Archive for the ‘Editorials’ Category

Time for Mitt To Go

January 31, 2008

Willard 'Mittens' RomneyMitt Romney has had his chance. He’s been fighting an uphill battle with tons of cash, outspending his rivals 5-1, 12-1, and other similar ratios, but he hasn’t been able to seal the deal. Mike Huckabee won Iowa spending a tiny fraction of the money Romney poured into the state.

He dumped buckets of money into New Hampshire and Florida, making massive ad buys, achieving similar results. Romney has the highest negatives of the GOP candidates. He has a low ceiling and it appears that he keeps bumping into it. This will become more apparent on Super Tuesday. The only thing keeping him afloat is his money advantage and his huge ego.

Here's Johnny!But with three candidates left (Huckabee, McCain and Romney), Mitt staying in the race has allowed McCain to rise to the top. Mitt is siphoning off some of Huckabee’s evangelical support, for complicated reasons, and is helping to ensure a McCain nomination that is quite likely to tear party unity in the GOP to shreds. Is it really worth all that?

Brett Passmore over at Race 4 2008 says no, and suggests that Mitt should drop out or at least his supporters should give Huckabee some serious consideration for the good of the Republican party. And he’s absolutely right.

Romney supporters need to get behind Mike now – Mike has the speaking abilities, the friendly demeanor, and the charm to obliterate the democratic nominee. Romney’s negatives are skyhigh and he will get killed in the general – Mike has the ability to connect with the common man. Mitt just turns him off.

Mitt RomneyEarlier, Brett also posted some interesting analysis of reaction to last night’s debate. It clearly demonstrates the problem that Romney faces. People just don’t trust the guy.

Romney, while seen as professional, failed the personality test. “Arrogant,” “phony,” “Stepford wife-ish” and “a snake” were their choice words for the former Massachusetts governor. (Although they all agreed on his good looks.)

Mike HuckabeeCompare that to what was said about Mike Huckabee:

“Being a woman, [I think] Huckabee overall best understands what women Republicans or voters want, need and expect,” said Christine, a 32-year-old moderate Republican.

“He seemed more classy and more real,” agreed Pam, a 44-year-old undecided voter.

After viewing the debate, four of the women – almost half the group – said they had changed their vote from McCain to Huckabee.

But Mitt Romney and his huge campaign warchest stands in the way. By staying in and taking votes away from the likeable social conservative who connects with everyday people, Mitt is helping to ensure that John McCain runs away with the nomination. Isn’t that just a tad selfish?

Also consider for a moment a debate between the Democrat and Republican nominees.

Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton vs…

  • Romney: it might be a wash — they’re both detested by folks in both parties.
  • McCain: similar results. They’re both cold Senators.
  • Huckabee: Huck wins, clearly. He’s a better debater. Charm over smarm.

Barack ObamaBarack Obama vs…

  • McCain: McCain ends up on the mat, TKO.
  • Romney: Mittens comes off more wooden and robotic, more machine than man, against the charismatic and animated Obama, the agent of “change.”
  • Huckabee: Fireworks! It’s hard to predict who wins, but Huck has the best shot.

Mittbots must consider the following: if given the choice between only one of the following: John McCain, Mike Huckabee or the Democrat nominee, which do you choose?

ApocalypseIf you choose McCain or the Democrat, you’re going to get 4-8 years of Clinton or Obama, a liberal Supreme Court, a ruined economy, and a surrender to the terrorists. The GOP will be in ruins.

If you refuse to choose and lose only because it’s Mitt (who can win neither the nomination nor the general election) or scorched earth, same result. Or it could be worse: President McCain and a centrist Republican Party.

GOP RIPIt’s time to get behind Mike Huckabee, unless you want to stay on that sinking ship. Suicide or a genuine shot at victory with a real conservative, Mike Huckabee? It’s up to you. Make the right choice, Mittheads. I’m not so sure that Willard is principled enough to make it for you. So do the right thing, for party and country.

