Newt takes South Carolina in a landslide

Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina primary in overwhelming fashion.  Now each of the four contenders left standing has won a primary except for Ron Paul.

The South Carolina primary results:

Newt Gingrich 243,398      40.4% Winner

Mitt Romney 167,957          27.9%

Rick Santorum 102,213       17.0%

Ron Paul 78,093                   13.0%

Others 10,772                          1.8%

via South Carolina primary results, visits and political geography – 2012 Campaign Republican Primary Tracker – The Washington Post – The Washington Post.

Gingrich rises, falls, then rises again.  So is he now the alternative to Mitt Romney?

I know that Ron Paul is the alternative with the greater difference, but is there a path to his nomination?  He isn’t likely to do well in Florida, the retirement capital of the nation, with his opposition to Social Security.  That’s the next contest, January 31.  Where can Paul win?

Who do you think would be better, Mitt or Newt?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dan Kempin

    Looks like I need to revise my September prediction to “watch for Santorum. It’s going to be Newt.

    And we could do worse.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/09/13/another-debate/

  • Dan Kempin

    Looks like I need to revise my September prediction to “watch for Santorum. It’s going to be Newt.

    And we could do worse.

    http://www.geneveith.com/2011/09/13/another-debate/

  • Bryan Lindemood

    6921 hours left until 8 p.m., Tues. Nov. 6th and all this madness abates for a minute.

    The Republicans are trying to make it okay for corporations to give unlimited amounts of money to their campaigns. Wonderfully depressing strategy. I could perhaps be convinced to vote for either Paul or even better Huntsman in a 3rd party bid.

    Newt or Romney on the Republican ticket? Who cares. Cuz then we’re just stuck with Obama either way (which wouldn’t in actuality mean anything of substance anyway – I understand the differences in speech, I just don’t believe in the differences between our two parties in reality), with no opportunity to actually be represented in any truthful, meaningful way.

    If there’s not even a viable/reasonable 3rd party candidate who is at least got a chance at letting me register the intent of my vote, I’m not voting for a Republican or a Democrat for president anytime soon.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    6921 hours left until 8 p.m., Tues. Nov. 6th and all this madness abates for a minute.

    The Republicans are trying to make it okay for corporations to give unlimited amounts of money to their campaigns. Wonderfully depressing strategy. I could perhaps be convinced to vote for either Paul or even better Huntsman in a 3rd party bid.

    Newt or Romney on the Republican ticket? Who cares. Cuz then we’re just stuck with Obama either way (which wouldn’t in actuality mean anything of substance anyway – I understand the differences in speech, I just don’t believe in the differences between our two parties in reality), with no opportunity to actually be represented in any truthful, meaningful way.

    If there’s not even a viable/reasonable 3rd party candidate who is at least got a chance at letting me register the intent of my vote, I’m not voting for a Republican or a Democrat for president anytime soon.

  • Dan

    I call upon Mitt Romney to leave the race so that Santorum can coalesce the anti-Newt vote.

    I’m somewhat joking. It’s a significant problem for Romney that he can’t get over 30 with all the inevitability talk and with even Limbaugh coming out and defending Mitt on Bain.

    I think the GOP intuits that Romney fits the Obama campaign’s attack mold perfectly. The GOP faithful are tired of being attacked. They want a candidate who will go on the offense. That’s Newt’s great appeal. After inarticulate W and inarticulate McCain, Newt isn’t just articulate in defending conservative thought, Newt recasts the debate.

    The problem with Newt is that he’s a disastrous executive. He would win the 3 hours of debate with Obama and lose the entire rest of the campaign.

    We could do worse than Newt, but both Santorum and Romney are a lot better.

    http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/12/04/coburn-gingrich-brilliant-lacking-leadership

  • Dan

    I call upon Mitt Romney to leave the race so that Santorum can coalesce the anti-Newt vote.

    I’m somewhat joking. It’s a significant problem for Romney that he can’t get over 30 with all the inevitability talk and with even Limbaugh coming out and defending Mitt on Bain.

    I think the GOP intuits that Romney fits the Obama campaign’s attack mold perfectly. The GOP faithful are tired of being attacked. They want a candidate who will go on the offense. That’s Newt’s great appeal. After inarticulate W and inarticulate McCain, Newt isn’t just articulate in defending conservative thought, Newt recasts the debate.

    The problem with Newt is that he’s a disastrous executive. He would win the 3 hours of debate with Obama and lose the entire rest of the campaign.

    We could do worse than Newt, but both Santorum and Romney are a lot better.

    http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com/2011/12/04/coburn-gingrich-brilliant-lacking-leadership

  • Gary in FL

    If the Republicans want to win the election, their best chance is to nominate Romney, although he’s by no means the likely winner in November–but he can put up the best challenge, even with his negatives. Also, regardless of how November goes, a Romney nomination will probably causes Wall Street to react positively, and that’s reason enough to nominate him. (My Roth could sure use a shot in the arm.)

    I find Newt to be the most interesting of the three, and he’s easily the smartest. _IF_ he should manage to get nominated, could someone remind me again what he’s going to run on? What part of his record screams “vote for me!” loudly enough for a typical voter to look past his baggage? Besides interesting positions, he’d need to say how his _record_ supports his presidential aspirations.

    Ron Paul? Ron’s the candidate to nominate if you’re willing to take shots at President Obama for another four years while the party tries to reinvent itself. Make no mistake, while I’d never vote for him, I admire a number of his positions, and his hardcore followers are some of the most energized I’ve ever seen. If that energy could be tapped into in 2016, it just might galvanize the base. He’s so different from a neocon that his nomination really could be a catalyst for the Republicans charting a new course.

  • Gary in FL

    If the Republicans want to win the election, their best chance is to nominate Romney, although he’s by no means the likely winner in November–but he can put up the best challenge, even with his negatives. Also, regardless of how November goes, a Romney nomination will probably causes Wall Street to react positively, and that’s reason enough to nominate him. (My Roth could sure use a shot in the arm.)

    I find Newt to be the most interesting of the three, and he’s easily the smartest. _IF_ he should manage to get nominated, could someone remind me again what he’s going to run on? What part of his record screams “vote for me!” loudly enough for a typical voter to look past his baggage? Besides interesting positions, he’d need to say how his _record_ supports his presidential aspirations.

    Ron Paul? Ron’s the candidate to nominate if you’re willing to take shots at President Obama for another four years while the party tries to reinvent itself. Make no mistake, while I’d never vote for him, I admire a number of his positions, and his hardcore followers are some of the most energized I’ve ever seen. If that energy could be tapped into in 2016, it just might galvanize the base. He’s so different from a neocon that his nomination really could be a catalyst for the Republicans charting a new course.

  • –helen

    The Republicans will have to do better than Gingrich or Romney to get me out of the house on election day (except to vote against all incumbent congress members! I’m fed up with them.)

  • –helen

    The Republicans will have to do better than Gingrich or Romney to get me out of the house on election day (except to vote against all incumbent congress members! I’m fed up with them.)

  • DonS

    It looks like the polls have tipped, at least for now, in Newt’s direction in Florida, too.

    Newt’s recent success is entirely due to Romney’s continuing failure to connect with the voters and have a resonant anti-big government message. He had this thing wrapped up 10 days ago, but has been unable to close the deal because of Bain Capital and other communication/philosophy failures he is demonstrating. On the one hand, I hate the populist anti-capitalism attack Newt inflicted on Romney, but on the other hand, I’m glad he did it now rather than having it first occur during the general campaign. Republican voters, used to blatant attacks from the establishment elites who run this country, love Newt’s ability to articulate the case for conservative values, and to re-cast the debate, as someone said above. They know Newt’s character and leadership weaknesses, but they are not ready to let go of a candidate who “gets” them.

    Unfortunately, so far the Romney and Republican establishment response is to attack Newt. Wrong! Republicans hate it when Republicans attack Republicans. We want to vet our nominees for the general election, by seeing what they have to offer in the way of vision that will be necessary to unseat Obama. We know we have the better message, the only message that has any kind of philosophical consistency and alignment with the values of the Founders, and it’s maddening that it is never heard from the mainstream establishment sources, including mainstream Republicans, who all slurp at the public trough. The campaigns are now in tea party country, and they are seeing that tea party values are resonating stronger than ever with the voters.

    This is still Romney’s campaign to lose. Once they leave the south, his organization and money will propel him to much better results, assuming he finds his message, realizes this is not a coronation, and focuses on attacking Obama’s policies rather than attacking Newt. But, in the meantime, the fight is on for the soul of the Republican party.

  • DonS

    It looks like the polls have tipped, at least for now, in Newt’s direction in Florida, too.

