First Shots Fired in Post-2012 Conservative Civil War
On the latest GPL podcast, John Podhoretz predicted a perilous few years for the GOP if Romney loses. His take was that the libertarian conservatives and social conservatives -- personified in Rand Paul and Mike Huckabee, respectively -- would engage in an internecine war. Maggie Gallagher gets off an early shot for the SoCons in a recent Corner post. She claims that:
Social conservatives are absent from this election. Their money isn’t being used in any visible way to organize voters. If Romney loses, this will be part of the reason why.
These are weak claims. At the risk of committing a Nate Silver sampling error, most Ricocheteers who are "SoCon-first" seem present in this election. And while the thrust of the Romney campaign has been the economy, many normally quiet groups have boldly spoken out about the social issues at stake this election.
If SoCons absent themselves from an election with an incumbent who is fanatical, on life issues especially, when will they join in? Did the invite need to come from the Romney campaign itself?
Also, Gallagher's comment about money grates. As Podhoretz noted, Romney was never the SoCon candidate. They bitterly opposed him, but divided their energies. Would all have been forgotten if more SoCon political pros had gotten to drink from the Romney 2012 money spigot?