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How can I support a candidate when I can’t stand other supporters of the candidate?

How can I support a candidate when I can’t stand other supporters of the candidate?

It’s the age-old question.

And it is not a theoretical question, as you know from recent experience here, because if I followed that line of thinking religiously, multiple remaining candidates would be crossed off my list.

For example, David Frum is supporting Mitt Romney.

But Frum has spent the past three years drumming up media attention as the designated “conservative” basher of the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, an avocation he pursues even after Palin announced she would not run for president:

“I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets…”

– From Sarah Palin’s statement announcing her decision not to run for president.

Um, probably not. Sarah Palin’s political voice had dwindled well before she announced her decision not to run. Now it will sink altogether into inaudibility. She will be no kind of force in future national discussions. She will have no sway over party debates. She will retain some starpower for a little while longer. She may for another cycle or two be able to help certain candidates for certain political offices raise some money. Even that will fade within two more years or four. Her political career was brief, bizarre, and sordid….

Most embarrassing of all: she was never even a very good con artist. Everything that was false and petty and unqualified in her was visible within the first minutes of encountering her. The people she fooled were people who passionately wished to be fooled….

Assuming I were otherwise inclined to do so, how could I support a candidate supported by a cheap trick like David Frum, the masculine equivalent of Meghan McCain?

It sure is hard being a Republican these days.


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I look at the candidate and find he’s an opportunistic weathervane. I cannot support him. Besides, birds of a feather…. I can expect the candidate to be consistent only in his hatred of my political ideals.

Cowboy Curtis | October 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Just because someone supports you, that doesn’t mean you endorse them.

That said, while I can live with Romney (or a rabid badger for that matter) if it’ll get Obama into retirement, I’m still leaning towards Perry.

    Just because Obama is voted out of office does not mean Proggs will end their march towards dismantling America’s fundamental principles.

    And if you believe any of the Republican Eunuchs running for President will have the guts to ‘undo’ anything then you haven’t been paying attention to Establishment pattern.

    Obama is just the beginning of the end, not the end of the beginning.

    It was said Bush was better than Gore. Then it was said Bush was better than Kerry. Then it was said the McCain was better than Obama.

    How come over the last decade everything has grown worse year after year, day after day?

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to syn. | October 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm

      You don’t think W was preferable to Gore and Kerry? If for judicial appointments if nothing else?

      Cowboy Curtis in reply to syn. | October 6, 2011 at 7:59 pm

      I guess I don’t understand what you’re proposing. Are we simply supposed to throw up our hands and surrender to the left because Sarah Palin (not RedState, not Coulter, not anyone else) decided not to run? If she’s the only person who can save America, then wasn’t it her patriotic duty to put the country ahead of all personal considerations and run? If she’s the only one up to the task, what does it say about her that she declined?

        Juba Doobai! in reply to Cowboy Curtis. | October 7, 2011 at 12:21 pm

        Her first duty is to her family. That’s vocation. America could be near destruction and that still would be her first responsibility.

          Cowboy Curtis in reply to Juba Doobai!. | October 7, 2011 at 2:05 pm

          First duty is always to God, then country, then family. Some things are bigger than the people we love, and country is one of them. Name a great leader that didn’t put his country ahead of his loved ones. The very act of taking up such a mantle dictates that personal affairs suffer greatly. Washington didn’t want to be president, but it was his duty. The presidency did Reagan’s family no favors. If the duties of a mother trump the duties to country, how can we ever have a woman president?

          How is she protecting her family? They’ve already been trashed. Hasn’t that horse already left the barn? And given that she isn’t leaving her very public life, wouldn’t any reduced scrutiny be a matter of small degree?

          She didn’t decide not to run because her family will be put under a microscope- it’s been going on for three years, and so long as she’s in the public eye, it won’t stop. She isn’t running because she saw no viable path to victory.

UGh. This is despicable. Why the nastiness even after she steps out?

And does this joker actually think he has more impact than Palin? He’s naive and an idiot.

I take up with no party, only the politician who appears to be the most honest, fiscally and socially conservative. if he/she lies, boot ’em out.

