January 31, 2012

Is the GOP braintrust really hoping to nominate for President a Ted Kennedy Republican?

Which, don’t blame me for that designation. You chose the anchor, and you chose to tie your ship to it. Metaphorically speaking.

As others have said, when the Left was given the perfect storm in 2008 to elect a President of their choosing, they went all in and helped place a far-left ideologue into Office.

Given a similar scenario today, alternately, the GOP is trying to put forth — against the demonstrable (and electoral) will of its base — a man who rejected Reagan, declared himself “moderate,” “independent,” and “progressive,” evinced the kind of statist mindset that allowed him to support and champion top-down state run health care (and TARP, and Cap and Trade, and stimulus…), and had the political savvy to tie himself very publicly to Ted Kennedy as a friend and collaborator.

All of which leads me to believe the GOP has no real desire to move the country back toward first principles, or even conservatism, but instead wants its turn to manage the lucrative federal Leviathan, and in so doing assure itself immeasurable power to reward its friends and cronies.

This won’t end well. It can’t.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 11:36am
84 comments | Trackback

Comments (84)

  1. Rush was making a similiar point, while riffing on Thomas Sowell’s current column: The Establishment is all in to destroy conservatism, and they intend to use our loathing for Obama’s policies and our fear of a second term to accomplish that long sought after objective.

  2. OK, here’s a hypothetical: The GOP takes both houses of congress and manages to repeal Obamacare root and branch.

    Which POTUSes sign it: Mitt, Newt, Santorum?

    Hypothetical II: POTUS begins kinda-sorta repealing Obamacare by “keeping the good parts” and modifying other parts and tossing others out. The electorate wants it flat-out repealed and begins to howl in protest, melting the White House and Capitol switchboards.

    Which POTUSes ditch their piecemeal efforts and push for complete repeal, in response to public outcry?

  3. They have been doing this same thing for a century now.

    The hard fact of the political matter, to give the short version, is that with the advent of the American progressive movement at the beginning of the 20th century, there were many in the Republican Party who in their own fashion went over the side, abandoning the good ship of conservative principles.
    [...]
    And how did Dewey think the Republican Party would fare if it failed to nominate moderate candidates who did not view the GOP as …and you’ll love this Dewey quote…a “liberal and progressive party”? What would happen politically were the GOP to return to its origins and nominate a conservative? Said Dewey: “You can bury the Republican Party as the deadest pigeon in the country.”

    In short, the man who had just finished losing the White House for the second time in a row as a moderate — following a string of losing moderate GOP presidential campaigns featuring names like Hoover, Landon, and Willkie — had all by himself raised the moderate losing streak to five in a row. Yet Dewey had the gall to insist that nominating a conservative would result in: losing the White House.

  4. Jeffrey Lord has an article about this in the American Spectator today. Lengthy, but the read.

  5. Dammit, goeff beat me to it.

  6. I forgot to include the new candidate: Sweet Meteor of Death, who has already promised to vaporize repeal Obamacare, root and branch.

  7. geoff usually does

  8. Di: (1): All. (2): None.

  9. Ernst, we’re fighting a two-front war. And some of us (see moniker) are doing it from well behind enemy lines. And, from my house I can see Massachusetts. Or is that Russia?

  10. In reply to Di:

    Hypo I: They’d all repeal it, but Romney wouldn’t be urging repeal —might in fact be working with the bi-partisan leadership to thwart repeal in order to get to your second hypo.

    Hypo II: I think they’d all abandon the efforts to “fix” it in the face of the kind of pressure you describe. I think Romney would be the last and most reluctant to do so.

  11. a man who rejected Reagan, declared himself “moderate,” “independent,” and “progressive,” evinced the kind of statist mindset that allowed him to support and champion top-down state run health care (and TARP, and Cap and Trade, and stimulus…), and had the political savvy to tie himself very publicly to Ted Kennedy as a friend and collaborator.

    Don’t count. Needa vote for him anyway. Urgently. For the principle of defeating leftism before it defeats America.

    (So with your reporting, JG, maybe we can finally be done with that pragmatic Republican bullshit once and for all.)

    Or as sixty percent of those polled at NR or Ace would say, not!

  12. I was OK with Lord’s article until he spotlighted the mockery of Newt’s moon-base as evidence of Establican thinking.

    Skewz me?