Thanks to Sam Brown for letting me contribute this guest post.

— Psycheout

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Limbaugh or Burke?

January 8, 2008

Edmund Burke“There is but one law for all, namely that law which governs all law, the law of our Creator, the law of humanity, justice, equity – the law of nature and of nations.”

-Edmund Burke

Much has been made on this board of what a “true conservative” is, and is not. Generally, people will either compare a particular person to a laundry list of positions deemed conservative by prevailing sentiment, or worse, will simply defer to what self-appointed sentinels of conservatism profess. Recently, I have suggested in several threads that conservatives would be well served if they spent less time listening to Rush, and more time reading Burke. I would like to briefly make the case why.

Conservatism in modern America has become uprooted. Too often it has become a series of policy proscriptions; big military, lower taxes, less government spending, assertive and unilateral foreign policy, etc…. Sometimes these policies can be good and proper manifestations of conservative principle, but they are not- as is often mistaken- the essence of those conservative principles themselves. The essence of conservatism is not found in a random litany of policies that necessarily vary in time and place. It is not dictated by terms such as “increase, decrease, cut, raise, limit, grow.”

The essence of conservatism is found in the acknowledgment and preservation of transcendent truths. Policies are the seasonal leaves, which come and go as the manifestation of the life of the tree. But they should not be mistaken for the life of the tree itself. Conservatism is a philosophy, even a sensibility. I would offer the following as some of the enduring principles of conservatism:

– Conservatism recognizes a hierarchy of value. Not all goods are equal, and some must be subordinate to others.
– Conservatism has the human condition as it’s ultimate concern, and not the mechanics of political process or economic theory.
– It recognizes that markets exist to serve people, and not people to serve markets.
– It seeks stability and continuity in economic as well as social policy, as these are the prerequisites for passing on traditions and heritage.
– At root, it recognizes that man is created in the image and likeness of God. As such, it is anti-utilitarian. People are not fodder, either for the government, or the economy.
– It is anti-Utopian. Its principles can be manifest in republics or monarchies, under capitalism or manorialism. It can exist in a variety of economic or political systems because……..

ConservatismTrue conservatism, in the Western tradition, is rooted in Christianity. Let me say that again. Our culture, traditions, sentiments, and mores in the Western world are rooted in the culture, traditions, sentiments, and mores of Christianity. As such, it is impossible to understand conservatism without a healthy appreciation of how Christian tradition informs our culture. One of the most significant (and radical) among these truths is the inherent dignity of man.

Conservatives believe in teaching a man to fish, so that he may be as self-sufficient as possible, but will, in times of dire need, help unconditionally. Too often, the self-professed guardians of conservatism espouse a law-of-the-jungle mentality that is rooted not in Christianity, but in Social Darwinism, which is completely antithetical to our Christian heritage.

With such an understanding of traditional conservatism, we should fully expect for a true conservative to speak out for the poor. We should expect such a conservative to recognize the inherent dignity and worth of all of God’s children, even those here illegally. We should not reflexively dismiss his calls to preserve and protect the earth our Creator gave us in trust. We should understand that even raising taxes and spending more is not beyond the realm of possibility, if it stabilizes families, protects communities, and helps secure the common good.

I’m not against economic growth, but I am against the notion of economic growth at all costs. I am not against low taxes, in fact I prefer them, but I am not in favor of lower taxes at any cost. A true conservative should recognize that the essence of the good is not defined in relative terms such as raise, lower, increase, decrease, more, less, but rather in the acknowledgement of the transcendent order, created and sustained by the living God.

NewspaperI would encourage each reader here who is interested in understanding the core principles of conservatism to put down the newspaper, turn off the radio, and set aside the position papers (if just for a moment) and pick up the works of men such as Edmund Burke, Christopher Dawson, GK Chesterton, and Hillaire Belloc. Let us not confuse particular policies for universal truths, seasonal conditions with transcendent realities, or even the fizz and froth of talk radio for the substance it tries to ape- but has long forgotten.

— M. Sanders