The Envelope Please

Since before people started talking about Fred Thompson, and after he left the race a few weeks ago, I’ve been agonizing over who I would vote for in the primary tomorrow.

I’ve made my decision.

First let me say I’m not happy with any of my choices.

Mike Huckabee
combines the worst aspect of the current President without even the veneer of being fiscally conservative. He raised taxes in Arkansas by several billion. He has a bad record on pardoning criminals. His protectionist rhetoric is unrivaled in this campaign except for maybe John Edwards. I’d vote for Hillary or Obama before I’d vote for Huckabee.

Ron Paul is the patron saint of the libertarians, and once was Chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus. Of the candidates he would be the best on cutting regulations and spending. Unfortunately Ron Paul has become a victim of his own success. His stance on the war has attracted all sorts of wing-bats, 9/11 Truthers, and Gnomes of Zurich conspiracy nuts. I want nothing to do with that kind of crowd.

So my choice has come down to Mitt Romney or John McCain. That is a tough choice. Both have aspects I like and aspects I don’t like.

John McCain is a national hero. He has a consistent record of fighting for conservative issues. He also has a record of fighting for non-conservative issues. While I like his attempts to reign in spending, I’m appalled by McCain-Feingold. But I’m also appalled by the President who signed the bill while stating that he felt it was unconstitutional. I think John McCain – more than anyone in the current administration – can bring the job in Iraq to a successful conclusion. I think that the “Amenesty” Bill – prior to several poison pill amendments added by the Democratic Majority – was a step in the right direction. It brought millions of people in this country out of the darkness, out of the black market and into the light of lawfulness and being financial contributers to the great nation they too want to call home.

A vote for John McCain is a vote against the ineptness, cronyism, and arrogance of the current Administration. George W. Bush has done more to hurt the image of the GOP with moderate and independent voters than all the Democrat spin doctors and liberal media combined. From the bungling of Iraq for three years, to the Katrina debacle, to No-Child-Left-Behind, Medicare Part-D, run away spending there is very little Reaganesque about Bush’s 8 years in office. While George Bush was sticking behind the incompetence of Don Rumsfeld, John McCain was out there calling for more troops. While George Bush was presiding over the biggest entitlement expansion since LBJ, John McCain was opposing Medicare Part-D. Heros of mine like Tom Colburn and Steve Forbes are backing McCain. As are our two US Senators from Georgia who I respect as quasi-statesmen.

While John McCain would be consistent – consistent in the good and consistent in the bad, how Mitt Romney would govern as President is a black void. Like a previous one term Governor with little experience in government I fear he may sound good on the campaign trail and bring the party to ruin while in the White House. However like John McCain, there are aspects to Mitt Romney I like. First off Huckabee hates him and so there would never be a Romney-Huckabee ticket. Second I believe Romney would be better on free-trade issues than McCain would be. Romney hasn’t resorted to populist attacks against business, profit or the free market like Huckabee and McCain have to a greater and lesser extend (respectively). There are some things I don’t like about Romney. I don’t like that he has gotten the anti-immigrant wing of the GOP on board with his campaign. I was revolted when he introduced that homophobic troglodyte Rick Santorum at today’s rally. I don’t like that current and former Bush officials have joined his campaign. However several good local legislators like Steve Davis and David Shafer are backing Romney and I respect their opinions and insights.

Needless to say, this was a tough choice for me. I attended McCain’s rally on Saturday and Romney’s rally today looking for a reason to support or oppose either of these gentlemen. Neither rally offered the clarity I was looking for.

In the end it came down to one issue upon which the GOP is unsettled, but is near and dear to me.

That issue is free and open trade. And on that issue I think Mitt Romney will be the better nominee.

36 comments

  1. Bull Moose says:

    A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for the Democratic Party.

    Mitt Romney raised taxes in MA, he ran the RGA as his personal slush fund to build up his campaign for President, he’s taken two sides of almost every issue.

    John McCain is the only CONSISTENT conservative in the race and already received my vote and will win our primary tomorrow.

  2. waterboy says:

    I’m convinced that Bull Moose is a complete ass…yes, a moose’s ass! He cannot support his candidate with praise, so he blathers on about a bunch of nothing that makes him feel better.

    Cheers to Chris for articulating his thought process. Boo to moose butt for not having one.

