Romney’s Ignorance Of Conservatism Fuels Hyperbolic Rhetoric

February 28, 2012

As someone occasionally disparaged as one of those "true" conservatives with no appreciation for electoral realities, this presents an opportunity to dispel that silly myth, though I do also believe that conservative ideas are often winning ideas electorally, when properly articulated. I'd encourage you to read this entire article on how some you may view as of the GOP establishment are increasingly concerned about Romney's campaign rhetoric. I agree with them.

Republicans are worried that Mitt Romney’s increasingly conservative rhetoric on a number of hot-button issues could hurt him in the general election.

Their fear is that while Romney’s position on matters like immigration, collective bargaining and social issues could boost him among conservative primary voters, thereby getting him the nomination, it could come back to haunt him with swing-state voters during the general election.

What isn't said is, it's not conservatives, nor their ideas, nor some perceived need for them to be thrown red meat that's at issue. The problem, which I've stated before, is, Romney doesn't even know how to speak the language when it comes to conservatism, let alone understand and appreciate it.

Romney's problem appears to be that he views the conservative base as a bunch of dummies who need to hear harsh rhetoric to get excited about a candidate. There's a time and place for that in politics on both sides of the divide. Ever the incompetent politician, Mitt just doesn't get that. If he had a clear understanding of what he's pretending to be, a conservative, he wouldn't run into this problem.

Unfortunately, if there's a way to fail politically with the GOP and also with conservatives, what the extended campaign is showing us is, Romney is sure to find it, eventually.

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  1. Ragspierre says:

    This is passing strange, this fear that Conservative themes lack support.
    We have very recent polling showing strong majority support for…
    NOT hating on “the rich” and trying to denude our economy…
    REPEALING ObamaCare…
    The civil right of gun possession…
    First Amendment rights to conscience…
    Ballot integrity…
    Border control…
    We have no need to roll into little balls of defensiveness OR buy into a “moderation meme”.

  2. gary gulrud says:

    ‘ Romney, who until he made an unsuccessful run for Senate in 1994 had spent his adult life as a registered independent. “When there was no real contest in the Republican primary, I’d vote in the Democrat primary, vote for the person who I thought would be the weakest opponent for the Republican.”‘
    Of course, today in MI, this counts as the lowest move ever.
    Lying crud.

  3. StrangernFiction says:

    “Romney’s problem appears to be that he views the conservative base as a bunch of dummies who need to hear harsh rhetoric to get excited about a candidate.”
    About that:
    “It’s very easy to excite the base with incendiary comments. We’ve seen throughout the campaign if you’re willing to say really outrageous things that are accusative, attacking of President Obama, that you’re going to jump up in the polls. I’m not willing to light my hair on fire to try and get support. I am who I am.”

  4. Ragspierre says:

    Let’s be plain…
    Romney is a David Brooks “conservative”.

  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Right, and Santorum supports big labor. Always a cornerstone of conservatism. Santorum is even using robo calls to donks to vote for him im the primary in Michigan. Like they will vote for him in the general. Does Santorum have an original idea or plan he didn’t lift from Gingrich?

  6. Southern Values says:

    Great article in NY Magazine about the death of the conservative movement:
    How does it feel to be on the waning end of a body of ideas that is making your opinions not relevant to process? Besides just angry, that is.

  7. Ragspierre says:

    Um…SubHuman Values…
    Look at the assertions in my first post.
    Refute them…with citations to your refutation.

  8. Ragspierre says:

    “Great article in NY Magazine about the death of the conservative movement”
    More fantasy. More self-delusion. More of teh Collectivist stupid.
    Great little vignette on the Collective’s creation of demons you just don’t find in nature…
    Ever wonder, SubHuman Values, why your side has to just make sh!it up…????

  9. Southern Values says:

    wow – you read that article in 4 minutes
    That’s pretty good for some one home schooled
    Read the article fool and refute it yourself

  10. Ragspierre says:

    See, SubHuman, you show that you are the one who can’t read.
    I challenged you to refute the poll-supported strength of Conservative position I listed (above).
    I didn’t challenge you to refute your own happy Collectivist fantasy fest.

  11. Southern Values says:

    yeah – your link to that polling data makes that as real as your waning political believe system

  12. Ricky says:

    Oh I love that piece in the Hill. Migraines in camp Romney right now!
    How did we get here, camp Romney must be asking themselves, where the precious moderates now believe our man Romney is one of them rightwing nuts… How do we let them know we are just pretending to be conservative… Should or shouldn’t we start touting Romney’s ultra-progressive record in MA to show them we are not rightwingers! Oh, the tangled webs we weave, or something!
    One thing is sure – Romney will never ever be president of these United States! And it has nothing to do with his religion -ROFLOL!

