Thursday, January 31, 2008

Crunch Time for the Future of Conservatism

John McCain, conservative standard-bearer? Ronald Reagan would have a thing or two to say about that.
-
Today President Reagan’s son Michael
writes about McCain’s utter contempt for conservatives, and here’s Hugh Hewitt making the case for rallying around Mitt Romney, just as such serious, responsible, and distinguished conservatives as Mark Levin, Judge Robert Bork, Dr. John Willke, Ann Coulter, Tom Tancredo, National Review, and Walid Phares have done.
-
And for those Fredheads still unwilling to let go,
here’s one of your own making the case for doing the right thing. I understand many of you dislike Romney. He's not a perfect candidate. But for God's sake, the difference between him and McCain is night and day.

Hey Conservatives!

Mark “the Great One” Levin agrees with me that conservatives have a duty to rally around Mitt Romney:
-
Why recite this record? Well, if conservatives don’t act now to stop McCain, he will become the Republican nominee and he will lose the general election. He is simply flawed on too many levels. He is a Republican Hillary Clinton in many ways…Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Conservatism: A Time for Choosing

Senator John McCain is the New York Times’ candidate of choice for obvious reasons: His “overall record is tainted by a marked antipathy towards the free market and individual freedom,” Senator Rick Santorum accuses him of repeatedly obstructing Senate battles over social issues (which, by his own admission, he doesn’t “care about”), he still supports embryo-destructive research, despite continuing advancements in adult stem cells; he has a problematic record on guns, he is an amnesty fundamentalist whose campaign employs such odious figures as Juan Hernandez and Jerry Perenchio, he cannot be trusted to appoint originalist judges (after all, he voted to confirm Ruth Bader Ginsburg), and he adopts the Left’s conventional wisdom on environmental issues. Despite his heroic military service and his commitment to Iraq, his leadership on most other aspects of the War on Terror would be disastrous. He is also a pathological liar who took advantage of a demagogic smear against then-governor George W. Bush in 2000 and has told bald-faced-lies about Governor Mitt Romney this time around.
-
And he’s the Republican Party’s new frontrunner.
-
With
victory in Florida, major momentum going into Connecticut, and leads in both national polls and the delegate count, the Maverick is much stronger than he once appeared, and now stands a very real chance of winning the presidential nomination.
-
This is not the time for
fence-sitting, desperate fantasies, or bitter detachment from the process. The only conservative left in the race, Mitt Romney (who, in case you missed it, just won the support of major anti-jihadist Walid Phares), may be damaged, but he’s by no means doomed. He can win the nomination if conservatives—this time, all conservatives—unite behind him.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

McCain, Romney, and Victory in Iraq

By now you’ve probably heard that John McCain has falsely accused Mitt Romney of advocating withdrawal from Iraq, using criteria that could just as easily apply to McCain himself. I can’t respond to the Maverick any better than Mark Levin, who calls this “pretty disgraceful stuff,” already has:
-
As I think about McCain's effort to now use the battle of Iraq this way - to inaccurately characterize Romney's statement re Iraq, to refuse to correct himself despite the evidence showing his characterization is false, and now to say —in response to Romney demanding an apology — ''I think the apology is owed to the young men and women serving this nation in uniform, that we will not let them down in hard times or good. That is who the apology is owed to'' — is to use Iraq and the soldiers as the Left does. Jim Woolsey has already been sucked into this. I hope others won't be.
-
(Hat tip: EFM)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mitt Ad: "Democrats' Favorite Republican"

Just in case the last post wasn't quite enough...

Which Republican Is the New York Times' Favorite?

