Axis of Right

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

Archive for January, 2008

Reagan Takes McCain to the Woodshed

Posted by Mike on January 31, 2008

Michael Reagan that is. It seems that the 20th Century’s greatest President’s son is not about to join Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Joe Lieberman on the John McCain’s bandwagon. Like many conservatives, Reagan is having a hard time overlooking the maverick’s attitude.

I’m not as hard on McCain as many other conservatives. Sure, he’s dead wrong on too many important issue, but he’s also so-so on other issues and pretty decent on others. he isn’t the perfect candidate or even a good one, but he isn’t She Who Must Not Be Named either. That said, I’ve also never denied that McCain has a habit of giving the base the finger and has no business leading our once-great party. After reading Reagan’s latest column, however, I realize that my middle finger analogy was an understatement.

Given our current situation, I think our party should simply take a chance on Mitt and see what happens.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Republican Debate: McCain v. the Mitt

Posted by Ryan on January 31, 2008

Last night the four remaining Republicans vying for the nomination debated at the Reagan Presidential Library.  I’ll be honest, I was rooting for Mitt and really believed that he won on the substance, issues, and aura. 

One of the first things I noticed was that while Mitt was answering the first question Anderson Cooper asked him about he economy, McCain gave a silent yawn (that would have crushed Bush 41 (remember the watch fiasco?) or even Reagan (with the age-thing in 1984) in the MSM).  When McCain responded Mitt’s take on the question, he seemed like a grumpy old man who wanted to wrap this up and go to bed, not lead the free world.  With all the big RINO endorsements lined up, McCain’s sense of inevitability was on display and it was irksome to watch.  I’m not alone in feeling that way.  Since McCain has little money, the MSM needs to give him all sorts of positive press in the meantime.  I also blame Fox News for shilling for McCain, just watch Special Report with Brit Hume anytime this week to see for yourself.

Ron Paul related everything to the issue in which he’s absolutely wrong: our role in the world and national security.  Huckleberry Mike didn’t mess up, but his quips made him seem like comic relief between the substance one really wanted to hear: how were McCain and Romney going to tangle on the next issue.

I thought Mitt sounded better, looked better, and demonstrated that given who we have left, he’s the best chance to let conservatism have a voice in our party in the Fall.  Frank Luntz’s Republican focus group on Fox thought that Romney won the debate by a significant plurality, with McCain getting two or three hands.  Yet, this dynamic has not played out with the electorate, which could make Super Tuesday, Super Disappointing to conservatives who are feeling increasingly marginalized.

AP photo.

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Getting Closer to Bin Laden

Posted by Ryan on January 31, 2008

Sources from various Islamist websites are admitting that al Qaeda’s #3 bad guy, Abu Laith al-Libi, was killed. He was likely killed by an American drone in Waziristan region of Pakistan.

Not bad!

This is one aspect of the Bush Administration that unfortunately never gets much play.

Posted in War on Terror | Leave a Comment »

Rudy Endorses McCain

Posted by Ryan on January 30, 2008

… and after Mitt’s loss last night I threw up a little in my mouth witnessing the endorsement take place in front of the words “Ronald Reagan.” 

This gives McCain some momentum going into tonight’s debate and with last night’s victory in Florida, cements his early stage front-runnner status at this point in my opinion.

Rudy is a big name that didn’t garner many votes, so who knows the real impact of his endorsement just a few minutes ago.  He was too liberal on social issues and was not going to get my vote on Super Tuesday.  Rumors are also flying around that the Governator is going to endorse McCain as early as tomorrow.  Ah-nold is a notorious RINO.

That’s the problem with McCain:  he’d get a lot of moderate-liberal votes.  He’d perpetuate that unfortunate part of the Washington game: in order to placate the people who voted for him, he’d be obliged to govern liberally, knowing that future Republican success would rely on his popularity, despite the numerous anti-conservative positions he’ll take.  Deep down I think McCain despises our party for the beating Bush gave him in 2000.  I’ve also never believed that he’s an altogether stable person either.

He’s pro-life, sure, but he’s also pro-amnesty, anti-Gitmo/enhanced interrogation techniques, “progressive” on taxes, anti-free speech, and has prided himself as a man who has obstructed either a Republican President and/or Congress for most of the last decade.

