Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Now What?

Sometimes it seems God wants to punish the United States of America. He did so in 1976, when we had to choose between the less-than-thrilling Gerald Ford and the folksy Jimmy Carter. We chose poorly. In 1988, we had to choose between Reagan’s tagalong sidekick “Poppy” Bush, and Michael “Tank Guy” Dukakis. We chose the better man, but it did not always feel like it. And here we are in 2008, with an array of candidates who either demonstrate poor qualification for the job, or poor communication of just why we should trust them with the helm of the nation. Things are less than optimal, no matter who we choose, yet the stakes and consequences of our choice are high indeed.

Look, Fred Thompson may not have been what we’d hope he’d be; the man certainly made some strategic errors, but at least he seemed to have a sense for what Conservatives were hoping for. He was a real National Security conservative in the Reagan mold, unlike Huckabee and Paul. He was a Social conservative as well, unlike Giuliani and McCain. Thompson’s ideas carried the sense that he not only understood the issues, but had listened to regular people, unlike Keyes and Romney. In short, Thompson had everything – everything but the primary win in South Carolina. And so, Fred has left the stage, and whatever promise remained of a Reaganite Administration left with him.

It’s going to offend liberals, but neither Obama nor Clinton nor Edwards is really serious about National Security, and neither would appoint justices who would defer to the common man’s right to be left alone by tax-happy governments and the creep of uber-programs. Handing over the White House to a Democrat is to lower our defenses and spit on the taxpayer. Therefore, we are left to consider what of the remaining Republican field can be accepted. Conservatives unanimously understand that we must support the GOP candidate this fall, because the alternative is completely unacceptable. Yet there is no one in the field who commands our respect and admiration in all places. Giuliani and McCain never wavered in the mission against Terrorists, but neither is trusted on their domestic plate of plans. Romney and Huckabee say they stand for Conservative values, but Romney flipped on some key issues pretty recently, and Huckabee’s record defies his pretense. Whomever would carry the Republican nomination this fall, has a lot of work to do, not only to win the nomination but to prove bonafides not presently visible.

God save the United States of America. It looks like no one else is up to it.


Harold C. Hutchison said...

Have to disagree to a large degree.

As I have mentioned at Called as Seen some folks on the right have managed to royally tick off a bunch of folks who Republicans ought to be able to count on for at least their votes.

Folks like Limbaugh, Ingraham, Mark Levin, and at National Review and Human Events have lost touch with the average person.

How else could McCain still be this viable this far into the campaign? Obviously, a number of Republicans don't view his views on domestic issues as a problem.

Rich said...

I agree with Harold that the talking heads on the right have completely lost it. I am a member of the ASA an organization of (mostly) evangelical scientists and technologists. Rush Limbaugh can not do science to save his life and the intransigent opposition to anything related to climate change is a huge boat anchor for the Grand Old Party.

So, why do I as a center-right evangelical support McCain over Romney (and no it is NOT because he is a Mormon)? It is Romney himself that makes me choose the other guy next Tuesday. As was stated in this blog I'll vote for whomever is nominated so Romney getting the nomination is no deal killer in my mind.

Romney reminded me of three bills McCain supported and Romney (now) opposes.

1. McCain-Feingold. As an evangelical the Republicans have a huge corruption problem. As any piece of legislation this was far from perfect but at least it attempts to address this issue. Don't kid yourself, but part of the 2006 debacle was due to the GOP being on the take. Having Tom DeLay oppose McCain is a huge plus in my eyes.

2. McCain-Kennedy. I'm am shocked by the extreme xenophobia in the Republican base. While I prefer McCain over Romney as more "workable" check out PoliPundit. There you find people who will voted for Mrs. Clinton over this.

3. McCain-Lieberman. The climate change denialists are in fantasy land here. Anthropogenic climate change is real and needs to be addressed. The Democrats will solve the problem by destroying the economy. We need Republicans who can solve this but how can we if we deny the problem? Here also Rush and company are pushing the denialists snake oil. I really wish they would listen to Newt here.

In my mind, this is a preference thing. Over and over, the "base" asked me to vote to my right, which I gladly did. (For example, I voted for Marylin Musgrave.) Now, they are being petulant children not accepting the slightest deviation from received dogma. No populism a la Huckabee, no post-partisanism a la McCain. Nope. We have to be pure. Get used to the phrase Madame President.