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The GOP presidential field & “this extraordinary moment”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 1:36 am - December 28, 2011.
Filed under: 2012 Presidential Election

In a comment to my post on the possibility of a Ron Paul victory in Iowa, our reader davinci expressed his grudging backing of a certain candidate:

I was undecided for much of the year, then went with Gingrich for about a month. But as a history prof, he should know better than to pressure and intimidate federal judges he disagrees with. That showed his lack of a constitutional grounding, and now I grudgingly am with Romney. I hope if he’s elected that he will at least pursue a moderate conservative agenda. But that may be too much to ask of him.

If the field remains as is it has been, with only the announced candidates, then, I, like our reader had been until recently, remain undecided. Like many voters in Iowa, I’m frustrated by my inability to find a candidate who “seems ready for this extraordinary moment.”  (Via Jennifer Rubin.)  At least I have a few more months to make up my mind.

Now, to be sure, some conservatives, like my friend John Hinderaker contend that Mitt Romney is ready to confront the challenges facing this country.  (Via Glenn Reynolds who also links John Hawkins‘s critique of the candidate.)  In his endorsement, that Minnesota blogger left out one of the former Massachusetts governor’s key accomplishments:  his management of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

In the wake of a bribery scandal, Romney was tapped to take over the Games “which had faced serious potential financial difficulties before his arrival” and turned things around.  (Despite the difficulty of his task, I could find no evidence Romney whined about the crisis he “inherited” from the original Olympic management team.)  Yes, he has administrative expertise, but he has not shown a longstanding commitment to conservative principles.

Like Bill Kristol, I wish some candidates “who have stood aside” would reconsider that decision and, for the sake of the country, “step forward”.  The crises we face as a nation are great, and the incumbent seems oblivious to their magnitude.  Linking Kristol, Ed Morrissey advises us to “stop fantasizing about white knights riding to the rescue and focus on the choices we have in front of us now.

It seems we’re lacking a candidate of the caliber of Reagan, but then again back in 1980, many feared the California Republican was not up to the challenge.

Unlike our reader and John Hinderaker, I am not committing to Mitt Romney.  Perhaps, as Morrissey puts it, I am fantasizing about a white knight, but at least I do have a particular cavalier in mind.  And given the date of the California primary, have several months left to decide should he not coming riding to the rescue.

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102 Comments

  1. I can’t bring myself to support the candidate the liberals want nominated again.

    Comment by TGC — December 28, 2011 @ 2:28 am - December 28, 2011

  2. “I hope if he’s elected that he will at least pursue a moderate conservative agenda. But that may be too much to ask of him.”

    What he meant to say I’ll begrudgingly support the other progressive and hope he pushes a liberal/progressive agenda. Read between the lines.

    Comment by rjligier — December 28, 2011 @ 2:56 am - December 28, 2011

  3. No to Mitt, Newt and Ron Paul..and the rest don’t seem to have traction or ability either. Was for Cain, and he botched it.
    this is getting worse than last election. The Stupids could well pull defeat from the jaws of victory or worse, give us a flip-flopping moron lib-light who is known to nominate liberal judges, support gun control, more and bigger Gov’t so we may never get a true fiscal and Constitutional conservative in office.

    Comment by JP — December 28, 2011 @ 2:58 am - December 28, 2011

  4. All of the folks who engineered the bitter defeats of 2006 and 2008 seem to think Mitt Romney is the bee’s knees.

    Comment by RightKlik — December 28, 2011 @ 3:41 am - December 28, 2011

  5. It seems nobody wants to check with the conservatives that actually live in Massachusetts to see if we support Mitt Romney and believe he will govern conservatively. The answer is absolutely YES! The governor doesn’t “appoint” judges in MA, he can only nominate them and then a bunch of liberal Democrats get to vote and appoint them or not. When he passed the healthcare legislation it was a CONSERVATIVE idea that somehow has morphed into something else since Obamacare. The taxpayers who were paying the bill for the leeches coming to MA for free healthcare were screaming for something to be done about it. He came up with a business solution to this problem. Mitt is NOT anti-second amendment.

    Comment by Dave B — December 28, 2011 @ 4:52 am - December 28, 2011

  6. I’ll back Romney when and if the time comes. He is no Arlen Specter or Olympia Snowe RINO. Not by a long shot. But he is tone deaf. It should not be too hard to study up on what Cain, Palin, Rush, Sowell, Williams, Levin, et. al. say in short pithy phrases to connect with the souls of conservatives and get with the message.

    Romney has an air of diffidence about him that is too easily read as elitism. Whether he chooses that attitude or not, I can not say. He has certainly not made any effort to “court” the core of conservative spokespersons. He may have a method in mind that is not apparent to me, but, if so, it makes my point.

    We are emotionally drained with Obama. We are fearful of more of his dreadful, malignant presidency. Our candidate in the making needs to reassure us that he is not running as the compromiser-in-chief, but as the guy or gal who will take the bull by the horns and clean up the mess.

    That is tough talk, not parlor chatter.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 28, 2011 @ 9:18 am - December 28, 2011

  7. I am conservative. I couldn’t vote for Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. I am afraid that Obama will win for the second term and return to the White House in 2013. The Republican Party are in such a mess because we have too many liberals and moderates in our party beside the conservatives. The RINO’S are fear of the conservatives. The conservatives don’t have no home anymore to go to and it look like they will join the Independent Party in the future.

    Comment by m — December 28, 2011 @ 9:29 am - December 28, 2011

  8. My recurring dream is one with a republican elected as POTUS who leaves the republican party for the conservative party giving us a bonafied national conservative party without the “third party” stigma from that moment forward. Until that day, I’m forced to vote for the John McLame’s and Mittens Romney’s and watch this once great nation become a camfire tale told by disaffected old men.

    Comment by Richard Bell — December 28, 2011 @ 9:42 am - December 28, 2011

  9. Governor Mitt Romney has called RomneyCare “conservative”; there’s nothing conservative about RomneyCare. Romney is just trying to rationalize RomneyCare. Romney, therefore, neutralizes ObamaCare. Romney is wrong for the nation.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — December 28, 2011 @ 9:50 am - December 28, 2011

  10. I agree with Dan. The problem with Romney is only partly that he seems like a political windsock with no convictions other than to say whatever he needs to say to get elected. (It would help him a lot to confront people’s criticisms of him honestly, and explain his core convictions, if he has any, so we know what he’s really about. We Mormons are supposed to be good at that.)

    The other problem is that while Cain, Perry, Gingrich, and even Huntsman have proposed bold reforms taxes, energy policy, and even the elimination or retooling of entire federal departments, Romney’s policies amount to mere tinkering with the system. It doesn’t seem up to the challenges we face.

    Boldness and honesty are two strategies Mittens has not tried so far, he should give them a shot.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2011 @ 10:05 am - December 28, 2011

  11. V the K,

    I do not think that Romney is capable of a bold pastel let alone a bold khaki. He is, by nature, a tune-up man, not a daring entrepreneur.

    My conservative associates see cutting the leviathan government down to fighting trim as the more serious of two problems: raising revenue vs. cutting spending.

    Flat tax, 9-9-9, etc. are all problematic and any amount of progress can be talked to death in the give and take of planning for bold change.

    But, Energy, Labor, Education, and HUD can be eliminated entirely. There is no reason not to have a super department for the “interior” which includes agriculture, commerce, and energy. The Council of Economic Advisors, the EPA, Transportation and Veterans Affairs should be part of this mega department with a real titan at its helm.

    Furthermore, Eric Holder has proved that a corrupt man can corrupt absolutely. There needs to be a realignment of the FBI, Homeland Security, etc. so that they can act independently of political pressure issuing from the Attorney General.

    Romney is trying to avoid giving the Democrats the specifics of his agenda in order to keep their attacks generalized. Obama rode all the way to the Oval Office on platitudes and generalities and the MSM gave him a total pass in the process.

    Romney will be pummeled by the press and the more specific he becomes, the greater the pummeling. That is the reality of thing.

    Others, like Cain, Bachman, Palin, Santorum are willing to put their specifics out there, but they have not been able create enough confidence that they can withstand the firestorm. Many conservatives are locked into the wait and see mode and hoping a Ryan or Rubio type will pull the sword from the stone and go gallantly into battle.

    Others, like Coulter, are looking at Romney and hoping they can nudge him toward more substantive bravery.

    I always enjoyed Barbara Bush and her rather brash assessment style. Then I heard her dismiss Sarah Palin to Larry King: “I sat next to her once. Thought she was beautiful and she’s very happy in Alaska, and I hope she’ll stay there.”

    That led Sarah Palin to respond while talking with Laura Ingraham: “I think the majority of Americans don’t want to put up with the blue bloods, and I say it with all due respect, because I love the Bushes.”

    I place Romney far closer to the blue bloods than to Palin or the TEA Party.

