Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Candidates' Achile's Heels
Barack Hussein Obama is as dismal a failure of an American President as there ever was. On virtually all counts, with the possible exception of the Bin Ladin take-down, B-Zero gets subterranean grades. On virtually every issue he is dead wrong...180 degrees off the mark. As a result, he'll be running away from his abysmal record, not on it, in this year's election, while blaming Republicans and the rich for the sorry state of the union under his watch. In fact, Obama is so mistrusted and so out of steam with the constituencies he depended on to win in '08, that, all things being equal, and without some major miracle between now and November, the First Dude is a virtual slam-dunk for the pension pile where he'll spend the next 30 years speaking to lap dog liberals for exorbitant fees culled mostly from public coffers, to re-write his disastrous record of nation-wrecking.
But all things aren't equal. The Democrat global progressives have the media in the tank. That's gotta be good for 20 points for Obama. They have corrupt unions that pump millions into his coffers and more importantly, drag reluctant Obama voters to the polls. They even have Wall Street cronies and hapless Hollywood half-wits spreading the Obama bilge for them. They could spend as much as a billion bucks to put their reluctant puppet emperor back on his throne. And since the Commander In Cheat has no record to run on, virtually every penny of it will be spent on the biggest smear campaign against the challenger, whoever it is, that the world has ever seen. But in all this I digress.
So where are the GOP hopefuls vulnerable? Let's focus on the 4 remaining contenders:
RICK SANTORUM: has about as solid a conservative record as one can muster in the US Congress. He's made some unfortunate compromises along the way, and is a relatively big spender, but nothing that would jettison his Christian Conservative core. He is the single most outspoken advocate for traditional family values remaining in the race, articulating well the connection between morality, liberty, and prosperity. This is a strength with values voters, but however rational, it scares the bejeebers out of less rational moderates and almost all social liberals who somehow fear a theocratic coups from the "far right." That's a "flaw" that will hurt him badly in the more moderate states and more significantly, in the general election. Santorum has been protecting his heels by focusing on jobs--particularly in manufacturing--and by taking a states rights approach to most social questions. It's a smart tactic but won't be enough to assuage his critics. His Washington insider history is a soft-downer, but won't factor for most Americans, and for me, personally, his inclination to use the tax code selectively to favor some industries or enterprises over others, is a colossal Constitutional error. Can anyone say "equal justice under the law?"
RON PAUL: I have officially endorsed Ron Paul as the one genuine article in the Race for the Presidency. Paul has been Paul for four decades. He's the most consistent, uncompromising champion of the the Constitution, the proper role of government, and equal justice under the law in modern times. And he has an unimpeachable record to show for it. Ron will continue to factor because of his strong base of libertarian and military support. He is almost always right! But the country has drifted so far left that his Foundational brand of Constitutional Americanism is virtually unrecognizable by the rank and file US voter. While he is gaining unprecedented ground in the arena of ideas, he'll remain too far out of the mainstream to be electable in this cycle. But his clout in the GOP should increase enough to influence the party platform and hopefully, future republican (small R) policy.
NEWT GINGRICH: I've long been a fan of Newt's rapier tongue and incomparable ability to articulate the conservative view. Gingrich has big ideas...original ideas...provocative ideas grounded, generally in the bedrock of sound conservative thought and a respect for America's singular history. As a Presidential contender, he brings the right kind of "insider" credentials. He was on the right side of the Reagan Revolution. He led the 1994 GOP sweep to Congressional victory on the strength of his Contract with America ending over 40 years of Democrat rule in the Nation's Capital.
But as Newt has so ably demonstrated in the campaign so far, he's far more mouth than method. He may make a great Debater In Chief, but he's also volatile and unpredictable. What evidence is there to suggest he'd be an effective Chief Executive? His temperament is inconsistent and his rhetoric, often divisive. We like the fire in the belly, but wonder what's fueling it? Pure vanity? Personal gain? Or a genuine desire to serve? He's turned on free enterprise and investment capital. He's supported a FEDERAL healthcare mandate and conditional amnesty for illegals. He shared the global warming couch with Nancy Pelosi. Newt wears his Christian conversion on his sleeve, and that's admirable, but his past is tainted with Clintonesque sleaze. Beyond all that, he has failed to lead a consistent and effective campaign--even failing to get his name on the ballot in multiple states. Does this reflect the executive skill to lead a nation out of decline? For me, it simply does not.
MITT ROMNEY: I've been slow to rally to the Romney camp. Mitt's measured pace and stuffed-shirt image have been off-putting, even to me, a fellow-Mormon. I think Romney has squandered numerous opportunities to strut his stuff on the economy and show some real leadership. But he's been milktoast at best--too often remaining all but silent. At one point, he defended TARP. He has a checkered record when it comes to abortion and healthcare. And his campaign's assaults on Gingrich have been occasionally unfair.
Yet, I'm seeing in Romney the qualities of leadership I can admire. His message is one of American restoration. He seems committed to the right ends--reduction in the size of the federal government, state-centered solutions and autonomy, sound fiscal policy with a view toward restoring America's economic strength--built upon the right libertarian means. Romney is a problem solver--an organizer--an effective and successful Chief Executive with the record to prove it. His campaign reflects these strengths. He's well organized, financially strong, and applies his resources effectively, when and where needed to WIN! As a fellow Latter-day Saint, I know something about his governing values and have confidence in his personal integrity and character. I believe Mitt Romney can be trusted with the levers of power, that he'll act in the interest of the People and not for personal gain, and that he's fundamentally more "conservative" than his detractors might have you suppose. Romney has also grown in this campaign. He's articulating a positive vision and advancing it with more passion. He may not be the perfect candidate, but in the absence of a true Reagan conservative, I believe Mitt Romney IS the man for our time.