  3. bowersville says:

    “Free and open trade. And on that issue I think Romney will be the better nominee.”

    Prey tell how that is true?

  4. bowersville says:

    Quite frankly, I’m appalled that Governor Romney did not call for a surge in Iraq. I’m appalled that Romney did not call for victory and ask for Rumsfeld’s hide. Quite frankly I’m appalled that Romney has a solution for free and open trade and forget that our soldiers don’t have that option. They are in the field, and he’s concerned with his mall prevledges. crap!

  5. AlanR says:

    So vote for McCain if you think he is the best choice, but please, please, stop calling him conservative. John McCain is a great American. His military record is beyond reproach, and he deserves our respect and thanks. His political record just isn’t very conservative. Tax cuts, judges, marriage, immigration, and more. There has been only one major assault on the First Amendment in the last 100 years and it has McCain’s name on it.

    Please. Just say you’re voting for the best leader, or the moderate. Just stop trying to sell the idea he is conservative.

  6. StevePerkins says:

    I hope to see Paul do well tomorrow, but my “consolation prize” either way would be seeing McCain wipe the floor with Romney. Let’s cut the crap, folks… McCain is not liked for these reasons:

    (1) He doesn’t hate Mexicans
    (2) He got in the way of the Bill Frist braintrust’s brilliant plan to forfeit the fillibuster
    (3) He backed a campaign finance bill that supposedly “silenced free speech” (I find it interesting how much speech from swift boat veterans still seems to slip through somehow)
    (4) He actually believes that SPENDING cuts should be coupled with TAX cuts
    (5) He opposes George Bush
    (6) He supports George Bush
    (7) He doesn’t hate Mexicans (Did I mention that already? It bears repeating since this really constitutes 80% of people’s problem with him)

    It’s odd, because most of those reasons are why I LIKE the guy! There is literally ZERO reason to vote for a guy like Romney, who has flip-flopped on almost every conceivable issue in 24 months time, other than as a protest vote out of sheer spite against McCain… for one or more of the above reasons (and if you’re going to “throw your vote away” on a protest, might as well give it to someone who actually stands for something like Paul). The tie-breaker is that John McCain of all people is “protectionist”? You have GOT to be kidding me, Farris. If he’s such a pandering protectionist, why did he basically tell those subsidy-sucking corn farmers up in Iowa to go jump in a lake?

  7. Bill Simon says:

    Plus…I like the way chickensh*t senators like Thad Cochran are uneasy about McCain because McCain has a “temper” and has, on occasion, used profanity in dealing with his fellow senators.

    Go, John, go!

  8. GOPeach says:

    I have made the decision to vote for Governor Mike Huckabee on the basis of research into actual records — rather than empty campaign double-talk. Alone among the frontrunners, his record is conservative on the most fundamental issues. I will go even further: examining records proves that when $100 million dollars of GOP campaign propaganda is set aside, Mike Huckabee is the only real across-the-board (social and fiscal) conservative among the three front runners.

    Mitt Romney is not only not a conservative on any issue, he’s not even on the left-right spectrum. He has no beliefs. No principles. No backbone. No soul. He is a soulless creature who will do and say anything to get elected.

    McCain is somewhere in the middle. He has disappointed me, and many other conservatives, many times (McCain-Feingold and McCain-Kennedy chief among them). If he becomes the GOP nominee I will support him.

    I will not under any circumstances vote for Mitt Romney. Ever.

    Here is why I support Mike Huckabee:

    Abortion: First and foremost, I am voting for Huckabee because he is the only leading candidate who supports the core of the GOP plank – the Human Life Amendment. Mitt Romney openly opposes it. McCain has voted “pro-life” but voting is as far as he will go. He recoils from paying any price politically or personally to end the holocaust happening daily around the corner from your house. When pro-life conservatives were trying to replace career pro-abort Sandra Day O’Connor on the Supreme Court, McCain called Justice Samuel Alito “too conservative.”

    We will never be safe and secure from either foreign or domestic enemies until we stop the barbaric, inhumane practice of abortion which has liquidated almost 50 million babies since Roe v Wade. I agree with those who examine providential events in American history and conclude that God has protected this nation at crucial times. If you are even open to that possibility, wouldn’t you have to agree that 50 million seems like a lot of babies to kill and still hope God will protect America? Isn’t that hypocritical of us? Outlawing abortion at the federal level is not a secondary issue. It’s Issue Numero Uno. It’s a no-brainer. Mike Huckabee deserves every vote in America for understanding that alone.