    Newt’s recent success is entirely due to Romney’s continuing failure to connect with the voters and have a resonant anti-big government message. He had this thing wrapped up 10 days ago, but has been unable to close the deal because of Bain Capital and other communication/philosophy failures he is demonstrating. On the one hand, I hate the populist anti-capitalism attack Newt inflicted on Romney, but on the other hand, I’m glad he did it now rather than having it first occur during the general campaign. Republican voters, used to blatant attacks from the establishment elites who run this country, love Newt’s ability to articulate the case for conservative values, and to re-cast the debate, as someone said above. They know Newt’s character and leadership weaknesses, but they are not ready to let go of a candidate who “gets” them.

    Unfortunately, so far the Romney and Republican establishment response is to attack Newt. Wrong! Republicans hate it when Republicans attack Republicans. We want to vet our nominees for the general election, by seeing what they have to offer in the way of vision that will be necessary to unseat Obama. We know we have the better message, the only message that has any kind of philosophical consistency and alignment with the values of the Founders, and it’s maddening that it is never heard from the mainstream establishment sources, including mainstream Republicans, who all slurp at the public trough. The campaigns are now in tea party country, and they are seeing that tea party values are resonating stronger than ever with the voters.

    This is still Romney’s campaign to lose. Once they leave the south, his organization and money will propel him to much better results, assuming he finds his message, realizes this is not a coronation, and focuses on attacking Obama’s policies rather than attacking Newt. But, in the meantime, the fight is on for the soul of the Republican party.

  • MarkB

    I tend to agree with some of what Don @ 3 said:

    “I think the GOP intuits that Romney fits the Obama campaign’s attack mold perfectly. The GOP faithful are tired of being attacked. They want a candidate who will go on the offense. That’s Newt’s great appeal. After inarticulate W and inarticulate McCain, Newt isn’t just articulate in defending conservative thought, Newt recasts the debate.”

    Because I am not willing to sit back and have the Obama campaign, the Main Stream Media and the RINO’s attack what used to be normative. Why do we need to stand quiet when you are attacked for making constitutional and legitimate arguments? Like that people would be better off having jobs (for instance) that having food stamps? That is not inherently racist! And I refuse to accede to this type of characterization. So we need someone who is willing to go toe to toe against these people. You have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan to find someone in the Republican party who would stand up to this withering assault and fight back.

    “The problem with Newt is that he’s a disastrous executive. He would win the 3 hours of debate with Obama and lose the entire rest of the campaign.”

    Newt definitely has problems, some of which are that he is more of an idea man and a lot of times did not follow through. My take is that for someone to be in contention for the office of president, he would have done many things in his lifetime that people would not like and would then attack. So there is not perfect candidate, but there are some who would be much better than what we have now, and Newt is one of them.

    However, it is not just the president who is being elected; it is 1/3 of the senate and the entire house too. We need to change the way things are done in Washington and no matter who we elect to president it will not change for the better on its own. A new president, like Newt, could go in and make drastic changes to presidential orders and how the different departments regulate, but he cannot make the laws. That is up to congress. So let us at the same time elect a man or woman willing to stand up for what is right along with more Tea Party type of senators and congressmen. Having the right combination senators and congressmen will keep the executive in check and help to overcome at least some of the problems that there might be with a Newt presidency.

  • MarkB

    I tend to agree with some of what Don @ 3 said:

    “I think the GOP intuits that Romney fits the Obama campaign’s attack mold perfectly. The GOP faithful are tired of being attacked. They want a candidate who will go on the offense. That’s Newt’s great appeal. After inarticulate W and inarticulate McCain, Newt isn’t just articulate in defending conservative thought, Newt recasts the debate.”

    Because I am not willing to sit back and have the Obama campaign, the Main Stream Media and the RINO’s attack what used to be normative. Why do we need to stand quiet when you are attacked for making constitutional and legitimate arguments? Like that people would be better off having jobs (for instance) that having food stamps? That is not inherently racist! And I refuse to accede to this type of characterization. So we need someone who is willing to go toe to toe against these people. You have to go all the way back to Ronald Reagan to find someone in the Republican party who would stand up to this withering assault and fight back.

    “The problem with Newt is that he’s a disastrous executive. He would win the 3 hours of debate with Obama and lose the entire rest of the campaign.”

    Newt definitely has problems, some of which are that he is more of an idea man and a lot of times did not follow through. My take is that for someone to be in contention for the office of president, he would have done many things in his lifetime that people would not like and would then attack. So there is not perfect candidate, but there are some who would be much better than what we have now, and Newt is one of them.

    However, it is not just the president who is being elected; it is 1/3 of the senate and the entire house too. We need to change the way things are done in Washington and no matter who we elect to president it will not change for the better on its own. A new president, like Newt, could go in and make drastic changes to presidential orders and how the different departments regulate, but he cannot make the laws. That is up to congress. So let us at the same time elect a man or woman willing to stand up for what is right along with more Tea Party type of senators and congressmen. Having the right combination senators and congressmen will keep the executive in check and help to overcome at least some of the problems that there might be with a Newt presidency.

  • Dan

    DonS@6 and MarkB@7 –

    I think the problem with having 20 debates is that the party is over-emphasizing skills that rise to the top in debates. We aren’t just electing a voice. We are electing an executive, a leader of the free world.

    In 2000 we elected a “compassionate conservative” who ended up focusing mostly on foreign affairs. In 2008 we elected “change” because the economy was bad and the wars were tiresome, but ended up with another war (and maybe another yet before the year is out) and a health care bill that hurts the economy more. The issues these candidates talk about now will not be the only issues they have to govern against.

    As for attacking Newt, people say they hate negative attacks, even as those attacks change their minds. Newt finished 5th in Iowa and NH, where those attacks saturated the market. Newt has a 30 point unfavorability gap because those attacks work against him.

    It’s interesting that Romney has decided to make the attacks personally. It will be interesting to see how Romney follows up tonight. I suspect Romney is itching to have a head-to-head with Gingrich. Romney-Gingrich will be much more challenging for the two than Romney-Perry and Gingrich-King.

    Meanwhile, I can hope Santorum rises above it and keeps his focus on the issues. Santorum is the candidate with a holistic conservative vision that starts at the fundamental building block of society, the family, and rises to a coherent foreign policy. Mark writes that all candidates will be attacked if they govern – Santorum has taken his share of lumps, but they were for being effective in forwarding a conservative agenda. Newt’s lumps are from Newt’s own lack of discipline.

  • Dan

    DonS@6 and MarkB@7 –

    I think the problem with having 20 debates is that the party is over-emphasizing skills that rise to the top in debates. We aren’t just electing a voice. We are electing an executive, a leader of the free world.

    In 2000 we elected a “compassionate conservative” who ended up focusing mostly on foreign affairs. In 2008 we elected “change” because the economy was bad and the wars were tiresome, but ended up with another war (and maybe another yet before the year is out) and a health care bill that hurts the economy more. The issues these candidates talk about now will not be the only issues they have to govern against.

    As for attacking Newt, people say they hate negative attacks, even as those attacks change their minds. Newt finished 5th in Iowa and NH, where those attacks saturated the market. Newt has a 30 point unfavorability gap because those attacks work against him.

    It’s interesting that Romney has decided to make the attacks personally. It will be interesting to see how Romney follows up tonight. I suspect Romney is itching to have a head-to-head with Gingrich. Romney-Gingrich will be much more challenging for the two than Romney-Perry and Gingrich-King.

    Meanwhile, I can hope Santorum rises above it and keeps his focus on the issues. Santorum is the candidate with a holistic conservative vision that starts at the fundamental building block of society, the family, and rises to a coherent foreign policy. Mark writes that all candidates will be attacked if they govern – Santorum has taken his share of lumps, but they were for being effective in forwarding a conservative agenda. Newt’s lumps are from Newt’s own lack of discipline.

  • DonS

    Dan @ 8: Well said. Twenty nationally televised debates is a ridiculous idea, for the reasons you state, and I can’t disagree with anything else you said. Negative attacks work, in the short term, which is why they are almost universally used. But, the reason why Republicans aren’t excited about any of the candidates, ultimately, is because they would much rather see a candidate, with money, organization, and executive skills, who focused his attention articulately on what is wrong with the current administration, rather than fellow Republicans. Romney had that opportunity coming out of New Hampshire and, for one reason or another, was not up to the task. Thus, the election has re-opened, apparently, at least for a while.

    I have not picked a candidate to back, partly because I am not particularly enamored with any of them and partly because I don’t vote until June. However, I agree with you about Santorum, and am disappointed that he couldn’t gain any traction coming out of his Iowa win.

    We’ll see how things shake out — should be interesting :-)

  • DonS

    Dan @ 8: Well said. Twenty nationally televised debates is a ridiculous idea, for the reasons you state, and I can’t disagree with anything else you said. Negative attacks work, in the short term, which is why they are almost universally used. But, the reason why Republicans aren’t excited about any of the candidates, ultimately, is because they would much rather see a candidate, with money, organization, and executive skills, who focused his attention articulately on what is wrong with the current administration, rather than fellow Republicans. Romney had that opportunity coming out of New Hampshire and, for one reason or another, was not up to the task. Thus, the election has re-opened, apparently, at least for a while.