  13. Ragspierre says:

    Refute it or admit it, SubHuman Values.
    Do your own homework. Exercise that muscle.
    Here’s another one that speaks directly to Chait’s stupid…
    Self-identified Conservatives are DOUBLE self-identified Liberals, AND independents TEND to support Conservative positions…
    contra Chait, who told the lie that demographics spell DOOOOOM for Conservatives.

  14. Huey says:

    Southern Values: Yeah, that was about a 4 minute article.
    Answer: 2010 and, hopefully, 2012.

  15. Hope Change says:

    Dan, you hit the nail on the head!!!
    “Romney … views the conservative base as a bunch of dummies who need to hear harsh rhetoric to get excited about a candidate. … If he had a clear understanding of what he’s pretending to be, a conservative, he wouldn’t run into this problem. ”
    And then you say, ” …. if there’s a way to fail politically … Romney is sure to find it, eventually.”
    And there it is. A commenter over at LI today, Jack Long, compared the Michigan race to two Wile E. Coyotes without a Road Runner.
    To elect either of the Wile E. Coyotes leaves the United States without a leader after the election.
    Watch this speech. Watch this speech. If you haven’t, watch this speech. Copy the link and watch it when you have time.
    American needs, and this country deserves, a real leader, who loves American and understands America.
    As recommended today in this comment by Uncle Samuel, on Legal Insurrection —-
    Uncle Samuel | February 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm
For Newt fans – here is the speech that reveals the Conservatives battle plan.
    It is the best Newt speech I have heard so far:

  16. Ragspierre says:

    Sorry, I just had to share this…
    When it comes to energy, it’s drill or be drilled…

  17. dinglewoodnorwoodbill says:

    Santorum is the only candidate that gets the Obamacare issue, and argues it the best and is best situated to argue against it in November. It, and not Santy’s stands on JFK’s speech carry a lot more weight in swing states and nationwide.
    Looks like Santorum may win it tonight in MI. A last push is underway. Romney cannot argue he is more electable when he outspends Rick by 3-1 and struggles to tie a nerd in a sweater vest with no money. He’s unfit for the fall. Santorum is the best shot, hands down.

  18. Ragspierre says:

    “Santorum is the only candidate that gets the Obamacare issue…”
    So, he’s been reading Newt’s position papers…again…???

  19. Hope Change says:

    hahahaha ragspierre! good point. yup, that’s where Santorum gets “his” ideas. From Newt.
    Newt is the man with the plan!

  20. sickofrinos says:

    mittens, santorium, paulnut.
    Larry Moe Curly

  21. dnglewoodnorwoodbill says:

    Sorry, but Newt is not equal to Santorum on this issue, both in credibility and examination.
    He supported indie mandates on HC in 2005, and as recently as 2009:
    Only Santorum has credibility on the seminal issue of this election, and that means he has to be our nominee.

  22. Ragspierre says:

    Another mouthful of cocktail, shot to hell…!!!

  23. Godzilla says:

    Speaking of ‘true conservatives’, when was the last time a conservative asked democrats to cross over and vote for him in a republican primary? The cognitive dissidence displayed by the ABRs is just as pathetic as Santorum’s robocall. You ABRs are squandering your credibility.

  24. HTW says:

    Godzilla wrote:
    “when was the last time a conservative asked democrats to cross over and vote for him in a republican primary?”
    I guess you’ve never heard of a Reagan Democrat? Plus, when your opponent is using a personal fortune worth hundreds of millions to buy airtime to lie about you and other candidates like Gingrich, you might as well use any trick at your disposal.

  25. Ragspierre says:

    Two notes:
    1. there is no harm in Sante wooing Democrat voters…it is the APPEAL to them he’s using
    2. Reagan Democrats were a factor in the general, and were attracted to Reagan’s principles, not his pandering.

