Romney, The Establishment Candidate

It isn’t surprising, really, that the NRO has decided to annoint Romney as the next Bush (and what a compliment!). McCain opposes torture, Giuliani is flopping and scandal-plagued, and Huckabee’s fate was sealed when those in the know took a look at polls like this. At any rate, here is an excerpt from the NRO:

Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate. In our judgment, that candidate is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts. Unlike some other candidates in the race, Romney is a full-spectrum conservative: a supporter of free-market economics and limited government, moral causes such as the right to life and the preservation of marriage, and a foreign policy based on the national interest. While he has not talked much about the importance of resisting ethnic balkanization — none of the major candidates has — he supports enforcing the immigration laws and opposes amnesty. Those are important steps in the right direction.

This is laughable on so many levels that it is difficult to figure out where to begin. Saying that Romney is the most conservative is akin to putting me in a skirt in the women’s locker room and claiming I am the most feminine. It is preposterous. There were and are actual conservatives in the race- Mike Huckabee is a true-blue social con. Sam Brownback is a true-blue fiscal and social conservative. Fred Thompson is startingto sound like a traditional conservative. And so on. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is an unprincipled flip-flopper who will say ANYTHING to become President. Hell, you don’t have to rely on me, you can ask Erick at Red State:

Romney is a text book perfect candidate. He’s right on the issues. He’s right on the looks. He’s right on the money. He’s right on the executive experience. He’s right on the organization. He’s right on the family. He’s right on the strategy. He’s right on the pre-campaign book launch. He’s right on who he got to support him in the conservative opinion community. It’s like his campaign checked all the boxes before he started and expected things to just work. The problem of course, is that Romney did the same thing in 1994 and 2002 and on both occasions he checked all the boxes on the other side. You’ll have to forgive voters, particularly evangelicals who’ve seen their hopes go up in flames before, from trusting the guy now. There is a manufactured, astroturf feel to all of this and it wouldn’t matter whether he was Methodist or Mormon. Republicans have a track record of producing poor self funders who check all the boxes expecting campaign flowers to grow. Just ask Pete Coors.

NRO’s choice was forced upon them- Giuliani is tanking, Thompson is sleeping, and, most importantly, Huckabee is surging (and you can expect to see more attacks like this from the establishment), and something had to be done, and done quickly, or the corporate establishment might lose all control of the race. As such, NRO offers a glimmer of honesty:

More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same. But he is less inclined to federal activism, less tolerant of overspending, better able to defend conservative positions in debate, and more likely to demand performance from his subordinates. A winning combination, by our lights.

Everything but the bolded portion is simple nonsense. They think Romney can win, and that is all that matters. Because it sure as hell isn’t Romney’s record that is convincing them to support him. At any rate, it should be fun to watch the evangelical base get alienated by the party elites as the establishment candidate is rammed down their collective throats and the go for-the-throat right-wing media do what they can to strangle Huckabee’s campaign in the crib.

Sit back and enjoy the show.

*** Update ***

And what a show it is going to be:

Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks in an upcoming article, ”Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?”

The article, to be published in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, says Huckabee asked the question after saying he believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn’t know much about it. His rival Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, is a member of the Mormon church, which is known officially as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, does not refer to Jesus and Satan as brothers. It speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account.

A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee’s question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.

Grab the popcorn and soda, because the GOP is providing the nuts.






49 replies
  1. 1
    RSA says:

    Kevin Drum points to this article in the LA Times. This part caught my eye:

    The new Romney mail piece in South Carolina follows his campaign’s first attack television ad, an Iowa spot that cites Huckabee’s support in 2005, while governor of Arkansas, for legislation that would have made in-state college tuition benefits available to the children of illegal immigrants. . .

    As governor of Massachusetts, the flier notes, Romney opposed driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants and ordered state troopers to cooperate with federal officials in detaining illegal immigrants — though it does not point out that he did so only in the final weeks of his term, as he was preparing to run for president.

    Opportunistic much?

