Thursday, December 20, 2007

In 2008, Hold Your Nose and Vote

We’ve had a number of emails regarding the U. S. presidential campaign, asking why we haven’t addressed it. This comment, from Sodra, covers the basics very well:

I’m terribly confused at the moment. I don’t like any of the Democratic candidates. On the Republican side, Tancredo is bowing out, Thompson never got there, Giuliani seems a bit canned and too attached to urban values, and Huckabee is far too soft on terrorism. In fact, I just went over to Ron Paul’s site, someone I initially dismissed as a nut, and I must admit that on the issues he’s starting to make a lot of sense. I’m not sure I’m ready to vote for him yet, but my opinion of him is growing.

I’d like to get input from other GoV readers.

To all our commenters and readers who’ve asked about this issue, I’ll give the unspoken-till-now reasons that we don’t cover the presidential campaign:

  • Everything we’ve heard so far is boringly predictable.
  • Watching a campaign for two years is excruciating to endure, never mind having to talk about it.
  • Despite their physical differences, these people are cookie cutter candidates (except, of course, for the one Sodra mentioned, Ron Paul. He is idiosyncratically himself).
  • The non-stop discussion of the subject in the MSM trivializes the process of selecting a president.
  • In fact, these are not candidates with any gravitas, they are entertainment “personalities.”
  • the eternal jostling for position and sound bites — not to mention throwing tacks in the road where other candidates are traveling — is embarrassing to watch. These people actually want to assume the office of President. So far all they’ve done is muddy the Oval Office.

When October, 2008 rolls around...
- - - - - - - - -
...we will have plenty of time to look at whoever remains standing. Then we’ll be ready for a lively, engaged discussion with our readers. At that point, it will be one Republican, one Democrat — and who knows, maybe a third party will present some dark horse for your consideration.

Until then, however, it’s best to avert your eyes from the fracas. Having to watch the cool-on-the-surface-frantic-underneath swagger and posturing that is a constant in every medium available can’t be good for your mind. Or your spirit.

And don’t forget: every politician practices taqiyya in the cause of their ambition. When the time comes, we simply have to pick the candidate least likely to cause us any further harm.

Anyway, you could probably guess for yourselves our political preferences and make a good stab at who we’d endorse next October. Until then, we’re just as confused as Sodra.

Recommendation: avoid all media with regard to this particular circus and get engaged again with your real life. You can bet these jokers aren’t going anywhere in the meantime.

An avid follower of American politics once said that whoever wins in any given presidential campaign is always the candidate that our country deserves.

I concur.


no2liberals said...

Well said,Dymphna.
I will vote for whoever wins the GOP nomination. The donks ran me off years ago, when the radical left took control of their party.
I have asked others not to dig their heels in, as many say if their guy doesn't get the nomination they won't vote. Taking that position could help the donks, with either Her Royal Thighness, or Hussein O-bambi winning with a less than fifty percent vote total, like the Horny Hick did in 92 and 96.
Right now, with the field starting to thin, the only one of the remaining that I believe would be the most malodorous nominee, is Guiliani. He is a social liberal or a RINO, if you will, even if he talks tough on the GWOT. I'll never forget the image of him on the White House lawn with the Horny Hick, when the so-called assault weapons ban was signed into law.

"Thank you very much for your efforts on behalf of H.R. 4296, the assault weapons ban," Clinton said in a May 6, 1994, "Dear Rudy" letter.

"With your support and encouragement, the U.S. House of Representatives took a critical step toward getting assault weapons off the streets, out of neighborhoods, and out of the hands of criminals," said Clinton, adding he was "grateful" for Giuliani's "dedicated" backing of the bill.

I have doubts about all of them, though, but must admit I have met Mike Huckabee personally, in a casual setting when he was nearing the end of his Governorship, and I do like the man. I've seen all of the attacks on him, and have heard him answer them all in videos on his website, and on talk radio. Still, when it comes time to vote, I will vote for the GOP nominee, even if I have to have a neuro-toxin introduced into my olfactory brain region.
/I miss RWR

Zenster said...

