Watching the debate last night, I was pleased to see Mitt Romney give the President a royal thrashing. However, the candidate who emerged was the candidate who we all thought was there in the first place: The Massachusetts Moderate.
We heard the Governor advocate for cosmetic changes to the tax code when a full scale Extreme Home Makeover is called for. He repeatedly promised not to cut and not to touch things which he’ll have to touch. And social conservatives were left in the position of bowing and scraping to praise Romney for his brief references to religious freedom and acknowledging that the Declaration of Independence contains a right to life. This was noted by Politico who interviewed Former Congressman and Presidential Candidate Tom Tancredo (R-Co.):
“That’s where his comfort zone is. It seems apparent that he was, he wanted to talk about it because he feels comfortable with it,” Tancredo said. “I expected it, not surprised by it. I was for Santorum during the primaries for that reason. But now, who cares?”
Beating Obama, Tancredo said, is now more important than worrying about Romney’s positions.
“I am certainly a partisan and certainly a committed activist, but getting rid of Obama overwhelms everything,” he said. “We can’t worry now about the nettlesome aspects of Romney’s positions on some things.”
And Tancredo is exactly right. Conservatives had a chance to worry about Romney’s nettlesome issues and conservatives allowed Romney to get nominated because the movement could be divided into broad groups: knaves and wimps.
So many conservatives spent time insisting that the only possible candidate was Rick Perry or Newt Gingrich long after the time it became clear they jumped the shark. There was the well-trained conservative “circular firing squad” that in acts of selfish ambition, cut down and ripped apart any conservative who got close to challenging Romney in hopes that their guy could someday do it. Conservatives brilliantly managed to get the guy they liked least for the second straight cycle.
But as Tancredo indicated, that’s over with. Conservatives have Romney because they blew it. Primary elections have consequences and Mitt Romney is that consequence. He is who he is and if conservatives get him elected, it will be conservatives job to hold his feet to the fire.
There are three big reasons conservatives should vote for Romney:
Taken a Chance on Mitt to Avoid a Fiscal Meltdown:We are facing fiscal problems that are really going to come to a head in the next term, There is a chance that Mitt Romney will do something about this avalanche of debt, there is no chance that President Obama will. We are talking the difference between certain financial oblivion and maybe a shot at avoiding it.
The Ten Million Life Gamble: When I take a look at Presidential Candidates, I take a look at the Supreme Court because I’m very strongly pro-life. Right now, the Supreme Court is at a tipping point on abortion. It’s possible and perhaps probable the next President could appoint two Justices to the Supreme Court that could reconsider Roe. Romney-appointed Justices will be far more likely to vote to return abortion to the states, allowing states to ban abortion. I could imagine states passing laws that could on average prevent 250,000-500,000 abortions per year. If Obama is able to appoint judges. Roe will stand up longer, maybe two decades where the status quo will prevail. Some pro-lifers may be willing to gamble 5-10 million unborn lives on being able to get a better President in 2016, I’m not.
Lest a Worse Thing Come on You: The reason Mitt Romney is the nominee is the knavery and gutlessness of many conservatives, particularly conservatives who listen to sage establishment advice on what candidates are electable when no non-incumbent establishment Republican candidate has won the national popular vote since Nixon in 1968. Unfortunately, I don’t think conservatives are any smarter or braver after the last debacle. All ready the establishment has Chris Christie lined up as the next candidate of the Eastern establishment. Remember, there were conservatives who thought we would do better if McCain lost? Look how that worked out.
In the end, Romney may be a moderate but he doesn’t have an agenda of repressing religious freedom, playing risking games with national security, and leading a relentless assault on individual liberty. Conservatives could have done better than Romney candidacy, but they could do much worse than a Romney presidency, and if Romney loses, they probably will.