Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John McCain-Disaster?

There seems to be a great deal of angst among conservatives regarding the probability that John McCain will be the GOP nominee. They feel as though the Reagan coalition has been irreparably (at least this year) sundered, and that the GOP is basically doomed. Rush Limbaugh has gone so far as to say that he would consider withholding his support for McCain even into the general election, which is more or less unprecedented for him. Many other prominent conservatives have expressed much the same sentiments.

Of course, maybe McCain wouldn’t be getting so much support if so many conservatives hadn’t thrown their support to Rudy Giuliani early on. Values voters are perhaps the Republican Party’s strongest supporters—did anybody think that they would support the unapologetically pro-abortion Rudy Giuliani?

In any case, John McCain isn’t much worse than conservative favorite Mitt Romney. McCain is weak on taxes. Romney’s health care plan mandated health care for everybody. McCain supports amnesty. So did Romney, till he noticed the polls. McCain believes in global warming. Romney supports stringent gun control laws.

Such a list could go on for a long time. The main difference between the two candidates is: Mitt Romney cares about conservatives enough to pander to them. John McCain won’t even do that. In McCain’s favor, he probably has a better chance of winning a general election than Romney does.

Take your pick—a probable loser who will pander to conservatives, or one who has a real chance who seems to enjoy antagonizing us. There are no good choices.

By the way, I miss Fred. Maybe he will be someone’s running mate?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

One Lesson From Florida

John McCain’s victory in Florida has one valuable lesson. If you’re ever hard up for money, and feel a need to augment your resources by pulling a version of the Nigerian bank scam, well, just send a bunch of e-mails to Republican primary voters. If thirty-five percent of these folks think John McCain is the best choice for the Republican Party, they will fall for anything.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Race Card

Barack Obama’s victory in the South Carolina primary is being hailed as a great victory for his campaign. His chances at the nomination are perceived to be at their highest since his Iowa victory. The South Carolina primary is seen as a terrible, disastrous day for the Clinton campaign, and as Obama’s greatest triumph.

In all probability, the opposite is true. South Carolina may have sealed Barack Obama’s fate. The Clinton family allowed for this jolt on the road to the nomination, and crafted a very effective countermeasure. It is a countermeasure that could very well work.

Their strategy is to play the race card. For a party that claims to be the party of civil rights, the Democrats are surprisingly conscious of race. That issue permeates their race far more than even such a controversial issue as Mitt Romney’s Mormonism could influence a Republican primary. The Clintons know this.

So after Obama won, Bill Clinton (“the first black President”, of course) wasted no time in comparing Obama’s South Carolina victory to Jesse Jackson’s ’84 and ‘88 wins in the same state. “Jackson ran a good campaign” Bill reminded us. “And Obama ran a good campaign here."

The reasoning behind this is clear. Jackson won South Carolina due mostly to his support among black voters. Jackson ran more or less solely on his race. Therefore, reasons Clinton, Obama is the candidate for blacks, and Hillary is the choice for whites, especially white women.

There ploy is, of course, incredibly unfair. There are many reasons available to criticize Barack Obama—he is basically a socialist spouting obvious platitudes. However, his racial strategy is not one of them. He has run an admirably colorblind campaign, and has not run on his race. (Although there is a separate page on his website for each of the three most common minority races. Apparently “white” is the default race.) Obama spouts basically the same forty-year-old, recycled ideas that Hillary Clinton and John Edwards embrace, but his message is marketed to all races.

Will this strategy work? Probably. The Clinton’s have their weaknesses, but a poor understanding of politics is not one of them. Bill Clinton understands politics, and has a history of pushing all the right buttons to get his way.

After the rapper Sister Souljah made some racially insensitive remarks, Bill Clinton heavily criticized her. Clinton was, as it happened, right to do so, but his intentions were obvious. He used that opportunity to remind voters that he was tough on crime. It worked, and was seen as a turning point in his campaign. Clinton knew exactly which buttons to push, and when. It was brilliant.

Clinton used a similar ploy shortly before his “Sister Souljah moment”. Falling behind in the New Hampshire primary, and wishing to build a “tough on crime” reputation, Clinton made a point of signing a death warrant of Ricky Ray Rector, two-time murderer. However, Rector also happened to have significant brain damage, the result of an unsuccessful suicide attempt. While Clinton got publicity for his death signing, Rector decided to save his pecan pie desert at his last meal “for later”. Hardly the words of one who could understand his punishment. The prison chaplain, Dennis Pigman, later resigned in disgust. But it did work—Clinton got his tough-on-crime publicity.

Clinton knows how to win elections. While nothing in politics is certain, there is a pretty good chance that he will succeed in smearing Obama and win his wife the nomination.

This is good news for the Republican Party, as Clinton has nowhere near Obama’s chances of winning in the general election. With that in mind, I must confess to a certain satisfaction at seeing the infamous Clinton Smear Machine busily smearing the Democrats best candidate. It is as if they are doing our work for us.

But satisfying or not, it is important to note that what the Clintons are doing to Obama is very, very wrong. There is nobody who wants to keep the hyper-liberal Barack Obama out of the White House more than I. But like so many who have been crushed by the Clintons, he deserves better. The Clinton’s playing of the race card is unfair.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Dick Morris

Anybody who has spent any time at all watching Fox News has seen Dick Morris at some point. He seems to be the go-to political analyst there, and can usually be seen giving his opinion on breaking political news. Given the respect that he is accorded by Fox News hosts, it would seem that he is a wise political sage, fair and balanced (of course), and blessed with an unusual degree of foresight.

He isn’t. Dick Morris has had one of the odder career arcs in recent political history, and it is one that probably shouldn’t end up with him given the respect due to an honest reporter. He teamed with the Clinton family as far back as 1978, and is credited with gaining Clinton re-election to the governorship. Clinton called for his help again after the 1994 Republican victory, and Morris soon became the most influential advisor Clinton had.

He was the mastermind behind Clinton’s 1996 victory (he introduced Clinton to the “triangulation” strategy, in which Clinton appealed to the center). Unfortunately for Morris, disaster struck when Morris was caught red-handed with a prostitute. Not being as clever as Clinton at getting out from under that sort of thing, Morris was forced to resign.

