Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum

Reblogged from The Mason Conservative

This is going to be unpopular among many, but Mitt Romney is without a doubt the worst major presidential candidate I have ever seen.  He has had the clearest path I’ve ever seen given to a candidate and he is still barely getting through.  He’s arguing for his nomination by using math rather than by demonstrating it at the polls by racking up impressive victories.  Here is a quick list of the advantages he is squandering:

  • Opponents that choked (T-Paw, Michele, Perry, Cain)
  • The most money
  • The biggest organization
  • Endorsements
  • Media
  • Super PAC
  • Delegate math

What the post above goes on to do is explain why Rick Santorum offers the best alternative to Mitt Romney’s floundering candidacy. Chris, the author of the The Mason Conservative, makes his argument by comparing and contrasting the two candidates.

The Mason Conservative is the first blog I read that seriously considered Santorum’s candidacy. In Would You Support This Candidate?, Chris enumerated Santorum’s stance on a long list of issues.  At that point I had yet to decide who I wanted to support. I like that list, but I had to ask, “What has he done?” Well, there is an answer for that question. In fact, like any good politician, Santorum knows how to blow his own horn. So I suggest a visit to Why Rick.

Nevertheless, I don’t think Santorum’s accomplishments are what attracted Chris’ interest. What Chris seems to want is a candidate who can and will forcefully articulate the Conservative message. That’s why I think Chris wrote this back in June 2011.

Santorum’s chances run on how strong his foil is in the GOP primary.  If someone like Sarah Palin or Rick Perry gets in, he will have a very hard time of it.  But if the conservatives in the race remain who they are and Gov. Romney remains at the head of the class, Santorum has the media chops to go after him with a telegenic articulation that many of the other candidates simply don’t have.  He’s a senator for 12 years, on Fox News since he lost in 2006, and has been a frequent stand-in for Bill Bennett’s morning radio show.  The man knows how to talk and knows what he is talking about.

He will also force those in the party that don’t want to deal with social issues – Romney, Gingirch, Huntsman – to take a stand.  And to the newer conservative faces like Bachmann and Cain, I think Santorum will force them to go deeper in knowledge and past just slogans because, if you’ve even listened to Santorum, he really does know what he’s talking about. (from here)

Here is the example Chris used.

Is Santorum as Conservative as most Conservatives would like? No, and it is clear that Chris does not think Santorum is a Conservative’s Conservative. That’s a point he makes in these two posts: A Echo, Not A Choice and Interesting Look At Santorum.What Santorum is is the best Conservative choice amongst the remaining Republican candidates.

  • Santorum is not too extreme on any the major issues.
  • Santorum is more Conservative than his Republican opponents.
  • Santorum knows how run a forceful and effective campaign.
  • Santorum can beat Barack Hussein Obama, and we can trust him to try to undo what that man has done.

Therefore, Chris is calling for Conservatives unite behind Santorum.

I think for the rest of the way, all conservatives must unite behind Rick Santorum.  It is no longer just, “oh, Romney’s not a conservative, I can’t beat him.”  I’ve become convinced that Mitt Romney is too weak to defeat Barack Obama.  To beat a bully we need to fight back and I don’t believe Mitt Romney has what it takes to win when he doesn’t have all the built-in advantages.  That whole list above?  Those advantages are gone in a general election against Barack Obama.  He won’t have the money, the establishment support, the math, the media, or the organization.  All of that will be gone. (from here)

26 thoughts on “Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum

  1. JAB – Thank you the explanation.

    I have been reading one of Samuel Huntington’s books, “The Clash of Civilizations.” Occasionally, if the book seems interesting, I take up Tony on one of his book recommendations. Since “The Clash of Civilizations” was worth reading, I suspect “Who Are We” is good too.

    I have read something Richard A. Posner wrote. Posner is an interesting character, but one book was enough.

    I am afraid I understand Tony’s point of view better than He thinks. There was a time I shared it. Then it slowly dawned upon me just how ignorant I was of American history. Even though I enjoyed reading history books, instead of reading what historical figures had actually written, I tended to read what had been written by historians. That included reading what had been written about the Bible instead of the Bible itself. After living for 50 years, I finally decided to read the Bible. I found the Good Book far more impressive than its critics.

