Ever since the GOP primary season started, I’ve been very displeased with Mitt Romney as the Republican Establishment’s anointed choice. He is not a conservative, but perhaps more importantly his health care record with Romneycare will absolutely prohibit him from being able to defeat Barack Obama in November. Conservatives don’t like him. Moderates don’t trust him. The only people who seem to like him are liberals because they see what the Republican Establishment is unwilling to see, that Mitt Romney is a fraud that will be exposed by the tremendous campaigning machine the Obama’s team will unleash on him if he is indeed the nominee.
The reason that he hasn’t been knocked off his pedestal thus far is me. That’s not a statement exemplifying delusions of grandeur. It’s what I represent as that loud but unconsolidated group of conservatives who are so strongly opposed to Romney that we are looking to Santorum or Gingrich (or even Paul) to step up. I have “pulled a Romney” several times in the last few months casting my support to the Conservative du jour who seems to have a chance.
That’s the problem.
Any of the candidates other than Herman Cain had a chance if only we would have united around one of them. It was Bachmann. Then it was Perry. Then it was Cain. Then it was Gingrich. Then it was Santorum. Then it was Gingrich again. Then it was Santorum again.
My indecision and the indecision of people like me have propelled Romney to the likely victory he is now clawing his way towards. In the end, he may be better for the country than Obama and that’s another part of the indecision that is haunting the party. Many who have voted or plan to vote for Romney are doing so reluctantly because we want the fighting to end and for the party to concentrate on the true foe. We want to prize. We want the presidency.
Right here, right now, I’m drawing the unpopular line. I will not vote for Romney. Many will say that it’s a statement and position that further damages the party. They are right. Unfortunately, they are also wrong. Voting for Mitt Romney will hurt the Republican party and the country more than another 4 years of Obama. His chances are mathematically lighter than either Santorum or Gingrich to be able to beat Obama simply because he cannot win the important states.
If he is able to win somehow in November (anything is possible in politics, particularly when Obama is involved), he will do damage to the party in ways that will take at least 8 years to fix much in the same way that Bush Sr. did in 1988-1992. He will hurt what has been built up recently in congress by pulling us away from the possibility of a majority in both the House and the Senate. He will put a Democrat back in the White House in 2016 and likely again in 2020 because of the debacle that his presidency would be.
Ron Paul, for all of his good ideas and intentions, is also in the same boat. His foreign policy ideas are impossible to support.
This leaves Santorum and Gingrich. The line in the sand has been drawn. Who will step up and earn my support from now until the end?