Saturday, March 24, 2007

Thompson got me thinking

Like to many other R's, I have a political crush on Fred Thompson right now. It could fade, but right now it's looking promising.

Issue-wise, I can identify only two flaws of Thompson's. He voted for McCain-Feingold campaign finance regulation, which I view as patently unconstitutional, and in an early campaign for senate in the 90's his position on abortion was less than 100% pro-life, more federalist. But that's not even a real flaw in my book since only the people who will care about that are those who picket abortion clinics. His Senate voting record was solidly pro-life. If we're anti-Roe, and if we're anti-Roe because Roe identified a new and dubious individual right, Thompson's federalist position is actually the correct one. Most pro-lifers would like to see Roe overturned, which would return abortion to state-by-state regulation - a federalist position. Only a super-pro-life SCOTUS decision that created individual rights for embryos would be more pro-life than Thompson. Issue-wise, Thompson is pareto superior to Giuliani; Thompson holds preferred positions on guns, abortion, border control, and he holds no positions inferior to Giuliani's.

But his positions are almost beside the point in a Republican electorate nearly ready to nominate Rudy Giuliani - a man who is weak on nearly every traditional Republican issue save taxes and killing terrorists.

Thompson's appeal, like Giuliani's, is the ability to communicate effectively. Rudy told us he'd leave gun control where it is, appoint legally conservative judges, be pro-taxpayer, and kill terrorists. Rudy is weak on some positions, but his positions are known - known at least to those who are paying attention. Thompson communicates just as well as, and perhaps better than, Giuliani. And he's Southern, so he speaks not only the language of the base, but the dialect.

McCain has committed many sins against the party, but he also has a serious communication problem. Whenever he defends the war in Iraq, or talks about the WOT, he does so in a demure manner. It's like he's trying to apologize or somehow atone for his support for the war, no doubt trying to blunt that issue against the general electorate. Thompson and Giuliani have no such problems voicing their aggressive postures against our enemies. McCain can not win the R nomination posturing like a wuss, even if he's saying the right words.

At least SOMEBODY else gets it.

Lowman Henry gets it. The PA Republican party, particularly the grassroots, is in a funk. Henry points to several points, among them are these two gems:

"Former State House Speaker John Perzel was the very personification of the pay, perks and privilege excesses of the legislature. In January, when it came time to dump him, only six - out of 102 - Republicans legislators had the guts to vote again him. That sent the clear and unmistakable message to grassroots Republicans that despite having replaced a full one-fourth of legislators they still did not get the message. Even worse, only two of the legislative freshmen voted against Perzel. Is it any wonder grassroots Republicans are throwing up their hands in frustration?"

"In terms of the state Republican Party, not a single leadership position has changed hands since the debacle of last November. Clearly no house cleaning there, hence no structural change in the party's operations. It remains the ultimate leadership-driven operation."

I continue to question why I am still a Republican after the way the party establishment (local, state, and national) has abandoned its own principles... my principles. We're told we must make compromises to win races, yet we're losing races, and it seems the few we win are hardly worth the effort.

I share Lowman Henry's utter disgust and contempt, yet I am strangely encouraged that somebody other than myself sees these problems.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Missing the Point

Headline : "Russia capable of hitting US missile shield: general"

This so absolutely misses the point of the missile shield it isn't even funny.

There is a reason missile counter-measures were originally banned in our earlier treaties with the USSR - they would be very expensive and could be easily overwhelmed by a massive attack. It would then stand to reason that the missile defense we're building is... wait for it... not designed to counter an arsenal like that of Russia or China!

When we say we're building and deploying missile defense against terrorists or rogue nations we mean it!

Upturn the Tables?

America, there is something wrong with all of you!

Former Senator and current Dem Presidential candidate John Edwards thinks Jesus would be appalled with American selfishness.

Quoth the Silky Pony: "I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs," Edwards told [Beliefnet.com]. "I think he would be appalled, actually."

Again we see Democratic candidates attempting to appeal to religious folks. The Dem strategy has been to use religious concern for the needy as a justification for more government charity. Except that it isn't "charity" if it isn't given freely since the government has to tax it from us first. That's why they call it charity.

From the perspective of strategy and message, Edwards is only half right. The strategy is arguably a good one - class warfare has a certain appeal, and broadening that to religious folks puts some jamba in the juice. His message is all wrong. Edwards is telling Americans that there is something wrong with ourselves. The Left gets their collective panties all up in a knot when some conservative blowhard dares suggest that Jesus would disapprove of certain behaviors. Why should anybody listen now?

Edwards would be smart to transform the Christian Socialist message into a more positive one. "Two Americas" is a negative message, and a hypocritical one when one thinks about the square footage on the new maison d'Edwards.