If You're Ever to Win...

This evening, I had been listening to one of my favorite talk-show hosts, Mark Levin, and I came away a little disappointed.  My disagreements with Levin are usually trivial, and I hold most of his arguments in high esteem, but this time, I am not merely unconvinced by his rationale, but utterly astonished by it.  His argument is essentially that he will support the Republican nominee, even if it’s the establishment’s guy, Mitt Romney.  Where I am concerned, there aren’t any candidates in this field who I can fully support, as I’ve recently detailed, but I don’t mean merely in the primary.  Some, I can’t support at all.  There are those who will point to Barack Obama’s ridiculous assaults on the constitution, the uniquely American culture, and the pocket-books of working men and women of every description as moral imperatives that demand we all go to the polling places in November and support whatever candidate the GOP musters.  I’ve heard it before, and I’ve heard it until I’m sick to death of hearing it.  I’ve heard it in every election in my adult life save only 1984.  I will hear it no more.  This is my challenge to the GOP:  Find an actual conservative or watch me take a powder in November.

I imagine most have you have purchased an automobile or two (or twenty) over the course of your lives,  and the first principle I always apply when shopping for a vehicle is to have a maximum number of dollars I will spend for a minimum number of features, warranties, and the like.  I try to always arrive at a dealer’s location with a check already cut if financing will be part of the deal.  I know in most instances that I will find better financing through my own credit union than most dealers will offer.  It also effectively places me in the position of being a cash customer  from the dealer’s perspective.  They aren’t so accustomed to that, because most people stumble in looking to trade because their current vehicle is probably on its last leg, and only come to deal when the current ride is looking a little long in the tooth.  Therefore, my second rule is simpler still:  Never go to a car dealer when I’m desperate for a deal.  The reason is simplicity itself.  If I’m not desperate, I will have no problem exercising that option most critical in negotiating any deal, whether for a car, a truck, a house, a business, or a presidential nominee:  You must be willing to walk away, and if your basic criteria are not met, you must exercise that option.

If you do not walk away, you will be a patsy, and once you give ground on something so basic to your previously established rules, in the future, you lose all credibility at the bargaining table. Your adversary will smell blood in the water, and will know you are desperate, so that he can (and will) shove anything he likes down your throat, and while you may complain or carry on about the unfairness of it all, in the end, you will relent and take the deal offered.  This I have learned the hard way by permitting myself to be that desperate party, and permitting myself to wind up in the situation in which I am no longer a credible negotiator, and therefore unable to leverage my position since it consisted entirely of bluff and was completely without teeth.  If you want to be a perpetual sucker, place yourself in such a position repeatedly, and whether in business or in politics, you will soon find yourself unable to negotiate even the slightest advantage.

If you doubt me, I would ask you to review the performance of John Boehner and Eric Cantor as the top Republicans in the House over the last twelve months.  They have accomplished precisely nothing worth remembering, and at every opportunity have cut and run when the President and Harry Reid boxed them in.  Nothing.  “Biggest reversal in history” and all the rest, but in the end? Not a damned thing.  From the moment the House Republicans cut a deal on the Debt Ceiling rather than insisting upon Cut, Cap & Balance, it has been all down hill, and it has all gone Obama’s way since he figured out how desperate Boehner and McConnell(Republican Leader in the Senate,) really were.  From that moment, Obama has run the table on these clowns, and in the end, it makes them look all the more foolish because they spouted, and postured, and harrumphed, but in the end, they were willing to cut a deal, any deal, to be able to walk away.  Thus died the first allegedly “Tea Party Congress.”  It died precisely because your leadership wasn’t really willing to walk away.

