Posts Tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

Brief Impressions of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s 2013 Policy Orientation

Monday, January 14th, 2013

I enjoyed attending what little I could of the Texas Public Policy Foundation 2013 policy orientation held January 9-11. Here are a few quick and largely random impressions:

Because I just started a new day job, I wasn’t able to attend until Thursday evening, which meant I got to enjoy Austin’s lovely rush-hour traffic on Mopac and only got to hear about half of Ted Cruz’s pre-recorded message. (Cruz was originally scheduled to appear with Sen. John Cornyn, but had to fly off to Afghanistan and Israel on a Senate Foreign Relations trip. Cruz also appeared at lunch that day, a session I was unable to attend.) Then it was time for Texas’ senior U.S. Senator, John Cornyn, to be interviewed.

He defended the Fiscal Cliff deal as necessary to avoid a huge tax increase. He talked about the Senate’s inability to pass a budget. “Shame doesn’t work on Harry Reid.”

On foreign and defense policy, he noted (correctly) that keeping the American people safe is the number one responsibility of government. Cornyn says he’s opposing the nomination of Chuck Hagel and dinged Obama over Benghazi. “If the President and his Administration had been honest about Benghazi, they’re wouldn’t have been a scandal.” (Paraphrased.)

Cornyn also displayed a certain tone-deafness in regard to his audience. When asked to mention possible 2016 GOP Presidential candidates, the first name Cornyn mentioned was NJ Governor Chris Christie, which drew audible groans and hisses from the audience, for good reason.

After the Cornyn speech there was a blogger met-and-great at Rivals Steakhouse. I met a bevy of state Reps whose names quickly blurred together, as well as Ashley Sewell, AKA @TXTrendyChick, who I had already been following on Twitter, and a bunch of other bloggers. Most interesting bit of off-the-record gossip: Confirmation of my Rick Perry hopped-up on goofballs theory. “When I saw him running around Iowa in flats I knew he was in a lot of pain. The man practically sleeps in boots.”

On Friday, I took a long lunch to attend the Newt Gingrich luncheon and signing. I sat one seat down from the indefatigable Holly Hansen (who has her own, far more extensive coverage), and @TXTrendyChick promptly plopped down between us. Obviously our table was the place to be.

I get to hang out with all the cool chicks!

Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was Gingrich’s warm-up speaker. Dewhurst has improved somewhat since his losing Senate race against Ted Cruz last year, but he’s still not a natural speaker. He tries to cram too many policy points into a speech, and isn’t skilled enough to distinguish between major and minor points. When it comes to conservative policy, he seems to know the words, but doesn’t hear the music.

Dewhurst’s four points as to why Texas is doing better than any other state (1. We keep our spending low, 2. Keep our taxes low, 3. A light regulatory hand, and 4. Keep state government out of the way) were all very solid. He also promised additional budget cutting; let’s hope he follows through.

Most interesting parts of Dewhurst’s speech: A clumsily-phrased plea for welfare reform (“I’m not going to pay people to sit on the couch and do drugs,” a proclamation that will no doubt disappoint many members of Occupy Wall Street), and a proposal to arm teachers in the classroom.

Gingrich came on stage to a standing ovation. He said it was unfair for other states to compete with Texas, since we weren’t raising taxes and spending like California. (This is what people call “sarcasm.”)

This was definitely Gingrich 2.0 (or maybe 8.6), an idea-a-minute futurist (I’d like to see him and Bruce Sterling bounce off each other for a couple of hours someday). He was saying things about America 2.0, ubiquitous diagnostic cell phones as a health care initiative, having the programmers behind World of Warcraft come up with ways to teach our kids, and puters mkn kdz wrt btr (I iz skptical). It was even more scatter-shot than Dewhurst, but seemed a lot more organic. And he had one truly fascinating factoid: Students taking Stanford’s online classes did better on tests than the ones taking classes in person.

Gingrich seems genuinely optimistic about America’s future, which is a nice contrast with many of us after the 2012 election.

After the speech I managed to get him to sign two books for me, To Renew America, and Jim Wright’s Reflections of a Public Man, which he was quite amused by.

A few more luminaries:

State Senator Larry Taylor

State Rep Marsha Farney

A very dapper Chuck DeVore. He wasn’t born in Texas, but he got here as quickly as he could.