After he resigned Morris started hating the Clinton’s for some unexplained reason, and built himself a career attacking them. (Which is actually a pretty good career to get into. Ann Coulter started that way, too). He has become has started penning a weekly column, and has written a few political books. Not the best credentials for a supposedly unbiased reporter.

And his political predictions? Dreadful. He does not appear to realize that his dislike of the Clintons does not affect reality. Therefore, he is perpetually embarrassed when his doomsday predictions about the Clintons are proved to be unfounded. For example, he predicted that Hillary would drop out of her 2006 Senate race. Instead, she won overwhelmingly.

Morris’ worst embarrassment is his 2005 book Condi vs. Hillary, which suggested Condoleezza Rice for the 2008 GOP nominee. His reasoning went that Hillary may be a woman, but Condi was a woman and black, too, so she would win. This is the sort of stupid idea that everybody has at one point or another, but most people don’t write books about them. Condi vs. Hillary, or course, now reads like Michael Moore’s 2004 letter endorsing Wesley Clark for the Presidency. It didn’t even come close to what actually happened.

Dick Morris has a shady past, is clearly biased, and has a poor record of predictions. If Fox News wants to claim that they are “fair and balanced”, they should reconsider their relationship with him.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Recapping the (Boring) GOP Debate

I usually dislike recapping debates, both because my perceptions of which candidates did well and which ones did poorly usually don’t match the convention wisdom, and because in a week, everybody forgets about the debate anyway. But seeing as I made it all the way through tonight’s excruciatingly boring debate, I may as well give my impressions.

In brief, Mitt Romney and John McCain did well, and Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee did poorly. Romney and McCain simply managed not to sound stupid and avoid gaffes, which is a pretty low bar, but not one that Rudy and Huckabee could clear. Giuliani seems confused—his answers tended to ramble and make little sense. (His response to a question about why he airs ads in Spanish when he believes all American citizens should learn English was dreadful. He claims that his Spanish ads are for bilingual voters. Right).

Huckabee did get some good jokes—he made some funny Chuck Norris jokes, and he got in a good line when asked about the FairTax. However, his shtick is getting pretty old. Voters, I believe, want more than jokes from their candidate.

Also, somebody really needs to tell Huckabee that Chuck Norris isn’t going to be his ticket to the White House. It is already a bit bizarre that Norris follows Huckabee everywhere—celebrity endorsements are common, but Huckabee is milking his for all that it is worth. Huckabee, like the other candidates, has his supporters engaged in telemarketing campaigns to ensure voters come out for Huckabee. The name he gives his supporters? Rangers. As in Walker, Texas Ranger, Norris’ TV show.

I am starting to think that Huckabee believes that Norris’ TV exploits really happened. Somebody needs to tell Huckabee that Chuck can’t really wrestle bears, doesn’t fly around in a jet pack, and doesn’t carry an anti-tank gun to work with him. Chuck Norris was a nice endorsement—but Huckabee needs to come back to the real world.

Also, in case anyone was holding out hope, Giuliani is finished. Even he didn’t sound like he thought he could win.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Whom To Support?

With the end of Fred Thompson’s Presidential campaign, conservatives are undecided as to whom to support. Thompson was the only candidate with the whole conservative package; the rest of the group were weak on one issue or another. Conservatives must now make a choice as to which candidate to give their support to.

It hardly needs saying that none of the other candidates fits the bill. John McCain’s positions on amnesty for illegal aliens, the Bush tax cuts, and McCain-Feingold rule him out. Mike Huckabee is a big government Republican, and his odd foreign policy ideas make him unsuitable anyway. Rudy Giuliani isn’t really viable anymore, and it is not as if he was a conservative anyway.

Mitt Romney seems poised to get at least some of Fred Thompson’s former voters. He claims to be a conservative, and unlike Thompson, actually has a well-organized campaign. However, many conservatives do not altogether trust him. They are right not to trust him—however; it may be for the wrong reasons.

Many conservatives do not believe that Romney’s conversion on the issue of abortion is sincere, and not motivated solely for political gain. It is possible that they are right. There is no evidence that they are.

We cannot know what is inside Romney’s mind and heart. The conversion-for-the-sake-of-political-expediency theory may be either correct or mistaken, but it is pure speculation, without any weight of evidence. It is unfair to Romney to assume the worst without any evidence.

Anyhow, Romney is not the first Republican to convert to the pro-life cause. Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill basically allowing abortion on demand as governor of California. This is far worse than Mitt Romney has ever done, and it is to Romney’s credit that he stood firm against stem cell research as governor of Massachusetts.

Romney should not be faulted for his record on life. However, conservatives are right not to trust him. He is an extremely intelligent man. When he says that he could change Washington, he is probably right. The only problem is that he would probably effect change by growing the role of the federal government.

That course of action is ingrained in him through his work in the private sector. When the management consulting firm Bain & Company faced collapse and ruin, they called on Romney to turn things around. He did. (Ironically, contrary to Mike Huckabee’s jibes about all the workers Romney laid off, Romney did not lay off any workers as he turned the company around).

When the Salt Lake City Olympics needed a strong, smart leader, they turned to Romney. Before Romney, the only question was how much money the Olympics would lose; after Romney, the Olympics made a profit.

These accomplishments are impressive. However, Romney’s previous experiences have in effecting change have had him in nearly complete control. This style of leadership may not be altogether compatible with the demands of Presidency.

The Constitution does not provide for an overpowerful executive office. It is clear that the balance of power belongs in the hands of the states. Would Romney’s business experience cause him to centralize power in the federal government at the expense of state’s rights?

Probably. His record in Massachusetts seems to bear that out. He is proud of his healthcare reform plan, which provides universal health care to Massachusetts residents. And his plan does work fairly well. It provides universal health care without raising taxes or creating employer mandates. Romney’s plan probably works at least as well as any plan for universal health care could. Romney is proud of his accomplishment, and I suppose he has the right to be. It is an impressive accomplishment.

But it is not the government’s role to provide health care. Romney’s plan may work—but it still oversteps the ideal reach of government. Mandating health insurance for everybody (under pain of a fine up to $2000) is not a proper role of government.

Romney’s hands-on approach is evident also in his support for the No Child Left Behind Act. No Child Left Behind didn’t work—but more importantly, it represented another big government power grab. Romney supports this bill. This tends to confirm the impression of Romney as a big government Republican.