Now he wants to lead the party.  Like Bush in 2000: he was electable, so we overlooked his big-spending tendencies to our dismay and disgust.  I see nothing different happening with Gollum/McCain here.  He can beat the She-Witch, but what are we going to get?  Some scoff at Mitt for changing his positions every few minutes and pandering a little too much.  On average, we’d end up with better results electing him than with McCain– we know where McCain has been on the issues of the day and in this person’s opinion, McCain is not a good Republican.

Pic from Booker Rising Blog.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

John Edwards Drops the Mirror

Posted by Ryan on January 30, 2008

He finally got the memo:  John Edwards is not Presidential material and for the second time in five years he realizes it.  It’ll be interesting to see who he endorses in the general now that he’s out six days before Super Tuesday and a day before a high-profile CNN Debate.  Like Giuliani (who hasn’t officially jumped as of this posting), I don’t understand the problem with waiting seven days before dropping out, given that Edwards is a nationally known candidate with 56 delegates.

But, for over a month it was just a matter of time before Polly Prissy Pants, the Breck Girl, John Edwards bowed out.  Now he has finally done it, but watch out!  He’s only “suspended” his campaign…

Huffington Post pic.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Rudy Giuliani’s Good Strategy

Posted by Mike on January 30, 2008

Rudy Giuliani made the right decision when he decided to skip Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to focus on Florida. The fact that his strategy was unsuccessful does not change the fact that the alternative would have been even more difficult to pull off.

At this moment, the Republican Party is not a conservative party; however, it is still a pro-life party. Any pro-choice candidate faces an uphill climb in a Republican primary. This is especially true in Iowa and South Carolina and generally true in New Hampshire. Rudy had no chance of winning any of these states. If he had campaigned heavily in these states, he certainly would have lost and resulting negative media attention and lost momentum would have killed his candidacy before it even reached the Sunshine State.

That’s not to say he had much of a chance in Florida either, but focusing his attention there was at least a plausible strategy. Unlike Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Florida is home to a large number of New York transplants who hold the Mayor in high regard. These voters, coupled with what Rudy hoped would be a split vote among a large field (similar to the large field in the earlier states) gave Rudy his only chance, small as it may have been, to win. It did not work, but that does not mean it was the wrong strategy.

If a mediocre football team with no passing game focuses on the run and still manages to lose to the New England Patriots, chances are, the strategy was not the reason for losing. OK, that’s a bad hypothetical because the Patriots cheat, but the point still stands. A pro-choice Republican lost in a pro-life party. It wasn’t the strategy that killed his chances. Pun intended.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

One Take on the State of the Union Address

Posted by Ryan on January 29, 2008

I watched President Bush’s final State of the Union Address last night and reflected on the seven full years of the Bush Presidency, watching with slight trepidation about who might be giving this address next year. 

It was sad to see San Fran Nan behind him in the Speaker’s Chair– frumpy ol’ Dennis Hastert next to Dick Cheney used to make a picturesque backdrop of the ol’ days of Republican stewardship.  Last night, like last year, the Botox Bitty was carefully selecting moments, giving cues to Dems, as to when they should applaud.  Yet, although the Dems joined the ovations many times, they sat silently when Bush said:

“Last month, Osama bin Laden released a tape in which he railed against Iraqi tribal leaders who have turned on al Qaeda and admitted that coalition forces are growing stronger in Iraq. Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaeda is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated.”

(Crickets on the left side of the hall; hoots, hollers, and ovations from the right.  Apparently, Republicans like the idea of al Qaeda in Iraq being “defeated.”)

This may seem trivial, but in politics everything matters and has meaning.  Thusly, it was sad to see Bush wearing a blue tie last night.  Like last year it was a sign of weakness and defeat, or that “new tone” nonsense rearing its ugly head once again.  I felt the same way this year.  This is not a great harbinger. 

Also, he gave his final nod to people the First Ladies’ Box to Bob Dole and Donna Shalala.  It was nice to see Bob again.

What I liked was how he looked right at the Dems when he criticized Congress and their misbehavior in regards to funding the troops or about their love of earmarks.  Bush even sounded conservative on spending, the border fence, Iraq and the broader War on Terror.  That was the Bush we all wish we had during those years of Republican dominance.  Alas, we got what we voted for in 2000: a big-spending Republican who’s good on national security.  Also, too many uses of the word “empower” in regards to the relationship between the government and the people– that’s not sitting too well with me. 