In fact, these are not candidates with any gravitas, they are entertainment “personalities.”

KAPOW! Right in the kisser!

And don’t forget: every politician practices taqiyya in the cause of their ambition.

Historically, such taqiyya has most often been in the form of campaign promises. Recently, the scope of this practice has widened to include, positions, agendas, whole platforms and just about any other bloody thing these vote-whoring political scumbags can hustle along beneath the public's radar.

Pixel Bunneh said...

I refuse to even think about elections at this time. Plenty of time to listen to all that tripe when the nominees are hashed out.


Nyog of the Bog said...

Tancredo's withdrawal reduces the number of true conservatives in the field from three to Two, Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson. And, in somewhat of a surprise, instead of Thompson, Tancredo has thrown his support to Romney. The thinking being that neither Duncan or Thompson have a chance at the nomination. More over Tancredo indicated that neither Huckabee nor Guliani have any credibility on immigration and I agree. Guiliani actively promoted New York's status as a sanctuary city and Huckabee's record in Arkansas, too lengthy to list here, can only be summed as appalling. Hence Tancredo, with Guiliani tanking, has calculated that supporting Fred, risks siphoning votes from Mitt, thus decisively enabling the Huckster.

While I cannot say I can really dispute his math, I yet remain committed to Fred, quixotic as that increasingly seems.

Anonymous said...

I'll deploy to Iowa for Fred during the first three days of the New Year.

My first primaries up close and personal.


Anonymous said...

An election that we really need to win, yet no one to choose from. I'll vote for the Republican candidate, but I am not really enthused about any of them.

I worry that McCain and Lieberman may try and pull an independent ticket. Wouldn't that be interesting, and scary for the G.O.P?

The Machiavellian said...

Ron Paul!???!??!

Paul is "truther" and that's all I need to know.

Thompson or Guiliani are my picks so far.

Thompson for being the conservative purists and Guiliani is a can do guy.

ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

I'm thinking of moving to the Island of Saba.

Ed Mahmoud said...

Duncan Hunter is clearly the most qualified Republican candidate, but he doesn't have the money and organization, and as the real conservative, the main stream media is ignoring him. I had previously decided, even before Tancredo pulled out and endorsed Romney, that Romney was the least flawed of the candidates with a chance of winning. Fred Thompson just isn't catching on, Rudy Giuliani has serious personal issues, Second Amendment issues, and, by the way, contributed money to Planned Parenthood over a multi-year period. Huckabee is conservative only on the issue of abortion, and is naive and or liberal on border security and foreign policy. He raised taxes in Arkansas more than Clinton did, and pardoned/commuted the sentences of more criminals than the three prior governors, including Clinton, combined. Pretty much, all a criminal had to do was claim to have found Jesus in prison, and they had a good shot.

Romney isn't perfect, but I'll have no trouble voting for him. Thompson would also be a fine candidate. If its Giuliani or Huckleberry, I'll be voting against Hillary Clinton, not voting for them.

Layer Seven said...

Nothing could be further from the truth. Duncan Hunter, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson are spectacular stand-up conservative candidates. The top three or four Republicans are all eminently qualified to galvanize resistance against the onslaught from radical Islam (which appears to be most of it). Get excited, get involved, and get one of the top 3 or 4 Republicans elected - or else prepare to whine about an America that resembles Stockholm, Brussels, and London - for the rest of your life.

lowandslow said...

I'm thinking of moving to the Island of Saba.

Drinking rum and eating lobster, I could handle that.

lowandslow said...

I had previously decided, even before Tancredo pulled out and endorsed Romney, that Romney was the least flawed of the candidates with a chance of winning.

There is just no way Romney is getting by the Mormon thing, even if by some miracle he does get the nomination. Throw in his phoniness it's to much of a hurdle to overcome. I still think Thompson or Guliani has the best chance in the general, to bad it couldn't be Hunter.

USorThem said...