Go on. Guess.
-

-
Yup,
it’s McCain. The Maverick, showing less-than brilliant political acumen, is proudly boasting the endorsement on his official site. Because everybody knows the Republican base holds the Times in the highest esteem.
-
A note to disaffected Fredheads: your choice is this or Mitt (unless Rudy & Huck bounce back…and we know how great they’d be!). Is there really any question anymore?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Maverick Huntin' Season

Tonight, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin both take aim at John McCain.
-
From Ann:
-
Of course, I might lie constantly too, if I were seeking the Republican presidential nomination after enthusiastically promoting amnesty for illegal aliens, Social Security credit for illegal aliens, criminal trials for terrorists, stem-cell research on human embryos, crackpot global warming legislation and free speech-crushing campaign-finance laws. I might lie too, if I had opposed the Bush tax cuts, a marriage amendment to the Constitution, waterboarding terrorists and drilling in Alaska. And I might lie if I had called the ads of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth "dishonest and dishonorable."
-
From Michelle:
-
Not all of us have forgotten how the short-fused Arizona senator cursed good-faith opponents in his own party (“F**k you!” and “Chickensh*t” were the choice words he had for Texas GOP Senator John Cornyn during a spat over enforcement provisions). Not all of us have forgotten that he voted against barring felons from receiving amnesty benefits under his plan. Not all of us have forgotten the underhanded, debate-sabotaging manner in which McCain, Kennedy, Lindsey Graham, and Harry Reid conspired to ram their package down voters’ throats.
-
Read ‘em both.

What Madness Is This?!

“Am I hallucinating?” Allahpundit asks, and if so, then so am I. Y’see, Duncan Hunter has thrown his support behind Mike Huckabee, specifically citing the border fence, national security, and character. Yes, we have just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. So much for Hunter’s much-touted conservative judgment (which I admit, I believed in as much as anyone).
-
Unfortunately, he’s not the only one. Norma “Jane Roe” McCorvey
is endorsing Ron Paul. I understand that Paul is ostensibly pro-life, but that doesn’t change the fact that A.) he’s a senile crank who doesn’t understand that America has enemies, and B.) he’s not going to be the president, and everybody knows it. McCorvey is a major figure in the right to life, with a compelling story, but I hate to see her call her judgment into question and marginalize herself like this.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

35 Years of Roe

Today, March for Life 2008 remembers legal abortion’s nearly fifty-million victims, and rallies the abolitionists of today to stand against the premier human rights failure of our day. Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America marks the occasion by dissecting the constitutional blunder that is Roe v. Wade, while Congressman Duncan Hunter calls on the United States to remember the victims—and to do something about it.

Fred Thompson

It’s official: Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race, and word is that he’s neither interested in a VP slot nor a Cabinet post. On an apolitical note, my prayers go out to him and his mother, who is reportedly ill.
-
Thompson’s campaign failed because of a couple factors, both within and beyond his control. To start with the latter, several of the early primary states simply were not looking for conservatism, as Mike Huckabee & John McCain’s victories have shown. While I must admit some measure of satisfaction at the ramifications this has for Mitt Romney’s chances, I would much rather have President Thompson than Huck, the Maverick, or Rudy Giuliani in the White House, and stronger support for him would have at least been reassuring that the Republican Party still takes the Reagan coalition seriously.
-
Second, Thompson is a man with a reasonably conservative voting record, and a knack for articulating conservatism clearly and plainly, but in the run-up to his candidacy, the blogosphere built him up into so much more. He was the second coming of Ronald Reagan, we were told, the knight in shining armor who would ride in and save us from the three-headed RINO known as
Rudy McRomney. No man could have lived up to such fire.
-
On the flip side, he tried playing with that fire, and got burned in two ways. First, he milked the “consistent conservative” mantra for all he could…even though it wasn’t true. Abortion, immigration, McCain-Feingold, and No Child Left Behind—four separate issues on which he initially took liberal (and, in the case of NCLB, anti-federalism) positions, but later moved rightward. Granted, I welcome his changes of heart, just as I welcome Romney’s. But Thompson’s choice to compound his past errors with fresh lies, while compelling to
the most ardent Fredheads, served instead to dull the man’s shine in the eyes of more critical observers. And even his current platform was found wanting in key areas. While positioning himself as a cultural conservative, he supported neither full legal protection for the unborn nor a national definition of marriage.
-
Second, whether it was the hero-worship going to his head or natural arrogance, Thompson seemed to think the GOP nomination was his for the asking. I suspect he expected to ride the hype straight to the nomination. Since he’s obviously the base’s only choice, who needs
a well-oiled organization? Fools who couldn’t see the obvious were dismissed as anti-Thompson conspirators.
-
Now that he’s out, there’s speculation that Fred Thompson, just as his fellow ex-candidate Duncan Hunter
has pledged to do, will take on a more active role for conservatism in other venues. I hope he does, and despite my criticism, I welcome his contributions to the fight for America, and thank him for making the attempt to give our nation a conservative president.
-
The good news is, we still have
a strong, full-spectrum conservative in the race, and he’s got the skills, organization, and funds necessary to go all the way…if we’re willing to unite behind him. Ladies & gentlemen, it’s never been clearer—Mitt Romney is the man for the job. Let’s give it our all to put him in the White House.

