I kicked a hornet's nest yesterday - 17 comments so far, with no less an Internet luminary as the Czar of Muscovy himself stopping by (twice!) to tell me that I was wrong.
The gist of the objections is that you don't get to vote for your ideal candidate, you get to vote for the candidate who wins the nomination. And most commenters point out that Romney will be seriously less obnoxious that the second helping of Barack Obama. Of course, they're entirely correct in this.
But at the risk of kicking the hornet's nest a second time, it's not the key issue to me. Sure, Obama will try to get by regulatory fiat what he cannot hope to get passed into statute. Here's the thing - he'll fail miserably.
So long as the Republicans control Congress - which seems like a decent bet, with 23 Democratic Senators up for re-election compared to only 10 Republicans, and the Democratic Party entering full panic mode, a second Obama Administration will be like the old Bourbon monarchs, restored to the Throne after the fall of Napoleon: they have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.
And so with Obama. He will continue to appoint ideologues to Cabinet positions, who will fill the top Department positions with fellow ideologues. These will continue to be disproportionately academics, drunk on theory and in a hurry. In short, the Scandal-o-matic will run non-stop throughout Obama's next term, with him ending up known as the most corrupt Administration since Harding.
All that's needed is a Republican Congress, and joint committees issuing subpoenas not just for the Attorney General, but for the Secretary of Energy, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security. Sure the running dog lackeys in the Press will try to cover for him, but they're already tired of their Lightbringer, and financial scandals (at the least) will no longer be anothing they can successfully prevent from being published. Their delay tactics will only prove to drag out the scandals, keeping them in front of the Nation.
Congress will know that they have to stop the Administration, and as we've seen from the current House (and Republican Senators), they will actively step up to this. The single danger is Obama appointing a Supreme Court Justice or two, but a little obstruction (not to mention hearings of Elena Kagan's tenure in Justice) will give plenty of time for Rope-a-Dope.
So what's the advantage of a President Romney? We know that Romney is a policy wonk and administrator's administrator, which means that he's itching to do something. And a Republican Senate would feel obligated to let him.
The last two decades have given me about as much of that as I can stomach.
What Romney won't do is scale back government, in any meaningful sense. He won't get rid of Rabbit Inspectors, or any of the other myriad of governmental intrusions that are an affront to the free citizens of this Republic. Instead, he'd work to make government work better. So what if he succeeds?
We will have a well-oiled, efficient Rabbit Inspection department.
And Congress will let him, because they'll feel obligated to support a Republican President. No thank'ee.
Here's the kicker: if Mitt Romney goes down in flames because of guys like me, that will be the final nail in the coffin of the Republican Establishment. It will say, go ahead and nominate another one. We'll vote for Obama before we'll vote for you lot.
I keep saying that the Democrats aren't the problem, and the Republicans aren't the solution. The problem is that an institutionalized elite holds the rest of us in contempt, and rules for their own benefit. Mitt Romney is the embodiment of that elite. Crushing him is not just prudent, it's a damned categorical imperative - it is both required and justified in and of itself.
Defeating Obama is short term, tactical thinking. Reducing the size, cost, and intrusiveness of government is what this Republic so desperately needs. That's the prize. We'll be closer to that prize after eight years of Obama than after eight years of Romney.
Strategic, not tactical. Our children depend on us to see clearly, and to make the needed - if unpleasant - choices. Obama is not to be feared, as I've been saying for some time. The Republican Establishment needs us more than we need them. We can break them to our will, if we don't let them panic us. But this is the moment, and if we do not seize it, we shall not see another like it in our lifetimes.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
E'en now, the tide is turning. Cast off, or risk spending the remainder of our days bound in shallows and miseries imposed on us by our "Betters". Like Mitt Romney.