Real conservatives don’t beg. You are strong in the ways of conservativism, young Scott Walker. But you are not a Jedi yet.You get the job done. You get it done quietly and efficiently. And under no circumstances to you let the sort of hullabaloo we’re seeing in Wisconsin develop. The sharks are circling—and it turns out we’ve already got somebody who fell in the lake.
Or, to put it slightly differently: You have failed me for the last time.
At some point, it’s important to take a firm stand on things. Mock Bush’s “evil-doers” all you want—but at least admit he had the courage to know what he stood for.
On the one hand, I don’t think Santorum is a great candidate. He’s not particularly charismatic, is prone to take extreme positions, and doesn’t have a chance in the general.
That said, it’s good to see a conservative who isn’t trying to be some sort of mainstream Ron Paul. Or maybe Ron Paul plus tough foreign policy. The Republican Party actually believes in stuff other than tax cuts. Santorum’s policy solutions aren’t much to write home about. But he’s at least willing to consider that maybe government has a purpose.
I wonder whether some of the reluctance to really hammer Paul comes from a desire not to be seen as the bad guy by Paul’s younger supporters. While some of Paul’s positions are appealing, he’s way more radical than the others. If those newsletters are anything to be believed, he has a real penchant for conspiracy theories too.
But a guy like Romney could benefit by positioning himself as the alternative to Paul. And it wouldn’t be too difficult to let Paul pick up a bit of a lead then blast him out of the water just before Super Tuesday. Let Paul be the not-Romney, then wait to ask Paul his feelings on Israel until it would hurt most.
I’ve long been a skeptic of Ron Paul’s electoral chances. After all, he’s just not that conservative. He’s more a libertarian, which is a different thing.
And yet … his supporters are energetic and extremely passionate. No other candidate has that going. And the Caucuses favor that sort of thing.
Still, I think the old guard will rally to stop him if he wins in Iowa.
As it stands, Gingrich is pulling onto the lead, not because anybody likes him, but because he’s not Romney and he hasn’t collapsed yet. (Though this Freddie Mac thing might sink him.) If Gingrich survives another week, he’s probably good through the holiday and will have support as people start voting.
Here’s how I see it going down:
Somebody (not Romney) wins Iowa. Romney wins New Hampshire. Then somebody (Not Romney) wins South Carolina. And suddenly we’ve got Romney vs. Not Romney all the way to the convention. And, since Paul will stay in, neither gets more than 5%.
Let me see if I’ve got the whole story. Herman Cain might, a long time ago, said something inappropriate to a colleague. But we don’t know what. Or why. And nobody has stepped forward with concrete details.
Wake me up when there’s an actual story. I’m not inclined to smear a candidate with dumped and innuendo.
A few facts:
- Palin isn’t running
- Republicans don’t really like Romney. Never have. Never will.
- Christie isn’t running. Because … seriously, who thought Christie would have actually had a chance?
- Ron Paul’s support has peaked.
- Rick Perry seems to have shot himself in the foot then gotten his foot stuck in his mouth
- Palin doesn’t want to be irrelevant—so she’ll probably endorse and do a few events, Oprah-style.
- Palin’s not going to endorse Perry, Romney, or Paul.
- I like Herman Cain. But … is anybody really excited about him? I mean, does he have a vibrant support base? I don’t think he’ll have the votes he needs in Iowa.
Palin will endorse Bachmann. Eventually. Probably in Iowa. This will tip Bachmann—if not over the top—pretty clearly into the top two. She’ll be a frontrunner.
He’s faceplanted in the second half of three straight debates. That’s now a trend.
It’s looking pretty rough for our guy—but I’m sure he’ll rally. Perry has never lost an election—and once the country sees what a real conservative has to offer, they’ll forget a few botched debates.
Okay, libertarians and Ron Paul fans… In a world where a minimalist government existed, who the hell would be taking care of the crazy fallen debris and flooding water that are covering, like, 60% of the roads in the NY metro area right now?
I’m pretty sure the market could handle that pretty easily, If your building wants, say, a clear road, you can clear it. Or you can pay somebody else to clear it. Yes, that will cost money—but you’ll save a whole lot with lower taxes.
I don’t need the government to shovel my sidewalk in the winter. If a tree falls on it, I solve the problem myself.
A lot of the traditional pundit-type have determined that Rick Perry’s appearance in the race means the evangelical will abandon Bachmann in droves for Perry. Notably, the traditional pundit-type tend not to be evangelicals. The evangelicals aren’t so fickle.
Let me paint a scenario where Bachmann could plausibly get the Republican nomination and even the Presidency. The Ames Straw Poll is this weekend. For curious reasons, Sarah Palin is also touring Iowa. And Perry is announcing. Suppose Perry announces. Palin calls a quick and secretive press conference. She throws her weight behind Bachmann. Perry’s announcement gets muffled. Bachmann gains momentum. Suddenly she’s the frontrunner and rides that to victory in Iowa. Perry’s pretty much gone.
