 08 - more because McCain is more liberal than Mitt on issues of tax and regulations and because McCain is more likely to attack another Republican than Mitt is. But Mitt has moved left since 08.

Had he actually moved right, I think he would be much higher than 25% in the polls.

Other than that, interesting article.


8 posted on 12/28/2011 6:14:32 AM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Many of us had the privilege of meeting Jonah and hearing him speak at the FReeper pizza eating following the March For Justice on October 31, 1998. We gathered at the AIA building to tell tales of the days fantastic gathering and to hear speakers.

It was on that day that we actually became FReepers.


9 posted on 12/28/2011 6:22:29 AM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: Arm_Bears
The term “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) has become an epithet of ideological enforcement, spit out in much the same way Mao cursed “running dog capitalists
And arguably about the same thing, especially the running part.
10 posted on 12/28/2011 6:25:03 AM PST by dblshot (Insanity: electing the same people over and over and expecting different results.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Money quote:

“’... if Romney is the nominee, “Conservatism dies and Barack Obama wins.’”
In a nutshell, Jonah.


11 posted on 12/28/2011 6:31:39 AM PST by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: SeekAndFind
“. . . and you can only wonder how befuddled Romney is, given that he’s moved even further rightward since 2008.”

McRomney is going to get whiplash from getting his head jerked back and forth, left and right depending on which crowd he is in front of!

Jonah, you don't get it or simply do not understand that there is a fundamental change coming to America and the game of passing off the (progressive) football to a liberal democrat one election year and then passing the same progressive football off to a liberal (RINO) Republican (because he or she can work across the isle), ending up with the same social programs, spending, taxes, redistribution of Americans hard earned money, and a never ending increase in the size of this out of control government!

McRomney is the poster child for big government liberal progressive (RINO) Republican being supported by and pushed by the elite “establishment.” The American people do not want this kind of political gamesmanship anymore!

I have noticed Jonah, you never denied the existence of the Republican “establishment.” You never denied McRomney is a (RINO) progressive who will compromise any conservative principles to promote his progressive agenda and ideology!

Put some ice on that McRomney, whiplash is a real pain in the neck!

12 posted on 12/28/2011 6:32:12 AM PST by paratrooper82 (We are kicking Ass in Afghanistan, soon we will be home to kick some more Asses in Congress!)
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To: MestaMachine

PS
But for Sarah Palin, it would have died with mccain,


13 posted on 12/28/2011 6:32:55 AM PST by MestaMachine (obama kills)
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To: SeekAndFind

Great article.. What I believe is that Mitt is the least liked, but he is still a cconservative. The Massachusetts legistrature, painted him into a corner withit. If the libs got what they wanted, Romneycare would make Cuba’s health care look like free market.


14 posted on 12/28/2011 6:35:04 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

[Richard Nixon said to win the nomination you run to the right, and to win the election you run to the left]

And Romney is the epitome of that philosophy! In fact, he has already started pandering to the Left, since he thinks he is going to win.


15 posted on 12/28/2011 6:38:27 AM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP (If you come to a fork in the road, take it........)
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To: C. Edmund Wright

So why does the GOP establishment behave as if David Gergen is calling the shots?

It’s simple.

End deficit spending NOW!
Fence and guard the borders.
Deport, deport, deport.
Drill here, drill now.
Fight wars instead of trying to win hearts and minds!

NONE OF THE GOP CANDIDATES EMBRACE ALL OF THESE SIMPLE PRINCIPLES.


16 posted on 12/28/2011 6:39:34 AM PST by noprogs (Borders, Language, Culture....all should be preserved)
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

Wow! It’s pretty clear that he’s been on this forum reading what we have to say. Of course, he doesn’t have to be a signed-up freeper to read it.

Can somebody help me? Rush endorsed Romney??


17 posted on 12/28/2011 6:40:13 AM PST by miss marmelstein
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To: SeekAndFind

Vichy Republican whines after NR stabs Newt in the back. No one likes me!

The decline at NR began the day Goldberg was hired.


18 posted on 12/28/2011 6:50:16 AM PST by y6162
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To: SeekAndFind

Lov ya Jonah (and Lucianne too) but . . .

