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January 30, 2008

Citizen McCain:
Reflections on the FL Primary


John McCain -- McCain didn't just win Florida -- he won the GOP nomination. Though many pundits, bloggers, and radio hosts will spend the next week trying to deny this obvious fact, it is the reality that we must face. Huckabee was critically wounded in South Carolina. Florida has finished off Giuliani. And Romney's chances have also been crushed, though he thinks he is rich enough to buy an alternative reality. However, Romney can't overcome the fact that when he faced McCain in NH, SC, and FL he was thrashed every time.

We have to give credit where its due. Team McCain has found a way to carry their candidate to victory. McCain's campaign manager released the Path to the Nomination video back in December. At the time it seemed overly optimistic. Today, it appears prescient.

I'll admit that I'm troubled by the idea of a McCain presidency. He still seems to me to be a cross between Conan and Charles Foster Kane: A fascinatingly flawed and haunted man whose main goal in life is to crush his enemies and see them driven before him.

Still, as John Mark Reynolds notes, "The good news is that unlike any Democrat running McCain is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, against torture, and for winning the War on Terror." True enough. Also, having McCain as the nominee really ticks off all the people that unfairly trashed Huckabee (Rush, Mark Levin, et. al.). It may not be enough to ease my discomfort over McCain, but it nevertheless brings me great pleasure.

°°°°°°

Mitt Romney -- One of the reasons that McCain will be the nominee is because the establishment tried to sell Mitt Romney as the "full-spectrum conservative" candidate. Apparently, the pro-Romney pundits thought we GOP voters are either extremely gullible or, more likely, that we have very short memories.

As primary voters in IA, NH, and FL discovered, Romney has previously supported many liberal positions, including abortion rights, the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a ban on "assault weapons", government mandated health insurance, etc., ad naseum. Holding these positions today, however, would make him unelectable so he had to discard his deeply held pro-choice, pro-gay principles in favor of ones more palatable to the GOP base.

While it's difficult to discern when the flip-flopping metamorphosis into a "full-spectrum" conservative was completed, we can be generous and say that it occurred in 2003, the first year he was Governor of Massachusetts. That would have given him a few months to backtrack from all his campaign promises. Now let's put that date into perspective.

When Romney became a conservative he was 56 years old (4 years older than Mike Huckabee is today). The year Romney became a conservative we invaded Iraq and captured Saddam Hussein. The year Romney became a conservative Ruben Studdard won American Idol, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiered on Bravo. The year Romney became a conservative is the year I started this blog.

Think about that for a moment. Not only have people being reading blogs longer than Romney has been a conservative but people have been reading this blog longer than Romney has been a conservative.

Personally, I prefer to have a President who has spent a bit more time becoming familiar with conservative arguments, principles, traditions, and values. I suspect that outside of the elite pundit class, most conservatives feel the same. Romney may have been endorsed by National Review. But most conservative prefer to endorse a candidate who has actually read National Review.

°°°°°°

Rudy Giuliani -- Back in March I wrote about Irrational Exuberance and the Rudy Bubble:

On November 13, 1998, a little-known, privately-owned web portal called TheGlobe.com went public. Although the company had never made a profit and had a net loss of $11.5 million for the previous nine-month period, the stock jumped to $97. The first day the stock price rose 606%, setting a record for an initial public offering. In order to buy $1 of the company’s earnings—not profit, just earnings—investors were willing to pay roughly $1,388. (In comparison, people now pay around $47 for $1 of Google's earnings.)

Eventually investors came to their senses and priced the company at its true value. Today you can buy a share of stock in TheGlobe.com for 4 cents.

How could otherwise sane investors pay so much for a company that was worth almost nothing? The answer is that they convinced themselves that the rules had changed. The internet had ushered in the “new economy” making the old valuations and metrics obsolete. Companies no longer had to make a profit in order to be worth billions; they just had to have a website.

It’s easy to look back on that era and scoff at such absurd behavior. But while we may not be so easily fooled by internet stocks the stock in political candidates is prone to bouts of “irrational exuberance.” Consider, for example, how otherwise serious people believe that Rudy Giuliani can actually be elected president. Many people have convinced themselves that the rules have changed and that social conservatives will discard their principles and embrace a candidate who has never held national office because of his imaginary credibility on "national security."

In Florida, sanity prevailed and the Rudy bubble popped.

°°°°°°

Mike Huckabee -- The Huckabee campaign has taught us two lesson about election finances: (1) Having the most money doesn’t ensure an easy path to victory, and (2) Having the least money does ensure that the path to the nomination will be nearly impossible. As John Mark Reynolds says, " Mike Huckabee would have been a major contender with the kind of money that either Rudy or Romney spent on the race."

Fortunately, he still has enough money to stick around and bleed votes from Romney. That won't be enough to secure the nomination but it will help show that he is a contender for 2012.

Ron Paul -- What's in a name? Consider that Paul received 60,000+ votes in FL running as a Republican. That's enough for a weak fifth place showing. But what if instead of running as a Republican he had garnered that many votes as a Libertarian candidate. Then the achievement would have been much more impressive. (Counter-argument: Paul could not have sparked that much interest running as a third-party candidate.)

°°°°°°

Outlook Last week I said, "A Clinton-Obama/Obama-Clinton ticket would be unbeatable in the general election. While McCain would do slightly better than Romney, both would be crushed by the Democratic landslide." I'd modify that somewhat. An Obama/Anyone ticket would be a disaster for McCain. An Obama/Hillary would be a tighter race, but not much better. A Hillary/Obama matchup against McCain/Huckabee would be a nail-biter. But as of now, I'd still think the Democrats would win.

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comments
Steve Bainbridge writes:

1

I think that's about as systematic a dismantling as one could possibly make of the Mitt as Conservative Hero meme our old buddy Hugh Hewitt has been spreading. Very weel put, indeed.

posted on 01.30.2008 1:30 AM
GUNNY HARTMAN writes:

2

Could one infer that you think, despite the daunting task he would have against the Dems, that McCain would have a better chance than Romney?

That's my theory and it wouldn't hurt my feelings if you were to corroborate that notion.

;-)

posted on 01.30.2008 1:42 AM
David Marcoe writes:

3

I have been leaning toward Romney, but i did some reading up on McCain a while. Not much. In point of fact I just did some digging in his wikipedia entry (which is fairly thorough, btw)and I actually liked some of the things I read. What he went through and did during Vietnam is nothing short of heroic. He has a long family history of military service and his sons on serving in the Navy and USMC. He's deeply loyal to his country. He stands for what he believes in, even when other people don't like it. And prior to about '02/'03, he had a fairly consistent conservative voting record.

The things that concern me are his bull-bullheadedness and his temper. IF he gets voted into office, one rash move could wreck a lot stuff and I worry about any potential meltdowns. He's fairly tightly wound.

posted on 01.30.2008 1:57 AM
Kevin Sam writes:

4

You said: While it's difficult to discern when the flip-flopping metamorphosis into a "full-spectrum" conservative was completed, we can be generous and say that it occurred in 2003, the first year he was Governor of Massachusetts.

But doesn't a person deserve to change one's ideological position? Does a person have to be labelled as a liberal forever? People can change you know.

posted on 01.30.2008 1:57 AM
Pete W writes:

5

"and for winning the War on Terror."

It's been said before and it bears repeating: you can't win a war on terror. It's like trying to win a war on happy - you can only eliminate an idea either through terrorising or killing those who believe it into stopping. And in the case of the war on terror, how does that make us any better than them?

posted on 01.30.2008 3:16 AM
David Marcoe writes:

6

It's been said before and it bears repeating: you can't win a war on terror. It's like trying to win a war on happy...