    However, our greatest concern, by far, is the loose cannon known as Ron Paul. He is a hand grenade without a pin, but kept in check by a small wad of silly putty. His followers will follow his orders, but they can not be won over by anyone less than Ron Paul himself. They are neither left nor right. They are libertarian anarchists who, like the so-called Arab Spring, are fueled with their own sugar plum visions of “hope and change.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 28, 2011 @ 11:11 am - December 28, 2011

  12. To those conservatives who would not back Romney should he win the nomination, you are only depriving the candidate with the best likelihood of defeating Obama of a vote.

    No, he’s not ideal and I can understand the qualms about not backing him in the primary. I have similar qualms, but three years of Obama have been disastrous for our country and four more could put us in a predicament similar to that of Greece.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 28, 2011 @ 11:59 am - December 28, 2011

  13. You’re doing a great job of considering everyone, but in the end, we may all just find ourselves with a Romney Presidency, and in the end, that really won’t be that bad. In another 4 to 8 years, we’ll have a stockpile of talent to choose from and the nation will be a better place if we want to make an upgrade. That might just be the best choice we have right now, and it’s not a bad one.

    Comment by A Conservative Teacher — December 28, 2011 @ 12:24 pm - December 28, 2011

  14. If Willard is the nominee, I will probably hold my nose and vote for him. But my money, as in past cycles, will go to issue-oriented groups – perhaps something Tea Party related, or Palin’s PAC. Not Willard, ugh!!

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 28, 2011 @ 12:25 pm - December 28, 2011

  15. ILC, you could also consider Operation Counterweight.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — December 28, 2011 @ 12:28 pm - December 28, 2011

  16. I see no one among the GOP candidates with any reasonable chance of success that I could support. Right now I’m planning on voting for Romney in the primary to spite Paul and Independent in the general to spite ‘em all. If the GOP wins next year, ok fine. If not, ok fine. The one silver lining if Obama wins is the strong possibility of a divided government as well as the shortcomings of second term administrations. Actually, there’s another one: a better candidate could emerge if the GOP loses next year instead of getting a loser who’ll suck up all the oxygen in the Big Tent when standing for re-election. So in some ways I’d like to see the GOP lose, but then I feel the same about Obama who has been a dismal failure. Good times all around.

    I’d like to see a better crop in 2016 rather than the measely scraps we’ve been served up this time around.

    Comment by JohnAGJ — December 28, 2011 @ 12:39 pm - December 28, 2011

  17. Until I get to vote for Rubio and/or Christie I’m not gonna be excited about any vote I make, but voting for Romney would probably make me cry. I can’t stand the guy, he’s the Republican John Kerry (and I use the term Republican as loosely as possible) but I’d much rather have anybody in office than Obama.

    Comment by Cy — December 28, 2011 @ 12:58 pm - December 28, 2011

  18. Thanks to Dan Blatt for acknowledging my blog. I would like to state that Daniels, Christie, Rubio would be much better Presidential material than the current mediocre bunch. But one must make lemonade from a batch of lemons you’re dealt with. Other gay Republicans I am friends with are very discouraged by the people that got into the race.

    Comment by davinci — December 28, 2011 @ 1:30 pm - December 28, 2011

  19. Dan,

    I think many of us are waiting for the “operation counterweight” candidates to show themselves and we will support (many of) their campaigns.

    That, however, does not lessen the emergency of getting Obama out of the White House and getting someone in who is not just another Boehner/McConnell business-as-usual pol with a little more conservative preference.

    Kennedy was 43 and had a well connected old-boys-school backing that was being built by a well connected daddy for 25 years. Rubio is but 40 and a wunderkind. He does not have the organization, ready establishment network blessings or any particular political history to propel him. Ditto Ryan. Christie is wildly popular for his “straight talking.” But we do not really know much about his conservative credentials. I would accept any of the three on the basis that they would dedicate their term to straightening out the budget mess and restoring the market economy.

    But, at this point, we have completely over played the run-up to the primaries with endless “debates” and trying to whip up the masses way too early.

    Everyone I know can not wait to vote against Obama and Democrats in Congress. We would be delighted to have half as much enthusiasm for a candidate as we have determination to vote.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 28, 2011 @ 2:11 pm - December 28, 2011

  20. Its a whole load of meh. I understand why Daniels and Ryan didn’t run, but this lot are painful to watch.

    Comment by Lagwolf — December 28, 2011 @ 2:12 pm - December 28, 2011

  21. If Romney is the nominee, I will hold my nose & vote for him; however, there’s no way in Hell I’m going to vote for him in the primary. No votes have been cast; therefore, Romney is the nominee by speculation. When the votes are cast, this will drastically change the GOP field. Expect the unexpected.

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — December 28, 2011 @ 3:06 pm - December 28, 2011

  22. Once we get Willard in the White House, how do we get him out? Once elected in 2012, he practically guaranteed the renomination in 2016. No sitting-President in living-memory has been defeated at the Primary-level….LBJ stood-aside in 1968. And few sitting-Vice Presidents have been denied the nomination afterwards. As “good, loyal Republicans”, we could be stuck with this class of losers for the next 16-years…assuming the Republic lasts that long….before any hope of “fresh blood”. And by then one of two political-generations of more-viable conservative Republican candidates will have passed.

    Unreasonable? Who who have forecast in 1952 that it would take a resignation in August 1974 to see the last of Nixon in a Republican West Wing?

    And deep-down, I just don’t trust Willard for being a bland weathervane, and yes I’ll say it….for the Mormon-thing.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — December 28, 2011 @ 3:54 pm - December 28, 2011

  23. In another 4 to 8 years, we’ll have a stockpile of talent to choose from

    Seems like I heard this a few years ago.

    Comment by TGC — December 28, 2011 @ 4:29 pm - December 28, 2011

  24. In another 4 to 8 years, we’ll have a stockpile of talent to choose from

    It is moar likely that in 4 to 8 years, the pundit class with rip into the Republican offerings with gleeful abandon once again. Rubio will be painted as a crazy extremist like Bachmann and Santorum. Christie will be painted as a slick RINO like Romney and Gingrich. And woe be to anyone who trips up in a debate and gets branded the Perry of 2016/2020.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2011 @ 4:35 pm - December 28, 2011

  25. I also don’t see where this amazing bench is that sat this year out as the pundits claim. Bobby Jindal is too green, as are Christie and Rubio. Mitch Daniels is, pretty much basically, a Midwestern Mitt Romney. And I don’t see anyone except a few in the establishment crying out for a fourth Bush term.

    Also, why isn’t JC Watts being talked up as a VP? He’s an inspiring figure, he’s well-spoken, and more conservative than anyone who’s running.

    Comment by V the K — December 28, 2011 @ 4:39 pm - December 28, 2011

  26. The current bench has the depth of a saucer of curdled-milk. As for the promises of “fresh blood”, that promise hasn’t come-thru in years. Just look at the slates since Reagan;

    1988, 1992 GHW Bush
    1996 Dole
    2000, 2004 GW Bush
    2008 McCain

    WHAT DEPTH? The current all-campaign, all-the-time election-cycle either scares ‘em away, grinds them down, or attracts the crazies… Huntsman is already campaigning for 2016 or 2020.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — December 28, 2011 @ 4:53 pm - December 28, 2011

  27. The MFM are the kingmakers. They character-assassinate the charismatic, effective candidates that they don’t want, while shielding the SCOAMF-type candidates that they do want.

    Naturally, since the MFM consist of left-wing journalism students who proceeded to join the Establishment and receive its favors, the candidates favored by the MFM are invariably the candidates of the unholy Big Government / Big Banking / Big Labor alliance that rules America. And the candidates whom the MFM assassinates are the outsiders: the libertarian-conservative, small-government candidates above all.

    Christie, Jindal, Rubio, etc. will all be conveniently character-assassinated come the 2016 cycle. As was Palin in 2008, Cain in this cycle, etc.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — December 28, 2011 @ 4:54 pm - December 28, 2011

  28. What happened to the talent we supposedly have. Gov. Mitch Daniels was an early pre-debate favorite and he backed out. Why? He couldn´t have been afraid to go toe to toe with Obama. Does he have something that he doesn´t want to have exposed? Before him, Gov. Mark Sanford was being touted as a prospect until he went down Argentina way Back then Gov. Bobby Jindal was in the eyes 0f some. Newcomers like Rubio Christie just don´t the experience. The media went for Obama for his looks and speaking ability. We dan´t need another pretty face whose short on experience. That´s why were in the mess we´re in. Draft Jeb Bush? I think the country doesn´t want any more dynasties, be the Kennedy, Clinton or Bush. I´ve been leaning toward Gingrich after Herman Cain suspended his campaign. Whoever gets the brass ring will fight a two front war. Obama and third party. The Constitution Party and Libertarian will get their three persent. But if Donald Trump enters as a Third Party candidate, four more years of Obama is almost a given. We are short on talent. The newcomers might be ready for 2016, if the country lasts that long.

