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Opening Arguments

Nobody there yet

Radio talk-show host Neal Boortz pretty much sums up a lot of the way I feel about President Bush:

Other than his determination to defend our country from Islamic radicals and his economy-boosting tax cuts... what real conservative credentials does he have?

[. . .]

And to think this man claims to admire Ronald Reagan.  He may admire Reagan, but he's starting to sound like Jimmy Carter.

In 2008, I'd like to vote for a candidate who takes national security and the war on terror seriously but otherwise would advocate a restrained and modest government that mostly leaves us alone to pursue our own destinies. Is there anybody, of either party, like that? Giuliani may come the closest.
No one I've heard so far.


Fri, 02/02/2007 - 5:58am

Giuliani is a winning candidate, but I worry about him being a big government president, much like Bush. I like Newt, but I don

tim zank
Fri, 02/02/2007 - 9:00am

I think Newt is by far the most qualified, but it's pretty early to tell if could muster the support.

brian stouder
Fri, 02/02/2007 - 9:23am

I think the Democrats could win with a ham sandwich in 2008 (especially if the ham sandwich runs against the Newtster)....but we shall see

Fri, 02/02/2007 - 10:42am

Well, sure the Democrats could win with a ham sandwich. But could they win with a Democrat?

I don't really think even Reagan was a Reagan Republican. There was a lot of small government rhetoric, but we spent ourselves into some gargantuan deficits under his watch. I know there was a Democratic Congress, but he played his part as well.

I want someone who will balance the budget -- preferably through program cuts, but through tax increases if necessary. It's immoral to run up debts and expect our kids to pay for them. I also want someone committed to civil liberties. The Bill of Rights is there to restrain the government, and that's a good thing.

Get those things done, stay out of my pocketbook as much as possible, and stay out of my bedroom entirely. That's a candidate that'd get my vote.

Unfortunately, usually what I get is a fiscal conservative married to the social conservatives and civil libertarians married to big government program types.

Kevin Knuth
Fri, 02/02/2007 - 11:43am

"Unfortunately, usually what I get is a fiscal conservative married to the social conservatives and civil libertarians married to big government program types."

Doug- that is a profound statement.

Most Democrats in Indiana are "Evan Bayh Democrats"- fiscally conservative but a BIT socially liberal.

But on the national scene, you have the FAR LEFT and FAR RIGHT and in order to shore up enough votes to win, they pander to groups- for example: fiscal conservatives join up with social conservatives to create enough base to win an election.

I agree with with Jon- Guiliani is more Democratic than he is letting on (so maybe he would not disappoint me) but Newt? No way- he lost the social conservatives when he strayed during his marriage.

Pardon the analogy: he made his bed, now he has to lay in it.

brian stouder
Fri, 02/02/2007 - 12:37pm

"Most Democrats in Indiana are "Evan Bayh Democrats"- fiscally conservative but a BIT socially liberal."

Say - if you want to read a fine book - read Benjamin Harrion by Chales Calhoun. (There is a series of books on American presidents edited by Arthur Schlesinger; Sean Wilentz has an excellent one in the series about Andrew Jackson)

Harrison was a successful Indianapolis lawyer and a grandson of a president, and Indiana was a crucial swing state (along with New York) - divided almost exactly evenly between Ds and Rs...consequently if you had support in Indiana you were automatically quite attractive nationally.

Key issues included the protective tariff (Ds against, Rs for) hard money versus soft (Ds hard, Rs soft) and civil rights enforcement (Ds against, and Rs for)

When Harrison became president, he was quite activist - guiding a large amount of legislation through congress (including the Sherman anti-trust act, the McKinley tariff bill, and a compromise silver coinage bill) - and making the Democrats and the Republican party bosses mad....

but I digress!

Steve Towsley
Fri, 02/02/2007 - 1:11pm

I agree with Leo. I'm glad to have an opportunity to say this: Just because I think Bush has become somewhat wacky does NOT mean that I would choose a democrat next time. What I will do is support a smarter Republican.