  26. FeFe says:

    Jesus to Heaven! Can the Newt people and supporters stop smearing Santorum for a minute. You failed with big government b.s. so now it’s big labor? Right. Tis you who sound like the very height of sanctimonious hypocrites and religious bigots wagging fingers at Rick’s record and message that all are welcome in the public square. Projection, anything to avoid Newt’s President Earmark vision:
    + Deacon Mr. Parry: Your sins have found you out. And now you must pay the price of all women like you! You have brought a child into the world against the Commandment. Prayer is wasted on your sort. You should be cast out into the utter darkness till you have learned your lesson. Meillyn Lewis, do you admit your sins? Then prepare to suffer your punishment…
    As for your object of affection, Newt Gingrich, hardly sounds like a man who sought God’s redemption when he begs for personal pity but can offer no forgiveness to others as he himself has been forgiven. Next thing you know, Newt will be pointing out that Obama was born to unwed parents due to bigamy!
    + Margaret: Henry, listen you have had a mistress, I forgave you. My sister has a lover, you drive her from the house. Why can you not be honest for once in your life and say to yourself what Helen has done, I have done?
    Rick Santorum’s record will not depreciate the White House’s property value and until you move beyond the gotcha game of Romney, I don’t forgive you, Newt.
    I yield to Obama; bring on the sport from societal collapse.
    Newton ain’t never gonna get over his women problem. Those who support him now are all meta. It goes beyond divorce or adultery. The fact remains, Newt left his wives shortly after they were each diagnosed will serious illness, uterine cancer and MS, and they had to face it alone while going through a divorce, all because they could no longer campaign for him. (It is physically stressful to watch his daughters whitewash history to sugarcoat Newt’s behaviour in an effort to get him into the White House when he abandoned them and their mother at her most vulnerable who then had to take him to court more than once to force him to meet his financial obligations. Their poor mother. Enough.)
    Mastermind Newt may cut his “green” Ameritopia chapter out of his latest product catalog, book but no one denies he seeks perfection in government solutions. And you’re gonna tell me he will fight for me, for individual sovereignty?
    Newton’s gonna march through the South over Obama? Honey, he can’t even fake NASCAR as well as Romney plays Sherman.
    You men sure don’t like having one of your own point out your duty to society: commit to a relationship, get married, be a stable father, and not run off with some honeypot. Oh yeah, “stop with the social issues” before the younger generation hears what it is to be a man. Virtue? Never heard of it! No, let’s push decadence and define the height of perfection as women who have anal sex on tape and then get pimped by their mother’s on reality TV. If international branding requires the GOP to not be culturally just like the morally bankrupt left, then by all means, let the Beltway and Bostonian puritans enforce only a “check-the-box whisper” *wink wink* vision. Never a man with the social conservative arrows in his back to prove faith with our Founding Fathers. #Next-in-line-winning
    When all is said and done, he with the most new corporatist clients wins? Behold, Newt Gingrich, the fat cat who ate casino magnate Sheldon Adelson’s SuperPAC $25 million after feasting silently on $25,000 a month from Freddie Mac to have taxpayers fill his $1.2 million cup. Observe how comfortable Newt was not to have the ball at the last debate. A Cheshire Cat grin, if ever there was. And you insist he’s the one willing to fight for you? But it was Santorum who had the nerve to touch upon the societal ills of gambling in Las Vegas. Ah, no gaming network endorsements or SuperPAC money for you, Rick!
    + “Gambling is illegal in China, but the Chinese Centre for Lottery Studies estimates that more than $87bn is gambled by Chinese punters through offshore betting networks.”
    Which market will the ChiComs open up first? Mainland casinos or internet betting? Which corporatist will get there first? Adelson with Gingrich or Donald Trump with Mitt Romney? Bashing China from the chemical conglomerate’s son Jon Huntsman to Op-eds by Mitt in the Wall St. Journal, show tribal businessmen who live off insider government regulation are united in a dull drone of China being the fly in their oligarch soup. Meanwhile, the man on Main Street wants their government to stop spending and pay down the debt because higher taxes will only be paying for China’s continued military build up suppressing freedom. It appears Rick Santorum is the only one not willing to pay-to-play, and I value his consistent conservative principles all the more for it.
    Now Newt is fighting for the average man, you say, with a new 30 minute ad for the energy industry? Right, not another golden opportunity for public-policy profiteering. As Tim Carney in the Washington Examiner wrote, “Gingrich’s post-speaker career was largely about finding ways for his clients to profit from an increased government role in the economy.” Win, lose or draw, Newt’s booked with infomercials.
    But you insist Newt is the one whose gonna fight for me, for individual sovereignty? Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich sailed away from limited government and individual sovereignty on an individual mandate, Cap and Trade, and Wall Street bailouts socializing losses and privatizing profits — Rick Santorum held fast.
    As Jeffrey Lord in the American Spectator wrote, “Conservatism is not a “club” (but nice try). It is a “shared philosophy,” as Reagan said, not a “fraternal order.” … Al Regnery notes in this month’s magazine, conservatism is essentially four things: liberty, the rule of law, tradition and order, a belief in God or a power greater than ourselves.” What does Newt offer outside of a link to the past and being wrong so often when it mattered most?
    Conservativism is not staid but forward thinking courage to ensure America’s cultural inheritance. However, Newt courts The Ron Paul Revolution, a failure of conservative leadership, undermining America’s standing in the world. Newt was in office for twenty years but since 1999 he’s been hawking product and cruise ship bookings, but now Newt will fight for me, for us, as America gets devalued — our cultural inheritance, currency and moral standing? Is shipping included in the price? #NoSale
    The TEA Party is told we must submit to working within the Republican party to gain influence. By the same reasoning, if we can’t have influence, surely we must stop submitting to their rules. “Don’t look at the polls. . . Don’t pay attention to what the national media are saying, what the pundits are saying. Listen to your heart. Lead. Don’t follow.” –Rick Santorum

