Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Archive for June 5th, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Wins Third Republican Debate

Posted by Mike on June 5, 2007

The following is this undecided conservative’s thoughts on tonight’s Republican debate.

All of the frontrunners performed well in tonight’s Republican debate on CNN. The same can be said of two lower-tier candidates. Of the ten ten candidates on stage, it’s clear that nine are well-qualified to be Commander in Chief of the U.S. military. If I had to choose a winner though, it would be a candidate I am not voting for in the primary, Rudy Giuliani. The obvious loser in this debate was Wolf Blitzer, and by association, CNN. (aka the Clinton News Network).

THE FRONTRUNNERS

RUDY GIULIANI

Rudy Giuliani delivered the strongest performance this evening. He delivered the strongest verbal attacks against two institutions which are rotten to the core, the Democrat Party and the mainstream media. He accused the Democrats of being in a 1990s mindset in fighting terrorism, scolding them for their weakness on Iran and inability to even utter the words “Islamic fascism.” Later on in the debate, he took Wolf Blitzer to the woodshed by challenging him to report any good news General Petraeus delvers as enthusiastically as he covers negative aspects of the war. He also forcefully articulated that he realizes the War on Terror is not merely a bumper sticker slogan and did so with specificity. Giuliani’s strong record and vision on national security is why he is even in this race. That came through tonight, especially when he defended the decision to take out Saddam Hussein.

Giuliani was also impressive on domestic issues, especially on immigration, taxes and spending. He slammed the Democrats for their commitment to socialized medicine and articulated his concern that we continue a pro-growth economic policy.

The hiccup in Giuliani’s performance came when he tried to respond to a Catholic Bishop’s criticism of his position on abortion. As he began his pro-choice response, lightning struck. Although this Godsmack was quite amusing, it will not hurt his chances at all. Those who abhor the Mayor’s position on this issue (myself included) are not voting for him anyway. Rudy lost that battle a long time ago. He is now fighting for other parts of the party. Those parts of the party will appreciate what they heard tonight.

JOHN MCCAIN

John McCain did much better than I expected. He was strong on the Iraq war and was clear about the consequences of failure. He rejected She Who Must Not Be Named’s allegation that Iraq is “Bush’s War,” a sentiment shared by many military families. He also admitted that like SWMNBN, he did not read the National Intelligence Estimate before his war vote, explaining that he received the information from other sources. I accept that explanation from both the Democrats and Republicans who have offered it.

McCain’s immigration answers were weak, but I expected stronger responses from the others. I think the war issue and absurdity of Wolf Blitzer’s questions may have overshadowed this issue which otherwise would have hurt McCain tonight.

MITT ROMNEY

Like McCain, Mitt Romney delivered a strong performance. Right out of the gate, he informed Wolf Blitzer that his question was flawed by explaining to the petty little reporter that if we knew then what we know now, it would have meant that inspectors would have certified a lack of WMDs. Therefore, the decision to go to war would have been unnecessary. He later explained that foreign policy requires a President to look at the big picture. According to Romney, rogue nations are currently testing American resolve. Rather than looking at each spot in a vacuum, an overall policy of strength and resolve is required. Strong answer.

Romney also gave strong answers on domestic issues. He supported a comprehensive energy policy which includes alternative energy research and domestic drilling. He criticized McCain-Kennedy for the simple unfairness of allowing those who broke the law to stay. He also pointed the fallacy of the unlimited z-visa. When pressed for his plan, he stated the obvious: enforce the law. I think he got away with one on his “free market” health care plan though.

It should also be noted that Romney scored some points when he rejected Blitzer’s premise that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the model for Republican success. Romney explained that Reagan is a better model. Optimism coupled with conservatism is a message that can win anywhere, even in Massachusetts. Sorry Wolf.

SECOND-TIER WINNERS

Two second-tier candidates stood out tonight.

MIKE HUCKABEE

Once again, Mike Huckabee delivered a memorable one-liner, asking the nation to give Hope, Arkansas a second chance. He also outlined his respect for life at all stages, reiterating his comparison of our respect for life with the Islamofascists respect for death. Also enjoyable was his schooling of Wolf Blitzer’ for asking an evolution question. When asked about his view on the topic, Huckabee questioned the appropriateness of the question and then delivered an inspiring defense of his faith. This was Huckabee’s second consecutive strong performance.

DUNCAN HUNTER

The other second-tier winner was Duncan Hunter. When his own service is coupled with his son who served in Iraq, Hunter’s military credentials are clear. In addition, his answers to Wolf’s questions were both correct and detailed. Duncan Hunter clearly believes in a policy of peace through strength. I appreciated his condemnation of the “Kennedy wing of the Republican Party.” This guy oozes gravitas. I stand by my hope that this man will be our VP nominee.

THE OTHERS

Most of the other candidates would be qualified as Commander in Chief but I think it’ time for some of them to drop out. Let’s take them one at a time.

Jim Gilmore: He stuck with his “no one else is conservative” theme despite his own questionable position on when life begins.

Tommy Thompson: He’s right. He has a good record on taxes and spending but he doesn’t come across very well.

Tom Tancredo: He’s excellent on illegal immigration but he is starting to sound like a “one trick pony.” His proposed “legal immigration” timeout is food for thought but it would never pass.

Sam Brownback: Solid on life issues as always, Brownback made it clear that our nominee should be pro-life. At one point he even referred to St. Anselm. I liked that. Supporting Ted Kennedy and John McCain’s amnesty won’t help much though.

