Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Noonan on Iowa

Not deep thinking, really, just meditations, but good. By the way, I had three chance conversations with acquaintances (market, gas station, oil change) and all three said the same thing, independently of one another: The GOP field is not exciting, no one is "really" the kind of conservative each would like; all are worried about the future of the party; all dismissed Huckabee, didn’t think either Gulliani or McCain were conservative enough, and all three said they would probably end up supporting Romney. Then we talked about Pakistan for a while.

Discussions - 11 Comments

"[E]nd up supporting Romney...."

I suggest your pals do some serious drinking, and while hard at it, do some serious rethinking of what they confessed they'd "end up" doing.

Supporting Romney is tantamount to the wholesale rejection of reason in American politics.

You cannot rationalize the embrace of a man who "transitioned" from one set of conclusions to another, on a bevy of issues incredibly important to the overall common weal, ALL WITHIN the span of about 2 years, and those 2 years coinciding with his Presidential campaign.

That can't be rationalized; that can't be excused. It's without precedent in American politics. I can think of no politician who changed his stripes literally at the start of his Presidential campaign, let alone a politician actually gaining the nomination of his party. I can't even recall a remotely similar precedent in wider Western history.

We're not talking a politician who changed positions a decade ago, or even 5 years ago. We're talking about a guy who was a flaming liberal on many divisive issues as little as 18 months ago. His flips began when he started running for the Presidency. That's when his "transition" began. And that was about 2 years ago.

The only thing that Romney TRULY, DEEPLY, PASSIONATELY believes in his own eminent suitedness for high office. That's it.

It's as I remarked before, Romney is political decadence incarnate.

I'm not so hard on Romney himself. He'd probably be a good president. But nominating him in the spirit of settling more or less guarantees defeat.

Sure, if nominating creatures like Souter to the high court is encompassed within your understanding of "probably" a "good president," then to be sure, Romney will be a good president. But if nominating men like Scalia and Bork is part of the job description, then count Romney out.

If "calling in the lawyers" for a consult about what to do about the Iranians is part of being "a good president," then again, you can count on Romney. If folding before media criticism is acceptable to you, then again, Romney is your guy. If you're OK with governors who fold before feminist interest groups and appoint women judges who let out murderous dirtballs, then again, you'll be very comfortable with a Romney presidency.

All you need to know about Romney is the fact that the Bush clan lined up behind him. They didn't line up behind Giuliani, they lined up behind Romney. No one in the Bush family ever lost some sleep thinking about the fact that America allowed partial birth abortion, a procedure tantamount to infanticide. No one in the Bush family ever lost any sleep pondering the fact that the Iranians are killing Americans in the field, and moving inexorably forward with their Manhattan Project. And they're comfortable with Romney. So if you want more of the same, "the same" being the nonsense we've had to put up with during this second term, then go with Romney. But if you want an administration that actually reins in State, actually gains control of CIA, than you can't possibly be considering Romney.

If you're comfortable with an establishment that is ramming things down the throat of an unwilling America, then go with the establishment pick, which is Romney. But if you want an administration that is going to take some names and kick some ass, I suggest you start seriously considering that pugnacious New Yorker, Rudy Giuliani.

Romney will be just like Bush, signing off on liberal legislation and proclaiming it as another "bipartisan" triumph for America. That will be Romney. That's what he did with his health care reform for Massachusetts. He took liberal desires, enacted them into law and claimed credit for it. That's EXACTLY what Bush has been doing. Until the base of our party said enough!

The GOP has had more than enough of the bipartisan fetish from the Bush men, father and son.

We as a party can't be sickened by this second Bush term, yet extend the nomination to a guy who could be a member of that same Bush family. There's not much difference between a Romney and a Bush. So if you're comfortable with what we've seen from 12 years of Bush governance, if you're comfortable with the Bush family rejecting root and branch Reaganism, if you're comfortable with the Bush family putting a happy face on "public service," then Romney is your guy.

12 long years of Bush family incoherence has placed our party in ideological liquidation. And Romney is but more of the same. No wonder the GOP establishment gravitates towards Romney.

Get a grip, Dan, you've been inching your way to the edge for a while now. And please condense. The GOP does not have a good candidate, just a bunch that will do OK. I think Romney'd do fine, and more than the other candidates I think he'd be more likely to remember that it was ALL the different strains of conservatism that helped put him in the White House (something a Huckabee or a Giuliani might forget).

And for the record, I, and most of the southern-Ohio Republicans I know, think Bush hasn't done too shabby a job during his tenure as our president.

"[I]nching my way to the edge for a while now...." That's a good one. LOL.

Mind if I use that?

Don't worry Dan, there is no groundswell or compromise to Romney here in Ashland. Most people are never going to compromise for a Massachusetts Governor who has shamelessly tried to flip-flop his way to the nomination. The little facts that he's a silver-spoon MBA who ran a venture capital firm that destroyed Ohio small businesses and a Mormon won't be helping him any either.

Not many are "dismissing" the Huckster either, except those who are hoping that he'll just go away...just like Reagan should have in '80.

For the record, I've heard no talk of Romney down here in southern Ohio either; if anyone is causing a stir it is Huckabee. But my intent was merely to voice the belief (once again) that Huckabee is not Reagan - none of the candidates are. It is difficult to take Clint's arguments to the contrary seriously when I think back on how he told us Thompson was going to save the day. The animosity people like Dan hold for Romney is a big turn-off and a great way to get people to ignore your arguments.

It is difficult to take Clint's arguments to the contrary seriously when I think back on how he told us Thompson was going to save the day.

Andrew: I never claimed Thompson was a savior. You're thinking of someone else; I was against Thompson from the start and still am. I was telling conservatives that he was a joke long before his announcement. I supported McCain until his candidacy fell apart in June. Then since I disliked all of the front runners and was forced to support a dark horse, I chose my favorite-Mike Huckabee.

I have not claimed Huck is a Reagan. To be honest I don't want another Reagan-he wouldn't win and is perhaps not even what we need. I try to consider candidates as they are and for the ideas that they generate not making forced analogies to the past. However, to the extent that the establishment said Reagan couldn't win and they are saying the same thing about Huckabee there is some similarity. On issues, Huckabee has a stronger and more consistent socially conservative record, and like Reagan (who raised taxes as well as cut them as President) a mixed economic one.

Thompson DID have his chance. His whole lengthy strip tease about whether or when he would declare wore thin fast. And his campaign style is almost calculated to make sure he doesn't earn the nomination.

It's difficult NOT to have intense passions awakened by Romney closing in on the nomination. His entire candidacy is an insult to the party, and party members. Remember, he didn't just flip five to ten years ago. He flipped at the exact moment he began his campaign, which was prior to his official declaration by the way.

Dan-I share your passion against Romney; he is truly icky. Fear not though because in one week Romney will be finished after losses in both IA and NH.

My apologies, Clint, I must have you confused with someone else.

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