Noemie Emery: Why can’t conservative candidates win Republican presidential primaries?

posted at 12:49 pm on March 21, 2013 by Allahpundit

An unsparing piece keying off the same Rick Perry soundbite at CPAC that inspired this post. Perry said that it’s unfair to blame conservatism for the GOP’s losses in 2008 and 2012 because, after all, our nominees weren’t conservative. Emery’s response: Then why did Republican primary voters vote for them instead of for a solid conservative like, say, Rick Perry?

Her answer? Between Reagan’s generation and the current crop of Rubio, Scott Walker, etc, there simply haven’t been many good conservative candidates.

Instead, against establishment types who were national figures, the conservative movement flung preachers and pundits (Pat Robertson, Alan Keyes and Pat Buchanan), has-beens and losers (New Gingrich and Rick Santorum), and others still worse (Herman Cain, for example), who on second thought lost even conservative primary voters.

To deny all this reality, some movement types invented a conspiracy theory. The Establishment met at the Country Club on alternate Tuesdays to undermine all the upcoming Reagans (who sadly enough never existed). This is untrue, and it keeps these movement types from facing the real problem — the failure of the conservative movement to find and develop successors to Reagan over the space of the past 20 years…

When things worked less well for conservatives who lacked Reagan’s luck and his genius, they decided their failure was explainable only by sabotage — after all, how else could they lose? On the way, the Right developed a sense of entitlement (the Republican Party owed them a nominee of their liking); an embrace of victimhood; a habit of translating their tactical failure to win over more voters into a moral failure on the part of those voters for not sensing their value; and a belief that they can manage to win more elections by purging all factions (and people) not wholly in sync with their views.

This isn’t the outlook with which Reagan won landslides. The GOP owes conservatives nothing beyond a chance and a hearing. The onus is on them to win over the voters. They are victims of nothing beyond their own much-too-high self-esteem.

Usually it’s “Beltway cocktail parties,” not the country club, where the establishment’s assumed to be plotting, but otherwise fair enough. Two things, though. First, conspiracies aside, surely no one doubts that the GOP’s consultant and donor class trends a bit more centrist than the base. I saw an article about that somewhere just the other day vis-a-vis gay marriage: Many socially conservative grassroots Republicans remain firmly opposed, but there’s widespread (if often quiet) support for legalized SSM among Republicans on the Hill and in other corridors of power. Go figure that that more centrist professional class would gravitate towards centrist candidates like Romney in the primary and bring their money and electoral expertise with them. Karl Rove, the mastermind of “compassionate conservatism,” is building a group right now that’s designed to head off ostensibly unelectable conservative insurgents in House and Senate primaries. Emery’s right about the quality of candidates on the right in presidential races lately, but let’s be fair: They’re swimming upstream against a centrist tide among party power-brokers.

Two: Because Obama was such a political and cultural phenomenon in 2008, and because the country’s Bush fatigue was so profound, I think GOP voters that year put a premium on “electability” in choosing McCain. That premium then carried over to 2012 because, although Hopenchange wasn’t the juggernaut that it was four years earlier, Obama was still an incumbent president with a fearsomely formidable organization. With no well known, charismatic conservative hero on the order of Reagan to captivate Republicans, some GOP voters figured that a moderate nominee with centrist cred was their best bet to steal some independents from O. 2016 should be different because, by almost universal acclaim, the quality of conservatives in the field will be solid: Rubio, Paul, Jindal, maybe Ryan. They’re all electable in theory, or at least more electable than righties in the classes of 2008 and 2012.

That’s when we’ll get an answer to a question that Emery suggests in her piece but doesn’t explore: Namely, were Reagan’s victories in 1980 and 1984 due more to the movement or more to the man? You often hear O’s critics claim his current majority is more about the man himself than the product of a broader ideological realignment; once he leaves office, the theory goes, Democrats will have difficulty replicating the heavy turnout he generated among young voters, minorities, and liberals. It’s his unique gifts and singular identity as a politician — and weak opponents, natch — that have led him to two terms. Was the same true of Reagan, though? It can’t be true entirely: The GOP won three of the next five elections after Reagan left office, so there was obviously some sort of movement behind him. But of course, as any grassroots conservative will happily tell you, the Bushes’ claim to the label “conservative” was always … problematic. The next primary might well produce the most conservative nominee since Reagan, and he might well have to face a much, much more difficult opponent in Hillary than Reagan did in a failed, flailing Jimmy Carter. That’ll be a real test of Emery’s theory.

Update: Lots of commenters are pointing to a primary system that starts with Iowa and New Hampshire instead of, say, Texas and South Carolina. Fair point. That would definitely boost more conservative candidates right out of the box, although Perry’s point at CPAC is that conservatives can win even national majorities if given the chance. There’s no reason in theory they can’t win among Republicans in IA and NH too, even if they lean a bit further toward the center. (Actually, Iowa Republicans are famous for leaning further to the right on social issues than the GOP electorate nationally. That’s how Huckabee and Santorum managed to win in 2008 and 2012, respectively. And the early boost didn’t help them to the nominations.)


