By Greg Stapley
Much has been said about the faceless “Republican Establishment” that supposedly wants this candidate or that candidate to represent the party in the upcoming presidential election. I don’t know who that is, or if such an Establishment even exists, but the people talking about it ignore one important fact: this thing is in the hands of American voters. And American voters seldom take orders from “establishments.”
This, week one state’s voters have the unique and historic opportunity to seal the decision in what could be the last meaningful contest of this primary season. Illinois voters can determine the course of history by finally picking the opposition candidate to Barack Obama.
We have some great candidates to oppose the current occupant of the White House. Every one of these contenders — Mitt, Rick, Newt, Ron — is a faithful son of the party. Each has substantial electoral credentials, and each of course has a record.
Not one of them is exactly like me or you. Each one is conservative in many things, but none of them has been perfectly consistent in all.
For example, Mitt is an economic conservative, but historically has not been as socially conservative as I am.
Rick is a social conservative, but his repeated earmarking, votes for Davis-Bacon and unbridled debt-limit increases make him anything but an economic conservative.
Ron is a monetary conservative, but he is somewhere to the left of Jane Fonda on national defense and foreign policy.
And Newt is a political conservative, but the danger for political conservatives is that they are political, and sometimes that means they compromise when they shouldn’t, and wind up sitting on a couch with Nancy Pelosi.
But this is undeniable: Every single one of them would be miles ahead of Barack Obama in getting our economic house in order, putting America back to work, and restoring the American values that we hold dear.
This too is undeniable: None of them can win the general election alone. It will take all of us unitedly fighting together against the Obama machine to put our nominee over the top. And we need to start now.
The first step, if our opposition nominee is going to win the general, will be for us as voters to pull them all off of the hamster wheel that this primary has become. You know what I’m talking about: the increasingly cruel and counterproductive exercise in which the candidates are forced to constantly run around the country trying to “out-conservative” each other just to get that next block of delegates. It’s wearing all of them (and us) out, and it will ultimately damage our cause in the Fall.
And so without descending into the quagmire of which one is better than the other on this particular issue or that, it seems like it’s time to pull back and look at the big picture. It’s time to finally figure out which one is best positioned to carry the banner for American values and priorities in the upcoming general election. It’s time to put the debate amongst ourselves to rest. [more photos of romance below the fold] (more…)