So conservatives are left with John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee. (Rudy Giuliani’s chances are so slim that he is not worth considering). Who to vote for?

It seems that conservatives can only vote their top issue. If your top priority is the survival (in some form) of the Reagan coalition, then I suppose Romney is your man. If an end to abortion is number one, then Huckabee seems the best choice. If the War in Iraq (as opposed to the larger War on Terror) is your top priority, then go McCain. If you want to waste your vote on crazy isolationist, you have Ron Paul.

I will probably cast my vote for Mitt Romney—he has his flaws, but is better than any other candidate in the race. But I will not be happy about it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

After Thompson

The fact that Fred Thompson has left the Republican race leaves conservatives without many good options to support. I suppose that the most conservative remaining candidate is Mitt Romney. I don’t see many people getting too excited about Romney, but at least his positions are somewhat conservative.

It is pretty depressing that Republicans failed to support the one conservative candidate in any significant numbers. Fred Thompson ran a very poor campaign—but his positions were far better than those of any other candidate. It makes one wonder how the voters in the early primary states decided who would receive their vote. Iowa seems to have given its votes to Huckabee since he was an evangelical, the reasoning behind New Hampshire’s embrace of McCain seemed due to large numbers of independents voting in the GOP primary, Mitt Romney’s well-timed pander to Michigan voters (a $20 billion stimulus plan for the auto industry) gave him Michigan (Mitt is not content to spend considerable amounts of his own fortune to get votes, he also must promise to supply voters with taxpayer money), and the reason South Carolina went for McCain is anyone’s guess. Apparently, the candidates’ positions on the issues are of secondary importance. This should forever lay to rest the idea that Republicans are somehow smarter than Democrats.

Monday, January 21, 2008

In Praise of Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King Day is one of the least celebrated holidays in existence. That is too bad, since the man’s life is well worth celebrating. It is a pity that liberals have made him into a blank slate with which to project anything they want, as King was a remarkable man and deserves better.

Most people remember King primarily for his “I Have a Dream” speech. It is, of course, a wonderful speech, but has (perhaps unavoidably) obscured other remarkable accomplishments. King was much more than an outstanding orator.

King spearheaded the widespread use of nonviolent resistance in America, which had previously been employed rarely. Starting with the Rosa Parks bus boycott, (which King was very much involved in, and ended in a Supreme Court decision outlawing segregating public transportation), King eventually became head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The SCLC played a extremely significant role in the peaceful (on the black side, at any rate) protests across the South. (King was later forced out of the leadership of the SCLC by dirt dug out by FBI wiretaps authorized by Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. So much for the Democrats being unequivocally committed to the cause of civil rights).

King was also responsible for the 1963 March on Washington (where he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech), the Selma to Montgomery march, and spread the equal racial rights message to the North. The civil rights blacks enjoy today would probably not exist as they do without the influence of Martin Luther King.

In addition, King was an impressive writer, something that seems little remembered to today. He wrote an essay called “What is Man?”, in which he examined man’s place in the universe. (Summary here). His Letter from Birmingham Jail is a very good examination of whether or not it is moral to disobey unjust laws. In the course of this piece, King quotes Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine to prove that his course of action is justified. It is still worthwhile reading today.

In addition, King is the youngest man ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize. (Although that somehow doesn’t mean as much today as it might have then). King lived a remarkable life, and is should be more than a Democrat invocation for all their racial policies.

Liberals use the memory of Martin Luther King as justification for nearly all their racial policies. King, of course, can’t speak for himself, but Democrats are willing to speak for him. Most of their positions, such as affirmative action, were never endorsed by King. (In fairness, however, he did support slavery reparations).

Every dynamic young black Democrat is compared to Martin Luther King. (Barack Obama, of course, is the latest). Presumably, King would have been overjoyed to see a black Supreme Court Justice and a black Secretary of State, but somehow Clarence Thomas and Condoleezza Rice are never mentioned as living fulfillments of King’s famous dream. And given the Democrat parties gratuitous use of his name as an endorsement of their policies, it seems hardly worth pointing out that Martin Luther King was actually a Republican. It is sad that King’s inspirational life has been turned into a Democrat talking point.

It is even sadder that forty years on, we still have not realized King’s dream. Blacks can now get a job anywhere. Nobody calls them “boy” anymore, and the “N” word can get you fired. Legalized discrimination is nonexistent. But blacks as a group are far worse off than they were forty years ago.

This is due, in large part, to the machinations of the Democrat party. Blacks overwhelmingly vote Democrat. What have they gotten? The popularization of the term African-American, a few scattered affirmative action programs, and host of over budget, underachieving federal programs.

The Democrats have a very profitable strategy to get the black vote. They promise more federal funding, accuse Republicans of insufficient concern for black issues, and blame the problems in the black community on racism. It is a clever plan, and it works.

A quarter of blacks live in poverty. A great many are in prison. Many members of the black community are in dire straits—and they will get no help from the Democrats. They will simply put the blame on the latent racism assumed to exist in white America, and enjoy the benefits of the black vote.

The problem isn’t racism. There are a great many factors, but the primary reason blacks struggle with poverty is drugs. They will get no help from Washington. It is much easier and more convenient to campaign against almost nonexistent racism.

But Washington prefers not to tackle the drug problem, which is an extremely complex and difficult job to tackle. Why should they? The effects of drugs are limited to inner cities, where few vote anyway. Maybe blacks are being slaughtered in disproportionate numbers there (and it will get worse as Hispanic gangs such as MS-13 move in), but why bother with an expensive government response when it won’t gain any votes? The strategy Democrats have now is working fine.

The “soft bigotry of low expectations” (which is an astonishingly well-crafted phrase coming from a man who once asked “is children learning?”) also plays a role. Democrats (and to be blunt, some Republicans) don’t expect blacks to perform well. This is evidence in the elevation of Al Sharpton to the de facto National Black Spokesman. Nobody would give an white person of Sharpton’s caliber that opportunity.

I believe that Martin Luther King’s dream will eventually come to pass. But until Washington stops viewing blacks as permanent, helpless victims, it will be a, long, uphill climb.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Conservative Choice

It is growing very close to the point at which the Republican Party will be forced to make a definitive choice of their Presidential nominee. The conventional wisdom was not correct—it turned out that the early states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, did not give a huge momentum shift to any candidate. At this point, the race for the GOP nomination is pretty wide open.

