A Hobson's Choice?

I’m sick to death of the Establishment GOP and all the other Romney shills in the media pretending not to know what they’re doing as they level a disgusting mischaracterization at Limbaugh, Levin, and others on the charge of “Flip-Flopping.”  Worse, they’re aligning with liberals in the media to push Romney.  Consider Mediaite’s attack on Limbaugh.  Here’s the essence of their argument, and yes, they’re serious:  Since people chose Romney over McCain in order to try to stop McCain in 2008, therefore, these people are “Flip-Floppers” because they now say Romney is no conservative.  Excuse me while I call… “Baloney!”   I’ve seen it posted on several sites over the last few days, and frankly, it’s garbage.  As Levin described it Wednesday, he had a “Hobson’s choice” in the matter, and he chose accordingly.  Frankly, Levin is right:  The only choice was to oppose McCain, and that meant supporting Romney at the time, in his view.  That’s not exactly a glowing endorsement.  Nevertheless, this is the premise on which the criticism of Limbaugh, Levin, and others is based, and it’s intended to mislead readers in the out-of-context history they provide.

This is idiotic.  The story by Mediaite seems to insist that one cannot choose between the lesser of two evils, and later, when new choices of lesser evil are added, that one must stick with one’s original choice to the bitter end.  This also assumes that Rush had the full story on Romney in 2008.  It assumes that he was as familiar with Romney as he has since become.  One might argue that Rush was simply endorsing Romney because he liked McCain even less, but what of it?  I find this media tactic despicable, but what is still more disgusting is how many people fall for this obviously fraudulent attack on Limbaugh.  One wonders if such people aren’t inclined to see Limbaugh in a negative light from the outset.

Let’s be honest: Given the choice of McCain and Romney, yes, I’d be inclined to pick Romney.  Now, expand my choices by Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, and Gary Johnson, and yes, I’m going to re-think my previous choice.  To be perfectly honest, if tomorrow Sarah Palin decided to change  her mind and run, I’d be back back-peddling from any support I might have given any of the rest of these.  NO PROBLEM.  The simple fact is that if you have limited choices, you may choose the best that remains at the time, but not be overly happy about it.  That’s the truth of Limbaugh’s “endorsement” of Romney in 2008.

At the same time, it may also be true that you subsequently learn things about your previous choice that make you rethink your judgment of their qualifications.  In any other context, liberals and moderates would call this “the ability to learn and grow and become more pragmatic.”  In this case, however, it’s being used as an attempt to discredit Limbaugh and anybody else who ever said a nice thing about Romney, but now finds him lacking.  In 2008, I knew none of the details of Romneycare I now do.  I hadn’t even heard of the flap over his hiring a landscaping company that used illegal aliens.  I certainly hadn’t heard of the controversy over his “Welfare Wheels” program.  Had I known that, I wouldn’t have been any more inclined to support Romney in the timeframe immediately before Super Tuesday in 2008.  The truth is, there was a good deal about Romney that we didn’t know then.

To suggest that one can’t change one’s mind upon discovery of new evidence is lunacy.  I’m a voter, and I have a responsibility to take great pains in making my choices because the country and its future demand it of me.   This is also why I disagree slightly with Mark Levin about the choice conservatives faced at that time in 2008:  If anything, the choice between Romney and McCain had been a Morton’s Fork because both were equally bad.  The truth may be in what I consider a false dilemma.  We have one more option beyond all of these:  The assault against Limbaugh is only possible because Limbaugh fell for a false dilemma.  He decided at that point in 2008 to support somebody who was not a conservative, and while he may not have known better at the time, his generosity in his description of Romney in order to attempt the defeat of McCain is now being thrown in his face.

This is why you ought to be scrupulously deliberate in your choices this coming year. Don’t find yourself in the position of having to later say that somebody you now choose is not really conservative.  The only way to do that is to be sure that you choose an actual conservative, or if none are available, to withhold your vote and your reputation, and with it, conservatism’s.  The jury is still out as to whether any of these Republican candidates will pass muster.  For my part, I am still weighing.  I know Romney, Huntsman, and Paul are out of consideration for me.  Their records and positions demand that I must never support any of these.  I am having great difficulties with Mr. Perry, and lesser degrees of difficulty with the others.  What I won’t be told by some leftist or establishment hack in 2016 is that I had endorsed somebody as a conservative who later turned out not to be anything of the sort.

If Rush Limbaugh had a fault in all of this, it is merely that he was too generous in his praise in order to attempt to defeat McCain. You can bet I won’t be making that mistake, and I’ll bet Rush won’t be doing so again either.

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