The National Whig

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

McCain vs. Rudy: Who Helps the GOP?

During the political life of Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton exclaimed that Burr was "a man of irregular and unsatiable ambition … who ought not to be trusted with the reins of government." The strife between these two men allowed for the election of another one of Hamilton's political rivals Thomas Jefferson and, at the same time, fractured the Federalist Party beyond repair. So why did Hamilton side with Jefferson, whom he viewed as dangerous to the Republic, and not Burr, whom he viewed in the same light regardless of Party affiliation? Simply put, Hamilton viewed the presidency of Jefferson as a bad thing for the country, but he viewed Burr as a dictator who would destroy the country. And two hundred years later a similar decission will have to made within the Republican Party about John McCain and Rudy Guiliani.

Which of these two are going to be better for the country and the GOP? McCain seems to be the sure bet over Rudy because of his longer history within the Party. Rudy's record includes a stint as the mayor of one of the most Liberal cities in the United States. Rudy is pro-abortion, pro-gun control and susceptible to being for gay marriage, so why is it that he seems to be better for the GOP than McCain? I think Rudy is genuine; he is not ambitious to the point of changing his beliefs for the purpose of securing the Republican nomination. McCain on the other hand is attempting to be all things to all people except Conservatives.

McCain and Conservatism

The conventional wisdom says that McCain is pro-life but he voted 33 percent of the time in favor of legislation friendly to the National Right to Life Committee during the 2001-2002 term and 66 percent of the time in the 1999-2000 term. He looks pretty consistent when voting for legislation supported by Americans for Tax Reform during the Congressional session covering 2003-2005, but prior to that McCain averages 60 percent in 2002, 55 percent in 2001 and 65 percent in 2000. He, along with Senator Joseph Leiberman, is a champion of environmentalism and putting more restrictions on the economy in the name of saving the planet. In 2004 the NRA gave McCain a C+ lifetime average when it comes to supporting legislation that the NRA wanted passed. So why is McCain the assumed Conservative among the top tier of Republican candidates? The main answer to this is that McCain has done a great job in camouflaging his record and his supporters are very quick to point to the aspects of his record that are unwaveringly Conservative in nature.

But his record must be examined to understand why he is not only a danger to the GOP but to the country. The best place to get a firm grip on the kind of president John McCain would be is the piece in Vanity Fair published this past February. The opening paragraph begins to open the door on John McCain's mind when author Todd Purdum writes "one minute he's toeing the conservative line (on gay marriage, say, or immigration) and the next he's telling someone what he really thinks." Mr. Purdum explains the many contortional positions McCain has to put himself in when talking about immigration and then McCain is quoted saying "I think the fence is least effective. But I'll build the goddamned fence if they want it." The "they" he is talking about is the Conservative base who want a secure-the-border-first approach to immigration reform. Perhaps the most damning quote form the Purdum piece is this: "'Yes, he's a social conservative, but his heart isn't in this stuff,' one former aide told me, referring to McCain's instinctual unwillingness to impose on others his personal views about issues such as religion, sexuality, and abortion. 'But he has to pretend [that it is], and he's not a good enough actor to pull it off. He just can't fake it well enough.'"

McCain is faking it because he is ambitious for power. This ambition has prompted him to be all things to all people depending on the audience. If he is speaking to the NRA, he is pro-gun no questions asked. If he is speaking to Chris Matthews on Hardball, he is as moderate as they come. So what could we expect from a McCain presidency? We don't know, but we do have an idea. For an inkling into his presidency, look no further than his pet project Campaign Finance Reform. McCain would rather the American people keep their mouths shut than have to put up with criticism. "I know that money corrupts . . . I would rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected, that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government." He also said this about political ads to the Supreme Court, "These ads are direct, blatant attacks on the candidates. We don't think that's right." The man is a tyrant that can only be more dictatorial with more power and all of this will be swept under the rug by the mainstream media outlets who like his maverick mentality in opposing his Party.

Rudy is Good For the GOP

Rudy Giuliani is no social Conservative and he doesn't try to be. There is no faking it with him. As such, this should demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is not as ambitious for power as McCain. He has layed his beliefs out on the table and not ran away from them in the face of Conservatives' criticism. This is his candid stance when it comes to abortion, "I believe abortion is wrong. I think it is morally wrong. And if I were asked my advice by someone who was considering an abortion, I would tell them not to have the abortion, to have the child, and if nothing else, the adoption option exists, [however;] in a country like ours, where people of good faith, people who are equally decent, equally moral, and equally religious, where they come to different conclusions about this, ... I believe you have to respect their viewpoint. ... I would grant women the right to make that choice." There is no equivocating there. He is not telling people what they want to hear. And this makes him head and shoulders above John McCain.