    We’re trillions of dollars in debt and proposing a moon shot isn’t utter lunacy? (SWIDT?)

    Also, the idea that Mitt is trashing Newt for being too conservative is ridiculous; Mitt is trashing Newt because Newt’s gaining on him.

    Were Newt too conservative for the Establicans, they’d have started trashing him long ago, as they did with Palin, Bachmann, and Cain. Furthermore, many of the criticisms of Newt are that Newt is too Establican, too Insider, and too Progressive. (Not the criticisms from Romney or the Establicans, but still.)

    Even so, it’s true that Establicans are well and truly terrified of being thought “extreme” as the Beltway defines it, and they’re eager to toss their hicktard base under the high-speed railroad to rid themselves of the stench.

  13. 2012: When 20% Beat a Nation.

    To an unrecognizable pulp.

  14. …which ties into di’s last paragraph in #12.

  15. For the principle of defeating leftism before it defeats America.

    Before?

    Sweetie, we’re long since defeated. All that’s left is the formal surrender ceremony aboard the Costa Concordia.

  16. My second hypothetical is to ask which of these dewds, in the face of pressure from the public, has a record of acceding to those wishes rather than stubbornly doing what he wants anyway.

    Romney didn’t pass Romneycare in the face of huge public opposition; the reverse was true. Did he defy the electorate on any other occasion?

    Newt says that he wants to nudge the electorate into agreement with something before enacting it, but his record (outside of Contract With America) shows that he caved all the time.

    I don’t know anything about Santorum’s tendency to listen or not to the electorate.

    I’m thinking in terms of what Steyn said that someone else said: we don’t need to elect the right person, but make sure that we make the wrong person do the right thing.

  17. OT, but I keep waiting for news reports that some enterprising Italians are looting the Costa Concordia right under the noses of Carnival Cruiselines and selling the booty on eBay.

  18. Friedman, di.

  19. Here’s a quick little one minute video.

    Public choice theory, baby.

  20. Is Mitt Romney Actually Electable?

    Romney has never won a majority (50% or better) of Republican primary or caucus voters. And, two-thirds of the time, he has had to spend vast sums just to claim the number two spot.

    Tomorrow’s GOP primary in Florida may change that—but it won’t settle the issue of Romney’s electability. Romney enjoys leads in polls ranging from between five to 15 points. But he and his super-PACs had to spend more than $15 million in television advertising and millions more in radio spots and targeted mailings. If anything, Romney’s price per vote is rising—an unsustainable model given campaign-finance limits.

    Meanwhile, Romney’s heavily negative advertising only drives Tea Party activists and other conservatives from one non-Romney candidate to another. Divide and conquer is a storied strategy; it may well work in Florida. But it doesn’t build votes for Romney. The non-Romney vote–despite millions of dollars, months of media coverage and dozens of debates—remains stubbornly north of 60% among Republican voters. If Romney is going to defeat Obama, he will have to unite the Grand Old Party behind him. So far, there is no evidence is any state that he can do just that.

  21. Well I was gonna vote for any Republican put forth against the current incumbent. But after reading the critics of Romney/Gingrich/Santorum/Paul maybe I should just stick with Obama. The only thing that puzzles me is several folks here have trashed Obama for the past three years (which I heartily support) but now seem to want to trash the 4 Republicans because they aren’t the perfect candidates. This seems like a simple referendum vote on Obama to me. Pass/fail, yes/no, accept/reject, etc. I personally don’t give a shit about the Republican establishment and what they do or don’t do. Can it really be any worse than Obama? I read this site everyday and have for the past several years and am just a seldom poster which I realize makes me an easy target for the cool guys/gals who post here but it seems like it is time to put the big boy pants on and get this punk out of the White House. Something is always better than something else. People will either ignore this post or hammer me. These candidates may be little turds but Obama is a gigantic shit sandwich.

  22. Chiseled looks and good hair are all it takes to gain the White House.

    Hello, President Romney.

    We’re going to have to hit a very low bottom before this country can start recovering. Of course, by that time…

    – Texas will be a republic
    – New Mexico, Arizona, and California will be part of Mexico
    – The south will have risen again
    – Nova Scotia to Michigan will be a sort of giant, cold, welfare state
    – Canada will have advanced south of the 49th parallel into places like Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming.
    – Etc., etc.

