January 31, 2008

Hackbarth on Romney, Part 2

I do wish we could all just shut up about the GOP frontrunners' real and imaginary shortcomings—at least until after we get trounced this coming fall. I mean, can't this all be done in post-mortem?

And don't give me that truth = beauty crap, either. Keats just had that one wrong. Truth is a thing one must face every now and then. Beauty is the snowfall along the Angeles Crest Mountains, and/or a PT Cruiser with fake-wood siding.


Even if his conservative conversion is genuine, Romney still hasn’t had the time to develop that core, that conservative instinct. He may think and believe conservatism is the right set of ideas, but one must soaked in it to get to the point of defending it in a Presidential campaign. Mitt’s not there yet.

I'm not so sure about this. Sean's thesis has to do with Romney not having read enough "books, magazines and weblogs" to really grasp the principles of the "conservative movement. (Whatever that is; am I a part of that? Can someone advise me, here?)

But if Romney's experiences in business and as governor of Massachusetts brought him to a genuine turnaround, based on solid experience, that's a great deal more important than any theoretical grounding or wonky intellect.

When I think about which is more important to me—having a reader in the White House, or an executive—I would have to go with the executive. The do-er.

Let Romney's advisors read books, and brief him. Let him get his own Cheney—some smart, hands-on VP (um . . . Fred? You listening?).

I do not want theory from my President. I want practice. I want someone who will take decisive action.

And I do not—do not, do not, do not—want John McCain. Unless at some point I become convinced that he has been converted to the cause of conservatism.

Excuse me: I need to go laugh bitterly into my mug of red table wine.

Posted by Attila Girl at January 31, 2008 08:27 PM | TrackBack

What if McCain offers the VP spot to his good friend John Kerry? Like JK did to him, of course, but McCain couldn't accept without forever foregoing his dream of being the POTUS.

Maybe then JK can explain his dishonorable discharge. The two Johns can arrive at the Republican National Convention in a Swift Boat and announce that they are reporting for duty. I'm sure Minneapolis has river access.

Posted by: Darrell at January 31, 2008 09:12 PM

A newcomer like Mitt who isn't immersed in conservatism and its arguments is at a disadvantage in a Republican debate. Someone like that won't know how to effectively deal with the rhetorical attacks. If Romney's conversion is genuine he's at a disadvantage to a McCain who has swam in Reganism for decades.

Romney can be a fine conservative do-er, but he needs to convince conservatives he's their guy. I don't think he's learned the vocabulary yet to bet talk to them.

Posted by: Sean Hackbarth at January 31, 2008 10:17 PM

On the other hand, the base might be more predisposed to turn out for Romney vs. McCain. There are people who work a lot of hours each week, and don't have time to delve into these issues in the depth you do, Sean--or even in the depth that I do.

If it's McCain, the base stays home. Of course, if he's opposing Hillary, hers does as well. So I suppose that might be interesting to watch . . .

Posted by: Attila Girl at January 31, 2008 10:25 PM

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