This might seem an absurd debate at first glance — a Massachusetts moderate Republican vs an outright Socialist (possibly an actual Marxist).
“Of course, we should vote for Romney if that’s the choice. What are you talking about, Ben? This should be slam-dunk obvious.”
That’s what most of us would think. But that conclusion might not be correct if the goal is to save America — not after a thorough analysis.
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of allowing Obama to win if Mitt is the nominee.
FIRST, the case AGAINST allowing Obama to win if Mitt is the GOP nominee.
1) Not allowing Obama to get two more Supreme Court picks.
This is a powerful argument, and probably carries the day. A Supreme Court packed with hardcore leftists will undo just about anything a conservative President and Congress would want to do, even long after Obama is out of office.
2) Not allowing Obama to pack the rest of the federal courts with hardcore Leftists.
Most court rulings are never heard by the Supreme Court. Whatever the lower courts rule stand in most cases. So a federal judiciary packed with hardcore leftists would be a major disaster for America — would take decades to undo if all goes perfectly after another four years of Obama.
3) Not allowing Obama to have another four more years to fully implement ObamaCare.
Obama is right now building 159 brand new government agencies to administer ObamaCare and is hiring 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce ObamaCare. The longer ObamaCare stands, the harder it will be to undo. Soviet-style ObamaCare is the single gravest threat to liberty our country has ever faced.
4) Not allowing Obama to have another four years of total control over the regulatory bureaucracy of the federal government.
Most law is not written by Congress, but by the regulatory agencies. Regulations and executive orders carry the force of law, unless Congress specifically acts to block them. Obama can achieve many of his socialist objectives through regulations and executive orders. And he’s doing just that.
4) Not giving Obama another four years to set up a dictatorship.
Obama has shown repeatedly that he has no respect for Congress, our Constitution, or liberty. When Congress doesn’t give him what he wants, he announces boldly that he’ll just go around Congress with regulations and executive orders.
He announced that he would no longer enforce federal immigration law, that he would no longer deport illegal immigrants unless they commit additional felonies. He is ordering all of us to pay for abortion pills as part of ObamaCare, even if we are pro-life (a feature that is not in the ObamaCare law, but that he just decrees). If he can do this, he can also order us to buy Obama Volts. There’s no limit to what he can do.
He has made no secret for his admiration of Hugo Chavez and other leftist dictators. The longer he’s in power, the graver the threat to our Constitutional Republic (even though most Republicans don’t do such a good job following the Constitution either).
ARGUMENT SUMMARIZED: Mitt is awful, but at least he likes America, isn’t an outright Socialist (or worse). Obama (who doesn’t like America much) is just too dangerous to leave in office for a day longer than absolutely necessary. The most permanent damage Obama can inflict is with his court appointments. But there are many other ways he can inflict permanent damage on America.. Another four years of Obama is just too risky.
NOW, the case for letting Obama have another four years if Mitt is the GOP nominee.
1) Romney will wreck the conservative brand.
Voters need to be presented a real choice — two different visions for America’s future. If the choice seems to be Obama vs Obama Lite, the country will still be getting some version of Obamaism. We’ll still be heading Leftward.
Conservatism needs to be about restoring the Constitution — not “managing the decay,” as Newt put it when he described what Mitt would likely do.
Mitt Romney is simply unable to articulate a conservative message. He just can’t do it. Sometimes he tries, flailing badly, like when he told the audience in his CPAC speech that he is “severely conservative.”
Who uses the adjective “severely” to describe a political philosophy?
That’s an adjective you use to describe a head wound.
Or when Mitt tried to appeal to conservatives by saying “I don’t care about the poor.”
All Mitt did here was reinforce a liberal caricature of conservatives — that we don’t care about the poor. We do care about the poor. We believe conservative economic and social policies are best for the poor.
When Mitt tries to sound like a conservative (his distorted view of what he thinks conservatives sound like) he ends up just sounding silly — and not really conservative at all.
Mitt’s content-free campaign has been little more than vacuous platitudes strung together. He says “I love America” a lot. When he runs out of things to say, he’ll break out into song with his rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
But he’s not nearly as good a singer as Obama.
Mitt’s main reason for running for President seems to be just that he wants to be President.
He is pretty good at tearing his opponents down with millions of dollars of attack ads. He ran 65 ads in Florida to every 1 ad Newt ran. 99.5 percent of Mitt’s ads were attack ads against Newt. He outspent Rick Santorum 48 to 1 in Minnesota, but still lost.
Mitt’s main campaign message appears to be: The other guy’s even worse than me.
Mitt wrecks the conservative brand.
2) Romney will continue the trajectory of America toward a European-style welfare state, albeit at a slower pace.
Nothing in Mitt Romney’s public life (or his 59 point economic plan) suggests he will change the trajectory of America toward a European-style socialistic welfare states.
His 59-point economic plan cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% (highest in the industrialized world) to 25% (what it is in many European countries).
So that doesn’t do much. It does a little, just not much.
