Why Sarah Palin is right about having a competitive primary season

posted at 9:20 pm on February 2, 2012 by J.E. Dyer

The short answer is that Mitt Romney isn’t a small-government conservative.  The slightly longer answer is that Barack Obama has been – as he promised to be – a game-changer, and the 2012 election is the one in which libertarian anti-statism will either have a voice in the Republican Party, or will have to do something else.

This primary season is a fight for the character of the GOP.  The fight is not the perennial standoff between “social cons” and “fiscal cons”; it is a long-postponed dispute over the size and charter of government, and how the GOP will approach it.  It is the most basic possible dispute over ideas about man and the state and their consequences.  It’s also a dispute only the Republican Party could have.  The Democratic Party does not have such a diversity of viewpoint, at least not in any politically consequential way.  The decision about whether America will continue on a fiscally unsustainable path of ever-growing statism comes down to the GOP’s fight with itself.

The Romney wing represents the attitude that America is really OK with the size of government we have now: it just needs better management and some tweaking on the margins.  The Romney wing does not by any means have a class-hostile, socialist vision for the future.  It has no intention of interfering with the citizens’ intellectual liberties, and its view of managerial government is not predicated on the idea that the people need to be coerced (or “nudged”) into collectivist life choices.  It simply sees the existing size of government as compatible with a free-enough life, in the sense that we don’t need to push for significant changes.

The other wing – the one that has been getting behind a different candidate every few weeks – believes precisely that America is not OK with the size of government we have now.  Its main point is that our fiscal and economic problems, and many of our social ones, result directly from the size and interventionist activities of government.  The size of government is the problem – already, today – and if it isn’t fixed, America literally cannot survive as a republic with the intellectual and lifestyle liberties we have enjoyed up to now.

Many in the GOP’s “Not OK” wing have perceived government to be out of control for some time.  But the shock administered by the Obama administration gave the most direct impetus to the Tea Party movement, because it brought home to many Americans how vulnerable we had already become to executive overreach.

For this wing of the GOP, it isn’t enough to put a Republican in charge of the sprawling, momentum-driven executive.  The mere existence of such a gigantic apparat is an already-proven threat to liberty.  A Democrat could be reelected to head it at any time, and even with a Republican in charge, the civil-service army would continue in obscurity to pursue regulatory and money-spending charters issued years or decades ago.  The failure of Congress to pass a budget for over 1,000 days has suspended the legislature’s principal hammer over the executive’s freedom to do what it wants.  As long as government limps along from month to month, on continuing resolutions that are mainly about constituency-tending fights in the House and Senate, Congress cannot gather its will to bargain seriously with the executive over spending priorities.

For the “Not OK” wing of the GOP, what is essential in 2012 is repudiating government on this model.  Nothing is more important to America’s future than that.  The different wings of the GOP have differing views of what constitutes “realism”:  the “America is OK” wing views it as unrealistic to focus on something other than putting up the candidate whom they feel will appeal to the most voters.  The “Not OK” wing sees that as an unrealistic perspective on the current situation.  If government is not reined in – put through an effective bankruptcy proceeding, with its assets sold off and its charter reorganized – then nothing else will matter.

Who is right?  While I am with the “Not OK” wing philosophically, I don’t think it would be the end of America as we know it if Mitt Romney were elected.  But I do believe it would be a grave strategic error for the Republican Party to endorse him early, and silence intra-party dissent as if he represents what America really needs.  A Romney presidency would be no more than a hiatus in deliberately using the state as a steamroller for ideological purposes.  That would be better than 4 more years of Obama, but from the perspective of getting America on a different path, it’s not good enough.

The GOP needs this fight over philosophy of government.  What has to be established in the 2012 primary season is that the small-government vote matters.  If that is not established, the GOP itself will matter little.  Its difference from the Democratic Party will not be sufficient to attract (or keep) membership.

I believe Palin has a strategic view of America’s future that looks beyond the 2012 election itself.  The most important thing now is that the small-government perspective continue to have a chance to express itself on its terms.  If it is silenced in electoral politics, there will be no hope of changing America’s path.  And the only way for it to have a voice is for this primary season to continue on a competitive basis.  That is the mechanism through which the voice of either wing of the party matters to the industry of politics.  That’s where the noise has to be made.

Palin is right.  This is an incredibly “political” year, more so than any year I can remember other than maybe 1979.  Americans are more engaged in political ideas than I have ever seen them.  Obama’s poll numbers aren’t good, but perhaps more importantly, those numbers and others on GOP candidates keep shifting.  People’s choices haven’t been set in stone.  They’re not sure what’s going on, they’re still trying to find a candidate who says what they’re waiting to hear, and they haven’t made up their minds.  The media will do what they’re going to do, but the people are having a separate dialogue with themselves, and it isn’t over.

I believe the GOP would be out of step with the remarkable nature of this year to crown a big-government-as-usual candidate early, on the theory that we need to damp down philosophical debate and concentrate on “campaigning” as early as possible before November.  The campaigning is what is annoying the living bejeebers out of the voters; it’s the philosophical debate that matters this year.  Shutting it down would be a tactical as well as a strategic error.  The only way to force Romney to the right is to keep the primary season competitive.  It’s also the way to keep quality attention on the most important debate America has had on the nature of government since 1860.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at The Green Room, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Weekly Standard online, and her own blog, The Optimistic Conservative.

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
To see the comments on the original post, look here.


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I should vote for Romney because ………….?

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM

I don’t think it would be the end of America as we know it if Mitt Romney were elected.

I do, and I think the correction to this point of view will occur very, very soon.

The core, fiscal problems faced by the US government are so dire that to continue at anything remotely like the current size and cost of government will cause the collapse of the currency in fairly short order. It was already within sight while the Bushites were spending $2 trillion a year, with Social Security and Medicaid growing past the break-even point. Now, with annual deficits over $1 trillion, it’s at the doorstep. You’ll see the effects within the year, or certainly within the next two.

I don’t think there’s any avoiding the crash. However, if the nation is even to survive, we must cut government spending back so drastically that it makes liberal ears bleed. Budgetary sanity requires that federal spending be reduced by nearly half. If any President actually did this, I would expect some Progressives to openly rebel by force of arms. In fact, that might be a good indicator of fiscal sense: if it’s not stringent enough to make the Progressives revolt, it’s not going to be enough to balance the budget for the long haul.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 9:39 AM

The Tea Party was…
philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 9:32 AM

There is no one Tea Party and all the Tea Parties are not in universal agreement. On broad principles? Yes. On specific tactics, techniques and procedures? Not a chance and too many people try to speak for all of them.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 9:40 AM

A reasonable person could conclude that Romney is the best choice at this point.
TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM

Actually, any person with functioning eyes, ears and a functioning brain would conclude that Romney is the best choice at this point.
bluegill on February 3, 2012 at 8:59 AM

They would conclude that you two have used-up all your ‘logical debate’, and moved to insulting the intelligence of all who support one of the “not-Romney” candidates.

listens2glenn on February 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM

Palin is right. This is an incredibly “political” year, more so than any year I can remember other than maybe 1979.