    I have not picked a candidate to back, partly because I am not particularly enamored with any of them and partly because I don’t vote until June. However, I agree with you about Santorum, and am disappointed that he couldn’t gain any traction coming out of his Iowa win.

    We’ll see how things shake out — should be interesting :-)

  • Rose

    The turnout for the Republican Primary was a third higher than 2008. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/jan/22/south-carolina-scores-record-primary-turnout/
    South Carolina has an Open Primary and no Democratic Primary this year; probably lots of crossover voting.

  • Rose

    The turnout for the Republican Primary was a third higher than 2008. http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/jan/22/south-carolina-scores-record-primary-turnout/
    South Carolina has an Open Primary and no Democratic Primary this year; probably lots of crossover voting.

  • DonS

    Following up on @9, and summarizing:

    To those of you who think the tea party movement is dead, I submit that the volatility in this primary election is entirely due to a revolt of the Republican voters against establishment-anointed candidates who are not going to stand up for the principles of smaller government, particularly at the federal level, balanced budgets, and individual liberties. It’s as simple as that.

  • DonS

    Following up on @9, and summarizing:

    To those of you who think the tea party movement is dead, I submit that the volatility in this primary election is entirely due to a revolt of the Republican voters against establishment-anointed candidates who are not going to stand up for the principles of smaller government, particularly at the federal level, balanced budgets, and individual liberties. It’s as simple as that.

  • DonS

    Rose @ 10: The early exit polling didn’t show a lot of crossover voting — 71% R, 25% I, 4% D. I think the “experts” are vastly underestimating the motivation of voters this year, as they did in 2010.

  • DonS

    Rose @ 10: The early exit polling didn’t show a lot of crossover voting — 71% R, 25% I, 4% D. I think the “experts” are vastly underestimating the motivation of voters this year, as they did in 2010.

  • Jonathan

    @11 Your “simple” comment @9 makes sense only if you meant that Newt’s supporters are angry that the Republican establishment has anointed, not “candidates,” but Romney, whom they believe to be a feckless imposter. If that’s true, why did the party establishment anoint such a candidate?

    Interesting that the GOP’s two top candidates – Newt and Romney – are most disliked by the party’s evangelical leadership. Hence, their Santorum endorsement, which the evangelical party regulars seem to have ignored altogether.

  • Jonathan

    @11 Your “simple” comment @9 makes sense only if you meant that Newt’s supporters are angry that the Republican establishment has anointed, not “candidates,” but Romney, whom they believe to be a feckless imposter. If that’s true, why did the party establishment anoint such a candidate?

    Interesting that the GOP’s two top candidates – Newt and Romney – are most disliked by the party’s evangelical leadership. Hence, their Santorum endorsement, which the evangelical party regulars seem to have ignored altogether.

  • DonS

    Jonathan @ 11: “If that’s true, why did the party establishment anoint such a candidate?” — Romney is anointed because the party establishment thinks he is the only candidate who is organized and funded well enough to beat Obama, while protecting the House majority and protecting the likelihood that Republicans re-take the Senate. Unfortunately, much of the party establishment isn’t necessarily on board with the goals of seriously reducing the size and scope of federal government. Voters are sending a message.

    Interesting that the GOP’s two top candidates – Newt and Romney – are most disliked by the party’s evangelical leadership. Hence, their Santorum endorsement, which the evangelical party regulars seem to have ignored altogether.

    I would re-state your comment to state “are most disliked by evangelical leaders who are tied to the Republican party”. Otherwise, I think you’re right. Many evangelical voters seem to have accepted Gingrich’s statements that he has repented of his marital infidelities and other past sins. For whatever reason, Santorum hasn’t caught on. I’m sure Dan is right that the sheer number of debates, and the opportunity afforded by them for Gingrich to show his ability to articulate conservative values, and, as importantly, what is wrong with establishment liberal values, has been an important factor in the vote tallies.

  • DonS

    Jonathan @ 11: “If that’s true, why did the party establishment anoint such a candidate?” — Romney is anointed because the party establishment thinks he is the only candidate who is organized and funded well enough to beat Obama, while protecting the House majority and protecting the likelihood that Republicans re-take the Senate. Unfortunately, much of the party establishment isn’t necessarily on board with the goals of seriously reducing the size and scope of federal government. Voters are sending a message.

    Interesting that the GOP’s two top candidates – Newt and Romney – are most disliked by the party’s evangelical leadership. Hence, their Santorum endorsement, which the evangelical party regulars seem to have ignored altogether.

    I would re-state your comment to state “are most disliked by evangelical leaders who are tied to the Republican party”. Otherwise, I think you’re right. Many evangelical voters seem to have accepted Gingrich’s statements that he has repented of his marital infidelities and other past sins. For whatever reason, Santorum hasn’t caught on. I’m sure Dan is right that the sheer number of debates, and the opportunity afforded by them for Gingrich to show his ability to articulate conservative values, and, as importantly, what is wrong with establishment liberal values, has been an important factor in the vote tallies.

  • trotk

    DonS, if you (assuming you agree with the Tea Party) espouse “the principles of smaller government” and “balanced budgets” (@11), why in the world do you speak positively of Santorum (@9)?

  • trotk

    DonS, if you (assuming you agree with the Tea Party) espouse “the principles of smaller government” and “balanced budgets” (@11), why in the world do you speak positively of Santorum (@9)?

  • DonS

    Oops — my comment @ 14 was directed to Jonathan @ 13, not 11.

  • DonS

    Oops — my comment @ 14 was directed to Jonathan @ 13, not 11.

  • Bob

    The SC primary shows that no matter what year it really is, it’s still 1963 in that state.

  • Bob

    The SC primary shows that no matter what year it really is, it’s still 1963 in that state.

  • Dan

    DonS@9 –

    It has been interesting and getting more so. The party leaders do not want not Newt and the party faithful do not want Mitt. (I’m not opposed to Mitt, but I also don’t trust him.) I wouldn’t be surprised, actually, if someone new got in the race. I’d be more confident predicting the GOP VP right now than the GOP Presidential nominee.

    Santorum has had some traction following his win; he finished ahead of Newt in NH, despite having no ad buys and Newt having the big endorsement. Then, 17 in SC was a decent showing all things considered. There was a big push behind Newt from Perry, Palin, and Limbaugh while Santorum has been dogged by Paul negative attacks, some of which have been flat out lies.

    Santorum’s problem is that he has huge hurdles to overcome, hurdles that take time. Many people don’t know him. Plus, Santorum lost his last election by a huge margin, and that’s going to scare off a lot of people. Then, when you go back and look at why he was targeted in ’06, you see he was a leader in the Republican congress, and no one likes the Republican ’04-’06 congress.

    I do think Santorum is at least as electable as Romney, though, for many reasons. An issue that hasn’t been talked about as much in the nomination battle will loom large in the general election – entitlement reform. I don’t think the voters will trust Romney to reform entitlements, but Santorum can say, “Look at how I reformed welfare. That’s how I’ll reform the other entitlements.”

  • Dan

    DonS@9 –

    It has been interesting and getting more so. The party leaders do not want not Newt and the party faithful do not want Mitt. (I’m not opposed to Mitt, but I also don’t trust him.) I wouldn’t be surprised, actually, if someone new got in the race. I’d be more confident predicting the GOP VP right now than the GOP Presidential nominee.

    Santorum has had some traction following his win; he finished ahead of Newt in NH, despite having no ad buys and Newt having the big endorsement. Then, 17 in SC was a decent showing all things considered. There was a big push behind Newt from Perry, Palin, and Limbaugh while Santorum has been dogged by Paul negative attacks, some of which have been flat out lies.

    Santorum’s problem is that he has huge hurdles to overcome, hurdles that take time. Many people don’t know him. Plus, Santorum lost his last election by a huge margin, and that’s going to scare off a lot of people. Then, when you go back and look at why he was targeted in ’06, you see he was a leader in the Republican congress, and no one likes the Republican ’04-’06 congress.

    I do think Santorum is at least as electable as Romney, though, for many reasons. An issue that hasn’t been talked about as much in the nomination battle will loom large in the general election – entitlement reform. I don’t think the voters will trust Romney to reform entitlements, but Santorum can say, “Look at how I reformed welfare. That’s how I’ll reform the other entitlements.”

  • DonS

    trotk @ 15: “Why in the world”? That’s a little bit overstated, isn’t it? The field of potentially viable Republican candidates consists of Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and (not really) Paul. They all have issues, but are also all immensely preferable to the alternative of four more years of Obama. I didn’t say I supported Santorum, or that I agree with all of his policy objectives — I specifically stated that I don’t have a candidate right now. What I did was agree with Dan that there is much to admire Santorum for — he is a principled and consistent guy who has a strong and sincere faith, has raised a fine family, and understands that strong nuclear families are the fundamental backbone of a vibrant civilization. I would like to have seen him gain more traction out of Iowa and have the opportunity to have more spotlight on him and his views for America — that would have been a good thing. He is a good guy and I appreciate the sacrifice he has made to stay in the race.