    Comment by Roberto — December 28, 2011 @ 5:33 pm - December 28, 2011

  29. It has become abundantly clear the majority of us will not have their favorite candidate running against Pres. Obama. Because of this , many of you feel you couldn’t vote for any one but. I am asking you to please reconsider. There will be Obama and whoever. In order to defeat Pres. Obama we must vote for whoever.That is what I will do.No matter that the bile will rise and I may feel sick,I will take the only means available to defaet Obama,Voting for whoever, I’m looking at it as a vote against not so much a vote for.

    Comment by pam — December 28, 2011 @ 7:12 pm - December 28, 2011

  30. I predict the mainstream media, as it is now, will be irrelevant in 8 years. Its bias seems to be becoming much more obvious, with its blatantly excessive coverage of Herman Cain’s allegations and its sycophantic coverage of the hated OWS in relation to its negative portrayal of the tea party. And alternative media continues to grow. Despite what elitist “intellectuals” will tell you, the average person isn’t stupid and usually knows when they’re being fed bullsh*t. The media will selfdestruct if it continues with its obvious bias.

    Maybe that’s wishful thinking, but, whatever the case, I’m sure the media, in 8 years, will not have as much influence as it does now. Therefore, a true conservative will have more ability to win elections in the near future. The media will continue with its smear campaigns, but people will stop paying attention at increasingly high rates.

    Comment by Naamloos — December 28, 2011 @ 8:20 pm - December 28, 2011

  31. Ron Paul causes me concern. From what I can tell, Ron Paul being elected president is the worst possible scenario. At least Obama has a foreign policy. Whether it likes it or not, the USA is responsible for policing the world, lest it fall into utter chaos. And removing the USA’s presence in the Middle East (and saying that the USA will not re-enter it), and removing its support of Israel, basically gives the Islamic terrorists an invitation to move the conflict to American soil. And who knows what would happen to Israel (but I can guess).

    And Obama being re-elected (while the next worst possible scenario) will likely re-fuel the conservative movement, and perhaps a new conservative candidate will emerge in 4 years (but, based on precedent, that seems unlikely).

    So, while Romney and Gingrich are unpalatable, they are better than the alternative. And the best thing about Romney, IMO, is that he’s basically a liberal. So the conservative movement may be re-fueled anyway (and he’s not Obama!). Then again, it’s 8 years for the next possible conservative Republican president vs. 4 years. But that sort of thing is minor compared to what else is at stake.

    Comment by Naamloos — December 28, 2011 @ 8:31 pm - December 28, 2011

  32. For what it’s worth, Mitt Romney – …is my favorite. You probably guessed that from the above, but maybe not. To be sure, he has his faults. His Massachusetts health care plan is disturbingly like Obamacare, and he refuses to back off key parts of it. He’s a very late convert to most aspects of the conservative agenda, and is notorious for these flip-flops. On the plus side, he at least gives somewhat reasonable explanations for them, unlike Newt Gingrich. He’s a good family man, morally and ethically upright, a fantastic manager, won’t embarrass us by saying stupid things, is not vain or self-centered, and will do generally conservative things.

    Newt Gingrich – Conservatives owe a debt of gratitude to Gingrich for leading us out of what seemed like permanent minority status to our takeover of the House in 1994. This is no small matter, and as such he has a spot reserved for him in the Republican/conservative hall of fame. But this does not mean he is qualified to be president. Former New Hampshire John Sununu called him “nconsistent, erratic, untrustworthy and unprincipled.” He’s almost as big a flip-flopper as Romney, as witness the recently revealed 2008 video of him defending the individual mandate for healthcare. In short, though, Gingrich is every bit as vain as Obama, with all that implies. He was a terrible leader when he was Speaker and was forced out in 1998 by the conservatives. Many of his ideas are good but many are half-baked, and it is these the media will concentrate on. He also has more scandals in his background than all of the other candidates put together (true or not is irrelevant because they’ll be trotted out ad nauseum). All of these faults have combined to see him drop in the polls as of the past few days.

    Comment by Tom the Redhunter — December 28, 2011 @ 8:45 pm - December 28, 2011

  33. I’m at the point were I don’t care who we coronate as king any more; WE HAVE TO GET THE SENATE…

    Comment by The Other Peter H — December 28, 2011 @ 9:43 pm - December 28, 2011

  34. I’ve decided I’ll cast my primary vote for Bachmann if she’s still in the race when my “blue state” gets to vote. She’s conservative and she gets the fact that Obama care must be repealed before it comes on line. She has no “sex capades” in the closet and her foriegn policy beats the crap out of Paul’s. She also has the right kind of business experience and she can pull in the fenale vote.

    Comment by Richard Bell — December 28, 2011 @ 10:30 pm - December 28, 2011

  35. Richard Bell:

    Bachmann has no sex capades in her closet, except for her gay husband Marcus.

    Comment by davinci — December 28, 2011 @ 10:38 pm - December 28, 2011

  36. Wrap your brain around Romney – Santorum 2012, and **retch**.

    That’s what’s going to happen. I just fear it in my heart-of-hearts…with Santorum as the Tricky-Dick of our times. And it will take a generation or two before any semblance of sanity returns. It’s gonna happen, I just feel it coming like a plate of spoiled Garlic Shrimp coming back to haunt me.

    And the Stupids at the GOP convention will only be talking about abortion and Gay Marriage. Not the Economy. Not unemployment, or the dismal state of housing. Barely a word about border security or the Iranians. Just Abortion and the “sanctity” of Marriage by straight people. …Hence Santorum. **Argh!!**

    Think I’m over-exaggerating? …They’re the two litmus test questions for getting nominated as a NJ Delegate to the GOP Convention at the County Committee-level.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — December 28, 2011 @ 10:41 pm - December 28, 2011

  37. #34 – “Bachmann has no sex capades in her closet, except for her gay husband Marcus.”

    What have you got against bisexuals?

    Comment by Richard Bell — December 28, 2011 @ 11:00 pm - December 28, 2011

  38. “I wish some candidates who have stood aside would reconsider and stop forward”. If we went back to nominating the candidates at the conventions, I think there would be many more that would step forward. They will not put themselves through years of debates and campaigning from one end of the country to the other and then going through these stupid State primaries.

    I certainly would not. Besides having reporters and campaign workers digging all through my “trash”.

    Comment by John R — December 29, 2011 @ 12:35 am - December 29, 2011

  39. That is “step’ forward.

    Comment by John R — December 29, 2011 @ 12:36 am - December 29, 2011

  40. you are only depriving the candidate with the best likelihood of defeating Obama of a vote

    You know what? I’m getting a bit tired of pundits telling me who will defeat Obama. If you added the caveat “in my opinion“, that would be one thing. Too many are asserting it as fact when we’re nowhere near the nomination, let alone election. Don’t go there, Dan.

    Comment by TGC — December 29, 2011 @ 3:02 am - December 29, 2011

  41. Gov. Mitch Daniels was an early pre-debate favorite and he backed out. Why?

    Supposedly it was up to his wife. I imagine she didn’t want the anal exam that comes with running for the Republican nomination.

    Comment by TGC — December 29, 2011 @ 3:07 am - December 29, 2011

  42. And woe be to anyone who trips up in a debate and gets branded the Perry of 2016/2020.

    That would be debate(s).

    What have you got against bisexuals?

    LOL. I guess a gay guy who holds his nose during heterosexual intercourse counts as a bisexual these days.

    Judging by many of these comments in this thread, you’d think Reagan today would not have a chance not for some of his moderate views AND, apparently, the vicious MSM, who apparently did their job by grilling the outstanding Bush II and keeping him from getting into the White House.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — December 29, 2011 @ 11:21 am - December 29, 2011

  43. Cheri Daniels divorced Mitch Daniels in 1994 and went to California where she remarried. Mitch raised their four daughters who ranged in age at the time of the divorce from 8 to 14. In 1997, Cheri and Mitch remarried. We have (mercifully) no details of the 3 year Cheri hiatus.

    The mother’s abandonment (my words) of her children and husband was at a critical time in lives of the daughters. I know not a thing about what propelled Cheri Daniels on her journey, but I do not know of any reasoning that could praise her decisions as being positive and nurturing.

    Daniels said from the beginning of any mention of running for President that his wife and the daughters and their families would have to agree to his candidacy. Obviously, Cheri and the girls do not need Letterman, Maher, Whoopi, Babwa, Dr. Phil, Stewart, the MSM and the remaining jackals joking and prying and pontificating away while Mitch Daniels twists slowly in the wind.

    Democrats like Weiner get the full treatment when they make themselves open targets that can not be ignored. Republicans, like Palin, get the full treatment on gossip and innuendo alone. Cheri Daniels would be the gift that keeps on giving to the MSM that spares no energy in smearing those they politically despise.

