Beyond the Cusp

April 11, 2012

The Conservative Race to Romney Begins

Rick Santorum has dropped from the race leaving Mitt Romney as the de facto Republican candidate for President against Barack Obama. This will lead to many people from the two ends of the political spectrum throwing accusations back and forth for the foreseeable future over whether there is a principled and constructive reason for a conservative to now actively and enthusiastically campaign for Mitt Romney beyond their opposition of President Barack Obama’s reelection. Any conservative claiming otherwise is very likely blowing smoke unless they can give examples of the events in Mitt Romney’s time since he was governor which indicates his changes on numerous issues. On the other hand, those who simply condemn conservatives for opposing President Obama as their singular reason without explaining how conservatives should have no opposition or problems with another four years of Obama in the White House are simply taking cheap shots and are no better. Yes, there are going to be many many nasty exchanges which will contain volumes of hot air and little else but will be forceful and just as viscous as ever. It is all part of the modern partisan oppositional political atmosphere where each side views the other as toxic and counter to the continued existence of the United States.

The one entertaining event which has probably already begun is the complete change of direction by numerous talk show hosts who had backed candidates other than Romney now bending over backwards to appear to have been ardent Romney supporters from the get-go. Nothing is ever more shameful than those in the public eye changing horses in mid-stream when their candidate loses or drops from the intra-party race leaving their opponent as the new standard-bearer. We should grant those who still recognize their oppositions to Romney and find valid reasons for their change of heart, even if that reason is simply their opposition to the opponent, President Obama. We should accept their reasoning and realize that this might be their only escape and they are at least being forthright. It is those who pretend they had always been behind Mitt Romney even after supporting his opponents and having cast aspersions and doubts on Romney’s integrity previously who are most guilty of this sin. Such phony allegiance should be roundly condemned and pointed out for the shallowness it displays. I would respect anyone who simply states that their primary choice lost and they are simply intending supporting the Party candidate as they are a Party person, a Republican Party front person in this case.

We have already seen the first few salvos fired between President Obama and Presidential Candidate Romney last week and hopefully things will only get more contentious. A good race with both candidates giving and taking all in stride and with relatively equal aplomb is always more interesting and better to cover than runaway races where it becomes obvious within weeks which way the election will end, ruling out any unforeseen disasters striking down the frontrunner. It was the seemingly inevitability of Romney that probably made the debates so offensively boring as they ended up not having any effect on the outcome. I might as well say that at times it felt as if Mitt Romney had been chosen as the preordained candidate since about thirty seconds after John McCain gave his concession speech after losing to Barack Obama. So, let the games begin and may those who are about to throw barbs, give stirring speeches, and give their all in the race for the golden ring at least be competitive and entertaining, if nothing else. I long ago gave up on politicians being completely honest and accurately representing their true intentions. I guess part of the reason behind this is they cannot know exactly what is coming down the pike any better than most of the rest of us and they are just trying to look good while flailing in the winds of outrageous fortune.

Those who are regular readers of Beyond the Cusp have probably surmised that we tend towards being libertarian Constitutionalists. They may also remember that our original candidate of choice was John Bolton who decided not to run after giving the subject some consideration responding to those who had urged him to enter the primary race. Once the candidates had reached Super Tuesday and been whittled down to four, we had settled on Rick Santorum. He gave it a decent effort and we wish his little girl returned health and a long and happy life as our prayers are with his family. As far as who we will support in the race, we will see. Do not expect us to be anywhere near the front of the race to push Romney, assuming we ever do get corralled into the Romney camp. To be honest, going forward will require serious inspection and also deep introspection and our end conclusion will hopefully not sway our coverage away from critical honesty and frank assessments of the candidates’ positions and their strengths, weaknesses and rough edges. Let the race begin and let the fur fly.

Beyond the Cusp

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February 24, 2012

Santorum, a Different Kind of Candidate

The one item I read and heard the most about from the Arizona Republican Debate was Rick Santorum making the worst possible mistake any candidate could make, admission of fallibility. Personally, I thought Rick Santorum admitting that his vote for George W. Bush’s signature legislation, No Child Left Behind, due to the reasoning that party loyalty sometimes forces one to make poor choices. Rick Santorum admitted that given his own views he would have voted against the No Child Left Behind legislation but when your own party’s President requests you support what he regards as one of the pillars of his Presidency, you vote with the President and bite the bullet this one time. But almost all those who decide right and wrong, also known as the mainstream press, claimed Mr. Santorum had made a cardinal mistake. These are the same wonderful deciders of political fates who have time and again stated how if some politician had just come out and admitted to making an error, a misjudgment, a poor choice and simply apologized, then they could have avoided recriminations galore before finally admitting their wrongdoing. Now, when a candidate finally does exactly this, they claim he has made the worst case scenario in judgment possible and may have ruined any hope he had of winning. I really wish they would make up their mind and have a consistent opinion and not simply take the opposing side of every choice simply to appear all-knowing and wise.

