“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is there a Conservative in the Race?


WASHINGTON - Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson swipes at GOP rival Rudy Giuliani in a speech he plans to give Monday night on the former New York mayor's home turf.

"Some think the way to beat the Democrats in November is to be more like them. I could not disagree more," the one-time Tennessee senator says in remarks he is to deliver to the Conservative Party of New York.

"I believe that conservatives beat liberals only when we challenge their outdated positions, not embrace them. This is not a time for philosophical flexibility, it is a time to stand up for what we believe in," Thompson adds.

He doesn't mention Giuliani in excerpts made available to The Associated Press, but he's clearly trying to draw a contrast with the rival who's leading in national Republican polls.

Giuliani was once a Democrat. Unlike Thompson, the New Yorker backs abortion rights and gay rights. And, the ex-mayor's central argument for Republicans to nominate him is that he gives them the most likely shot to win in the general election.

A Cato podcast today is about the populists of the Republican party. Cato asks the question, "How safe are free market ideas in today's Republican party?" Steven Silvinski thinks the debates are a preview of the remaking of the Republican party. He says that none of the Republican candidates are delivering "limited government, limited entitlement" messages. Nowadays, the candidates must be able to raise a lot of money and run a long endurance race to get elected regardless of principles. Cato thinks opportunistic candidates reading polls will not be free market Republicans. They say Huckabee, Hunter, and Tancredo represent a growing portion of the Republican base who are skeptical of free trade and a free market.

Cato has also been watching Hillary lately. It will be hard for any candidate to "out-populist" that Democratic candidate: Hillary would have the Federal government give $5,000 for every child and match every $1,000 in savings. Of course, this wealth redistribution would come from increased taxes on those who actually pay taxes and the matching savings funds would be paid for by an increase on the Estate (Death) Tax which is already slated to return to 55% in the next few years.

Thompson may be the best conservative in the race but he certainly hasn't run the best campaign. He waited too long to enter the race and is seen as a threat to too many. He is criticized from all corners on issues from his health to his age and IQ.

Thompson is at his best when he is delivering a traditional, conservative message ala Ronald Reagan and like Reagan, he is dismissed as a lightweight without substance or a grasp of the issues. Fred Thompson is a long shot, but it is good to have his voice in the campaign if only as a down-the-road reminder to Republicans that they had the opportunity to move in a different direction.

It looks as if the Republican nomination is Rudy Giuliani's to lose. Will a President Giuliani hold the line on Federal spending or will he let the nanny state grow? Will his reputation for being tough on crime carry over to fiscal responsibility or should we all be hiding our wallets?

It appears that America is moving toward the nanny state regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats are elected. Democrats may simply get us there quicker.


  1. Fred Thompson says he's the real conservative.

    He doesn't go to church. During an interview in July of 1994 with Republican Liberty, the official newsletter of the Republican Liberty Caucus, Thompson said about abortion: "Government should stay out of it. No public financing. The ultimate decision must be made by the women. Government should treat its citizens as adults capable of making moral decisions on their own." In 1991 and 1992, Thompson was paid for about 20 hours of work on behalf of a family planning group trying to ease a departmental regulation on abortion counseling in federally-funded clinics. He supports globalization. He does not support amending the U.S. Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

  2. So what the hell are the criteria to be a conservative? Religious conservatism? Fiscal conservatism? No human rights for non US citizens? No Nation Building? Small Government? Pro Business? Anti Union?

  3. To: Cannoneer No. 4

    I write this from Iraq, near Baghdad, and as a psyop tactical team leader.
    We are forbiden from using psyop on Americans.
    We are forbiden from mentioning the enemy by name.
    There is no means in the government to counter the propaganda of the mainstream media except sites like Free Republic.
    Tactically, our ability to accomplish our mission and goals for the supported command is compromised by political correctness, ignorance and a lumbering process for vetting and approving new psyop products. We do what we can.
    There isn’t the will within the government to counter the mainstream media…..they are afraid of them. And those that are afraid are the cowards who fail to confront evil and those who passively support it.

  4. Bob Jones III just came out for Romney.

  5. McCain Closest to Clinton in National Polls!

  6. Take all "Republican" polls with a large grain of salt, right now. They, mostly, include "Independents" who say they might vote in the Republican Primary.

  7. Romney is 25% to win the Republican Nomination. This means your "bet" is getting paid 3 -1.

    This is a very good bet. He can't be much worse than even money. Forget the "National" polls. Look at Iowa, and New Hampshire. If he wins there, which looks very possible, he'll be very hard to beat.