This race started almost a year ago. We know everything there is to know about the candidates. We know everything imaginable about their positions, past and present. We know everything about their past lives. Their past records are open books. We have all the information needed to make a good, informed choice.

The longer this race has dragged on, the more I feel as if the only acceptable conservative in the race is Fred D. Thompson. The rest of the field would spell disaster, both ideologically and electorally (with one exception).

The flaws of the other candidates are hardly worth pointing out, as they are well-known. Rudy Giuliani’s pro-abortion beliefs disqualify him from consideration in many people’s minds (including mine). In addition, his beliefs regarding the Second Amendment and global warming should seal his fate.

Mike Huckabee is not ready for the White House. He does have some very strong points (he is great on abortion), and his weak points are often overstated (he wasn’t a disaster in Arkansas), but his statements on the campaign trail tend to call into question his judgment. He calls for the FairTax, which is a weak and shortsighted tax reform scheme, has called America’s foreign policy arrogant, and has exhibited many big government tendencies. I like Huckabee better than most conservatives, and would like to see him in Washington. Just not in the White House.

John McCain, to give him his due, is very, very good on the War on Terror. There is no denying that George Bush horribly mismanaged the war. Had McCain been President, the Iraq War would almost certainly have been better managed. (This is not to say that McCain would have been a better President than Bush. He would have been much weaker on other issues).

However, his weaknesses are as significant as his strengths. He supports amnesty, which most conservatives agree would be disastrous. He opposed the Bush tax cuts, and believes in government action to prevent global warming. He is no conservative.

John McCain is not a conservative, but he may have the best chance of any GOP candidate of winning the general election. While most polls have little predicative value, virtually all polls taken show McCain with the best chance in the general election. Were he to get the nomination, the Republicans would have their best shot at keeping the White House. The question is: is it worth giving up conservatism in order to keep a socialist (any of the Democrats fits the bill) out of the White House? I would argue that it is not worth it. We should be defined by who we are (conservatives) rather than who we are not.

Like McCain, Mitt Romney is an interesting case. He holds nearly all the positions conservatives do. However, his sincerity has been called into question. It is hard, when watching Romney, to believe that his conversion on social issues, such as abortion, is sincere. He seems to have switched purely because of political expediency. He doesn’t seem to be a closet pro-choicer—he just doesn’t seem to much care either way.

In addition, he has shown weakness on immigration in the past. He still supports the Brady Bill. He may not have opposed the Bush tax cuts, but he certainly didn’t vocally support them. He seems to have picked his conservative positions simply to market himself to conservatives—he does not seem to feel passionately about his beliefs.

This brings us to Fred Thompson. He is conservative on every issue important to right-wingers. The sole exception is his support of the McCain-Feingold Act, which severely limited free speech in this country. With that exception, however, he is a nearly perfect conservative.

Without sounding like a Ron Paul supporter (Paul fans think their guy is the best politician since Jefferson or maybe even Cicero), I think it is safe to say that Fred Thompson is a remarkable, once in a decade candidate. (Ronald Reagan is the once in a lifetime candidate).

He won’t play by the established media rules. His “No hands shows” line was good—you really had to be watching it live to fully appreciate it. For the whole course of that debate, and really, for the whole course of the full schedule of debates, all of the candidates had simply accepted any silly questions the moderators had forced on them. Ridiculous YouTube questions, queries about evolution, hand shows, whatever the moderators asked of them, the candidates did. After Thompson did the unthinkable—disobeyed the Moderator—the differences between him and the other candidates seemed very apparent.

Thompson’s policies, in addition to being impeccably conservative, Thompson’s policies are also by far the most in-depth. Most of the candidates rely on one paragraph policy positions on their websites; in contrast, Thompson lays out detailed, reasonable principles.

Conservatives have been complaining about their bad choices for President for years. Fred Thompson is the man they have been searching for. If they reject him (which looks very likely at this point) they will not be able to complain when President McCain (or worse, President Clinton II) is sworn in. In 2012, when they have no good conservative options, they will not be able to find fault. Because they will have had their chance to vote for one, and failed to take it.

Fred Thompson is by far the best conservative choice. He deserves conservative support. He will have my vote, and I suggest he should have yours as well.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Protecting (Sigh) Democracy

Dennis Kucinich is asking for a recount in New Hampshire, as he is suspicious of the vote count. He doesn't think that a recount will change his vote much (obviously, he got two percent), but thinks Obama actually might have won. Just a public service by the Kucinich campaign.

Actually, in a sense, there is something commendable about Kucinich's efforts. To my knowledge, there is little evidence of vote tampering. However, we should always be vigilant in the cause of protecting democracy. Dennis Kucinich is wholly crazy, of course, but he is, at least in this case, also honorable and consistent.

There are, however, Ron Paul supporters who do think Paul won, but was robbed of a victory. They have evidence and everything too. Apparently, a election official made a mistake in vote reporting, costing Paul thirty-one votes. Out of 920 cast in that district. Yeah, that is going to make a difference.

Now, Ronulans are smearing that election official's name across the Internet, and bleating about the subversion of democracy and conspiracies designed to hurt the Paul campaign. The center of this firestorm-and many, many otherwise normal people are falling for this- is actually conspiracy theorist Alex Jones's website. Jones is a notorious conspiracy theorist who actually makes Rosie O'Donnell look like a hardened realist.

Ron Paul supporters need to come back to reality. The reason Paul is getting six percent in the polls is not because he has millions of supporters, all with cellphones who aren't being contacted by pollers. The reason is that-surprise!-only six percent of the country likes him. The reason his vote totals aren't higher is because the polls are actually right about him, not because there is a massive, wideranging conspiracy to end his campaign. Paul's fantasy world is fun, but his supporters need to come back to this one. Ron Paul's fifteen minutes of fame are about up.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Lost on Iraq

During tonight’s debate, all three Democrat candidates were asked about their plans for a long term American troop presence in Iraq. This question has been asked at all the Democrat debates. However, the answers given by any candidate have not been as revealing as the answer given tonight by Barack Obama. And both Hillary Clinton and John Edwards agreed with his answer, so presumably the sentiments in it can be attributed to them as well.