    Because academia is too well populated by Liberals, history books often reflect institutional biases, particularly with respect to the influence of the Christian religion on American history. The only good way around that bias is to read books that predate the 20th Century. If we want to understand what the Founders intended, we need to read what the Founders read and wrote.

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    1. CT: You will enjoy both of Huntington’s books. He was a super scholar. When I was in grad school #1 I enjoyed listening to him every chance I got.

      Congrats on reading the Bible. I’ve been doing it for 30 years. It is a life changer. The first time I saw many conflicts and contradictions in scripture. Around my 4th reading they started to smooth out. Also, teaching Sunday School for 22 years and engaging in Bible Study for 5 years widely separated in time – gave commentaries from scholars who read Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.

      Agree on reading original sources when you can. I read Madison’s notes on the Constitutional Convention last year for the first time – instead of reading about it.

      Enjoy your time in The Word. I count my time before reading as loss and all time since reading as gain.

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  2. Tony – I must admit that when JAB suggested books you should read I had to laugh. Since I have gotten so many book suggestions from you it seems wholly appropriate. As they say, what goes around comes around.

    JAB – Whatever else might be said of Tony, we cannot complain that he does not read enough. Does he read what he should? Perhaps not.

    Tony – Consider that how societies structure themselves is more art than science. As we do with science, we can identify and characterize some cause and effect relationships. Yet because our estimate of the quality of a society depends upon the eye of the beholder, governing is more art than science.

    Before our leaders can reach our intellects, they must first conquer our hearts and capture our imaginations. Successful leaders generally use ideas that come from religious works, not volumes on political science or bone dry economic treatises. Thus, to understand America’s heritage you must read and carefully study the greatest book ever written, and that you have not done.

    As you may have noted, I have a new post related to this discussion, RESTORING THE BALANCE? Unless a society has a firm moral foundation, the People have no place to stand. They drift, pushed about and driven by their latest desires.

    Consider this parable.

    Luke 6:46-49 Amplified Bible (AMP)

    46Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you?

    47For everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words [in order to heed their teaching] and does them, I will show you what he is like:

    48He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or [a]founded on a rock.

    49But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.

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    1. Tom, you are onto a key concept. What are the ideas that motivate humankind? How do we understand them. My shorthand is: Culture commands, demographics are destiny, individuals can think outside their culture to create new or changed ideas, ideas motivate humankind, culture changes, demographics are destiny. (Clear or obtuse?)
      Cultures is like the foundation dug in earth. The earth is the geography, history to date, etc of where, when a culture is created. The building built is the nation that goes from tribes to great civilizations. On top of that there are edifices built which are individual countries and/or sub-culture people groups.

      Our America is built on Enlightenment, English, Protestant ideas – thus the King James Bible is a cornerstone – that became “American” on 4 July 1776. (See late Samuel Huntington’s “Who Are We”)

      Tony: Woods, Schlaes, Ferguson, Friedman’s scholarship is impeccable.
      If you find an error in their scholarship, please do tell.

      You are right that economic or historic truth is complex.
      But, weak thinking can be separated from solid work. Empirical analysis can help.

      In history there are schools of historiography. The current liberal lens of race, class and gender is bovine scatology. Just like Marxist dialectics, it can be proven – empirically – to be completely and utterly false.

      In economics the same is true with schools of economics. Marxism has been completely discredited. Keynesian theory is heading there. At the basic levels of consensus knowledge there is complete agreement on what is micro and macro econ. There is no liberal or conservative laws of supply and demand. Thus, the distinction between economic laws and theories. Laws are good to go.

      So, when the President Barry Soetero’s economic advisor claims in early 2009 that their stimulus will insure that unemployment does not go over 8% and recovery to status quo ante will be in X months – it shows their incompetence when it all fails so badly.

      Some time ago I read the drivel Robert Reich wrote. He was long on adjectives and short on numbers. Yet, the numbers taught in Keynesian economics at very liberal universities are telling. Like the fact that the single most important independent variable to increase the GDP is productivity. And government spending produces less than 28 cents of GDP growth for every dollar spent. And (dated numbers) every $150m in taxes kills 5k jobs.

      Thanks for the book list. I read Galbraith years ago. He nailed much of what would be the terrible consequences of the Great Society in the 60s. Never heard of Posner. Might get to him in few years when I clear my backlog of good books I’ve bought.

