The EFM Feature
Charissa & Adeline 2 from K. Hume Photography

There have been some interesting points raised in the comment threads in response both to my post yesterday and Nancy’s post on my recent radio appearance.

In the first case, a reader named Liz responded to my relentless Romney vs. Santorum logic as follows:

Ughhh. What a totally un-romantic analysis. I hope you didn’t choose a wife this way. If so, trust me – she feels totally unloved.

Liz, you’re exactly right.  My analysis of politics is unromantic.  And no, I didn’t pick a wife that way!  There’s no contradiction there–because marriage and politics are very different things.  Romance is a key part of a good marriage (so is logic, by the way) but more than a tiny bit of it is a recipe for disaster in politics.  It is a mistake for us to put politicians on a pedestal the way we so often do.  They are fallen men and women, just like the rest of us, and by electing them to significant office we are throwing them into a lion’s den of temptation, threats, and relentless demands from the left for other people’s money.  Even the best ones invariably disappoint–including President Reagan, by the way.  I admire him deeply, but you can’t argue that he failed to achieve his goal of shrinking the federal government.  Thomas Jefferson famously pointed out that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty–and he didn’t say “unless your preferred candidate wins.”  Politicians are not the proper subjects of our adoration (or our hatred, by the way).  They are to be held accountable.  If that sounds bloodless and unromantic, it’s because the stakes are truly that high:  If we screw this up, we are at risk of losing the America that has led the world for so long.

Secondly, during that radio interview, I remarked that I would not let Gov. Romney watch my daughter, which spurred a fair amount of controversy, and I’m remiss in responding.  Sorry.  Belatedly, though, the point I was making then is very similar to the one above:  It is right to get involved in politics, but it is wrong to lionize preferred politicians whom you really don’t know.  In my case, unlike David and Nancy, I don’t know Gov. Romney personally.  I’ve spent a tiny amount of time with him and several hours, at this point, watching him on TV.  It’s not that I don’t like him and think he’s a good man–I do.  But the highest compliment I can pay someone is to entrust my precious daughter to his care, and I wouldn’t pay that compliment to anyone I don’t really know, including any of the current presidential candidates.

What I find in American politics today, however, is that based on watching TV, we tend to decide we “trust” and/or “know” certain politicians.  In the evangelical bubble, this often takes the form of statements like “I know [insert politician's name here]‘s heart” or “I can tell he is a strong Christian.”  My response to that is:  You’re fooling yourself.  You can’t know these things based on watching someone on TV.  If you think you can, you are likely to fall victim to someone saying the things he knows you want to hear (and by the way, the words to use if you want to make evangelicals fall all over you are pretty easy–Speaker Gingrich played many of us like a fiddle earlier this cycle).  We don’t really know these people, and they have an incentive to do everything in their power to make us fall head over heels in love with them.  It’s wise to resist that.  After all, Jesus commanded us to “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  Too often, we evangelicals tend to be as silly as schoolgirls and as vindictive as unbelievers, depending on the candidate.

Unless I actually know a politician very personally–for example, my preferred U.S. Senate candidate this cycle here in Pennsylvania, with whom I spent many hours before he ever ran, and whom I therefore would trust with my little girl–I adopt President Reagan’s famous maxim about the Soviets:  Trust but verify.  You may say that’s unromantic, but again, politics isn’t romance.  It’s deadly serious business.  The guy who wins the White House doesn’t become our babysitter or Sunday school teacher or neighbor; he gets the power to deploy soldiers and even nuclear weapons, to appoint judges who will decide whether millions of unborn babies live or die, and to make charges to a national “credit card” our kids will have to pay off.  If we step into this fray naively, we will destroy our country.  That’s not an exaggeration; it’s a fact.  And if you ask me, blind, overly romantic trust in Republicans who say the right things and then fail to do them is a non-trivial part of why we’re in such dire straits today.

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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39 Responses to On Wives, Babies, and Presidents

  1. Larry says:

    Charles, would you perhaps provide the trust but verify facts that lead you to believe both that Romney is a conservative and ought to become president? Thank you.

    Could you also explain what gives you such certainty that Newt “played us like a fiddle”? I’m very much interested in the facts that provide that insight. Thank you.

  2. RC says:

    Charles,

    Excellent article! Thank you for putting it in terms that even a 5th grader can understand. It is really simple, but others seem to miss the “mark”. Thanks for your insight.

  3. Kay says:

    You make sense to me when I experience just the opposite when I read or listen to most of the other media sources. How refreshing!! Keep sharing your insights for they are intelligent and balanced. Thank you

  4. Liz says:

    Well ……I’m embarrassed.

    In response, though none needed, I know:

    Your wife is a looker and your baby is a heartbreaker.

    I wasn’t giving you grief about your methodology , just commenting on how unpleasant for the person(s) being drawn and quartered that way.

