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Santorum Comeback

This election's Hail Mary pass? Angry Albanians. Smart Frenchmen. Clownish Virginians. Plus more.

1.31.08

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GO FOR BROKERED
Re: Quin Hillyer's Arise, Ye Favorite Sons:

Regarding Quin Hillyer's strategy for conservatives to effectively broker the GOP nomination, I'd say that former Senator Santorum, if he's really a conservative at all, owes it to the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to take a run at it. After his abominable support for Senator Specter's re-election over a genuinely conservative challenger, it's the least he could do.
-- Mark Fallert
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Interesting scenarios, all.

However, in order for his column's thesis to work, Quin assumes that the majority of those who vote in 2008 Republican primaries are in fact conservative.

Based on my research of the exit polls from those Republican cauci/primaries that have been held thus far, the vast majority of voters have been either moderate or have a right-side/extreme-left-of-center bent to them (a la Bloomberg).

As stated, the only way this could work would be to deny a majority to any one candidate. With the Governator endorsement in CA, and with the former NY mayor's endorsement, that proposal seems unlikely. After wins there, the inertia would be too much.

I await a further weakening of the First Amendment in the very near future.
-- Owen H. Carneal
Yorktown, Virginia

Mr. Hillyer has a good thought but it smacks of being a "hail Mary" pass. Perhaps a reassessment of Mitt Romney is in order, or does he not have proper conservative credentials either. Let's say that he does and that he has had the misfortune of starting his race competing in primaries that allowed cross-over voting and had lots of Independents which worked against him. He did alright anyway. Then a showdown in Florida against McCain stacked him against a large vote that favored McCain's immigration stance that may have given McCain the 5 point win. Most pundits predict McCain will now sweep the Super Primary February 5. But in these next primaries, there will be many states whose conservative voters will favor Romney's stance on immigration in numbers great enough to make the difference. Romney may not win more delegates than McCain but he may win more than pundits think. Then it will be a race and maybe a brokered convention. Someone named Yogi said "It ain't over till it's over."
-- Howard Lohmuller
Seabrook, Texas

Quin Hillyer, you are spot on!

I'm a Pennsylvanian and was proud and pleased to have as my two Senators two of the most respected and effective of the lot -- Santorum and Specter -- and was very disappointed to see Santorum defeated by a nostalgic name.

For months, I have been thinking about how good it would have been for Rick Santorum to run for president, but hesitated to say it out loud. Thank you for articulating the argument for him so well.

He's personable, articulate, highly intelligent, trustworthy, and a Conservative.

What more could we ask?
-- A. C. Santore

Despite not wishing conservatives well, except perhaps fiscal conservatives, I am in agreement with Mr. Hillyer's unfavorable assessment of John McCain. As president, McCain would surely demonstrate a misguided self-confidence on par with George W. Bush, with the potential for additional damage due to his bad temper, which can be observed simmering even in friendly interviews. Mr. Hillyer's proposal may in fact be one of the few last-ditch strategies available to pit a desirable conservative candidate against Obama or Clinton.

That said, I am flabbergasted to see Dick Cheney mentioned as a compromise alternative to John McCain or Mike Huckabee. Cheney, at this stage in his career, has "kiss of death" written all over him, and I'm not referring to his heart condition. The general public perception of Cheney is that he's the brains behind most of the bad ideas of the Bush administration. How did neoconservatism become the rage? Why was Donald Rumsfeld not removed sooner as Secretary of Defense? Cheney is also a symbol of the excessive secrecy of an administration that repeatedly made poor decisions. If Dick Cheney won the Republican nomination, the Democrats could save their money and stop campaigning -- and win the presidency by one of the largest landslides in American history.
-- Paul Dorell
Evanston, Illinois

While Mr. Hillyer's suggestion that conservatives run as favorite sons in their home states is intriguing and good old fashioned politics I'm afraid it will be a no go despite deep reservations conservatives in Congress might have about John McCain. Having been pilloried for 3 years by self-described conservative "elites" and much of the conservative base Congressional Republicans will be hesitant to throw themselves on the favorite son grenade for such a fickle group. For that matter why would they risk handing the Presidency to Democrats for those that did the Democrat's dirty work for them in 2006 and kicked the momentum out of the GOP. Those in our ranks who have worked to undermine President Bush's conservative administration (he has governed to the right of Reagan on taxes, pro-life issues, fighting terrorism, Supreme Court justices, Social Security reform, spending, deficits, party building and is even to the right of the Gipper on the issue of illegal aliens) made the McCain and even the "purple dog's" campaign inevitable.