Could It Be?

An Adam Sandler film I'd actually like to see? Sounds like a great concept, and while it is Hollywood, the fact that Sandler supports Rudy Giuliani at least offers a glimmer of hope that it won't kowtow to moral equivalency.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Three Strikes; You're Out!

My latest in today’s paper:
-
Last month, I noted that
Glenn Perry’s letter highlighted a problem within our schools: political partisans who advance left-wing agendas in the classroom. Two educators and one student challenged me, yet they actually support my thesis, if unintentionally.
-
First, none of them can get the basic facts straight. Local teacher
Dan Sitter characterizes my objection as “there were some liberals…that felt the Iraq war was a big mistake.” UW Madison student Brent Schmitz suggests I characterized Fond du Lac High School as “full of” liberals. Professor Omer Durfee of Northern Michigan University writes, “since you supposedly received such a poor education.”
-
All of this is wrong. I credited my “many outstanding teachers,” and noted there were “some” “liberal fanatics” and “hyper-partisans”—NOT teachers who simply held liberal views (Indeed, I’ll be the first to say several of my good teachers were liberal).
-
Second, their own liberal prejudices inadvertently shine through in their writing. Mr. Sitter surmises that my “self-righteousness” must be caused by that predictable left-wing boogeyman: “radio hosts spewing hate.” Professor Durfee simply rails on that I’m a “neocon,” that “King George” Bush is a liar, and plays the Nazi card. Nope, no left-wing bias here…
-
Lastly, Mr. Schmitz says I seem “to devalue debate and disagreement,” and imagines I propose some sort of ideological purity test for school employment. These are lies, and I believe he knows it.
-
Three people may not make a pattern, but it doesn’t speak well of our educational system that it employs and churns out such intellectual laziness, bias, and dishonesty; and that theirs are the only voices we seem to hear from the educational community on the matter. Silence really is deafening.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Massachusetts Tested, Conservative Approved

