Dissension in the Republican ranks

I’ve heard that the Dems are excited because they believe that the fractious Republicans are falling apart at the seams as they fight over the different candidates heading to the primaries. Funnily enough, I don’t see what’s happening as a self-destructive battle to the death. Rather, I think the Republicans are dealing with an embarrassment of riches, and the Democrats are jealous.

Let me start with the Dems. They’ve got Hillary, whom everyone fears but no one likes; Obama, who has a thin resume and a voting record that is too liberal for most Americans; John “Barbie Doll” Edwards, the prettiest and probably most amoral candidate in the bunch; Al Bore — ’nuff said; Joe Biden, who took his foot out of his mouth long enough to mumble the phrase “White House”; Dennis Kucinich, who surprisingly showed more cajones than anyone else in the field by denouncing the decision to yield to MoveOn instigation and blackball Fox . . . and those are just the front runners. I’m sorry, but even in my Dem days, I wouldn’t have liked the list of possible Democratic nominee options.

Just to make them less exciting, none of them has had any real world management experience, which is kind of useful if you’re signing on to be your country’s CEO. True, Hillary and Al were in the White House, but he was holding down the bucket of spit front, while she, after the healthcare debacle, spent her time doing the usual touchy-feely Mrs. President outreach.

I find the Republican list of front runners much, much more interesting (and that’s despite the high divorce count among them). Let’s take ‘em one at a time:

Rudy Giuliani — Resume-wise, he’s an incredibly successful government attorney who broke the back of the New York mob; one of the most effective (if not the most effective) mayors New York has ever had; and someone who showed, on 9/11, that he can handle a crisis of epic proportions. With regard to the mayor part, his mayoral experience would be less interesting if he had merely been mayor of my little suburban town with its 8,000 people. Mayor of New York, however, saw him as executive of a political entity larger than some foreign countries. Personality-wise, he’s a can-do kind of guy, who seems to know right from wrong, and who is willing to let people dislike him if that’s what it takes to get the job done. He’s somewhat abrasive, but I never asked for a saint in the White House. I know that many conservatives are troubled by his views on abortion, but he’s said (and I believe) that he will appoint strict constructionist jurists to the Supreme Court, which will return the matter to the States, where it belongs. (And where his state would probably keep abortion legal.) He’s also extremely popular, which improves his chance of actually getting elected.

Mitt Romney — He’s also got a great resume. He was a successful businessman who was able to transfer his skills to the public sector, both in terms of fixing the broken Salt Lake City Olympics, and in terms of being a surprisingly effective Massachusetts governor. He clearly can both get things done and, considering his success in blue state Mass., get along. I don’t seem him as quite the straight shooter Giuliani is, but he’s effective, intelligent, personable, and has a pretty good spectrum of conservative credentials. I could certainly live with him in the White House. As for his Mormon-ness, I simply don’t see that as a problem. He’s never given any indication that he believes political office gives him a bully pulpit for proselytizing his religion and, as long as he doesn’t interfere with my faith or yours, it would be the worst type of prejudice to use his religion against him. And, even if you have a hard time stomaching Mormonism, I still bet that, if you’re conservative, you’d rather have him than either Hillary or Obama, despite their more traditional affiliations.

Newt Gingrich — he’s only been a Representative, which I see as troublesome, but he is damn good at getting the job done and incredibly smart. I’m not sure how electable he is. He was so reviled on the Left during the 1990s that many uninformed members of the public may have developed a visceral dislike towards him without knowing precisely why. Also, it was incredibly stupid to have an affair during the Clinton/Lewinsky debacle. Still, if he can get past the electorate, he’d be a good president.

Fred Thompson — In include him in this list, because more and more people are talking about him. As it happens, I know little about him, but I sure liked this speech.

John McCain — I’ve never liked him, but I would vote for him if he won the primaries.

The thing conservatives need to remember is that the fight is now: During the primaries, back a candidate whose politics you can live with and who you think can appeal to the broader American electorate. Remember, because American voters are split almost exactly 50/50, to win the Republican candidate needs to be more like-able than the Democratic candidate. And perhaps the most important thing to remember is that, once the primaries end, leaving one candidate standing, that candidate, no matter who it is, is going to better than Hillary or Obama or Gore or Edwards. So even if you’re not thrilled with the last Republican candidate standing, don’t cut off your nose to spite your face by refusing to vote for him in 2008.

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  • http://infidelphialive.blogspot.com Jauhara al kafirah

    Rudy would get my vote. I don’t see John McCain ever getting the nomination. Even if he did, I think being a senator could actually work against him, when you consider the kinds of bills he’s sponsored.

  • Ellie

    I’m sure Newt, Speaker of the House extraordinaire, would be startled to be called a Senator! On the Dem side, I like Richardson and would vote for him over McCain but Rudy’s my main man. Rudy would win my verrrry blue state, NJ and put NY in play.

