Shenanigans in Michigan

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Despite losing by three percentage points in Michigan on Tuesday night, Rick Santorum could claim a small moral victory.  Because Michigan awards its delegates proportionally, Santorum and Mitt Romney walked away with 15 delegates each.

Or so we all thought.

Well lo and behold the Michigan Republican establishment got together and made sure that didn’t happen.

On a 4-2 vote, the Michigan GOP’s credentials committee met Wednesday night and awarded both of the state’s at-large voting delegates to the party’s national convention to Romney — who won the popular vote 41%-38% over his chief rival, Rick Santorum.

Based on earlier explanations to reporters and the campaigns that the party’s rules said the at-large delegates would be awarded proportionally, it had been expected that each candidate would get one at-large delegate.

. . .

Saul Anuzis, one of six members of the credentials committee, said the credentials committee voted in early February to award both at-large delegates to the winner of the popular vote.

Republican Party spokesman Matt Frendewey said he didn’t do a good job explaining the rules to reporters.

“I just didn’t explain it clearly enough,” he said.

You see it was all just a big misunderstanding.  They always meant to award both at-large delegates to the winner of the popular vote.  Nothing to see here.  The native son won after all.  Have fun in Ohio.

Unfortunately for Anuzis (who at one point came close to heading the RNC), not all Romney supporters are this dishonest.

Not to former Attorney General Mike Cox, a member of the committee, who said the vote doesn’t pass the smell test.

“I have this crazy idea that you follow the rules,” Cox said. “I’d love to give the at-large delegates to Mitt Romney, but our rules provide for strict apportionment.”

Cox supported Romney and even acted as a surrogate for the candidate on several occasions during the last three weeks. He was one of two “no” votes Wednesday night — along with attorney Eric Doster. Voting for the distribution of delegates to Romney were party Chairman Bobby Schostak, Anuzis, party Co-chairwoman Sharon Wise and party official Bill Runco.

Cox figures the issue will become moot when Romney does well on Super Tuesday, when 10 states hold primaries and caucuses next week.

“But this niff-nawing over one delegate doesn’t help him,” Cox said.

He acknowledges that there was discussion of giving the popular-vote winner both at-large delegates, but that it didn’t get written into the rules.

Obviously Mr. Cox’s ears must have had a typo during that discussion.

So we have further proof that Mitt Romney is such an incredibly awesome hurricane of a candidate that party insiders have to change the rules post facto in order to give him a victory in his native state.

One would like to think that by now Romney and company have done enough to repel any Republican voter from even considering voting for Romney.  HA!  Romney now commands a 16-point lead according to Rasmussen, and has all but erased Rick Santorum’s lead in Ohio, and now leads in Washington state.

I don’t know what to say.  In light of the events that transpired yesterday I made a vow that I was no longer going to hector those whom I normally agree with about this election.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to try and do everything in my power to help Santorum get the nomination, but I’m done banging my head against the wall.  It is what it is.


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  1. “I don’t know what to say.” How about: “Let’s begin to put our differences aside and realize that, unless we unite soon, President Obama will be re-elected in November.” He will then be unfettered by the need to run for election again, with its attendant consequences for his second term.

    Paul, you are right, “It is what it is,” and this November, unless we unite soon, it will be what WE allow it to become.

  2. Tom, I’m sorry but I’m not going to be bullied into supporting someone as loathsome as Mitt Romney. I won’t spend my days and nights blogging about how awful he is, but “he’s not Obama” is not enough. I recognize that is a minority position, likely unpopular, and if you want to vote for whoever the GOP candidate is, that is your prerogative. Count me out.

  3. Ah, pettiness and stupidity, the hallmarks of the Romney campaign. The pettiness is obvious in cheating to get a measly delegate. The stupidity comes into play in creating a great deal of ill will over one delegate. If Romney is the nominee I will vote against Obama, and the most effective way I can do that is by voting for the Republican nominee. However, Romney and his acolytes are working overtime trying to dissuade me from my resolution.