    Look, if you got something of a pulse over Ronald Reagan, you are going to fibrillate big time over a Romney presidency. His character and discipline in both his public and private lives is a substantial improvement over what we know of Reagan, and the crises are so much greater right now. You know what they say about when preparation meets opportunity. Read his life story. Never turned down a challenge. Exercised relentless discipline throughout his life. You know, things have never been so critical in this country. Romney will be extraordinary.

    Does he have flaws? Well sure, but nothing I care about.

    Trust your kids with Romney. It’s something more than a gut feeling, but FYI that’s about all I went into my marriage with after a three month courtship, and it’s been a stunning success for a few decades now. And if you think in choosing a president you aren’t entrusting your child to that person in some big way…….you’re being shortsighted at best. It’s all about my children this round. Values, work ethic, character, integrity, it all matters in a major way for me this cycle.

    So I’m just saying, analysis is a marketable skill and all, I lean that way myself. But step over to the dark side and find some passion, will you?

  5. Larry says:

    Charles, I do hope you’ll fill in the blanks. You’ve asserted so much … I’m merely asking for the facts which support your claims. Not asking much really … your certainty suggests iron clad logic and irrefutable evidence.

    • Terry says:

      Yes, Charles, and while you are at it, perhaps you could explain to those not in the know about a novel concept known as the “personal opinion”, and how everyone has a right to one. (I know of no law anywhere which states that a personal opinion must be backed up with supporting evidence at the time the personal opinion is expressed.)

      • Terry says:

        Good points, Terry, and thanks for pointing out that everyone has a right to a personal opinion. My personal opinion is that Charles was right on with what he said in his article.

        • RC says:

          Terry,

          What a novel concept! My own personal opinion. I like it. Where can I get one? And, you mean I don’t have to go to great lengths to “prove” by facts my personal opinion? We should write that into the “Constitution”!.

          • Larry says:

            Gentlemen … really? You now offer as “personal opinion” what you’ve previously asserted as irrefutably true? What gives? Have you all yet taken the time to address those issue I’ve commented on in Charles’ previous post?

          • RC says:

            Terry,

            Thanks for the insight. For me and me alone, it doesn’t matter how and by what means I have come to a conclusion on whom I will cast my vote. From my vantage point, of which I must live with, not only should I feel good about my decision, but if I feel it in my heart and in my mind and I am satisfied with my decision, then it really doesn’t matter what others say or do. It is my decision and mine alone, no one else’s. No one can take that right away from me. NO ONE. To discover the power that is within us and not look continually to someone else. This is growth, and growth must be.

      • Larry says:

        Terry, I do hope you enter the voting booth equipped with far more than a
        personal opinion … millions did just that during the last presidential election. That proved most unfortunate, yes? I encourage you to march in having reached sound conclusions through critical thinking.

        • Terry says:

          Larry– I’ve got news for you, m’man. Everyone who votes does so based on opinions they’ve arrived at, you included. For the self-professed political researchers, there is no one golden path with a flashing neon sign saying “This way to the absolute truth”. There are many paths with many signs that make the same claim, especially in politics. So what do those trying to find the truth do? They read as much as they can (or as much as they care to), sort out what they consider to be the wheat from what they judge to be the chaff, and base their final decision on the makeup of the wheat. You do exactly the same thing. The difference between you as opposed to others like myself who post on EFM, is that we have never claim, contrary to your assertions, that what we post is “irrefutably true” (at least, I’ve never seen such a claim posted on this site). We believe our opinions (there’s that dirty “o” word again), to be true, but for myself, I’ve never professed infallibility. Never.

          My take on Mitt Romney is based on a variety of things. First, being of the same religion as he is and knowing somewhat of his background in ways that you seem woefully uninformed on (no fault of your own, mind you), I can state without reservation that Mitt is a man of integrity and honor. His moral character is beyond reproach. Secondly, and taking into account his past business experience and expertise (some of which you so easily brush aside as being inconsequential), my opinion (dang! that nasty “o” word again!) is that Mitt Romney is the best financial fix-it man on the entire planet. As you must realize, the U.S. economy is an area that is in desperate need of repair, and my opin…(steady…not the “o” word again), my, ah…assertion!…is that he is the best qualified person to run the country at this point in her history. (Whew…that was close!)

          We’ll see in the next few months if enough voters agree with me to make it happen.

          • Larry says:

            Terry, character revealed through actions suggest either virtue or vice … not religious affiliation. What I have observed in candidate Romney suggests something less than virtue. Lying is not, after all, an honorable action. While he is not by any means to be treated as a one dimensional caricature, he has betrayed a willingness to misrepresent his past and slander his opponents. I find that immensely unsettling in any candidate. Especially one whose ambitions are so lofty.