  8. And that Bob Jones III endorsement "Could" be significant. If it gives other "evangelicals" cover to support Romney, it could change the whole equation in the South, and to a lesser extent, the Midwest.

  9. Yeah, the set up Rudy pretty good for that one.
    Scheming Evangelicals!

  10. Lose AS and NM, with those, there goes the White House, if Mr Romney is the nominee.

    Which States that Mr Bush lost are gained by his nomination?

    Will Massachusetts go for Red if Mr Romney is the candidate?
    Will New Jersey or PA?

    Mr Gore was chastised, rightfully, for not carrying TN, in 2000. It's why he lost the White House, one of a myriad of reasons.
    Could the same happen to Mr Romney?

  11. Someone must have had a word with our rulers and masters:

    Support Wanes in House for Genocide Vote

    Published: October 17, 2007
    WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 — Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution supported by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago.

    Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure over the last 24 hours, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. Some representatives made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish government, which has said House passage would prompt Turkey to reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for the Iraq war.

  12. So what the hell are the criteria to be a liberal? Atheism. Spend like a drunken sailor. Constitutional rights for every bedraggled illiterate and criminal that manages to hop the border. Globalization, and the North American Union. The Amero. Biggest government you can possible create. Kill private enterprize. Unionize the work place, not through the unions, but through court decisions. And tax, tax, tax.
    Tax and spend. Tax and spend.

  13. It'll look a lot like last time, Rat. I don't know if any Republican will, ever again, carry Pa. He "may" bring Michigan. It'll boil down to Ohio; one more time. Are you sure about Az?

  14. And for godsake don't force Johnny to tell mommy and daddy what He's Up To

  15. BTW, that post regarding the "Odds," was just that, a post about the "Odds."

    I could live with Giuliani; I just like Romney, better. I, also, have a fear that Hillary might be sitting on top of some really nasty stuff about Rudy.

  16. However he is doing it, Obama has been raising a lot of money on the democratic side.

  17. And Rudy sitting on some really nasty stuff about Hillary:)! Might be an interesting fight.

  18. Would depend on the candidate.
    Mormonism is an issue, here in AZ.
    Mr Romney would carry the rural north, get trounced in the carpetbagger central cities, slaughtered in the Mexican south.

    Rudy could carry the central cities, where all the people are. Otherwise, it'll go Dem, following our popular lady governor.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. The Dems would have to spend heavily in New Jersey and New York, if Rudy is the candidate.
    Spend not a dime there if he is not.

    Where would California lay, 'tween Hillary and Rudy. Rudy walking shoulder to shoulder with the Governator.
    The new Republican model of victory.

    Or Arnold will be the most powerful elected REPUBLICAN politico in the USA

  21. bobal,

    The irony of it all is that the Republicans, the 'conservatives', have adobpted the "spend like a drunken sailor" and 'government is the solution for all that ails US' mantra. To deepen the irony it was the 'hero' of the 'CONservatives' Ronald Reagan who adopted and propelled this corruption of 'traditional' conservative values is treated as the GOD of conservatism. Equally, we can pillory the left, the LIEberals and this brings me to my pet peeve with American politics.

    American politics has become an 'us vs them' affair, 'left' vs 'right', 'CONservative' vs 'LIEberal'. All thought is channeled into one of two camps, a simple dichtomy with the proponents of each side cheering on their brethern. It is truly ABSURD. Political life demands more subtlety, more nuance, more discipline. As the quote in that article ironically suggests "''I am a conservative because I'm for change,'' many adopt the simplistic dichotomy of the two stooopid labels and argue away thinking they are advancing society. pfffffaaaahhhh!!!! ;D

  22. Rudy and Arnold, walking shoulder to shoulder with the CA National Guardsmen at the 4th of July Victory Parades.

    Mr Romney could play the part, too, but will not carry the purple voters, flip flopping on his way to the nomination on how he views life.

  23. In my local rag I read an interesting and entertaining article on the US primaries. The author, John Ibbitson, is, generally, a conservative. It illustrates some of the absurdities of the a system many proclaim as 'the best in the world'

    "A primer on the craziest primary season ever


    Tuesday, October 16, 2007 – Page A17

    WASHINGTON -- We are entering the wonkiest primary season ever.

    The rules of the game keep changing and some of the key players are breaking the rules.

    Two contending forces are fighting for control of the electoral system: the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties, and the state legislatures.

    At stake is the presidency of the United States of America.

    So to help you figure out what's going on, here's a primer on the 2008 primaries.

