At least two grassroots conservative leaders are still lukewarm about Mitt Romney:
“The tea party is not going to coalesce around Romney,” Judson Phillips told The Daily Caller on Thursday. “Most of us will vote for Romney, but we will not be out there with signs for him or in his campaign.”Phillips said that surveys conducted on the Tea Party Nation website have shown that about 25 percent of tea party activists say they won’t vote for Romney in the general election […]“While that number will change as we get closer to the election, Romney has a huge problem with the conservative base of the GOP,” Phillips said. “He had better do something about that ASAP or he won’t have to worry about that moving to the middle nonsense. Without the GOP base, he is a lost cause.”“Most of us,” he added, “are focusing on Senate and House races now.”Another conservative leader, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, struck a similar note after former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum dropped out of the presidential race this week.“It’s difficult for us to back a candidate our constituents don’t believe in and aren’t excited about,” Perkins told CNN, suggesting that social conservatives will instead focus their efforts on helping Republicans win control of the U.S. Senate in 2012.
I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins of something called the veto. It lets presidents kill legislation they don’t like, even if a majority of Congress voted yes. Super-majorities of both the House and Senate are required to overcome a veto. I hope as much as anyone that Republicans keep the House and retake the Senate, but it’s far from guaranteed, with GOP super-majorities in both chambers even less so.
I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins that the president has much more autonomy in foreign policy and national defense than in domestic policy. While Congress has a certain degree of oversight, it can’t force him to act against Iran if necessary. It can’t force him to pursue missile defense. It can’t force him to rebuild the military. It can’t force him to secure the border.
I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins that there still exists in America a massive regulatory and administrative apparatus through which the president can sidestep Congress entirely and implement much of his policy vision.
I would like to remind Mr. Phillips and Mr. Perkins that a Republican Senate can’t confirm good judges if a Republican president isn’t there to nominate them.
Of course Romney needs to work to reassure conservatives. But last time I checked, you two are leaders, too. Where’s your responsibility to remind your members of Romney’s positives, Obama’s negatives, and the stakes of this election? What’s the purpose of conservative grassroots organizations: to defeat the Left’s vision for America, or to indulge temper tantrums that some of their members didn’t get their way?