Column: The myth of an evil GOP establishment
Feb. 03, 2012
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
On Tuesday, former governor Mitt Romney won the Florida Republican Primary for President of the United States by a margin of 14 percent, solidifying his status as frontrunner for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. When talking to supporters of any other candidate, one is likely to hear the following three criticisms about Gov. Romney: 1) He's a puppet of the Republican establishment! 2) Gov. Romney is an elitist who supports government-run healthcare. 3) Man, he has nice hair, but it might be a little too nice...
Although the third argument is quite compelling, and most individuals instinctively find it hard to trust someone whose hair is that perfect, the other two arguments are fatally flawed.
The idea there is a conspiring GOP establishment might be useful if anyone could define “establishment." Some anti-Romney warriors point to the fact that former President George H. W. Bush [has thrown his support behind the governor] http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70796.html, according to Politico. The obvious problem with this argument, which most anti-Romney warriors fail to mention, is that Bush was supporting Romney in 2008 when John McCain won the nomination. This would mean the GOP establishment lost in 2008 when John McCain, an extremely liberal member of the Republican Party, won the nomination.
So, one would then gather the anti-establishment people are moderates like McCain, but then why would Tea Partiers consider themselves anti-establishment? The answer is: The anti-establishment meme of this election isn't actually against an "establishment." It is propagated rhetoric used first by Herman Cain, then Rick Perry and now Newt Gingrich to fire at the most consistent front-runner, Romney. The only candidate who has the right to say he is truly anti-establishment is Ron Paul. Paul's proven this by voting with his party an astoundingly low 73 percent of the time in the 112th Congress, according to The Washington Post's [The Fact Checker] http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/ron-pauls-constitutionalist-record-fact-checker-biography/2011/12/27/gIQAsPSOLP_blog.html blog.
Another problem with the "establishment" argument is that if the “establishment” was conspiring for Romney, then Sarah Palin, Gingrich and [Joe Barton] http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/members/B000213 cannot be considered part of the “establishment.” This would mean being a vice presidential candidate from the party, Speaker of the House from the party or voting 93 percent with the party does not qualify you to be a member of the establishment. If none of those actions make you a member of the “establishment,” then what could?
The second-most common argument against Gov. Romney is he is an elitist who supports government-run healthcare. Yes, Romney has earned an amazing amount of money in the private sector, making [$42.5 million] http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/24/10221567-mitt-romneys-tax-returns-he-earned-425-million-is-paying-62-million-in-taxes just last year, according to NBC. However, during the course of 2010 and 2011, he also gave away more than $7 million in charitable donations. Although the man's worth millions, his own children tell stories of how "cheap" their dad is, stories consistent with the photo of Romney doing laundry with his wife, which appeared on the Internet last week.
The vigorous attacks on Romney about his Massachusetts healthcare plan or "RomneyCare" might be the most vicious of all. This is an issue the voting public still does not understand, even though he has consistently been willing to answer any questions about it and explain piece by piece why it was the way it was. When looking at RomneyCare, it is nearly impossible to find a socialist tendency within the bill. Yes, it did include an individual mandate at the state level. However, the governor has never supported an individual mandate at the federal level, which is the key problem most conservatives find in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
Don't be fooled by the cries of establishment and the moderate. Mitt Romney is a proven conservative both in and out of office. Romney does have the support of many prominent members of the Republican Party, but it has nothing to do with a conspiracy against other candidates. It is simply because Gov. Romney is the best man for the job.