So, George has one last year to make a difference, legacy-build, and wrap up what the history books will say about his impact on America from 2001-2009.  The speech was nostalgic, and Bush sensed that too.  The Supreme Court showed up every year he gave the speech– that’s more than Bill Clinton can say.  Bush has a year to mend fences with the base, while creating an environment where he at least does not hurt our nominee this year.

AP photo.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Democrat Party in Chaos

Posted by Sal on January 29, 2008

Much has been written on this page and others about the state of the Republican party, but little attention is being paid to the possible crumbling of the Democrat coalition that has kept the Democrat Party in contention for the past 30 years.  She Who Must Not Be Named and her supporters have done more to potentially destroy the Democrat coalition than anyone else in recent memory. 

First, SWMNBN and her husband have pushed racial politics into the forefront of first presidential race where an African American actually has a shot at getting a nomination of a major party.  SWMNBN and her husband are trying to pit one minorty (blacks) against another (Hispanics).  Meanwhile, the National Organization for Women (NOW), a supporter of SWMNBN, is accusing anyone who attacks her as engaging in a “psychological gang-bang“.  In addition, they accused Ted Kennedy of betraying woman with his support of Obama (funny how they never felt that he betrayed women before). 

It is clear that the factions that make up the Democrat party are unraveling and at war with each other.  If SWMNBN gets the nomination (shudder), she would be smart to try to heal the work she has done by choosing Obama as her running mate.  However, that in and of itself is not a sure thing.  Obama may refuse, and the coalition may still be torn.  Whatever the problems of Republicans right now, Democrats have their own, and they may be worse. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

John McCain: Hypocrite?

Posted by Ryan on January 28, 2008

Looks like Gollum-McCain is back!

Back in 2000, McCain defeated Dubya in New Hampshire leading some to think that Bush delved too deeply into the gutter in order to win South Carolina.  McCain was incensed and subsequently obstructed Bush at every opportunity.  Remember when McCain had talks with Tom Daschle back in 2001 about possibly caucusing with the Dems? How about the rumors of McCain running with John “F’in” Kerry back in 2004, serving as both Veep and Secretary of Defense in a Kerry Administration, or even teaming up in 2008?

Now, he’s using the same negative smear tactics he accused Bush of back in 2000 on Mitt Romney in Florida, with the factually inaccurate charge that Romney supported a timeline for troop withdrawal before the Surge had a chance to work.  Distorting the truth less than a week before an election in order to “October Surprise” your opponent is political cowardice that McCain should try to stay above.  So much for all the “Straight-Talk.” 

While the MSM actually calls McCain out on this, he and Romney traded barbs today on the level of each other’s apparent liberalism.  It still remains to be seen if McCain’s false charges will do irreversible damage to Romney’s chances of winning in Florida.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Romano Prodi Resigns; Bring Back Berlusconi!

Posted by Mike on January 27, 2008

Romano Prodi’s left-wing governing coalition has revived the Italian tradition of collapsing governments after losing a vote of confidence and resumed his hobby of resigning as Prime Minsiter.  Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, leading in the opinion polls, is now demanding a snap election. Although President Napolitano wants to avoid holding an election for a while, I hope they call one. Few world leaders were as pro-America in the middle part of this decade (the late 2000s came pretty quickly, no?) as Silvio Berlusconi.

Posted in Europe, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated

Posted by Mike on January 27, 2008

Despite the Iowa caucuses, and the South Carolina primary, and the recent string of high-profile endorsements, I still believe that She Who Must Not Be Named will win the Democrat nomination. If this unfortunate event occurs, the witch will have no choice but select Barack Obama as her running mate. Mark Levin over at the Corner has already hinted at the reason why.

Democrat candidates for President routinely capture about 90 percent of the black vote, regardless of whether they win or lose. For this reason, Democrats often have trouble when black voter is lower than normal. Given the haphazard way SWMNBN and her husband have handled the race issue in this campaign, it is not difficult to foresee the same black voters who were rightly excited about the possibility of the first black President (sorry Bill) shunning the candidate who used questionable tactics against that candidate, especially if she compounds the problem by taking a pass on Obama when it comes time to fill the bottom of the ticket. On the other hand, selecting Obama would probably unify their party and energize one of its key demographics.

