Monday, February 13, 2012

Obfuscating CPAC

With CPAC finishing Saturday, many people are trying to pick winners and loser. Actually, I should put that differently, many people are trying to spin winners and losers, Politico included. And boy are they wrong!

Santorum the Winner? Politico declared Santorum the big “winner,” even though he came in second to Romney, because last year he had only 2% support and now he has 31%. This is ludicrous.

Let’s start with the obvious fact Politico skipped: Romney won. That makes him THE winner. Indeed, the real story here is that in the “anybody but Romney” world of conservatism, Romney should not have won this straw poll at all. He should have come in dead last. Instead, he won by 7% (38% to 31%) topping last year’s score of 22%. That makes him THE BIG winner.

If you don’t think that’s true, then ask yourself why Ricky went out Sunday and whined that the vote was rigged? He wouldn’t do that if this loss hadn’t hurt him. (As an aside, note that once again a “conservative” is playing into liberal smears by attacking other conservatives as vote riggers.)

And why did this hurt Ricky? Because with his huge margins of victory in Minnesota and Missouri, anything less than a 50% total among a gathering of 10,000 of the country’s most highly conservative activists must be seen as a declaration of a lack of faith in Santorum. That makes this a HUGE loss, and it means the real winners are Romney (as stated above) and Newt. Why Newt? Because this result tells us that Santorum can’t seal the deal and become the “anybody but Romney” guy. To the contrary, this vote shows a tremendous amount of unease among conservatives with Santorum.

That unease, by the way, was encapsulated by Christine O’Donnell who accidentally said into an open mic, “Santorum’s fiscal record is more liberal than Romney’s social record.” That plus some conservatives fear the whole Torquemada thing won’t sell.

Obama the Loser? Politico also declared Obama a CPAC loser. They claim his contraception policy controversy couldn’t have happened at a worse time because it “galvanized conservatives at the conference.” Give me a break.

Let’s play Devil’s Advocate. Isn’t the timing a win for Obama? With one well-timed policy, he’s got all the CPAC lemmings worked up into a tizzy over abortion. They will now go home, full of rage, and tell all their friends that abortion needs to be THE issue for this race. That means supporting Reverend Ricky, the weakest candidate in the field. It means spouting a LOT of rhetoric that will freak out the straights. And it means taking their eyes off the real issue -- economics. Indeed, on Tuesday, Obama will unveil a new budget with a $1.3 trillion dollar deficit which lavishes money on his crony friends and raises taxes on everyone. . . but these CPACers will be busy foaming at the mouth over abortion.

Call me crazy, but it sounds like a brilliant bit of timing by Obama.

The real problem for Obama on the contraception issue is that the Catholic Church has declared war against him, and they have a lot of power in states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, where CPAC has less influence than a jelly donut.

Politico also ignored something else that was significant vis-à-vis Obama and CPAC, even after mentioning it in their article. To stop Ron Paul from winning their straw poll, CPAC made it much easier for everyone to vote. And guess what? They still got 300 fewer votes than last year. And that’s despite this being an election year with a highly contested primary. That’s a sign of trouble for conservatives. Win for Obama.

Palin the Winner? Politico declared Palin a winner because she drew a large crowd. From this, they concluded she would be “a major figure on the right for decades to come.” Ok, but keep this in mind. Despite claiming to be neutral, she unofficially endorsed Newt right about the time polls showed that he would win South Carolina. He did win, which was no surprise. Then he got his butt handed to him in Florida by Romney and then by Santorum in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri. Which is more telling of Palin’s power, that a group of activists crowded around her celebrity-style at a conference or that conservative voters in four states ignored her endorsement?

Ron Paul Loser? Politico says Paul lost because he did much worse in this straw poll than the last one, which “shows the limits of his support among conservatives.” Wrong. This completely misjudges Ron Paul’s goals.

