Michael Gaynor
Who's flip flopped since 2008--Laura Ingraham or Mitt Romney?
By Michael Gaynor
December 15, 2011

Ingraham was right then and what she was right about then remains right now.

It has long been said that if you aren't a liberal when you're young, you have no heart and if you aren't a conservative when you are old, you have no head.

To be sure, it is a generalization and there are exceptions.

Nevertheless, there is an important lesson in that for conservatives: welcome converts!

Mitt Romney was not born conservative and his mother was pro-choice.

When running for governor of Massachusetts in 2002, Romney told reporters that he was a "moderate" Republican who was "not a partisan," and that "my views are progressive."

But, as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney became pro-life and increasingly conservative.

That was a GOOD thing!

When Romney sought the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, he was welcomed as a conservative by Ingraham, a lifelong conservative.

Romney was described by Laura Ingraham as "the conservative's conservative" and "a class act" when she enthusiastically introduced him at CPAC 2008.

Ingraham was clear and compelling and her praise of romney was unstinting. She not only declared that Romney was proud to be a conservative, but that he "embodies conservative ideals," and she lamented that "virtue is kind of an outdated word these days."

That day Romney's undisputed personal virtue obviously impressed Ingraham. She lauded him for "selflessness" and stated that he "exhibits on a daily basis sacrificial concerns."

Ingraham, who knew, assured all that Romney was a national security conservative, a social conservative and a fiscal conservative.

That's as good as it gets!

Progressives smartly describe people who become more liberal over time as "evolving" and celebrate.

Pro-abortion people condemned Romney as a flip flopper for becoming pro-life and increasingly conservative.

These days some conservatives have treated Romney's epiphanies as flip flops instead of celebrating them.

Although Romney has not moved leftward since CPAC 2008 and the need for his business expertise is even greater now, Ingraham's ardor for Romney has waned. She has boosted other 2012 Republican presidential aspirants, including Michele Bachmann, Donald Trump, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.

Sadly, two of them — Trump and Gingrich — divorced twice and then married a younger woman.

Romney's marital fidelity has remained constant.

Nevertheless, these days Ingraham is not only not critical of Gingrich's marital infidelity, but very upset with others who do (as though Team Obama might not notice the issue if conservatives don't mention it).

Ingraham seems ready to put her trust in Gingrich, even though Gingrich's first two wives learned that doing that was a mistake and THIS YEAR Gingrich pathetically tried to explain his serial marital infidelity as the result of his great patriotism.

Ingraham even complains when others note Gingrich's relationship with Freddie Mac.

So long as America is God's country, character will count.

If virtue is passe, God help us.

In her moving introduction of Romney at CPAC 2008, Ingraham pointedly said that "it's not enough to have been a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution" and what matters is "what have you done for conservatism lately."

Ingraham was right then and what she was right about then remains right now.

Ingraham rightly excused Romney's earlier "progressive" views, because Romney had not only embraced conservativism, but had always led a morally exemplary life that showed that he took his vows seriously and earned trust.

Conservative Michelle Malkin recently applied Ingraham's sensible test to Gingrich.

Gingrich failed.

Malkin (http://michellemalkin.com/2011/10/17/gop-2012-the-hold-your-nose-tracker/):

"...let's not pretend away Newt's own very recent strayings from mainstream conservatism. He snuggled up to Nancy Pelosi and Al Gore in 2008 (and laughably tried to spin the humiliating lovefest as a 'debate').

"He went on tour with Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan and race hustler Al Sharpton in September 2009 and again in November 2009:

"He endorsed ACORN-friendly, Big Labor-backing, tax-and-spend abortion radical Dede Scozzafava in the NY-23 debacle in October 2009, prompting rank-and-file conservatives to send back his book and GOP solicitations like this one from reader Barnaby, who sent back his crossed-out Republican solicitation forms with a 'NO RINOS' sticky note for Newt Gingrich.

"He's played footsie with Hillary Clinton on health care, backed an individual health care mandate and aspects of Romneycare, and vigorously attacked Paul Ryan's free-market-based Medicare reform plan.

"And a friendly reminder for grass-roots Tea Party activists who were against the government bailouts before it was cool: When push came to shove, Gingrich supported TARP."

Conservatives don't always agree, but consummate Washington insider Gingrich is the man who "consulted" with Freddie Mac after resigning his Speakership and House seat in disgrace and his conversion to Roman Catholicism in 2009 and professions of regret don't require voters to wear blinders and trust that he's now too old or uninterested to disgrace himself again.

The next presidential election is too important to lose and it will effect Congressional races.

Ingraham should recall her own $5,000 bet (for charity) with Bill O'Reilly that Christine O'Donnell would be elected United States Senator from Delaware on Election Day 2010.

Ingraham lost. O'Donnell was not a viable general election candidate and wishful thinking and prayer could not make her one.

Obama would be delighted to run against Gingrich, because he wants to win.

Romney doesn't want to face Romney, because Romney's the conservative who can win and Obama doesn't want to lose.

© Michael Gaynor


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Michael Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member... (more)


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