The WoT is not a war on an idea, but an easily remembered moniker that rolls off the tongue better than "the war Islamic jihadist ideology." That is an identifiable enemy which is the product of a distinct movement, in the way we might have said we were in a "war against fascism" while we were fighting the Axis powers in WWII. We didn't get rid of fascism as an ideology, but we did stop the fascist regimes that were stomping around Eurasia and attempting to enact it.

The difference, of course, between nation-states acting nominally with in the international framework and AQ and its associates is that the latter is far more fluid. We will never stop ALL terrorists, nor will there ever be a discreet end to the conflict, but we can deprive major terrorist groups and international networks of resources, operational bases, and the ability to gather new manpower, such that we'll still have terrorists, like Timothy McVeigh or the Unabomber, but not necessarily widespread terrorist movements. Now, of course, it's going to require more than just military action and one can debate the specific root causes of terrorism, but I won't attempt here.

you can only eliminate an idea either through terrorizing or killing those who believe it into stopping. And in the case of the war on terror, how does that make us any better than them?

So you're telling me that there is no moral differentiation between an armed burglar breaking into your house, ready to shoot you and you shooting back? Last time I checked, a couple of things called justification and provocation made a hell of a lot of difference. As in, the burglar has no justification for being there, so I have a perfectly reasonable provocation for shooting him. If he runs off or throws down his weapon before I attempt to shoot him, I then loose my justification, with most decent people would be willing to accept the thief's surrender until the cops showed up.

That's about the difference between the terrorist, who tends to kill innocent people (fellow Muslims, in many cases) for stupid reasons, like smoking, and the soldier, who attempts to target the terrorist while they are attempting to carry out their plans to kill and terrorize innocent people. As for having to kill terrorists, what's your point? Last time I checked, asking nicely doesn't exactly work with those types of guys.

But that same soldier, if he captures a terrorist, will, in general, not attempt to kill him once he is in custody, and even provide medical treatment if he's wounded, as the laws of his country, his professional ethics, and the principles of his society call on him to accord the enemy with a level of decency out of his basic worth as a human being. The soldier isn't perfect, his country isn't prefect, but there are the differences and if you can't recognize that, then any further words are wasted on you.

And for any of you "blood for oil" types which feel like erecting some theory as to how the West is responsible for the actions of mass murderers, feel free not to respond, as I won't either.

posted on 01.30.2008 5:59 AM
Jeanne writes:

7

John McCain, An angry, slightly deranged man (no one suffers seven years in a POW camp and comes away mentally sound) as commander-in-chief? Yeah, no thanks. I would rather see Clinton in office than McCain. For those like me who believe immigration to be the number #1 issue, whether it is McCain or Clinton, it doesn't matter. Both care more about those coming south of the border than those living here (Unless they are "God's children" already here that it--then they get top billing as well). Both will sell American to Mexico in a heartbeat. But with Clinton, there is a greater chance of strong GOP opposition (not just to her selling the U.S. to Latin America--but to all her liberal schemes) than there will be with McCain. GOP opposition to McCain would be diluted and not as effective.

Go Hillary! Go Obama! Anyone but John McCain. Rather amazing to me that for the first time in my life, I will not vote the (R) nominee for President.

posted on 01.30.2008 7:54 AM
DLE writes:

8

Joe,

The natives are restless.

That fact alone will make it hard for the current party with a sitting president to do much come November. The mantra is "Change." When even the GOP faithful are tossing around the "C" word, that's big trouble for the neo-cons and their ilk.

I think this also explains McCain's re-emergence. The perception's been that he's been a thorn in the neo-con portion of the GOP's side. He's the choice of disaffected Republicans for this reason, plus he's still an old school politician who at least knows how to govern. That makes him the candidate of crusty geezers from the Rust Belt who hang out in VFW halls yet still want to "shake up the establishment."

Romney, on the other hand, is Bill Clinton if Clinton were CEO and a Mormon. He's only concerned about his image and legacy. He's the candidate of "what do the polls say?" and "let them eat cake" and "The Stepford Wives," and heaven knows that doesn't play outside Chevy Chase, MD, and never could. (I don't know what Hugh Hewitt's been smokin', but it shows him to be a talking head who has no clue what the average guy thinks. And the average guy doesn't want Mitt Romney as president.) Where I live, I don't know a single Republican who even mentioned Romney's name until last week. No chance to win at all.

Mike Huckabee killed his chances when he couldn't assemble a campaign crew more professional than a sandlot team. "And I'll take Billy and Patty and Jimmy...." I also think he tried too hard to be desperately liked in the same way that, yet again, that former resident of Arkansas with the initials WJC did. More of that from Arkansas? And this time GOP? Nah.

What I want to know, though, is why Ron Paul's numbers always come back so low. (I'm not a Paul supporter, BTW.) I see signs for him everywhere. I'm convinced that his supporters simply aren't being counted, for whatever reason. I'm not talking conspiracy theory here, but just a question as to how the primary system actually works. I was in Northern Ohio a few weeks ago and the sheer number of Ron Paul signs in people's front yards (a better indicator of individual support as opposed to one disaffected guy putting up signs in a public place) blew my mind. Just sayin'.

Guiliani was the perfect anti-candidate. No one would say anything bad about his cleaning up the Big Apple and his place in the sun on 9/11, but he had nothing else going for him for Rust Belt voters. And Rust Belt voters still matter. Just ask John Kerry.

Man, I wish the GOP could've run their best and brightest rather than this rag-tag team.

As for me, I'm still pining for the Steve Largent and J.C. Watts ticket. So yeah, I'll be over here cryin' in my beer...

posted on 01.30.2008 8:34 AM
Jeff H writes:

9

Romney wasn't "thrashed" by McCain--he was "slightly overcome" by non-Republican voters. NH and SC legally allow non-Republicans to vote in the Republican primary, and we now know FL also allowed non-Republicans to vote in the Republican primary (through, perhaps, the mechanism of people changing their registration for the time frame--and express purpose of voting in--the Republican primary). In all the states you listed (NH, SC, FL), Romney either beat or at least tied McCain among actual Republican voters.

I'm not saying McCain and his media whores won't push him over the top, but there simply is no basis for believing that McCain is the choice of Republicans.

posted on 01.30.2008 8:59 AM
Jeff Blogworthy writes:

10

Romney may be no better than McCain, but McCain has already repeatedly demonstrated himself to be a backstabbing weasel. I am willing to give Romney a chance over McCain any day. There is something horribly wrong with the Republican nomination process when this is the best we can do.

posted on 01.30.2008 9:28 AM
George 2 writes:

11

Joe wrote: "When Romney became a conservative he was 56 years old (4 years older than Mike Huckabee is today). The year Romney became a conservative we invaded Iraq and captured Saddam Hussein. The year Romney became a conservative Ruben Studdard won American Idol, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won the Oscar for Best Picture, and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy premiered on Bravo. The year Romney became a conservative is the year I started this blog."

So what made Romney "conservative?" Maybe catching Saddam. Probably not Studdard nor LOTR - Return of the King nor Queer Eye. Sounds like the credit goes to Joe's blogging.

posted on 01.30.2008 9:30 AM
Don writes:

12

Whomever the future pres is, republican or democrat, McCain or Obama, it's a wash. It wouldn't make a difference if these two guys decided to share the same presidential ticket.

Their senatorial lack of focus and emphasis on compromise and lofty prose will temporarily appeal to the masses who want a break from the tough stuff the nation has been dealing with the past eight years. But neither man will escape blame for - and won't possibly survive politically - the upcoming recession, including rising tax burdens and interest rates and staggering inflation (remember Jimmy Carter).

The worst case is the demise of the Republic, the way a soft-sculled senate did in Rome in the first century and London in the 18th. The best possibility is the nation will become hungry again for a moral, decisive, and visionary chief executive who is ready to put American interest ahead of all else.