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  3. JAB,

    It seems that your scholarship is more one sided than “impeccable” (which often means it is not really scholarship at all). I am always looking for new reading material though, so thanks, I guess. I have read, or read of, some of what you recommended and my impression is that it is mostly revisionist, with just enough of a shadow of truth to give it a veneer of validity. Even Friedman would not recognize what many of these revisionists have done to his theories. Adam Smith also must constantly be revolving in his grave. However, as long as we are trading reading lists, here’s a few for you:

    1. The Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith
    2. “Economic Analysis of the Law” and “Pragmatism and Democracy” and “The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy” by Judge Richard Posner (as you may have guessed from the many selections, I am a big fan of Posner who, I should add is very much an “economic liberal” – I hope that you are not confused by that term)
    3. The Darwin Economy by Robert H. Frank
    4. “Globalization and it’s Discontents” by Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz
    5. “Pinched” by Don Peck and “Boomerang” by Michael Lewis (less scholarly but more readable recent journalistic works on The Great Recession)

    Perhaps reading a few of these will broaden your horizons to the point of greater “scholarship”. I canrecommend others if you are interested in forming a book club or something. If you are half as smart as you apparently think you are, then you should be able to understand that both “the dismal science” and the study of governmental history has credentialed scholarly advocates at every extreme, each possessing some good evidence and reasoning, but like most of the most important things in life, the picture is far more complex than the formulaic proclamations that you are spouting. I have found that the truth often is subtle, subject to mirage, often almost whimsically elusive, mostly hides stealthily somewhere the middle ground.

    In any event, you might want to cool it on the insulting, self-important, professorial approach. Although it is a little lame as a rhetorical device, I don’t mind the fun, but your friends here might accuse you of being “elitist” if you keep it up, and you know that you would not want that label sticking to you John Atticus Bowden. 😉

    Personally, I don’t claim to be a “scholar” in much of anything, just a lifelong student who is far from knowing it all, and who is always deeply suspicious of those who do claim to.

    Anyway, we are not likely to resolve much here, even if it were possible, by trading insults and barbs, enjoyable as that might be. Cheers.

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  4. JAB, that is not a cogent argument, just presumption and pomposity without fact or substance.

    Tom, you just lost me. I “blamed” both parties, and you invented neither. And no one in either party wants President G.W. Bush at their rallys.

    Blame you for Romney??? You do take a lot on your shoulders.

    Please go ahead and vote for Romney – good to see that you are willing to compromise. However, you may as well vote for Obama – policy-wise, in many ways, they are two peas in a pod. Obama’s just more likable (hell, “W” was more likable). Anyway, nice to see that you are a pragmatist after all.

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    1. Tony Salmon: Sorry that you don’t appreciate your 2 F’s.

      Read Thomas E. Wood Jr’s “Meltdown” to understand the Housing Bubble and Great Recession. Read Amity Schlae’s “The Forgotten Man: A New History of The Great Depression” to understand the government blunders FDR made that made the Depression worse. Read Niall Ferguson’s “Ascent of Money” to understand the long view of economic history. Read Milton Friedman’s “Monetary History of the United States” to understand how wealth was created in the US.

      If you find an error in the impeccable scholarship above, please let us know. I’ll consider raising your grades from F’s. When you’ve done your homework, I think you will find my short summary comment to be less pompous and more precise.

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  5. Tony – When you blamed me for George W. Bush, I rolled my eyes. 🙄 Nonetheless, because your charges were so absurd, I often defended Bush. Yet I have never defend Bush’s bailouts or budget excesses. And the fact you want to blame me for Romney is just plain thickheaded.

    Yes, if Romney is the nominee, I will vote for Romney. When the alternative is Obama, what else can I do? Vote for Obama? 😆

    Sherry and JAB – Thanks for your support.

    Like

  6. Tony Salmon: You get an F for history and economics. Likewise, about blaming Republicans for Jefferson County, AL going bankrupt.

    The economy would recover, ceteris paribus, if no one did anything. It is all based on capital. The 3 to 4% recovery from a lower base would happen if Daffy Duck were President. Unfortunately, it is worse than have Daffy, Mickey or Goofy in charge. The government spending kiils more jobs with taxation than it creates in make work. The deficit spending creates a fatal load of debt. Qualitative easing – printing money – causes inflation. Bush blew it on his bailouts. Obama made it worse.

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