There are many forms of winning. Paul knows he will never win the White House. That’s not his goal. His goal is to get the Republican Party to adopt his views. And with guys like Jim DeMint saying the Republican Party better listen to his views, Paul is riding a heck of a winning streak. Judging him on a straw poll he did not contest (at a convention he did not attend) is as stupid as judging Palin’s political reach on her ability to draw a crowd at CPAC. This is insta-nalysis and it’s crap. This is analysis designed to create a trend rather than expose a trend.

Anybody But Romney Tantruming. Finally, Politico along with several conservatives are attacking Romney over his statement that: “I was a severely conservative Republican governor.”

See, it turns out that no conservative would say this, just as no British secret agent would order red wine with fish. Said a shocked Rush: “I have never heard anybody say, ‘I’m severely conservative.’” Added the always-perfect Newt, “Some things are too funny to comment on.” Several others called for an “explanation.”

The meme behind this is that conservatives shouldn’t trust Romney because he “doesn’t speak the language” of conservatism. This is ridiculous. Splitting hairs over a poor choice of words is not reasoned analysis, it’s a prejudice desperately searching for validation.

But I guess they’re right. How can we trust a man who would say “I’m severely conservative” in an off-the-cuff comment. We should instead put our faith in genuine conservatives like Newt who says conservative things like calling deportation of illegals “heartless” and “inhuman,” who pimped global warming as “settled science,” who attacks “bad capitalism,” and who supported RomneyCare and TARP because everybody was doing it. Or we should support genuine conservatives like Ricky Santorum who supported the creation of new entitlements, gun control, higher taxes, higher spending, a healthcare mandate (i.e. RomneyCare), and illegal immigration, and who also disapproves of “bad capitalism.” Why? Because Rick’s a real conservative, and he would never misspeak, like he did about women in combat this weekend.

My point is this. Conservatives need to stop playing these games. Disagreeing over the importance of particular aspects of the candidate’s records is fine, trying to invent things to dislike is not. Stop parsing words and crowd size. Stop trying to turn mirages of molehills into mountains. Let’s use our brains, not our knee-jerks, and demand that conservative talkers start using theirs as well. . . assuming they have them.

54 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

great analysis - one thought about Politico, and Obama. I think they would love to run against Santorum because it would bring social issues into play, diminishing the "it's the economy stupid" focus they fear.

My other observation is that while I agree with you and Andrew Breitbart in the need to put thie in-fighting to bed, it won't happen as long as Rick thinks he has a chance. Newt is such an egotist and hates Romney so much, he might continue to try and take Romney down until the money spigot shuts off. Even then, he might try and get on Fox News to bad mouth him. Just a couple thoughts :)

LawHawkRFD said...

Politico has replaced The New Republic as the authoritative spinmeister for pro-liberal, anti-conservative views. It is ahead of the New York Times in finding "favorite" conservatives to tout until the primaries are over. Worst of all, as you've pointed out, too many conservatives are buying into their spin.

Tam said...

I didn't see a whole lot of CPAC, but I did see Breitbart promising to vet Obama this time around. What a tease!

It does seem like the voters in general are not following the trends created by the would be trendsetters. The infighting is disappointing and discouraging, but I'm remaining cautiously optimistic about the American people when it comes to the election.

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - Roger that. Tam, I agree. I remain cautiously optimistic too. It's just that there is so much time 'til November, one never knows what events could re-tilt the table.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed. I agree entirely.

I think that Obama would love to run against Rick because (1) Rick will make it all about abortion, an issue where Obama "sounds" much more reasonable to the general public that Rick, and that will absolutely let him avoid talking about everything else about his administration... where the real anger lies, (2) Rick is very strident and angry and does not come across well (he's a caricature of "fundamentalist Republican", and (3) Rick is a deeply corrupt and sleazy politicians and makes Obama look clean by comparison.

I would expect that by the time Obama is done with him people will see Rick as a hateful crony.