Success of the latter depends on whether a man or woman of such caliber exists in politics at all, and whether the electorate choses to avoid the path of least resistance.

posted on 01.30.2008 9:36 AM
Darrell DeLaney writes:

13

I don’t think despair is called for here. McCain’s Florida victory is disturbing, and the idea that he might be the Republican standard-bearer is even more so, but the country has survived worse (such as President Carter). And it’s not a done deal yet. There’s still a chance to head this off in upcoming primaries, though it is an uphill battle.

But we do have to face the fact that the conservative movement doesn’t necessarily command the ideology of the Republican party. Though all the candidates claimed to be the inheritors of Reagan’s legacy, there hasn’t really been a candidate to embody what he stood for, and many specifically stood against Reagan’s positions.

As in years long past, we have to remind the party what we stand for, and persuade them to agree with us, and then go on to do the same with the general public. We can’t ever just sit back and assume we’ve won the debate.

I do find the criticism of Romney a little odd. There is certainly justification for questioning his sincerity, whether he believes what he’s claiming, or is just saying it to win votes. But there’s no reason to dump on a guy for changing his mind to our side. That’s what we’re trying to achieve, and if it’s genuine, it should be celebrated. Anyhow, faced with a choice of Romney, McCain, or Huckabee, you have a guy endorsing conservatism who may or may not mean it, versus two guys who repudiate significant parts of conservatism. While certainly not ideal, I don’t see anywhere to go but Romney.

posted on 01.30.2008 9:51 AM
JohnW writes:

14

There is no such thing as a "global war on terror". The communist threat has been replaced by the terrorist threat. It's fear mongering.

When McCain says he supports the war on terror, what he really means he is for continueing the expansion of the military industrial empire. If being conservative means supporting this sort of thing-McCain is definitely your man.

posted on 01.30.2008 10:12 AM
Michele McGinty writes:

15

We must have a short memory, we've just elected McCain as our nominee. But if I were him I wouldn't be thrilled with my results because even as the presumptive front runner and all the good press, he still couldn't pull out a majority. If he can't do it going into Super Tuesday, good luck (in a manner of speaking :-) in November. Though, I was thinking that McCain might have a shot at making up the conservatives sitting this one out by picking up enough independents if the candidate is Hillary.

Since I don't just vote issues anymore but the temperament of the person who is seeking the office, I'm saddened by the fact that we are offering the nation the choice of McCain vs. Clinton (I still think she'll probably pull it off). They're both in it for themselves and have only their best interest in mind, these are not good quality traits in those who will be leading a nation. If the public thought that Bush was arrogant and obstinate, just wait for the McCain presidency!

BTW, this sounds bitter and spiteful: "Also, having McCain as the nominee really ticks off all the people that unfairly trashed Huckabee (Rush, Mark Levin, et. al.)" You might want to pray about that :-)

posted on 01.30.2008 10:41 AM
Jake Hunt writes:

16

Joe, when you talk about Romney you sound an awful lot like Hewitt talking about Huckabee. We don't have an ideal conservative candidate in this race (incl Huckabee), but I think Romney's a lot closer than McCain. McCain is solid on defense, and that's where it stops. He enjoys sticking his fingers in conservatives' eyes, and McCain-Feingold shows us he's willing to make an all-out assault on the Constitution.

Romney's not perfect but he's our best bet. Can you imagine a McCain-Obama debate? Yikes.

posted on 01.30.2008 10:44 AM
Loki writes:

17

I think Joe's misgivings about Romney are rooted in the slime that oozes from the man's every pore.

McCain, for all his flaws (and he does have them), is at least a man of integrity, a quality that I believe is needed more than anything else in a presidential candidate. For me, and I think for an increasing number of Americans, this election is not about any single issue so much as it is finding a candidate who will advance his country's interests rather than his own once in office.

Also I'd like to congratulate David Marcoe on a fine comment. Well done!

posted on 01.30.2008 11:30 AM
Boonton writes:

18

David

So you're telling me that there is no moral differentiation between an armed burglar breaking into your house, ready to shoot you and you shooting back? Last time I checked, a couple of things called justification and provocation made a hell of a lot of difference. As in, the burglar has no justification for being there, so I have a perfectly reasonable provocation for shooting him. If he runs off or throws down his weapon before I attempt to shoot him, I then loose my justification, with most decent people would be willing to accept the thief's surrender until the cops showed up.

The analogy would be more like going into the bad neighborhood and trying to kill people you think would burglarize your home if they happened to drive by it and saw how nice it is. If you did so you'd probably end up making all sorts of enemies that have really little to do with breaking into your home plus you'd be leaving your home unguarded.

Jeanne / Joe
Both will sell American to Mexico in a heartbeat. But with Clinton, there is a greater chance of strong GOP opposition (not just to her selling the U.S. to Latin America--but to all her liberal schemes) than there will be with McCain. GOP opposition to McCain would be diluted and not as effective.

Perhaps the biggest change in the GOP this year has been the very clear rise of nativism inside it. It's refreshing that the GOP as a whole seems to be avoiding going full throttle with nativism but its rise is disturbing. It will be interesting to see what happens in states like California, Texas and NY that have large immigrant populations. Is the GOP going to write off yet another minority group the way they wrote off blacks in the early 70's?

DLE
Mike Huckabee killed his chances when he couldn't assemble a campaign crew more professional than a sandlot team. "And I'll take Billy and Patty and Jimmy...." I also think he tried too hard to be desperately liked in the same way that, yet again, that former resident of Arkansas with the initials WJC did. More of that from Arkansas? And this time GOP? Nah.

I would add he killed his chances when he failed to grow beyond his evangelical base of support. In fact he did the opposite, it seemed, and tried to reinforce his allegiance to them at the expense of everyone else when he started to wink at the wacko Christian Reconstructionist movement with his talk of changing the Constitution to fit 'God's word'.

It's a delicate game candidates have to play. They need money so they need to play to their base but they have to use the money to go outside their base. While he had a strong start and did have potential Huckabee failed to do that. I wouldn't go down on him too much, though, it's a very tough job. If he had been able to have pulled that off he would have become a very strong candidate.

Guiliani was the perfect anti-candidate. No one would say anything bad about his cleaning up the Big Apple and his place in the sun on 9/11, but he had nothing else going for him for Rust Belt voters. And Rust Belt voters still matter. Just ask John Kerry.

Guiliani's problem was himself. People were somewhat ok with his policy differences, willing to give him a chance. Rudy's problems were best summed up in a cartoon I saw on Salaon.com that depicted him as a wimpy man in a superhero costume with "9/11" where the S would have been if it was Superman. Every time I turned around there he was harping on 9/11 again like some washed up 40 year old in a bar still going on about his time on high school football team and the day of the 'big game'.

When you actually start to look at Rudy you realize why many NYers were happy he was mayor for 8 years but were equally happy he is no longer mayor. He spent his post-mayor years trying to milk 9/11 for as much money as he could get out of it, whether it was speaking fees or by shaking down companies with his 'security consulting' company that seemed to be more of an unlicensed lobbying firm than a consulting firm. He has an unstable temper, forget about what they say about McCain, Rudy is one guy who cannot admit a mistake, ever. Likewise he suffers from Bush's problem of excessive loyalty to friends over his duties as a public servent. Hence his humiliation at seeing the guy he was hawking to Bush to run the Dept. of Homeland Security getting indicted for taking bribes. On top of that he had another explosion pending with his choice of 'personal friends', a Catholic Priest who is accused of child molestation (I think the statute of limitations ran out so he can't be charged) that Rudy insisted keeping on his campaign staff. All this arrogance even started getting people to question how great his 9/11 performance really was. There were stories his stuipid call to put the city's 'emergancy command center' in the WTC was influenced by the motivation to have a 'pad' to crash in with his mistress. His blase attitude about air safety after 9/11 allowed many rescue workers to spend days on the site without using masks, resulting now in all types of health problems...problems that Pentagone workers are not reporting.