As if National Review, Robert Bork, Tom Tancredo, and the founder of National Right to Life weren’t enough right-wing bona fides, now Mitt Romney receives the Ann Coulter endorsement:
-
Unluckily for McCain, snowstorms in Michigan suppressed the turnout among Democratic "Independents" who planned to screw up the Republican primary by voting for our worst candidate. Democrats are notoriously unreliable voters in bad weather. Instead of putting on galoshes and going to the polls, they sit on their porches waiting for FEMA to rescue them.
-
In contrast to Michigan's foul weather, New Hampshire was balmy on primary day, allowing McCain's base -- Democrats -- to come out and vote for him.
-
Assuming any actual Republicans are voting for McCain -- or for liberals' new favorite candidate for us, Mike Huckabee -- this column is for you.
-
I've been casually taking swipes at Mitt Romney for the past year based on the assumption that, in the end, Republicans would choose him as our nominee. My thinking was that Romney would be our nominee because he is manifestly the best candidate.
-
I had no idea that Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire planned to do absolutely zero research on the candidates and vote on the basis of random impulses. Dear Republicans: Please do one-tenth as much research before casting a vote in a presidential election as you do before buying a new car.
-
One clue that Romney is our strongest candidate is the fact that Democrats keep viciously attacking him while expressing their deep respect for Mike Huckabee and John McCain.
-
This point was already extensively covered in Chapter 1 of "How To Talk to a Liberal (If You Must)": Never take advice from your political enemies.
-
Turn on any cable news show right now, and you will see Democratic pundits attacking Romney, calling him a "flip-flopper," and heaping praise on McCain and Huckleberry -- almost as if they were reading some sort of "talking points."
-
Doesn't that raise the tiniest suspicions in any of you? Are you too busy boning up on Consumer Reports' reviews of microwave ovens to spend one day thinking about who should be the next leader of the free world? Are you familiar with our "no exchange/no return" policy on presidential candidates? Voting for McCain because he was a POW a quarter-century ago or Huckabee because he was a Baptist preacher is like buying a new car because you like the color.
-
The candidate Republicans should be clamoring for is the one liberals are feverishly denouncing. That is Mitt Romney by a landslide.
-
New York Times columnist Frank Rich says Romney "is trying to sell himself as a leader," but he "is actually a follower and a panderer, as confirmed by his flip-flops on nearly every issue."
-
But Rich is in a swoon over Huckabee. I haven't seen Rich this excited since they announced "Hairspray" was coming to Broadway.
-
Rich has continued to hyperventilate over "populist" charmer Huckabee even after it came to light that Huckabee had called homosexuality an "abomination." Normally, any aspersions on sodomy or any favorable mentions of Christianity would lead to at least a dozen hysterical columns by Frank Rich.
-
Rich treated Mel Gibson's movie "The Passion of the Christ" as if it were a Leni Riefenstahl Nazi propaganda film. (On a whim, I checked to see if Rich had actually compared Gibson to Riefenstahl in one of his many "Passion" reviews and yes, of course he had.)
-
Curiously, however, Huckabee's Christianity doesn't bother Rich. In column after column, Rich hails Huckabee as the only legitimate leader of the Republican Party. This is like a girl in high school who hates you telling you your hair looks great.
-
Liberals claim to be enraged at Romney for being a "flip-flopper." I've looked and looked, and the only issue I can find that Romney has "flipped" on is abortion. When running for office in Massachusetts -- or, for short, "the Soviet Union" -- Romney said that Massachusetts was a pro-choice state and that he would not seek to change laws on abortion.
-
Romney's first race was against Sen. Teddy Kennedy -- whom he came closer to beating than any Republican ever had. If Romney needed to quote "The Communist Manifesto" to take out that corpulent drunk, all men of good will would owe him a debt of gratitude.
-
Even when Romney was claiming to support Roe v. Wade, he won the endorsement of Massachusetts Citizens for Life -- a group I trust more than the editorial board of The New York Times. Romney's Democratic opponents always won the endorsements of the very same pro-choice groups now attacking him as a "flip-flopper."
-
After his term as governor, NARAL Pro-Choice America assailed Romney, saying: "(A)s governor he initially expressed pro-choice beliefs but had a generally anti-choice record. His position on choice has changed. His position is now anti-choice."
-
Pro-abortion groups like the Republican Majority for Choice -- the evil doppelganger to my own group, Democratic Majority for Life -- are now running videos attacking Romney for "flip-flopping" on abortion.
-
Of all the Republican candidates for president, Romney and Rudy Giuliani are the only ones who had to be elected in pro-choice districts. Romney governed as a pro-lifer and has been viciously attacked by pro-abortion groups.
-
By contrast, Giuliani cleverly avoids the heinous "flip-flopper" label by continuing to embrace baby-killing. (Rudy flip-flops only on trivial matters like illegal immigration and his own marital vows.)
-
And, of course, Romney is a Mormon. Even a loser Mormon like Sen. Harry Reid claims to be pro-life. So having a candidate with a wacky religion isn't all bad.
-
At worst, Romney will turn out to be a moderate Republican -- a high-IQ, articulate, moral, wildly successful, moderate Republican. Of the top five Republican candidates for president, Romney is the only one who hasn't dumped his first wife (as well as the second, in the case of Giuliani) -- except Huckabee. And unlike Huckabee, Romney doesn't have a son who hanged a dog at summer camp. So there won't be any intern issues and there won't be any Billy Carter issues.
-
It's also possible that Romney will turn out to be a conservative Republican -- at least more conservative than he was as governor of Massachusetts. Whatever problems Romney's Mormonism gives voters, remember: Bill Clinton came in third in heavily Mormon Utah in 1992.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Big Government Watch

