Green Room

Ten Things You Should Do If You’re An “Anybody But Mitt” Republican, And One You Should Not

posted at 8:13 am on February 1, 2012 by

Let’s say, hypothetically, for just a moment here, that some of the pundits are right – that Romney’s landslide victory in Florida means he really might be inevitable.

I’ve heard more than a few of you Newt and Paul supporters out there; “If Romney wins, I’m staying home on election day”.

While I’m not especially passionate about Romney just yet, I’ll reiterate what an awful idea this is.  Don’t go there, people.

I’ve got ten suggestions for much more-productive responses.

  1. Keep things in perspective - Forget Gingrich’s Alinskiite rhetoric for a moment; Romney’s not a “liberal”.  Remember William F. Buckley’s advice – “Vote for the most conservative person who can win?”  Romney was the most conservative person who could win…in Massachusetts.  He was the most conservative person who could make any headway against a Massachusetts legislature that made Ted Kennedy look like Michele Bachmann.  Is he the most conservative candidate who could win in a nationwide general election?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  But if not?  We’ll come back to that.  The point being, he’s not just “not a liberal” – on economics, which is what really matters in this election, he’s conservative enough.  And for the rest?  Well, we’ll get back to that down the list a ways.
  2. Relax.  Take a deep breath.  The world doesn’t begin or end with this nomination.  Or even with this election. Even if Romney is as bad as some of you claim, this nation has survived worse.  Hell, we’re surviving worse right now.  Focus, people; getting Obama out of office is the key – and while some of you reject incrementalism (and I reject the idea that Romney is especially incremental, and even if he is – well, we’ll get back to that below), sometimes it’s all you got, and you gotta deal with it, and when you gotta deal with it, you want the increments to move in the right direction.  Romney’s not perfect, but he’s the right direction – and, I suggest, not just a little.
  3. Remember The Positive Influence You Do Have - The caucuses and primaries aren’t over.  We’re seven months away from the convention – and three months away from the state conventions that will empanel the delegates.  This isn’t a done deal yet.  I can live with Romney – maybe even better – but I’m caucusing for…I dunno, probably Santorum on Tuesday.  Not that I’m thrilled with Santorum, either, but I want Mitt and his supporters to know that to win me (and, I hope, millions like me) that he’s going to have to be more aggressively conservative than he has been acting.
  4. Go Shooting. It’s great stress relief.  It focuses the mind.  And it shows Romney – and Obama – that you can’t whiz on the Second Amendment.  It’s a threefer.
  5. Remember The Alternative - You think four more years of Obama would be better than four to eight of Romney?  There’s a caveat to this, of course – more below.
  6. No, Remember The Real Alternative  - I hear those among you who say you’ll sit this election out.  ”If the party loses because they didn’t go conservative enough for me, it’ll teach them a lesson”.   That’s not only groaningly solipsistic – it’s not, after all, all about you – it’s also just not the way political parties and organizations work.  I’ve said it a few times in the past few weeks, and I’m going to keep saying it until y’all get it right; Political parties don’t “learn lessons” – they reflect the will of those who show up.  And if conservatives – and all you libertarian Ron Paul supporters – don’t show up, then the “establishment wins.  And don’t be yapping about “voting Libertarian”, because…
  7. Third Parties Are to “Parties” What Near Beer Is To Beer. Let’s be honest; if you are a conservative or a libertarian, the GOP is the only chance you have to actually affect policy for real.  The Libertarian, Constitution and Conservative parties are futile, vote-wasting protest actions at best,  intellectual onanism at worst.  None of them will ever, ever, ever, ever affect the way policy is enacted in this country.  Ever.  And I say that as someone who not only sincerely wishes they could, but worked for it as a Libertarian Party member.  And remember – you, the conservative and libertarian and Tea Partier, have had a huge effect already; four years ago, Romney was defending himself against charges he was “too conservative”; today, it’s the opposite.  This is a good thing.  You – we – have moved the needle in the GOP.  ”But it hasn’t moved far enough and fast enough!”, you say?  Suck it up, little camper, and put down the TV remote; political parties don’t change like one of those jump cuts in an NFL game of the week.  It takes time, patience and effort.  Hell, it took Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater close to 20 years to change the GOP, and even that didn’t stick.
  8. Be Honest: Campaign rhetoric is one thing – real records, and their context, are much more useful.  Romney needs to be kept honest – i.e, conservative – and we have the power to do that (see, again, below), but it’s not like we’re trying to reform Che Guevara, here.
  9. Numbers Count:  Remember Buckley’s Commandment from earlier in the post?  ”Elect the most conservative candidate who can win?”  Newt’s negatives shouldn’t be the dispositive factor in this nomination, but you might wanna be mindful of the fact that 60% of the American people would rather have Slobodan Milosevic for President.  And Ron Paul is a shoe-in in the4 general – so say his supporters.  Who are, so far, 1/6-1/10 of the GOP.  If he can’t win the GOP, I’m at a loss for how he has even a faint shot at the general.  I’d love to hear a Ronulan spell out a case that leads Paul to the White House that doesn’t include the phrase “and then Ron Paul convinces everyone that he’s ideal”.  Honestly – I’d love to hear it.  Rand Paul might be another story, and there, I’m all ears - but that’s the future.  As far as I”m concerned, for right now the electoral world ends in November.  Focus.
  10. Checks, Balances. So what if the GOP had no candidate at all, and we were looking at a victory for Obama by default today?  What would you be doing now, all you good conservatives?  Working to make sure the conservatives hold the House and take the Senate?  OK – so let’s say Romney really is as bad as  you all want us to believe he is.  And let’s say he’s inevitable.  Your choices then are “stay home” or “do what you’d do if Obama was going to win – try to negate his power and influence by taking control of Congress”.  Why, precisely, should you not then be working to flip the Senate and extend our lead in the House/  Because the opportunity is there, folks, to not just flip Congress completely against either Obama or a hypothetical “moderate” Romney, but flip it to a version of the GOP that, so far, has been pretty Beltway-proof, and fairly dedicated to the mission for which they were sent to GOP by the Tea Party and a newly-resurgent conservative movement in the first place; togovern like conservatives.  Keeping them that way is our job.  Provided we don’t “stay home” and “teach everyone a lesson”.  Because the only “lesson” you “teach” by staying home is that you’re unreliable and marginal.  Don’t be that.
Or you can stay home.  Your call.
Cross-posted at Shot In The Dark