The same is true of individual voters in their relationship to the party’s establishment, whichever party we may be discussing.  At the moment, that party is the GOP, and it’s right that we consider it as individual voters, making a bargain with the party chieftains.  Roughly 70-75%(depending on the poll you choose) of the Republican Party wants no part of Mitt Romney.  They see in him much of what they see in Obama, but worse in many ways, also what they see in John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.  They’re right to be worried about a Mitt Romney presidency, that will be consumed with “making a deal” to the extent that it would make any deal, any place, any time, all in order to secure a deal of some sort.  Details matter not.  It is for this reason that for once, conservatives had ought to reject the voices of our friends who insist we “take the deal” (meaning: Romney.)   We must be prepared to sit out this election, at least on the presidential ballot, because we will not defeat him anyway with a guy who is in such a hurry to cut a deal, and even if he managed to win, would soon undercut us.  They’re already offering us assurances that we’ll be able to push or pull Romney to the right, but the fact is that I do not want a president who needs to be cajoled into conservative actions, because in accepting him to begin with, he will have learned something else: We’re not willing to walk away.

Armed with that knowledge, a President Romney will spend all of his time undercutting conservatives.  He’s a Keynesian, so he’ll increase taxes and/or use more massive government spending.  He will not reform entitlements, and if Obamacare is repealed, it will only be replaced by a program slightly less objectionable.  This is because Romney is a deal-maker, and he’s the guy for whom the deal is itself everything.  It’s about closing the deal, because he expects his commission, and while it may not be in cash, it will be in some false notion of prestige.

It is for this reason that I now inform the Republican Party to the knowing of the world that they either nominate a conservative, or wave at me on the sidelines, because that is where I will be.  A lifetime worth of hard lessons has taught me what I always suspected, but hadn’t the courage or patience to practice in my younger years, because they used my fear of uncertainty against me.  I don’t want the nation to collapse, and I don’t want the Marxist state they’re building, but I also know that a Mitt Romney presidency will only slow its advance, and maybe not by much.  I am no longer fearful of Obama’s predations, because I know that with another moderate Republican, those predations will continue.  I will not be driven to vote for a moral slacker because his opponent is a moral leper.

This evening I listened to a man I admire advance a notion that is ghastly to me.  He has already mentally prepared himself to accept and support a Romney candidacy, and he went on to discuss how he would demand that at least the Vice Presidential pick be a real conservative.  Why would Romney ever do that?  He might look for somebody who was somewhat more conservative, and brought something to the table, like Nikki Haley or similar, trying to energize you, but let’s be honest:  Vice Presidents don’t generally mean much.  To hear Mark Levin effectively suggest that we ought to at least get a conservative VP was saddening.  What it means is that he’s still more fearful of Obama than he is of losing the country, because in his mind, he’s merged the two, but the truth is that Obama is merely completing the job that was begun a long time ago, and has been carried on by successive presidents with damnably few exceptions, and Mitt Romney would do little of substance to change it.

You can listen to this clip from Levin’s show here:

There are those of you who will damn me for this position, but it is mine, and I’m standing by it.   I will not be herded into another vote for another moderate under any circumstance, because I know such a candidate will not likely win, and will surely not rescue the country if he somehow manages to defeat Obama.  To hear Levin saying that we “need a conservative in the second slot” is to admit he’s already conceding the first slot. What Romney and others in the Republican establishment will interpret this to mean is precisely what Barack Obama interprets Boehner’s endless concessions to mean: There’s an unwillingness to stand on principle for the sake of a politically expedient result, and one that is not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve placed themselves in the position whereby they’re now clearly desperately willing to “take the deal.”

You’re free to conclude what you will, but I would rather make it plain: If the Republican party nominates another moderate, I no longer fear Obama because I realize there are Republicans equally awful.   I am no longer convinced by the insipid argument that “any of these are better than Obama.”  I no longer believe that to be the case.  Some of them are every bit as bad, and to prove I believe that, and to stand by my principles, I am fully prepared to walk away. Might this lead to a second term for Obama?  Yes. Am I willing to confront that horrible reality?  Yes.  Rather than ask me if I’m willing to deal with that reality, you had better ask if you are.  You had better ask the Republican establishment that is busying itself with the chore of making Romney palatable to you.  You had better go ask your fellow conservatives, because while you can go along to get along if you like, I am prepared to walk away even if the Republican Party sends squads of establishment squawkers to damn me for it.  Watch me.  It’ll be my back side they see, as I disappear in the distance.  This year, no deals!

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