    Current mood: Apocalyptic.

  23. In response to dicentra’s original question, what we need to figure out is which of these candidates is most likely to try to temper Congress. Newt might have his crazy ideas, but he probably wouldn’t actively work against conservatives in Congress. Mitt, on the other hand, will probably come running to Congress with poll numbers in hand should they go “too far.”

    Santorum, of course, will be right there with them trying to roll it all back.

    So there’s your answer.

    Can it really be any worse than Obama?

    Not likely, but that’s not really an excuse to nominate the worst possible candidate. Papa John’s might taste better than Dominoes, but it’s still shit.

  24. I personally don’t give a shit about the Republican establishment and what they do or don’t do.

    I think that’s unfortunate. It is they who do not care about us and your not caring about them doesn’t matter a whit.

  25. Newt’s a child of the space race, so I’m willing to shrug off his lunar fantasty.

    Me, I’m a child of the Reagan arms race.

    Ain’t never been a B-1 or a B-2 bomber, MX missile, or (dare I say?) STAR WARS killer satellite I didn’t like.

    Doesn’t mean I think restoring the military-industrial complex is the solution to our problems.

  26. Or to paraphrase many similar sentiments, electing someone whose primary claim to my support is that he is not as bad as Obama is a very low bar indeed.

  27. I personally don’t give a shit about the Republican establishment and what they do or don’t do. Can it really be any worse than Obama?

    Yes. Case in point? Replacing ObamaCare (modelled on RomneyCare) with 50 RomneyCares (modelled on ObamaCare).

  28. I grew up watching the moon landings and idolizing astronauts and had many relatives who worked in the aerospace industry.

    I don’t have a problem with Newt painting a picture of a return to space, whether he means it in a real sense or as a metaphor to get us out of our collective doldrums and working toward something big taht we can pass on to our children. The Space Race generated thousands of ideas that have been incorporated into our everyday lives.

  29. …and they’re eager to toss their hicktard base under the high-speed railroad to rid themselves of the stench.

    You ignorant hicktard — you misspelled staunch!

    bigbooner, please don’t take offense, but it’s thinking like yours (“I’ll vote for anybody.”) that leads to the establishment GOP giving us people like Dole, and Bush, and McCain, and Romney, year after year after year, until the window of “acceptable” candidates has moved so far to the left that Jack Kennedy would be pilloried as a neocon. I encourage you to stand up and demand better.

    To beat the metaphor to death: we’re on a bus heading for a cliff at a hundred miles an hour, and you’re trumpeting your willingness to accept a guy who promises to slow down to 80. Those of us trying to turn the bus away from the cliff find it really exasperating that you’re willing to to commit suicide just a little bit slower. Especially since we’re all in this together.

  30. If WRM is right, and the “blue-model” big government social-welfare regulatory state is going to collapse of it’s own weight, then better for those of us left to squat in the ruins that one party was actually trying to cut away the rot.

    Otherwise, we might start listening to the idiots who’ll be telling us we can rebuild it even bigger and better than before!.

  31. The Space Race generated thousands of ideas that have been incorporated into our everyday lives.

    The “Space Race” is socialism for scientists. It’s a pointless boondoggle. The ideas canard is a laughingstock among those same scientists, unless you consider abstract knowledge something governments are in the business of creating otherwise fruitless programs to discover.

    They call it space because it’s a hard vacuum, terminal to life and of no economically harvestable resources. It’s empty, hard vacuum and it costs a bloody fortune to go there.

    NASA is a minor boondoggle but it’s still a boondoggle, one that’s propped up when it’s time for some typically Team-R candidate to wave dick about. We can’t afford either.

  32. Squid, no offense to you or Leigh but what is it you are offering to change this? I see terms like “establishment GOP” and I realize how easy it is to throw a term like that around. Who are these people? Do they have a special club or something? You are giving me a false choice as far as I am concerned with the bus analogy. Obama is driving the bus 100 but neither you or I know that (and I didn’t pick a guy) any/all of the Republicans are going to drive us over at 80. What is your solution? To sit it out in some sort of “principled” hold my breath until I turn purple kinda way? You folks act like you have never had to make a choice between two things you weren’t particularly happy with. Sounds like you got some “system” changing to do.

  33. I believe Newt spoke of unmooring any space programs from being overseen by the government and left to private enterprise, JHo. If it’s not a winner, we’d know soon enough.