Hey girl, it’s Josh Trevino!

Apologies to anyone I didn’t mention, didn’t run into, or didn’t get a picture of (some just didn’t come out well). It was a busy two days!

And congratulations to TPPF honcho David Guenthner and his many minions, for all the hard work in carrying this off:

In addition to the copy of Texas Got it Right handed out to everyone, David thrust a copy of DeVore’s The Texas Model: Prosperity in the Lone Star State into my hands. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to say more about both in the not-so-distant future.

Why the Tea Party Exists

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

This piece by Dan McLaughlin encapsulates why the Tea Party exists, and why it has to fight a willfully heedless Republican establishment, so well that I’m going to quote whopping great chunks from it:

As anyone with a passing familiarity with Republican politics over the past four or five decades knows, conservative magazines and think tanks have been making detailed entitlement reform proposals for most of those years, and Republicans running for offices high and low have been running on platforms of reducing the size and cost of government for just as long. And then nothing happens.

That’s why Congress’ battles over the debt ceiling and related issues provide such a potent example. Basically all Republican Senators profess to be in favor of smaller government, and yet so few are willing to go to the barricades to make it a reality. Now, I’m a realist – there are limits to how much we could expect even a completely united GOP to bring home as long as Obama is the President and Harry Reid the Senate Majority Leader. But the repeated spectacle of leading pundits and Beltway Republicans tut-tutting Boehner and company for even trying to use their leverage to exact real concessions is a sign that the message Republican voters have been sending is not getting through to everyone.

(snip)

The related point here – and one that says much about why RedState has put so much energy into intra-party primary battles rather than the production of white papers – is that personnel is policy. The ideas are already there; what is lacking is the necessary corps of people with the will to fight for them.

(snip)

The point of my essay was not to denounce anyone, but to explain the history and depth of the current popular distrust on the Right of leaders who seem unwilling to lead. The battle to restrain runaway government spending is so much smoke and mirrors unless the people who profess to support it in word are dedicated to it in deed. No wealth of position papers, endorsements and Power Point presentations can demonstrate that. Voters and activists who have figured this out are rightly skeptical of those who don’t seem to “get it”. And they are more than willing to embrace flawed champions – even such a creature of the Beltway as Newt Gingrich – if they demonstrate the willingness to actually do something to stop the runaway train of federal spending. Every time some Beltway figure calls Newt or some Tea Party candidate crazy, voters think again, “he might actually be crazy enough to upset some applecarts to get things done.”

Read the whole thing.

(Hat tip: An American Housewife in London, more about which anon.)

LinkSwarm for January 26, 2012

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

LinkSwarm, or EuroDoom? LinkSwarm, or EuroDoom? Well, the first link has some of each, but with Davos just starting up, I imagine their will be a nice helping of EuroDoom ready to serve tomorrow, so let’s put up a LinkSwarm today:

  • Mark Steyn looks at the Costa Concordia sinking and smells a metaphor.
  • Myth: Newt Gingrich told his first wife he was divorcing her on her hospital deathbed. Fact: They had already agreed to a divorce, Newt was just visiting her, the tumor was benign, and Jackie Battley Gingrich is still alive. But who are you going to believe: Online liberal trolls, or the daughter who was actually in the hospital room at the time?
  • Borepatch says that Gingrich is particular effective at demolishing the Left’s Thought-terminating cliches.
  • Larry Elder lists all the things Gingrich can nail Obama and the media on.
  • Jonah Goldberg discusses Newtzilla, but his best barbs are reserved for his opponent: “Romney seems like a creature put on Earth to blend in with the humans and report back what he finds. He clearly likes earthlings, and they in turn find him pleasant enough and surprisingly lifelike.”
  • Maureen Dowd on on Obama’s cocoon of self-aggrandizing victimization. Like all Dowd’s columns, it focuses on the trivial minutia of the-personal-as-political…and is all the more devastating for it. “The man who came to Washington on a wave of euphoria has had a presidency with all the joy of a root canal…The Obamas, especially Michelle, have radiated the sense that Americans do not appreciate what they sacrifice by living in a gilded cage. They’ve forgotten Rule No. 1 of politics: No one sheds tears for anyone lucky enough to live at the White House. And after four or eight years of public service, you are assured membership in the 1 percent club.”
  • After 12 months, what has the Arab Spring wrought in Egypt? Cairo Winter: “The reality of the past twelve months, however, has undone whatever high hopes one might have held. Egypt is now headed for radical theocratic, rather than liberal democratic, rule. And a befuddled Obama administration has failed to do anything to stop the coming disaster.” (Hat tip: Michael Totten, who adds: “I know a few Egyptian intellectuals and activists who are authentic liberals, but they’re not remotely a majority. The percentage of Egyptians who genuinely support most or all the tenets of Western-style liberal democracy is in the high single digits at best.”)
  • An interesting quiz that ties in to Charles Murray’s new books asking how thick is your bubble?
  • A roundup of State of the Union reactions from the Texas congressional delegation.
  • Japan suffers its first trade deficit since 1980. Remember all those stories from the 1980s about how Japan was going to take over the world? They were very similar to the ones we were getting about China just a few years ago…
  • Hat tips: Ace, Insta, The Corner, and the usual suspects.

    Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll Results

    Saturday, January 14th, 2012

    I’ve been busy hosting a family even this weekend, so I haven’t been able to do a post on Thursday’s debate. But I wanted to point out the results of the straw poll at Saddle Up Houston (which, with 3,321 voters, had a lot more attendees than I suspected).

    Keep in mind all the usual caveats that apply to straw polls: They don’t tend to mean a lot when it comes to real voting.

    President

    Ron Paul: 54.4%
    Rick Santorum: 15.6%
    Rick Perry: 13.3%
    Newt Gingrich: 11.9%
    Mitt Romney: 4.2%
    Jon Huntsman: 0.5%
    Charles “Buddy” Roemer: 0.0% (Jeeze, how do you not manage to snag even .1% of the vote?)

    That’s an excellent showing for Ron Paul, but Paul has consistently proven himself much more adept at winning straw polls than primaries. Caveats aside, it’s a bad showing for Rick Perry (if you can’t win a straw poll in your own state, where can you win it?) and Mitt Romney (the frontrunner should get more than 4.2% of the vote, even against two favorite sons).

    Senate

    Ted Cruz: 49.1%
    Craig James: 12.9%
    Glenn Addison: 12.0%
    Tom Leppert: 9.1%
    Lela Pittenger: 9.1%
    David Dewhurst: 7.1%
    Charles Holcomb: 0.3%
    “Doc Joe” Agris: 0.3%
    Curt Cleaver: 0.0%
    Ben Gambini: 0.0%

    That’s good news for Ted Cruz, Craig James and Glenn Addison, and bad news for David Dewhurst. And even though Tom Leppert outpointed Dewhurst, he can’t feel good at merely tying Lela Pittenger, who has neither campaigned as much as him, nor spent 1/1000th of what he has. (Also, Doc Agris can’t feel good about putting up such a paltry total in his own back yard.) Gambini getting 0% isn’t a surprise, since he’s been the invisible man. Cleaver getting 0% is a bit more surprising, since he’s had at least the semblance of a campaign.

    But again, these results don’t mean much, as I seriously doubt we’re going to see Craig James battle Glenn Addison for a spot in the runoff against Cruz. They do highlight an enthusiasm gap between Cruz and Dewhurst, but just how much of that gap will translate into votes remains to be seen. I don’t think we’ll get a glimpse of how the race is shaping up in the minds of actual primary voters until we see polls from some of the established polling companies like Gallup, Zogby and Rasmussen.

    LinkSwarm for January 9, 2012

    Monday, January 9th, 2012

    Like a squirrel hording nuts for winter, I’ve set aside a few tasty links for you to chew on:

  • George Will offers up a masterful column on why big government actually increases, rather than decreases, inequality.

    Liberals have a rendezvous with regret. Their largest achievement is today’s redistributionist government. But such government is inherently regressive: It tends to distribute power and money to the strong, including itself.

    Government becomes big by having big ambitions for supplanting markets as society’s primary allocator of wealth and opportunity. Therefore it becomes a magnet for factions muscular enough, in money or numbers or both, to bend government to their advantage.

    [snip]
    Not only does redistributionist government direct wealth upward; in asserting a right to do so, it siphons power into itself. A puzzling aspect of our politically contentious era is how little contention there is about the ethics of coercive redistribution by progressive taxation and other government “corrections” of social outcomes it considers unethical or unaesthetic.