  2. 2
    jake says:

    Ah yes. It’s closing time at the NeoCon Karaoke Bar and NRO doesn’t want to go home alone. There must be someone who’ll keep them company during the long frigid winter of their discontent. They don’t want that pussy who talked tough until they got all excited and started talking about the virtues of torture.

    That guy who started screaming about Jesus? They’re not that drunk. The one from NYC looked really hawt until five women walked in and all told him to come home and then got in a fight.

    But wait, what’s that in the corner? A big, broad pair of shoulders! Perfect for crying on!

  3. 3
    myiq2xu says:

    Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws.

    Bush has virtues? What are they and where has he been hiding them?

    Saying that Romney is the most conservative is akin to putting me in a skirt in the women’s locker room and claiming I am the most feminine.

    Hmmm. How good are your legs, John?

  4. 4
    Evinfuilt says:

    Bush has virtues? What are they and where has he been hiding them?

    Yes, he’s breathing, what else do you need?

  5. 5
    PeterJ says:

    Saying that Romney is the most conservative is akin to putting me in a skirt in the women’s locker room and claiming I am the most feminine.

    Everybody knows Giuliani is the most feminine, he got a wardrobe of dresses to prove it.

  6. 6
    Jen says:

    He does have a decided Ken doll quality to him, doesn’t he?

    I just have to quote this as it caught my eye:

    While he has not talked much about the importance of resisting ethnic balkanization — none of the major candidates has

    Yes, the raging issues on voters’ minds — the war, the economy, health care, ethnic balkanization…

    The next Bush? Do you think they have a clue how badly they’re going to lose? I don’t usually quote drunk homeless people from the bus, but “the only Bush I support is Anheuser Busch” proves that they are smarter than the NRO.

  7. 7
    4tehlulz says:

    He does have a decided Ken doll quality to him, doesn’t he?

    I disagree. Ken is more livelike.

  8. 8
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Romney is better able to defend conservative positions in debate

    Hahahaha! In other words, Romney isn’t a mouth-breathing imbecile.

  9. 9
    grumpy realist says:

    Given K-Lo’s continued swooning over Romney, is anyone surprised that NR came out with this?

    They want a nice, middle-of-the-road Republican candidate because although they see Huckabee has pull from the evangelical side, Huckabee is, well, evangelical.

    I wish I could say they had enough sense to realize electing someone who thinks the world is 6000 years old doesn’t do that much for your country’s science and technology base, with accompanying effects on the economy, but I don’t think they care that much.

    The only economy that is in equilibrium with a nation of people like Huckabee is one based on subsistence agriculture. Hope you like living in Africa, boys.

  10. 10
    Punchy says:

    The article, to be published in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, says Huckabee asked the question after saying he believes Mormonism is a religion but doesn’t know much about it

    Holy crap, this is complete bullshit. Huck never said this. He just didn’t. And everything else demeaning and insulting he really said he didn’t really say, because all that stuff he never said was taken out of context by the liberal media and lied about in an article meant to diss him by those secular progressives who use fancy computers to write nasty articles saying out-of-context things he never said.

  11. 11
    chopper says:

    just goes to show all the talk in 04 about flip-flopping and ‘candidates should be consistent’ was a buncha hooey.

    i knew mitt’s religion would be a thorn in this election and i figured one of these days someone on the GOP side would ‘break the seal’ and start letting the crazy out. this is gonna be fun. i can’t wait to see the exposes on fox news about ‘that crazy underwear they wear’ etc.

  12. 12
    myiq2xu says:

    He does have a decided Ken doll quality to him, doesn’t he?

    I believe that Ken has larger genitalia.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    myiq2xu says:

    Grab the popcorn and soda, because the GOP is providing the nuts.

    Q: Why is the GOP like a bowl of granola?

    A: Because what ain’t fruits and flakes is nuts!

  15. 15

    They didn’t say he was the most conservative candidate. They make that clear in the first sentence of your block quote.