As for Evan Bayh, I don't care how moderate his posture on certain popular matters -- he would still drag the hard-line party radicals back into power on his coattails, and I don't think he'd mind, let alone cast them adrift. Bayh has not shown any signs of diverging from people like Kennedy, Boxer, Kerry, Pelosi or Schumer on anything but the LEAST significant of party concerns.

Whenever there is a pet liberal project up for a vote, Bayh may talk moderation, but he has rarely voted against his aging liberal leadership.

e talks about leaving people's gun rights alone, for example, but he votes with the democrats when the rubber meets the road on all but the most outlandish proposals to infringe, regulate and ban 2nd Amendment rights. That's a lockstep liberal in action, in my view. One who talks a game, then votes like a good boy, as he's told.

If you want to know a man's truth don't trust so much what he says -- instead, watch what his hands and feet are doing, watch where his energy goes, watch his actions, where he spends his money and perspiration.

If, as the old saw goes, a politician is lying "whenever his lips are moving," I have found you can still learn his (or her) absolute truth by watching what they DO. The divergence is often shocking.

Mike Boley
Fri, 02/02/2007 - 6:59pm

Giuliani?? You've got to be kidding! He doesn't come close to your meeting your criteria. Ron Paul would come closest; but he's also smart enough not to run.

Kenn Gividen
Sat, 02/03/2007 - 7:53am

January 11 - RON PAUL announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a 2008 presidential campaign.

see here...


Libertarian? This is our guy.

Steve Towsley
Sat, 02/03/2007 - 3:00pm

I'd be delighted to support a history scholar who understands he has more to learn about politics - aka Newt Gingrich. But I doubt the Republicans will run him because of the impression that he can't win. His supposed failings were spotlighted by resentful democracts in a tit-for-tat effort to unseat the Speaker as revenge for holding Bill Clinton to account.

Newt was unfairly skewered for a book deal and became a sacrificial lamb on the alter of liberals' willingness to hang the innocent as payback for holding their own guilty to account.

Gingrich, the engine behind the (fulfilled) "contract with America," deserves a continued distinguished career in politics. Maybe he's happy making the big money as a TV analyst, but we have so few really talented leaders that it would be a waste to discount him forever. I very much hope he comes back to a rightful place on the ballot for high office sooner or later. His campaign speeches alone would be fascinating and I think charismatic.

Steve Towsley
Sun, 02/04/2007 - 10:29pm

Ah, he11. Ignore the middle paragraph above. It's a waste of space. Not only did I mix a metaphor (how do you sacrifice someone on an altar and HANG him too?), and besides, I misspelled altar, and then covered essentially the same thought better in the last para.

Wish I had the price of an assistant editor. I failed to engage my brain before running my fingers over the keyboard. Never a safe thing to do -- if one hopes to be spared the embarrassment of rough output -- no matter how informal the forum...

Nevertheless, I'll probably have to continue shooting from the hip -- it takes longer to write shorter, and longer still to edit my remarks two or three times for vanity's sake after saying basically what I wanted to say.

Besides, you mostly know what I MEAN, right?....

Mike Boley
Mon, 02/05/2007 - 5:09am

Not to worry Steve, no one will mistake you for meaning left.

Jeff Pruitt
Mon, 02/05/2007 - 10:03am

Many parts of the Contract weren't even enacted into law. This doesn't mean that it was all the House Republicans' fault but to call it fulfilled is surely a stretch...

brian stouder
Mon, 02/05/2007 - 12:00pm

"Many parts of the Contract weren't even enacted into law"

And other parts of the spirit of the Contract With America - which was a laudible thing, all in all - were simply discarded by the GOP, once they became fat and happy as the incumbent power (thinking Term Limits here, and Souder's unprincipled and clumsy discarding of them, once they threatened his own dung heap)