    I guess it’s kind of odd to me that you feel that disagreement in any respect with a candidate means that you cannot speak positively, in any way, of that candidate.

  • DonS

    trotk @ 15: “Why in the world”? That’s a little bit overstated, isn’t it? The field of potentially viable Republican candidates consists of Romney, Gingrich, Santorum, and (not really) Paul. They all have issues, but are also all immensely preferable to the alternative of four more years of Obama. I didn’t say I supported Santorum, or that I agree with all of his policy objectives — I specifically stated that I don’t have a candidate right now. What I did was agree with Dan that there is much to admire Santorum for — he is a principled and consistent guy who has a strong and sincere faith, has raised a fine family, and understands that strong nuclear families are the fundamental backbone of a vibrant civilization. I would like to have seen him gain more traction out of Iowa and have the opportunity to have more spotlight on him and his views for America — that would have been a good thing. He is a good guy and I appreciate the sacrifice he has made to stay in the race.

    I guess it’s kind of odd to me that you feel that disagreement in any respect with a candidate means that you cannot speak positively, in any way, of that candidate.

  • trotk

    DonS, if I overstated my question, it isn’t because I think you can’t speak positively of a candidate with whom you disagree.

    It is simply that I don’t know how a Tea Party-minded person could approve of any of these candidates other than Ron Paul. Mind you, my understanding of the Tea Party is fiscal conservatism and a respect (hopefully more than in just word) for the constitution. If that depiction is correct, all the respect in the world for Santorum doesn’t make him a candidate a Tea Partier should want to see grow in influence.

  • trotk

    DonS, if I overstated my question, it isn’t because I think you can’t speak positively of a candidate with whom you disagree.

    It is simply that I don’t know how a Tea Party-minded person could approve of any of these candidates other than Ron Paul. Mind you, my understanding of the Tea Party is fiscal conservatism and a respect (hopefully more than in just word) for the constitution. If that depiction is correct, all the respect in the world for Santorum doesn’t make him a candidate a Tea Partier should want to see grow in influence.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Given that this race is about gaining the most delegates, I’m still wondering if the lack of ballot access in certain states might pose a problem for Gingrich and Santorum. For example, Gingrich is “currently” off the ballot in states like Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia. For sure, they will try to get the rules changed midstream to get on a state’s ballot, but there’s no guarantee they will in all such states—as in the case of Virginia, they’ve already failed in that attempt, where only Romney and Paul are on the ballot.

    I find it ‘interesting’ that we don’t hear more mention in the MSM regarding Gingrich/Santorum’s challenges regarding ballot issues (=opportunity for gaining delegates), not to mention lack of $$ and lack of strong ground games in certain states (especially ones with a caucus format). Romney and Paul do not have these issues, which is another reason why my guess along with others here that it will come down to Mitt Romney and Ron Paul…Ron Paul stringing it out in order to spreading his message of Constitutional Convervatism to as many as possible (i.e., “Libertarian Nut Job” according to those in the NeoCon Faux News EchoChamber), with Romney eventually winning the nomination. Given this, I think there may be some ‘other’ reasons/motives why Gingrich and Santorum are staying in the race, despite the fact that it looks highly unlikey either of them will be able to earn the number of delegates they would need to win the nomination.

    Note: Yes, I realize that what I’ve said will be deemed “Blasphemy” to a certain poster here. I wouldn’t want it otherwise. :)

  • JunkerGeorg

    Given that this race is about gaining the most delegates, I’m still wondering if the lack of ballot access in certain states might pose a problem for Gingrich and Santorum. For example, Gingrich is “currently” off the ballot in states like Tennessee, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia. For sure, they will try to get the rules changed midstream to get on a state’s ballot, but there’s no guarantee they will in all such states—as in the case of Virginia, they’ve already failed in that attempt, where only Romney and Paul are on the ballot.

    I find it ‘interesting’ that we don’t hear more mention in the MSM regarding Gingrich/Santorum’s challenges regarding ballot issues (=opportunity for gaining delegates), not to mention lack of $$ and lack of strong ground games in certain states (especially ones with a caucus format). Romney and Paul do not have these issues, which is another reason why my guess along with others here that it will come down to Mitt Romney and Ron Paul…Ron Paul stringing it out in order to spreading his message of Constitutional Convervatism to as many as possible (i.e., “Libertarian Nut Job” according to those in the NeoCon Faux News EchoChamber), with Romney eventually winning the nomination. Given this, I think there may be some ‘other’ reasons/motives why Gingrich and Santorum are staying in the race, despite the fact that it looks highly unlikey either of them will be able to earn the number of delegates they would need to win the nomination.

    Note: Yes, I realize that what I’ve said will be deemed “Blasphemy” to a certain poster here. I wouldn’t want it otherwise. :)

  • DonS

    trotk @ 20: Well, in an ideal world, you might be right. But this is far from an ideal world. Right now, we are faced with an early and vigorous campaign for re-election by the least-qualified, by any objective measure, president in modern American history, one who also has values and policy goals which are in direct opposition to conservative values. Of the most concern to me are the judges he is appointing to the courts — four more years of his appointments will fundamentally turn our federal courts away from any reasonable notion of the rights and liberties enumerated in our constitution. Notice, for example, the utter disregard he has for the right of free exercise of religion set forth in the First Amendment. The arguments the administration made in Hosanna-Tabor were frightening to anyone who believes the U.S. is fundamentally about the freedom to practice one’s religion. The recent HHS regulations issued in connection with Obamacare are even worse for the notion of religious freedom, requiring any organization that is not explicitly a church, or employing primarily those of the same religious faith as the organization, which offers health insurance to its employees, to either cease offering health insurance and pay hefty fines, or to include in its coverage free abortion and contraception, including abortifacents.

    In this kind of world, one needs to be especially mindful of the stakes and to support the best available alternative candidate, who will move the country in any respect closer to its constitutional roots.

  • DonS

    trotk @ 20: Well, in an ideal world, you might be right. But this is far from an ideal world. Right now, we are faced with an early and vigorous campaign for re-election by the least-qualified, by any objective measure, president in modern American history, one who also has values and policy goals which are in direct opposition to conservative values. Of the most concern to me are the judges he is appointing to the courts — four more years of his appointments will fundamentally turn our federal courts away from any reasonable notion of the rights and liberties enumerated in our constitution. Notice, for example, the utter disregard he has for the right of free exercise of religion set forth in the First Amendment. The arguments the administration made in Hosanna-Tabor were frightening to anyone who believes the U.S. is fundamentally about the freedom to practice one’s religion. The recent HHS regulations issued in connection with Obamacare are even worse for the notion of religious freedom, requiring any organization that is not explicitly a church, or employing primarily those of the same religious faith as the organization, which offers health insurance to its employees, to either cease offering health insurance and pay hefty fines, or to include in its coverage free abortion and contraception, including abortifacents.

    In this kind of world, one needs to be especially mindful of the stakes and to support the best available alternative candidate, who will move the country in any respect closer to its constitutional roots.

  • trotk

    DonS -

    The idea that Santorum is closer to the constitutional roots of America than Obama is like saying an apple is closer to a firetruck than an orange because its red. Neither have anything to do with the limitation and delineation of federal powers that is the constitution. The tenth amendment means nothing to either one.

    Now, because you agree with Santorum socially, you think he will appoint better judges. But better is defined by ruling in your direction on social issues.

    You cite Obama’s disregard for the right of free exercise of religion as an overreach of the federal government. But isn’t wanting to have the federal government define (and therefore legislate and enforce) a definition of marriage also a colossal expansion of the government? Just because the founding fathers would have agreed with the idea doesn’t mean they wanted it to be a federal issue, and that is why Obama and Santorum (and Romney and Gingrich) are all fundamentally not constitutionalists.

  • trotk

    DonS -

    The idea that Santorum is closer to the constitutional roots of America than Obama is like saying an apple is closer to a firetruck than an orange because its red. Neither have anything to do with the limitation and delineation of federal powers that is the constitution. The tenth amendment means nothing to either one.

    Now, because you agree with Santorum socially, you think he will appoint better judges. But better is defined by ruling in your direction on social issues.

    You cite Obama’s disregard for the right of free exercise of religion as an overreach of the federal government. But isn’t wanting to have the federal government define (and therefore legislate and enforce) a definition of marriage also a colossal expansion of the government? Just because the founding fathers would have agreed with the idea doesn’t mean they wanted it to be a federal issue, and that is why Obama and Santorum (and Romney and Gingrich) are all fundamentally not constitutionalists.

  • DonS

    trotk @ 23: I fundamentally and vehemently disagree with your characterization of Santorum and Obama as being anything close to equally reckless in their interpretation of the Constitution. Santorum is firmly for shrinking the size of the federal government, both in budgetary spending and revenue generation, while Obama is firmly for continuing its outrageous and unprecedented expansion, regardless of the fact that we are indebting our children at a rate well in excess of $1 trillion per year. Moreover, to the extent that Santorum wants to change the Constitution, he wants to do so legally, by going through the process of amending it, eg your example of a federal marriage amendment. My problem with Obama, and why I think he is so dangerous, is because of his utter disregard for the Constitution. To the contrary, Santorum respects the process for legally changing it.

