Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns



I don't have much to say on the Florida primary that hasn't been said by others.  My assumption is that the creation of majorities in our republic
is--has always been--a messy business, and we shouldn't be surprised
that this GOP primary is messy and blurry, made more so by an
unimpressive media that focuses only on the fleeting.  Yet, the fog is
lifting now and it is becoming clearer that the only candidate who is
both a conservative and is able to practice the politics of
inclusion--of pulling folks toward his views on how to revivify
limited constitutional self government, and therefore creating a majority--is
Mitt Romney.  His impressive victory in Florida reveals this.  It is clear to me
now that he can and will cobble together a majority within the GOP because 
he is a smart man, a conservative, and let us admit, a well balanced individual.  
It is now also clear that his campaign is well run.  Gingrich, this so called man 
of ideas--all of them disconnected from one another and almost blurted out
as his ungovernable will may demand--is ungraciously appealing to--as he calls it--people power instead of financial power.  This makes me feel as if I'm participating in politics of the 
Philipines, instead of our constitutional republic.  This is not impressive and it is not conservative.  Gingrich, I should add, is  also tired, languid, and seems a bit desperate.  Romney should take the high ground from now on (he has made his point that he can be a tough guy)--as he did in last night's speech--and he will walk into the convention with a majority of the delegates and everyone will know he will have deserved  his victory.
Categories > Elections

Discussions - 12 Comments

All right, Romney it is. Yesterday, Willima McGurn had a suggestion for "How Mitt Can Finish Off Newt". He says, of the interest in Gingrich, "at bottom the Newt insurgency is fueled by the sense that Mr. Romney's tepid policy agenda reflects no fixed beliefs." and as far as I have read in commentary and blogs, that is correct. That might not be true about Romney and I truly hope it is not. What McGurn is suggesting is not a shift from conservative principles, but several shifts in policy. He says, "The most constructive way for Mr. Romney to kill off his rivals while bringing the party together is simple: Steal their best ideas."

What a great idea. How refreshing it would be to have a candidate say, "I always thought my policy was the best, but on studying the position of( X candidate), and through the debates, I have decided he is right; his policy proposal is better." By this means Romney would make a "big tent" campaign out of the tatters of the primary season battles and, as you say, cobble together a majority, but not just a desperate majority. What real good is that for the country?

He needs a majority that is comfortable with him. On NPR yesterday evening, the reporter of the Florida primary said that in exit polling, nearly 50% of those voting said they wished there had been another candidate to vote for. That's awful. I like McGurn's idea and hope our probable candidate takes it to heart.

I don't agree with the idea/policy stealing tactic. It would just reinforce the notion that he doesn't have any real convictions or strong policy commitments. He's already battling to overcome the view that he is a waffler or flip-flopper. After winning more delegates than the field, he's now supposed to say that here and there they really do have better ideas than he does--as if he is more reflective and smarter than those who voted for him all along? He'd look as feckless as Gore, who, along with Kerry, was not any Democrat's true love in his race either. Nope, dance with the ideas that brung ya the votes thus far, I say. Go back to Ramesh Ponnuru's National Review editorial lauding the virtues of Romney's GOP candidacy, esp. what he would bring to the nation as a president working with a solidly GOP Congress. Operators are standing by. . .

If the basic principles are conservative, then a conservative politician is not waffling if he shifts policy through adapting to new (conservative) ideas. I agree that people complain he's too flexible, but that is the positive side of of the Plastic Man allegations. If the Republicans can keep a conversation going, shouldn't the focus of that conversation be about "what is good for America"? Romney references that idea; I heard it as a themes in his speech following his Florida win. Then as he picks up wins through primaries, why not make that the running conversation and use the conversation to form the platform for the general election?

I do not think McGurn is saying he should willy-nilly adopt the ideas of the other candidates. He seems to be suggesting that other candidates have ideas that many Republicans embrace and Romney could, too, to create a more attractive candidacy. Would it really weaken Romney if he embraced more conservative stands than he does or did? I don't think so; he already has.