Tim Russert (who, by the way, has generally done a very job moderating job during this election season) reminded the candidates that at an earlier debate, none of them would commit to have all U.S. troops out of Iraq by 2013. He noted that all now seem eager to have the troops out by 2009, and asked them to explain the contradiction.

Obama’s answer should call into question his grasp of any aspect of American foreign policy. Apparently, he has absolutely no idea of the struggle we are engaged in over there. His understanding of the facts seems to be literally nil.

He explained that while he was planning on pulling combat troops out of Iraq, he would keep a force in the country. Why? To protect our embassy (and with Al-Qaeada running Iraq, it would need defending), and for humanitarian purposes. The level of misunderstanding evident in this answer could perhaps be excused were the question, say, about our official policy towards Gabon, but this cluelessness on Iraq is mind-boggling.

Barack Obama seems to actually think that the Iraq insurgents are after us because we occupy Iraq. In fairness, there are undeniably some who do fight against perceived U.S. aggression. However, it is a safe bet that the majority of insurgents fight because of anger at the culture of the United States, and probably more importantly, a desire for power. Many insurgent leaders wish to seize control of Iraq, enrich themselves and their supporters, and establish a theocracy modeled on Iran.

Fairly or not (probably fairly), America is seen as the world’s policeman. Any American presence in Iraq would be perceived as interference, and thus a military problem. This would result in attacks against American forces. Is Barack Obama seriously considering putting U.S. soldiers in Iraq without the ability to go after their inevitable assailants?

Furthermore, what could these troops possibly do? Humanitarian aid…well, it might be difficult, what with enraged militants gunning for them and all. Also, aid deliveries might get a little off schedule with the civil war certain to occur if we leave Iraq now going on. Obama’s answer is stupid from beginning to end.

Of course, none of the Democrats will address the larger issue: do we owe anything to the Iraqi people? Many Iraqis have stood up to fight alongside us—in an Iraq Civil War, they would be targets. Our Kurdish allies have historically been persecuted by the Sunnis and Shiites. Do we owe them nothing?

It is undeniable that grave mistakes have been made in Iraq. We were overconfident (the “Mission Accomplished” banner was premature, liberals are correct about that), underinformed (remember “we will be greeted as liberators? Not for long), and most of all, pathless. With the surge, we at least have an idea of where we are going, and are seeing progress. But what about for the first four years? The strategy seems to have been to just muddle through and see what happens.

But clueless or not, mistakes or not, the United States of America made the decision to go into Iraq. And it is not as if George Bush dragged the country into the war. Congress—both parties—overwhelming approved the use of force. Perhaps entering Iraq was a bad idea, but both parties are equally culpable.

It is of no use to pretend that we can undo our Iraq decision. Scholars can debate the wisdom the determination, experts can dissect the troop strategies employed, and people can complain about George Bushes leadership, but we made the decision to topple Saddam, and withdrawing will not eradicate that decision from history. We must assume responsibility for the effects of that resolution.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Race Card

The past year has seen a great many headlines that no one could have foreseen even a month before they were written. “Huckabee and McCain GOP Frontrunners”, ”Rudy’s Meltdown”, and “Hillary’s Gender Card” are all things no one could have reasonably predicted.

But the most amazing development is the race war being waged among the Democrats. If Conventional Wisdom told us anything, it was that Democrats were absolutely united in their support of the black community. Certainly, it was within bounds to play the race card against Republicans, but against Democrats? Absolutely forbidden.

But now Hillary Clinton is being portrayed as being racially insensitive. That charge is usually only leveled at Republicans—remember the infamous “macaca” line uttered by George Allen, which sank his Senate campaign, and thus any Presidential plans he may have had. But now we have a major Democrat taking fire from black voters, a situation almost unheard of in national politics.

Making the whole situation even more absurd is the utter banality of the charges being leveled. Clinton’s allegedly racially insensitive remarks seem to consist mostly of her husband’s description of Obama’s narrative of his life and policies as a “fairy tale”. Personally, I think that is pretty mild talk for a bitter, hotly contested political campaign, but many Democrats seem to regard it as a slur on all black candidates.

Not that calling Obama’s campaign a “fairly tale” has anything to do with race. It fits in with the official Clinton narrative, which is that Barack Obama may seem nice enough, but scratch the surface, and you’ll find he is not to be trusted. But apparently, the mere fact that Obama is African-American should shield him from all personal attacks. (Except strictly speaking, Obama is half Caucasian, but apparently anyone with any degree of black blood is considered to be just black, without any subtleties like his actual ethnicity involved). Presumably, if the Clinton’s were employing the same rhetoric against John Edwards, it would be wholly acceptable, but since it is being used against Obama, it is an insult to the memory of Martin Luther King.

Speaking of Martin Luther King, Hillary has managed to get herself involved in a ridiculous controversy regarding his role in the civil rights movement. Speaking to Fox News’ Major Garret, she reminded voters that “Dr. King's dream began to be realized when President Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964”. Her point, such as it was, was that it takes more than rhetoric to achieve change, it takes political action.

That point doesn’t make a great deal of sense. It is a pretty safe bet that Lyndon Johnson—who once bemoaned that blacks were becoming “uppity” as they gained political power—wouldn’t have signed the Civil Rights Act into law without the pressure exerted by King and other black advocacy groups. In fact, there probably wouldn’t have been a Civil Rights Act to sign had it had been for King’s efforts. It is no coincidence that soon after blacks began vocally demanding equal rights, government became more receptive to their pleas. It was the likes of King who spearheaded the Civil Rights Act and other subsequent civil rights laws. Johnson had comparatively little to do with the process. Hillary’s remark was stupid.

Stupid, however, does not mean racist, or even racially insensitive. The reaction among Hillary hating Democrats seems almost as great as if Hillary had the attended the Annual Martin Luther King Lynching in Effigy ceremony sponsored by David Duke. Her statements were supposed to have besmirched the legacy of Martin Luther King. Black leaders heavily criticized her, and her support among blacks plummeted.

A bright side of this whole ridiculous squabble, at least for Republicans, is the possibility that this may fragment the Democratic Party. According to a Rasmussen poll, Hillary holds an impressive 16 point lead among whites, while Obama holds an amazing 40 point lead among black voters. If the Democratic nomination is split along racial lines, it would help Republicans immeasurably. It would ensure the nomination of Hillary Clinton (since blacks are in the minority in the Democratic Party), and cause the Democrats to lose a portion of a significant voting bloc in the general election.