    You are way off base on this one.

  • DonS

    trotk @ 23: I fundamentally and vehemently disagree with your characterization of Santorum and Obama as being anything close to equally reckless in their interpretation of the Constitution. Santorum is firmly for shrinking the size of the federal government, both in budgetary spending and revenue generation, while Obama is firmly for continuing its outrageous and unprecedented expansion, regardless of the fact that we are indebting our children at a rate well in excess of $1 trillion per year. Moreover, to the extent that Santorum wants to change the Constitution, he wants to do so legally, by going through the process of amending it, eg your example of a federal marriage amendment. My problem with Obama, and why I think he is so dangerous, is because of his utter disregard for the Constitution. To the contrary, Santorum respects the process for legally changing it.

    You are way off base on this one.

  • Lou G.

    I’m convinced after recent events that neither Mitt nor Newt will be able to stave off Obama’s re-election bid. They both fit the anti-thesis model too neatly to withstand the democrat’s attacks that will come upon the nominee. Since neither Santorum or Paul will win the Republican nomination, it really looks like Dr. Veith was right about Obama staying in – four more years!! Urgh.

  • Lou G.

    I’m convinced after recent events that neither Mitt nor Newt will be able to stave off Obama’s re-election bid. They both fit the anti-thesis model too neatly to withstand the democrat’s attacks that will come upon the nominee. Since neither Santorum or Paul will win the Republican nomination, it really looks like Dr. Veith was right about Obama staying in – four more years!! Urgh.

  • Grace

    Lou @25

    Obama isn’t likely to be re-elected. The economy, jobs, people losing their homes, businesses, using all their savings to sustain this depression/recession. Add to that, Obama wanting more money to squander. Small business taking a tax beating….. right out of business. All the small business who have had to let their employees go because of Obama’s inept plan.

    No Lou, I doubt there will be a re-election for Obama.

  • Grace

    Lou @25

    Obama isn’t likely to be re-elected. The economy, jobs, people losing their homes, businesses, using all their savings to sustain this depression/recession. Add to that, Obama wanting more money to squander. Small business taking a tax beating….. right out of business. All the small business who have had to let their employees go because of Obama’s inept plan.

    No Lou, I doubt there will be a re-election for Obama.

  • Grace

    Mitt Romney refuses to look at himself and what he approved of, and supported – that being abortion. The man cannot see the vast sin that abortion wielded on life in the womb. The fact being, Romney has, what he considers to be a good excuse for making abortion legal, but then flip flopping his way down the road, refusing to sign the Susan B. Anthony pledge. Make no mistake, Romney has a list of excuses, as is his tradition, all worthless.

    Mitt Romney’s abortion pledge

    By ALEXANDER BURNS | 6/18/11 2:12 PM EDT

    Mitt Romney takes to the (electronic) pages of National Review to outline his position on abortion, after tempting a backlash by refusing to sign

    The Susan B. Anthony List’s anti-abortion pledge:

    “As much as I share the goals of the Susan B. Anthony List, its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America. That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.

    The pledge also unduly burdens a president’s ability to appoint the most qualified individuals to a broad array of key positions in the federal government. I would expect every one of my appointees to carry out my policies on abortion and every other issue, irrespective of their personal views.”

    If I have the opportunity to serve as our nation’s next president, I commit to doing everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57269.html

    There have been over 50 MILLION infants slaughtered in the womb through 2008. Abortions – 50,766,331 abortions 1973–2008.

    Over 6 million Jews were killed during the holocaust. Why did I mention that fact? Think about it?

    I can think of nothing more un-Godly than advocating, supporting abortion, and then using the lame excuse Romney used, to extricate himself from his evil deeds. Consider the number of 6 million Jews killed during the holocaust. Romney is no different, he believed that abortion should be a choice.

    Romney can wave all the flags against Newt Gingrich, however Gingrich is not pro-abortion. When it comes to moral values, Romney is at the bottom of the list, excuses included.

    One can only wonder how a man can support the death of children through abortion and then throw stones at anyone.

    When you think of Romney as a president, think of over 50 MILLION unborn infants, all destroyed.

    Gingrich is a better man than Romney!

  • Grace

    Mitt Romney refuses to look at himself and what he approved of, and supported – that being abortion. The man cannot see the vast sin that abortion wielded on life in the womb. The fact being, Romney has, what he considers to be a good excuse for making abortion legal, but then flip flopping his way down the road, refusing to sign the Susan B. Anthony pledge. Make no mistake, Romney has a list of excuses, as is his tradition, all worthless.

    Mitt Romney’s abortion pledge

    By ALEXANDER BURNS | 6/18/11 2:12 PM EDT

    Mitt Romney takes to the (electronic) pages of National Review to outline his position on abortion, after tempting a backlash by refusing to sign

    The Susan B. Anthony List’s anti-abortion pledge:

    “As much as I share the goals of the Susan B. Anthony List, its well-meaning pledge is overly broad and would have unintended consequences. That is why I could not sign it. It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America. That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.

    The pledge also unduly burdens a president’s ability to appoint the most qualified individuals to a broad array of key positions in the federal government. I would expect every one of my appointees to carry out my policies on abortion and every other issue, irrespective of their personal views.”

    If I have the opportunity to serve as our nation’s next president, I commit to doing everything in my power to cultivate, promote, and support a culture of life in America.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0611/57269.html

    There have been over 50 MILLION infants slaughtered in the womb through 2008. Abortions – 50,766,331 abortions 1973–2008.

    Over 6 million Jews were killed during the holocaust. Why did I mention that fact? Think about it?

    I can think of nothing more un-Godly than advocating, supporting abortion, and then using the lame excuse Romney used, to extricate himself from his evil deeds. Consider the number of 6 million Jews killed during the holocaust. Romney is no different, he believed that abortion should be a choice.

    Romney can wave all the flags against Newt Gingrich, however Gingrich is not pro-abortion. When it comes to moral values, Romney is at the bottom of the list, excuses included.

    One can only wonder how a man can support the death of children through abortion and then throw stones at anyone.

    When you think of Romney as a president, think of over 50 MILLION unborn infants, all destroyed.

    Gingrich is a better man than Romney!

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I’m not really crazy about either Mitt or Newt. But of the two, I’m even less inclined toward Romney as he is far too infected with liberalism.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    I’m not really crazy about either Mitt or Newt. But of the two, I’m even less inclined toward Romney as he is far too infected with liberalism.

  • Michael B.

    I will be voting for Obama, but I don’t really dislike Mitt or Newt that much. I think they’re both smart men. Between the 2, I would prefer Mitt. The only candidate I really detest with a passion is Santorum.

  • Michael B.

    I will be voting for Obama, but I don’t really dislike Mitt or Newt that much. I think they’re both smart men. Between the 2, I would prefer Mitt. The only candidate I really detest with a passion is Santorum.

  • trotk

    DonS, what you don’t see, though, is that even if Santorum is using legal means to enlarge the scope of the federal government (such as adding an amendment that defines marriage) he is acting in a way antithetical to the constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. The constitution is fundamentally a document that limits the federal government, as seen in the 10th amendment. Legally adding to the federal government does not make someone constitutional.

    Take a look at his website. Using the federal government and its tax system to push a particular vision of the family isn’t a power given to the federal government. Using the federal government to guide public schools and enable research isn’t a power given to the federal government. The list could go on – there are lots of issues where he is championing human rights (and I agree with him on a lot of what he wants to happen), but his method of making it happen is the federal government.

    He talks like he is going to cut the government radically, and maybe he would. But his proposals reveal that his version of governance is simply a slightly less bad version of Obama’s. It is still bad, though, because he wouldn’t let states figure out how they want to deal with things that aren’t in the constitution, the way the 10th amendment says he ought to, if he were elected president.

  • trotk

    DonS, what you don’t see, though, is that even if Santorum is using legal means to enlarge the scope of the federal government (such as adding an amendment that defines marriage) he is acting in a way antithetical to the constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. The constitution is fundamentally a document that limits the federal government, as seen in the 10th amendment. Legally adding to the federal government does not make someone constitutional.

    Take a look at his website. Using the federal government and its tax system to push a particular vision of the family isn’t a power given to the federal government. Using the federal government to guide public schools and enable research isn’t a power given to the federal government. The list could go on – there are lots of issues where he is championing human rights (and I agree with him on a lot of what he wants to happen), but his method of making it happen is the federal government.

    He talks like he is going to cut the government radically, and maybe he would. But his proposals reveal that his version of governance is simply a slightly less bad version of Obama’s. It is still bad, though, because he wouldn’t let states figure out how they want to deal with things that aren’t in the constitution, the way the 10th amendment says he ought to, if he were elected president.

