The GOP Field

Tam wonders whether the GOP is trying to deliberately throw the election. By all historical accounts, given how poor the economy is, and how high unemployment is running, there should be no way that Barry wins a second term, yet I’m quite worried that’s exactly what’s going to happen. I’m normally willing to get behind someone in the primary by this point — in 2008, before he dropped out, it was Fred Thompson. Policy and temperament wise, Rick Perry actually seems to be the best of the lot, but his performance so far has just been disappointing.

I’d be willing to cast the “not-Obama” vote in the general election, and get behind the eventual candidate, even if it’s, and it pains me to say this, Mitt Romney. I don’t expect much from the next President, since I think the economy will still pretty much suck, and people still won’t have jobs. The next guy is likely to be a one termer too if Obama gets the boot, and I’d almost hate to waste someone good on a doomed presidency. So if Romney has to be the sacrificial lamb, so be it. We get to roll the dice again in four years with the Democrats, and maybe there’s a chance they’ll field someone who isn’t a total disaster. There are two things that are true, however, if Obama is re-elected:

  • Scalia and Kennedy will be 80 by the end of Obama’s second term. Thomas will be 68. The chances Obama will get to replace one of these justices is extremely high, and if he does, it’ll be a bloody miracle of we can save the Second Amendment. Best case scenario is that you’ll, at the least, be able to keep a gun in the home, but with all DC and Chicago’s ridiculous regulations being upheld.
  • Secondly, while Romney is responsible for socialized medicine in Massachusetts, as a Republican President he’ll be facing an awful lot of party pressure to sign an Obamacare repeal if it hits his desk. I don’t see any scenario where Romney could veto and not have a revolt within his own party on his hands. Obama will almost definitely veto a repeal, and the Republicans aren’t likely to have enough votes in the Senate to override.

So that’s kind of how I’m looking at it. To me the two things we want out of the next President are to put someone on the Supreme Court who will be a vote in favor of the Second Amendment, and to sign a repeal of Obamacare. The majority of Obamacare does not go into effect until 2014, but once it does, you’ll never get rid of it. I think the candidates we have now in the GOP field are going to be reasonable vessels for trying to achieve both those goals. It’s not perfect, but I can deal with a disaster of a GOP Presidency as long as those two goals have a reasonable chance of being achieved. Under Obama, there’s almost no chance of that.

40 thoughts on “The GOP Field”

  1. Romney has already said that on his first day in office he will issue an Obamacare waiver to all 50 states. He would clearly sign the repeal of Obamacare.

    Romney may have done some things I don’t like, but above all he is clearly the most competent executive in the race. I expect him to win, and I expect him to make very sensible data driven decisions.

    1. ORomney has said a lot of things. About the only one he’s stuck to is that this was a good thing when he did it in Taxachusetts.

      And even then, what we’re going to see is him going along with attempts to “reform” it. Because he still believes it was just fine in Massachusetts, and isn’t likely to have the nads to resist the cries of “hypocrisy” from the Ruling Class.

      And Gingrich isn’t much if any better.

  2. I think the best summary of it came across Twitter the other day. You might not like the GOP field, but they are the only thing standing between you and another four years of Obama. I would add: another four years of Obama – without him having to worry about re-election so he can do whatever he wants to do. Have fun with that thought tonight.

    1. An applicable reputed quote by Lenin is “The worse the better”.

      Look past the next 4 years, making for the moment the assumptions that Romney will at best try to reform Obamacare and won’t make good Supreme Court picks (which I think is an iffy basis anyway; anyone taking bets on them accepting cert for Heller II?). What’s your path to survival of the USA, vs. delaying the Long Night a tiny bit after Obama’s shock and awe socialism has brought the “sometime in the future we’re going to run out of (other people’s) money” to “in the very near future…”?

      I think we need a Pareto style circulation of elites … which I’ll note that if you accept what I say above, a President Romney might do just fine for. I.e. increasing the nation’s disgust at the entire ruling class….

      See also the comment I’m about to make below to Sebastian’s comment that starts with “Nothing is ever 100%….”

  3. I have already resolved to support the GOP candidate, whom ever that might be. My great fear is a third party run by a conservative if Romney is the nominee, the prime suspect in that being Ron Paul. A third party conservative running for President would guarantee an Obama win.

    1. In a sit-down with Fox News on Sunday, Congressman Ron Paul also implied that he wasn’t ready to abandon the Republican Party, but noted in the past that it could come down to that in 2012. Last month he told the networks’ Juan Williams that he was continuing to campaign as a member of the GOP would not rule out running as an independent.

      “I’m running for president in the Republican Party, I’m doing very well. And last time they wondered about it, but, you know the whole thing is, is boy the people are really frustrated,” he said at the time. “You go to New Hampshire there are more independents than Republicans or Democrats,” said Paul.