  16. 16
    Spider97 says:

    Between this and the Thomas Smith affair, what an outstanding month for NR. It’s time for the adults to step back in and attempt to salvage whatever credibility might still – somehow – remain. The adolescents presently steering the NR ship swoon over Romney, oblivious to the charlatan that he is.

  17. 17
    Jen says:

    Where is everybody? At work, that old excuse? I am too, but I make the time, dammit. From that NRO endorsement:

    He would also have credibility on the economy, given his success as a businessman and a manager of the Olympics.

    Also, people who have judged Arabian horses make excellent directors of FEMA.

    No other Republican governor had to deal with both human cloning and court-imposed same-sex marriage.

    Oh noes! The Massachusetts Supreme Court is making me marry another woman! I *think* my husband would object…

  18. 18
    gypsy howell says:

    Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks in an upcoming article, ‘’Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?’’

    Indeed. Excellent question. What rational person could believe in such nonsense? Everyone knows that Jesus is God’s only son and he was born of a virgin mother. And the earth is 6000 years old. And it was created in 6 days. And Jesus turned water into wine. And he also walked on water. And he answers your prayers if you ask him nicely. If he’s in a good mood that day.

    I love it when people who hold bizarre beliefs mock the bizarre beliefs of others.

  19. 19
    MBunge says:

    What makes the NR endorsement even funnier is that, if Mitt had run as what he is (a big money technocrat), he still would’ve ended up the default candidate for the conservative establishment after Guiliani and Thompson’s campaigns imploded. Which means all his “faith” pandering has done nothing but stir up the evangelicals and opened the door for the Huckster.

    Mike

  20. 20
    r€nato says:

    Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, asks in an upcoming article, ‘’Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?’’

    Another terribly relevant question for GOP presidential candidates which Americans must know the answer to, in order to decide for whom to vote:

    “Who would win a fight between Batman and Superman?”

  21. 21
    D-Chance. says:

    i knew mitt’s religion would be a thorn in this election and i figured one of these days someone on the GOP side would ‘break the seal’ and start letting the crazy out.

    Lawrence O’Donnell is a Republican???

  22. 22
    D-Chance. says:

    What makes the NR endorsement even funnier is that, if Mitt had run as what he is (a big money technocrat), he still would’ve ended up the default candidate for the conservative establishment after Guiliani and Thompson’s campaigns imploded. K-Lo spent months and months experiencing multiples on-line at the mere mention of his name.

    Fixed.

  23. 23
    Bulworth says:

    “ethnic balkinization”? WTF? Where did that come from?

  24. 24
    Jen says:

    I think “ethnic balkanization” is code for, “the immigrants are still speaking their funny languages and playing that mariachi crap. Get with the program and buy a Volvo already.”

    I’m just guessing, I didn’t wiki this or anything, it just has the feel of the Repubs turning diversity into a phrase that implies warfare…

  25. 25
    cleek says:

    A Republican party that abandoned either limited government or moral standards would be much diminished in the service it could give the country.

    “would be” ?

    “ethnic balkinization”? WTF? Where did that come from?

    seconded. since when is separation of ethnicities a problem for conservatives ? or, are all those windbags bloviating about the evils of “multiculturalism” actual liberals disguised in brown shirts?

  26. 26

    I would have to say that McCain is still the establishment candidate. He has quite an extensive list of endorsements.

    I can’t find a list of endorsements on Romney’s website.

    National Review is no longer the “establishment”. It was under Buckley’s reign, but today they’re more of an oddball nuthouse akin to redstate.com. The “establishment” spends much of it’s time trying to distance themselves from them.

    That being said, I think the GOP endorsement is down between Romney and Huckabee. I still think McCain is going to end up on top, especially if Romney and Huckabee start whacking on each other.

    None of them are particularly great candidates. McCain is old and tired. Romney sounds unauthenticate. Huckabee comes off as crazy if you push him. Rudy would have been the most fun, as the way to deal with him is to poke him. Eventually he’ll go off into a full blown rant about strawberries.

  27. 27
    Jen says:

    unauthenticate

    Okay, I have to ask what that means. Is it a Bushism?

