The EFM Feature
Pie, from Flickr user kcolwell, used under a Creative Commons license

Humble pie, that is.  Nancy sent me this gem from the May 2, 1994 edition of The Morning Call, the daily newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania:

Santorum and [his Republican primary opponent Joe] Watkins would require individuals to buy health insurance rather than forcing employers to pay for employee benefits.

Yes, that’s the same Sen. Santorum who now condemns not just the federal government requiring people to buy health insurance, but–as in RomneyCare–the state governments doing so, just as they do with car insurance.  This is just more evidence that in the 1990s, a mandate was the “conservative” position, as Speaker Gingrich himself has said.  That’s why when Gov. Romney went to the conservative Heritage Foundation in the early 2000s for help on health care, they gave him the same prescription.  Perhaps (as Heritage now quite honorably says) they and the many Republican politicians of Sen. Santorum’s vintage who held his position in the 1990s (including the one who supported RomneyCare itself in 2006) were wrong.  That’s perfectly fine.  But that’s not the message voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have heard so far.

The nonsense many are selling is that one guy is the “Massachusetts moderate” and that others can be the “conservative alternative.”  But the truth is that none of these men is massively more conservative than the others.  They’ve all fallen short of conservative orthodoxy of whatever vintage, be it 1980, 1994, or 2012.  They are all politicians, not to mention people.  The difference is simply this:  Only one of them has shown the discipline to build a machine and broadcast a message that will be able to survive, let alone defeat, the coming Obama onslaught.

His name is Mitt Romney.  He’s not perfect.  He’s had to eat some humble pie himself.  But he is the only real alternative.

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

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12 Responses to Have Some Pie, Senator

  1. There is no one in the GOP running that has the business/government experience of Mitt Romney. Statements about Mitt’s company firing people is, I hear, one of the strategies of the Obama criticisms to come in the near future. Why did the companies contact Romney in the first place? Did they need help because they were failing or healthy? If they were failing, would it be a far fetch to think that maybe some people would need to be fired and some hired with different/better expertise? Who ever turned around a company to make it profitable by doing nothing different than has been done in the past that got the company in trouble in the first place? As a successful business owner, I cannot come up with one reason for a company to keep on failing just to be sure we keep everyone on the payroll until it has to close its doors!

    • Brandon from NJ says:

      Well Barb, I agree. It’s also pathetic that some companies get bailed such as the auto industry while others like Borders Bookstore are allowed to fail. It’s a rediculous bias that really disappoints me. If one wants to save face, my experience is that some hard-pressed sacrifices have to be made. Anyways, based on your experience and mine, anyways, firing or laying off happens. Thinking it’s so bad simply because someone fired people illustrates tat someone is incredibly far out of touch with what plenty of American people have to make, and not an easy decision at that, either.

      • rvall says:

        Leftist and populist thinking always wants to keep people on the plantation. You have to build your skill set sometimes if you want to survive. You Can’t always be a worker drone entitled to the same pay and benefits as someone more qualified than you.

    • rvall says:

      Businesses are not welfare officers. People get hired and fired to help the business. It’s not always fair, but if they can’t make a profit, nobody works. Life isn’t always fair and govrnment getting involved doesn’t change that.

  2. Terry says:

    “Only one of them has shown the discipline to build a machine and broadcast a message that will be able to survive, let alone defeat, the coming Obama onslaught.”

    Thank you for the well-written article, Charles. That one statement really got me thinking. There are only two reasons for Romney’s spending as much time and effort as he has to become President of the United States: He’s either hungry for the power and prestige the office would bring him, or he’s a true patriot who is determined not to let this country–HIS country–go to ruin.

    I say it’s the latter.

  3. Terry says:

    Okay…just had to add something else while it’s fresh on my mind: I was listening to the radio on my way home from the grocery store this evening, and happened to tune-in to a female talk show host who was discussing Romney–and she absolutely nailed it. The gist of her monologue was essentially, “So what if Romney appears robotic at times? That man is a machine, and he has an even bigger machine to help him. He’s also the only one with the money and organization who can defeat Barack Obama.”

    In relation to the money, she mentioned Santorum’s raising a million dollars two days in a row, then pointed out that in the upcoming general election, two million will be chicken feed, chump change, or whatever else you want to call it. Two million dollars would only qualify as starting-line money in my opinion. Of course, he will raise more–but enough to keep up with the Obama camp the entire election process? I highly doubt it.

    This talk show host also mentioned how disciplined Romney is, stating that he never misses a meeting, is never late for anything, etc., etc. Why is that important? Have you ever noticed how an organization generally reflects the attitude of it’s leader? We saw evidence of that kind of discipline in Romney’s organization when it was revealed that only he and Santorum had qualified for the Virginia ballot. Excuses by the other candidates aside (primarily Newt and Perry), their big stumble indicated to me that their respective organizations didn’t have their act together yet, either in numbers of people needed to get the job done properly, or in enough people who knew how to do the job to begin with.

    Right now, Romney is the ONLY candidate who doesn’t have to worry about money or the competence of his organization. We saw the effectiveness of the Romney machine (counting the super PAC who supports him) in the ads that did a number on Gingrich and Perry. As Bill O’Reilly so bluntly put it in one of his “Talking Points” episodes when discussing why certain candidates did not do well in the Iowa caucus: “The Romney machine took down Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.”

    Another thing O’Reilly stated, and I agree with him totally, is that he believes the Obama camp is afraid of Romney getting the nomination, because if he does, the discussion is going to center primarily on the economy, and Obama won’t have any answers.

    One more thing in Romney’s favor should he be the nominee: he was vetted nationally during his 2008 run, so there is nothing new the Obama team can dig up on him that’s going to inflict any kind of fatal political wound. Morally and ethically, he’s Mr. Clean.

    More and more every day, the best candidate is showing himself to be the obvious choice as the GOP nominee, and that excites me.

    • Brandon from NJ says:

      Well Terry, there is the possibility of trying to bring up his religion, by the Obama campaign. However, I guess that none of us for be phased by this, just because some people like me are fed up with some of the serious flaws and gaffes made by plenty of other GOP contenders this time around.

  4. Ned says:

    I am supportive of Santorum, but could be happy with a Romney candidacy, but I think the snippet from the article you cite about Santorum is inaccurate. Here’s something I found that provides the proper context for the article’s assertion:

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