Romney supporters often urge primary voters to see Mitt Romney through the general electability lens, to note his polish, single-mindedness and at-least-to-the-right-of-Obama policy positions. But, in the end, Romney might not even have the corner on electability, as Limbaugh reminded listeners recently.
In response to a caller’s question about why he felt the media was not really attacking Republican contender Mitt Romney, Rush Limbaugh said that he felt that the White House and its media allies want Obama to run against Romney, “the architect of Obamacare.”
“I think the White House wants to run against Romney. There is part of me that thinks that, then there’s another part of me that’s not sure about it,” Limbaugh said.
“But, I know that the White House is eager to run against Romney the way he’s running around defending Romneycare.”
To lose the issue of Obamacare in the general election would definitely be damaging. It’s what drew the Tea Party into politics in the first place — and it continues to be a drag on job creation at a time when jobs are the No. 1 issue on everyone’s minds. To be able to hammer home the many unintended — and often harmful — effects of the PPACA will presumably be an asset for the GOP nominee. But, of all the Republican candidates, Romney is the least likely to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the unpopularity of Obama’s signature health care legislation. Other candidates lose other issues, but Obamacare might just be the one the party can least afford to let slip.
That underscores the danger of trying to cast a strategic, rather than principled, vote. Suppose you pick a candidate just because you think he can beat Obama — and then he doesn’t? Wouldn’t you rather have picked a candidate whose policy views you actually supported?
Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying to not vote for Romney. I’m just saying I’m beginning to waffle between the Buckley Rule and the Limbaugh Rule. Maybe now really is the time to go with the conservative candidate, period — rather than with the most conservative candidate who is also electable. We have plenty of options, as Rush also pointed out on his show:
What it really boils down to is that certain elements of our own intelligentsia are making the case, defending big chunks of the status quo, ’cause they like big government, and they like “an active executive,” quote, unquote; and they like their turn in charge of the money. We have some conservatives running for president who are proposing serious, substantive, compelling ideas for addressing big problems, and they are, of course, set upon by the usual liberal suspects. But they also are hit on by Republican operatives, so-called conservative strategists and so forth on the basis that, “Weeeell, they don’t know who… They’re inexperienced, lack qualifications, really don’t know what they’re talking about,” and of course they’re not infallible themselves. I can continue to point out areas in analysis where they themselves have been wrong, and yet they continue to occupy these lofty perches of wise men.
But, then, that’s the beauty of this messy democratic republic we live in. Let the intelligentsia talk. Let the candidates compete. Let the facts and slogans and shifting views swirl. In the end, when you cast your vote, it’ll just be you and the ballot box.