Monday, June 6, 2011

2012 Contender: Mitt Romney

Today we continue our 2012 Contender series with a look at current front runner Mitt Romney. The big knock on Romney has been that he’s timid. His seems afraid to lead, avoids making decisions and taking stands, and his rhetoric is effete. Having looked into his record, I can now add that he also lacks principles and you won't like what he believes.

Romney lacks the ability to take a stand. Even now, his website contains a disturbing number of "Romney will release a plan in the near future" statements. Keep in mind, this is a man who's been running for President for 10 years and should know what he plans to do if he wins. What's worse, his record defines both "unprincipled" and "flip flop." Normally, we want our politicians to re-evaluate their ideas in light of new facts. But Romney takes this to extremes, having flip flopped on virtually every single issue on which he's ever taken a stand. What's more, his positions show the small, tired thinking of a technocrat who's stuck in debates that ended long ago. Observe:

1. Economics: Romney has yet to issue an official economic plan. But what he's said so far shows him to be a combination leftist-Keynesian and technocrat. His ideas are dated, insignificant, worthless and often merely reflect Democratic thinking:

● Eliminating the capital gains tax on families that make less than $200,000 per year (a limitation which wipes out the purpose of cutting this particular tax, which is to encourage business to start spending);

● Eliminating the estate tax;

● Limit spending by some amount by eliminating "pork" spending on unnecessary programs. . . whatever those are;

● Reining in the growth of entitlement programs. . . somehow;

● Opposing "income tax increases" (no word on other taxes); and

● He favors a balanced budget amendment and claims to want some sort of hard cap on federal spending.
This is extremely weak policy. Yet, compare even this weak plan against his record. As governor, Romney closed a small deficit by (1) raising $400 million in taxes from doubling fees on court filings, professional licenses, and firearm licenses, (2) raising the state gas tax by $60 million, (3) imposing $128 million in taxes on internet purchases, and (4) raising business taxes by $181 million. I found no evidence of budget cuts.

His other ideas "to create jobs" are trivial and worthless:
● Romney favors the discredited minimum wage, but he wants a "moderate predictable change" in the wage, not "big jumps from time to time." This will cost jobs, not create them.

● Romney wants to replace the unemployment system with either private unemployment savings accounts for some reason, or he would give incentives to companies to hire the long term unemployed. Neither will work.

● Romney wants to train workers to fit the new economy, which has no jobs.

● In 1994, Romney called for the "virtual elimination" (i.e. virtual = not real) of the Department of Agriculture. But by 2007, he "believes that investing in agriculture is key to our economy and families." He also support a $20 billion subsidy for energy research and new car technology.
2. ObamaCare: Romney failed to speak out against ObamaCare when it was debated, saying only that he would wait until he issued his book to offer his criticism. . . now that's leadership! Now he says it should be repealed because it's "an unconscionable abuse of power." Ok, sounds good, but he passed something very similar (right down to the individual mandates) in Massachusetts, and he refuses to renounce that. So why is ObamaCare "an unconscionable abuse of power" and RomneyCare not? According to Romney it's because RomneyCare had bipartisan support in the legislature and ObamaCare didn't. I kid you not: "abuse of power" depends on whether everyone is doing it to you or just some of them.

3. Global Warming: Romney believes man is causing global warming "based on what he reads" and pictures he's seen of melting ice caps -- which shows he doesn't understand science and can't separate good evidence from bad. He has long said he would consider a cap-and trade system, but now claims to oppose that. He now advocates conservation by raising fuel economy standards on cars and favoring biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear and coal gasification. He does claim to support offshore drilling and drilling in Alaska. . . though he also says "we're using too much oil." FYI, like other spoiled, rich, elitists, he opposes the wind farm in Nantucket because it would hurt the view.

4. Immigration: Romney claims to oppose illegal immigration. He claims to support deportation of illegals, says we should secure the border and issue non-citizens magic "tamperproof identification cards" (presumably so we can tell them from the illegals), wants employer verification and swears he opposes amnesty. BUT, he doesn't think we can deport 11 million illegals, so he wants to make them register and apply for citizenship, i.e. he favors amnesty. He also wants to increase legal immigration. This, by the way, is the Obama plan: increase legal immigration limits and then use the higher limits as cover to turn illegals into legals while claiming it's not an amnesty.