Let’s face it. Mitt Romney is the “John McCain” of this election cycle. He’s the guy that nobody except the Washington Republicans (and Democrats) want. I find nothing “dynamic” about the guy, so I expect the same from a Romney Administration. This is the best that the bureaucrats can hope for from the Republicans, which means we get to pay and pay, if he is elected.

Professor Jacobson, you should not let David Frum put you off of a candidate you find to have admirable qualities.

Don’t vote for someone because David Frum likes him. Don’t not vote for him because David Frum likes him. If you have any vote regarding David Frum please vote that he get no dessert forever because he is a “poopy head”.

My own reasons for regarding Mitt Romney as worse than Obama have nothing to do with who his supporters are. It is based on what he has said with his own mouth, bills he has signed with his own hand. No painted rocks, no tanning beds, no “he’s not smart” memes. I judge the tree by the fruit it bears. Romney is a fig too bitter for my tastes.

Better a naked socialist who doesn’t hide his agenda (Obama) than a Progressive Republican who is slow-marching to the same destination.

Obama wins in 2012 and we are sure to see an even better chance for a conservative (not just a RINO) in 2016. President Biden? C’mon. He’s going to be getting consolation letters from Mondale. I’m not sure he could carry Delaware.

    Be sure to vote with your TV “zapper”
    Apparently, Frum has signed on with CNN

    Better a naked socialist who doesn’t hide his agenda (Obama) than a Progressive Republican who is slow-marching to the same destination.

    Obama wins in 2012 and we are sure to see an even better chance for a conservative (not just a RINO) in 2016.

    And unless Republicans get a veto-proof majority, all the policies that have been damaging this nation will continue. Listen, I understand your argument, and I will admit that from a long-term view, having President Obama is better than a President McCain would have been (Cap and Trade, amnesty, and some slightly less onerous form of Obamacare would likely be law). However, the curtains has been drawn, and many apathetic voters now know what the left really wants. Another four years will not bring forth a vastly more conservative candidate, and short of economic ruination nor will it vastly change many Democrats voting habits.

    (While I like Christie, he scares me for President; Marco Rubio will run when he is good and ready – I’d prefer he run as a Governer; Paul Ryan, a genius on the economic side, also needs executive experience.)

    Whomever the candidate, conservatives, classic liberals, (fiscal) libertarians, and Republicans need to be as active in, and as passionate for the down-ticket races so that the legislative force is present to either oppose Obama or hold the GOP Prez’ feet to the fire.

    katiejane in reply to Kerrvillian. | October 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    Actually Professor I’ve read post after post across the web from conservatives(?) who claim that part of the reason they couldn’t support Paln was because of the fervor of some of her supporters.
    So apparently it is acceptable to judge a candidate based on his/her supporters. Besides – haven’t people mocked the Paulbots as loons for years?

MaggotAtBroadAndWall | October 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

He’s a very strange man. He’s a Republican who hates the grass roots base of the party. He reminds me of Bruce Bartlett (although I think Bartlett hates the entire Republican Party that gave him a prestigious career for 25 years).

I just don’t understand what Frum wants to accomplish. He has reminded us repeatedly the past three years that he hates Palin, the Tea Party, and the grass roots. We get it.

So why does he keep beating the dead horse with his nasty and hateful posts? What’s the goal?

John Sullivan | October 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I’m with Kerrvillian. Don’t worry if someone objectionable also supports your candidate in the general election, because I can live with ABO. If you have any concerns about supporting a Romney, just think what Obama could do to the Supreme Court with a second term, as Justices Scalia and Kennedy (who BTW is the Supremes’ counterpart to Romney) will both be 80 by January 2017. On the other hand, a Romney election in 2012 likely means that a Democrat wins in 2016, unless he does for the country what he did for Massachusetts and leaves after one term.

Subotai Bahadur | October 6, 2011 at 3:42 pm

A couple of points if I may:

1) David Frum, the masculine equivalent of Meghan McCain

With all due respect, I think that if the appropriate blood tests were done, it would be found to be “David Frum, the feminine equivalent of Meghan McCain”.