FTA=
“the conservative establishment, which includes many of my friends denouncing it, has become vastly more conservative over the last two decades. It’s more pro-life, more pro–Second Amendment, more opposed to tax increases.”

This is precisely the problem Jonah.

How can a group be “more pro-life” or “more pro-Second Amendment” or “more opposed to tax increases”?

You either is or you ain’t.

The people are awake and letting the RINO establishment, which is firmly entrenched in the Repub/Conservative/Libertarian party professional ranks, that we don’t want YOU!

We want our constitutional republic restored, and RINOS are the problem.


19 posted on 12/28/2011 6:51:00 AM PST by Macoozie (Go Sarah! Palin/Bolton 2012 - (I can drean can't I?))
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To: SeekAndFind
What Jonah (and much of National Review, for that matter) is missing is that conservatism is not static. We do not support buggy whip manufacturers nor do we support whale oil lamps. Jonah repeatedly mentioned how the Republican candidates are becoming "more conservative". NO!

Conservatism is evolving, too. When a politician, or pundit, or a magazine cannot adapt, as well, they are destined for the scrap heap called "moderate".

20 posted on 12/28/2011 6:51:13 AM PST by norwaypinesavage (Galileo: In science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of one individual)
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To: noprogs

What a glib POS article by Goldberg, he’s trying to cover up his own squishiness. A better read about the prg tool Lowrey @ NR is @ American Spectator by Jeffrey Lord, http://spectator.org/archives/2011/12/27/the-case-for-a-conservative


21 posted on 12/28/2011 7:00:52 AM PST by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: SeekAndFind

pResident Hussein is and AINO (American in Name Only).


22 posted on 12/28/2011 7:02:51 AM PST by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: Redleg Duke
pResident Hussein is an AINO (American in Name Only).

Sorry about the extra "d" tacked on to "an".

23 posted on 12/28/2011 7:04:36 AM PST by Redleg Duke ("Madison, Wisconsin is 30 square miles surrounded by reality.", L. S. Dryfus)
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To: ExCTCitizen; SeekAndFind
What I believe is that Mitt is the least liked, but he is still a cconservative. The Massachusetts legistrature, painted him into a corner withit.

Not that I'm accusing you of it but that simply isn't true, that's been the rationale of Mittbotts from day one. Mitt ran for Governor as a liberal and governed as a liberal.

Massachusetts liberals didn't make him do it, he did it willingly, he was never a "conservative" and he is not one now.

24 posted on 12/28/2011 7:09:28 AM PST by Graybeard58 (No Obama, No Romney, No Paul, No Huntsman. We can do better than that!)
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To: SeekAndFind

This is an altogether embarrassing piece from Jonah that displays his complete lack of understanding or genuine representation of the conservative movement in the US—even after the tea party elections of 2010.

Romney was the “at least we don’t absolutely know that he’s as much of a liberal traitor as McCain” candidate, after tepidly conservative Fred not only failed in his campaign but also revealed himself as a likely McCain plant (a la Cain and Bachmann for Romney in 2012).

The National Review really is a lost-at-too-many-sea-cruises has-been institution at this point.


25 posted on 12/28/2011 7:16:06 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Imo you left out the point, at which RINOs started their zombie-like groupthink turn to the dumb side:

When the establishment as one, shunned patriot, pro-American trade, rock ribbed conservative Duncan Hunter.

It’s been downhill since that day.


26 posted on 12/28/2011 7:20:23 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

It wasn’t just the Establishment that shunned Hunter, he got no traction at all. But you’re right, he was a true conservative option (besides the wackadoodle Keyes).


27 posted on 12/28/2011 7:25:50 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: SeekAndFind

All that frustration and he blew right over Ron Paul? Perhaps a Constitutional refresher course would help Jonah.


28 posted on 12/28/2011 7:27:30 AM PST by gargub (Ron Paul)
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To: 9YearLurker

Duncan D (his son) might be a very strong VP pick for someone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_D._Hunter

And a trip down memory lane to what might have been, for those unfamiliar with who, is being referred to:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duncan_hunter


29 posted on 12/28/2011 7:37:08 AM PST by Cringing Negativism Network (ROMNEY / ALINSKY 2012 (sarcasm))
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To: Cringing Negativism Network

No, I know it’s tough in CA, but like his dad he needs more than to be a congressman with military experience. Gotta reach the guv or US senate level and/or have some private sector executive experience.


