The EFM Feature
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We had the honor of hearing Gov. Romney speak in Nashville last week.  Aaron Tippin was there, as was TG Sheppard.  Aaron began the evening by dedicating a song to the media on behalf of Gov. Romney, called “Kiss This!” Here is the chorus:

Why don’t you kiss, kiss this
And I don’t mean on my rosy red lips
Hey me and you, we’re through
And there’s only one thing left for you to do

You just come on over here
One last time
Pucker up and close your eyes
And kiss this goodbye

Then, after Gov. Haslam introduced him, Gov. Romney gave a great speech.  We were in the very back of the crowd, but managed to catch his eye.  He kindly posed with us.

The hilarious thing was that there were some people there, who read our nametags and asked to get their photo made with us.  (They were National Review readers.)

So, I guess Gov. Romney should be thrilled to have the above photo with such dignitaries.  (Ahem.)


Comments and Discussion

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36 Responses to Who’s This Guy Trying to Come Between David and Me?

  1. RC says:

    Mitt Romney: President of the United States of America
    David French: United States Attorney General
    Nancy French: Secretary of State

    Now, we’re starting to get somewhere! I am totally jealous and full of envy. Wish it were me. But, it’s not. Cherish and savor the moment. It’s because of you two that Romney looks so Presidential in this photo. Looks Great. Proud of you. Thank you for being who you are.

    • Terry says:

      RC…echoing my sentiments exactly.

      I’ve decided that when I get to heaven (yes, Mormons can go to heaven, along with many other folks of various religious persuasions), I’m going to arrange an Evangelicals for Mitt get-together. I’ll probably never meet David and Nancy in this life, so it would be a dying shame (pun intended) not to look these stellar folks up in heaven.

      Latest News that Caught My Eye:

      Santorum claims that Mitt’s delegate numbers are not accurate. According to him, Romney is going to have 50 or more delegates from the Florida and Arizona contests taken away from him, plus more from the Iowa contest because he, Santorum, ended up winning that one and not Romney. Is this guy in dreamland or what? The RNC already penalized Florida 50 delegates for holding their primary earlier than they were supposed to. The RNC is not going to suddenly decide now to switch Florida from winner-take-all to proportional status and award the Rickster some delegates from there. I’m afraid that Santorum is in for a huge letdown with the math modifications he’s been coming up with.

        • Terry says:

          LOL…sorry, but for me, when the Fates were passing out talents, athleticism wasn’t one of the things I ended up with. Chess, perhaps? :)

          • RC says:

            Great, I play basketball and also play chess. I love both. If I am in New Jersey, I will look you up Brandon. (My oldest son is Brandon and also a police officer) If I am in Nebraska, I will look you up Terry.

            Santorum using profane language! Wow, a Christian at that. He totally imploded. Not good for a future (has been) U.S. President. Santorum has totally missed the mark. No class or character whatsoever.

  2. Terry says:

    Okay…I couldn’t pass up commenting on this headline at FoxNews.com:
    Santorum uses ObamaCare court hearings to hammer Romney
    The blurb below the headline states: “Down in the delegate count, Rick Santorum is trying to revitalize his campaign by using this week’s Supreme Court hearings on the federal health care overhaul to embarrass Mitt Romney — arguing the GOP front-runner wrote the “blueprint” for the bill Republicans now say is unconstitutional.”

    Attention Mr. Santorum: Where were you when the debates were happening? Romney wrote the “blueprint” for HIS state when he was governor, and has said ever since then that so-called RomneyCare was a Massachusetts program that other STATES could copy if they wished (making such modifications as they saw fit). He also made VERY CLEAR that his plan was NEVER meant as a one-size-fits-all national healthcare program.

    What part did you not comprehend?

    I really hope that the Supreme Court declares ObamaCare to be unconstitutional, partly because it is, and partly because their decision will backup Romney’s claim that his program should be run at a state level and not at a national level.

    • Larry says:

      Terry, what compelling conservative argument can you give for RomneyCare? If it is wrong at the national level, why would it be appropriate at the state level. Bear in mind that Romney suggested the mandate is an effective remedy at the national level as late as 2009.

      By compelling I am of course looking for an argument which extends beyond the idea that the Massachusetts state Constitution might permit it. Not only did it result in skyrocketing premiums for Mass residents but it is only made possible, because of its reliance on federal funding, at the expense of taxpayers nationwide. Again, what is inherently conservative about RomenyCare that elevates it above ObamaCare and beyond the reach of ridicule?

      A mandate is unconstitutional because of its encroachments on liberty rather than merely the absence of any clause which might suggest its appropriateness. Consequently, it seems a fool’s errand to argue for either ObamaCare or RomneyCare given their shared DNA. Either a mandate is an encroachment on liberty or it’s not. If it’s not, then no more noise should be made against ObamaCare … it’s simply addressing itself to the failure of the Framers to provide language adequate to such remedies.

