This week Fred Barnes wrote an article in which he suggests that McCain's best VP choice is Mitt Romney.
Mr. Barnes is correct that McCain's VP selection is vital because of McCain's age (71) and because McCain needs to select an authentic conservative with widespread appeal to the GOP base-Evangelical and Catholic Christians, millions of whom have started to gag on the regularly scheduled forced doses of the GOP's shut-up-and-do-as-you're-told concoctions.
Mr. Barnes believes Mitt Romney is exactly the man to get them to swallow yet another bitter dose.
Such a claim could only issue forth from the increasingly bizarre, even surreal, consensus in which the "conservative" elites -- pundits, consultants, lawyers and self-styled "pro-family" power brokers -- swim.
First, Mr. Barnes writes that McCain's VP should be acceptable to conservatives-especially social conservatives. Perhaps Mr. Barnes does not quite understand how right he is on this. It has long been apparent that among the conservative elites "pro-life" is merely a uniform that one puts on like a free agent ballplayer joining a team in search of a championship.
"You're now ‘pro-life,’ Mr. Romney? Why should we believe that?"
"Because I said so, and that ought to be proof enough. And only a fool would turn away a convert to the pro-life cause."
"Maybe so, Slick, and maybe not. But the question remains, why should we believe that?"
"Well, after my conversion to the pro-life side, with every bill that came across my desk I came down on the side of life."
"Hmmm. Well, does that include your massive government health care plan with which you delighted Ted Kennedy by establishing taxpayer-funded abortion on demand at fifty dollars a pop?"
"I thought Jay Sekulow, James Bopp, Gary Bauer, Tony Perkins, Tom Minnery, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Laura Ingraham and the kids running the National Review had taken care of all that for me."
Mr. Barnes, like most of the chattering "conservative elites," has missed the glaring lesson of a Republican presidential primary in which millions of social conservative and constitutionalist voters just said no to all the RINOs the party nomenklatura stubbornly forced on them, preferring to pick from among the diverse options of Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter. Does Barnes not grasp how much intellectual credibility and moral gravitas the "conservative" mandarins have squandered -- outside the beltway and away from the studio lights of Fox News?
McCain must select a running mate who is a credible opponent of abortion and who sees where we are being taken with the endless progression of political and constitutional concessions being made to appease the militant strategists of the obscenely overfunded global sodomy revolution. Behind the relentless waves of propaganda from the "conservative" political elites, the actual record of Willard Mitt Romney's record is that of a man who is best described as the GOP's Barak Obama.
Not only does the new, improved "pro-life" Willard Mitt Romney oppose a Federal Human Life Amendment, but as I've noted in numerous exposes here at townhall.com , he handed the abortion industry what no Democrat has by establishing abortion on demand with a $50 co-pay (after his stage-managed pro-life "awakening") as a "healthcare benefit". For those who have done the homework and know the Romney that Barnes dutifully (or naively?) whitewashes, it is no shock that his socialist healthcare plan was endorsed not only by Ted Kennedy but also by Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood.
The deeper one looks into the Romney closet the more disturbing the skeletons one finds. Notwithstanding an Orwellian cover-up by "conservative" mercenaries bribed and otherwise recruited to Romney's stable, the former governor also imposed homosexual "marriage" as governor in brazen violation of multiple articles of the Massachusetts Constitution, the exclusive authority of the Legislature and the marriage statutes. Lacking a constitutionally required enabling statute, he illegally ordered justices of the peace to perform homosexual "marriage" ceremonies or resign. In violating his oath to faithfully execute the statues and uphold the state constitution, he fulfilled a secret 2002 campaign promise to the homosexual Log Cabin Republicans.
Moreover, then Governor Romney unconstitutionally forced Catholic Charities, the nation's oldest adoption and foster care agency, to place children with homosexual couples or go out of business (which they eventually were forced to do). As even liberal Democrat former governor Mike Dukakis pointed out, the state law Romney claimed forced him to do this does not even exist! He similarly forced Catholic Hospitals to issue abortafacients, pretending again to be merely executing the law. Again Dukakis caught him lying red-handed.
