“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."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Choice: McCain, Hillary or Obama?

Think about it.

It is a little late to be complaining that McCain is not Republican enough. For seven years the Republicans have not been Republican enough. The Republican oligarchs had an ample opportunity to discipline themselves in Congress. They did not. They failed miserably in some very important areas and none other than in way out of control government spending.

For seven years we had a Republican President that could not find his veto pen. It was a Republican Administration that failed to enforce US immigration laws, and it was a Republican Administration with no leadership skills that failed to maintain a Republican majority in Congress. None of that was McCain's doing. A US Senator is a party of one.

The choice is becoming very narrow and parochial. Who will serve your interests better, McCain, Hillary or Obama? The Iranians must be asking themselves the same question. I doubt any Republican can win, but I have no doubt as to what happens if the Democrats do. I have as much enthusiasm for McCain as I did for Ford and Bob Dole, but Romney just does not seem to have the horsepower that is still left in JMAC. A Supreme Court dominated by those chosen by Hillary or Obama will be a disaster for conservatives.

There are some others who will be even less happy to see a John McCain candidacy. Maybe the Iranians would even have a Reagan-Carter moment, when they released US hostages on Reagan's inauguration day. Look at the sunny side, eh Rat?

Talk radio impugns McCain's liberal record
By Donald Lambro Washington Times
January 30, 2008

Conservative talk radio is ganging up on presidential candidate John McCain, attacking him for joining Democrats to push liberal legislation and opposing bedrock Republican positions from tax cuts to immigration.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be the favorite of conservative talk-radio stars and stands to benefit from their distaste for the Arizona senator, who is running neck and neck with Mr. Romney in the race for the presidential nomination.

While most polls show the two men in a dead heat in key primary and caucus contests across the nation, the campaign battle on talk radio has turned into a lopsided offensive against Mr. McCain, whose positions on illegal aliens, President Bush's tax cuts, oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and campaign-finance regulation have infuriated conservative commentators.

"I don't think talk radio has changed their core views. Look at Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, Mark Levin and myself, all center-right conservatives generally supportive of the Republicans," talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt told The Washington Times.

"I think if you were to poll that universe of talkers, you would find they would be anti-McCain-Feingold [on campaign finance]; anti-McCain-Kennedy [on immigration], except for Medved; pro-oil exploration in ANWR; and supporters of the Bush tax cuts," Mr. Hewitt said as he ticked off bills the Arizona senator has championed or opposed in the Senate.

"So the hostility toward the McCain legislative record shouldn't surprise anyone," the founder of the conservative Townhall Web site said.

Mr. Hewitt also told the Associated Press yesterday that "Senator McCain is a great American, a lousy senator and a terrible Republican. He has a legislative record that is not conservative. In fact, it is anti-conservative." He said he would support Mr. Romney "if I was voting today."

For weeks, Mr. Limbaugh, the king of talk radio, also has pounded Mr. McCain as a Republican who deserted his party's positions on core issues — from his earlier opposition to the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 to his support with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat, for an immigration bill that would have given illegal aliens a path to citizenship.

This week, Mr. Limbaugh went after the senator for his alliance with environmentalists and his opposition to President Bush's push to open ANWR's vast oil reserves to reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.

"McCain has been an active promoter of the global-warming hysteria — for which he has been lauded by radical environmentalists — and he is a co-sponsor of a leftist scheme for energy rationing," the famed talkmeister told his more than 20 million listeners last week.

"If anybody has any doubts whatsoever, my differences with Senator McCain are substantive," he said. "When you boil this down, this really is between McCain and Romney right now."

Not all of the leading conservative talk-radio hosts oppose Mr. McCain, though even some of his supporters admit his anti-conservative positions often have pushed them to the edge of endurance.

"I've been getting a lot heat from listeners for defending McCain, even though I acknowledge the many disagreements I've had with him. I've been getting a constant barrage from my audience. It's getting really heated," Bill Bennett said yesterday.

"I admire the heck out of John McCain and disagree with him on at least half a dozen serious matters," Mr. Bennett said. "He is a war hero, he has been consistently pro-life, he put his campaign in hostage to the success of the surge in Iraq, he's been a consistent hawk on pork-barrel spending, and can win in November."

But the former drug czar and education secretary said the intensity of the anti-McCain calls to his radio program show he does not have the support of his party's conservative base.

"What rankles me the most is his tendency to criticize our side first. Why bash us, why not bash Hillary Clinton? He's got to have some of the fire that Democrats have for Republicans, but we don't see it," he said. "If he is the nominee, he's got to fix things with the base of the party, because you can't have a convention with these kinds of feelings."

Does he have a breaking point over the senator's candidacy? "Ask me tomorrow," he replied.