  34. None taken, bigbooner.

    Who are these people? Do they have a special club or something?

    They must since they keep giving us the same old tired candidates. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an overt push for an candidate not of our chosing, that would be Mitt Romney, before. Maybe Bob Dole.

  35. I am still waiting to find out specifically who “they” are. Identify them. If you want I will go kick their asses. I am not the enemy although I think some people here would see me that way. I am a convenient target for your frustrations about a system I am not responsible for nor do I feel I can change. I am still working on how the fuck Ben Affleck ever got any jobs acting.

  36. They’re the guys whose problem with Big Government is

    1) that they’re not in charge of it

    because

    2) it’s harder than it should be to make money when the other guys are in charge of it.

  37. but now seem to want to trash the 4 Republicans because they aren’t the perfect candidates

    We’re not looking for perfection; we’re looking for someone who isn’t a blinking progressive, someone who has the ‘nads to look down the barrel of the trillion-dollar debt and cut some actual gubmint departments—to prune back Leviathan HARD—to help cushion the eventual crash landing.

    Someone who knows that the best he can do is land it in the trees instead of plowing into the granite cliffs.

    The only candidate who articulated the direness of our situation was Michelle Bachmann, but she had crazy eyes and got no support from the Establicans. Because rare is the politician who is willing to legislate away his own power.

    Newt and Mitt are far too comfortable with using the levers of government to “do good,” when what they SHOULD be doing is ripping out those levers by the root. That Newt would attack Mitt from the Left (Bain Capital), and that Mitt would fail to defend himself on conservative grounds, indicates that they have not internalized Classical Liberal principles sufficiently to use them and only them to argue their case.

    It’s a dirty shame that Ron Paul gets how most gubmint departments need to be eliminated with extreme prejudice, and that the Fed is up to no good with our monetary policy. Because then he turns around and accepts Left-wing formulations of international relations and the causes for war, especially the jihad. That’s no minor flaw: that’s a gaping maw.

    (For the record, Paul is no purist when it comes to federal hand-outs; he often attached appropriations for his district to bills he knew would pass, then vote against them so that he could both get his handouts AND claim to be against them.)

    As for Santorum, he’s the least flawed of the candidates from a Classically Liberal position; the “trashing” you’ve seen here is mostly ‘feets Jezuz-bashing, which he always does when he encounter frank talk about religion.

    Rush pointed out as he signed off today that the only candidate who didn’t support TARP or individual mandates or cap-and-trade is Santorum.

  38. Identify them.

    John Boehner
    Mitch McConnell
    David Frum
    David Brooks
    Rich Lowry
    Bob Dole
    John McCain
    Susan Collin
    Olympia Snow
    Mitt Romney
    George Will
    George H. W. Bush

    just off the top of my head

  39. I don’t have a problem with Newt painting a picture of a return to space, whether he means it in a real sense or as a metaphor to get us out of our collective doldrums and working toward something big that we can pass on to our children.

    He doesn’t mean it as a metaphor. He’s also proposed using giant space mirrors to light the freeways and other outa-there stuff.

    It’s important to emphasize that the purpose of the moon shot was NOT to get us out of the doldrums (we weren’t in them) or to get us all working together on a big project for posterity.

    JFK proposed the moon shot because Sputnik scare the spit out of us. The Soviets were determined to achieve military superiority over us by dominating space, so the moon shot was a way to one-up them. It was part of the arms race, even though the Apollo missions weren’t themselves weaponized.

    We tend to romanticize the moon shot in retrospect because the Soviet threat is gone, so all we have left is the kewl factor and the impressive National Air and Space Museum on the Mall. Decades of kewl sci-fi movies have whet our appetite to go to the stars, but seriously, there’s nothing out there that is worth our going to get it.

    I believe Newt spoke of unmooring any space programs from being overseen by the government and left to private enterprise,

    Why is he doing that in a presidential campaign? He wants to untether NASA from the gubmint, that’s not necessarily a selling point for the NASA dependents in FL or TX, because private enterprise would slash and burn and cut the unproductive and unprofitable projects.

    Which is most of them, frankly. Exploring Mars is unbelievably cool but there’s not much ROI beyond giving scientists data to mess with. And we know how reliable gubmint scientists are wtih data.