Romney's anti-jihad solution rests in hopes of a great awakening among moderate modern muslims. I quote:

"The defeat of this radical and violent faction of Islam must be achieved through a combination of American resolve, international effort, and the rejection of violence by moderate, modern, mainstream Muslims"

Islam is Islam, Mitt.

Huckabee's not much different and believes the cure for Islam is more democracy. I quote:

"As president, my goal in the Arab and Muslim worlds will be to calibrate a course between maintaining stability and promoting democracy. “

Huckabee also thinks that before democracy can take hold " We must first destroy existing terrorist groups and then attack the underlying conditions that breed them" . Thus endorsing the notion that terrorist can be easily identified and killed, and, that they are the only threat to the west, and, that poverty is the root cause that breeds jihadists.

Guiliani belives that the cure for Islam is to make them all like Americans. I quote:

"Americans believe that to the extent that nations recognize these rights (constitutional- ed.)within their own laws and customs, peace with them is achievable. To the extent that they do not, violence and disorder are much more likely. Preserving and extending American ideals must remain the goal of all U.S. policy, foreign and domestic."

Guiliani thinks we will save ourselves by forcing muslims to take OUR ideals and values as theirs.

The only worthwhile contender was Tancredo, and now he is out with a whimper where he could've left with a kaboom! He knows the jihadist threat yet he failed to identify it during his campaign, and now, even on his exit, where no political damage would be done,(he is not seeking his congressional seat again) he is silent on he issue once again.

I have an entire evaluation of the Embarassing Republican Candidates at my blog.

Dan said...

It’s pretty obvious where this is going if any of the frontrunners get it, and it doesn’t matter which one, it’s four more years of low watt leadership. I don’t see myself voting for any of the currently viable clowns, though the senate, house and local elections may be worthwhile- I’ll just leave the top race blank.

What I would really like to see on the ballot is: none of the above, with short new races with new candidates if it wins.

livfreerdie said...

I like Thompson. To me he tells it like it is, doesn't dance around the issues but has answers. His "I'm not playing that hold up your hand game" showed he is serious about the job.

Why would a man give up an acting career, a new family and stick his neck out if he wasn't serious about this country.

tc, glad your going to Iowa. Wrote Fred that even if his showing were lackluster in Iowa but didn't fold I'd donate.

Here's the ticket: Thompson-Hunter


Cincinnatus said...

The winner is the one the country deserves -- if there is no voter fraud.

I like Giuliani, but what hidden dirt is there for the Dems/NYTimes/CBS to shovel on election eve?

Wimbledon Womble said...

Giuliani can kick ass, and that's what we need in these times. I just hope more people see it this way.

Sodra Djavul said...

I've been giving this a great deal of thought recently. I think Dan is right that regardless of which of the Republican frontrunners win the nomination, and later go on to win the general election, it's four more years of low watt leadership. Giuliani isn't a magic bullet to fix the problem of Islamic fundamentalism. That is something that must occur within Islamic nations themselves, and without Western involvement if this reformation is to be viewed as credible.

I openly admit that until very recently I viewed Ron Paul as a lunatic. He certainly does attract the "9/11 Truther" crowd, although I don't think he's a "Truther" himself. He's stated that American foreign involvement in the Middle East played a large role in Osama bin Laden's actions, but he admits OBL is culpable, so I doubt you could consider him a conspiracy nut on par with Rosie O'Donnell. Although I must admit that his "blame America" routine should rightly be considered a negative for him.

His position on Iran is troubling to me as well. However, we must admit that the genie of nuclear weaponry is out of the bottle. Every Western nation has an arsenal, as does China. But so does Pakistan, which gave birth to the murderous Taliban. It's a simple matter of time, as the immutable constant of technological proliferation takes it course, for these weapons to fall into the hands of Islamic lunatics. We couldn't stop the Russians from acquiring the technology in the Fifties, and no matter how much pressure, I doubt we'd be successful in preventing Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, or Egypt from going nuclear eventually.