  • http://thomaschronicles.com/ Thomas

    At the moment, I like Rudy, not just because he’s most promising candidate of the bunch, but because I trust he’ll make good decisions. For the White House, for my money, I wouldn’t necessarily trust someone who’s declared brilliant. What I want is sound judgment, both of people and situations.

    I actually like Rudy’s abrasiveness. It refreshing to hear a straight-shooter in sea of people mincing words.

    I think it was FDR who said once that the office of Presidency is like being a traffic cop, directing the right people to the right positions. So, character and judgment, in my opinion, should be paramount in any consideration for the Presidency.

    Personally, I don’t trust Mitt Romney any further than I can spit. What did it for me was when he suggested that people vote for him because of how wonderful, healthy and all-American his family looked. It kinda made my skin crawl, actually…

    As for Newt, I think he’s got lots of good ideas and plenty of possible solutions to illegal immigration and the war. But I think he has too checkered a history to govern effectively.

    Fred Thompson. I liked him in Law and Order, but I don’t know what he professes to believe and what his proposals are.

    And John McCain… well, I just don’t think he’ll be a good President. I honor his service utterly and his heroic action to preserve his fellow soldiers in the Hanoi Hilton. But I don’t think he’ll make the right decisions once he’s in the Oval Office. In my opinion, I think the narrow window for him to obtain the Presidency was passed up in the last Presidential election.

  • http://Bookwormroom.wordpress.com Bookworm

    Ack! You’re right, Ellie. I’m rushing to correct the mistake. I can only blame it on the fact that I was talking to my Mom at the time about her paintings, and had a multitasking failure.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    he’s only been a X, which I see as troublesome,

    Or maybe Book subconsciously thinks of Senators when she also thinks of “troublesome”.

  • Ellie

    Naaaah, Senators are mostly blowhards.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    John McCain — I’ve never liked him, but I would vote for him if he won the primaries.

    What about McCain’s stance on GitMo detainees, do you agree with that?

  • http://infidelphialive.blogspot.com Jauhara al kafirah

    Also McCain’s actions in regards to free speech with the McCain Fein”geld” act.

  • http://thomaschronicles.com/ Thomas

    ymarsakar,

    In the great American tradition of voting for the lesser of two evils, I would vote for him, McCain if he won the primaries and my other choice was Hillary Clinton.

  • Ellie

    I was thinking Fred Thompson was another actor turned politician (a la Fred Grandy) but like BW, I find him appealing. So I did some research and found that actually the opposite is true (see bio on wikipedia): he’s a lawyer/pol turned actor because he played himself in movie based on a case he won.

    Thus, I am much more interested in Thompson now than before because he may actually possess both style and substance — imagine that!

  • Ellie

    Thomas, please Almighty God, it won’t come to that! (Hillary vs McCain)

  • http://thomaschronicles.com/ Thomas

    Opps, sorry Ellie. I didn’t mean to alarm you.

    I don’t relish the thought myself. :)

  • Ellie

    Thomas, I am crossing myself, pouring salt around my bed, burning incense, using feng shui to cleanse my space, giving the sign to ward off evil —- YIKES!

    But if it came to Hil vs McCain, I would vote for Ralph Nader.

  • rockdalian

    About Rudy, anti gun, pro gay marriage, and pro global warming. Just another Rino.
    About Mitt, I believe BW is right about the religion not mattering because he was once pro abortion.
    About Newt, the complaint about him is that he is an idea man- that is he was scattershot. Never completing one thing before moving on to another
    About McCain, ha ha ha.
    About Thompson, comes from a blueblood family. Absolutly the most Conservative name mentioned.
    I would only vote for Thompson. I will never vote pro abortion. Period.

  • highlander

    I like both Rudy and Mitt — Rudy because he is an excellent leader and I support most of his positions. It’s also a plus that he presents extremely well on television. I like Mitt for the same reason as Book: he’s been an effective governor of a very blue state.

    I also like Newt, but I like him best as the de facto philosopher of the conservative branch of the GOP. I think he is immensely effective in that capacity with his intelligent and thought-provoking essays and speeches. I hope he will be willing to continue to serve in that role.

    Your point is well-taken, Book. Unlike the Democrats, we do have a field with some truly excellent candidates. Your post is both timely and perceptive.

  • highlander

    PS for Ellie — It it makes you feel better, how about Giuliani vs. Lieberman?

  • http://infidelphialive.blogspot.com Jauhara al kafirah

    Here’s the ultimate wet dream ticket, Highlander: Giuliani-Lieberman. Oh yeah.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    About Rudy, anti gun, pro gay marriage, and pro global warming. Just another Rino.