      When Williams pressed him further, Paul said he had no intention of abandoning his run with the Republican Party but hadn’t ruled out campaigning under another branch.

      Libertarian Party Tells Ron Paul to Come On Over

      1. You mean “abandon the Republican Party again”, as he did so to run as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988. That’s one reason he has pretty much no chance of winning the Republican nomination this year, too many of the people who will decide it have long memories.

  4. This will be my first presidential race where I don’t vote libertarian. I would like to point out that GWB was also fairly lukewarm on the 2A while campaigning, even going so far as to promise signing an extension of the AWB. He never got the chance, and we got some pretty good SC justices out of the deal. Coulda been a lot worse.

  5. Sorry, but which cases would SCOTUS be taking that would allow them to trample upon the 2A? Stare decisis dictates that they most likely wouldn’t issue any rulings on similar cases to those they’ve already addressed.

    I’m no Obama fan, but I am considerably more concerned about the executive branch and EOs than I am about SCOTUS.

    1. There are a number of cases making their way to the Court, on any number of topics you can imagine. This is a new field of law, and it’s extremely undefined. The choice is having that field defined by a court friendly to a broad Second Amendment, or defined by a Court hostile to it. If the Court is hostile, it’ll never go farther than Heller. They might even be willing to overturn Heller if the opportunity arose.

      1. There are a number of cases on their way to SCOTUS right now. One I’m familiar with is coming out of NJ, and others are coming. The recent case that came out of MD and was denied cert could have been used by a hostile court to deny the RKBA outside of the home, for example.

    2. “Stare decisis dictates that they most likely wouldn’t issue any rulings on similar cases to those they’ve already addressed.”

      If only that were true. I believe the minority anti-gun opinion in McDonald v Chicago expressed a desire to overturn DC v Heller. And once that minority becomes a majority via new appointments by Obama, the Supreme Court will have many opportunities to revisit DC v Heller as the numerous 2nd Amendment cases wind their way up to the Supreme Court level.

      Keep in mind how fresh current 2nd Amendment jurisprudence is. The anti-gun forces like the City of Chicago are playing a deliberate game of delay and obstruction which is slowing the litigation process. So It’s quite possible the very next 2nd Amendment case the Supreme Court decides would be after new appointments are made to the Supreme Court.

    3. Stare decisis dictates that they most likely wouldn’t issue any rulings on similar cases to those they’ve already addressed.

      The problem is that both Heller and McDonald are fairly recent, so there would be much less hesitation in overturning them than for a more established precedent, like, for instance, The Slaughter-House Cases. The minority tried to overturn Heller in Miller, so if that viewpoint gets the majority we’re screwed.

      The problem I see is that I don’t think Romney’s choices for SCOTUS would be any better than Obama’s, and that a Republican run Congress won’t give any resistance to Romney’s choices – it’ll be essentially a rubber-stamp confirmation process. While it’s normally a rubber-stamp even when there is opposition, it is at least possible for a nomination to be tanked (remember Harriet Miers?).

      At least with an Obama presidency a Repub Congress will oppose pretty much anything he does on general principles. With Romney, that “R” after his name means he won’t have a lot of opposition from a Republican Congress, and I don’t see his politics as being different enough from the Won’s for that to be a good situation.

      Heck, if Romney gets the nomination, I would be strongly tempted to vote for Obama just to encourage that kind of gridlock. I’ll be looking at third party candidates first, but the temptation is there.

      1. Correction: “The minority tried to overturn Heller in Miller” should read “The minority tried to overturn Heller in McDonald“.

    4. We never know what cases come up, though activists on both sides create cases in as favorable a light as they know how.

      Look at Heller: A security guard, authorized to carry to protect someone else filed to be able to protect himself.
      Look at McDonald: A black man with no criminal record, in Chicago the victim of previous violence, wanted to be able to protect himself.
      I look for a case that would permit people from out of state to carry iaw a CCW despite no reciprocity agreement, based on the Article 4 Privileges and Immunities clause. Why Article 4? Because the 14th Amendment P or I was gutted by the Slaughterhouse cases.
      Article 4 P and I gets around the in State only Slaughterhouse rulings. It would be important to reveal the corruption involved in ‘may issue’ states. An open view of the corruption, enabled by discovery, would discredit advocates for ‘may issue’ restrictions. For example, how many CCW in California are not matched to a 5000$ or more political campaign contribution? Not many, I bet.

      And stare decisis only applies when a majority of the SCOTUS decides it applies.

  6. When it comes to a presidential candidate, you’re going to have to weight them. Remember the goal is getting the ball back, so you can play offense. To do that, you have to put forth a candidate who can beat the incumbent, while that guy may not be everything you want him to be, he is certainly better then what the other team is putting on the field.