Rudy is a War on Terrorism candidate. His number one strength is national security, and the GOP would be wise to realize that the number one issue the American voter wants solved is the War on Terror. All of the domestic issues will not matter if we allow our nation to be brought back to a September 10th mentality. Democrats would do just that. They don't look at the War on Terror as a war; they view it as a criminal matter. Rudy is not that kind of thinker. He saw first hand what happens when you fight Osama bin Laden with subpoenas. Rudy is prepared to continue in taking the fight to the terrorists where ever they are hiding. McCain has said that he would chase bin Laden "to the gates of hell." He has also said that water-boarding is torture. How can he be expected to follow anyone "to the gates of hell" when he is reluctant to get information out of them using physical coersion? I trust Rudy to fight terrorism and leave the liberties of the American people alone. I trust that Rudy will not seek to become emperor of the United States.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Republican Debate: Part II

After watching tonight's Republican debate, I came away with two conclusions: 1) Rudy Guiliani was terrific in this debate and 2) the field should be drastically reduced.

Rudy knocked the ball out of the park with his answers on abortion and national security. He is not going to waver from his pro-choice stance and that shows real backbone considering that he is running for the presidential nomination of a Party who is stauchly pro-life. He also showed--much to the demise of Ron Paul--that he does not buy the notion that the US is to blame for the insanity of the Islamic terrorists, putting him in stark contrast to the Democrat Party. His flaws, as most of the candidates on that panel tonight, reside in the immigration issue. He wants to put a tracking device into an ID card and have the holders of said card databased. Something about that makes me a little apprehensive about the future of all Americans. But, overall, a very good job tonight for "America's Mayor."

Second, Ron Paul needs to go away. Not that I don't like the philosophy behind what he is advocating, rather it is his style in advocating it. He comes across as a kook, and if it's one thing that the Republican Party, and Conservatives specifically, doesn't need, it is the apperance of insanity. Another player on the stage who needs to go away is Senator Sam Brownback. I have nothing against the Senator; I actually like him. However, he is a better asset in the Senate and not cluttering up the debates by adding another body to throw questions at. It seems to me that it will not matter how well he runs, he is not going to win the nomination much less the general election. Next up is Tom Tancredo. Another great soldier in Congress and that is where he should stay. He does not look comfortable on the stage and he is a one trick pony and that trick is immigration. I am sure he could do more to push his one issue as a majority member in the House than he could by taking up space in the Republican Presidential nomination process. A couple others that need to have a good showing in the next debate or get on with their lives are governors Jim Gilmore and Tommy Thompson. Neither had a break out evening just as did not have a break out evening during the first debate.

Overall, the field of candidates looks good, except for John McCain. Republicans need to take a hard look at those candidates who have a shot and understand that right now the number one issue is not abortion or gay marriage. The number one issue is Iraq with immigration as a distant second. As I see it, there is only a couple of candidates that can seriously take on those issues.

Monday, May 07, 2007

What's Going on in Washington DC

There have been some interesting events in Washington the past couple of weeks.......

First we will start with President Bush vetoing the Democrats Iraq funding bill which includes benchmarks and a timeline for withdrawing US troops. Of course the Democrats could not override the veto and now we are back to square one in regards to having to fund the operations in Iraq. The Democrats claim that they are doing the will of the people in trying to force the President's hand toward withdrawl, but if that was the ultimate goal, why don't they just defund the entire operation? Could there be a bit more patience left in the American people?

While the showdown over Iraq was taking place, the social circuit of DC was on pins and needles about this "DC Madam" situation. So far, there has been one name out of thousands released to the public as having patronised the escort service run by the "Madam." The name is that of Randy Tobias who worked for the Bush administration's State Department. He was the head of USAID and in charge of the President's AIDS relief program. Now the "Madam" was on ABC on Friday, May 4 and it was speculated that she was going to drop the hammer and rattle of a whole list of names that was going to bring DC to its knees. Well, nothing like that happened. In fact, no other name has been released, with the exception of a Naval Officer who declined to "dignify" the accusation with a comment. The "Madam" has claimed that there are numerous names of high position people that have not been released, among the positions are NASA, the World Bank, the IMF, some Naval Officers and a "career Justice Department prosecutor." ABCNews is in charge of the names now and they are not releasing any of the names claiming that they are just small fry, not big enough fish. Not big enough fish? How many of us knew who the hell Tobias was before a couple of weeks ago?

On May 3, a few Conservatives held a little academic debate about the evolution at the American Enterprise Institute. I didn't attend, I had to work, but from what I hear it was very lively. One of my favorite writers at National Review, John Derbyshire, was one of the panelists. Though not having seen the debate, I do want to say something about this. Evolution can exist within the Conservative movement. I don't think our movement is a religious movement and therefore we need not exclude ideas that are founded on Earthly sentiments. But, I likewise do not think that we as a movement need to exclude those ideas that are of a Devine sentiment.

The Queen of England is visiting us here in the States. She is here to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown and the beginning of the American experience. I think it is fitting that the Queen, so propper and elloquent, is visiting with us at a time when we have a President perceived to be a country bumpkin. Those with this perception have a grand desire for the US to emulate the Europeans, particularly the British. I find it fitting that in the US a country bumpkin can host a dinner with the Queen of England as guest. God bless the United States, God bless us indeed.