With the conclusion of the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference, there is little doubt that the enthusiasm (which was palpable throughout last year’s conference) was clearly absent. Conservatives were disappointed with Governors Haley Barbour and Mitch Daniels’ decision not to run for the White House. In all, conservatives are dissatisfied with the current field and are yearning for the Mr. Conservative we can rally around to defeat President Obama.
The Republican campaign to oust the president has been somewhat chaotic. Mitt Romney announced his candidacy and was catapulted to front-runner status, despite not receiving a warm reception from the base. This lack of enthusiasm dissipated in late summer of 2011 when Governor Rick Perry entered the race. However, his disastrous debate performances, politically reckless language (like calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme), and his lack of work ethic forced conservatives (including myself) to abandon his candidacy. Then Herman Cain took the mantle of front-runner but was marred by allegations of sexual harassment when he was in the restaurant business. His alleged affair with Ginger White and the pervasive media assault on him forced his premature departure. Ron Paul has acted like he always does, and Newt Gingrich’s rollercoaster of a campaign is accompanied with his bombastic disposition.
What’s even more disheartening for the political right is the fact that the top three candidates in this primary fight are not conservative. Mitt Romney voiced his support for cap and trade, Romneycare, and walked a waffle line on gun rights. Newt Gingrich also supported individual mandates on health care, cap and trade, and appeared in a climate change ad with then Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Rick Santorum, the candidate who prides himself as the “consistent conservative” in the race, may appear that way with his social positions, but on fiscal matters, he is most certainly a Rockefeller. Erick Erickson of RedState.com released a devastating blog post that detailed Sen. Santroum’s record of fiscal irresponsibility. Santorum voted against the National Right to Work Act, a flat tax, Medicare reform, and food stamp reform.
Newt Gingirch has former colleagues (including Tom Coburn) questioning his leadership, Romney is inauthentic, and Santorum is a faux conservative. The fact that Republicans have no conservative running to replace President Obama in 2012 presents an apocalyptic scenario for the country, especially with the release of his latest “budget proposal”. It would legitimize the rapid expansion of the state and solidify the dependency agenda that the left is pushing within the American political fabric. With no need to reform entitlements, the next four years of an Obama presidency will push us further down the hole of fiscal misery. While I’m not a fan of Romney, he could be our best bet to beat Obama in November. However, it depends on whether he can win his home state of Michigan on February 28 where Rick Santorum has a considerable lead over him. Unfortunately, whoever the nominee is in August, he is no conservative. We must keep on looking.
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