  1. Margaret Truman Daniel, President’s Daughter and Popular Author, Dies at 83

    As the decades passed, Americans by the hundreds of thousands knew Mrs. Daniel, too, as Margaret Truman, the author of 32 books, including biographies of both her parents and 23 mystery novels in her popular “Capital Crime Series,” all set in and around Washington.
    Mrs. Daniel thought her performance at Constitution Hall to be one of her better ones. But Paul Hume, the music critic of The Washington Post, while praising her personality, wrote that “she cannot sing very well.”

    “She is flat a good deal of the time,” Mr. Hume added, concluding that she had no “professional finish.”

    Incensed, President Truman dispatched a combative note to Mr. Hume, who released it to the press.

    “I have just read your lousy review,” it said, adding, “I have never met you, but if I do, you’ll need a new nose.”

    In the ensuing uproar, reporters pressed Mrs. Daniel for her reaction to her father’s letter. “I’m glad to see that chivalry is not dead,” she told them.

    In a revealing biography, “Harry S. Truman” (William Morrow, 1973), Mrs. Daniel wrote: “Dad discussed the letter with his aides and was annoyed to find that they all thought it was a mistake. They felt that it damaged his image as president and would only add to his political difficulties. ‘Wait till the mail comes in,’ Dad said. ‘I’ll make you a bet that 80 percent of it is on my side of the argument.’

    “A week later, after a staff meeting, Dad ordered everybody to follow him, and they marched to the mail room,” Mrs. Daniel continued. “The clerks had stacked up thousands of ‘Hume’ letters received in piles and made up a chart showing the percentages for and against the president. Slightly over 80 percent favored Dad’s defense of me. Most of the letter writers were mothers who said they understood exactly how Dad felt and would have expected their husbands to defend their daughters the same way.

    “ ‘The trouble with you guys is,’ Dad said to the staff as he strode back to work, ‘you just don’t understand human nature.’ ”

  2. The majority of the GOP is not "conservative", that's first and foremost.

    It is the Party of Bush, has been since 1988. Bush41 was not a "conservative", Bush43 was never a "conservative" either.

    Now the debate is which of Romney or McCain is the most "conservative", how funny.

    Thompson was the conservative, he had his hat handed to him.

    The Democrats are having huge turnouts at their events, caucuses & primaries. In Florida were no Democrat campaigned they matched GOP turnout, where the GOP votes counted. More than counted, they were deciding the GOP nominee in 2008.

    It was not "fixed", Florida is not "conservative". Mr Crist is Governor, Mr Martinez the Senator. Neither is "conservative".

    The country is not "conservative" in the Limbaugh mode. It is Reaganesque in its' conservatism.

    The 1986 Immigration Bill, Lebanon withdrawal, Pakistani nuke proliferation. Morning in America.

    Mr Reagan was a feel good kind of a guy, but not a "conservative" in the mold of Limbaugh et al.

    Rudy did worse than Ron Paul in five of the GOP Primary States, his strategy for victory was flawed. His firewall burned down in Florida, because it never really was there. He did not connect with US voters, just had early name recongnition.

    The majority does not blog, are not at the Bar, nor the BC.
    But did vote for war with Iran.
    Whether they knew it or not.

    They will in November, know what voting for McCain means. Then they won't, or they will.
    But the Democrat will carry the popular vote, it all hinges of Ohio, wi"o" and Team Taft.

    Who is now a professor, after pleading guilty to crimes of tainted integrity. A third generation Boner that sold out for peanuts.

  3. Reading the posts from last night, reminds me of the Bush win being discussed in the salons of NYCity.

    "Bush couldn't have won, the election had to be fixed, why, no one I know voted for Bush

    Just shows how out of touch thos New Yorkers were. Just how out of touch the bloggers are, how out of touch Limbaugh is, with the real US.
    His 20 million listeners, a fringe, not a political majority, but a advertisning market.
    And not even a mob that marches where he leads. Just listeners of AM radio.

  4. Who signed McCain Feigold into Law?

    Which President supported McCain Kennedey Immigration Bill?

    That is the GOP Standard

    Anyone that opposed those initiatives, RINOs

    Tne Republican Party is the Party of Bush, Rudy was right, about that.

  5. Other than keeping taxes down, a big issue, and keeping the military a little stronger than the dems, the number of issues where the pubs come following along mounts up. What was unthinkable a few decades ago, is accepted. All this gay rights stuff for instance. Bans on this and that. Now, national health insurance. The Republican Party is more of a brake than a party with a new program. The brakes don't even stop the caboose, just slow it down a little, temper it. Now with McCain we'll be following along on global warming too. Not to mention, they'll be going after talk radio, the fairness doctrine. Daycare for kiddies. Hell, it goes on and on.

