Cartoon by Mike Ramirez
I’m very disappointed in the results of the South Carolina primary and frustrated with GOP voters and pundits.
This article has things right, though: Whose Primaries Are They?
I believe that Fred Thompson’s campaign, while perhaps disorganized and imperfect, was derailed not only by liberals in the media, who sought to marginalize him as irrelevant, not really interested in being president, not having “fire in his belly”, etc., but also by GOP voters, particularly evangelical Christians, whose loyalty to Huckabee (without concern for his liberal positions and record) has ended up hurting the party.
Huckabee won’t get the nomination, but his ambition to be the Republican nominee (without fidelity to conservative principles) has left us with choices I can’t accept and don’t feel I can support.
I believe Dr. James Dobson hurt Fred Thompson with his negative remarks about him before he even got in the race. Ann Coulter also attacked Fred Thompson. Ann's problem with Fred was that he did not vote to impeach or remove Clinton (which she apparently views as unforgivable, despite the fact that removing Clinton would have made Al Gore the incumbent prior to the 2000 election; whereas she’ll forgive Mitt Romney for being pro-abortion until he ran for president – which is shocking, coming from Ann, who is solidly pro-life).
I also think endless criticism by conservatives of the way Fred Thompson's campaign has been run wasn't productive at all. All that's done is make people afraid to waste their time supporting the only real, consistent, conservative, pro-life candidate, endorsed by the National Right To Life Committee, in the race. Great work!
Even the relatively few legitimate gripes and/or critiques conservative pundits have expressed about Fred Thompson pale in comparison to the glaring problems in the records of every other Republican candidate in the race (with the possible exception of Duncan Hunter).
Many conservatives have already thrown their support to Mitt Romney (like Ann Coulter, Hugh Hewitt, and the National Review - the links note their endorsements), despite Romney's liberal record and consistent pro-abortion record (prior to his decision to run for the Republican presidential nomination), and that's extremely disappointing to me, because I respect and admire Ann Coulter & Hugh Hewitt and although I have less respect for the National Review, I recognize the power of their endorsement. (See: Romney's liberal shadow, Mitt Romney: A Massachusetts Liberal for President, The Real Romney?, The Mitt Romney Deception, and McCain Runs Through Mitt Romney's Liberal Laundry List)
I will not vote for John McCain – ever. His support for embryonic stem cell research makes him an unacceptable candidate for all Catholics from a moral point of view. Some Catholics will try to fudge on this, but they'll be going against Church teaching if they support McCain as the nominee or advise other Catholics to be open to doing so. It's that simple.
Here's a quote demonstrating McCain's position on the issue of embryonic stem cell research:
Q: Would you expand federal funding of embryonic stem cell research?
John McCain: I believe that we need to fund this. This is a tough issue for those of us in the pro-life community. I would remind you that these stem cells are either going to be discarded or perpetually frozen. We need to do what we can to relieve human suffering. It's a tough issue. I support federal funding.
Source: 2007 GOP primary debate, at Reagan library, hosted by MSNBC May 3, 2007
If John McCain is the nominee, I will not vote for him. Period. If conservatives want to abandon conservatism, they can do it without my help.
I realize Republicans will lecture me that McCain’s better than any Democrat, but I don’t see that. I see a man who has consistently hurt the GOP (see: The Real McCain Record), and who stood with Democrats in the gang of fourteen over the most important issue for me in presidential elections – the appointment of conservative Supreme Court justices. I won’t trust a man like that to make good judicial appointments.
If John McCain (or Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, or Mitt Romney - whose conversion to conservatism is opportunistic, too little, and too late) is the Republican nominee, I will conclude that the voters within the Republican party have abandoned its values and are only interested in holding on to power.
Power without principle is a value of liberal Democrats, not conservative Republicans.
I can't support the Republican party becoming a party of power-hungry people who will sell out their values after checking polls in order to hold on to power. How is that any different from the Clintons?
Moderate is a euphemism for an unprincipled person whose highest value is human respect.
