Friday, February 16, 2007

Bingo! Goldberg Gets it Right

This article sums up everything I feel about the 2008 elections (for the Republicans) - SO FAR.

If the election were held today the Republicans have three legitimate* candidates:
1) Rudy Giuliani
2) John McCain
3) Mitt Romney

*I say legitimate because they have a legitimate chance of winning, not because they are the three best candidates.

I will immediately disqualify McCain because
1) He is a narcissistic RINO
2) I don't know a single conservative that would actually vote for him
3) He is old. Very, very, very old. I'm not sure he will live 4 years as President let alone 8 (let me be clear, this is not a threat). He has had cancer, he is elderly. I don't think he is a good pick at all.

So with McCain out, we have Giuliani or Romney... 2 peas in a pod. They aren't exactly RINO's, like McCain, but they are NOT particularly conservative candidates. Not a Bush, and certainly not a Regan.

When you look at Giuliani and Romney, in many ways they are the same candidate, as Goldberg points out when analyzing the abortion issue. (Romney claims to have seen the light on abortion, but that is BECAUSE he is running for the conservative vote).

Over the last 20 years, the largely accurate conventional wisdom has been that the GOP could not nominate a pro-choice politician, just as the Democratic party could never nominate a pro-life one. Some Republicans, including Ronald Reagan and the elder George Bush, had to move from a middle-of-the-road position on abortion to the right-hand guardrail, while some Democrats who once leaned to the pro-life side of the road had to make a similar move in the other direction.

That's being put to the test this time around.


Of course, Giuliani's national profile expanded enormously because of 9/11. And while the press harps on that point, the more interesting part of the story lies elsewhere. The war on terror hasn't just changed Giuliani's profile as a crisis-leader, it's changed the attitudes of many Americans, particularly conservatives, about the central crisis facing the country. It's not that pro-lifers are less pro-life or that social conservatives are suddenly OK with homosexuality, gun control and other issues where Giuliani's dissent from mainstream conservative opinion would normally disqualify him. It's that they really, really believe the war on terror is for real. At conservative conferences, on blogs and on talk radio, pro-life issues have faded in their passion and intensity compared with the war on terror. Taken together, terrorism, Iraq and Islam have become the No. 1 social issue for conservative base of the party.

Note: I didn't say it's become the No. 1 foreign-policy or national-security issue for social conservatives. It's become the No. 1 social issue, at least for many of them.

Bingo! Give the man a prize.

I believe we can work out the abortion issue over time. I don't think we should drop the issue altogether, but we can deal with it in the future. We can't deal with the War on Terror in the future. It is a problem that confronts us RIGHT NOW. We can win the War on Terror and deal with abortion in time OR we can be wiped out by the terrorists, or maybe just buy some time till the next 9/11.

I would rather we put a President in place who will WIN the war on terror, not retreat into the failed policy of containment.

A point that Goldberg doesn't make which I think is very important is that Guiliani can win the national election. With Romney, who knows, but Guiliani is practically a lock. He has Bush's likability post 9/11 with no culpability for Iraq War fallout hanging over him. He was Time's Man of the Year, for crying out loud.

One thing he has to do, though, is commit to running and not appear indecisive on whether he wants to run. The press has been portraying him as hemming and hawing over the issue. That is bad for him. Leaders need to be strong and decisive.

I really don't know enough about Romney to have a strong feeling for or against him. I do like Giuliani, though, despite my differences with him on secondary issues like abortion. Regarding the gun issue, though, I think we are in agreement: His job is to enforce the laws. IF a gun law is against the second Amendment, the High Court will say so. It is the President's job to enforce laws, it is for the courts to interpret them. He enforced the law as a Mayor, took thousands of ILLEGAL weapons away from CRIMINALS. He didn't break into law abiding citizens homes and take their guns away, and he didn't create executive orders making guns illegal. He just enforced the law.

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