DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK
Re: Philip Klein's The Comeback Clintons:
I read Philip Klein's article with great interest, given that I don't believe for a second that the Clintons are just going to "go away." Eventually the truth will come out that both Bill and Hillary are the undead; and like all the villains in the slasher films, it doesn't matter how many times they're run over, dropped off a cliff, chopped into fishbait or thrown into a pit of live lawyers, they will STILL be back for the sequel. However, there is one possibility that Mr. Klein overlooked: that Obama is elected, and Hillary runs against him in 2012. Ted Kennedy did the same to Jimmy Carter in 1980, and considering that Obama is poised to ruin the country even more thoroughly than Carter ever dreamed of doing, I would think that this is an all too real possibility.
The one piece that's missing is this: who is our Ronald Reagan this time around?
-- Paul LaRue
Madame Clinton will be back. Cockroaches aren't fond of the light of day, but killing their ambitious runs for sustenance is nearly impossible.
One of the causes of the downfall (if it is a downfall; until the convention is over, and Obama has been crowned, don't count out that lady) was certainly her fun loving, trash talking, skirt chasing hubby. His demeaning of the Democrat's New Messiah was not only unbecoming to a former high office holder, especially a former POTUS, it was damaging to Hillary's cause. While most thought the former Boy President would be a high caliber, well positioned hired gun, he proved to be a rusty loose cannon. Now, none wish Billy Boy ill, but his health, or at least his appearance of waning health, has been an open question during this campaign. Some have gone so far as to posit that the erstwhile intern abuser's off-the-hip comments and his tin ear for rhetoric, completely contrary to his perfect pitch hearing and rapid response triangulation from former glory day, were a sign of early onset of dementia. If Senator Clinton became a widow, she would gain an asset that has been lacking for the entirety of her political career: sympathy and humanity. (Questioning if the senator would be displeased with such movement on the balance sheet is not beyond the pale.)
HRC can't accept that she lost. She whined, "Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it's got about 18 million cracks in it." The first term New York Senator was proclaimed the inevitable winner early and often, and she foolishly believed her own hype, consequently, she did not plan for the long campaign. Obama was hungrier (and (politically) prettier) than Billary. Illinois' first term senator ran a great grassroots campaign and defeated the Clinton Machine. It was not sexism. It was not a glass ceiling. It was a repudiation of Team Clinton and its legacies. When the New England Patriots lost to the New York Giants, they didn't whine and blame the referees. They accepted that not all things are inevitable, no matter what the odds makers may think. Senator Clinton, put away the Windex, change your lenses, or wipe your eyes. It is not a glass ceiling that is barring your way; it is what you see in a looking glass.
-- Ira M. Kessel
Rochester, New York
Newsmax.com is reporting that Hillary Clinton has been added to Barack Obama's short list of possible running mates. Pardon me for not gasping in surprise. Does anyone seriously believe Obama would dare choose someone other than Hillary? I know the Obama campaign has to make a good showing and will spend the next several days or weeks fretting over the supposed strengths and weaknesses of this or that potential V.P. But really, after all is said and done, only one person emerges as the obvious choice to compliment the young Senator -- Hillary Rodham Clinton. Any other selection will doom Obama to a second term in the Senate.
The much ballyhooed downsides to a Democratic dream ticket evaporate upon close examination. Having an ambitious and tempestuous Hillary just down the hall from the oval office, often cited as a dream ticket deal breaker, is in fact a non-issue. Whatever internal squabbling might take place between Clinton and Obama will be confined to the cozy quarters of the White House, away from the prying eyes of press and public. Having Billary close by will be uncomfortable, but tolerable. But, you say, the press has grown tired of the Clintons, turning away from Hillary in her moment of need. True enough. But once she is on Obama's team, the vast left-wing conspiracy -- aka the mainstream media -- will have no choice but to reignite its passion for Hill and Bill. Continuing to attack Hillary once she is V.P. would risk hurting Prince Obama, a betrayal unthinkable to the lockstep left. Chris Matthews will discover shivers running down both legs.
The reasons for including Hillary on the ticket are varied and powerful. "Clinton finished strong by winning six of the last nine and nine of the last 15 primaries," Newsmax.com reminds us, "including 10-point victories over Sen. Obama...in the key electoral states of Ohio and Pennsylvania." Obama simply has no chance in white, working class states without Hillary's proven support from those demographics. Moreover, Hillary's experience quotient far exceeds those of other possible Obama running mates. Senator Jim Webb, General Wesley (yawn) Clark, General James Jones and even more obscure potential V.P. choices will not help the empty suit stature of the first-term, "I've campaigned in all 57 states," Illinois Senator. The more Obama talks -- especially off-prompter -- the more his woeful inadequacies become apparent. The stature Obama lacks can only be supplied by Hillary.
