Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Republican establishment: No Mormons or Texans, please

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 10/2/11

In November, 1963, the conservative political establishment including Dwight Eisenhower, General Lucius D. Clay, Bill Robinson of the Herald Tribune, Augusta’s Cliff Roberts, and Slats Slater met at New York's Waldorf-Astoria concerned about the bandwagon developing for Barry Goldwater. They were anxious to discuss “moderate alternatives” including Pennsylvania's Governor William Scranton, Henry Cabot Lodge and Michigan governor George Romney. This last week a new political establishment made up of hedge fund managers, Republican donors, industrialists, a personal investment guru and other billionaires, mostly based in New York and Bush former employees and family members including Barbara Bush, gathered or spoke together to find an alternative to former Massachusetts’s governor Mitt Romney.

Barbara Bush?

And they came up with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Who could possibly be more of an establishment politician than straight-as-a-gate Mitt Romney? What did Romney do to turn the eastern establishment against him? Support Cut Cap and Balance? But some in this group including the Bush family’s loyal maestro, Karl Rove, had also looked to Paul Ryan as the Romney substitute.

Is it possible that Romney’s only offense to this establishment is that he is a Mormon? Does this attitude pervade the entire Republican Party? Friday night on Cavuto, Neil asked Southern Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee if he would vote for Mitt Romney.

“Of course,” he said.

Why did Eisenhower and company not care that George Romney, Mitt Romney’s father, was a Mormon? In the Eisenhower administration Mormons were appointed to cabinet positions, the federal judiciary, ambassadorial posts and positions at all levels of government. Those who had served as missionaries in foreign countries were heavily recruited because of their linguistic skills,

Possibly it is as the Chinese proverb says, “prosperity cannot last three generations” and conservatism today is a bankrupt establishment that has been spiraling in a moral free fall for two decades.

Will Chris Christie save them? Will Obama save the Kennedys? Because as Obama is to the House of Kennedy – the last man standing – so Christie is to the House of Bush and both these royal Massachusetts families are going the way of the Nepal monarchists and the Romanoffs.

We are on the verge of a new conservative political age. States rights? Yes. Troops to Mexico? Yes. A rising patriotic age? Yes! Yes! Yes! Mormons, Baptists, Jeffersonians, red necks, Tea Partiers, Goldwaterites. Libertarians, gold bugs, Tenthers, hobbits, hockey moms, Texans, Alaskans, Constitutional conservatives and all will bring a new political awakening. We are turning a corner. Huck should enter now, and Trump, Giuliani, Sarah Palin, Joe Miller, Jim DeMint and anyone else with something to say should have their say right now. As fate has brought us the unfortunate American Idol model we should bring it right now and bust out this fall to a foot-stomping tent revival or a hell raisin’, head banging hillbilly happening and keep it going all the way to the convention.

And in the end, which will come quickly as the irresponsible shifting of primaries will have us voting before the leaves fall here in New Hampshire, there will be a brand new party.

And there will still be two standing: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. How will these two, the Texan and the Mormon - among the very best governors and managers of the post-war period - feel about the old eastern establishment trying to purge them?

How would you feel?

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