      If, however, such compelling language is not only absent, but absent because of its tyrannical implications, then what conservative defense can be mounted for any effort so at odds with the restraints the Constitution seeks to impose on government? In short, is RomneyCare right and ObamaCare wrong simply because the separate charters they operate under are comprised of different language? Does conservative political philosophy enjoy no role in formulating policy. Are we left to the efforts of lawyers to explore the elasticity of language and boundless legal abstractions?

      A full orbed and profoundly conservative political philosophy lies at the heart of our constitution’s genius. Every step away from that is a step in the wrong direction. I can find no compelling conservative argument for RomneyCare (nor, for that matter, for the various tax increases proposed by then Gov. Romney) … can you?

  3. Liz says:

    Larry, you ask a good question. Why is Romneycare OK at the state level, and why WOULDN’T it be OK at the federal level? They don’t teach this in public schools anymore, so I don’t blame you for your confusion. The states, all 50 of them, or 57 if you are liberal, were meant to be little laboratories where people in that state could try innovative solutions for their problems. If people in the state didn’t like the local solutions, they could move to any one of many other states to avoid the consequences of their neighbors’ bad votes. On the other hand, if the FEDERAL government imposes a funky solution to a real or perceived problem on the entire nation, the only way to avoid the failed measure is to move to another COUNTRY. The founders likely thought that was extreme, and for this and many other reasons left most powers and rights to the states, and gave only about a handful of responsibilites to the federal government. Romney is one of the few candidates that fully understands this consitutional design. I even saw Ron Paul struggle with it during a debate. Be comforted.

    • Larry says:

      Liz, I appreciate your response but I think you’re missing my point. What is the compelling conservative argument for RomneyCare? You would hope that state governments don’t employ their laboratories to create untenable conditions for the unfortunate citizens who call that state home. While states remain free to experiment they are expressly forbidden encroachments on liberties afforded to every citizen (by the due process and equal protection clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, respectively).

      So again, what compelling conservative argument can be made in its favor? Or, what compelling conservative argument can be made against it? If it was (is) wrong as a matter of principle then what is to be made of Romney’s defense of it and affinity for it? This seems to me to be not simply a legitimate concern but one which demands a complete and principled answer BEFORE we select our nominee. The issue is hardly peripheral … indeed, it may be the most pressing and ultimately defining issue of this election.

      • RC says:

        Larry,
        The very last person to sign any bill into law (the State of Massachusetts) is the Governor. The Governor does not draft and write the proposed bill. The Legislative Body has that responsibility. The Governor may verbally give his input on a State level, but that is as far as it goes, until it reaches the Governor’s desk – to either sign it or veto it.

        At the time the State of Massachusetts was drafting this bill, the Legislative Body was 85% Democrat. Anyone is a fool if they can’t see what the draft would look like after the 85% Democrats got through with it. As Governor Romney has stated countless times, there was give and take, bi-partisan negotiations and finally the Legislative Body presented their final draft, which was then signed by Governor Romney.

        The State of Massachusetts had the authority (both the 85% Democrats and the Governor) to enact the bill into law. The bill “DID NOT” effect 93% of the then private citizens in the State. The bill was to help the 7%. Who am I to tell the citizens of Massachusetts what they can or cannot do in their State! The Massachusetts Supreme Court has not ruled the State law unconstitutional – on the State level.

        Governor Romney has repeated himself so many times and yet people let it go in one ear and out the other. He has stated that it is not an ensign for the nation – a one-size-fits-all. I see this picture very cyrstal clear – no problem.

        • Larry says:

          RC, Mitt and his team crafted the plan with the legislature’s approval. Additions offered by the legislature, which he did not approve of were vetoed. Mitt rightly claims credit for the legislation because it reflects the efforts of Romney and the team he assembled to craft it. Remember, Mitt heralded the plan as an achievement and a model which should be emulated at the federal level, again, as late as 2009 (in a USA Today Op-ed penned by Romney and in multiple television appearances).

          The composition of the legislature is not in question, what is, however, is the manner in which Romney sought to lead it. Not by arguing for conservative, market based approaches to healthcare coverage challenges, but by devising approaches which not only failed to address the problems created by existing governmental interventions but actually encouraged further and dramatic expansions of governmental meddling. RomneyCare’s architecture is a creation of Gov. Romney and his team … and he touted it as one of his most important achievements.

          I don’t think it’s appropriate now to offer the image of a governor who found himself simply reacting to events beyond his control … he was very much in command of of circumstances and the outcomes largely reflect his leadership.

          Again though, I’m asking for some compelling conservative argument in favor of RomneyCare. It has been offered by both Gov. Romney and his supporters as convincing evidence of his qualifications as a conservative leader. Is it a conservative response to the healthcare challenge or did it merely exacerbate the underlying problems which threaten not only our liberty but our fiscal well-being?