30 posted on 12/28/2011 7:52:35 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: SeekAndFind

“deeply disenchanted with what they see as the rubber-spined, foot-dragging quislings drinking from a trough of Chablis at some Georgetown party.”

Precisely.


31 posted on 12/28/2011 8:36:17 AM PST by GenXteacher (He that hath no stomach for this fight, let him depart!)
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To: Graybeard58

I got to recheck my facts. I’m not a Mittbot, because I want Rick Santorum to ‘Occupy White House’.


32 posted on 12/28/2011 8:47:13 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: ExCTCitizen
What I believe is that Mitt is the least liked, but he is still a conservative.

Ridiculous. Mitt is barely a Republican, let alone, a conservative. He's a left-leaning Moderate, at best.

33 posted on 12/28/2011 8:50:22 AM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: SeekAndFind
the rank and file of the GOP and the conservative movement have become deeply disenchanted with what they see as the rubber-spined, foot-dragging quislings ............................. ............a conservative establishment is useless if it doesn’t bring the nation with it. The frustration on the right stems from the fact that none of the candidates seems up to that task.


34 posted on 12/28/2011 9:17:58 AM PST by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts." Richard Feynman father of Quantum Physics)
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To: ExCTCitizen; Diogenesis

The following was posted this morning by “Diogenesis”, concerning Mitt’s governance of Massachusetts:

MITT ROMNEY - THE PROVEN BAD GOVERNOR

“As U.S. real output grew 13 percent between 2002 and 2006, Massachusetts trailed at 9 percent.

* Manufacturing employment fell 7 percent nationwide those years, but sank 14 percent under Romney, placing Massachusetts 48th among the states.

* Between fall 2003 and autumn 2006, U.S. job growth averaged 5.4 percent, nearly three times Massachusetts’ anemic 1.9 percent pace.

* While 8 million Americans over age 16 found work between 2002 and 2006, the number of employed Massachusetts residents actually declined by 8,500 during those years.
“Massachusetts was the only state to have failed to post any gain in its pool of employed residents,” professors Sum and McLaughlin concluded.

In an April 2003 meeting with the Massachusetts congressional delegation in Washington, Romney failed to endorse President Bush’s $726 billion tax-cut proposal.”
[Cato Institute annual Fiscal Policy Report Card - America’s Governors, 2004.]

5 posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 9:44:26 AM by Diogenesis (”Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. “ Pres. Ronald Reagan)


35 posted on 12/28/2011 10:44:39 AM PST by Graybeard58 (No Obama, No Romney, No Paul, No Huntsman. We can do better than that!)
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To: Windflier

Ok... Thanks for helping me with the facts. I thought I was right about Mitt, but I am guessing that he is a bad as his dad was. George was a LIBERAL, IIRC.


36 posted on 12/28/2011 11:46:22 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: Graybeard58; Diogenesis; All
Thank for the following...

The following was posted this morning by “Diogenesis”, concerning Mitt’s governance of Massachusetts:

MITT ROMNEY - THE PROVEN BAD GOVERNOR

“As U.S. real output grew 13 percent between 2002 and 2006, Massachusetts trailed at 9 percent.

Wow...was it because of him, thou, or was it because of the liberals?

* Manufacturing employment fell 7 percent nationwide those years, but sank 14 percent under Romney, placing Massachusetts 48th among the states.

hmm...that is amazing...

* Between fall 2003 and autumn 2006, U.S. job growth averaged 5.4 percent, nearly three times Massachusetts’ anemic 1.9 percent pace.

Where's the Massachusetts Miracle?

* While 8 million Americans over age 16 found work between 2002 and 2006, the number of employed Massachusetts residents actually declined by 8,500 during those years. “Massachusetts was the only state to have failed to post any gain in its pool of employed residents,” professors Sum and McLaughlin concluded.

