Axis of Right

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

Archive for August 23rd, 2007

California Dreamin’!

Posted by Ryan on August 23, 2007

The few vocal Republicans in the State of California have gotten together over the last month or so with a brilliant idea to mess with the Democrat monopoly in their state.  The 1986 Amnesty Act virtually guaranteed a voting bloc of non-English speaking, socialist-leaning immigrants that will make California virtually impossible for Republicans to win for a while.  As its population grows, so does its percentage of the Electoral College, now up to 55, which is 9.8% of the total, or 20.4% of a candidate’s goal to the magic number of 270. 

So, to make their state competitive and actually draw Presidential candidates to campaign in California, Republicans have proposed a ballot initiative that would propotionately divide the state’s Electoral Votes by district, just like both Maine and Nebraska do.  It’s a bold move, and completely constitutional since a state has the right to choose the manner in which their Electoral Votes are divided.  Colorado debated this concept too in 2004, but was rejected last year.  If this would happen in California, then around 20 Congressional districts that consistently vote Republican would not go to the Dems, but the Republican candidate!  Had Bush won these districts in 2004, he wouldn’t have had to worry about Ohio, and Kerry would have bailed election night, rather than symbolically the next day.

48 states have a winner-take-all system.  With some people incessantly complaining about the Electoral College, California’s passage of this referendum, should the Republicans be successful, would undoubtedly lead other large states to do the same.  However, I’m not sure where this will end up.  Letting independents vote in primaries was designed to help Republicans back in the 1980s, but has since led to “independents” crashing the polls in order to select some other party’s nominee (read: McCain 2000).  I like the Electoral College– it forces candidates to run national, not sectional, campaigns and continues the tradition of state sovereignty, since the President is constitutionally the President of the states, then the people.  California Republicans are being savvy here and the initiative is likely to get more press as time goes on. map.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Mitt Romney’s Real Flip-Flop Problem

Posted by Mike on August 23, 2007

I’ve complained for months that liberals and certain Republicans tend to exaggerate when portraying Mitt Romney as a serial flip-flopper because the former Massachusetts Governor is not as guilty as his opponents would have us believe. Unfortunately, these exaggerations usually carry a badge of credibility. For that, Romney has no one to blame but himself.

Although he has not waffled on nearly as many issues as his opponents claim, it is undeniable that Romney has been on both sides of the abortion issue. To make matters worse, his position du jour always happens to coincide with the constituency he needs to win over. When he ran for Governor in pro-abortion Massachusetts, he supported Roe v. Wade. Now he claims to be pro-life at the precise moment he is running for the Republican Presidential nomination. Who can blame his opponents for accusing him of having a “Road to Des Moines” conversion?

Romney’s most recent gaffe is emblematic of his problem. In describing his new pro-life perspective, Romney explained that he supports a constitutional amendment protecting the unborn. A few weeks earlier however, he explained that the issue of abortion should be decided on a state-by-state basis. Although these statements seem contradictory, a consistent pro-life politician could credibly and easily explain away this poorly-worded statement. When Roe is eventually overturned, the abortion issue will become a state issue by default. Some states will protect the unborn and others will not. Although not the ideal situation, it would nevertheless be an improvement because more unborn children will protected than under current “law.” At that point, a Constitutional amendment would be the next step in the process. A consistently pro-life politician could credibly offer this explanation.

For Romney this is not so easy. The subtle consistency in Romney’s two statements will appear to many as opportunistic. When the seeming inconsistency of Romney’s recent statements is coupled with Romney’s past vacillation, it becomes increasingly clear that the Governor still has a problem.

I appreciate that Romney has taken a Reagan and George H.W. Bush-style conversion on this issue. He even seems to understand that respecting embryonic stem cells is an essential component of a pro-life position. However, given Romney’s past, it is all too easy for his opponents to jump on statements like these. This is important for Republican voters to keep in mind.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

Bush’s Vietnam Angle

Posted by Ryan on August 23, 2007

Rove leaving… Cheney in an undisclosed location… It would seem that Dubya going in front of a camera would be nothing the Left would care about.  However, Bush’s VFW speech yesterday did something that the Left simply did not anticipate:  among other things, Bush compared Iraq to Vietnam.  What?  Is this a betrayal of those who’ve supported him and made a huge effort to demonstrate the differences between those two conflicts?

Alas, no!  Bush didn’t say Iraq is Vietnam the way the Left sees it (an unwinnable quagmire with clear parallels between 1968 and every moment since 2003), he spoke of the consequences of leaving a conflict prematurely because of political pressure to set artificial dealines and withdrawal schedules.  Words like “re-education camps,” “boat people” and “killing fields” were those introduced into our vocabulary after we left Vietnam when we refused to fund the South after the North predictably broke the treaty, despite our diplomatic commitments.  Thanks, Democrat Congress.  Also, he said the extremists we face in the Mideast are as sinister and evil as those we’ve faced in past wars.  The long-term impact of a successful Iraq will be felt long after Bush leaves the White House.  History is on Bush’s side in this view.

This irks the Left two-fold:  it shows Bush in his element– in front of veterans speaking about the ideals of fighting this war; and it demonstrates that the Left’s cut-and-run strategy has been clearly tried before with horrible results.

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, The Iraq Front | Leave a Comment »