Axis of Right

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

Archive for January 22nd, 2008

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 »