          • Larry says:

            RC, also remember that Reagan faced an overwhelmingly Democratic House during his presidency. Never-the-less, he oversaw, through his very conservative political philosophy and leadership, the implementation of an enormously conservative agenda … despite extraordinary efforts by Democrats to derail it. His conservative principles coupled with his exceptional leadership simply overwhelmed liberal pushback on multiple fronts.

          • Dan says:

            very briefly… two points that support conservatives’ support for individual mandate at state level.

            1) as Liz touches on, this is a market based solution (as long the requirement for insurance coverage is that private insurance companies are the providers and not the government)

            2) it supports personal responsibility of individuals to take care of their own healthcare and not rely on others to pay for it, because if they have private insurance, their catastrophic and emergency care is paid for by the private insurance company that they are paying premiums and copays for. Otherwise they get the care, but then everyone else pays for it in higher premiums.

            Maybe a simplistic answer, but it still works…

          • Terry says:

            “Mitt heralded the plan as an achievement and a model which should be emulated at the federal level, again, as late as 2009 (in a USA Today Op-ed penned by Romney and in multiple television appearances).”

            Come on, Larry. You know better. Romney has consistently stated that the MA plan was never meant for implementation at the federal level. He did say that if other states wanted to copy it, they could do so, modifying the plan as they saw fit. I’ve seen Mitt on TV interviews, and not once has he said the he is for federal healthcare mandates.

  4. RC says:

    Larry,
    1) Reagan did face a Democratic House, no dispute. However, Reagan did not write any Legislation. You say he “oversaw” implementations. Of course he did. That is exactly what a President is for, in part. He has the power to sway into different avenues – by signing or vetoing bills brought to his desk by the House and Senate. (and in connection with the voice and will of the people) This is exactly how Reagan worked. Like I said before, the President of the United States is not in the Legislative business of drafting and writing bills. The Constitution reserves that for the Congress. (Legislative Branch)
    2) Romney was in the exact situation as Reagan. Both in an Executive position and both with a Democratic majority for the Legislative branch. In fact, Romney vetoed 10 times that of Reagan – 800+. That definitely is swaying away from the Democrats’ agenda and siding with the conservative side if I have ever seen one. This definitely showed exceptional leadership on his part. (embryonic stem cell, abortion, taxes, etc).
    3) Are you trying to suggest or imply that Romney himself with his aides, drafted, wrote, penned and signed the healthcare bill?
    4) “The composition of the legislature is not in question, what is, however, is the manner in which Romney sought to lead it.” Question, did you ever hear of a major uprising of the citizens of Massachusetts before or during the time frame of this bill? (I never did.) In fact, it was the citizens of Massachusetts that was pressing their government to fix the problem. The bill was not crammed down the throats of the citizens, nor done behind closed doors, but was openly transparent. (unlike the current healthcare law) This is what the citizens wanted, this is what the Legislature wanted and with a lot of negotiations and bi-partisanship, they came to a resolution, hence the Massachusetts Healthcare. After Governor Romney signed the bill, the citizens shouted for joy.
    5) “I don’t think it’s appropriate now to offer the image of a governor who found himself simply reacting to events beyond his control … ” This is a lame statement, no one ever suggested such. However, one can only imagine what the bill WOULD HAVE looked like if it were a Democratic Governor. Heaven forbid. Romney is the one that kept the bill from going over the edge as far as the citizens were concerned. Romney is the one that made it clear to the Massachusetts Legislature what he would veto and what he would sign.
    6) ” … he was very much in command of of circumstances and the outcomes largely reflect his leadership.” That is why Romney is a great Leader. He helped funnel the healthcare bill into exactly what the citizens wanted, despite the pressure from the Democrats to keep a lot of the “junk” in it. I applaud Romney for the difficult circumstances in which he faced as a Republican in a Democratic State. (even though things changed after he left) Why don’t you give Romney recognition for his opposing same-sex marriage? For opposing embryonic stem cell? For restructuring the tax system, etc. I don’t think you could bring yourself to do that. But that’s okay, because Romney will be the GOP nominee. (Newt has let his campaign staff go and is not traveling / Santorum is on his last leg, from here on out, it’s Romney’s territory)

    And Larry, will you oppose Romney then and vote for Obama? Or, will you rally behind the Republicans and coalesce behind Romney to give him strength for the November election?

    • Larry says:

      RC, Reagan was chiefly responsible for the proposals which led to “Reaganomics” ? He lobbied members of both Houses to pass his reforms. The proposals were his … crafted by him and his team (as were his foreign policy initiatives). The actual legislation was of course written by the House (which is their province) … but they contained the language which assured the policies he sought.