I also agree that they won't stop infighting so long as Rick and Newt think they have a chance. They've shown there are no depths to which they won't sink and no harm they won't do to the party. And the longer this continues, the greater the harm will be to the party and our message.... which will drift down to Senate races.

tryanmax said...

Rush and the others ought to know that it's not a dog-whistle when everyone can hear it blown. I get what they are doing, saying "by his words ye shall know him," which would be fine if they set about deciphering the words instead of defining them.

So no one else ever called themselves "severely conservative," so what? The only reason anyone thinks it odd is because the self-appointed phrase-makers have deemed it so. They might not like Mitt's style of music, but that doesn't mean it's tone-deaf like the case of Nancy Pelosi's favorite word.

I've been dismayed by the sudden and rapid development of the right-wing echo-chamber. Now I'm even more appalled to hear that it is insisted upon. I'd call that sort of "uproariously asinine" but if no one else has used that expression, I'll probably be dismissed for not knowing what I'm talking about.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Very true. And I think conservatives need to look very careful at the people they are promoting and why.

1. Santorum because he's beatable by Obama and the longer he stays in the race, the greater the carnage.

2. Palin because she's advocating "a competitive primary" all the way until the convention.

3. Down with Paul because he holds the economic message Republicans need to wake up to.

4. Ignore Newt because he's the Santorum who can beat Obama.

5. Keep the meme going against Romney so the activists will stay home.

It's no surprise they also took out Cain.

tryanmax said...

*...that sort of analysis...

AndrewPrice said...

Tam, I think the public really is tuning the pundits out when it comes to making their choices. From what I've seen, they've completely ignored all the insta-nalysis about who is winning which debates and who they should support, etc. etc.

That's why they jumped on the Cain train while the pundits were still pimping Perry and why they picked Santorum when the pundits were pushing Newt.

The problem I have, however, is that the pundits are generating so much intra-ideology hatred. In other words, you can't go to a message board or a place like BH or BG without getting positively assaulted as everything short of a communist if you don't support ______. This is not good. This is the kind of thing which generates very bad feelings. And I think the radio guys aren't helping that because they are making this all about emotion rather than facts.

I also do fear that too many people are getting the wrong ideas of how to examine a candidate. I don't care who you choose, so long as you are making your choices with knowledge of the candidates. Instead, too many people are falling for "everybody says he's conservative" and soundbites. This has been a problem since the Christie youtube video if not earlier.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed and Tam, I remain cautiously optimistic as well because what happens now will not be remembered in November. But the problem I see is a longer term problem. If conservatives want to get actual conservatives back into key positions, they need to learn to recognize them. And right now, talk radio et. al. is blurring the line so badly that I'm not sure people will be able to see a real conservative when they find come across one?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I've been dismayed by the sudden and rapid development of the right-wing echo-chamber.

Ditto. I am dismayed that they have thrown all rationality to the wind and are making snap judgements based on minutia, images and the parsing of words. And then they run off foaming at the mouth over their new discovery and everyone repeats it and jumps on board because they don't want to be seen as any less conservative.

This is the real life version of "The Emperor Has No Clothes" presented as a political game show.


What particularly troubles me about the attack on the "severely conservative" comment is that this was an off-the-cuff comment. People misspeak. They don't have a perfect grasp of all words at all times. Anyone who has ever asked someone out, gotten into a fight with a spouse or boss, or spoken in public knows this. It is a fact that the human mind under stress rarely provides the perfection you can achieve sitting on your butt by yourself writing "what you would have said."

And it strikes me as truly twisted that conservatives would try to divine Romney entire ideological bent from the use of a word (which should have been "extremely" instead of "severely"). That is false analysis at best. It's the kind of evidence you expect at a witch hunt.

This is the same level of intolerance for language that the left uses when they go after someone for saying "black" instead of "African American". It's groupthinkian.

AndrewPrice said...

And for the record, let me stress....

