May 19, 2011
Tales From The Republican Foot-Shooting Race
The Republican campaign for 2012 is going great guns--if you’re a Democrat. Once again, prominent Republicans seem determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of possible victory by not merely shooting themselves in the foot, but by emptying multiple magazines into their own feet. Yes, it’s early, but let’s have a brief review of the most recent Bizarro-World Republican behaviors.
The I Hate It/I Love It Candidate: Mitt Romney recently addressed long-standing conservative concerns (here) about RomneyCare by absolutely praising and standing by RomneyCare! Not only is RomneyCare a clone of ObamaCare which is performing more or less exactly as ObamaCare will certainly perform (not delivering on its promises, not improving things, and costing huge amounts of supposedly unforeseen money), but it makes Romney seem like the dictionary definition of hypocrite when he swears that he’ll repeal ObamaCare while praising its smaller brother. Despite his demonstrated ability to raise loads of money, he is not endearing himself to the conservative base.
The "Republicans Are Every Bit as Bad as Democrats" Candidate: For an educated man who served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich makes almost unbelievable mistakes (here). Only a few days after declaring his candidacy, Gingrich blew himself and his candidacy up by violating Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment never to speak ill of fellow Republicans. Gingrich claimed that there is such a thing as “right wing social engineering” in the same way that such policies exist on the left. He also said that he supported a “variation” of the ObamaCare Individual mandate, and attacked Paul Ryan’s economic proposal as it relates to Medicare.
Let’s count the ways that Mr. Gingrich stepped on his tongue. Paul Ryan is arguably the only member of Congress who has proposed a comprehensive, serious, well thought out proposal that can actually stave off and improve our looming national economic disaster. Ryan is one man that every rational Republican will want to have on his side in the 2012 campaign. Ryan responded: “with allies like that, who needs the left?” “Right wing social engineering?” Restoring fiscal sanity, adherence to the Constitution and the law and reducing the size of government constitute right wing social engineering? Conservatives don’t think that way; leftists do. Gingrich supports a “variation” of the individual mandate, the single most egregiously unconstitutional and destructive part of ObamaCare, the part without which the entire Rube Goldberg contraption collapses? Mr. Gingrich has apologized to Rep. Ryan, and he and his publicity staff have been feverishly backpedaling in recent days, but the conservative base does not seem in the least impressed. Thanks for the shortest presidential campaign in American history, Mr. Gingrich, and thanks for writing highly effective Democrat campaign commercials for the Dems. As a historian, I’m sure you can appreciate the inherent irony.
The Smart Diplomacy Candidate: Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and current Ambassador to China is making considerable noise about running for president. Some conservative and many pseudo-conservative figures have been saying that when the public starts hearing from Huntsman directly, they’ll be very impressed. He recently announced that he firmly believes in global warming because “90% of scientists” believe in it (here). It is that kind of comment that makes one wonder if Huntsman can actually read, and if so, whether he actually reads. Not only is that statistic ludicrously incorrect, all of the best evidence since the inception of Climategate indicates clearly that the Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Chaos house of cards has almost entirely collapsed because it is one of the largest and most costly frauds every perpetrated. Huntsman did allow, however, that he now believes that Cap and Trade (Tax) is no longer viable. This means, of course, that at one time, apparently recently, he thought that one of the most egregiously stupid and economically destructive leftist power grabs in history was a good idea! And this is a Republican candidate? Has he no idea of mainstream conservative thinking on this issue?
At this stage, one is tempted to wonder which party’s nomination these guys are seeking. Again, it’s early, but it’s a shame--and a potential tragedy--that prominent, ostensibly Republican figures, are behaving and sounding anything but Republican. It would be ironic and bizarre indeed if Conservatives had to hold their collective noses to vote for the eventual Republican nominee running against, of all people, Barack Obama. It is not outside the realm of possibility that a significant number of conservatives might simply stay home rather than vote for anyone who is so obviously far afield of genuinely Conservative values and principles.
Agreement with Mr. Obama is not, under the present state of American decline and danger, a sign of bipartisan cooperation, but a glaringly obvious indicator of a lack of understanding of the nature of Democrats and of the dangers we face. The Democrats care nothing for the Constitution and will do anything necessary to win. Republicans must not abandon fealty to the Constitution, but adopting Obamian policies as their own is a sure path to electoral defeat and national disaster. We can do better. We must do better.