In my lifetime, I would have to agree. But if we were to be honest, it is more like 1860. God help us if the absolute extremes on both side takes arms to resolve this in the streets.

Wait a minute – Greece and other European nations have already started with the violence. It is only going to get worse once it hits our shores should nothing changed.

And yes, it WILL occur in my lifetime.

itzWicks on February 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I don’t think there’s any avoiding the crash. However, if the nation is even to survive, we must cut government spending back so drastically that it makes liberal ears bleed. Budgetary sanity requires that federal spending be reduced by nearly half. If any President actually did this, I would expect some Progressives to openly rebel by force of arms. In fact, that might be a good indicator of fiscal sense: if it’s not stringent enough to make the Progressives revolt, it’s not going to be enough to balance the budget for the long haul.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Progressives wouldn’t have to revolt by force of arms. What do you think the unemployment rate would be if you cut government to the extent you are advocating? 10%? 15%? 20%? There’s no way a private sector could absorb those rapid cuts that fast (in a first temr) and the progressives would just rally the independents to their “empathy” of the unemployed and we’re looking at a “one term proposition” for anyone who cuts that severly that fast. You might win the battle but you’ve lost the war.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 8:53 AM

bluegill on February 3, 2012 at 8:59 AM

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Sheesh, the love is getting “chainsaw thick”, around here.

listens2glenn on February 3, 2012 at 9:48 AM

They would conclude that you two have used-up all your ‘logical debate’, and moved to insulting the intelligence of all who support one of the “not-Romney” candidates.

listens2glenn on February 3, 2012 at 9:41 AM

What? I’m trying to break down that sentence. Are you saying that my post somehow insulted those who support the “not-Romney” candidate?

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I should vote for Romney because ………….?

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 9:38 AM

You mean, in the general election?

Romney will not appoint a criminal to be Attorney General. He will not throw hundreds of billions of dollars in the direction of his union cronies in the guise of “stimulus.” He will not strut like a peacock and call himself the 4th best President. He will not embarrass us by insulting our allies and granting freebie concessions to our enemies. He and his wife will not withhold critical assistance offered by foreigners during crises in order to cripple states that voted against him. He will not foster racial or class divides between Americans. He will not assault major churches and attempt to force professionals to perform operations that violate their consciences.

I agree that Romney will not even touch the core issues that must be corrected if the economy is to survive. I agree that to nominate him is grossly irresponsible. But Romney would at least solve the sinkhole of personal character that currently exists at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 9:53 AM

What do you think the unemployment rate would be if you cut government to the extent you are advocating? 10%? 15%? 20%? There’s no way a private sector could absorb those rapid cuts that fast (in a first temr)

That would be something like 350,000 jobs lost in a short span. But it would also be an enormous mass of federal regulations released at the same time. The unemployment glut in the first year would be absorbed by a massive surge of productivity in the second and third years, and by the time the next election rolled around, President Fiscalhawk would be running ads saying “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” and be re-elected in a landslide.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 9:55 AM

We are toast if Romney does not grow a pair. I don`t understand their strategy at all. Lukewarm is not the American way. This is not politics as usual, this is war . I guess it would help to see Gov Romney show some passion when he speaks.

LSUMama on February 3, 2012 at 9:56 AM

But if Gingrich begins to lead in the polls and win primaries will Palin call on people to vote Mitt to keep the process going?

Answer: No, because all of that rhetoric is a bunch of crap.

antisense on February 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM

LSUMama on February 3, 2012 at 9:56 AM

In order have passion, one usually needs some core beliefs. I think that’s his problem.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Answer: No, because all of that rhetoric is a bunch of crap.

antisense on February 3, 2012 at 10:00 AM

She will proclaim the vetting process over and announce Gingrich should be the nominee……’cause she so principled and all.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Progressives wouldn’t have to revolt by force of arms. What do you think the unemployment rate would be if you cut government to the extent you are advocating? 10%? 15%? 20%? There’s no way a private sector could absorb those rapid cuts that fast (in a first temr) and the progressives would just rally the independents to their “empathy” of the unemployed and we’re looking at a “one term proposition” for anyone who cuts that severly that fast. You might win the battle but you’ve lost the war.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, here is the definition of the squishy middle. The squishy middle shakes in its boot when it goes up against liberal policies, but will fight you tooth and nail and elbows, to prove you are wrong. Be a man rhombus, take a freaking stand!

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:05 AM

That would be something like 350,000 jobs lost in a short span. But it would also be an enormous mass of federal regulations released at the same time. The unemployment glut in the first year would be absorbed by a massive surge of productivity in the second and third years, and by the time the next election rolled around, President Fiscalhawk would be running ads saying “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?” and be re-elected in a landslide.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 9:55 AM

I’d like to share your optimism. I really would. And at least you identified a specific number of job cuts. But works every time it was tried? When? Reagan offset his cuts with massive increases in federal spending on the military and military technology in order to defeat the Soviets. What private industries do you see surging without the almighty federal dollar?

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:06 AM

Chlamydia,

Those little balls of $hit that are rolling out of your mouth are making a real mess. Palin didn’t run because no one likes or trusts her. The GOP never wanted her to run, the indies didn’t support her, and she couldn’t get a moderate dem to buy into her nonsense either. The only morons who ever though she was viable were the dumb@sses who sent her their rent money since last spring. Her victim schtick only works on angry country bumpkins who think calling the POTUS naughty names to his face is the way adults win elections.

As opposed to sophisticates who think calling other posters naughty names is the way to have reasonable discussions?

Cleombrotus on February 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Be a man rhombus, take a freaking stand!

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:05 AM

I just did. You just didn’t like what you heard so you started calling names (“squishy”). I live in real-ville, you live in black and white -ville.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Sarah Palin sure gets the Romneybots all wee weed up….LOL

idesign on February 3, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Romney/Palin 2012

gatorboy on February 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Romney/Palin 2012

gatorboy on February 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Nah, I’m predicting either Romney/Santorum or Romney/Paul (Rand Paul) but who knows.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

“Who is right?”

The Last Republican? Friedrich Nietzsche was right about Mitt Romney.
Geoffrey Norman, The American Spectator

An example of Mitts’s insouciance would be that line about how the health care mandate isn’t something to “get angry about.”

In short, does anyone think that Romney will ride into Washington next January determined to tame the town… or die trying?