It would be act of colossal political stupidity for SWMNBN to select anyone other than Barack Obama as her running mate. Whether Obama would accept the nod after being the treated the way he has in the past month or so is another matter. Hopefully the former First Family’s tactics vis-a-vis Obama will keep ’em separated.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Update: William Hague Video

Posted by Mike on January 27, 2008

I posted this a few days ago but I know some of you had trouble with the Sky video so here is the Youtube version.

Youtube video Hat tip: RedState

Posted in UK Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Caroline Kennedy Supports Obama

Posted by Ryan on January 27, 2008

This analogy is getting tiresome. 

Back in 1960, JFK is said to have inspired an entire youth generation to get involved in public service and made them believe that everyone mattered and had the power to change the world.  Sounds a lot like what Jesus Christ does to people, but to Libs JFK is close enough.

So, after Barry’s big win yesterday JFK’s only surviving child, Caroline has endorsed O’Bama because, in short, like her father he preaches hope and inspires the youth (so does the Pope, by the way, but no Lib’s going to endorse Benedict for anything).  No President she remembers has inspired Caroline the way that O’Bama would, so turning O’Bama into the new JFK, Caroline lends him her support.

I hope the War on Terror ends.  I hope we’ll end our dependence on foreign oil.  I hope the economy will get better. I hope my taxes won’t go up.  I hope SWMNBN won’t win.  I hope Social Security will be there for us in a better, more solvent form.  I hope for world peace and hover cars that run on good-will and pixie sticks.

Yet how far can “hope” alone get you? 

Caroline speaks about the youth generation as needing someone to give them hope.  I’m a member of Gen X.  It’s not that simple to us.  Good feelings and intentions only get you so far.  We’re a cynical group because our politicians and leaders consistently let us down (most of whom are part of Caroline’s own Boom Generation by the way).  My generation requires action, not words.  We require substance, not fluff.  We require a candidate who is not just going to give us “hope” but produce actual results.  We are sick of the sweet-talkers and the word-bumblers.  To quote Nike’s ad department “Just Do It,” enough talk. 

O’Bama will get ripped to shreds against any Republican who can articulate specifics on achieving goals in a Republican way.  Suddenly, O’Bama’s smooth-talk and hope-speech turns into defensive, vague, Great Society/Big Government liberalism.  Plus, though socially liberal and not very popular until two months before he died, JFK cut taxes and was strong on defense.  Sorry Barry, you’re no JFK.

Pic from Biography.com.

Posted in Culture, Election 2008, Politics | 3 Comments »

South Carolina Part II: the Dems Roll In

Posted by Ryan on January 26, 2008

South Carolina is another important moment in this election campaign.  This time the Dems have a decision to make:  is O’Bama’s “fairy tale*” going to end or is She Who Must Not Be Named going to get one step closer to her coronation?

Former Clinton adviser Dick Morris assumes that BJ wants an O’Bama win in SC to make it seem as if only blacks will vote for Barry, thereby pushing the white vote to SWMNBN.  Notice how hard O’Bama tries to keep race out of this battle, but BJ and the MSM are playing that card openly in this contest to add another front in their “Uncivil War.”

I put nothing beneath the Clintons.

In the end I want to see O’Bama win just to stick it to SWMNBN and cut that thread of inevitability down a little more.

AP photo.

*In truth, BJ’s “fairy tale” comment was about the consistency of O’Bama’s Iraq War position, but the Clinton’s have been down-playing expectations and writing-off South Carolina (the first in the South primary, which John Edwards won in 2004) because they are probably going to lose!

UPDATE: O’Bama romp 55-27-18%!

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Debating the demise of the Republican Party

Posted by Sal on January 25, 2008

There has been much talk of the demise of the GOP in recent weeks.  Rush Limbaugh has been making the case that if Huckabee or McCain are nominated, it will destroy the GOP.  In an article today, Peggy Noonan states that the GOP is already in shambles, and it is because of George W. Bush. 