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I can honestly say I’ve never been more excited about the rising GOP crop. I think Rubio, Paul, Jindal and Ryan are all excellent. We are fortunate. After Obama who the Dems have as future leaders of the party?

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

What a load of GARBAGE.
Conservatives split the vote and the moderate squishes through every time. It’s as simple as that.
With Rubio, Walker, Paul, Dr. Carson running its not hard to imagine the unthinkable.
Bush receiving the entire Allahpundit block and winning the nomination.
Commence gnashing of teeth.
Conservatives have to agree on a candidate or the same gut-wrenching cycle will play out again.
Who should it be? Good question.
With the embarrassment of riches we’ll have to choose from in ’16, it will be hard to choose.

AmeriCuda on March 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

The purity brigade kneecapped Perry over the HPV vaccine (even though he was clearly better than the alternatives), and end up lining up behind…Rick Santorum.

changer1701 on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I suspect the “you don’t have a heart” defense of his giving children of illegals tuition breaks did more damage.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Slightly OT but relevant. If we’ve so forgotten about how the Vietnam War effected America CBS sees nothing wrong with this, then how can we conservatives win in 2014/16 by talking about Reagan instead of talking about the principles he espoused. We can’t.

From FNC:

The popular CBS reality show “The Amazing Race” is under fire for featuring an episode set in Hanoi, Vietnam, where contestants go to a B-52 Memorial, which is the wreckage of an American bomber plane shot down during the Vietnam War, to find the next clue in their televised round-the-world journey.

Their challenge there is to sing a song praising the Vietnamese Communist Party. I thought at first I was reading The Onion.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I agree. I think “the establishment” long ago, and not necessarily in any formal sense, determined that there would never ever ever be any sort of Reagan Aberration again. There won’t ever be a really conservative GOP presidential nominee again, which is one reason the GOP is moribund.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

I should add that I think there will be an opening for one should the GOP collapse, Whig-style (and right now it seems to me to be headed for collapse). We just need to make sure they don’t turn us into a one party state via amnesty before they implode.

Meanwhile, the fact that socon silly is an automatic loser nationally also continues to be ignored. This is what you get, then. Losing.

Moesart on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

And yet you guys managed to screw up 2006, 2008, 2012. Seems to me like there just might be problems besides the evil “socons.”

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

This “Governor Palin as victim” meme was interesting about two years ago but it is getting putrid. …

She is so dedicated to her people, can’t even hold a job in Alaska after being elected.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

You use the same old stale snark that Kis Kids use against Palin, and then deny that she’s been “victimized”. The lack of self-awareness is stunning.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

*Kos Kids

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Just got a letter from the RNC today asking for money. Here’s how it starts:

Dear Friend,

I’m not one to mince words so I’ll get right to the point. If you are at all concerned about how President Obama’s radical agenda is destroying our economy and our country, then I need your help and I need it right now

I’m going to send it back with the quote from Boehner that he completely trusts Obama.

Wigglesworth on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

She is so dedicated to her people, can’t even hold a job in Alaska after being elected.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Sound the horns, hide the wimmins and childrens.

We have a talking point #12 coming through!!!

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

I suspect the “you don’t have a heart” defense of his giving children of illegals tuition breaks did more damage.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Thank you.. Completely forgot about that. Yeah that was a bigger deal to mean than the HPV thing and I am a socon..

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I can honestly say I’ve never been more excited about the rising GOP crop. I think Rubio, Paul, Jindal and Ryan are all excellent. We are fortunate. After Obama who the Dems have as future leaders of the party?

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Hillary, who will obliterate any of the above.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Seeing as the only slate, that won were backed by her, Fischer, Cruz,
Flake, whereas Rove doubled down with Allen, Berg, Thompson, et al, did I miss anyone, how Rove pulled 5 million over night out of Missouri, or how he trumpeted all of the mostly discredited attacks against O’Donnell, now prattles on about Angle, but he took her under his wing,

narciso on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Thanks. If I ever want post-election analysis from the liberal point of view, I’ll be sure to ask you for it.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I hope Novaculus doesn’t mind me bringing this in from the headlines thread because it’s just that good and negates this silly article:

So there are NO viable conservative candidates?

Why would that be so?

Where would Sarah Palin be now if the establishment Republicans (aka the Right Wing of the Political Class)had defended her against the onslaught of the Democrat-Media Complex instead of joining in the effort to portray as an ignorant, Bible-thumping snowbilly?

Palin had an enviable track record in Alaska and electrifying charisma. But her record in Alaska was built on her willingness to challenge the corrupt and self-serving without regard to their political affiliations. She didn’t just defeat Democrats, she defeated the corrupt old guard of the Alaska Republicans.

She absolutely terrified the Political Class Republicans, as do all Conservative candidates with potential. They were happy to join with Democrats and the Media in their (all too successful) efforts to toxify her image and destroy her as a viable candidate.