Maybe this goes to the question of the nature of his weak support and why there is such a strong "Anyone but Romney!" contingent in the politics of the Right. Maybe it just what Peter said, that politics is a messy business. However, for my experience, my conversations about politics in my area of Ohio, I do not know anyone who is gung-ho for Mitt Romney. (Heck, throw in my friends on Facebook from across the nation) That bothers me. Call it the housewife in me that is bugged by the mess.

I know plenty of people who are reluctant supporters. They say, "Anyone but Obama." and I suppose I am among that group. (No, move me a little further in his circle; he seems like a decent guy and yes, Ponnuru's defense was a good one.) I also know people who say, "Not another wishy-washy conservative. I just won't vote." They happened in the last presidential election and I don't think it did the country any good. Isn't that roughly what John Moser is saying here? They fall back on the presumed plurality of Republicans who should be voted into the legislative branch. This will counter Obama's vain ambitions. However, I do not see how it will push back what harm he has already done.

We need a strong candidate against the incumbent and at the moment, we do not have one. We do have Romney, though. I think it is just fine that folks are trying to figure out how to make him the strong candidate that we need.

Agreed. I don't adhere to the idea (espoused by some) that the longer we do not have only one target for Obama (and the press) to aim at, the better. In spite of some of the media fueled negativity, we have had a great national dialogue about the role of gov't in the economy, jobs, health care, the space race, immigration, national security, etc. As the Good Book says, "as Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." It's now time to move on and take the battle to Obama. If it isn’t obvious yet that there is only one candidate with the organizational ground game, war chest and private sector credentials to draw a stark contrast with the current adminstration, then I think we are being delusional.

Several questions:

If Romney is so smart, how then did he manage to land on every side of just about every major issue under the Sun;

If Romney is so "conservative," -------- what's with his donations to hard left Democrats, what kind of "conservative" does something like that?

If Romney is so "well-balanced," why then in two successive nomination attempts has he tried to advance his candidacy not by proving the superiority of his ideas, of his record, but by "carpet bombing" his opponents "back to the stone age," to paraphrase Brit Hume?

Smart men don't land on different sides of so many hot button issues, it's not impossible for them to shift on one or two such issues to be sure. But such shifts would occasionally be against political self-interest, which would indicate such shifts were driven by conviction. But for self-serving careerists flips are driven by political expediency.

Genuine conservatives wouldn't think of financially supporting Democrats, particularly after 1968. Romney donated money even after the Reagan revolution, in the 1990s. And such a person is to get the chief plum of the Republican party, their nomination for President of the United States?

But what I really find fascinating is that a guy who has repeatedly misrepresented who he is, what he believes in, what his record is and the record of his competition, who has spent tens of millions of dollars in furtherance of such deception, still gets some to deem him "well balanced."

A Romney nomination represents well nigh a repudiation of Reagan era policies, especially those domestic.

Fascinating to see a man who's spoken forcefully at Tea Party events call Romney, for at least the 2nd time now, a conservative.

But Glenn Beck, the man who (in the words of Mr. Schramm) "tells it like it is" has described Romney as a "socialist" (like Obama).

Footage of Glenn saying this on his Fox show here:

So, the question is, can one be a conservative socialist?

Not only don't I agree that Romney is conservative, I'm beginning to consider the benefits of reelected Obama. Electing Mitt will be, at best, Obama-light, and yet "conservativism" will get all the blame for his mistakes. Far better perhaps to reelect Obama with a GOP Senate and House.

The base is becoming more displeased by the minute.

While the poor implications of electing a wishy-washy man like Mitt are certainly cause for concern, the practicality of the matter means that, regardless of the nominee, President Obama must be defeated. If he is not, and if the Court does not solve the problem, then Obamacare will come into effect--once a program so large comes into force, it will seem impossible to undo. Moreso, there will be at least two and possibly three Supreme Court vacancies during the next presidential term, including Justice Kennedy. The Court is in play this election and cannot be lost.

A GOP Senate and House is certainly good, but it will not be able to reverse Obamacare and will only be able to put so many roadblocks in front of ocurt nominees.

