This has been an extraordinarily difficult primary season for many conservatives, me among them.
Against what is probably the weakest incumbent president since Herbert Hoover, we have managed to field an array of candidates worse than those we had in 2008 and perhaps worse than those competing for the nomination at our low point of 1996.
Our best candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, was torpedoed by a lack of preparation on his part. Sure the patent dishonesty of Michele Bachmann's Tardasil nonsense had an impact as well as the demagoguing of a state educational issue as a soft-on-immigration stance but let's not excuse the fact that these attacks should have been anticipated by anyone participating in a GOP primary.
For some months I have held the view that conservatives could very well be better served by a President Obama opposed by a Republican Congress than a President Romney working in concert with a decidedly un-conservative Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The events of the past few weeks have convinced me I was wrong. We are one election away from entering the death spiral to status as a Third World kleptocracy and I believe Governor Mitt Romney, for all his manifest faults, is the best man left standing to prevent that from happening.
To be clear, my endorsement and support of Romney is a function of the actions of President Obama rather than any eighty-leven point plan Romney's campaign staff has devised to technocrat our way out of a philosophical and moral morass because our fiscal difficulties are merely the symptoms of the true problem.
I developed misgivings about my original strategy in January when Obama made patently illegal recess appointments. These misgivings have increased day by day as the EPA has essentially declared the coal industry illegal, religious liberty has been tossed under the bus in favor of consequence-free sexual gratification, Egypt and Libya have been turned over to either al-Qaeda or its sympathizers, billions of dollars have disappeared into the wallets of Obama donors in the guise of "green energy", and our European allies have heard Obama tell a fellow kleptocrat that their security is up for grabs in a second Obama term.
None of these actions could have been prevented by a GOP Congress that could not override a presidential veto and there are no circumstances I foresee that gets us to that number of seats in the House and Senate. In the final analysis, the president controls the regulatory agencies and the policy making apparatus of the United States. A determined president can do pretty much what he will so long as he commands at least 35 votes in the United States Senate and the Congress is unwilling to impeach.
I'd feel a lot more comfortable with Governor Romney if I actually had a sense that he believed in anything. I don't have that feeling and there is nothing in the man's record that indicates he values principle over expediency. I don't think bailing out the Salt Lake City Games by digging deep into Uncle Sugar's pockets demonstrates very much skill, I find his record at Bain nauseating, and the disarray he inflicted upon the Massachusetts GOP gives me pause for the fate of the GOP under a Romney presidency.
On the other hand I have no doubt that the Romney's will restore a dignity and grace to the White House and the Office of the President that has been trashed by the gauche, nouveau riche, and monumentally entitled Obamas, both the Mom-jeans, weenie-armed Barack and the hulking, hectoring Michelle.
In that way the situation will be similar for Governor Romney as it was for George Bush when the Clampetts departed. I think the Justice Department will again to begin to resemble a place where "justice" is a concern rather than peddling guns to Mexican narcotraficantes, arresting various Walter-Mittyesque groups as terrorists, and engaging in race-baiting of the worst sort. I don't think the nation's GPS system will be hamstrung to make a campaign donor very wealthy. We won't be "investing" in solar panels and other cutesy technologies that have little demonstrable value. The Department of Defense will not be used as some sort of social laboratory to test out the latest academic theories. I will no longer fear for any of our basic rights. In particular, Ann Romney would be a stellar first lady.
This was a difficult choice as I find a lot to like in both Newt Gingrich, whom I have met, and Rick Santorum, whom I have not. Mr. Gingrich, in particular, embodies the enthusiasm for tomorrow that has long been a quintessentially American trademark. Mr. Santorum has demonstrated that morality matters to the electorate and it should not be shunted to the side in either the Fall campaign or in governance.
Unfortunately, both men have flaws that have convinced me they cannot win in November and that if they did win they would be ineffectual. The purpose of this is to not enumerate those flaws beyond the point of saying I have concluded that they outweigh any advantage either man brings to the table.
In closing I wish to acknowledge the surprise this endorsement is sure to cause some RedState readers.
For the past four years I've been very critical of Governor Romney and I continue to stand by those criticisms (read above if you have any doubts). Significantly for blogging in his support, I continue to find his supporters, with the possible exception of those I've yet to encounter, to be among the most ignorant, dishonest advocates of any candidate, anywhere, anytime possessing a blindness to facts and a subservience that borders on cult-like. I intend to continue to ban them at the slightest opportunity.
So after much soul searching I've decided to climb up on the roof, snuggle in beside Seamus, and enjoy the ride.