Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Matt Lewis: Will Republicans in 2012 choose Principle or Passion?

In an article at PoliticsDaily, Matt Lewis asks: Will Republicans in 2012 choose Principle or Passion? He begins with this prediction:

If the past is prelude, Republicans will gain seats during the 2010 mid-term elections, but Barack Obama will be re-elected in November 2012. It's early, true, but history is on Obama's side: It is just difficult to oust an incumbent U.S. president.
While Mr. Lewis may be correct with this interpretation of history, he conveniently forgets that the last time America had a presidency characterized by radical left-wing policies, it was a disaster, and voters rejected him in landslide fashion for a true principled conservative candidate. Lewis continues:
The most often repeated template is for Republicans to select the person whose "turn" it is to run for president. That's how the Grand Old Party opted for Richard Nixon, John McCain, Bob Dole -- and even George H.W. Bush.


Today, the perfunctory, "next in line" theory suggests that the most likely GOP nominee will be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. While Romney dropped-out of the 2008 campaign earlier than Mike Huckabee, most conservatives concede that Romney finished in second place – and that is certainly the view held by the McCainiacs. So, by the logic that led to the nominations of McCain and Dole, it's Romney's turn. Even if rank-and-file conservatives find him less than perfect concede that he's paid his dues.
Has Mr. Lewis been asleep for, I don’t know, 40 years? Does he not know what happened with all those people whose “turn” it was to get the nomination? Nixon came back to win only after being in the wilderness for 8 years and George H. W. Bush, who won only because voters thought they were getting a third Reagan term, lost when he ran on his own record.

Mr. Lewis next discusses the choice he believes Republicans must make in 2012:
We don't have Reagan waiting to run in 2012, and so it's a time, as The Gipper would say, for choosing. After years of holding our noses and defending Republican establishment types, conservatives might find it fun to take a big chance on an unapologetic conservative.


If recent elections are any guide, the Republicans' heads will tell them to choose Mitt Romney. Their hearts whisper something else. Is "Sarah" the name of this siren song?
I respectfully disagree with Mr. Lewis’ claim that we don’t have a Reagan waiting to run in 2012. We do, only a much younger version and, as Michael Reagan said, he’s a she, and she’s not “The Gipper” but “The Barracuda”.

Republicans in 2012 may weigh Principle vs. Passion. The principle of nominating the guy whose “turn” it is, or, choosing the passion of bringing back true conservatism. The passion of having a free society once again, the passion of the return of capitalism, the passion of smaller government, the passion of limited spending, the passion of good old social values and the passion of Reaganism.

Implicit in the title to Mr. Lewis’ article is that Mitt Romney would be a “principled” choice for the Republicans to make. I disagree. Simply choosing a candidate because some beltway elitists think he is next in line is not my definition of principle. Principle is following one’s beliefs and voting for the candidate who embodies them.

Mr. Lewis sets up a false choice based on a false premise: principle vs. passion. This wasn’t the choice in 1980 as Mr. Lewis admits. This won’t be the choice in 2012 either, should Governor Palin choose to run. She is a principled conservative who won’t compromise her beliefs, and that is why she creates passion. Voters won’t feel passion for a candidate who is only viable because he is “next in line”. Passion must be earned, and the only way to truly earn it is by being principled. That is why Governor Palin is the candidate of both principle and passion, and why she will win.

Read the rest of Matt Lewis' article here.

(Cross-Posted from C4P)


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