2) I think there are two threads of continuing bashing of Sarah and her supporters. Yes, there are Institutional Republicans who view her as a greater threat to their control of the Republican party, and thus their iron rice bowls, than any Democrat. They are mixing their contempt for the Base with a desire to make sure that the vampire does not rise again. However, I am pretty sure that there is a significant fraction of the hostile commenters who are operatives of Obama For America who have the goal of driving a permanent wedge between Sarah’s people and the Institutionals to enable an Obama win. Yeah, I hate the Institutionals, but I hate Obama too. Take the insults and piling on with that in mind, and note the sources so as to identify TWANLOC trolls.

3) I’m not rich by any means. But I had arranged my affairs so that every month from her announcement to the election I would be able to send $100 to her campaign. That money definitely will not go to the Romney campaign. Could go to a Cain or Perry campaign. And I may well be busy volunteering for one of those campaigns if they prevail. Most likely it will go to fund primary challenges by Patriots against Institutional Republican incumbent Congressmen, and their eventual general election campaigns. And yes, it may well go through SarahPAC because she has a good track record in supporting those; as opposed to the Institutional Republicans who will support a Democrat over a Conservative every time, even after the primaries.

If Romney is the nominee, I will control my rising gorge and vote for him. But it will be with the clear knowledge that a putative Romney first term will be very close to being Obama’s second term unless he is coerced by a Patriot Congress who will not let him go along with the Democrats.

Romney is many things. A fighter is not one of them. Nor is he a Conservative. Nor will he push back. He refuses to commit to repealing Obamacare, restricting himself to “granting waivers to everyone”. Granting a waiver to the individual mandate does not cure the problem. The bill is full of power grabs, mandates, tax increases, and reductions in funding for actual medical care. There is no reason that Obamacare means that the Federal government is now the sole source for student loans, or that the government should tell every medical practitioner to forward copies of all medical records for everyone to the Federal government as custodian. Or that the “Death Panels” which are real should exist. Or that $500 Billion should be cut from Medicare. Waiving the individual mandate does not suffice.

So I will look for a fighter; until the nomination is settled. And if I can’t find one, I will still work to help provide a Patriot Congress to provide the needed coercion to prevent someone with the Institutional’s ‘R’ behind their name from giving away everything.

Subotai Bahadur

    Right as rain, Subotai. IMO the best way to isolate and diminish the Frums of this world is to publicly identify and primary every RINO and big government elitist GOP incumbent – but I repeat myself. Send them home for Christmas in 2012 – to stay.

    IF – and I hope it doesn’t happen, Mitt McCain should be the next president, wouldn’t it be great to have a congress strong enough to foil his schemes for a grander federal bureaucracy?

    He refuses to commit to repealing Obamacare, restricting himself to “granting waivers to everyone”. Granting a waiver to the individual mandate does not cure the problem.

    As President, the only thing Romney could do immediately is grant waivers – Congress must overturn/repeal Obamacare. And I’ve seen nowhere where Romney has said that he would refuse to sign repeal legislation.

DINORightMarie | October 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm

The key, to me, is to ensure that the candidates will agree to the basic essentials: repeal ObamaCare, roll back regulations, cut taxes, cut spending, cap spending, downsize government and change the direction of this country. Those are the essentials, IMHO.

I will support ABO. I will watch to see who Sarah Palin endorses, and support my local Conservative candidates. I will NOT sit out the vote!! I will vote for whoever Republicans nominate. It is that essential that we get Obama and his socialist policies – and his crooked administration – OUT of the White House!

In addition: we MUST ensure the Senate is flipped to Conservative Republican (with a super majority, I hope!), increase the Conservative House majority (removing RINOs as well as Dems!!), and ensure that the Congress is doing their job! Key. Crucial.

I also believe that the governors running need to be flipped to Republican, or re-elect Republicans, so our states can get REAL reform and economic stability.

Frum is irrelevant. He is a RINO at best, as you well know, Professor.

Romney, Perry, Cain, Newt…..ANY ONE OF THESE will be infinitely better than Obama.

Ignore the idiotic nobody pundits like Frum.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

With David Frum you know the reason he would support a particular candidate is that he’s satisfied the candidate is not a conservative. Therefore anyone wanting to support a conservative candidate should probably take Frum’s support as a negative on that candidate. lIkewise, Frum’s trashing of Sarah Palin and Rick Perry speaks well for them.

