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Days of Reckoning

Rudy and the 9/11 candidacy. Fred's withdrawal. South Carolina in black and white. Honor, Iraq, and McCain. Plus much more.

1.23.08

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BEYOND 9/11
Re: William Tucker's Giuliani One Note:

As a fellow New Yorker it troubles me bitterly to see how Giuliani has fallen from the top of the bunch to 4th behind Romney. Many articles have been written and discussed the reason behind it, perhaps the most acceptable theory is the fact that because he did not compete in the early states he clearly missed out on all free media coverage, even if he would have lost all states, it wouldn't have been by such huge margins, and his concession speeches would have been covered, getting him more free press.

However reading your article today "Giuliani One Note" I couldn't disagree with you more, the fact is, that Giuliani has NOT been talking to much about 9-11 in the last 6 months, yes we did talk about in the beginning but after too many backlashes (whether it was the Biden Joke, or the $9.11 house party) that is when he stopped using 9-11 as his motto.

We all remember very clearly at the debates when Giuliani continued stressing his achievements in New York, taxes and unemployment, it was then when all pundits were saying that he focuses too much on the past and too little about the future, it was then when he came up with his 10 Commandments for the future.

So looking back now, the reality is that when 9-11 WAS at the forefront and when he DID talk about 9-11 that is when Giuliani was on top of the GOP polls, and when he stopped talking about 9-11 that is when is dropped in the polls. It is clear that the reason he was on top most of last year was because his name recognition of 9-11 and his heroism of those days, and the less he talks about it the more he slips in the polls.

Of course we know that 9-11 was NOT the only reason Giuliani would make a great president, but just the opposite because he is a great leader, thus the reason he was so powerful and great on 9-11, the same qualities needed for a president is what was needed on 9-11.

As a matter of fact, I am quite upset that the Giuliani camp did not create some outside 527 committees to bombard us with images of Giuliani on 9-11, Showing the world that it ONLY Giuliani that was the voice of calm during those difficult times, Giuliani was only leader holding news conferences from Ground Zero, he was the voice of reason and strength. Just like almost every other major candidate has some outside 527 group working on their behalf, So should Giuliani have had them this should have been on TV in every state.

Of course the Giuliani camp would immediately disown and condemn those groups, and assure everyone that it does not have the blessing of the campaign, but the backers would all be strong Giuliani backers pushing the message, why wasn't this done months ago?
-- Leo Landau

Is Mr. Tucker a liberal hiding in a closet. I mean, Global warming Kyoto. Get real! You want our economy to tank for sure on pure lies and hysteria. Nuclear is the way to go. However, the reasons for Giuliani are more then 9/11 over speak. He is not a conservative on a very important prong, social issues. The 2nd prong, he is a conservative on the war and crime (except gun controls). However, there are others who fix that bill also. On the 3rd prong he is great economy (Taxes and Spending). However, he may be going down the wrong path on Health Care. Keep the Gov't out of it. They will only ruin it. Get rid of the John Edwards lawsuits and the free benefits for illegals and that will go a long way to helping Health Care.

He is wrong on abortion, Gay marriage, gun control, stem cells, judges (Originalist not constructionalist), and illegal immigration (even though he is talking tough now). And do we really trust him on judges since he has so many liberal views? This is some more reasons he has not done well with conservatives.
-- Joseph D'Ambrosia

Yeah, it gets tiring when the Mayor hangs the 9/11 neon sign around every issue he discusses on the stump. However, the author absolutely loses his conservative street cred when he pimps Giuliani to sign the Kyoto Protocol.

Mr. Tucker -- you want to start "addressing" the global swarming issue? Great! Start buying some shorts and wear a wide-brimmed hat. Slather on the SPF 45 while you're at it. Otherwise, leave us (the citizens) the hell alone. The last thing we want Mr. Tucker to do is tell us how to live our lives, how to reduce our carbon footprint, how to go nuclear, and how to "plug-in."

On top of that, Mr. Tucker doesn't know jack about the economics of the oil industry, or about economics in the general sense. We certainly don't print the dollars we use to buy the petroleum products consumed in everyday life. As far as the Constitution is concerned, only the Fed can mint legal tender.

