Inconvenient Truth: Romney Derangement Syndrome on the Right Helped Obama Win

From the outrages he let Barack Obama get away with to the stunning ineptitude of his campaign team, Mitt Romney holds plenty of blame for last week’s dispiriting presidential election. But he’s not the only one, and before we do something stupid like surrender on immigration in a shortsighted bid to woo Hispanics, the Right needs to have a little chat about another key voting bloc that should have been far easier to hold…but wasn’t, for reasons conservatives seem unwilling to discuss.

The single most shocking detail about the results was the pitiful Republican turnout, with Romney receiving 3 million fewer GOP votes than John McCain and 5 million fewer than George W. Bush — a difference that could have overcome Tuesday’s 3-million-person difference in the popular vote or made up the 333,000 additional votes necessary for an Electoral College win.

Yes, Romney’s conservatism was imperfect. But so was Bush’s. And McCain? He was so liberal that, to keep him away from the nomination and ensure a conservative made it on the ballot, the punditocracy told us we had to rally around…Mitt Romney.

So how could Romney — who, for all his flaws, took most of the right positions, had an appealing background, and didn’t share Bush or McCain’s zeal for amnesty — possibly be less palatable than either of his moderate predecessors? Especially while trying to unseat someone widely considered to be the worst, most left-wing president in US history?

A big part of the answer is because somewhere between GOP presidential primaries, half the Right flip-flopped on Romney, recasting their onetime conservative alternative as the new RINO boogeyman we needed an alternative from, with scores of pundits, activists, and bloggers ranting that an amorphous party “establishment” was trying to force Romney on the base. Yes, politics is a tough business and primaries are the place for aggressively vetting our candidates, but far too many of our own crossed the line from “Romney is weak in area x” to “Romney is our enemy.”

Tea Party Nation head Judson Phillips and Family Research Council president Tony Perkins said they’d focus on congressional races because Romney wasn’t worth their members’ excitement. Sen. Rick Santorum suggested Romney might not be different enough from Obama to bother changing presidents. Talk radio host Mark Levin excoriated Romney daily, calling him a corporatist of questionable character who couldn’t be supported in the primary without compromising all of one’s principles. Blogger Dan Riehl considered organizing conservatives to oppose Romney in the general election. Free Republic banned all Romney supporters as “enemies of the Constitution.” Blogger John Hawkins warned that supporting Romney would require conservatives to “sell our souls.” RedState.com waged an all-out war against Romney and his sympathizers, the most hysterical examples of which being Erick Erickson’s claim that nominating the bad Mormon would kill conservatism and Thomas Crown’s accusation that National Review “alienated” itself from the conservative movement by preferring Romney to the alternatives. Conservative stalwarts like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan got torn apart as phonies in popular comment sections for backing Romney. And last month, Personhood USA used an unfair spin on Romney’s words as evidence that he was “insisting on maintaining the status quo of abortion on demand.”

Fast-forward to Election Day, and 5 million Republican voters decide to stay home.

Gee, who could have guessed? (I mean, besides me.)

Again, we shouldn’t completely absolve Romney of responsibility. As the candidate, it was his job to assure the base he could walk the walk. Nor should Romney’s shortcomings have gone ignored or unchallenged during the primary.

But with so many influential conservative voices doing everything they could to convince their audiences that Romney was just Diet Obama and that he posed an existential threat to their very philosophy, is it any wonder that so many of them decided not to vote? How is any post-primary coalescing supposed to fully heal divisions that deep? How are Republican candidates supposed to endure two-front wars against Democrats and their own base?

Rather than protect the integrity of the Republican ticket, Levin, Erickson, Perkins, and company served as useful idiots for the Left, dividing conservatives enough for a weak incumbent with indefensible ideas and hated policies to keep power for another four years. And now we’re all going to suffer for it.

It goes without saying that for 2016, we’ll need to find a candidate with bolder instincts, a deeper affinity for conservatism, and greater skill in articulating it. But by the time his own failings and impurities come to light, hopefully Obama’s second term will have taught our Purity Police that a little perspective can make a world of difference.