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Great, a bunch of rationalizations for why we should all just eat our s–t sandwich and be happy about it.

Spending the next four years in a medically induced coma is sounding better all the time.

SAMinVA on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Can’t do it.

Mitt and Obama have so many parallels. Obama ran in many ways as a conservative “I will cut the deficit in half” (ring any bells?) but those who looked at what he had actually DONE he was far left.
Romney is the same. If I were the gov of Mass and the legislature would have forced my hand (like Mitt keeps saying) it would have had to be over a veto of every liberal trash piece they came up with. Instead Romney governed as a liberal, ergo he IS a liberal.

traye on February 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Spending the next four years in a medically induced coma is sounding better all the time.

SAMinVA on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Well, no.

And I think that’s where perspective comes in.

RightWay79 on February 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Spending the next four years in a medically induced coma is sounding better all the time.

SAMinVA on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Sweet Meteor of Death 2012 is looking better all the time. :-)

“Howdy! I am an enormous chunk of rock hurtling through space for now, but hoping for a chance to profoundly change the world for the better. I want to stop the partisan sniping and bickering of rivals that characterizes the political process. And I want you to never have to vote for the lesser of two evils ever again.
My platform: Death. To expunge. The annihilation of all life on Earth. Some say I am naive and doomed to failure, since bacteria, certain ocean creatures, and some insects will surely survive my planet-wracking onslaught. I concede that my critics may technically have a point.

But the truth is, I’ve always been a ‘half-a-loaf-of-bread-is-better-than-none’ kind of guy.”

SMOD: An End To Politics As Usual. Forever.

This Candidate Has Been Endorsed By The Sierra Club™

Laura Curtis on February 1, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I’m not staying home on election day if Romney is the nominee. I’m going to exercise my right NOT to vote for President. I will not support or vote for a candidate for President I disagree and, more to the point, do not trust on very fundamental issues.

I will still show up, vote for down-ticket races in national, state, and local issues. But barring Romney making peace with the party grassroots and the Tea party, and making a bold, conservative choice for his vice presidential running mate, he will not get my vote.

Jurisprudence on February 1, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Romney is the same. If I were the gov of Mass and the legislature would have forced my hand (like Mitt keeps saying) it would have had to be over a veto of every liberal trash piece they came up with.
traye on February 1, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I think he did.
The state legislature overrode most of them.

RightWay79 on February 1, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Great, a bunch of rationalizations for why we should all just eat our s–t sandwich and be happy about it.

Spending the next four years in a medically induced coma is sounding better all the time.

SAMinVA on February 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM

So who you going to vote for?

Mimzey on February 1, 2012 at 12:23 PM

If Mitt Romneycare is the nominee I’ll be voting for a non-R for president for the first time in my life.

