Ten Things You Should Do If You’re An “Anybody But Mitt” Republican, And One You Should Not

Let’s say, hypothetically, for just a moment here, that some of the pundits are right – that Romney’s landslide victory in Florida means he really might be inevitable.

I’ve heard more than a few of you Newt and Paul supporters out there; “If Romney wins, I’m staying home on election day”.

While I’m not especially passionate about Romney just yet, I’ll reiterate what an awful idea this is.  Don’t go there, people.

I’ve got ten suggestions for much more-productive responses.

  1. Keep things in perspective – Forget Gingrich’s Alinskiite rhetoric for a moment; Romney’s not a “liberal”.  Remember William F. Buckley’s advice – “Vote for the most conservative person who can win?”  Romney was the most conservative person who could win…in Massachusetts.  He was the most conservative person who could make any headway against a Massachusetts legislature that made Ted Kennedy look like Michele Bachmann.  Is he the most conservative candidate who could win in a nationwide general election?  Perhaps, perhaps not.  But if not?  We’ll come back to that.  The point being, he’s not just “not a liberal” – on economics, which is what really matters in this election, he’s conservative enough.  And for the rest?  Well, we’ll get back to that down the list a ways.
  2. Relax.  Take a deep breath.  The world doesn’t begin or end with this nomination.  Or even with this election. Even if Romney is as bad as some of you claim, this nation has survived worse.  Hell, we’re surviving worse right now.  Focus, people; getting Obama out of office is the key – and while some of you reject incrementalism (and I reject the idea that Romney is especially incremental, and even if he is – well, we’ll get back to that below), sometimes it’s all you got, and you gotta deal with it, and when you gotta deal with it, you want the increments to move in the right direction.  Romney’s not perfect, but he’s the right direction – and, I suggest, not just a little.
  3. Remember The Positive Influence You Do Have - The caucuses and primaries aren’t over.  We’re seven months away from the convention – and three months away from the state conventions that will empanel the delegates.  This isn’t a done deal yet.  I can live with Romney – maybe even better – but I’m caucusing for…I dunno, probably Santorum on Tuesday.  Not that I’m thrilled with Santorum, either, but I want Mitt and his supporters to know that to win me (and, I hope, millions like me) that he’s going to have to be more aggressively conservative than he has been acting.
  4. Go Shooting. It’s great stress relief.  It focuses the mind.  And it shows Romney – and Obama – that you can’t whiz on the Second Amendment.  It’s a threefer.
  5. Remember The Alternative - You think four more years of Obama would be better than four to eight of Romney?  There’s a caveat to this, of course – more below.
  6. No, Remember The Real Alternative  - I hear those among you who say you’ll sit this election out.  ”If the party loses because they didn’t go conservative enough for me, it’ll teach them a lesson”.   That’s not only groaningly solipsistic – it’s not, after all, all about you – it’s also just not the way political parties and organizations work.  I’ve said it a few times in the past few weeks, and I’m going to keep saying it until y’all get it right; Political parties don’t “learn lessons” – they reflect the will of those who show up.  And if conservatives – and all you libertarian Ron Paul supporters – don’t show up, then the “establishment wins.  And don’t be yapping about “voting Libertarian”, because…
  7. Third Parties Are to “Parties” What Near Beer Is To Beer. Let’s be honest; if you are a conservative or a libertarian, the GOP is the only chance you have to actually affect policy for real.  The Libertarian, Constitution and Conservative parties are futile, vote-wasting protest actions at best,  intellectual onanism at worst.  None of them will ever, ever, ever, ever affect the way policy is enacted in this country.  Ever.  And I say that as someone who not only sincerely wishes they could, but worked for it as a Libertarian Party member.  And remember – you, the conservative and libertarian and Tea Partier, have had a huge effect already; four years ago, Romney was defending himself against charges he was “too conservative”; today, it’s the opposite.  This is a good thing.  You – we – have moved the needle in the GOP.  ”But it hasn’t moved far enough and fast enough!”, you say?  Suck it up, little camper, and put down the TV remote; political parties don’t change like one of those jump cuts in an NFL game of the week.  It takes time, patience and effort.  Hell, it took Ronald Reagan and Barry Goldwater close to 20 years to change the GOP, and even that didn’t stick.
  8. Be Honest: Campaign rhetoric is one thing – real records, and their context, are much more useful.  Romney needs to be kept honest – i.e, conservative – and we have the power to do that (see, again, below), but it’s not like we’re trying to reform Che Guevara, here.
  9. Numbers Count:  Remember Buckley’s Commandment from earlier in the post?  ”Elect the most conservative candidate who can win?”  Newt’s negatives shouldn’t be the dispositive factor in this nomination, but you might wanna be mindful of the fact that 60% of the American people would rather have Slobodan Milosevic for President.  And Ron Paul is a shoe-in in the4 general – so say his supporters.  Who are, so far, 1/6-1/10 of the GOP.  If he can’t win the GOP, I’m at a loss for how he has even a faint shot at the general.  I’d love to hear a Ronulan spell out a case that leads Paul to the White House that doesn’t include the phrase “and then Ron Paul convinces everyone that he’s ideal”.  Honestly – I’d love to hear it.  Rand Paul might be another story, and there, I’m all ears – but that’s the future.  As far as I”m concerned, for right now the electoral world ends in November.  Focus.
  10. Checks, Balances. So what if the GOP had no candidate at all, and we were looking at a victory for Obama by default today?  What would you be doing now, all you good conservatives?  Working to make sure the conservatives hold the House and take the Senate?  OK – so let’s say Romney really is as bad as  you all want us to believe he is.  And let’s say he’s inevitable.  Your choices then are “stay home” or “do what you’d do if Obama was going to win – try to negate his power and influence by taking control of Congress”.  Why, precisely, should you not then be working to flip the Senate and extend our lead in the House/  Because the opportunity is there, folks, to not just flip Congress completely against either Obama or a hypothetical “moderate” Romney, but flip it to a version of the GOP that, so far, has been pretty Beltway-proof, and fairly dedicated to the mission for which they were sent to GOP by the Tea Party and a newly-resurgent conservative movement in the first place; to govern like conservatives.  Keeping them that way is our job.  Provided we don’t “stay home” and “teach everyone a lesson”.  Because the only “lesson” you “teach” by staying home is that you’re unreliable and marginal.  Don’t be that.
Or you can stay home.  Your call.

