Off the Reservation

Ann Coulter has always struck me as an intelligent individual via her books, syndicated columns and television appearances, but as of late – I believe that her normally well-founded judgment has been brought into serious question.

As most of you know, she endorsed Mitt Romney – for all intents and purposes – last November in her syndicated column. But let me take you back earlier in 2011 – February to be exact. She was speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference and made this declaration after being asked what she thought about the 2012 presidential field:

I may as well tell you what my prediction is because then you can either totally congratulate me or laugh at me two years from now. I don’t like to attack Republicans. Many of them have excellent characteristics and they’re good in the positions they’re in now and I support them in their positions as representatives, or governor, or Fox News hosts. But I think…Well, I’ll put it in a nutshell. If we don’t run Chris Christie, Romney will be the nominee and we’ll lose.

How many of you had forgotten these remarks from Ms. Coulter? In the fast-moving world of politics, it’s easy for year-old declarations to get lost in the weeds of Facebook posts, tweets and television interviews, but thanks to the internet – these gems of wisdom are saved forever. It took just 10 short months after throwing Romney under the bus for her to pull him back out from under it and she’s been sparring on behalf of the former governor ever since. Her statement was fairly emphatic: If Romney is the nominee, Barack Obama will be reelected.

Fast-foward to November 2011.

There are multiple and more recent examples we could criticize, but I’ve selected her November 16 column because this is when she made her initial case for Romney’s nomination; despite her CPAC comments. Here is some of her defense:

…The mainstream media keep pushing alternatives to Mitt Romney not only because they are terrified of running against him, but also because they want to keep Republicans fighting, allowing Democrats to get a four-month jump on us. Meanwhile, everyone knows the nominee is going to be Romney. That’s not so bad if you think the most important issues in this election are defeating Obama and repealing Obamacare. There may be better ways to stop Obamacare than Romney, but, unfortunately, they’re not available right now.

…He is not part of the Washington establishment, so he won’t be caught taking money from Freddie Mac or cutting commercials with Nancy Pelosi.

 …Most important, Romney has said — forcefully and repeatedly — that his first day in office he will issue a 50-state waiver from Obamacare and will then seek a formal repeal. Romney is not going to get to the White House and announce, “The first thing I’m going to do is implement that fantastic national health care plan signed by my pal, Barack!” Unlike all other major legislation in the nation’s history, Obamacare was narrowly passed along partisan lines by an aberrationally large one-party majority in Congress. (Thanks, McCain supporters!) Not one single Republican in Congress voted for it, not even John McCain. Obamacare is going to be repealed — provided only that a Republican wins the next presidential election. If a Republican does not win, however, it will never be repealed.

…Instead of sitting on our thumbs, wishing Ronald Reagan were around, or chasing the latest mechanical rabbit flashed by the media, conservatives ought to start rallying around Romney as the only Republican who has a shot at beating Obama. We’ll attack him when he’s president. It’s fun to be a purist, but let’s put that on hold until Obama and his abominable health care plan are gone, please.

At best, her comments are delusional.

The media and the Obama administration are not afraid of Mitt Romney. David Axelrod is no doubt salivating over the possibility of an Obama/Romney general campaign, if nothing else, simply for the opportunity to highlight the similarities between Obamacare/Romneycare and portray the governor as Mr. Wall Street – providing additional fuel for the Occupy movement; which was created for a potential Romney nomination.

The rule of thumb in understanding the media is: Listen to everything they say and then assume the opposite is true. The narrative coming from Democrat pundits is that Obama would love to run against Rick Santorum because he has no mainstream viability and Obama would win re-election with ease. In reality, just the opposite is true. Obama and the media fear Santorum and other candidates like him – past and present. A candidate like Santorum provides the stark contrast between Obamaism and Conservatism. Candidate Romney does not – despite the fact that he trumpeted his “severely conservative” ideology at CPAC 2012 and continues to do so.

The repeal of Obamacare is another topic that is being sorely overlooked by Ms. Coulter. Are Conservatives to assume that Mr. Romney will do everything in his power to de-regulate and repeal Obamacare? Are Conservatives to assume that the same Mitt Romney, who implemented the first state-run health insurance program in America, will be an ardent supporter of repeal for the federal law? A much more likely scenario is that Romney would cherry-pick the “good things” about Obamacare and scrap other parts. We would never see full repeal. Is this not a fair estimation, Ms Coulter?

The other variable being overlooked is Congress. A President Romney would likely need a Republican-controlled Congress to have any chance of repealing the federal law successfully. Even if he were elected and the Republicans retained control of the House, a Democrat-controlled Senate would stall any and all efforts made by Romney and House Republicans. So, to assume that repeal is a no-brainer with Romney and that it would occur lickety-split after he assumes the oath of office is a bit presumptuous.

She also requests for Conservatives to stave off their calls for a purist candidate; at least for now. Please, she tells us. Take the moderate candidate. Take John McCain, Jr, even though she “warned” us about voting for the original John McCain in 2008. Nevermind that. Romney’s a different kind of moderate. He’s the only one who can beat Obama. Now is not the time for backing full-fledged unabashed Conservatism, she tells us. We can nudge Romney to the right after he’s elected president.

Ms. Coulter, Conservatism must be promoted whenever and wherever possible. It is not a situational ideology. If you still believe it can win, then support its tenets whole-heartedly and search for those tenets in your candidates. We don’t need to mask our true ideas in order to defeat Obama. Unapologetic Conservatism, itself, is what will beat Obama.

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