  6. McCain got 36%, Huckabee got some conservative votes as did even Rudy and Fred.

    "They divided Floridians along generational lines. McCain won among those 65 and older, gaining 41 percent of their vote, while he and Romney ran about evenly among the rest of the voters.
    With its vast number of retirees, one-third of GOP voters were at least 65. McCain is 71.

    Nearly four in 10 conservatives were supporting Romney, while McCain finished with a respectable three in ten.

    Underscoring Romney's appeal to the party's right wing, he doubled McCain's and Mike Huckabee's support from the very conservative. Conservatives dominate Florida's GOP, comprising six in 10 voters.

    More than offsetting that, better than four in 10 moderates and liberals lined up behind McCain, twice the proportion backing both Romney and Rudy Giuliani.
    So Mac leads a charmed life, having the Huckster to win some in some conservative states and the South, now getting momentum from retirees, moderates, and liberals.
    Not a head to head to determine how conservative the GOP is, unless you want to add conservatives for the other candidates.

  7. We Were Warned

    The coming of the anti-Clinton was foretold.

    Now look at Bush’s tenure. He ran in 2000 as a “different kind of Republican.” And just as Clinton moved rightward on race and big-government liberalism, Bush tacked leftward toward the center on race and small-government conservatism. In a bipartisan deal with Ted Kennedy, he federalized education policy — something even Richard Nixon opposed.
    (Nixon loved big government, for the record.)

    Substantively, Bush has some abiding conservative accomplishments on judicial appointments and tax cuts. But rhetorically, his compassionate conservatism reversed a generation-long stance on the need to curtail the ambitions of government, just as Clinton’s New Democrat rhetoric abdicated liberalism’s decades-long campaign for a European-style welfare state. Bush in effect conceded the liberal complaint that small government was objectively hardhearted, while Clinton conceded the conservative complaint that orthodox liberalism was too utopian.

    For Bush, the true measure of good governance wasn’t liberating the American people from an over-weaning welfare state. Rather, activist government became the very definition of good government. And with such ideological markers in place, it was inevitable that government would expand and the ostensible conservatives in Congress would disintegrate into a gaggle of self-serving appropriators.

    Indeed, since 1999, the federal budget has expanded by more than $1 trillion. And while Republicans, now in the minority, suddenly claim a newfound hatred for pork-barrel spending, nobody thinks twice about the fact that the GOP oversaw the largest expansion of the government since the Great Society.
    Monday night, Bush talked a big game about empowering and liberating the American people. But the most appropriate response to such assurances is,
    “Now you tell us?”

    Bush’s speech marked the beginning of the home stretch of the first back-to-back eight-year presidencies since 1824. So the hunger for “change” on both sides of the ideological aisle shouldn’t be much of a surprise.

    But that desire for change is also a product of ideological confusion on the left and the right. Clinton left office insisting that he’d restored liberalism in America, but in reality he bequeathed a confused mishmash of ill-formed ideas, slogans and hatreds.
    President Bush is winding down his presidency much the same way, talking about limited government, personal liberty, and spending restraint, but he’s left his party’s troops scattered across the battlefield, with no overarching strategy and an awful lot of friendly fire.

    Rush Limbaugh, for example, promises that if either John McCain or Mike Huckabee gets the nomination, it will “destroy the Republican party.” The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan replies that, “This is absurd. George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues.”

    I’m sympathetic to both positions. Limbaugh is right that Huckabee and McCain might lead the party further from its limited-government roots. Noonan is right that Bush let the horse out of the barn long ago.
    But both complaints overlook a simple fact:
    We were warned. Bush and Clinton promised to be different kinds of leaders.
    And they delivered.

  8. 4 years of Bush 40, 8 years of Clinton, 8 Years of the Compassionate, Corrupt one, and here we are!

    Goldberg says it was the first back-to-back eight-year presidencies since 1824!

  9. For 8 years the Party under W's non-conservative reign, was like a quite, slow motion, fragmentation grenade.

  10. " George W. Bush destroyed the Republican Party, by which I mean he sundered it, broke its constituent pieces apart and set them against each other. He did this on spending, the size of government, war, the ability to prosecute war, immigration and other issues "

  11. In his State of the Union address, President Bush pointedly reminded Congress that, if it fails to act by Friday, last August’s stopgap measure to prevent disruption of vital intelligence-collection will expire. “We’ve had ample time for debate,” the president concluded. “The time to act is now.”

    His assessment could not be more correct. The ill-conceived Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is outmoded. An overhaul has long been under consideration, and there is strong bipartisan consensus on several of its major points. Yet top Democrats are resisting a solution.

    Some Democrats oppose the legislation because they want the FISA court to have more authority. They laud it as a responsible manager of intelligence collection, even though tribunal is unaccountable and has a spotty record. (The most important part of the Patriot Act was its dismantling of the “wall” between agencies that obstructed intelligence gathering before 9/11. The FISA court tried to undo that part of the act, but was thankfully unsuccessful.) We have less confidence in the judiciary’s ability to manage wartime intelligence operations.

