Make Mine Mitt
It has taken this long because, quite frankly, the Republican field has been lackluster and none of them are the perfect candidate espousing all the right conservative stances. Then again, to conservatives, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Samuel Huntington wrote, “No political philosopher has ever described a conservative utopia.” We should heed this advice when choosing who to support for the nomination.
However, the choice itself can be difficult. For example, John McCain, a patriot who I deeply respect, is a pro-victory and far sighted supporter of the Iraq War and the fight against Islamo-fascism. However, he voted against the Bush tax cuts, championed campaign finance reform that restricts speech, sponsored disastrous CO2 cap and trade schemes, and was on the wrong side of the amnesty bill.
That is the conundrum many conservatives face in evaluating and choosing among the GOP field.
Having said that, I find myself agreeing with the conclusions of the editors of National Review in endorsing Mitt Romney: [emphasis mine]
Romney is an intelligent, articulate, and accomplished former businessman and governor. At a time when voters yearn for competence and have soured on Washington because too often the Bush administration has not demonstrated it, Romney offers proven executive skill. He has demonstrated it in everything he has done in his professional life, and his tightly organized, disciplined campaign is no exception. He himself has shown impressive focus and energy…
Like any Republican, he would have an uphill climb next fall. But he would be able to offer a persuasive outsider’s critique of Washington. His conservative accomplishments as governor showed that he can work with, and resist, a Democratic legislature. He knows that not every feature of the health-care plan he enacted in Massachusetts should be replicated nationally, but he can also speak with more authority than any of the other Republican candidates about this pressing issue.
He would also have credibility on the economy, given his success as a businessman and a manager of the Olympics. Some conservatives question his sincerity. It is true that he has reversed some of his positions. But we should be careful not to overstate how much he has changed. In 1994, when he tried to unseat Ted Kennedy, he ran against higher taxes and government-run health care, and for school choice, a balanced budget amendment, welfare reform, and “tougher measures to stop illegal immigration.” He was no Rockefeller Republican even then…
More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates. A winning combination…
crossposted on The Main Adversary