Axis of Right

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

Posts Tagged ‘Bill Clinton’

Day 3–The Truly Historic Moment in Denver

Posted by Ryan on August 27, 2008

There was a major historical moment tonight at the Democrat National Convention…

You guessed it!  At 6:49pm EDT the Democrat Party nominated a Presidential candidate with less experience than anyone in living memory! (see below)  He’s never really done anything of note, had to make a serious executive decision with true consequences, has no major legislation with his name on it, and apparently only “has a speech he gave in 2002.”

What’s worse is that he has to forever share this moment in history with the person who finally put him over the edge to secure the nomination: She Who Must Not be Named, herself!  This is shaping up to be the biggest Clintonian convention since 1996, beating out 2000 when Algore was consciously trying to avoid BJ’s political stench. 

Of course it’s historic that he’s the first half-African American to get the nomination of a major political party.  As a nation, we really should be proud of this moment.  However, after that quiet moment of reflection, we should move on and make sure he never reaches his goal — not because he’s half-black, but because he’s a dangerously inexperienced empty suit.

AP photo.

Some examples on the issue of experience:

JFK served in the House for three terms (1947-1953), the Senate for one full term and was reelected before beating Nixon for the White House in 1960.  JFK was 43 years old and already had 11 years as an elected national political figure over Barack Obama.

Bill Clinton was elected to non-consecutive terms as Governor of Arkansas, serving twelve of the fourteen years from 1979-1993 before defeating Bush 41 to be elected President in 1992.  BJ was 46 years old and already had 9 years as an elected administrator of a state over the experience of Barack Obama as a significant public figure who’s had to make consequential decisions.

The Dems made a real poor choice with Obama, given their track record of nominating young, experienced people.

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I Knew Theodore Roosevelt and Senator, You’re No TR!

Posted by Ryan on July 13, 2008

Well, the first part of that isn’t entirely true, but I did spend fifteen months writing a rather long historiographical thesis on Theodore Roosevelt back in college.  In that work I used some of John McCain’s campaign rhetoric from early 2000 as evidence of TR’s increasing influence amongst politicians of both parties today (I also quoted from BJ’s 2000 State of the Union Address where he name-drops TR).  Back in February 2000 McCain unsuccessfully tried to make himself out to be the heir of both TR and Ronald Reagan, and he’s trying it again in 2008

We can laugh at McCain’s “Reaganesque” boasts as shallow and empty, but why’s he stuck on TR?  Most people only know a few things about TR: trust-buster, Mt. Rushmore, those teeth, the “Teddy bear,” conservation.  Like his Reagan comparison, McCain is being very selective with how he chooses to connect himself to TR:

  • TR’s domestic policies laid the philosophical foundation for modern “big-government” in his cousin’s New Deal two generations later — not very Reaganesque in my opinion. 
  • TR was a “conservationist” not a “preservationist”, meaning that TR would have been OK with drilling in ANWAR since the footprint is so small (preservationists, on the other hand, want humans completely out of undeveloped areas).  McCain’s still being difficult on that issue.
  • TR was described as a “maverick” for bucking the era’s MSM by not fitting their typical Republican stereotype.  Yet, TR understood politics, alienated some, but still had most of his party enthusiastic about him and mostly adhered to the party’s platform.  No conservative is enthusiastic about McCain and McCain doesn’t seem to care — he’s more interested in growing the party 1970s-style by making it resemble the Democrats.  Plus, TR’s being a “maverick” eventually led to a party split in 1912 which gave Wilson the presidency.  Why should any self-respecting Republican embrace a maverick like that today?  McCain’s obviously being selective here.
  • Instead of trying to get along with fractious immigrant groups, TR firmly believed and articulated that “hyphenated Americanism” is un-American and unpatriotic.  McCain wants to coddle 12-15 million illegals and still hasn’t proposed making English the official language of government, a highly popular position with the general public.

However, TR had an unabashed pro-American foreign policy like Reagan.  Maybe that’s an area where McCain’s rhetoric can get away with the comparison.  But don’t be fooled!  McCain does not have the clear vision of a Ronald Reagan, nor the vigor or political climate that made TR such an influential politician.  We have a Ford, not a Lincoln; we have a McCain, not a Reagan.

AP photo.  National Photo Collection, Library of Congress.

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

McCain and the Republican Party Brand

Posted by Ryan on May 21, 2008

I just read this Politico piece by John Feehery on the Republican Party’s relationship with McCain.  His take is that Bush stalwarts like Hastert, Lott, and Delay are no longer on the scene and McCain, ever the frustrating maverick, is now the presumptive GOP nominee. Hence, the maverick becomes the savior in lieu of the Republican’s crushing Congressional defeats of late.

My take is simple: whenever the Republican Party gets wimpy and vague, it is going to lose.  After seventy years of playing identity/socialist politics, the Dems have the (undeserved) reputation of being the “nice” ones.  Republicans don’t have that reputation because ever since FDR, Americans have elected Republicans to do the dirty work of cleaning up Democrat messes (Ike was elected to fix the Korean War, Nixon was elected to fix Vietnam, Reagan was elected to fix everything Carter did, Dubya was elected to fix our image after BJ).  So if we’re going to run a campaign with pale pastels against the Dems, the folks go with the trusty nice people: the Dems. Ugh.  Running to the middle has been our problem because the American people see no differences or alternatives: hence an animus towards the Party in the White House… us! 

It’s not that conservatism has failed, it’s that the potential practitioners wussed out before doing enough great or significant things, falling victim to the Washington big-government=power/popularity culture.  The pale pastel approach will lead to serious electoral disaster this Fall, as it has in those three districts, especially with a potentially jazzed Obama base with a tested 50-state organization, ready to pound McCain and the Republican brand name into serious minority status.

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

Economy Then and Now; Democrats Then and Now

Posted by Mike on April 10, 2008

The fact that The Corner’s David Freddoso can report economic data from 2008 compared to economic data from 1996 and juxtapose the statistics with Democrat quotes all in about a minute and half is proof positive of the media’s laziness, dishonesty, or both.

UPDATE: The Anchoress has a great roundup of this one, complete with cartoon.

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

The Red v. Blue State Dynamic

Posted by Ryan on March 22, 2008

I found this article by Michael Barone, political guru whose wisdom is usually spot on, where for the first time I read a piece addressing a thought I’ve had for a while: is this whole Red v. Blue state-thing a Bush phenomenon? 

Barone makes an argument that no, it’s not totally a George W. Bush phenomenon, but rather a trend that started in the 1990s during BJ’s tenure.  Barone cites the last time two consecutive elections were so close as they were in both 2000 and 2004: 1952 and 1956 which happened to have the same candidates and only four states shifting their votes!

In Barone’s view, cultural issues like religion v. relativism, rural v. urban, intervention v. self-interest have kept the electorate pretty static since the late 1990s. Yet, he contends that in 2008, this dynamic is no longer there with Bush and what he represents as a figure with whom to rally around or reject.  The Dems will try to paint McCain as a third Bush term, but it’s too early to see if that ridiculous accusation will stick.

So if the Red v. Blue state dynamic is not present in this election, what does one candidate do to flip the state colors?  Barone also believes that this election may focus around generational differences and outreach to industrial states, which in his view may skew Democratic in 2008.  I’m not sure I buy that analysis totally.  Young people like Obama, but young people don’t vote in large enough numbers.  Plus, Obama’s been wounded lately and the polls of Millennials have not yet reflected this major bump in the road.

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