      Without his ideas and leadership the sweeping changes promoted by that legislation simply would not have occurred. They were his signature achievements. To equate Romney’s leadership agenda, however, with Reagan’s seem a remarkable stretch. Romney’s efforts simply do not reflect the Burkean conservatism of Ronald Reagan. Romney was careful to point that out on several occasions during his various Massachusetts political campaigns.

      There were some efforts (especially after choosing to run for the Republican nomination) which sometimes reflected conservative thought … but it does not come naturally … is clearly not internalized (consider his recent remarks concerning minimum wage increases). Mitt Romney is no Michael Dukakis to be sure … but he is not, by the same token, a Reagan conservative. Again, his approach to governing simply underscores that.

      Let me pause here to acknowledge the likely outcome of the current primary process. It appears more likely that Romney will emerge as the nominee. That is an unhappy conclusion for me, but increasing in its certainty now daily. Of course I will vote for Romney … the alternative is simply unacceptable. He has not earned my respect, nor my trust … indeed, he has come to be viewed by many as a deeply flawed man and candidate. But it appears that he will be the party’s nominee so our strategy must now shift to moving him to the right … securing promises and holding him to them (and reminding him that should he win the general he will face another election in four short years).

      There exists a remarkable opportunity to walk back the Lefts agenda across the board … if Romney can lead through conservative principle. Nothing in his past political biography leads us naturally to expect this. However, if he chooses to drink deeply from the well of conservative thought an historic opportunity awaits him. He will enjoy my prayers toward that end. If he fails … many will work with vigor to see to it that he serves no more than a single term though. He can earn the respect and trust he has lost thus far … if he will. If he comes to believe in first principles more than he believes in himself. If he chooses to courageously champion the conservative cause with the same vigor and commitment the Left has shown in driving theirs forward.

      If, however, this venture is more about his ambitions to become president then I fear we will see merely another politician dancing the Potomac Two Step and squandering a rare moment ripe for transformative change. He will, if he is to avoid this, need to rather quickly surround himself with an entirely new team. He has picked liberally from the Bush Administration’s fellows … not a promising start. He’ll also need to begin the hard work of wrapping his brain around a conservative worldview … and thinking through it policy demands … and steeling himself for the war that is waiting should he win.

      Yes, I’m suggesting that Romney and his team crafted the Health Care Initiative … its centerpiece was the individual mandate. Romney insisted upon that as an alternative to other proposals. Indeed, its inclusion attracted the favor of Ted Kennedy who labored with Mitt to persuade Dems to support it. Citizens shouting for joy, RC, is rather extravagant … it met with mixed reviews. Some liked it … others did not. Now, several years later the Suffolk University poll (whose earlier polls were often cited by Romney) reveals that only 38% of citizens think the HealthCare Reforms are working. 49% think it’s not. The people who live under its burden are finding it unappealing … and expensive.

      Worse, reality is catching up with the math. Insurers are losing money, cost overruns are rampant. What is the cost to the quality of health care? Not sure, but can it be good with that back story?

      To suggest that legislation could have been worse under a Democrat … well, sure. But that’s not an argument … that’s just an obvious conclusion. The point is that Romney failed to offer a compelling conservative alternative. Ford was a better alternative Carter … but still ineffective and decidedly unconservative. His disdain for Reagan style conservatism was mirrored in the remarks of candidate Romney both when he ran for the Senate and Governor.

      Reagan was certainly better than Carter … and better than Ford, Nixon and Eisenhower. He was a philosophical conservative. He led through conservative principle … not just with it. Absent his leadership we might still be in throes of a cold war and laboring under a top marginal tax rate of 70%.

      In my estimation Romney failed the people of Massachusetts and failed as a leader. He found a politically expedient path forward (one easily sold to Ted Kennedy) and followed it to a conclusion which has provided no free market solution (indeed, he subverted the free market by creating an “exchange” … an artificial and ultimately unsustainable and unsatisfactory alternative). It is now, quite officially, creating more problems than it solved. It is headed to the junk pile … at a very costly price.

      I applaud Romney where it’s due (though even with same sex union the record is mixed). Restructuring the tax system? Do we really want to have that discussion RC? That’s a myth … the numbers and outcomes are there if you’re interested in a serious discussion.

      Romney has my vote in the general … but not because he’s earned it. It’s his by default. I’m deeply unenthused by his candidacy but deeply committed to ousting President Obama. Mitt will have a couple of years to earn my trust, my respect and my vote. If he fails again … I’ll work to find a conservative alternative next time around. He’s got a heck of a job in front of him should he win. If he fails, you and others will have a heck of a lot of explaining to do. Let’s hope he succeeds. We need it.