Mr. Romney’s aim will almost surely be to take Washington on its own terms and try to “make it work.” Whatever anti-Washington sentiments he might express during the campaign, the odds are they will be discarded and forgotten within weeks of his taking the oath of office in a replay of George H. W. Bush and “read my lips.” The people who voted for Romney in the belief that he would take on Washington will be patronizingly told by the political class that “Governing is not the same as campaigning.”

“We never thought that electing them was the whole point and that if, afterwards, you got ‘Big Government Conservatism’ or ‘Compassionate Conservatism,’ it was no big deal because, praise Jesus, the Republicans were in charge. We always thought that the governing would be the hard part. Look how tough it was to get rid of ethanol subsidies. It is you who are confused.”

The betrayed will leave if Romney makes it… But he will likely be the last Republican.

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Thanks for the post J.E. Dyer. Pretty well sums it up for me.

Go Sarah!

tinkerthinker on February 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Romney/Palin 2012

gatorboy on February 3, 2012 at 10:15 AM

This would probably be the only way to get these people to vote for someone else. ; )

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I hope Romney has enough sense to put a conservative on the ticket. I don’t see any of the remaining three as viable VP candidates.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM

If given his way, Romney would run without a VP. His ego won’t tolerate anyone but a clone of himself.

Romney/Romney “Trust me, I’m a businessman.”

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM

If given his way, Romney would run without a VP. His ego won’t tolerate anyone but a clone of himself.

Romney/Romney “Trust me, I’m a businessman.”

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM

romney/trump?

tinkerthinker on February 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM

If given his way, Romney would run without a VP. His ego won’t tolerate anyone but a clone of himself.

Romney/Romney “Trust me, I’m a businessman.”

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 10:22 AM

Wow! Project much? This isn’t the candidate who said “I will be the nominee”. There’s a lot of things that disturb me about Romney but arrogance isn’t one of them.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM

tinkerthinker on February 3, 2012 at 10:20 AM

No doubt!

HerneTheHunter on February 3, 2012 at 10:25 AM

This would probably be the only way to get these people to vote for someone else. ; )

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I don’t think “these people” are as big a demographic as the noise they make. Sad to say, there’s a far bigger silent majority in the “still sleeping” independent voters.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I just did. You just didn’t like what you heard so you started calling names (“squishy”). I live in real-ville, you live in black and white -ville.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Squishy? Really? You’re not going to turn me in, are you?

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Romney will be the gop’s nominee. He will lose to Obama . He is the perfect candidate for the class warfare anti wall street campaign that maobama will run . And when it’s over all the romnophants , establishment hacks and electability gurus will blame the tea party and conservatives for not getting behind their man . Bank on it!

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Apropos for nothing. But quick question for the Mittler youths what was Mitt Romney hiding when he spent $100,000 to buy computer hard drives and destroy them.

PS: I read all of Sarah Palin emails she sent as Governor, all 24,000 of them. Found out she was a good governor, dedicated wife and mother, and a true patriot.

Can we read, I don’t know, maybe, well, a 100 of Mitt Romney’s emails if someone can find them

HerneTheHunter on February 3, 2012 at 10:35 AM

This would probably be the only way to get these people to vote for someone else. ; )

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I don’t think “these people” are as big a demographic as the noise they make. Sad to say, there’s a far bigger silent majority in the “still sleeping” independent voters.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Let me rephrase. This would probably be the only way Mittwits would vote for someone other than Romney. I was trying (my damnedest) not to call anyone names. ; )

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Squishy? Really? You’re not going to turn me in, are you?

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Nah, not really. I understood where you were coming from. It’s just that this is my 20th presidential election and all this chest-thumping is very old for me. I’ve heard the same things for years and I know everyone wants someone else’s rice bowl to be cut but when it comes down to food off their plates, it’s suddenly a different matter. A radical lurch right will scare the pants off the “squishy” moderates and cause them to lurch left again and that’s what I don’t want to see again. As for the last 50 years, it’s RINOs 3, “real” conservatives 1 – and even Reagan moderated his positions by the third time he’d run in the GOP primary and finally won the nomination and the election in the midst of outrageous gas prices, high unemployment and a hostage crisis.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Yer all over the map, J.E.

This primary season is a fight for the character of the GOP.
(snip)
The Romney wing represents the attitude that America is really OK with the size of government we have now: it just needs better management and some tweaking on the margins.

Also known as RINOs who are proponents of each other and Obama-Lite.

The other wing – the one that has been getting behind a different candidate every few weeks – believes precisely that America is not OK with the size of government we have now.

And those candidates get chased out of the race by the GOP elítists and LSM of course.

Many in the GOP’s “Not OK” wing have perceived government to be out of control for some time. But the shock administered by the Obama administration gave the most direct impetus to the Tea Party movement, because it brought home to many Americans how vulnerable we had already become to executive overreach.

And so we’re served up another dose of Dole and McShame.

They’re not sure what’s going on, they’re still trying to find a candidate who says what they’re waiting to hear, and they haven’t made up their minds.

THE candidate was already chased out of the race: Gov. Rick Perry.
His departure made very clear that in American politics one must campaign for office for multiple years while spending boatloads of other people’s money. It’s sickening.

It’s also the way to keep quality attention on the most important debate America has had on the nature of government since 1860.

Ummmmmm … FDR pretty much topped that with both war and transient promises via “chats” with the common folk he allegedly rescued.

The GOP had better get its act together and allow WE, the PEOPLE, to select our leaders.
(please excuse the verbosity)
~(Ä)~

Karl Magnus on February 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Let me rephrase. This would probably be the only way Mittwits would vote for someone other than Romney. I was trying (my damnedest) not to call anyone names. ; )

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Ah OK, I guess I’m a Mittwit around here even though I first supported Bachmann and then Cain but no, if Sarah were on the ticket, I’d still vote for it (and would have voted for her if she won the GOP nomination).

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

@rhombus. We need a radical shift in the way this country is run. There is no time to nibble at the edges of this runaway government. A logger’s chainsaw needs to be applied to this spending and deficit. Romney ran his state (blue state, I know) with the same top down mentality as democrats. We haven’t had a true conservative since Reagan, and he had to deal with an unyielding Democrat congress, so spending never got cut.

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Chlamydia,

Those little balls of $hit that are rolling out of your mouth are making a real mess. Palin didn’t run because no one likes or trusts her. The GOP never wanted her to run, the indies didn’t support her, and she couldn’t get a moderate dem to buy into her nonsense either. The only morons who ever though she was viable were the dumb@sses who sent her their rent money since last spring. Her victim schtick only works on angry country bumpkins who think calling the POTUS naughty names to his face is the way adults win elections.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 9:37 AM

This post embodies why political debate in this country has largely become the domain of people who should be on a therapist’s couch rather than in a serious, rational political discussion.

