Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New at Live Action - Nancy Pelosi Wants to Force Georgetown Law to Subsidize Sandra Fluke's Promiscuity

My latest Live Action post:
Pro-abortion, anti-liberty zealot Rep. Nancy Pelosi has inadvertently done the pro-life cause a favor. On Monday the House Minority Leader held a congressional hearing on the cost of birth control, and the testimony of her witness, Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke, put the narcissism and disingenuousness of her cause on full display.
Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman over $3,000 during law school. For a lot of students who, like me, are on public interest scholarships, that’s practically an entire summer’s salary. Forty percent of female students at Georgetown Law report struggling financially as a result of this policy. One told us of how embarrassed and powerless she felt when she was standing at the pharmacy counter, learning for the first time that contraception wasn’t covered, and had to walk away because she couldn’t afford it. Students like her have no choice but to go without contraception.
Craig Bannister at CNSNews.com did the math and found that “At a dollar a condom if she shops at CVS pharmacy’s website, that $3,000 would buy her 3,000 condoms – or, 1,000 a year.” Divide 1,000 by 365, and it seems Ms. Fluke wants us to believe Georgetown girls are “having sex 2.74 times a day, every day, for three straight years.” Considering that my friends and I (male and female alike) managed to survive four years of college without having any sex, I don’t think the Georgetown kids cutting down a little is too much to ask.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Rick Santorum Is Losing Me

In January, I enthusiastically endorsed Rick Santorum for President, having been convinced that he finally demonstrated the political acumen to complement his philosophical integrity. For a while, Santorum’s performance seemed to affirm my decision—he effortlessly assumed the role of adult in the room during the Florida CNN debate, and his strength in the polls remains far stronger than most would have predicted just a few months ago.

Unfortunately, a handful of incidents over the past two weeks have forced me to reconsider. First came his lackluster performance in the Arizona CNN debate, during which he rationalized his support of No Child Left Behind thusly:
I have to admit, I voted for that, it was against the principles I believed in, but you know, when you’re part of the team, sometimes you take one for the team, for the leader, and I made a mistake. You know, politics is a team sport, folks, and sometimes you’ve got to rally together and do something, and in this case I thought testing and finding out how bad the problem was wasn’t a bad idea. 
Voting against your own principles because your team leader wanted you to? That’s not only about as un-Tea Party as you can get, it also stands in stark contrast to Santorum’s own one-word description of his candidacy that very night: “courage.”

Next, Santorum came under fire for saying that John F. Kennedy’s famous Address to Protestant Ministers made him want to “throw up”:
I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.  The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country. This is the First Amendment.  The First Amendment says the free exercise of religion.  That means bringing everybody, people of faith and no faith, into the public square.  Kennedy for the first time articulated the vision saying, no, “faith is not allowed in the public square.  I will keep it separate.” Go on and read the speech “I will have nothing to do with faith.  I won’t consult with people of faith.”  It was an absolutist doctrine that was foreign at the time of 1960.
Don’t get me wrong; I understand as well as anyone the truth and importance of Santorum’s underlying point, that the Left has twisted the Establishment Clause to obscure and erase America's Judeo-Christian foundations. We need a candidate and a president who will make that case to the American people. But we don’t need a candidate who makes it so easy for the Left to caricature that case. While some of JFK’s rhetoric could be interpreted as Santorum describes it, it’s hardly an obvious or indisputable inference—I suspect most Americans would read it as simply meaning he wouldn’t discriminate against Protestants or take his marching orders from the Vatican. What’s more, how much mileage do you think the Democrats will get out of ads which present Santorum as a wild-eyed theocrat who “wants to throw up” when he hears passages like:
I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source; where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials; and where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is treated as an act against all.
Or:
I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end; where all men and all churches are treated as equal; where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice; where there is no Catholic vote, no anti-Catholic vote, no bloc voting of any kind; and where Catholics, Protestants and Jews, at both the lay and pastoral level, will refrain from those attitudes of disdain and division which have so often marred their works in the past, and promote instead the American ideal of brotherhood.
And most recently, he and Mitt Romney have been fighting over a robocall which asks Democrats to vote for Santorum in the Michigan primary. While Romney's reaction is overblown and hypocritical, the fact remains that it contradicts Santorum’s own stated disdain for Democrats influencing Republican primaries, and its message was worse:
Romney supported the bailouts for his Wall Street billionaire buddies, but opposed the auto bailouts. That was a slap in the face to every Michigan worker, and we’re not gonna let Romney get away with it.
Not only is Santorum resorting to the very same class warfare he so admirably resisted not so long ago, but it raises the question: how can it be a “slap in the face” for Romney to oppose the auto bailout, but not for Santorum himself to do so? Attempting to give voters a false impression that you supported something you actually oppose isn’t exactly confidence-inspiring. (And for what it’s worth, one need not support either bailout to recognize substantive differences between them.)  

