The Neapolitan Party

Early on in this race, we are starting to see a clear breakdown in the Republican party into three distinct flavors. The question will be whether one candidate can unite the party once the others have melted away.

Can Republicans compromise on one flavor?

The social conservatives are known for their stances on family values, morality, and for some, Christianity. They are the candidates that the Family Research Counsel and American Family Association would love to see win. They are openly supportive of the TEA Party movement and are popular among talk radio listeners and Glenn Beck fans. They are big on national security, small government, and spending cuts, but these stances are drowned out by their social values. They are often controversial and pull no punches in attacking the Left. This flavor includes Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Jim DeMint, Herman Cain, Haley Barbour, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.

Then you have the fiscal conservatives. They are proven businessmen. They have cut costs in government, they have balanced budgets, they have produced growth, and many of them have large personal fortunes. They have made the tough, controversial decisions having to do with the size of government, and they have produced incredible results. However, even though many of them are pro-life, pro-family, and generally socially conservative, this does not come out strongly in their campaigns. They are willing to work across the aisle, and sometimes alienate their own party by doing it. Social conservatives don’t trust them, but they enjoy a closet relationship with the TEA Party movement. They are strong on national security and foreign policy. These candidates include Mitt Romney, Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump.

Finally, there are the libertarians. Although they may live socially conservative lives and oppose things like abortion on a personal and state level, they will die by the principle that such things are beyond the scope of the Federal Government’s regulations. They oppose foreign wars and take a very cynical approach to free trade, the UN, and other foreign entanglements. They oppose the war on drugs and would take a chainsaw to the Federal Government’s authority without hesitation. Secretly, many conservatives love them, but most would not actually vote for them. These include Ron Paul and Gary Johnson.

And then there is Newt Gingrich. Newt can be credited with helping bring about one of our nation’s most prosperous times as he worked both across the aisle and strongly against a Clinton administration to balance the budget.

Newt can win the general. Can he win the primary?

Newt also is a dedicated social conservative, who despite his own personal family issues from a decade ago is a strong advocate for socially conservative issues. Newt also advocates for limited government, but certainly not anywhere to the extent that Ron Paul does. Gingrich is smart on foreign policy and thinks outside of the box.

His American Solutions website and conservative crusade starting from when he was considering a presidential run in 2007 have helped to codify and establish the conservative brand going into 2012. He has been a strong TEA Party ally without appearing to be a one dimensional TEA Party candidate.

Could Newt be the candidate who can unite enough of the Republican Neapolitan breakdown to win in 2012? He could certainly defeat Obama in a debate and would have a strong showing in a general election. The question is if he can get enough of the social conservative, fiscal conservative and libertarian Republicans to abandon their favorite in order to unite behind him in the primary.

Religious Right Sends Negative Signals On Romney

Onenewsnow.com, the media outlet of the American Family Association, printed an article today that may signal early opposition from the Religious Right to a Romney run.

In the article, Tom Pauken, a former Reagan staffer, says he is “worried” about a Romney nomination. Pauken describes Romney as “left of Teddy Kennedy” on abortion and homosexual rights. He also called Romney a Rockefeller Republican, a term reserved for rich, fiscal Republicans who have little concern for family values or the Republican social agenda.

This may seem like an odd assessment, considering Romney’s pointedly pro-life run in 2008. In fact, Romney has more in common with Reagan than just the hair and the calm, relaxing voice. But this isn’t the first time Romney has ended up on the opposite side of the Religious Right, and it won’t be the last. Aside from Romney’s distant liberal history, his Mormonism is still a huge negative to many Christian conservatives.

Romney opposed abortion in 2008 and in 2007 stated that he has never supported gay marriage. That may not be enough for many Christians wary of his past and his religion. His record as governor of Massachusetts may scare some conservatives, but even Reagan had a history as a former governor of California. Pauken should remember that Reagan gave us the nation’s first no-fault divorce laws. He also was considered a big spender for his day.

When dealing with Romney, Reaganites like Pauken should remember Reagan’s 11th commandment and 80/20 rules. Romney has those mastered, which may make him unappetizing for some conservatives who want it all and are quick to throw the RINO label around.

Do you oppose a Romney nomination? Leave a comment and share your perspective.

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