Hey, Let’s Subsidize Crack!

Vancouver health officials will distribute new crack pipes to the city’s non-injection drug users this fall as part of a pilot project aimed at engaging crack cocaine smokers and reducing the transmission of disease such as hepatitis C.

The program, part of Vancouver’s harm reduction strategy, is expected to start in October and run for six months to a year, said Dr. Reka Gustafson, a medical health officer with Vancouver Coastal Health.

The intent is to connect health care workers with crack cocaine smokers to evaluate how many of the drug users are in the city and what equipment they need to lower their risk of catching diseases such as hepatitis C, HIV and even respiratory illnesses.

A kit with a clean, unused pipe, mouthpiece, filter and condoms will be handed out to the participants, Gustafson said. It’s not known at this time how many drug users will take part in the pilot, which is estimated to cost between $50,000 and $60,000.

“There’s been a shift to crack cocaine smoking and we want to make sure the services we provide are the services they need … if we’re providing syringes and what we need are pipes, we’re not serving them,” Gustafson said […] “It’s just understanding and knowing the health consequences of crack cocaine smoking.”
Which is why they’re going help facilitate its continued practice with taxpayer dollars. Because as long as you’re using a clean pipe, cocaine’s pretty much harmless, right?

I guess Canada has abandoned all pretense that self-destructive behavior shouldn’t be encouraged. And too bad they still haven’t figured out that prevention doesn’t decrease healthcare costs. One of Steyn’s commenters, Henry Hawkins, knocks this one out of the park:
The reason they want to get clean needles and crack pipes out on the street is because 95% of addicts don’t keep theirs clean, of course. However, once you’ve passed out a clean pipe or clean needle, **it’s only sterile for that first use**. From then on it’s dirty and stays that way. It will be used again. And again, and again, and again.

But Henry, they’ll teach them all about the importance of sterile works! They have a program and everything! And the addicts will ignore them. Such education programs have been common for over forty years. I’ve been working with addicts since 1986. There is a uniquely evil kind of ignorance that tells would-be do-gooders that the addict who won’t change his behaviors despite the likelihood of death by gunshot, overdose, AIDS, organic damage, mugging, and a thousand others ways an addict manages to die, will for some reason see the light and change out of fear of contracting hepatitis. If you want to kill an addict, give him uncut heroin or a government health department social worker. They are equally deadly.

So now, thanks to Vancouver Coastal Health, there will be many, many thousands more dirty pipes infected with hepatitis and other nasties out there in the addict community than there were before. Same number of addicts, just several thousand extra infected crack pipes, so the individual chance of infection is significantly raised.

But, but, but.. we give them pamphlets!

Arrrgh.
If you think it can’t happen here, think again. The nanny-state mentality is deeply entrenched in the minds of our ruling class, and where drugs are concerned, something tells me libertarians’ steadfast anti-government principles will evaporate right before our eyes.

The Union Label: Let the Buyer Beware

Scott Walker’s detractors are just trying to protect teachers, right?

Wrong:

[I]n June 2010, long before Scott Walker was elected, Milwaukee Public Schools fired 482 teachers–including Megan Sampson, a young educator named an “outstanding first year teacher” by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English.

Sampson and 481 other teachers were laid off for two reasons having to do with collective bargaining: First, the collective bargaining agreement allowed the teachers’ union to choose between small reductions in health care benefits and layoffs. “Given the opportunity, of course I would switch to a different [health care] plan to save my job, or the jobs of 10 other teachers,” Sampson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The teachers’ union felt differently. It chose layoffs. 

Second, the collective bargaining agreement guaranteed that teachers would be laid off on the basis of seniority rather than merit (or lack thereof). Therefore, Sampson, and likely a lot of other promising young educators got the axe, while the rest of the teachers, good and bad alike, were protected simply by the amount of time they’d put in.