I’m not saying I won’t still vote for Rick Santorum in the Wisconsin primary. Many of his biggest assets—his unquestionable sincerity on social issues, his foreign policy expertise, and his relative purity on the crucial issue of government-run healthcare—remain unshakeable. Mitt Romney’s shortcomings (the latest example being this clumsy attempt to neutralize his wealth as a campaign issue) remain substantial. But I am saying I’m no longer certain he’s a stronger general election candidate than Romney, and so I must revert from identifying as a Santorum supporter to being undecided between Santorum and Romney.

Both men are far superior to Newt Gingrich (and Ron Paul, whose name shouldn’t even be spoken in the same breath as Gingrich’s). Both men have checkered pasts but are running on strong, unambiguous full-spectrum conservative platforms. Both men have denigrated themselves with petty, misleading infighting. Both men have displayed the capacity to change their tune for political expediency. Both men have shown promise in their ability to make the case against Barack Obama, but both men have also proven themselves to be disturbingly gaffe-prone.

I like and admire Rick Santorum. But I’m simply no longer confident enough in him to guarantee that he’ll get my primary vote. He and Mitt Romney have between now and April 3 to convince me they can get their act together and run a serious, focused, and reasonably caricature-proof campaign. May the best man win.

Monday, February 27, 2012

New at Live Action - Abortion Funding Muddies the Waters of DC Budget Controversy

My latest Live Action post:
Because it is the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia works a little differently from most localities.

For starters, its budgets are subject to review by the United States Congress. The legislative branch of the federal government is currently considering whether or not to give DC greater control over its own budget, but the specter of abortion is complicating the decision.  The Huffington Post states:

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees D.C. affairs, expressed his commitment late last year to giving budget autonomy to the District to help city government avoid a shutdown whenever Congress appears unable to pass a spending bill.

D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), Mayor Vincent Gray and others welcomed the proposal but reluctantly rejected the plan Issa unveiled in November because it contained a provision barring local funding for abortions — a move Issa said was necessary to win Republican votes.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Friday, February 24, 2012

New at Live Action - How Low Can You Go? Salon Writer Accuses Rick Santorum of Wanting Her Daughter Dead

My latest Live Action post:
Once again proving how hated those who stand for life are in some corners of society, Sarah Fister Gale at Salon explains how Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum “would have killed my daughter.”

She explains how a prenatal test of her unborn baby’s amniotic fluid revealed that she had Rh negative disease, which would have been fatal to her if left undiscovered. The prenatal testing saved the child’s life by enabling Gale’s doctor to track her development, ensure that she was delivered at the safest time, given a full blood transfusion, and monitored to make certain the disease was eliminated. Thankfully, little Ella is alive and well today.

What does this have to do with Rick Santorum, though?
If Rick Santorum had his way, I wouldn’t have been able to get that test, and she most likely would have died. Because according to him, tests that give parents vital information about the health of their unborn children are morally wrong. Though he has no medical training, and no business commenting on the medical decisions that women and their doctors make, he argues that such tests shouldn’t be provided, or that employers at least should be allowed to opt out of paying for them on “moral grounds.”
Santorum’s position is that “People have the right to do it,” but not “to have the government force people to provide it free” because prenatal testing often leads to abortion. He noted that he was speaking from experience: “I have a child that has Trisomy 18. Almost 100 percent of Trisomy 18 children are encouraged to be aborted.” The facts support Santorum—92% of positive Down syndrome diagnoses, for instance, result in abortion.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

New at Live Action - Newt Gingirch Reminds America That the Media Covered for Barack Obama's Baby Killing Past

