Arrogance, hostility to conservatives sank the moderate president elected as Reagan’s heir.
(Page 4 of 5)
Now that Mitt Romney is closing in on the GOP nomination, what next? And what next after that if there is a win in November?
Will nominee Romney run on principle — or personality and biography?
Will a Romney administration be about conservative principle — or will it become another George H.W. Bush era? The second term President Bush 41 was once assured of but was kissed away when the administration went out of its way to thumb its nose at conservatives? Where the focus is on Mitt the great guy, the Ward Cleaver of America — with a White House filled with staff running around in a swagger thinking they are tough, pragmatic guys — while actually setting themselves up for a staggering historic failure.
Are there ways to avoid this? To send an immediate message to the conservative “non-Romney” base of the GOP that has repeatedly — almost desperately — tried to find a suitable nominee other than Romney? A base that in fact has voted overwhelmingly, albeit in votes split between Gingrich, Santorum, and others, for conservative principles.
Yes. Three ways right off the bat.
• The Vice-Presidential Pick. First, pick a strong conservative vice president with policy chops and personality for the ticket. Bush had a chance to pick his defeated rival, then Congressman Jack Kemp. Kemp was a real Reaganite, a conservative star in the day. But that was not the kind of running mate Bush wanted, his preference for personal loyalty and deference causing him to blanche at the thought of the forceful Kemp as his number two. Instead Bush quite deliberately picked the young then-Indiana Senator Dan Quayle, a country club Republican who in the day was seen by many as not having the intellectual or personal heft for the job. Don’t shy from picking a conservative star who can stand on equal footing with the presidential nominee.
• The GOP Platform: In 1988, under the guidance of Reaganite Lee Atwater, the Bush campaign was bold, challenging, constantly on offense. The Bush “read my lips” pledge was correct as both conservative policy and conservative politics, a key component of the 1988 platform. The fact that Bush went back on his pledge once president — and then lost resoundingly just as Rollins predicted he would — should only emphasize the importance of Romney making a strong stand for conservative principle and taking the challenge directly to Obama.
• Play Offense in Obamaville: In 1932, Democrats talked about “Hoovervilles” — the shanty towns of the day that were constructed by the homeless. The concept was thought up by one Charles Michelson — the head PR guy of the Democratic National Committee.
Taking a page from Michelson, Romney should take Americans on a visual tour of “Obamavilles.” Foreclosed and underwater homes, unemployment lines, churches under assault by federal bureaucrats, doctors forced to close or realign practices to comply with Obamacare, gas stations charging $4 and $5 for gas, black-on-black crime, and on and on and on through the endless list of the victims of class warfare economics.
By word, by act, by deed — Romney needs to aggressively rally the conservative base.
It’s all very good to gain the endorsement of former President Bush 41. To trek to Houston for the courtesy photo op with a genuine war hero and a true gentleman.
But Mitt Romney and his team need to remember one thing.
George H. W. Bush will forever be a one-term president when in fact he could have been a two-term president and one of history’s greats. But so swept up was the Bush 41 team in de-conservatizing the new Bush Administration when taking over from the Reagan presidency that they effectively threw the baby out with the bathwater.
It was a huge mistake. And they paid a real price for it — in the politics of the day not to mention the history books.
In the glow of achieving the GOP presidential nomination, Team Romney should remind themselves hourly:
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online