  40. then better for those of us left to squat in the ruins that one party was actually trying to cut away the rot.

    The other argument is that it’s better for it to crash on the other party’s watch, regardless of what they were doing or not doing.

    GWB totally tried to get Congress to rein in Fannie and Freddie and he still got blamed for the housing-bubble collapse.

  41. Dicentra, tell me if you would vote for Obama against any of these four? So are you saying that this is just some sort of coffee shop talk about how we wish we had Mister X running for office? It seems a little more dire than that. I think that folks talking about not voting seems a bit more serious than people just spit ballin’. It seems as if we are doomed. You seem like a very thoughtful person and I would like to ask you a serious question. Have you ever sat on an oral board for promotions? I am sure that several people here have done something similar. The people who show up to be scored have gone through some sort of sanctioned process. Now I may not agree with the process or feel like several people who I considered superior candidates didn’t make it to the finals. But I have to score these folks and submit my recommendations. Even after I have done that I don’t know what personnel is going to do or if my fellow board members saw things the way that I did. But out of the process someone (or more than one) is selected. I didn’t invent the process and do I think that is is flawed? Sure, but at 60 years of age I just don’t have the energy to get worked up like I did when I was 25. And even then I couldn’t have changed the system. So my original point was and is that I will vote for any of these four before I will vote for the current punk. I am willing to try door number two because I have already seen door number one.

  42. If I can risk clouding the issue bigbooner, it seems to me that there are more questions on the table than the simple binary choice of “this guy or that guy?”

    Let me offer a sort of biological metaphor: let’s take the original political arrangements of the United States as a tree, say a cabbage palm, grown part way to maturity, when it suffers the misfortune of having a Strangler Fig seed (progressivism) land midway up its trunk. Years pass, and the Strangler Fig is closing in on complete envelopment of the host tree, now a ghost of its former self, and well on the way to oblivion.

    Now one fellow wants to celebrate the Strangler Fig, liberally feed it, and help it complete its o’ertaking the host altogether. Another fellow doesn’t think to feed the Strangler, but doesn’t see the harm in leaving it be to fend for itself. A third fellow thinks we should trim the Strangler back here and there, but has no design to remove it. And a fourth fellow says, despite the damage the Strangler has done to the host to date, we ought to seize the last chance opportunity to cut the Strangler out root and branch, and attempt to nourish the host back to health.

  43. Squid, no offense to you or Leigh but what is it you are offering to change this?

    No worries, bigbooner. As far as what I have to offer, it’s the same thing I’ve been preaching for months: send hundreds more responsible small-government Tea Party types to Congress, and take over as many state legislatures and governor’s mansions as humanly possible. I conceded some time ago that our reform movement was not yet mature enough to compete effectively at the Presidential level. As much as I may wish we had some stronger candidates who could stand up for our individual rights and dignity, I’m not surprised that the most “dangerous” of these advocates were quickly marginalized.

    My hope is that, regardless of who inhabits the Oval Office next year, he’ll look out from that office and see a Congress pushing to dismantle a large part of the bureaucracy he heads up, and he’ll see a couple of dozen states pushing back on the mandates, rules, and regulations promulgated and enforced by that bureaucracy. Sure, Romney might not veto as much as Obama, but we’re going to have to force drastic changes down the bureaucracy’s throat no matter what.

  44. “If you don’t like the lousy services government provides, you can…move.”

    No actually you can’t. The Feds takeover of the Tenth means that all things are regulated to be much the same everywhere. And as another poster said, the libs move into a conservative area and proceed to make it the same as the crappy area they left behind, happily sowing the seeds of destruction as they go!

    Romney 2012
    I can manage decline more efficiently than Obama!

  45. The other argument is that it’s better for it to crash on the other party’s watch, regardless of what they were doing or not doing.

    That’s unfortunately true. Nevertheless I think it’s important that somebody’s out there arguing forcefully and insistently that the dead weight needs to be excised before the whole monstrosity collapses on us all. The whole a choice not an echo thing. That way:

    GWB totally tried to get Congress to rein in Fannie and Freddie and he still got blamed for the housing-bubble collapse.

    is less likely to work because markers will have been laid down.

    (And besides, it is GWB’s fault. Either he shouldn’t have listened to the Democrats —and saved them from themselves, or he should have tried harder to make them listen to him —and saved them from themselves.)