    Whatever “rediscovery” of family and marriage the Daniels have found, any questions surrounding their private lives would be the clear focus in the inevitable politics of destruction. Herman Cain got off light compared to what the Daniels would have been in for.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 29, 2011 @ 11:32 am - December 29, 2011

  44. I guess the MSM’s treatment of Kitty Dukakis’ flag-burning got into the spotlight because, in Helio’s words, it could “not be ignored.”

    Comment by Cinesnatch — December 29, 2011 @ 12:55 pm - December 29, 2011

  45. Well, Cines*****, you went back to 1988 for your rebuttal. OK. Here is how Sourcewatch frames the scenario:

    During the 1988 U.S. presidential election, Symms claimed in a radio interview that a photograph existed from the 1960s showing Kitty Dukakis, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, burning an American flag to protest the Vietnam war. Kitty Dukakis angrily denied the accusation as “totally false and beneath contempt,” and Symms later admitted that he could not substantiate it. Nevertheless, the claim became national news, as media outlets began searching for the photograph Symms said he had “heard” about.

    The flag-burning story was one of several false rumors about Dukakis that circulated during the 1988 campaign. “Mr. Symms’s comment was the third time in a few days that prominent Republicans have publicly aired allegations that the Democrats have swiftly rebutted,” the New York Times reported. “The allegations come at a time when Republicans are struggling to shift the campaign focus away from his Vice-Presidential running mate, Senator Dan Quayle of Indiana, and questions about his Vietnam era service in the National Guard.”

    The campaign of George H.W. Bush denied playing a role in spreading the rumors, but the stories helped erode Dukakis’ 17-point lead in opinion polls, and Bush went on to win the election. In 1991, Bush campaign advisor Lee Atwater, after being stricken with terminal brain cancer, wrote a deathbed apology for his role in orchestrating unfair attacks on Dukakis.

    1. News media outlets went searching for the photograph. 2. The Democrats were pasting Quayle for his National Guard service in the Vietnam era. 3.) The “evil” Lee Atwater admitted to orchestrating unfair attacks, but there is no direct connection offered between Symms and Atwater.

    Meanwhile, did Atwater write the Dukasis debate answer about the hypothetical rape of Kitty Dukakis? Did Atwater talk Al Gore into launching the Willie Horton attack on Dukakis during the primaries? Did Atwater dress Dukakis up like Snoopy and send him out for the tank photo op? Did Atwater make the press respond to all the stupid stuff Dukakis pulled off?

    Dukakis succeeded all on his own to make himself into a clown. He had the charisma of a tree stump and the media treated him like a Republican. They tried to pin an affair on Bush and Dan Rather did everything he could think of to tie Bush to Iran-Contra. The MSM pummeled Bush for the Willie Horton ad while saying not a word of its genesis. It is not as if this silly Kitty Dukakis flag burning claim was anywhere near the focus of the nastiness. It is hardly remembered. I suspect more people remember her addiction problem than can recall a single thing about any Jane Fonda moment in her life.

    Nice try.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 29, 2011 @ 2:00 pm - December 29, 2011

  46. Helio, Since you were discussing the potential treAtment of the wife of a potential presidential candidate, I made an apples to apples comparison. You had to bring in oranges and bananas and make a fruit salad. Bon appetit.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — December 29, 2011 @ 2:22 pm - December 29, 2011

  47. It seems to me that if Ron Paul prevails in Iowa, that state will become the laughing stock of the country, and nobody will ever again take their caucuses seriously. Although that eccentric and malevolebt little Martian is scary, what are even scarier are the people who support him, and who he would appoint as his Secretary Of State, as his Secretary Of Defense an as his CIA Director. I’m incredulous that he is even a candidate. But then, I was incredulous when Obama became a candidate, too. People in this country are nuts. You know that, don’t you?

    Comment by Anne — December 29, 2011 @ 3:11 pm - December 29, 2011

  48. Heliotrope, Cheri Daniels is nuttier than a squirrel turd, imho. She is a classic case of Arrested Development; i.e., an adult with the mind of a bratty, little child. Mitch should have washed his hands of her years ago. He lost my respect completely when he got back together with that spoiled brat.

    Comment by Anne — December 29, 2011 @ 3:20 pm - December 29, 2011

  49. Not really.

    As Heliotrope pointed out, the media practically had an aneurysm attacking Bush, calling such attacks lies, and insisting that families were off-limits.

    Meanwhile, Heliotrope smartly lured you into exactly the place Obama supporters like you should fear to tread: the media’s treatment of Sarah Palin and her family.

    Which shows how Obama supporters who complain in the least about treatment of Obama Party members are complete and total hypocrites.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 29, 2011 @ 3:42 pm - December 29, 2011

  50. Stop hogging the fruit salad, ND30. Leave some for everyone else. :)

    Comment by Cinesnatch — December 29, 2011 @ 4:18 pm - December 29, 2011

  51. Whatever “rediscovery” of family and marriage the Daniels have found, any questions surrounding their private lives would be the clear focus in the inevitable politics of destruction.

    And that’s how Chicagoans get to where they are.

    Comment by TGC — December 29, 2011 @ 5:03 pm - December 29, 2011

  52. Cines*****, that old apples to apples gone fruit salad eely dance floor routine is so stale and trite it won’t begin to stand up to scrutiny.

    Apparently, the scope of your “argument” is that Kitty Dukakis got egged in 1988, so that opens the door for the Democrats to egg Cheri Daniels as the wife of the Republican nominee should Mitch Daniels be named.

    That level of moral relativism is predictable.

    I wrote:

    Democrats like Weiner get the full treatment when they make themselves open targets that can not be ignored

    How you can take what Weiner did and lied about doing until the media was unable to make it go away by ignoring it and compare it to the Kitty DuKakis denial of flag burning is beyond my ability to comprehend.

    If there is fruit salad in the making, you may well be the chef.

    For your edification, I was making the point that some people like Weiner, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, Barney Frank, etc. keep pushing the envelope until they manage to get the spotlights fully focused on them.

    I don’t think that includes anything Kitty Dukakis ever did. Or Dan Quayle. Or Sarah Palin. Or Herman Cain. Or Clarence Thomas.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 29, 2011 @ 6:53 pm - December 29, 2011

  53. Naamloos said:

    Whether it likes it or not, the USA is responsible for policing the world, lest it fall into utter chaos.

    … And how’s that going so far. It can’t get too much more chaos-sy than it is now. Unfortunately, there is a huge kernel of truth to Paul’s assertion, backed by the CIA, that a lot of the crap we’re dealing with now is the result of our interventionist foreign policy. After ten years – yes TEN – I have yet to hear anyone explain in a realistic fashion, who is actually being honest about the religious beliefs, economic situation and tribal structure of most of the populous that exists in that country, how we walk out of Afghanistan with a victory.

    Our best option is to announce, tomorrow, that we’re getting out in a year or less, and accompany that with a speech something like this:.” You will have your country back to do with as you please. But, be warned; if you are ever again involved with any attacks as you were in 9/11, retribution will be hard and swift….. Have a good day”.

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 29, 2011 @ 7:07 pm - December 29, 2011

  54. #53 – sonicfrog – So, your willing to give assylum to the hundred or so thousand Afghans who will be slaughtered by the Taliban after we leave?

    Comment by Richard Bell — December 29, 2011 @ 9:37 pm - December 29, 2011

  55. guess the MSM’s treatment of Kitty Dukakis’ flag-burning got into the spotlight because, in Helio’s words, it could “not be ignored.”

    It couldn’t have gotten too much of a media spotlight, because this is the first I’ve heard of it.

    And were it not for right-wing blogs, I would know nothing of M’Chel’s curious habit of flying separately to her luxuriant vacation from her husband (at a cost of hundreds of thousands to the taxpayer).

    Comment by V the K — December 29, 2011 @ 11:02 pm - December 29, 2011

  56. I would fascinated to hear Cinesnatch’s explanation of why the unbiased, non-partisan media went wall-to-wall with Herman Cain infidelity accusations, but sat on the John Edwards baby-daddy story for two years?

    Comment by V the K — December 29, 2011 @ 11:09 pm - December 29, 2011

  57. It can’t get too much more chaos-sy than it is now.

    What’s your basis for believing that? Sure, the middle east is a quagmire. But it could get a lot worse. I’m not very knowledgeable about this sort of thing, but I would predict that the USA withdrawing from Afghanistan at this point would completely destabilize the country, and that would have an affect on the entire region. That just seems intuitive to me (maybe I’m completely wrong; I don’t know).

    Comment by Naamloos — December 29, 2011 @ 11:41 pm - December 29, 2011

  58. It can’t get too much more chaos-sy than it is now.

    You really think so? How about this scenario: Iran gets nukes. Saudi Arabia nukes up to protect its interests. Iran attacks Israel with nuclear weapons. Israel responds with a nuclear counter-attack. Saudi Arabia joins in. When the dust settles, a significant portion of the world’s petroleum supply is unobtainable because it sits in a radioactive wasteland.