On every domestic issue other than taxes and social issues, Bush has been somewhat of a disaster.  In an effort to build a permanent Republican majority, he tilted left on issues such as education, spending, health care, immigration, and other such domestic issues.  He was firm on the war, (almost to a fault in not sooner realizing that his war strategy wasn’t working and needed adjustment) terrorism, taxes, and judges (minus the Harriet Meyers debacle), but not so anywhere else.  Were we conservatives too complainant during the early years of No Child Left Behind, the Prescription Drug bill, and massive increases in spending?  Did we gloss over those issues because of our concern for National Security and the economy? 

Bush’s strategy now seems to have backfired.  We have lost the congress, and are in danger of losing the presidency as well.  Even if we do win the Presidency, it will be with a weak quasi-Conservative or a media-pandering moderate.  The party does not have the same unity of purpose anymore, it is too fractured.  Is Bush to blame as Peggy suggests, or is it something else?  What must the party do to return to its Conservative roots in the model of the era of Reagan?  Who is out there who can lead the party back to Conservatism and into the next several decades?

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Swift Kids Collection

Posted by Mike on January 24, 2008

Just keeping our promise to our friend from “Denver.”

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Kucinich is Out!

Posted by Ryan on January 24, 2008

I guess the pressure, lack of funds, and being wrong on nearly everything has finally gotten to Dennis Kucinich who is set to announce the end of his bid to be our next President tomorrow.  Maybe it was the fear of alien retaliation if he lost his House seat that finally did it.  Maybe not.

Pic from Kevin Tracy.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics, Pop Culture | 1 Comment »

Fred — The Brokered Nominee?

Posted by Sal on January 24, 2008

I ran across this interesting article about the possibility of Thompson becoming the nominee if the Republican Party heads into a brokered convention.  The article poises that if McCain, Romney, and Huckabee all gain a number of delegates on Super Tuesday and beyond, and none have enough for the nomination, a brokered convention may turn to Fred Thompson, much in the way that it did for Warren Harding almost 90 years ago.  The article states that if none of the top three or four remaining candidates have close to a majority of delegates, the dynamics between them may prevent a brokering of delegates a-la-1976.  Enter Fred, someone whom almost everyone universally likes, but for whatever reason never received the support he deserved.  Improbable?  Sure.  But it is certainly plausible the way things are going, especially if McCain doesn’t win Florida on Tuesday. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

It’s Not Over

Posted by Sal on January 24, 2008

The media would have you believed that the Republican nomination is all-but over, and John McCain is the nominee.  What this is is more of a case of the media hoping that their protege Republican will get the nod based on his perceived strength against the Democrats and his inevitability, much in the same way that they hailed Bob Dole as the most electable Republican in 1996.  With victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina, two states that have open primaries, McCain is now perceived to be the front-runner, if not inevitable.  The truth is, he has won fewer states than Mitt Romney, has fewer delegates, and has less of a vote total.  So how is he the front-runner again? 

Now enter Florida.  Florida has the distinction of being the final primary before super-duper Tuesday.  It also happens to be a closed primary, and McCain has not done well among non-Conservatives, capturing most of his support in the Republican Primary from Democrats and Independents.  Florida also has a fairly large 57 delegates at stake in a winner-take-all Primary battle.  Two new polls now look like the momentum in Florida has shifted to Romney. 

Both Rasmussen and Mason-Dixon have Romney up by 4 points in Florida.  Both of these polls were taken after the drop-out of Fred Thompson from the race, so it appears that Romney is benefiting from end of Thompson’s campaign.  (Only these two polls, as well as InsiderAdvantage, which has McCain up by 1 point, have been taken since Tuesday when Thompson left the race).  Mason-Dixon is by far the most accurate polling firm at the state level, followed by Rasmussen.  Although much could happen between now and Tuesday (including tonight’s debate), the momentum is clearly in Mitt’s favor. 

If Mitt does indeed claim victory in Florida, will he then be hailed by the Drive-by media as the “clear front-runner” going into Super Tuesday?  I doubt it, but it will be clear that the race for the Republican nominee is far from over. 

Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Economic anti-stimulus Package

Posted by Sal on January 24, 2008

President Bush and Congress are close to a deal on a $150 billion economic “stimulus” package.  The package includes a temporary suspension of the 10% income bracket, meaning that everyone who fell in this bracket would receive up to $800 ($1200 for married couples) in the form of a rebate.  In addition, the plan would include business tax write-offs, business investment write-offs, and plans for rescuing those who being foreclosed on by allowing Fannie Mae and and Freddy Mac to purchase mortgages that are greater than the current $450,000.00 cap (those poor people who really couldn’t afford their $600,000 houses). 

