Now we will put to the test what was always an odd claim, namely that Mitt Romney is well positioned and well equipped to defeat Barack Obama this fall. This is a man who lost by 17 points to an incredibly weakened Ted Kennedy (people forget how vulnerable Kennedy was that year) in one of the most pro-Republican years in history, 1994 (the same year in which Rick Santorum won yet another upset victory); a man who would have been handily defeated if he had run for re-election as governor of Massachusetts in 2006; and a man who could barely squeak past his GOP opponents this year despite running almost non-stop for nearly six full years and despite outspending all of them combined by at least a 2-1 margin, while outspending each of them individually by at least 4-1 and running ads that were 90% negative against them.
Plus, he’s a perfect caricature for Obama’s anti-corporate-elite message to take root. Plus, he’s plastic.
The GOP establishment — the money men, the consultants who so repeatedly spread the message that only Romney could beat Obama while they angled for a piece of the lucrative campaign pie, the hangers-on and officious kingmakers, and the cultural elitists who secretly share much of the big media’s cultural attitudes and disdain for middle America — now must prove they can actually deliver a victory. If they can’t, the GOP should have a figurative bloodletting that banishes them forever from party power.
Nonetheless, every conservative, and everybody who loves this country and cares about its traditions, its Constitution, and its freedom, should do nothing other than help that establishment succeed in this election. Objectively speaking, almost any analyst would say that from the standpoint of a conservative of conscience and a lover of liberty as conservatives understand it, Romney certainly should appear a better choice than Obama — by an almost astronomical degree. Conservatives would do far better for themselves to hold their noses and work hard for Romney than they would if they stood back, stayed home, and watched the forces of Big Government complete their extreme makeover of American society.
Mitt Romney has none of the personally obnoxious qualities of John McCain. He doesn’t go out of his way to insult people, especially conservatives. He does show an understanding of most free-market principles. He seems to have an exemplary family life. He doesn’t have temper tantrums like McCain does. If conservatives had been able to have Romney as the Republican candidate four years ago, rather than McCain, they would have been extremely relieved.
An Obama second term would feature expanded use of executive orders, expanded abuses via administrative fiat, further retrenchment from military strength — and a real effort to stack the judiciary with ideologues who will refuse to rein in these abuses. In fact, the likelihood is reasonably high that he will be able to replace a moderate or conservative on the Supreme Court with a statist ideologue — and thus secure an Alinskyite vision of a power grab on behalf of radical aims.
Mitt Romney will not do that. Conservatives should leave no doubt that they will not be responsible for failing to try to put him over the top in what is sure to be a brutal and vicious campaign.