The whole disgusting spectacle served as a warning to all potential Conservative candidates: If you run and challenge the Political Class, you (and your family, including your children!) will not only be ruthlessly defamed and smeared by the Democrat-Media Complex. Your own party’s leadership may not only fail to help, they may join in!

Nothing will change as long as these self-serving tools retain control of the Republican Party.

novaculus on March 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

kim roy on March 21, 2013 at 1:00 PM

I totally agree novaculus totally answered Noemie Emery’s question.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

The purity brigade kneecapped Perry over the HPV vaccine (even though he was clearly better than the alternatives), and end up lining up behind…Rick Santorum.

changer1701 on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

No, Perry kneecapped himself during the debates. The terrible debates were what crashed his numbers.

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

MOST of America will hear only demonized versions of the most conservative candidate and polished versions of the most statist. You can’t win when the media is owned by the Democrats.

The media must be boycotted, destroyed and/or replaced.

Everything else mentioned is secondary to the media control.

The media accounts for at least five points in the election.

GardenGnome on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

People din’t think Reagan was conservative at the time.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

And yet you guys managed to screw up 2006, 2008, 2012. Seems to me like there just might be problems besides the evil “socons.”

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Like I said last night, the GOP wouldn’t know fiscal sanity if it hit them upside the head, but the socons are the problem.. Doh!

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Just got a letter from the RNC today asking for money. Here’s how it starts:

Dear Friend,

I’m not one to mince words so I’ll get right to the point. If you are at all concerned about how President Obama’s radical agenda is destroying our economy and our country, then I need your help and I need it right now

I’m going to send it back with the quote from Boehner that he completely trusts Obama.

Wigglesworth on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Nice touch!

Liam on March 21, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Hillary, who will obliterate any of the above.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Paul might have a shot if amnesty doesn’t pass and he doesn’t screw up anymore. He’s very charismatic. But he’ll never be allowed near the nomination, so it’s probably a moot point.

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

On the question above.

Because a conservative Republican at the jump has 30% or more of the votes aginst him as the ones who slup up the tax money via the Ear Marks and other pig trough deals know the Conservative Republican will not be bought off by the kick back re-election money for the over spending in Washington D.C..

All back to the fact that as of now we are ruled by the incest of a Two Party Evil Money Cult.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

People din’t think Reagan was conservative at the time.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

No, they thought he was John Birch-fascist at the time. This crappy Reagan-as-moderate graverobbing crap has gone on long enough.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

There is a lot more material on suspect Governor Palin motives than any Republican insider vendetta. Google Malia Littman.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I’m going to send it back with the quote from Boehner that he completely trusts Obama.

Wigglesworth on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Be sure to mention how often Boehner got behind closed doors and sold the GOP down the river too.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

I’m convinced that the indoctrination in the public schools has infected everybody, including the tots who might identify with the GOP.

The virus has simply invaded the body, and killed any Reaganesque tots.

The Compassionate Conservative tots survived.

OhEssYouCowboys on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

People din’t think Reagan was conservative at the time.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

BS. The media was getting hysterical about his religious views and ‘warmongering’ then too.

sharrukin on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

the HPV thing and I am a socon..

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I’ve got a daughter and can forgive a man for panicking in what he thought was a serious health crisis. But there were other missteps Perry had. He should have come clean that he was on pain pills during the debates, because his performance was horrible. Or he should have insisted on sitting down. The man had just gone through back surgery, for cryin’ out loud.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

But he’ll never be allowed near the nomination…

Doomberg on March 21, 2013 at 1:44 PM

Nope. Jeb or Rubio. Rand’s the allowed shiny object for the rubes to latch onto before the official anointing of one of the former.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

This “Governor Palin as victim” meme was interesting about two years ago but it is getting putrid. …

She is so dedicated to her people, can’t even hold a job in Alaska after being elected.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

Some people drink the kool-aid, looks like you have an IV drip of it. The Fifth Column Treasonous Media told you what to think, and you still believe their lies.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

LOL– Who exactly is this “purity brigade?” I mean because I have been accused tons of being a trucon and at the time of the HPV thing going down, I was still undecided and didn’t kneecap anyone? I certainly didn’t get on the Santorum bandwagon particularly because I didn’t like a lot of his fiscal position especially his support of ‘compassionate conservatism’ in the Bush years. But I also don’t think he was the church lady boogie man that everyone makes him out to be either. So again where is this brigade you speak of?

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Please. There are those that treat any deviation from conservative orthodoxy as an apostasy not to be forgiven. Perry’s a great example. Michelle Malkin herself led the charge over the vaccine thing. He went from the One who’d save us from Romney to unacceptable in short order. Part of that was driven by his own missteps, but much was due to the idea that this issue meant he just wasn’t good enough.

changer1701 on March 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Yep. Nobody liked him, but the American people.