22 thoughts on “Ten Things You Should Do If You’re An “Anybody But Mitt” Republican, And One You Should Not

  1. Sorry, no sale.

    The choice between Obama and Obamney is like choosing between death by firing squad and death by asphyxiation. One’s quicker than the other but you wind up just as dead.

    Look at how the man governed Massachusetts. Look at his support for gay marriage, his judicial choices in Massachusetts, authoring the forerunner to Obamacare and Stormin’ Norman Coleman’s statement this week that Myth wouldn’t repeal all of Obamacare.

    How is any of that conservative or commendable? Why should any conservative support it?

    The key is Congress. We must have both houses, so staying home is not an option. We have to elect down-ticket conservatives, and I mean real ones, to hold whoever is elected President accountable.

    However, if Romney is the nominee I will leave the Presidential line on my ballot blank with a clear conscience and my head held high.

  2. It gets back to this. If it was Romney vs Clinton, maybe stay home, elect a Republican congress, and see if you can move Clinton to the center.

    But Obama has shown to be an extreme leftwing anti-American. Look at his assualt on the Catholic church. And we will have SCUS openings soon. Romney, like far too many Republicans, may pick someone from the center-left, but Obama would pick someone from the hard left.

    Look at how many Carter judges are still in the federal system.

  3. Flagg….the only positive I can see about Obama winning in November is that we should have more 2010 style elections. People fed up with the left wing power grab, that Republicans get elected everywhere else. 2014 should be a good year for the center-right.

  4. “However, if Romney is the nominee I will leave the Presidential line on my ballot blank with a clear conscience and my head held high.”

    I live in Minnesota, so regardless of the GOP nominee, does it really matter who I write-in in the general election?

    At least a write-in for Mrs. K-Rod is a verification that my vote was counted.

  5. Flagg,

    Your conscience may be clear, but I’m not so sure about your thinking.