5. Freedom of Speech: In 1994, Romney advocated spending limits on campaigns and abolishing PACs. By 2007, he was criticizing McCain-Feingold, saying "we step into dangerous territory when politicians start eviscerating our fundamental freedoms in the name of amorphous principles, like campaign finance reform." Now he says he really opposes McCain-Feingold because it doesn't work, and he has a vague new plan for campaign finance reform, i.e. he plans to "eviscerate our fundamental freedoms in the name of some amorphous principle" he can't even explain yet.

6. Social Conservatism: Romney flips the most in social conservative areas, but it's clear he favors social engineering.
Abortion: In 1994, Romney attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser and he claimed there were only "tiny nuances" between his position and Ted Kennedy's. In 2005, he changed his mind and said abortion is morally wrong, but that the issue should be left to states. Now he says abortion is morally wrong except in cases of incest, rape or to save the mother and he "wishes. . . the laws of our nation could reflect that view". . . whatever that means.

Stem Cells: In 2002, Romney strongly advocated stem-cell research. In 2008, he renounced that position and now wants a ban on federal funding for research on excess embryos.

Crime: I wouldn't normally put crime in the social conservative category, except Romney seems fixated on "obscenity." Indeed, he wants strict enforcement of federal obscenity laws, he wants to punish retailers for selling "sexually explicit and excessively violent" video games to minors, and he wants to force computer companies to make sure parents can block "all that pornography from their kid's internet screens." Beyond that, he tried to get the death penalty reinstated in Massachusetts, but only in very limited cases and with impossible standards, i.e. "no doubt of guilt." He favors three strikes laws and proposed a one-strike law for child sex offenders "who use the internet to prey on children." Why this only applies to internet predators is not clear.

Affirmative Action: He apparently favors affirmative action but won't say so. Instead, he expresses support for "decreasing barriers to entry into the workforce for women and minorities" and "for Muslims who face discrimination due to their religion."

Education: In 1994, he wanted to abolish the Department of Education. He renounced that when he realized he could use the DOE for social engineering. He favors increased testing, requiring parents of poorly performing schools to attend parental education classes, wants to pay bonuses to "teachers who successfully teach," and has a host of pet projects he wants included in school curricula, including "nanotechnology and materials science" as well as an increased emphasis on family values. He supports charter schools and home schooling and vouchers, but only after means-testing.

Gays: Romney opposes gay marriage and civil unions, though he does "not want to discriminate against gay people in employment or housing or other parts of their life." He says he would not have changed don't ask don't tell.

Guns: In 1994, Romney favored a five-day waiting period and banning assault rifles. Showing he does not understand the purpose of the Second Amendment, i.e. to allow people to protect themselves from their government, Romney signed the assault weapons ban because: "These guns are not made for recreation or self-defense. They are instruments of destruction with the sole purpose of hunting down and killing people." In 2008, Romney joined the NRA and declared that he "supports the right of individuals to keep and bear arms as guaranteed under the US Constitution." He then lied about owning a gun, and later said the right to bear arms does not include assault weapons.
There you have it. He never stands on principle and frankly doesn't even seem to understand the concept. Indeed, far too often, he calls something an outrage or violation of a right, only to then propose such a plan himself. This is a troubling thought process. Moreover, he seems to be hiding many of his policies, if they exist at all. His economic plan is dated, small-minded, and worthless, and several of his policies are identical to failed Democratic policies. And he seems to favor a form of social engineering that is both highly unprincipled and morally questionable.

Is he a conservative? I see no evidence for that. Would he make a good President? It's unlikely. Would he make a good conservative President? Do you really need to ask?

51 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

I don't see Romney getting the nomination if a more viable conservative (e.g. electable) breaks from the pack. At this point, none has done so, and Romney might become the McCain of 2012. Still, elections are run in the real world, and yes, I would vote for him against Obama, hoping that a conservative increase in the senate could force him to shape his agenda to the right.