            As to opinion, Terry that’s an odd take. Tell me please that you do not view truth as a moving target. 1+ 1 = 2, not 3 or 7. That’s not an opinion, it’s a logical conclusion. A statement of fact. Bill Clinton lied about Monica Lewinsky. That too is not an opinion, it is a fact. Mitt Romney’s record is recorded fact … opinion has nothing whatsoever to do with it. Its effects may be open to debate … though for most conservatives the conclusion does not enure to Miit’s favor.

            To suggest that it all boils down to personal opinion is to suggest that reasoned discussion can never ferret out the truth, that we are hostage to a process that may or may not provide clear cut answers and knowledgeable responses to important choices. Terry, that’s a fairly reckless approach to life.

            If you feel unable to conclude with certainty that your choices in this election can be the effect of objective reasoning, of critical thinking then please … do me a favor … steer clear of the voting booth this fall. Far too many stumbled into that venerable space last time around and fecklessly offered their opinion in the form of a vote … America and the world has been paying the price for that bit of madness since.

          • Terry says:

            Larry stated below: “If you feel unable to conclude with certainty that your choices in this election can be the effect of objective reasoning, of critical thinking then please … do me a favor … steer clear of the voting booth this fall.”

            Larry…are you now encouraging me NOT to vote, just because my opinion of who would make the best president differs from your opinion? I’m going to pretend–for obvious reasons–that you did not suggest that.

            Think it over, m’man.

  6. Liz says:

    Larry, Romney is a verified conservative and ought to become president. Don’t hate him for being beautiful.

    Your welcome.

      • Brandon from NJ says:

        Larry, if you want to know anything about Romney, I would be more than willing to offer a few examples:Taking over in the wake of a corruption scandal at the 2002 Winter Olympics.

        And if you want more, I can fully mention more to you as well.

        • Larry says:

          Brandon, I’m rather more focused on his political record … given that both his business career and his effort with the Winter Olympics preceded his term as governor, Whatever positive influence they might have enjoyed would have been revealed there.

          But, more to the point, it is his approach to governing which is the most pertinent portion of his biography given that he is again asking to lead. I have not found any compelling evidence that he is the conservative leader the moment demands. Sadly, I have found a record which strongly suggests otherwise. Anecdotal evidence, warm fuzzy stories and revised political bios are unhelpful at this point.

          • Ryan says:

            Larry, since you seem to be so intent on facts – would you be so kind as to provide some of your own? I’ve looked at Romney’s record as governor and I am convinced he is a strong conservative, both fiscally and socially…and I am confused over what “facts”could possibly lead you to conclude otherwise.

      • Hannah Rebekah says:

        Larry,
        What utter bilge.
        Here are some irrefutable facts and truth. Romney has been a great leader not just for turning the Olympics around but for only taking a dollar for his services. Here’s another one for you, he also governed the same way, only taking a dollar for his service as governor. He reminds me of King Bengamin in the Book of Mormon. For Evangelicals, don’t worry, I’m not trying to Mormonize you. But this story points out one of the best examples of a leader for which Romney has already emulated and has demonstrated the same type of character.
        Benjamin was a humble man who worked with his own hands to maintain himself and his family, refusing to live off his people. This is such a small example but in my ‘opinion’ its a biggie that speaks volumes especially in a world where power and greed are far too rampant in politics.
        Now maybe this is too simplistic for someone like you who likes to run shot gun over all of us dummies who don’t have a clue how to vote but I say…
        It seems that the Pharisees had your same problem, they knew the scriptures and prided themselves on their superior knowledge. They knew all the prophesies of the promised messiah who would come into the world, they had the knowledge (objective reasoning and critical thinking). But isn’t it interesting that when the Savior stood before them they knew him not. Where did their objective reasoning and critical thinking get them?
        Knowledge, irrefutable facts, objective reasoning or critical thinking is nothing compared to wisdom that comes from God, the source where all wisdom flows. There is no way you can look on anyone’s heart and mind here to judge if they have that wisdom or not. That trumps your objective reasoning. So I say…give it up…you are not impressing anyone with your big words and fancy arguments except maybe yourself. Maybe this site will passify your need for irrefutable facts.
        http://aboutmittromney.com/healthcare.htm

        • Larry says:

          “Utter Bilge” … Hmmm, quite a charge you’ve leveled in the absence of of any accompanying facts. Well Ryan has asked for facts and you’ve fairly shouted for them. I’m pasting here a copy of some comments from Charles’ last post for which I’ve yet to receive a response. There’s more, however, this is a fine starting place. This was in response to “Matt” …

          Matt, first allow me to congratulate you in coming forward with a few relevant issues for discussion (sadly though, you seem unwilling to drop the nasty insults though … oh well). Now perhaps we can begin a real discussion.