Hmmm. Sounds familiar.

kingsjester on March 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

LukeinNE on March 21, 2013 at 1:36 PM

100% correct.

Robert_Paulson on March 21, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Easy answer: two many conservatives run. Last time Romney had the the mushy middle to himself. Also, Mitt was able to outspend each of his primary opponents by a margin of about 5-1 and he carpet-bombed them via his PACs.

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

2012? Are you kidding me? You had real unemployment in double digits for the previous four years, practically zero economic growth and Romney’s aura as Mr Invincible Electable and you’re going to tell me that he wasn’t favored? LOL

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

This doesn’t impacted people as much as it used to. That is the sad truth. Republicans can’t run on “fixing problems”. They need to run on offering MORE in the terms of quality of life and part of that is freeing people up to make dumb choices.

antisense on March 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Reagan didn’t run as a conservative. Reagan ran as a Republican.

All of the Reagan history revisionists always ignore this. Like, Reagan was some kind arm waving, Mark Levin screaming type. Reagan rarely used the word conservative at all. Look it up.

Meanwhile, the fact that socon silly is an automatic loser nationally also continues to be ignored. This is what you get, then. Losing.

Moesart on March 21, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Reagan was not conservative on a few issues, but tell me this isn’t conservative:

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the burden.

Fenris on March 21, 2013 at 1:47 PM

There is a lot more material on suspect Governor Palin motives than any Republican insider vendetta. Google Malia Littman.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

A HuffPo blogger? Hell, I can Google Andrew Sullivan while I’m at it.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:48 PM

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:37 PM

People din’t think Reagan was conservative at the time.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

You are either a willful liar or weren’t there.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I’ve got a daughter and can forgive a man for panicking in what he thought was a serious health crisis. But there were other missteps Perry had. He should have come clean that he was on pain pills during the debates, because his performance was horrible. Or he should have insisted on sitting down. The man had just gone through back surgery, for cryin’ out loud.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Exactly. Sometimes it is the GOP candidates inability to think practical when they campaign that hinders them. We all wondered why the man who had won numerous campaigns in Texas was suddenly a stuttering idiot at times. Well had he just admitted that he needed medical treatment nobody would have faulted him. HPV thing could have been dealt with as well. I can’t remember if there was an opt out option or not. The illegal immigrant comment was a little harder to get around. Sounded a little to Demmish to me.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

People din’t think Reagan was conservative at the time.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

You are either a willful liar or weren’t there.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I don’t understand this. His moniker is I liked Goldwater. Reagan was a direct disciple of Goldwater.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Do you think the elites believe that they have the vote of one who voted for:
Reagan- twice
Bush, Sr.- twice
Dole
Bush, Jr.- twice
McCain
&
Romney?

They would be wrong.

I would rather lose with dignity than ever vote for Mr. Electable -and lose- again.

M240H on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I can honestly say I’ve never been more excited about the rising GOP crop. I think Rubio, Paul, Jindal and Ryan are all excellent. We are fortunate. After Obama who the Dems have as future leaders of the party?

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Hitlery, and if the polls I read are to believed, she can beat either Rubio or Jeb Bush in Florida.

Don’t count your chickens before the hen lays the eggs.

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

@ddrintn Maybe its just me optimsitic but I don’t think Hillary is as strong as a candidate as some perceive. I think you put her against someone young and fresh like Rubio or Paul and she will have a difficult time like she did with Obama.

I also think Rubio and Paul will be ten times better than McCain and Romney at running a modern campaign.

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Rick Perry =’s http://www.corridorwatch.org

Rick Perry =’s “Back Scratching X’s 1000″

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Like I said last night, the GOP wouldn’t know fiscal sanity if it hit them upside the head, but the socons are the problem.. Doh!

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Well, in one sense the SoCons are the problem. They provide a common target for both establishment Republicans and Dems. All they have to do is stop being so crunchy when it comes to sodomite relationships, preferred citizenship for illegal aliens, protecting unborn life, and all the other stuff that gets in the way of the establishment GOP’s goal of becoming just like the Democrats but with a cooler logo.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Reagan and GWB were easily some of the most conservative candidates in their primaries. Bush was probably the most expressly religious President we’ve had in a century. Reagan made mistakes with amnesty and a budget compromise with Democrats, and Bush definitely increased the size of government, but his tax cuts remain popular for the most part and he also tried to reform Social Security and the GSE’s which caused the sub prime loan collapse.

The real question is, has there ever been a moderate who didn’t pretend to be a Conservative to win the nomination?

Daemonocracy on March 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Oh, is that all? LOL!

kingsjester on March 21, 2013 at 1:53 PM

I also think Rubio and Paul will be ten times better than McCain and Romney at running a modern campaign.

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

It’s hard to be any worse.

But there were other missteps Perry had.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Perry would’ve been a formidable candidate if he had started early, had really wanted to run, and hadn’t been cajoled into it by a group of people who were simply desperate to keep Palin on the sidelines, regardless of whether ever intended to run or not.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

@bw

At this point I think polls are pointless.

