Rush Limbaugh reportedly said, "it's gonna come down to which guy do we dislike the least." I've said virtually the exact same, and that's where I find myself now that Thompson has bailed.
In the primary, I can't conceive of voting for John McMeMeMe, him of countless backstabbings and lurches left, the man who actually looks at things through the perspective of the New York Times. Global warming, McCain-Feingold, senate "compromises" (i.e. cave-ins). No thank you.
Rudy Giuliani? No way. There are reasons I "used to be" a Democrat (rather than "am"). He rolls too many of them together. Besides, I cannot for the life of me understand why character counted when Clinton was the nominee (and it did), but it doesn't anymore.
Ron Paul? Duh. No. I read where Norma McCorvey endorsed Paul as the best pro-life candidate. I've never viewed her as a particularly perceptive political thinker, but that aside: if electability is a quality of "best," then Paul's disqualified. And thank God. In other words, to be the "best" candidate on an issue, one must stand a snowball's chance in Hades of actually having the power to do something for the issue, in which case he must actually have that same frosty globe's odds of winning the office. Which Paul doesn't — and, again, I say "Thank God."
Otherwise, I am actually the better candidate. Or Justin Taylor. Or John Piper.
Meanwhile, back in the real world:
Mike Huckabee. Well, if I voted the same way many women and blacks (reportedly) are, he'd be my man, wouldn't he? He's a pastor, I'm a pastor. He's an evangelical, I'm an evangelical. He's a Baptist, I'm a Baptist member of a Presbyterian church, but that's another story.
So why can't I vote for him?
Because I don't trust him, because there are too many substantial and creditable reports of his liberal record and big-government positions, and because the Clinton machine would slaughter him like a paschal lamb. They would find every sermon he ever preached, every bulletin or newsletter note he ever wrote, every disgruntled person who even so much as drove by his church or knew someone who had — and those would dominate every news cycle until the election.
One day it would be "Huckabee said non-Christians would go to Hell." Two days later: "Huckabee said sex outside of marriage is a 'sin.'" Two days after that: "Huckabee said money 'belongs to the Lord.'" Two days after that: "Huckabee said 'women cannot be pastors.'"
Every day of the campaign would have him on the defensive.
And then he'd lose.
So, even if I thought I could trust him, no.
And now, with sinking heart....
Mitt Romney. Oh, crud. So, what's his main qualification, at this point? That he's not one of the others. Sure sure, he's supposed to be smart, and he is a successful businessman, and like most in his cult he's a family-man, and blah blah blah.
Don't try to make me like it. I just will have to do it, for the reasons stated above and elsewhere. As a Christian, I cannot for the life of me see the rational/Biblical excuse for voting for a doctrinaire and extreme representative of a party that works hard and dedicatedly against almost everything I value as a Christian. Nor will I sit out the primary.
But here's where I find myself now: in the same place as four years ago, yet opposite.
Four years ago, one candidate was an opportunistic pandering flip-flopper, and the other had a fairly consistent record of pursuing a set of convictions. I voted for the latter and, thank God, he won.
Now I'm in the same place, but flipped on its head: one candidate sure looks like an opportunistic flip-flopper, and the other had a very consistent record of pursuing a set of convictions (albeit convictions that I, as a Christian, deplore and oppose).
But this time I have to vote for the opportunistic pandering flip-flopper and, at least, comfort myself that he panders unconvincingly for many of my convictions instead of against them.
Not a ringing endorsement, is it? Well, so much "No" that I won't even call this an endorsement, and I'd thank you for not characterizing it as such. It's more of a "what I probably will have to do because I don't see the sense of doing anything else."
Whee. Isn't politics fun?
Yep. Not so much.