Food for Thought?

To read the remarks of a few of you on my posting about walking away, one might think I’d stirred a hornet’s nest.  Good!  It’s not that I am after controversy for its own sake, but I think some of you have been lulled to sleep by the sweet song of surrender that is being sung by the carolers for Romney.  One of the problems I notice is that some of you argue that Obama must go because he is effectively an enemy of the country.  I agree.  My question for you, and the thing you must be willing to ask, as a few of you shout your shrill denunciations of me for my stance on all this is:  If that’s what Obama is, why isn’t the candidate you tell me can save us from Obama willing to say it?  Given the opportunity even to call him a “socialist,” Mitt Romney demurred and instead said of Obama: “He’s a big government liberal.”  Do you think he can win with that?  Do you think telling people Obama is a “big government liberal” conveys the treachery of his agenda?  What basis is there for these complaints about my unwillingness to support Romney in the general election, hurling at me a virtual accusation of treason for my unwillingness to participate?  Meanwhile, the man being held forth to conquer this vast evil named Obama is a candidate who portrays him as merely one more “big government liberal?

By your descriptions, Barack Obama is a monster, and while I will not quibble with you about that, I nevertheless wonder why you would send a disarmed fellow to engage him.  Disarmed, I say, because the reason Mitt Romney dare not call Obama a “socialist” is that it’s also an apt description of Mitt.  You see, he’s neutered. If you offer him up as your candidate, so will you be.  Let’s imagine Ronald Reagan, confronting the horrors of the Soviet Union, but unwilling to call it an “evil empire.”  Can you imagine any scenario by which the American people would have signed on to arm up to fight against an “empire of big government liberals?”  The complaint seems to be that I should get in line for this “motivating” appeal by Mitt Romney to come out and do battle with “the big government liberal.” I ask: “Which one?

One of the problems I have long observed on the right side of the philosophical aisle is this perpetual practice of describing the behavior of the opponent as a devil, but accompanied by an unwillingness to call him by name.  You think Obama is horrible?  You think he is attacking the country’s foundations?  You think he’s capable of destroying the nation, but more, that he seeks to do so?  If all these things are true, and I have no doubt that they are, why do you shrink from candidates who will point this out, and now turn to candidates who dare not say it?  How do you expect to defeat him with a candidate who helps Obama to conceal his true intentions, because to criticize Obama’s is to open that candidate to similar criticism?  How is this a winning strategy?

You don’t want to read this or hear it, but the truth is that we face a very dangerous situation in the world, from which Mitt Romney has not the ability, courage, foresight or wisdom to save us, even if he were somehow elected.    Why pretend?  Why carry out this fraud upon yourselves, when you know that with a Romney candidacy, 2012 will be a replay of 2008?  At best, Romney will pick a VP who might trend slightly more conservative to try to energize the base, but that’s not going to get him through.  You know it, and I know it, but you stubbornly refuse to admit it because you’ve begun to see him as your only option, and you’ll dutifully accept it once all the others have been cleared away.

Say it with me, and embrace the horror openly: As it stands, Mitt Romney is likely to be the GOP’s nominee, and he cannot defeat Barack Obama, in part because he is so much like Obama that he cannot effectively criticize him.  That’s the truth, isn’t it?  That’s the thing all these protests about my “unpatriotic” abandonment of the GOP in light of a probable Romney candidacy are intended to disguise.  Sure, yell at me.  I’ll, listen, but what you’re arguing is absurd in the extreme.  You say I will cause Romney to lose, but I ask you:  If he’s such a sure-fire candidate, why should my vote matter?  He should win by acclaim!   No, your real terror comes from the fact that you’ve realized it’s true, and all of your protests against my position condense down to this:  “I don’t want to lose [again.]”   If you don’t want to lose, you’d better go out and find a more suitable candidate right now, and whoever that may be, you’d better stop being dishonest with yourselves.  I am unwilling to provide you that comforting dishonesty.

In 2008, as in many cases before, Republicans nominated a soft moderate RINO, who subsequently picked a more conservative VP candidate to try to motivate the base.  Sarah Palin, even with the thundering applause to which she was greeted was not able to overcome the shortcomings at the top of the ticket.  What in the world makes you think Mitt Romney will be any different?  Who will he pick?  Nikki Haley?  Chris Christie?  Rick Santorum?  We also tried this in 1996 with Bob Dole, and Jack Kemp, if you care to remember.  In 2000, we did the same with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and it succeeded only because of Gore’s wooden ineptitude.   We came a hair’s breadth from “President Gore,” and he wasn’t the sitting president.  Don’t count on that sort of luck with Obama, because he is the sitting president, and he is already using the full reach of his office to buttress his own electoral fortunes.

I’m satisfied to ignore the presidential race, as I skip on to the down-ballot elections in November.   For twenty years, I’ve asked the Republican party to give me somebody to whom I could give my affirmative support.  For 20 years, they’ve given us moderate “big government liberals” with an “R” alongside their names, who choose somewhat more conservative VP candidates intended to entice us along.  Before you descend upon me with complaints about my patriotism, or my loyalty to a party, or any of that, I’d ask you to explain to me in concrete form what it is about Mitt Romney that will make him substantially different from the rest of the losers, all who have endorsed him, by the way.  It’s time for those of you who think I’m abominable for my willingness to walk away to show me in logic how Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama.  I don’t think he can do it, and the truth of the matter is that neither do most of you.  Don’t worry.  You don’t have to admit it publicly.


Note: Thanks to Carl for the image.