Metro on February 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM

He is the perfect candidate for the class warfare anti wall street campaign that maobama will run

Well, of course he is, that is why Obama is already running it. I just don’t think it’s going to work. And I think that the Dems are worried about that too.

But to try and win the nomination with the same strategy, as Gingrich has, is both foolish and deeply dishonest.

Priscilla on February 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Romney will absolutely crush Obama. Obama is done. That anyone is even considering that he’s reelectable against Romney is a little surprising.

Metro on February 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The short answer is that Mitt Romney isn’t a small-government conservative.

And Newty the Space Cowboy is? Of course bloggers like Dyer and pundits like Palin want a long primary battle. It’s good for their business. And business will be just as good for them if Obama gets re-elected. Unlike Newty, I approve of capitalism and free enterprise, so I won’t begrudge the talking class their transparent desire for the maximum amount of chaos possible. But it’s not good political advice.

cicerone on February 3, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I reject the promotional perpetuation of elitism as the status quo. Neoconservatives propagandize elitism as the American Dream. Those who were born yesterday “feel” they “deserve” to be elitists, as if global interventionism is what Americans used to consider what made us exceptional. I know better, and I’m not alone. The only thing of virtue that makes America exceptional is our Constitution, our Constitutional Republic, given distinctly separate and limited powers per branch.

What’s “right” about having a competitive primary season?

EVERYTHING. How else do voters participate? As sheep, herded into the preset booth?

If conservatives are smart, before selecting a candidate, confirm the party platform first, and deny the opportunism of early contests to predestine the ticket before all 50 States vote.

The RNC will never permit a national GOP primary election day. But that is precisely what voters must have in order for all 50 States to “matter” in this “leadership” game being managed by autocrats.

Since Eisenhower’s departing warning, and Goldwater’s valiant effort in the wake of the American public suffering the Kennedy assassination, the Republican Party has consistently terminated its memory, imposing the unconstitutional neoconservative agenda, keeping up with the Democrat Jones’ abusing propaganda to mutate language and to dissolve the integrity of the US Constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land, promoting the authoritarian federal state and the termination of Liberty and Justice.

I reject fatalism, and exert my will every day, including primary seasons, to uphold the Constitution that I value to be America.

What I reject is the authoritarianism and all sniveling apologist propaganda that perpetuates the decline of that which I value to be America.

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

@rhombus. We need a radical shift in the way this country is run. There is no time to nibble at the edges of this runaway government. A logger’s chainsaw needs to be applied to this spending and deficit. Romney ran his state (blue state, I know) with the same top down mentality as democrats. We haven’t had a true conservative since Reagan, and he had to deal with an unyielding Democrat congress, so spending never got cut.

Garym on February 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Yeah, I lived through the Reagan years and voted for him. It wasn’t as radical as some think. He spent lots of federal loot defeating the evil empire and that helped put lots of people back to work AND it was the same “top down mentality as democrats” as was his War on Drugs. No, I’m not dissing Reagan but these days people would be calling him a squish too.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

OSFA?

“Trust me, I’m a business-man.”

In short, does anyone think that Romney will ride into Washington next January determined to tame the town… or die trying?

The people who voted for Romney in the belief that he would take on Washington will be patronizingly told by the political class that “Governing is not the same as campaigning.”

“We never thought that electing them was the whole point and that if, afterwards, you got ‘Big Government Conservatism’ or ‘Compassionate Conservatism,’ it was no big deal because, praise Jesus, the Republicans were in charge. We always thought that the governing would be the hard part. Look how tough it was to get rid of ethanol subsidies. It is you who are confused.”

The betrayed will leave if Romney makes it…

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 11:11 AM

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Reagan didn’t always govern as a small government conservative, but he damn sure articulated the principles and explained it to the American people. Yes, he “squished” on some issues, but he laid the groundwork for conservatives to build upon.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 11:12 AM

EXCERPTS FROM “The Second Flight”
ajacksonian
on January 23, 2012 at 7:58 AM

2010 redux, the second flights of the kamikaze attacks as the Republican leadership and its supporters have been bashed over the head with a simple cluebat of STOP THE SPENDING and haven’t listened. And this time the attack is only tangentially going after the officially approved-of candidate: the real target is the facade of power of the old Rockefeller Republican section of the party. Their new and improved, yet old and indifferent 5 year running candidate is suffering the merest blow-by of the attack… he is as unprepared as the establishment is for this kamikaze attack. Gingrich isn’t winning because of anything more than his willingness to fight and he is being fueled because his direction, his bombast and his rhetoric will hit right at the old establishment heart of the party. Mind you, that doesn’t mean he gets the nomination or the election, but he will serve his purpose.

The Republican party has had 2 Years to clean up its act.

It didn’t do that.

Is anyone surprised at these results?

Elections, as they say, have consequences.

Newt Gingrich is the happy kamikaze, and we had a lot of those in 2010, and they weren’t the most electable, the most stable, the most pure of candidates. Some ‘lost’ races that an Establishment Republican might have ‘won’, but they would then be representative of a the Establishment, not the party base. You can’t win for losing that way, so you might as well send in an expendable candidate. And the secret is that sometimes those expendables will win, which doesn’t make them perfect or even good, but they do drive a message home and if they decide to flip on policy they will find the next kamikaze is coming at them.

That is this time around: the Second Flight of the Kamikaze Attacks Upon the Republican Party.

The Party had two whole years to mend its ways.

It didn’t do so and didn’t even try, what with the internal spending and extravagances that went on pretty much flying in the face of those who wanted money frugally spent. Apparently there is a faulty receiver system in the Republican Party, and because I once sent money to that benighted organization I get calls to send them more money… and my original $25 was ill-spent… so I let them know my money is staying home and going to worthy candidates. Not through an organization that skims off the top for fancy retreats and expensive dinners. If they flew coach, stayed at a Red Roof Inn and ate at McDonald’s and didn’t go to the swanky bars and strip clubs, they might have gotten the clue or at least put on appearances of same. It is STILL a big spending party on the Establishment side. And their happy holiday retreat on the party member’s money is now getting a high level kamikaze attack headed their way.

No I don’t support any of these guys.

But someone needs to get the message driven home and Newt Gingrich is, at least, generally on target although he is coming from a quarter that doesn’t really work, at least he has a clue as to what the target is.