First, from CNSNews (hat tip to Ann Coulter), “The California Energy Commission has proposed requiring thermostats that allow the government to control the temperature of homes and businesses in case of high energy prices or shortages, a measure that some critics are calling "draconian."
-
Next, a couple stories from Hot Air:
cause for concern with the Brits & organ donation, and a Boston lib is hoppin’ mad that the free market is taking a crack at health care.
-
The Left’s worship of privacy and choice seems conspicuously absent, doesn’t it…

Liberal Fascism

Unfortunately, I probably won’t be digging into Jonah Goldberg’s new book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning anytime soon (I’ve gotta read this, this, and this first, just to scratch the surface of my bookshelf backlog), but judging by the author’s evisceration of a critical review, it’s quite the read. A few excerpts:
-
Judging from this, you’d think I just made-up the phrase from whole cloth. Nowhere does Neiwert mention that I get the phrase from H. G. Wells, quite possibly the most influential English-speaking public intellectual during the first third of the 20th century. It was H. G. Wells who sought to rechristen liberalism as “Liberal Fascism” or — again, his words — “Enlightened Nazism.”
-
Then there’s the omnipresent canard that I must be wrong because of fascism’s “overwhelming anti-liberalism.” Neiwert is again displaying either his ignorance or his dishonesty. It is absolutely true that a great many academic definitions — Ernst Nolte’s “fascist negations” for example — cite fascism’s anti-liberalism. And it is true that Mussolini and Hitler spoke of their disdain for liberalism many times, and there are many quotes to that effect. But guess what? These two European statesmen were speaking in — wait for it! — a European context where liberalism generally means limited government: classical or “Manchester” liberalism. They were most emphatically not talking about progressivism or socialism, which are the correct label for American liberalism and/or the American left (as I demonstrate at length in my book).
-
Secondly, the same sources Neiwert and others cite to cough up this anti-liberalism hairball also usually include another attribute of fascism: It was “anti-conservative” (also on Nolte’s, and many others’, lists). But here’s the fun part: American conservatism is a blend of European conservatism and European liberalism. In other words, the two halves of American conservatism — traditionalism plus classical liberalism — are both considered decidedly un-fascist by most academics who study the topic, as well as by the original fascists themselves.
-
[…]
-
This point about race that Neiwert brings up is an important one — and one that I anticipate and discuss in my book. Because he believes that racism is inherently right-wing, the fact that the Nazis were racists means they had to be right-wingers. I concede, and talk at length, about the fact that the Nazis were racists. But racism, I’m sorry to say, is not definitively right-wing in my book (literally and figuratively). Stalin’s Russia was replete with anti-Semitism. The American Progressives were astoundingly racist (as I show). The Communists in Germany competed with the National Socialists by trying to out-Jew-bait them. Are the American Progressives, Stalin, or the German Reds now all right-wingers? Moreover, are American conservatives somehow racists because a bunch of socialists in Europe were racists? These dots do not connect.
-
One last point on this. The issue isn’t racism-as-bigotry. The point is racial essentialism, the idea that race matters (the title of a book by Cornel West, if memory serves). In America, conservatives argue for colorblindness; the Left does not. The Left believes in the iron cage of racial identity, the Right does not. The Left believes in a racial spoils system, the Right does not. And yet, we conservatives are kith and kin of the most intense racial essentialists of the 20th century? These dots, too, do not connect. (Note: As I say countless times in my book, today’s liberals are not Nazi-like bigots, but they are racial essentialists).
-
[…]
-
Very quickly: As I write in my book, the Nazis were determined to destroy their competition. That is why they hated the Communists. The propaganda that says the Nazis were the opposites of the Communists because they hated each other is idiotic. Hamas and Fatah hate each other deeply, Trotsky and Stalin battled for power, and left-wing academics get their panties in a bunch over where some fellow left-winger puts a comma in a sentence. In none of these cases does mutual hatred translate to ideological divergence. Please: Stalin was a genocidal dictator. Hitler was a genocidal dictator. They both ran totalitarian, militarized regimes of total war. But yes, Nazism and Communism are opposites. Riiiight.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Debate Reaction