We can all happily disagree about the records of the candidates. None of them are perfect and we can certainly have different priorities. There is no problem there and no one can say they are right or wrong about which candidates are superior.

BUT we conservatives should not be playing these games of trying to find things to get upset about. And that is what I see here.

Kelly said...

Andrew, You make in interesting point calling Newt a winner. I see the logic in it, but do you really think he can win or is he just dragging out his death throws?

AndrewPrice said...

Kelly, In this election cycle it's very hard to tell. The conventional thinking is that once you get a single anybody-but-Romney candidate, that person will get the 60% to Romney's 40%.

But that's not true.

There are people who support Santorum who prefer Romney to Newt, and there are people who support Newt who prefer Romney to Santorum. Those people would shift away to Romney once "their guy" leaves. How many are like that, I don't know. But that would be the question. And no one knows what the Ron Paul people would do, they may just take their 15% and stay home.

Also, in the more moderate states (like California and New York), I suspect Romney will get an overwhelming majority even among Republicans, which is probably enough to win the nomination.

So ultimately, this race may be over.

BUT it's impossible to tell right now because things haven't gelled.

As for becoming the "anybody but Romney" guy, I think Newt is still very much in the game because Santorum just stumbled. And it's often worse to lose your momentum than not have it in the first place.

That's the long way of saying "I think he still has a chance, but I can't tell you how good of a chance."

T-Rav said...

National Review today is telling Newt that he doesn't have a chance and needs to get out now before he embarrasses himself and the party further. Excellent advice, which I expect Gingrich to immediately ignore. This is really less interesting to me than their apparent waffling between Romney and Santorum.

I didn't hear Romney's CPAC speech, other than the "severely conservative" sound bite. It's unfair to hang a person over two words, but the critics have a point: "severely" is an adjective you almost always hear used as a negative connotation, not a positive one. Whether that was a Freudian slip on Romney's part or just an (additional) instance of tone-deafness, I have no idea. But a party's base is a party's base, and if you want their support, you have to speak their language once in a while.

Ed said...

I hadn't heard about the "severely conservative" comment, but that doesn't bother me that he said it.

It's interesting you mention Palin because I keep seeing a lot of articles by the left-wing media trying to play her up again. So much for the idea the MSM hates her.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Newt should have gotten out a long time ago, but he won't. He's in this to the very end, no matter how much collateral damage he does in the process because he entertains the fantasy that the public is really on his side (despite the votes) and will finally turn to him after something or other and crown him "Genius In Chief." So I don't expect him to quit even after it's very clear he's doomed.


On the base, you and I have discussed this before and there isn't really much to add except that conservatism is doomed so long as it accepts people who genuinely oppose its fundamental views as "conservatives."

If you want to call this a race between three RINOs, that's fine. But to claim that either Newt or Santorum is a conservative is ideological suicide.

T-Rav said...

Incidentally, I recommend this article from last week, regarding the fact that Santorum's leading in Pennsylvania--which might not matter much, but the fact that he's currently leading in Michigan (though who knows if that will hold) has major implications for Super Tuesday. I think the interesting thing here is the argument that right now, Newt staying in the race actually helps Romney. If a three-way split in the primaries holds, this might play out all the way to the convention, but if Newt completely fades out and Santorum manages to get the South and the Midwest--well, that should make things extremely dicey.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Palin plays the same game Newt plays -- she uses media attacks to make herself into a victim and thereby gets conservatives to circle the wagons. It's a good strategy for the modern world. And the media plays along because Palin is good for ratings. In fact, Politico always makes a huge deal of Palin because she drives ratings.

Also, interestingly, one of the things Politico did not mention is that the reason she was drawing crowds at CPAC was that she was receiving a "woman of the year" award from the college branch of CPAC, so they came to award that and cheer her on.