Conservatives because of the self-inflicted crackup of 2005 (it never was a crack down Rush) find themselves going into a Presidential election with a moderate at the helm of what is still the conservative party in the US. Instead of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in November conservatives in Congress should make it clear to McCain if elected he will not get a free ride for his extremist views on the environment, guns, taxes and immigration. They should also make it clear that if he strays from George W Bush's example of nominating only Constitutionalists to the Supreme Court they will filibuster his nominations. On taxes voting against a tax increase after 8 years of George W Bush should be party dogma. Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have shown through their leadership skills how a minority can frustrate even a radical and determined majority. The same could be true for a maverick or out of control McCain Presidency.

A McCain Presidency will probably be a four-year caretaker Presidency much like Bill Clinton's do nothing administration. If he can continue to prosecute the war against Islamic imperialism, end earmarks and basically enjoying being President without screwing everything up this will be an opportunity for conservative Turks to begin looking at 2012. Of course, the future success of the conservative movement hinges on conservatives, who have done so much damage to the movement, embrace the pragmatic Ronald Reagan and lay aside the myths they've created to promote their own agendas. Maybe that's too much to ask, but unless it is done the conservative movement will be in a self-inflicted political coma of irrelevance for some time to come.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina

Quin's excellent article points out the major problem with this primary season: Lack of good candidates. We relied on self-appointed candidates instead of insisting that we be given more choices -- Jeff Sessions, Jim DeMint, Peter Pace, and a host of other great Republican conservative Senators and Governors. Next time let's make sure they run and draft them.

The best we can hope for now is to insist that John McCain give up his Senate seat to concentrate on the presidential race. At least we'll get him out of the Senate. Even Bob Dole did that.
-- C. Baker
Ft.Worth, Texas

I love Quin's idea. It's a great article.

It would be great to have George Allen or Fred Thompson!
-- Jim Sayer

FAVORITE SON?
Son of a Gun. What fun!
Nominate a Favorite son!

Add some zest to the contest.
How wonderful! How Hillyeresque!
-- Mimi Evans Winship

THE SECOND BLACK INSULT
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.'s He Let Me Down:

R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr. writes of Bill Clinton that "I do not credit him with many virtues, but the one virtue I thought he had was racial tolerance."

This is naive. Clinton is a man without values. Everything he did and now does is for the acquisition of power. If Bill Clinton he came of political age in the 1950's or earlier, he'd be out burning crosses or worse for votes. If not, why did Clinton have segregationist Sen. J. William Fulbright as his mentor?
-- Peter Skurkiss
Stow, Ohio

Now now Mr. Tyrrell, having had the insight to correctly categorize Bill Clinton as a sociopath, why are you now surprised that he has finally shown his true colors as a rancid raving racist bigot? Aren't all sociopaths completely devoid of any scruples whatsoever?

Your putative surprise at Clinton's recent antics surprises me. I would have thought that an eminence of your caliber would have known that eventually Clinton wouldn't be able to restrain his baser instincts and you would be lurking in the weeds, biding your time waiting to pounce. Instead, I get this sober sided assessment of Clinton and Carter that is quite accurate but lacks the usual biting wit and sarcasm of your polemics. Is it that the Clintons and Carter are so reprehensible that words fail to express your disdain adequately -- if so I can hardly blame you as they fail me also?

