Skip to comments.The Great Conservative Sell-Out
Posted on 01/05/2012 5:41:02 AM PST by Kaslin
Much of the conservative punditocracy has declared that Mitt Romney is the consensus conservative candidate. If he is, he's the least consensual consensus candidate in modern political history -- the man can't break 25 percent with a sledgehammer. While his supporters shout from the hills that Romney essentially tied for the win in Iowa, his glass remains three-quarters empty, with no-name Rick Santorum winning as much of the vote, Ron Paul winning nearly as much, and Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry combining for as much. The last time a Republican candidate captured the nomination for the presidency by winning Iowa with this low a vote total, his name was Bob Dole. A couple of years later, he was hawking Viagra.
Nonetheless, the word is out: The fix is in. Unbelievably, not a single anti-Romney television ad was run in the state of Iowa. And while a few conservatives -- including yours truly -- have come out and opposed nominating the most left-wing Republican in the field, many more conservatives have endorsed Romney's candidacy.
Now there are good reasons for supporting Romney in the GOP nomination race. Some people argue that he has the most appeal to independents, because he is the least openly conservative. Others state that he doesn't have personal baggage and is thus less likely to become fodder for late night talk shows. Still others contend that his vanilla personality means that the focus of the election will remain on President Obama and such focus will make Romney a shoe-in. Finally, there are those who say that Romney has had his convenient road-to-Damascus conversion to conservatism and we should now trust him.
These arguments, at the very least, are understandable. What is not understandable is the contention by so many conservatives that Romney's record is conservative. It isn't. He's always been an advocate of a carefully managed, large government rather than a freedom-ensuring small one; his record in Massachusetts shows him to be an advocate for liberal policies like the individual mandate and activist judges. There can be no doubt that among all the Republicans running, his record is the most left. Even Jon Huntsman looks like Ronald Reagan next to Romney.
Why, then, do so many conservatives say that Romney represents true conservatism?
Because it's convenient.
Whenever there is an open Republican race, many professional conservatives fear alienating the candidates. Instead of holding their feet to the fire, they find the person most likely to win and back him. If that person happens not to be particularly conservative, the pundits rewrite conservatism to fit the candidate. This preserves their access and their credibility with their audience. As professional prognosticators, it certainly looks better to have endorsed George W. Bush in 2000 than Steve Forbes. If pundits can convince us that not only did they support George W. Bush but also that George W. Bush's "compassionate conservatism" was actually conservative rather than warmed over big government liberalism, they can eat their cake and have it, too.
This is deeply problematic, of course, since the professional pundit class is supposed to stand for something other than convenience. Yes, defeating horrible politicians like Barack Obama is the top goal -- but that doesn't justify redefining conservatism entirely. Support Mitt Romney if you must -- but don't urinate on our leg and tell us that it's raining. Mitt Romney is not a conservative. If you want to support him, go right ahead. But don't lie about your rationale. It undermines the conservative standard.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., long ago pointed out that folks who cannot live by certain standards tend to undermine those standards. When the standards are lowered, the behavior that such standards were originally intended to stop increases dramatically. In the case of unwed motherhood, for example, when society ceases to consider such behavior morally wrong, the behavior increases exponentially.
The same holds true in politics. When we deliberately broaden conservatism to encompass government-forced purchase of health insurance or raising taxes or appointing liberal judges or enforcing same-sex marriage or using taxpayer money to bail out business or pushing trade barriers, we destroy conservatism from within. If we do that, why would our politicians even bother to pay lip service to the standard?
They wouldn't. And we'd end up with ever more liberal nominees. Which is precisely what has happened since the halcyon days of Reagan.
Standards matter. If you want to support Mitt Romney, that's your prerogative. But don't sell out conservative principles in the process.
So, he’s open to independents? So What? How open is he to conservatives? I’m tired of Republicans who are open to independents, and lose, or even worse, win and then forget about all the conservatives who voted for them. I will not vote for Romney, period!
I can't be! Karl "You magnificent jackass" Rove says Iowa was a great win for his
RINO Messiah candidate Willard.