          “Mitt balanced the budget w/o raising taxes, each of 4 years. And no, a fee is not a tax…just in case you were tempted “ Hmmm … well, we’ll revisit that last assertion in a moment (hint, just because you insist that a fee hike is NOT, effectively, a tax does not in fact make it so) however, your assertion that Mitt did not balance the budget without raising taxes is simply, Romney Campaign doublespeak aside, incorrect.

          Allow me to explain. Upon taking office Gov. Romney began stripping out corporate tax “loopholes”. “Great” you say? “Loopholes are unfair!” you say? Not so fast. Loopholes provide relief for companies struggling with large (and often unfair tax burdens … a case especially true in “Taxachusetts”) and are NEVER stripped out by conservatives in the absence of corresponding tax DECREASES. In the absence of tax decreases the removal of loopholes becomes an effective tax INCREASE. Don’t take my word for it though, Peter Nicholas (chairman of the Boston Science Corporation) stated flatly “Tax rates on many corporations almost doubled because of legislation supported by Romney.”

          He (Nicholas) further stated that “Romney’s tax policies were not helpful for many small businesses…when Romney took many IRS subchapter S businesses in Massachusetts and almost doubled their tax rates, it was an important disincentive to investment, growth and job creation”. That remark goes to the heart of the issue with regard to Romney’s conservative bona fides. Tax policy is central to fiscal conservative thought. Onerous tax schemes are anathema to conservatives not only because they fail entirely to restrain the size and scope of government and effectively discriminate against success (impinging upon personal liberty) but they recognize the debilitating effect of such tax rates upon economic outcomes.

          Romney’s failure to conceive of a stimulative tax policy which would incentivize economic growth and thereby a)drive job creation, b)stimulate economic growth, and c)INCREASE government revenues is perhaps one of the single greatest indicators of his decidedly unconservative political philosophy. He relied on the same static models which lay at the heart of Democratic tax policy.

          The net effect? A grossly hobbled private sector which plagued Massachusetts with chronically high unemployment rates. Before you shout about the 4.7% rate of unemployment near the end of his SINGLE TERM as governor bear in mind this essential data. First, the unemployment rate was one of the nation’s highest (including among his New England neighbors). Additionally, the figure of 4.7% was effectively higher if you factor in a second essential figure … Massachusetts ranked SECOND in the nation for number of citizens fleeing their state IN SEARCH OF EMPLOYMENT. Had citizens remained in their home state the rate would have been much higher.

          WORSE yet, the industrial sector suffered enormously under Gov. Romney with some jobs never returning to the state. Year after year, Governor Romney put the squeeze on corporations leaving Joseph Crosby (Council on State Taxation) to remark, “Romney went further than any other governor in trying to wring money out of corporations”. In so doing, he wrung jobs, economic growth and opportunity out of Massachusetts. He increase business property taxes, gasoline taxes and sought, retroactively, to tax out of state commuters. Romney the businessman sought additional revenues for his new enterprise, the state of Massachusetts, and secured them through measures which would ensure continued anemic economic growth and high rates of joblessness.

          The nexus between economic growth and tax policy was lost entirely on Mitt Romney and continues to do so till this day. His proposed economic plan (released last year) was found wanting by the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. In particular, his treatment of both effective tax rates and capital gains taxes betrays a tone deafness to the issue that is puzzling for someone who presents themselves as a conservative. Even now, in an effort to appear as conservative as his opponents, he has revised his tax plan yet again.

          Not only does it continue in its failure to address key tax incentives, but the very fact that he provides the changes now, in the face of mounting pressure, suggests that they are both insincere (and so without conviction) and that they will also not guide tax policy once elected. They are, in short, another set of empty promises. Worse, the act suggests that the entire matter of conservatism continue to remain a second language to Mitt Romney. A second language he speaks badly and with little comprehension.

          Now, on to fees. Yes, Matt … despite your insistence otherwise, fee hikes are taxes by another name. Why? Well, first of all they fail entirely to stimulate growth … they are simply sucked into that growing black hole called government. Secondly, they increase the cost of being a citizen or doing business in the state (remember, because of the most unconservative actions of Gov. Romney Massachusetts’ was ranked as the 4th most expensive state in which to do business by the Public Policy Institute of New York). And finally, they reduce further the availability of disposable income (and discretionary income) for average citizens … thereby further crippling an already struggling economy.

          Balanced the budget? Yes. But not by significant spending cuts (he did make cuts to municipalities which in turn resulted in higher property taxes and excise taxes across the state), but rather by balancing it on the backs of businesses … and by increasing the overall budget. Yes, you read that correctly … each year of his term Romney increased the size of the budget.

          Was Gov. Romney evil? No. Was (is?) he conservative? No … not by a long shot. Not b y any reasonable measure. This is especially relevant to a discussion regarding his fitness for office today given the very real economic downturn and jobless rate currently plaguing our nation. We need an authentic conservative who enjoys a deeply embedded, full-orbed authentic conservative philosophy. We do not need another President who simplybeleives in himself … but one who believes in the principles that guide liberty and economic success.