    If the Republicans control the Congress, they can thwart much of what a second Obama administration might want to do. But to enact any beneficial policy changes, they would need resolute, veto-proof majorities. What are the chances of that happening?

    And as Chuck mentioned, the other issue that matters a lot is control of the Supreme Court. Kennedy and Scalia are getting up there in age. Do you want Barack Obama to pick their replacements? Or would you like to take your chances with Cass Sunstein on the Court?

    Romney leaves a lot to be desired, but there’s at least a chance he’ll do the right thing. He’ll have to at least listen to your concerns. Obama won’t.

  6. I got kinda pissed at Romney because of his attack ads against Newt. We need solidarity to show up and take away left wing chanting points. Further, I’m still concerned about Romney’s stance on gun control.

    I firmly believe that despite his flaws, Newt is the best candidate at thinking on his feet and delivering direct answers. I agree that Paul hasn’t got a chance and will only siphon votes away from the GOP. Santorum still scares me and I don’t know what it is, but that sense has served me well during my life time.

    That said, I kinda have to agree with you, Mitch. If the best we can get ends up being Romney, I’ll vote for him.

  7. OK if I go to the driving range instead? Same idea. Firing spherical projectiles at a target.

  8. I got kinda pissed at Romney because of his attack ads against Newt.

    You mean the one where he accused Newt Gingrich of forcing Holocaust survivors to eat non-Kosher meals?

  9. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. If Romney wins the nomination, we have to suck it up. The alternative is bankruptcy – moral and financial. If Obama wins again it’s time to punt and play defense.

  10. If the Republicans control the Congress, they can thwart much of what a second Obama administration might want to do. But to enact any beneficial policy changes, they would need resolute, veto-proof majorities. What are the chances of that happening?

    Agreed, it always astounds me that more people don’t think about how the political landscape is changing and how that may affect future elections. Right now, we have less than half the country paying any federal income taxes (although many pay payroll and State taxes) and that affects incentives when they turn out to vote. Same thing with elderly voters who fight to protect “their” Social Security and Medicare. What do they think is going to happen if ObamaCare is left in place and another 25 plus million people become dependent on the federal government for their health insurance?

    It’s critical to repeal and replace this unless you want the GOP to fully morph into the Tory Party or the Canadian Conservative Party. The only way that is going to happen is electing a Republican President and giving Republicans enough of a majority in the House and Senate to pass a bill to repeal that the next President will sign. It was true at the beginning of the primary season and it will be just as true in November on Election Day.

  11. Which political factions in this country was served by the loss of McCain-Palin in 2008?
    The GOP? Nope. Values conservatives? Nope. Libertarians? Nope.
    It was Democrats, Big Labor, enviro-whackos and crony capitalists.
    I live in one of the bluest of blue states. Essentially my vote will not count in November. But I would crawl over broken glass for the chance to vote against Obama and his posse of death eaters.

  12. No matter what these candidates say, there is not a material difference between them worthy of someone saying “my guy, or I’m not voting.” You can cry all you want about Romney not being conservative enough, but the fact is, there is not a lot of daylight between him and the others, even Gingrich. Each of these candidates has positions that commend them, and positions on which they are weak. The nation is not headed in a good direction. It is NOT going to crack up in 4 years, we are not in a situation where 4 years of a Romney is going to destroy the country. Claims to the contrary are overly dramatic, and emotional. No matter how much you’d like to believe it, a nation doesn’t stop on a dime, let alone do a full 180 degree turn. The world doesn’t work like that, and in the rare instances where change has been that fast and complete, the results have been horrible.

  13. Which political factions in this country was served by the loss of McCain-Palin in 2008?
    The GOP? Nope. Values conservatives? Nope. Libertarians? Nope.
    It was Democrats, Big Labor, enviro-whackos and crony capitalists.

    Here, here. Anyone who thinks that their cause is ever served by letting the other side win an election in the hopes that they’ll muck things up so bad that voters will see the light and sweep them into power where they’ll get a chance to fix an election is fooling themselves.

    A lot of the damage that Obama’s done isn’t going to expire when he leaves office – it will have to be pulled out by the roots and the longer he’s in, the deeper those roots will be. If he loses the election, it may provide momentum to undo his policies. If he wins, it will be touted as a “mandate” to affirm those policies and 2016 could be too late.