  • SKPeterson

    DonS and trotk – Santorum’s restriction of government is akin to squeezing a balloon – he’s for restricting government in one area and presses the government spending balloon in, but he’s all for expanding the balloon somewhere else, so the funding just changes location like the air in the balloon, but the overall amount of air in the government balloon won’t change. In fact, Rick is all for taking more gulps of air to fill the balloon, but he can be “conservative” because he doesn’t advocate taking bigger gulps like Obama. Santorum’s difference with Obama is degree, not principle.

  • SKPeterson

    DonS and trotk – Santorum’s restriction of government is akin to squeezing a balloon – he’s for restricting government in one area and presses the government spending balloon in, but he’s all for expanding the balloon somewhere else, so the funding just changes location like the air in the balloon, but the overall amount of air in the government balloon won’t change. In fact, Rick is all for taking more gulps of air to fill the balloon, but he can be “conservative” because he doesn’t advocate taking bigger gulps like Obama. Santorum’s difference with Obama is degree, not principle.

  • Dan

    Re: Libertarian Perspective

    Arguments of “there’s really no difference between A and B” often reveal more about the arguer’s perspective than they do about the true relationship between A and B. A person who tells you that there’s really no difference between the weather in Texas and Minnesota is sort of right if he lives in Antarctica. And so, some libertarian perspectives are far enough out to see little difference between modern Democrats and Republicans.

    The question is why the libertarians, following the Drs. Paul, target Santorum more than they target any other candidate. I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that this is strategic. They figure Santorum- the only candidate to oppose TARP, for example- is most likely to limit the scope of government. But even he won’t do it at their scope. And, from their perspective, a little limiting is a bad thing because it will lessen the public’s appetite for a lot of limiting. It’s in the libertarians interest to have a Republican party that dissatisfies its base, because that’s how the libertarians can manage a major political realignment. That’s my guess, anyway.

  • Dan

    Re: Libertarian Perspective

    Arguments of “there’s really no difference between A and B” often reveal more about the arguer’s perspective than they do about the true relationship between A and B. A person who tells you that there’s really no difference between the weather in Texas and Minnesota is sort of right if he lives in Antarctica. And so, some libertarian perspectives are far enough out to see little difference between modern Democrats and Republicans.

    The question is why the libertarians, following the Drs. Paul, target Santorum more than they target any other candidate. I can’t say for sure, but my guess is that this is strategic. They figure Santorum- the only candidate to oppose TARP, for example- is most likely to limit the scope of government. But even he won’t do it at their scope. And, from their perspective, a little limiting is a bad thing because it will lessen the public’s appetite for a lot of limiting. It’s in the libertarians interest to have a Republican party that dissatisfies its base, because that’s how the libertarians can manage a major political realignment. That’s my guess, anyway.

  • JunkerGeorg

    @LouG, #25

    “Since neither Santorum or Paul will win the Republican nomination, it really looks like Dr. Veith was right about Obama staying in – four more years!! Urgh.”
    ——-

    Agreed, at least with your main point that Obama is likely to get re-elected. Even if that supposed “nut case” Ron Paul doesn’t run as an independent (which I doubt he’ll do), there are just too many disgruntled anti-interventionist democrats, fiscally-conservative independents, occupy-now hippies, social libertarians, and “principle over party” non-interventionist conservative constitutionalist Rand Paul types who simply will not cast another vote again for the latest, slightly right of center candidate the Republicrat “establishment” tries to force-feed them, with the MSM’s help (at least until the nomination race is over). No doubt, most “anyone but Obama” thinkers decry this refusal to vote for the “lesser of two evils” as foolish, but they have to understand that were these voting blocks to do so, to accept what the Republican party gives them, they only would continue to aid and abett the status quo, business-as-usual ways that the Republican party has largely become since the middle of Reagan’s second term. Ich habe genug!

  • JunkerGeorg

    @LouG, #25

    “Since neither Santorum or Paul will win the Republican nomination, it really looks like Dr. Veith was right about Obama staying in – four more years!! Urgh.”
    ——-

    Agreed, at least with your main point that Obama is likely to get re-elected. Even if that supposed “nut case” Ron Paul doesn’t run as an independent (which I doubt he’ll do), there are just too many disgruntled anti-interventionist democrats, fiscally-conservative independents, occupy-now hippies, social libertarians, and “principle over party” non-interventionist conservative constitutionalist Rand Paul types who simply will not cast another vote again for the latest, slightly right of center candidate the Republicrat “establishment” tries to force-feed them, with the MSM’s help (at least until the nomination race is over). No doubt, most “anyone but Obama” thinkers decry this refusal to vote for the “lesser of two evils” as foolish, but they have to understand that were these voting blocks to do so, to accept what the Republican party gives them, they only would continue to aid and abett the status quo, business-as-usual ways that the Republican party has largely become since the middle of Reagan’s second term. Ich habe genug!

  • DonS

    trotk @ 30:

    what you don’t see, though, is that even if Santorum is using legal means to enlarge the scope of the federal government (such as adding an amendment that defines marriage) he is acting in a way antithetical to the constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. The constitution is fundamentally a document that limits the federal government, as seen in the 10th amendment. Legally adding to the federal government does not make someone constitutional.

    By definition, if the Constitution is amended using the process provided in the Constitution, it is constitutional. The process is hard, and long, and arduous. Some people might not agree with the change, from a policy perspective. But, no question, it’s constitutional, because it followed the constitutional process.

    Liberals used to seek change to the constitution the right way, by amendment. An example of an amendment that I vehemently disagree with is the 16th Amendment — the right of Congress to tax incomes. Terrible policy decision. It does violence to the 4th Amendment, at the very least, in that it has led to the IRS and its authority to deeply invade the private affairs of every resident without probably cause or even reasonable suspicion. Consistent liberals should hate this amendment for the damage it does to the right of privacy liberals claim to cherish so deeply. But, it’s not unconstitutional — because it is a part of the Constitution, by lawful amendment.

    I think it was the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that turned liberals into lawless usurpers of the Constitution we all love and cherish. They couldn’t stand the fact that Americans didn’t ratify their radical views of women’s rights, and since then they have made a concerted effort to use the courts to change the constitution at will, upon fiat by nine unelected folks in robes. They do it based on the idea that the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document, and should be read in light of the social mores of the day. Sounds great — until you realize that the social mores of the day are whatever the courts declare them to be, and that the rights the courts grant you today, because your cause is popular with the elites, could be just as easily taken away tomorrow, when the elites form a different opinion. Lousy protection for minorities, indeed.

    So, to your notion that Obama and Santorum are two peas in a pod, I say y0u couldn’t be more wrong. Obama is willing to abandon the defense of a federal statute on marriage, which he has deemed unconstitutional, because it does not comport with a made-up equal protection claim that has never been decided in federal court, while at the same time he is willing to blatantly trample and disregard actual, legitimate religious exercise protections set forth in black and white in the 1st Amendment. He is also recklessly demanding more spending despite the fact that deficits exceed $1 billion annually. Despite a few policy objectives such as his desire for a federal marriage amendment, which we both know has no chance of coming to fruition, Santorum’s policies are similar to those of the other Republican candidates. No comparison at all.

    Now, because you agree with Santorum socially, you think he will appoint better judges. But better is defined by ruling in your direction on social issues.

    No. I don’t care about the appointment of judges that agree with me on social issues. Santorum will appoint judges who respect the limits on the judiciary and on the federal government imposed by the Constitution. Obama appoints judges who have an expansive, “living document” view of the Constitution. That is the difference.

  • DonS

    trotk @ 30:

    what you don’t see, though, is that even if Santorum is using legal means to enlarge the scope of the federal government (such as adding an amendment that defines marriage) he is acting in a way antithetical to the constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. The constitution is fundamentally a document that limits the federal government, as seen in the 10th amendment. Legally adding to the federal government does not make someone constitutional.

    By definition, if the Constitution is amended using the process provided in the Constitution, it is constitutional. The process is hard, and long, and arduous. Some people might not agree with the change, from a policy perspective. But, no question, it’s constitutional, because it followed the constitutional process.

    Liberals used to seek change to the constitution the right way, by amendment. An example of an amendment that I vehemently disagree with is the 16th Amendment — the right of Congress to tax incomes. Terrible policy decision. It does violence to the 4th Amendment, at the very least, in that it has led to the IRS and its authority to deeply invade the private affairs of every resident without probably cause or even reasonable suspicion. Consistent liberals should hate this amendment for the damage it does to the right of privacy liberals claim to cherish so deeply. But, it’s not unconstitutional — because it is a part of the Constitution, by lawful amendment.