Fuel him up, give him another ton of bombast to carry, and send him on his happy way.

maverick muse on February 3, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Yes, he “squished” on some issues, but he laid the groundwork for conservatives to build upon.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 11:12 AM

The groundwork was there long before Reagan showed up but Reagan very much lived in real-ville and knew how to pick his battles.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

In a way, I disagree with the premise that we can elect Romney and all is not lost, that’s what the GOP Establishment is saying just to get us to go along. I’m sorry but, after we gave the House their big majorities, Boehner and the Senate leadership have squandered that and allowed Reid and the Democrats to not pass a budget for over 1000 days and to use the continuing resolutions to hide their spending. I know there’s a reason the Democrats haven’t allowed a budget for 1000 days and the Republicans do too. My problem is, they’re allowing it.

bflat879 on February 3, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Romney will absolutely crush Obama

I wish I could be as confident as you . The dumb masses will see Romneys rich CEO looks hear his own words from the media narrative about not caring about poor people . There will be negative stories about Bain Capitol and how many homes the Romneys have and in alot of people’s minds that’s all it will take . We that actually pay attention are but a few . Not putting down folks that aren’t as aware as hot gassers , people have their own lives to live but that’s just the way it is.

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Still not sure why Sarah didn’t come out from the beginning and offer an endorsement to any one candidate. Since she knew she wasn’t running, why not inspire her followers to get behind another candidate? Doesn’t make sense.

jfs756 on February 3, 2012 at 11:43 AM

If Romney is the nominee, you will see a mass exodus from the Republican party enrollment. I see so much corruption in the GOP with the way they are rigging the nomination for Romney, seeing people like Pam Bondi endorsing Romney and lying her head off about RomneyCare, Boehner and McConnell caving left-and-right, etc.

Gov. Palin may see a drop-off in donations to SarahPAC because of how corrupt the GOP has become. It’s not her fault, but it’s time for a third-party.

Cheetah1956 on February 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Romney will absolutely crush Obama

I wish I could be as confident as you . The dumb masses will see Romneys rich CEO looks hear his own words from the media narrative about not caring about poor people . There will be negative stories about Bain Capitol and how many homes the Romneys have and in alot of people’s minds that’s all it will take . We that actually pay attention are but a few . Not putting down folks that aren’t as aware as hot gassers , people have their own lives to live but that’s just the way it is.

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

If unemployment stays near where it is, I think we’ll see something similar to 1968: lots of hippies chiripin’ but the silent majority making a definitive statement.

Moderates see Romney as a successful businessman and CEO… statesman-like… presidential. The verbose manchild versus that? No way Obumbla wins. Book it.

Metro on February 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

But works every time it was tried? When? Reagan offset his cuts with massive increases in federal spending on the military and military technology in order to defeat the Soviets. What private industries do you see surging without the almighty federal dollar?

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 10:06 AM

ALL private industries surge without the almighty federal dollar, so long as the almighty federal bureau shuts down and shuts up. Remember, every federal dollar is a diverted private dollar, so federal spending NEVER stimulates. Keynes was dead wrong, because he presumed that a saved dollar vanishes from the economy. It doesn’t.

The economy is not suffering from a lack of federal dollars — far, FAR from it — but is suffocating from a surfeit of bureaucratic control, afflicting every segment of the economy. ObamaCare makes it far worse: since so much of it is made up of “A federal bureaucrat will decide…” nobody has a clue what the rules are going to be. We could probably end the current stagnation simply by reversing ObamaCare and returning to status quo ante. Heck, we could produce a 20-year-long recovery by randomly selecting 30% of all federal regulations and canceling them regardless of what they say. Start ANYWHERE. It’s the overweening rules that are killing us, not the lack of federal spending.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Romney will be the gop’s nominee. He will lose to Obama . He is the perfect candidate for the class warfare anti wall street campaign that maobama will run . And when it’s over all the romnophants , establishment hacks and electability gurus will blame the tea party and conservatives for not getting behind their man . Bank on it!

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Yes, this has been my expectation for a while.

I keep wondering if this year is some kind of experiment to see if the GOP can push those pesky conservatives away from their candidate and still win the election. The people in the GOP seem to have convinced themselves that Obama is so hated that “independents and moderates” will happily dump Obama for this Northeastern patrician who got rich by dismantling companies, got himself elected to one term as governor of Massachusetts, and did nothing for the voters there.

Aitch748 on February 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The short answer is that Mitt Romney isn’t a small-government conservative.

The only candidate actually devoted to a roll-back of “big government” is Paul, but for a variety of reasons he can’t seem to gain enough traction among Republican voters.

So, essentially, for Republicans the primary season is supposed to be dragged out for as long as possible because Mitt Romney is not a small-government conservative…

This makes no sense. He is not a small government conservative compared to who? Republican voters and the conservative grassroots or the two other main challengers (eliminating Paul)?

If he is not viewed as a small-government conservative to the grassroots and primary voters then who should they vote for?

Can it really be said that Gingrich and Santorum ARE small-government conservatives?

What choice do the voters have to counter Romney not being a small-government conservative?

The campaigning is what is annoying the living bejeebers out of the voters; it’s the philosophical debate that matters this year. Shutting it down would be a tactical as well as a strategic error.

What philosophical debate is occurring during the primary? Again, Paul is the only candidate who is truly philosophically different than Romney and there is no real debate between the two.

No, the “debate” is between Gingrich and Romney and it concerns everything EXCEPT political philosophies.

Gingrich doesn’t like Bain Capital. Gingrich doesn’t like that Romney is wealthy (wait, Gingrich isn’t?)

Gingrich doesn’t like Romney because he is part of the “GOP Establishment” (wait, Gingrich isn’t?) That has to be one of the most laughable comparisons made so far.

Romney doesn’t like that Gingrich lobbied for Fannie and Freddie (apparently that is a sign of fighting the establishment for Gingrich or something).

Romney doesn’t like that Gingrich was subject to an ethics investigation.

They are both essentially the same on foreign policy.

They both favor large government intervention in the economy. Both favor bailouts.

So what philosophical differences are being debated?

How do you move Romney to the right when there is no candidate forcing him to the right?

With Romney’s position changes throughout his history I’m sure he could easily move to the right if he wanted to.

Wait a second, wasn’t he the “conservative” in 2008?

Dragging this out would be like debating which 6-6 college football team deserves the national championship.

Its only good for TV ratings and such.

There really is no other point.

joey24007 on February 3, 2012 at 11:52 AM

The groundwork was there long before Reagan showed up but Reagan very much lived in real-ville and knew how to pick his battles.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Well yeah, I wasn’t going back to Edmund Burke. But, no one did more for modern conservatism than Reagan, from his support of Goldwater, to his years in the White House. Just listen to broadcasts from fifty years ago, when he was warning about the coming socialized medicine. I remember those years well. Reagan was anything but a squish. Nixon, Ford, Dole, the Bushes, McCain, et. al., yeah… not Reagan.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Yeah, I lived through the Reagan years and voted for him. It wasn’t as radical as some think. He spent lots of federal loot defeating the evil empire and that helped put lots of people back to work

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 11:05 AM

If you think that’s what caused the 20 years of prosperity following Reagan’s election, you missed the point. It wasn’t the military spending, which was really chump change compared to the economic growth of that period. It was the deregulation.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Metro on February 3,2012 at 11:49am

You might be right . In my opinion Romney is a sitting duck .