          I look forward to your response and to further discussion regarding candidate Romney.

  7. Alecia says:

    Thank you for your perspective. Fascinating articles on this site.

    It is refreshing to read about individuals who are passionate about Mitt Romney’s candidacy and are focusing on what makes him a unique candidate–unique not because of his faith, but unique because of his resume.

    I have no doubt that this country will benefit from his remarkable experience. He has dedicated years of his career to making weak things stronger, lifting the bankrupt to become profitable and making difficult fiscal decisions without raising taxes or borrowing money. He will be a breath of fresh air for our government not only due to his discipline and ability to analyze, but because of his unique ability to get his rivals to find reasonable compromises. (Feel free to read why I too, believe that Romney is the right leader for the conservative cause: http://yesmittromney.blogspot.com)

  8. Momof Four says:

    Thank you for sharing this picture of your wife and daughter. You are very fortunate. Your daughter is so-o-o cute! I appreciate Liz’s discussion about how we are entrusting our children to the next President (and Congress) in a very real way. We NEED to put people in who know how to budget, and understand what money is all about. We do NOT need people who think money is evil, and are trying to do away with it for everyone else but themselves. It seems that Obama and Michelle enjoy money; especially spending ours on their pet projects. Even child nutrition has become a government fascist program. My kids hate the school lunch now. No more pretzels with cheese.

  9. Abbygale says:

    I was about to post my current score when I realized that anyone who didn’t read the comment section of Charles Mitchell’s “Vote for the Stake President” piece would not be privy to my game. I want to make it very clear that I’m not making fun of Larry – I find him to be a stylistic genius in his ability to turn a phrase. However, I fear that Larry and I will never see eye to eye politically, and so debate would be moot.

    At first, I thought I would make a game of counting the unflattering words Larry uses to describe EFM readers who make comments… (and might I just add here, I love the EFM readers and their insightful comments! Patriotic Terry, sarcastic & fantastic Liz, plain spoken Matt, peacemaker Kay, logical Phil, and all the rest of you … You guys are great) – but I digress. I simply thought it would be more productive to encourage Larry’s kinder, gentler, gift. Hence the game: “Last Word Larry’s” Favorite Words. Here’s my original post on 3/10/12.

    Dear “Last Word Larry”,

    It seems you’ve been up late with your thesaurus again… not that there’s anything wrong with it. I certainly wouldn’t want you to mistake my comment as a churlish insult. I’m a word nerd myself, and love to peruse the dictionary in my spare time. No really, I’m not kidding… it just tickles my brain.

    Anyway, you requested a mature and thoughtful response to your last diatribe, but I’m not sure that’s really what you want. Those who have attempted a thoughtful response have been accused of being: (In your words Larry), foolish, rude, inane, eerily anti- intellectual, tribal, churlish, ignorant, pseudo-psychologists, intellectually dishonest, childish, lacking credibility, fearful of truth, paranoid, anti-Christian, divorced from reality, self serving, blind, silly, delusional, lacking objectivity, and (my personal favorite) kool-aid drinkers. You are very effective at shutting down the debate.

    Larry, your verbosity (I had to look that one up) is making me tired all over. However, one thing I’ve learned about you, Larry, is that you are not a quitter. I fully expect a rebuttal with some eloquently framed verbiage.
    This is where the fun begins. I intend to fully embrace the idea, “If you can’t beat em, join em.” Since I can’t possibly measure up to your standard of intelligence, honesty, and political acumen, I have decided to make a game of your posts. It’s going to be called, “Last Word Larry’s” Favorite Words. Today’s post gave me the following: churlish, egregious, arrogation, fecklessly, veracity, duplicitous, impugned. I looked them up Larry. Great words.

    I’m giving myself 10 points for every word I have to look up. I now have 70 points. Of course, this means that I need you to use different words in your future posts. I’d like to reach a score of 1000 before the convention. Don’t disappoint me Larry.

    I’ll post my score as often as I can – not all the time, mind you… I have a life, you know – when I’m not perusing the pages of Webster.

    That brings us to today. “Last Word Larry’s” Favorite Words as of: 3/13/12

    churlish, egregious, arrogation, fecklessly, veracity, duplicitous, impugned, rancor, acrimony onerous, anathema, impinging, non sequitur, conflate, skullduggery, and venerable. A respectable 160 points.

    Now, I hate to say it but the only word I could count from today’s post was venerable… a lousy 10 points. If future posts by Larry prove to be as fruitless, I may have to give myself an additional 20 points for using Larry’s favorite words in a sentence about Gov. Romney.

    BTW, Larry, you’ve gotten downright reckless with your use of churlish and feckless… someone could get hurt… not to mention, I’ve already looked those up.