I know nobody is perfect, but damn it, I am trouble by the fact our stars are still so young.

Tennessee Jed said...

As I re-read your post, a couple of additional thoughts come to mind. 1) up to a point, just as Obama did, the non-incumbant can benefit from not getting too specific or tied down; particularly on thorny "damned if you do, damned if you don't" issues.

2) Romney, to me, seems like too many northeastern blue state Republicans. Perhaps some of their RINO stance reflects the old political dictum of survival being everything, but we have enough track record to believe he truly is a "moderate." My take is that Romney seems old and boring at a time we need young and fresh.

My only concern, with all due respect to my social conservative colleagues, is that the critical thing is the economy. If we go full bore on social issues, I think we appear extreme to a large percentage of voters and could rally the Democrat base. In other words, the reverse of what Obama has done. What if the Democrats had nominated a moderate in 2008. We might have had a much harder battle, because he would not have commited the excesses Obama has.

Ed said...

Jed, I voted for Romney last time to keep McCain from getting the nomination, but in hindsight I'm not sure he was actually more conservative than McCain. I would vote for him before Obama, but there really are only a couple I wouldn't vote for before Obama, including some Democrats!

What concerns me most about Romney, having done the research, is not the timidity, which was my first concern -- it's that he doesn't seem to have any limits on government. It sounds like he would do just about anything if he suddenly decided it was a good idea.

Koshcat said...

Romney did take a troubled Olympic committee in Salt Lake City and turned it into a successful event.

However, his nomination would be a disaster because people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between him and Obama, except Obama is skinnier and black. In that situation, the incombent will always win-better to choose the devil you know... The early primaries is where the Tea Party folks need to get involved and make sure he goes nowhere.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed,

Like, Ed, I voted for him to keep McCain from getting the nomination. At the time I was under the impression he was a conservative with just a few flaws. But with everything I found, I'm much more concerned about him now. In fact, I am truly turned off Romney by my research.

On the one hand, he's too timid to put up a good fight. In fact, his rhetoric is so deathly dull that it sounds like he's reading off a balance sheet. And his debate performances have been horrible.

Secondly, it strikes me that for a man whose claim to fame is being a businessman, he has no grasp on economics -- tax hikes, minimum wage hikes and vague promises of budget cuts that won't hurt anyone sound like the platform of a "moderate" Democrat.

Third, I am deeply troubled by the repeated instances where he says something is a right or an abuse of power and then he turns right around and proposes something similar. It makes me wonder if he understands the limits on government or if he just doesn't like actions taken by only one side. In other words, so long as everyone in Washington agrees to take away your rights, then I think he would be fine with it.

I'm also troubled by how dated his ideas are. Estate tax -- 1992. Bush tax cuts -- 2004. Minimum wage hikes -- 1990s. Balanced budget amendment -- 1990s. Assault weapons ban -- 1990s (and since torn apart by the Supremes). His education policy is 2002. Three strikes -- 1990s. Anti-internet laws -- 1990s. It's like he paid attention in the 1990s and then stopped paying attention and he thinks the issues from then are still what motivate the country. He doesn't seem to have paid any attention to what's happened to the country since then.

His concept of principles bother me too. If global warming is real, then why not fix it? Either he's lying to us or he doesn't believe it? And then to say the Nantucket wind farm is bad because it spoils the view? What's more important, the view for rich people or saving the earth? Ditto on campaign finance reform, guns, etc. etc. And he believes in the magic wand of raising fuel economy standards. This is typical liberal thinking and again shows political expediency above understanding science.

I am deeply troubled by what I found.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed,

In truth, I think the social issues are toxic right now. They energize the left and turn off the middle, and they even bother a lot of conservatives who just don't want to hear it -- and some who don't believe it. And right now, the election can be won easily on economics. I don't think that means social issues can't be considered, but they need to be treated as a silent secondary issue. Unfortunately, Iowa is all about social issues -- and corn subsidies.