Groucho Marx did a bit like that:

“I don’t want to belong to any club (or support a candidate) that will accept people like me as a member (supporter).”

since Frum has long since stopped being a conservative I think you can take confort in his support for Romney if your support one of the other candidates …

Well, at least Scott Brown is beginning to give us a reason to support him over Elizabeth Warren . . . clearly, he’s the one with a sense of humor!

As for the Presidential, my mother gave me the best bit of political advice I ever got in my life — way, way back when. Faced with the prospect of casting my first Presidential vote in what looked to be a close two-person presidential race, one in which neither of the candidates was ideal in my book, I told her I was thinking about casting a “protest vote” — for some write-in candidate.

Said she: “That’s nice. But just remember . . . somebody is going to win!

That’s all she said. Though she didn’t rub it in, she obviously was indirectly pointing out that I was about to throw away my first Presidential vote, just to make myself feel good. I realized she was right, changed my mind, and have always felt gratitude to her for that sound advice!

“the masculine equivalent of Meghan McCain”

Heh. Funny and, unfortunately for Frum, true. Has there been another formerly serious conservative commentator (other than Andrew Sullivan) whose own political career was quite as “brief, bizarre, and sordid…” as Frum’s?

The upside for Romney is that Frum is not his son. One feels for John McCain.

Just think what Romney would do to the Supreme Court? Justice Souter anyone? Justice Brennan? Both Northeast liberal republicans. As for David unFrum (Frum being another Jewish term for kosher) how is it that such a smart guy couldn’t tell that BHO was a con artist socialist from the get go, when an “idiot” like Sarah Palin and the grass roots of republicans could spot those traits in him lightyears away?
Was he too seduced by the crease in the con artist’s pants?
Is he now seduced by the crease in Romney’s pants?

i have no sympathy for McLame on the subject of the nasty, not to bright skank that is his daughter. after all, he had a hand in raising her, and she allegedly has half his genes…

whether they are the dumb ones or the weather vane ones really doesn’t matter.

and the best thing i can say about Mittens is that he would be SCOAMF Lite, compared to Ear Leader. he’s still appoint liberal judges, sign stupid bills and expand government, so telling me he’s a better choice than the First Failure is not really a convincing argument.

better open class warfare in the streets as the “glorious future” promised us by the one we were allegedly waiting for inevitably collapses in shambles around his scrawny ass, then the torture of a thousand bureaucratic cuts, as we slowly starve to death on the occasional conservative bone tossed to us by a RINO scumbag.

I have been a lurker for some time and have never commented before, but I have enjoyed reading the Professor’s take on events and the comments of readers.

I have come to a different conclusion. This is what I wrote elsewhere and would like to share with you after reading what Subotai wrote above, particularly the part about someone strong enough to push back. Here goes, for what it’s worth.

After Sarah Palin told us she isn’t running I felt the air get sucked out of the room. Then I started thinking about the “crop” of candidates and I never thought I would say this, but I am giving Newt a second look. We need someone who is articulate, knows the ins and outs of Washington, Congress, etc., is very well versed in foreign and domestic policy and is listening to what we are saying, moreover, all his “baggage” is our there already. RINO? Not so sure any more. Mistakes? Yes, and who hasn’t made them? I’ve checked out his His contract of solutions to bring America back to traditional values and policies which is made up of four pieces. “Those pieces include restore the proper role of the legislature; sign 50-100 executive orders on the first day he is in office; establish a training program for people he hires once he gets the presidential nomination and get American citizens involved in working as a team.”

No, this is not an infomercial for Gingrich nor am I a paid or otherwise follower of his. I’m trying to be pragmatic. We need someone who will forcefully bat down each and all the attacks that will be leveled at him and who has a way with words. He is intelligent (not the faux type that we have now) and savvy. We could do worse. Flip-flop? Which candidate hasn’t? It’s what he espouses now that is important and I do think he is not just listening to us, but hearing us. We need a fighter and I think he is, in his own way. and I must admit I would also love to see him wipe the floor with our current potus in a debate.

    William A. Jacobson in reply to MAB. | October 6, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Thanks for not lurking, because I too think Newt deserves another look.

