My Reply to Stacy McCain, et/al: I do not approve, I understand

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My Reply to Stacy McCain, et/al: I do not approve, I understand

Kirk: You mean to tell me your peo­ple just walk into a dis­in­te­gra­tion machine when they’re told to?
Anan 7: We have a high con­scious­ness of duty, Cap­tain.
Spock:There is a cer­tain sci­en­tific logic about it.
Anan 7: I’m glad you approve.
Spock: I do not approve. I understand.

Star Trek: A taste of Armaged­don Feb 23rd 1967

We Sicil­ians are known for our long mem­o­ries, Stacy McCain is not at all Sicil­ian but he demon­strates that char­ac­ter­is­tic in this post detail­ing Newt Gingrich’s acts in the spe­cial elec­tion in NY-​23

Like many of other Repub­li­cans of his vin­tage, Newt never under­stood or sym­pa­thized with the Tea Party move­ment. Gin­grich, like so many GOP Estab­lish­ment types, seemed to fear the grass­roots upris­ing as a poten­tial third-​party threat, and viewed Hoffman’s cam­paign in that con­text. But what hap­pened in NY-​23 was a unique cir­cum­stance that has never been repeated in the past two years, and Gin­grich evi­dently couldn’t be both­ered to do the research nec­es­sary to dis­cover that his Repub­li­can bud­dies were lying to him: About Dede, about Hoff­man and about the 23rd District.

As some­one who trav­eled all over NY-​23, I can attest that the dis­trict was mostly rural, with a few rel­a­tively small­ish towns — Water­town and Platts­burgh being the biggest — and a bit of sub­ur­ban Syra­cuse thrown in. It was a basi­cally con­ser­v­a­tive dis­trict and there was noth­ing in Hoffman’s plat­form that made him une­lec­table. Frankly, Hoffman’s worst prob­lem in the dis­trict was the open hos­til­ity shown by the pub­lisher of the Water­town news­pa­per, who seems to have been a per­sonal friend of Scoz­zafava and hated Hoff­man with the white-​hot heat of a thou­sand suns.

It is com­mon for blog­gers to pro­mote posts via an e-​mail list. This time Stacy sent a par­tic­u­lar e-​mail to me with the sub­ject: “A Sicil­ian should appre­ci­ate this one.”

Alas Stacy has mis­read me, I’ve always said I am a bad Sicil­ian because I try to be more Catholic than Sicil­ian. I under­stand the dam­age Gin­grich did in that elec­tion can­celling all the time and effort good con­ser­v­a­tives expended on that elec­tion. I cer­tainly com­pre­hend the desire for vengeance and even see the logic behind it, but like Spock although I under­stand, I do not approve.

I totally agree that Newt was fool­ish and irre­spon­si­ble in NY-​23 in the same way that I totally agree that Mitt Rom­ney has a courage of his con­vic­tions prob­lem, and Rick Perry has an express­ing him­self prob­lem, and that Ron Paul has a for­eign pol­icy straight out of the 30’s and Rick San­to­rum had his head handed to him in his last elec­tion and Jon Hunts­man is absolutely hor­ri­ble on Gay Mar­riage and Gary John­son is hor­ri­ble on weed and Buddy Roe­mer is fool­ish to sup­port the occupods and Her­man Cain has really made some bush league mis­takes and Michelle Bach­mann has squan­dered a lead and made some ele­men­tary gaffes of her own.

To that I say: So what? That doesn’t change the sin­gle most sig­nif­i­cant dri­ver of the 2012 election:

Barack Obama is a pres­i­dent so hor­ri­ble that democ­rats around the coun­try are run­ning from him like the plague.

Every sin­gle one of the GOP can­di­dates, no mat­ter what their fail­ings, is more than capa­ble of beat­ing Barack Obama in 2012. Some of them will beat him like the Saints beat the Colts a few weeks ago, the worst of them will beat him like the Saints did the Fal­cons this week, but they will all beat him.

I don’t deny there are GOP can­di­dates that are supe­rior to oth­ers. Most of us have a favorite can­di­date;. Stacy McCain has one, Bar­bara Espinosa has one, Lisa Graas has one, Doug Mat­a­co­nis has one etc etc etc… As long as the pri­mary is going on, it is in the inter­est of those who sup­port spe­cific can­di­dates to do their best to secure the nom­i­na­tion for the can­di­date they want to the exclu­sion of all oth­ers. I have absolutely no prob­lem with any of these peo­ple push­ing their can­di­dates for­ward as best they can.