I'm surprised TAS didn't vet this particular column more closely.
-- Owen H. Carneal
Yorktown, Virginia

For the most part, William Tucker is dead on in his analysis of the moribund Giuliani campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, but for crying out loud, Tucker loses me totally by saying Rudy (Giuliani) should announce, "I will sign the Kyoto Protocol?" Tucker admits the Global Warming movement is a fraud and, "Nobody who signed the Kyoto Protocol is doing anything about it." So why does Tucker feel the U.S. should? Is symbolism over substance, earning the friendship of other nations, worshiping on the altar of junk science, or any other altruistic impulse sufficiently compelling to ensure for the U.S. second class status in this hostile world? By destroying its capitalist infrastructure and military pre-eminence in favor of a Socialist-Globalist agenda, does Tucker feel the U.S. will regain the friendship of some nations?

The U.S. "going it alone" seems to trouble Tucker. Why?? Leadership -- whether world or national -- often means going it alone. National survival is not predicated upon winning a popularity contest. If it were (as the current crop of Dem-Liberals seem to wish), we'd be dead. It's a mean world out there!

President Bush, for all his faults, understands that it's lonely at the top, where world leadership is concerned. The U.S. should NOT kowtow to envious little nations with often atavistic inclinations towards us. For example, Iran may at the top of the list of petty, jealous nations trying to bring the U.S. colossus down, but by no means is it alone. We did not break with the hub of the Axis of Evil. They broke with us 29 years ago with an act of war -- the taking of hostages. By coming clean on its nuke program, Iran should take the first step in regaining OUR trust, not the other way around! Likewise, our so-called 'friends' and 'allies' should be expected to do a lot of fence mending with the U.S. Frankly, I'm sick and tired of the U.S. begging the world to admit us into its 'club.'
-- Robert D.
Morristown, New Jersey

Nice article about why a dynamic likeable man has become a bore on the campaign trail.

The war on Islamic terrorists is important, but there's no reason a serious candidate couldn't issue a series of papers outlining his stance on other important issues. Just a few suggestions:

1. Border security -- Commit to building the fence, and promise to penalize employers for hiring illegals. If a transient workforce is necessary, pledge to bring in temporary workers. For inspiration, look at the Canadian method of doing this.

2. Social Security -- Quit dillydallying. Come right out and state that it either has to be privatized at some level, or means test it.

3. Federal Judges -- Pledge to appoint judges who are interested in preserving the Bill of Rights. Anyone else obviously either has an intelligence problem, or a personality problem, i.e., they have too large an ego to be a judge.

4. Commit to pushing again for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. Paygo is not the answer to problems.

5. Point out that earmarks are wrong, and state that if elected President, an executive order to ignore any earmarks not strictly legal will be forthcoming. At least, then Congress will have to insert them into the legislation, not the conference report. In the cold light of day, the American public can see which members of Congress are engaging in payola.

6. Pledge use of the veto anytime you think Congress is out of control. Specifically point out the exact line items in a bill which necessitated the veto, and take the case to the American people. Very few Americans will blame a president for reining in Congressional overspending.

7. Push energy development in the U.S. Nuclear power plants need to be coming on line every month to reduce our need for oil.

8. Pledge to fight for oil drilling in all the places we know we have oil. Point out to the American people the fact that oil prices will go down if there is more oil available in this country. End the sham of subsidizing ethanol. It's a gigantic boondoggle. Production results in a net energy loss.

I'm sure sober reflection by any candidate (I'm dangerously close to assuming too much here) will uncover more issues worthy of addressing. I'm retired military, 68 years old, and I've grown weary of seeing the same old problems in Washington being forever swept under the rug, or kicked down the road because they are 'too hard.'

At this point, I've come to the conclusion that the government in Washington is broken, and there isn't anyone, I repeat, anyone running with the guts to specifically state what they would do to fix it.