    Americans want security from mass-murderers. FISA reform will increase our security, while aligning the responsibilities of different parts of our government with their capacities. Congress should enact that reform — permanently.
    9-11 Could have been stopped simply by examining 1 hard drive.
    Not allowed.
    No Biggie.

  12. "a quiet slow motion fragmentation grenade"--that's pretty good, Doug.

    Can't get to sleep tonight.

    They used to say never trust anyone over thirty, now we can make that sixty. Old farts in Florida. I went through St. Petersburg once. Couldn't believe it, one giant rest home. All in shorts, and t-shirts.

    Well, who knows. Maybe we will have that brokered convention. Deadlocked. High anxiety. Anger. Thompson breaks through!

  13. Should we fault Reagan for the 20 years of Non-Enforcement of the law that he hoped would end the illegals problem at 3 Million?

    Reagan had a Democrat Congress and the Soviet Union to deal with, which counts for something with me.

    To say the most articulate Conservative in our time was just a feel good kind of guy is less than accurate.

  14. Were their skinny, hairless legs tanned, Al-Bob?
    Like a Dermatologist told me, the face gets greasier as the rest of the body gets drier.
    We didn't get into rouge hairs, missing hairs, grey hairs, or legs that never, or take forever to tan.

    I keep vowing to see if it's possible, but haven't yet.

  15. Just for you, Trish!
    On To The McCain-Kennedy Ticket [John Derbyshire]

    Oh, stop whining. So what if the likely GOP nominee believes in restraints on free speech, higher taxation, bigger government, open borders, and 100-year U.S. armies of occupation everywhere from Albania to Zimbabwe? Romney believes in those things too — at least, he does when he's in a room full of people that want him to.

    You already have a genuinely conservative candidate on offer. He's just not slick enough for you. What, he has positions you don't agree with? More than the other guys? Actually, I have heard very little complaining about Paul's positions. What I have mostly heard is (a) He's funny looking, (b) He can't win, and (c) He has a lot of icky supporters.

    The answer to (a) is to put aside the New York Times "Style" section for five minutes and think. The answer to (b) is, that if conservatism is going to lose big in 2008 anyway (newsflash: it is), it should at least make a stand, to inspire future generations. The answer to (c) is, get in there and swell the ranks of non-icky Paul supporters — there are plenty of us — to drown out the nutsos.

    While you guys are crying into your light-blended crème frappuccinos, I'll be making a campaign donation to help Ron & Carol celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary Friday.

    Romneybot lost a big one? In the immortal words of Little Richard: Boo [shriek!] hoo [shriek!] hoo [shriek!] hoo.

  16. The Alternative Universe [Andy McCarthy]

    Washington Times headline today: "McCain Wins Big in Florida." In the third paragraph, the Senator announces, "It shows one thing: I'm the conservative leader who can unite the party."

    You have to skim down to the sixth paragraph to find out that you can "win big" when 2 out of every 3 people vote against you.

  17. It's more accurate than not, doug.

    His record, based on what is now considered "conservative" is mixed, at best. More style than substance in the end product.
    For whatever the reason.

    Reagan not 100% "conservative". McCain scores an 85% on the conservative scale.

    So folks vote for whom they feel comfortable with, not for whom others think it is best for them.

    And this is outlandish?

    When I see Mr Romney, he appears untrustworthy, a suit, a snake oil salesman. Is that accurate or fair, perhaps not. It is the reality though.

    Mr McCain, I know. He is untrustworthy in performing in the best interests of his constituents, as I see those interests. But others do not see it that way. He has been elected and reelected here for decades.

    A vote for Huckabee or Rudy was not a vote for or against anyone else, but a vote for Huck or Rudy.
    How that worked out for other candidtates, who their "second choice" was or could have been, unimportant in our System.

    Become an Advocate for Change.
    Change from "winner take all"
    Change in the Electoral College.
    Change is possible
    Yes We Can!

    Parse the vote, like a pundit, dismiss those that hold positions you dislike. They are less than Republican? Not.
    Nor are they less patriotic nor concerned for the future of the country. They have different priorities, concerns, ideologies or indentity groups.
    But they are US, none the less.

    In my opinion McCain would be more harmful to the country than Obama.
    Obama is what you see.
    McCain is "Mad"

    Billary without a Gingrich to balance. Lord have mercy.
    Eight more years of the status que of trianglation. Bush, Clinton, Bush, Billary.

    McCain v Billary that'd be a sad day for the Republic.

  18. Edwards is going to New Orleans, today, to drop out of the race.

    Now we'll see who the John Edwards supporters second choice is.

