I will never vote for Mitt Romney. He has disqualified himself from the presidency on several occasions: from the demagogic way he attacked Rick Perry’s accurate statements on Social Security, to his flip-flops on issues ranging from immigration to auto bailouts, he has revealed himself, over and over, to be a caricature of a politician — a man who will say absolutely anything to get to check that very last box on his resume.
This is where my opposition to Romney begins and ends. It isn’t worth our turn at the White House to elect this man, and I’d rather drop this cult-like obsession with the presidency in favor of focusing on neutering Obama by taking back the Senate.
The goal of stopping Mitt Romney was supposed to be about finding a viable, consistent alternative to oppose the Obama agenda. That person never emerged — and so the goal of finding an alternative to Mitt Romney has ended with the aim of simply denying him the nomination, no matter what the cost. The false idol of Defeating Romney demands sacrifice — and an embittered faction of the party is all-too-willing to appease this idol by slaughtering conservative principles at the altar.
It’s no longer about Romney, but what he represents. He has come to symbolize the ‘establishment,’ and denying him the nomination is now little more than a proxy war against it. The irony of a former Speaker of the House or the former #3-ranking Senate Republican (and K-Street point-man) leading an insurrection against the establishment is genuinely lost on many.
By what possible standard does Newt Gingrich represent any sort of alternative to the cowardice and hypocrisy of Mitt Romney? Newt Gingrich, who slammed Paul Ryan as a “right-wing social engineer,” who opposed the surge, who supported the largest expansion of the entitlement state since Lyndon Johnson in the form of Medicare Pt. D, who supported an unconstitutional federal-level individual mandate for health care, who explained his serial adultery by saying that it was because he loved his country so much, whose breathtaking incompetence as Speaker resulted in a coup against him just two terms in, and who now has joined the ranks of Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, and Debbie Wasserman-Schulz in demonizing private equity firms with the worst kinds of socialist caricatures? This man is the ‘Reagan Republican’ alternative to the establishment? How can this possibly be so?
Rick Perry, too, has joined Newt Gingrich’s Occupy protest, claiming that private equity firms like Bain Capital are “vultures” who “destroy communities” and “pick the bones clean” from dying companies to “profit the few” and that “we need leaders like Elizabeth Warren in the Senate who understand this.” Okay, that last part’s not true — but what’s the difference?
In what parallel universe are these people our ‘conservative’ choices?
The only possible explanation here is that they are not Mitt Romney.
From Rush Limbaugh to Jim DeMint to Rudy Giuliani to Steve Forbes, conservative leaders are recognizing this derangement for what it is. It’s become apparent that the GOP has its Rominee,* and while we all lament the fact that people like Governor Christie, Governor Jindal, and Congressman Pence didn’t step up to the plate this year, there are certain principles that aren’t worth sacrificing to deny just one man a nomination in just one cycle.
Gingrich, Perry, and the other Occupy Wall Street Republicans are not “conservative alternatives” to Mitt Romney. They are on a kamikaze mission to blow up his candidacy, and their supporters are aiding and abetting it. In their eyes, the symbol of the ‘establishment’ must die, and what it takes to kill him doesn’t even matter anymore. They’ll blow up this city to save it. The cause of championing free-market capitalism in 2012 will lay in ruins, and Gingrich, Perry, and the anti-Romney cult will smile, nod their heads, and congratulate themselves on a job well-done.
* – Thanks to my friend Tim for this line!