  4. I certainly did not, and do not, wish to “bully” anyone. I think that I was stating what, by now, must be obvious.

    What each of us chooses to do this November is, ultimately, our choice, the consequences of which we must be fully aware. A second Obama term will be unfettered from the restraints of having to run for re-election. If you dislike what has occurred during his first term – to quote Bachman-Turner Overdrive – “you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

  5. Bully was a strong choice of words, so I apologize for that. And I completely agree that a second Obama administration must be avoided. I’d like to avoid nominating the guy who will make it easier for Obama to achieve that mission.

  6. No need to apologize Paul, I admire and respect your passion. Let’s all of us – Republicans, libertarians, and conservatives – commit from this day forward, while respecting our differences, to ultimately put them aside and work together to defeat President Obama this November.

  7. Even the events of yesterday couldn’t compel me to vote for that fraud Romney. And, unlike Paul, I WILL use my blog to rail against him and encourage others to vote for someone like Virgil Goode (potential Constitution Party candidate).

    Romney’s answer to the question about the Blunt Amendment that was posed to him the other day should be all the proof we need that he will sell our interests down the river at the first sign of media and Democrat confrontation. Oh sure, his campaign came back later and said he “misunderstood” the question, but I’m not buying it. Listen to him speak. When is it that he sounds most ill at ease? When he’s trying to sound conservative and mouth pro-life platitudes. When does he sound like he’s most in his own skin? When he’s trying to get to the left of his opponents, such as when he attacked Perry over Social Security and in his answer to the Blunt Amendment question when he resorted to the “bedroom police” rhetoric of the left in attacking Santorum over contraception.

    Call it whatever you like. “Bully” might be too strong a word, but no one will ever convince me to vote for Mitt Romney, and I don’t care what kind of Obama parade of horribles is marched in front of me to try to sway me.

    (And let me just say that Ohio Right to Life, who sent me a pro-Romney email today, can forget about ever receiving any support from me.)

  8. Jay, I hope that former Representative Goode (R) of Virginia decides, as a loyal Republican, to support the 2012 Republican presidential nominee. Every Republican, libertarian, and conservative who does not vote for the Republican nominee in 2012 will help to re-elect President Obama to a second term, a second term in which he will be unfettered by the constraints of having to run for re-election again.

    Let me just give you one enticement to vote for the Republican nominee: the very likely replacement of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg during the next presidential term. If Justice Ginsburg were replaced with a Republican appointee to her fill her seat, that would tip the balance decisively to five constitutionally-oriented votes, six if you count Justice Kennedy. Isn’t that what a supporter of the Constitution Party would wish for?

    Jay, when comparing Obama with Romney, or whoever is the ultimate Republican nominee, please do not allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. And yes, while I am not an ardent supporter of Romney, he is a “good” when compared to President Obama. Federal judicial appointments alone should make this clear.

  9. Michigan did award its delegates proportionately. The wrinkle is that because Michigan held its primary early, it may be penalized at the convention and some of the awarded delegates may not get to vote. The rule they adopted on how to allot the voting at large delegates is a bit confusing, but it does suggest that the winner of the popular vote would get both of the voting at-large delegates.

  10. It’s really not worth fighting over a single delegate unless it ends up coming down to one later on in the race (which I don’t expect to happen). I still see the whole thing as a victory for Santorum anyway. Romney had to spend 5 times as much cash just to win by only 3%. It’s the same pattern in every state he has won, when he massively outspends his opposition he wins. When he doesn’t, he loses.

    The Romney supporters don’t seem to be asking themselves WHY that is. Most of those who don’t support Romney however know the answer. It’s because he can’t win on character, facts, or his record. The only way he can win is to try and denigrate his opponents.

    Honestly I really wish Gingrich would back out and support Santorum. Newt has no chance at winning, but if he backed out most of his supporters would rather easily slide over to Santorum. The reverse isn’t necessarily true, AND Santorum already has a bigger lead in delegates won at this point as well.