Sorry but I will not vote for the man who brought us Obamacare v1.0. The Republican party will have gone too far.

18-1 on February 1, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Well, no.

And I think that’s where perspective comes in.

RightWay79 on February 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Nobody who trusts the Republican Party to be good stewards of our constitution has much in the way of perspective.

gryphon202 on February 1, 2012 at 12:27 PM

why we should all just eat our s–t sandwich and be happy about it

Look, maybe it’s part of the Scandinavian ancestry; making s**t sandwiches palatable is part of life. Maybe it’s because I see the greatest achievement in life not being what you can accomplish when you get everything you want, but what you do when you get less than everything, or NOTHING you want.

Maybe it’s because my heroes are the Ernest Shackeltons and Eddie Rickenbackers, who got dealt platters of s**t sandwiches, and had to just sack up and deal with.

But it’s the people who make the best of the “s**t sandwiches”, day in, day out, year in, year out, that are the people that will actually save this country, while all fo the “my way or the highway” crowd are curled up fetal and waiting for their savior to come along.

Mitch Berg on February 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

But it’s the people who make the best of the “s**t sandwiches”, day in, day out, year in, year out, that are the people that will actually save this country, while all fo the “my way or the highway” crowd are curled up fetal and waiting for their savior to come along.

Mitch Berg on February 1, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Pardon me for saying, but it sounds like you’re willing to settle. Not all of us are. And the only way that “pissed off conservatives” are going to make our elected representatives do anything against their will is by engaging in a course of action that probably shouldn’t be mentioned on this blog.

gryphon202 on February 1, 2012 at 12:33 PM

On many of your points, I disagree, the main point being that we don’t have to eat the crap sandwich the GOP establishment is feeding us and we can alternatively shake the upend the status quo this November.

All it takes is enough of us to draw that line and say ‘no mas‘. It’s the one and only one thing we conservatives should do and remain true to our principles. We’ll leave the ‘electability’ canard to those for whom, party affiliation is their raison d’etre.

Reposted from another thread:
(http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2012/02/01/why-romney-won-why-gingrich-lost/comment-page-2/#comment-1779937)

That means four more years of Obama. Obamacare is full of poisoned pills, which come into effect in 2013 and 2014. It is just insane to let him in again.

gh on February 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Anything legislated can be undone. Mitnness says he will make OC optional on day one. That does nothing to stop the mechanisms from kicking in. Yeah, OK will opt-out, but Mittness will compel them to come up with a universal plan for OK, same with the other States. How is this different from OC coming into effect on its own.

Let’s posit that on 07 Nov, we find that Oboobi won with 40% of the vote, the GOP wins 30% and combined 3rd parties win 30% (5% leftist and 25% conservative/libertarian). Furthermore, the House GOP boosts its majority and the Senate even flips (assuming 30% GOP voters plus 25% 3rd party voters vote GOP down ticket).

Do you not think that what blue dogs/moderate Dems will factor this shift, namely that the Donks do not have a mandate with just 45% of the final tally? They will be the ones voting across the aisle with the GOP because they are up for a vote in 2014/16.

Now factor in the GOP congress critters. Don’t discount Ron paul having a say in the GOP platform in August. With 55% of the NOT-Obama behind them, Boehner & McConnel will suddenly find a brass pair. My hope is that even brass ones won’t cut it and the TPers with steel ones will capture key leadership positions in both houses. It is they who will KILL OC and do so over Oboobi’s veto. It is they who will countermand his EOs and start defunding or even shuttering agencies wholesale. Oboobi will be a lame duck in his 2nd term.

The above is preferable to simply voting for the lesser of two evils or just staying at home on election day. And letting Oboobi win with 50+% of the vote, while the GOP gets 45% and the 3rd parties geting 5%, as happened in ’08. Do recall that Dubya barely won because many a conservative stayed home because they felt Junior was just Pappy’s mini-me.

Using the same assumptions as above, but with GOP getting 40% to Oboobi’s 30%. The 3rd party victory effect will amplify the pulling of this country to the right and will keep the GOP in check from progressive excesses.

Granted, it is the EVs that will determine the actual winner, but the point is that the shock of 30% voting 3rd party will shake the establishment to the core. And no amount of spin will deflect the fact that we are watching and will hit them again in 2012/14 if they don’t stop acting like 435 little princes/princesses.

Bottomline, playing it safe and voting the lesser of two evils will only encourage the stupid party (win or lose) to continue voting across the asile to advance the progressive agenda. Because the meme of a 3 -7 point spread between the GOP/DNC will be that there needs to be more bi-partisanship, thus green-lighting the moderates to double-down on progressivism. Amnesty anyone? More spending. More entitlements to woo the indies/moderate etc.