Romney wins New Hampshire—but everybody remembers how much they dislike him. His conservative credentials still have the tag on them. Bachmann rides to victory. And Bachmann has the sort of fervid support that translates into campaign money. Or maybe she takes the high road and goes with public financing.
Bachmann is pretty conservative. Next to Bachmann, even a guy like me looks like some coffee-swilling leftist. This could raise red flags about things like electability. But … the Obama administration has some liabilities too.
In the general election, a tarnished Obama can’t get the liberal enthusiasm he needs. Unions are exhausted from things like losing the Wisconsin fight. The economy still sucks. Maybe a scandal breaks at the wrong time. Bachmann can run as fresh and optimistic. Obama, despite his 2008 campaign, is now the tired establishment. The older voters tend to vote Republican anyway. And the young vote doesn’t vote establishment. Who does that leave? The Gen Xers?
“Ah … I meant to put election day on my Blackberry, but I had to finish the Power Point for that design meeting and I must have forgotten. I’ll remember to vote next time around.”
Wait, you mean the Job Killing Healthcare Bill? (via Health Care called the new “gold rush”)
Remember the Bobs from Office Space? Downsizing creates jobs for innovators like the Bobs. But that doesn’t mean that the whole point of it isn’t to kill jobs.
I responded to Alex’s post comments about firework’s bans earlier, and he has responded to my ask:
Until a fire that damages other people’s properties is started, there is no crime committed. The government shouldn’t be able to say, “we’re going to stop you from doing something because you might hurt others.”
People’s homes have already burned and millions in property has been damaged across the state (Source). The drought conditions in the state are beyond severe (Source). Prior to the period in which firework sales are allowed, there have been multiple fires across this state, some of them caused by something as small as a cigarette butt. Given the conditions and the previous fires, local governments have instituted burn bans, which cover everything from burning garbage to fireworks (key word: fire, which does not go well with droughts). This isn’t a question of might (and if one searches Texas newspapers, you can find many stories where fireworks have lead to fires, when conditions were less severe), but when. The damage is very real. It’s not a ridiculous hypothetical like your slippery slope argument.
I’ve got to go with Zach on this one. As much as I’m creeped out by government paternalism, half the point of the government is to stop activity that is going to hurt people. For example, I am not permitted to build car bombs and park them in crowded places, even if I’m willing to sign something swearing that my intentions are benevolent. We take preemptive action to prevent harmful activity all the time. I’m also not allowed to set up an archery range in front of a playground, even if I’m insistent I can hit the straw bale instead of the children pretty much all the time.
One of the core rules of conservativism, as I see it, is “Stupid things done with great intentions are still stupid.” I suppose I could add that my brand of conservativism differs from the libertarians in that I also believe that stupid things done for principled reasons are still stupid. Refusing to support a temporary burn ban when a significant portion of the country is literally on fire constitutes a stupid thing.
I read Pawlenty’s foreign policy address, and I was not particularly impressed, but I really didn’t have much to comment on it. I consider myself to belong to the realist school of international relations, and thus Pawlenty’s focus on promoting democracy has no appeal for me; however, this post from Foreign Policy caught my attention, and I don’t want to wait until tomorrow to address this in my weekly campaign round-up. In his speech, Pawlenty made the following comment:
And parts of the Republican Party now seem to be trying to out-bid the Democrats in appealing to isolationist sentiments.
I’m pretty sure Pawlenty has no idea what isolationism is (in fact, I think his entire foreign policy is nothing more than a collection of buzzwords), but when asked to identify who those parts are, Pawlenty pulled the same spineless crap he pulled during the debate saying that he wouldn’t name names. If you won’t name who the isolationists are, then don’t attack candidates and members of your own party for being isolationists. And if you want to distinguish yourself from the other candidates on the foreign policy front, then call them out. Seriously, Pawlenty’s poltroonery has completely turned me against the man, whereas before he was just boring and of no consequence to me.
I’ll have you know that I was ahead of the curve on thinking Pawlenty was a spineless sack of buzzwords. Though I’ll give you credit for beating me to the label “poltroonery.” It’s a good match.
Smokin’ coal to fuel my growth — like it’s crack.
Don’t know if you heard but the IMF got hacked.
High growth and inequality like the free BRICs.
Now I’m feeling so fly, like a G6.
Hey China, you’re a whina, about inequality.
All you need, is some greed, and some more democracy.
Don’t chide us, we’re like Midas, and our riches trickle lower.
All the reds and the Feds make GDP grow slower.
Lack of copper is no stopper if you can innovate.
Think electric, think eclectic. You can transubstantiate.
Mitt Romney’s in the race. My suggested motto:
Romney 2012: Marginally better than the other clowns
Tim Pawlenty straddling the fence so hard I can feel the chafing from five hundred miles away.