And let me be clear, I'm not slamming Palin, she is an important figure and she will remain important. But my point is that Politico is trying to blow her up into something which isn't consistent with her ability to sway the voters.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I guess what it comes down to is which does Newt care about more, his ego or his desire to wreck Romney's campaign? If it were the latter, he'd probably throw his support to Santorum; but it would seem to be the former.

As far as Romney and the conservative base go, I'm content--maybe "resigned" is the better word--to call it a race between three RINOs. The reason I bring it up isn't to re-open that whole can of worms, but rather to point out that Romney has a continuing messaging problem. It's on and off--at the last debate, for example, I thought he did spectacular--but it persists in cases like this. Conservatives like those who regularly attend this conference form a group, and like any group, they need to be reassured that a person they're considering giving their support to is "one of them." It may not be the entirely rational thing to do, but any savvy politician knows they're going to have to be placated regardless. Romney doesn't seem able to do that. And again, stuff like this makes me question just how electable he really is.

ScottDS said...

In, uh, other CPAC news...

...Andrew, as I mentioned in my e-mail, Adam Sandler's buddy Allen Covert showed up to promote some patriotic educational games that he's been working on. I say good for him! But I also say this... hopefully some socons will realize, yes, you can be conservative and make R-rated stoner comedies (Grandma's Boy was surprisingly funny). :-)

I'm only half-joking but you should promote the film book at the next CPAC. I'm sure it costs money to set up a booth but I'd love to tag along, even though I'd probably melt upon entry Raiders-style. :-D

On a more serious note, it'll be interesting to see if Breitbart's promise of Obama videos bears fruit.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Interesting article. I suspect, like in the article he quotes, that a brokered convention would be a total disaster. But I still don't think there's any chance of that happening. Things will start to shake out one direction or the other fairly soon.

Santorum has a good shot in Ohio because he's mega-pandering to unions now and Ohio is a very union place.

tryanmax said...

...but the critics have a point...

Part of the problem, though, is that having any point is no substitute for having a good point. Lacking good points, the pundits run with what they have and get everyone all frothy over the wrong things. Maybe Romney meant "extremely" instead of "severely" or maybe he just uses the word a little differently than most. What's wrong with a "severe conservative" anyway when dealing with obstinate liberals as he did in Massachusetts?

Anyone can spin mountains of meaning from miniscule phrases. Rush et al could have just as easily spun it my way but they chose not to. The trouble Romney faces isn't that he isn't speaking the language of the base. I've heard him speak it quite well on numerous occasions. (And that isn't to say that speaking is any more than it is.) The trouble is that whenever he does speak so, the pundits plug their ears and sing, "La a la la la!"

LawHawkRFD said...

I am a severe conservative. I'm just more severe than Romney.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav.... one word: EGO.

I don't think Newt cares at all about ideology or Romney v. Santorum or Paul or Satan. Newt cares about NEWT! And he really thinks he is the greatest man on the planet.

On the other issue, my point is this...

1. I am totally fine with it if you (or anyone) think Santorum is better than Romney. They are all damaged to one degree or another and if you think Santorum is the least damaged, that is fine. Not a problem.

2. What bothers me is the conservatives who are calling Santorum and Gingrich "genuine conservatives" when they are NOTHING of the sort. How in the world does it help conservatism to say that people who advocate everything we hate are genuine conservatives?

3. Also, what I'm seeing with this "doesn't speak our language" stuff is not a FAIR criticism. It's the kind of groupthink progressives use.

First, 99% of what Romney has said in this election cycle has been solidly conservative. So how can that be wiped out by looking at the occasional off-the-cuff moments -- especially when those aren't substantive comments, they are purely stylistic? That is elevating style over substance.

Secondly, why is it so important with Romney but completely overlooked with the other two?

Newt and Santorum have records that are far worse that Romney including support for the thing everyone considers Romney's great sin. They have also made several statements in this election cycle which should make conservatives cringe. Newt in particular has savaged conservatism by calling its principles "inhuman" and "heartless." And Santorum has blasted "bad capitalism."