    This reticence, in an age in which political reticence is rare, reflects the difficulty of articulating principled defenses of these practices. They go undefended because they are generally popular with a public that misunderstands their net effects and because the practices are the political class’s vocation today. The big winners from these practices are that class and the interests adept at collaborating with it.

    Government uses redistribution to correct social outcomes that offend it. But government rarely explains, or perhaps even recognizes, the reasoning by which it decides why particular outcomes of consensual market activities are incorrect. When taxes are levied not to efficiently fund government but to impose this or that notion of distributive justice, remember: Taxes are always coerced contributions to government, which is always the first, and often the principal, beneficiary of them.

    Call it The Dennis Moore Effect. “He steals from the poor, and gives to the rich…”

  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindel makes the case for Rick Perry:

  • Mark Styen on the left’s idea of empathy: “In 2008, the Left gleefully mocked Sarah Palin’s live baby. It was only a matter of time before they moved on to a dead one.”
  • Speaking of Steyn, here are his wishes for a Happy New Year in his usual gloomy, depressing, acerbic way.
  • And speaking still further of Steyn, he once noted that China will get old before it gets rich. And just what is it like to be old in China now? It really sucks. It turns out Communism’s claims of taking better care of the helpless was just as big a lie as all communism’s other claims…
  • “Detroit is Ground Zero for the breakdown of the Blue Social Model.
  • There are at least 28 different drug cartels the Mexican government is fighting. (Hat tip: Bruce Sterling)
  • How Clinton’s FBI tried to entrap Newt Gingrich. (Hat tip: Sipsey Street.
  • A fuller list of speakers for Saddle Up Texas. Dick Armey and some of the U.S. reps certainly add some luster to the proceedings. I still don’t see anyone ponying up $20,000 to be a top-level sponsor. Or $1,000 for a booth.
  • Hat tips: Real Clear Politics, Insta, Ace.

    The Case for Rick Perry

    Monday, January 2nd, 2012

    Ace of Spades makes his case for Rick Perry here.

    Since that piece came out December 19, it’s hardly cutting edge news. But I’ve been ruminating on it for a while to try and figure out if I have anything more to add. I think I do. And with the Iowa Caucuses looming, I probably should.

    I haven’t covered much of the 2012 Presidential race, mainly because I’ve been focusing on the Texas Senate Race and everyone and their dog was blogging every twist in the POTUSA race.

    OMG! Ron Paul is up 3 points!

    Plus I don’t have cable, so I wouldn’t be able to watch the interminable numerous debates.

    Finally, a baseball team the Astros can beat

    Which is why I didn’t see Perry commit his brain freezes, of which there were many. (My theory is that he was still hopped up on goofballs from his back operation.)

    Percocet makes me see tiny little Jim Hightowers, and I have to grab and crush each and every one of them

    Having lived in Texas for the entirety of Rick Perry’s tenure as governor, I can attest that he is not a perfect candidate. There have been times (Gardasil, the Trans-Texas Corridor) when he’s strayed from conservative principles. And he’s not as polished as Mitt Romney or as articulate as Newt Gingrich.

    But Perry isn’t running against the second coming of Ronald Reagan, or even Sarah Palin. Every other major Republican contender is not only at least as flawed, they’re considerably more so.

