“I think the candidate — it is going to be and is the strongest candidate to beat Obama is Mitt Romney. And you know, I’m a little tired of these Johnny-come-lately conservative purists. Where were they when we were running John McCain? For Pete’s sake, Romney is a million times better than McCain. Romney speaks absolutely beautifully, he’s been magnificent in the debates. I think he’s a little bit of a country club Republican, too, but let’s just get a Republican in there and get Obama out.”
Who are these Johnny-Come-Lately types she’s talking about? Well, one can only assume that much of the conservative movement’s energy which has been generated by candidates like Sarah Palin, Allen West, or even Herman Cain are also members of the Tea Party.
As is well-known, many Palin supporters and Tea Party members got involved in the politics of our time because of grassroots candidates like Gov. Palin and others. They got off their couches. Many took to the streets and a lot began blogging. Suddenly, no longer were political pundits of the past who make millions by having an opinion of the current political scene the only voices making a difference.
Many of us who blog and share thoughts with fine readers like yourselves do so out of our own desire to stay involved. We have jobs, we are perfectly content with our lives the way they are, and we appreciate the openness of what we get to engage in without answering to corporations or being beholden to any special interests.
What I find particularly odd though about Ann Coulter is her constant flopping. She apparently does not consider herself to be a “Johnny-Come-Lately,” yet, in early 2007 she said to Bill O’Reilly that she could “probably” support John McCain for the 2008 presidential nomination so long as he did not compromise his opinion on abortion. She also believed he wasn’t going to be the nominee. Further, she said she’d vote for him over Hillary.
She then went on for most of the primary supporting Duncan Hunter, a good conservative from the House of Representatives.
After that didn’t work out, she jumped on Romney’s train at the last minute promising to vote for Hillary if McCain was the nominee.
After all that, one wonders just what she considers to be a “Johnny-Come-Lately.” We’ve watched experts like her jump from one candidate to the next on the sole basis of momentum. What I am a little tired of are those who compromise what is better based on principle because of what they think can win. In fact, it hasn’t been the newer members born into the world of political activism which now has us in the mess we are in. It was the alleged experts, politicians, and professional pundits of the last decade or so.
Many Palin supporters are holding true to the “reconsider” movement. Others have turned their attentions to Newt Gingrich. With all of her talk about candidates who speak beautifully (as she described in the case of Mitt Romney), she also told Sean Hannity that she wasn’t a fan of Newt’s. Unlike Romney, Newt Gingrich crafted welfare reform, he got unemployment to 4% as Speaker of the House, and passed a balanced budget. If we are to compromise on someone who may or may not have committed questionable acts in their personal lives decades ago or as a politician, it would seem to me that we go with the one whose other qualities prevail.
Regardless of Newt Gingrich’s stronger points over Mitt Romney (intelligence, debating skills, a strong track record of legislative successes, and working with Ronald Reagan), it is his recent surge which has prompted Coulter to write a column criticizing him. That column is to be available tonight on her website.
So while it is true than many ideological and constitutional conservatives have come out of the woodwork adding to the movement, I contend it’s something to celebrate, not something to condemn. What is disheartening is when someone like Ann Coulter — who I’ve always admired — jumps around unpredictably and seems to come out swinging against candidates like Newt only when it appears that Mitt Romney is threatened.
Coulter and other usual pundits cannot celebrate and promote constitutionally-principled conservatives when it’s time to win a mid-term election only to turn around and damn them when it’s time to hold the Republicans accountable, too.