Didn't we just do this?
-
Deja vu aside, I've gotta admit that tonight was Fred Thompson's night. Alert and on target, he stood out from the pack (plus, he gave Huck a much-deserved whuppin'). His performance didn't by any means overcome his problems on the issues or his disingenuousness, so I still can't support him in the primary. But the general? We could do far worse.
-
My man Mitt did well tonight, and his suggestion that Ron Paul stop reading the Tyrant of Tehran's press releases rocked. But he didn't stand out, either. I think he's trying to compete for the change banner a little too much (though, to be fair, it's not a new thing for him - he's always framed himself as the Mr. Fix-It candidate). Just show us the Mitt Romney that blew away CPAC 2006 and delivered "Faith in America," and there's no contest.
-
John McCain and Rudy Giuliani gave passable, but unremarkable performances. Rudy's lucky social issues weren't on the docket, and McCain rightly noted that we don't trust DC to solve immigration - leaving out the fact that he's one of our main reasons, naturally.
-
The knives were out for Mike Huckabee tonight, and he didn't handle it well. Did he raise taxes? "What I raised was hope." Bah. He's a phony, and on stage he sounded like it. It's telling that the only time he looked strong was in comparison to Ron Paul (on Israel).
-
Speaking of Rabid Ron, why was he even invited (aside from his trademark court jester role)? Did he pout too much about the last one? His foreign policy is disastrous, he flirts with anti-America-ism, and he comes across as an unstable coot. Maybe he was just there to artificially raise everyone else's stature by comparison. Lame.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

John Vincent Coulter, RIP

This week, Ann Coulter eulogizes her recently-departed father. It begins:
-
The longest baby ever born at the Albany, N.Y., hospital, at least as of May 5, 1926, who grew up to be my strapping father, passed away last Friday morning.
-
As Mother and I stood at Daddy's casket Monday morning, Mother repeated his joke to him, which he said on every wedding anniversary until a few years ago when Lewy bodies dementia prevented him from saying much at all: "54 years, married to the wrong woman." And we laughed.
-
John Vincent Coulter was of the old school, a man of few words, the un-Oprah, no crying or wearing your heart on your sleeve, and reacting to moments of great sentiment with a joke. Or as we used to call them: men [...]
-
Read the rest, and please say a prayer for the Coulter family.