In an alternate universe I think there's a Rudy Guiliani who didn't get lazy off his success as mayor and kept working as hard as he did when he was making a name for himself prosecuting mob bosses. In that universe Rudy did a lot better in the primaries and was a better all around person.

Jeff H

It's true that some states allow non-registered Republicans to vote and others don't. So what? The Republican candidate is not going to win with just Republican votes. The fact is the Bush admin. has been a failure for the Republican Party and you are entering an election where the only way you can win is to indicate that you guys are NOT going to win running a guy who promises to be Bush's 3rd term.

posted on 01.30.2008 11:37 AM
Darrell DeLaney writes:

19

"I think Joe's misgivings about Romney are rooted in the slime that oozes from the man's every pore."

Oh, well then, that's better. I was beginning to think opposition to him might be emotional and not based on positions, but I stand corrected.

Yeah, McCain definitely sticks to what he believes in. I'll give him that. It's the fact that I disagree with what he believes in that kinda turns me off.

Part of the political debate is that there isn't a definite agreement as to what the country's interests are. Everyone has different ideas, as do the candidates, and we're all hashing that out. It's like the constant mantra about "change". Everyone likes change because no one's completely satisfied with the way things are. But ask people what change they want, and you'll see a wide range of disagreement.

posted on 01.30.2008 11:43 AM
Raging Bee writes:

20

In your attempt to make excuses for Huckabee's failure, you forgot one important factor: the Huckster couldn't get support even within the Evangelical bloc, because his intolerant theocratic views are too extreme, and too embarrassing, even for them. He's "al Qaeda Pat" all over again, and evangelicals are starting to realize -- as they did back in the 1700s -- that mixing bigoted politics with narrow religion is bad for everyone, even those in the currently-dominant sect.

(Perhaps they also got a clue that the fastest-growing religions in the US are Paganism and Islam, which would make eroding religious freedom a really stupid idea for Christians to support.)

posted on 01.30.2008 11:44 AM
Boonton writes:

21

But there’s no reason to dump on a guy for changing his mind to our side. That’s what we’re trying to achieve, and if it’s genuine, it should be celebrated.

Indeed Bush I famously switched from pro-choice to pro-life after Reagan picked him to be VP. But has Romney really said he 'changed his mind'? Or does he try to assert he has never really changed anything....it's just that he is being 'misunderstood'? Either way it seems questionable to change your mind so dramatically right before you discover you're holding the 'wrong positions' to get elected. Bush I was just given the 2nd spot on the ticket, not the top spot.

posted on 01.30.2008 11:48 AM
wfseube writes:

22

Understandably, you were a little light on the Huck criticism. Boonton actually got it right - he failed miserably in expanding beyond his base. Frankly, he didn't even do that well WITHIN his base, as numerous exit polls showed that he only drew about 50% of the evangelicals in the primaries where he did reasonably well. Outside the self-proclaimed evangelicals, he seldom drew more than 10-15% of the vote. It simply goes to show that running on a strictly social conservative platform just won't work - one must be strong in at least two of the three legs of the conservative/GOP stool.

posted on 01.30.2008 11:49 AM
DaveD writes:

23

"The perception's been that he's been a thorn in the neo-con portion of the GOP's side."

That may be the "perception" but it's flat out wrong. He IS the Neo-con portion of the GOP.

For invading other countries for not liking us....Check.

For allowing unimpeded illegal immigration....check.

For curbing Constitutional rights for "the good of the country"(say Free Speech)...check.

For signing over our sovereinty via LOTS etc...check.

He's a whack-nut loose cannon.

Rommney's your standard swarmy politician.

Huckabee is a theocrat.

Paul is dangerously naieve.

None are worth voting for. I'll be glad to throw my vote away on a third party candidate and let the country get what it deserves. If Republicans, especially the Religious Right, are still dumb enough to believe the Party cares one whit about them....

All Hail Hillary.

DD

posted on 01.30.2008 12:24 PM
Mumon writes:

24

Heh. Looks like Huckabee's a gonner; AND Anthony Ole's group has him reputedly in a scandal.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/1/30/64350/9840/475/445998

That about does it for the religious right.

posted on 01.30.2008 12:51 PM
JT Thomas writes:

25

Amazing that we reward a guy(Mr. McCain) who continually bashes the base--and conservatism in general --and penalize the guy (Mr. Romney) who came our way.

Joe, I don't much cotton to your populism that you reference by continally mentioning "the establishment" and "the Washington-New York conservatives." What divisive nonsense.

McCain, by the way, is the posterboy of Washington-New York conservatism--or is he actually the posterboy for old time liberalism, as he rarely misses an opportunity to denounce those of us who are actually conservative.

Too bad your man Huck has self-immolated. He needs to get out now and let the big boys play the game.

Anyhow, with Mr. McCain, we conservatives had better get used to saying "Madam President."

posted on 01.30.2008 1:21 PM
Truth Unites... and Divides writes:

27

Christian social conservative here. Pulling for Mike Huckabee, but realizing that unless a miracle happens, he's done. (Would've been nice if Fred had dropped out before the SC primary.)

No despair here, but my guess is that McCain will lose the general election. And the unmainstream liberal Dem president will tilt the Supreme Court to the Left and there will be more abortions. It will be a difficult time for Christians and traditional social conservatives.

If McCain offers Huckabee the VP position, I'm undecided whether Huckabee should accept. I think there's a case for Huck to wait until 2012.

posted on 01.30.2008 2:09 PM
Loki writes:

28

Darrell,

"Part of the political debate is that there isn't a definite agreement as to what the country's interests are. Everyone has different ideas, as do the candidates, and we're all hashing that out. It's like the constant mantra about "change". Everyone likes change because no one's completely satisfied with the way things are. But ask people what change they want, and you'll see a wide range of disagreement."

Thank you for explaining what is possibly the most obvious aspect of politics to me. I am well aware of disagreement on what are traditionally regarded as the big issues of American politics, but I think on a lot of things we can still agree. For instance almost every American wants American to prosper economically. Liberals and Conservatives can both agree that we want Iraq to become a stable nation friendly to America. Almost all of us want good relations with other countries. The list goes on.

While we may disagree with how to achieve these shared goals, we can at least agree that we do have some shared goals. And if we're being objective I think we can all see that the solution to many of our problems lies in a balanced response rather than an extreme one. Conservatives want a small government and low taxes, but almost all would agree that *some* things should still be regulated by the government and that we should still have *some* taxes. Liberals want to remove the troops from Iraq sooner, Conservatives later, but almost all would agree that we don't want to keep troops in Iraq forever.

Further, electing someone as President doesn't mean they can enact every policy they support. Electing Huckabee would not automatically cause Roe v. Wade to come tumbling down, nor would electing McCain cause all terrorists to fall over dead, nor would electing Hillary usher in an automatic era of universally crappy and expensive health care for all. Obviously when choosing a candidate you have to take into consideration what they are likely to accomplish rather than what they say they will accomplish. For me, this is why I think "the issues" are less important than most people; politicians always make grandiose claims to get elected, but seldom do they ever have an opportunity to enact the sweeping changes they promise. Rather, they have tons of little decisions to make on a day to day basis, often over things that aren't part of "the issues" such as appointing diplomats the day to day operations of the army or any of a host of other issues. Despite their lack of coverage these are often important decisions that can have more impact than we give them credit for.

If your disagreement with McCain is so strong don't vote for him. I'm not sure I will, should he get the nomination. But my point is that his character should weigh heavily on people's consideration of whether they do vote for him or not, because it will impact his performance as president.

posted on 01.30.2008 2:45 PM
tgirsch writes:

29

However, Romney can't overcome the fact that when he faced McCain in NH, SC, and FL he was thrashed every time.