    Consider the global repercussions of that.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 12:20 am - December 30, 2011

  59. And don’t forget, Dutch scoentists have figured out how to make Avian flu readily transmittable an 40 to 60% fatal. And they are eager to publish the instructions for doing so. Consider the global chaos ramifications of that.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 12:23 am - December 30, 2011

  60. - Iran is a threat. I think it would be naïve to say that war with Iran, sometime in the future, isn’t inevitable.
    - Afghanistan borders Iran on the East. Having a military presence in Afghanistan is a good position to be in when the inevitable war with Iran begins. But it doesn’t help if Afghanistan is a quagmire, and the Taliban still has influence there.
    - Iraq borders Iran on the West. I think leaving Iraq is boneheaded. Having a stable Iraq is an advantage regarding the inevitable war with Iran. Having a presence in Iraq should be a priority, and remain one until the Iran situation is dealt with.

    And, to tie this all in with the presidential election, Ron Paul wants to pretend all this isn’t happening. His views on Iran are naïve, and having such naïvete in such a powerful position as the president of the United States would be the best possible thing for Iran. The second best possible thing for Iran would be having such naïvete as Barack Obama in such a powerful position as the president of the United States.

    Comment by Naamloos — December 30, 2011 @ 1:26 am - December 30, 2011

  61. Sure, the middle east is a quagmire. But it could get a lot worse. I’m not very knowledgeable about this sort of thing, but I would predict that the USA withdrawing from Afghanistan at this point would completely destabilize the country, and that would have an affect on the entire region.

    So, we’re there for ever, with no end in sight?

    And who says it’s stable now?

    I know there is the notion that, if we invade a country, if we break it, we must fix it. Problem is, that country was broken in our POV before we got there. And, unlike Europe and Japan after WW2, which had adopted Western ideas of capitalism and industry, they have no interest in becoming “Westernized”. Our model of society simply doesn’t fit with what they are. We can’t force that. Not with economic pressure, and certainly not at the barrel of a gun. We are4 spinning our wheels there. We could spend the next en years there and the end results would likely still be the same.

    They will follow their own path, and will fight to do so. You can only shut down a populations will for so long. That is the lesson of the Soviet occupation of East Europe. It is the lesson of Libya and of Egypt. It is the lesson Assad in Syria is only now confronted with. Sooner of later, the government of North Korea will also learn this lesson. We are indeed an ignorant Government if we continue to ignore this grand lessons of history.

    How about this scenario: Iran gets nukes. Saudi Arabia nukes up to protect its interests. Iran attacks Israel with nuclear weapons. Israel responds with a nuclear counter-attack. Saudi Arabia joins in. When the dust settles, a significant portion of the world’s petroleum supply is unobtainable because it sits in a radioactive wasteland.

    And what, exactly, is your plan to stop Iran from getting a nuclear device. Bomb them? Because, if we do that, war will break out any way. That is what they want! And it’s better for them if we or Israel does that before they get the bomb, because they are given freedom to fight the guerilla style warfare Hamas specializes in, knowing we can’t use nukes on them because they don’t have them or haven’t used them.

    For all the posturing we and Israel use to counter the Iranian posture, it’s all beside the point. Other than the very smart use of computer viruses to slow down the development of nuclear technologies, there is no way we or Israel can stop them from getting nuke if they really want them. We had better be prepared for this new reality.

    As far as the oil supply goes. The Middle East does not hold the same power over oil it did thirty years ago. Yes, it still provides a decent portion of oil to the world market. But, if push came to shove, we would find ways to adjust. And I don’t know about you, but I am sick to death of having our foreign policy held hostage by shieks with little concern for anything other than the gold plated lifestyle we’ve been paying for for the last fifty years.

    No other candidate, left or right, shows any willingness to really change the status que in the Middle East. A Ron Paul Presidency would not change things over night, but at least that would get the ball rolling.

    Finally. What the hell do Dutch scientist have to do with Ron Paul’s contention that our foreign policy is not helping things?

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 30, 2011 @ 1:59 am - December 30, 2011

  62. So, we’re there for ever, with no end in sight?

    Sorta like Germany, Japan and S. Korea.

    Our model of society simply doesn’t fit with what they are. We can’t force that.

    I’m not aware of anyone advocating that we do so. I think you’re being a bit overly simplistic if not obtuse. Or just creating a straw man, I’m not really sure.

    Comment by TGC — December 30, 2011 @ 3:26 am - December 30, 2011

  63. A Ron Paul Presidency would not change things over night, but at least that would get the ball rolling.

    Do we really want a Ron Paul Presidency that wouldn’t have committed the US to stopping the Blitzkrieg or the Holocaust? Do we really want a crazy, racist sonofabitch like that in the WH?

    Comment by TGC — December 30, 2011 @ 3:30 am - December 30, 2011

  64. So, we’re there for ever, with no end in sight?
    No, only as long as oil is essential to the Global economy. You can say “Oh, the Middle East is less important than it was thirty years ago,” but that’s naive. We have seen how relatively minor disruptions to crude production result in enormous price hikes. Now, think about irradiating a third of global reserves.

    The fact is, what we call ‘Middle East Conflict’ is, in fact, Middle Eastern culture. As John Derbyshire put it, “The Middle East contains three hundred million people, and most of them are crazy as coots.” This may seem bigoted and racist, but take a good hard look at what goes on over there and tell me it isn’t true. There will always be conflict in the Middle East. There has been for five thousand years. That’s not going to change. Someday, we may have an alternative to oil, but until then, we’re going to have to deal with that craziness.

    These are facts.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 8:11 am - December 30, 2011

  65. What the hell do Dutch scientist have to do with Ron Paul’s contention that our foreign policy is not helping things?

    Because RuPaul seems to think we can just withdraw from the world and everything will be swell and it will be 1783 all over again. That’s not the case when scientists can figure out how to turn a garden variety flu virus into Stephen King’s Captain Trips (Google it). And when, furthermore, you have Islamist whackos willing to unleash that virus and let Allah sort it out. (Or, for that matter, environmentalist whackos who treat ’12 Monkeys’ like a pr0n movie.)

    The likelihood of an American city being on the receiving end of a nuclear or biological attack in my lifetime is pretty close to 100%. When it happens, I don’t want a president in office who thinks we had it coming to us.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 8:18 am - December 30, 2011

  66. There is a fine line between isolationism and self interest in geo-politics. “War is not an independent phenomenon, but the continuation of politics by different means.” (Karl von Clausewitz)

    Taking war off the table and limiting it to “clear” issues of national security violates the dictum that “to secure peace is to prepare for war.” (Karl von Clausewitz, once more.) You can not prepare for war on paper alone. You have to diligently practice for war. You have to be ready for war. You have to embrace the hair trigger of war to be secure against other forces that are assessing your preparedness and will to fight and to win.

    For instance, the US took a major presence in NATO and Europe went without internal wars for the longest period in the history of Europe. However, Europe was able to vastly expand its state socialism with the monies it did not have to spend on national defense. The critical national defense was left to the United States and its NATO obligations.

    Who is going to defend the United States besides the United States? And, as we sit by and don’t draw oil from our continental shelf for altruistic reasons, what have we accomplished as the Chinese sail in and take the oil for themselves? And when does that become an issue of National Security? And when does the politics of our energy supply and economic life become the cause of politics by different means and take on the role of war?

    Isolationism or geo-political timidity and reticence make for no saner parlor talk than waxing on about one-world peace and harmony.

    Ron Paul is not saying anything much different than Pat Buchanan has said about staying out of Europe in WWII. They present a very practical and hard nosed case that we should not get involved in any war that does not have immediate practical geo-political rewards for the United States. In that respect, they are fine with Stalin, Mao, Ho, Rwanda, Pol Pot, Chavez, Castro, Milosevic, jihad, Tojo, etc. so long as important US economic interests are not at stake.

    This type of institutionalized national indifference is tacit appeasement and it extends to acts of good will as well. What earthly good is Haiti to the US and why should we spend so much as a penny on aid to such a place? Japan was hit by a double Tsunami and that was entirely and totally their bad luck and has not a thing to do with the United States. Why are we forever sending rescue and relief forces, supplies and dollars to people torn up in natural disasters?

    See how this argument evolves? Moral relativity is an endless game of give and take by elites who are acting from the position of “a Christian holding five aces.” (Mark Twain.)

    Sun Tzu warned of prolonged wars and nation building wars: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.” The core of our military academy training is to know when, where, and how to strike and to win and then move on to the next objective. We conquered Japan and Germany and occupied them until they earned the right to run their own affairs according to the governing documents we made them adopt. Since then, we have compromised our military by avoiding the indelicate inference of “occupation” and “helping” the native governments run the civilian side largely on our dime and helping the country build up self defensive forces. At some point, we are going to have to admit that you do have to conquer and occupy (control) in the ancient sense or conquer and walk away from the physical and societal rubble.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 30, 2011 @ 9:41 am - December 30, 2011

  67. Sorta like Germany, Japan and S. Korea.

    We stay in all 3 countries because they are stable allies and provide us convenient overseas bases for potential operations in their respective regions. We could pull out of all of them without fear of any of these countries collapsing from sectional strife or overthrow of their government. The only possible exception might be South Korea, which should be able to hold its own against North Korea but not without great cost of course.

