Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The ABM Caucus

Leading Republican members of Congress are rushing to endorse Romney, because they’re for Anyone But McCain. That’s because they think John has functioned all too effectively to thwart real conservative legislation. But does ABM point automatically to Mitt? Do our legislators believe that Giuliani can’t win the primaries? Or that he’s also not really a conservative? Isn’t excessive worry about the McCain candidacy unreasonable, given the astute observations by our Julie about the Arizona senator being well past his prime? And, in any case, is the AB approach the best way to select a candidate?

Discussions - 10 Comments

This is of course very bad news. Although Hastert, and Boehner are hardly good conservatives to want on the bandwagon.

But as the article says: Romney, of course, has his own definitional problems. Is he a liberal Massachusetts Republican or a conservative Utah Mormon Republican?

I think that it’s going to be clear his record is much more liberal Massachusetts guy; he’s worse than McCain. The "astute" observations about McCain and his prime are quite shallow, and weak. McCain has more political courage than any of the other candidates in the field--and most political commentators too.

McCain is an open borders nut and his foreign policy is to out neocon the neocons. I guess he is trying to get in front of Newt.

Ron Paul is of course my choice, but Tancredo or Hunter would be much preferable to Romney.

Can I form an anybody but all the rest of them caucus?

Here is what Sean Scallon at Beating the Powers That Be has to say about the Ron Paul boomlet.

When it was leaked out that U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex) was forming an exploratory committee to run for the GOP nomination for President, the excitement and electricity on the internet was enough to give full power to Baghdad. Paul has long been a favorite among many on the information super-highway for his paleolibertarian views on foreign and domestic policy and his opposition to the war in Iraq. Many were enthusiastic about the possibility of Paul gaining a broad coalition of support among libertarians, "real" conservatives and maybe even a few leftists as well to form a new electoral coalition.

You have to dance with the strategy that the Republican leadership give you, in this case ABM.

I, for one, will do my level best to see that McCain never reaches the White House, and if that includes having to vote for Hillary, so be it.

Let it be Romney. If Rudy moderates his 2nd Amendment position, let it be him.

But, never McCain.

Frankly, after the reaction of the Republican leadership to the 2006 election, and with the reaction of certain Republican senators to the war in Iraq, I’m not hopeful that I’ll be doing anything in 2008 other than sitting out the election.

I don’t know if McCain is a serious threat to win the nomination or not, but it seems too early to write off his candidacy. If I’m right about that, conservatives must be clear among themselves that he is the worst of the major candidates and must be taken down before he catches on. McCain does have some commendable qualities. But they’re canceled by the fact that in major, live controversies, he tends to play for the wrong team.

"You have to dance with the strategy that the Republican leadership gives you,"

No you don’t! Did the Republican leadership give us Buchanan as #2 in Iowa and #1 in NH in ’96? No they didn’t. In fact it induced complete panic in them. Romney, who any other year would be an unelectable flaming lib in the GOP primaries, is now the ABM candidate because the MSM and the Leadership has anointed those three as front-runners. You do not have to live with that. You do not have to accept it. There are now a few potential conservatives.

I think the current conservative movement leadership is looking closely at Romney when any other year they would reject him out of hand, because they believe there is an inevitability about the top three and they don’t want to get left out.

Well if that is the case, then I submit there is no longer a conservative movement, there is a conservative followership. I honestly find it quite pathetic.

If the conservative movement had any integrity at all they would categorically as a group say M, R, and G are unacceptable and if any of them are the nominee then we will stay home or vote third party and bring as many of our followers with us as possible.

Then the Establishment might set up and take notice. As long as they continue to consider Romney, then the Establishment will have no reason to change.

Perhaps my mistake is in considering the conservative establishment and the GOP establishment as two different things. Perhaps now all the conservatives are just party hacks under a different banner.

Dan Phillips, the problem for conservatives is that there is no articulate and clearly conservative politician in a position to run for the nomination. Maybe I am missing something, but I have been asking for the name of someone who clearly articulates conservative ideals (whatever those are - I have mine, presume you have yours, but do we agree?) and hear of no one who is really ready for the race. The Kesler article in the WSJ takes a hopeful view of this, which I am trying to adopt, because I need a hopeful view right now. Maybe long term the current conservative confusion is a good thing. It looks awful to me.

In the meantime, we may have no choice but to choose the best of what the Republican Party has to offer, still again. Yet, look at this; we are clearly having no happy time trying to figure out who that "best of the bunch" might be.

Besides his politics (I cannot forgive McCain-Feingold), there is another, not well-understood reason to be concerned about McCain: Several years ago, he had left facial and upper neck surgery for a recurrent melanoma.

Melanoma is a bad cancer when recurrent; it can remain occult for years before metastases show up, and he is at some risk of developing brain metastasis. The VP nominee will be a critical choice should McCain achieve frontrunner position.

I agree with David F and feel Kate’s pain. None of the candidates inspire principled devotion...

Ron Paul is a great conservative candidate because he actually believes the federal government should spend money on those things specifically authorized by the Constitution. I really want to know when following the Constitution became optional, especially for conservatives who say they believe in original intent.

Ron Paul also believe in the small-government, authentic conservative Old Right principle of non-intervention. He is not a Wilsonian democrat masquerading as a conservative.

Early in his career he was pro-immigration as many traditional libertarians are, but over the last several years he has become a paleolibertarian on the immigration issue.

On the War he was right on from the beginning. On immigration he can be trusted.

Tancredo is, of course, good on immigration and he has fanatical grass-roots support. While he is not a strict Constitutionalist on spending like Paul, he is better than most Republicans. He is wrong on interventionism though, which hurts him with some of his potential paleo base.

Tancredo would be more on fire with the internet activist base if Paul hadn’t announced first.

Hunter is certainly better than either M, R, or G, but is not that hawkish on spending. He is rabidly pro-War. A lot of the Freeper crowd likes him for that reason. But to me he offers no advantage over Tancredo, who is more well known and has a rabid base.

As to the contention that no conservatives are "ready," that is the judgment of the Establishment which many seem to be allowing to pre-empt all other considerations. Get behind one of them and let the process work.

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