My latest Live Action post:
Each presidential candidate had his ups and downs in last night’s CNN Republican debate, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had the evening’s most memorable moment. Moderator John King posed the following question:
Since “birth control” is the latest hot topic, which candidates believe in birth control and if not, why?
The audience’s raucous booing made clear they weren’t interested in the press’s latest talking point, and neither was Gingrich. He turned the tables beautifully:
I want to make two quick points, John. The first is there is a legitimate question about the power of the government to impose on religion activities which any religion opposes. That’s legitimate. But I just want to point out, you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. So let’s be clear here. If we’re going to have a debate about who is the extremist on these issues, it is President Obama, who, as a state senator, voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion.
Right on cue, Naureen Khan of National Journal sprang into action to defend the president and the press:
According to Politifact, an independent fact-checking organization that looked into similar claims made by former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum on the campaign trail, Obama voiced his opposition to the new legislation as a state senator because it would have given legal status to fetuses and would thus have been struck down by the courts, and because Illinois already had laws to ensure infants who survived abortions would be given medical attention.
Not true...
Read the rest at Live Action. (I've previously examined Obama's abortion extremism here, here, and here.)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Around the Web

Not content to parrot the Left's cultural agenda with a gay marriage/DADT story, the writers of Archie are apparently going to follow up with the Occupy movement. Remember when comic books were, y'know, comic books?

At Townhall, Daniel Doherty takes a look at a new plan for saving Social Security.

Pat Buchanan says Israel is more dangerous to America than Iran is. Why do conservatives still give this clown a platform?

Here's the libertarian case against the Confederacy. Given the root of "libertarianism," you'd think that'd be self-explanatory. Wacky libertarians.

A Wisconsin man decides to protest the new voter ID law by....not voting. I wholeheartedly endorse this effort, and encourage the rest of the state's liberals to do the same.

My alma mater, Hillsdale College, is the fifth most prude school in the country? Having spent four years there, I can reassure you that there was no mass confusion or ignorance about sex among the student body.

New at Live Action - South Dakota Informed Consent Fight Highlights the Truth About Abortion and Suicide

My latest Live Action post:
You’ve probably heard about Planned Parenthood v. Rounds, a dispute over South Dakota’s mandatory informed consent law, but you may not have heard about one of the case’s most potentially-explosive details: the law’s requirement that women seeking abortions be warned about a potential link between abortion and suicide.

On Monday, Americans United for Life’s Clarke Forsythe and Mailee Smith took to the pages of the Washington Times to explain the controversy, including a stunning rundown of the medical evidence. Here are just the first three examples:
A 1995 study by A.C. Gilchrist in the British Journal of Psychiatry found that in women with no history of psychiatric illness, the rate of deliberate self-harm was 70 percent higher after abortion than after childbirth.
A 1996 study in Finland by pro-choice researcher Mika Gissler in the British Medical Journal found that the suicide rate was nearly six times greater among women who aborted than among women who gave birth.
A 2002 record-linkage study of California Medicaid patients in the Southern Medical Journal, which controlled for prior mental illness, found that suicide risk was 154 percent higher among women who aborted than among those who delivered.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Monday, February 20, 2012

New at Live Action: "Safe, Legal, and Rare"?

My latest Live Action post:
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: “We support a woman’s right to choose, but that doesn’t mean we think abortion is a good thing. We want abortion to be safe, legal, and rare, so we prefer to find ways to reduce women’s need for abortion.”

It’s a neat, tidy bit of rhetoric that enables pro-choicers to distance themselves from the injustice of abortion while simultaneously spinning policies like forced contraception coverage as somehow pro-life. It doesn’t hold up too well under logical scrutiny—if abortion isn’t the taking of an innocent life, then who cares how rare it is?—but on the whole, it’s been a useful propaganda tool.
However, over the weekend New York Times columnist Ross Douthat took a look at how well the “safe, legal, and rare” strategy has worked out. His conclusion? It hasn’t:
To begin with, a lack of contraceptive access simply doesn’t seem to be a significant factor in unplanned pregnancy in the United States. When the Alan Guttmacher Institute surveyed more than 10,000 women who had procured abortions in 2000 and 2001, it found that only 12 percent cited problems obtaining birth control as a reason for their pregnancies. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of teenage mothers found similar results: Only 13 percent of the teens reported having had trouble getting contraception.
Read the rest at Live Action.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