AH_C on February 1, 2012 at 11:45 AM

AH_C on February 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

I am telling the “anyone but Mitt” crowd, some of whom are using some very scorched-earthy rhetoric, that the real priority is getting Obama out of office and getting GOP majorities in Congress.

You said you were talking to the people who said they may “stay home on election day.”

If you are not trying to motivate people to vote, then you are doing absolutely nothing.

I’m no cheerleader. If the notion of your grandchildren paying trillions in debt doesn’t get you excited to turn out for a conservative Congress and a conservative-enough, much-better-than-Obama president, I’m afraid one might be beyond cheerleading.
Mitch Berg on February 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Congratulations; you managed to squeeze a strawman and two false choices into one small paragraph.

Here’s a little writing tip: if the only point you have to make is that Obama sucks, then you might want to JUST SAY THAT.

And leave out all that other stuff about how incredibly much you’re (allegedly) not trying to get everyone who isn’t “excited” enough to start feeling the way you claim you don’t want them to feel. Because – at the risk of being redundant myself – there is no possible point to any of that.

logis on February 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Congratulations; you managed to squeeze a strawman and two false choices into one small paragraph.

Here’s a little writing tip: if the only point you have to make is that Obama sucks, then you might want to JUST SAY THAT.

And leave out all that other stuff about how incredibly much you’re (allegedly) not trying to get everyone who isn’t “excited” enough to start feeling the way you claim you don’t want them to feel. Because – at the risk of being redundant myself – there is no possible point to any of that.

logis on February 1, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Ouch. That’s going to leave a mark.

gryphon202 on February 1, 2012 at 1:01 PM

I will NOT subMITT!

Al-Ozarka on February 1, 2012 at 1:09 PM

I have to disagree with you on Third Parties, Mitch.

Will they win this year, or any election in the next few? I am betting not. However, voting for the same two parties just because they are the only ones who can win merely perpetuates the two parties. That’s exactly what is expected of all of us… that we have to get in line and vote “good enough”. The parties know that, which means they never have to put up a candidate who will actually change anything at all (witness: Mitt Romney). They simply make the argument that anything other than the D or R candidate is a wasted vote, so you may as well get in line.

So when does the change happen? When does the needle move? When does either party respond to the electorate rather than us falling in line with what they want? Next election? The one after that?

If we keep just falling in line, then if I am the party leadership I see no reason to ever change what I am doing. Afterall, the ones who don’t like it will still fall in line because they want to vote for the other party even less.

Sorry, but at some point you have to start breaking the cycle of falling in line or voting for the lesser of two evils.

As long as we keep eating the sh*t sandwich, why would they volunatrily change the menu to prime rib?

gravityman on February 1, 2012 at 1:14 PM

I laughed out loud when I read this pathetic attempt to rationalize voting for Romney. Really, that is the best you can do??

Sorry, no deal. Not only will I not vote for Romney, I might not vote down-ticket either.

Irregardless, it’s a moot point as Romney will lose the general election.

Norwegian on February 1, 2012 at 1:16 PM

If I need to, I will be voting AGAINST OBAMA in the general election. I would encourage my fellow ABRs to do the same.

gryphon202 on February 1, 2012 at 9:36 AM

A vote against Oboobi with Mitt as the nominee is still a vote for OC, big govt, more spending (fixing holes in safety nets), more deficit et al, — just at a 1/2 trillion/year pace compared to Oboobi’s $1 trillion/year. In this scenario, no matter who wins, the DC spin will be interpreted as a win for progressives, with disagreement relegated to the margins (rate of spending), not the core priciple of more govt.

What makes you think that he would, Mitch? What policy positions has Mitt Romney EVER held that makes you think he’d go toe-to-toe with Reid? For that matter, what makes you think that ANY Republican would?

gryphon202 on February 1, 2012 at 10:51 AM

Don’t forget that both Reid & Romney are members in good standing with the LDS Church. It might seem weird that polar opposites can be in good standing within the same denomination, but the truth is that Reid is far left and Romney is center-left. Br’er Mitt will meet Br’er Reid halfway more times than vice versa.

AH_C on February 1, 2012 at 1:18 PM

You are right, I will not go third party, I will go for the throat and vote direct for Obama. Parties do not learn lessons, but the electorate does!

astonerii on February 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Step one: elect Obama.

Step two: ??

Step three: A conservative government!