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

M240H on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Speaking of the elites, I saw an interesting comment on another site:

“Having Reince Priebus and the consultants perform the ‘autopsy’ on the 2012 election is like having a doctor who murders his wife perform that autopsy.”

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I can’t remember if there was an opt out option or not. The illegal immigrant comment was a little harder to get around. Sounded a little to Demmish to me.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Yes, there was an opt out, but people were outraged it wasn’t an opt in program. So that was a mistake. His mistake on the tuition breaks was that he didn’t plainly state that the long-term economics were much better for educating these kids, rather than make it a “compassion” issue. Don’t know if that would have helped much, though.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Speaking of the elites, I saw an interesting comment on another site:

“Having Reince Priebus and the consultants perform the ‘autopsy’ on the 2012 election is like having a doctor who murders his wife perform that autopsy.”

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

ROFL, that’s good. Hits the nail right on the head.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Do you think the elites believe that they have the vote of one who voted for:
Reagan- twice
Bush, Sr.- twice
Dole
Bush, Jr.- twice
McCain
&
Romney?

They would be wrong.

I would rather lose with dignity than ever vote for Mr. Electable -and lose- again.

M240H on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I’m with you except I was a liberal in my younger days and I am a little younger, so my voting record looks like this:

Clinton twice
Bush twice
McCain
Romney

And I ask for forgiveness everyday for those two Clinton votes, although I would take him everyday and Sunday over Obama.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 1:55 PM

desperate to keep Palin on the sidelines, regardless of whether ever intended to run or not.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

There was room for both, and Sarah is much quicker on her feet than Perry. I would have canvassed the neighborhoods if she’d gotten in, but she didn’t, and I’m still disappointed.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

People din’t think Reagan was conservative at the time.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:42 PM

…and Lincoln was a Confederate.

Daemonocracy on March 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

But there were other missteps Perry had.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Perry would’ve been a formidable candidate if he had started early, had really wanted to run, and hadn’t been cajoled into it by a group of people who were simply desperate to keep Palin on the sidelines, regardless of whether ever intended to run or not.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I’d also say that’s some of the damage Palin herself inflicted with her months-long will-she-or-won’t-she thing. Her supporters never could really get behind any alternative.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:49 PM

I don’t understand this. His moniker is I liked Goldwater. Reagan was a direct disciple of Goldwater.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Exactly, Reagan was a Goldwater Conservative, an utterly unapologetic Conservative and EVERYONE knew it. He was a deeply Religious Social Conservative and EVERYONE KNEW it (Remember the AIDS Scandal where Reagan refused to make AIDS research a high priority because 90 percent of those who contracted it were gay and Reagan totally and publicly opposed homosexuality?). The Fifth Column Treasonous Media tried to demonize him for it, and Reagan mocked them publicly for their attempts.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

No, they thought he was John Birch-fascist at the time. This crappy Reagan-as-moderate graverobbing crap has gone on long enough.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Without getting in to inside baseball, Reagan’s California heritage and other facts had the south doubting him. This was true esp. in fundraising.

The Bircher Fascist stuff came later, when the left discovered him.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

http://www.corridorwatch.org

Rick Perry did what?

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I also think Rubio and Paul will be ten times better than McCain and Romney at running a modern campaign.

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

I think that you are making assumption for which there is no evidence of being true.

A national campaign is a huge undertaking. Where do you think the staffers and advisors for 2016 are going to be coming from? They will be veterans from the McCain and Romney campaigns. And frankly, I think both campaigns’ staff sucked and gave bad advice. The key to victory is the ground game and organization at the local level including poll watchers, a willingness to contest the results in every single precinct in the nation if necessary, and a passionate get-out-the-vote cadre of supporters. In all honesty the only one I saw that came close to this in 2012 was Ron Paul (non-starter from the outset) and Herman Cain for the brief time he was in the race.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I blame in part Fox News and Talk Radio. They want a horse race and give valuable airtime to every Republican who is hawking a book, hawking a tv show, trying to make money for themselves…all in the name of “conservatism”.

Maybe not Rush because he doesn’t have many guests, but really all our failed primary candidates wind up on Fox News or Talk Radio. Thompson, Huckster, Palin, Gingrich, Santorum, Cain…have I left anyone out?

monalisa on March 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

and Lincoln was a Confederate.

Daemonocracy on March 21, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Lincoln is now leading the conspiracy against Sarah Palin and Rick Perry.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:58 PM

I haven’t seen a conservative run in the primaries since 1984

unseen on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

These idiots helped justify a centrist tide among party brokers.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:18 PM

“Centrist Tide?” More like a trickle.

As other have already posted, the primaries have been engineered by the REpublicans, as to give them the candidate they want. “It was ROmney’s Turn.”

We’re not here to Rebrand a party. We’re here to rebuild a country.