It's a little more complicated than that. First of all, I don't think a four-point margin counts as a "thrashing." But more importantly, if you look at the polls, Romney consistently wins (handily) among conservatives, while McCain tends to win among moderates and independents. If Romney can get the conservatives to come out in force, especially in closed-primary states, he still has a shot at this. I'll admit it's slim, but it's still possible.

It's also possible that despite Giuliani's endorsement of McCain, a lot of his supporters (especially the "socially liberal" Republicans) could break Romney's way.

posted on 01.30.2008 3:13 PM
Brian Swaner writes:

30

Anyone honest person can see that Romney is clearly more conservative than you'd like to give him credit for. He didn't just become conservative. Case and point. In 94 he ran much more to the right you want to believe:
Take a look at this campaign flier from 94:

http://iowansforromney.blogspot.com/2007/05/desperate-times-call-for-desperate.html

Everything about Romney's life is conservative. He is clearly a man of faith with broader appeal than Huckabee. Huck's lack of funds isn't his problem. After IA he had more than enough publicity to make his case to voters. The fact is voters rejected his pitch. If Huck truly wants what is best for the country(social cons) he'd drop out of the campaign and let value voters decide between McCain or Romney. His staying in the race amounts to an admission that he wants to keep Romney, a faithful, God fearing man with high morals, out of the White House. While McCain is a patriot and hero, he is not a man of faith nor does he particularly think our agenda is a high priority.

posted on 01.30.2008 3:18 PM
Scott W writes:

31

I wish Huckabee had made a play earlier for the Black Christian vote. Many of Huckabee's positions resonate well among Christians, whether White Conservative or Black Democrat.

The wave has begun of black voters running off the BillHill headed for Obama. Huckabee still would be wise to appeal on morality in hopes of getting the disenfranchised Christian voters, both black and white.

The Reagan revolution attracted a lot of conservative white Christians, who remained true to the Republican Party, until the party began to take them for granted. The Democrats have done the same thing with the Black vote for years. Huckabee could once again, begin to unite the Christian electorate, whatever the race or party. But he's already missed some of that opportunity.

posted on 01.30.2008 3:20 PM
Boonton writes:

32

And the unmainstream liberal Dem president will tilt the Supreme Court to the Left and there will be more abortions. It will be a difficult time for Christians and traditional social conservatives.

Why would a tilt in the Supreme Court increase the number of abortions?

posted on 01.30.2008 3:25 PM
giggling writes:

33

Politics is about choices, not perfection. Quit whining and start figuring out how to make do in this non-ideal situation.

The fact is, if Republicans win in November even in this historical moment, it will totally demoralize the Democratic party of death for years to come; might even make them embrace conservative principles out of sheer self-preservation. That alone is worth a McCain presidency (and yes, he is far from ideal).

Democracies by nature cannot self-destruct in four years. It takes decades for that to happen. Win in November, and achieve smalls goals that McCain can accomplish in 4 years like cutting govt spending and keeping the terrorists on the defensive, promote life, invest in energy technologies, build the border fence, and prepare for 2012.

posted on 01.30.2008 3:59 PM
Mumon writes:

34

Boonton:

Why would a tilt in the Supreme Court increase the number of abortions?

Don't you know? It doesn't matter if the Republican candidate is a crook. It doesn't matter if he sanctions torture. It doesn't matter if his policies make his father vastly richer. It doesn't matter if his cronies loot companies and defraud their shareholders. It doesn't matter if his policies cause 100,000-600,000 Iraqis to die. It doesn't matter if his favorite Supreme Court justice famously said that innocence is no bar to execution. It doesn't matter if depleted uranium is poisioning our soldiers. It doesn't matter if Americans are being impoverished.

No, none of that matters as long as you're "pro-fetus."

posted on 01.30.2008 4:44 PM
Milan Hedjuk writes:

35

Mumon,

We get it already. The cut and paste littanies don't do anything to advance your argument. They probably help fill that sadness in your soul...a little.

posted on 01.30.2008 5:15 PM
Bill Glover writes:

36

Scott W.:

I know that the GOP is far from perfect. But in what significant way has the GOP ignored Christian voters (I am going to choose to ignore the "white" you put in there because, as a Christian race should not even enter into it)?

What specific legislation or other government action (e.g. appointing judges) would you like to see passed which the GOP has not already gotten passed or proposed and been blocked by the Democrats?

posted on 01.30.2008 5:18 PM
Rob Ryan writes:

37

McCain is going to look terribly old and worn-out standing on the stage with Obama. I'm glad Romney is a Mormon flip-flopper, because he looks like Superman.

But moving beyond appearances, I find it hard to believe that some of you think Huckabee will be viable in 2012. He is toast. Republicans in general don't want an evangelical for president; they just want evangelical votes for their candidates. Just tag along for a few decades, and maybe you will be rewarded like black Democrats are about to be. Probably not, though. You should form your own party.

posted on 01.30.2008 5:34 PM
Derek Gilbert writes:

38

Clearly, Republican voters *do* have short memories. If anyone had told me after McCain-Kennedy that the senator from Arizona would be the odds-on favorite to win the GOP nomination, I'd have advised that person to go home and sleep it off.

So 2008 looks like '96 redux: A Clinton versus an aging Republican senator best known for his military service before entering politics.

posted on 01.30.2008 6:20 PM
hodgepodge writes:

39

I'm quizzical by the visceral contempt that certain conservatives have for McCain. McCain-Feingold is truly dreadful, but why is it that it's McCain who gets pilloried, while GW, the guy who Signed it, seems to get a free pass. Wasn't that even more detrimental than having McCain sponsor it.

From the sounds of some in the echo chamber, McCain is right out in the ozone with Dennis Kucinich. He's not. The anti-McCain hysteria is just a bit excessive. I think a good deal of the anti-McCain vitriol comes from those who wish to grease the skids for Romney. There is a certain (and not all that appealing) element of the party that get all excited over rich guys, whether or not they're substantive.

While Romney has been accomplished businessman, and I don't wish to engage in class warfare, he comes across as Empty Suit personified. How in the world would that guy keep the Reagan coalition together?

McCain wouldn't be my first choice. The irony is is that he was my first choice in 2000. I think the GOP picked the wrong guy for that election.

He's crotchety, ill-tempered, old, and a bit self-righteous. He's also infuriated the Republicans with silly things like ANWR. So what? Of all the issues that this nation has, that's nowhere on the list. Besides, I rather like the idea of a mean old codger as President. The idea of someone vaguely scary is actually reassuring.


posted on 01.30.2008 6:53 PM
ucfengr writes:

40

I'm quizzical by the visceral contempt that certain conservatives have for McCain. McCain-Feingold is truly dreadful, but why is it that it's McCain who gets pilloried, while GW, the guy who Signed it, seems to get a free pass.

I don't think W has gotten a pass on it, but he is not a candidate for President in 2008. Of course, it's not just McCain-Feingold that alienates McCain from conservatives. There is a lot of other legislation with his name on it that if pretty antithetical to conservatives.

posted on 01.30.2008 7:22 PM
Mumon writes:

41

Milan Hedjuk:

Sorry, but I don't need to "advance" my argument. It's been made. Equating humans to zygotes, like all other aspects of the conservative agenda, has been shown to be morally bankrupt.

And Huckabee, who may have told Kevin Copeland that he'd go easly on televangelists who fleece their flocks, seems to be the apotheosis of "conservative Christian" "morality."

Let's face it: "conservative" "Christianity" was a ruse to keep people from pressing for true morality.

Always was.

Luckily America is coming to the point where they will relegate these fanatics and ideologues to the ash-heap of history.

And none too soon.

posted on 01.30.2008 7:32 PM
ucfengr writes:

42

Equating humans to zygotes, like all other aspects of the conservative agenda, has been shown to be morally bankrupt.

