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On The End Of Conservatism

Erick Erickson, of RedState and CNN psuedo-fame, really does not like Mitt Romney:
Why Mitt Romney Will Not Beat Barack Obama
You’d think that given the economy, jobs, and the present angst about the direction of the country that the GOP would have an easy path to victory. You would be wrong.

You forget the electoral college. The vote is coming down to a handful of states and Barack Obama still maintains the advantage of incumbency and not terribly terrible polling in those swing states.

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is a man devoid of any principles other than getting himself elected. As much as the American public does not like Barack Obama, they loath a man so fueled with ambition that he will say or do anything to get himself elected. Mitt Romney is that man.

I’ve been reading the 200 pages of single spaced opposition research from the John McCain campaign on Mitt Romney. There is no issue I can find on which Mitt Romney has not taken both sides. He is neither liberal nor conservative. He is simply unprincipled. The man has no core beliefs other than in himself. You want him to be tough? He’ll be tough. You want him to be sensitive? He’ll be sensitive. You want him to be for killing the unborn? He’ll go all in on abortion rights until he wants to run for an office where it is not in his advantage.

Along the way, he’ll drop lots of coin to grease the skids for himself. Mitt Romney is the silly putty of politicians — press on him real hard and he’ll take on whatever image you press into him until the next group starts pressing.
Now, if you read the whole piece at RedState (and you should), you'll see that Erickson makes many of the same arguments that I did Monday regarding the unelectability of Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry respectively.

BUT, later in the article, Erickson talks of the 'death of conservatism':
Conservatism is already dying. Republicans on Capitol Hill are about to raise taxes on the American people with this Super Committee, but they’ll say they are just “raising revenue,” not taxes. Conservatives will give them a pass as they have on virtually every other major issue. Conservatives keep giving passes to people who shouldn’t be given passes because conservative in Washington have been there so long, they’d much rather get invited to the cocktail parties and avoid awkward encounters.

Washington, D.C. conservatives will also rally around Mitt Romney, just as they kept doing over and over and over with George W. Bush even after steel tariffs in Pennsylvania, No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, the GM Bailout, and TARP. At some point the public will cease taking conservatives seriously when the most prominent conservatives — those in Washington who pose as the faces, voices, and writers of the conservative movement at large, keep throwing their lot in with a guy who keeps selling out the very principles conservatives claim to hold dear.

[snip]

Conservatism itself will not really die. But it might as well be dead as even conservatives in the heartland of the country stop taking Washington conservatives seriously.
Welllll, yes and no.

Firstly, conservatism is not "already dying". The Tea Party folks have solidified the fact that -- whether you like them or not -- a truly grass-roots conservative movement is out there. And while I think that she was/is largely pandering to them, you have to give candidates like Michele Bachmann credit for at least trying to harness that monster.

Oh sure, there are lots of so-called "RINOs" in Washington, D.C. -- and if you want to purify the conservative representation there, you have a lot of work to do. But throwing in the proverbial towel in the 2012 election cycle is not a good way to start your "purification".

Secondly, and arguably most importantly, Mitt Romney is clearly not the favorite candidate among hardcore conservatives like Erickson. BUT (again, as I pointed out on Monday), these true-believers need to decide if they want a conservatively pure candidate, or one that is not as pure but has the potential to beat President Obama in his re-election bid.

Mitt Romney may not be your favorite candidate in the bunch -- but he is your best shot at taking back the White House.

As I see it, a win is a win.