    I don’t like everything that Romney has done. But, I think he is the only guy who can make BHO a one term’r. If he picks up Rubio as a running mate, that has the potential to set the GOP up for 16 years of the while house. Ideally, I line up best with Ron Paul. But, Paul is not going to be the guy to unseat BHO. So, I have to go with the guy I think can win it, even if he does things I don’t agree with. Remember, the Senate is very much in play in 2012.

  7. Do you have some sort of magic decoder ring that tells you that Romney will nominate 2nd A friendly judges. Certainly his history doesn’t indicate this. And some of the worst judges on 2A issues have been nominated by Republican presidents. Warren, Burger, Stevens, Souter. Obama is a problem but the problem is the lack of a real conservative party. Romney’s nomination will just lock this problem into stone.

    1. Nothing is ever 100%, but Romney’s team are all basically the same people that were in the Bush White House, and as imperfect as Bush was on the gun issue, he got us the votes we needed to win Heller and McDonald.

      Romney is going to be under pressure to pick conservative judges. The pool he’s going to have to pick from stand a far higher likelihood of being 2A friendly than not. There’s virtually no chance Obama will nominate a 2A friendly justice.

      1. Ummm, “Romney’s team” would include all those environmentalists he appointed and worked with in Massachusetts who are now part of Team Obama?

        Looking at the totality of his character and actions to date, I could only vote for him on “The worse, the better” basis (see my above reply to Bitter). I’m not sure I’m willing to do that….

  8. Sebastion,

    A very reasonable analysis of the choices and risks faced by the conservative voter in 2012.

  9. I suspect that regardless of how hard the neo-cons worship at the alter of Romney, he won’t get much over the 22-25% of the vote before or after the primaries.
    I go back to the days of AuH2ON64 and I’m done voting for presidentual candidates selected for me by the media or liberal repubs(BIRM).

  10. Heller and McDonald will not be overturned. They are now settled law and only in the rarest of cases will SCOTUS overturn a decision it has made.

    OTOH, it is true that Heller and McDonald only set the stage. The real play is the cases that follow that define what those decisions mean. With a 2A friendly court, we will overturn noxious laws like Illinois’ FOID and California’s open carry ban. With a different court we could end up with just the right to have a firearm at home.

    Yes, the composition of the court will matter greatly. BHO needs to draw unemployment for 99 weeks.

    1. The problem is they are not settled law. The justices that voted against the ruling are still on the court. If they get a chance to overturn the decisions, they will take it.

      1. It’s also worth noting that this minority consists of the same justices that, in a case where it was made clear at the beginning that the legality of the death penalty itself was off the table and not to be debated, spent their entire dissent arguing that the death penalty should be abolished completely.

        To these people, rules like stare decisis and following precedent only matter when they can be used in support of their position.

  11. This election feels more and more like someone taking you to a maximum security prison and asking you to pick whichever inmate you want to take care of your mother for the next four years.

    1. Unfortunately, when comparing President Obama to Governor Romney that appears to be true. My friends who were still left in Massachusetts when the latter signed a reform of the state’s at the time fairly recent “assault weapons” law vividly remember how he went out of his way to trash their side, despite their being an integral part of the creation and passing of the bill. They are very unlikely to ever vote for Hairpeice Q. Mother as one refers to him.

      Obama is an old fashioned socialist/Marxist type (as in the ’20s and ’30s) from Generation Jones; the cultural issues that e.g. Team Clinton and the cultural Baby Boomers obsess over just aren’t very important to him (see gay marriage for another example). Sure, he’s sympathetic to some of them, but they’re not what he’s about.

      1. Senator Obama also didn’t do much against guns….or really much of ANYTHING. Obama is a lay-about who lets other people draft and present laws, then he high-fives his buddies and makes a speech taking credit for it all then goes home eats a high fat dinner and smokes a pack of cigarettes then makes a speech about how courageous he was to quit smoking.

        When faced with this line-up of Daddy-staters and RINOS, that’s actually a pretty appealing feature. If we push more Democrat seats out of the Legislature all we’ll have to do it turn of the TV when the President makes another inane speech and actually support a worthwhile candidate in 2016.

        1. However “people are policy” and if you look at what the people who have “environmental” roles (in the EPA, Interior department, etc.) are doing you’ll see more than a little mischief, up to and including shutting down too much of this nation’s coal fired electrical generation (prices “will necessarily skyrocket”). His voting Present on the Canadian pipeline is also bad; if the environmentalists don’t get in the way by the end of this decade we and Canada will not be importing oil.

          Note one of my objections to Romney is that too many of his environmentalists ended up in these positions.

          Affordable energy is a component of present day freedom, I don’t think you can ignore things like it. And that’s just one of many areas where the people he’s appointed are doing serious harm. Fast and Furious anyone?