Ron Paul: What is there to say about Ron Paul? He actually had a good point regarding handouts to illegal immigrants but this guy is running in the wrong primary. Like I said before, this hippie crap is getting a bit old. If liberals can have a mole on the Republican stage, then I demand that Bob Dornan be allowed to participate in the next Democrat debate.

WOLF BLITZER

Wolf Blitzer actually made MSNBC look professional, which is no small accomplishment. Not only were the candidates seated according to their perceived viability, most questions were directed toward those CNN perceived to be most viable. I’m not normally one to complement Chris Dodd, but he deserves some credit for pointing out the disparity on his campaign website. Every time there was a question, a frontrunner was allowed to answer and the lower-tier candidate had to answer “quickly.”

Also, this was a Republican debate. We don’t really care what Mike Huckabee’s theological views on creation are. We are also uninterested in any Republican who would govern like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Finally, I think Blitzer should answer Rudy’s challenge. If Petraeus comes back with good news, will that be treated with the same enthusiastic coverage that failure receives?

A DEEPER BENCH

What a contrast to the Democrats. There were nine serious people on stage tonight and they all realize the gravity of the challenges facing our country today, especially the war on terror. The nine serious candidates were straightforward in acknowledging the stakes and clearly possess the wisdom and courage to lead our nation. Any of the nine would make a better President than anything the Democrats could offer.

Reuters Photo

UPDATE: A transcript of tonight’s debate may be found here.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 10 Comments »

CNN Debate Seating

Posted by Mike on June 5, 2007

I don’t think CNN sat the Presidential candidates randomly. When the Democrats embarrassed themselves the other night, Obama and She Who Must Not Be Named were placed in the center, with Edwards and Richardson beside them. Tonight, McCain and Rudy are in the center with Romney beside them. In both instances, the “fringe candidates” are seated at opposite ends.

UPDATE: For my thoughts on tonight’s debate, click here or just look at the post above this one.

Reuters Photos

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

What A Strange Talking Point

Posted by Mike on June 5, 2007

James Carville and Paul Begala have been using a strange talking point in recent days.  Carville framed it in terms of a civics lesson.  What he wanted young people to do was watch the Democrat debate and count the number of times George W. Bush is mentioned.  Then he wanted them to watch the Republican debate and do the same.  This is supposedly proof that the Democrats will win.   Nice theory but he missed a step.

I think those same young people need to count like Carville said but then they need to look at their ballots when they vote and count the number of times George W. Bush is mentioned on the ballot.  The answer is zero.  Bush isn’t running.  His Vice President isn’t running.  No one in his administration is running.  Go ahead Democrats.  Run against George Bush.  Our nominee will run against you.  I think the Democrats are in for a surprise.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Why Comprehensive Immigration Reform Won’t Work

Posted by Ryan on June 5, 2007

Today, the Senate is reaching a very important phase of the debate over comprehensive immigration reform.  Republicans who went home and actually listened to their constituents are ready to sabotage the Kennedy-Kyl “grand bargain”.  But, these efforts, even if passed, won’t work. 

Newt Gingrich spelled out the details last year in this National Review Online article, when the illegals were on the streets demanding that we (the law-abiding, taxpaying natives) cater to them and let them stay, and facilitate their children and flip the bill for their emergency room visits and embrace their willingness to become a non-monitored and potentially dangerous sub-class in our society. 

Newt’s basic premise over the last year has been simple and poll-tested:  the government is incapable of enforcing the current laws, so any new laws that require even more monitoring and stages of earned citizenship will ultimately not work either.  His argument was convincing in April 2006 and is very relevant today as Congress debates this new round of amnesty.   It’s the same exact principle as trying to pass new gun laws: 20,000 and 1 guns laws aren’t going to matter if no one bothers to enforce the laws already on the books! 

Newt’s solution is also simple:  dump the comprehensive reform and take small consensus steps to bandage the wound at the border, end the economic incentives for them to come here and prosper illegally, and force all new immigrants to assimilate by learning the language and basic civics.  This is our country, remember?

Posted in Culture, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Democrats Wear Faith on their Sleeves

Posted by Mike on June 5, 2007

When President Bush speaks about his faith, Democrats accuse him of wearing it on his sleeve and imposing his views upon everyone else. When Democrats speak about faith, its a source of strength which keeps them grounded. I think the Democrats need to clarify their position. Is it legitimate for candidates to address their faith or not?

Discussion of personal faith is perfectly legitimate in my view.  Faith used as an argument itself in support of a particular policy however can seem a little weird however.  Democrats often accuse Republicans of doing just that. According to them, President Bush has some sort of Messianic complex which caused him to believe that God told him to invade Iraq. As is often the case with Democrats however, reality is quite different than what flies out of their mouths. Faith in God is not the equivalent of “God made me do it.” But while we’re on the subject, wasn’t it John Kerry who claimed that his faith led him to his position on environmental policies? Wasn’t it Barack Obama who cited faith as a reason for his policy on CEO pay? Isn’t it the Democrats who now think they can sell their agenda by uttering the name “Jesus” before their spiel on redistributing wealth? Like I said, they need to clarify their position on religion in politics.

I find it refreshing when politicians, Republican or Democrat, are people of faith. Directly tying that faith to policy is another issue, but since the Democrats are doing just that I think they beg the question. What does Jesus think about their abortion policy?

Posted in Politics, Religion | 1 Comment »