The EFM Feature
Firefighter, from Flickr user The White Wolf, used under a Creative Commons license

…because Speaker Gingrich and Ambassador Huntsman’s pants are in flames.

You’ll recall that the gentleman formerly from Georgia has repeatedly condemned negative campaigning and promised to stay positive.  Today, as the Speaker is sinking fast in the polls, John McCormack of The Weekly Standard (among others) is reporting that Mr. Gingrich has promised to go negative on Gov. Romney regarding abortion in South Carolina.

Personally, I’m not against negative campaigning.  Contrast is important.  I’m just against hypocrites, especially when their line of attack is bogus, which Speaker Gingrich’s is.  The Standard even quotes our friendly neighborhood EFM constitutional attorney:

It’s true that the Massachusetts supreme court ruled in 1981 that the state must fund abortions for people on government health plans such as Medicaid. Twelve other states—including conservative or battleground states such as Arizona, West Virginia, Minnesota, and Alaska—pay for abortions for Medicaid recipients because of state supreme court rulings. Only four states have enacted laws through the legislative process to allow taxpayer funding of abortion.

Still, some social conservatives don’t buy Romney’s defense that it’s all the fault of the judges. “You know what I would think if I were a pro-lifer? That’s a pretty darn good reason not to have the government take over the health care system,” says Steve Deace, a Christian conservative Iowa radio host and longtime Romney antagonist. “Forget the mandate, which is wrong to begin with. The first moral principle is don’t murder.”

Why would Romney expand access to government-subsidized health care if those plans would cover elective abortions? David French of Evangelicals for Mitt says that argument is a “classic example of not understanding what an actual governor of an actual blue state has to face.”

“Mitt Romney did not have the option of saying .  .  . that there won’t be government involvement in Massachusetts health care,” says French. “He was a conservative governor facing a veto-proof [Democratic] supermajority in both houses dead-set on a particular kind of health care reform.”

French argues that by going to the Heritage Foundation for advice and using what leverage he had, Romney got the best deal he could in Massachusetts. “Doing nothing wasn’t a realistic alternative,” he says. “People need to get over the idea that he’s coming out of Texas. He’s coming out of Massachusetts.”

“I don’t think it is fair to say that Governor Romney just expanded taxpayer funding for abortion as though that was kind of a directly intended policy decision on his part,” says Ramesh Ponnuru, senior editor at National Review and author of The Party of Death. “I certainly take the point that Massachusetts law requires abortion funding under Medicaid, and that is a reason not to expand Medicaid,” he says. “But you have to be careful about the principle that you’re acting on here. You don’t want to say something like you don’t want, let’s say, a free market insurance policy that leads to more people getting insurance” because some private insurance policies cover abortions.

While we’re noting hypocrisy, you might also recall that Ambassador Huntsman pledged in his announcement speech to wage a civil campaign, noting, “I don’t think you need to run down somebody’s reputation in order to run for the office of president.”  He also reneged today, releasing a web video comparing Congressman Paul to a “crazy uncle” and using Twilight Zone music.  It’s a funny ad.  But I’m not the one who promised civility over humor.

We’ve been pretty clear here at EFM that we don’t think there is a “Conservative Messiah” for whom we should be looking.  So we don’t lose a whole lot of sleep over politicians, who are all human, falling short of some unattainable, imagined ideal.  It’s an entirely different matter–and one worth noting–when they ignore their own promises mere weeks or months after making them.

About Charles Mitchell

EFM's resident Yankee, Charles Mitchell, works in the non-profit arena in his native Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Charissa, live near the state capital of Harrisburg with their daughter, Adeline, and are members of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church in America.

Comments and Discussion

Evangelicals for Mitt provides comments as a way to engage in a public and respectiful discussion about articles and issues. Any comment may be removed by the editors for violating common decency or tempting flames.

