For the Sake of the Conservative Movement, Romney Deragement Syndrome Has to Stop

The phenomenon of Romney Derangement Syndrome hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention during this election cycle, but it’s real. 
RedState.com has engaged in a smear campaign against Romney supporters and National Review for not being sufficiently anti-Mitt. Dan Riehl rants and raves about how conservatives should let Barack Obama win a second term if Romney is the nominee. Marco Rubio gives an awesome pro-life speech, and half the commenters at Hot Air can’t do anything but whine about Rubio being a phony because he’s too nice to Romney. Ann Coulter defends RomneyCare (in an admittedly flawed column that deserves a separate post), and Mark Levin can barely keep the contempt out of his ever-rising voice. Newt Gingrich engages in the most despicable distortions imaginable, and yet he’s still the victim in too many observers’ eyes. Jennifer Rubin is too sympathetic to Mitt for some, so she’s caricatured as a fraud and a joke.
People are whipping themselves into such a frenzy over Mitt Romney that they’re declaring friends enemies and deluding themselves into staying home on Election Day. (And many of them, incredibly, are doing it for a candidate who more effectively styles himself as a conservative, but substantively is no more conservative or outsider than Romney.)
Look, I get that Romney’s past is worrisome and his electability is problematic. I’m a Santorum guy. I get that the Republican Party needs to be taught a lesson. But now is not the time for an experiment in winning by losing. The stakes are too high.
The hope that a GOP defeat will finally shock the party into reforming itself is much, much too big an if to seriously weigh it against the damage Barack Obama would do in a second term. And I’m not even talking about the daily spending of money we don’t have, the continual erosion of liberty by unelected bureaucrats, or the burdensome regulations and tax increases (though all that alone would be enough to warrant replacing Obama with Romney).

Consider that his judicial appointments will further shape the American court system and shred the Constitution for decades beyond his presidency. Consider ObamaCare, most of which doesn’t take effect until 2013—if a new federal healthcare apparatus takes root, with brand-new entitlements Americans will be dependent on, it will be virtually impossible to dismantle. Consider that if the Left is allowed to import & regularize a permanent underclass through amnesty, before long these experts of voter fraud will have a brand-new pool of voters to ensure statist government for the rest of our lifetimes. Consider that an Obama who doesn’t have to worry about re-election will be more willing to consider any number of UN erosions of American sovereignty. Consider that Eric Holder will continue corrupting the Justice Department and persecuting states that try to crack down on vote fraud while allowing the fraud itself to go unpunished.

You mean to tell me stopping all that isn’t important enough to warrant holding your nose and voting for Mitt Romney? Really?

Besides, it hasn’t been that long since it was Mitt Romney who was the “conservative alternative” to John McCain (who we still managed to rally around), according to many of today’s RDS sufferers like Erick Erickson and Mark Levin, who told us that Romney shared our values and would uphold them in office. And as Ramesh Ponnuru writes:
He has not moved left since that time. His positions on policy questions are almost all the same as they were then. On a few issues he has moved right: He now favors a market-oriented reform to Medicare, for example. 
If Romney was to McCain’s right then, he is still. He’s to George W. Bush’s right, too. Bush never came out for the Medicare reform Romney has endorsed. Bush never said that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, either. Romney has.
Romney’s platform is solidly conservative on fiscal, social, and defense issues. Serious conservatives like John Bolton, Maggie Gallagher, John Willke, Robert Bork, and Jay Sekulow vouch for him. Supporting him won’t require us to sell our souls, but merely to hold him accountable to his promises afterward we oust Obama. He’s no Reagan, but he’s a step up from everyone we’ve run since then – John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush.

Granted, maybe he’ll lose the election. Maybe he’ll be a disaster as president. I don’t know. But y’know what? Neither do Mark Levin, Michael Reagan, Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson, Jeffrey Lord, Dan Riehl, William Jacobson, John Hawkins, Thomas Sowell, Jeff Emanuel, or anyone else. Maybe he’ll destroy Obama and save the country from the brink of Armageddon. (And maybe, just maybe, the vote will be close enough that the RDS pouters like Riehl will be enough to cause Obama’s victory.) We simply won’t know unless we try.

Beyond 2012, this spectacle has revealed a deeper sickness within the conservative family. For all we’ve mocked liberals for the cult of personality they developed around Obama, too many of us have done the same. Too many (in most cases Perry and Gingrich backers) have rashly proclaimed their guy the Reaganite, the outsider, the true conservative savior, and therefore anyone not onboard (in most cases Romney backers) is either a pretender or a sellout, no matter how reasoned their argument or how genuine their past contributions to conservatism.