  11. Seriously, Tom, save your energy. My mind will not be changed re: Mitt Romney. And Congressman Goode has already announced his candidacy for the Constitution Party. As far as his being a “loyal Republican”, Goode is as independent a politician as they come. He was a conservative Democrat for most of his career, then an independent, then a Republican, and now a member of the Constitution Party. Like me, I don’t believe he will fall for the “But you HAVE to vote for Romney” routine.

  12. It takes no energy, Jay, to state the obvious; every Republican, libertarian, or conservative who does not vote for the Republican nominee for President, no matter who that nominee is, will help to re-elect Barack Obama to a second term, a second term in which President Obama will no longer be constrained by the need to run for re-election again.

    I am NOT an ardent supporter of Mitt Romney, but I prefer him to President Obama. Whether we like it or not, a third-party candidate will not be the next President of the United States. Either Barack Obama, or the Republican nominee, will be the next President of the United States.

    The choice regarding who, for example, will nominate the replacement for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when she retires from the Supreme Court of the United States, is yours.

  13. Please. Mitt Romney can’t be trusted to go to the mat for a constitutionalist replacement for Ginsburg. Mitt Romney can’t be trusted, period.

    Vote for him if you’d like, but I won’t. If the Republican party is intent on nominating people who are blatant frauds and who don’t share my values and my beliefs, then they have made the decision they can do without my vote. If Obama is re-elected as a consequence, that is the fault of those who nominated him and the fault of their nominee, not mine.

  14. Jay,

    Robert Bork has endorsed Romney. Do you think Bork would do that if he thought Romney would nominate non-constitutionalists to the Supreme Court?

  15. Jay, I respectfully ask you, and those who agree with you, to carefully reconsider and do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Whether we like it or not, we have a binary choice for President in November. In Florida, in 2000, a swing of 300 votes would have elected Al Gore. Please do not let something similar happen in Ohio, or other battleground states, in 2012.

    A second Obama term will be unfettered from the need to run for re-election. Those issues that, for political reasons in his first term, President Obama has hesitated to openly advocate, and to establish public policy toward, will not be so constrained in a second term. Advocacy and public policy actions in favor of same-sex marriage is only one probable example of an Obama second term.

    Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Samuel Alito – Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan. Which of these pairs of recent Supreme Court appointments is most closely aligned with your judicial philosophy? Who do you trust more to make constitutionalist appointments to the Supreme Court, Obama or, if he is the nominee, Romney?

  16. Tom, I’m with Jay on this: I am not changing my mind. We’re not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, because frankly Romney doesn’t qualify as good. He’s a nasty, dirty campaigner with no scruples, and he’s a complete shape-shifter who changes his message when it suits his needs.

    I’ve head the arguments you’ve made before – I’ve made these arguments before. Enough.

  17. Tom has it right.

    The choice is Liberty or Obama.

    If you think the GOP is likely to take the Senate nor maintain its House majority if Obama gets four more years to finish us off . . . Independents/swing voters go straight ticket.

    There will be a second Obama turn and it will be the end of America as we know it.

    Alinsky, Ayers, and Axelrod are having 24/7 orgasms.

  18. We’re not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, because frankly Romney doesn’t qualify as good. He’s a nasty, dirty campaigner with no scruples, and he’s a complete shape-shifter who changes his message when it suits his needs.

    Just to point out that the list of Republican candidates who have in recent decades performed adequately enough to earn some delegates in constituencies they had not before represented or earned more than a scatter of popular votes is limited to Richard Nixon, Nelson Rockefeller, Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, George Bush the Elder, John Anderson, Robert Dole, ‘Pat’ Robertson, Patrick J. Buchanan, ‘Steve’ Forbes, George Bush the Younger, John McCain, Alan Keyes, Mitt Romney, ‘Mike’ Huckabee, ‘Ron’ Paul, Dr. Gingrich, and Mr. Santorum. You are not going to get the good; you might just get the marginally satisfactory.