YehuditTX on February 1, 2012 at 1:28 PM

If we can keep a solid majority in the House and flip the Senate, I wouldn’t care if Obama won a second term. The republicans have pretty much shown themselves incapable of fighting a President from their own party but they will go after Obama.

Wendya on February 1, 2012 at 1:48 PM

First off, I like Perry and Cain, are they running now? Nope…

I like Newt, but at times he goes a bit off…….
Saying all that

I found the article interesting and I like #1 the best, William Buckley is a very smart man and also makes a lot of common sense (wish he was still around) I also remember what Ronald Regan said in regards to other Republicans / Conservatives, that we don’t have to agree on everything (something like 6 out of 10? Can’t remember)

Point 2 is important since we need to maintain focus and #4 helps :)

#5? Oh yes, I remember the 4 years of peanut man, I was in the service at the time…….we had aircraft not flying because of no money for parts or when we had parts, no money for training…..remember Iran? I do……(I won’t go into the foreign policy which seems to be a repeat now)

Same with third party, I was not happy with Bush Sr, was not about to vote for Clinton and I like what Ross Perot was selling…so I voted for him (along with a lot of other conservatives), we got Clinton for 8 years…..I was still in the military and spent a lot of my time “making do” (see carter years -flash back) or being deploy as a way to deflect media attention from the white house

Remember our system; whether you like it or not it is a two party system, it’s not like the brits where it’s a free for all….. trying to do a third party at the national level will not work (House? Maybe, same with the Senate)

Not voting because you don’t like the choice? That is a choice/decision in itself, doesn’t matter how you dress it up – you made a choice of status quo (how can you be happy with that?).

Like some other folks, I would rather deal with the issues from my Republican choice than to keep dealing with what we have now……..to wait till h*ll freezes for the perfect conservative candidate is just that, waiting……..think about it, how many of us agree with everything we all say? (Just looking at the comments on this subject alone shows very few of us think the same…….*shaking my head*).

You choice come this November, vote for someone or not vote because your choice is not there. At least I can say I had a say in the matter, those that refuse to vote have no right to whine

Just my .02 cents…

lobo on February 1, 2012 at 1:57 PM

I agree with Mitch Berg. You’re NOT going to “teach” the GOP any lessons. The establishment types in the GOP don’t see Obama as a threat. They’re all part of the Bilderberg insiders club. I have NO love for Romney as I lived in MA when he was da gov. Is he what I want? NO!!! but is he WAY better than Obama? You betcha!!!

My recommendation: If Romney is the nominee, don’t give your vote to Obama by not voting for the GOP’s “crap sandwich” candidate, instead vote for the GOP Presidential candidate AND all the most conservative down ticket candidates available.

If Romney is nominated and wins and is faced with a conservative House and Senate that passes conservative orientated legislation, Romney will sign it while Obama would veto it as well as fill all the government departments with his far left administrators and use his executive powers to circumvent congress as much as he thought he could get away with.

In MA Romney had a far left veto proof legislature who could and did make it almost useless to veto anything. In MA the gov is largely a figure head, the legislature basically runs the show. If the next president has a conservative Congress, which is highly likely, ask yourself, who would be easier for them to work with, Romney or Obama? The former would go along with Congress’s actions, Obama would be fighting and vetoing at every step and using his far left appointees and his executive powers to thwart, veto and ignore the will of Congress.

It’s a no brainer which is the better, more conservative friendly scenario. So eat your lutefisk and let’s get the job done that desperately needs doing. Waiting another four years till we have the perfect candidate may be too late.

Unless of course she decides to run and becomes the nominee this time around. Then we put the pedal to the metal.

shmendrick on February 1, 2012 at 2:03 PM

What a disaster.

dmn1972 on February 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

This post has been promoted to HotAir.com.

Comments have been closed on this post but the discussion continues here.

Ed Morrissey on February 1, 2012 at 7:31 PM

End of term for Obama, country slightly worse off, Party much better off.
End of term for Romney, country slightly better off, party much worse off.

What would you rather have in 2016/2020? The beginning of Obama’s term in office with super majorities of congress being in the hands of democrats? The beginning of Bush’s term with majorities of congress being in the hands of republicans?

it is a simple question. You say that the country cannot take 4 more years of Obama, but we will not have 4 more years of the Obama we had from 2009 through 2011, we will have the more tranquilized version of Obama because we have him held with the congress. If we elect another stinker Republican to the Presidency, we will end up with the end of Bush’s term culminating in a rerun of Obama 2009 through 2011 with the country starting off on much worse footing.

I will work to defeat Romney with everything I have to offer.

astonerii on February 1, 2012 at 2:31 PM

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