  • Despite cheer-leading from the likes of Kathryn Jean Lopez and Jennifer Rubin, Mitt Romney has always struck me as a phony without any real core convictions except that he should be in charge; sort of the Republican answer to Bill Clinton, without the charm or adultery. Pick an issue and Romney’s been on both sides of it at one time or another. He seems the most likely of all the major candidates to be praised by The New York Times and The Washington Post for “growing” in office. Romney is most likely to disappoint me in caving in to D.C.’s usual free-spending, pork-barrel log-rolling.
  • I could get behind voting for the Newt Gingrich of 1994, the one whose laser-like focus on the holding the Democrats accountable for their misdeed and promoting the Contract With America helped Republicans take the House and Senate, set the stage for a welfare reform and helped (temporarily) balance the budget. Sadly, that Gingrich is not up on offer. We have to deal with the idea-a-minute-and-many-of-them-bad, ex-lobbyist, “Big Government Conservative” Newt Gingrich of 2012, the one so devastatingly and accurately skewered by Mark Steyn in this week’s National Review. (As Bruce Sterling once said at a Turkey City Writer’s Workshop, “Cruel, but fair!”) No matter how many times he tries to sound like Reagan, there are all those other times when he sounds like everyone from Al Gore to Faith Popcorn. I imagine that I would be disappointed many times in a Gingrich Presidency. Unlike Romney, I’m sure Gingrich would find entirely new and innovative ways to disappoint me.
  • I could almost get behind Ron Paul, based on his absolute, rock-steady position on the biggest problem facing America: out-of-control government spending and ever-increasing size and power of the federal government. The debt bomb is an existential threat to American prosperity, and If we don’t shrink government and get the deficit under control, none of the other issues really matter. And I lean heavily on the libertarian side of the spectrum. But even given that, there’s just too much weirdness (what Kevin Williamson called “his Ronness”) about the rest of Paul’s policies: the newsletters, the footsie with racism, the conspiracy theories, the weirdness about gays and wishing Israel didn’t exist, the running against Reagan. Being just one of 435 House members was a great place for Paul to be, since he could bring up conservative and Libertarian issues without any chance that his wackier ideas would ever end up in legislation, but the Presidency is a different kettle of fish. Plus there’s the problem of his electability, or rather lack thereof. With all his diverse baggage, I believe that Paul is the GOP candidate Obama would have the best chance of defeating. Ignore all the hard-left liberals talking up Paul as a better choice than Obama; it’s just a smokescreen that would evaporate at the first excuse to jump back on the Obama bandwagon. William F. Buckley always said conservative should support the right-most viable candidate. I don’t think Paul is a viable candidate.
  • Michelle Bachmann’s star has faded even more than Perry’s, and she doesn’t have Perry’s executive experience or record on job creation. The fact she’s neither dumb nor crazy doesn’t mean the MSM won’t pull the Full Sarah Palin Treatment on her (Andrew Sullivan womb-diving optional) were she to get the nod.
  • Rick Santorum: Too little, too late, he lost his last election, and his strengths don’t lie in the economy and job creation.
  • Jon Huntsman: Which part of “Republican” was unclear?
  • By process of elimination, that leaves Perry. As I said before, Perry isn’t perfect, but he has a record on holding the line on government spending and enabling job creation that puts Romney to shame. One again, let’s go to the charts that the indispensable Will Franklin of Willisms has provided on Texas job creation:

    And the case for Perry over Romney (again thanks to WILLisms) is even more stark:

    More on the Texas job success story here.

    While I have criticized Perry’s campaign budget proposals for being too timid, Perry insisted on balancing the Texas budget without tax hikes. I assure you that California would love to have Texas’ budget. Indeed, adjusted for inflation, population growth, and federally-mandated spending, the Texas state budget has actually gone down under Perry. His guiding principle has been “don’t spend all the money,” and it’s one that Washington desperately needs.

    One final, very big reason to support Perry: He can win. Perry’s never lost a race, because he’s a tough and tenacious campaigner who’s not afraid to hit his opponent\s hard. Everyone thought Kay Bailey Hutchison was going to cream Perry in the 2010 governor’s race, and he beat her like a rented mule.

    Or maybe a rented donkey.

    In the general election against Bill White, he ran an ad featuring a police widow talking about how her husband had been killed by a multi-arrested illegal alien while White was touting Houston as a “sanctuary city.”

    Even professional MSM Perry hater Paul Burka says that Perry is a hard man. “He is the kind of politician who would rather be feared than loved.” Perry will have absolutely no fear of taking the fight to Obama and going negative early and often, and he won’t let political correctness cow him into treating Obama with kid gloves.

    Will the media savage Rick Perry for his flubs? Of course they will. But, as Ace noted, they’ll always find a way to crucify any Republican candidate to make Obama look better. They’ll use the same “he’s an idiot” line of attack they used on Reagan and Bush43…and you so how far that got them.

    If you’re still undecided on Perry, this video should at least give you a more rounded picture of him:

    For those who think Perry is already out of the race, remember that at this point in 2004, the consensus was that Howard Dean was going to be the nominee. There’s a reason Americans actually get to vote, and they frequently prove the pundits wrong.

    One final reason to vote for Perry: he’s a pretty good shot.

