Coulter’s argument for Romney

Shedding her usual snarky, weirdly detached persona and jokey asides, Ann Coulter argues with uncharacteristic seriousness and urgency about the Republican race. She says that the main issues are amnesty and Obamacare, that all the candidates are good on Obamacare, but that only Bachmann and Romney are good on amnesty, though Bachmann is better (she has a B- from NumbersUSA on amnesty, Romney has a C-, the others are D- or F). But Bachmann, as a woman who has only won elections in a Congressional district, is a long shot to win the presidency, and we need a proven winner who can garner the votes of Independents and Democrats, which brings Coulter back to Romney as the only choice.

It’s a rational argument, but a flawed argument, mainly because Romney has been ambiguous on both Obamacare and amnesty.

Also, the title of the column, “Only One Candidate is Right on the Two Most Important Issues,” does not reflect what it actually says. It says that both Romney and Bachmann are right on the two most important issues. Further, as I’ve just pointed out (and as Coulter admits with regard to amnesty), Bachmann is notably better than Romney on those two issues. A grade of C- does not indicate that Romney is right on amnesty, only that he is better than those who are terrible.

My qualifications of Coulter’s arguments as to who is right on the issues are to be balanced against Coulter’s main argument—electability. I’ll grant that Romney seems more electable than Bachmann. But electability is largely a matter of guesswork, based on polls and formal criteria such as past election victories. We don’t know that any of that will be borne out in a presidential race. Coulter says that Romney is more electable. But Romney is also a highly equivocal figure who constantly changes his positions and can’t be trusted on anything. Bachmann is a consistent figure who is also attractive and appealing. She has an integrity that Romney notably lacks. People say Romney looks like a president. True. But what people don’t say, yet which is also true, is that Bachmann looks like a president. Indeed, if you were to imagine what the first female U.S. president ought to look like, it is Michele Bachmann. So, notwithstanding Bachmann’s right-wing image, I don’t discount the possibility of her winning if she were the nominee. I’d rather bet on the continued growth and expanding possibilities of the person I like (Bachmann), than on the questionable success of the person who at best leaves me cold (Romney), and who may leave the country cold, leading to Obama’s re-election.

If Bachmann fails in the primaries and drops out of the race, so be it. But until and unless that happens, I am supporting the candidate I believe in. I urge others to do the same.

December 30

Stephen T. writes:

I’m greatly appreciative of Coulter for making perfectly clear one point you seldom hear from conservatives: Amnesty for illegal aliens presents a singularly IRREVERSIBLE peril. It’s not like other legislative agendas Republicans obsess over. Abortion, taxes, foreign policy, etc, can be mitigated, modified or canceled after-the-fact by changes in Congress or courts. The arrival of even a partial component of 38 million Mexican nationals (the 34% of Mexico who self-report that they are poised to come), however, will permanently alter the nation and nothing will bring it back, ever. Once it’s done, Americans can’t belatedly wake up and say, “Let’s now pass some meticulously-worded, European-style laws and regulations, print them in a legal volume somewhere, and we’ll get our Anglo civilization back.” That doesn’t work in dealing with Mexico. Americans should realize what Mexicans already know: All they have to do is get here. As long as they can do that by the millions, they don’t need court rulings, they don’t need the democratic process, they don’t need citizenship. They only need the overwhelming force of numbers that amnesty permanently and irrevocably facilitates.

James P. writes:

Romney’s supposed “track record of winning elections with voters similar to the entire American electorate” is weak. The Weekly Standard notes:

Romney has the least-impressive electoral history of any Republican frontrunner in a very long time. Most of the politicians who chase the White House are proven vote-getters with very few electoral blemishes on their record. John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Bill Clinton, John Kerry, George W. Bush, Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis—what unites all of these men is that before getting to the presidential level, they had demonstrated a talent for getting people to vote for them. (Barack Obama is the exception who proves the rule.)

Over the years, Mitt Romney has faced voters in 22 contests. He won 5 of those races and lost 17 of them. (This total includes a win in the 1994 Massachusetts Republican Senate primary as well as results from the 19 primaries he participated in during 2008. It excludes caucuses because their rules make them complicated enough to be considered distinct from straight-up lever-pulling.)

Romney’s electoral record becomes even more underwhelming when you examine the particulars. He first attracted national notice in 1994 when he mounted what was considered a strong challenge to incumbent senator Ted Kennedy. But when it came time to vote, Romney lost by 17 points in what turned out to be the best year for Republicans in more than half a century. In 2002, Romney won the gubernatorial race in Massachusetts. This victory—the triumph of a Republican in deep-blue Massachusetts—is now the cornerstone of his 2012 “electability” rationale.

Yet Romney’s victory was, as a matter of raw political power, less impressive than it seems. Romney was actually the fourth in a string of Republican governors who ran the state from 1990 until 2006. Of that group, Romney received the lowest percentage of the vote, failing to break the 50-percent mark in his 2002 victory. He took home a smaller share of the vote even than Paul Cellucci, the political nonentity who won the 1998 election. After three years in office, Romney’s approval rating was so low that he was forced to abandon hope of reelection. Romney’s term concluded with a Democrat winning the governor’s office for the first time in 20 years.

[end of Weekly Standard excerpt]

Romney, the author of Romneycare, is hardly the man who can beat Obama on the Obamacare issue or the man who will repeal Obamacare if elected.

Richard O. writes:

This slicing and dicing of the “electability” of any of the Republican candidates is absurd.

The “electability” of Obama is taken as a given as though a Marxist revolutionary who started his campaign for the Illinois senate in the living room of two communist terrorists, had a mentor who was an undercover communist operative, did drugs, made a book dedicated to Lucifer his teacher’s bible, published an obviously fake birth-something document on the WH website, is constitutionally unqualified to run or serve as president, dresses up as a Muslim, bows before Muslim princes and janitors, has a suspect SS number, is the author of a poem decidedly in the “greasy” category, had a preacher for 20 years who called on God to damn America and slobbered over Screwy Louis Farrakhan, has no paper trail, traveled to India on a passport yet to be identified, claims a ghost-written autobiography as his very own work product, can NOT bring himself to salute when the national anthem is played, and otherwise is unable to produce a peppercorn of evidence of any real affection for or attachment to this country … is the All-American, boy-next-door, dream candidate whose garments must not touch the ground.

But Michele Bachmann has only achieved being elected to the U.S. House and has a slight Midwest accent?

Whoa! Negatives through the roof, I tell you. No way can she stand any comparison to Obama!

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 29, 2011 09:05 AM | Send

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