New at Live Action - New Report on Murder of Pregnant Women Reveals Why Misogynists Love Abortion

My latest Live Action post:
Just as pro-aborts are redoubling their efforts to persuade America that the champions of “choice” are vital to women’s independence and well being, a new report emerges suggesting just the opposite. The report, just published by Life Dynamics, compiles eighty known cases of women who were murdered because they refused to have an abortion:
One such example is Valicia Demery. When Bernard Bellamy Jr. learned she was pregnant he ordered her to have an abortion. When she refused, Bellamy ran her over with his car and left her to die. The night before the murder Bellamy sent Demery a text message telling her to come to her senses before it’s too late. When asked, “B4 what’s too late?” he replied, “ U will C.”
Life Dynamics founder, Mark Crutcher, suggests that the actual number of women victimized for refusing abortion is much higher, since women who succumb to intimidation and get abortions often let the incident go unreported.  And while abortion’s political defenders obviously aren’t condoning this behavior, Crutcher doesn’t think they’re completely blameless, either:
Read the rest at Live Action.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New at Live Action - RH Reality Check's Strangest Pro-Abortion Tirade Yet

My latest Live Action post:
Because it’s impossible for pro-aborts to claim the moral high ground when debating abortion on the procedure’s merits, it’s more common for them to shift the conversation to different criteria that superficially cast pro-lifers in a less sympathetic light.

This weekend, RH Reality Check published an article by Ann Rose, a diarist at the rabidly left-wing Daily Kos, which purports to explain that pro-lifers aren’t interested in saving babies at all; we just want to dominate women’s sex lives:
[A]n anti-abortion right-wing Republican gets pregnant and doesn’t want to be, she has a “good reason” for not wanting to be pregnant and get an abortion.  You see, her reason is different and more justifiable than the pathetic excuses of all those sluts in the waiting room at the abortion clinic.  All those sluts are getting an abortion for “convenience” and “selfishness” and maybe even “punishment” for being a slut.
I’ve seen it with my very own eyes.  One day, they’re out picketing the abortion clinic. Next day, oops, they’re inside getting an abortion. Then, they’re back outside picketing. Major disconnect.
I’m sure there are women whose pro-life principles crumble when they find themselves pregnant. I’m also sure there are pro-abortion misogynists, gun control activists who pack heat, ministers who lie, charity workers who cheat on their taxes, environmentalists who litter, and school choice opponents who send their own kids to private schools. So what?
Read the rest at Live Action.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rick Santorum: Fiscal Conservative

Among conservatives, the knock on Rick Santorum is that his record on spending doesn't live up to his record on social issues or foreign policy - that he's a "pro-life statist," as Erick Erickson characteristically put it back when he was carrying water for Rick Perry. But a new Weekly Standard piece takes a closer look, and found that Santorum actually had one of the most fiscally conservative voting records during his time in the Senate, despite representing a more liberal state than many of his Republican colleagues:
NTU’s [National Taxpayers Union] scoring paints a radically different picture of Santorum’s 12-year tenure in the Senate (1995 through 2006) than one would glean from the rhetoric of the Romney campaign.  Fifty senators served throughout Santorum’s two terms:  25 Republicans, 24 Democrats, and 1 Republican/Independent.  On a 4-point scale (awarding 4 for an A, 3.3 for a B+, 3 for a B, 2.7 for a B-, etc.), those 50 senators’ collective grade point average (GPA) across the 12 years was 1.69 — which amounts to a C-.  Meanwhile, Santorum’s GPA was 3.66 — or an A-.  Santorum’s GPA placed him in the top 10 percent of senators, as he ranked 5th out of 50. 


Across the 12 years in question, only 6 of the 50 senators got A’s in more than half the years.  Santorum was one of them.  He was also one of only 7 senators who never got less than a B.  (Jim Talent served only during Santorum’s final four years, but he always got less than a B, earning a B- every year and a GPA of 2.7.)  Moreover, while much of the Republican party lost its fiscal footing after George W. Bush took office — although it would be erroneous to say that the Republicans were nearly as profligate as the Democrats — Santorum was the only senator who got A’s in every year of Bush’s first term.  None of the other 49 senators could match Santorum’s 4.0 GPA over that span.
The Standard article compares and averages a lot of grades, but doesn't go into a lot of detail about what Santorum voted on. For that, check out the Club for Growth's Presidential White Paper on him. Their conclusion: while Santorum backed a number of bad policies, his overall economic record was "above average."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ron Paul Can't See the Difference Between the Other Republicans and Obama