Yet, conservatives simply assume these two are conservative, despite the massive evidence to the contrary, and they blow off their verbal attacks on conservatism... at the same time they are LOOKING for insult in Romney's words.

This is what bothers me. None of this is good for conservatism. We are creating an angry echo chamber that falls for stylistic stridency rather than substance. And we are trying to hook our brand to one of two guys whose records are truly anti-conservative. Elect them as RINOs, that's fine, but don't elect them as conservatives.

Not to mention, think about the implication of attacking Romney over his past, but not Newt/Santorum. Basically, the message is "don't bother converting." And the further message is, "once you get the conservative label, there's no need to actually be a conservative."

This is why conservatism is failing. And it has never been highlighted better than this election.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I wonder how much that would cost? I wonder if anyone at CPAC would be interested? I'll bet they wouldn't because activists tend to be very narrowly focused in their lives and don't have a lot of outside interests.

In fact, it was among that activists that I first heard "I've never owned a television and I see no reason to own one." Uh... ok.


I think some people will never accept the idea that you can be conservative and still do an R rated movie. But I think the vast majority of conservatives wouldn't have a problem with it. The vast majority of conservatives are not nearly as uptight as the stereotypes make them out to be... we are not a party of Santorums (or Romney's frankly). We are much more normal than that.

Good point about the Raiders face melt though, I could see that! Though I doubt you would be able to pass the blood screening. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I agree.

I don't think the problem is that Romney is speaking a foreign language, I think the problem is that people want to hear him speaking a foreign language because they already don't like him. So everything he says gets hyper-analyzed and they are pouncing on anything they can find, whether it's substantive or not.

I agree with T-Rav that Romney's attempt to call RomneyCare "fundamentally conservative" was troubling because it calls into question his believes. Harping on the word "severely" however, shows not a possible flaw in Romney's thinking but a desire to find one.

I would suspect he either meant "extremely" and just picked the wrong word (something we've all done) or he rammed together two thoughts: "severely limited in my powers in Mass but still extremely conservative". That's something else we've done.

These people are under a constant public scrutiny. And when it gets to the point that we are attacking someone for one or two sentences uttered in 4 years, then something is wrong with our criteria.

Not to mention, the proper response, if there is a problem, is to ask for clarification, not to just jump to the assumption that this is bad.

If he had been asked what he meant and he said, "I view conservatism as a severe and unpleasant philosophy," then I would have a problem with him. But right now, the assumption is being made without anyone bothering to ask what was really meant.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I like to think of myself as a severist. ;)

rlaWTX said...

"are you a neo-con, paleo-con, so-con, or a fis-con?"
"I'm a severist con."

Asker's head explodes.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, LOL! We have found a new weapon to use against questioners! :)

Of course, then we'll branch off into neo-severists and so-severists and finally SINOs.

Tennessee Jed said...

I think we have an electorate in this country which largely does not take the time to thoroughly educate themselves on issues and candidates. Couple that with a sound bite "McNews Media" and too many people get swayed by the last argument they hear.

There are a lot of folks saying, if it is such and such who gets the nomination, I swear I'll never vote for him . . . I'll just stay home. I think most will get past that feeling, but the bad news is, we need all of them to get over it, not just some.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, We are definitely in a political environment now where people base their decisions on soundbites. That's very bad for conservatives because soundbites are the medium of con-men and they are the most skilled at using and abusing them. Also, conservatism requires thoughtful consideration. Soundbites favor liberalism.

tryanmax said...

Sev-con has a nice ring to it.

Andrew, referring to the second point in your comment at 1:02: More people should find it troubling that Romney is the only candidate (besides Paul) cozying up to conservatism. Newt's "heartless" statement and Santorum's "bad capitalist" comments only serve to distance the candidates from the philosophy (even if there is some truth to Santorum's remark). They are basically saying, "Yeah, yeah, I'm conservative, but let's keep it down."