A statement of goals and objectives would be, at the very least, a very nice start...
-- R. Goodson
Vero Beach, Florida

I am somewhat disappointed by this article. There is a "peace" candidate running, his name is Dr. Ron Paul. He wants us out of Iraq, as well as the other 130 countries we currently have troops stationed in. He wants to begin "mending" those fences you spoke of by trading with other nations, not trying to run their internal affairs. You mention nuclear power, and this is something that he is a big supporter of as well. He is the only candidate that has the qualities you outline in your article, why not mention his name at least?

I do agree with you that Giuliani needs to stop with the 9/11 rhetoric though, it seems like he can not come up with anything else to talk about.
-- Beaty McCloud

STANDING DOWN
Re: Andrew Cline's Not Ready for Presidential Primetime:

How fortunate we TAS readers are to have Andrew Cline around to inform us about who does or does not merit our attention in a presidential campaign! Without his sage guidance, I might have been misled into believing that Fred Thompson actually wanted to be president. Wow, close call!

Seriously, Mr. Cline needs to get over the fact that Mr. Thompson doesn't share his view about how important the New Hampshire primary is (not very, apparently). If it's all the same to you, Mr. Cline, some of us prefer to make our decisions based on substance rather than a candidate's willingness to jump through hoops. It is your parochial attitude about the centrality of New Hampshire to our political process that seems dated, not Fred's views on the issues, or on how he chooses to run his campaign.

This sort of after-the-fact snarking is beneath TAS's usual standards, and I hope to see less of it in your future coverage of the campaign as it unfolds.
-- Terrance Shuman
Atlantic, Iowa

Fred Thompson's campaign suffered from hubris and an 18th century worldview? I think Mr. New Hampshire doth protest too much. In 2008 as in 2000, New Hampshire and Iowa will again prove to be an antiquated sideshow, reflecting a small state's inflated opinion of itself with their perennial bizarre selection. To validate their new found enlightened Republican credentials and minority status in the Granite State, the Union Leader anointed John McCain the Un-Reagan to continue the disassembly of the Republican Party. McCain and the Union Leader look to reformulate the national Republican Party in their image: an irascible to Republicans and obliging to Democrats Permanent Minority happy in their failure.
-- Andrew E. Malone
New Milford, Connecticut

With all due respect, it was not that Thompson was not ready, it was the voters who were not ready for a serious candidate.

As far as the GOP and what it has always been about:

1. Fred was best on policy
2. Fred was best on principle
3. Fred was the "authority adult"
3. Fred was real -- not the "soundbite guy"
4. Fred was (as Richard Land put it): Southern Fried Reagan

Voters wanted Rock concerts like Obama was having -- and our resident Candidate, Pastor, Rockstar played bass for them. Elections are about leadership -- not entertainment. Leadership doesn't require "getting in early" and since Fred got in before the voting started he was in early enough.

One thing that could have made a big difference: The Christian Evangelical voters (except for a few of us Fred heads) don't do their homework. "If Pastor says he's for Huck.....well, that's good enough for me!" If they would have even noticed that it was Fred who got the National Right to Life endorsement and not Huck; if Fred would have had more of the evangelical vote behind him; who knows? If, If, If, shoulda, coulda, woulda...

The average voter got very, very little positive press or a favorable image of Fred from the MSM.

It was U.S. who was not ready. Fred had the stuff. We failed him.

Yeah -- I'm a Fred head...... and I'm proud of it.
-- Tony Lipsey
Orlando, Florida

Mr. Cline's hit piece (and that's what it was, a hit piece) about Fred Thompson's campaign practices was irksome, to say the least. As the editor of a northeastern rag that likely reflects the thinking of those "Republicans" who prefer a "conservative" poseur like McCain, his disdain for Thompson's conservative philosophical integrity is understandable, even as he chastises Thompson for not bowing to the demands of the rubber chicken circuit. But the real problem is that, today, the "professional" Republican Party shysters and their shills in the "Republican Punditry" are replete with characters like Mr. Cline, who have been mouthing what have been become the de rigueur platitudes of conservative ideology, all the while supporting the relentless expansion of government at every level. And they have been perpetrating this public relations sham and foisting their left-leaning Manchurian Candidates on the conservative base for over thirty years. It is this lunacy that is undermining the ability of any candidate who advocates limited government to succeed in politics today.