    I think it was the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that turned liberals into lawless usurpers of the Constitution we all love and cherish. They couldn’t stand the fact that Americans didn’t ratify their radical views of women’s rights, and since then they have made a concerted effort to use the courts to change the constitution at will, upon fiat by nine unelected folks in robes. They do it based on the idea that the Constitution is a “living, breathing” document, and should be read in light of the social mores of the day. Sounds great — until you realize that the social mores of the day are whatever the courts declare them to be, and that the rights the courts grant you today, because your cause is popular with the elites, could be just as easily taken away tomorrow, when the elites form a different opinion. Lousy protection for minorities, indeed.

    So, to your notion that Obama and Santorum are two peas in a pod, I say y0u couldn’t be more wrong. Obama is willing to abandon the defense of a federal statute on marriage, which he has deemed unconstitutional, because it does not comport with a made-up equal protection claim that has never been decided in federal court, while at the same time he is willing to blatantly trample and disregard actual, legitimate religious exercise protections set forth in black and white in the 1st Amendment. He is also recklessly demanding more spending despite the fact that deficits exceed $1 billion annually. Despite a few policy objectives such as his desire for a federal marriage amendment, which we both know has no chance of coming to fruition, Santorum’s policies are similar to those of the other Republican candidates. No comparison at all.

    Now, because you agree with Santorum socially, you think he will appoint better judges. But better is defined by ruling in your direction on social issues.

    No. I don’t care about the appointment of judges that agree with me on social issues. Santorum will appoint judges who respect the limits on the judiciary and on the federal government imposed by the Constitution. Obama appoints judges who have an expansive, “living document” view of the Constitution. That is the difference.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 31: Dan has well addressed your comment @ 32. Additionally, see my response to trotk @ 34 regarding the very real differences between Obama and any of the Republican candidates, including Ron Paul.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 31: Dan has well addressed your comment @ 32. Additionally, see my response to trotk @ 34 regarding the very real differences between Obama and any of the Republican candidates, including Ron Paul.

  • DonS

    @ 34, “billion” should read “trillion”. I wish our deficits were only $1 billion annually.

  • DonS

    @ 34, “billion” should read “trillion”. I wish our deficits were only $1 billion annually.

  • trotk

    DonS –
    If there were to be a constitutional amendment obtained legally that transferred all power and rights to the federal government, would you still argue that it was constitutional?

    An amendment or law can be unconstitutional in its essence or nature even if it is created in a constitutional manner or process. See Obamacare.

  • trotk

    DonS –
    If there were to be a constitutional amendment obtained legally that transferred all power and rights to the federal government, would you still argue that it was constitutional?

    An amendment or law can be unconstitutional in its essence or nature even if it is created in a constitutional manner or process. See Obamacare.

  • SKPeterson

    Dan – I think the focus on Santorum comes because the differences with Romney (and Gingrich) are readily obvious. When I say that there is little difference between Santorum and Obama, I am overstating the case, but not by much. It is a matter of degree and of emphasis. I remain firmly unconvinced that Santorum is actually interested in shrinking the size of government. I believe he’s interested in shrinking parts of it, but then expanding others. He appears to believe more in the expansion of government power and not in its curtailment. In this regard he is very much of the same ilk as Obama (and Romney and Bush). The difference is that Obama would spend his money elsewhere and maybe expand government at a more perniciously prodigious pace. Obama may actively seek to ignore the law when it is politically conducive for him to do so, but I’m not sure Santorum wouldn’t do the same (I expect that Gingrich would be the great violator in this regard). So, yes, I see them as much the same in that the outcomes of the policies they advocate lead to the same end: expanded, intrusive government at higher costs.

  • SKPeterson

    Dan – I think the focus on Santorum comes because the differences with Romney (and Gingrich) are readily obvious. When I say that there is little difference between Santorum and Obama, I am overstating the case, but not by much. It is a matter of degree and of emphasis. I remain firmly unconvinced that Santorum is actually interested in shrinking the size of government. I believe he’s interested in shrinking parts of it, but then expanding others. He appears to believe more in the expansion of government power and not in its curtailment. In this regard he is very much of the same ilk as Obama (and Romney and Bush). The difference is that Obama would spend his money elsewhere and maybe expand government at a more perniciously prodigious pace. Obama may actively seek to ignore the law when it is politically conducive for him to do so, but I’m not sure Santorum wouldn’t do the same (I expect that Gingrich would be the great violator in this regard). So, yes, I see them as much the same in that the outcomes of the policies they advocate lead to the same end: expanded, intrusive government at higher costs.

  • Rose

    DonS @ 12: Was the party-identification self reported?

  • Rose

    DonS @ 12: Was the party-identification self reported?

  • Klasie Kraalogies
  • Klasie Kraalogies
  • DonS

    trotk @ 37:

    If there were to be a constitutional amendment obtained legally that transferred all power and rights to the federal government, would you still argue that it was constitutional?

    Short answer — yes. Such an amendment would certainly not be in the spirit of what the founders intended, but if it were passed by constitutional means, i.e. under the procedures for amendment set forth in Article 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution), then it would certainly be constitutional. The Constitution was drafted to permit its amendment to allow for future changes in the country’s needs and desires. Fortunately, the amendment process — involving passing the proposed amendment by 2/3 of each House, and then ratifying it by 3/4 of the state legislatures within 7 years, or by calling a constitutional convention (this has never occurred) — is very difficult, so I’m not too worried about your proposal ;-)

    An amendment or law can be unconstitutional in its essence or nature even if it is created in a constitutional manner or process. See Obamacare.

    Ahh, but you are comparing apples and oranges. A statute does not amend the constitution, so it is always subject to potential constitutional review. Obamacare is a statute, not a constitutional amendment. Many of us believe it is clearly unconstitutional. Soon, we will know what the Supreme Court thinks.

  • DonS

    trotk @ 37:

    If there were to be a constitutional amendment obtained legally that transferred all power and rights to the federal government, would you still argue that it was constitutional?

    Short answer — yes. Such an amendment would certainly not be in the spirit of what the founders intended, but if it were passed by constitutional means, i.e. under the procedures for amendment set forth in Article 5 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Five_of_the_United_States_Constitution), then it would certainly be constitutional. The Constitution was drafted to permit its amendment to allow for future changes in the country’s needs and desires. Fortunately, the amendment process — involving passing the proposed amendment by 2/3 of each House, and then ratifying it by 3/4 of the state legislatures within 7 years, or by calling a constitutional convention (this has never occurred) — is very difficult, so I’m not too worried about your proposal ;-)

    An amendment or law can be unconstitutional in its essence or nature even if it is created in a constitutional manner or process. See Obamacare.

    Ahh, but you are comparing apples and oranges. A statute does not amend the constitution, so it is always subject to potential constitutional review. Obamacare is a statute, not a constitutional amendment. Many of us believe it is clearly unconstitutional. Soon, we will know what the Supreme Court thinks.

  • DonS

    Rose @ 39: Yes. It was exit polling. I wouldn’t think there would be official data from the state on who actually participated in the voting, if they even compile such data, for months or years. There’s no reason to think that exit polling data is wildly off, however, as to party identification, unless one believes a lot of cross-over Democratic voters lied ;-)

  • DonS

    Rose @ 39: Yes. It was exit polling. I wouldn’t think there would be official data from the state on who actually participated in the voting, if they even compile such data, for months or years. There’s no reason to think that exit polling data is wildly off, however, as to party identification, unless one believes a lot of cross-over Democratic voters lied ;-)

  • trotk

    DonS,

    I am amazed that you don’t see the difference in constitutional by essence and constitutional by method. Both are important questions, but you seem to be ignoring the first. An amendment (and certainly a law, and yes, thanks for the lesson, I know the difference) can be constitutional by method but still not by essence (particularly because it breaks or denies the tenth amendment).

    Saying, “Thankfully an amendment that usurps the power of people and the states won’t get passed because the process is so difficult!” isn’t the right answer. Our answer should be, “We will never vote for anyone who wants to expand the power of the federal government beyond the strict limitations of the constitution.

  • trotk

    DonS,

    I am amazed that you don’t see the difference in constitutional by essence and constitutional by method. Both are important questions, but you seem to be ignoring the first. An amendment (and certainly a law, and yes, thanks for the lesson, I know the difference) can be constitutional by method but still not by essence (particularly because it breaks or denies the tenth amendment).

    Saying, “Thankfully an amendment that usurps the power of people and the states won’t get passed because the process is so difficult!” isn’t the right answer. Our answer should be, “We will never vote for anyone who wants to expand the power of the federal government beyond the strict limitations of the constitution.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Clearly, then, Don, what the Democrats should do — with your blessing — is to pass an amendment that declares the rest of the Constitution null and void! Perfectly constitutional.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Clearly, then, Don, what the Democrats should do — with your blessing — is to pass an amendment that declares the rest of the Constitution null and void! Perfectly constitutional.