Sarah Palin, CPAC 3/16/13

Palin is a Christian American Conservative. So am I. We are a part of the Republican Party’s Conservative base, whom the Republican Power Brokers have treated so dismissively the last several years., which has only served to bite them in the hindquarters, come election time.

Now, they apparently are so arrogant and short-sighted, as to want to drive us away completely.

As Ron White says,

You can’t fix stupid.

Apparently, the GOP wants to double-down on it.

kingsjester on March 21, 2013 at 1:28 PM

Anyone engineering the primaries for Romney was helped by the caliber of his opponents, and potential opponents.

Sarah Palin served less than three years as the Governor of a sparsely populated geographically isolated state.

Rick Santorum lost his bid for reelection in a swing state by seventeen points, and thinks contraception is a bad idea.

Rick Perry has to deny reports that he was high on painkiller medication during primary debates.

Herman Cain never served in elected office, and a woman he met with on a weekly basis for 13 years without telling his wife claimed that they were sleeping together.

Michelle Bachmann had a propensity for saying stupid and untrue things. Those are not good attributes for a potential president. She also had no accomplishments to speak of in a twelve year legislative career.

I wouldn’t blame Romney. I’d blame the opposition for failing to field a competent opponent.

It is kinda telling that Jim Demint didn’t seek the nomination

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

I wasn’t politically aware when the AIDS research effort took place. But my understanding of it wasn’t that Reagan was punishing people for homosexuality, but that the amount of AIDS cases were so small at the time and the demands for funding so huge and exorbitant that it just didn’t make sense. So the liberals did what they do best and smeared him as a homophobe, even though his son Ron is gay.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

I would like the point that today most polls are pointless. Scientific polling has actually reduced credibility. You tell me what result you want and I’ll find a sampling and word the question in such a way that I will get the result you want.

We may have some “great” candidates (I don’t agree that all the ones you named are great) but there are many people like me who are so p!ssed at the RNC that they won’t vote Republican. Mitt Romney wasn’t my cup of tea, but I not only voted for him but also sent him $35. In 2016, for the first time in my life, I may not vote for the GOP candidate.

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Have Noemie Emery develop a complete Bibliography of the transgressions of evil performed by HER class – The Media – against Sarah Palin. Tell her to make sure to include:

1. The complete list of lies and transgressions promulgated about her in The Media.
2. The total number of transgressions and lies promulgated about her in The Media
3. The RATE at which those transgressions and lies were promulgated after the announcement that she was the VP nominee.
4. The number of un-fact-checked lies and transgressions about her that have appeared in The Mainstream Media
5. The total number of reporters sent to Wasilla after announcement of her as the nominee
6. The number of lawsuits initiated against her and the State of Alaska by liberal sock puppets since announcement of her as the nominee AND after the election was over. Include details of funding by liberal and media groups to initiate these activities

…..THEN talk to her and see if the drugs have worn off, Yes, “gravity” is old, too – but it is the TRUTH

williamg on March 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Karl Rove, the mastermind of “compassionate conservatism,” is building a group right now that’s designed to head off ostensibly unelectable conservative insurgents in House and Senate primaries.

Yeah, because Rove’s record in 2012 was awesome, right? Crikey, I want that guy to go away.

Physics Geek on March 21, 2013 at 2:01 PM

MONEY.

MONEY.

MONEY.

Mitt became the nominee by outspending the Conservatives 10-1.

MONEY. Money and making sure the entire GOP machine is run by only the most Centrist of Republicans.

Karl Roves MONEY seldom wins the General but it does a great job in the Presidential Primary. Not just his MONEY either. The MSM does a bang up job promoting the most Centrist GOP candidate possible. They pretend he will be hard to beat in piece after piece so correct that.

Mitt outspent Conservatives 100-1 when you add in free MSM air time.

Steveangell on March 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

…..THEN talk to her and see if the drugs have worn off, Yes, “gravity” is old, too – but it is the TRUTH and it is The Law of Physics and it is STILL the reason many things happen!

williamg on March 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Without getting in to inside baseball, Reagan’s California heritage and other facts had the south doubting him. This was true esp. in fundraising.

The Bircher Fascist stuff came later, when the left discovered him.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Screw your inside baseball, I campaigned for Reagan, I went door to door for Reagan. You are so full of it you sound like Barky O’Dogeater.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 2:02 PM

I also think Rubio and Paul will be ten times better than McCain and Romney at running a modern campaign.

terryannonline on March 21, 2013 at 1:50 PM

It depends on which consultants Rubio and Rand hire. McCain and Romney had basically the same guys behind the scenes and it showed. I would think Rubio would hire the bushie friends like McCain and Romney did. And I wouldn’t expect a different result if Rubio did so. Rand might not hire those guys his father had his own team and I would imagine many of them would go over to rand. So I don’t know… as long as the GOPe has a say in the campaign I don’t see much hope. Rove et all need to be sidelined before we win a national election.

unseen on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Reagan was always considered the conservative? No.

Now Goldwater was..yes!

