FRC Says No Rice Please

In their Monday email, the Family Research Council rained on the Condoleeza Rice parade.  Describing her as a “non-starter”, Tony Perkins said that she is not pro-life, pro-marriage or a strong defender of religious liberty.  Perkins also noted that the Family Research Council would only accept a candidate who was strongly pro-life, not just someone who “checks the ‘pro-life box'”.

Will FRC stop promoting Mitt Romney if he chooses Condoleeza Rice as his VP?  No.  They supported Bush even though Cheney supported gay marriage.  But now is the time to use their leverage as a group representing a large segment of fundamental Christianity and steer Romney towards a more socially conservative choice.

Condi is a great and extremely qualified candidate.  But Romney should carefully consider the promises he has made regarding his VP selection process.  If he is looking to shake the Etch-a-sketch image one of his staffers foolishly gave him, than now is a perfect time to take a principled stand.  On the other hand, Romney may do the calculations and figure he will pick up more independents with Condi than he would lose from his base.

Gay Marriage and Equality

In the land of liberalism, portraying Obama’s timid conversion to gay marriage support as the sort of principled, bold action that no other executive would ever take (kind of like choosing to go in and shoot Bin Laden) is a trump card.  In fact, Obama is now playing his conversion up for all it’s worth, acting as though he’s the Martin Luther King Jr. of the homosexual movement.  Cash-wise, it’s paying big dividends.

However, reality may soon kick in.  While Obama’s conversion is symbolic, it doesn’t change anything anymore than when Dick Cheney came out in support of gay marriage.  Obama himself admitted that he still prefers to leave the issue up to the states, which puts his view in company with most other conservatives.

Obama thinks he’s so original

In addition to nothing changing policy wise, and Obama filling his campaign advertising with gaudy rainbows, Obama is in danger of losing votes in several swing states who have amended their constitutions to protect the definition of marriage.  For example, Colorado, California, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan and Virginia are among the states that have defined marriage in their constitutions.  Perhaps Obama’s coming out of the closet won’t lose him California, but it will have an effect in North Carolina and Florida where traditional marriage won with super majorities.

There is a debate brewing in the country now over how Obama has framed the gay marriage issue.  Is gay marriage a requirement for true equality in our country?  There are two issues that conservatives must be clear on with this question.

The first is the question of legal rights.  Can homosexuals be considered equal if they don’t get the same tax treatment, however favorable or unfavorable, as traditionally married couples?  By the way, as a tax accountant I’ve been able to save some gay couples more money by filing them both as single than I would if I had to file them as married filing jointly.  Just sayin’, in case you are reading this, homosexual, and think you are missing out on all sorts of great tax benefits because you can’t file jointly.

The question about equal legal rights can easily be defeated by testing if the individually truly cares about equality or is just using that argument to advance their agenda.  Ask them if they support a progressive tax system.  The progressive tax system that taxes rich and middle income earners at higher rates than the poor is a staple of liberalism, and a clear antithesis to equality.

The other question is whether the government should be telling homosexuals what marriage is and isn’t.  What many call the government defining marriage, others call the government banning all other forms of marriage.  But what is in a definition?  Fortunately, we have a prominent liberal Democrat who has demonstrated the importance of words and their definitions.

If you’ve heard the name Elizabeth Warren, then you know what I am talking about.  Warren, the liberal candidate who said the rich should pay higher taxes because they only reason they are rich is that the government gave them education and roads, lives what she preaches.  She gave herself a leg up both in school and career by claiming she is a Cherokee Indian.  Harvard touted Warren as adding diversity to their staff. Turns out she is about 1/32 Cherokee, and her ancestry has more Indian killers than actual Indians.

But that brings up an interesting question: can we all call ourselves Cherokee Indians in order to achieve equality and have a better shot at employment at Harvard?  Is it the government that is banning me from being a Cherokee Indian?  Perhaps you find that argument offensive.  Let’s back up about 60 years when there was a true battle for equality taking place in our country.  Should blacks have been given the right to be called white in order to achieve equality?  Of course not.  There is no need to redefine the word “white” in order to achieve equality.  Same with the word “marriage”.

Still, now that the war on women angle has failed, as has the war on the poor, the next play is the war on equality.  Be prepared to be accused of opposing equal rights for all if you are a Republican.  Suddenly the candidate who admits he was forced into revealing his gay marriage support has become the champion of equal rights simply by endorsing redefining marriage.  Romney will need to find ways to connect with the voters who have overwhelmingly voted to protect marriage in every state they’ve been given a chance, and he will need to win this debate.

Editors Note: As with any post on Whitehouse12.com, the opinions expressed in this post are the opinions of the author and represent the site only in as far as they represent the views of this particular author.  These views may not be representative of the site as a whole.