  28. 28

    Okay, I have to ask what that means. Is it a Bushism?

    Doh! I didn’t mean to do that intentionally. I’ve been working with authentication services this morning, and my brain fried.

  29. 29
    Jake says:

    I love it when people who hold bizarre beliefs mock the bizarre beliefs of others.

    See The Talevan v. The Taliban.

    “ethnic balkinization”? WTF? Where did that come from?

    Given the average fringe loon’s command of English combined with an overwhelming desire to create catchy, easy to repeat buzz phrases and their fear of Teh Otherz, they think it means balking at contact with brown people.

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Tom Hilton says:

    The best part of it is that Romney isn’t viable–not in the general, anyway. Check the polls: if Romney is the nominee, Alabama is in play for the Democrats. I am so hoping Romney gets the nomination–a good electoral rout of the Republicans would be awesome.

  32. 32
    myiq2xu says:

    Tancredo mentally ill? Wow, couldn’t see that coming.

    Crazy as a shithouse rat, yeah, but mentally ill?

  33. 33
    Dreggas says:

    John, man it gets better Look who’s gonna be in the debate in Iowa: Alan Keyes

  34. 34
    Tsulagi says:

    Romney. Yeah, now there’s a real principled prick pick. The guy just excretes petroleum jelly from his every pore. NRO might be right, though. He could be another airhead like Bush, just with whiter teeth and a whole lot more hair gel.

    Not sure I’d agree with Giuliani “tanking.” Sliding to be sure. But it seems like most of Huck’s new numbers are coming mostly from the absolutely tanking Fred. And nationally, it seems like McCain and Romney can’t break out of the 15% range with Pubs.

    Looks like NRO is trying to make it a three-man race. The two biggest blocs in the Party of Bush, DefCons and SoCons, have been lining up. For those who can’t stay in Iraq long enough, plus lust for more grand freedomizing adventures say like Iran, Rudy is their stud. They could care less how many wives he’s had or how much he cross dresses hoping to be noticed by the boys.

    For those praying Jesus’ General becomes a reality in the WH, they’re drinking the Huckade. Before the flying Rapture busses come for them, they want to see federal bans on abortion and the ghey marriage. Maybe Bible study in public school, and make the U.S. officially a No Gay Zone to the thunderous applause of tapping toes.

    Seems like the Pub “thinking” moderates have been divided among McCain, Romney, and Fred. To me, looks like it could go two ways. If Rudy and now Huck start the compressed primary schedule still with strong numbers, and don’t bomb in Iowa and NH, the moderates start lining up quickly with either Rudy or Huck. In that scenario, I’m thinking Rudy gets it.

    If Rudy and/or Huck fuckup early, the moderates all bail to Romney with additional support coming from the Rudites and/or Huckers who then see Mr. Hair/Body Gel as the “electable” candidate. See Kerry, 04.

    That would be funny. Romney could be youtubed to death in the general. Well, that is if the Dems can mount a sternly actioned campaign without being too afraid of the other guys being mad at them.

    Fuck ‘em all, I’m voting Ron Paul in the primary.

  35. 35
    Dreggas says:

    Tom Hilton Says:

    The best part of it is that Romney isn’t viable—not in the general, anyway. Check the polls: if Romney is the nominee, Alabama is in play for the Democrats. I am so hoping Romney gets the nomination—a good electoral rout of the Republicans would be awesome.

    50 states bitches!

  36. 36
    hmd says:

    Our guiding principle has always been to select the most conservative viable candidate.

    So, I take it no one could every be too conservative for them? No matter how far right someone is, they’ve always got their eye out in case there’s someone even farther out there?

  37. 37

    I am not surprised that our fellow Americans on the Right do not believe in the Separation of Church and Hate State.

    NEWSFLASH: A plague of locusts has just overwhelmed the Romney campaign HQ in Iowa… update to follow

    UPDATE: Apparently a Flock of Seagulls swooped in to eat all those little buggers and save the day.