      • RC says:

        “Let me pause here to acknowledge the likely outcome of the current primary process. It appears more likely that Romney will emerge as the nominee. That is an unhappy conclusion for me, but increasing in its certainty now daily. Of course I will vote for Romney … the alternative is simply unacceptable. He has not earned my respect, nor my trust … indeed, he has come to be viewed by many as a deeply flawed man and candidate. But it appears that he will be the party’s nominee so our strategy must now shift to moving him to the right … ”

        I totally DISAGREE with your last sentence and I will tell you why. If every registered Democrat where to vote in November, there still would not be enough votes to vote in a President. (Only about 38% of the electorate) If every registered Republican were to vote in November, there still would not be enough votes to vote in a President. (Only about 35% of the electorate). Hence, the Democrats nor the Republicans can of themselves vote in a President. It comes down to the Indedpendent voters. The majority of Independent voters are moderate and want someone to govern from the center. There are 300 million + citizens in this country and the President is the President for all of them, not just the right or just for the left.

        I am not talking about me and me alone, or you Larry and you alone, or with our families or with our neighbors. This election is for everyone involved – from the extreme right to the extreme left, and everyone in between. I am just as conservative as the next guy, but, I know that I cannot use the government as a vehicle to mandate my personal agenda – religious or secular. Men shall be free.

        Now for you to say the we should get Romney to move as far to right as possible now that he will be the nominee is totally wrong. On the other side of the coin, it would be just as wrong for the a nominee to move as far to the left if they were Democrats. Either side would lose the Independent votes. That is why it is imperative that a President govern as a centrist (for all) and still hold to the conservative ideas. If I can do that, then certainly the President can do that. (for one example: I am personally against prostitution and the ramifications involved with it on a personal level – this is my personal view and convictions. However, on the government side, I am opposed of having the government enact laws banning such. Whatever an individual (of age) wants to have sex with is their business, not mine. Nor is it my business what they do with their money – not the goverment’s – nor your’s.)

        Just because one governs from the center does not mean that he abandons his personal conservatism. You cannot force, coerce or mandate morality. The Constitution spells that out very clearly.

        • Larry says:

          RC, your point ignores the facts on the ground. Moderate GOP presidential nominees who pursue the independent vote almost always lose. Those who have won have done so in squeakers and then govern ineffectively. Next, they tee it up for a big Democratic win. You do recall Bush Sr.’s second campaign (when he no longer enjoyed the penumbra of Reagan’s two terms), his son’s squeakers and McCain’s disaster, right?

          GOP conservative candidates (you’ll have to walk it back to Reagan) win … big. Landslide mandates. Better, they govern from the right and carry the nation with them. Over and over we’ve observed the animating and unifying force of a conservative vision.

          Your argument sounds good on paper but doesn’t comport with real history. It’s a recipe for losing … either on election day or the slow painful death of an ineffective administration which peters out in ignominy . Don’t take my word for it though … just review the last 100 years of presidential elections.

          Conservatives find no need to obscure their conservatism … rather, they choose to run on it. It’s a proven winner. It provides the basis for their winning platform … it animates their vision and their candidacy. It’s not simply that they would find the dishonesty of masking it offensive … they would find such an effort impossible. They know that history and fact is on their side … they’re only to eager to communicate that. And it wins. Big.

          Not sure where your remarks concerning morality fit in … I’ve not addressed that.

  5. Liz says:

    OK Larry, I think what you are saying is that you do not want the government to pay for your healthcare, and you don’t think the people in Massachusetts should have that option either because it’s not conservative, the way you like. Conservativism doesn’t mean everyone does what you want them to . It means, they get to vote for people that are going to do what THEY want them to do, as long as it’s constitutional, and as long as a majority votes for it. Which, in Massachusetts, it was constitutional, and a majority of the people wanted it, and STILL want it. I know you don’t, but you don’t live there. Do you? Even if you do, you are in the minority. It seems you are looking for an ideologue, that no matter what the people that voted for him/her want, he/she is going to shove their rigid ideology down their throat. Romney is not an ideologue, he is a service oriented guy. He asks the people what they want. Then he does it within Constitutional guidelines and using free market principles. Ron Paul, for example, is a rigid ideologue. If the people in Mass asked him for healthcare, he would have said that’s your problem. Or, come see me but you have to pay me with gold. :) So yes, Romney is conservative, but he will give his electorate what they want. It’s beautiful, isn’t it? Don’t often see a politician like that. It’s because he’s a private sector guy at heart, and they are SERVICE ORIENTED.

    • RC says:

      Liz,

      Beautiful. Absolutely on the mark. You get it. (most people can’t, because they are trying to force their own personal agenda on everyone else.) You get it.

    • Larry says:

      Liz, Your conflating terminology and philosophies and badly misconstruing what I wrote. Let’s take it from the top …

      “OK Larry, I think what you are saying is that you do not want the government to pay for your healthcare, and you don’t think the people in Massachusetts should have that option either because it’s not conservative, the way you like.”