    Your caucus is my primary"

  24. Well, the Republican "elites" have certainly adopted your, and Deuce's, viewpoint. They are piling in for Giuliani, big time. I guess it's alright.

    But, at 3/1 Romney's still a good bet. Until his polls start sinking (more) in NH, that is.

  25. "Romney's great-grandparents were polygamist Mormons who fled to Mexico in 1884 after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld various anti-polygamy laws in 1879.[6] Romney's father was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and moved to the United States in 1912[6] after the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution. [7][8]" wiki

    Romney's father was a Mexican:)

    Not really. I understand the group keep their American citizenship, a good thing to do. Particularily if there is a revolution in the adopted country.

    Ash, I predict it won't be too long before Christ Church in Moscow, that patriarchal organization, comes out in favor of polygamy. Then we have come full circle:)

  26. Our primary system might not be a silly as it looks at first glance. We send them up to a couple of the smaller states for several months for some retail politicking. Between Iowa, NH, SC, Fl, Nv, and Mi we get a chance for a pretty diverse group to get a close look at'em.

    Frees us up to go about our everyday work of making a living. We get a look at their staying power, judgement, work ethic, and opinions. And, maybe, most of all their commitment, and common sense.

    The initial states render a verdict, and we consider it on appeal. Sometimes we "override," but, usually, we take it into serious consideration.

    Oh, yeah, Government Spending (total) grew 2.9% last year. Not all that bad.

  27. I can deal with any of the Republican candidates. It is all about the Supreme Court. It is after all a culture war, and the enemy of my enemy is better than my enemy.

  28. What did Rommel Say? "The reason the Americans are so good at war is because "War is Chaos," and Americans Practice "Chaos," Day.

  29. I like this shot from Ash's link:.."The problem is that Iowa and New Hampshire are rural states with mostly white populations, and their concerns are not necessarily the concerns of voters in Los Angeles, Atlanta or New York."...

    I love how the left always denigrate the whites and sneer at 'their concerns." Just what are the concerns of voters of the Los Angelinos, Atlantans and New Yorkers? Not spoken is that they will be Democrats and the entitled class. Entitled to what they can take from the producing class.

  30. Michigan is highly unionized, and it can, completely, void the momentum from Iowa and NH. Nv is heavily latino. Florida? Well, it's Fl. You can't get much more diverse than S. Florida. SC - Heavily Black. Well, maybe not "heavily," but it has a large black pop nevertheless.

    And, besides, the big States vote, too. Ahh, it's typically American. A big FUBAR that sometimes leads to an okay result.

  31. Johnny is marching home

    WASHINGTON (Associated Press) -- Commanders in Iraq have decided to begin the drawdown of U.S. forces in volatile Diyala province, marking a turning point in the U.S. military mission, The Associated Press has learned.

    Instead of replacing the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Division, which is returning to its home base at Fort Hood, Texas, in December, soldiers from another brigade in Salahuddin province next door will expand into Diyala, thereby broadening its area of responsibility, several officials said Tuesday.

    In this way, the number of Army ground combat brigades in Iraq will fall from 20 to 19. This reflects President Bush's bid to begin reducing the American military force and shifting its role away from fighting the insurgency toward more support functions like training and advising Iraqi security forces.

    The December move, which has not yet been announced by the Pentagon, was described to the AP by Col. Stephen Twitty, commander of the 4th Brigade, 1st Cavalry, in a telephone interview Tuesday. It was confirmed by three other officials in Iraq, including Lt. Col. Michael Donnelly, chief spokesman for the commanding general of U.S. forces in northern Iraq, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Mixon.

  32. The left may indeed do that (denigrate the white's concerns) but that doesn't nullify the notion that there is more to the US then white rural concerns. Like it or not the multi-ethnic urban plurality exists in large number, and, really, isn't all that bad - in fact, all US joos, indians, pakis, hispanics, blacks, french, german, english, irish, italian, greek, panamainian, belize, chinese, japanese folk are pretty kewl!!! and we can vote!

  33. p.s. I'm a pasty white american decendant from german/irish extract. My great great grandparents settled in Nebraska because that's where the railway (well, a wagon ride a way) ended in their migration trek.

  34. Investor's Business Daily addresses Comrade Putin's latest bellicosities:
    Coping With Comrade Vladimir

    By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2007 4:20 PM PT

    Geopolitics: Warning us against attacking Iran? Waging economic warfare? Sending dissidents to mental wards? With Vladimir Putin acting like his Communist predecessors, maybe we should deal with him the same way.

