The votes are in, and Mitt Romney is out! While talking heads across the country are calling former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) the front-runner against President Obama, the base is simply not on board. A full 55 percent of conservative activists and Tea Partiers polled by Richard Viguerie’s ConservativeHQ.com responded that they, “would vote for a third-party or independent candidate” if Romney were the nominee.
Source: Richard Viguerie's Conservative HQ
I took exception to this article (having been alerted to it via a post on Twitter. Here is the response I left on Richard's website:
#1--It is precisely this type of reaction that assisted in Obama win the 2008 election and will (if pursued) re-elect him in 2012. For some reason, 'Republicans' have lately started pursuing courses of action that indicate that they'd rather beat up other republicans than beat up on Democrats. This is a violation of Reagan's 11th Commandment and ignores this quote or Ronald Reagan's:
I think that Ronald Reagan himself would find it a hard task to win a Republican Primary if he were alive today and running for President.
#2--You would not have to worry about someone like Mitt Romney winning the primary if there weren't so many self-labeled conservative and 'Tea Party' candidates running. This type of behaviour also helped John McCain (who I consider enemy #1 of the conservative movement) win the 2008 primaries. There are several people now running 9or considering running) who are legitimate conservatives. If they all run, all they will accomplish is diluting the conservative vote out of contention. Not only will they split the vote, they'll split the donations.
#3--Most people (and a good deal of candidates) who call themselves conservative are manifestly not conservative. I'll bet most o them haven't read (let alone agree with) the works of Edmund Burke, Dr Russell Kirk, or William F Buckley. They neither respect, nor are they familar with, the body of conservative thought over the past few decades. I would identify a good number of the recent self-described conservatives as being primarily a rebirth of the Anti-Federalist movement that opposed the ratification of the US Constitution.