Friday, May 18, 2007

Assessment Of The Field Of Republican Candidates

Of course, everyone knows that I favor Mike Huckabee, in sum because he’s smart, genial, honest, and sincere in his intentions. There are more comments at the official campaign blog and the first unofficial blog, at the sites in my sig. In his GOP Eagle, Bobby Eberle commented on “the highlights and lowlights” of the debate , ending with “The surprise candidate for me was Gov. Huckabee. His answers were strong on all the issues, and he came across as thoughtful, not contrived, and willing to listen.” It is clear to me that, though the media clamor still holds Rudy McRomney as “the top tier,” Huckabee looks to be 4th, even in general, sometimes unthoughtful and uniformed, opinion. He is called by objective observers, “the best communicator” in the field. Look it up with a search engine.

As for “the top tier,” in my opinion two of the three are ruled out, right out of the gate, and the third, Mitt Romney, has been just two flexible and is just too moneyed, scripted and just too darned handsome to make me comfortable. Where would Romney be if he looked like Tommy Thomson, who is much more consistent, more innovative, more experienced, and more personal than prepared?

Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are right out. I wouldn’t even vote for them in the general if they won the Republican nomination. It’s nothing personal. I agree that Giuliani sounds comforting about prosecuting both domestic and foreign (terrorist) criminals. And I would like him in a good cabinet post dealing with security threats. But, if a person doesn’t understand the fundamental American principle and the critical nature of respect for human life to the survival of a civilized society, I don’t trust that person’s capacity to protect and defend The Constitution, as the presidential oath promises. Similarly, McCain has made a very faint philosophical defense of the right to life AND has cosponsored and advocated for an outright defiance of the !st Amendment right to fee speech (“campaign finance reform”) As well as these people might mean, they are perceptually if not overtly incompetent to perform a president’s duty to protect and defend The US Constitution and elemental morality.

Mitt Romney is too cute by half, literally. Ask any woman. Let him get a good tan and be the next George Hamilton. His explanations for his position-changes don’t inspire me to sign up. Scroll down at to see their latest post about “Mitt-flopping.” It was funny. But, it was a bit of a sharp jab at Romney: the kind of thing that Huckabee wouldn’t approve. I’m not calling Romney a phony. But, I’m not saying I believe him, either. The logic of his explanation doesn’t jibe with me. So, he could be just illogical, as a lot of people are. But, as for the used car salesman charge…I’m not buying the pitch. Keep trying, Mitt. But as far as I’m concerned, you might have a better chance if you weren’t so pretty, and now perfectly aligning yourself with the Republican base. Huckabee joked about John Edwards’ haircuts. How much are Romney's?

I have a longstanding deep respect for Ron Paul’s fidelity to principle and his knowledge of history and the American Constitution. In the first place, media commenters’ sneers about Paul illustrate just how shallow they are. They say he’s a non-entity. But, he shows highly at every vote and poll. His 20-25% is a big hunk of a 10-man field. But, I’m thinking it is maxed out for the Republican campaign. It will still be the same if the field is 2 or 3, and that won’t be big enough.

It wasn’t fair and typically obtuse of Giuliani and others to describe Paul’s comments at the debate as blaming America for 9/11. Paul was merely stating the facts that 1) a “blowback” from America’s intervention in the Middle East should not be unexpected, and 2) terrorists and other Middle Easterners have, indeed, cited it as motivation for their animus. Let me quickly say that moraly, I could care less why murderers do their wicked deeds, and I don’t care relative to our response to it, either, though maybe the Democrats could charge bin-Laden with a “hate-crime,” and when he’s caught they could execute him TWICE, scorning him not just as a murderer, but also a “hater” Ooh, that’s really bad. That’ll teach him…

Paul was absolutely right that we should have gotten a declaration of war before the Iraq invasion, and I said so at the time. I think at the time he could have gotten it. That sure would have been helful in retrospect, eh? But anyway. It was simple-minded and unreflective to scorn Paul for being a traditional conservative isolationist. I don’t think that position is prudent in terms of security or responsible in terms of moral humanity, in a world where technology transports men around the world in hours instead of months and sound and images in minutes, and when you have the capacity to intervene on the behalf of oppressed and brutalized people. I understand the founders’ counsel to avoid foreign entanglementsin the late 18th century. But, I’m not going to hang security and morality on that hook today. Ron Paul’s adherence to principle and his thoughtfulness are so alluring in today’s world, that it would take concerns of that huge significance in the face of the utter miracle that The Republican Party nominated him to keep me rom voting for him. I don’t believe Paul is indifferent to American security. He was in the Air Force and anyone would make a mistake assuming that he was soft on that score. And, it would be such a wonder if he were nominated that I might think that God is trying to tell us something.

Kansas Senator Sam Brownback is a decent guy, though his intellectual incisiveness and rhetorical proficiency don’t exactly light up a room. Basically, he’s as moving and inspiring as a landscape of Kansas. I wish he’d endorse Huckabee.

I like Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter. They’d be good friends and I have many like them. But I think the focus on immigration as our biggest , though it’s a real problem, is misguided. If they built an impenetrable wall (I don't like walls, BTW), which I don’t see anyone running to do (they funded a 250 mile one a few months ago, and they’ve finished 2 miles), they won’t have fixed America. We have what I think will be weakening and ultimately fatal internal problems if nothing changes. In that case, the borders won’t matter, and to lose focus on those problems in America is a lethal distraction. Sure, we need to clean up immigration and certainly shut it to criminals and terrorists. But, that isn’t the meat on our plate of problems. Trust Huckabee with both the defense (Hunter) and immigration (both Tancredo and Hunter) issues.

Tommy Thompson and Jim Gilmore are former governors and more serious than posturing legislators. Thompson is fairly innovative and Gilmore is very sober and businesslike. Actually, Thompson has pretty much lived in Iowa and should fare better than expected in the August straw poll. But, I don’t think his followers will be the type to stage a big party. And, neither of them’s personality or presentation is going to set anyone afire. If there’s more to see, let’s see it. If not, make way for Huckabee.

Obviously, conservatives need to consolidate. With the support of Brownback, Hunter, Tancredo, Thomson, and Gilmore (though I think a lot of Thompson and Gilmore’s support would go to Romney and McCain), Huckabee would be solidly in the top tier. I think he’d end up winning the nomination. There is huge despair that Democrats have the general election locked up, but I think Huckabee may be the only one who can upset that. And besides, I may have quit on The Republican Party, but I’m not going to quit on God and what’s right.


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