    Related Topics: Europe & Central Asia

    Visiting Iran's Islamofascist, terrorist-supporting president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday implicitly warned the United States not to use the former Soviet satellite of Azerbaijan to stage an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities.

    "We are saying that no Caspian nation should offer its territory to third powers for use of force or military aggression against any Caspian state," he said at a Tehran summit of the five countries bordering the Caspian Sea.
    Are Putin and Ahmadinejad forming an axis of Caspian nations?

    Are Putin and Ahmadinejad forming an axis of Caspian nations?

    Those countries are: Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, and the region in which they are situated boasts some of the largest oil deposits in the world.

    Besides telling sovereign nations they better not help the U.S. deal with the Iran threat of nuclear terrorism, Putin warned them against the building of pipelines that bypass Russia and deliver energy from Caspian nations to the West.

    Read the rest.

  35. Wrong again Ash. There are no white concerns. There is no white consensus. There is no white plot against all the other tribes.

  36. And for your pasty condition, may I suggest a visit to Costa Rica?

  37. Putin Warns Against Attacks on Iran
    Oct 16, 9:27 PM (ET)


    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Vladimir Putin issued a veiled warning Tuesday against any attack on Iran as he began the first visit by a Kremlin leader to Tehran in six decades - a mission reflecting Russian-Iranian efforts to curb U.S. influence.

    He also suggested Moscow and Tehran should have a veto on Western plans for new pipelines to carry oil and natural gas from the Caspian Sea, using routes that would bypass Russian soil and break the Kremlin's monopoly on energy deliveries from the region.

    Read the rest

  38. And Rudy sitting on some really nasty stuff about Hillary:)! Might be an interesting fight

    Nothing tops Rudy in a dress getting kissed by the Donald. One of Larry Craig's favorite videos.

  39. Why the Russian Banty Rooster Struts, the Chinese stew:
    Dalai Lama Brushes Off Chinese Criticism

    Oct 16, 9:27 PM (ET)


    WASHINGTON (AP) - The Dalai Lama, after meeting privately Tuesday with President Bush, brushed off China's furious reaction to U.S. celebrations this week in his honor. "That always happens," the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet's Buddhists said with a laugh, speaking to reporters gathered outside his downtown Washington hotel.

    The White House defended the meeting in the president's residence and dismissed Beijing's warning that the talks and the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal to him on Wednesday would damage relations between the United States and China.?

    The rest.

    Fox reported that the attitude in DC is that "the Chinese will get over it."

    I'm not so sure...

  40. Dayyum, they got Putin; and, WE got THAT?

    Now, I'm Scared.

  41. Rufus: Michigan is highly unionized, and it can, completely, void the momentum from Iowa and NH.

    Hillary's got Michigan. She's the only major Dem candidate campaigning there, after the others boycotted the state to maintain Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada as the four states that get to go first. Well, who died and made those four states first?

  42. But wait! Hold the horses! Dick Morris says the Presidency is AlGore's For The Taking!

    How many condos left, deuce?

  43. So many thoughts to consider, so little time. maybe one more glass ...

  44. I'm building an Elephant wing. When I open the casino, there will be an elephant bar.

  45. One must agree with Morris--'to save the world is a serious motivator'....

  46. Correction, Hillary is not campaigning there in Michigan, but she's still got her name on the primary ballot. And SC wants her to take it off.

  47. I'm building an Elephant wing. When I open the casino, there will be an elephant bar.

    It is much nicer without those jackasses of 2006.

  48. refresh my memory: what was Morris' peccadillo?

  49. The Clintons (Hillar) fired him?

  50. All I know is Morris hates the guts of the Clintons. He was an advisor.

    Totally off topic, but not everything sold in America is crap from China. St. John's Bible Project

  51. Maybe I have him confused with marv albert.

  52. On the third day of the '96 Democratic convention in Chicago, word spread that the supermarket tabloid Star, which had carried the Gennifer Flowers story, was about to reveal Morris's toe-sucking relationship with Rowlands. Clinton dispatched aide Erskine Bowles to see Morris, who admitted the allegations were true but didn't see the need to resign.

  53. Then again, Maybe you don't.

  54. St. John's Bible

    Make a good gift for a friend. Probably go up in value, both spiritually and monetarily.

  55. Where is jedgar hoover when we need him?

  56. Morris, another toe sucker, huh....

  57. I'll bet Ash has good credit. The looney is strong and he/she needs some sun. Course it is rainy season. Does looney have an E ?

