Romney Wins The Iowa Caucus By 8 Votes!

Bookmark and Share   With 99% of the vote in, 4 votes separating the first and second place candidates, and blurry eyed anchors and reporters on their seventh hour of live broadcasts struggling for things to say, Iowa State Republican Party officials have reported that they could not find the results from the precinct in one county and two precincts in another county may have incorrectly transposed the results for one candidate to another.
However, with all the proper adjustments made and vote verified by monitors from both the Romney and Santorum camps, it was decided that Romney wins the Iowa Caucus by 8 votes.

For Rick Santorum, the good news is that the results are so  close that he will still be considered a big winner.  The good news for Mitt Romney is that he did what he failed to do 4 years ago after spending $10 million dollars.

The bad news is that Iowa Republicans are not exactly helping Republicans outside of their state, feel confident in their stewardship of an election that has as profound an effect on national politics as the Iowa Caucus.

For political junkie, the evening could not have been more extraordinary.  Between Santorum’s remarkable underdog campaign roaring from behind, Mitt Romney’s struggle to hold on to frontrunner status, a second tier battle for relevance between Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Ron Paul, and the added tension and intrigue of human error, the night was truly one for the history books.

The initial story here is the emergence of Rick Santorum.  The story that is yet to unfold is how well Santorum can build upon his surprise victory.

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Newt Gingrich Begins to Give Some of What He Has Been Getting

Bookmark and Share Newt Gingrich closes out his bid for a win in Iowa by focussing in on Mitt Romney and reserving some of the harshest criticism of the campaign yet for the former Massachusetts Governor.

After nearly 10 million dollars of negative ads being aired against Newt, and after seeing it cut his numbers in half, Newt is now willing to accept the fact the negative campaign against has worked. Yet in an attempt to maintain his own pledge to run a positive campaign, Gingrich told CNN’s Piers Morgan that he need not attack his opponents, all he needs to do is tell the truth. And that is what he now calls his attacks on Mitt Romney ….the truth.

According to Newt, Romney is so moderate and has such a bad record and done so many things are indefensible in a Republican primary but acceptable in a Democratic primary, that all he needs to continue to do is tell the truth. [see the video below]

In an afternoon interview on Fox News, when Speaker Gingrich was asked to explain how he is can claim to to still be running a positive campaign after earlier this morning calling Romney a liar, Gingrich stated that he was asked a question and answered it honestly. But he added that what he is not going to do is waste people’s time by trying to turn such a thing in to a negative television ad campaign. He added that he is happy to remain positive and will continue to do so as the race moves beyond Iowa.

Gingrich’s claim that Romney is lying stems from earlier statements in which Newt claimed that Mitt needed to be man enough to stand up and admit that the Super PAC ads that are being run against Gingrich by Romney supporters are . Newt states and that if we can’t trust him to level with the American people about his ads, then how can we expect him to level with the American people about anything as president.

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Just What on Earth is a Conservative?

A New Conservatism is needed to stop America going down the road of Welfarism

Iowa is upon us. 2012 is upon us. How will it all end? It may just all end in tears. Tears because Obama wins, or tears because the GOP did    not offer a viable alternative. Whatever happens, one thing is for sure: this is a time to stand up for conservative principles.

But, just what on earth is a conservative, and can one win the White House this year?

To answer this means agreement on just what a conservative is, and your answer to the second part of my question depends on the answer to the first part.

Simply put, Conservatism is a set of instincts and principles guiding decisions, which are applied according to historical context. Today’s conservative may discuss different situations and policy options then an 18th Century conservative, but then they will adhere to some broad principles as if there had been no intervening centuries. The conservative whom is central to American modern conservatism is Edmund Burke, and he spelled out some core conservative elements of thought:

  1. People are basically religious, and religion is the foundation of civil society. A divine sanction infuses the legitimate, existing, social order.
  2. Society is the natural, organic product of slow historical growth, with institutions drawing on the wisdom of previous generations.
  3. People are creatures of instinct and emotion as well as reason. Prudence, prejudice, experience, and habit are better guides than reason, logic, abstractions, and metaphysics. Truth exists not in universal propositions but in concrete experiences.
  4. The community is superior to the individual. Rights derive from duties. Evil is rooted in human nature, not in any particular social institutions.
  5. Apart from an ultimate moral sense, people are unequal. Social organization is a complex of classes, orders, and groups. Hence, differentiation, hierarchy and leadership are the inevitable characteristics of any civil society.
  6. A presumption exists “in favor of any settled scheme of government against any untried project.  “Man’s hopes are high, but his vision is short.”  Thus, efforts to remedy existing evils usually result in even greater ones.

We find echoes of these elements in the influential 1953 essay “The Conservative Mind”, where Russell Kirk offered what he called “six canons of conservative thought”. Like Burke, the divine plays a foundational role:

  1. Belief that a divine intent rules society as well as conscience
  2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of traditional life
  3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes
  4. Persuasion that property and freedom are inseparably connected and that economic leveling is not economic progress
  5. Faith in prescription and distrust of “sophisters and calculators”
  6. Recognition that change and reform are not identical

In 2012, how many of these foundational canons of thought are taught in our educational system? Again the answer is simple: none. What does happen is that these foundational principles are undermined and dismantled at every level of education and public life. To be a conservative is to swim against the cultural tide, against the consensus which is taught in schools and parlayed by the chattering media.

Winning a political election means appealing to the consensus, and today’s consensus is not tolerant of principles, or even thought for that matter. In today’s climate, a conservative cannot win the election. You can only look at the GOP field and vote for the consensus candidate, in other words the nearest thing to an electable conservative. This is not a ringing endorsement of Mitt Romney, but he is the only candidate who can compete with Obama.

