The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And now, New Hampshire has spoken

New Hampshire has spoken — a lot more decisively than Iowa last week. Some people said that (because Mitt Romney had been a Governor of next-door Massachusetts, and had a residence in New Hampshire) if Romney won less than 40% in New Hampshire, it would not be a convincing victory: his percentage was just short of 40%, but that seems to have been close enough for the analysts, considering that second place went to Ron Paul with less than 30%. And since neither second-place Paul nor third-place Jon Huntsman is considered a major threat to the nomination, and people like Newt Gingrich (despite his endorsement by New Hampshire's most influential newspaper) could not even make 20%, this has to be considered a significant win for Romney.

What this means, of course, is that Republicans want someone who can run a credible campaign against Barack Obama, who will of course, as a sitting first-term President, get his own party's nomination. Even self-identified conservatives (and they form a majority of New Hampshire Republicans, according to polls) realize that a Romney, impure conservative that he is, will be better for conservative ideas in the White House than a far-left Obama, and this is governing their votes.

As Rick Santorum almost won Iowa by staking out there and campaigning in one state while the others traveled about, Jon Huntsman did the same in New Hampshire. And this got him, as I said earlier, third place, with a lot bigger share of the votes than he is likely to get in any other state. But New Hampshire has only a small number of delegates, and he will only get a fraction of those. So, though this is likely to be the high water mark of his campaign, I suspect that in a month or two, Huntsman will withdraw. Ron Paul, the second-place finisher, is likely to soldier on till the convention. He may actually be the second-place candidate on Convention Day. But no matter how devoted his supporters may be, they do not represent the bulk of Republican identifiers, and he has no chance at the nomination. And Paul and Huntsman are the only two (other than Romney) who can call the result in New Hampshire positive for them.

Rick Perry, of course, wrote off New Hampshire, so his low finish is not surprising. He is staking everything on South Carolina. And he might do well in that bastion of Southern conservatism. But the November election will not be fought in places like South Carolina, and Republicans in general know that, which is why most of the party is going to fall in line behind Romney.

New Hampshire does not always pick the eventual nominee. And it tends to pick Massachusetts people even when, like Henry Cabot Lodge or Paul Tsongas, they have no chance at their party's nomination. But combined with Iowa, the results point to a Romney candidacy. And I am happy to support that candidacy.

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