      Liz, to be specific, I don’t want government reaching beyond the scope of its constitutionally assigned roles. Sadly, it has grossly arrogated to itself powers and responsibilities never envisioned by the Framers long ago … its venture into HealthCare is merely its latest attempt at seizing yet more power and control over our daily lives. It’s also one which threatens to dramatically and dangerously redefine the nature of government’s role in some of the most important decisions we make as humans. Oh yeah … and to destroy our economy (and with it our sovereignty).

      So, no I don’t want government paying for my healthcare … particularly given government’s inability to pay for anything without first taking it from the very people it ostensibly serves. Waste, however, is the least of our concerns with regard to government’s appetite for power. The real concern is the liberty which is irretrievably lost in such Faustian bargains. Liberty which we would do well to remember was purchased with blood and lives.

      Government was viewed by the Framers as a necessary evil. An evil that grows as it is permitted to become more necessary. It was to be chained and placed on a starvation diet. Sadly, nearly a hundred years ago some had the idea that government was inherently good and wise. They began feeding it. Next they removed its chains. We’ve been, just as Jefferson predicted, been wearing those chains ourselves.

      Perhaps a little Jefferson is in order here …

      “I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

      “We must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our election between economy and liberty or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds… [we will] have no time to think, no means of calling our miss-managers to account but be glad to obtain subsistence by hiring ourselves to rivet their chains on the necks of our fellow-sufferers … And this is the tendency of all human governments. A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for [another ]… till the bulk of society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery… And the fore-horse of this frightful team is public debt. Taxation follows that, and in its train wretchedness and oppression.”

      “A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned – this is the sum of good government”

      That Liz, is what I’m referring to when I speak of conservatism. It’s not a matter of “what I like” … it’s a matter of principle. That’s why I find men like Mitt who believe supremely in their own abilities so damn scary as leaders … I want someone who believes in these principles to govern. Its far easier to predict their choices and our shared futures. The men who believe that their expertise is the answer … well, they’re dangerously unpredictable and have often caused long lasting damage. That’s why Mitt’s political biography, not his business experience was so important to me. I know businessmen of all stripes which are successful as businessmen … that hardly qualifies them to govern. Mitt’s success as a businessman simply did not translate into success as a governor. That’s what matters to me.

      “Conservativism doesn’t mean everyone does what you want them to . It means, they get to vote for people that are going to do what THEY want them to do, as long as it’s constitutional, and as long as a majority votes for it. Which, in Massachusetts, it was constitutional, and a majority of the people wanted it, and STILL want it”

      Liz, you’re aware that there was not/is not universal agreement of the constitutionality of RomneyCare (I’m referring to the state’s constitution) aren’t you. As to your point, well, it’s pretty silly to suggest that I’m suggesting a conservatism which restricts itself to my whims … that’s, well, as I said … pretty silly. All sorts of outrages have been committed by politicians who’ve read into the constitution whatever agenda they wish to pursue. ObamaCare is one such outrage. So is Social Security and Medicare. So are a host of other such pieces of legislation which now form a “long train of abuses”. Law after law now control our lives. All of them were passed by majorities. All claimed to be Constitutional. That’s why authentic conservatism is so essential. Why its absence in an elected leader is so damning.

      Again, that’s why the political philosophy a candidate holds to (if he holds to any at all) is so essentially defining. Why it is so critical to ferret that out as a voter.

      “Which, in Massachusetts, it was constitutional, and a majority of the people wanted it, and STILL want it.” You haven’t read the latest news out of Massachusetts I see. RomneyCare is increasingly unpopular and clearly untenable. As I wrote earlier, reality is catching up with the math. Mitt sought for solutions outside of a free market. He “created” a new market called an “exchange” … it is artificial, propped up by federal funding (that’s why he’s able to claim he provided this plan without raising taxes … well that and the simple fact that premiums skyrocketed … which is to say that Mitt passed on the taxing function to businesses who passed them on to customers). Its unsustainable.

      No I don’t live there … I did. I have friends there … but what does that matter Liz. That’s a non argument in search of logic. That I do not live there doesn’t disqualify my opinion … nor does it mitigate the reality of RomneyCare’s effects.

      “It seems you are looking for an ideologue, that no matter what the people that voted for him/her want, he/she is going to shove their rigid ideology down their throat“

      Well, here you veer off again into silly. If you regard the respect I have for the lessons of history and the proven wisdom of conservative thought (which dates back to at least Aristotle) as a devotion to rigid ideology then I would suggest Liz that you understand virtually nothing about conservatism … and I can state flatly without any fear of contradiction that you don’t know me … even slightly. Conservatives want the government to allow people to live their own lives with a minimum of interference. Not only do they want to shave nothing down anyone’s throat … they’d like the same consideration in return.

