EDITOR OF REDSTATE
Morning Briefing for January 10, 2011
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1. In Conclusion
2. The Choice
1. In Conclusion
I have made known my thoughts and objections to the various candidates in the field. I have come to accept that the ones I think would be best are the ones running the most perplexing campaigns. I think we will wind up with Willard Mitt Romney as the nominee.
I see a path to victory for Rick Perry. I don’t see him taking it.
I see a path to victory for Newt Gingrich. I see him taking it so zealously that it winds up hurting him.
I see a path to victory for Jon Huntsman if he makes it out of New Hampshire with a respectable showing and I’d rather him than Romney or Santorum.
Ironically, I do not see a path to victory for Rick Santorum. He made the Illinois ballot, but without a full slate of delegates, and I think he doesn’t have the ability to build out as it took so long for him to rise.
I see the clearest path for Mitt Romney and barring him underperforming in New Hampshire, I suspect he could sweep the races.
I am as excited as a fly flying through a frog filled swamp.
But ultimately there is this — Barack Obama is worse than even Jimmy Carter in that Obama, in addition to being an economic menace, peddles a brand of liberal social politics that even Jimmy Carter dared not peddle. Should he win re-election, Barack Obama might have the opportunity to fill more seats on the Supreme Court including, potentially, Antonin Scalia’s and Anthony Kennedy’s seats.
We cannot let that happen.
The regulatory regime an Obama second term would unleash, no longer restrained by the fear of electoral defeat, would be economically destructive to the free market and the middle class.
Any and all of the Republican candidates would be better than Barack Obama. We have an obligation to support the nominee whoever it may be.
I just hope the voters choose wisely.
As for me, in focusing on Campaign 2012 for President, I have neglected the fight against SOPA, the fight to election conservatives to the House and Senate, and the on going battles at the state level. It’s time to refocus a bit on those and let this primary season where good friends are at each others throats over the nominees sort the season out.
2. The Choice
This election—including the Republican primary contest— is about a fundamental question in American politics: We have an opportunity to decisively turn away from big government in Washington. Do we want to take it?
Conservatives across the country are fed up with President Obama’s Washington approach to governance. Massive, budget-busting, deficit spending (except on defense, where he proposes cuts that are downright dangerous). Bailouts. An ever-mounting national debt. A federal government that has reached its tentacles further into Americans’ lives, by virtue of Obamacare with its noxious individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Excessive, bureaucratically dictated, job-killing environmental regulation. Dodd-Frank. The actions of the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Communications Commission, and countless other agencies. A President who has engaged in offensive recess appointments to pay back his political allies ahead of a race he could well lose. And so on.
Almost universally, Republicans hold in contempt the real-life “ends” of the Obama administration’s policies, though admittedly there are those self-described conservatives who have favored (and even authored) Obamacare-like approaches to health care and policies like cap-and-trade. To us, those ends look decidedly liberal and reminiscent of European social democracies, and out of step with our vision for America.
Yet some conservatives, while rejecting the “ends” have not yet fully rejected the means, despite the fact that many Americans—and not just conservatives or libertarians— have reached the conclusion that the federal government has just become too big and has its fingers in too many pies, with the predictable negative real-world consequences for the rest of us.
Let me go ahead and stipulate that Mitt Romney has presidential height and hair, and appears to have presidential composure in debates and interviews (at least, when not being mauled by the Great Grizzly of Interviewers, the always fearsome Bret Baier). He also has a history of business success and has the longest private sector career of any participant in the GOP primary – though it’s obviously worth noting that his lengthy private sector career has largely been the result of his utter failure to enter and remain in the public sector, despite trying over and over and over and over again to do so.
However, leaving aside the fact that his positions on most issues have a history of being “multiple choice,” as Ted Kennedy once said, Mitt Romney has two major vulnerabilities to attack – and it just so happens that they are the top two issues of this entire election.
It’s no secret that the key to this election is “the economy, stupid.” This will be a jobs election, an economy election, and – given the Obama administration’s limited but well-worn playbook – a class warfare election. Business success demonstrates a much-needed understanding of what our economy needs to get moving again, but job creation and relatability are at a premium in such an environment, which is why Romney’s Bain experience is such a handicap.
In the course of reading this subtly bitter (and thus subtly entertaining) story (via Instapundit) about the effective collapse of the anti-gun movement on the grassroots level, I came across this passage: “In November the Republican House approved a measure that would require states to respect concealed carry permits issued by other, less restrictive states; it now awaits action in the Democratic-controlled Senate, where its fate is uncertain.” This refers to HR 822, which passed in the House with bipartisan support and is now awaiting action from Judiciary in the Senate. As people reading this probably know, reciprocal respect of other states’ right-to-carry laws is a hot topic: it recently came to the forefront when a Tennessee woman got arrested for trying to check in her firearm at the 9/11 Ground Zero site. I should also note in passing that Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (INDEPENDENT) attempt to smear said woman by claiming she was also in possession of cocaine backfired: the woman didn’t have any. But she’s still facing several years of jail time – no, really – for a ‘crime’ that more enlightened portions of the United States of America decriminalized some time ago*.
Let us set aside for a moment the many crazy things that Ron Paul says and the ways in which they might damage the GOP brand. We’ve given people passes for saying crazy things before. I mean, I’m not thrilled to have the guy up there on national television representing the GOP in any form or fashion, but on the merits as far as his support, he deserves to be there no matter what sort of crankery he decides to subject the public to. The problem with Ron Paul’s continued participation in the debates is that, having used the GOP as a free publicity vehicle, he will not commit to refusing a third party run.