Campaign Financing

Owen Robinson’s latest column tackles campaign-finance reform:
-
There is a new push by some to use taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns. For years there has been a voluntary program in place by which taxpayers can offer some of their money for political candidates by checking a box on their tax forms and submitting the funds. These funds are set aside and offered to candidates who agree to certain fundraising and spending limits. Very few candidates accept the public funds because the spending limits that they require are too stringent for how real-world campaigns are run.
-
In Wisconsin, there is a new proposed law regarding public financing of elections for Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates. This is part of an ongoing effort by some folks to make all campaigns publically funded.
-
The proposed law increases spending limits and makes some other tweaks, but by far, the biggest change that it makes is to use money from the general fund instead of from funds that taxpayers volunteer for that specific purpose. In other words, the bill seeks to use money that was taken from taxpayers with the threat of imprisonment instead of money that the taxpayers agreed to donate for a specific cause.
-
This is a monumental shift and for reasons both philosophical and pragmatic, this bill and other efforts to use taxpayer funds for political campaigns should be soundly rejected.
-
The philosophical reason for rejecting the publically financing of political campaigns is quite simple. Citizens should not be forced to pay for the advocacy of ideas that they oppose. Conservatives should not be forced to pay for television ads by a liberal candidate touting the glories of government controlled health care any more than a pacifist should be compelled to fund a radio campaign by a candidate who supports the Iraq War.
-
There is a deep gulf between being forced to fund government programs with which one disagrees and political campaigns with which one disagrees. The government programs were put in place by duly elected representatives of the citizenry. Nobody has elected the candidates running campaigns.
-
Beyond the philosophical reasons for rejecting publically financed campaigns, there are two extremely pragmatic campaigns. First, publically funded campaigns further strengthen the hand of incumbents in political campaigns
.
-
Incumbent politicians enjoy a much greater ease in accessing media coverage. They can hold press conferences on things that they have done. They can send out surveys and informational mailings at taxpayer expense - with their names prominently displayed, of course. They are called upon for comments on pending issues by reporters and columnists. In short, an incumbent walks into any political race with the advantage of name recognition and coverage that can cost a challenger thousands of dollars to overcome.
-
Publically financed campaigns level the playing field, but only in terms of campaign spending. Since the incumbent enjoys such an advantage going into the race, the challenger will always be at a disadvantage.
-
Furthermore, one has to remember who sets the rules for who qualifies for public funds, how much can be spent, and on what it can be spent. Anyone na•ve enough to think that incumbents won’t twist the rules to their advantage deserves to be forced to pay for campaigns.
-
The great mantra of the supporters of taxpayer financing of campaigns is that it will "get the money out of politics."
-
Hogwash.
-
The truth is that there is no moral or constitutional way to prohibit people and groups from advocating in an election. If WEAC wants to spend $2 million on television ads in support of a candidate, there is no way to stop them - nor should there be. One of the quintessential American principles is that citizens have a right to speak freely about their government. This includes advocating for or against candidates for political office.
-
If a candidate’s campaign is publically funded and he is permitted to spend $300,000 and a group of citizens spends another $2 million on his behalf, how is that different from today? Is the candidate any less "beholden to special interests" than if the group did the same thing under the current rules? No, not at all. The mechanics of political campaigns will remain the same.
-
Corrupt politicians will remain corrupt and honorable politicians will remain honorable. The only thing that will be different is that the politicians won’t have to work as hard to raise funds because the taxpayers will be forced to surrender theirs.
-
Like most campaign reform measures, taxpayer financed campaigns do nothing to solve the problems they purport to solve. Instead, they strengthen the hand of incumbents while creating more problems for those incumbents to "solve."
-
Reject taxpayer financing of political campaigns. Instead, let’s focus on transparency and accountability. Every corrupt politician is only one election away from unemployment if the citizens will it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Odds & Ends

Good cultural news? Debbie Schlussel points to a possible shift away from rap music, in the form of decreasing sales. I’d have to see more than this to be persuaded that an actual movement away from this garbage is taking place, but we can hope.
-
Fred Thompson entered the No-Spin Zone tonight. Bill O’Reilly treated him well, and he came off well. Can we dispense with the “Fox is out to get me” hooey now?
-
Mark Steyn takes on the thought police and Canadian Islamic Congress
here.
-
Duncan Hunter is
staying in the race, and unfortunately, it sounds like he’s going into meltdown mode. Congressman: YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BE THE NOMINEE.
-
The 20 most annoying liberals? Indeed.

Hillary Clinton, MD?

Now that’s a scary image.

"I've Killed More Babies Than You Have!"

You know the Democrat Party is messed up when this sort of thing is seen as a selling point: Hillary Clinton is professing to be a more vigorous defender of babykilling than Barack Obama. But in this skirmish, Obama has the upper (lower?) hand:
-
In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. That same year a similar federal law, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was signed by President Bush. Only 15 members of the U.S. House opposed it, and it passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote.
-
So Barack is even more extreme than NARAL. I don’t think Hillary can top that, but the fact that she’d like to speaks volumes about her.