The single most compelling reason Obama will choose Hillary is that all of the other candidates for the bottom of the ticket are -- you guessed it -- men. Men! MEN!! Obama must have the support of women, and more than a few have sworn to abandon the Democratic Party because of its rejection of the first viable female candidate for President in America's history. Should Obama compound Hillary's humiliation by selecting another man as his running mate, Obama will fall in line behind Gore and Kerry as last loser.
Putting Hillary on the ticket would also forestall an unlikely but remotely possible occurrence -- a third-party romp by Ms. Clinton. Let's look at things from her perspective. Should Obama win in 2008, with or without Hillary on the ballot as V.P., Ms. Clinton would likely never have another shot at the White House. She'll be about 70 in 2016, long in tooth and very old news. If Hillary's presidential aspirations are thwarted in 2008, her next best chance is 2012, and a 2012 run depends on an Obama defeat this year. Clinton as third-party campaigner would assure a McCain victory, opening the door for another Hillary run for the White House in 2012. This scenario assumes the Clintons are willing to throw the Democratic Party under the proverbial bus to further their political careers. Hmmmm...
A latent independent candidacy is one of several reasons Hillary has suspended, but not ended, her campaign. Obama quashes that nightmarish possibility by choosing Hillary, uniting the party and reaching otherwise unreachable constituents in the bargain. It's his only choice, really.
-- Jerry Pomeroy
Sun City, California
Re: Robert Stacy McCain's Barr's Bedfellows
It is clear Bob Barr has finally expunged the "demons" of Reaganism from his "soul" (Bush is merely following the policy of Ronald Reagan of refusing to openly dialogue with the pro-terrorist theocracy in Iran). This is the hope for disaffected conservatives? Give me a break! This man is more Lord Halifax and Joe Kennedy than Winston Churchill or Ronald Reagan. Appeasement is appeasement no matter how you dress it up, Bob.
Why should conservatives dissatisfied with McCain throw away their votes on BARRack lite when they can vote for the real deal? BARRack Obama should consider "new/old" Bob Barr for his running mate. Then his claim to bipartisanship would no longer be a lie -- sort of.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
What is this fixation at TAS with Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party? I understand that the Libertarians have a right to expect some coverage, and I don't have a problem with it being given here. What I don't get is the seeming fixation here with Bob Barr and the Party.
It seems that every day we have a new article here telling us about the battle for the nomination, or the challenges Barr faces in winning over the Party, or how the Party is poised to do some damage in the general election. But really, is all of this attention necessary for a party that is not really a player in the process? Honestly, how many people are going to cast votes in this election for a candidate from a basically fringe party?
This is not to dismiss or diminish the views of the Libertarians, because on many issues I find myself in agreement with them. But can we please have more in depth analysis of the two candidates that have an honest chance winning and not another group of stories about the Libertarians. Because when it all shakes out, they aren't going to be a huge factor in the race...so why continue to cover them as if they are?
-- Eric Edwards
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
Robert Stacy McCain replies:
Whether or not Barr's candidacy will be a "huge factor" in November remains to be seen. Certainly, there are facts indicating the possibility that Barr might indeed be a factor. The phenomenal fund-raising of the Ron Paul GOP primary campaign is the major datum in that regard. If Paul could raise more than $30 million for his Republican insurgency -- which was just as arguably doomed to failure from the outset -- then what might the Libertarians do, should they tap into the same political vein?
The doomed-to-failure argument might just as well have been applied to Hillary Clinton's Democratic campaign after Super Tuesday, but I've written at less four Spectator articles about her campaign since March. And I should point out that, whatever partisans of either major party might say, either John McCain or Barack Obama is even now doomed to failure in November. (Barr, of course, would say that both of them are doomed.)
My crystal ball has been on the fritz lately, and therefore I have no idea what's going to happen between now and Nov. 4. To say, then, that Barr's campaign should be ignored because we know that he won't be a factor is to argue on the basis of an unproven premise. If you know of an affordable crystal-ball repairman, please let me know.