It is remarkable that so many in the Democratic Party are so eager for any chance at all to attack Hillary. In a few short weeks, Bill Clinton has gone from “the first black President” to being just another political figure. In most Democrat circles, Hillary is no longer seen as in any way inevitable. The presumed failure of Rudy Giuliani’s plan (win Florida, then use the momentum to win Super Tuesday) to grab the Republican nomination has been widely talked about. However, it is not always noted that Hillary Clinton’s strategy (which was to portray herself as the inevitable candidate, the default Democrat choice) has similarly backfired. She may have enough to win the nomination, but will her broken plan hurt her in the general election?

(Speaking of King, I came across his Letter from Birmingham Jail while researching this piece. It is very, very good, and well worth reading. Contrast it with something Al Sharpton wrote, and I defy anyone to tell me the civil rights movement hasn't lost it's way).

Friday, January 11, 2008

John McCain: GOP Frontrunner?

Monday, I wrote that the media should consider the fates of other presumptive Presidential nominees before anointing Barack Obama the Democrat nominee after his impressive Iowa caucus victory. I pointed out that there have been many candidates who win a surprise victory, build up momentum, and are crowned their party’s nominee. Usually, they ultimately lose their momentum, and then their Presidential bid.

I pointed out the examples of John McCain and Howard Dean, among others. And as it turned out, Obama’s drive for the nomination was seriously impeded by his amazing loss in the New Hampshire primary. Before the votes were counted, the only question among literally all political observers was the question of how badly Hillary would be defeated. She came away with a victory. For a week, pundits on both the left and right predicted the fall of the Clintons, and the ascendancy of Barack Obama. They were dead wrong.

One such mistake is explicable. However, the very same pundits and media figures who were so wrong about Obama are now making the precise, identical error yet again.

It involves the other party, but the principle is the same. John McCain is now seen as the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party. It is undeniable that his New Hampshire win gave him a great deal of momentum, and that the polls do look good for him. However, a quick look back at the last two months show an amazing degree of votality in the Republican race.

After Rudy Giuliani’s campaign started to fizzle, Mitt Romney was the frontrunner. Then came the “Huckaboom”, the rise of Mike Huckabee. Then the “Huckabust”, which came after his series of bizarre gaffes—such as his anti-Mormon innuendo, his foreign policy blunders, and the strange episode in which he aired an attack ad against Mitt Romney while simultaneously sanctimoniously declaring his abstinence from that sort of thing.

However, Huckabee’s fall existed only in the minds of over analyzing pundits. He won Iowa easily, and became the new frontrunner. Then, of course, came McCain’s win in New Hampshire, giving him the frontrunner title, and naming him the probable nominee.

With wild momentum shifts like those noted above, it is foolish to declare anyone the inevitable nominee. However, it is not as if this is a first time this has happened. In 2000, McCain won New Hampshire, and was hailed, while possibly not as the frontrunner, certainly as a very serious challenge for Bush. When the South Carolina primary came around, McCain sank.

It is hard to see where all of McCain’s support for the nomination will come from. Most hardcore conservatives see him as a moderate and a sell-out, and have never trusted him. In addition, his support for amnesty for illegal aliens will also seriously damage his campaign. He does not have the natural base the other candidates have—Thompson and Romney are going after the conservative vote, Giuliani is trying to parlay his post-9/11 performance into a nomination (nothing wrong with that, by the way. He has every right to be proud of his performance on 9/11), and Huckabee is looking for the evangelical vote. McCain will get some votes from those concerned about nation security, but all the candidates (with the possible exception of Mike Huckabee) can look for votes from that group, as their foreign policies are all fairly homogenous.

Even factoring in the above obstacles, John McCain does have a good shot at the nomination. It is simply that his nomination is not inevitable, or anything like it. The media’s insistence on crowning a new nominee after every minute shift in public opinion is absurd. I doubt whether it has any effect on voting trends—in didn’t in New Hampshire. It just makes the media look silly. John McCain may end up winning the GOP nomination. However, if he does, it will come after a few more ups and downs for his campaign, and in spite of the media’s arguments for his “inevitability”, not because of them.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Land for Peace?

From Yahoo News:

JERUSALEM - President Bush called for a halt to Israel's military
occupation of land the Palestinians claim for a state and an end to the terrorist threat over theJewish homeland, spelling out the U.S. bottom line Thursday for ending the long and bloody Mideast conflict.

"Now is the time to make difficult choices," Bush said. An agreement will require "painful concessions" by both sides, Bush said, but he predicted one could be reached within a year, putting himself more firmly on the line than ever for an achievement considered unlikely by many experts.

Bush is of the opinion that Israel should try for another peace treaty with Palestine. He calls for the formation of a Palestinian state, an end to Gaza occupation, and a return of the West Bank to the Palestinians. In return, Israel will get an end to the endless attacks on their country.

Why should Israel be forced to accept this deal? Israel has been making such deals for years. None has provided peace. If the Israeli’s agree to give anything up, it will benefit only the terrorists in opposition to them.

This has been going on for decades. The Arabs attack, the Israeli’s respond, the U.S. comes in with a peace treaty, and the Arabs quickly renege on it. It’s a pretty obvious pattern, and the people of Israel deserve better.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Republican Stupidity

Every four years, Americans wonder why there are no good, honest, steadfast candidates for President. They wonder why all the candidates shamelessly pander to the media, and proceed to blatantly misrepresent their records. Every year, they pledge that if a superior, resolute candidate ever runs for President, he will certainly have their vote.

Then when one comes along, they reject him. Fred Thompson is everything voters claim they want—reasonably honest, consistent, intelligent and unimpeachable ideologically.
In addition, he is far better than other Republican candidate. He has not experienced any of the convenient conversions of Mitt Romney. Neither does he support health care mandates and gun control laws, as the Massachusetts governor does. He lacks all of Rudy Giuliani’s many weaknesses, whether it be on guns, abortion, gay rights, or immigration. He is far better than McCain or Huckabee—their positions on immigration should be enough to keep them from the nomination. The only blot on Thompson’s conservative record is his unfortunate support of the disastrous McCain-Feingold Act. With that exception, his conservative credentials are perfect—and precisely what GOP voters claim they want.

