Ask a conservative Republican who they are voting for, and they will likely tell give you an ABR answer (anybody but Romney). These anti-Romney conservatives will then attempt to persuade you against voting for Romney by saying:
“We Republican voters need to teach the Republican establishment a lesson by not voting for Romney if he wins the GOP ticket for the general election.” This lesson is presumably based on the notion that there is a guy, or a cabal of Republican establishment types, that are selecting the GOP nominee, and if they choose another RINO like Romney we need to get together and tell them that we’re not going to stand for it any longer. The only way we’re going to accomplish this, they say, is that we need to abstain from voting until “they” can select someone who will prove that they have 100% solid, through and through, conservative principles. The “they” in this scenario are often called the “Washington elite” by those who abhor Romney and McCain RINO types.
“Well, if it’s the people,” conservatives say, “then let’s teach them a lesson. Let’s abstain and let the whole gosh darn government be run by liberals. When this whole nation crumbles at their feet maybe then they’ll start to see the light.” People do not learn such lessons. People have short-term memories, and they’re susceptible to sloganeering in politics. Clinton blamed H.W. Bush and Reagan for every bad thing that occurred during his tenure, and Obama has blamed W. Bush for everything during his, and people buy it, and they forgive them for the past poor economy. The people look to the future, and no one learns their lesson. Conservative Republicans step forward again and state that they’re not going to vote in this election either, because candidate A has a poor record on their initiative, and the vicious cycle repeats itself.
Some could say that the 2010 midterms are evidence of what they’re talking about, but Democrats still control two of the three branches of our federal government, and now they’re blaming the one house they don’t own for the poor economy, and people are buying it again.
As we’ve seen in this 2011 primary run, the election process is an arduous one that reveals individual candidates for everything that they are and are not. Some of the “theys” thought Rick Perry would make an excellent conservatives candidate for president, until his mistakes in debates weeded him out of the process. Some of the “theys” thought Chris Christie was the perfect conservative candidate, but a run through his positions show that he has a lot more blue in him than previously indicated. Some say he’s not as blue as Romney, and some say he’s just as blue. Some argue Christie had to get purple to get elected governor in a blue state. Some argue Romney did the exact same thing. Some say that this grueling 2011 primary run may have brought forth some Christie positions that conservative voters wouldn’t like. Christie is very outspoken, as many of us know well, and he is prone to anger a lot of voters with his uncompromising style. Who’s to say that he wouldn’t anger conservatives in much the same manner Romney has?
Christie is the backup quarterback in this election, and if you ask football players who is the most popular guy on their team they’ll usually tell you it’s the backup quarterback. We Americans love potential almost as much as we love a winner. We all love to think there’s something better out there regardless of what’s out there.
The question all of the pundits ask is are people really that excited about Christie, Bachman, Perry, Cain, Gingrich, or are they that unimpressed with Romney? Another question that could be asked is is it the human condition to be more excited about the prospect of someone we don’t know over the prospect of someone we do? Any qualified, tenured individual who has been passed over for a promotion by an unknown individual, from outside the company knows that there is an element of the human condition in the hiring process that seeks the prospect of the more exciting interviewee over the known, more qualified candidates. Romney is not outspoken, fiery, or uncompromising. Many see him as the exact opposite. A man who can compromise, who gives safe answers to questions that he believes a greater whole want to hear. This has kept him in the top two throughout the 2011 GOP primary run. The answer to the pundits questions has little to do with the cabal “Washington elite” types, and more to do with common, non-cabal types telling pollsters that they think Romney would be the best man the GOP could put up to run against Obama in the general election based upon what he has said in debates, interviews, and ads.
On the issue of Supreme Court nominees, Examiner contributor Frank Clark asks, “What sort of Supreme Court justice might we expect from President Romney? Would we be able to tell the difference” between his nominees and Obama’s? Romney has enlisted former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork to his Justice Advisory Committee. He has enlisted Bork and a number of other conservative lawyers to help him attract conservative voters, so I think we can safely say yes to this question.
Romneycare. This is the big one. Romneycare may bring his campaign down. Romney answers this question by saying that he believed the bill was right for his state at the time. He says that he doesn’t believe the federal government should be mandating coverage for 300 million people. Flip flopping? Maybe. The question is how do you want him to answer this question? I wish he’d never signed that law into place, but Romney prides himself on being a problem solver. He believed(s) this law was the best solution to an out of control problem in his state. He saw the problem of thousands going into emergency rooms and the good citizens of Massachusetts paying for it. He found a solution that he believed would work. He has stated on numerous occasions that he doesn’t believe that that solution would work for the 300 plus million citizens of the U.S., but he believed it would work on a smaller scale in the state of Massachusetts.
I’m sure that many hard-core conservatives (a group with whom I share many beliefs) will never be satisfied with Romney’s bills, his positions on the issues, or his answers for why he passed such bills, but some of them are hopping on board. While Ann Coulter and Mike Huckabee would never be considered Washington elites they do carry a great deal of influence among conservatives:
“It would be real tragic if they stayed out because Mitt Romney may not be their first choice,” says Mike Huckabee, “but Mitt Romney every day of the week and twice on Sunday is gonna to be a much more effective president for issues that they care about than Barack Obama.
“And I think sometimes there is this anxiety within the Republican Party of who is the perfect candidate,” Huckabee continued. “The answer is: there isn’t one. And so, what you find is you have to decide who can survive the process. And whoever that is– and if it’s Mitt Romney, then I think Republicans and conservatives and tea party need to get behind him and say, ‘You may not be our first choice, but between you and Obama, I’ll vote forty times to help get you elected.”
Ann Coulter: “Everyone knows the nominee is going to be Romney. That’s not so bad if you think the most important issues in this election are defeating Obama and repealing Obamacare.”
It’s a tough stance for me to take here, since I respect hard-core conservatives and their arguments against moderates, but I have to say: “Shut UP!” I appreciate your conviction and your desire to remain true to your beliefs, but it’s entirely possible that a defeat in this election could kill the golden goose.
I also want it noted that I hope that one of the more conservative candidates win the GOP nomination, but it Romney wins the ticket I’ll be backing him as hard as I would’ve Gingrich, Perry, or any of the more conservative candidates. If you don’t, that’s on you. If you think the ramifications of electing a RINO over a hard-core European style liberal are more severe, then you’ll get what you pay for. I’m not willing to take that chance.
Liberals are line-item voters. As long as their candidates align with them on one position (say the right to abort fetuses) they’ll give them a Lewinsky. Conservatives require 100% alignment, or no vote for you. Liberals know these predilections. They prey on them. They climb all over one another to tell you that a GOP candidate has a slight imperfection in a conservative manner, because they know what that means to you. They know voter turnout will be diminished, because we stay true our convictions, and they know that this will get their guy elected. Winning is their goal. They know there is little to nothing do be gained from the jaws of defeat. Conservatives, it appears, have not learned this lesson.