  10. RC says:

    Abbygale

    That was totally pulchritudinous and baronial…….I will be galvanized to view your game harvest results.

    • Terry says:

      I surrender! I surrender! (Stretching both arms high into the air…) “pulchritudinous”? Holy smokes! And I thought that I was good with words! Even Larry will have to be impressed with that one.

      Rooting for Mitt to do well today!

    • Abbygale says:

      RC – Not only did I have to look up the meaning of pulchritudinious, I had to consult an audio dictionary to figure out how to say it. Impressive. And baronial – that’s quite a compliment. Many thanks. How I wish I could count those two words!

  11. Larry says:

    Charles, I continue to await your response. You offered remarks in a most public forum concerning both Romney and Newt. With regard to Newt the insinuation in most unflattering … so much so that if it is wrong it is at best unfair … at worst it is slander.

    Are you unaccountable? Does the truth occupy such an unimportant place in the scheme of things that it is largely irrelevant? If not, please provide some factual evidence upon which you’ve based your statement. If it doesn’t exist … acknowledge it (and perhaps apologize for misleading others and treating so lightly the matter of redemption).

    If it does exist enlighten me please. As of this moment your silence is whispering unflattering things about your actions here.

  12. Larry says:

    Terry, you share a liberal’s approach to quoting others … provide a bit of context please. Why is the whole truth so neglected in the pages? I asked you to refrain from voting if you found it impossible to enter the voting booth with more than just an opinion.

    A little honesty Terry … you’ve just offered a very Romneyesque lie. Well done, you’ve been learning from a master.

  13. Jon says:

    I find it fascinating that Larry can sit back and throw bombs, but has no skin in the game himself. He is always ready to slam Romney, but has never come forward with a better candidate. He has never stated who it is that he supports in this election cycle. I say that if he has a better option, let him present it. I even politely asked him to do so once in the comments for the following post:

    Someone Like Newt

    He never replied, but went suspiciously silent. This lack of response suggests that he is not confident in his own choice. Perhaps he is embarrassed by his candidate of choice, and it is easier to denigrate the opposition rather than to face scrutiny himself, a preemptive strike of sorts.

    Perhaps he is motivated by a darker force, such as bigotry, and fears that he will be exposed.

    Obviously, I can’t know with certainty what motivates Larry. But, in any case, I submit that until Larry steps up and gets some skin in the game, and suggests a better alternative to Romney, his comments should be viewed primarily as the vitriol that they are. It is so much easier to sit back and criticize than it is to offer solutions. Larry takes the easy road.

    Rest assured, Larry will respond with a very clever, caustic, and condescending reply. He is after all much smarter than any of us.

    • Larry says:

      Jon, what the heck are you talking about? I’ve stated my choice more than once in these pages. Follow the conversation . I’ve just posted another comment regarding it again (I’ll share it below) but first. You all remain strangely silent when confronted with facts about Mitt … why?

  14. Larry says:

    Long on acrimony, the tried and true ambiguous collective, a dash of ad hominem topped with an Archie Bunkerish “There, I’ve said my piece now shut the hell up”. But wait there’s more … with aplomb, you sanctimoniously dismiss notions of redemption as lacking in critical thought and insist that such a perspective is held by a majority (you don’t get out a lot do you?).

    Well! (offered with my best Jack Benny impression) … I’m sure glad you got that off your chest. Hang on a moment while I spray the room with deodorizer and then I’ll respond.

    O.K. …. I’m back. Wow! Two cans of deodorizer later we can now talk. Gee, where to begin … well, here’s a good spot … now where’s my shovel? Ah, yes. Here we go.
    First Ron Paul. Do you really consider him honest and honorable or did you pen that tongue in cheek? Constitutional fealty? Which constitution? He has some wonderful ideas … like diamonds … mounted on a setting of steaming BS. Kind of lose their appeal. Making a lot of noise about constitutionality doesn’t necessarily equate to constitutionally sound ideas. But the ever avuncular Ron is not the focus of this discussion is he?
    It began with highlighting Mitt’s decidedly unconservative record as governor, and at that juncture it veered suddenly away from Mitt and toward Newt (that little maneuver is known as changing the debate, Michelle). Clearly I want to return to our discussion of Mitt but I’ll join you for this diversion … it is relevant after all.
    Newt’s affairs will destroy him in a national election you insist. There’s a fellow, you may have heard of him … ah, let’s see … oh, yes. Bill Clinton. Had his affairs not come to light it’s nearly certain that he would have been elected president. Oh … wait. He was elected president wasn’t he? And without any claims of redemption … just a 60 Minutes interview … and in the absence of a crisis.
    Newt on the other hand has very publically discussed his sin (calling it sin). Discussed the regret of causing others pain, of doing things “he’s ashamed of”. He’s sought forgiveness and discovered redemption. He has enjoyed an apparently faithful relationship with his wife since (oops I mean mistress … once a mistress always a mistress, right? Just like that lowlife Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon) and spoken widely on his faith and the importance of religious faith in American life.
    Clearly though your piercing insight has seen beyond that façade and deep into his dark and tormented soul and found at least 20 other besetting sins (do you also administer Rorschach tests?). There you found the serial adulterer (did you mean serial or cereal … I’ve also heard he switched from Cheerios to Frosted Mini-Wheats) driven by a narcissistic streak that runs wide and deep … too deep for real change to ever take hold. Anyone but a dolt knows this … it’s just so obvious. Darn I feel stupid now.
    For you, redemption apparently requires the balance of one’s life to prove out. Until then … you’re a lying bastard who can’t trusted farther than a box of condemns can be thrown. Fortunately for Newt and the others for whom redemption is meaningful, there are so many more, beyond the religious, who are willing to give them a hearing. You seem to share with others here what appears to amount to either a deeply impoverished understanding of redemption or a strikingly convenient and selective manner of applying its truths (or some of both).