    Because I was so sure Sarah would run, I really hadn’t paid a whole lot of attention to any of the rest of the candidates. I figured I knew enough about them to know that Sarah was better. Now I plan to look at Cain, Newt, and Bachmann much more closely. If Romney is the nominee, I will support him, but with no enthusiasm. And the criteria I will base my choice on will be a candidate’s experience, philosophy, and vision for the future of this country. Bottom line: ABO.

Frum, a petty man, is intensely jealous of Palin appeal. As is typical of all ruling class elites, his narcissism prevents him from realizing that the reason people don’t listen to him isn’t some nefarious on-goings nor folks inability to grasp the complexities of Frum’s brilliance, rather that the folks have listened, have understood, and have rejected his POV.

For this kind of person (Frum), it is an insult of immense proportions when others eschew their (imagined) priceless advice on lieu of what is clearly common sense (to so many others), especially from some bimbo who graduated from some substandard land-grant school in Idaho. What Frum is setting forth is not so much an analysis but what he so yearns for.

So long as you rule out a third party vote and vote Republican no matter who is nominated the establishment Republicans will see to it that Reagan was the last conservative nominated (and he was only mostly conservative at best).

Sir, give in to your inner-Libertarian (

    If you are right, and you might be, why shouldn’t we fight to primary all establishment Repubs and flushed them out of the system? That way whoever wins the WH still needs to overcome a TP congress. We won’t be completely successful, but that might be the best way to eventually rid ourselves of the ER influence. No $$$ to the national GOP. Nothing. Only support known TP primary candidates.

alwaysfiredup | October 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Romney, Perry and Bachmann are no-goes. Anyone who thinks Palin is in this just to “make money” (as if Frum isn’t? please!) or has ever said she just loves the spotlight (there’s a heckuva lot more spotlight on a presidential candidate than a housewife in Alaska) will never, ever get my vote.

Gingrich is looking better. his years in control of Congress gave us the Clinton surplus, not bad at all. I get the impression Cain will self-destruct, but good on him if he doesn’t; I have not ruled out a vote for him. Santorum and Paul are each too far on his respective limb. I may give Johnson another look.

Palin is simply not allowed any sort of grace. She must be a horrible person no matter what she does. If she runs, she’s greedy and a thin-skinned famewh0re. If she doesn’t run, she’s greedy and a thin-skinned famewh0re. The only way she could possibly escape unwarranted criticism and questioning of her motives would be to go away and never be heard from again, and most people would still think badly of her even then (“she’s so stupid, she couldn’t hack it, just like Quayle!”). It’s so ugly.

I’m hoping Romney wins the nomination.

It will be wonderful to watch his corrupt Ruling Class Big Donor friends spend a bundle to lose and receive all the blame.

After ten years of day-in-day-out politics this go around I’m saving my money, my time and my life standing on the sidelines and letting the Sandwich People in the Center duke it out for a change.

syn | October 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I’m hoping Romney wins the nomination.

It will be wonderful to watch his corrupt Ruling Class Big Donor friends spend a bundle to lose and receive all the blame.

And what will this accomplish other than hand the reins of government to the Dems and Obama and their destructive forces for another 4 years so that they can complete their destruction of our country. This is NOT the time to sit it out but rather to fight.

Something like 60-70 million people will vote for the GOP candidate. Some number of others will have such an opinion and not vote. One should assume that in a group that large, just about all sorts of vice and evil will be present. True, criminals are probably more likely to vote Democrat (pro-felon voting advocates say a 70-30 split), and some cannot vote due to their records (but still may have an opinion), but that doesn’t mean such people cannot exist on our side too.

Whomever the GOP puts up, their supporters are likely to include a non-zero quantity of pedophiles, murderers, rapists, etc. You probably won’t know who these people are, but odds are good that they are there. Thus, one should not oppose a candidate just because they consider an individual supporter reprehensible – for any candidate, it is very likely that there will be those who you find even more repugnant supporting them but are unaware of.

Newt doesn’t have the campaign funding to make a serious run. His campaigh managers quit on him a few months ago when he decided it was more important to go on a cruise with Calista than campaign. You really want someone with that kind of commitment? Stick with the top tier and stop hoping someday your prince will come. If Conservatives don’t decide soon between Cain and Perry we will be stuck with Romney. Unless Newt gets a massive influx of cash he is toast. He’d make an awesome VP though, he could annihilate Biden in a debate.