Romney may be in terms of record a RINO like the rest (and even that requires a particular perspective) but he is the only one trying to shed that moniker.

patti said...

politico is sizing up the republicans winners and losers with a typical liberal slant. i'm surprised they didn't give everyone a "participants trophy" just for showing up at CPAC.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's another solid point.

1. Romney is the only one trying to prove that he's had a genuine conversion to conservatism. Newt and Santorum are resting on their false laurels and are actively attacking conservatives. Shouldn't that be setting off huge warning bells for conservatives?

And these attacks are much more blatant than Bush saying "compassionate conservative." These are supposed conservatives using liberal smears to actively slander our philosophy. Why are we concerned about Romney, but not the other two?

It seems to me we are worried about the minnow when the whale is about to eat us.

2. If the idea in attacking Romney (as many have articulated) is to "make him more conservative." Then why aren't we doing the same things to Newt and Santorum on the issues on which they are bad.

I am very worried that conservatives are about to hand their flag to someone who opposes almost everything they believe in and who is actively calling us names just because they don't like the guy who is promising to be loyal.

AndrewPrice said...

Patti, Isn't that the truth. Politico can absolutely be relied upon to provide the liberal view on everything.

Unfortunately, many conservatives are parroting their views.

Ed said...

Unrelated topic. Did anyone see that bin Laden told his kids to go to America and get an education? What a hypocrite!

CrisD said...

I'm a little late to the party today, Andrew.

I agree with you 100% but with the clarification that as I personally have no objection to severe conservatives (and in fact would be complimented to be described as one)
I think I understand why there is an objection to wording like this. Remember GHWB's kinder gentler conservative remark? Romney is under a microscope and it follows that he would get this kind of negative feedback for it. (PS. I think Romney is the logical choice for Pres. so I hope I am being fairly objective here).

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I did indeed see that. Stunning isn't it? So much for his belief that he's doing the right thing.

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, Thanks! So you're a Sev-Con?! :)

I really do understand the concern. As a conservative, it is troubling that someone who has acted like a moderate in the past now claims to be a conservative and then occasionally uses "our" words in ways which sound wrong. That calls into question whether they really are a conservative or whether they are just faking to win us over.

BUT...

This doesn't explain conservatives completely overlooking the anti-conservatism of the other candidates. Like I said above, it would be one thing to argue: "they're all RINOs and I think Ricky the RINOs is better than RINO Mitt." But that's not what's going on here.

Instead, conservatives are saying Romney is a RINO because he sounds like a RINO stylistically (they ignore his substance, which is highly conservative) and therefore I will support the "genuine conservative" Newt/Santorum, neither of whom can be called anything approaching "conservative."

Indeed, Santorum is W with an anger problem and a little further left economic plan. Newt is an egomanic who can swing from wildly conservative to wildly liberal to just crazy all in the same sentence. And both have actively told us in this cycle that they oppose things that are very dear to the hearts of conservatives.

This is horrible for the future of conservatism. If I were a moderate asking what conservatism means, my answer looking at Santorum and Newt would be:

1. Hatred of gays and abortion.
2. Big government spending and handouts.
3. Cronyism.
4. Foreign adventuring.
5. Unionism.
6. Opposition to capitalism.
7. Amensty for illegals.

And then I would start looking at the Libertarians as the only genuine alternative because the list above would not make me want to support conservatives.

CrisD said...

Andrew,
Just let me say "Wow, Okay!!" Seriously, Santorum and Newt are RINO stinkers for sure. Love your breakdown.

But I gotta say ;) ----I am simply talking about Romney's words and reviewing them, as I do, that he is probably still the front runner...that is: it was a mistake to use the phrase "severe" as if there is a "gentle" and a "severe" conservative!! It's funny to me and, as I said, I really DON'T CARE but he is touching on a sore subject. As if we conservatives want to pollute the water starve little children or whatever it was that Obama had said a short time back.

