1/10/2012

100% Pure Conservative Litmus Test is an Unrealistic Pipedream

Posted by Brian
It seems that everybody is looking for the next Ronald Reagan. News Flash! It is going to happen. Probably not in my lifetime, anyway. There are no "perfect" candidates, though Ron Paul supporters would probably disagree.  The GOP primary season has given us a number of pretty conservative candidates, though. I would even say that all of them, at least fiscally, are more conservative than Barack Obama.  That should at least be a starting point for looking at the candidates. As for an overall consistent message of conservatism during this campaign, I don't think there have been any who have been more consistent than Rick Santorum, Michelle Bachmann (who recently suspended her campaign), and Newt Gingrich.  Their messages and voting records have been, for the most part, very conservative.  Yes, a person can say that Santorum once voted the wrong way on this issue, or Newt voted wrong on this issue. In fact you can do that with all the candidates. There is not a candidate running who has a 100% record on conservatism. Hell, even Ronald Reagan didn't have a 100% record. The question then has to be one of principle. and what were the circumstances and facts at the time that certain decisions were made, and votes were cast, For example, Ron Paul claims to have never voted for an earmark. Technically, he is 100% correct. But when we find out that he attached earmarks to, and sponsored numerous bills with earmarks which were guaranteed passage, and then voted "no" on this guaranteed bill, his claim comes up more than a little suspect, mot to mention unprincipled.  However, if a person makes decision based on principle, and/or which fulfills the wishes of constituents, but may not be ideologically "pure" enough for some, that person is cast as a RINO. To be sure, there are some so-called conservatives who vote nearly as much with liberal causes as they do with conservative ones, and deserve the RINO label. But there are some in the conservative camp who demand such ideologically purity that a Santorum or Gingrich who have 90% conservative voting records are somehow called "big government" conservatives, which is just code for RINO. Yet, Someone like Mitt Romney who has proposed and supported numerous big government policies, and is to the right of only Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul (who's foreign policy is to the left of George McGovern), is seen as the only "conservative" choice as the Republican
nominee.
The question is whether Republicans are lookong for ideological purity, or whether we settle once again for an "electable" candidate as determined by the mainstream media.
JANUARY 9, 2012 4:00 A.M.
Rick Santorum, Conservative Stalwart
He is a bona fide conservative.

By Quin Hillyer

Just as the conservative movement finally has the first real chance since Ronald Reagan to see one of its own — a “full-spectrum conservative,” as Rick Santorum now calls himself, picking up the phrase from Rep. Steve King (R., Iowa) — win the Republican presidential nomination, the purists emerge to say he’s somehow not conservative enough. The attempt to attach a “big-government conservative” label to Rick Santorum for some rare wanderings from the conservative reservation makes about as much sense as arguing that record-breaking Drew Brees of the Saints is a poor quarterback because he threw 14 interceptions this season.

The reality is that Rick Santorum’s instincts and intellectual choices consistently tend toward freedom.
Read More at National Review Online
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