Posturing "moderates" could sabotage GOP prospects in ‘08
By Christopher Adamo
Prominent grassroots conservatives were dismayed last week to learn of a 1994 letter written by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney when running for the U.S. Senate, in which he voiced his support of "gay rights," to the point of claiming to be a stronger ally than Ted Kennedy. His stance on abortion was little better, assuring pro-aborts that he would do nothing to infringe on current Massachusetts law.
While not as thoroughly indicting as John McCain's tirades against the Christian right back in 2000, this information represents a clear disconnect with the constituency Romney now seeks to court.
Ever since the mid-term elections, he has sounded like a citadel of traditional values. But as the details of his past are revealed, conservatives around the nation find it increasingly difficult to join the Romney camp. In truth, none of this is really new. Certainly those conservatives living in Massachusetts, few in number though they may be, are not surprised.
The Bay State has been at the epicenter of such movements as the establishment of same-sex "marriage" and public school "sex education" programs designed by the homosexual advocacy. To ensure that little Johnny arrives at adulthood properly pre-programmed to accept this countercultural ideology, schools have presumed the authority to teach on such subjects without parental knowledge or consent.
In none of these circumstances has Romney led the charge to return to traditional values. Nevertheless, he recognizes the necessity to garner support from the vaunted "values voters" whose antipathy towards the Republican Party proved decisive in this past election. So now Romney is presuming to carry the torch for faith, family, mom, and apple pie.
Far from being outraged at the recent revelations of Romney's moral and philosophical inconsistencies, conservative movers and shakers ought to be extremely thankful this information came to light long before the 2008 primaries. The timing of this controversy affords them the opportunity to find another, more worthwhile candidate around whom they can rally. And some such individuals may indeed be entering the presidential fray.
In the meantime, it is critically important that conservatives do not entrap themselves with their own version of John Kerry. In 2004, Kerry was the presumptive winner of the Democrat nomination early on, despite being unable to muster any voter enthusiasm other than being an alternative to President Bush. The ploy did not work.
Nor has such an approach ever proven successful for the Republican ticket, especially in recent decades, after social/moral issues had risen to prominence. Any Republican candidate, who does not possess a clear track record of actively and enthusiastically championing such causes, can be virtually guaranteed to lose in the ‘08 general election.
The real lesson of the ‘06 elections, despite the incessant "spin" being put on them, is that the conservative base will not support liberalism from either party. But while Democrats can appeal to their leftist fringe as a suitable substitute, Republicans who lose conservative support will ultimately be hung out to dry.
Those latecomers to the conservative bandwagon, who then seek to ingratiate themselves among the conservative camp by talking the talk, despite not having "walked the walk" over the years, can count on being exposed at some point. The press will see to it.
In Romney's case, his cover was blown by conservatives such as Paul Weyrich, who primarily operate at the grassroots. Ideally, old-media types would have preferred to keep the lid on such revelations until just prior to the general election. At that point they could be stridently exposed and conservative voters disenfranchised, but with no alternative available. Thus the liberal/Democrat would win by default.
Despite the disturbing 2006 election results, the constituency known as "values voters" is not going to disappear from electoral politics. Furthermore, their presence severely complicates the political scene since their numbers are great and their interests are comparatively inflexible.
Those who have either undermined or dismissed them in the past will find it extremely difficult to gain their trust, now that the pivotal nature of their support has become inarguably obvious. If mere "spiritual" sounding verbiage could qualify a candidate, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and even John Kerry would be in the fold, since all have occasionally dabbled in pious rhetoric.
Until recently, the field of Republican candidates has appeared devoid of any real conservative who could rally the grassroots and generate true enthusiasm. So the "fall back" position among Republicans has been to attempt to generate momentum for one of the presumed "moderates" already in the race.
In only the past few days, Senator Sam Brownback (R.-KS) has announced that he is considering a run for the Presidency. Admittedly, Brownback has much catching up to do. In the areas of fund-raising and name recognition, he is far behind those whose names have been bandied about by party insiders for some time. Yet he possesses the sort of long-standing conservative pedigree that can inspire the grassroots.
It is abundantly clear from all of the contrived media hype over Barak Obama in the past few weeks that the Democrats intend to run an eminently capable, experienced and invincible candidate in '08. This is not to say that Obama actually qualifies on any of these fronts, but only that the media/Democrat political cabal incessantly tells us that he does.
Against such fabricated stardom, any "business as usual" Republican will be obliterated at the ballot box. If the GOP hopes to compete, it cannot afford to settle for anything less than a true Reagan Conservative who carries no baggage and makes no excuses for past liberalism.
Whether the Republican nominee is indeed Senator Brownback, or some other individual who has not yet announced, conservatives had better begin immediately to define the 2008 race by endorsing only to a candidate whom they can enthusiastically support as a champion of true conservatism. Anything less will set the stage for a Democrat in the White House in 2009.
Christopher G. Adamo is a freelance writer and staff writer for the New Media Alliance. He lives in southeastern Wyoming with his wife and sons. He has been active in local and state politics for many years.