By the way, you were gone last week, read the 2012 Contender article on Pawlenty. You may be very surprised, I certainly was.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Same here. By the time they got to us, the choice was McCain or Romney. I didn't want McCain and Romney sounded conservative enough, so I voted for Romney. When I started this, I figured Romney would be a save conservative, even if not an exciting one and even though he had a couple flaws. I am not thinking that now.

What research? Care to share with the class? ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Koshkat, I think you are overstating things only slightly. Romney and Obama both passed similar healthcare bills -- so that issue is neutralized. Both believe in global warming -- so that is neutralized. Both believe in Amnesty and oppose assault weapons -- again, neutralized. Affirmative action, no child left behind, tax hikers, minimum wage hikers, tax cuts only "for families making under $250,000 a year"... again, the same.

What's more, his debating skills are awful. Obama is the worst debater we've ever had as President but Romney won't be able to lay a glove on him.

So in the end, they will look very similar to each other except that Romney looks nervous.

That's not good.

Agreed about the Tea Party people. They need to shake this race up fast to clear out some of the conservative-pretenders right away. They can't wait until 3-4 primaries down the road or the establishment will pick its RINO and momentum will take over.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Here's the link to Pawlenty:

2012 Contender Pawlenty

Ed said...

Andrew, I looked into Romney when a relative of mine said they were thinking about working for him. I did the research, found most of what you found, and convinced them to go work for Herman Cain! :D

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Good for you!

Joel Farnham said...

Andrew,

Romney is the "Any Body But Palin" establishment pick for us yokels. That is what all the polls say and all the "respected" conservative pundits like Krauthammer and George Will.

This election can be lost with a loser like Romney. I wonder where we would be if Sarah Palin with her "non-campaign" bus trip hadn't been on the road? It seems uncanny how almost every step she takes is the perfect counter step to every move Romney makes. Well, I guess we are lucky cause Palin is of course too stupid to do any thing right.;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I think in 2008 Romney became the "anybody but McCain" candidates, so it would fit if he became the "anybody but Palin" candidate this time.

I actually think Romney's front runner status is an illusion. If support even hints at going to another candidate (other than Palin, Paul or Cain), most of Romney's support will jump ship to whoever that is. And in truth, it looks like even Huntsman would be an improvement over Romney -- though I think Pawlenty will eventually take over Romney's support.

The key is going to be for someone to start making moves so that people coalesce around them. As long as nobody steps up, then anything can happen.

Tennessee Jed said...

nice job on the Pawlenty piece, Andrew. I'm sorry I missed it. I didn't realize he was so big into social conservatism. While he can be attacked on it, and it would cost him some votes, I could be easily sold on him of all the current candidates. Love the fact he got elected in Minnesweden, and a great job with deficits. Only question, did he get socially conservative after he was elected? Still, unless a superstar emerges, I would have to say he is the best. Pawlenty/Cain?? or Pawlenty/Rice??

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, When I started with Pawlenty, all that I knew was that he was dull and from "Minnsweden," which probably made him a quasi-socialist. So I was surprised to see what he's done in the way of deficit reduction, tax cuts, and fighting the unions. His would be an impressive record even in Alabama or Georgia.

His social conservatism seems to be related to his religious conversion a few years prior to being elected.

In terms of that costing him votes, that's certainly possible. But, even the left says that they are concerned that he "takes the snarl out of social conservatism." And he's not out there pushing that as his plan. (His current strategy is to sell himself as being from a working class family, which is stupid -- he should be selling his economic record.)

I could see myself supporting Pawlenty, especially if Cain was on the ticket with him. Obviously, we're not done with the candidates yet, but so far he easily has the best conservative record (and he has demonstrated the most innovative conservative thinking). And he certainly blows Romney away. In fact, considering that both were governors of deep blue states, I think Pawlenty's record is really incredible and exposes Romney's as really horrible.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: By the time it got to California's primary in '08, I was tempted to vote for "none of the above."

Romney has another eastern establishment problem. He doesn't understand how important border and southern states really are. He recently made a broad statement that indicated that no plan would work because of states like Texas. Never a good idea to offend the Republican and independent voters in the state with the second largest bloc of electoral votes in the nation. Those votes are desperately needed to offset California.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Yeah, I don't think insulting Texas is a good idea under any circumstances -- which apparently is something else he has in common.

