I expect to have more to say about Rick Santorum’s withdrawal next week, particularly as it impacts the role of gay Republicans in the GOP — and the party’s emerging attitude toward gays. I had begun that discussion this post. As part of that conversation, I highly recommend Alana Goodman’s Commentary post about the GOP Shift on Gay Marriage Opposition. Goodman considers an issue I’d been meaning to address about the National Organization for Marriage (yes, rusty, that’s the post I indicated here that intended to write) which helps show one trend I’d been meaning to consider.
Alas, that by the time I (expect to) get to this post, the (Santorum) story may no longer be fresh, but other obligations take precedence. The day Santorum dropped out, I was flying to New York (moving a planned trip up a day early for family reasons) and will be “back east” (as we in California call this part of the country) until early next week, with meetings in western Massachusetts (the reason for the trip) in the coming days.
That said, I do want to share with you something blogger Ed Morrissey, who had back Santorum “with some heavy qualifications” said about Romney wrapping up the nomination:
Mitt Romney is the nominee. He won the nomination through hard work and good organization, but his competition forced him to improve his performance along the way. The sooner we put fantasies of brokered conventions and one-on-one debates between Republicans — which will only serve as media fodder to attack the GOP — the better we will begin to prepare for the real goal of this process, which is to make Barack Obama a one-term President. With that goal in mind, I plan to caucus for Romney in the upcoming CD and state Republican conventions in Minnesota and work to unite the party behind its nominee. However, I also plan to support candidates in the House and Senate that will ensure that a President Romney governs as a conservative, as Donald Devine advises post-Santorum.
I share this because Morrissey, as usual, offers a good summary of the situation and often seems to have his finger on the pulse of conservative sentiment.
Emphasis added. Seems a lot of former Santorum supporters, including some strong Romney critics, are rallying around the presumptive nominee because as John Hawkins, once such critic puts it, “Obama is throwing the country off a cliff and when you’re plunging into a bottomless chasm, you can’t get too picky about which branch you grab on the way down.”
If you have a moment, read Morrissey’s post; that 2010 CPAC blogger of the year offers a good analysis of Santorum’s “surprising strength as a candidate”. Note particularly what he says in the section emphasized above. If there is a more conservative House and Senate next fall, it will be easier to hold Romney’s feet to the fire on such key conservative issues as spending cuts and regulatory reduction.
Bear in mind that when he served as Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney faced an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. He has never governed in conjunction with a more fiscally conservative legislature.
A principled Congress could help ensure we have a fiscally responsible executive.
NB: Had completed the first draft of this post before beginning the prior one.