  14. 4. Go Shooting. It’s great stress relief. It focuses the mind. And it shows Romney – and Obama – that you can’t whiz on the Second Amendment. It’s a threefer.

    This is one of the only reasons I’d willingly vote for Romney. If Obama gets to nominate another SCOTUS justice or two if/when Scalia and Kennedy leave, you can kiss the 2nd Amendment goodbye. Ginsberg is on record as saying she hopes “future, wiser, SCOTUS panels correct the mistakes of the current one” with regards to 2A. Given their propensity for judicial activism, I wouldn’t be one bit surprised if an Obama-stacked SCOTUS panel went against precedent and overturned previous SCOTUS rulings. If Obama wins and we get 1 of his nominees, the anti-gun rhetoric will build. If we get 2? The gun grabbers will come out of the woodwork like the cockroaches they are smelling tasty garbage treats.

  15. Correct on that, the longer Obama is in there, the deeper the roots of his ideas get planted. More gov’t growth. More gov’t regulations. More poor energy policies (a good policy doesn’t see benefits for 5-10 years). More fascist judges. More assault on freedoms. More control over health care.

    C-SPAN had a program on Hubert Humphrey recently. It was quite good, and of course sympathetic to the man. They ended it by talking about his legacy. The fawned about all the massive gov’t programs we have that they credit to him.
    It didn’t dawn on them that Humphrey and the Democrats created massive entitlements in the 50s and 60s that now, 50 years later, are bankrupting our nation. Bad policy can’t be reversed with the next President, but could be with us for decades. Imagine how hard it will be to reverse all the effects of Obamacare if we can’t start doing it for another 5 years.

  16. As a level-headed moderate, I hear what you’re saying Mitch….Pffft HAHAHAhahaa….No, seriously. Isn’t this what you were selling for McCain & T-Paw? How many times are we supposed to be good soldiers and suck it up for some RINO?

    And don’t get me wrong; I’m not going to vote for Gingrich either. The guy took once in a lifetime Congressional opportunity and turned it to shit, then parylayed that fail into a big buck lobbying job with Freddy & Fanny.

    I don’t LIKE SPAM, and I won’t settle for something being sold as nearly Spam free.

    …..F ‘em all.

  17. Obama is crippling this country everyday that he’s in office.
    He does things that would have the MSM screaming for impeachment if he were a conservative.
    To name a few:
    Although he took an oath to faithfully execute the laws of the United States, he unilaterally declared that he would not enforce a law signed by the last Democrat president (DOMA).
    Obama signed the law creating the CFPB. The CFPB will have jurisdiction over virtually all consumer lending the United States and is not subject to budgetary review by Congress, eg if it goes rogue or is subjected to regulatory capture the elected representatives of the People will not be able to exercise control over it.
    Once he created this agency, he appointed its head without congressional approval.
    Obama has now declared that he, not the Senate, will decide when it is in session. This dramatically changes the balance of the executive versus the legislative branch of government.
    Obama did these things after a historic election that showed that the people of the United States had rejected his agenda and his party’s agenda.

    Can anyone seriously believe that Romney or Gingrich or Santorum wouldn’t be an improvement over this studied lawlessness?

  18. thorley; LOL! Actually, all of the attacks. This makes the left media drool with delight and gives them their “The GOP is collapsing right before our eyes.”

    “The gun grabbers will come out of the woodwork like the cockroaches they are smelling tasty garbage treats.”

    This is where we may be able to reach liberal union slaves. I have seen a couple of studies that indicated something like 75% of union members hunt and fish. If you happen engage in conversation with any union members please hammer this home. As soon as you mention gun control or further qualifications for shotguns, they should go apoplectic enough to hear you out.

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  20. I agree that Romney, while not my first choice as the Republican nominee, is certainly more electable than the rest of the field. I further agree that it is much more important – and certainly preferable – to elect someone *closer* to my beliefs than Obama. Leaving the “line on my ballot blank” is puerile, akin to taking your bat and ball and going home because you’re losing the game. We can’t *afford* four more years of “hope & change.” taking one step in the right direction is *still* a step in the right direction.

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