This plan is nothing but a show and will do very little to stimulate the economy.  It will provide a short-term boost in consumer spending and saving, but will not do anything long-term to stabilize and grow the economy.  The economy, and Wall Street in particular, is based on future long-term projections.  The best way to grow the economy is to provide long-term, permanent solutions.  While I don’t particularly object to the tax rebates (I never mind when the government gives me back some of my money) or the write-offs, they are minor, temporary, and probably low-impact changes.  Below are a few ideas on how to really grow the economy: 

  • Make Bush Tax Cuts permanent:  Due to the sunset provision in the Bush tax cuts, there will be an automatic tax increase in 2010 for all Americans, the re-invention of the Marriage penalty, the complete reversal of the cut in the death tax, and numerous other increases.  These tax cuts were in a large way responsible for the sustained economic growth of the past 5 years.  Making them permanent would be a good first step in assuring long-term growth. 
  • Corporate Income Tax Cut or elimination:   This is one proposal that would surge the economy, create more jobs, and make America more competitive in the global marketplace.  One of the reasons that countries such as India and China are so attractive to businesses is the low or non-existent corporate income tax.  Cutting this tax would provide for further investment, more jobs, and a surge in wall street. 
  • Capital Gains Tax Cut or elimination:  This cut would surge investment in Wall Street.  A cut in capital gains makes investing more profitable, and would stimulate investors to buy. 
  • Further Income Tax Cuts / Simplification:  Cutting the income tax rates further, or even more daring, going to a low-rate flat tax or national sales tax would provide a boost in the economy.  The major expansions of the last 30 years have all included personal income tax cuts which have given people more of their money to spend, save, invest, and start their own businesses. 
  • Social Security:  This may not seem obvious, but allowing people to invest their payroll taxes into private accounts in the market would in effect take billions from the buerocratic sink-hole that is Washington, and move it into investments in American Business. 

Any of these proposals would not only stimulate us out of the current market correction, but also put us on a track for unprecedented economic growth and make us more competitive in the world market.  America has to discard its socialist tendencies that started with the New Deal, massively expanded with the “War on Poverty”, and continues today with the current crop of Democrats.  President Bush is doing this country a disservice by abandoning the economic principles he once adhered to, and pushing this anti-stimulus package. 

There has been much talk of elections and the current Republican field.  While there are numerous problems in other areas, as Mike has indicated in his previous post, most of the Republican candidates would provide a better economic leadership than any of the Democrats (Mitt and Rudy in particular).  Hopefully whoever the next Republican president is can work to enact economic policies that will grow the economy the way that the Reagan policies of the 80s, the Gingrich policies of the 90s, and the Bush policies of this decade have led us to sustained economic growth, with fairly mild corrections/recessions in between. 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Bizarre Endorsements

Posted by Mike on January 23, 2008

Earlier today, Ryan offered his thoughts on Duncan Hunter’s endorsement of Mike Huckabee. Like many others across the internet, he is perplexed by it. This isn’t the first strange endorsement however. Captain’s Quarters has detected many bizarre Republican endorsements for 2008. I expect this to continue.

Most Republican primary endorsements until the nomination is won will be odd. That is because every one of the candidates is flawed, and I don’t mean flawed in the sense that no candidate is perfect. I mean flawed in the sense that the fact that these are the men left standing probably means that the Republican Party is no longer a conservative party.

  • Mike Huckabee raised taxes so much in Arkansas that he had to beg the Democrats in his state legislature to raise them further. On top of that, he still defends his idea of providing in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants, a benefit he would not extend to the children of Americans living outside of Arkansas.
  • Rudy Giuliani supports abortion on demand, affirmative action, civil unions, gun control along with many other positions that play well at your run of the mill Judy Garland convention in San Francisco.
  • John McCain, with President Bush and five Court Justices as accomplices, actually amended the First Amendment and is trying to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants.
  • Mitt Romney supported a health care plan that featured the same kind of mandates that all three Democrats called for in their most recent debate. He has also changed his positions if not his tone, complete with timing curiously close to a Republican primary, on many issues such as abortion, campaign finance, and amnesty.