  46. tell me if you would vote for Obama against any of these four?

    No, I wouldn’t. I’m also not advocating sitting out nor do I plan to sit out myself.

    I am convinced that we’re already doomed, regardless of who’s in office, but Obama will be more likely to “solve” the coming economic collapse with the State’s iron hand (which was the plan in the first place) that a progressive with an R after his name.

    However, these are the primaries, and this is exactly the time when we should be bitching and moaning about the choices and being highly vocal about why we’re not happy with the caliber of candidate that the GOP typically produces.

    Right now, the best candidate, as far as many on this blog are concerned, is Santorum, he being the most conservative and least offensive.

    But he’s not next in line, as Mitt is, and we’re tired of that. We might not change the system, but we can’t be accused of not going down fighting.

  47. On the Presidential election in particular, I’ll reiterate that should Romney be the candidate for the GOP, then my vote will most likely go to Mike Rowe of the Discovery Channel. If the GOP is bound and determined to deny me the opportunity to vote for somebody who will look out for my liberty, than I am bound and determined to deny the GOP my support. To “suck it up” or “bite the bullet” or “grow a pair” or “put on my big boy pants” or whatever means giving my aid and support to a group that is complicit in butting into every corner of our lives and impoverishing our children. And I will not be a part of that.

    You’d think that following the massive stay-at-home McCain got in 2008, combined with the massive turnout for the 2010 landslide, combined with the massive demonstrations from Tea Partiers, combined with specific arguments outlining where the Old Guard went wrong — well, you’d think that they’d get the point after all that. But no — they spent two years helping the Left and the MSM to marginalize the reformers, and now they’re spending 2012 jamming a John Kerry clone down our throats.

    I’m under no obligation to help a cabal of operatives that works so hard to thwart my efforts at self-determination. None at all.

  48. Thing about strangler figs is after they’ve killed the host, they stand alone, a cylindrical network of woody vines and tendrils.

    Shoulda been killed when it first landed on the original tree, is what I’m saying.

  49. A Jan. 10th Rich Lowry op-ed on Mitt. “The picture-perfect lightness of Mitt“.

    Unmentioned is that if you have rabid well paid surrogate attack dogs and a media shield (Hi Matt/Jen/MSM) that will ignore you as a source of the dog’s pay then you too can float above the fray in immaculate coif-edness. In the general however this ability will belong to only one, “The Won”.

  50. Squid, you have presented the existential dilemma that many of us face. I am convinced the “inevitable man whose turn it is” will at best not keep the pedal to the metal as we careen over the cliff, but I doubt that even NASA muslim calibrated accelerometers could detect the difference in the departure velocity between Romney and Obama at the wheel. So why give any support to the corrupt republican establishment in the general?

    Then I think of a Supreme Court filled with two or three more Kagans and Sotomayors and decide I can pray for Mittens to do better than Obama on this key presidential prerogative (knowing that the Senate will not act as the guardian of the people), and I am convinced that prayers for Obama will not work.

  51. So we will need a new Aragorn who will climb to the heights and bring back a new seeding “cabbage palm” to replace the one that has been strangled?

    Trying to push a metaphor past it’s design envelope. Metaphorical test piloting.

  52. As for the “Establishment Cabal” and skepticism whether or not there is such a thing, how long has Romney been anointed “the electable candidate?”

    The “Romney is electable” idea has been around for at least a year, maybe longer. Where the idea started is anyone’s guess. It is not open to debate whether or not Romney was selected to be the GOP nominee a while ago.

  53. Hrothgar, Bush 1 gave us Justice Stevens.

    That wasn’t a judicial win for conservatives. Romney would, more than likely, nominate justices cut from the same cloth.

    To give you an idea of the temperament of Romney, Romney supposedly signed off on Romneycare because he knew a veto would be overturned and the resulting bill would be even worse.

    Okay, so, Romney is now president. You think a President Romney is going to have the stones to fight for a conservative justice along the lines of a Thomas, Alito or Roberts? Romney will always use the fallback excuse “it was the best I could do under the circumstances.”

    To which I say “bullshit.”

  54. Romney is next, and he’s next because he fell in line behind Maverick, he’s been campaigning for 5 years and he’s “moderate” enough for “independents”. That’s why he’s “electable.”