As I said the other day, I don't think deportation will work either. But I'm concerned that he says "no amnesty" and then in the same sentence says "make them register to become citizens." What is that if not an amnesty? Are we that stupid that we don't notice? This is a very establishment way of treating the electorate -- "if they don't like X, do it anyway and just don't call it X." I see elements of this throughout his record.

Koshcat said...

I think too many people worry too much about losing votes due to a social conservative position. More than half of those polled tend to agree with a conservative point of view. For example, Rassmussen poll has about 53% of Americans think abortion is morally wrong. What most people don't want is a government continuously telling them what the should and should not do. Where candidates who run primarily on social issues loose their support is they want the federal government to get involved.

Democrats do a good job as painting people with social conservative positions as being on the fringe when in reality the polling indicates that they are actually more mainstream. That happened in Colorado with the Ken Buck senate race. He wasn't really even running on an abortion plateform, but the dems ran this blantently false ad campaign acusing him of being so crazy that he wants to ban birth control. Despite being completely false, the group Ken was never able to connect with was women. This is what worries me a little about Cain. Seems like a great guy, but the left with the media will paint him as an insane right wing nut job. Don't think for a minute that being black will protect him. He will be called an Uncle Tom and worse. Just look at abuse Ms. Rick, Mr. Powell, and Justice Thomas get.

Romney's candidancy needs to die because he is an old washrag: limp, slimy, and stinky. I know I sound a little contradictory but I want someone who is comfortable with his positions on social issue but they are not defined by them.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I'm a bit more sanguine about deportation than you, particularly when it comes to deportations for criminal activity. As the old saw goes: "How do you eat a whale? One bite at a time."

But Romney is trying to have it both ways. That kind of self-contradictory stance alone should disqualify him. That said, any candidate who has a platform that includes "deport them all" has a campaign that is dead on arrival.

AndrewPrice said...

Kosh, I agree with you entirely.

Forget the Democrats for a moment because they're liars and cheats and they will say whatever it takes to slander someone.....

When you look at the people on the right and in the middle, I don't think having socially conservative views is a problem at all. I think the problems come up once people start trying to get the Federal government to push those because Americans just don't like the Federal government telling them what to do.

But even that comes with this caveat, which is that usually the people pushing federal action on social issues make two mistakes:

First, they don't stop at things that sound like reasonable limits, e.g. parental notification on abortion, waiting periods, and banning last minute abortions. Instead, they start talking about banning all abortion, sometimes even in rape/incest cases. That scares people.

The other mistake these people often make is that they end up becoming single issue candidates because they only care about "their" one issue, e.g. abortion or gays or obscenity or whatever. Not only does that sound obsessive, but it goes against what people want in a leader. When we pick a leader, we want someone who understands it all -- economics, foreign policy and society. We don't want someone who only knows and cares about one small part of that.

Of course, one of the problems is that two early states (Iowa and South Carolina) are heavily into social conservatism and many leaders of the Religious Right simply do not accept anything less than full compliance. In fact, I've even seen them attack people with 100% pro-life voting records because they once said they didn't think a Constitutional Amendment banning abortion was a good idea. Those are the people who hurt the cause of social conservatism and the party.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, His whole record is a contradiction like this. Look at his stance on abortion -- "he wishes the laws reflected his beliefs." Does that mean he will or won't try to make those laws reflect his beliefs?

Or his stance on guns -- you have a constitutional right to guns, but only guns you can use for recreation (as he defines it) and hunting. Anything that could be used to "hunt and kill a person" is illegal.

Everything he says involves this kind of double speak.

Ed said...

Andrew, So would you advise a candidate to lay out their specific plans on abortion short of banning the procedure?

What about gays?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I think on ALL issues, if you believe it AND you can justify it, then lay it out there for all to see and defend it.

If you can't justify it, then think hard about why you believe it.

Yes, the left will attack you. But if your ideas are good ones, people will follow you and the left won't be able to touch you. The problems come when these guys try to hide the things they think the public won't like or when they can't explain why they believe something.