Every one of these candidates has problems that go beyond the types of problems we normally see in a primary. Unfortunately, any conservative who wants to affect the outcome of this race must choose one of these men to be our nominee. Every time that happens in a public setting, people are inevitably going to wonder why a conservative would support such a candidate for one reason and one reason only: there are no conservatives in this race. That more than anything is what is bizarre to me.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 2 Comments »

Hunter’s Behind Huckabee

Posted by Ryan on January 23, 2008

Duncan Hunter has just endorsed Huckleberry Mike for President.  Some are quite miffed by this latest development.  Aside from both men being pro-life, Hunter’s endorsement is kind of odd:  he likes Huckleberry’s position and potential on border security, emerging China, and national defense apparently more than the remaining candidates, but how does Huckleberry really stand out over the others?

Hunter was generally perceived as the conservative who wouldn’t get elected because no one knew about him.  While great on the issues, he didn’t stand out in those debates and never gained any steam.  His “also-ran” status was earned very early given the names he was surrounded by. 

With Fred out of the race, I supposed Hunter thought that Huckleberry’s the best of the bunch… but Huckleberry’s bad on illegals, taxes, and Iraq (sounding like a Dem on all three), so where’s the logic behind a conservative supporting an at-best moderate? 

Having been promised a cabinet position in a Huckleberry Administration or not, one has to take principles into consideration, or come up with some better reasons to lend your name a credibility to the Huckster, especially when he’s trending down (at the moment).  You’d want to at least wait until after Super Tuesday before whoring for cabinet posts, right?

Add me to the miffed category on this one!

Pic from Ms. Underestimated.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

Wall Street Swings!

Posted by Ryan on January 23, 2008

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was having a major mood swing today:

…sell sell sell… sell sell some more… buy buy buy buy buy!!! 

At the end of the day, the Dow was up over 12,200 again, being up nearly 300 points when it was all said and done, after having been down as much as 320.  The entire New York Stock Exchange saw 7.44 billion shares trade hands today– an all-time record high volume.  While technically in the early stages of a bear market, Wall Street is apparently confronting the recession jitters and digging in by picking up good stocks cheap. 

Good for them since my 403b has been completely rocked thus far in 2008! 

Posted in Anything Else, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Liturgical Dance

Posted by Mike on January 22, 2008

Salinger, you would know better than anyone.  Please tell me that this liturgical dancing didn’t actually happen where it looks like it happened.

Posted in Religion, Rhode Island | Leave a Comment »

Fred Thompson Drops Out

Posted by Mike on January 22, 2008

Fred Thompson dropped out of the race for President today. Although he didn’t make it, Senator Thompson should be proud for putting himself out there and giving conservatives their greatest option since 1984. Some say he entered too late. Others say he didn’t campaign hard enough. Whether these sentiments are true, somewhat true, or bunk, conservatives cannot complain that they had no one to speak for them.

Now the task is to find the least liberal alternative, and stop the witch.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 4 Comments »

William Hague Mocks Gordon Brown

Posted by Mike on January 22, 2008

This video (about 3 minutes) at CentreRight of William Hague mocking Gordon Brown reminded me why Hague is my favorite foreign politician. It’s geek humor, but if you know British politics, especially the Blair-Brown feud, you will laugh at loud. Even Labour leaders did. If you decide to click through to the video, make sure you choose the full screen option so you can see how well this bit played with all three of the main parties.

UPDATE:  Youtube version here.

Posted in UK Politics | Leave a Comment »

Heath Ledger Found Dead

Posted by Ryan on January 22, 2008

Australian-born actor Heath Ledger was found dead today in his Manhattan apartment today.  It’s still too early to tell what the detail are, but he was allegedly surrounded by many pills. 

Ledger was 28 and a well-known actor.

Ledger has been in many movies, including the upcoming The Dark Knight movie where he plays the “Joker” in the highly anticipated sequel to Batman Begins.  Also, he was in Mel Gibson’s The Patriot, the Brothers Grimm, A Knight’s Tale, Monster’s Ball and even irking many with is role as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain

AP photo.

Posted in Culture, Pop Culture | Leave a Comment »

The Republican Problem

Posted by Sal on January 22, 2008

The Republican Party over the course of my lifetime has been a source of both hope and frustration.  Hope because it represents the best chance for a return to the ideals of our Constitution, and for advancing the cause of Conservatism.  Even our moderate Presidents have helped to stem the tide of liberalism by blocking what the Democrats would do if they had complete power. 