And “for the children”? That’s crap, too:

A 2004 study by Hofstra University scholar Charol Shakeshaft on the sexual misconduct of public school teachers is a shocking wake-up call that was widely ignored by the public union-friendly press. And even worse, the public teachers unions protected many of the offending teachers and allowed them to quietly transfer to other schools where they victimized more children. “Examples include touching breasts or genitals of students; oral, anal, and vaginal penetration; showing students pictures of a sexual nature; and sexually-related conversations, jokes, or questions directed at students.”

Everyone agrees that the sex scandal in the Catholic Church is a tragedy of immense proportions and the media has done a good job at uncovering the network of cover-ups and lies that harmed children irreparably. But what would you say if I told you that the public school system, which is about the same size as the Catholic Church in America with a school in every parish, has more sexual abuse cases in ten years than the Catholic Church has had in fifty?

When Victims Are Guilty (Updated)

Aside from being contemptible for its sheer dishonesty, the Left’s blood libel campaign blaming conservatives for the shooting spree carried out by (anti-war, Christianity-hating) psychopath Jared Loughner is also a clear example/vindication of Ann Coulter’s most recent book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, which targets (if you’ll pardon the expression) the cherished leftist propaganda tactic of using real and perceived victims as props with which to browbeat critics of their policies into silence.

One of Loughner’s victims, Eric Fuller, has disgraced himself by blaming Republicans for his injury:

“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller said in an interview with Democracy NOW.

“Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled — senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all — even 9-year-old girls,” he added, referring to the death of Christina Taylor Green.

Fuller, a 63-year-old veteran, had campaigned for Giffords during her reelection and was at the supermarket for her Congress on Your Corner event.

“I would put Sarah Palin in first place there. I think, really, she should be incarcerated for treason for advocating assassinating public officials,” Fuller said in an interview with Media Matters. “That map I saw that she published on the Internet had crosshairs on it and one of them was meant for Gabrielle Giffords.”

Fuller’s status as both a shooting victim and a veteran will probably scare many away from discussing this honestly, but it shouldn’t. The simple fact is, nothing justifies telling vicious lies to, or about, your countrymen.

In an ironic twist of fate, Fuller has made a toxic contribution of his own to the public discourse:

When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated.  Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”

When State Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) rose to explain and clarify current and proposed gun legislation in the state, several people groaned or booed her.  One of those booing, according to several witnesses, was Fuller.   Witnesses sitting near Fuller told KGUN9 News that Fuller was making them feel very uncomfortable.

The event wrapped up a short time later.  Deputies then escorted Fuller from the room.  As he was being led off, Fuller shouted loudly to the room at large.  Several witnesses said that what they thought they heard him shout was, “You’re all whores!”

A Pima County Sheriff’s spokesman told KGUN9 News that they charged Fuller with one count of threats and intimidation, and said they plan to charge him with at least one count of disorderly conduct.  Humphries told KGUN9 News that he does plan to press those charges.

Of course, because Eric Fuller’s hate is directed at the Right, there’s probably a root cause for it the rest of us to understand. There always is.

UPDATE: The Mental Recession has more – apparently it’s not really his fault; PTSD made him do it. Of course.

Nightmare in Arizona

The shooting that took six lives, including a little girl and a judge, and have seriously injured Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, is absolutely sickening. Pray for the full recovery of those injured, and for comfort and peace for those who lost loved ones.

Donald Douglas and Walter Hudson have great round-ups of details about the shooter, a mentally-disturbed, gold-standard loving, atheistic, paranoid, anti-government fan of The Communist Manifesto. The info contained therein puts the lie to the dishonesty and hypocrisy of those blaming the shooting on everyone from Sarah Palin to the Tea Party movement to the Religious Right.

This is nothing new – leftists defame conservatives whenever violence is inflicted upon one of their own, and even when it isn’t. There’s not much more to say about it that hasn’t already been said, save reiterating the one thing everyone who hears this filth needs to understand.