“I will not vote for Romney, period”
Then don’t be surprised or upset when Obama wins! Other than Ron Paul he’s my least favorite. If more people would have held their noses and voted for McCain like I had to do then we wouldn’t have Obama!
The mantra has to be Anyone But Obama!
Sorta reads like a letter to Ann Coulter from Ben Shapiro doesn’t it?
If I was betting, I would bet the Romney campaign was behind the taking down of Cain. I would also bet that they were behind the attacks on Sarah Palin.
Not true. Slick Willard will break 25% in NH next week. He may break 40%. Not good timing for this article.
“If more people would have held their noses and voted for McCain like I had to do then we wouldnt have Obama”
But, we’d have McCain, and a Democrat congress, and maybe a slightly slower speed of the handbasket, but no change in direction.
After the 2006 fiasco, Rush said he was through carrying the water for the GOP. That’ll be tested if the GOP nominates Romney. I voted for McCain, or rather against Obama, but I’m finished carrying the water for the GOP.
I should have learned the lesson years ago, when the local Republicans closed ranks against conservatives, and sometimes joined with Dems in doing so. but, I thought the Dems were worse, and so I supported the Grand Old Party. But no more. From now on, they’ll have to earn my support.
The lesser of two evils is still evil.
“I will not vote for Romney, period!”
Nor I. I don’t understand why the party pimps can’t get that through their dead skulls. This is where the trail ends, if that is the best they will PERMIT. Better people have already been eliminated, one by one, and all through smears, suffocation and ‘friendly fire’.
The GOP -will- become a regional party - a weird groups of aloof, condescending cold war liberals slowly dying off in the Northeast.
The worst candidate possible. Both in terms of conservative credentials and ability to beat Obama. How is this even possible? We all saw the Youtube videos, how can any candidate survive this?
NO way in Hell will I vote for Romney if he gets the nod.
Romney is a Nelson Rockefeller Republican.
He is Obama Lite.
I say hunker down for the coming economic storm(it’s coming regardless who gets elected;Romney just delays it) and pray for sensible leadership during the crisis. Hint: it won’t be coming from the Federal Government.
When Ann Coulter tossed her high-heels into the Romney camp, all innocence was lost....
It was noticeable and curious.
This is not Heaven, choose the best. Too bad, it's reality.
I used to buy into this cliche of "if I vote between two evils, I will still end up with evil" Yup, but there's no other way, unless you want to drop out of the process and not have a say.
I say a Democrat is always more evil than the Republican.
This means in the general election, you will ALWAYS vote for the R.
I will be voting AGAINST Obama—no matter what!!
“most appeal to independents”
He also has the most appeal with Democrats!
“dont be surprised or upset when Obama wins!”
I won’t be. That’s partly why Obama won last time. It’s obviously not bad enough for folks yet.
Pragmatism and compromise for its own sake is part of the reason why we’re in the trouble we’re in.
The only way to stop it is to stop voting for RINOs.
Forget the Tea Party trying to work WITHIN the republican party. It needs to be separate.
Romney is just more proof that RNC is done.
More pro-Obama socialist crap. LIES LIES AND MORE LIES. Don’t believe what the leftist Democrats and the mainstream media is saying about Santorum.
The Leftist/Progressive/Socialist axis is trying the demonize Santorum so they can pick the Republican candidate. They did it to us with McCain and they want to do it to us again with Romney.
Republican presidential candidates for whom members of the party's conservative base must hold their noses while voting never win. Think Landon, Dewey, the 1960 version of Nixon, Ford, and McCain.
IF Romney were to win the nomination, the problem he faces is not only those conservatives who’d refuse to vote for him, but the ground troops. IF he wins the nomination, I will vote for him in November. I hope it doesn’t come to that. BUT, I’ve long been a local GOP ‘ground troop’ and will not expend my time on any GOTV efforts this go-round if Romney is heading the ticket.
bump for later
You are correct.
Steve Forbes has endorsed Rick Perry.
The Romney campaign through his people he can’t ‘control,’ has been the most vicious and the most negative and this has not been returned in kind, so far.
I think Newt Gingrich is now annoyed enough to do it.