The frustration comes in because, since 1980, the Republican party has not nominated a truly conservative candidate in the mold of Ronald Reagan for the office of President.  In 1988, George H. W. Bush succeed Reagan as leader of the party, even though there were more conservative candidates in the race (Jack Kemp, Alexander Hague).  In 1996, Bob Dole, a moderate, won out over the more moderate Lamar Alexander, and the more conservative Phil Graham, Pat Buchanan, and Steve Forbes.  In 2000, the seemed-to-be conservative-but-really-a-moderate George W. Bush won out over John McCain. 

Now, in 2004, the most viable Conservative candidate in the race, Fred Thompson, has lost what appears to be a critical defeat (although even Fred has his problems of not being a pure conservative which give one pause — his support for McCain-Feingold and his vote against convicting President Bill Clinton in the impeachment trial — the Constitution is important).  The remaining field is made up of candidates who appeal to one or two legs of the Conservative movement, but not all three, with the exception of Mitt Romney.  Romney’s problem is that he does not always appear credible on the issues and sincere, as he has had a history of changing his views on some issues to get elected (although not nearly as much as the press would have you believe).  He also does not inspire on a regular basis the way Reagan did (with the exception of his speech on Mormonism.  If we saw more of that, Romney would be leading the pack).  Rudy appeals to the fiscal and security legs, but throws off the social conservatives.  Huckabee appeals only to the social conservatives, and preaches a new-brand of populism that attempts to replace true Conservatism.  McCain appeals to security conservatives, as well as Democrats and independents. 

How did we get here today?  First, it has been difficult to find a candidate that truly inspires and leads in the way Ronald Reagan did, and who treats Conservatism as a guiding philosophy rather than a political necessity.  Even those who are close to being true Conservatives don’t inspire a movement like Reagan did.  Second, the party is fractured.  The true Conservatives make up a portion of the party, and a large portion, but not the majority.  The rest of the party is made up of people who support one or two of the legs (Social, Fiscal, and Security) but not all three, as well as establishment “Rockafeller Republicans”. Finding a true conservative that can appeal to all but the establishment is difficult, as one or another of the elements is usually missing. 

The open primary system is also a major problem for the Republican party electing a true conservative.  In this election, the results may have been drastically different if not for the open primary system.  For example, assume Huckabee wins Iowa.  New Hampshire comes around, and McCain is nowhere to be found, as he did not do well at all among Republicans in that race, and probably drops out.  Romney wins New Hampshire and Michigan, and we head to South Carolina.  With McCain not in the race, South Carolina decides between Huckabee, Thompson, and Romney.  McCain’s Republican voters probably do not go to Huckabee, so they would most likely go to Thompson or Romney, making it a very different primary. 

Finally, for the Republican party to succeed beyond 2008, it needs to get back to Conservatism.  To do that, a leader must be found who is both a true Conservative and who can inspire the base to vote for them.  I’m not sure if there are any out there right now, but one always has to keep hope.  The road to defeating liberalism may be long, but it can be achieved.  There will be missteps, elections won and lost, and two steps back for every three steps forward, but in the end Conservatism will defeat Liberalism. 

 Correction:  Mike pointed out that Thompson did indeed vote to convict Clinton on the charge of Obstruction of Justice, but not on the charge of Perjury.  While I still think that the vote to not convict on Perjury is questionable, it has a bit more credibility than a vote to not convict at all.  I stand corrected.   

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Quick! Drop The House!

Posted by Mike on January 21, 2008

Tonight’s Democrat debate televised on one of their party’s cable channels was actually worth watching because what Rush calls the Uncivil War is heating up. It also serves to remind people that She Who Must Not Be Named is quite . . . um . . . unappealing . . . yeah, unappealing, when she feels threatened. Watching this tells me that whatever moderate our party eventually nominates will be in much better shape than the media would like everyone to believe.

Video via Hot Air

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »

Obama’s Candor

Posted by Mike on January 21, 2008

Barack Obama has once again shown the world that he is the most honest of the three Democrat frontrunners when he essentially admitted that Republicans were right all along.

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | 1 Comment »