    Bush is pro Geneva Convention rights for terrorists, he is pro-Mexican, he lets human atrocites occur on both sides of the border, mexico and the US, without using shoot on sight orders.

    Notice how few of these are actually connected with legislation. I think it is primarily because Presidents, aren’t in charge of legislation, they can’t make anti-gun laws, or pro-gay marriage laws (even with Bush’s support of a US Amendment), or even global warming laws.

    So the point is, it almost doesn’t matter what a future President’s view on the law is, it only matters what he is going to do to enforce them or not enforce them as the case may be.

    All the things I’ve said about Bush would have really hit him hard before 2004 in the public, or even before 2000. And yet, if all anyone ever knew of Bush was how he handled the issues I’ve laid out, they never would have predicted his response right after 9/11.

    For Congress and Senators, their record matters a lot, a lot more than any leader’s, simply because a leader can change his mind, but a senator has to toe the political line to get favors, via votes, and constituency loyalty.

    In the end, leadership is about effectiveness. And I’m a big believer in efficiency and pragmatism. What do most people worry about concerning anti-gun laws? The lessening of their safety, of the safety of their neighborhoods, and the increase in crime. But Rudy has shown that he can defeat organized crime… without the national guard and the Marine Corps under his command. So, it is not as if he will become leader and all of a sudden crime will increase. If he had the normal view on gun control, that would have made it very hard for him to decrease crime at the same level. This is no claim on his part, this is actual history and results.

    The world needs law and order, and not the kind the Left promises either. Law and order at the border, to stop human rights atrocities by coyotes, gangs, and organized crime/drugs. Law and order in how we treat our “allies” in Europe. Law and order towards our enemies, by bringing them down a peg.

    In a sense, Rudy did reconstruction for his city. Since the Marines and Army people are reconstructing cities in Iraq, for pretty much the same reasons if not with the same resources, this means that Rudy can sympathize and understand not only what can go wrong and how to fix it, but the harsh measures that must be required to produce results.

    And if it is one thing that Americans will accept with many caveats, it is results.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Rudy_Giuliani.htm

    Read the link concerning his record on crime, which is pretty long compared to his other positions, which are unclear at the moment.

  • rockdalian

    How does a President Rudy conduct a war with a Congress as it is currently made up? Talk about ineffective. What have you left then? Social programs put through by a Democrat Congress and willingly signed by Rudy. As far as guns go, I will ask no mans permission to own one or to use it for protection. Rudy also benefited by the tougher laws passed during Dinkins administration. You may as well vote for a Democrat as to vote for Rudy. You may worry about the enemies from outside but when we decay from the inside then what have you gained?

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  • SugarDog Fox

    McCain is the only complete non-starter for me. As far as I’m concerned, he’s principally responsible for the Republican Party’s return to minority status and I’m not going to reward him for that.

    At the same time, I can’t muster much enthusiasm for either Romney or Giuliani. I know where the latter stands and I don’t care for his fiscal conservative/social liberal line –Bookworm and her fellow taxpayers in the Golden State have found out that social liberalism trumps fiscal conservatism (as Tom McLintock (sp?) said it would in 2003). As for the former, I don’t have the first clue where he stands, I know what he says now and what he’s said in the past; and while I suspect his private beliefs are closer to his current positions than to his previous ones, the only thing I know for sure is that he’ll say whatever he thinks he has to say in order to get elected. How he’d actually govern is anybody’s guess.

    If the Republicans still controlled Congress, I’d be more open to supporting one or the other, but as things stand now, I’d just as soon see a Democrat win because I would rather be a full-hearted opponent than a half-hearted supporter of the next administration.

    If Thompson or Gingrich were to decide to jump in, then my position would change.

  • Mike Devx

    Rockdalian’s comments reflect an intensity on the abortion issue that I have seen appear frequently. It therefore seems clear to me that if Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination, an anti-abortion candidate will appear and run as an Independent or under a different third party banner. This will be true even if Fred Thompson – an ardent pro lifer – runs as a Republican but doesn’t secure the nomination. You might believe that that would cause the pro-lifers to stay within the fold, but I don’t believe so. This, much like Perot’s run in 92, would hand the Presidency to the Democrat nominee.

    Having said that, Rudy remains my first choice, so far, though I detest his stand on the 2nd Amendment.

  • Zhombre

    Giuliani. I don’t agree with a lot of his positions but on the whole I’d rather see him elected POTUS than any of the others in either party. If Hillary is the Democrat nominee I’ll vote for just about anybody else.

  • rockdalian

    As far as the abortion insanity goes, one day I will meet my God and will have to account for my actions here on Earth. To that end I have enough to account for without explaining how, through a mere political expediency, voted for a pro abortionist. I will have to answer to a higher authority than any man.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    Fear of doing the wrong thing and suffering the consequences of it, is a very effective way to control human behavior. But, I never really favored it as an ethical model for determing what is right or wrong, good or evil.