  • DonS

    trotk:

    I am amazed that you don’t see the difference in constitutional by essence and constitutional by method.

    trot, I don’t know exactly what you mean by “constitutional by essence”. The Constitution was drafted and adopted in a moment of time (1789) by the founders. It included Article 5, which provides for amendments, to account for the fact that, over time, our national needs and goals may change, and if the Constitution is to endure, it needs to have the ability to be changed as well. Almost immediately, in the very first Congress, James Madison introduced the first ten amendments (NOT a part of the original Constitution, mind you, including the Tenth Amendment), which were passed and then ratified by 3/4 of the states, becoming a part of the Constitution in 1791. Did those 10 amendments, one of which you cite as the reason not to further amend the Constitution, change the “essence” of the original Constitution? I would say yes. And, that was a great thing.

    I guess I am amazed that you can’t see the difference between a president who seeks to radically change the Constitution by court edict, and to appoint judges who share that philosophy, a true threat to its essence, and one who might have expressed, at one time or another, the desire to go through the legitimate process of passing a Constitutional Amendment in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 5, but also insists that he will appoint judges who respect a traditional originalist interpretation of the Constitution.

    Our answer should be, “We will never vote for anyone who wants to expand the power of the federal government beyond the strict limitations of the constitution.

    Well, that’s my ideal. But it’s not often practical. In my view, the federal government is already well over the walls of its true authority under the Constitution, and I’m not sure there is anyone running who would truly constrain it fully within its constitutional authority, while also ensuring that it fulfills its constitutional authority to provide for the defense of the nation. Hopefully, someday, we can return there. In the meantime, my immediate philosophy is that another four year term for Obama will be dangerous to the Constitutional freedoms we currently retain, and I will vote for the alternative having, in my opinion, the best chance of defeating his re-election. We have gotten to this dire place through many decades of incrementalism. We are not going to go all the way back to where we should be overnight. But, we need to at least take baby steps in that direction.

    This is not to say, by the way, that I agree with you that the formerly proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) would be a breach of the 10th Amendment limitations on federal authority. Marriage law is important, because married couples tend to move from state to state during their lifetimes. For this reason, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution is thought to require that states recognize legal marriages from other states. This almost certainly means that, since DOMA is not even being defended by the current administration, all states are going to be forced to recognize marriages as defined by the most liberal of states, under constitutional principles. Therefore, since states rights are already trumped for this reason, the FMA would not further infringe on states’ rights. Of course, that’s a side issue to the main point of our discussion, and very unlikely to ever occur.

  • DonS

    trotk:

    I am amazed that you don’t see the difference in constitutional by essence and constitutional by method.

    trot, I don’t know exactly what you mean by “constitutional by essence”. The Constitution was drafted and adopted in a moment of time (1789) by the founders. It included Article 5, which provides for amendments, to account for the fact that, over time, our national needs and goals may change, and if the Constitution is to endure, it needs to have the ability to be changed as well. Almost immediately, in the very first Congress, James Madison introduced the first ten amendments (NOT a part of the original Constitution, mind you, including the Tenth Amendment), which were passed and then ratified by 3/4 of the states, becoming a part of the Constitution in 1791. Did those 10 amendments, one of which you cite as the reason not to further amend the Constitution, change the “essence” of the original Constitution? I would say yes. And, that was a great thing.

    I guess I am amazed that you can’t see the difference between a president who seeks to radically change the Constitution by court edict, and to appoint judges who share that philosophy, a true threat to its essence, and one who might have expressed, at one time or another, the desire to go through the legitimate process of passing a Constitutional Amendment in accordance with the procedures set forth in Article 5, but also insists that he will appoint judges who respect a traditional originalist interpretation of the Constitution.

    Our answer should be, “We will never vote for anyone who wants to expand the power of the federal government beyond the strict limitations of the constitution.

    Well, that’s my ideal. But it’s not often practical. In my view, the federal government is already well over the walls of its true authority under the Constitution, and I’m not sure there is anyone running who would truly constrain it fully within its constitutional authority, while also ensuring that it fulfills its constitutional authority to provide for the defense of the nation. Hopefully, someday, we can return there. In the meantime, my immediate philosophy is that another four year term for Obama will be dangerous to the Constitutional freedoms we currently retain, and I will vote for the alternative having, in my opinion, the best chance of defeating his re-election. We have gotten to this dire place through many decades of incrementalism. We are not going to go all the way back to where we should be overnight. But, we need to at least take baby steps in that direction.

    This is not to say, by the way, that I agree with you that the formerly proposed Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) would be a breach of the 10th Amendment limitations on federal authority. Marriage law is important, because married couples tend to move from state to state during their lifetimes. For this reason, the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution is thought to require that states recognize legal marriages from other states. This almost certainly means that, since DOMA is not even being defended by the current administration, all states are going to be forced to recognize marriages as defined by the most liberal of states, under constitutional principles. Therefore, since states rights are already trumped for this reason, the FMA would not further infringe on states’ rights. Of course, that’s a side issue to the main point of our discussion, and very unlikely to ever occur.

  • DonS

    tODD @ 44:

    Clearly, then, Don, what the Democrats should do — with your blessing — is to pass an amendment that declares the rest of the Constitution null and void! Perfectly constitutional.

    Hmm. Hardly with my blessing. Although I guess it would be refreshing for them to try to amend the Constitution legitimately, using the appropriate process.

    Let me turn the question around to you. Were the Democrats to accomplish this task, convincing 2/3 of each House of Congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures, within 7 years of enactment by Congress, to disavow the U.S. Constitution by amendment, would that be Constitutional? How would the Supreme Court rule on that? Oh wait, they wouldn’t have the authority to rule.

    I think we’re in the realm of “can God make a rock so big he can’t pick it up”? ;-)

  • DonS

    tODD @ 44:

    Clearly, then, Don, what the Democrats should do — with your blessing — is to pass an amendment that declares the rest of the Constitution null and void! Perfectly constitutional.

    Hmm. Hardly with my blessing. Although I guess it would be refreshing for them to try to amend the Constitution legitimately, using the appropriate process.

    Let me turn the question around to you. Were the Democrats to accomplish this task, convincing 2/3 of each House of Congress and 3/4 of the state legislatures, within 7 years of enactment by Congress, to disavow the U.S. Constitution by amendment, would that be Constitutional? How would the Supreme Court rule on that? Oh wait, they wouldn’t have the authority to rule.

    I think we’re in the realm of “can God make a rock so big he can’t pick it up”? ;-)

  • SKPeterson

    It would be similar to what happened in 1787 when the Articles were summarily usurped and replaced in contravention to the express purposes allowed by the several states by the newly proposed Constitution.

  • SKPeterson

    It would be similar to what happened in 1787 when the Articles were summarily usurped and replaced in contravention to the express purposes allowed by the several states by the newly proposed Constitution.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 47: Yep. The Articles required unanimous consent for amendments. That was tried and failed, so an end-around was accomplished by writing and passing the Constitution, which superseded, in effect, the Articles. Presumably, any future attempt to dramatically change the Constitution would probably follow a similar course, which of course would be “unconstitutional” by definition.

  • DonS

    SKP @ 47: Yep. The Articles required unanimous consent for amendments. That was tried and failed, so an end-around was accomplished by writing and passing the Constitution, which superseded, in effect, the Articles. Presumably, any future attempt to dramatically change the Constitution would probably follow a similar course, which of course would be “unconstitutional” by definition.

  • Grace

    The Democrats are → AFRAID ← of Newt Gingrich!

    Romney stands on the fence with his left arm reaching as far as he can stretch it! The Demo’s would drool if they can get Romney, obviously anticipating a NO WIN for Obama.

    Pelosi On A Gingrich Presidency: “That Will Never Happen”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/24/pelosi_on_a_gingrich_presidency_that_will_never_happen.html

  • Grace

    The Democrats are → AFRAID ← of Newt Gingrich!

    Romney stands on the fence with his left arm reaching as far as he can stretch it! The Demo’s would drool if they can get Romney, obviously anticipating a NO WIN for Obama.

    Pelosi On A Gingrich Presidency: “That Will Never Happen”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/01/24/pelosi_on_a_gingrich_presidency_that_will_never_happen.html

  • Grace

    Pelosi in the clip – LINK above in post @49 states:

    Pelosi: “There is something I know. The Republicans, if they choose to nominate him that’s their prerogative. I don’t even think that’s going to happen.”

  • Grace

    Pelosi in the clip – LINK above in post @49 states:

    Pelosi: “There is something I know. The Republicans, if they choose to nominate him that’s their prerogative. I don’t even think that’s going to happen.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wait, Grace (@49), are you sure the Democrats aren’t jealous of Gingrich?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Wait, Grace (@49), are you sure the Democrats aren’t jealous of Gingrich?

  • Grace
    → → ← ← AFRAID

    Sums up it very nicely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grace
    → → ← ← AFRAID

    Sums up it very nicely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grace

    See how → → AFRAID ← ← runs into each other?

  • Grace

    See how → → AFRAID ← ← runs into each other?

  • Grace

    52 should read:

    Sums it up very nicely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grace

    52 should read:

    Sums it up very nicely !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oooooooooookay, Grace. Thanks … for that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Oooooooooookay, Grace. Thanks … for that.


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