One that nom­i­na­tion process is over we have to make a choice, it is a sim­ple and direct one. That choice will be between the ticket headed by the win­ning can­di­date or the ticket headed by Barack Obama.

There are some who believe, if a par­tic­u­lar can­di­date is cho­sen we should aban­don the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee. Many mem­bers of the GOP did that in 2008. Most because they despised John McCain, some because they despised Sarah Palin.

Their reward was Oba­macare and Jus­tices Kagen and Sotomayor, how’s that work­ing out for ya?

I’ve heard a lot of peo­ple declare that can­di­date X has treated con­ser­v­a­tives wrong in the past, that can­di­date Y will cost us the house, that Can­di­date Z is not qual­i­fied for pres­i­dent. That is not what vot­ers are called on to decide. There is only one ques­tion that vot­ers need to ask them­selves in 2012:

Given the choice between Barack Obama and any can­di­date on the GOP list, who would do a bet­ter job lead­ing America?

I don’t have to think twice about that answer and if you are the least bit con­ser­v­a­tive nei­ther should you.

I absolutely refuse to use dis­ap­point­ment with, or anger at, any one of these GOP can­di­date to jus­tify an action or inac­tion which will harm Amer­ica for gen­er­a­tions to come. One sim­ple exam­ple: if the re-​election of Barack Obama leads to the replace­ment of a late Jus­tice Thomas with a Jus­tice Holder, hav­ing a bumper sticker on my car that says: “Don’t blame me I wrote in Sarah Palin” will be of lit­tle com­fort to my chil­dren and grandchildren.

Let me end with this story from Blog­con: I left the Kruiser Kabana in the early AM at the same time as Nice Deb. We got into an inter­est­ing con­ver­sa­tion where I main­tained that one of the worst things you can give a per­son is an excuse. An excuse can make the worst deci­sions com­fort­able. Given the right excuse a per­son will jus­tify almost any­thing from a bad action to a worse inac­tion, and the WORST excuses are once that every­one else will under­stand. Our con­ver­sa­tion was con­cern­ing more per­sonal actions but I think it applies equally in this situation.

Update: Title cor­rected, thanks Ali.

Update 2: And fixed Doug’s last name too

Update 3: Stacy links but seems to mis­in­ter­prets me slightly, my argu­ment equally applies to those who insist, Rom­ney, Cain, Perry, Paul, Hunts­man, John­son, Bach­mann, San­to­rum et/​al who say 1. The can­di­date can’t beat Obama or 2. I won’t vote for this can­di­date if nom­i­nated because I’d rather re-​elect obama.

As a tea party sup­porter there is no rea­son why we would not con­tinue to put pres­sure on an elected GOP leader to advance Tea party prin­ci­ples. They are no less impor­tant with a repu­bil­can pres­i­dent in office than a demo­c­ra­tic one.

Update 4: Boy those delayed insta­lanches really catch you by sur­prise, par­tic­u­larly when they are on old posts, thanks glenn. I’ll have all those com­ments taken care of ASAP.

Update 5: Doug Hoff­man gets it, but Stacy still dis­agrees.

Kirk: You mean to tell me your people just walk into a disintegration machine when they’re told to?
Anan 7: We have a high consciousness of duty, Captain.
Spock:There is a certain scientific logic about it.
Anan 7: I’m glad you approve.
Spock: I do not approve. I understand.

Star Trek:  A taste of Armageddon Feb 23rd 1967

We Sicilians are known for our long memories, Stacy McCain is not at all Sicilian but he demonstrates that characteristic in this post detailing Newt Gingrich’s acts in the special election in NY-23

Like many of other Republicans of his vintage, Newt never understood or sympathized with the Tea Party movement. Gingrich, like so many GOP Establishment types, seemed to fear the grassroots uprising as a potential third-party threat, and viewed Hoffman’s campaign in that context. But what happened in NY-23 was a unique circumstance that has never been repeated in the past two years, and Gingrich evidently couldn’t be bothered to do the research necessary to discover that his Republican buddies were lying to him: About Dede, about Hoffman and about the 23rd District.

As someone who traveled all over NY-23, I can attest that the district was mostly rural, with a few relatively smallish towns — Watertown and Plattsburgh being the biggest — and a bit of suburban Syracuse thrown in. It was a basically conservative district and there was nothing in Hoffman’s platform that made him unelectable. Frankly, Hoffman’s worst problem in the district was the open hostility shown by the publisher of the Watertown newspaper, who seems to have been a personal friend of Scozzafava and hated Hoffman with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns.