  19. Are we feeling sympathetically disposed toward Paul this lovely morning, Doug? Or just Derb's trademark to-hell-with-you-phonies-and-idiots crankiness?

  20. Last night, I voted for Paul, wife voted for Thompson. Those ballots in the mail, today.

    Neither of us voting against anyone

  21. Your previously preferred national candidate is endorsing McCain, Rat. I'd like to know what you think about that.

  22. " Reagan not 100% "conservative".
    McCain scores an 85% on the conservative scale.
    A number, based on an agreed upon value scale, represents a reality, flawlessly.
    Reagan was a conservative, McCain a Faux.

  23. "Parse the vote, like a pundit, dismiss those that hold positions you dislike. They are less than Republican? Not.
    Nor are they less patriotic nor concerned for the future of the country. They have different priorities, concerns, ideologies or indentity groups.
    But they are US, none the less.
    Saying absolutely NOTHING wrt to voters being split 5 ways.
    That itself being more pertinent than all your stringing together of this and that.

  24. I'm interested to see whether Buchanan will, as he did crucially in 04, finally issue the call for conservatives to "come home" and vote for the guy he was far too polite to explicitly identify as *our SOB*.

    Someone ought to dig up that column of his. It was a Buchanan masterpiece.

  25. ". More style than substance in the end product. "
    Bankrupting the USSR.
    Removing the Shackles of confiscatory taxation.
    Inspiring a Nation.
    War with the Commies in Hollywood.
    40 years of studying and articulating American Patriotism and Conservatism to millions upon millions, here and abroad.

  26. desert rat said...

    "McCain v Billary that'd be a sad day for the Republic."


    desert rat said...

    "Edwards is going to New Orleans, today, to drop out of the race.

    Now we'll see who the John Edwards supporters second choice is."

    As I've said before and I believe it more now then ever - Hillary is no ones second choice. Once Edwards is out, she's toast.

    I also said before that Obama's going all the way to the top job. McCain's got the best chance of challenging him but he'll fail.

    p.s. I've noticed that folk have stopped dreaming aloud of Bloomberg hopping in...

  27. Among the many things I left out, must add this:
    Effectively leading the Nation in spite of representing the minority party.

  28. "Now we'll see who the John Edwards supporters second choice is."
    It counts for the Dems, but not for the Pubs! least for the sake of ARGUMENT!

  29. It will be more important than usual for McCain to make the right choice for VP. Petraeus may not be a bad choice.

  30. Do you really think the 'peace' in Iraq will last? Do you really think the American people are keen on more 'surges' more 'war'? I don't.

  31. Petraeus may not be a bad choice.

    Wed Jan 30, 10:02:00 AM EST

    If you liken conservatives to out-of-power Sunnis.

    I don't think they'd buy the same deal.

  32. conservatives are not going to like anything the dems dish out. they can stay home or they will have to punch the republican ticket. there is not much that will make the dems cross over.

  33. there is not much that will make the dems cross over.

    Wed Jan 30, 10:41:00 AM EST

    They're not a fucking monolith. Nor, of course, is the Right.


  35. ahhhhh, circle the wagons and stick with the tribe...

  36. Rufus was saying Hillary was- or, maybe, might be- his second choice, under the circumstances.

  37. My biggest beef with John McCain was McCain-Feingold. I think that McCain was haunted by the Keating Five scandal and overreacted.

    But I don't think additional campaign restrictions are in the cards, so although I disagree with McCain on this, I don't see him as a threat. I agree with his positions in most areas, and I think he has the independent temperament to make a good President. Actually, I think that the Republicans have a pretty good crop of candidates in general this year.

    Also I kind of like that tax money is earmarked by elected representatives rather than delegating the spending authority to unelected bureaucrats (which is the only alternative). I think McCain is wrong about earmarks, but again I don't think reform is likely.

  38. Clinton is a manipulative schemer, but I think a lot of Americans think the US needs a few good schemes about now. But it may be that Clinton and Obama are miraculously sowing the seeds of their own defeat.

    Obama is showing Clinton, and the Republicans, that the Clinton style of campaigning ("vote for me because somebody hurt my feelings", "if you don't vote for me, I might cry") has weaknesses. Furthermore, the Clinton vs Obama campaign is showing black America that racism is still alive and well in the Democratic Party, and in the Clinton campaign in particular.

    The Democrats have misinterpreted the successful "Southern Strategy" of the Republicans as a racist strategy, and have been subtly trying to appeal to racists in recent years in an attempt to win Southern electoral votes. Obama is showing Clinton that this strategy is doomed to fail.

    I don't think McCain or Romney or any other Republican would make race an issue at all. The way to defeat Obama (and the only way for a Republican to do it) is on the issues.