This line of attack isn’t sincere. Those pursuing it know better. They don’t care what really motivates killers, or what conservatives do and don’t say. They say it anyway because they’re fundamentally indecent people. Period.

The Stupidest Thing I Have Ever Read (UPDATED)

On September 23, I wrote a NewsReal post about abortion and the Tea Party movement, in which I pointed out that supporting the right to life is a moral and philosophical imperative for those who claim to call themselves libertarians. Among the opposing comments was a series of remarks by one Joseph Veca, which may have been the stupidest thing I have ever read. It so perfectly encapsulates why I have so little respect for the libertarian movement – the idiocy, the insanity, the paranoia, and the arrogance – that it demands to be reproduced here for future reference, that the madness might be saved for posterity, for entertainment value, and just maybe, that it might shame a few sane libertarians into reconsidering what their movement has become.

VECA: 

I did some research on the reasons given for abortion, based on what I found, between 1%-3% of abortions reasons fall under the Rape, Incest, Medical Necessity categories.

What should be of note, at the time Roe v. Wade started, those were legal reasons to get an abortion in all 50 states.

As a Catholic and a libertarian, I am totally against abortion and don’t have any real objection moral or ethical to laws against it. However, I am also cognizant of the worry many libertarians have about banning abortions, goes under the heading of “The government that has the power to ban, has the power to mandate.” Whether or not you agree with it, it will remain with a valid concern. You would do well to remember abortion is mandated in Communist China and way to many member of the Obama administration are big fans of Chairman Mao.

ME:

I have no idea what point you just tried to make. 

VECA: 

Calvin, have you ever thought about what it would take to overturn Roe v. Wade?

Believe it or not, it is going to require a Constitutional Amendment. It took the 14th to overturn Dred Scoot. Congress did try a couple of times, but none of them could past muster of Roe v. Wade.

The point that I was making was the fact if we were talking only about the three reasons that I mentioned above, many would make exceptions for allowing an abortion on those grounds. The fact of the matter, was up until Roe v. Wade, that was the case in all 50 states. So the left’s implication those three special cases were illegal back before before Roe. v. Wade is unfounded and untrue in light of the facts.

As I stated before, ‘”I am totally against abortion and don’t have any real objection moral or ethical to laws against it. However, I am also cognizant of the worry many libertarians have about banning abortions, goes under the heading of “The government that has the power to ban, has the power to mandate.”‘

As a political science student Calvin you should know as well as I, that when you involve government, you give the complete control of both sides, pro and con. So think about this, let’s say congress passes a law that bans abortions, that can pass Roe v. Wade muster, there would be nothing stopping congress from mandating abortions if it got such a wild hair up its nether regions.

As I stated before, I believe it will take a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Roe v. Wade, which would make mandating abortions a pain, but considering the disdain many politicians (left or right) have for Constitutional protections, they just might not care. 

ME:

Of course I know it’s going to be extremely difficult to end abortion, or to reverse Roe (but while the former would require an amendment, the latter obviously wouldn’t). Nobody in the pro-life movement I’ve ever met has any misconceptions about that. We just understand that you don’t abandon worthy causes, just because the road ahead will be difficult (and contrary to the implications of some socially-left-leaning people I’ve encountered on the Right, true lasting reform to the size and scope of government will be no easier). Conservative reform is the work of generations.

“Let’s say congress passes a law that bans abortions, that can pass Roe v. Wade muster, there would be nothing stopping congress from mandating abortions if it got such a wild hair up its nether regions.”

That’s…that’s…wow. I originally said I didn’t know what point you were trying to make, because I couldn’t bring myself to believe that you were insane enough to say what it sounded like. There had to be something I was missing.

But no, you really said that we can’t ban abortion, because then Congress could FORCE PEOPLE TO HAVE ABORTIONS. Congrats, Joe, you’ve written what has to be the single most mind-blowingly stupid comment I’ve EVER read on NewsRea! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

So explain this to me: because murder is illegal, can government now force people to murder? Does government currently have the power to mandate theft? Insurance fraud? Tampering with the mail? Under your logic, there’s nothing to keep the government from forcing the American people to do any of this, because “the government that has the power to ban, has the power to mandate.”

