Promises, Etc. - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Promises, Etc.

John: There’s nothing illegitimate about the quote itself. It just bears an unfortunate resemblance to the approach many people think Romney has taken to campaigning in Massachusetts and for the Republican presidential nomination — take whatever positions and make whatever promises you have to. It causes people to doubt whether there’s any core there. Like “turnaround,” the connotations of some words have flip-flopped against Romney.

Jennifer: It’s unbecoming to question someone’s conservative credentials? Oh come on. At some point in this whole process, ideas, philosophy, and policy have to play some role rather than just electability, authenticity, personality, and the other buzzwords of the moment. Otherwise the whole process is irrelevant. And if the ideological exercise is illegitimate, why keep bringing up such Romney transgressions as the fee increases and the Massachusetts health plan? We can’t keep changing the terms of the debate just to favor the candidates we personally support.

I’ll grant you that litmus tests and more-conservative-than-thou pronouncements shouldn’t be the only consideration. Character, experience, and even the country’s political climate are all worthwhile concerns. But the past records and philosophical inclinations of a candidate are among the best predictors we have as to how they will govern. Nobody should have been surprised by what we got under George H.W. Bush. Frankly, nobody should have been surprised by the big government conservatism of the current president.

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