By the way, in the future please don't equate these two mendacious poltroons with us good old boy rednecks. We rednecks who have earned our place in the sun by the fruits of our honest labor take umbrage at the very thought that these two are even remotely associated with us. Do not assume that by accident of their southern birth they are one of us -- they both lack the basic strength of character (and many other fundamental attributes) required to be defined as southerners let alone rednecks.

Anyway keep up the good work, I always look forward to devouring your enlightening, erudite and witty polemics.
-- M.J. Casey
North Miami Beach, Florida

For me, former President Clinton has always been easy to understand. Once I decided he was a narcissist, I knew that on every issue I pondered wherein he was playing a role others would suffer if they needed to.

Ole southern Bill would use race in a heartbeat! Color would become a tool to push others where Bill wanted them to be. Think of Bill in the military, where do you think he would fight?

That's right, from the rear: For Bill it has always been the role of others to die for him.

The real problem with Obama is going to be highlighted in the forthcoming race when he has to confront Hillary.

The question (in simple male language): "Does Obama have a set of balls?" If so, when would he, or under what circumstances would he demonstrate such a possession?

Wait and see. Need a clue? Look to his wife Michelle.
-- R. Philips
Corrales, New Mexico

Why shouldn't Bill Clinton play the race card? Because it offends blacks? The Clintons don't care. Hispanics are the "New Blacks" and if they fall in line behind the missus, she wins the nomination. Once that is accomplished, Mrs. Clinton knows black Americans--who traditionally vote Democratic, regardless of the candidate--will fall in line.

Cold, cynical and calculating? All synonyms for Bill and Hill. Black Americans? Once again relegated to the "back of the bus" by a candidate willing to emphasize their collective victimhood, and by their own misguided--but self-inflicted--sense of loyalty to a Democratic party which treats them like pawns.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

MORE LIKE THE FRENCH
Re: Peter Hannaford's Vive L'Energie Atomique:

"Vive L'Energie Atomique" by Peter Hannaford shows the French way ahead of us. America needs nuclear power now. We can scatter windmills all over the countryside to create an environmental nightmare, or we can use atomic power which, just for starters, uses much less land.

Nuclear would be beneficial in other ways. If we converted over to nuclear the 50% of our electrical capacity currently generated by burning coal, we then could convert the 1.2 billion tons of (domestic!) coal that we burn (unnecessarily) every year into 2.4 billion barrels of gasoline, or about 60% of our current annual consumption. This also would save many, many billions of gallons of fuel needed for the mining and transportation of coal, and the import of oil from thousands of miles away.

There are many other advantages all of which are being curtailed by the radicals in the enviro movement who have opposed nuclear. Fortunately, many tree-huggers have come to see nuclear for the "miracle" power source that it is, finally agreeing with us on the "right" side of the issue after 30 years of obstruction.
-- Nikitas
Pittsfield, Massachusetts

CLOWN CARS
Re: Eric Peters's Water's Hot

As a Virginian, at first I cheered the abuser fees.

Unfortunately, they were not accompanied by any new resolve by Virginia to get the bad drivers off of the road.

Nor are drivers required to show more than the ability to fog a mirror in order to get a driver's license, which is the real issue: drivers who do not know how to drive.

My solution: Instead of Public Service Ads to tell us to stop smoking for the millionth time, why not teach "drivers" how to drive?

After all, since it's clear that traffic laws are not going to be enforced for the most part and that the state is not going to require anything of drivers in exchange for a license besides the forking over of a fee, how about reaching the slack-jawed idiots who drive 45 mph in the left lane of the Interstate where they live -- in front of the TV.

Have a guy dressed as a clown hogging the left lane. Have the clown make left turns from the right lane. Have the clown tailgate people going the speed limit in the right lane.

Show people what idiots they are when they maneuver this way. Since pretty much everything else is off of the table, maybe public ridicule will have an impact.
-- Brian Schafer
Arlington, Virginia

ALBANIAN RHAPSODY
Re: Doug Bandow's There Goes Kosovo:

What possesses someone so ignorant of the facts to waste hours and pages and produce garbage for the world to see. You should be ashamed of yourself for biased and ignorant diarrhea you spill in these pages.
-- Verteta

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