      “Romney is not an ideologue, he is a service oriented guy. He asks the people what they want. Then he does it within Constitutional guidelines and using free market principles”

      I would agree that Romney is not an ideologue. Personally, I think he’s a guy over whose life daddy’s shadow falls long. That concerns me … and not a little. But it would concern me much less if Mitt was animated by conservative principles. He’s clearly not. Worse, he appears entirely unfamiliar with them, and at times has even eschewed them. His understanding of the constitution suggests a perspective far more aligned with liberal thought than conservative. As to his commitment to free market solutions … well, RomneyCare destroyed that illusion.

      “Ron Paul, for example, is a rigid ideologue. If the people in Mass asked him for healthcare, he would have said that’s your problem. Or, come see me but you have to pay me with gold”

      I’m not a fan of Ron Paul, but your aside suggests, once again, that your views of conservatism are badly askew. But it does go along way toward explaining why you might view Romney as a conservative.

      • Larry says:

        Liz, one more thing. Many Romney supporters are heavily invested in his candidacy for reasons other than the political interests of the nation. I understand that. So please, when I address what I perceive as Mitt’s lack of conservative bona fides understand that I’m not ranking him with mass
        murderers :-)

        Don’t take it personally please.

  6. Terry says:

    Mitt Romney: Over-hyped or under-appreciated?

    Mitt Romney is going to surprise a lot of people if he takes over Obama’s position as President. Starting from day one, his conservative governing will surprise many. He has promised to get rid of ObamaCare, and he will. The trouble with some folks like Larry is that they’ve been sucked into all the negative talk about Mitt. I get the opinion that they think Mitt is just putting on a big show for the Republican voters, making promises that he has no intention of keeping once he gets in as President.

    Nothing is further from the truth.

    In Mitt, I personally see a man of utmost integrity, someone who has his eye fixed on doing everything he has said he will do for this country. I see a man who knows that he has the skills and experience to get the country back on the course the Founders intended it to be on. The signs are there to see for anyone who cares to honestly look for them. He never took a salary for fixing the Olympics; he never took a salary when governing Massachusetts; and he will take no salary as President of the United States. Some folks have claimed that because he is rich, somehow that prevents him from being able to relate to the common citizens of the country. His past history of service to others does not support that line of thought. As an LDS person myself, I know to some degree what Romney went through in serving as Bishop and then Stake President in the LDS church. Believe me, no one–and I do mean no one–can go through that experience and come out of it without a much deeper sympathy for, and a greater desire to help those less fortunate than them. His experiences as Bishop and Stake President when engaging in compassionate service, and which always occurs out of the public eye, are some of what have defined him as the stellar individual he is today. People who have gotten to know the private Mitt—Donald Trump is just one example—have been completely won over by him. Besides which, no one without utmost compassion for others shuts down an entire company (Bain Capital) and moves operations to another state (New York) for short time to help an employee of the company find his missing daughter.

    Mitt did, and if I hadn’t already been convinced of his integrity, that one act alone would have cemented my loyalty to the man.

    When one looks at the alternatives (i.e. Newt and Rick), no one else comes close to Mitt’s qualifications for what this country needs right now. Mitt is not perfect, but who of us is? To borrow a line from Sean Hannity, “Let not your heart be troubled.” To those who doubt Romney’s integrity, have faith and support him. You’re going to look back at the end of his first term, grateful that you did.

    I know I will.

    • Larry says:

      Terry, here we disagree … again … and not a little. One thing is certain though, if elected President the conjecture will largely be over. The proof of his efficacy will be plain for all to see. A successful presidency would be nice right about now, eh? I’ll be praying toward that end. Meanwhile, anyone going to offer a compelling conservative argument for RomneyCare?

      • RC says:

        “Meanwhile, anyone going to offer a compelling conservative argument for RomneyCare?” I certainly don’t need to, I have already completed my homework assignment on that – and my personal convictions outweigh anyone’s rebuttle. I have no need to debate the issue. I have used my constitutional right and that is where I stand. I have moved on to bigger and better issues facing our nation. Romney said he will repeal Obamacare – good enough for me. With Obamacare gone, we can now tackle the heavy issues at hand – the deficit, unemployment, balanced budgets, national debt, religious freedom, etc. etc. etc………..

        • Larry says:

          RC, if RomneyCare enjoys no conservative basis, if it is a further example of governmental overreach and imprudence, then as its chief architect Romney clearly needs to feel pressure from his right if he is to successfully tackle these issues.

          As his supporters it is becoming increasingly important for you all to acknowledge necessary changes in his political philosophy. Otherwise, Romney may feel absolutely no need to revise his perspectives and approach.