    LinkSwarm for December 4, 2011

    Sunday, December 4th, 2011

    I’ve been sick this weekend, so here are a few random link of interest before they get positively antique:

  • Dear White Working Class Voters: we don’t need you any more. Love, the Democratic Party.
  • WILLisms provides more information on Texas job growth vs. the rest of the nation.
  • Mark Steyn on Hugh Hewitt. He’s not overly impressed with Newt Gingrich.
  • Good: Teen births are falling. Bad: out-pf-wedlock births are rising in every demographic.
  • A Few Sundry Followup Stories

    Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

    I hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. Here are a few follow-ups to previously covered stories:

  • Politico’s David Catanese says that David Dewhurst is going to jump into the Senate race.
  • After months of dawdling, the Obama Administration finally changes its mind and declares Texas a wildfire disaster area. Better late than never, I suppose.
  • Another ex-Gingrich staffer climbs aboard the Rick Perry bandwagon (albeit with a group urging him to run, not Perry himself).
  • In the course of naming Rick Perry the “winner” of the recent legislative session, the Texas Tribune’s Jay Root repeats the lie that Education funding was decreased in the recent session, rather than receiving a slight increase. Does the MSM just believe that if they repeat the lie enough times people will believe it’s true?
  • A Daily Kossack looks over the phony-baloney PPP Texas senate race poll and stills comes up gloomy about Democratic chances. Also manages to display his ignorance, stating “On the Democratic side, the only announced candidate is retired Gen. Ricardo Sanchez,” not only ignoring declared Democratic candidate Sean Hubbard, but also his appeal for votes on Daily Kos. I guess it’s just a case of the far left hand not knowing what the other far left hand is doing…
  • I hope everyone is enjoying their July 4th weekend, even though those of us in drought-stricken central Texas won’t be firing off any fireworks this year…

    Newt’s Staff Quitting En Masse=Rick Perry Jumping Into the Presidential Race?

    Thursday, June 9th, 2011

    So Jim Geraghty suggests over at The Campaign Spot. He’s not the only one to to do so.

    This would seem to address Texas Iconoclast’s first point about why Perry won’t run.

    Make no mistake: If Perry jumps in, he will be a very formidable foe. Kay Baily Hutchison was supposed to beat him in the Governor’s race and he dismantled her. Texas has shown the type of economic growth the rest of the Obama-stricken nation can only envy. Though he has real baggage (the Trans-Texas Corridor, toll roads, and the Gardasil blunder all come to mind), but nothing compared to Romneycare or Obama’s disastrous handling of the economy.

    Perry has the name-recognition, the executive experience, the fundraising prowess, and the instinct for the jugular necessary to win both the primary and the election. Unless Sarah Palin or Chris Christie jumps in, no one else has the national stature Perry has.

    And as for the possibility of any lingering Bush fatigue, well, Bush is starting to look pretty good in retrospect, isn’t he? Bush’s worst economic month in office still beats Obama’s best.

    If he gets in, I like Perry’s odds better than Romney’s. Or Obama’s.

    Faster, Pussycat! Pander! Pander!

    Friday, May 27th, 2011

    Mitt Romney comes out in favor of ethanol subsidies. “I support the subsidy of ethanol.”

    Well, thanks for that. Ideological clarity is always useful: Tim Pawlenty has political courage, Mitt Romney doesn’t. Good to know.

    For as long as he’s been mentioned as a serious presidential candidate (say, about 2007), I’ve always harbored a vague dislike of Romney for reasons that were hard to articulate, and which had nothing to do with his Mormonism. Just looking at him made me think he was a smug, dishonest creep, no matter how much the good folks at National Review gushed over him. If you had asked me to explain why I disliked him I would have had to admit that it was an entirely irrational, gut-level reaction. (The vast majority of liberals have the same gut-level, irrational hatred of Sarah Palin, but they just won’t admit it’s irrational.)

    But the more I hear from Romney, the more I think that my gut-level reaction was right, that Romney is an empty suit that doesn’t believe in anything except his own awesomeness. If Romney got elected, I bet within a year we’d be getting New York Times editorials praising him for how much he’s “grown” (i.e., abandoned conservative positions).

    Romney was never going to be my choice for the GOP nod, but his latest pander has finally dropped him to dead last among the serious contenders in my book, even below New Gingrich, Ron Paul and Herman Cain. At least with Ron Paul, I have some idea of where he stands. Romney has the ideological consistency of store-brand guacamole.