I do not trust John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Rudy Giuliani, or Mitt Romney with the ability to make good appointments to the Supreme Court, which is my fundamental concern in electing a president.
We are too close, and Republicans who are allowing the mainstream media to tell them which candidate to support and which one has the best chances, are selling the GOP, conservative values, solid Supreme Court appointments, and the future of conservatism up the river by refusing to stick to conservative principles and go with the most conservative, pro-life candidate.
I will not vote for Mike Huckabee in the primaries, because he's not a conservative. He destroyed the Republican party in Arkansas, largely by consistently endorsing policies at odds with conservative principles, sparking infighting within the party. (See: Up and down Huckabee's y-axis) The Republican party in Arkansas isn't endorsing Mike Huckabee, they're endorsing Fred Thompson. (See: Arkansas Republican Assembly Endorses Fred Thompson)
This is very hard for me, because Mike Huckabee is pro-life, and I do want to end legal abortion, but I don’t trust Huckabee to appoint good justices (because of his history on judicial appointments) and that's all a pro-life president can do to end abortion. Huckabee says the Constitution is a “living, breathing document”. That's not conservative, and it doesn't bode well for those hoping to get good judicial appointments out of Huckabee. Strict constructionists don't think the Constitution is a “living, breathing document”.
I don't think Huckabee could win in a general election anyway. I don’t think he’ll even get the Republican nomination. All he’s done is weaken the genuinely conservative candidate, paving the way for John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, and Mitt Romney.
I will not vote for Mitt Romney. I don’t believe he’s pro-life. He supported abortion as recently as two or three years before running for president. He’s donated money to Planned Parenthood. He’s attended their fundraisers. He may claim to have converted, but not enough time has elapsed. He’s got a history of flip-flopping and not being forthright (which was a bad thing for John Kerry, but is supposedly suddenly okay for Romney).
I'm all for people converting to the realization that abortion is murder, but I'm not comfortable with elevating someone who gave money to Planned Parenthood (which is, to me, like giving Hitler money to help pay for the Zyclon B) to the position of Republican presidential nominee so soon after his "conversion".
Yes, I am aware Romney supporters often compare Romney's support for abortion with Ronald Reagan's record, and it's unfortunately true that Reagan allowed abortion in California before Roe vs. Wade (I know because I was born in Los Angeles in 1970 and my mother, who had German Measles, was repeatedly advised by several doctors, including an obstetrician she worked for, to abort me - and it was perfectly legal in California at the time and in those circumstances - thank God my mother never considered abortion a moral option - unlike Mitt Romney did, even after fathering five children). I know that later, though I'm not sure when, Reagan did realize it was wrong, but I also know he didn't change his mind right before running for President of the United States, unlike Mitt Romney.
Romney's Mormonism will also be an issue. Sorry people don't don't like to hear that, but it's true.
Many Christians will struggle with the idea that it speaks to a person's judgment when they remain in a religion with bizarre beliefs, which is why suggesting the religion of an elected official shouldn't matter is absurd (especially when nobody bats an eye at the suggestion that telegenic people are electable - which really shouldn't matter, but does).
Think about it, would you elect a president from the Moonies?
How about a satanist? If religion doesn't matter, satanism shouldn't be a problem, right?
If a satanist is unacceptable, then religion does matter, doesn't it?
The point I'm making isn't that Christianity is true and Mormonism isn't (though that's obviously my belief); the point I'm making is that you can't fault Christians for not wanting a Mormon, and the same folks who'll only get behind someone who is "electable" and telegenic should have also realized that Mormonism isn't going to play well with lots and lots of people, and it's their right to vote for anyone based on any criteria they choose. They're not limited by the criteria you or I might hope or expect of them, otherwise Democrats would never get elected!
Fantasies about inquisitions against Mormon candidates (or other candidates due to their religious convictions), while dramatic, ignore the reality that people choose to vote for or against candidates for any number of reasons.
Some people will vote for (or against) Hillary because she's a woman. Some people will vote for (or against) Obama because he's black. Some people will vote for (or against) Huckabee because he's an evangelical Christian.
