The Pros and Cons
“If men of wisdom and knowledge, of moderation and temperance, of patience, fortitude and perseverance, of sobriety and true republican simplicity of manners, of zeal for the honour of the Supreme Being and the welfare of the commonwealth; if men possessed of these other excellent qualities are chosen to fill the seats of government, we may expect that our affairs will rest on a solid and permanent foundation.” –Samuel Adams, November 27, 1780
Barack Hussein Obama is in full campaign mode (not that he’s been in any other mode since 2008). Summarizing his 2012 re-election bid at a recent Hollywood fundraiser, Obama said, “This election will not be as sexy as the first one. We’ve got to grind it out a little bit. We’ve got to grind it out. I’m going to keep on pushing.”
The regrettable double entendres aside, what Obama was trying to say is, given the abject failures of his policies to restore our economy, his re-election campaign will be difficult. But make no mistake: Obama kept his promise about “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” He has broken the back of free enterprise and consequently, seeds of discontent are sprouting in urban centers across the nation in support of his vision for Democratic Socialism.
Of course, history records that the terminus of Socialist ideology, whether it be the Marxist, Nationalist or Democratic variety, is tyranny. Therefore, this election cycle is about much more than bantering back and forth on matters of policy. It is, at its core, about the future of Liberty defended by our Founders at the dawn of our Republic.
In 2010, the “Tea Party Movement,” a term used to describe the national grassroots body of outspoken and articulate constitutional activists, emerged to restore a Republican majority in the House.
To put it simply, the Tea Party stopped Obama’s agenda from moving forward; they did so by mobilizing a conservative electorate that, last November, put a congressional restraining order on this president and his destructive policies. The 2012 presidential and congressional elections, however, must build upon that resounding conservative victory in order to reverse the socialist agenda.
To that end, next year’s presidential campaign will dominate the national debate and will ultimately determine whether Obama’s failed statist propositions will be rejected and free enterprise restored.
The critical question for conservatives is, who best to lead that debate? In the interest of restoring free enterprise and our national economy, which in turn will provide the opportunity to further reinvigorate the principles of Essential Liberty, we offer the following “pro and con” assessment of the current field of GOP presidential candidates, each of whom will be assigned a “Patriot Rating.”
Now, “pros” could be understood to mean “professionals” and “cons” could mean deceivers. In that context, there are indeed pro and con elements within some of the GOP candidates’ platforms. However, our pro and con appraisals are in the context of exposing the good, bad and ugly of all candidates, as reflected by their records and platforms.
Our list of candidate pros and cons is compiled from responses to a questionnaire sent to our editors and members of our National Advisory Committee, and the responses posted are those which occurred most frequently.
Additionally, we have assigned all candidates a Patriot Rating based on comprehensive analysis of many factors. Among these are their record, experience, capability, character, leadership qualifications and, of course, a demonstrated ability to abide by their prescribed oath “to support and defend” our Constitution. We evaluate their record of defending Essential Liberty, and their support for restoration of constitutional limits upon government — including the judiciary — the promotion of free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. The rating is from 1 to 10, the higher the better.
In short, our Patriot Rating reflects each candidate’s ability to reignite the Conservative Revolution launched by Ronald Reagan in 1980. Notably, we do not rate candidates on “electability,” as that is often a reflection of Leftmedia propaganda. Nor is a candidate’s Patriot Rating based solely on the “pros and cons,” which are just collected observations.
Many voters support candidates on the basis of one or two platform issues. However, our Patriot Rating is based upon a broad profile for each candidate, which is to say that if your favored candidate did not score as highly as you anticipated, it is likely because of platform issues or qualifications we assessed in addition to those on which you base your support.
If we could combine the best qualities of all candidates into one, the 2012 election would be won. Strategically, the number of constituencies represented by the GOP slate should coalesce, at the end of the primary, in support of one candidate. If that coalition holds, Obama will be defeated.
Suffice it to say that every GOP candidate has, in our assessment, more ability than Obama, who has yet to demonstrate any real skill beyond that of a smooth-talking “community organizer.” (As one of our respondents noted, “If the choice was between Obama and a mushroom, I would choose the latter.”)
Obama, however, controls a loyal constituency that will support him regardless of mitigating factors, and in the next election as with the last, his deceptive charisma will make up for his aptitude deficit. Those factors, combined with the unfortunate fact that GOP contenders continue to hack away at each other rather than at Obama, constitute Obama’s greatest re-election assets.
The 2012 GOP candidates, in alphabetical order:
(NOTE: As additional information and platform positions are released, Patriot Ratings may change. Visit The Patriot Post‘s campaign resource page, where we’ve compiled all the 2012 presidential candidate links as well as debate transcripts and videos.)
