Politics & Policy

Romney ruminations, &c.

If you’re a conservative, perhaps you’ve had this same experience: In the past few weeks, several people have said to me, “Have you made your peace with Romney? Have you accepted him as the nominee? Are you resigned to him?” My answer is: I actually look forward to his nomination. And to his candidacy in the general. And to his presidency.

I think he’ll be quite good, if he gets a chance.

Obviously, there is a big sincerity question about Romney: Does he mean what he says? Does he intend to do what he pledges? I think so, yes. All candidates tell people what they think they want to hear, to some degree. Frankly, I imagine most people are guilty of this, whether they’re in politics or not.

But I think Romney is sufficiently firm. I also think he would be much more conservative as president than he was in Massachusetts. Think how free Bill Clinton was, once he left the Arkansas electorate behind! He could unleash his inner McGovern, so to speak. (Both Bill and Hillary Clinton — or whatever she was calling herself in those days — were lieutenants in the McGovern campaign.)

In 2008, National Review endorsed Romney, and I thought that was a good endorsement. (I liked Fred Thompson too, quite a bit.) I thought there was some dirty play against Romney. Mike Huckabee said, “He looks like the guy who laid you off.”

My response was, “Oh? To me, he looks like the kind of guy who can create jobs and make the economy grow. He looks like the kind of guy who makes opportunities for the sadly un-entrepreneurial like me.”

Besides which, I hated the air of class resentment against Romney. That’s one reason I gave up on the Democratic party: I couldn’t stand the class resentment, the politics of envy and grievance.

In that year, 2008, I heard the most bizarre criticisms of Romney: “Too handsome. Too rich. Too successful. Too smooth. Too perfect.” Well, our eventual nominee did not have the handicap of being too perfect, that’s for sure. He had a hard time making a case for himself, his party, and his philosophy.

When you look at the Republican field today — when you watch one of the debates — do you see anyone besides Romney who can beat Obama and be president? Do you really? I find it difficult. And if the nominee is to be someone else, I hope I’m wrong.

Four years ago, I listened to a conservative pundit assess the Republican field, and put down each person in it. I said, “Okay, whom do you want?” He sighed, “Reagan.” I’m afraid I wasn’t very polite. I said, “Great, thanks a lot — very helpful.”

Barry Goldwater once hollered, “Grow up, conservatives!” I sometimes feel the same way. We who are conservative aren’t meant to be 100-percenters. That’s more a Bolshevik trait: “What, you favor a lower grain quota? Up against the wall!” Politics is not for the pure, and ideologues are a nuisance. The American electorate is bigger than National Review Online (unfortunately).

I hope that Republican primary voters will not throw away our chances next year. And I believe that, if Romney is the nominee, virtually everyone right of center will rally ’round.

Before he became our standard-bearer, John McCain was pretty much the media’s favorite Republican. He was Mr. Amnesty, Mr. Global Warming, Mr. Anti-Religious Right, Mr. Reach Across the Aisle. The second he was nominated, he became Attila the Hun to them. He was the obstacle to Obama, the One.

The second Romney is nominated — if he is nominated — he too will be Attila the Hun. And the anti-Mormon stuff will be absolutely ferocious. It will come from the Left and it could come from some quarters of the Right, too. Buckle your chin strap.

I’ll have much more to say about all this later, of course. (That’s a warning, not a promise.) I just wanted to say for now that the prospect of Romney as nominee does not strike me as root canal. We could do worse, much worse. Will we?

The 2012 election is important, y’all — mightily so.

‐A commentator for MSNBC, that fountain of hate, said this about Herman Cain and white Republicans: “I think they like him because they think he’s a black man who knows his place.”

And what would Cain’s place be? Federal Reserve banker, CEO, presidential candidate?

This is a screwy country, ladies and gentlemen, and never more so than on the subject of race. Absolutely crazed, this country — particularly the leftward side, of course.

If you listened to MSNBC, how could you deny it? A few weeks ago, an AP reporter quoted an Obama speech. The president said, “Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on.” The reporter left off the g’s, just as Obama had. He was giving us a sense of what the speech was like, just as a reporter should. He was being faithful to the tone and art of the speech.

And an MSNBC commentator said this was “racist” — and not just “racist” but “inherently racist.”

Nutso (in addition to nasty).

You might enjoy this: Last winter, I interviewed Thomas Sowell, the conservative intellectual. (You can find the resulting piece here.) One of my questions was, “Who has treated you worse over the years? Other black people or white liberals?” He shook his head, chuckled, and said, “It’s too close to call.”

‐Via The Drudge Report in particular, I keep seeing stories about sex crimes — primarily rape — at Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, or in Occupy Wall Street communities, or whatever they are. Here are two headlines from Saturday: “‘Occupy Madison’ loses permit due to public masturbation”; “Woman charged with pimping teen recruited at ‘Occupy New Hampshire.’”

If these stories ever circulated about the Tea Party — why, they’d be on the covers of Time and Newsweek, wouldn’t they? And the New York Times would drop everything to investigate those stories.

Hang on, I see now on Drudge a story from the New York Post. It quotes a woman calling herself Leslie, a denizen of Zuccotti Park. She speaks of two rapes, then says, “We don’t tell anyone. We handle it internally. I said too much already.”

Uh-huh. I wonder whether there is an Occupy Wall Street omertà.

‐Every now and then, you’ll read a story like this: “Two abortion clinic employees plead guilty to murder.” Well, it’s their regular line of work, right? Auto mechanics don’t plead guilty to fixing cars, do they? What happened?

According to a Philadelphia grand jury, one Dr. Kermit Gosnell “regularly and illegally delivered live, viable babies in the third trimester of pregnancy — and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.”

Dr. Gosnell is not one of the two who have pleaded guilty. Adrienne Moton is. And I will quote from the article:

The grand jury said that a clinic co-worker of Moton’s testified that a woman gave birth to a large baby at the clinic, delivering the child into a toilet. The jurors identified the newborn as “Baby D.”

The jurors said the co-worker told them that the baby was moving and looked like it was swimming.

“Moton reached into the toilet, got the baby out and cut its neck,” the grand jury said in its report.

Well, whoop-de-do. This is such a weird, morally confused country. You can abort to your heart’s content, and Americans will fight to the death for your right to do it. But should you “get rid of” your baby after he has slipped the womb, we cry, “Eek! Murder! How shocking!”

Really, does “Baby D” truly care whether you get him an hour before birth or a few minutes after? Why are we so squeamish? Why does a nation that has tolerated abortion on demand for 40 years get all prissy about fishing newborns out of toilets and cutting their necks?

Our country has problems, yes, but I’m not sure they’re primarily economic.

I’ll never forget Wesley Clark, running for the Democratic nomination for president: “Life begins with the mother’s decision.” With a mind like that, how could he have failed to get the nomination, and the presidency?

‐Okay, a little golf (we’re used to abrupt switches here in Impromptus): I’m a conservative, so I’m supposed to be against changes. I’m supposed to defend the status quo. This is a dumb view of conservatism, but many people hold it.

In my opinion, there are some rules of golf that are absolutely indefensible and should go — and I was delighted to read last week that one of them is going: the one that penalizes you a stroke if your ball should happen to move after you’ve addressed it (but not touched it). This was always perversely unfair. And rules should not be like that.

To read an article about this rule change, go here. The next target on my list? The rule about signing an incorrect scorecard. No more DeVicenzos, I say! (To refresh yourself on what happened at the 1968 Masters, go here.)




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