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

February 12, 2012

President Obamas Unhealthy Miscalculation

President Obama had ulterior motives when challenging the religiously attached institutions such as Catholic Hospitals, health providers, and other institutions which employ other than solely from within their religion. His demand that such institutions not be exempted from the requirement to provide coverage for contraceptive care, as had been assured during the debate on Obamacare, instigated a much larger and stronger response from the Catholic Church than he had probably expected. But why would President Obama take such a risk in the lead up to this election year? The one reason that appears to make any sense is that this was a calculated instigation to move the debates of the election from President Obama’s record and the economic outlook, as both are indefensible, and move the debate to the arena of social politics where the Republicans might be cast unfavorably, especially concerning abortion and contraception. Had this scheme worked, then President Obama would have acquired a much needed wedge issue with which he might energize his base from the most ardent leftists to the moderates who have accepted the social status-quo concerning the acceptance of contraception and the legality of a woman’s so-called “right to choose”. Well, President Obama does indeed have his wedge issue, but at what cost?

 

It was probably not the intention of President Obama to directly challenge the Catholic Church, and least of all, the Pope, but that is exactly what has appeared to be the case. It was probably the expectation that this challenge would have remained within the shored of the United States and not have reached beyond the heads of the Catholic Church within the country. But that turned out to be the great miscalculation. We can expect the near term result of this ploy to be carried on by the liberal press by way of questions of the Republican hopefuls as they move from one primary to the next. The other side of this action was to force into the campaign this fall the matter of religion into the mix. This would have forced either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum to have to defend their faiths in place of addressing the more crucial concerns of the economy and the President’s record from his first term. This, of course, would be a meaningless subject should either Ron Paul or Newt Gingrich become the Republican candidate this fall, but these two offer an entire new set of items to place before the voting public. We may still have this debate come the fall election, but my bet is that President Obama and his campaign advisors will attempt to allow this confrontation to fade away rather than have it end up energizing the other side’s base.

 

The ball, as they say, is now in the other court. It is entirely possible that the Republicans may wish to keep this issue as their rallying cry in the election, or they too may wish it to fade away. Entering into a contest over such polarizing issues such as contraception, birth control, abortion, and the entire range of moral issues often present a negligible advantage. Quite often such issues split the electorate evenly in halves. It is most likely that the real decision on whether or not this issue maintains its legs will fall to the press and their decision to press the issue or drop it. Time will tell. If I had to make a prediction, this issue will be used by the press against either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum in particular venues and only be brought to the discussion by the Republican candidate in the other extremes. Both sides will probably try to make use of the morals issue to their own advantage. President Obama and his campaign can be expected to throw out various other issues in the next several months attempting to find issues more to their favor in order to avoid having the debate solely be the economy, jobs, and government over-spending. They have no choice as running on President Obama’s record in office would lead to winning only the deepest blue of blue states which would assure his loss in the election.

 

President Obama once told Diane Sawyer, “I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president.” It will be the Democrat desire to try to focus the voters’ attention on what Obama will promise to do and not what he has accomplished or attempted. On the other hand, the Republican campaign will be to run on President Obama’s record while promising to repair the damage done and place the country back on track to an America where the people can once again proclaim American Exceptionalism. The side which is able to sell their vision of the future will be the winner. The real question the voters must address is which vision is best for the United States and whose promises can they honestly believe. This election has been once again referred to as the most important election of our times. Perhaps this time they are correct and we can no longer simply vote for the candidate we like best but choose the one who is best for the future of the United States. Voting for the lesser evil is definitely not an option, unless the lesser option you choose is somebody or thing which will be amusing, such as a third party candidate or Daffy Duck.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Blog at WordPress.com.