    Btw, I’m not defending Paul nor will I vote for him. He’s a nutjob. I do agree, however, that we could rethink our overseas deployment of troops without jeopardizing our national security. That’s not to say that we should become isolationist just that I’m concerned we are becoming overextended militarily and are essentially giving folks like the Germans and Japanese a free ride wherein we pay for defense and they spend their money on social programs. I’m really, really tired of that.

    Comment by JohnAGJ — December 30, 2011 @ 10:01 am - December 30, 2011

  68. Someday, we may have an alternative to oil, but until then, we’re going to have to deal with that craziness.

    Why not instead we drill our own and tell the Middle East to go pound sand? We are supposed to have more than Saudi Arabia in shale and everything else here. Yes, we have to overcome our own homegrown enviro-wackos but I’d rather do that than fight a war in the Middle East every decade or so. Besides, how long do you think the Saudis for example would last without our dollars propping them up?

    Comment by JohnAGJ — December 30, 2011 @ 10:04 am - December 30, 2011

  69. At some point, we are going to have to admit that you do have to conquer and occupy (control) in the ancient sense or conquer and walk away from the physical and societal rubble.

    Although there would undoubtedly be exceptions, I’m more in favor of the latter now. I don’t want to invade, occupy or rebuild any more of these countries. If we have to take military action I’d rather we do so and destroy what we can and then walk away, telling the UN to “have at it” on the way out. “Gunboat diplomacy” and “punitive raids” I believe they called this at one time. Yes, it can be brutal and you will see dead babies on TV (whether we actually killed them or not), but what’s the difference between what we’ve been doing and that? It’s not like our efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan are going to turn out like they did in Germany or Japan. Force should only be used when all other options have been exhausted, but when its used it should be done to strike fear in the enemy to leave us the hell alone.

    Comment by JohnAGJ — December 30, 2011 @ 10:12 am - December 30, 2011

  70. Why not instead we drill our own and tell the Middle East to go pound sand?

    I’m down with that. Sarah Palin is down with that. Every sensible person in the USA is down with that. Unfortunately, our executive branch, our senate, our bureaucratic establishment, our media, our academia, and our courts are all controlled by idiots who think drilling for oil is icky.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 11:02 am - December 30, 2011

  71. Forget about policy issues. As much as we want reform to come through the Congress, it’s not going to happen. If Republicans hold the House and win the Senate, it doesn’t matter if the president is a RINO.

    The ONLY thing that matters is having someone in the White House who will select conservative justices for the Supreme Court. Three justices are in their 70s and will likely die or retire soon. We cannot, under any circumstances, allow Obama to win reelection. Those choices will alter the face of American politics for the next 25-50 years.

    Robert Reich is wise to this important issue and wrote about it recently. It has hardly come up in the campaign. When Gingrich brought up the judiciary, it was not in the American way of dealing with the courts. The judiciary is independent for a reason.

    We need to nominate an ELECTABLE candidate – someone who has the best chance of beating Obama. It doesn’t matter if this guy is ideologically pure. It doesn’t matter if he is a pragmatist who has blown with the political winds.

    This “extraordinary moment” is about three Supreme Court seats that can make a 5-4 court into a 7-2 court or a 3-6 court depending on who wins in 2012 (assuming Ginsberg retires before the election to give Obama the choice of her seat).

    The Supreme Court is only the tip of the iceberg. Hundreds of federal judges and hundreds of US attorneys will be appointed by the next president.

    Clinton, Bush, and now Obama have all demonstrated that even when you hold both chambers of Congress, it’s not always easy to get the change you want. And when you get that change, it can cost you dearly in the next election with the swing voters in a handful of key states.

    Cabinet appointments and other high level appointments are important too. These agencies drive the discretionary powers of government. The agencies can promulgate their own rules and interpret existing rules as they see fit. The Justice Department matters. The EPA matters. The EEOC matters. The DoL matters. The Federal Reserve Board and the FFIEC matters.

    If you’re thinking about any issue other than appointments to the courts and federal agencies, you’re not thinking. Period!

    Comment by POWinCA — December 30, 2011 @ 11:18 am - December 30, 2011

  72. As to a candidate…I am not pleased with the way we have been “herded” into Romney. But my main principle here is any body but Obama. (Well, except Ron Paul who I think is dangerous on foreign policy and defense.) So, I guess Romney it is. And since I live in Virginia (and seriously doubt that court cases to the contrary) my only choice on Primary day will be Romney.

    Comment by Linda Strickland — December 30, 2011 @ 11:50 am - December 30, 2011

  73. “The Middle East contains three hundred million people, and most of them are crazy as coots.” This may seem bigoted and racist, but take a good hard look at what goes on over there and tell me it isn’t true.

    It’s not true. They are behaving as they always have. They are acting in their own self interest, just as everyone else does. It looks crazy to us, because we have different values.

    I wrote:

    Our model of society simply doesn’t fit with what they are. We can’t force that.

    TGC replied:

    I’m not aware of anyone advocating that we do so.

    Really???? Are you really prepared to argue we did not go into both Afghanistan and Iraq with the specific goal of kicking off despotic regimes (one by religious rule, one by authoritarian) and install western style democracies, in hopes that we would be able to work with them because they are now more “Western”???

    Because RuPaul seems to think we can just withdraw from the world and everything will be swell and it will be 1783 all over again.

    That’s just silly “True Conservative” talking points and you know it.

    The likelihood of an American city being on the receiving end of a nuclear or biological attack in my lifetime is pretty close to 100%. When it happens, I don’t want a president in office who thinks we had it coming to us.

    More silly talking points. Ron Paul’s does not believe that “we had it coming”. That is a made up position created by his rivals to scare the tar out of the gullible partisan sheeple. His position is, specifically, actions have unintended consequences. The more we use our power to try and change the region more to our liking, the more resistance we are going to face. It would be absolutely no different if China invaded the US, took actions to install a government more to its liking…. Both you and I would do everything in our power to throw them off our backs. If the occupation lasted more than a generation, our children would do the same. And our rebellion would include finding ways to hit a mainland China.

    Even if Paul actually believe what you ascribe to him, he’s not a king. No, unlike the current “True Conservative” movement, he does not think the Presidency should be the all powerful FDR style kingship that both the Republicans and Democrats wish it to remain. Ron Paul, for all his faults, is far far closer to the mold of the Constitutional / Washingtonian model of the Presidency than anyone else out there.

    Have to go work now.

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 30, 2011 @ 12:27 pm - December 30, 2011

  74. Because RuPaul seems to think we can just withdraw from the world and everything will be swell and it will be 1783 all over again.

    Which is, in retrospect, a really silly and inane comment, as our Constitution didn’t even exist yet. If you really want to argue that Paul wants to abolish the Constitution and return to the Articles of Confederation…. I certainly would not dream to dissuade you. I would enjoy it!

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 30, 2011 @ 1:36 pm - December 30, 2011

  75. if China invaded the US, took actions to install a government more to its liking…

    That stupid Rupaulian talking point implies that Afghanistan and Iraq were just minding their own business when, for reasons of pure imperialism, the USA invaded so we could install a democratic. If the USA ever decides to harbor and support terrorists who go over to China and kill 3,000 Chinese, and then refuses to hand them over, China would be justified in bombing us in return. If the USA were run by a genocidal dictator, destabilizing the region, supporting terrorism, and developing weapons of mass destruction to use in unprovoked attacks against China’s allies, China would be justified in striking us.

    But the USA isn’t doing any of those things; which refutes the retarded moral equivalence shared by both the Obama left and the Paulists.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 2:07 pm - December 30, 2011

  76. And I’ll take the ‘True Conservative’ epithet and wear it proudly. Conservatism may not be perfect, but its track record is generally better than those of Cults of Personality.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 2:21 pm - December 30, 2011

  77. Rudyard Kipling wrote:

    OH, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, tho’ they come from the ends of the earth!

    The intent here is to claim that although our cultures may be far apart, we can become kindred souls. But, Kipling did not reveal that the British always adapted the locals to British ideals, not the other way around.

    Therefore, unless we establish the “raj” (a period of domination) and mold the Middle East to our ways, then “east is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet.” Period.

    Crazy or not, the peoples of the Middle East have a distinct plan that is deadly serious. In his book, The Crisis of Islam, Bernard Lewis wrote: “The presumption is that the duty of jihad will continue, interrupted only by truces, until all the world either adopts the Muslim faith or submits to Muslim rule.”

