None of the potential 2012 candidates have officially declared and already the "he/she is not conservative enough" debate is going on. It happens every election cycle. It is particularly amusing watching the presidential debates among the Republicans. Each one will try to accuse the other of not being conservative enough. The reality is that most governors are not conservative enough. There are two basic reasons for this.
1. The most "conservative" position is not always the best position. For example, today's conservative movement has deemed raising taxes as always liberal. The talk-radio inspired environment simply does not allow for a time when a governor should raise taxes. It is always heresy to do so. Yet, we also have a situation where states are broke. This is precisely why Romney raised fees and not taxes. He wanted to be able to tell the "no taxes" crowd that he never raised taxes, yet he also needed to balance the budget.
2. There are political restraints. Even if we truly believe that Rush Limbaugh's version of conservatism is the answer to all of our problems, there is still the problem of implementing such policies. Here is where governors from liberal states have even more trouble. They must apply Jim DeMint policies in states where Jim DeMint would get laughed off the stage. And if they don't apply Jim DeMint policies with a pure heart and 100% of the time, then they are not "conservative" enough.
It is never going to change. The only thing to do is laugh when you watch a Republican "debate." It is all about folksy one-liners and attaching the liberal meme to an opposing candidate. There is little discussion about whose policies were effective, and a lot of discussion about whose policies resemble the policies of the make-believe Ronald Reagan that conservatives have created in their minds (the real Ronald Reagan raised taxes 11 times and would never please the purists on talk radio).
So let me add my two cents about the current crop:
1. They are all conservative (Huntsman is slightly moderate).
2. None of the governors were 100% "conservative" while in office (note: Rush Limbaugh conservative, that is).
3. If any of them become President, he or she will not be 100% "conservative" while in office (note: Rush Limbaugh conservative, that is).
4. The more we demand that the candidates be Rush Limbaugh "conservatives," the harder it will be to defeat Barack Obama.
Cross posted at The Cross Culturalist.