We do not want a more "conservative" version of Michael Bloomberg. Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich have all had their big government affairs in the past. No mas! That will not be acceptable any more. Whoever the nominee is, we need an engaged conservative base who will hold the Presidents' feet to the fire if he strays (if we did it with Harriet Miers without a tea party, we can certainly do it going forward now given how engaged and organized conservatives are). As Reagan said: Trust but verify! We want less government and less spending. If there has been any blessing with Barack Obama is that he has been distracted playing golf and having parties (although his stimulus plan and Obamacare have been amazingly huge disasters). We do not want or need government fixes. The only government medicine we want is seeing the nation weened off the teat of out of control spending and unfunded entitlements.
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
Michael Bloomberg is an example of what not to be...
― C.S. Lewis
If Rick Santorum is challenged by questions about gay marriage he should say he is taking the position Barack Obama took with Rick Warren: Marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Rick Santorum (and the rest of us) should not be letting the Dan Savages and Andrew Sullivans of the world "savage" conservatives on these social issues while giving Obama a pass on the same position. And it is not just gay marriage. Virtually every major issue is lied about by Barack Obama and the left. Our candidates (and us) need to counter punch every time these lies are made. And we have to call them out as lies. That is why Gingrich struck such a strong cord in South Carolina when he did it with the media. Romney and Santorum need to learn that skill.
Conservatives do not have to compromise any core principles (abortion, right to life, etc.) to be a small government, libertarian leaning, fiscal conservative party. So no more No Child Left Behind, no more Medicare entitlement expansions to appease aging Floridians, if we are going to be conservatives, let's be conservatives. Liberty and freedom mean something and as conservatives we should embrace all civil liberties (which of course includes property and the right to bear arms). Even if Justice Ginsberg does not think so, the U.S. Constitution is still the best blue print of government in existence. Fortunately there are a few people who still get this.
We need two primary things* (on the domestic agenda) done by the new Congress and President, reverse Obamacare and enact the Paul Ryan budget. And to do that we need the House, Senate and White House. Grover Norquist did a great job at CPAC laying this out. You cannot count on the Supreme Court for reversing Obamacare (see Justice Ginsberg's comment above). Even a "victory" on that decision will likely just be partial (and even that is hardly guaranteed). And we need a President and Congress ready to act on foreign threats (including securing the border) and protect American interests without apology.
As far as insane policies in some blue states...I would encourage conservatives to embrace evolution. Survival of the fittest! There is a reason states like Texas are doing far better than states like California. Let their change come locally in response. If you live in one of those places, I sympathize. Move away or (better yet) stay and fight for change locally.
* I should say two minimum things, but if we can manage to keep the House, take the Senate (and gain a filibuster proof majority), and take the White House--they would be wise to just do those two things and basically not screw up or piss off the voters like George Bush and Karl Rove managed to do last time. That is where conservatives come into play watching that whoever we do get elected does not screw up.
If Rick Santorum said something so dumb, he better wise up really quick. Libertarians (at least the small "l" libertarians) are not the enemy. And Rick Santorum cannot win the general election unless he has at least some libertarians supporting him. He probably cannot win the primaries without some libertarian support. If you cannot get this then we cannot support you. We do not need a Mayor Bloomberg who is "more conservative."
Rick Santorum: Losing Vodkapundit and Nate Nelson