    The Muslim world is divided into Dar al Islam, where Muslims rule, and Dar al Harb, the “field of war” where the infidels live.

    Saudi Professor Nasser bin Suleiman al Omar said the following recently on Al-Majd TV in the United Emirates: “Islam is advancing according to a steady plan, to the point that tens of thousands of Muslims have joined the American army and Islam is the second largest religion in America. America will be destroyed. But we must be patient.”

    Now, either you understand this and believe it, or you think that clever Western diplomacy can talk the theocratic religious law out of Islam. You may not have any religious notions of your own and therefore, you may believe that Islam can be reduced to a sort of non-religous Elks Club where earthly possessions far outweigh the lure of religious purity and the honor of jihad in fulfilling Allah’s commandments.

    Such thinking makes you the easiest of all infidels to subdue. Better dhimmi than dead! Of course, women and gays may wake up to a reality they had not planned on.

    So, in keeping with the Ron Paul stay-out-of-their-business theme, perhaps we should not be quite so democratic about letting Islam play by our rules. Perhaps the cranky old Ron Paul has a totalitarian scheme up his sleeve or perhaps he is just letting more snakes out than he can ever possibly kill. Perhaps he has been mesmerized by his own ideology and can not see the light of simple common sense. It is the Ron Paul types who morph into the totalitarian shortcut where the means justify the ideological purity of the perceived ends. No other person among the candidates is more doctrinaire than Ron Paul.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 30, 2011 @ 2:59 pm - December 30, 2011

  78. That stupid Rupaulian talking point implies that Afghanistan and Iraq were just minding their own business when, for reasons of pure imperialism, the USA invaded so we could install a democratic. If the USA ever decides to harbor and support terrorists who go over to China and kill 3,000 Chinese, and then refuses to hand them over, China would be justified in bombing us in return. If the USA were run by a genocidal dictator, destabilizing the region, supporting terrorism, and developing weapons of mass destruction to use in unprovoked attacks against China’s allies, China would be justified in striking us.

    We didn’t just “bomb them” or “strike them”, did we. If a strike team of Americans did go over to China and kill 3000 of its citizens in suicide attacks, and we were harboring the men who planned the attack, would China be justified in expelling our form of government and installing one to their own liking? Would we, even those who are not fond of our current administration, simply be expected realistically to lay down our arms and let that happen? Because that was the ultimate outcome we expected in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    If the USA were run by a genocidal dictator, destabilizing the region, supporting terrorism, and developing weapons of mass destruction to use in unprovoked attacks against China’s allies, China would be justified in striking us.

    BINGO!!!! Lets re work this a bit to fit the Arabic region:

    If the USA were run by a militaristic government, destabilizing the region, supporting an occupying state in the region, propping up dictators who use weapons of mass destruction in unprovoked attacks against its own people, the Middle East would be justified in striking us.

    And that, my friend is very similar to the way may in the Middle East view us. I’m not saying they are right by any means. But that is the reality. that is the festering wound that our decades of foreign policy implementation completely ignores. Pursuing foreign policy based on “our national interest” while blindly ignoring the people on the ground worked in the short term for a while. But it had its consequences.

    We no longer live in the world just after the end of WW2, where the US was the only power standing. We no longer live in the world where there were only two super powers diving the world up for the “national interests” of each country. We live in a world where, despite all the obstacles we may try and put in place it prevent it, the ease of air travel across the globe makes it easy to strike out at your perceived enemy. What Paul is saying is that we draw back, reassess our foreign policy, learn, adjust accordingly, and act more Constitutionally and same money in the proccess. Why is that so hard to understand.

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 30, 2011 @ 3:19 pm - December 30, 2011

  79. Perhaps he has been mesmerized by his own ideology and can not see the light of simple common sense.

    That and probably some senility, too. The coot is 76 years old. Most people that age aren’t even allowed to handle the TV remote, much less the nuclear football.

    Common sense recognizes that the USA is a global power with global interests and global responsibilities. Common sense recognizes that the rest of the world will not ignore us because we choose to ignore it. We need to put on our big boy pants and recognize this.

    A reassessment f foreign policy goals and the means to achieve them is fine with me. But I don’t trust a guy who thinks the USA had no business defeating Hitler, and thinks Iran isn’t really a threat to make such an assessment.

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 3:58 pm - December 30, 2011

  80. Or, a guy who believes the Bilderbergers control the world:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plo-1rLZ3Jo

    Comment by V the K — December 30, 2011 @ 4:00 pm - December 30, 2011

  81. Sonic,

    I have not addressed you directly here, but do you minimize the threat Islamic jihad and the rebirth of the caliphate? Do you imagine that if we apologize all around the Middle East and then get out and leave them alone that they will settle into peaceful heroin poppy production and intramural camel races?

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 30, 2011 @ 4:48 pm - December 30, 2011

  82. We didn’t just “bomb them” or “strike them”, did we. If a strike team of Americans did go over to China and kill 3000 of its citizens in suicide attacks, and we were harboring the men who planned the attack, would China be justified in expelling our form of government and installing one to their own liking? Would we, even those who are not fond of our current administration, simply be expected realistically to lay down our arms and let that happen? Because that was the ultimate outcome we expected in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan had to be removed for the USA’s security. In this hypothetical, China would be justified in expelling the USA’s democratic republic if its existence threatened China’s security.

    And don’t forget that an American style government is morally superior to communism and Islamic socialism. That doesn’t justify imperialism for the sake of imperialism, but it does give the USA the moral upper hand, both in the acutal conflicts in the Middle East and this Chinese hypothetical (IMO).

    Comment by Naamloos — December 30, 2011 @ 5:51 pm - December 30, 2011

  83. Ron Paul, for all his faults, is far far closer to the mold of the Constitutional / Washingtonian model of the Presidency than anyone else out there.

    Didn’t Washington unilaterally invade Canada?

    Comment by TGC — December 30, 2011 @ 6:08 pm - December 30, 2011

  84. Ron Paul is the scariest of the viable potential candidates.

    Santorum and Bachman hate me/us, so why should I even consider them?

    Cain believed that we “choose” to be gay.

    Gingrich – despite the lesbian sister (if memory serves), is verbally anti-gay.

    Romney … although I was not for him the last time, I will vote for him this time if he gets to that point.

    As to TRUMP? If he runs third party, in my estimation he would be a traitor to the country and the notions he espouses, because it would throw the election to Obama.

    I’m going to secure EU citizenship. just in case. At least we know it is messed up over there and I’m not delusional about that.

    Comment by Miamileon — December 30, 2011 @ 7:27 pm - December 30, 2011

  85. Are you really prepared to argue we did not go into both Afghanistan and Iraq with the specific goal of kicking off despotic regimes (one by religious rule, one by authoritarian) and install western style democracies,

    Yup.

    Who’s your foil hat tuned into? Laika the Space Dog or RuPaul?

    Reply including the word “Neo-con” (read: Joooos) in 5….4….3….2…1….

    Comment by TGC — December 30, 2011 @ 10:33 pm - December 30, 2011

  86. Yup.

    Who’s your foil hat tuned into? Laika the Space Dog or RuPaul?

    Reply including the word “Neo-con” (read: Joooos) in 5….4….3….2…1….

    Really… That’s all you got?

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 31, 2011 @ 12:41 am - December 31, 2011

  87. What else is there? I answered your question, asked you a question and made a prediction.

    Clearly, all you’ve got is to ask me a stupid question to A)waste space, B)waste time, C)change the subject or D)all of the above.

    Let’s not forget, I’m not the subject at hand.

    Comment by TGC — December 31, 2011 @ 3:03 am - December 31, 2011

  88. Sonic @ #78:

    What Paul is saying is that we draw back, reassess our foreign policy, learn, adjust accordingly, and act more Constitutionally and same money in the proccess. Why is that so hard to understand.

    It makes good sense and is easy to understand.

    But doesn’t Paul also say that we create our problems by interjecting ourselves in places where we aren’t invited and where we don’t belong?

    It is clear to me that Ron Paul is oriented toward tending to our own business and staying out of the rest of the world.

    In his Farewell Address, Washington urged avoidance of permanent alliances, a reliance on our geographic isolation, free trade insured by government involvement to keep it stable and a governmental interest in the rights of American merchants when it comes to free trade barriers such as tariffs.

    It might be fair to say that Washington would be opposed to NATO, the UN, NAFTA, SALT, and a lot more. But it would not be fair to say that what Washington believed in his times would be his beliefs in these times.

    Ron Paul seems to echo a lot in Washington’s Farewell Address so far as foreign relations are concerned.

    At the onset of the Jefferson administration, William Eaton of Connecticut scoffed at the idea that a political millennium “ushered in upon us as the irresistible consequence of the goodness of heart, integrity of mind, and correctness of disposition of Mr. Jefferson.”

    Then Eaton lay bare the concept that “all nations, even pirates and savages, were to be moved by the influence of his (Jefferson’s) persuasive virtue and masterly skill in diplomacy.”