So, the question is, can one be a conservative socialist?

Absolutely, see Daniel Bell. On the other hand one is highly unlikely to be a conservative and a socialist and be represented adequately by the Republican party.

Academic political philosophers can be all sorts of mixed adjectives. But they have to be satisfied being independents.

It is not so much that conservatism and progressivism and socialism do not exist, But I want to go this far.

I want to say that there are only two viable brands, or two servicemarks: Republican and Democrat.

I also want to delve into the nature of servicemarks/trademarks to show that terms like "conservatism","progressivism" or "socialism" are fuzzy at best.

I want to attack Redwald for suggesting that if Mitt fails, "conservatism" will be blamed. The truth is that the Republican brand will be tarnished.

Also if we really are worried about the purity of "conservatism", then it may be best for Mitt to nominate an an intellectual peer rather than a ballancing VP from some other demographic.

So I argued that McCain should pick Lieberman (not Palin). The Palin pick was both a disaster and a great success. I am not sure about this line of thinking.

What I am sure about is that undue focus upon "isms" is a mental illness in its own right. Progressives or Marxists who take capitalism seriously should really delve into unfair competition/trademark law.

In order for a brand to be meaningful it has to produce a product in commerce, and have some way of policing its symbolism(tradedress) or integrity.

Neither the republican party nor the democratic party will take kindly to you abusing their tradedress or representing that you are a RIN or a DIN if you are not.

So there is a lot of focus on RINO's and DINO's and not much focus on the work done by "Only". That is probably a pretty big mistake.

Certainly Glenn Beck uses conservatism, socialism and progressivism in commerce. To a certain extent it is tempting to simply let him police the brands (albeit I am sure you would wish to have him cease and desist with his use of progressivism.)

So the intellectuals are in a quandry, can they really get away with using non-commercial isms, in an age where consumers want adjectives to be tangible.

I want fries and golden arches with my conservatism. I want to be lovin' it! I want the ism to have a specific geographical location, to have customer service, to have political science/philosophy tech support, and provide legal aid.

In other words I suppose I want my Conservatism to be the Pacific Legal Foundation!

Likewise I want my Progressivism to be fighting the good fight against intrusions on personal liberties. So I am glad I can go to the ACLU and know that someone is looking out for the gay victim of bullying(a great read on Ohio Law by the way).

I am open to being persuaded on a case by case basis. Let the best briefs duke it out.

I am sick and tired of the RINO and DINO crowd. Mitt Romney is a Republican. Glenn Beck is an entertainer. If you are going to call someone a Republican in Name Only, understand what the "onlyness" of the name entails.

It is high time to turn the tables! Here is the phone number to the Lucas County republican party: (419) 482-0506 .

I want a phone number to "conservatism".

No phone number/no trade dress/no trademark/no business card/ no accountability possible= You do not exist as an adjective with a syntatic role under Capitalism.

At least if Politics had a USPTO, there are a lot of isms I would strike down.

By the way here is the number to Progressive: 1 (855) 267 4928. Under Capitalism this is the registered trademark of an insurance company. It is represented by a smilley faced girl named Flo. Its tradedress include the colors Blue and Orange. It provides quotes in 6 minutes. Its stock trades on the NYSE under the symbol PGR. It just filed form 8k earnings with the SEC.

The longer I live, the more disgusted I've become with the American electorate. If Mitt Romney is the best the Right has to offer, then maybe the country deserved their Obama-messiah. There are still many good and intelligent people in this country, but their voices are being drowned out by overly-educated, quasi-intelligent elites who are leading us to destruction.

Trying to hold the line every election, making due with the least of evils, and hoping for better days has gotten old. I haven't been able to vote for a candidate I could really support for ages now. Why should we soldier on when our own "leaders" treat us with such disrespect?

John Lewis, this was very good:

"It is high time to turn the tables! Here is the phone number to the Lucas County republican party: (419) 482-0506 .

I want a phone number to "conservatism"."

A point nicely made.

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