    Rudy also benefited by the tougher laws passed during Dinkins administration.

    You’re just blowing away your own position and propping mines up, when I say that leaders don’t really get to decide what law gets passed or not, while you’re worrying about gun control legislation if you elect Rudy. Why? It’s more like a belief born of fear than of the truth.

    If the Republicans still controlled Congress, I’d be more open to supporting one or the other, but as things stand now, I’d just as soon see a Democrat win because I would rather be a full-hearted opponent than a half-hearted supporter of the next administration.
    This reminds me of when you said about the face thing, Book.

    One of the things I’ve noticed lately, Book, is the rise of factionalism amongst Americans and American politics. I’m not refering to partisan agendas, but the actual motivations of people in government, regardless of what party or nature it may take. So when people take politics as to mean “only I benefit”, you will see factionalism. Which also occured at the end of the Roman Empire. Which also occurs in baghdad and Iraq, and tribal countries like Pakistan. Factionalism is a very very bad thing, Book, in my view. When individuals care only for what is convenient for themselves… it destroys the strength that a nation has from unity.

    My position was always, you can spend as much as you want of the 11+ trillion GDP, so long as you are not spending it on yourself but on the protection of the Constitution and the people of the US.

    In a sense, Rudy was dealing with New York. As a metropolitan center, it actually would be safer for most people there to require them to pass tests on how ot clean, discharge, shoot, and etc their weapons. It isn’t like the South, where people are 8 years old, still, and they begin to learn how to shoot. I’m not sure what New York’s concealed carry situation is, but a law that makes it legal to do concealed carry, is a good one. So, there is some hope that Rudy’s position being derived from New York, may change if he engages in the South more.

    As for abortion, so long as he is in favor against partial birth abortion and late term abortions, I can accept him.

    The only thing I find myself noticeably to the right in relation to the SS (Shrink, and Neo) is that they oppose the death penalty, while I believe we should have a real death penalty, and more of them. So in the sense, we all oppose the death penalty in its current form…

  • Steve Chase

    Thanks for sharing your opinions. It does sound like Fred Thompson would be the right choice to continue the insanity of the Cheney-Bush regime. Support him and he may well win.

    However if anyone here wants the possibility of a sustainable future look into Dennis Kucinich a little more. http://www.kucinich.us.

    Keep up the direction our country is following today and there may well be no 2008 elections at all.

  • SugarDog Fox

    ymarsakar,

    I don’t see how your getting to “only I benefit” from my comment. If I believe that a Democrat administration and a Democrat Congress would lead the country down the road to hell, why shouldn’t I oppose that? At the same time, why should I support a Republican administration that, in order to appear “bipartisan,” would be prepared to cooperate with a Democrat Congress in leading the country halfway down that same road?

    As to your position on the government spending as much of the GDP as it wants, I for one shudder at the implications. Should we take away all, or nearly all of Bill Gates’s money and give it to people living below the poverty line if that would “protect” the people of the U.S. from poverty? Should we take Warren Buffett’s too if Gates’s isn’t enough?

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com/ ymarsakar

    If the Republicans still controlled Congress, I’d be more open to supporting one or the other, but as things stand now, I’d just as soon see a Democrat win because I would rather be a full-hearted opponent than a half-hearted supporter of the next administration.

    In a sense, there is a difference between calculating decisions based upon the far reaching ramifications and calculating them based upon personal benefits and conveniences. For sure, all politics are local, and people do vote their conscience and local concerns. However, it is the belief that because it is convenient for you to be a full hearted opponent instead of a half hearted support, that you would sooner see a Democrat administration, that is the problem.

    You ask “If I believe that a Democrat administration and a Democrat Congress would lead the country down the road to hell, why shouldn’t I oppose that?”.

    as things stand now, I’d just as soon see a Democrat win

    You oppose the Democrats by wishing them victory? A weird form of opposition. If only the Left could do that with Bush. We would all be better off, but they don’t.

    Politics are always half-way. If we wanted unconditional surrender, we would have a civil war and kill off the opposition’s leaders. SubSunk actually talked about that curiously enough…

    As for spending, reasonable budgets can be produced so long as special interests are controlled. But even then, I’m majorily in favor of military and defense spending, rather than say bridges to nowhere. But at the same time, I don’t have the same worry about the deficit as some conservatives do. Because government is waste to me. They spend things, and that is just how they are. I’d rather control the people that spend than control how they spend, because no amount of controlling how they spend things will ever close up all the loopholes.

    So, so long as people spend money for the benefit of all, and not just themselves (actual benefit btw), it becomes easier to control the spender and harder for others to corrupt him or her.

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