But then in the grand scheme of things the presidential election is a mere sideshow, because the real battles lie ahead in establishing a new conservative agenda for an America systemically in doubt and unsure. The enlightenment trajectory of Europe down the road to Welfarism, with its self-destructive repudiation of civilized principles, is the trajectory America is now following.

The answer is not to be found in this election, a new conservatism that tackles the causes of decline in enlightenment civilization is needed. A new Burke or Kirk is needed, because conservatives cannot simply look at Obama as the cause of America’s identity crisis, he is a symptom of the decay of the principles these thinkers set out so clearly.

Iowa Caucus Locator: Find the Location of Your Local Caucus Precinct

If you are an Iowa Republicans and are not sure of where your caucus is located, please click on the link below:

A Message To Iowa Republicans

Bookmark and Share   Iowa Republicans are being provided a truly special honor today.  They have been reserved the right to provide our nation with the first official evaluation of the people who want to lead our nation based upon a conservative ideology that is designed to preserve the founding principles of our government.

For nearly three years now, under the leadership of President Barack Obama, we have seen a profoundly different ideology at work.  It is an ideology that believes government needs to do far more than our founding fathers ever intended the federal government to do.  That ideology has led to a stagnation of our economy, a reduction of liberty, the shackling of the free market, a lack of confidence in our future, and a state of affairs at home and abroad which can only be seen as having been one big step in the wrong direction which leaves us worse off now than we were three years ago.

Today’s Caucus is the first attempt to help our nation take a step in the right direction and the people of Iowa are given the chance to lead the way.

Like most Americans, Iowans may not find any of the candidates to be perfect.  But our Constitution was never meant to achieve perfection.  It was designed to preserve freedom and to prevent any state and federal authority from gaining the type of control over lives that would get in the way of our dreams and hopes.  And that is what Iowans should keep in mind when they finally decide upon who they want to replace President Obama with.

While I find most all of the Republican candidates to be better equipped to lead our nation in the right direction then President Obama is, I have chosen Newt Gingrich as my first choice.  In addition to having proven himself to be intellectually prepared to face the challenges of our nation, he has a proven record of  reform and innovation and it is my belief that if we intend to turn this nation around, we need to do so with innovative reforms that will challenge the failures of the status quo and usher us in to a new era of strength, security, and prosperity.  For it is obvious to me that the status quo is not working.

I am of the belief that while Newt is familiar with the inside of politics, he is a political outsider by nature and as such, I believe that he will challenge the political establishment more so than any other candidate in the race.  And at the same time, I believe that Newt is a genuine conservative who shares the basic principles which make most of us Republicans.  Like the others, he is not perfect, but he is promising.

But no matter what the people of Iowa decide, it is my greatest hope that they have taken advantage of the attention that they have received from the candidates.  As the resident of a state that is one of the very last to have a say in the nomination process, I have not been afforded the attention from the candidates that most Iowans have. And I will not be afforded that type of attention.    Which is why I truly hope Iowa republicans take this decision seriously.  And it is also why I hope that Iowa Republicans do not ignore this responsibility by sitting at home on Tuesday night.

Given the election laws that govern the Iowa Caucuses, people who believe in a different kind of America than us will be afforded the chance to decide who they think should be our nominee and represent our beliefs.  If too many Iowa Republicans do not take advantage of the responsibility given to them by not participating in the first in the nation caucus that they are blessed with, than the liberal ideology which we oppose and hope to defeat in November  can consume our beliefs.

So if you are a Republican, if you are a conservative, do not shirk your responsibility and risk our one chance to defeat Barack Obama.

With that in mind, I am happy  to provide you with this link to the Iowa GOP Caucus Locator.

If you you do  not yet know where you need to go in order to vote in tonight’s caucus, go to it now, type in your address, and find that location.  Then get yourself ready to go there and do your part in this most basic of American civic responsibilities.

Click here to find out where to vote in the Iowa Caucus

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Iowa’s Mold Breaker Might Matter

We are discovering the 2012 election cycle dynamic every day.  One thing we have learned already is that things that didn’t matter last week are crucial this week.  The thing we are learning this past week is that money matters, as Mitt Romney surrogates bought waves of negative airtime, Ron Paul bought Michele Bachmann’s Iowa campaign chairman, and Newt suddenly began to realize what a nice thing it would be to have campaign staffs, ground crews, or even counter advertising money.

To Huntsman’s dismay, we may be discovering that Iowa matters.  Let me put it this way.  If Newt Gingrich wins Iowa, it doesn’t really matter.  If Santorum wins Iowa, it will give him some false momentum but Iowa alone won’t matter.  If Bachmann wins Iowa, we will all drop our jaw and then move on with the real race.  If Paul wins Iowa, mainstream Republicans will spend the next few days complaining about how he did his usual ballot stuffing tricks, but then move on.

However, if Mitt Romney wins Iowa, that will be huge.  Iowa has typically stuck to mainstream, evangelical, more conservative than moderate candidates.  Iowa has granted hope to Mike Huckabee in recent years, and Michele Bachmann this year.  Now, with Mitt Romney leading in the polls, it appears that more conservative, evangelical voters are accepting that Romney will win the nomination.  In fact, in this case I wonder what type of dynamic Ron Paul is attributing to Romney’s rise.  Are Iowans viewing Gingrich, Perry and now even Santorum as third party spoilers?

I think with the Iowa dynamic, voters may actually prefer Santorum in the current field.  Instead, it appears that Iowa may end up being about who can beat Barack Obama, or more immediately, who can beat Ron Paul.  At any rate, if Mitt Romney wins, Iowa matters.  As McCain proved in 2008, voting for a candidate primarily because of electability is a tough paradigm to crack once it is set.

One thing is for sure.  If Romney does win in Iowa, Newt is dreaming if he thinks he can turn everything around in New Hampshire.

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