Friday, January 12, 2007

Conservatives Will Not Be Fooled Again

Why was "The Mitt Romney Deception" report written? This piece by Jonathan Chait (Los Angeles Times) gets a lot of things right. Basically, we social conservatives are tired of being had by RINOs.

from "The Religious Right’s Not-So-True Believers" (12-17-06):

Looking over the field of potential Republican presidential candidates, one odd thing jumps out at me: Many of them have expressed deep hostility to the religious right’s point of view in the past, and several are now insisting that they didn’t mean a word of it. One way to look at this is to conclude that they all said or did things they didn’t mean, or that they have come around to the social conservative position. Oddly enough, this is the interpretation many social conservatives seem inclined to accept.

Or there’s the other, more logical interpretation: The Republican Party’s governing class is deeply hostile to social conservatism, and its leaders manage to fool the base over and over again. ... Romney, who had characterized the religious right as “extremists,” said he essentially had the same position on gay rights as Sen. Ted Kennedy...

Social liberalism is unacceptable to GOP primary voters, right? So maybe Romney is faking it now, and all that stuff he said about gay rights and the influence of his moderate father was genuine, no? This would be bad enough for social conservatives if Romney were the moderate in the race. But, in fact, he’s the current favorite among social conservatives.

Indeed, social conservatives don’t even want to hear about Romney’s scandalously tolerant past. Brian Camenker, a right-wing activist who has been sounding the alarm bells about Romney, has gotten a frosty reception from his fellow religious conservatives. “Why are you attacking Romney?”’ they keep asking him, according to my colleague Ryan Lizza [of the New Republic]. “He’s better than (Rudolph W.) Giuliani and (John) McCain." ...

But that was written almost a month ago. Fellow social conservatives are now beginning to get the message. Romney is not their savior.