An addendum to my post on why Paulites aren't reliable GOP voters: Ron Paul suggesting to his fans that if the Republican nominee is anyone other than him, they might as well sit out the election:
“I think they’d all be better on taxes,” he said. “No, I don’t think any one would be a lot better [than Barack Obama]. That’s my problem and that’s the problem with the country. When you put people in office — you put a Democrat in, he acts like a republican too much, and when you put a Republican in, they act like a Democrat and they spend too much money. So I just don’t see a whole lot of difference with them." 
Sure, unless you count stimulus, healthcare, abortion, infanticide, marriage, federalism, judges, religious liberty, gun control, immigration, unions, DOJ corruption, bailouts, national security, foreign policy, the Constitution, regulation, global warming, cap & trade, entitlement reform, or education. But other than that, the Republican candidates are exactly like Obama.

Ron Paul's not a presidential candidate. He's a cult leader.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

26 Reasons Tom Woods Is A Hack (or, Why Courting Ron Paul's Voters Is a Fool's Errand)


Generally, I make it a point not to concern myself with the ramblings of Tom Woods, Ludwig Von Mises Institute senior fellow and peddler of dubious historical revisionism. But when his February 8 piece, “26 Things Non-Paul Voters Are Basically Saying,” appeared in my Facebook feed, I bit. As a non-Paul voter, I couldn’t help but be curious about the hidden meaning behind my own words.

What I found was that I blindly trust the government and the media, I don’t care about spending or the Constitution, want drug addicts to get raped, reject Thomas Jefferson, and prefer Goldman Sachs to the US Army.

Huh. And here I thought it was Ron Paul’s slandering of Israel, bigoted newsletters, Civil War revisionism, earmark hypocrisy, shilling for traitors and dictators, 9/11 Trutherism, desire to imprison Scooter Libby on false charges, and anti-Semitism that repelled me from the Texas Congressman. Good thing a genius like Tom Woods came along to so skillfully expose my subconscious motives. All without even meeting me! 

Woods says he’s “trying to understand the thinking behind” those of us who haven’t joined the rEVOLution, but it soon becomes glaringly obvious he’s made no such attempt, and is merely indulging a fanatical desire to berate those who won’t genuflect before his idol. Woods’ twenty-six claims about the non-Paulite psyche are an odyssey of deceit, oversimplification, and sometimes outright childishness.

Friday, February 10, 2012

New at Live Action - Buffy the Unborn Slayer?

My latest Live Action post:
Popular action-drama Buffy the Vampire Slayer may have left the airwaves in 2003, but the adventure continues in a comic book series produced by original series creator Joss Whedon. This week, the comic caught the attention of USA Today for an upcoming story in which protagonist Buffy Summers finds herself single, jobless, and pregnant after a drunken party she barely remembers. Unwilling to simultaneously deal with both parenthood and monster fighting, she plans to have an abortion.
Whedon explains:
“Buffy was always about the arc of a life, and it wasn’t ever going to be one of those shows where they were perpetually in high school and never asked why,” Whedon says. “It was about change. So there’s never a time when Buffy’s life isn’t relevant.” […]
“It offends me that people who purport to be discussing a decision that is as crucial and painful as any a young woman has to make won’t even say something that they think is going to make some people angry.”
Right off the bat, the story’s premise seems highly suspect: after seven seasons’ worth of fighting evil and having the weight of the world on her shoulders, Buffy still lets her guard down so fully that she can get unknowingly impregnated by strangers?
Read the rest at Live Action.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

New at Live Action - Michelle Goldberg's Lame, Arrogant Excuses for the Obama Birth Control Mandate

My latest Live Action post:
Hot off the heels of trashing Lila Rose, Newsweek’s Michelle Goldberg jumps into the ObamaCare-contraception fray with a Daily Beast column arguing that forcing Catholic institutions to offer birth control is no big deal. Unfortunately for the Obama Administration, however, her apologia is a train wreck of distortions and non sequiturs:
But many Catholic institutions are already operating in states that require contraceptive coverage, such as New York and California. Such laws are on the books in 28 states, and only eight of them exempt Catholic hospitals and universities. Nowhere has the Catholic Church shut down in response. 
Really? According to the non-partisan National Conference of State Legislatures, the actual number of states with religious exemptions is twenty, making the truth the exact opposite of what Goldberg describes. Maybe that has something to do with why Catholics would consider the White House’s decision a dramatic change in the status quo?