    Michelle, if you want me to take you seriously you’ll need to stick to facts and some reasonable line of thought. If you have evidence that Newt has been unfaithful to Callista “the mistress” Gingrich please provide it. If you have evidence that Newt’s been less than candid regarding his faith … offer some reasonable proof … I mean something more than the remarks of a 17 year old. My 21 year old daughter and 18 year old son and Beth, my wife, and I have all grappled with Newt’s past. We’ve explored it together … his remarks, his possible motives, his more recent past, the unique election cycle we find ourselves in and especially the theology of redemption.

    Observing Newt during the GOP primary debates, when they began so long ago, I remarked that Newt was the guy you most wanted to vote for but knew you couldn’t. Then, while observing him in debate after debate, I realized that I was allowing my distaste for his past sins to disqualify him from consideration without actually thinking through either the implications of my position or the prudence of that decision.

    I was an enormous Newt fan. I watched him resist his party’s lurch away from conservatism as George Herbert Walker Bush assumed the presidency. I listened in dismay (but not shock … I expected as much and worked against his nomination) as Mr. Bush announced in his inaugural address that he was going to refashion us unto “a kinder, gentler nation” (upon hearing those words Nancy is said to have turned to Ronny and whisper “kinder and gentler than who?”). This man who had dismissed Supply-Side Economics as “Voodoo Economics” began retreating from the lines Reagan had drawn, surrendering to the grasping Left. Who withstood those efforts? Who opposed his own president in his efforts to raise taxes (in violation of a promise)? Who made enemies within his own party for such efforts? Newt Gingrich. If Reagan led the revolution it was Newt who consolidated its gains.

    The 104th Congress … a congress comprised of a majority of Republicans and led by a Republican Speaker of the House … the first such congress since 1955 … was not coincidental. It was largely the effect of Newt’s planning, strategy and very hard, tireless and imaginative work. It was an effect of, more than anything else, conservative principles championed tirelessly by men who believed deeply in them, offered them without compromise or shame to the American people as an alternative to the vision cast by then President Bill Clinton. Newt’s role in that effort wasn’t coincidental or marginal … it was a driving force in that stunning upset and victory.
    He oversaw some of the most dramatic reforms witnessed in that House in a generation. He converses so easily and so convincingly in matters pertaining to conservatism because he has long studied them, internalized them, understood them … and fought for them … sometimes against members of his own party. To be sure, Newt is not perfect. He has a great deal of baggage … even if he flew Southwest he’d pay a hefty fee for extra luggage. But he the most conservative candidate currently running. A proven conservative. An articulate conservative. A passionate and convincing conservative. A conservative whose earned his stripes and wears his scars proudly.

    84 ethics violation charges were lobbed at him … 83 were immediately dismissed. The last charge was, after long review, proven unsubstantiated. He was cleared from wrong doing by none other than the Internal Revenue Service. For a full treatment of the subject read here (http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/article/what-really-happened-gingrich-ethics-case/336051) . BTW, Romney knew this … yet chose to lie viscously and slanderously. Newt was enduring payback for turning back 40 years of Democratic rule and for failing to play with the “team” when they wanted him to go along.

    Can Newt win? Absolutely. When Newt addresses the issues which are now so pressing people listen … and find his words inspiring, instructive and believable. In a normal election cycle Newt’s chances would probably not be nearly as great. But this is not a normal election cycle. A far left radical has been dragging our nation down a road most Americans do not wish to travel. Newt exists as champion for another way. A visionary leader who offers tried and true principles which he’s championed before and won with.