    Triangulation is the key. This election is going to be about who can appeal to the center, and the center is the one political faction that can't really get a targeted benefit (because the costs are too apparent). The main thing the center fears is the nebulous idea of change for the sake of change.

    But I think that the Democrats are doing better this year than they have in the past. Gore and Kerry were basically heaven-sent as the only possible candidates Bush could win against.

  39. One thing to watch here is what K Street does over the next week. If all the GOP lobbyists and interest-group types rally behind (read: give money to) McCain, this thing is over. If they reserve judgment till after Super Tuesday, Romney has a sliver of a chance. (Though only a sliver. One big killer for him: Many of the forthcoming GOP contests are winner-take-all, meaning any sort of guerilla delegate-hunting strategy is off the table.)

    Vell, was wondering about that. Doesn't look good for poor ol' Mitt.

  40. Reagan had the advantage of having Nancy the Star Gazer at his side, Doug. Everyman needs one. Was reading this book about 6 great summits of the 20th century. When describing the Reagan visit with Gorby, it was noted how Nancy choreographed the event as to times so as to make it go well. Since day x was a bad day to fly, according to the charts, they flew the next day...that sort of thing. Seems to have worked ok, so who's to criticize. I don't think Ronnie really believed in it though, all good men learn to humor their wives, and enjoy doing so.

  41. McCain May Win; Romney Can't

    Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:31 AM

    By: Dick Morris and Eileen McGann Article Font Size

    Some may agree with Sen. John McCain’s positions on his myriad causes and enthusiasms. Others may embrace Mitt Romney’s record as governor and his experience in business. But one fact remains pre-eminent — McCain has a much better chance of winning the Presidential election than does former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

    If you feel confident, for some unknown reason, in a Republican victory, it is possible that either candidate could win. If you feel the nation is aching for a Democrat, as I do, then the importance of choosing the strongest candidate fades a bit.

    But any rational observer has to conclude that John McCain has a better shot of winning than Mitt Romney does.

    And, if a failure to win means the election of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the stakes are too high to ignore the issue of political practicality in making a choice.

    Perhaps because he is better known, the Arizona senator ties Hillary in polling match-ups while Romney trails by up to 12 points.

    But the real difference is not in their current polling performance, but in their future potential as November candidates.

    Because of his immigration position — the same one that has so fouled his relationship with the Republican right — McCain has a very good shot at winning a lot of Hispanic votes. While the Clintons have always had a genuine, if now faded, popularity with blacks, they have never been able to boast of a strong Latino base. Partially because of Bill’s pardon of the FALN terrorists, Hillary swept the Puerto Rican vote in New York state in 2000, but she has no special appeal to bring to a genuine battle for their support. Romney’s hard-line immigration position will leave Latinos cold.

    But McCain has a chance with them.

    The bitterness of the Democratic contest leaves open the possibility of massive defections from Hillary should she be the candidate, both among blacks and whites. There will be legions of disappointed young voters if Obama eventually loses to the race-baiting Clinton machine.

    McCain’s record offers much to attract these disaffected Democrats and independents. His ability to win independents where they are permitted to vote in Republican primaries attests to his appeal to swing voters.

    McCain’s co-sponsorship with Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., of legislation to prevent global warming, his opposition to torture or waterboarding in terrorist interrogations, his support for campaign finance reform, his backing for regulation of tobacco by the Food and Drug Administration, his suggestion of serious corporate governance reforms in the wake of the Enron scandal, and his crusade against earmarking by Congress all put him squarely in position to win disaffected moderates, Democrats, and independents.

    He clearly would dominate the national security issue as the Republican nominee in a way that Romney, without the relevant experience, could never do. Particularly in opposing a female liberal candidate amid a global war against terror that could heat up at any moment, this is no inconsiderable advantage.

    Hillary’s phony experience argument, which she could still maintain vis-à-vis Romney, would be hollow against McCain. And while Obama could point to a significant gap in their ages, Clinton, only 10 years his junior, could not effectively make age an issue against McCain.

    Obviously, McCain’s strong support for the war in Iraq would be a point of contention and vulnerability in a general election against Clinton. But his support of the surge, and its evident effectiveness in reducing combat casualties, might well give him the better of the argument in front of a moderate general electorate.

    It is only on the economy that McCain has a self-proclaimed (if inadvisably so) weakness. But Hillary would be overreaching dramatically if she claimed special expertise on this issue merely through the osmosis that she claims to be a feature of living in the White House. Her tax increase proposals, particularly her support for a higher capital gains tax, can be painted, accurately, as foreshadowing doom for the economy. Neither Hillary nor McCain can claim the economy as an especial preserve.