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 12:02 PM

This post embodies why political debate in this country has largely become the domain of people who should be on a therapist’s couch rather than in a serious, rational political discussion.

Metro on February 3, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Yup. And all he needs is 51% of them and he’s re-elected.

Cleombrotus on February 3, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I still can’t get over the fact that your moniker is a namesake to fish bait. Every time I try to read one of your comments and engage you in seriously, I get stumped by that name.

HerneTheHunter on February 3, 2012 at 9:14 AM

While out today scouting for a new fishing hole, I came across this.^ Thought I’d share an observation or two. I’ve found a # 19 does a nice job. http://www.dimensionsguide.com/fishing-hook-size-chart/ She seems to have a preference for bread balls. One funny thing is, once netted and safely in the creel, you will probably throw her back upon catching something of a more significant size. When you do she continues on as though nothing had ever happened. The bread balls being the preferred bait of course unless there is a Palin thread. Then all you need is the net. Happy fishing or hunting whatever the case may be.

Bmore on February 3, 2012 at 12:23 PM

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 7:39 AM

Reforming the system IS part of managing it. Cutting out waste and duplication and especially the burdens that drain our treasury and suppress growth. You can parrot what Newt says all day long, but that doesn’t add an ounce of validity to it.

You can heed the siren song of tearing everything down and rebuilding all over again in the TP’s image, but it is not going to happen. When some loudmouth tells you that is his plan, he is lying to you. Politics is the art of the possible and dumping the last half century of history over night is not possible.

Annoy Sarah Palin, vote Mitt!

MJBrutus on February 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Annoy Sarah Palin, vote Mitt!

MJBrutus on February 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Rent free….LOL

idesign on February 3, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Well yeah, I wasn’t going back to Edmund Burke. But, no one did more for modern conservatism than Reagan, from his support of Goldwater, to his years in the White House. Just listen to broadcasts from fifty years ago, when he was warning about the coming socialized medicine. I remember those years well. Reagan was anything but a squish. Nixon, Ford, Dole, the Bushes, McCain, et. al., yeah… not Reagan.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Agreed 100%. My point has been that Reagan’s election was the exception rather than the rule. That’s why I say RINOs-3, Real Conservatives-1. Having lived through both the Carter days and the Obama days, I think the conditions for electing a Reagan were better then than they are now (unless we get a hostage crisis this summer – but biw the media knows better). Further, Reagan was a lot more savy than the current “not-Romney’s. Not only was he an actor and a governor, he’d also run in 3 primaries before winning, so he was skilled at the mechanics and the money for getting the thing done – he became the establishment candidate. So, with no Reagan’s in site, I have to go with the Army I think can win and it takes so much more than bombastic denunciations during debates or “purity tests” to actually get across the finish line. Besides, if we don’t hold the House and take the Senate, we’re going to be frustrated no matter who wins the White House. Going on RINO hunts there, isn’t going to help our cause. Who do you honestly think you can get to replace Brown, Snowe, et al. in those states?

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM

MJBrutus on February 3, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Rent free….LOL

idesign on February 3, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Annoy Conservatives, vote Mitt! (:

How come all D-Kos PDSers love mittens?

SparkPlug on February 3, 2012 at 12:37 PM

If you think that’s what caused the 20 years of prosperity following Reagan’s election, you missed the point. It wasn’t the military spending, which was really chump change compared to the economic growth of that period. It was the deregulation.

philwynk on February 3, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I don’t disagree. You grabbed onto a longer thread where I was saying massive layoffs and cuts in federal money too quickly will increase unemployment and withoug any short-term spending (like Reagan’s military buildup) we aren’t going to get to the long term growth through deregulation. It took a while for Reagan to get unemployment down and we got lucky the Dems nomintated Mondane who ran on tax increases. Obama’s running on his “tax cuts” for the middle class and class envy. Further, lots of people sill incorrectly blame the current recession on Republican deregulation. Sad, but that’s the reality we have.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Romney will absolutely crush Obama. Obama is done. That anyone is even considering that he’s reelectable against Romney is a little surprising.
Metro on February 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Obama is not re-electable against ANY of our candidates, including the ones who have dropped-out.

listens2glenn on February 3, 2012 at 12:46 PM

The groundwork was there long before Reagan showed up but Reagan very much lived in real-ville and knew how to pick his battles.

rhombus on February 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

I posited earlier that a reasonable conservative could conclude Romney is our best option at this point. I have close acquaintances who valiantly make that case. I tried to distinguish those folks from a cast of characters who post here affectionately known as Mittbots, Mitler Youth, etc. I would include you in the former category, not the latter.

There are fair points to be made for a Romney candidacy. You’ve made some.

On the other hand you raise some interesting issues that I’ve discussed before here. Would Ford have brought us the Reagan years, or did it take Carter?

Would Dole have given us the House, after 40 years wandering, or did it require a Clinton to do that? I’m not arguing for four more years of 0bama. But, moderates do little, or nothing, to accomplish the reduction in government that I think we need.

TitularHead on February 3, 2012 at 12:52 PM

HerneTheHunter on February 3, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Oh, one other thing, HerneTheHunter. You of course can always use a gig. Of course you being a hunter you probably don’t need this but…
gig 2 (gg)
n.
1. An arrangement of barbless hooks that is dragged through a school of fish to hook them in their bodies.
2. A pronged spear for fishing or catching frogs.
v. gigged, gig·ging, gigs
v.tr.
To fish for or catch with a gig.
v.intr.
To catch a fish or frog with a gig.

Bmore on February 3, 2012 at 12:53 PM

The dumb masses will see Romneys rich CEO looks hear his own words from the media narrative about not caring about poor people . There will be negative stories about Bain Capitol and how many homes the Romneys have and in alot of people’s minds that’s all it will take .
rudee on February 3, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Last time, the ‘dumb masses’ saw Obama as a “Messiah”. He was relatively unknown on the National level, so it was easy for our ‘false journalists’ to cast him in a good light, and fool the people.

This time EVERYBODY knows what he’s like, and what he’ll do with a second term in office.
Nothing about him can really be hidden out of sight, any more.
Independents will not vote for him this time, around. Conservatives aren’t going to sit this one out, like some did over McCain.

listens2glenn on February 3, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Folks need to realize that the Republican Party has already gone the way of the Conservatives in the UK.

Its not about reducing government or restraining its growth within the framework of the Constitution.

Its about “managing” government “more efficiently” and “without wasting so much money.”

Think about it:

The GOP took over the House, which is the body with the power to spend money, yet, they have not done anything to reduce the spending of that money. Good article here.

