Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Know A Tree By It’s Fruit

Know A Tree By It’s Fruit 

A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet


I am genuinely surprised when people approach me and ask my thoughts on Mitt Romney.  I invariably ask why they want to know and the reply they offer most often is that they really don’t know the man.

That is when I really want to grab them by both shoulders, shake them, and declare:  “PAY ATTENTION!”

The scriptures tell us:  “You shall know a tree by the fruit it bears.” In Matthew 7:16 it is said:  “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”

In the New Testament book of James, the third chapter and the twelfth verse, we are informed thusly:  “My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

In other words a man is what he is – period.  If you want to know WHAT he is, what he believes, then pay attention to what he does. His accomplishments are the “fruits of his labors.”  Those fruits will define him completely.

Remember George W. Bush's “Compassionate Conservatism?”  Well, that was, in fact, code for “moderate.”  G.W. was a moderate AT BEST.

Mitt Romney is a liberal … moderate on some things … but at the core he is a liberal.  It is something the conservative base of the GOP knows instinctually and that is why they are avoiding support of Romney at all costs, even if that cost is the loss of the election to Obama in November.

I am old enough to remember the “Me Too” republicans.  Ever hear of them?  You’d have to harken back to the days of Nelson Rockefeller and the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party in the 1960’s. (There is an excellent article on this HERE.)

Even then, the liberal wing of the GOP was based in America’s northeastern states.  It still is today.

Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts a liberal state if there ever has been one.  There is no way under the sun a conservative can be elected governor of Massachusetts. Yet, Mitt Romney was -- and he would have us believe he is a conservative.  This fact alone should be enough evidence to convinced anyone that Mr. Romney is no conservative. He is a solid member of the Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party.  In 1964 we called them the “Me Too” republicans.  Today we call them RINO’s. (Republican In Name Only)

Ever since conservatives began to grow in power within the Republican Party there has been an internal war raging for control of the party.  In 1960, Richard Nixon managed to merge the two factions of the GOP into one concentrated effort.  But -- just four years afterwards Nelson Rockefeller could not.  And he was furious.  He led an unprecedented attack on the GOP conservatives that failed but left massive scars on the GOP base that are still swollen and sensitive today.

Like Rockefeller, Romney is where he is because he was “next in line.”  It is “his turn” in accordance with the way the northeastern liberals ran the party. (They have yet to learn that they no longer control the Republican Party.)  GOP voters were simple told that Romney is the “frontrunner”  … no matter that Romney did not have the strength that comes from the support of the party faithful – including the conservative base of the party today. 

The so-called “republican establishment,” somehow, missed the fact that the power in the GOP switched from the northeastern states to the southern states years ago.  They also seem to have been oblivious of the inherent distrust of northeastern politicians in the south, which is left over from “Reconstruction” of the South immediately following the American Civil War a hundred and fifty years ago.  (Painful memories tend to last much longer than pleasant memories.)

Michael Gerson is an op-ed columnist for The Washington Post, a Policy Fellow with the ONE Campaign, and a former senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He served as President George W. Bush’s chief speechwriter from 2001 until June 2006, as a senior policy advisor from 2000 through June 2006.  Mr. Gerson once described Romney this way:  "Romney's main political vulnerability is a serious one. Running for Massachusetts' governor in 2002, he was a pro-choice, economically centrist, and culturally liberal, business oriented Republican."

You DID see “pro-choice,” “centrist,” and “liberal” in Mr. Gerson’s description of Mitt Romney above, didn’t you?

Yes, as a conservative I want to deprive Obama of a second term as President.  But I do not want to swap one liberal for another.  Besides, we have the likelihood of two vacancies on the US Supreme Court coming up in the next four to five years and it is vital that there be a conservative in the White House to appoint two conservative justices.

Romney cannot pull the two factions of the GOP together.  He may win the nomination but he will not win the election against Obama. The GOP’s “Anybody But Obama” strategy will not work. It is doomed to failure. It is as simple – AND -- as sad as that.  And yes, it IS depressing.

J. D. Longstreet   

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