So what would a Ron Paul Presidency look like? First, I think he would actually build the damn fence needed to maintain a strong border. Second, I think he would resist any attempt to offer amnesty to illegal immigrants. Third, I think he would advocate a huge reduction in legal immigration as well, which I feel is necessary to aid in assimilation of those already here. We're witnessing little Kabuls and little Islamabads popping up in major cities all over the country, and Rudy "Kitchen Help" Giuliani won't do a thing to stop it. Neither will Huckabee or McCain. And with Tancredo bailing out, who is left to stop the very real Balkanization of the American people?

Finally, and most importantly, I think Ron Paul would do the most of any current candidate to curb the 20% of annualized American GDP that is wasted feeding the monstrosity known as the federal government. Entitlement programs, welfare systems, racial set-asides, etc. would all get the axe. As President, head of the Executive branch, he'd be in the position to remove the burden of overwhelming government intrusion into your wallet, simply by reducing the footprint of the Executive branch itself.

I still think Ron Paul is a bit kooky. But a combattive strict Constitutionalist President cannot enact law without a complicit Congress, which he wouldn't have. If anything, it would be four years of vetos. Conservatives always talk about wanting small, limited government, but short of putting someone as kooky as Ron Paul into the Presidency or a repeat of the Civil War where we toss it all out and start over from scratch, how are we going to get there?

My $.02, and then some. I'll still vote for whichever Republican wins the nomination in the general election, but I admit there's a part of me that would like to see Ron Paul win the primary.

If nothing else, the look on Charles Johnson's face would be priceless. :)

- Sodra

Unknown said...

Ron Paul is an idiot and should be dismissed as such.

It's not just the 9/11 'truther' freaks who support him and whom he coddles....he is just plain insane.

There have been other 'leaders' who have had good ideas and good positions in the past that ultimately turn out to be nuttier than a Norwegian "Jule Nek".

Nah...bring on the other candidates. !Luap Nor talks like a crazed individual, through & through.

~Norsk Troll

1389 said...

I have to agree with you on that (groan)...

If you appreciate Gates of Vienna, please do yourself and GOV a favor by doing your part to keep GOV available to as many readers as possible. Read this to find out how - it's easy! 1389 just wrote to Websense - and why you should do the same!

Anonymous said...

If the Bush era has proven anything, it is the fact that the problems of America - and the West - are not solved by the neocon way of "invading the world and inviting the world". We must end immigration, legal or illegal, to the US, to the EU. That issue is more important than Israel, Iraq, Iran or terrorism. Retreat from the Middle East, close your own borders, I say. Make a pact with the Devil, collaborate with Russia and China. Seriously reconsider the role of NATO. Abandon Israel to its fate if necessary.

...So I would very much like to see Ron Paul succeed. Unfortunately, he won't. You'd rather have Giuliani who "can kick ass". It might be your own ass in the end. I do wish him luck, if he wins against Hillary.

no2liberals said...

I really don't like anything Paul has proposed. Not only will he not get the nomination, I will be sending what donations I can to his challenger in his congressional district, to try and get him out of Congress.
The Club For Growth has slammed Huckabee, repeatedly, for being a serial tax raiser, seldom if ever acknowledging his tax cuts, and never mentioning the fact that the state legislature in Arkansas was 90% Democrat. At the same time, the Club For Growth gives Romney a pass on his poor performance as a tax cutter in Massachusetts, and blame it on the Democrat controlled state legislature. Seems odd, don't it? Part of this attack by CFG might be due to one Stephen Smith Jr. of Arkansas, who comes from one of the wealthiest families in the state, and apparently has been carrying a grudge toward Mike, and Smith Jr. is a donor to Club For Growth dot net. Another theory is that the Club For Growth is a status quo loving single issue organization, that is opposed to Huckabee's Fair Tax proposal.

href="">Mitt's Tax Cutting History.

I really like this money quote by the Country Club For Growth:
"The Romney campaign in its own television ad cites The Club for Growth favorable analysis of his fiscal record.

The group concluded last July, "Overall, Romney's record on tax policy is mixed. His record is marred by questionable statements and positions, and his fee hikes and 'loophole' closures are troubling.