Bottom line Romney will get the message (if he hasn't already). He is a smart guy that way.

I'm OK watching this even though it is a hot mess. However, I will develop SEVERE anxiety when they start up debates again! lol !

AndrewPrice said...

Cris, I agree.

It is an area about which conservatives are touchy because liberals smear conservatives as not caring and being not compassionate. But I see this word as much less important than Newt saying conservatives are "heartless" or "inhuman." To me, that's a much, much greater offense.

I also think Romney will learn from this and won't repeat the mistake. He's good at not making the same mistake twice. I can't say the same for the others.

Yeah, the debates. Ug. Sadly, there are more debates coming up soon.

rlaWTX said...

more debates? I propose we ask them my question!!! It might get messy with all of the brain matter flying about...

We (here on this fantastic site) have been discussing the Republican knee-jerk flee from anything that sounds "mean". R's got their feelings hurt so became "compassionate cons" [com-con? they have conventions, don't they?]. Now R's're tossing "mean" around when "sensible" or "tough love" might be more fair and appropriate.

All of this - added to some crap at work - leads me to believe that folks need to get over themselves and start acting like grown-ups instead of whiny 15yo girls or snarky 14yo boys!!!!!

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Com-cons?! LOL! Soon we'll have Romney-cons or Rom-Cons v. Santorum-cons, Santa-cons.

I like the idea of asking that question and hearing them all struggle to answer. How do you pander to everyone? "I'm a Paleo-neo-genuo-com-con with non-con severist tendencies."

I think heads would begin to explode!

All of this leads me to believe that folks need to get over themselves and start acting like grown-ups instead of whiny 15yo girls or snarky 14yo boys!!!!!

I couldn't agree more.

Ed said...

Rom-cons v. Santa-coms. That sounds like a boardgame!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, It does start to sound that way doesn't it? And at some point, Comic-Con has to come into this. ;)

T-Rav said...

The President in a future movie: "Call NORAD. Tell them to go to Sev-Con One." (cue dramatic music)

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I would shell out money to go to CPAC if you were to set up a booth and start hawking your book. :-)

While I don't like Romney, I agree that if we're going to examine every aspect of his past, Newt and Santorum should get the same treatment. Gingrich already has, to some extent, and I suspect Rick will too very soon. The results of the CPAC straw poll may be evidence that it's already happening--although if that's the case, I don't know if the trickle-down effect will occur before Michigan.

Santorum is riding high right now not only because of last week's victories, but also the flap over contraception and the Church, which has made the social-conservative platform temporarily relevant again. How long that lasts, I don't know.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, And if they're trying to order a surrender, they go to "Lib-con One." :(

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I think he will do very well in the rust belt because of his union stuff. That plays well up there.

I think you're right he's riding high because of the contraception stuff and I don't know how long that will last or if it's already fading? It's hard to tell, but one thing seems to be true: by the time the media notices a trend, it's usually already over.

I'll have to think about the CPAC thing, but it might be fun. Let's get the book finished first and see how things go! :)

tryanmax said...

I think part of the reason why Mitt is getting "the treatment" so much now is that the pundits and talkers are playing catch-up for all those months they let him fly low as the "inevitable candidate." It's not really a problem except that the media only seems capable of scrutinizing one candidate at a time. The weird side-effect is that they end up running cover for everyone not on the $#!+list this week.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think it's more about trying to seem more conservative than everyone else. They all know that Romney is not a conservative and they know conservatives are up in arms. So it's very safe to oppose him because that "proves" you're a conservative.

And of course, the leftists like the idea of a long term fight because that helps Obama.

Individualist said...

Andrew

So its Santa and the GinGrinch versus the Rom gypsy

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, That's about what it's come down to. And that is rather frustrating. What should have been a coronation for the next Reagan has turned into a clown-fight. Ugh.

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