Early last year I swore to myself that I would no longer support any Republican candidate that had a known record of advancing any part of the leftist (Marxist, Communist, Socialist) agenda. I have been pragmatically supporting Republican candidates for over thirty years (since Reagan), yet I am still waiting for the Republicans to deliver the goods on reducing the size of government, restoring fiscal sanity, and returning this republic to its constitutional roots. I recall the admonishments made by others against the "Rudy McRomney" types proffered by the Republican establishment and the negative electoral repercussions that would surely follow should the Republican nominee be a RINO. But I will no longer swallow the "lesser of two evils" incantation that has been continuously voiced every election cycle. The sad fact is that the use of RINO as a pejorative term has no meaning any more. Like a Hegelian nightmare, the majority of Republicans today have become the synthesis of every thesis and anti-thesis that they have been braying for or against, lo, these many years.

What is the point of voting for a Republican candidate if that candidate is an advocate for most everything I consider to be outright evil? What we are witnessing today is the great unraveling of this 250-year-old Republic. It is being transmogrified into something unrecognizable from the political entity that existed even thirty short years ago. If the people of this country today, Democrats and Republicans alike, are hell bent on ushering in a Socialist state and casting off the last vestiges of the Republic, then they will have to embark on that terrible course without my imprimatur. There was a time when Rome was a Republic; but the Romans saw that slip through their fingers, too.
-- Harry Hill

So, now what? There was always a bit of wishful thinking among Fred's supporters. We could see the weaknesses. But, there was also improvement as the days went by, enough to keep hope alive. Now, suddenly, nothing. Now, suddenly, there is no bona fide conservative candidate in the race for the Republican nomination. We've been here before, before we were spoiled by Ronald Reagan. What to do?

As for this Fredhead, I'd vote for a dead cat before I'd vote for John McCain. We all know why, so I won't write a thesis. Huckabee? Hardly. Identity politics doesn't begin to address his shortcomings. I'm about convinced he's the Clinton plant of all time. That leaves us with Mitt and Rudy. Mitt's OK, but the Dems will have him for breakfast, and lunch, too, in the general. Which leaves, Rudy. Which means, Florida. Which means I'm back where I was in the beginning of this mess.

The reality is, in this cycle, conservative Republicans are going to have to live with the lesser evil. We should be used to that, it's just been awhile. It won't be as bad this time, really it won't, as long as we win, that is. But, it sure is annoying to watch the Clintons work their will again. What is wrong with those people? Never mind, I already know.

So, choose your lesser evil. Mine's Rudy. But, in November, don't stay at home fussing and fuming about our nominee (OK, if McCain gets the nomination, IF, I'll hold my nose and vote for him). Four or eight years of the Clintons is not worth it.

"You know what the worst day in my life was? It was the day I met you and you put the idea in my head (that Fred could be the Republican nominee for President of the United States) I could pilot a ship in space." -- Tommy Lee Jones, Space Cowboys
-- Mike Showalter
Austin, Texas

BLACK AND WHITE
Re: Philip Klein's No Race War to See Here:

This is a good summation of the black/white divide among the electorate. However, on a broader scale that takes in the Left and the Right rather than Democrats and Republicans, the larger divide is to be found in the examination of the Americas that these two ideologies seek to promote.

If one examines how each of these two, Left and Right, want the country to continue, it becomes obvious who stands for freedom and who stands for curtailment. Which ideology seeks to control how people should eat? Which one has decided what should be done about smoking? Who wants to outlaw fast food rather than allow the individual to choose? Which ideology stops owners from developing their OWN property? Which ideology tries to decide what automobile Americans should drive?