"However, his support for broad-based tax cuts in liberal Massachusetts together with his enthusiastic embrace of the Bush tax cuts on the campaign trail offers hope that Governor Romney's previous ambivalence on tax policy is more a function of Massachusetts politics than his core beliefs."
Henh. Offers hope! Don't all candidates offer hope?
Then there is this from the MassResistance blog:
"One of the few conservative publications to expose Romney's liberalism is the conservative weekly Human Events which (in a 2005 article) listed Romney at number eight on its list of "Top Ten Republicans in Name Only (RINOs)."Indeed, this report will demonstrate that Romney was probably the most pro-abortion and pro-gay rights Republican official in the nation for the last decade. The idea that he has suddenly become a conservative after a decade of liberal actions and statements would be merely amusing were it not for the fact that he's running for the presidency and that many conservatives are falling for this act."
As for Thompson, I'm troubled by his lack of enthusiasm, and even more so by his memory lapses. Recently, he was being interviewed and was discussing Iran, and referred to Russia as the Soviet Union, he didn't know his home state had recently suspended lethal injections for a court review, and claimed that Judge John Roberts Senate confirmation for Chief Justice, took place in a Democrat controlled Congress. What's disturbing about that last one is, he was the one that helped "shepherd" Judge Roberts through the confirmation process.
McCain, he was the co-author of the largest infringement on political free speech in this country, with the campaign finance legislation, he opposed President Bush's tax cuts, and he was a staunch supporter of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. While I view him as a true American Hero, I can't trust him with the keys to the palace.
Hunter and Tancredo, I like them both, but are too divisive and hardcore for the folks in the middle that will be needed to win any general election.
While I have some concerns about Huckabee, they are not the one's that get harped on by his opponents and detractors. He is in favor of the Bush Tax Cuts being permanent, tossing out the IRS, a life long supporter of Second Amendment rights, and a social conservative.

Ethelred said...

1389 - Just emailed WebSense

Gotta go with Thompson for now and will ultimately vote anti-Democrat in any case.

Ron Paul is not a nut, but big-L Libertarians are disavowed by the Randians, primarily because their philosophical leader dismisses reason-based values.

Much of what Paul says ultimately makes sense, but he is not electable.

Once again, I will recommend Ayn Rand's Return of the Primitive, which actually dovetails nicely with Diana West's Death of the Grownup.

I sincerely hope the non-Democrat wins.


no2liberals said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
no2liberals said...

I don't know why the hyperlink won't hold, but I will try again.
Mitt's Tax Record.

Kafir_Kelbeh said...

I agree that most of them don't fully undertand the Islamic threat. My issue is do they understand the illegal immigration/other conservative issues either???

Ron Paul is an absolute kook - he wants us out of every country, and that would include Germany, too, given his assessments. So I assume addressing Iran & funding NATO, etc. are out as well. Total Dove. I'm a Hawk From Hell right now.

Huckabee has a bad immigration stance...NumbersUSA ranked him, and I was not impressed. Plus, some of his comments re: foreign policy don't give me the impression he'd be enough of a hawk for my tastes.

I liked Giuliani because of 9/11, UNTIL I saw NumbersUSA ratings on his immigration...they were deplorable!!! Look, I loved his can do attitude with terrorism, but if he can't connect that issue with the border, what good is he??? I also hate his gun control stance.

So, with Tancredo out...I'm left with 1) Hunter, 2) Thompson, then 3) Romney.

That's how I'm ranking them now, based on what I know of them at this time. That's of course subject to change when new information comes to light!

Conservative Swede said...

Wimbledon Womble: Giuliani can kick ass

A short analysis has a certain appeal.

There are two main issues that I could think of: i) stop Iran from getting nukes, and ii) stop the mass immigration into the US. Giuliani seems to be good on the first one (as good as it gets). On the second one, he will manage to increase the mass immigration into the US.

From an purely objective European point of view it is possible that Giuliani is therefore optimal. By being plunged deeply into their own mass immigration mess, we'll hear less and less about how "Europe is doomed", more and more Americans will be busy worrying about their own mess. The deeper into their own mess they are, the less likely then might be going into Europe giving us the "Serbian" treatment according to the Clinton/Reagan/Bush doctrine of supporting Muslims and fighting "fascism". When the day comes for dealing with the mass immigration problem of Europe for real, America will be more on the same page thanks to Bush and Giuliani.

