Beyond the Cusp

December 14, 2011

The Argument Over Newt and Mitt and Everybody Else

Listen or read any Republican, Conservative or Libertarian outlet and you can go numb all over with the commentary of who is the least problematic, Newt or Mitt. For every argument given in favor of Gingrich, Romney, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, Huntsman, or Perry you find dozens of reasons against each of the other candidates. What is amazing is that much of the negative commentary appears to be taken directly from the mainstream media talking points. By the time you have visited a small sample of the commentary you will have sufficient negative coverage of all the republican candidates making none of them at all appealing. I am not so ignorant that I have not realized that negative campaigning is more prevalent than proud statesmanship touting the positives of your preferred person. I understand that it is much easier to tear down the opponent than to take a positive stand for your preferred candidate and to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous ridicule as everybody else will then need to tear you down to make their candidate appear to stand taller. It is sad that the method in modern politics for standing tall against your opponents has sunk to the level that the route most utilized is to bomb your competition into oblivion and succeed solely by being the last one standing. The problem is that by taking the low road to campaigning will result in a badly damaged and compromised victor who will start the real campaign for the Presidency with high negatives and a steep hill to climb just to get out of the hole dug in the primary process. With such in mind, here are my views of the Republican prospects for President.

Taking them in no particular order, let’s start with Newt Gingrich. Mr. Gingrich has the most experience in the operational mechanisms of Congress and the political power games played in Washington. With little doubt, he would probably be the most efficient and successful in forcing through his plans and legislative agenda. Unfortunately, my preference is for there to be little or no legislation or additional regulations and empowerment of the Federal Behemoth we call the Government. Then we have Rick Perry. Rick Perry appears to have been an efficient guarantor of the State of Texas as their Governor thus must have good people and ideas. Some of his success has also been a since it ain’t broke, let’s leave it alone approach which works for Texas where much is going well. I would be most happy to let him continue doing well in Texas under the same theory. Jon Huntsman is obviously a very intelligent man and appears to have a great grasp of foreign policies, especially when pertaining to Asia and China. This may be due to his having been appointed by President Obama as the Ambassador to China. To say more I would need to know more about Mr. Huntsman. All things considered, should a miracle occur and he becomes the Republican candidate, by what I know now I could easily support him, but would feel more comfortable knowing him better. Such knowledge would be produced should he become the candidate and my lack of knowledge about Mr. Huntsman is my fault, not his. Ron Paul is running again and his positions have not changed, but the situations surrounding this particular election is different than his previous attempts. Many of the problems we are currently facing lend themselves to making Ron Paul’s ideas more appropriate and appealing. In many ways, he could be said to be the candidate of the moment. Considering that summary to be accurate, that leaves the question of where would Mr. Paul take the country once the problems of the moment are put to rest? If you are an isolationist and believe that we should leave the world to its own devices and simply have trade relations and otherwise a hands-off approach as long as nobody attack or harms us, then Ron Paul is your candidate. My problem is I believe that Mr. Paul would probably set such a high level before seeing a need to react to foreign impingement that we might delay taking needful actions until the late time would make the cost in lives and treasure prohibitive.

Mitt Romney is probably starting to feel a bit like the Republican step child. Despite his steady performance and support in the polls, Mr. Romney has watched as the press has seemingly gone through the other candidates one by one and supported them in a charge to topple him. Each has temporarily surpassed Mitt Romney’s lead only to fall again out of contention, or completely out of the race as per Mr. Cain. Mr. Romney has been the steady standard which all the others have been measured against and seemingly the default candidate if all others end up being found lacking. Mitt Romney is competence and the one who always colors the picture with care to stay within the lines, and as such is a safe bet. Perhaps that also makes Mitt Romney also less exciting and as he will obviously still be available at the end, the convention, seems the Republicans, or at least the press, are determined to try every other option before accepting that Mr. Romney is their man. Michelle Bachmann was touted as the Sarah Palin replacement. This was so unfair as Michelle Bachmann serving on the Intelligence Committee has vastly more foreign policy and world situational awareness than even the other candidates as well as over Ms. Palin. Mrs. Bachmann has made some misstatements which perhaps should have been avoided by her advisors doing a more efficient job in keeping her informed and prepared for whatever questions might be posed. Mrs. Bachmann is a solid conservative and a religious person who holds her religion as a personal treasure. Where she is not shy about her religiosity, she also does not hold it to the point of being an ideologue. Unfortunately, some have tried to use the importance of religion to her as a bludgeon against her. This should backfire as I would bet that the vast number of Americans would share her religious feelings. From what I have seen, Michelle Bachmann is also somebody I feel I could support knowing what I currently know about her.

Rick Santorum is currently my candidate of choice. Many have claimed that despite Mr. Santorum holding views with which they agree, that he is somewhat personality-challenged, which would make his campaigning for the Presidency a difficult challenge. My response to them is that first of all, the campaign for the Presidency will be a difficult challenge with or without being Mr. Personality; and second, last time we elected Mr. Personality and Mr. Santorum is the perfect opponent of Obama’s shallowness and would be the perfect opponent who could claim substance over style as a badge of honor. Rick Santorum is a straight up person who boldly and plainly states his positions unapologetically and remains consistent and on message very well. Mr. Santorum would appeal to social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, most foreign policy conservatives (especially those who are pro-Israel), and has led a life that would not be offensive to religious conservatives. Most of the other candidates appeal at most to two and mostly to only one of the different groupings of conservatives. Truth be told, from all that I know, and I have been a Rick Santorum guy since his days in the Senate, Rick stands on the same side with the most closely aligned views of the subjects across the entire political landscape as I myself hold. I doubt I could make a candidate I would fall in line with and support in virtually every way any better if I was to make one in a laboratory. Mr. Santorum’s straight line manner of answering questions with little flair and no beating around the bush, asides and conditions would make a stark contrast to President Obama’s so-called thoughtful meanderings designed to evade and give false implications and obfuscating on every subject. My feelings are that Rick Santorum is the perfect opponent for President Obama as you would be hard pressed to find a more opposite candidate who would strike a more stark contrast making the people’s choice any simpler. It would be a choice of Obama or the anti-Obama, what could be simpler?

Beyond the Cusp

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