FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Romney Must Coalesce Around Conservatives, Not Vice Versa
There is an interesting factoid that was overlooked from last night’s largely pro-forma presidential primaries. According to University of Minnesota’s Eric Ostermeier, Romney was the first GOP frontrunner who failed to reach 60% in contests “conducted after his last major challenger dropped out of the race.” Romney won just 56% of the vote in Delaware and 58% in Pennsylvania.
Over the past few months, we’ve been implored by the GOP establishment to coalesce around Romney in the all important battle to defeat Obama. Undoubtedly, despite my serious concerns about the presumptive nominee, I plan to fully support Mitt Romney in the race for the White House. The alternative is just too perilous. I suspect that there are millions of Republicans who feel the same way. However, we must remember that ultimately it’s not conservatives who must coalesce around Romney; it’s Romney who must coalesce around conservatives.
During the Bush years Republicans in Congress (and many outside of Congress) abrogated their conservative principles to conform to the policies of the Republican president. We must not make the same mistake this time around. Again, it is vital that we replace Obama with Mitt Romney, but we must not corrupt our cherished principles in order to accommodate him. Quite the contrary, it is he who must accommodate our principles. After all, he is running as the Republican nominee.
It is in this vein that I call attention to this article from Alexander Bolton at the Hill about Republicans caving on the issues of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and student loans:
Senate Republicans, seeking to avoid a public policy dispute with Mitt Romney, will let legislation on domestic violence pass the upper chamber despite having concerns about its constitutionality. […]
Senate Republicans lost political leverage last week when Romney’s campaign said the candidate supported the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. He stopped short of endorsing the bill Democrats crafted, however. […]
Senate Republicans have also closed ranks with Romney on Obama’s proposal to extend for one year low-interest loans for low- and middle-income college students, despite misgivings about the program.
Romney endorsed Obama’s proposal on Monday. On Tuesday, McConnell told reporters that Republicans would likely support it.
As we noted earlier this week, VAWA is unconstitutional and socially corrupt. The student loan boondoggle will merely continue the inflationary pressure on the costs of higher education, engendering a further need for government assistance in a circuitous cycle of government/Big Education collusion. Nonetheless, congressional Republicans are ready to go along to get along in order to accommodate Romney’s election strategy.
Yes – we know that this is all a grand strategy to take Obama’s demagoguery of “popular” issues off the table until the elections. After Romney wins the election, we’ll really stand by our principles. But will we?
At some point we have to be willing to draw a line in the sand and tell Romney not to cross it – before we endure 5 or so years of compassionate conservatism.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project