  55. J. Souter, I think you mean Blake. Stephens was a Ford gift.

  56. My mistake, yes, it was Souter.

  57. Squid, I appreciate your post at #45.

  58. Damn, I not only got the wrong justice, I misspelled the name.

    Oh well, at least I got it wrong with feeling.

  59. No Blake, you didn’t misspell it. I did. Force of habit, since I use the ph variant myself.

  60. (knowing that the Senate will not act as the guardian of the people)

    One more reason to install a responsible Senate. I wanna see a series of confirmation hearings that begin and end with “how long would it take you to overturn Wickard?”

  61. Hasn’t Romney already said he won’t apply litmus tests?

  62. The reason I ask is even Giuliani said “I know you hate my guts, but if you vote for me anyways, I’ll appoint litmus tested judges, so there’s that.” Romney doesn’t even want to throw conservatives that bone.

    Unless I’m wrong of course.

  63. John Sununu had a very large hand in getting Souter onto the Supreme Court. And guess who John Sununu has endorsed for President? Go ahead, guess.

  64. Ernst, yeah, Romney can apply a conservative litmus test but at the first sign of opposition and bad poll numbers, Romney will cave and nominate the milquetoast middle-of-the-road justice he wanted all along.

  65. charles, you’ve got to be effn’ kidding me.

    Wow.

  66. What amazes me about the whole “we need to get behind Romney” argument is that the same people arguing for Romney are the same ones who dismissed warnings about President Obama.

    Yet again, those of us with serious concerns about a presidential candidate are being dismissed.

  67. I’m going to announce my official support for the Sweet Meteor of Death. Just look at these campaign promises:

    “Please ask me about my One-Point Plan to fix everything!”

    Out: Climate Change Deniers; In: CLIMATE CHANGE!

    Out: Middle East Peace Plans; In: Middle East in Pieces

    Out: Cell Phones; In: Single Cell Organisms

    Out: Rock Music; In: Rocks

    Out: Colonizing the Moon; In: Colonizing New Jersey

    Out: scientific illiteracy; In: special demonstration on the physics of inertia and kinetic energy.

    Out: Vulture Capitalism; In: Vultures

    Out: Occupy Wall Street; In: Occupy Mine Shafts

    “Read my lips! No. New. Anything!”

    “Returning to the land, returning to a… simpler way of doing things. And eating the dead.”

    New composite poll predicts #SMOD to win in a landslide, and a tsunami, and an earthquake, and a volcanic eruption.

    I think you can see why I’m throwing my support behind this hunka hunka burning rock. Won’t you join me?

  68. #32 Not to pick to fine a nit, but what exactly are you typing on at this moment? And, further, where did it come from? I understand your point, but you should, (at the very least), be cognizant of the space around your physical body.
    #40 “but seriously, there’s nothing out there that is worth our going to get it.” You know this, exactly, how?

  69. So, exit polls appear to be showing Romney crushing Newt, 46-32.

  70. July 8th 2009 in “The Week“.

    The GOP is a party of orderly succession. Ronald Reagan finishes second in 1976, wins in 1980. George H.W. Bush finishes second in 1980, wins in 1988. Bob Dole finishes second in 1988, wins in 1996. John McCain finishes second in 2000, wins in 2008.

    This succession will be complicated in 2012 by the unusual fact that two men can plausibly claim to have finished second in 2008: Mitt Romney got the second most votes; Mike Huckabee the second most delegates. Romney has money, organization, and discipline. Huckabee has a television show and charm.

    So how to choose? Republicans have to worry that Huckabee—like Palin—cannot win a national election, even under the most favorable circumstances. Romney? That’s a more open question. There are two Romneys: the pragmatic, results-oriented candidate who got himself elected Republican governor of Massachusetts—and the phoney hyper-ideological ex-candidate who addressed the Republican convention in St. Paul in 2008:

    “For decades, the Washington sun has been rising in the East —Washington has been looking to the Eastern elites, to the editorial pages of the Times and the Post, and to the broadcasters from the coast.

    “If America really wants change, it’s time to look for the sun in the West, cause it’s about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska!

    “Last week, the Democrats talked about change. But let me ask you—what do you think Washington is right now, liberal or conservative? Is a Supreme Court liberal or conservative that awards Guantánamo terrorists with Constitution rights? It’s liberal! Is a government liberal or conservative that puts the interests of the teachers union ahead of the needs of our children? It’s liberal!