His big spending cut plan is to slash 5% from discretionary federal spending. But discretionary spending is only about 15 percent of the budget. So 5% of that is, well, a joke.
Romney’s 59-point economic plan tweaks things around the edges, makes modest improvements over what we have now. But you wouldn’t notice much difference if all 59 points were passed into law.
3) In two years, voters will start punishing the GOP for not changing America’s direction.
Remember what happened to Republicans in 2006 and 2008, after six and eight years of spending like liberals and turning budget surpluses into big deficits. It was waterloo for the GOP both in Congressional and the Presidential elections.
Expect the same in 2014 and 2016 — after nothing much seems to change under Mitt’s timid tenure.
4) There’s little chance Romney will really repeal ObamaCare.
How can the father of ObamaCare, Mitt Romney’s RomneyCare in Massacusetts, be taken seriously when he promises to repeal ObamaCare? And how will he win any debating points with Obama on this issue?
Obama will just say: “I modeled my plan after yours in Massachusetts, Mitt.”
Romney’s top domestic policy advisers have already been saying that repealing ObamaCare at this point is unlikely. Not quite the commitment we are looking for and that will be necessary to get rid of this horror that’s now sinking its tentacles into every area of American life.
5) Romney’s court picks are not likely to be so good either.
Romney’s state court picks in Massachusetts were mostly Democrats — I think all Democrats. Why would we expect anything different now.
Mostly likely, Romney will pick moderates for the court in the mold of Sandra Day O’Conner and Anthony Kennedy, but he might well pick a Democrat just to show how bipartisan and open-minded he is — how post-partisan.
6) Mitt will pack his Administration with moderates and people who loathe movement conservatives.
Personnel is policy in government.
There are no conservatives in Mitt’s inner-circle now. There’s no reason to think he’ll appoint conservatives to key positions (or any positions) in his Administration.
Mitt has never been involved in the Conservative Movement on any level. None of his close friends are conservative. He used to call himself a progressive, used to say he doesn’t want to go back to the days of Ronald Reagan — borderline used to ridicule Reagan.
He only started calling himself a conservative when he decided too run for the Republican Presidential nomination. Until then, he insisted he was a progressive.
He still defends RomneyCare and even recently insisted he believes in indexing minimum wage increases to inflation — showing he really does not believe in free-market economics. Next step, I suppose for Mitt, is to reinstitute wage and price controls.
7) If conservative ideas and principles are not sellable to a majority of voters, America is doomed anyway.
The GOP Establishment always pushes moderates to the fore in elections because they don’t really believe in the conservative philosophy of government. As George Bush the father once put it: “I’m a conservative, but I’m not a nut about it.”
Or if the GOP Establishment does believe in conservatism, they are persuaded that real conservatism just won’t sell to the electorate. It has to be watered down.
But if you really believe that, really believe that conservative ideas and principles just won’t sell to voters, there’s no real point in fighting these election battles anyway.
If there’s really no chance of changing the direction of the country back toward the Constitution, then there’s really no hope. Elections then become a choice between riding the Fast Train to Socialism or the Slower Train to Socialism.
Either way, we end up in the same place.
If that’s the choice, I’d rather spend my time enjoying my remaining days in this life and not worrying much about these political fights.
But Reagan taught us that voters will buy unvarnished, undiluted conservatism. Bob Dole, John McCain, and Bush senior taught us that voters reject Republicans when they start acting more like Democrats. If you’re going to act like Democrats, voters might as well go with real Democrats.
8) The frog in boiling water argument.
If a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out; but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. The frog doesn’t notice the gradual change in temperature.
The same may be true with voters. Most Americans are not much noticing the gradual loss of freedom — are even willing to trade their freedoms for false promises of security.
ObamaCare has not kicked in yet, won’t fully kick in until 2014. So many Americans today are thinking ObamaCare’s not such a disaster, might not be so bad after all.
It’s quite possible America needs another four years of Obamaism to fully understand what losing freedom means. Then, perhaps, Americans will want to get freedom back — after experiencing the water boiling.
America is over either way — with Obama or Mitt. Might as well make it really over, and fast, so we can start afresh after Obama.
9) Sending a message to the GOP Establishment to serve up better candidates.
If the GOP Establishment keeps serving up candidates like Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, what’s the point of the GOP?
It would do the GOP good if we just said: “No, we’re not going along with these kinds of candidates anymore.”
Better to launch a third party than to keep putting up with this mediocrity.
THE BOTTOM LINE: On balance, I think it’s better to do everything in our power to make sure Obama does not get another four years in office, even if Mitt is the GOP nominee. But not much better.
If Mitt is the nominee, I suppose I’ll vote for him (as opposed to voting Third Party or writing in someone else). The alternative (Obama) is just too scary, too much of a risk. We might be able to recover from Mediocre Mitt. Hard to see how America recovers from four more years of Obama.
How sad it is that this is the best that we can say about Mitt: He’ll be awful, just not quite as awful as Obama.
In the meantime, let’s do everything possible to nominate Rick.
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