As far as Cain and Palin are concerned, Romney did not take them out. Palin had been vilified for years and withstood it. I don’t know why she decided not to run but it wasn’t because of Romney.
As far as Cain goes... he took himself out and needs to go away and forget his 9-9-9 bus tour.
“Forget the Tea Party trying to work WITHIN the republican party. It needs to be separate.”
That was obvious from the first quarter of 2010, but people in the base had to make the good faith effort to repair the GOP from their own sense of loyalty and expediency. The fact remains however, that both parties are big government, big welfare, small liberty and globalist in orientation.
“The Romney campaign through his people he cant control, has been the most vicious and the most negative and this has not been returned in kind, so far.
I think Newt Gingrich is now annoyed enough to do it.”
I agree with you, and I don’t think little Lord Fauntleroy is up for the fight. That little thing about living in glass houses and throwing stones will tear Lord Fauntleroy’s satin knickers.
Likely true, but it's not the only thing to consider.
If Romney wins, Boehner will support him in putting most of Obamacare into effect.
If Obama wins, Boehner might fight against Obamacare.
Those are are options if the GOP is dumb (or corrupt) enough to install Romney as their candidate.
I will always vote AGAINST every Democrat—always.
Oh, yeah. I’d have to say the people here who mistakenly think they can help their candidate by attacking others have outdone themselves in Nastiness.
Makes Romney look like a piker.
Me, too. I shall vote against Obama no matter how bitter the pill.
If we get a candidate we dislike, we must vote for him anyway, but we must also turn our strong attention to getting more conservatives in the House and getting a majority in the Senate.
Never say always, sometimes they are equally evil, and sometimes the Dem is more honestly evil and the Repub is stealthily evil. It becomes a Hobsen’s choice.
Splitting hairs—not worth it—ALWAYS vote Republican.
and be betrayed
No one is as corrupt or evil as Obama.
No one even comes close. He’s bent on destroying America and he’s making progress.
Please remember that on Election day.
So what can you do about it?
Hah! Yeah, Cain has always done something or another that kept him away from home a lot.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t as warm around the old home fires as it used to be.
Mrs. Cain may have bought the bus with her savings.
A childish principle, taken to extremes. There will never be a totally good candidate so voting for some "evil" is inevitable. The appropriate guide is to vote for the best candidate available.
Well, when the choice is between somone who would destroy us intentionally, or someone who would destroy us unintentionally, as McCain would have done, as Romney is most likely to do, then we need a third choice - hoard gold, weapons, and nonperishable necessities.
Totally agree, not only is the dealing in reality, it’s the moral way to deal with human beings.
Do you really believe Romney is the same or worse as Obama? The only other option is to stay home and not vote.* If conservatives do that then still guarantees an Obama win.
*I live in NJ so my vote doesn’t count anyway!
I, too, refuse to vote for Romney. He loves government, and flip flops back and forth on issues.
He has no real conviction but one: He is convinced he should be president. All other positions are subject to modification for political gain.
I don’t know if you are listening to Rush, but he just said that he thinks the GOP establishment is convinced that they cannot beat Obama, and are supporting Romney because they think he’ll be the best campaigner for the downticket races.
There is no “more conservative” when you’re comparing socialists. Regardless of their individual shade of gray, they still stand against individual liberty. Isn’t that enough?
The disease of socialism is what’s killing America, not a deficiency of Republicans. George Dubya squandered his majorities. Crybaby Boehner can be tossed about like a tumbleweed by a gentle political breeze. Electing Willard Romney the open socialist would convince the GOP squishes to do even less, and they’d take the blame when everything inevitably collapsed.
Big-government Democrats and Republicans have been driving America toward a cliff for years. The difference now is that we’re about to run out of road.
If you pull the Republican lever without thinking, you’re letting the GOP establishment use you as their tool. They don’t deserve that. Only God deserves your unquestioning loyalty; with everyone else, trust, but keep your wits about you.
If Romney gets nominated, give your time and money to worthy candidates in the House and (especially) Senate who can fight whichever socialist wins.
I’m sure as hell not going to allow the Democrats to use me as a tool.
I completely agree but what does this have to do with choosing a president?