Friday, July 13, 2012

Conservative decries "the loathsome Romney candidacy"

As regular readers here know, I've been doing my best to chronicle the exodus of sane conservatives from the current Republican Party. Of all of them that I've presented here, the one I found today is by far the most profoundly explained.

It comes from someone named Scott Galupo who used to work for Speaker John Boehner. After a stint at conservative haven The Washington Times, he wrote for US News and World Report and now at The American Conservative.

Who would have thought that with a background like that he would have written an article titled The Loathsome Romney Candidacy: How Did We Get Here? I'm going to quote quite a bit of it because he really gets to the heart of the matter.
This is a milestone moment in American politics. “Fabulously wealthy” presidential candidates are more of a norm than an aberration — witness the Roosevelts, the Kennedys, the Bushes, Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney, Ross Perot. But to a man, each of them ran at least in part on the principle of noblesse oblige — the idea that the wealthy must make sacrifices for the common good (yes, even George W. Bush, who promised not to “balance the budget on the backs of the poor).

In contrast, Romney and his ilk are having none of this. They are trying to persuade voters — and for all we know may have persuaded themselves — that, in effect, “As Goes Bain Capital, So Goes America.”

I’ve thought a lot about this question over the last six months. How did this happen? How did we come to this pass, where a man like Mitt Romney — whose candidacy represents a breathtakingly cynical, borderline nihilistic pursuit of power on behalf of a tiny sliver of the population — sits within striking distance of the highest office in the land?...

The reality is, Romney slipped through — and there are troubling factors that buoy his campaign. The complete rejection of mainstream macroeconomic theory is one such factor. Cultural animus toward Obama is another. Liberals overstate its extent, but it’s undeniably real.

Most decisive is what I’ve been calling the theological fusion of social and economic conservatism. Too many evangelical Christians seem incapable of even questioning Mammon. Now they enthusiastically welcome the money changers into the temple. Like the Calvinists of old, they glorify market outcomes as a sign of divine favor. And the cliche “class warfare” has served as a handy tool to shut down any deviation from this new orthodoxy.

The prospect of a second Obama term doesn’t excite me. Nevertheless, my overriding hope is to see Mitt Romney spat out of the body politic, once and for all.
I'll forgive Galupo for not being excited about a second Obama term because he pretty much nails the rest of the argument.

As more and more sane Republicans like this stand up and speak out I begin to be able to envision the kind of political discourse President Obama has been working towards for a long time now.
Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will.


  1. Wow, he made my point from earlier, only better.

    1. That was my first thought when I read it (without the "only better" qualification).

  2. And, I'll point out, there is a great 19th century conservative critique of capitalism (generally in its industrial form) from which anyone interested in a better world can derive beneficial understanding. I can work with people like that.