    Can Romney? Inexplicably, the McCain campaign has not spoken of the layoffs that must have accompanied Romney’s efforts to “turn around” failing companies. Hedge funds are notorious for cutting jobs and the Clintons will make Mitt eat every single one. McCain has no such vulnerability and, hopefully, will make Romney’s layoffs an issue before Super Tuesday.

    So McCain can win and Romney won’t. That’s the long and the short of it.

    McCain and Hillary, the coin seems to have tails on both sides.

  42. Personally, I think the old son of a bitch is crazy. I'll be voting for the Democrat.

  43. As for me, Rufus, I know I couldn't bring myself to pull the lever for Hillary. She just doesn't deserve it. Sitting out is an option, for me, or third party. Whatever happens, Hillary isn't getting my vote.

  44. Bob, I honestly think that "Energy" is, far, and away, the biggest problem we have coming at us. I think the Dems will be much better than the Pubs on this one. Especially, McCain.

    I'll be voting for the Dem.

  45. Sorry, that may be a thread killer.

  46. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., a leading co-sponsor of legislation before the Senate to require reductions in greenhouse gases, said the bear "may be to global warming what the canary in a coal mine has been to mining."

    But Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., an outspoken skeptic about climate change, called the polar bear "the pawn in a much larger game of chess." He maintained that environmentalists are using the bear to push for restrictions on greenhouse gases that could lead to higher energy prices.

    Inhofe argued that concern about the loss of sea ice was based on questionable computer modeling.

    Bear Protection

  47. You guys don't get it:
    He is a man of impeccable INTEGRITY!
    Ask Rudy! Bernie Kerik.

  48. You missed that one at BC, Cutler.
    It's worth revisiting, tho, for sure.

  49. Rudy + McCain for 15 min =
    15 min of warm fluff.

  50. "I don't think Ronnie really believed in it though, all good men learn to humor their wives, and enjoy doing so."
    Or they don't, and commit themselves to the longest war of all.

  51. Blitzer,
    "some conservatives are saying and endorsement by Rudy is like an endorsement by the NY Times."

  52. Arizona Senator John McCain last night triumphed in the Florida primary and earned front-runner status in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.


    New York Senator Hillary Clinton, 60, also claimed victory in Florida, winning the Democratic primary. Because the state violated national party rules by moving up its contest, no delegates to the Democratic nominating convention were at stake.


    Huckabee, 52, vowed to fight on. He told supporters in Missouri that he wasn't discouraged by the results in Florida.

    Edge for 2/5

  53. When do you bless us w/your prediction, Sam?

  54. On the Democratic side, Edwards, the former North Carolina senator and 2004 running mate to presidential candidate John Kerry, stepped aside without endorsing either of the remaining candidates, Illinois Sen. Barrack Obama or New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. The Associated Press reported that Edwards did say he spoke with both candidates who indicated they would make ending poverty — one of Edwards’ main causes — central parts of their campaigns moving forward.

    “It’s time for me to step aside so that history can blaze its path,” said Edwards with his wife Elizabeth and his three children at his side. “Our Democratic Party will make history.

    We will be strong, we will be unified and, with a little backbone, we will take back the White House.”

    Bowing Out

  55. From "The Soviet-Afghan War":

    "However, the general staff planners failed to note that Afghanistan was involved in a civil war and that a coup de main would only seize control of the central government, not the countryside...the Soviet 1979 CHristmas Eve invasion was masterfully planned and well executed. The Soviets seized the government, killed the president, and installed their own man in his place. Aparently, the Soviet plan was to stabilize the situation, strengthen the army, and then withdraw the bulk of Soviet forces within three years. The Soviet General Staff intended to leave all fighting to the armed forces of the DRA. However, Afghanistan was in full rebellion, the demoralized DRA army was unable to cope, and the probability of a defeat following a Soviet withdrawal haunted the Soviet Politburo. Invasion and overthrow of the government proved the easy part. Now the Soviet 40th Army found itself drawn into fighting hundreds of guerilla groups throughout the country. The 40th Army's instincts were to fight the war that the had trained for, using large-scale, high-tempo operations. But the war was actually fought at the low end of the tactical spectrum where platoon leaders tried to find and fight small indigenous forces that woudl stand and fight only when teh terrain and circumstances were to their advantage."


    FWIW, for all his quirks, I'm a -big- fan of John Derbyshire. Not a pack type, good writer, old-school British perspective, ableit uttlerly depressing at times.

    Doug, you might like his article "Libertarianism in one state."

  56. Correct, trish. I'd have voted for Rudy, the best pragmatic choice I saw. From afar, those that saw him up close, rejected his leadership.

    McCain, I know him up close and personal, never would vote for him. Rudy's endorsement his version of pragmatism, not mine.

    I'll vote for the Librarian, looks like today.

    Billary would not get my vote.
    Obama has the most style, but would lead in a direction I oppose.