  27. George says:

    Another point to consider is this: Does Mitt Romney even believe in Mitt Romney? Have you seen this?

  28. Anil says:

    Intellectual honesty the truth has no adegna, my friend I am always honest I want to ask you your definition of a flip-flop .to me a flip flopper is one who see which way the wind blows (like Mitt and Newt) and changes their position to suit a certain audience in order to get votes. Or they out and out lie in order to garner votes like Obama and then does the exact opposite. I repeat, Sarah Palin is not a flip flopper. Here is the exchange of how she feels about illegal immigrants, she has never waivered or changed her viewpoint whatsoever. So nope I am not wrong about Sarah Palin. Now, you might not like her answers, but that does not a flip-flop make. I happen to agree with her. We will never deport millions of people. I agree with Rick Perry too, the Mexicans that were dragged across the border when they were toddlers in the dead of night, only know this as their home. Just because their mother might waddle across the border and drop their brother on the ground and poof, they are automatic citizens doesn’t mean that we should not allow them the same deal as was offered to our forefathers. To be become American citizens. Say, Mark Steyn wanted to be an American citizen would you say pathway to citizenship with him is wrong? I know that Rick doesn’t agree with me on this one I say one large sturdy fence on the whole border, concrete blocks , the whole bit. And change the amendment to not allow anyone that flies in or waddles over the border on a birthing vacation to give birth to an automatic citizen. They have been flying from the Middle East for decades into Deerborn Michigan have their babies, fly back out and indoctrinate them to hate America and all it stands for and then they come back when grown, an American hating citizen.Reply

  29. Orville says:

    Zelsdorf, that’s Krauthammer’s writing, not Curt’s. Curt may or may not agree with every dteial. I think it’s a good article (aside from Krauthammer’s attempt to narrow the race prematurely).As for Newt’s ego yes, of course everyone running for President has a pretty high opinion of themselves. But Newt really borders on delusions of grandeur. Since I happen to agree with Krauthammer’s assessment (in fact I think he doesn’t go far enough), I’ll offer some supporting anecdotes:- the note Newt wrote about himself (came to light in 1997 during his ethics investigation), where he describes himself: ‘Gingrich — primary mission, Advocate of civilization, Definer of civilization, Teacher of the rules of civilization, Arouser of those who fan civilization, . . . leader (possibly) of the civilizing forces.’ ”- his comments to his second wife , when she accused him of hypocrisy for touting family values while cheating on her: “It doesn’t matter what I do, people need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.“- his recent premature declaration that he would win the nomination- when Newt attained a leadership position in Congress in the 1980s, General Odom (then head of the NSA under eagan) invited him to a two hour NSA briefing reserved for the top few officials in Congress. When Newt showed up, he talked for two hours straight, giving the assembled NSA staff his opinions and vision.- his description of himself as a one-man think tankThe one thing not touched on by Krauthammer as regards Romney is that Romney is a coward (politically) compared to Newt. I’ll take that over the borderline clinical pathology of Newt, though, I guess.Reply

  30. Rekha says:

    Ah, well. Newt is probably insptioniog himself for a run at the GOP nomination in 08. And things are so dire that we must all wish him well. Anything! A cryptobiotic tardigrade, a slime mold, lime gelatin, anything. As long as it is honest!