Quick Debate Recap

And the winner is:

Good night for Romney

Mitt Romney.  Romney was the adult on the stage.  When the moderators tried to pick a fight between Perry and Romney, Romney put a quick end to it.  When the candidates attacked each other, Romney said that any one of them would be better than Obama.  Romney drove home the point that Obama is in over his head.  He drove that point so well that it stuck out above the fray.  Instead of seeing animosity, disagreements or even easy shots from Romney, he gave honor to Reagan’s golden rule and even offered Perry a “mulligan” on mandatory vaccinations.  Romney, having just released his plan, had that to stand on in the debate.  Romney has also been paying attention.  After last debate, Obama complained that none of the candidates mentioned the middle class.  Romney responded by saying that the middle class has been hurt most by Obama, while not referencing the President’s criticism by name.  Romney also corrected the moderators on the myth of TEA party “membership”, and then followed up by spelling out exactly what the TEA party stands for and endorsing them.

Newt Gingrich is a great debater and did not disappoint.  His attacks on Obama and focus on Obama, not on other Republicans, showed why he is a great candidate for the GOP.  Gingrich showed a fire that I think most people have lost sight of as he has faded between major events like this.  Unfortunately, because Newt has struggled to gain national attention outside of the debates, this debate as well will probably not give him a bump.  But his performance was a solid 2nd place performance.

Michele Bachmann did not carve out a huge chunk of attention for herself or particularly stand out, but she didn’t make any mistakes either.  She was even able to field the $2 a gallon gas question by pointing out that it was below that when Obama’s presidency began.  I think Americans are understanding better than Huntsman and others what she means when she says she can produce $2 a gallon gas.  But the key for Bachmann was her expounding on why she would not accept a taxes for spending cuts deal.  I think she just beat Gingrich to the punch.  At the Reagan Library, Michele Bachmann reminded us of Reagan’s deal with Democrats where he was promised $3 in spending cuts for every $1 in taxes increased.  Instead, as she put it, he got $3 in tax hikes for every $1 in spending cuts.  This was a shining moment that explained away what could have been easily used in the general election as an attack on the Republican candidate’s uncompromising stance.  For the short amount of time she was given, she met expectations and in that one instance vastly exceeded them.

Rick Perry described himself as the pinata in the party, and as the front runner he could probably have expected this.  He also got a perceived majority of the time as the moderators and other candidates spent a great deal of time fleshing out his positions and attacking his record.  Some of the shine will certainly be gone after tonight.  At one point he seemed to stumble and go into slow motion on one of his responses.  He was beat up a lot and a lot of issues came into the spot light that perhaps he wishes hadn’t.  Perry didn’t back off of his social security rhetoric, which will win him some supporters and lose others.  In the end, Perry survived the night and still came out strong, but I think his front runner status is going to be in danger going forward.  Enter Sarah Palin?

Herman Cain focused on the word “solutions”.  He sounded like a CEO.  He mentioned some of his plans and ideas, but a great deal of it sounded very much like platitudes.  I think in a few weeks I will write a “Where are they now?” blog post about former candidates in this primary who had so much potential but then faded into the background and eventually out of the race.  Pawlenty, Gary Johnson, Mitch Daniels will all make that list.  Is Cain destined for the “Where are they now?” post?

Jon Huntsman did a pretty good job connecting for most of the debate.  A lot of his answers sounded pretty reasonable and brought him further from the edge of moderate liberalism that he had been occupying.  He was doing a pretty good job.  And then he started talking about global warming.  Perry’s slow motion, botched response with simple homey reference to Galileo still put Huntsman to shame on global warming.  Huntsman’s answer on science will distance him from a vast majority of the right base.  Even the vast majority of evolutionists on the right still wouldn’t destroy the economy over global warming science.  Mark my words, this is the death of Huntsman’s campaign, although I doubt he will figure that out for another month or two.

Santorum had an odd look on his face the whole evening.  It almost seemed like every time the camera pointed at him, he was asking himself “what the heck am I doing here?”  I had the same question.  Santorum is a great guy, but his ideas are stale and his campaign is stalled.  Most of his answers echoed Newt Gingrich and the ones that didn’t were the answers of a candidate from a different time than we live in now.  I think Santorum has done a good job of presenting his issues and making sure they are a topic in this primary.  He should gracefully bow out now.

Ron Paul was in rare form.  Well, not really rare form, just rare for what we’ve seen in this year’s more civil, tame campaign.  We didn’t see any of that civil, tame version of Paul tonight.  The moderators, between asking the right questions and denying him equal time, played Ron Paul like a fiddle.  The result was some gems, like Paul saying we should take air conditioners away from troops in the green zone, that gas would only cost a dime if our coins were still made with silver, and that if we put up a fence to curb illegal immigration eventually that fence would be used to keep Americans from leaving.  His performance was completely unpresidential, and he made Perry look like a moderate.  Paul will still appeal to about 10% of America with this debate performance, and they are a very loud 10%.  But he did a great deal of damage to the liveable campaign he had been building to date.  I think he will even lose many of the moderates and independents his anti-establishmentism had been attracting.

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