  58. Iowa up to bat January 3. Not to be outdone, New Hampshire looks to December.

    jeez, deuce, I don't know for sure, just an expression. I'd bet on Bill Clinton. Or maybe Barney Frank.

  59. I suppose one has to take a stance one way or the other.

  60. A quick google of 'toe suckers in congress' got one hit on Morris, and then This

    Best I can do.

  61. I suppose I should answer Whit's question about a conservative in the race? Well I thought about it. We need a conservative in drag.

  62. You know, sometimes you just gotta, open a beer, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the absurdity of it all.

  63. A google of 'toe suckers in D.C.' came up with numerous articles about Dick Morris. How did this all slip by me unawares?

  64. A Drag racing Conservative?

  65. I want to make it clear, I have never sucked a toe in my life.

  66. You found that Phawker site. Some real material there.

  67. You know, we take it all so serious, and right in the middle of the Cold War we had Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. And, Survived!

    I mean, hell, we're bulletproof. Maybe we Are the Chosen People.

  68. I don't know Bob, if the lady is cute and you have a drink or two and if it is her thing, WTF. no one will know.

  69. I'll get that jar of pickled pigs feet out.

  70. I didn't say I wouldn't, just that I haven't:)

  71. 1. If you've had a couple of drinks she's cute by definition (the 2:00 rule.)

    2. Everyone will know.

  72. Meanwhile, DownUnder, time may be up for John Howard even though times are good, taken all in all. People just want a change.

  73. Speaking of beer; I'm out. Just as well; I've got a big negotiation with the I.R.S. tomorrow. We decide if I get to keep a little of my money, or none of my money. Oh well, Money ain't everything. Right Honey? Right Honey?!?

  74. Hmmm, it's been a long time since I've been a "Poor" Bachelor. Poor . . . Bachelor . . . Poor . . . Bachelor

    Hmmm . . . . interestin times

  75. The Lord be with you, Rufus. Probably better than that, an accountant:) So far I'm unmolested by the IRS. And my complex tax days are behind me, knock on wood.

    nite here too...

  76. Wretch classic:

    "And the West, for its part, has got to stop hating itself. I'm not sure the Islamic world should entirely blamed for taking large sections of the Western intelligensia and media's pronouncements at their face value.
    "We are horrible! We are horrible!
    We deserve to die!" go certain sections of the West.
    Ward Churchill says that and he's back teaching unauthorized classes at university.

    Maybe the whole problem can be summarized thus:
    they believe what we say about ourselves while we disbelieve what they say they are going to do about it.

  77. WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 — Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution backed by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago.

    Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. Some made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish government, which has said House passage would prompt Turkey to reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for the Iraq war.

    Until Tuesday, the measure appeared on a path to House passage, with strong support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was approved last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But by Tuesday evening, a group of senior House Democrats had made it known that they were planning to ask the leadership to drop plans for a vote on the measure.

    “Turkey obviously feels they are getting poked in the eye over something that happened a century ago and maybe this isn’t a good time to be doing that,” said Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who dropped his sponsorship of the resolution on Monday night.

    Others who took the same action said that, while they deplored the mass killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, the modern-day consequences in the Middle East could not be overlooked.

    “We simply cannot allow the grievances of the past, as real as they may be, to in any way derail our efforts to prevent further atrocities for future history books,” said Representative Wally Herger, Republican of California.

    Representative Mike Ross, Democrat of Arkansas, said, “I think it is a good resolution and horrible timing.”

  78. A controversial nuclear deal between the United States and India appears close to collapse after the Indian prime minister told President Bush yesterday that "certain difficulties" will prevent India from moving forward on the pact for the foreseeable future.

    The main obstacle does not involve the specific terms of the agreement but rather India's internal politics, including fears from leftist parties that India is moving too close to the United States, according to officials and experts familiar with the deal. Besieged over the past two months by growing opposition to nuclear energy cooperation with the United States, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh indicated over the weekend that he would rather save his coalition government than the nuclear pact.

  79. And in the, better late than never category;

    The short answer to the topic is; NO! There is NO conservative running!

    ... so I'll vote for the beer swilling, toe sucking pigs foot!

  80. Hard-Working, Family Values Hispanics, doing the Ethnic Cleansing most Americans are not Willing to do.

    Latino gang tried to force blacks out, indictment says

    Federal prosecutors Tuesday accused members of a Latino street gang of a violent campaign to drive African American rivals out of their South Los Angeles area neighborhood, resulting in at least 20 killings in the last three years.