But he is a poor campaigner, so voters reject him en masse.

Is shaking hands in Iowa restaurants still that crucial? In the days before 24/7 media coverage, that sort of thing gave voters a chance to see the candidate. But in the day of 24-hour news, C-SPAN, and YouTube, shouldn’t voters make their choices based on something other than campaign stops?

It is not as if voters lack chances to see Thompson for themselves. He has appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio and TV programs many times, and is a frequent guest on Laura Ingraham’s and Mark Levin’s shows as well. If you are truly obsessed with getting to know the candidates, C-SPAN displays hours of campaign footage. A limited number of live appearances is no reason to vote against him.

Even so, it would be at least understandable if Thompson was losing to Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani, who, despite the fact that they are not conservatives, are at least qualified to be President. Mitt Romney’s years of valuable business experience make him a desirable candidate, and whether one likes or dislikes Rudy Giuliani (I am in the “dislike” camp), it is impossible to deny that he did a truly amazing job both before and after 9/11. Both of these candidates are comparable to Thompson, and voters could be excused for supporting them over Fred.

But Mike Huckabee and John McCain? The fact that these individuals are the current Republican frontrunners should dispel any notions that Republicans are smarter than Democrats.

Republicans were outraged over the infamous amnesty bill this summer. The bill’s biggest proponent was John McCain, who accused those who disagreed with him of anti-Hispanic bigotry. Republicans claim to be against extensive government effort to combat global warming. John McCain isn’t. He voted against the Bush tax cuts, and supported the now more-or-less discredited embryonic stem cell research. And he is one of the Republican frontrunners?

The bad news is that he is the better frontrunner. I’m not sure how qualified Mike Huckabee was to be a governor, much less a President. He seems to make policies out of thin air, and frequently appears unaware of the world around him. For example, he seemed to think that he was going on David Letterman’s show instead of Jay Leno’s on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, and was unaware of the NIE report over 24 hours after it was released. The first isn’t very important (though it is revealing), but the second… His record as Arkansas governor wasn’t as bad as some believe—but it wasn’t very good either.

But Huckabee is a frontrunner in this race, based solely on his charisma. Granted, Huckabee is a convincing guy—I’m pretty sure that if he had not gone for politics or religion, he would be a traveling salesman going from town to town selling little pills you drop in your gas tank to give your car 100 mpg gas mileage. Voters know his weaknesses on the issues, as National Review, Rush Limbaugh, and Laura Ingraham, among many others, have been highly critical of him. But the Huckster comes in, does his aw-shucks Jim Nabors impression, and Shazam!--he is a GOP frontrunner.

It doesn’t say much about the intelligence of Republican primary voters that they unerringly seek out the two worst candidates for their support.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

The Democrat's Achilles Heel

I suppose that most conservatives are disheartened by Hillary Clinton’s New Hampshire primary win. Barack Obama was supposed to win resoundingly, thus fatally weakening the Clinton campaign. Some speculated on the date that Hillary would officially withdraw from the race; others (mostly conservative) were gleefully predicting that the influence of the Clinton family on the Democratic Party would finally end.

They were all wrong. Hillary easily beat Obama tonight. She is now back on the fast track for the Democratic nomination. Many Clinton-hating conservatives are dismayed at the thought that the Clinton Machine is back up and running.

They shouldn’t be upset. Hillary Clinton is by far the easiest candidate for Republicans to beat. In most polls, Edwards easily beats the GOP candidate, Obama wins by a slightly smaller margin, and Hillary is either tied or lagging behind. She rarely if ever breaks fifty percent of the vote when matched up against a Republican. Her disapproval ratings are sky-high—over fifty percent of the country claims that they would never vote for her. She is seen as a far leftist by moderates, and as a moderate by far leftists. (These are far leftists, like the readers of the Daily Kos). Her base in the general election seems small.

The reason she polls so poorly against Republicans candidates is that her name is the only one that overshadows the label “Republican.” It is not an advantageous thing to be a Republican at present—there exists (understandably) widespread disgust at their poor performance in Washington. The Democrats represent change.

But Hillary Clinton doesn’t. Voters know exactly what they will get. Some may like it—but it won’t be change. Hillary must hope that enough voters look nostalgically back on the Clinton years to give her a large enough following to take back the White House. However, it is often unwise to base a campaign on things past—Presidential elections are about the future. A Clinton candidacy may be enough to permit the Republicans to keep the White House in an election which, to be honest, they deserve to lose.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Is Barack for Real?

Barack Obama is getting a lot of hype right now. Virtually every political observer acknowledges that his campaign is on an upswing, and many are predicting that he will defeat Hillary. There is a great deal of talk about the demand for "change", the assumption being that Obama is the agent thereof.

Sometimes the pundits need to take a step back in their coverage of the Next! Big! Thing!. Phenomenons like Obama aren't exactly rare. In 2004, Howard Dean showed the nation how to take advantage of the power of Internet. The future of the Democrat Party belonged, according to the media, to men like him. It was supposed to represent a new era in politics.

It didn't do him much good. He finished third in Iowa and screamed his way out of the race.

In 2000, John McCain was the "Agent of Change.” The media loved his “Straight Talk Express.” He was supposed to represent a challenge to the Republican Party establishment--just like Obama is doing to the Democrat Party establishment. But he was resoundingly defeated in the GOP primaries.

It may be that Barack Obama does represent a fundamental change in the way Americans view politicians. Perhaps he will shake up the electorate in a way that hasn't been seen since the days of Ronald Reagan. However, the road to the Presidency is paved with overhyped flameouts. There is a very good chance that Obama will join Dean, McCain, and all the other media darlings who started strong, and finished far out of the running.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mike's Momemtum

The Iowa caucuses do not really tell us much about any of the candidate’s chances at the nomination. Mitt Romney could easily come roaring back from his defeat by winning New Hampshire. Fred Thompson could pick up some momentum from disaffected conservatives. Hillary Clinton may follow her husband's 1992 example and win the nomination by taking the later states. Anything could happen, and the Iowa results are inconclusive.

The exception to this rule is Mike Huckabee. He is clearly for real. In a state where he has been outspent 20 to 1, he crushed Mitt Romney by nine points. And the schedule of the early primary states is on his side. He will lose New Hampshire, but is very competitive in Michigan and South Carolina. He will be even more competitive in those states if Mitt Romney loses New Hampshire, as it appears likely he will.