So by the same analysis, if you are an American who loves your country, this is the opposite of a recommendation to vote for Giuliani. However, there's no good candidate left anyway. So the result is probably going to be what I lined out above in either case. You should expect four more years of nation-wrecking liberalism in either case (with or without some decorative pro-life twist to it).

Tancredo would have been the best choice. But America needs at least 4-8 more years of nation-wrecking liberalism before being ready for someone like him.

I added Reagan above. Reagan who called the Talibans "freedom fighters". The message here being that this situation is not solved by going back to the Reagan ways. You will need to go back to before Woodrow Wilson to find the example for the kind of president you need in these times. The same in Europe of course (although there is the prominent exception of Churchill as an 19th century figure living in the 20th century).

the minstrel boy said...

"Some people say that if we don't attack the enemy there, they'll attack us here.

"Ron Paul: I think the opposite is true. The radicals were able to use our bases in Saudi Arabia and the bombing of Iraq (from 1991 to 2001) as a reason to come over here. If China were to do the same thing to us, and they had troops in our land, We would resent it. We'd probably do some shooting.

"Is this case not different? Religious fanatics hate us and want to kill us because of our culture.

"I don't think that's true. It is not Muslim fanaticism that is the culprit. The litmus test is whether we are actually occupying a territory. In the case of Saudi Arabia, that was holy land. "

From John Stossel's interview of Ron Paul as published on Which, to me, show that Paul does not understand Islamic fanaticism.

Anonymous said...

Minstrel Boy is right. Twenty years ago I would have supported Ron Paul and I believe that, if Ron Paul was twenty years younger he'd have more on the ball.

What continues to amaze me is the seemingly invincible ignorance to the Islamic agenda demonstrated by both Democrats and Republicans. There some vague hints of understanding on the Republican side but nothing anywhere near what is necessary considering the threat.

What every one of the candidates need is a Yuletide visit from Robert Spencer in the role of Christmas Yet To Come.

Speaking of that, Merry Christmas everyone.

Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

Ron Paul probably knows more about the US Constitution than any of them. When he opens his mouth, I agree with the first 80-90% of what he says. His theories are right on the money.

But his application is nuts. He lacks the ability to translate his understanding of the founding document and the original intent of the writers into sound policy.

Since he is whack-a-doo, Fred is the guy. He is a solid Federalist, and that is the only thing that has a chance to reverse our slide towards socialism. Power MUST be taken out of federal hands_PERIOD_.

Only Thompson, Hunter and Paul look likely to do that.

We could only pray that if Guliani was elected, that he would channel his liberal notions into Federalism, vs. one size fits all.

McCain's CFR is not just stupid, but based on what I have learned about the European system, it is treason.

no2liberals said...

An excellent piece on the GOP nominees, and the election, by Michael Barone.
Looking for Mr. Right.

Sodra Djavul said...

Mr. Smarterthanyou said:
Ron Paul probably knows more about the US Constitution than any of them. When he opens his mouth, I agree with the first 80-90% of what he says. His theories are right on the money.

Yes, I agree. It's the problem with that other 10%. Tomorrow is the primary for those of us in DC/MD/VA (Baron and Dymphna as well). I'm certainly no longer in the Ron Paul camp. Choices are McCain or Huckabee. Bad vs. worse. Ugghhh...

I doubt I'll know which lever I pull until I walk into the booth tomorrow...

- Sodra

Sodra Djavul said...

Article about primary voting in the DC/MD/VA area:

Weather plays role at polls

From the article (emphasis mine):
"In the presidential contest, Mr. Obama is coming off a five-state sweep of Mrs. Clinton on Saturday, where he won contests in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, Maine and the Virgin Islands, all by large margins."

Wait a minute. When did we make the Virgin Islands a state? Am I missing something here?

- Sodra