Some history from Wikki:

Reagan had promised, if nominated, to name Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running mate, in a bid to attract liberals and centrists in the party. This move backfired, however, as many conservatives (such as Senator Jesse Helms) were infuriated by Reagan’s choice of the “liberal” Schweiker, while few moderate delegates switched to Reagan. Helms promptly began a movement to draft Conservative Senator James L. Buckley of New York as the presidential nominee.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Anyone engineering the primaries for Romney was helped by the caliber of his opponents, and potential opponents.

Sarah Palin served less than three years as the Governor of a sparsely populated geographically isolated state.

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Still, Palin’s tenure was preferable to Romney’s. If Palin had run, she would’ve mopped the floor with Mitt and would’ve won the nomination. I don’t think we’ll ever know the full story of what went on behind the scenes in 2011-2012.

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

I wasn’t politically aware when the AIDS research effort took place. But my understanding of it wasn’t that Reagan was punishing people for homosexuality, but that the amount of AIDS cases were so small at the time and the demands for funding so huge and exorbitant that it just didn’t make sense. So the liberals did what they do best and smeared him as a homophobe, even though his son Ron is gay.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

A quick google search I found this tidbit:

“First, according to the Congressional Research Service, federal spending on HIV/AIDS began at $8 million in fiscal year 1982 (remember that President Reagan was inaugurated on January 20, 1981). By the time Reagan left office, the fiscal 1989 budget contained $2.322 billion for HIV/AIDS. Overall, between fiscal years 1982 and 1989, the Reagan Administration spent $5.727 billion on HIV/AIDS.”

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

though his son Ron is gay.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

That might come as a shock to his wife.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Mister Mests,

Jim Demint said from the first time he ran he would not stay in D.C. .

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM

Emery’s response: Then why did Republican primary voters vote for them instead of for a solid conservative like, say, Rick Perry?

Her answer? Between Reagan’s generation and the current crop of Rubio, Scott Walker, etc, there simply haven’t been many good conservative candidates.

Not to mention a) open primaries in which DEMOCRATS also vote for our candidates, and b) the primary process that cinches the deal for a front-runner long before a majority of people even get a chance to vote in a primary.

As a Texan, I’m not sure the last time Texas actually had a say in who that final candidate was going to be – they’ve all been picked by Iowa, New Hampshire, blahcetera – all those bastions of conservative voting behavior…

Midas on March 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM

It is kinda telling that Jim Demint didn’t seek the nomination

Mister Mets on March 21, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Jim DeMint doesn’t have the personality or charisma to compete in a Presidential campaign and he realized it. Paul Ryan doesn’t have the personality or charisma to compete in a Presidential campaign, but probably is too egotistical to realize it. Ryan added nothing to the 2012 campaign.

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The problem is that real conservative policies are very hard for politicians to actually pass. Politicians’ natural instinct is to “do things” in response to economic or societal problems; conservative economic policy requires minimal regulation or other intervention. Likewise, conservative policy requires serious cuts to the welfare state and entitlement spending. But it’s really, really hard to take government goodies away from the “takers” of society–just look at the European riots.

We might be turning the corner now, though. We’ve got some unabashedly conservative governors out there enacting conservative governing policies that are turning around states like WI, OH, MI, IN, and LA, and continuing the growth in TX and elsewhere. The Dems can demagogue all they like, but the results speak for themselves.

Outlander on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

REAGAN WAS A SUCCESSFUL GOLDWATER!

I didn’t say that President Reagan did not become the greatest standard bearer of the right in modern American history.

I didn’t say that I don’t love the man and always will.

I didn’t say that I don’t support his friggin’ library!

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

That might come as a shock to his wife.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

The little woman is always the last to know.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Some history from Wikki:

Reagan had promised, if nominated, to name Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running mate, in a bid to attract liberals and centrists in the party. This move backfired, however, as many conservatives (such as Senator Jesse Helms) were infuriated by Reagan’s choice of the “liberal” Schweiker, while few moderate delegates switched to Reagan. Helms promptly began a movement to draft Conservative Senator James L. Buckley of New York as the presidential nominee.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

in a bid to attract liberals and centrists in the party.

If what you claim is true then this makes no sense.

What you claim isn’t true.

Reagan was seen as very conservative.

sharrukin on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

AmeriCuda on March 21, 2013 at 1:39 PM

yeap. the game is fixed before anyone gets on the field.

unseen on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Reagan was always considered the conservative? No.

Now Goldwater was..yes!

Some history from Wikki:

Reagan had promised, if nominated, to name Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running mate, in a bid to attract liberals and centrists in the party. This move backfired, however, as many conservatives (such as Senator Jesse Helms) were infuriated by Reagan’s choice of the “liberal” Schweiker, while few moderate delegates switched to Reagan. Helms promptly began a movement to draft Conservative Senator James L. Buckley of New York as the presidential nominee.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Can’t even grasp the significance of what you post. Conservatives felt that Reagan who EVERYONE KNEW was a stanch Conservative would be watering down his CONSERVATIVE credentials, they felt it was unacceptable compromise.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Reagan has a free spending commie Democrat House of Rep’s to deal with, all they did was spend all he could do was veto and then they with the help of RINO’s in the Senate would over ride his vetos.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I kid, of course. I blame Coulter for that misunderstanding on my part.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Ronald Reagan was the greatest of all American presidents or guaranteed in the top THREE!