WOW...they really are a showcase for liberalism!!

In an April 2003 meeting with the Massachusetts congressional delegation in Washington, Romney failed to endorse President Bush’s $726 billion tax-cut proposal.” [Cato Institute annual Fiscal Policy Report Card - America’s Governors, 2004.]

Ok.. he is wrong for America. No, I won't endorse him. Rick Santorum/Rick Perry are my choices.

5 posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 9:44:26 AM by Diogenesis (”Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. “ Pres. Ronald Reagan)

thanks for the help!!

37 posted on 12/28/2011 11:56:02 AM PST by ExCTCitizen (If we stay home in November '12... Don't complain if 0 shreds the constitution!!!)
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To: C. Edmund Wright
But Mitt has moved left since 08.

How so? BTW, Mitt would only get my vote in November, not in the primary.

38 posted on 12/28/2011 3:26:17 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

HIs move left is more of an attitudinal thing - his total reluctance to confront Obama - some comments on global warming - his lack of emphasis on a strong counter to the most lefitst of Obama’s moves.

And I would never vote for him in this primary. I did favor him over McCain in 08, but that’s a very low bar. To me, McCain is the worst Republican (crowded field, yes I know).
And our primary didn’t matter so I never did vote in it.


39 posted on 12/28/2011 3:49:04 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: C. Edmund Wright

Thanks for jarring my memory. He pandered Iowans with ethanol subsidies during this campaign, IIRC.


40 posted on 12/28/2011 4:17:26 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

I had forgotten about Mitt and ethanol pandering.

But as to him in 08 versus today: in 08 he clearly was more conservative overall than McCain - and on all economic and regulatory issues clearly more than Huckabee. He was in the middle of the field for conservatism overall and the most conservative of the final 3.

This cycle he’s cynically moved to be the most moderate-liberal of the field with the possible exception of Huntsman on some issues. And clearly in tone with the exception of Huntsman. It is how he has positioned himself - moving left while the electorate and the over all field moves right ,that REALLY aggrevates me.


41 posted on 12/28/2011 4:27:44 PM PST by C. Edmund Wright
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To: ExCTCitizen
I thought I was right about Mitt, but I am guessing that he is a bad as his dad was.

This website is quite possibly the finest resource on the internet, where it comes to amassing data about politicians and government.

Use the search bar in the upper right hand corner of the front page to find articles and editorials about Mitt Romney. Use the drop down menu button to choose 'keywords' and enter "Romney". You'll get back hundreds of results.

Read through a half dozen threads, and you'll soon get a sense of what I said in my prior post. Mitt is no conservative. Not even close.

42 posted on 12/28/2011 6:24:52 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Btt


43 posted on 12/30/2011 1:20:39 PM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: SeekAndFind
What a load of crap from Goldberg!!!

Jonah, I will stop short of calling you a RINO or of not being a real conservative, but you've created the classic media (and NRO) strawman by conflating "conservative" with "Republican" in discussing the establishment.

Goldberg calls it the conservative establishment. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A "CONSERVATIVE" ESTABLISHMENT!!!

There is only the Republican establishment which aligns itself with the party's conservative base usually close to every election cycle and then discards us as needed once elections are done they are safely back in office for another term.

And this Establishment class is rooted in their smug superiority of economic or social class, education, region (East Coast corridor), religion (or lack thereof) and profession. The Republican Establishment would rather be "liked" by others within these groups than with the more conservative rubes from flyover country.

Most conservatives are adult enough to understand that no nominee is ever going to be "THE perfect" candidate, but there is also no doubt that nearly every nomination cycle we end up with some RINO nominee largely because conservative candidates are savaged by the media (which sadly now includes too many "conservative" media outlets like NRO).

True conservatives are by definition incapable of thinking in such a way, therefore it is impossible for there to be an "establishment" of any kind when it comes to conservatives. We are by definition individualistic and find such ruling class predilections distasteful if not offensive to our very core beliefs.

And Goldberg (and Rich Lowry, Anne Coulter, Ramesh and the other Romneybot sell-outs at NRO) should know better.

44 posted on 12/30/2011 1:52:23 PM PST by Sideshow Bob
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