It's a reality. Talk of inquisitions doesn't magically erase that fact, and the reality is that many Christians are not impressed by arguments that Mormonism shouldn't be a factor when considering Romney's candidacy.
Note that I haven't said it's good that people won't vote for Romney because he's Mormon, I'm only saying it's a reality and it's going to have a more significant impact than Romney's acolytes pretend.
I also think that because of the fact that Mitt's Mormonism doesn't play well with a lot of the base, especially given the precarious situation of the Supreme Court (which can be tipped either way and almost certainly will be by whoever is elected President of the United States next), toying with the idea of supporting him is almost as dangerous as toying with the idea of supporting Giuliani and/or McCain, in terms of whether or not such candidates can ensure the support of the Republican base. We need a conservative who can get the support of the whole base. It's not a smart time to test the tolerance of the base.
The fact that Mormonism allows abortion in certain instances is enough reason for me not to support any Mormon for elected office, and it's a perfectly legitimate reason to consider his Mormon faith. Why would a pro-life voter support a candidate whose religion, a religion they publicly embrace and claim to believe in, allows abortion under certain circumstances, much less ignore that fact because it's not politically correct? (See: Abortion: Who Teaches The Truth?)
However fair or unfair it may be, complaining about it won't change the fact that Mitt’s Mormonism will matter. The Democrats will use it and it’s already a problem for many Christians (myself included). It’s got nothing to do with prejudice. It’s to do with knowledge of what Mormonism involves, not just in terms of doctrine, but also in terms of cronyism. Having lived in Utah for two years, I don’t want a Mormon president and don’t want Mormonism to become more acceptable in the mainstream – no matter how many pundits, even ones I love, like Ann Coulter, Hugh Hewitt, and Peggy Noonan tell me otherwise.
Saying Mormonism doesn't matter is more than just religious indifferentism (although it is that too), it's insulting to Christians and signals that those who say such things either think religion is all nonsense, so what does it matter what brand of nonsense it is (which isn't a good way to endear Christians), or that the person making the comment doesn't understand that Mormons aren't Christians, because Mormons are polytheists, reject belief in the Holy Trinity, reject belief in the Divinity of Christ, believe many strange things about Jesus Christ, almost all of which are offensive to Christians, don't believe in the eternity of hell, believe in and practice baptism of the dead, and believe that God the Father has a physical body (which they believe he used to physically impregnate the Virgin Mary) and lives with his wife on a planet near the star Kolob. Mormon beliefs are bizarre and wholly incompatible with Christianity, and these bizarre and incompatible beliefs (see: Mormon Stumpers) will be used by the Democrats if Mitt Romney is the nominee – mark my words.
Replies which compare authentic Christian doctrine (the Divinity of Christ, the Virgin birth of Christ, the Resurrection, etc.) with goofy man-made doctrines from various religions will indicate the sort of religious indifferentism I mentioned before.
Here is a brief video summary of some elements of Mormon theology:
I will not vote for Rudy Giuliani. He’s not a conservative. He’s pro-abortion, in favor of legal recognition for homosexual unions, supports gun control, and has a poor record on the issue of illegal immigration.
Fred Thomson was the only candidate I could support. If he’s not the nominee, I can’t vote Republican. I won't contribute to the destruction of conservatism. I won't vote Democrat either. Since I live in California, the Democratic nominee will get California in the general election anyway, even if I were to capitulate and sell out my conservative values by voting for a candidate who will further tarnish the conservative and Republican brands.
After Bush, I’m not going to vote for another Republican who promises to govern as a conservative, but ends up governing as a big-government, “compassionate conservative”, who does little to advance the cause of conservatism. At least Bush gave us good justices (though he nearly screwed that up with his appointment of Harriet Myers – who wasn’t good enough to defend him when things got rough, but who was supposedly good enough for the Supreme Court).
Maybe people can help put a positive face on what looks to be the (at least temporary) derailing of the conservative movement, but nobody can convince me to vote for any Republican other than Fred Thompson.