The Corner

Deja Vu

This makes me primary mad all over again:

Prominent evangelical leaders are warning Sen. John McCain against picking former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney as his running mate, saying their troops will abandon the Republican ticket on Election Day if that happens.

They say Mr. Romney lacks trust on issues such as outlawing abortion and opposing same-sex marriage and because he is a Mormon. Opposition is particularly powerful among those who supported former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in the Republican presidential primaries earlier this year.

“McCain and Romney would be like oil and water,” said evangelical novelist Tim LaHaye, who supported Mr. Huckabee. “We aren’t against Mormonism, but Romney is not a thoroughgoing evangelical and his flip-flopping on issues is understandable in a liberal state like Massachusetts, but our people won’t understand that.”

I started to get intense anti-Romney e-mail again a few weeks ago, when I wrote this anti-Huckabee column. When it comes to Romney, there is almost a religious fervor opposing him, despite a record of helping social conservatism in recent years.

I honestly don’t know why someone so successful would feel the need to continue play-acting, faking his way through conservatism just to be John McCain’s vice president (I find it hard to believe conservatives will ever be enthusiastic in 2012 about someone who was a part of the McCain administration) or, worse, John McCain’s running mate on a losing ticket.

Mitt Romney — is an example of someone who came to the wisdom of conservatism through practical experience. He saw its reasonableness in the face of liberal overreach. We should want to embrace such conversions. We should want to encourage people to get Right.

Or we can fervently close the door to them and their contributions and fresh blood. What a good move for a movement that needs re-energization and recruits.

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