It is common for bloggers to promote posts via an e-mail list. This time Stacy sent a particular e-mail to me with the subject: “A Sicilian should appreciate this one.”

Alas Stacy has misread me, I’ve always said I am a bad Sicilian because I try to be more Catholic than Sicilian. I understand the damage Gingrich did in that election cancelling all the time and effort good conservatives expended on that election. I certainly comprehend the desire for vengeance and even see the logic behind it, but like Spock although I understand, I do not approve.

I totally agree that Newt was foolish and irresponsible in NY-23 in the same way that I totally agree that Mitt Romney has a courage of his convictions problem, and Rick Perry has an expressing himself problem, and that Ron Paul has a foreign policy straight out of the 30’s and Rick Santorum had his head handed to him in his last election and Jon Huntsman is absolutely horrible on Gay Marriage and Gary Johnson is horrible on weed and Buddy Roemer is foolish to support the occupods and Herman Cain has really made some bush league mistakes and Michelle Bachmann has squandered a lead and made some elementary gaffes of her own.

To that I say: So what? That doesn’t change the single most significant driver of the 2012 election:

Barack Obama is a president so horrible that democrats around the country are running from him like the plague.

Every single one of the GOP candidates, no matter what their failings, is more than capable of beating Barack Obama in 2012. Some of them will beat him like the Saints beat the Colts a few weeks ago, the worst of them will beat him like the Saints did the Falcons this week, but they will all beat him.

I don’t deny there are GOP candidates that are superior to others. Most of us have a favorite candidate;. Stacy McCain has one, Barbara Espinosa has one, Lisa Graas has one, Doug Mataconis has one etc etc etc… As long as the primary is going on, it is in the interest of those who support specific candidates to do their best to secure the nomination for the candidate they want to the exclusion of all others. I have absolutely no problem with any of these people pushing their candidates forward as best they can.

One that nomination process is over we have to make a choice, it is a simple and direct one. That choice will be between the ticket headed by the winning candidate or the ticket headed by Barack Obama.

There are some who believe, if a particular candidate is chosen we should abandon the Republican nominee. Many members of the GOP did that in 2008. Most because they despised John McCain, some because they despised Sarah Palin.

Their reward was Obamacare and Justices Kagen and Sotomayor, how’s that working out for ya?

I’ve heard a lot of people declare that candidate X has treated conservatives wrong in the past, that candidate Y will cost us the house, that Candidate Z is not qualified for president. That is not what voters are called on to decide. There is only one question that voters need to ask themselves in 2012:

Given the choice between Barack Obama and any candidate on the GOP list, who would do a better job leading America?

I don’t have to think twice about that answer and if you are the least bit conservative neither should you.

I absolutely refuse to use disappointment with, or anger at, any one of these GOP candidate to justify an action or inaction which will harm America for generations to come. One simple example: if the re-election of Barack Obama leads to the replacement of a late Justice Thomas with a Justice Holder, having a bumper sticker on my car that says: “Don’t blame me I wrote in Sarah Palin” will be of little comfort to my children and grandchildren.

Let me end with this story from Blogcon: I left the Kruiser Kabana in the early AM at the same time as Nice Deb. We got into an interesting conversation where I maintained that one of the worst things you can give a person is an excuse. An excuse can make the worst decisions comfortable. Given the right excuse a person will justify almost anything from a bad action to a worse inaction, and the WORST excuses are once that everyone else will understand. Our conversation was concerning more personal actions but I think it applies equally in this situation.

Update: Title corrected, thanks Ali.

Update 2: And fixed Doug’s last name too

Update 3: Stacy links but seems to misinterprets me slightly, my argument equally applies to those who insist, Romney, Cain, Perry, Paul, Huntsman, Johnson, Bachmann, Santorum et/al who say 1. The candidate can’t beat Obama or 2. I won’t vote for this candidate if nominated because I’d rather re-elect obama.

As a tea party supporter there is no reason why we would not continue to put pressure on an elected GOP leader to advance Tea party principles. They are no less important with a repubilcan president in office than a democratic one.

Update 4: Boy those delayed instalanches really catch you by surprise, particularly when they are on old posts, thanks glenn. I’ll have all those comments taken care of ASAP.

Update 5: Doug Hoffman gets it, but Stacy still disagrees.