 

Now, let us look a little deeper and into rick Santorum’s past and see if this is a fatal flaw of his, this telling the truth. As it turns out, it actually is a chink in his armor (am I allowed to use this phrase still?). One of the other shortcomings listed in the mainstream press critique on Santorum is the fact that after serving two terms as a Senator for Pennsylvania he lost his bid for reelection. What they refuse to inform us about is why and how he lost. Oh, they give you the wide percentage and refer to it as if it was the worst loss in political history, they must have forgotten a few Presidential races like McGovern, Dole and others, but never bother to say why he lost a seat he had won easily before. It was very simple; he refused to compromise on his principles and stuck to his guns even knowing it made his winning reelection highly difficult if not impossible. And what were these principles he refused to sacrifice, or at least lie about and deceive the public? Rick Santorum stuck to his support of President Bush’s efforts in Iraq and called for the United States to do more to prevent either North Korea or Iran from becoming nuclear armed nations. He was adamant that stopping Iran from attaining nuclear weapon status should be paramount and at the top of the agenda for the United States. I wonder why they refuse to inform the public that these were the issues that Rick Santorum once before stood by when doing so was difficult and ended up costing him an election. The reason the press hides this is simple; the word is integrity, something Rick Santorum has an abundance of.

 

There is another issue that has been utilized to club Rick Santorum ceaselessly, and that is pork. Let’s get the one defender against pork spending out of the way right up front. Everybody will jump up and claim that Ron Paul is virtually a saint who crusades against pork barrel spending in shining armor astride of a white stallion. Well, here is the dirty little secret; despite voting against even pork for his own district, how do you think such spending got into some of the most popular and necessary legislation for Ron Paul to vote against pork even for his own district? Yep, Ron Paul attaches riders to legislation he is assured will pass sending pork spending to his district and records show he is among the most guilty of this practice. Then, after inserting the pork spending he votes against the bill and proudly proclaims that despite this legislation being so wonderful and having pork spending for his own district, Ron Paul, the ever-on-the-job watchdog of the Constitution, destroyer of pork, defender of the tax payers has once again valiantly, but unsuccessfully, attempted with his Nay vote to slay the pork monster.

 

But the most disingenuous part of the debate was Mitt Romney taking the high road and accusing Rick Santorum of pork barrel spending. What Mitt Romney would like us all to believe is that he only requested pork spending for the Olympics and for his state of Massachusetts while Governor was because it was his noble duty to request Federal funding for the most pure of reasons while any pork spending procured for Pennsylvania by Rick Santorum, being merely a Senator and not a holy state’s Governor, was mucking in the mire of stealing funding for his home state from the Federal coffers. So, in the world according to Mitt, a Governor pushing for and receiving Federal monies for his state is a noble pursuit and part of the job description and to be lauded while a Senator representing his State and pushing for the same exact funding for his state is the lowest of actions and discredits the holder of political power to abuse that power thusly. Governors are allowed to represent their State and procure funding for same while Senators representing their State and procuring the same funding are scurrilous. Sorry Mr. Romney, but that is the same act and is actually considered part of the job for both Senators and Governors as both positions are representatives of their State and are to pursue the best favors they are able to win for their State. The only real difference between a Senator and a Governor is States have one Governor and two Senators and the Governor goes to Washington solely to win pork while the Senator also accomplishes other work while in Washington. Rick Santorum was doing the exact same as Romney when it came to finding favorable funding for their home States and either both were accomplishing their tasks which are vital to their work and function in their respective offices or both were scoundrels, but there is no difference when either received funding for projects within their home States.

 

Finally, I want to add the reason I support Rick Santorum and had told friends back when he lost the Senate in 2006 that I still held out hope he would one day become President of the United States. In Rick Santorum we have a rare breed of human, one that has honor and holds the truth paramount, even when holding to the truth is painful and counterproductive. Rick Santorum is that rare man who as a politician will actually state that he does not know the answer to every problem and that on some things he will need to look into them and gain knowledge rather than just blow smoke and hope to hide behind a barrage of words. I find it noble and so very refreshing to have a man of character and integrity who I can trust means what he says and says what he means. So often in politics you hear people bemoaning the fact that they are all scoundrels and that you cannot trust a single one of them. Not Rick Santorum, he actually holds the truth above his pursuit of position. Rick Santorum will follow through on that which he promises and will treat the Presidency of the United States with honor and dignity. Wouldn’t that be a refreshing change? If I had to pick a fault with Rick Santorum it would be that despite his efforts to live and act humbly, you can tell he is a proud man who worries more about his reputation and honor than his position. To be honest, I supported Rick Santorum for the position of President since when I first took a look at him after the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon and heard his response and saw a man who would not back away from defending the United States or her people. I saw a man of deep convictions who was also reliable and somebody I would be honored to have as a friend. Who knows, maybe someday I will meet him and that could become a reality, though it is doubtful. I fully support and pray that Rick Santorum will win the nomination and then the Presidency as America needs a man of his character in these perilous and needful times.

 

My disclaimer: I am not a member of Rick Santorum’s campaign and seriously doubt such will ever be the case. My one run for office was enough of a view into the guts and slime of what passes for political electioneering in the United States. It actually amazes me that anybody would enter into such a viscous and demeaning environment as is our election process once they have seen it from the inside. Any man or woman willing to put themselves through such a wringer and retain their humanity and integrity is indeed a rare person to be praised. It is my honest contention that Rick Santorum is one such person. I just want to repeat, though I will continue to appear to campaign for Mr. Santorum, I hold no position nor plan to volunteer to work officially for his campaign despite doing what I am able to assist his efforts to win the Presidency of the United States independent of his campaign. Thank you for reading my thoughts on this subject.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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