Monday, February 6, 2012

New at Live Action - Dr. Ron Paul's Backward Position on Rape Abortions

My latest Live Action post:
Libertarian Republican and presidential contender Ron Paul made headlines recently for an exchange with CNN’s Piers Morgan about how to handle rape pregnancies. Pro-aborts are scratching their heads wondering what “honest rape” means, while pro-lifers question just how pro-life the Texas Congressman really is:

MORGAN: You have two daughters. You have many granddaughters. If one of them was raped — and I accept it’s a very unlikely thing to happen. But if they were, would you honestly look at them in the eye and say they had to have that child if they were impregnated?

PAUL: No. If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room. I would give them a shot of estrogen or give them –

MORGAN: You would allow them to abort the baby? 

PAUL: It is absolutely in limbo, because an hour after intercourse or a day afterwards, there is no legal or medical problem. If you talk about somebody coming in and they say, well, I was raped and I’m seven months pregnant and I don’t want to have anything to do with it, it’s a little bit different story.

Read the rest at Live Action.

New at American Thinker - Health Care: The Straw That Should Break Newtmania's Back

Of all the arguments against nominating Mitt Romney for president, perhaps the strongest is that his enactment of RomneyCare and his refusal to disavow it could neutralize the Republicans' ability to run against Barack Obama's own intensely unpopular health care plan.  If Romney is the GOP standard-bearer, expect Democrats to play up the similarities and common ancestry of the two plans, challenging Romney to explain why one is a bipartisan success story and the other is an intolerable threat to our way of life.  It's certainly a concern Republican primary voters must take seriously.

But the idea that Newt Gingrich would be preferable on that score is about as unserious as it gets.  The former speaker may be talking tough now on how "you can't make the difference" between RomneyCare and ObamaCare and boasting that "I can ask [Congress] to repeal ObamaCare because I haven't passed something which resembles it," but the truth is that Gingrich is every bit as compromised on health care as Romney is -- perhaps even more so.

You wouldn't know it from his bluster on the stump, but Gingrich endorsed RomneyCare in 2006.  Despite some criticism of the bill's imperfections, he "agree[d] entirely with Governor Romney and Massachusetts legislators that our goal should be 100 percent insurance coverage for all Americans" and, to that end, called RomneyCare "the most exciting development of the past few weeks," with "tremendous potential to effect major change in the American health system."
Read the rest at American Thinker.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

For the Sake of the Conservative Movement, Romney Deragement Syndrome Has to Stop

The phenomenon of Romney Derangement Syndrome hasn't gotten nearly enough attention during this election cycle, but it's real. 

RedState.com has engaged in a smear campaign against Romney supporters and National Review for not being sufficiently anti-Mitt. Dan Riehl rants and raves about how conservatives should let Barack Obama win a second term if Romney is the nominee. Marco Rubio gives an awesome pro-life speech, and half the commenters at Hot Air can't do anything but whine about Rubio being a phony because he's too nice to Romney. Ann Coulter defends RomneyCare (in an admittedly flawed column that deserves a separate post), and Mark Levin can barely keep the contempt out of his ever-rising voice. Newt Gingrich engages in the most despicable distortions imaginable, and yet he's still the victim in too many observers' eyes. Jennifer Rubin is too sympathetic to Mitt for some, so she's caricatured as a fraud and a joke.

People are whipping themselves into such a frenzy over Mitt Romney that they're declaring friends enemies and deluding themselves into staying home on Election Day. (And many of them, incredibly, are doing it for a candidate who more effectively styles himself as a conservative, but substantively is no more conservative or outsider than Romney.)

Look, I get that Romney's past is worrisome and his electability is problematic. I'm a Santorum guy. I get that the Republican Party needs to be taught a lesson. But now is not the time for an experiment in winning by losing. The stakes are too high.