The Republican Party has the power to authorize any spending coming from the Federal Government.

The conservatives/grassroots element of the Republican Party is only important at election time.

joey24007 on February 3, 2012 at 1:42 PM

[T]he 2012 election is the one in which libertarian anti-statism will either have a voice in the Republican Party, or will have to do something else.

If that’s the case, support Ron Paul. My biggest beef with the not-Romneys is they’ve recently lined up behind Newt Gingrich, who is a lose lose on both ‘libertarian anti-statism’ and electability.

netster007x on February 3, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Gov. Palin may see a drop-off in donations to SarahPAC because of how corrupt the GOP has become because of her support for Newt Gingrich.

Cheetah1956 on February 3, 2012 at 11:49 AM

FIFY

Buttercup on February 3, 2012 at 2:29 PM

OT: Check new Newt Gingrich’s TV ad-BRILLIANT!

I Am George Soros And I Approve This Message

ProudPalinFan on February 3, 2012 at 9:14 AM

One of his best ads, thanks!

bluefox on February 3, 2012 at 2:55 PM

From

bluegill on February 3, 2012 at 8:19 AM

To fisk or not to fisk? Hmmm.

This is a silly, lazy post by J.E. Dyer by a fish called bluegill, who often appears to fancy herself as some kind of haughty, wordy intellectual.

At least she has a body of work behind her that forms her worldview. All we know of your world view is that you can see the pond from your house.

Dyer’s definitions of the “Romney wing” and the “other wing” are simply pulled out of thin air. Dyer offers no proof or examples, but instead presents these (strawmen) definitions as fact, and then bases the rest of her silly, wannabe-smart article on those false definitions. I totally reject Dyer’s silly “wing” definitions, and challenge her to explain how Romney’s positions (in relation to Gingrich’s) are in any way reflective of an acceptance of the current size of government. If anything, Romney and Gingrich both have VERY similar positions. The main differences are in the candidates’ perceived electability, character and ability to win the trust of voters. The Romney-Gingrich competition (where Gingrich is losing badly) is not based on some kind of substantive debate about the role of government.

Umm. The fact for the longest time, Romney was a constant 25%, meaning the other 75% were either “Not OK” or undecided. With the FL primary, we still saw more “Not OK/Not Romney”. Make what you will of it, but the philosophical divide does exist. It has nothing to do with making it a Romney-Gingrich competition. While Newt may be similar to Romney on some stances, the differences is where the “Not OK” crowd zeros in on. IOW, Newt is the lesser evil compared to Romney. Even Ron Paul supporters are in the “Not OK” group. The only concern that the “OK” group has is that the Rs win first and foremost. As I mentioned yesterday, the “OK” crowd would be making a grave mistake to assume that the “Not OK” group will merely just roll over and fall in behind Mitt just to save the GOP brand. In fact, the case could be made that there are enough “NOT OK” on election day to snatch victory from both Oboobi and Mitt.

After all, if all 53% of the “Not OK” republicans zeroed in on a single write-in candidate or, say Constitution Party candidate, while drawing in another 10% from blue dog type democrats/Independents and Oboobi only gets 40%, who wins? Who knows? It’d all depend on how the EVs fall. But one thing is assured with the GOP voters voting this way, 1) plenty of wins in the congress races for the majority and 2) a purge of big Govt types in the leadership. Even if Oboobi won, he’d be a lame duck waddling in his first two years – SCOTUS confirmation of libtards? Fuggedaboutit. Without confimation by Congress, Oboobi can’t even pull a recess appointment. I don’t think it would hurt us to have just 7 justices holding court for a couple of years. Chew on that — the fall of the GOP as we know it. That is what the “Not OK” is seeking.

Dyer even misstates what Palin has been advocating. Palin says she wants “the process” to continue, and Palin is encouraging people to vote for Newt Gingrich. I say, why don’t voters just vote for whomever they think is best? Why should “continuing the process” be necessary? Maybe most voters HAVE made up their minds by the time their respective election days arrive. The fact that one candidate (e.g., Romney) is winning more support than any other candidate means that he is the choice of most of the voters! The fact that the same person keeps winning does not mean that the primary process is “shutting down”; it means that a consensus is forming about who the best candidate is.

Wow, you powers of observation is amazing. Just from 4 races, you already know how the other 57 races will shake out, so let’s just cut to the chase and annoit Mitt. Bully for you, but that’s not how many will roll.

To be perfectly honest, Jailbreak was right when he said this J.E. Dyer post should have remained in the Green Room and shouldn’t have been promoted to the main site. Dyer’s article tries to describe a philosophical debate, but the philosophical debate she describes is NOT what the current campaigns are about. What is happening is a bloody smear fest takedown about who can trash the other candidate more effectively, with the Democrats watching from the sidelines and loving every minute of it. This is what Sarah Palin wants to see go on and on and on. Palin’s attempts at explaining her position are about as convoluted as her attempts to explain why she quit her governor job before the end of the first term. Let’s be real: Palin is simply endorsing Newt Gingrich, but she is too cowardly to do it directly, so she talks instead of “continuing the process.”

Because you 25%-ers want to have an electability debate, you insist on plugging your ears, yelling “la-lalala, I can’t hear your silly philisophical debate.” Meanwhile the rest (75%) are having the debate. Some will decide to play safe and pull for Mittens, others will say enough is enough, change begins right here, right now, no matter the costs. Frankly at the point, no one knows where the critical mass is at. Will it be to stay at home, vote for Oboobi or will it be to vote 3rd party.

My goal is to persuade as many “Not OKs” to consider door #3, because we shouldn’t be cowed into eating yet another crap sandwich from Boehner/McConnell and their cabal.

How convenient that Dyer describes the voters who oppose Romney (I’m sorry, the “Not OK Wing”) as the only ones who are concerned about the size of government. I can only assume that Dyer does not currently support Romney, so she casts herself and others like her in a laughably positive light by creating that silly “wing” definition.

Dyer needs to familiarize herself with the facts, and I suggest she begin by reviewing primary results up to this point; if she did this, she would know that Romney is winning Tea Partiers, conservatives, as well as most other ideological and demographic categories of voters.

Wow, you powers of observation is amazing. Just from 4 races, you already know how the other 57 races will shake out, so let’s just cut to the chase and annoit Mitt. Bully for you, but that’s not how many will roll.

But I repeat myself.

The ones that Mitt won are the ones that have resigned themselves to picking what they thot is best, given their slate. Does not mean that they are “OK” with Mitt. Telling that so far, Mitt has never won more than 50%. Your ‘facts’ haven’t added up yet.