We shouldn’t be enemies. There’s no reason for us to be at each other’s throats. We’re all working to save our country, and we’re all just trying to weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of three fallible men. Coming to different conclusions than one another about that is no sin, and can’t be allowed to divide us during such a critical turning point in our nation’s history.
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"Truthers to the left of me, truthers to the right"

“I believe Trig was born to Sarah Palin. I believe Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. I believe fire can melt steel and that bin Laden’s jihadi crew — not Bush and Cheney — perpetrated mass murder on 9/11. What kind of kooky conspiracist does that make me?”

Panic Over Palin

The Atheist “Ethicist” tries to smear Sarah Palin as a religious nutjob. Hot Air explains why that charge is bunk.

Andrew Sullivan’s
at it again, this time imagining an affair in the Barracuda’s past.

“If she loves special needs kids so much, why’d she slash their funding?”
Um, she didn’t.

And no, she’s
not a fascist, either.

And this is just the tip of
the iceberg

The Right’s Leading Ladies

Not since Ann Coulter has the Left hated a conservative woman as much as they hate Sarah Palin. So it’s only fitting that Ann throw in her two cents on the GOP’s newest rising star:
John McCain’s choice of Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, as his running mate finally gave Republicans a reason to vote for him — a reason, that is, other than B. Hussein Obama.
The media are hopping mad about McCain’s vice presidential selection, but they’re really furious over at MSNBC. After drawing “Keith + Obama” hearts on their denim notebooks, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews stayed up all night last Thursday, writing jokes about Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the presumed vice presidential pick. Now they can’t use any of them.
So the media are taking it out on our brave Sarah and her 17-year-old daughter.
They claimed Palin was chosen only because she’s a woman. In fact, Palin was chosen because she’s pro-life, pro-gun, pro-drilling and pro-tax cuts. She’s fought both Republicans and Democrats on public corruption and does not have hair plugs like some other vice presidential candidate I could mention. In other words, she’s a “Republican.”
As a right-winger, Palin will appeal to the narrow 59 percent of Americans who voted for another former small-market sportscaster: Ronald Reagan. Our motto: Sarah Palin is only a heartbeat away!
If you’re going to say Palin was chosen because she’s a woman, you’re going to have to demonstrate that the runners-up were more qualified. Gov. Tim Pawlenty seems like a terrific fellow and fine governor, but he is not obviously more qualified than Palin.
As for former governor of Pennsylvania Tom Ridge and Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman, the other also-rans, I can think of at least 40 million unborn reasons she’s better than either of them.
Within the first few hours after Palin’s name was announced, McCain raised $4 million in campaign donations online, reaching $10 million within the next two days. Which shortlist vice presidential pick could have beaten that?
The media hysterically denounced Palin as “inexperienced.” But then people started to notice that she has more executive experience than B. Hussein Obama — the guy at the top of the Democrats’ ticket.
They tried to create a “Troopergate” for Palin, indignantly demanding to know why she wanted to get her ex-brother-in-law removed as a state trooper. Again, public corruption is not a good issue for someone like Obama, Chicago pol and noted friend of Syrian National/convicted felon Antonin Rezko.
For the cherry on top, then we found out Palin’s ex-brother-in-law had Tasered his own 10-year-old stepson. Defend that, Democrats.
The bien-pensant criticized Palin, saying it’s irresponsible for a woman with five children to run for vice president. Liberals’ new talking point: Sarah Palin: Only five abortions away from the presidency.
They claimed her newborn wasn’t her child, but the child of her 17-year-old daughter. That turned out to be a lie.
Then they attacked her daughter, who actually is pregnant now, for being unmarried. When liberals start acting like they’re opposed to pre-marital sex and mothers having careers, you know McCain’s vice presidential choice has knocked them back on their heels.
But at least liberal reporters had finally found someone their own size to pick on: a 17-year-old girl.
Speaking of Democrats with newborn children, the media weren’t particularly concerned about John Edwards running for president despite his having a mistress with a newborn child.
While the difficult circumstances of Palin’s pregnant daughter are being covered like a terrorist attack on the nation, with leering accounts of the 18-year-old father, the media remain resolutely uninterested in the parentage of Edwards’ mistress’s love child. Except, that is, the hardworking reporters at the National Enquirer, who say Edwards is the father.
As this goes to press, the latest media-invented scandal about Palin is that McCain didn’t know her well before choosing her as his running mate. He knew her well enough, though admittedly, not as well as Obama knows William Ayers.
John F. Kennedy, who was — from what the media tell me — America’s most beloved president, detested his vice president, Lyndon Johnson.
Until Clinton interviewed Al Gore one time before choosing him as his vice presidential candidate, he had met Gore only one other time: when Gore was running for president in 1988 and flew to Little Rock seeking Clinton’s endorsement. Clinton turned him down.
To this day, there’s no proof that Bill Clinton ever met one-on-one with his CIA director, James Woolsey, other than a brief chat after midnight the night before Woolsey’s nomination was announced.
Barring some all-new, trivial and probably false story about Palin — her former hairdresser got a parking ticket in 1978! — the media apparently intend to keep being hysterical about McCain’s alleged failure to “vet” Palin properly. The problem with this argument is that it presupposes that everyone is asking: “HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?”
No one’s saying that.
Attacks on McCain’s “vetting” process require the media to keep claiming that Palin has a lot of problems. But she doesn’t have any problems. Remember? Those were all blind alleys.
Unfortunately, for the ordinary TV viewer hearing nonstop hysteria about nonspecific “problems,” it takes a lot of effort to figure out that every attack liberals have launched against Palin turned out to be a lie.
It’s as if a basketball player made the winning shot in the last three seconds of the game and liberals demand that we have a week-long discussion about whether the player should have taken that shot. WHAT IF HE MISSED?
With Palin, McCain didn’t miss.