"Shown", as in through rigorous scientific experimentation, or "shown" is in, the consensus opinion of you and your friends?

posted on 01.30.2008 8:06 PM
ucfengr writes:

43

Equating humans to zygotes

Medically, human zygotes are humans. The only difference between a human zygote, a human fetus, a human infant, and a human adult is the stage of development.

posted on 01.30.2008 8:09 PM
Jeff Wright writes:

44

"Also, having McCain as the nominee really ticks off all the people that unfairly trashed Huckabee (Rush, Mark Levin, et. al.). It may not be enough to ease my discomfort over McCain, but it nevertheless brings me great pleasure."

"Fortunately, he still has enough money to stick around and bleed votes from Romney."

Look at how bitter, petty, immature, and vengeful these comments are. Your hurt feelings over Huckabee getting roughed up by Romney are enough to help elect the obviously more liberal John McCain. How short sighted, how adolescent.

Its time to put the country and the conservative principles of the GOP above pride and pettiness but apparently the Huckabee supports cannot do that. Just like the Ron Paul voters, their warm feelings over supposedly voting their principles next Tuesday will end up undermining their principles in the long run during a Clinton or McCain presidency.

Thinking that Huckabee is going to be a dominant force in 2012 is as fanciful as believing that Huckabee didn't win because he didn't have enough money. Maybe the lack of money itself should tell you something. So what is Huck gonna do for the next four years? Huckabee will fade into obscurity. The only way he'll be a player in 2012 is if he tries to rejuvenate the Reform Party. Bottom line: Huckabee rose to the top-tier because many conservatives thought they finally found the conservative candidate they had been waiting for and he faded once it became apparent that he isn't the conservative they hoped he was.

Conservative Huckabee supporters: the choice is now down to McCain vs. Romney. Put your principles above pride and vote for Romney next Tuesday. Or go for the warm feelings and "great pleasure" by splitting the vote and ensuring a McCain win. Don't take part in turning the GOP back into the party of Ford and Rockefeller. Know that Huckabee winning a state in the south next week (cause that's about all he'll be able to do) accomplishes nothing. The majority of us are not going to be able to go with our first choice (I'm a Thompson supporter) but that's life. That's politics. Romney is not even my second choice but he is obviously the best conservative candidate left. Put aside the immature desires to get back at Romney (as expressed in the comments I quoted above). You will regret a McCain or Clinton presidency but maybe that's what it will take for a conservative resurgence in 2012.

posted on 01.30.2008 9:05 PM
tgirsch writes:

45

The only difference between a human zygote, a human fetus, a human infant, and a human adult is the stage of development.

And minor details like whether or not they can survive outside the womb, and whether or not they have functioning brains. But such trivial details are clearly unimportant.

posted on 01.30.2008 9:51 PM
Jonathan Wright writes:

46

Don't mind my brother's comment. He's quite bitter (he was a Fred Head). He used to say that the primarys are where we are to make our voices heard. He used to say that primarys are where we vote for who we believe in. Now that Fred Thompson is out I guess that all goes out the window. Actually just the other day he was complaining about how all of Rudy's supporters were jumping ship and switching to McCain and yet he is trying to tell me to sell out Huckabee and vote for a candidate that I don't like and believe to be a fake. The thing is I don't believe Romney is a conservative. He is pretending to be one, though. Like Joe said, Mitt has been a conservative for four years. When he ran against Ted Kennedy, he was trying to run to the left of him. He tried to distance himself from Reagan and Bush, was pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-gun, etc. The recent flip doesn't fool a lot of us. John Jerry's flip-flop might have cost him the '04 election and Romney's flip-flops make Kerry's look miniscule in comparison. I will not waste my vote on some one that I don't believe in. I will vote for who I believe is the strongest conservative in the race...Mike Huckabee. Fred Heads are very bitter about what happened to their candidate's half-hearted Presidential bid so the only thing left for them to do is to tear down Huckabee. That is fine if that is what they want to do, but I hope that they don't expect us to sell out like they are. If they want to vote for a fake conservative who will say anything to get elected then that is a decision that they will have to live with. Romney has no principles or character and will always take the politically expedient position...just like Hillary Clinton. I will not be voting for Mitt Romney.

Exit question: Did Fred Thompson fade once it became apparent that he wasn't the conservative everyone hoped he was? Or is that just some excuse people say about Huckabee.

posted on 01.30.2008 10:03 PM
Truth Unites... and Divides writes:

47

Why would a tilt in the Supreme Court increase the number of abortions?

Here's the reasoning. If a GOP President is able to get more judicially conservative justices through the nomination process and onto the Supreme Court, then there's a chance that Roe v. Wade would be overturned, and the states would have to face the issue of abortions. Which is where it belonged in the first place. And the assumption is that some states would legislate against abortions to the effect that abortions would be greatly reduced in that state. Thus abortions would go down in the long run as a result of a GOP presidential victory in 2008.

But with a high probability of a Dem (Damn?) victory in 2008, the Supreme Court would lurch left, Roe v. Wade would continue intact, and the number of abortions would be greater than if there was a more pro-life Supreme Court under a Republican president.

Get it?

P.S. Voting Huckabee on Super Tuesday.

posted on 01.30.2008 10:20 PM
Steve writes:

48

I think your take on Romney is ungenerous and motivated by political animus. Primaries are about debate and Huckabee was not prepared for debate on many levels. Perhaps in 2012 he will be... who knows. As for McCain his nomination is secured with his win in Florida, but he will not be able to unite the party, as his performance in tonights debate showed. His disdain for Romney is illustrative of his characteristic distrust for the party.... And the fact is, he's running that party's candidate.

posted on 01.30.2008 10:53 PM
Frank Turk writes:

49

Joe -- I resent the fact that you think Conan is anything like Sen. McCain. Conan is much more introspective and self-aware.

posted on 01.30.2008 11:03 PM
Baggi writes:

50

I think I need to stop coming here. It makes me a little more sad each time I do as I watch someone who calls themself a Christian continue to allow politics to drive them away from Christ.

You do not articulate a single positional disagreement with Mitt Romney but instead you attack his character. This after complaining that Romney's position ads showing the differences between himself and Huckabee and himself and McCain were characterized as attacks.

It is not only disgustingly hypocritical, it is also uncharitable.

I now see why Giggling decided to defend your smear of Mitt Romney with your false rumor mongering about January 9th. Apparantly giggling has chosen politics over Christianity as well.

As for John McCain, I think he's a great American. The man did his service to his country and did the right thing by his fellow servicemen in Vietnam. I could never do what he did and it makes me proud of our military when I know we have folks like John McCain who serves.

If he wins the nomination, i'll never vote for him. Not only is he not a conservative but he takes great delight in sticking it to conservatives. He is also well liked by the media (And apparantly by the Republican establishment that you rail against so much, as he's getting all of their endorsements) and I suspect he agrees with much of the media, which is why he is so well liked.

So here is my prediction of a McCain presidency. Someone from the Supreme Court will leave and he will have to nominate someone. As happened with President Bush, the Democrats will say that they get to submit a list of acceptable candidates. The media will hail President McCain as truely bi-partisan (Buzz word for doing what liberals like) as McCain agrees to accept someone from their list.

That's only the beginning of the nightmare of a McCain presidency.

The one thing I can be thankful for is that this campaign has taught me something. Even people I admire and respect, like yourself, Joe Carter, can act in a despicable manner when emotions get involved.

I'll pray that you repent, Joe. And not the phony sort of repentance over your previous attack on Mitt Romney. Were it sincere, i'm sure you and giggling wouldn't be repeating it in different forms.

posted on 01.31.2008 12:30 AM
ucfengr writes:

51

And minor details like whether or not they can survive outside the womb, and whether or not they have functioning brains. But such trivial details are clearly unimportant.