    On the other hand, you have Mitt. A man who cannot even run on his record because it is so uninspiring. We are instead treated to talk of Bain Capital and the Olympics, efforts which preceded his term as governor. If they were to affect his leadership it should have been revealed there. Instead we have a man who depressed an already struggling economy and jobs market through effective tax increases, ran as a Pro-Abortion candidate distancing himself from Reagan and even the Bush Tax Cuts (George W). Worse his signature political effort was the implementation of Romney Care. The precursor to ObamaCare.

    What justification does he offer? The states constitution allowed it. That’s a dreadful argument. Conservatives oppose it not because provisions for it don’t exist in our constitution but because its very existence opposes the essence of the Constitution … liberty. Romneycare and its progeny Obamacare is a form of soft tyranny. Worse, he trumpets the “fact” that he achieved it without raising taxes. How? By passing that burden on to taxpayers across America, that’s how. Some achievement. No mention is made of the skyrocketing insurance premiums which are a direct result of his “achievement”.
    The moment Mitt tries to bring up the idea of repealing Obamacare he will be clobbered with the obvious. His plan provided the architecture for Obamacare, he recommended it (as late as 2009) as a national model, and most damning, his own team assisted Obama in the development of Obamacare and state flatly that they are essentially the same. Mitt will fold on that issue, the most defining issue of this election, like a cheap suit.
    Mitt doesn’t “get” conservatism … it’s a mystery to him. That’s why his economic plan is so mundane and uninspiring. That’s why gaffes like his recent comments regarding the minimum wage occur so frequently. He’s not a conservative. His dad was not, he’s not. He’s a politician who foolishly believes that government is the solution rather than the problem.

    Newt, however, could not only win against Obama by offering a clear and compelling conservative message and vision … but enjoys the boldness and bigness of thought to change the course we are currently on once elected. A course leading the nation at break neck speed, toward the cliff’s edge. He’s a fighter … and has the scars to prove. If you imagine that the Left is going to roll over and allow significant change … you have no inkling of their nature and character. A blood bath is approaching … Mitt wants to bring a letter opener to a gunfight.

    Well, that’s my pitch for Newt. I had to think through the implications of my bias to reach the conclusions that I did. I found myself revisiting facts, making informed, unemotional choices. Thinking things through logically (I hope), reasonably. Discussing it with others. Just as I had earlier when I reconsidered my support of Mitt Romney. As to Erick Erickson, I’ve heard the name but am not sure I’m familiar with him. I do not follow Red State … I think for myself Michelle … I prefer that to allowing others do it for me.

    One more note … challenging a candidate’s qualifications and claims in dialogue is not pontificating … it’s an effort to persuade people to rethink their positions. Now perhaps you can address the issues I’ve highlighted for Matt. I’d be very interested in hearing them.

    • Michelle says:

      Thanks Larry. Personal insults aside, I appreciate your pitch for Newt. You made a very respectable case for the reason you support him. I find no fault in it.

  15. Abbygale says:

    Holy Smokes! I’m not sure who to thank… Larry for going the extra mile, or Michelle for giving Larry the inspiration.
    Larry, you really outdid yourself. I feel loved, and more than that – intellectually enriched… a wordsmith in the making!

    I started the day with 160 points and thanks to Larry’s prodigious post, I can now add the following words to my collection: ad hominem, aplomb, sanctimoniously, avuncular, and progeny. Total points: 210!

    The complete list of “Last Word Larry’s” Favorite Words is as follows: churlish, egregious, arrogation, fecklessly, veracity, duplicitous, impugned, rancor, acrimony onerous, anathema, impinging, non sequitur, conflate, skullduggery, venerable, ad hominem, aplomb, sanctimoniously, avuncular, and progeny.

    How cool is that!!!

  16. Larry says:

    Well, here we are, days after posting a comment which touched upon only a few issues regarding Mitt Romney’s oh so unconservative record and … no one has stepped forward to offer a reasoned rebuttal. Only distracting efforts to change the debate.

    That is extraordinarily revealing. You wish to support Mitt? OK, base it on immaterial anecdotal snippets, or the fact that he’s Mormon, or an Ivy League buddy … or whatever. But not because he’s conservative … that’s a lie … or a myth … or something other than the stone cold truth.

    Mitt Romney is not conservative. Never has been. In fact, he used to make much of the fact that he wasn’t … until he began courting conservatives … which is why he can’t secure conservative support. It has nothing to do with his religion … it has every thing to do with his phoniness.

  17. Liz says:

    Mitt Romney is conservative. Always has been. Never sleeps around, drinks or gambles, only spends his own money and donates plenty of it to others. He is a faithful spouse, lots of kids, his campaign is completely debt free. No sexual deviance in his lifestyle, abhors abortion, wants to clean up the cultural “sewer” our kids swim in. Dresses conservatively, no or very limited profanity. Pays his tithing, goes to church, believes in Capitalism.

    Based on his personal life, he’s way more conservative than Rush Limbaugh.

    Now where’s your rock hard evidence, Larry? Eh? Put up or shut.

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