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

… because the past few cycles all of the conservative candidates have had incredibly weird, turn-off personalities and one or two “colorful” policy positions that caused even the diehard supporters to question them?

ZachV on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

ddrintn on March 21, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Palin had several reasons for not running. She wanted to see Obama defeated more than anything else. First Bachmann announced, then Newt, then Perry announced. I believe Palin felt that by running she would only further delute the conservative vote.

bw222 on March 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Exactly, Reagan was a Goldwater Conservative, an utterly unapologetic Conservative and EVERYONE knew it. He was a deeply Religious Social Conservative and EVERYONE KNEW it (Remember the AIDS Scandal where Reagan refused to make AIDS research a high priority because 90 percent of those who contracted it were gay and Reagan totally and publicly opposed homosexuality?). The Fifth Column Treasonous Media tried to demonize him for it, and Reagan mocked them publicly for their attempts.

SWalker on March 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Actually he had a huge budget for AIDS research that grew while he was in office. Furthermore, the first case of AIDS wasn’t even seen in the United States until 1981 and wasn’t even coined with a name until 1982. The need for research is usually needed after the disease becomes epidemic. AIDS is one of the only diseases that got attention immediately upon coming on the scene.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Nothing demonstrates the arrogance, sanctimony and political naivete of rightwing conservatives more than their continued and unabated adoration of Sarah Palin–a woman who will never win a national election.

Ms. Emery’s article is spot on. She sounds like she could be acquainted with HA and the constant post-election whining of conservatives. It’s ironic that they so dislike Obama and his propensity for always finding someone else to blame for his failures when they are so spectacularly guilty of the same thing.

Meredith on March 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Politicians generally go into, and at least stay in, for power. Big business leaders generally get involved in politics for the benefit of their business (crony capitalism). Why would anyone be surprised that these “insiders” would be so strongly opposed to limited government. It is diametrically opposed to their interests in politics. Meanwhile, solid citizens who want limited government, want nothing to do with government, and just want government to leave them alone.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

–Plato

besser tot als rot on March 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

OMG. All I meant was that there was carping. Senator Jesse Helms and others were suspicious of him. The problem was his early Democrat work and coming from the state of California.

IlikedAUH2O on March 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

Nothing demonstrates the arrogance, sanctimony and political naivete of rightwing conservatives more than their continued and unabated adoration of Sarah Palin–a woman who will never win a national election.

Ms. Emery’s article is spot on. She sounds like she could be acquainted with HA and the constant post-election whining of conservatives. It’s ironic that they so dislike Obama and his propensity for always finding someone else to blame for his failures when they are so spectacularly guilty of the same thing.

Meredith on March 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

Now all we need is bluegill for the “bitter women hatred of Sarah Palin” duo to be complete.”

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I kid, of course. I blame Coulter for that misunderstanding on my part.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 2:08 PM

And the ironic thing is that being gay wouldn’t even rank in the top ten of ways Ron Reagan Jr. would be a huge disappointment to his dad.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

The need for research is usually needed after the disease becomes epidemic.

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Exactly. And numbers dictate research funding. AIDS got far more research funding per capita/case. I will concede our understanding of the immune system has vastly increased because of it.

John the Libertarian on March 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

I’m going to send it back with the quote from Boehner that he completely trusts Obama.

Wigglesworth on March 21, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Pls. also add the Boehner quote from last Sunday “we don’t have a debt problem now”.

Tell him that you won’t support two Obama, and to grow a pair, or to just go home or join Obama.

Schadenfreude on March 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Just because I live in Texas and have been in political fights with the RINO’s of Texas….

http://www.corridorwatch.org

Rick Perry tried to do what to the toll roads in Texas, who would have thought the msm would cover that up.

Sell out to a Spanish Toll Road company, rake in money for New York bond sellers, and even use Rudi Giuliani and his law firm to tie up loose ends.

Wow,

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 21, 2013 at 2:14 PM

And the ironic thing is that being gay wouldn’t even rank in the top ten of ways Ron Reagan Jr. would be a huge disappointment to his dad.

Happy Nomad on March 21, 2013 at 2:13 PM

LOL– Like someone said, I would have an easier time accepting my son if he was gay then if he was a liberal. He he :)

melle1228 on March 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

–Plato

besser tot als rot on March 21, 2013 at 2:11 PM

so true.

one of the total victories of the Bush GOPe was to equate being probusiness as the same as being pro-free market. It opened up K street and crony capitalism on steriods. the no bid contracts was a nice touch also. It’s time that conservatives understand that free market means less government not too big to fail companies.

unseen on March 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM

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