UNIVERSAL, BUT NOT FOR EVERYONE
Re: Peter Ferrara's Free Market Universal Health Care:
I posed a question several years ago that I would now like to pose again. Was I out of the room when the meeting was held at which it was decided that universal health care became a "right" of every American citizen? As long as so-called, self-identified "conservatives" continue to cede the premises of the hard core, left wing Marxists in this country, our republic cannot be saved. We will continue our head long plunge down the slippery slope, onto which every Western society has been thrown, toward fiscal and social oblivion.
We cede the premise that universal health care is a right. We cede the premise that anthropogenic global warming is a fact. We cede the premise that "big oil" is at fault for high gas prices and are ripping off us poor consumers. We cede the premise that federal government intervention is the answer to all problems, real or imagined.
God help us. It doesn't appear to matter whether we elect the liberal or the Marxist in November. We're undone either way.
-- Keith Kunzler
Hopefully, conservatives who decided to punish Republicans in 2006 and empower Democrats have learned their lesson in 2008 -- when Democrats win America loses. If not these "principled" conservatives can rest assured the Democrats will not only socialize medicine, but insure they retain power for generations even as they devastate the US economy, disassemble the US military and appease Islamic imperialism.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Usually, I am impressed with Mr. Ferrara's scholarship in regards to free market concepts. I credit him for accurately portraying Sen. Wyden's bill and laying out the stark ramifications if passed. However, since the author had no backbone in calling out each RINO, the Republican senatorial co-sponsors are Alexander, Bennett, Coleman, Corker (surprise to me), Craypo (bigger surprise to me), Grassley, Gregg, and Lott. That being said, his tome takes such a departure in the "Free Market Safety Nets" portion of the column from the actual theory of a free market that I must say I am insulted that he even mentions Milton Friedman's "black hole" comment to pump up his subsequent proposals.
As a general comment, nowhere does the column dive into a discussion on the constitutionality of federal government involvement in health care. Article I, Section 8 does not authorize it, nor does the interstate commerce clause -- so, please do not use that red herring. What this means is the author has accepted the over-arching liberal premise lock, stock, and barrel.
As for specifics, there is no "guaranteed renewability" as an industry standard for either life insurance or vehicle insurance. Why does the author surmise that a mandated renewability requirement would decrease the price of health insurance? Or even decrease the price of health care itself? Additionally, the concept and execution of federal block grants morphs the free market; it becomes skewed. It is akin to the current federal housing bailout for those who do not know how to make good decisions. If this is to be a state program, and at the very maximum it should be, then let the several states fund their execution of it 100%. Stop trying to peel the band aid off one millimeter at a time -- remove the whole thing at once. Lastly, the author mixes the concept of health insurance with the concept of access to health care -- the two are totally separate. Everyone who lives in the United States has access to health care, even though not all the folks have an actual health insurance policy.
My health plan, on the other hand, is a simple three-step process:
-- Terminate federal government mandates and funding (this results in the largest price drop due to cross-state competition).
-- Terminate the requirement for employer-provided plans (indirectly decreases the price of all goods and services consumed).
-- Provide tax write-offs for individuals who purchase health insurance (no matter the premium amount).
So easy, a caveman can do it...
-- Owen H. Carneal, Jr.
THE WAITING GAME
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Time is on Our Side:
Thanks, Lisa Fabrizio, for reminding me that the glass is surely half full. It is even possible, perhaps likely, that we might move forward with these ideas and protect many from assault, but I still have an unanswered question that seems to require a leap of faith that is just too far. "Is our standard bearer on our side?"
-- Roger Ross
Your last paragraph says it all: "If Republicans can't capitalize on the sense of urgency in American pocketbooks and persuade John McCain to renounce his positions on ANWR and global warming; if they won't stand up for traditional marriage while popular sentiment is still with them; and if they can't make the most of our country's love for its military and their mission; then they deserve to lose in November."
Even the (Democrat!) governor of Montana wants to drill in his state in the Bakken Oil Formation. Read about it here.
Then we have Senator Salazar (D) from Colorado blocking the oil companies from going after oil shale, even though that's supposed to be left up to the governors of the respective states (which includes Utah -- a state that wants to go after the shale). You can read about that here.
The fact is our economy will collapse if something is not done to increase our domestic oil supply, Congress! If McCain would get over his globaloney and really trumpet drilling in the U.S., he'd have every Republican and many "normal" Democrats behind him. Are you listening, Mr. Maverick? Show us how Maverick you can be and say, "Let's drill!"