When examined in this way, the lie is given to the old outdated idea that liberals want all Americans to be "free." The Democratic Party and the entire Left have come a long way since Richie Havens rasped out "Freedom" over and over at Woodstock. It would seem that many black voters are looking at the Left in a new way. I don't know if enough of them are ready to leave the plantation that the Democratic party has constructed for them, but I do know that almost a half century of Democratic "help" has mired them deeper in the figurative cotton fields, destroyed their families, ghettoized their homes and neighborhoods, and strengthened the slave shackles that they thought they had escaped.

May God save the country from the Left before it destroys the few choices we have remaining to us with its confiscatory taxation and profligate spending on the purchase of votes.
-- Joseph Baum
Garrettsville, Ohio

I think Philip Klein's observations are correct. The leaders of African Americans in the Democrat Party have their marching orders: Support Hillary or the gravy train stops! These aging black leaders know that it is much harder to convince young African Americans that they don't have a chance at improving themselves in the future when an African American is the President. Now that is not to say that blacks won't be discriminated against, but that the idea that worthwhile things are denied African Americans is harder to peddle and to believe when the leader of the United States and the Free World is an African American. In short, for Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the like, the worst of all worlds is for Obama to be elected President. Such a move would cast serious doubt on the inherent racism and evil of the United States.
-- Paul Moody
Gainesville, Virginia

Philip Klein described Barack Obama's apparent graciousness in acknowledging HRH Hillary the Deserving and HRH the Little Prince Edwards with these words: "'I want to acknowledge my outstanding competitors and my partners in the Democratic Party,' he said of Clinton and John Edwards, demonstrating that he's able to suck up his problems with Hillary when the ceremony demands it.'

As I read through that and got to the words, "he's able to suck up...," I did what is normal in reading -- I completed the thought.

Except that after "suck up," I got "to royalty" instead of "his problems."

Come on, Philip Klein! So did you in your first draft.

I so admire your cool and courteous temperament in softening the second draft, though.
-- A. C. Santore

THE WHOLE PICTURE
Re: Lisa Fabrizio's Rush and Reagan:

Lisa Fabrizio is, as usual, exactly right. Unfortunately, the last truly conservative Republican candidate just dropped out of the race.

If Mitt Romney is nominated, I will trudge to the polls to vote for him as the lesser of the evils presented. If, as I fear, McCain is nominated, I will join with millions of other conservatives and stay home. I see absolutely no substantive difference between McCain and either Billary or B. Hussein.
-- Keith Kunzler
Arnold, Missouri

Ms. Fabrizio has come as close to hitting the nail on the head in her latest column as she has done until now. I would, however, like to pose a question to her. Lisa, while I generally agree with your thesis, what happened to Fred Thompson? Did he ascend to the wrong roof top? Did he not shout his conservatism loud enough? Could it be that open primaries make a mockery of the process of the GOP selecting someone to represent them in the race for POTUS? Or could it be that the electorate is simply not as heavily conservative as we would like to think? Could it be that entirely too many of the voting public want their government Mommy to take care of their little "owie" for them? Could it be that entirely too many in the voting electorate refuse to take personal responsibility for ANYTHING in their lives, no matter that they brought it on themselves? We have become a society that overdoses on soap operas and Oprah, and your sex has led the parade, I am afraid. Of course the husbands and boyfriends and significant others have all become metrosexuals because their brains have been relocated below their belts.

Then we have the media who find it so much easier to simply report polls and the horse race that is the early states. Oh, and to present panels of "experts" to pontificate on what it all means, and who can stay in the race and who can't. And the TV audience eats it all up. They accept it at face value because, after all, Hume, Barnes, Kondracke, Juan Williams, etc. are experts, aren't they? Heck, Hume has been learning his elitist schtick since he was a young child going to Sidwell Friends School with his classmate, Al Gore, who lived and grew up in the main suite of a five star hotel in Washington D. C.

Lisa, I am afraid that we have become a society of celebrity worshippers, instead of achievement worshippers. We worship at the altar of the Church of Stardom. Yes, there are some of us left that are conservative, and who really do care about issues, and what works, and etc. But we are no longer the majority within the electorate. We just come to echo chambers like The American Spectator, or the Rush Limbaugh show, and commiserate with each other and pretend that our once great country is not speeding toward a Swedish style socialism that will leave us all as wards of the nanny state. Of course, being in Connecticut, you are intimately familiar with high cost, paternalistic government.
-- Ken Shreve

Lisa Fabrizio would have us believe that "the majority of the American people do not embrace higher taxes, the culture of perpetual victimhood, government intervention in their lives, the taking of innocent life and the defeat of our military at the hands of those who would see us all dead."