Clearly, this is absurd (and it shows what happens when you take a superficially-appealing, bumper-sticker quip and try to make an actual governing philosophy out of it). The protection of all human beings’ “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are why “governments are instituted among men.” Protecting Americans from injustices like abortion is a clear imperative for anyone who understands the principles of the Founding – and is honest about them. All we’d be “involving government” in is what’s already their basic duty under conservative/libertarian (http://www.l4l.org/)/classically liberal natural law & social compact principles.

As a violation both of the abortion ban itself and of basic human liberty, forcing people to have abortions would neither be authorized by the law nor follow from any semi-sane reading of any legal or constitutional principles. You could say that government might do it anyway (for…some reason). News flash, genius: GOVERNMENT ALREADY HAS THE ABILITY TO DO THINGS IT’S NOT AUTHORIZED TO DO. The Founders understood that no amount of constitutional mechanics would be able to completely prevent every single theoretical offense – and they also understood that that was no argument against protecting natural rights and human liberty.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of what precedent pro- and anti-life policies supposedly set, let me repeat something else I said above: Once society has accepted the proposition, I may take an innocent life if it benefits me to do so, why should we think twice about taking from our countrymen anything less vital—income, personal freedom, you name it—for the sake of interest? The rights to go without health insurance or allow smoking in your restaurant is nothing compared to the right not to be deliberately killed. Surrender the right to life, and you’ve already as good as surrendered the others. 

VECA:

You state:

“But no, you really said that we can’t ban abortion, because then Congress could FORCE PEOPLE TO HAVE ABORTIONS. Congrats, Joe, you’ve written what has to be the single most mind-blowingly stupid comment I’ve EVER read on NewsRea! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. ”

I don’t care what you do.

Calvin, you are in college, which makes you roughly half my age (I am just shy of 45). In the last 20 years I have watched the US government do things I thought and was taught impossible for it to do. In short I have had the “It Can’t Happen Here” mentality knocked out of me long ago.

Personally, I like the way John Barlow (co-founder of the EFF) put it:

“The men who drafted the [U.S.] Constitution and its first ten amendments knew something that we have largely forgotten: Government exists to limit freedom. That’s their job. And to the extent that utterly unbridled liberty seems to favor the reptile in us, a little government is not such a bad thing. But it never knows when to quit. As there is no limit to either human imagination or creativity in the wicked service of the Self, so it is always easy for our official protectors to envision new atrocities to prevent.”
[Bill O’ Rights, The Impact of Technology on Civil Rights by John Barlow]

You don’t believe it can’t happen here. Currently there is a 14 year old boy, who is a US Citizen in sitting in a Federal holding cell in Illinois because someone hacked his IP address and sent terrorist threats to the government. He is being held without bail, without legal counsel, and damn near incommunicado with his mother. His 4th, 5th, 6th and 14th Amendment rights are being violated courtesy of the Patriot Act.

You might also want to take a look at the story of Steve Jackson Games and the US Secrete Service (you can read about it in Hacker Crackdown by Bruce Sterling the .pdf can be found here http://pdf.textfiles.com/books/hackcrac.pdf [it is a legal free download])

You might want to take a look at the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 (struck down by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional); every provision in the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 can be found in one form or another in the Patriot Act and then some. How the Patriot Act constitutional but the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 isn’t?

Would you believe that of the Bill of Rights all but one of the amendments have been violated by the government.

If you take a look at case law for the last fifteen years or so, you will find that the Fourth Amendment has become more or less a dead Amendment. A lot of what remained of it was flushed down the toilet when the Rehnquist Court declared that in the presence of “probable cause”, a phrase of inviting openness, law enforcement officials could search first and obtain warrants later.