    Style being all an effective leader has, the motivational tool that moves masses. That changes minds, that gets the "other" to compromise. That's Style.

    Obama has it, but the substance behind it, I oppose.

    Notice, doug, you didn't point to the laws Reagan championed. Tax cuts he pushed through, but the country was in the dumps, he used his mandate for those, spent his political capitial, wisely.

    Mostly you pointed to his style, Moring in America. He made folks feel good, it got him elected. His ability to voice a position, to articulate his values.
    That, amigo, is style. He got Tip O'Neil to go along, to compromise. Not with power, not by being a bully, but with style.

    Obama has the same trait, style.
    Totally wrong substance, though.
    And he won't have to compromise, he'll have the Congress.

    McCain has less style than a turd, won't have a coattail to hang a vote on. Won't have the Congress in '09.

  57. Thread at the BC, from a Marine in Anbar ...

    States without equivication, the "War" is not with Islam.

    The allies are all Islamic, to the core, and allies to the Corps


    But what would a Marine in Anbar know, compared to a civilian in Ohio.

  58. “Pastors are pushing this movement forward,” Obama said of his campaign, “and I need each and every one of you in this fight.”

    He asked the audience to imagine what it would mean for the country to see him with his hand on the Bible, taking the presidential oath of office.

    “Our children will look at themselves differently and their possibilities differently. They’ll look at each other differently,” he said.

    Clinton Will Turn Back the Clock

  59. 'Rat,
    He also states that what is applicable in Iraq may not be elsewhere, citing Pakistan.
    From Fallujah [Noah Pollak]

    My pal Michael Totten has another report from Iraq up on his blog, and as usual it's an excellent combination of narrative, analysis, and photography. This anecdote is about an Iraqi police officer working with the Marines:

    “His family was killed by Al Qaeda,” a Marine added helpfully. “They were killed because he's a police officer.”
    The Iraqi Police officer nodded.
    “He went out all by himself and killed the people who did it,” the Marine said.
    The officer nodded again.
    Read it all here and feel free to hit the man's tip jar to support his future travels.

  60. Reagan had style, but he didn't use it to promote just anything, consistently explaining conservative truths and truths about human nature along the way.
    As you point out, Obama has style, but the substance is either lacking or antithetical to what we want.

  61. The S-Word [Mark R. Levin]
    "We've got to stop the spending."

    How about stopping the regulating, mandating, and taxing? They impose costs too, Senator?
    01/30 08:39 PM

    Yeah, Senator, That's the Problem [Andy McCarthy]

    McCain: "There are some greedy people on Wall Street who need to be punished."
    Is he our guy, or what?

  62. "States without equivication, the "War" is not with Islam. The allies are all Islamic, to the core,.."


    I think this is where you fail to understand. The call against Islam the religion is a correct call.

    You say Israel is a sectarian State, when it is not. Israel is a secular state that is based on Hebrew culture. The same a applies to parts of Iraq. These Iraqis have ties to Arabic Islamic culture but are probably disengaged in their religious devotion to Allah.

    If we look at me as an example, I dislike the ritualism of Judaism the religion, yet I'm a Jewish nationalist. If synagogues and rabbis ceased to exist, it wouldn't bother me in the least, and I'd probably be glad for it.

    The problem is, that similarly to Judaism, Islam mixes culture and religion. But once that's clearly understood, a separation can be made. A separation must be made. And we should insist on that.

    Islam is the problem. That soldier is just plain wrong.

  63. Personally, I think the old son of a bitch is crazy. I'll be voting for the Democrat.--rufus

    I've heard that from several sources, Larry Sabato says it fairly often for example, and I seem to recall it was part of the fake anti-McCain push poll in South Carolina in 2000.

    But I don't really see it. Are there instances where McCain has publicly demonstrated this craziness? Things I can check out?

  64. Style being all an effective leader has, the motivational tool that moves masses. That changes minds, that gets the "other" to compromise. That's Style.--desert rat

    That is the thing I most fear in a President.

    I want a President who can only get things done because he finds a way to balance competing interests, not because a cult arises around his personality.

    There have been lots of effective leaders who did not have style. President Bush has no style, yet he has gotten a lot accomplished.

    Clinton had lots of style, but accomplished much less, and spent his last years in office obsessed with finding something he could claim as a legacy.

    A good leader is not someone who has power because of his personality. A good leader is someone who has power because it is the interests of others for him to have that power.

    Being President is not like being a CEO. The job of a CEO is to define the corporate culture in order to please a defined market. I don't think US culture should be defined by the President.

  65. He got Tip O'Neil to go along, to compromise. Not with power, not by being a bully, but with style.--desert rat

    Reagan got Tip O'Neill to go along by making a deal with him. O'Neill thought Reagan was a blundering idiot.

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