Post-Debate Analysis

Some reactions to last night’s debate…
-
The absence of the bottom tier was refreshing (and also
whipped the Paultergeists into a frenzy).
-
I think Romney, Thompson & Giuliani all had good nights, though Huckabee suffered when Mitt
pinned him to the wall.
-
We all know John McCain is a genuine war hero, but he seemed to remind us of it more than usual last night. If he’s not careful, he could wind up reminding voters of John Kerry (only without the treason).
-
There’s a
perception out there that moderator Chris Wallace denied Fred his full share of the airtime. I sure didn’t see it.
-
The talking point du jour has been “change” lately, and Rudy actually had the best answer to it: that change can be for better or worse, and isn’t a positive in and of itself.

Near-Confrontation at Sea

This was a close one:
-
According to CNN, the U.S. ships were "harrassed" and received "threatening" radio transmissions from the Iranians, including a communication that included remarks to the effect that the American boats would be blown up. The report was later confirmed by the Pentagon.
-
No shots fired, but at least one U.S. ship was making preparations to fight, according to the report. Five Iranian ships were said to be involved in the incident, which took place in the Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping channel for Middle Eastern crude.

-
Obviously, this is part of Bushilter Co.’s master plan to keep his power by drumming up fear about innocent Muslims. Obviously.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Pathetic

I’ve never thought too highly of Wisconsin blogger and frequent Boots & Sabers commenter Scott Feldstein, but now he’s hit a new low. On December 19 he wrote an irate post about how morally inferior those of us who support torture of terrorists in certain circumstances are. The (censored) highlights:
-
When the f*** did we start condoning state sanctioned torture? Raise your hand right now if you’re for torture. I’ll make a list of people whom I would not let walk my dog, let alone have any position of responsibility or judgement. A list of moral retards…Anyone who wants to trade their souls for some perceived security is a chickens*** motherf***er who should be kept far away from small children and sharp objects.
-
Of course, we know waterboarding
has worked, and a lot of innocent American civilians could very well be dead today if Feldstein had his way. Oh, and this guy’s concern about human rights, compassion, and the US’s moral credibility is wholly selective—predictably, he supports killing innocent babies. Phony.
-
As pathetic as all this is, it isn’t what spurred me to write this post. In the comments section, we see the following exchange:
-
MIKE: being a fomer us marine if it saves only one of my brothers im all for it,fight fire with fire. it is clear to me none of you have ever been to a combat zone or have ever served this great nation! its called war for a reason.suck it up butter cups!
-
SCOTT: It’s clear to me, Mike, that you don’t really understand what makes our nation great in the first place.
-
MIKE: Your telling a us marine he doesnt understand what makes his nation great ! its people like me that went to somolia ,the gulf .i earned my f***ing stay, what the f*** have you done? just keep running your sewer we all need a breeze
-
SCOTT: I stand by what I said, Mike. One of the things that makes our nation great is the fact that we have respect for individual liberty and human rights. One of the chief manifestations of this value is the fact that we don’t torture people. I won’t give up my values for safety (real or perceived). How about you? Thanks for your service, by the way. As for what I’ve done, I earn the money that pays your salary.
-
Where does this twerp get off thinking he can tell an American serviceman he doesn’t understand his country’s greatness? The arrogance, the sense of innate superiority, is stunning. What a pathetic, disgusting hypocrite.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Question

Mary Matalin was on Fox News today talking up Fred Thompson, whose campaign she works for. Um, since when do we turn to Mrs. James Carville for guidance on what constitutes a "true conservative"?
The views expressed on this weblog are strictly my own, and do not necessarily reflect those of any other websites, blogs, campaigns, publications, or organizations where I have been employed and/or my work has been featured, nor do they necessarily reflect the views of any individuals employed by or otherwise affiliated with such groups.