    Senator McCain is not in favor of amending our constitution to ensure that, regardless of what state a baby is born into, he or she is guaranteed the legal right to life. How puzzling to claim to believe in the inalienable right to life and liberty yet assert that “federalism” or “states’ rights” somehow grant states a power to take innocent life. In 1860 that position was not the abolitionist position. It was the pro-slavery position. Today it is neither constitutional nor conservative. It’s just theoretically halfway between good and evil. And it won’t end the harvest of death and take the blood off our hands.

    Mitt Romney is the Founding Father of government-subsidized, $50 abortion-on-demand in Massachusetts. Laws don’t get any more pro-abortion than Mitt Romney’s Orwellian health care plan…unless you go to Communist China. Even the Communist Democrats in Boston couldn’t pull that off. He is not merely “weak” or unconvincing on this issue. He’s an amoral pro-abort masquerading as a convert to the view that human life is sacred. Other than that he’s indistinguishable from Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton (both of whom have gleefully endorsed the Romney-Kennedy-Planned Parenthood healthcare plan). Enough said? He claims he was required by law to sign this healthcare bill that established abortion with a $50 co-pay as a “healthcare benefit.” That is an insult to our intelligence and a pre-meditated lie. There is no Massachusetts’ law that requires subsidized abortion on demand. Romney also appointed a Planned Parenthood member to his healthcare advisory board and no pro-life member. Pro-life governors don’t do that. This alone puts him on the pro-abortion extreme of the spectrum — for Democrats, let alone Republicans.

    Marriage: Unlike McCain who worked hard to defeat a Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), Huckabee strongly supports a FMA and understands what is at stake for America, our children and grandchildren if we fail to enshrine into law that marriage is between one man and one woman. Although Governor Romney has recently staked out a position claiming to support traditional marriage, he speaks as the opportunistic politician who unilaterally imposed “same sex marriage” in Massachusetts after the law-making body that has exclusive authority to do so, refused to grant the Goodridge judges their fantasy. He did this revolutionary act — unbidden by even the judges — claiming he was just “following the law.” A lie, pure and simple, powerfully refuted by the state Constitution itself.

    As many constitutional experts have tried in vain to warn the conservative elites, there is no law that allows “same sex marriage” in Massachusetts. It’s still illegal. The court merely issued a surreal and legally impotent declaratory opinion that barring same sex marriage was unconstitutional. Romney even opposed efforts to remove the judges who violated their oaths of office by ignoring the state constitution’s removal of court jurisdiction to even hear such a case. In September of 2007 we finally learned the explanation for Romney’s mysterious actions: he was carrying out a 2002 campaign promise to the homosexual “Log Cabin” Republicans.

    Immigration: Although Governor Huckabee has been called the “amnesty” candidate, he has never supported “amnesty.” He is in favor of securing the border and has taken the “No Amnesty Pledge.” He has received the endorsements from Congressman Duncan Hunter and Jim Gilchrist founder of the Minuteman Project. Senator McCain was the co-author of the McCain-Kennedy-Bush “comprehensive immigration” bill that was ultimately defeated. But he now supports securing the border first. Governor Romney supported McCain-Kennedy-Bush as well and now, like McCain, claims to support securing the border first. Neither has that much credibility with me when it comes to this issue. Although I tend to trust McCain more given “Multiple Choice Mitt’s” penchant for surreal flip flops.

    Foreign Policy/National Security: Governor Huckabee has the most executive experience of any candidate in either party – three or four times what Mitt Romney has, considering Romney spent so much time outside his state (212 days in his last year in office).

    With nearly eleven years running a state, Governor Huckabee is by far the best qualified to manage a huge, bloated bureaucracy. He supports increasing defense expenditures from our current 3.9% of GDP level to the Reagan Era 6% of GDP level and the “Powell Doctrine” of using overwhelming force. Senator McCain lacks the executive experience but does have the actual military and government experience and is no doubt well qualified to lead the War on Islamic Jihadism. By supporting the surge even when it was not politically popular, McCain showed that he is willing to do the right thing regardless of the polls. Governor Romney is the least qualified of the three. Romney’s chief counterterrorism expert Cofer Black was condemned by the 9-11 Commission, Congressional Joint Inquiry, and the CIA Inspector General for his mismanagement of the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center as contributing factors in the 9-11 attacks. This should be a major concern for voters.