    “Is a Congress liberal or conservative that stops nuclear power plants and offshore drilling, making us more and more dependent on Middle East tyrants? It’s liberal!
    Is government spending—excluding inflation—liberal or conservative if it doubles since 1980? It’s liberal!”

    Twenty years of Republican presidencies since 1980? Eighteen years of Republican majorities in the Senate? Twelve years of Republican majorities in the House? Seven of the nine Supreme Court appointments? Never happened! And for that matter, Massachusetts isn’t in the East either.

    The big question for Republicans is: Which Romney will show up in 2012? The electable or the unelectable, the serious or the cynical, the commanding or the pandering? All Republicans have to hope that Romney brings his best self to the next election cycle—if only because after this week, we are seriously running out of alternatives.

  71. but seriously, there’s nothing out there that is worth our going to get it.” You know this, exactly, how?

    I know it would cost a buttload of cash to retrieve anything that’s beyond the earth’s orbit.

    Unless we find a cure for cancer on Umbriel, I don’t know what could possibly be worth that kind of investment.

  72. #73 I will ask you to look down and contemplate your keyboard. Done? Good. Where did it come from? At what cost? “I don’t know what could possibly be worth that kind of investment.” Neither do I. I do know that asserting there is no value is incorrect, as we don’t know without at least a look. As to a cure for cancer, my father said that taking federal grant money out of reasearch would go a long way toward a cure.

  73. It isn’t that only Mitt is electable. It is that only an establishment Republican, a RINO, is to be considered electable. Romney has purposely run his campaign to be “THE” electable one in the field. The “the pragmatic, results-oriented candidate” not the “hyper-ideological” candidate. His choice.

  74. Rick Santorum was scheduled to give a foreign policy speech at Boca Raton over the weekend, but his attention was called to his daughter instead. Still, as it happens, his intended address was published at Ricochet, in its entirety. Check it out: We Must Lead From The Front.

    The president says “the threat of war is receding” but he’s wrong. The war is on, and its front lines are advancing towards us and our allies, above all toward Israel.

    We’re facing a global alliance that includes Russia, North Korea, China, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and of course Cuba. They are outspoken in their desire to weaken us and drive us out of their regions. Some of them–Iran, and the radical Islamists whose rise to power has been facilitated by this president–speak eagerly of destroying us, and our allies, especially Israel.

    We have no strategy to deal with this gathering storm. Indeed, our leaders act as if things are getting better every day.

  75. I think there are conflicting definitions of “better” when it applied to “things” U.S.

  76. Ronald Reagan finishes second in 1976, wins in 1980 [going on to defeat Carter in the general]. George H.W. Bush finishes second in 1980, wins in 1988 [going on to defeat Dukakis in the general, before losing re-election to Bill Clinton. Bob Dole finishes second in 1988, wins in 1996 [before going on to lose to Bill Clinton in the general. John McCain finishes second in 2000, wins in 2008 [before going on to lose to Obama in the general].

    So what do we have here:

    Conservative Reagan loses (just barely) to incumbent moderate Ford (who loses to liberal Carter), before defeating moderate Bush for the nomination and going on to defeat liberal incumbent Carter in the general.

    ex-moderate Bush runs as conservative successor to the conservative President whom he served as vice-President, defeating liberal Dukakis.

    ex-conservative Bush runs for re-election and loses to moderate pragmatist Clinton.

    moderate pragmatist sexegenarian Dole loses to moderate pragmatist incumbent Clinton.

    moderate maverick sexegenarian McCain loses to liberal faux-pragmatist Obama.

    Seems to me our best chance of winning comes with nominating a conservative, not a moderate.

  77. Ernst,

    You have to view it through their eyes, though that will be dangerous to your sanity. Like with the left you just start from different axioms and end in a specialized Wonderland.

  78. Hey Bigbooner, I think it’s great that you came in, had your say, took shots from multiple passionate political observers, and stood in there. Your sincerity came through.

  79. Thank you. I like your hair.

  80. Stick around, bigbooner. I like you.

  81. Ernst, it’s depressing when you lay out the roadmap to defeat like that.

    bigbooner: hah! very good, sir.

  82. It’s only a roadmap to defeat if we choose to be defeated.

    There’s still a lot of voting in front of us.

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