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The good ole boys of the Grand Ole Party threw a big shindig down in Tampa. As hurricane Issac raged west of Florida a line of speech makers and party stars lined up to shine the Republican apple. Spewing patriotic lines, telling inspirational stories and railing against Obama in an all out effort to gin up the party faithful and to send off their candidate on his mission to recapture the White House. Of course not all were there under the big tent, the invitations to many of the anti-establishment stone throwers, libertarians and evangelicals seem to have gotten lost in the mail.

The missing voices did not detract from what was meant to be a great show of Republican unity. The whole thing went off without a hitch, a perfectly timed and choreographed event that was a tribute to Romney’s great managerial skills. Filled with patriotic fervor and optimism the attendees seemed honestly inspired by their candidate.

Of course beyond the ovations and and behind the scenes another story was unfolding. Before the roll call that made official the nomination of Mitt Romney for president Ron Paul declared he had not endorsed Romney nor was he committing his delegates to him. They were rumblings of dissatisfaction below the surface among others also. Romney surrogates revealed just before the convention they wanted to change the delegate rules. A move that had not only had Ron Paul’s folks up in Arms but incensed conservative voices across the country. The proposed rule 12 would essentially strip the states of influence in party process and move things towards central control. Supposedly aimed at stopping early primaries it would also create a political machine immune to ruckus creating reformers and pesky libertarians. A move Palin has called an attack on grass roots and Mark Levin called sleazy. (a rule that could also plant the seeds of a third party)

Rule 12 could be a harbinger of what one can expect of a President Romney.  Romney is a master manager and like all managers he does not like dealing with things outside of his control. It also likely means the big government Massachusetts moderate, despite all his rhetoric, is unlikely to do much to reduce the expanding role of Washington in peoples lives. This is the man that George Will once declared would destroy the Republican Party if he ever became president.(something he is not been repeating lately).

George was not the only one with doubts about Romney, he has enjoyed little support or enthusiasm from most conservatives from the beginning. The fact is even among an extremely weak Republican field of presidential candidates the governor did not stick out. In the end Romney did not seem to really win the Republican nomination but merely outlast his competition. A nominee by virtue of being the last man standing.

Of course Romney has been saying most of the right things lately in an attempt to woo over conservatives. Promising to limit government and expand opportunity he has been pushing many of the right buttons. Then there is the nomination of Paul Ryan as his running mate. Paul Ryan, a favorite of many in the Tea Party movement, was meant to start the process by bringing the party’s most rebellious contingent into his fold.

Only time will tell if Romney’s latest rhetoric is a precursor to action or political pandering. Unfortunately even if he does much of what he says Washington will likely remain much the same. States will likely continue to be blackmailed by the federal government, the TSA might see some reform but will not be relegated to oversight as it was envisioned and other agencies will also see little change. In all likelihood the best Americans can expect after four years of a President Romney is a return to 2008. (an improvement for sure but not the kind of reform that is really needed)

For all the reasons mentioned a Romney presidential candidacy would be enough in most years to send many Republicans to their couches on election day. Of course there is nothing ordinary about this election year. The U.S. is presently being bled to death by bad policies to the point that its future is in doubt. Obamcare, taxaggeddon, unrelenting regulations, Dodd-Frank, falling respect abroad and other issues are creating a crisis that threaten the country as never before. As if these were not bad enough out of control debt and unsustainable entitlements are eating the country alive.

The hard truth, as Governor Christy would say, is Mitt Romney is not some great American deliverer. He is even likely to complicate things with big government ideas and problematic interventions. Even so, he will undo the worst of President Obama’s offenses and put an end to his most destructive policies. He may not totally put the republic back on track but he might very well keep it from falling into the abyss.

A forest cannot be replanted until the fire ravaging it is contained. Romney is a fire break at a time one is desperately needed. Stopping and even reversing the raging fires of the Obama agenda may be all that can be expected from Mitt Romney, but for now that is enough. Even if the task of replanting the damaged trees of liberty in America’s fertile soil and fully stopping its eroding financial position will need to be passed to a Romney successor, saving the nation from its current path is enough reason for all Republicans, conservatives and libertarians to work for his election.

The Conservative Mind

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