    Without the approval of Congress, Jefferson sent and naval fleet and the marines to Tripoli in response to increasing ransoms paid to release American hostages taken by Muslim pirates. However, it was William Eaton who went to Africa, assembled a band of Greeks, camel drivers and Americans and locals and lay siege to the city of Deme and took it. The Navy bombarded from the sea and landed Marines to join up with Eaton’s rag-tag band of mercenaries.

    The Pasha gave up and the Barbary Pirates slunk back to daily life until they came out again to cause trouble administrations of Madison and Monroe.

    So, perhaps Jefferson got it wrong and so, too, did Washington. Perhaps safety of trade on the high seas ends at the three mile limit. Perhaps the American who wanders away from home and hearth is strictly on his own. Perhaps diplomacy is all we have and when it fails, c’est la vie and qui sera sera.

    So, I wonder, where does Ron Paul really stand when nudge comes to push and push comes to shove? Ransom, these days, it a lot cheaper than war. The Somali pirates have proved that. Shall we just stay away from the tough neighborhoods of the world? Shall we blockade the tough neighborhoods and retreat when they press us too hard? What is the Ron Paul roadmap? If isolation is the principle, how do we develop the strategy to maintain it? Shall we curtail international communication access and blind the satellites overhead? Shall we blind ourselves to the machinations of other countries that may be planning to upend us?

    Albert Einstein said that “things should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Frankly, at this point, Ron Paul’s message is so simplistic that I wonder who is falling for it.

    And now we are treated to not rescuing the dictator of Egypt, actively overthrowing the dictator of Lybia, and standing around as Syria comes unglued. How do we chose such courses of action, non-action, and administrative benign neglect? What would Ron Paul do?

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 31, 2011 @ 9:51 am - December 31, 2011

  89. Helio… Thanks for the quality reply. I’ll respond with my thoughts either today or tomorrow. Am tying up loose ends concerning the death of a friend on Christmas Eve.

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 31, 2011 @ 11:21 am - December 31, 2011

  90. Sonic,

    I am sorry for your loss. This is a rotten “season” for grim reality. Take care.

    Comment by Heliotrope — December 31, 2011 @ 11:36 am - December 31, 2011

  91. The basis for Ron Paul´s foreign policy of nonintervention are noble in an ideal world. But we don´t live in an ideal world, thus making his policy naive and pollyannish. His wanting to audit the Fed and many other fiscal ideas are what the country craves. He could be a good Secretrary of the Treasury. A flat tax or a Fair Tax, anything to get rid of the IRS. The tax code is over ten thousand pages, and the IRS employs more the 100,000 which is more than the CIA, FBI,and NSA combined. Imagine the savings that could be applied to reducing the debt.

    Comment by Roberto — December 31, 2011 @ 12:39 pm - December 31, 2011

  92. On Christmas evening, Kevin’s brothers were going over to his apt. to pick him up when they found him. Their destination this night, had things gone according to plan, was to once again fulfill the six year tradition of watching the Dr Who Christmas special at our house. The Sonic-Mate and I were just on our way home to make the final preparations to the house when we got the call. This was a bitter Christmas

    Kevin Kirby died of complications related to cirrhosis of the live…. esophageal hemorrhage to be exact. He was a heavy drinker, and he didn’t stop even after the liver damage revealed itself seven months ago. I know that, here at GP, we sometimes bicker between us. That is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. I want to throw this out there if you, or any of your friends or relatives are also heavy drinks.

    At 46, I’m still young, and I shouldn’t be losing my friends yet, at least that’s the way I feel. But I definitely shouldn’t be losing friends who are younger than me. Kevin was only 42.

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 31, 2011 @ 1:44 pm - December 31, 2011

  93. Didn’t Washington unilaterally invade Canada?

    Yes and no. Canada was a British colony and we were at war with the UK at the time (American Revolution) so it became a legitimate military target. This was before the presidency of Washington years later. We did the same thing in the War of 1812. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending upon your perspective, the Canucks kicked our collective butts both times. Regardless of the failure of both campaigns, they were not exactly the same thing as the military actions we’ve taken during my lifetime.

    Comment by JohnAGJ — December 31, 2011 @ 3:51 pm - December 31, 2011

  94. Don’t we still spend far less on the military than we have in recent decades? Isn’t Medicare/Medicaid entitlements costing us the most money right now?

    I know that, here at GP, we sometimes bicker between us. That is inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

    I find it fun. May God comfort y’all and his family during this aweful time.

    Comment by TGC — December 31, 2011 @ 3:53 pm - December 31, 2011

  95. BTW…. Washington did not invade Canada. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, the Congress, without Washington’s input, had approved a campaign to capture Quebeck. Some time after, Washington did send Benedict Arnold up to Canada to meet and reinforce that campaign. I don’t remember the exact details, but I’m pretty certain the invasion of Canada was not an idea that Washington had originally signed off on, but rather went along with it after it was already in motion..

    Comment by sonicfrog — December 31, 2011 @ 4:32 pm - December 31, 2011

  96. without Washington’s input, had approved a campaign to capture Quebeck.

    So he didn’t go to Quebec?

    Comment by TGC — January 1, 2012 @ 1:13 am - January 1, 2012

  97. “So he didn’t go to Quebec?”

    We were only able to capture the ‘K’ and never gave it back. :-)

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 1, 2012 @ 5:26 pm - January 1, 2012

  98. I would fascinated to hear Cinesnatch’s explanation of why the unbiased, non-partisan media went wall-to-wall with Herman Cain infidelity accusations, but sat on the John Edwards baby-daddy story for two years?

    John Edwards was irrelevant after 2004. Let’s not pretend differently. There was no way he was going to figure into the 2008 race. Even if the affair never hit the airwaves.

    Comment by Cinesnatch — January 1, 2012 @ 8:46 pm - January 1, 2012

  99. #92 I’m a recovering alcoholic. I’ve been sober for five years, and am now actively involved in A.A.

    I stopped drinking before anything really bad happened to me. I never lost a job or a home, never landed in jail, never had to go through detox or rehab. There was a lot of alcoholism in my family, and I simply saw the warning signs and quit. I suppose if I’d waited longer, it would have been harder to do.

    I don’t drink anything stronger, now, than water or coffee, and I’ve never even tried drugs — even marijuana — in my life. I don’t think my health was badly affected. But I certainly know a lot of people in the program who have had serious health consequences. One has had a liver transplant, and at least two or three others I know need them.

    Quitting drinking is a “God” thing, I believe. I credit my GLBT friends — especially those who are Christians — for helping me get sober, and God for helping me stay that way.

    Every day, I say a prayer for those who can’t, or who — at any rate — don’t.

    Comment by Lori Heine — January 2, 2012 @ 1:41 am - January 2, 2012

  100. Lorri,

    I salute your for your resolve and steadfastness and for having caring friends. In the case above, I have to wonder how much counsel Kevin´s friends gave him. I know that you can´t force anybody to reform but but certainly a little prodding would show tha tothers do care and could be a wake up call. If he ignored his friend´s observations and the diagnosis that he had cirrhosis of the liver, to continue his drinking seems to indicate that he must have had one helluva death wish. I had a friend who recently passe,d but not from alcolism, when we last spoke in 2009 he had reported that he had two years of sobriety. I was surprised and happy for him.

    Comment by Roberto — January 2, 2012 @ 10:59 am - January 2, 2012

  101. I can’t say how much he drank after the diagnosis. I do know he cut down quite a bit, but, from the info gleaned from his brother John, he didn’t stop completely. The damage may have been too great regardless. John also said that Kevin’s condition was, as of a couple of months ago, not very good, and that the family did have some concerns about his health. He had started to miss work because of it, and he was the kind of guy who rarely would miss work. He was a programmer and loved his job.

    PS. When the Climategate 1 emails revealed some of the code used in the models, he took the time to go through it. He couldn’t believe what an absolute pile of crap it was!

    Comment by sonicfrog — January 2, 2012 @ 1:55 pm - January 2, 2012

  102. His position is, specifically, actions have unintended consequences. The more we use our power to try and change the region more to our liking, the more resistance we are going to face.

    Really?

    Caller: I want a complete, impartial, and totally independent investigation of the events of September 11, 2001 . I’m tired of this bogus garbage about terrorism. Ask Michael Meacher about how he feels about this bogus war on terrorism. Can you comment on that please?

    Ron Paul (alleged Republican): Well, that would be nice to have. Unfortunately, we don’t have that in place. It will be a little bit better now with the Democrats now in charge of oversight. But you know, for top level policy there’s not a whole lot of difference between the two policies so a real investigation isn’t going to happen. But I think we have to keep pushing for it. And like you and others, we see the investigations that have been done so far as more or less cover-up and no real explanation of what went on.

    That’s troofer shit right there.

    Comment by TGC — January 3, 2012 @ 12:08 am - January 3, 2012

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