    2nd Amendment: Huckabee has always been a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. McCain has more of a mixed record on gun control laws. Romney is by far the most pro-gun control anti-2nd Amendment candidate. He has always supported the Brady Bill and the so called “Assault Weapons Ban” both of which are opposed by the NRA. As governor he boasted about having signed into law some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.

    Taxes and Spending: Huckabee is, by far, the most fiscally conservative of the three. As governor he cut taxes almost 100 times and left Arkansas with an $850 million surplus. While I have some questions about his proposed” Fair Tax” which is a flat consumption based tax that would replace our federal income tax, it is by far the most aggressive fiscal proposal put forth by any candidate. While Senator McCain did oppose the Bush Tax Cuts (b/c they didn’t include enough spending cuts), he now supports making them permanent. And nobody doubts his anti-pork spending bona fides. Romney, as governor, raised taxes by over $500 million dollars. (He called them fees) leaving the Commonwealth in financial turmoil. His government run socialist healthcare plan he claimed as his signature achievement has been exposed as a catastrophe in the making. And although he derides McCain for not supporting the Bush Tax Cuts, Romney himself didn’t support them either.

    Special Rights for Homosexuals: Huckabee has always been opposed to same-sex “marriage” and any special rights based on sexual orientation. McCain has more of a mixed record as the lone GOP senator to oppose a federal marriage amendment. Romney boosted funding for pro-homosexuality indoctrination in schools, pushed gay adoption, falsely pretending that a law forced him to, and has been the more aggressive in catering to the homosexual militants than most liberal Democrats. He argued in 1994 that he could get more accomplished for the gay agenda than Ted Kennedy and made similar promises when running for governor in 2002. He called a 2002 Massachusetts protection of marriage amendment “too extreme” and is solely responsible for illegally instituting “same sex marriage” in the Cradle of Democracy. He also supports homosexual Boy Scout leaders and homosexuals serving openly in the military.

  9. Carpe Forem says:

    His (Ron Paul’s) stance on the war has attracted all sorts of wing-bats, 9/11 Truthers, and Gnomes of Zurich conspiracy nuts. I want nothing to do with that kind of crowd.

    I didn’t see you at the Ron Paul rally Saturday. If you did, you would have been hard pressed to find these nutty winged bats you speak of. I’m not saying they don’t exist, I’m just saying their numbers are few… say about the same you could find supporting the other candidates. Since you seemed to use first hand knowledge of the others, I wish you would have afforded Ron Paul’s rally the same opportunity to win your vote.

  10. AlanR says:

    Bill:

    The problem many are stuck on with Bush and many others is that conservative seems to no longer mean limited government. Somewhere along the line, compassionate conservative came to mean big government with big government solutions. And I never thought Bush was a very good conservative on this score. Anyone who followed his career as Governor knows the pattern.

    But things change. Maybe the conservative movement is going to continue to embrace big government solutions as Bush has with the prescription program. Perhaps we will soon see a day when the argument is not about socialized medicine, but whether or not elective surgery will be covered. The heartless conservatives wil say no, the sensitive liberals will say yes and we will all pick up the bill.

    I just think we all need to be realistic about what we’re getting into with McCain. He’s more big government than Bush without the tax cuts, and he clearly has no problem regulating political speech. Rick Santorum pointed out he voted wrong on the marriage issue. By no stretch can that be conservative.

    But hey, its not like there’s a lot to choose from. Either side.

  11. Chris says:

    Carpe,

    Had Ron Paul come to Georgia in the last week I would have attended one of his rallys.

    However having attended Rudy’s, Romney’s and McCain’s rallies, and seeing the childish behavior of the Paul supporters staging counter protests and yelling things at the crowd entering and leaving – I decided I did not want to be part of that group

  12. Chris says:

    Steve,

    I never called McCain protectionist. I believe I used the term populist which is a bit different. I believe that his populism may lead to protectionist tendencies like the current guy has done with steel and other tarrifs.

    Finally I agree with you and McCain on points 1,2,4,5 and 7. #3 and #6 are sticking points with me.