StanH said...

Romney is the perfect establishment Republican, and it is his turn after all…barf. I also voted for Romney against McCain, but wasn’t happy. One wrinkle to this however, when he withdrew from the ’08 race, his concession speech was awesome, but it would appear his words don’t match his deeds.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I kept thinking that too. "Wow, where has this been!" And I thought that if he kept up talking like that against Obama, he would easily become the leader of the party and a shoe-in in 2012. But he faded back into the background and acted incredibly timidly.

And now, looking into his record, I think the issue becoming clearer. It's hard to speak authoritatively when you don't have a record to match and when you can't make up your mind where you stand on anything.

Ug.

rlaWTX said...

Thanks for the info. Romney sets off my "no thanks" meter, but I wasn't sure why. I think the comments are right on about social conservatives. We get all caught up in the details and make it the whole story. I hope that the economic concerns that initiated the Tea Party will temper the social demands this time around. If the idea of "my enemy of my enemy is my friend" works, just think how well we could get along with the friend who is the "enemy of my enemy, and who also happens to be nearly the same as me"!

Also, I have been thinking about my reaction to Perry's possible run. I think that maybe I am reacting to the buzz of the last governor's election - both Kay B-H and Bill White ran some pretty serious attack ads. I might have internalized some of those arguments. So, I hope that you decide to add him to your Contenders articles.

LawHawkRFD said...

But Andrew, where would our country be without this great nation of ours? (I've been auditioning as a speech-writer for Romney).

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, I will add him to the list. I was going to do Perry this time, but with Romney announcing and Perry not really making any steps, it seemed to make more sense to do Romney first.

I think that's right on about "the enemy of my enemy who just happens to be just like me." Conservatives have so much common ground, we should be easy to unify. Indeed we could work together to get 90% of everything all conservatives want (compared to the -80% we get shoved upon us by the Democrats).

Then we can argue/negotiate the last 10%. Unfortunately, many of the people on the edges benefit from creating strife. Specifically, leaders of faction groups get noticed when they take extreme positions. And that gets them funding. Since funding is what they are really after, their incentive is to fight a futile struggle for the last 10% and ignore the 80% for fear of defusing the concerns of their followers. In other words, it pays them to cause problems and to not work together to get most of their agenda. (You see this in certain Religious Right groups, in certain Tea Party groups, and in some of the stranger libertarian groups).

We really should be getting that 90% first and then reassessing what comes next. America and conservatism would be much better off.

P.S. You're welcome on the Romney info. I wasn't sure what to think about him, but this clarifies it a lot for me.

AndrewPrice said...

Careful Lawhawk, you're dangerously close to becoming an establishment speech writer.

"We need to dream to do the things they said could not be done, not because we desire it, but because it is the right thing to do and the necessary thing. So I say, join me in dreaming for a better America."

LL said...

He's tepid at best, right where he's always been.

Let's hope that some qualified and electable people enter on the Republican ticket so that he's not the "choice" that we have to contend with.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, One of the problems with a race like the present one is that the longer everyone waits to make their move, the longer everyone else gets to stick around. And at some people who stick around long enough can find themselves as the choice be default.

I would recommend anyone who wants the nomination to get in there now and start swinging.

patti said...

when i see romney out in the field, it makes me nervous. some folks will be fooled by his hair and bright smile. not us, here, obviously, but come on, look at how many were duped by barry...

i pray folks are smarter this time around. if not...

~such a bad dream~

Writer X said...

He's like John McCain-lite. No, thank you.

I was very disappointed with the way he handled RomneyCare and the aftermath. If he would have come right out and said something like, "We wanted to try something different and it failed"--in essence, come clean, I may have cut him more slack. The way he handled it made him look like your typical politician.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, What troubles me are the people who go with someone simply because they are told he's the front runner. That is a lot of that in the world and that's probably the one thing helping Romney at the moment.

