Monday, September 12, 2011

On the Irrational Discontent with Jon Huntsman

I have been struggling with what exactly it is that sets conservatives into hissy fits over the candidacy of Jon Huntsman. Otherwise smart people suddenly speak of the man as though he were the lowest of creatures to walk the face of the earth. It just doesn't make sense.

Is he a Tea Party kind of guy? No, but he is a fiscal conservative which is what the Tea Party is suppose to represent. Is he a social conservative? Yes. He is pro-life, a Second Amendment advocate and a pro-family kind of guy. He and his wife are adoptive parents of children of color.

Has he made mistakes in office? Yes. Who hasn't? He says he was wrong to push cap and trade legislation in Utah and notes that it wasn't put into place. On climate change, I think most people will agree that human beings have at least a small part in it. Honest people will agree to that. No, not sole responsibility for climate change, not Al Gore hysterics for profiteering, just some common sense. To hear some speak, Jon Huntsman is Al Gore.

By serving in Barack Obama's administration as Ambassador to China, Huntsman picked up some valuable experience with an emerging world leader. He said he puts country over party. Isn't that what the Tea Party supporters say, too? Aren't they fond of saying that they are neither Republican or Democrats and they are willing to work against either party in elections?

I don't have any illusions that suddenly Jon Huntsman will take off in the polls and secure the nomination. I happen to think his positions are more Republican than others in the race and certainly more appealing than Romney. With Huntsman's health care reform in Utah, there was no individual mandate. There would be no comparison to Obamacare hanging over his head.

I just find it counter-productive to demonize one candidate over another in the primary season within the same party. It is important to move forward with a candidate that will win the election while holding most of the principles of the party. No one candidate will be 100%. It is hypocritical to look the other way for some candidates, whether it is Governor Perry's mistakes in office or Mitt Romney's while accusing others of making bigger mistakes, mistakes that cannot be forgiven.

It is interesting to me that those who demand private sector experience of their candidates now turn a blind eye to a candidate like Rick Perry who has none. He is a career politician, which is a no-no to most Tea Party folks, under normal circumstances.

The purists that could not find it in themselves to vote for John McCain in 2008 are responsible for the election of Barack Obama. These same conservatives knew that Obama was far worse for the country than McCain would have been, yet their own false sense of superiority as conservatives allowed them to put their own egos over the best interests of the country.

How's that hopey changey thing working out for you now? Let's pull together and pick the best person to beat Obama in 2012.

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