Romney supports homosexual scout masters and sexual orientation non-discrimination laws that would penalize religious organizations and private businesses for not hiring transsexuals and cross dressers. The list of Obama-esque social policy decisions goes on and on, and is matched by aggressive lying about the law as governor in order to turn the social, moral and constitutional ratchet far to the left, while ruthlessly using Mormonism as a cloak to pass himself off as a reluctant conservative caught in one difficult position after another. In fact he became a master of creating elaborate smokescreens to cause conservatives to believe that he was fighting the radical policies he was pushing.
Does Mr. Barnes really believe that a Barak Obama in Republican clothing is acceptable to social conservatives? If so he needs to formulate a plan to break himself out of the surreal intellectual ghetto that three decades of hubris and brutally enforced consensus have created among the "conservative" elites. The grassroots increasingly see where we're headed and they’re getting off the train.
Barnes states that Romney would "shore up McCain's weakness on economic issues." He is correct that many economic conservatives who, despite McCain's recent support for making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent, reducing the corporate tax rate, and government spending, are wary of McCain's past opposition to the Bush Tax Cuts and support for carbon emissions "cap-and-trade" tax regimes.
But again, Barnes writes from the ghetto. Romney's actual record as governor shouldn’t instill confidence among fiscal conservatives. Romney did not support the Bush Tax Cuts (earning him praise from Massachusetts' neo-Marxist congressman Barney Frank). As governor, Romney increased taxes by $800 million (he cleverly called them "fees") which have truly harmed the Massachusetts economy. Romney's healthcare plan, in the words of the Wall St. Journal, is in "intensive care "with inflated costs that are estimated to double -- a plan he has said would serve as a model for a national plan.
Moreover, the absurd claim that a businessman has experience and expertise that directly applies to reforming by far the largest national economy on earth is not something that grownups ought to take even half-seriously. Romney has built vast personal wealth by cutting workforces, off-shoring jobs and aggressively marketing struggling firms as revitalized in order to sell them off to investors. This is known as short-term micro-economics. It has little if any relevance to macro-economics or long-term health of an economy or an industry -- which is exactly why Romney had to promise Michigan voters to rob taxpayers across America to prop up their dying manufacturing base, a promise that could just as easily have come from Barak Obama. As an "economic conservative" -- as much as a "social conservative"-- Slick Willard Romney is a snake oil salesman.
There is no doubt that McCain must choose an authentic fiscal conservative with a consistent track record of cutting taxes and spending, and implementing free market consumer-driven initiatives. Romney has no such record as governor. What McCain doesn't need is to select is a tax hiker whose signature economic "achievement" was an Orwellian pro-abortion healthcare plan endorsed by the Clinton-Kennedy- Planned Parenthood triumvirate.
Finally, Mr. Barnes argues that Romney has the support of many in the "Bush wing of the Republican Party" including Karl Rove and the Bushes themselves.
Like his friends over at the National Review, Fox News and other such lofty locations in the conservative ghetto, Mr. Barnes seems to have learned nothing at all from the last year. I don't know if he's noticed yet, but there seems to be a significant breakdown in communications between the GOP establishment and grass roots conservatives. Romney spent a king's ransom (100 million dollars, plus bribes and hush money for "conservative" and "pro-family" mercenaries) attempting to convince voters he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan. But many conservative voters rejected the screaming instructions from the self-appointed ghetto leadership, having figured out that Willard Mitt Romney is nothing more than Barak Obama in a Reagan costume. Candidates (McCain and Huckabee) adamantly opposed by the GOP elites, though vastly outspent, won the gold and silver respectively.
Voters have repudiated the "conservative" elites. Romney's support among the Bush nomenklatura is reason enough, all by itself, to reject him.
Gregg Jackson is a radio talk show host on WRKO in Boston and author of "Conservative Comebacks to Liberal Lies: Issue By Issue Responses to the Most Common Claims of the Left from A to Z."
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