This has been stretched even further with the passing of the Patriot Act which gave federal law enforcement agencies the ability to tap our phones, read our email, without getting a warrant and use anything the government had collect against us.

With sweeping prosecutorial enablements as RICO and Zero Tolerance, the authorities could enact their own unadjudicated administrative “fines” by keeping much of what they seized for their own uses. This incentive often leads to disproportionalities between “punishment” and “crime” which even Kafka might have found a bit over the top. There is one case in which the DEA acquired a $14 million Gulfstream Bizjet from a charter operator because one of his clients left half a gram of cocaine in its washroom.

The government abolishes bail for many federal crimes, and creates huge fines and draconian punishments for minor tax, drug, and regulatory offenses. The “War on Drugs” has resulted in various mandatory punishments and fines so Draconian in nature that would make the former Soviet Union’s Communist government look downright lenient.

Our inalienable natural rights to privacy, voluntary association, free exchange of goods and services, and self-ownership are being lost to those who oppose or ignore constitutional limits to government.

This is where the Patriot Act really comes into play, the prosecutorial enablement’s of the Patriot Act, your right to privacy, who you associate with, who you trade services or goods with can all come under scrutiny if “ANY” law enforcement agency “suspects” you, or you are accused of being in league with terrorists.

Currently we are seeing an increasingly centralized federal power undermine the sovereignty of the States and their citizens through federal aid and the attendant regulation of all aspects of society and commerce.

It should be noted most of this has happened since the 1970’s. Some of the silliness is older and dates back to the Great Depression, but most of it has happened in my life time.

It isn’t the here and now we have to really worry about, it is what may happen down the road, China already has mandatory abortions, to say it can’t happen here is to be like a kitten with its head under the couch thinking it is hidden but it rump is exposed. 

So there you have it. Because the government has committed violations of the Constitution and civil liberties in the past (temporarily assuming for the sake of argument that everything Veca describes is accurate, or even happened at all, for that matter), the only thing keeping the government from being able to force you to have an abortion is…keeping abortion legal.

I wonder why I didn’t see it before…oh, that’s right: because I’m not a lunatic. (I highlighted part of my response above, since it still stands as an unrefuted refutation of Veca’s delusions.) Skepticism and vigilance of government power, and defensiveness toward individual liberty are essential, but all too often with libertarians they devolve into wild-eyed paranoia that sees virtually any exercise of government power as a harbinger of totalitarianism. If taken to its logical conclusion, such paranoia can only lead to anarchy.

(Of course, there could be a different excuse entirely: that Veca simply wants to keep abortion legal, but doesn’t want to take responsibility for defending such a heinous practice on the merits…)

UPDATE: In the comments section here, we have another contender for the title, courtesy of Bob Madden:

I am both pro-life, and pro-choice. I abhor the whole idea of abortion, but in the final analysis I put more trust in the prospective mother to make the right decision than I do the government. To me that means I respect the right of individuals to make their own decisions, and at a point where the unborn has no ability to make that choice for themselves I will trust the individual mother.

My situation is kind of unique in this regard. My mother was given a 50-50 chance of living through her pregnancy. Everyone (clergy included) recommended that she abort me. It was her choice to make, and had that decision been left up to anyone else I would NOT be here today. 

I went at it with this moron for a few comments after that gem. It just went downhill form there.

Ye Hypocrites!

James Jae Lee, the guy who held the Discovery Channel offices hostage, was a nut. He alone was responsible for his actions. It is, however, noteworthy that our culture’s self-proclaimed arbiters of virtue and civility in the media, who see virtually every expression of conservative speech or activism as a potential catalyst for murder and mayhem, don’t seem all that interested about Lee’s stated leftist influences. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone even calls him an eco-terrorist.

Not surprisingly, the biggest hypocrite turns out to be Drama Rat himself, Charles Johnson, who actually has the gall to lecture us about not smearing an entire movement with the actions of one nut. Again: least self-aware blogger EVER.