As I said, at different stages of development, but so what? If a human zygote or fetus is a human, and it is, stage of development should not have an impact on its moral worth as a member of the human race.

posted on 01.31.2008 7:38 AM
Jeff Wright writes:

52

"He used to say that the primarys are where we are to make our voices heard. He used to say that primarys are where we vote for who we believe in. Now that Fred Thompson is out I guess that all goes out the window."

Carter admitted that Huckabee's candidacy was over when he lost SC. Even though he does not have a shot, Carter is supporting Huckabee in order to bleed votes from Romney and stick it to Romney supporters who said things he didn't like. So basically a vote for Huckabee is about emoting, hurting Romney, and sour grapes.

I am not a bitter Thompson supporter. I am attempting to be a principled conservative and encouraging conservative Huckabee supporters to do the same. Bitterness is seen in Carter's comments that I quoted above. I've just switched my support to the best remaining conservative candidate. Its the same thing that most conservative Rudy supporters will probably do. If I were bitter I'd be talking about voting for Thompson in order to hurt another candidate or coming up with excuses for why he didn't win.

Where is the concern for the advancement of conservative principles? Where is the concern for keeping the GOP close to Reagan conservatism? Apparently its all about Huckabee. If Huck can't get it then lets hurt our enemy on the way out. That's immature and selfish.

Who is the best conservative left with a chance of winning? Mitt Romney. Compare Romney to McCain. Go with who best represents conservatism. We will get behind whoever wins so lets not start speculating about Romney not having a chance against the Dems. Things will change when its one on one.

What does voting for Huckabee accomplish now? Yes, I said that the primaries are the time to vote your principles. Yes, I've complained about voters switching to McCain just to jump on the front-runner bandwagon. But that was before Huckabee did so badly in FL. That was before Rudy pulled out. Now it is clearly a two man race. Fred knew to get out. Rudy knew to get out. John Edwards knew to get out. The only ones still running who do not have a chance are Huckabee and Ron Paul. Why? If you really think Huckabee has a good change at winning the nomination, vote for him. But if you admit that he does not, make a decision between Romney and McCain. Be more loyal to your principles than to your candidate if your candidate does not have a shot.

Conservative Huckabee supporters - its time to switch to Romney.

posted on 01.31.2008 7:38 AM
Jonathan Wright writes:

53

You're right, I have to stay loyal to my principles. For that reason, I will be voting for Huckabee. I don't see the advancement of conservative causes in either McCain or Romney and can't, in good conscience, vote for either of them in the primary.

posted on 01.31.2008 9:53 AM
Mumon writes:

54

ucfengr:

Your grisly, horrid philosophy has laid itself bare with your statements:

If a human zygote or fetus is a human, and it is, stage of development should not have an impact on its moral worth as a member of the human race.

No, a zygote and fetus is no more a human than my finger is a "human." To equate my finger with my whole life, with my life experiences, to say that other human beings should be forced into poverty and die because I might want to cut my fingernail, or because I equate my finger to the equal of these people is an obscenity against human life, not a statement of the sanctity of human life.


posted on 01.31.2008 10:51 AM
DaveD writes:

55

Mumon:

What defines "life" then? The ability to survive unaided? Then why can't we kill 3 year olds? Or 90 year olds?

People are not forced into poverty or death by banning abortion. Quite simply, you're just being hysterical or stupid by claiming so.

How many couples do you know who are unable to have children? I've known at least two. They were desperate to have kids. Why couldn't the imaginary person who is "forced into poverty" simply give the child up for adoption? She could not murder her baby AND give untold happiness to a couple who are unable to have children themselves.

Is it not the height of selfishness to choose your own happiness over that of THREE or more others? Is that your "enlightened" morality, that your desires are more important than everyone else's?

A fetus has both brainwave activity and a heart beat by 10 weeks the two basic requirements for determining if something is "alive". Sputter all you want but abortion after that point is unarguably taking life away.

To call saving that life "grisly" is to show that you are wicked to the depths of your soul.

Woe to those that call good evil and call evil good.

DD

posted on 01.31.2008 12:00 PM
Mumon writes:

56

DaveD:

What defines "life" then? The ability to survive unaided? Then why can't we kill 3 year olds? Or 90 year olds?

If you can't figure out the difference between a 3 year old or a 90 year old and a zygote, you've got bigger problems than I can fix with a comment on a blog. Words like "psychopath" and "sociopath" come to mind.

But certainly such a lack of ability to distinguish is indeed grisly; and sets up the whole stage for the grave indifference to human life we have seen from conservatives throughout the ages.

And yes, to call conservatism "moral" is indeed an obscenity.

posted on 01.31.2008 12:34 PM
Joe Carter writes:

57

Jeff Wright …Carter is supporting Huckabee in order to bleed votes from Romney and stick it to Romney supporters who said things he didn't like.

No, I'm supporting Huckabee in order to bleed votes from the most liberal GOP candidate left in the race.

I'm amazed (and appalled) by the number of people who have turned to Romney without knowing anything about him. Romney isn't consistently pro-life – he believes it is ethical to experiment on "spare" embryos left over from fertility treatments. He also introduced government funded abortions in Mass. and ensured that pro-abortion advocates were put on the boards overseeing the program.

Romney appointed nearly as many Democrats to the judiciary as he did Republicans.

Romney is still a strong supporter of special rights for homosexuals.

He's a faux "economic conservative" (he proposes big government bailouts and corporate welfare, he embraces individual mandates on health care, he hit McCain from the left on the Medicare prescription drug benefit, etc.). And he has no problems putting silly restrictions on the 2nd Amendment.

What evidence is there that he is a conservative? Because he says so?

Where is the concern for the advancement of conservative principles? Where
is the concern for keeping the GOP close to Reagan conservatism?

That is exactly why I cannot support Romney. He is simply not a conservative.

posted on 01.31.2008 2:41 PM
Truth Unites... and Divides writes:

58

Conservative Huckabee supporters - its time to switch to Romney.

No problemo. I will certainly do that. On one condition. I'll switch to voting for Romney if he wins the GOP nomination.

posted on 01.31.2008 2:58 PM
ucfengr writes:

59

Your grisly, horrid philosophy

I really don't know what is grisly or horrid about stating the scientific fact that the only difference between a human zygote and a human infant is time.

No, a zygote and fetus is no more a human than my finger is a "human."

Really? Don't know much about human biology, do you, mumon? Here's the short answer; zygotes are individual human beings at a very early stage of development, yours fingers are a part of the individual human being known as mumon. Your fingers will never develop into a new infant or adult, a zygote will develop into infant, and eventually an adult.

If you can't figure out the difference between a 3 year old or a 90 year old and a zygote

The difference is that they are at different stages of development, other than that, they as alike as different human beings can be.

posted on 01.31.2008 3:26 PM
Mumon writes:

60

the scientific fact that the only difference between a human zygote and a human infant is time.

No, the difference between a zygote and an infnant depends on the former's external environment. A zygote can never develop into a human being without its external environment. That's the scientific fact, and that fact makes all the difference between a human being and a zygote.


...zygotes are individual human beings ...

No, that's an abstraction of a human being, and a grisly one, and that abstraction devalues human beings precisely because human beings are not that abstraction.

It explains everything from the equating of brain dead people to people, the equating of physically dead people to people (I've seen that from Mr. Carter on this very blog), and the enthusiasm conservatives have for trashing the environment.

posted on 01.31.2008 4:13 PM
ucfengr writes:

61

No, the difference between a zygote and an infnant depends on the former's external environment. A zygote can never develop into a human being without its external environment.

Not sure what your point is, an infant can't develop into a toddler without the proper external environment, nor can a toddler into an adult. That doesn't change the fact that a zygote, an fetus, an infant, and an adult are all human beings at different stages of development.