  13. GOPeach says:

    PAUL SUPPORTERS

    It is because of YOU – ( Not Everyone Else) that Congressman Paul has done so poorly in the polls. It is because of YOU. Several of my friends have called the police on Ron Paul supporters placing signs in yards and blocking the right of way.

    I saw police following Ron Paul sign crews in Vinings making sure they were not destroying property and removing other candidates signs.
    The HUCKABEE sign in my yard was removed by one of the Ron Paul supporters. I watched them do it.

    YOU should all be ashamed.

  14. RandyMiller says:

    I’m gonna go with John Mccain, the more moderately conservative Republican.
    He has the ability to work across the isle;
    he doesn’t wear religion on his sleeve ( i’ve had enough of who would Jesus bomb);
    he’s able to think for himself without having
    people like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Boortz
    telling him what to think and people like Dick Cheney telling him what to do; and he actually knows first hand the horrors of war.

  15. jsm says:

    Is Dubya a “conservative?” If not, what do you call him now?

    A moderate.

    Does simply being captured and held as a POW make one a “national hero?”

    Yes, but it does not necessarily make one a good president.

  16. GOPeach says:

    Randy Miller-

    You are right – McCain doesn’t check in with God about anything – He has the whole world by the tail. Hell- who needs Jesus anyway? We got this.

  17. Bill Simon says:

    JSM,

    Myabe, maybe not, as far as what makes someone a “good” president.

    BUT, I’ve had it up to HERE with the true “country-club” Republicans like Romney and Bush trying their hand at running the presidency.

    All they know how to do is do as they are told. And, I’m fed-up with “yes-men” and “yes-women” running the executive branch.

  18. Old Vet says:

    From reading this blog and others, I think if Reagan himself (the real man, not the legend he has been made into) were running as a candidate in this primary, he’d be soundly rejected by today’s Republicans. Huckabee would take the religious right anti-choice votes, McCain would take the hard-ass pro war votes, and Romney would take the business votes. I’m certain the current Governor of California would not endorse him.

  19. Jace Walden says:

    Chris Farris,

    I want you to know that I fully respect (although disagree with) your decision to vote for Romney over McCain, Paul and Huckabee.

    If this election has taught me anything, it’s that no candidate is perfect, and it seems like because of that, more and more voters are concentrating on things like issues (free trade in your case) rather than celebrity or electability.

    My issue is downsizing the federal government, period. That’s why I support Ron Paul…and even he isn’t the perfect candidate.

    The more and more McCain supporters come on here and criticize you for voting for Romney, the more and more they reinforce the idea that McCain is just a bitter old man. Just like some Ron Paul supporters (a minority mind you) reinforce the idea that Paul is a conspiracy nut.

    With that said, I’m glad you voted for the guy who best fits in your value system.

  20. StevePerkins says:

    Farris… if McCain-Feingold is such a sticking point for you, then why did Fred! get such a pass on it when he CO-SPONSORED the bill? In fact, you could count on your digits without removing your shoes the number of occasions in which Fred! voted differently from McCain during his Senate run.

    You couldn’t slip a piece of paper in between the two guys’ records… and yet Fred! was embraced as “Reagan’s conservative heir”, while McCain is labeled a “liberal traitor”. The Fred! gang is nothing more than a bandwagon machine… they really do just make EVERYTHING up as they go along. Let’s call a spade a spade. You’re backing Romney at the last minute primarily to mirror some key state legislators… who backed Romney at the last minute primarily to mirror their constituents… who backed Romney at the very last minute because McCain thumbed his nose at evangelicals and racists, and Romney is simply the top guy left not named “McCain”. It’s the blind leading the deaf leading the dumb leading the retarded.

  21. joe says:

    midgajim // Feb 5, 2008 at 9:14 am

    Does simply being captured and held as a POW make one a “national hero?”

    I am retired Army. I am not a McCain supporter. No, being held as a POW does not make one a hero.

    However, whether McCain is or is not a hero, his ability to withstand torture while captured does show a remarkable strength .

  22. Chris says:

    His not refusal to go home when offered release by the North Vietnamese because he’d be leaving behind fellow Americans makes him a hero in my book.

    Does make you wonder if a McCain Administration DOJ might not be looking into the statute of limitation on treason for certian left-wing actresses……

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