Biden?

Seriously? He chose Biden?!

Joe Biden is recognized as having a fair amount of foreign policy experience, which was very probably the main reason Barack Obama picked him, but Bill Richardson has a more-than comparable resume (UN Ambassador, Energy Secretary, Governor), plus is Hispanic and, most importantly, doesn’t have a reputation for being a walking embarrassment dispenser.

I mean, good grief! Mere days after the announcement, and even the most casual scan of the blogosphere (most of these stories were found on
Hot Air alone) have provided a treasure trove of ready-made opposition research. Apparent conflicts of interest, lobbyist issues, a casual acquaintance with the truth, arrogance issues all his own (those should nicely complement Obama’s preexisting problems on that front, eh?), contempt for the concerns of gun owners, some, uh, interesting praise for his own running mate…oh, and did I mention his foreign policy credentials are vastly overrated? How ‘bout issues with speech worthy of the Left’s number-one boogeyman, George W. Bush? Or maybe apparent confusion about who he actually thinks would be the better president? And then, of course, we can’t forget the plagiarism thing

Just imagine what goodies we’ll discover once they start trying. Not to mention the brand-new blunders in store on the campaign trail.

Sure, Richardson is a fairly-unremarkable lefty, and I’m sure he’s got a skeleton or two in his closet, but I can’t imagine this much crap would have come out this soon. As a minority candidate, Obama probably doesn’t have to worry too much about the Hispanic vote, but Richardson’s race would have to have been worth at least a few points, and again, he’s arguably got a more impressive resume than Biden.

Tim Kaine and Evan Bayh probably wouldn’t have brought much to the ticket, but (assuming Team Obama doesn’t have the exclusive scoop on some juicy info) nor would they be constant sources of stress for the campaign. Kathleen Sebelius, as a female Democrat who isn’t Hillary Clinton, would have been asking for trouble. And Hillary? It’s a pretty safe bet she and Barack hate each other’s guts.

Obama’s been fumbling big-time lately, with a crappy performance at Saddleback, his
disgraceful support of infanticide returning to haunt him, and now this, coupled with John McCain’s surprisingly-excellent (even conservative!) Saddleback showing and a willingness to hit The One where it hurts, and I’m optimistic about this election for the first time since Mitt Romney dropped out.

Now it’s especially important that McCain not squander his momentum with a bad VP pick of his own (that means you, Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman—now is not the year of the pro-choicer). I find Tim Pawlenty unremarkable, but he’d be a fairly safe choice. Bobby Jindal can fire up the stump, but I still think he needs time to build experience (and atone for
this profile in courage).
My choice would either be Mitt Romney (surprise!) or Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Romney has framed himself firmly to McCain’s right, has abundant economic expertise, and has proven himself an aggressive campaigner and an excellent debater. It can be said that Palin should have more experience, sure, but she’s been a successful and conservative governor, and, of course, is a woman, which could make for a mighty interesting election, what with all these disgruntled Hillary supporters running around (granted, this may smack of identity politics, but there’s no reason not to see race or sex as a selling point, provided—and this is the key—that you’re not doing so at the expense of qualification or principles).

Come on, John. As much as I hate to say it, I’ve seen and accepted the need to support you. Don’t let us down.

Odds & Ends

Rock for Life’s YouTube page has new video of numerous pro-life Congressmen taking Planned Parenthood to task. Glad to see some Republicans still have spines…especially after this moment of GOP brilliance.

Your brain on drugs: Frederick Douglass
belongs to the Left?

Ever wonder how Jesse Jackson feels now that Barack Obama’s stolen the spotlight?
Well, now we know. Surprised? Me neither.

In case you missed it, “the father of Quebec Medicare” has
second thoughts about his creation.

Iran is
faking photographs of missile tests. Yep, reaaaal stable regime there…(hat tip: Jihad Watch)

Bobby Jindal, conservative champion? Sadly, his “new politics”
seem awfully familiar, too. Conservatives need to be careful not to build up fairytale heroes (*cough*Fred!*cough*), but I still think we should keep an eye out on Mitt, as well as Sarah Palin.