4 Responses to Call a Firefighter…

  1. January 1, 2012, Of Course no one in their Right Mind wants or likes War. But, when Israel and The United States of America is sorounded all around by it’s Enemies who want and intend to take us Down then under the U.S.A. Constitution we must defend ourselves and make a Stand against all Enemies both Foreign and Domestic. And Ron Paul has lost all Common Sense if he was ever born with any. The Military in America and in Israel is of most Importance at a Time such as 2012. Ron Paul is WRONG and should not ever be a U.S.A. President. He has NO Moral Values at all. When he said, and I heard him say it, “That if the Homosexuals want to be Homosexuals then we should let the States decide that.” Well, NO, Ron Paul the GOD of the whole Universe mentioned in The Bible that Homosexuality is an abominable, discusting, PERVERTED SIN and must be wiped out of society. And don’t you ever legalize MARIJUANA. And Ron Paul your TERM LIMITS are Up. You are so warped in your thinking you would not ever know how to handle the Borders or Iran attacking The U.S.A. and Israel. Go get some Sleep Ron Paul you are a goner for sure. And take all of your lieing groups with you because Marijuana should not ever be allowed in America. And every kind of DRUG must be ILLEGAL also. You are almost Worse than Barack H. Obama and Obama is The WORST President in the Whole History of America.

  2. Vineyard says:

    I’m not any kind of constitutional scholar, political genius or such. But I received a pretty decent college education and can honestly say the more I read the DETAILS of the things Romney has had to deal with as Governor of Massachusetts, the more I come to like him and defend him. Romney is a very moral man making tough legal decisions and is exactly the President we need. Someone, who in the end, respects the will of law and works WITHIN the system to govern.

    My political dream is this: Vote in Romney, then clean the House and Senate with as fast as we can.

  3. Terry says:

    Is It Really Negative?

    Here’s something to mull over, and it’s a question I have yet to reach a solid conclusion on: Is so-called “negative campaigning” in actuality not negative, if the information being revealed is true?

    Several factors contribute to the final determination of whether or not a “negative” label can be attached to an accusation of failure or a wrong-doing, in my opinion.

    Consider these two scenarios:

    1: For example–and looking at it from a conservative point of view–candidate “A” reveals negative but provable things about candidate “B”, which things will have no effect on how “B” performs in office. But “A” has revealed them because he knows they will diminish “B” as a candidate in voter’s eyes.

    Negative? Yes, in my opinion. Besides diminishing “B” as an opponent, the tactic also hints at “A” having little if any positives that he can say about himself to impress the voters. (I think Obama will be a prime example of that come election time.)

    2: Now, using basically the same scenario, “A” reveals things about “B” that very well could affect how “B” governs–things that “B” would have preferred to keep hidden.

    Negative? In this case, I say no. I look at “A”s actions as merely informing voters of things that “B” could, and should have, disclosed himself. If “B” has flaws that will negatively affect how he governs, then voters have every right to know about them.

    As a caveat to #2 above, no one consequence or penalty can or should be applied with the same force to all situations that are similar to #2. No one is perfect, and for those who think that there is such a thing as a conservative Messiah…out there…somewhere…who just needs to be found…stop your dreaming. The reality is that the only being who fits that bill has not returned to this earth yet. Until then, we’ll have to settle for a distant but closest second best. This country did not get into the mess it’s in overnight, and no candidate is going to be able to pull us out overnight. This means that we have to be willing to forgive candidates shortcomings, overlook what we see as beliefs that don’t exactly match with our own, and pray (if you are not a religious person, then cross your fingers and hope) that as the years progress, each candidate we put our trust in for president will be better than last one we voted for. (As to forgiving shortcomings…this does not mean that we also have to vote for the person or condone what he or she did. There are some track records, in my opinion, that even with forgiveness, still bar the candidate from ever holding the office of President of the United States. A less visible office possible, but never as President.)

    Now, before I cross the line from opinion giving to preaching, I’m going to quit–exiting with one final disclosure. For most of my life, the only interest I paid to political campaigns was in noting who had won. Ironically, it was both EFM’s birth and Obama’s ascension to president in 2008 who changed me from disinterested observer to one who now–mainly via the internet–keeps close tabs on the daily political scene.

    I hope there are many more late-comers like me out there. We’re running out of time.

  4. RC says:

    Terry, when I read your comments, it’s like looking into the mirror. I am also a late-comer to the political scene. I can honestly say that my involvement now is spurred by the reality of what my children and grandchildren are going to end up with if the “course” of America does not change. And I will have no one to blame but myself.

    Yes, I believe we are running out of time, but I also believe that there is still “hope” in our future. In my opinion, if Romney is eventually elected, then I know that the majority of Americans are still in the ballgame, even though we are in the bottom of the ninth. Go America, Go Romney.

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