Early this morning, I read Erick's leading post, Mitt Romney as the Nominee: Conservatism Dies and Barack Obama Wins, and thought to myself, well, someone else has finally gotten that sick in the stomach feeling that I've had since I posted back in July, Reality Check - Obama Can Win Re-Election.
I confess I'm not the typical RedState conservative who reads and opines on this site. While I am conservative on fiscal issues and SCOTUS, I lean moderate on social issues and foreign policy. With that said, I look at the field of Republican candidates that we've had since early this year, and I ask myself, who's to blame. Where's Mitch Daniels? Why not Christie? Ryan? Others not mentioned? Did Christie choose not to run because he really was so in love with his job and the people of New Jersey? Or was it because he, and others, didn't want to put themselves through the conservative gauntlet. There. I've said it.
I've written in several posts, both here in and in my other politicalwoman blog, "2012, 2012, 2012. Eyes on the prize." I first voted in the 1972 election, and in 39 years, this is most concerned I've been for my country and the direction it's being taken by Barack Obama. This country's social fabric is being torn apart by class warfare, our work ethic eroded by entitlements. Internationally, Russia's on the rise again, China's latently becoming invincible on many fronts, Iran is zzzisss close to the bomb, and the Euros may yet bring the financial house down on all fronts.
So when I look at the Republican field, (and we're stuck with what we have folks), I want the strongest, smartest, savviest leader that we can put up against Obama. One who can boldly articulate and contrast the differences between himself and where he sees our country's future, and the alternative, Obama. Instead, what I've been reading in opinions and commentary is whether a candidate can pass the conservative "litmus test." This one worked for Obama. Yup, that totally disqualifies him. This one is married for the 3rd time. Yup, that scoundrel will never get the female vote. And then we have the disingenous flip-flopper. Yup, he'll take the party down with him, despite the fact that his 2008 concession speech was one of the finest, most prescient I've read.
So here's my question. When's the last time we looked in the mirror? We all have a set of principles that govern the way we live and what we believe. But I, for one, am d***med if I'm going to fall on the sword of principle and re-elect Obama, so that someday I can have some bureaucrat on an Obamacare death panel decide if I get the medicine or the surgery I need. We take a long, honest look at the candidates, choose the one who has the best shot, and fight. Now, my take...
It's not over yet for Newt Gingrich. Yes, I know he's on his third wife, but I don't care. I'm not electing a saint to the White House. The day Newt was on Meet the Press, and he said to David Gregory that the both Bush and Obama, have seriously underestimated the depth of the Islamic problem in the Middle East, I knew 'this guy gets it'. He's had his "baggage" exposed, and could throw the Obama campaign for a loop, since they don't expect to run against him. The debates would be awesome.
Herman Cain is NOT the answer, and the fact he is/was up in the polls for so long shows the depth of longing and desperation that people have to find a candidate who can relate to people and their problems. But Cain's lack of experience in govt, (which some see as a plus, I don't), foreign policy, and his inability to articulate answers to questions about 9-9-9, let alone his inept handling of the harassment charges, makes him a non-player in my book.
Michelle Bachmann? Can do more good in the Congress. Rick Santorum? In danger of becoming the new Harold Stassen. I understand that dangers of secularism and the decline in moral values, but he lost me, as a woman, on his abortion stand, as in under no circumstances, including rape and incest.
Rick Perry? First time I saw and heard him on Greta van Susteren, I sat up in my chair with a "wow!" So what happened between then and now? Well, he seriously under-estimated what it takes to run for President. He's smarter than he looks, but if he's to pull this out, he needs to start stringing together more than two sentences coherently while in front of a large crowd. The Presidency is not about one-on-one conversations. My jury is still out on him.
Jon Huntsman? Experienced, former governor, businessman, Ambassador to China, but possibly entered the race too late. And, horrors, he served in the Obama Administration! Again, my response, I don't care. Obama knew what he was doing when he appointed him, as in neutralize him, which he's successfully done.
Finally, that leaves Mitt. The "flip-flopper." Two hundred pages of opposition research. H'mm. Well, I've had a problem with the establishment Repubs since they nominated Bob Dole back in '96. We'll all go down together, simply because he's next in line. Mitt's problem may be Mitt, but his problems are not insurmountable unless his own Party makes them so.
As the final year looms before the election, I can only borrow a phrase, from Sean Connery's character in The Untouchables, when he responds to Eliot Ness's plea for help to get Capone, "what are you prepared to do!"