          That would be most unhelpful to America and his presidency. We cannot afford four years of moderate leadership. That would be nothing more than the orderly management of decline. Rather like being promoted from first mate to captain … of the Titanic … after it has struck the iceberg.

  7. RC says:

    “As his supporters it is becoming increasingly important for you all to acknowledge necessary changes in his political philosophy.”

    I believe Larry that you are stuck in a rut. You see, it does not bother me if politicians change politically. If you are hell-bent on keeping the same status-quo politically, then you need to get out. The world changes, circumstances change, times change, issues change, debt changes – everything around us changes and if one cannot accept the fact of change in our nation and to be able to tackle new changes and issues as they arise, then it is time to move out of the way. ( and don’t respond to any moral issues, because that never changes)

    There maybe something around the bend that no one had anticipated in our country would or might happen. If one is hell-bent on sticking with a 1950′s agenda, we would be totally history by now. In fact, I must change my way of life sometimes to meet the demands placed upon my family. Not my values, but other things.

    • Larry says:

      RC, times do indeed change … but there are principles which are timeless. The Framers recognized certain immutable laws regarding, especially, human nature. They were structuring a unique and wholly new self-governing nation which reflected 2000 years of accumulated knowledge and human experience. Our negligence of those truths has resulted in the rapid and steep decline in individual liberty and national greatness.

      Your reference to morality and a 1950′s agenda is so completely detached from my remarks it leaves me wondering what prism you have viewed them through to reach those sorts of conclusions. If you enjoyed a better understanding of nature, tenets and history of conservatism you would reach radically different conclusions.

      Your last remarks are the sort of statements I would expect to encounter on the Daily Kos or Huffington Post. You speak of conservatism as if it is a phenomenon of a particular age or setting … rather than an age old set of principles which drive particular (and advantageous) outcomes.

      I can understand why you find my remarks concerning Romney so puzzling and why you interpret my ideas as anachronistic … your definition of conservatism is informed less by actual conservative thought and more, apparently, by the befuddled notions offered by the Left in their efforts to denigrate conservatism.

      Ronald Reagan was president during the 18980′s … not the 1950′s. His administration’s commitment to conservative principles and policy transformed the nation and the world. That’s a record you would do well to study closely before you assign to conservatism silly notions of backwardness.

      Odd really. How forward thinking and progressive authentic conservatism is … and how backwards and destructive progressivism really is. You want us to be ready to fasce the problems of a new century? Then reach back to the hard won lessons of the past. Simple fact is RC … the more things change the they really do stay the same. Because in spite of all the new technology and evolving cultural landscape … in the middle of all the change is one very unchanging element … human nature.

      Conservatism always keeps that simple fact in view.

  8. RC says:

    Larry, I thought you were in a rut, now you just showed me that you are. My last comments had NOTHING to do with conservatism – none. You completely missed the mark. I was only referring to circumstances in life that changes constantly. For example, the modern technology that has come around in the last 20 years is staggering. However, in order to mainly compete in today’s world market, you must change with the times to meet the demands of world competition. I have never said to abandon your principles or morals. I only mentioned the changing of our world – in a secular way – nothing else. And a President must be there to keep us going on a global scale. Monetarily, economically, security and protection, etc. This is where the Mass healthcare comes in play – in a secular way- nothing more, nothing less. The Mass healthcare has nothing to do with morality, but it has everything to do with secularism.

    My only point was, if a President changes position with certain political involvements, I am okay with that. New times, new laws. That’s all.

    (p.s. – If the people of Mass want the law repealed, then the citizens of Mass has the authority to put it on a ballot and vote. It is that simple. But not on the Federal level – as you can see what is happening today, it’s totally a different ballgame.)

  9. One key point that gets completely ignored by Romney’s critics is that Romney balanced the budget and erased the debt BEFORE he signed the Massachusetts health care law. Now THAT is conservative! I would love to give him the opportunity to do the same for our country. Certainly none of the other candidates are up to that challenge, which is why they continue to focus on health care.

    • Larry says:

      Utah, the budget is balanced each year as a matter of law … it’s mandated. How Romney achieved that, however, was through measures which cannot be, by any reasonable measure, construed as conservative. Net effect? A chronically anemic economy. Like most non-conservatives Romney failed entirely to understand the nexus between tax policy and economic drivers/performance (to say nothing of the nexus between tax policy and liberty).

      What cuts he did authorize did not in fact shrink government but shift the responsibility to municipalities … resulting in a sharp increase in local taxes (the individual tax burden rose over all by 9% under Romney). I would hate … HATE for Mitt to apply the same approach to America. At this juncture it would prove disastrous.

      Again, this is why Romney’s political biography is so much more central to this election than any other elements of his story. It informs us most of what to expect from him politically. The poor state of the Massachusetts economy was a direct effect of his governing policies. He inherited an ailing economy and made it worse … no time for such mistakes now.

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