I'll tell you what, if I were another candidate, I would start getting his record out into the public's awareness.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I don't think he could have handled RomneyCare any worse. For one thing, he never should have stood around for months refusing to state his position -- either he stood by it or he didn't. Trying to avoid the issue only makes him look like he has something to hide.

Then he should have either stood up and told us why we're all wrong (which we aren't) and explained why this isn't ObamaCare.... or he should have said exactly what you say: "we tried something, it didn't work. I think it should be repealed and free market reforms put in its place." But that's too direct for him.

At this point, there have only been a couple that we've looked at that I would like and Romney is not one of them. In fact, he's very near the bottom.

DUQ said...

This is worse than I thought and I wasn't too positive on Romney from the beginning. He always struck me as unwilling to stand up for conservative values.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's a pretty clear sign of a problem. I think that even now, his inability to speak about his views is a result of a disconnect between what he believes and what he think the public wants him to believe, so he's constantly trying to hedge his bets.

Ed said...

Andrew, That's probably a good policy, though you would make yourself a target.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, If you believe something, you should be ready to defend it. And if the left targets you for it, that's the price of belief. If you want to play in the big leagues, you need to be ready to take and throw a few punches.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Ed, Look at a guy like Reagan. He wasn't afraid to speak his mind. And he benefited from that immensely because people where he stood and he was able to claim that as a mandate, even with a Democratic congress. If he's tried to keep it all secret, then when it came time to lead, no one would have followed him.

Ed said...

Andrew, If you believe something, you should be ready to defend it.

That's very true. That's what I like about your articles too. You are never afraid to speak your mind, even when you disagree with generic conservative opinion. Not enough people are willing to go against the flow like that.

Ed said...

Good point about Reagan too. I think that's because he understood exactly what he believed. A lot of people in politics and even those who talk/write for a living often don't really know what they believe.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ed, I speak my mind. Plus, I like to use my brain to think rather than my knee. . . ;-)

Yeah, Reagan knew what he believed because he spent years giving speeches about it. Other try to muddle their way through without using their brains, especially in politics, but also in writing.

Ed said...

So who are you doing next Andrew? Rick Santorum declared today.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I don't know. I'm leaning toward Perry, but you never know what will happen during the week. I take it you want a Santorum article?

Ed said...

Not really. I do want to see your take on Palin though! :-D

AndrewPrice said...

You're just trying to get me killed, aren't you? T_Rav suggest that I do Palin and Paul on the same day and I find a bunker before I do it! LOL!

Ed said...

That would do it. Those are going to be hard to write because your going to be damned no matter what you say.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It's going to be hard. Both are very polarizing figures and people have strong feelings about them. I think the key will be to just be fair about it.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, and I stand by that statement. Yes, I'm a sadist at heart. >:-)

Once again, I miss all the good stuff. All the same, pretty good rundown on Romney; like you and apparently a lot of others, he wasn't my first choice in '08, but I voted for him to try and keep McCain out. I've never really liked him, if for no other reason than he seemed like a caricature of the professional elitist politician. And I knew about some of these twisting positions, but certainly not all.

I think it might also be worth noting that a close friend of mine from college, who is Mormon and went hard-core for Romney in '08 (probably because of the religion thing), has pretty much washed his hands of the man, because he acknowledges that he's just too liberal for a Republican. Knowing the limited use of anecdotal evidence, this still leads me to think that Romney's support runs wide rather than deep, and if a serious alternative emerges and gains momentum, his campaign will quickly collapse.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, That goes beyond sadism and into pure murder, but that's ok. I'll buy a bullet proof vest! ;-)

I've heard the statement about Romney's support running a mile wide and an inch deep before and I think that's right. It seems like everyone is just waiting for someone they can jump to. The key will be for someone to finally step up and claim the post. Right now they're all being so timid, like they don't really want the job.

I knew a few of his flip flops, but I had no idea it was this bad. In fact, when I started looking into it, I was really stunned how consistently he flops around. What bothers me more though is the way he thinks. It's clear to me that he doesn't understand "principle" by any classic definition. Instead, he seems to understand it as "whatever I advocate at the moment." I find that very disturbing because it makes him highly unpredictable and you never know what stupidity he will fall for next.

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