She would be right if that majority were as well-informed as she, and the above issues weren't willfully distorted by the MSM, the Democrats--and, sadly, a couple of the Republican RINO candidates as
well.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

I agree with your article, I have been a conservative for 50+ years, and haven't given up yet.

My question is, is Michael Medved a closet liberal? I see nothing that indicates that Rush and others are losing their influence.

Keep up the good work.
-- Ted Roghair

HONOR AT WAR
Re: James Bowman's Honor and McCain:

You state, "All the Republicans in the race except for Ron Paul are in favor of victory..." Underlying the implicit yet subtle point that Paul wants defeat, you apparently reveal your struggle with honor. You have implicitly embraced defeat and relish dishonoring the sacrifice of our soldiers by not declaring that our boys did what they were supposed to do -- they WON and WON HANDILY. Our boys won 10 times over. Remember mission accomplished? Ergo, both you and McCain embrace defeat. The fact is, we should never have gone into Iraq and you know it. So why are you nitpicking an article on McCain's article instead of hammering the true issue? It is puzzling for Paul advocates saving our victory while we still can and focusing us on being true conservatives.

I am a former infantryman and a former cop. I know the difference between fighting a war and policing a neighborhood. We have no business doing the latter. If what I say is wrong, then please define for us what your "victory" in Iraq is specifically and when we know it will be achieved. Or, will it be another 100, 1000, or 1,000,000 years as John McCain is quoted as saying in the Washington Post? I've also read the Constitution, something McCain and the rest of the wrecking crew ought to pick up once in a while. Call him a gadfly or what you will, Ron Paul is right -- the Republican party has lost its way.
-- Chris Kachouroff
Alexandria, Virginia

One would never quibble with Senator McCain's honor during his military service to our country. His political career is another matter. It has always bothered me the way he used his POW status in the political realm. I do not believe that an officer and gentleman would use this in such a callous manner. He is forever linked to the Keating Five and was the fish that got away, again using his reputation as a POW. His record as a Senator is not stellar and seems to have drifted down the rabbit hole since 2000 and his failed primary campaign.

We've watched him during the past eight years, poking holes in the Republican eye with a sharp stick, for every policy other than the War on Terror. Bottom line, it's come down to Sen. McCain and his ego and the never ending "getting even" for the 2000 loss. Sen. McCain does not represent the majority of those who carry the R after their names. He's just another aging Boomer who will do anything to have his way and the hell with the rest of us, reminding us of the final shot in the film Sunset Boulevard..."Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my picture." John McCain simply isn't Presidential material and has the record to prove it.
-- Edda Gahm
Diamond Bar, California

I do not call it "honor" when Keating Five McCain blocked the investigation attempting to find American solders left behind in Vietnam. Ross Perot, who was dedicated to determining what had become of missing POW's hated McCain. It is believed that McCain, an Admiral's son, made propaganda films for the Vietnamese criticizing the Americans. Political expedience was more important then human life to this man you call "honorable." He covered up the records of his past and has the nerve to call himself a hero. His candidacy is doomed, he will be exposed for what he is.
-- Elaine McKillop

You should understand that warmongering and policing another sovereign nation, as John McCain advocates, is the least "conservative" thing we can do to help that region of the world. You're truly wrong by stating Ron Paul is not in favor of victory, when his plan is the most logical by giving them their country back so that they can become stabilized again. Perhaps you should do more research before publishing such a ridiculous article that favors someone like McCain over anyone with principle like Paul.
-- Tim Conard

We'll see exactly how "honorable" John McCain is when someone truly holds his feet to the fire regarding illegal immigration -- which is sure to become even more of a contentious issue if the economy falters.
-- Arnold Ahlert
Boca Raton, Florida

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