While Huckabee is no conservative, it's hard to blame Iowan's for voting for him. Iowa, basically, was a two man contest. Mitt Romney doesn't excite anyone, and with good reason. He has won exactly one major election, has converted to conservative principles suspiciously conveniently, and has hardly been forthcoming regarding his position on the issues of immigration and gun control. (He supported amnesty before he was against it, and still supports the Brady Bill and assault weapon bans. Somehow, he has never gotten around to mentioning these viewpoints).

But even more than his ideological transgressions, Romney doesn't seem to know what he stands for. His campaign has been meticulously planned to the last detail- take conservative positions, have solid debate performances, win early and build momentum. That is a good plan- but there is no passion, no vision there.

Huckabee, on the other hand, is filled with passion. You might not like where he stands, but he does, and will fight to the death for his positions. He clearly stands for something. Granted, that something is a Carter-like populism, but at least he really, sincerely believes in it.

Even if Huckabee believes in his ideology, however, it does not change the fact that his nomination would be a disaster for the Republicans. Most conservatives are aware of his fondness for tax hikes, his weak (although no weaker than Giuliani’s) immigration record, and his history of controversial pardons. (If you aren't, just go to National Review Online, where it seems that every third article bashes Huckabee). If (or when) Huckabee is nominated, the Republican Party will be in serious trouble.

However, they will have no one to blame but themselves. In recent years, the GOP has not stood up for conservative principles. They have embraced high spending and illegal immigration, and have fielded a shockingly weak field of candidates. They deserve whatever happens to them.

The only silver linings to the Huckabee cloud are the facts that his liberalism has been exaggerated, and that he probably could beat Hillary in the general election.

Huckabee’s governing record is clearly liberal. However, at least his current, stated policy positions are conservative. Of course, sometimes they are impractical (the FairTax), but they are conservative. That is something that Rudy Giuliani and John McCain can’t say.

That may be little comfort given his tendency to drift left when in office, but it is something to give hope. (A little hope. It’s the lining that is silver, not the whole cloud).

The other advantage of a Huckabee campaign is his likeability, especially when contrasted to Hillary Clinton. Quite often, the more likable candidate wins. In such a contest with Hillary, Mike Huckabee wins easily.

Of course, conservatives should hope Huckabee doesn’t win, as the above benefits don’t counterbalance Huckabee’s weaknesses. The problem is: in this lame field, who is the conservative?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

John Edwards' Message

John Edwards has received comparatively little media attention in his quest for the Democratic nomination. That is unfortunate, as he has a distinct chance at the nomination. In addition to being a white male (which may play a bigger role in the Democratic primaries than many suppose), he is also by far the most liberal of the Democrat frontrunners.

Both Michael Moore and Kos (of the liberal megablog the Daily Kos) have said that Edwards has the most in common with their beliefs. He has just promised to withdraw all U.S. troops from Iraq ten months after he is sworn in, something none of the other Democrats frontrunners have pledged to do. He seems to be the candidate of choice for the far left core of the Democrat party.

The root of Edwards’ message is his aggressive populism. He claims to be against corporations, big business, and entrenched political interest, and for the little man. (There really can’t be a better representative of the poor than someone who pays $400 dollars for his haircuts, can there?). He has said that “I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy.”

In John Edwards’ world, “Corporations” are the problem with everything. No universal health? It’s the drug and health insurance companies standing in the way of progress. The Iraq War? Oil companies. Whatever the problem is, there is a sinister corporation behind it.

Of course, this worldview is absurdly naïve. Edwards and his supporters seem to think that there is the undeniable power possessed by corporations is simply a matter of corporate greed; the little man looked away for a minute, and the next thing he knew, a heartless CEO was denying him health insurance and outsourcing his job to China. Edwards sees CEO’s as literal robber barons smoking cigars in their counting houses in between jaunts to steal from the poor. He sees himself as a latter day Robin Hood, taxing the rich to give to the poor.

It is inevitable that big business will have a large amount of political power. Most business’ provide some essential service—food, energy, entertainment—and given the relative few options, and the massive global economy, it is inevitable that huge amounts of money will end up in a relative few hands. Money is power.

The only way to break that cycle is the limit the amount of money that can be collected by any one entity. That is the strategy used in Europe. To be sure, there are a few megacompanies in Europe (Nokia springs to mind), but most new megacompanies (Apple, Microsoft, Toyota) are formed in the United States or Japan, and China and India provide much of the manufacturing. Europe hangs on to the coattails of America.

So where is the power in Europe? Not in the overtaxed corporations, but in the government. And Europeans aren’t getting much of a return on their investment. Europe is crumbling. 80% of London crime remains unsolved. (That rate makes David Dinkins look like Rudy Giuliani). Rioting French “youth” (“youth” meaning “Muslim youth”) are so common as to hardly make the news. Economic growth in Europe is either slow or nonexistent. The welfare state is crumbling. Europe is wholly dependant on the U.S. for defense. (Which country has the second greatest number of America troops deployed there? Germany)

On the bright side, corporations don’t have much power over there. John Edwards can be happy.

It is fortunate that Edwards has little chance at the Democrat nomination, as he is easily their most electable candidate. In most polls, Hillary and Obama remain more or less tied with the Republican candidate. Edwards usually crushes him. Fortunately, it is doubtful that Edwards will get the nomination.

Edwards’ message resonates with the core of the Democrat party. However, it is a small core, and it is uncertain whether his message will resonate will more mainstream (read: not crazy) Democrat voters. His strategy is geared towards 2006—he focuses on the Iraq War and the need for change in Washington. The Democrats have had a full year in power, which undercuts his cry for change—when the GOP was control, it made sense, but a divided government gives Democrats like Edwards a shot at putting their plans into execution. The Iraq War, after the brilliant Petraeus surge, is becoming a bit of a non issue for Democrats. Even if the far left is right, and Iraq will explode into violence in the spring (that is their current argument, if you haven’t been paying attention), that will come too late to help Edwards. (The fact that a violence spike could help the Democrat candidate is a sign of how crazy the Democrat party has become).
Edwards’ antiwar and pro welfare message may resonate with voters sometime—but not this year. The war and welfare are issues that don’t have a lot of momentum behind them. Neither does Edwards. Thank God.