The hope that a GOP defeat will finally shock the party into reforming itself is much, much too big an if to seriously weigh it against the damage Barack Obama would do in a second term. And I’m not even talking about the daily spending of money we don’t have, the continual erosion of liberty by unelected bureaucrats, or the burdensome regulations and tax increases (though all that alone would be enough to warrant replacing Obama with Romney).

Consider that his judicial appointments will further shape the American court system and shred the Constitution for decades beyond his presidency. Consider ObamaCare, most of which doesn’t take effect until 2013—if a new federal healthcare apparatus takes root, with brand-new entitlements Americans will be dependent on, it will be virtually impossible to dismantle. Consider that if the Left is allowed to import & regularize a permanent underclass through amnesty, before long these experts of voter fraud will have a brand-new pool of voters to ensure statist government for the rest of our lifetimes. Consider that an Obama who doesn’t have to worry about re-election will be more willing to consider any number of UN erosions of American sovereignty. Consider that Eric Holder will continue corrupting the Justice Department and persecuting states that try to crack down on vote fraud while allowing the fraud itself to go unpunished.

You mean to tell me stopping all that isn’t important enough to warrant holding your nose and voting for Mitt Romney? Really?

Besides, it hasn't been that long since it was Mitt Romney who was the "conservative alternative" to John McCain (who we still managed to rally around), according to many of today's RDS sufferers like Erick Erickson and Mark Levin, who told us that Romney shared our values and would uphold them in office. And as Ramesh Ponnuru writes:
He has not moved left since that time. His positions on policy questions are almost all the same as they were then. On a few issues he has moved right: He now favors a market-oriented reform to Medicare, for example. 

If Romney was to McCain’s right then, he is still. He’s to George W. Bush’s right, too. Bush never came out for the Medicare reform Romney has endorsed. Bush never said that Roe v. Wade should be overturned, either. Romney has.
Romney's platform is solidly conservative on fiscal, social, and defense issues. Serious conservatives like John Bolton, Maggie Gallagher, John Willke, Robert Bork, and Jay Sekulow vouch for him. Supporting him won't require us to sell our souls, but merely to hold him accountable to his promises afterward we oust Obama. He's no Reagan, but he's a step up from everyone we've run since then - John McCain, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, and George H.W. Bush.

Granted, maybe he'll lose the election. Maybe he'll be a disaster as president. I don't know. But y'know what? Neither do Mark Levin, Michael Reagan, Sarah Palin, Erick Erickson, Jeffrey Lord, Dan Riehl, William Jacobson, John Hawkins, Thomas Sowell, Jeff Emanuel, or anyone else. Maybe he'll destroy Obama and save the country from the brink of Armageddon. (And maybe, just maybe, the vote will be close enough that the RDS pouters like Riehl will be enough to cause Obama's victory.) We simply won't know unless we try.

Beyond 2012, this spectacle has revealed a deeper sickness within the conservative family. For all we've mocked liberals for the cult of personality they developed around Obama, too many of us have done the same. Too many (in most cases Perry and Gingrich backers) have rashly proclaimed their guy the Reaganite, the outsider, the true conservative savior, and therefore anyone not onboard (in most cases Romney backers) is either a pretender or a sellout, no matter how reasoned their argument or how genuine their past contributions to conservatism.

We shouldn't be enemies. There's no reason for us to be at each other's throats. We're all working to save our country, and we're all just trying to weigh the relative strengths and weaknesses of three fallible men. Coming to different conclusions than one another about that is no sin, and can't be allowed to divide us during such a critical turning point in our nation's history.

New at Live Action - Newt Gingrich Tries to Paint Mitt Romney as an Enemy of Catholic Hospitals

My latest Live Action post:
What many have decried as an unusually nasty campaign got even nastier earlier this week, as Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accused rival Mitt Romney of being insensitive to religious liberty and conscience rights:
“You want a war on the Catholic Church by Obama? Guess what: Romney refused to allow Catholic hospitals to have conscience in their dealing with certain circumstances,” Gingrich said, apparently referring to the handling of emergency contraception in universal health care laws.
But HotAir.com provides more context, revealing that the truth is more complex. In 2005, Romney actually did just the opposite: he vetoed a bill that would have forced Massachusetts hospitals to offer abortive contraception:

[T]his particular bill does not require parental consent even for young teenagers. It disregards not only the seriousness of abortion but the importance of parental involvement and so would weaken a protection I am committed to uphold.
Read the rest at Live Action.
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