GOP Needs To Nominate An Accomplished Conservative
December 20, 2011 2 Comments
Sarah Palin is threatening to enter the GOP Presidential race. She recently declared it isn’t to late to enter. Never mind that she couldn’t get on the early state ballots because it’s to late. Never mind that she would struggle to get enough signatures in any number of states in such a short period of time. Interestingly if she was able to get on the ballot she would probably do very well. On some level Republicans are tired of the current candidates. Palin would be the new flavor of the month but she would come in as the lasting, final flavor. But let’s face it, it’s far to late for Palin to organize a real campaign.
Newt appears to have lost ground in Iowa. Allegedly Ron Paul has a slight lead, but outside of Iowa Paul doesn’t have enough support to take a serious shot at the nomination. Barring a sudden surprise from Santorum, Perry or Bachmann, this is a race between Newt and Romney. To this day, Romney can’t get above the 20-25% range among GOP voters. Newt shot up and is down now, much like the other flavors of the month.
Conservatives need to ask themselves what accomplishments Newt and Romney have that served our conservative outlook. It’s easy to attack Newt over his consulting gig at Freddie and it’s easy to praise Romney for turning around the Olympics or for some of his business success. But all of that says nothing about their accomplishments in government. After all, we are trying to elect these people to a high government office. You would think their achievements in the world of politics matter.
Newt orchestrated the 1994 Republican takeover of the House. This was the first Republican House victory in 40 years. While Speaker he passed the first balanced budget in generations. He also oversaw a massive welfare reform package, the first conservative reform of welfare ever. All of this was done with a fairly hostile Democrat sitting in the White House.
What are Mitt Romney’s conservative accomplishments while Governor of Massachusetts? Surely Romneycare isn’t a conservative accomplishment. He doesn’t appear to have cut spending in his state. He has some trivial tax cuts to his credit but otherwise he doesn’t really have any conservative accomplishments. Which shouldn’t be surprising since he ran as a progressive Republican.
Romney is a johnny come lately to the conservative cause. Even if we accept that he is sincere in his miraculous swing to the right, he doesn’t have any governmental accomplishments under his belt. Surely we Republicans would prefer to have a Presidential candidate who has actually done something for the conservative cause while he or she was in government. Newt has those accomplishments, in fact none of the other candidates come close. Santorum, Perry and Bachmann also have a handful of accomplishments for the conservative cause on their resume. Mitt Romney doesn’t have any.
If the choice is between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, it seems pretty clear to me that conservatives ought to be voting for Newt. Newt has baggage, there’s no doubt about that. The Freddie Mac consulting isn’t as big a deal as some make it out to be but it’s still disturbing. But does that take away from orchestrating a GOP takeover of the House, a balanced budget and welfare reform? Does consulting for Freddie Mac suddenly make Mitt Romney an accomplished conservative?
I’m not endorsing any candidate in the GOP primaries. But there are candidates that are to be preferred over others. We Republicans need to nominate a conservative, preferably one with some accomplishments. Surely Newt fits that bill while Romney does not. Others could fit that bill as well, all over Mitt Romney. We should not settle for Mitt Romney based on Newt’s alleged negatives. If we do, we’ll find that in the long run Romney’s negatives will far outweigh Newt’s consulting job.