If McCain won't lead, then someone in the Republican ranks had better -- we're getting angry out here. This is what it will be like with a Democrat Congress and a Democrat President, folks -- just one stab in the back after another. Let's hope McCain shows that he wants to be president of the entire country, and not just certain constituencies.
In the mean time, I won't hold my breath.
-- Deborah Durkee
Another thing going bad for the Democrat party: The Pelosi Recession of 2008.
-- David Govett
Re: Matt Kibbe's Chuck Grassley, King of Pork:
Is this the same guy who met the people demanding government answer their remonstrations against the abuse of the income tax, by threatening an answer of litigation to compliance rather than giving them the Law that actually demands regular citizens doing no business with government or foreign markets to pay an income tax? Methinks follow the money actually has a merit as advice when looking for the source of smelly business as usual practices.
-- Stephen Hale
Re: William Tucker's A Qualified "Yes" to Cap-and-Trade:
The Senate recently voted down Cap and Trade and the Windfall Profits Tax, but where will we be next year? Will there be enough senate votes to prevent a disaster?
In New Mexico we will have an almost perfect test of Republican commitment to conservative principles with the election of a replacement for Sen. Domenici (R): either Tom Udall (D) or Steve Pearce (R).
Tom Udall is a liberal earth warming eco-nut who is selling snake oil to the masses. Steve Pearce is a strong conservative who understands the need for smaller government and for producing energy from our internal resources. Udall is in favor of illegal immigrant amnesty, Pearce opposes amnesty. In fact, they are exact opposites on all issues.
This is a bellwether senatorial race. Will the Republican National Committee support Pearce? If not, then we will know that the Republican Party is the RINO Party.
-- Nelson Ward
Cowles, New Mexico
YOU'LL ONLY MAKE IT WORSE
Re: Jeffrey Lord's LBJ's List and the Conservative Challenge:
I have only one point to make regarding Mr. Lord's piece on the failure of the Great Society. There will never be an effective "conservative" response to liberal spending in Washington. Why? Because the whole point of the Federal Government, at this time, is to spend money. And every politician there has as his or her number one goal the maintenance of their position. They do this by spending money, OUR money. And no one; conservative, liberal or independent; is going to do anything meaningful to change that.
In point, the Reagan Era was marked by a general growth of government. Yes, there were the famous Reagan tax cuts, but they served to generate more revenue for an already bloated federal bureaucracy. The Republican revolt of 1994 and its "Contract with America" promised smaller, cheaper government. A decade later, there was little or no observable difference in the spending habits of Republicans and Democrats and the Federal bureaucracy had doubled in size. In fact, civilian government [from federal to local] is the largest industry in the US and produces nothing; when, in fact, it should be just slightly larger than fish farming.
No, there will be no effective conservative response to government spending; simply because, once conservative politicians step through the looking glass into Washington, D.C., they behave just like every other tax and spend politician there. No matter who is in power in Washington, there will be grass growing in the streets in ten years. Though I do agree that Republicans can accomplish this more cheaply.
-- Michael Tobias
Oddly, there are some programs that could be added to LBJ's list and fit right in despite those who suggested them. Neither Mr. Lord's article nor any of the reader's responses published named them.
In no particular order, we have No Child Left Behind, Medicare Drug Benefits, the War on Drugs, Ethanol Subsidies, Immigration Reform '86, and the latest Farm Bill of '08.
What do all of these have in common? They greatly expanded the power of the Federal Government, reduced the American citizen's personal liberties and/or purchasing power, and have all demonstrated the consistent capability for Government to fail. The fact that all were passed through with support of supposedly conservative Republicans doesn't change the fact that all were liberal policies.
With Mr. Kibbe's article on Senator Grassley, these additions clearly demonstrate why Republican's have lost the Congress, and why the conservative movement needs some new champions.
Republicans are not necessarily conservative, no matter what they may say. If the Republicans want to regain a position of power and respect, they will need to find the correct definition of Conservative. Then they need to live that definition. Vote it, speak it, defend it, and breathe it.
And finally, I suggest anyone who thinks that LBJ's programs, or the additions I have mentioned here, are such Great Things need review the Wizard's Second Rule: The worst of consequences come from the actions of the best intentions.
-- Charles Campbell
Re: G. Tracy Mehan, III's Obama's Fast Draw:
Obama's fast draw -- his name is George Soros & his bundling crew! Follow the money, all directions point to Soros.
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