Saturday, October 08, 2011

Doubting Thomas fundies give Romney another once-over

Reporting from the Values (sic) Voters tent revival summit:

They know they’re not crazy about Mitt Romney. But if the cultural conservatives gathered at a Values Voters Summit this weekend split among Rick Perry and other contenders they do like, it could wind up benefiting the front-running White House hopeful who troubles rather than excites them.

That scenario, playing out on the campaign trail, is on display at the gathering of conservatives who care deeply about abortion, gay marriage and other social issues.


For the conservative voters at the conference, Romney has a problematic history. He supported abortion rights earlier in his political career and has struggled to explain why he now opposes abortion. He once vowed to be a strong advocate for gays and lesbians – stronger than Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., whom he was then running against. Now, he’s signed a pledge from the National Organization for Marriage to work to pass a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Romney is also a Mormon, a faith that has sparked suspicion among some evangelical conservatives.

“Personally, I know Romney isn’t one of my choices. We saw him four years ago and decided against him,” said Dan Goddu, a software engineer from Nashua, N.H., who attended the Values Voters Summit.

Mittens gets his turn on the podium today. At some point this weekend there will be yet another straw poll. Perry, Santorum, and Cain all took their shots gave their sermons pandered like bears yesterday.

Drawing distinctions from Romney, Texas Gov. Perry told the crowd on Friday, “For some candidates, pro-life is an election-year slogan to follow the prevailing political winds.”

Likewise, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum declared, “You know that I have never put social issues and values voters on the back burner. I have been out there fighting and leading the charge.”

Later, the crowd reacted more strongly to former pizza company CEO Herman Cain’s speech than to any of the other candidates. Attendees stood up repeatedly to cheer.

“You can pursue liberty all you want to as long as you don’t tread on somebody else’s life, and that includes the life of the unborn,” he said. Cain also said he was now being criticized because national polls have showed him joining the top tier of candidates.

His reception, Santorum’s pitch and the other conservative candidates’ appearances underscored the problem for Perry, Romney’s chief challenger on the right. The Texan is not the only GOP candidate who can make a plausible case to evangelical Christian conservatives.

That's accurate: Bachmann and Gingrich are going to get an at-bat at some point. I suspect they will do their best Ryan Howard - A-Rod impersonation.

Thus many Doubting Thomas fundavangelicals, in the wake of Perry's implosion and ahead of the field in confronting the reality of the Republican electoral dilemma, are reluctantly kicking Romney's tires again. The real morons -- the mostly secular, libertarian conservatives usually referred to as the Tea Party -- have flocked to Flavor of the Week "Herb" Cain. And they'll stampede like lemmings away from him soon enough.

Can the TP overlook Mitt's many flip-flops? Republicans of all persuasions seem completely capable of ignoring hypocrisy, so I believe the answer is probably yes. Romney-Rubio 2012. (But he'd put Bachmann on the ticket if he had any stones).

And Ron Paul for President on the Libertarian ticket. And Michele Bachmann for President on the Constitution Party ticket.

We need more "third" parties, and we need more people with the courage and conviction to vote FOR third parties.

It's the only way the two-party duopoly will ever change.

How's that for burying the lede?

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