Michele Bachmann – Patriot Rating: 3
Pros: High-energy; no-nonsense speaker; Tea Party; has a knack for distilling issues to what’s most important to the average American; female; great family history; clearly socially conservative; Federalist; more articulate than Sarah Palin; principled stance on key issues.
Cons: No executive experience; limited business and leadership experience; does not look presidential; too easily stereotyped; already too many misstatements; no military service; doesn’t appear ready for prime time; whiny & tinny.
Herman Cain — Patriot Rating: 5
Pros: Reagan-like from a policy standpoint; straight talker — genuine Washington outsider; self-made man; lack of political experience; articulate and sensible tax reform and economic plan; former civilian employee of the United States Navy; principled common-sense conservative; believes in American exceptionalism; straight shooter, says it even if you don’t like it; strong private sector business experience; black; understands the free market; compelling life story; good work ethic, education and integrity; consistent in his stances.
Cons: Lack of political experience (this cuts both ways); diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in 2006, now in remission; more novelty than substance; short on foreign policy knowledge or experience; campaign lacks organization; low name recognition; “sound bite deep” on many issues; no military service; not previously vetted.
Newt Gingrich – Patriot Rating: 6
Pros: Smarter than the rest of the slate, combined; incredibly articulate; straight up conservative with strong track record and leadership; demonstrated track record (as House Speaker); does not attack other GOP candidates; child of a career military family; an acute sense of humor; a keen sense of history; name recognition; can take Obama down with one hand in presidential debates; acts presidential; positions based on logic (his understanding of the issue), not expediency; ability to boil complex ideas down to simple core soundbites, but commands great understanding of complexities and details; Contract with America.
Cons: DC insider; notable marriage/moral peccadilloes; a lightning rod; list of political liabilities as long as list of career accomplishment; no military service; limited business experience; accepts anthropogenic global warming; comes across as a policy wonk.
Ron Paul – Patriot Rating: 3
Pros: Strong constitutional advocate; articulate economic positions; energetic; energizes his adherents; served as a flight surgeon in the United States Air Force for five years; bold and brash; speaks his mind; intelligent; true libertarian.
Cons: His isolationist foreign policy is incredibly naïve and thus, dangerous; fails the “nut job” test with many voters; seems too singularly focused; comes off as a crank; too narrow a support base; name recognition negatives; perpetual presidential candidate; no clear expression of faith.
Rick Perry – Patriot Rating: 6
Pros: Salt-of-the-earth family history; speaks from the heart; executive experience as governor of Texas; Air Force officer and aviator for five years; offered tangible tax reform plan, speaks his mind; strong platform and record of success; strong proponent for states’ rights and limited central government; understands Social Security is a “Ponzi Scheme”; good family man, and is clear about his faith; good campaign organization and good fundraiser; pro-business; pro-gun; pro-life; not Ivy League.
Cons: Chaired Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign (Ronald Reagan clearly articulated why he left the Democratic Party) disconcerting that Perry lacks deep conservative roots); worst debate skills ever witnessed; HPV vaccination executive mandate; support of Trans-TX corridor; weak immigration policy — the Texas DREAM Act undermines his credibility on a key issue.
Mitt Romney – Patriot Rating: 6
Pros: Executive experience as governor; strong appearance; quick on his feet; smooth talker; high profile with the public, stemming from his 2008 presidential candidacy; accomplished businessman; acts, speaks and looks presidential; good family man; appeals to centrists; deep pockets (personal and campaign); big-name supporters; campaign organization and experience; old enough to have gravitas, not old enough to look like John McCain; good speaker; great command of most issues.
Cons: Big government establishment Republican; RomneyCare and all associated baggage; mirrors Democrat tax policies; political inheritance as son of George Romney (former governor of Michigan and 1968 presidential candidate); no military service; high-profile flip-flops on key conservative issues (gun control, global warming, abortion, homosexual “unions,” health care); Massachusetts moderate; left of George W. Bush.
Rick Santorum – Patriot Rating: 4
Pros: Solid conservative; articulate on conservative positions; well-versed on both foreign and domestic policy; principled; good family man; passionate and genuine; energetic; not much to say about him.
Cons: Senate “loser” baggage; endorsed and actively campaigned for the Turncoat Ghost, Arlen Specter, over Pat Toomey in 2004; no military service.
(Publisher’s Note: A member of our management team is available for radio interviews and speaking engagements. Jim Cuffia, Essential Liberty Project Executive Director & Patriot Post Contributing Editor, is a seasoned radio veteran and can address the Liberty angle or just about any political topic you throw his way. To book Jim for an interview, email us at Radio@PatriotPost.US)
(Please pray for our Armed Forces standing in harm’s way around the world, and for their families — especially families of those fallen Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, who granted their lives in defense of American liberty.)
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