No, that's an abstraction of a human being, and a grisly one

You seem to be fixated on this word, "grisly". Did you just learn it in school this week?

posted on 01.31.2008 4:51 PM
Truth Unites... and Divides writes:

62

I may be naive, but I think a valid argument can be advanced that neither Romney, nor McCain are really conservatives. They are both arguably RINO liberals. As such, it doesn't matter to me which one of them gets the GOP nomination.

They'll both get my vote in the general election. And I think that either one of them will lose because of the Dem media machine.

posted on 01.31.2008 5:30 PM
Truth Unites... and Divides writes:

63

In yesterday's debate McCain praised O'Connor and said he would appoint Supreme Court justices like John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr., "who have a proven record of strict interpretation of the Constitution of the United States of America."

Now that's what I like to hear!

posted on 01.31.2008 5:44 PM
Truth Unites... and Divides writes:

64

Here's CNN's Analyst on yesterday's GOP Debate:

January 31, 2008

Schneider: The night's big winner: Huckabee

Posted: 07:34 AM ET

Huckabee performed well, Schneider says.
Huckabee, I think, stood out in this debate as the one who made sense, talked as ordinary people do, and rose above politics. They may have scored. He connected. And that’s a problem for Romney, who would like to become the alternative to John McCain among conservatives who oppose the Arizona senator. But he has very tough competition from Huckabee, who’s forcing people to re-think his run at a time when he was supposed to be out of the game.

But this has always been the way he’s worked: Romney uses money to stay competitive. Huckabee has debates.

I don’t think McCain made many gains – and I think he may have caused people to re-think the race. I don’t think this was his strongest night, not because he was under attack. But because he wasn’t a straight talker. He talked very much like a politician. He was making a lot of charges at Romney – some of which, like the timetable charge, seemed very questionable.

A couple of Romney’s answers were quite good, particularly on the Iraq timetables issue. I don’t think he did himself any harm. But I think the one who really helped himself was Huckabee.

All in all: Huckabee gained ground, McCain probably lost ground, and Romney didn’t help or hurt himself – although he did effectively defend himself. McCain sounded petty – and that’s not the McCain voters know and like.

But to the extent that Huckabee may have made any gains from his performance, Romney’s got bigger worries out of tonight than the Arizona senator.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/01/31/schneider-the-nights-big-winner-huckabee-2/

posted on 01.31.2008 6:14 PM
Jeff Wright writes:

65

I have been trying to understand where the Huckabee supporters are coming from during this election. Here we have Huckabee cast as the conservative and Romney portrayed as the most liberal Republican candidate. This is an amazing statement and it is definitely a minority opinion. Certainly one has to import a different understanding of "conservative" into the discussion in order to come to this conclusion.

As best as I've been able to determine, Huckabee supporters (ironically) are determined to have the least gracious approach to Romney's record. I, too, am uneasy with Romney's differing positions in the past compared to the recent past and present (just as I am uneasy with the non-conservative elements of Huckabee's record). However, the Huckabee people criticize Romney's past positions to the point of calling him a liar. He was pro-choice, now he is pro-life. Instead of being satisfied that he has now come to the correct conclusions on this matter, Huckabee supporters continue to bring up his pro-choice past. Why continue to harp on this? The reason is they don't really believe that he is pro-life now. They believe he changed solely in order to grab power. They are insinuating that he is a liar.

Every candidate has a problem with reconciling their past record with their current positions and promises, including Huckabee. Again, I am uncomfortable with the lack of consistency on some important issues. The more important question is where does he stand now? It would be one thing if Romney developed these positions in between the time he was governor and the time he pursued the presidency but that is not how it happened.

I know there is very little reasoning with the majority of Huckabee supporters. Romney is the sworn enemy to them. The supposed vitriol conservatives have toward McCain is nothing compared to the hatred Huckabee supporters have for Romney. It is so extreme and unfair that it actually undermines their credibility.

I know Huckabee supporters will stick with their man until the very end. As many of them I'm sure are aware, Huckabee will not win. They will split the conservative vote between Huckabee and Romney and thereby ensure that Huckabee's buddy McCain gets the nomination. Maybe even McCain will select Huckabee as VP! They will feel good about themselves but meanwhile they will undermine the influence of the conservatism they claim Huckabee is the champion of. But at least they'll get to stick it to Romney and the media.

posted on 01.31.2008 6:34 PM
Brian writes:

66

Hey Joe,

McCain looks more like your kind every day. He's more worried about losing an election than he is about losing his character and he believes if you repeat a lie over and over again it becomes truth.

Your claims on about Romney are just as silly as Huckabee's "I'm not going negative but let me show you what I'd say if I were" Ad accusing Romney of being soft on crime because as Gov he had zero executions in a State where the death penalty is against the law. He also left out the part about Romney’s effort to legalize the death penalty as Governor.

“Romney is still a strong supporter of special rights for homosexuals”

Truth:The Governor believes all people should be treated equally in the eyes of the law, but
that no additional legal protections for sexual orientation should be added. Is this wrong?
Romney's record:
-He pushed for an amendment to Massachusetts’ constitution to overturn the same-sex “marriages” that courts have imposed
-He testified before Congress and wrote to senators in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment
-He ordered enforcement of a little-known 1913 law to prevent out-of-state gay couples from getting
“married” in Massachusetts and provoking a national constitutional crisis.


“He also introduced government funded abortions in Mass. and ensured that pro-abortion”

Truth: Under state law and court precedent, if the state is funding health care benefits it cannot refuse to provide abortion coverage. Gov Romney had nothing to do with funding abortions.

“Romney appointed nearly as many Democrats to the judiciary as he did Republicans.”

Truth:The State of Massachusetts appointee process uses a 21-member Judicial Nominating Committee and established a "blind" review process during which the names of candidates would be removed from their applications before recommending to the Gov.

FINALLY: The only change of position, as he's admitted that he was wrong, was on abortion. We should welcome that kind of change. He ran on these issues in 1994! See the flyer from his platform
http://iowansforromney.blogspot.com/2007/05/desperate-times-call-for-desperate.html

What's the point of pushing against this candidate who is so obviously a good man. The fruit of Romney's life points to the same kinds of values that we so often proclaim to support. Where are the scandals in his life? Why do those who worked for him and with him speak so highly of him? Why does his family so obviously support him? Why do we fault him for being successful in life? His speech on Faith in America was exactly the kind of America we Christian claim to believe in.

If he's such a phony, such an opportunistic, and dishonest person as you accuse him to be, why has he not engaged in the kind of dishonest smear politics we see from others? In the debates he's shown a level of class and decency that I find refreshing. If we truly are value voters then we should see the writing on the wall if McCain is in the White House. Romney is our best shot and having a voice in this election.

posted on 01.31.2008 6:44 PM
Brian writes:

67

David French, who is very respected in the pro life community, published the following in response to similar accusations:

http://www.evangelicalsformitt.org/massresistance/therealtruth.pdf

posted on 01.31.2008 6:55 PM
DaveD writes:

68

Mumon,

Part of your basic, flawed, argument is that a fetus can not take care of itself so its acceptable to kill them. I seem to remember you specifically making some reference to the old pro-murder argument that a fetus can not survive on its own. You've made it at least twice. I submit that a three year old is no more able to survive on their own than a fetus. So, if the ability to survive is a prerequisite to not be murdered for someone else's convienence, than a toddler is well within the "allowable" zone. So are a lot of the elderly and handicapped.

You claim saving a human life is "devaluing" human life. Yet you imply that some humans can, and should, be shuffled off from this world. You just like the Nazi's promote the killing of the undesirable.

DD

posted on 01.31.2008 9:08 PM
ucfengr writes:

69

Joe, politics does not bring out the best in you; in fact I think what it has brought out in you is pretty ugly.

posted on 01.31.2008 9:46 PM
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