  19. By nominating Romney, the GOP’s platform will consist of two words: Mitt Romney.

    It won’t be a campaign on any of the following: Healthcare (Romney’s 2009 recommendation of the individual mandate to the President being the latest Weathervane spin his fans refuse to acknowledge), energy production (he enthusiastically signed cap and trade), or religious liberty (he forced Catholic hospitals to supply abortifacients as Governor).

    He’s going to run as a gentlemanly businessman shaking his head at how out of depth poor Mr. Obama is. Cantor’s Romney endorsement today shows the template.

    “What I have seen is a very hard-fought primary. And we have seen now that the central issue about the campaign now is the economy,” Cantor said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    “I just think there’s one candidate in the race who can do that, and it’s Mitt Romney.”

    Cantor said Romney was “the only candidate in the race who’s put forward a bold, pro-growth, pro-jobs plan for the future.”

    And in a tidy 59 points, no less. Sounds like it’s good for an equally tidy 200 electoral votes.

    The Supreme Court Justices argument would be a lot more convincing if (1) John Sununu wasn’t in the inner circle, and (2) Romney hadn’t punted on appointed judges to an “independent commission.” Bork will have slightly more influence over Supreme Court nominees than that other renowned Romney legal advisor, Douglas Kmiec.

    He’s a trimmer whose first instincts when faced with controversy are to tack to the left. By nominating him, the Republicans reveal themselves to be almost as graspingly desperate and unprincipled as he is. You can deck it with parsley and artfully-arranged radish rosettes all you like, but at the end of the day, it’s still a Mitt Sandwich.

  20. who did you support in the 2008 primary?

    Fred Thompson, then Duncan Hunter.

    Then, with both out, and my only remaining choices being Paul, McCain, Huckabee, and Romney, I put aside my misgivings and went with Romney (although I wound up voting for McCain by the time all was said and done because it was down to just he and Huckabee). I still would take Romney over Paul and Huckabee, that’s how much I don’t care for the latter two. In retrospect I was judging McCain on his rhetoric and not his record, and doing the reverse for Romney. I didn’t particularly care for any of the choices before me, but Romney seemed like the least worst at the time.

    Things have changed drastically in the intervening four years. This field of candidates is far, far more conservative. The likelihood of a Republican winning is better (considering the circumstances). Also, I’ll be honest: I hadn’t researched Romney with the depth I should have. This year I am very familiar with all of the remaining candidates. I also think context matters. If the Republican party, given the option of going with someone with a conservative (if admittedly imperfect) record instead chooses the “safety” of someone like Mr. Romney, it has essentially sent a message that individuals who hold my beliefs are unacceptable for higher office. Exactly how much longer am I supposed to blindly follow a party like that?

    Now excuse me while I bow out of the conversation, at least for the day. I have a smoker to put together, and considering my handyman “skills,” that will take me right up to my self-imposed internet curfew of 6 p.m.

  21. it has essentially sent a message that individuals who hold my beliefs are unacceptable for higher office.

    I will dispute that. I think the message that has been sent is as follows: primary voters are generally low information voters. The rise and fall of Gov. Perry and Mr. Cain in particular are indicative of fickle and superficial thinking.

  22. And I deemed Mitt Romney to be unacceptable the first time I ever laid eyes on him and heard his smarmy efforts to get to Ted Kennedy’s left in 1994. He’s done absolutely nothing in the intervening years to change my initial impression of him.

  23. Two comments.

    First, I can understand preferring another candidate to Romney in the primary. What I can’t understand is how someone could prefer Romney to McCain and Huckabee *and* say they won’t vote for Romney against Obama in the general election.

    Second, having litigated constitutional issues in the federal courts for five years, my assessment is that judges appointed by Republican presidents (even moderates like Bush 41) are as a group far superior to judges appointed by Democratic presidents.

  24. fickle and superficial thinking.

    Can’t say I completely disagree with that, though my own (persistent) support for Perry was (I hope) neither superficial and certainly not fickle.

    For the record, my 6 p.m. estimate turned out to be severely conservative.

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