Um … Tim? Do you know why you’re never going to be President? You might want to ask John Kerry to fill you in …
Something to keep in mind with regard to the auto-bailouts: the money hasn’t all been repaid, because Chrysler still owes $2 billion. Similar to GM, the U.S. government owns shares of Chrysler (though much less - 8.6 percent to be exact) as part of its bailout deal. If they sell these shares, which seems plausible, then the money will be completely repaid. If repayment makes the bailouts a successful policy, it would be a little premature to suggest that the auto-bailout was a complete success, because of the General Motors question. Much of General Motors’ bailout loan was converted to shares, and the U.S. government might not be able to recoup all of that money. And some people think GM will never repay their loan. However, I don’t think repayment is the only measure of success - the company’s return to profitability is also a factor (Chrysler has seen profits, but my question is will they be able to sustain them). And how does the example of Ford enter the equation of whether or not the auto-bailouts were a necessary policy. Looking back on the bailouts, I think there are several questions that need to be, and will be (by policy experts, which I am not), asked and answered before we consider using such a policy in the future.
Zach, in honor of this tepid defense of the autobailout, let me suggest that you change your avatar to this guy’s face:
(I have already, of course, revised my mental image of you accordingly.)
Pettenkofer did a lot of work on cholera. He thought that it spread through some sort of bad air rather than germs. Like the Democrats understanding of economics, he was dead wrong. Also like the Democrats, he was willing to conduct high stakes experiments to try to prove he was right.
When Koch developed his theory that cholera spread through water, Pettenkofer decided to drink a vial of cholera-infested water to “prove” Koch wrong. He survived. Of course, this “proof” turned out to be a fluke. Perhaps he drank a bad sample. Perhaps he drank heavily enough to kill the germs. Or maybe he’d developed a resistance from an earlier bout of cholera. The point is, one experiment that doesn’t end in disaster doesn’t prove anything.
Yes Chrysler repaid its loans. It’s even plausible that the whole bailout will turn out okay for the U.S.. That doesn’t mean it was a good idea. Even if playing with matches doesn’t burn down the house, it’s still a bad plan.
Today might be the most ink (or bandwidth) former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty ever gets. He made his official announcement yesterday (although it was supposed to be today) in the early nominating state of Iowa (Sources: CNN, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post). Pawlenty played up his Midwestern roots and said he was going to “tell the truth,” as he said in his kickoff video, starting with telling Iowans that ethanol subsidies should be ended and hedging a little. Chris Cillizza talks about Pawlenty’s bet on boldness (Source), but the overall message seems to be depressing: things are bad, they could get worse and Obama won’t lead. No positive message at all. So, Tim Pawlenty spent a lot of time attacking the President, but would not directly engage his primary opponents, particularly Romney, when asked on the morning talk shows. The DNC, on the other hand, is wasting no time in attacking Pawlenty (Sources: CNN, Roll Call), painting him as indecisive. You can read Pawlenty’s complete speech here.
Pawlenty’s “bet on boldness” is a curious decision for a guy who just isn’t that bold. If Herman Cain were to “bet on boldness,” I’d buy it. Cain’s entire run is a “bet on boldness.” Pawlenty is more like a kitten who thinks he’s a tiger. He’s going to roar and posture … but he’s only convincing himself.
The other day, some liberals were whining about not being able to understand what “political correctness” meant and why it was a problem. Let me break it down:
Political correctness is the leftist delusion that how somebody says something is more important than what somebody says. It’s the idea that if somebody isn’t totally up-to-date on the list of words and phrases liberals think you’re not allowed to use then they are a bad person and their ideas aren’t worth listening to.
It tends to go hand in hand with the liberal ideas that talk is more important than action and that how you talk about people is more important than how you treat them.
Barack H. Obama (via thepoliticalnotebook)
No, actually, we don’t have a national stake in the self-determinatin of people. It might make us feel happy to see democracy flourish around the world. But our national interests are limited to security (and maybe prosperity). The President’s job is to keep us safe. So long as self-determination keeps us safe, it’s part of his job. But he should never under any circumstances accept a risk to the safety of Americans for a pet project that makes him feel warm and fuzzy inside.
I too am interested in pushing conservative views. While I may share your views on planned parent hood—the whole push polling thing is slimy and deceptive. You’re making conservatives look bad.
Nobody loves a telemarketer.
Is he staking out the middle? He’s criticizing Ryan’s Medicare plan—which is going to distinguish him from the serious deficit hawks. Perhaps he wants to be the old school Republican in the race?
It may also calm the nerves of a lot of worried old people.
Maybe Newt is just playing to his demographic.
The Republicans are doign a great job of telegraphing how serious they are on cutting spending. There will, of course, be some kind of deal reached eventually—but the Republicans are holding off long enough to ensure there are some jitters. There’s nothing inherently wrong with raising the debt ceiling—but it’s not something we should do casually. Each time it happens should get harder—and we need a plan in place to turn the boat around.