    UPDATE#2: Mike Huckabee will hold a press conference today to announce a WWE-style Cage Match between his god and Mitt Romney’s god.

    UPDATE # 3: The SHOCKING but not unexpected results are here.

    And once again the winner is … Damn! Grab your popcorn folks this little food fight is going to get better. But my money is on the Seagulls.

  38. 38
    AkaDad says:

    More than the other primary candidates, Romney has President Bush’s virtues and avoids his flaws. His moral positions, and his instincts on taxes and foreign policy, are the same.

    To me, their virtues are their flaws.

  39. 39

    […] -John Cole notes NRO picking who they want to lose in 2008, and Huckabee trying to pass off religious bigotry as a mere lack of info. […]

  40. 40
    Jake says:

    I guess NRO has to say they’re looking for a viable candidate so the drones don’t wonder why they aren’t supporting Reagan.

    Also, isn’t it blasphemy to talk about Bush’s flaws?

  41. 41
    Ross L says:

    Huck likely meant to cast aspersions, but what he said is literally true. Mormon doctrine from lds.org:

    Jess L. Christensen, Institute of Religion director at Utah State University, Logan, Utah. On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel “who was in authority in the presence of God,” a “son of the morning.” (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)

  42. 42
    The Other Andrew says:

    If Romney does win the nomination, the Jesus/Satan thing could be huge in turning off non-Mormon fundies, assuming it’s “true”.

    I’ve done some Googling, and the phrasing in question seems to be vague. The text in question is in the “Pearl of Great Price”, which is part of Mormon scripture, but not in the Book of Mormon itself. Apologies for non-block-quoting:

    Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27). Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me” (Abraham 3:27).

    Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1).

    After hearing both sons speak, Heavenly Father said, “I will send the first” (Abraham 3:27

    So, “we’re all children of god, so Satan is one too” seems to be the cop-out. The phrasing is just vague enough to possibly let them wriggle away from the wrath of the mainstream fundies, sadly.

  43. 43
    Karen McGinnis says:

    I suppose “viable” means “standing upright and breathing”?

  44. 44

    I suppose “viable” means “standing upright and breathing”?

    Who said anything about upright?

  45. 45
    Nancy Irving says:

    Latter-Day Satans, ha ha.

  46. 46
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Of course, after they finally do come up with a nominee, all the Godly in the country — whatever their previous disagreements — will rally against the Godless Democrat.

    In the meantime, though, it turns out that Huckabee also refused in 1997 to sign a bill giving emergency relief to Arkansas flood victims because the bill referred to floods as “acts of God” and he thought this was a smear on God. Evidently, then, he does not regard God as omnipotent, and I think Romney had better get on that one RIGHT NOW.

  47. 47
    Jacleen says:

    National Review would never have endorsed Giuliani. It’s a largely conservative Catholic outfit and Giuliani as a divorced, adulterous, pro-choice, pro-gay (well, not anymore, exactly on that last one) Catholic is absolute poison to them. The Romney endorsement is about shoring up Romney in Iowa so he can live to fight Giuliani. National Review thought Romney was going to be the candidate of the religious wack jobs, but the religious wack jobs went and thought for themselves by supporting Huckabee. They got out of line, now have to be quashed by their Beltway leaders with a nice dose of Mitt. This is why we are hearing all the hysteria from the Right pundits about how you can’t talk about the Mormon religion, out of respect for “diversity,” after they’ve been bashing Islam non-stop for six years.

  48. 48
    Carl Loeber says:

    get to the important stuff guys .. look at what Romney has done in his life .. and how many can do that .. from his time at BYU (valedictorian) and Harvard (joint JD and MBA top of class) .. to building Staples and others .. to the rest of the last fourty years .. his ability to get things done ..

    and who of you have met him ? those that have make up a long list supporters … from all parts of the conservative band ..

  49. 49
    Daryl says:

    A spokeswoman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said Huckabee’s question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith rather than clarify doctrine.

    Commonly referred to as dog whistling.

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