Many conservatives are concerned that Mitt Romney will not be conservative enough to be successful in dealing with the fiscal challenges facing this country. Sure he ran a conservative campaign in 2008 and 2012, but how will he govern?
I think the answer depends on the Senate. The House is the only body to show any interest in solving the major challenges we face and should be able to support conservative solutions. The Senate on the other hand has refused to even try to pass a budget in 3 years. It is possible the GOP will take control of the Senate, but they will need some Democrat votes to get to 60 votes and many GOP senators are RINO’s. This means the Senate will likely be to the left of Romney, should he become president. Regardless of who was selected to be the GOP nominee, the 2012 election will not be a blowout for either side. This means the next president will not have a clear mandate that will allow him to demand more support for his agenda. As I have argued for some time, the key to getting good results in 2013 with a Republican President is getting more conservative Senators.
In Wisconsin we will play a critical role in this. The Democrats will run Tammy Baldwin, who like Obama offers no solutions, only ways to divide the country in groups to distract from her record and the lack of any reasonable plan for all the major issues. While the Democrats have only one terrible option, the GOP has four quality candidates. I feel the best way to make choose a candidate is to listen to candidates discuss the issues. This is why I took my wife on a date to see the Senate Debate at the Waukesha Expo Center on April 11, 2012
It was disappointing that Tommy Thompson declined to show due to a fundraiser he was holding in Washington D.C. It is not shocking that Tommy would be too busy with his friends in Washington, to debate the issues in Wisconsin. This is, of course, the big issue for him, being seen as the establishment big government Republican. My wife and I are looking for a more conservative option anyway. It was a productive evening as we were able to come to a decision. There is actually a 5th candidate, Kip Smith, but he is not a serious candidate and it showed.
The other 3 candidates all did a good job and are good choices for the Senate. Having said that I think Mark Neumann stood above the other challengers. For example on the question of raising the Debt ceiling Eric Hovde stated he would only vote for it, if it is coupled with a plan to balance the budget in 2-3 years. This may sound good, but if things are as they are now that rigid position would make him irrelevant and force the end result to the left, as they would have to pick up more Democrat support. Even Cut, Cap, & Balance, which has support of Tea Party Senators, like Rand Paul, would have taken 5-8 years to balance the budget. Eric Hovde also completely dodged the question of him making a donation to Doyle, maybe not a huge issue, but I did not care for a complete dodge of the question.
Jeff Fitzgerald did well, but I liked that Neumann seems to have a plan and appears to have studied the issues more. Jeff is right that we will need to have the courage to think more about the next generation, than the next election, like he has done here in Wisconsin pushing the Walker Agenda though the assembly. The issues facing the country are far more difficult. In Wisconsin we just needed to do the right thing, at the federal level there are no easy answers. That is why the Democrats refuse to try.
I would be proud to support any of the three conservative choices, but if conservatives do not unite behind one of them we will get the least conservative, Tommy Thompson. Thompson is way better than Tammy Baldwin, but we should go for the more conservative option. Mark Neuman has the backing of several conservative groups such as the Club for Growth, and was the best candidate on the issues, making Mark Neumann the clear choice for the US Senate.