The fact is that continuing Republican in-fighting just for the sake of continuing the fighting makes no sense. In fact, it’s only giving more ammunition to the Obama campaign to use against Romney in the general election campaign. Gingrich is not going to come back, and thank goodness for that, since he is a lousy candidate and would lose to Obama in a landslide. If Gingrich wants to stay in the race and selfishly throw nasty bombs at Romney every day, then I guess he’s free to do it. Luckily, though, with every primary he loses, he will become less and less relevant and his stupid, desperate attacks on Romney will get less and less attention.

Fighting is a bad thing? We’re fighting for the soul of the GOP. Just as the nascent GOP fought for the soul of the Whigs 160 years ago. In the end, the Whigs had to die because they wouldn’t yeild to the GOP. Go back another 90 years and when the DOI was written, only about a 1/3 of the Colonials were in support. Another 1/3 were staunchly loyal to the King and the rest were just low-info and no opinion. Jump forward to now, only 25-30% are staunch GOP loyalists with the rest divided between “to hold nose and pull” or to “take a deep breath and open door #3″. Since you are “OK”, you have no clue as to how hard it is for the “Not OK” to take that step and act on their conscience, even if doing so means that SCOTUS hangs in the balance and that Oboobi might win another term.

You “OKers” dismiss it as just childish pettiness or spite. Au contraire, how did the FF frame it? “We either stand together, or we hang separately” as the DC permanent class tries to pick us off one by one in pursuit of greater power. You may also think that you “OKers” standing together, but you’re standing for the party and not for your own individual futures. And like idiots, you wonder why the GOP betrays you election after election, and won’t even give you the curtesy of giving you a kiss the morning after.

But do carry on. Nov will reveal who is winning the philosophical debate that you insist isn’t happening.

AH_C on February 3, 2012 at 3:05 PM

The Conservatives and other voters are not in a good mood and don’t feel like holding their noses again. So we’ll see.

Thanks for your input.

bluefox on February 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM

Exactly how do you come to this conclusion? Every poll since last spring shows that a huge majority of the GOP is more interested in nominating a candidate that can beat Obama than they are in nominating a pure conservative. In the last NBC/Marist poll, Romney was the most popular second choice as POTUS. That means when candidates drop out, a percentage of those supporters will vote Romney.

So, as you can see, your comment goes against all scientific polling.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 4:30 AM

There you go again. Explain why Mittens has yet to top 50% in a pool of 4 competitors? Or that he couldn’t break 25 when there was 8? If RuPaul drops out, you think his folks will just default to Mitt? Ditto for Newt or Santorum? If it were merely about the most electable, then he should be polling 60-70%.

Never mind that Mitt could win the popular nomination votes yet lose the delegate count, thanks to all the propotional votes between now and April Fools Day.

AH_C on February 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

AH_C on February 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Good point,

SparkPlug on February 3, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Once again -you are fighting shadows. The GOP elite (RINOville)has picked Oromney a long time ago. They systematically took out Sarah the only real candidate with a “clean-up-the-dirt and corruption/croney capitalists” record, and she was getting too popular. They’ve been taking her down since (don’t pick on the nice Obama) McMain threw away 2008 election and his guys tried their best to blame her/destroy her. It took the entire GOP punditry and waking up Dick Cheney to stop her.

Then they took the others down for Mitt -one at a time. The GOP is dead. I’m out of there and could care which anti-constitutional party wins. When 55% of Catholic Connecticut still wants Obama, the big government -culture of death crowd owns America. So much for politics.

Don L on February 3, 2012 at 5:17 PM

AH_C on February 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Romney’s percentage has increased as candidates drop out. I remember when folks said he’d never get above 20%. Then 25%. Then 30%. Now here he is in the high 30′s and soon to be in the high 40′s. They keep moving the bar to fit the narrative they wish was true. Unfortunately for them, the facts show them to be in error.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 5:47 PM

AH_C on February 3, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Romney’s percentage has increased as candidates drop out. I remember when folks said he’d never get above 20%. Then 25%. Then 30%. Now here he is in the high 30′s and soon to be in the high 40′s. They keep moving the bar to fit the narrative they wish was true. Unfortunately for them, the facts show them to be in error.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Yeah, his mnumbers go up as the others drop out -simple math. Look if they cure all cancer today – heart attack deaths will skyrocket!

Don L on February 3, 2012 at 6:05 PM

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Don’t ya know it!

RedLizard64 on February 3, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Romney’s percentage has increased as candidates drop out. I remember when folks said he’d never get above 20%. Then 25%. Then 30%. Now here he is in the high 30′s and soon to be in the high 40′s. They keep moving the bar to fit the narrative they wish was true. Unfortunately for them, the facts show them to be in error.

csdeven on February 3, 2012 at 5:47 PM

He’s essentially the only one in the race right now, against less-than-stellar opponents, has been talked about as the ONLY ONE who can beat Obama for nearly 4 years now…and he’s still in the 30s. MITTMANIA!!!!!

Romney could be the only one left in the field and still garner less than 50% of voters. LOL

ddrintn on February 3, 2012 at 7:23 PM

No, this tired tripe is ridiculous. Soros and Buffett made their money as investors, not as managers.

They’re as much managers as Romney ever was. And therefore just as qualified to be president as Romney. Even more so, since Romney is junior league compared with those big guys.

Romney didn’t get rich by predicting which companies had the best fundamentals or economic winds at their backs.

MJBrutus on February 3, 2012 at 8:02 AM

No, he did it by creating the very best widgets in the world. Another smart Mittbot.

ddrintn on February 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Romney will be the gop’s nominee. He will lose to Obama . He is the perfect candidate for the class warfare anti wall street campaign that maobama will run . And when it’s over all the romnophants , establishment hacks and electability gurus will blame the tea party and conservatives for not getting behind their man . Bank on it!

rudee on February 3, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Yep, it depresses me to say so but that’s exactly what I see happening.

kg598301 on February 3, 2012 at 7:32 PM

J.E., I had to laugh when I heard your post criticized by one commentator as being a mere “word salad.” Your style reminds me of John Hayward, since he also gets the meaning of the Tea Party, and he also knows how to balance inspirational eloquence with plain- spoken common sense. I wish there were more thinkers and writers out there like you, and I wish also that your posts were featured more frequently on HotAir. Surely, there must be many others like me who are encouraged by the clarity of your insights. (Oops. Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

Burke on February 4, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Burke on February 4, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Thanks, Burke. I prefer to think of it as “un’ insalata di parole,” myself, with a mozzarella di bufala base.

I’m sure you can see, however, that threads in which readers can have robust intellectual exchanges, along the lines of “Mitt-tard!” and “Palinbot!”, garner the most clicks.

MadCon has a good one on social conservatism versus small government over in the GR, which I think you’ve visited as well.

J.E. Dyer on February 4, 2012 at 11:51 PM

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