  12. I will take any of the current GOP candidates over BHO. None of them are close to perfect, but I have yet to see a perfect candidate.

  13. If the concern is keeping or improving the number of Constitutionl conservatives on the bench, then we should all rally around Ron Paul.

  14. I don’t think Romney can beat Obama. The reason being I don’t think the tea party will get behind him. I think if he gets the nomination the tea party stays home on election day and Obama sails to victory.

    1. Something like that happened in 2008: if the Republican base had come out and voted for McCain like they voted for Bush in 2004 Obama would be a footnote in history. As it was, given the whole situation he should have won with a much larger margin.

      On the other hand, you may be underestimating how many 2008 Obama voters are going to vote “Anyone but Obama!” with Romney being a fine choice in their viewpoint. The nation is split 20%-40%-40% liberal-moderate-conservative so the Dems have to work quite a bit harder to win an election, and the “work harder” has been true since I think 1968. Or at least I class Carter (Watergate) and Clinton (Perot) as special cases.

      Then again the whole Perot thing was very possibly an inchoate Tea Party type counter-reaction to Republican institutional business as usual, G. H. W. “Read My Lips” Bush and Bob “Tax Collector for the Welfare State” Dole. And Romney is very much a “it’s his turn” candidate like Bob Dole was.

  15. I know it makes a convenient shorthand for us who are RKBA advocates, but liberty really is a package deal, and the RKBA can’t stand alone to define it. Why would we think that SCOTUS justices appointed by an authoritarian loon Republican president wouldn’t be disasters on many of our other rights?

  16. I don’t think Ron Paul has a prayer against Obama, if only for the fact that only a small percentage of Americans have his brand of Libertarian values. Granted, I think generally libertarian values could form a winning coalition, but most people don’t want to take it to extremes. As soon as Paul gets up there and starts going on about gold, the Federal Reserve, or selling off National Parks, he’ll be finished.

    I like Gary Johnson, but he’s been out of politics too long to matter.

  17. I can imagine that the number of Republicans who see Romney as Obama II will approximately equal the number of Democrats who see him the same way, so Romney beats Obama, and little changes.

    Job 1 for the media is to insure that the Republican nominee is the most left-leaning one available, hence the endorsements for McCain in the last primarys.

    What bothers me is that none of the Republican wannabes recognized that the moderators at the debates are proxies for the president. Gingrinch has figured it out, hence his climb in the polls. The public seems to have figured it out from day 1, hence the drop for candidates who have nothing better to do than bicker with each other.

    Romney is a smooth politician. Perry is an accomplished governor. Which do you prefer?

  18. Romney will be a disaster. The more people see of him, the more he looks like the 25% candidate. His support comes from the GOP establishment – Sebastian’s comment about the Bush White House people on his staff tell you all you need to know there.

    So while there are others that will hold their noses and vote for him, there are a bunch (like me) that won’t. I lived in Massachusetts while he was Governor, and he’s all “go along to get along”. Anyone who thinks he gives a darn about the 2A needs to make a close reading of the Massachusetts AWB, which he enthusiastically signed and still supports to this day. There’s your next SCOTUS nominee – “Ooh, pistol grip! Scary!”

    No thanks.

    And so what Romney leading the ticket will do is depress Republican turnout. What should be a tidal wave of GOP wins will turn into a trickle. We’re very likely to be stuck with divided government – Democratic control of the Senate can’t be ruled out.

    Now what do you think that President Go-along-to-get-along will do with Majority Leader Reid?

    I think that this is another Christine McDonald moment. The great advantage of her as the GOP choice for Senate was that it sent a message to the GOP establishment: We’ll vote for the crazy cat lady before we vote for the likes of Mike Castle and his Cap And Trade foolishness.

    Sorry, not interested in Romney, and I’m not buying into a 2A-under-seige panic unless I vote for him. I think it’s as likely that things will be no better under him, and they may be a lot worse.

  19. As a former resident of the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts I would suggest two points:
    – Governor Romney stated on the record that he believed President Clinton’s Assault Weapons Bill didn’t go far enough so he signed a more severe one into law in Massachusetts
    – Even since buying his NRA life membership during the last primary season and claiming to be a life long varmint hunter Governor Romney still stands by signing the fore mentioned law and says that while the 2nd amendment does provide for an individual right to own a gun it also allows for reasonable controls

    Like what exists in Massachusetts where the head local law enforcement officer gets to personally approve a citizen right to have a firearms purchase license – and they never have to provide a reason when you’re denied.

    Massachusetts has the most draconian gun control laws outside of Europe and Governor Romney stands by them as good for Massachusetts.

    But trust me he says, I would never think to support such for the nation – sound familiar?

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