Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Conservative Whining About Mitt Romney

The "true conservative" wing of the GOP is constantly whining about Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate, despite polls regularly showing that he has the best chance of anyone running to defeat President Obama. The latest is an article from Erick Erickson, with the ridiculous title of "Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins." Obviously conservatism isn't going to die whether or not Obama wins. Here's Erickson,
Mitt Romney is going to be the Republican nominee. And his general election campaign will be an utter disaster for conservatives as he takes the GOP down with him and burns up what it means to be a conservative in the process.
So far Romney has appeared to be the most competent GOP candidate.
Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a man devoid of any principles other than getting himself elected. As much as the American public does not like Barack Obama, they loath a man so fueled with ambition that he will say or do anything to get himself elected. Mitt Romney is that man.
So is Obama, and his election disproves Erickson's assertion.
To beat Barack Obama, a candidate must paint a bold contrast with the Democrats on their policies. When Mitt Romney tries, Barack Obama will be able to show that just the other day Mitt Romney held exactly the opposite position as the one he holds today.

Voters may not like Barack Obama, but by the time Obama is done with Romney they will not trust Mitt Romney. And voters would rather the guy they don’t like than they guy they don’t trust.
This is another weak argument. There are plenty of issues on which voters don't necessarily want a "bold contrast" on policy positions, they just want to see competent leadership. I think Romney's flip-flopping on issues is much more important to the GOP conservative base that views him as a RINO, than it will be to the general public. The general public isn't looking for a true conservative. Erickson goes on to argue why Romney is so bad for conservatism at large, arguments which I find unconvincing at best.

For someone that is supposed to be a political expert, it is strange that Erickson -- like many other conservatives -- doesn't seem to grasp that almost all presidential elections are not about who is the greatest choice, but who is the lesser of two evils. We have a two party system with two huge parties that both embrace a wide variety of views. Their nominees almost never please every faction and viewpoint within the party on every issue. As Republicans, we vote GOP because overall we expect Republican policies to be better than Democratic ones, even if a particular candidate isn't much to our liking. Furthermore, we have to go with the candidates who are available, not some magical candidate that stands for everything we like. If there was a great conservative Republican candidate running who looked like a better bet to beat Obama than Mitt Romney, Erickson's article attacking Romney would make sense. Since there isn't, and since despite everything Erickson says, Romney appears to be the best bet of the current GOP candidates to win, attacking and trying to undermine him is stupid and counterproductive. Conservatives who whine about Mitt Romney and say they won't support him might as well go ahead and vote for Barack Obama, since they'll be doing so by default.
Some conservatives, of course, will not go all in for Romney. These conservatives will be blamed by major Republican and “conservative” mouth pieces for not doing enough to help Mitt Romney. They will be alienated, blamed, and made the scapegoat for the failures of the establishment GOP.
They'll be blamed because they'll deserve the blame for not supporting the GOP candidate. It will have nothing to do with the GOP establishment. That's a total cop-out. We have a nominating process. It's just too bad that the conservative base couldn't put forth a competent electable candidate. If Romney wins the nomination he's the GOP candidate -- period. If you are a Republican who won't support him, you deserve all the blame you get if Obama wins reelection.


  1. Agreed. Romney is not my choice, but if he gets the nomination, I will vote for him.

  2. As I've commented in other blogs, Romney biggest issue is he's not acceptable by the fundies for being Mormon. Period.

    However, it seems Rick Perry is beginning to self destructing and Cain has the sexual harassment issues (which seems he's not handling well). The others left are just to insignificant (I personally find Jon Huntsman the least objectionable of the GOP contenders, but he has no chance as far as I can see of getting the GOP nomination - maybe he's just too "liberal" and pro science?).

  3. Oh, Huntsman has the same issue as Romney though, he's a Morman as well.

  4. If it the Repuublican nominee insn't going to be Mitt, then the party could Barry Goldwater themselves into losing in 2012.

  5. I couldn't disagree more. A strong conservative shouldn't feel any more comfortable with Romney than they do Obama, and trying to guilt trip them into supporting someone they don't see eye-to-eye with a reasoable percentage of the time is just whining from the milqutoast middle and country club GOP.

    If the GOP wants conservative backing, they have to make a stronger case for that support than just it's a two party race. Waffling on one's principles like that is what got us in this mess to begin with.

    For those of us who think that our problems are more structural and systemic now anyways, what puppethead we put in office doesn't really matter that much anyway. Whoever it is will get remembered for being at the helm of the ship of state when it sank with all hands. To use the "car in a ditch" analogy, it's clear we're going to hit the wall pretty hard, so why change drivers? Just to let the Dem's make the delusional argument that TSHTF under a Repub? The 2012 electee is screwed regardless of who it is. A pariah for the next 50 years. Might as well be a Democrat - he's earned it.

  6. Should rich people pay more income tax?
    Income earned 35%. Income from capital gains 15%.
    Lower their income tax, since this is what they actually earn. This would be rewarding "new money". On capital gains increase the tax rate. Perhaps not to 35% but it should be higher, because all they do is sit on their asses and rake it in.
    This is most fair. And no taxes on first $20k-$30k income on those earning less than $x/year. Some people are fucking starving to death. They don't make enough money and don't qualify for food stamps.