Sunday, January 06, 2008

WordBearer's election primer

Well now that we are a few days out from the Iowa Caucus, the political equivalent of a circle jerk, I think it is time I weighed in with my opinions on the Republican front runners.

The candidates will be ranked on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 means that I would burn down the house of anyone who criticized the guy. 1 means that I would rather be raped by a grizzly bear with AIDS and then set on fire than vote for this person.

Mike Huckabee - I really dislike Mike Hikeafee. I feel that he is the easiest Republican to beat because of his poor record on taxes and immigration.

I also find Huckabee supporters insufferable. They do not want to talk about real issues, just how Huck is a Christian. Great, that is wonderful but I want to talk taxes not theology folks.

Score: 3

Mitt Romney - I like Mitt. That being said, there are real trust issues. It is natural for a conservative like me to distrust the former governor of Taxachusetts. Mitt has answered many of these questions, but I still want to see more. From what I am hearing, he seems pretty committed to the War on Terror and to the social issues that are important to the conservative movement.

My real problem with Mitt is trust. He seems very polished and slick. In fact he seems almost Clintonian.

Score: 6

Fred Thompson - I love Fred. He is on the ball in dealing with Islamofascism and on taxes. He also has said all the right things when it comes to social issues. Fred is my choice right now and I hope he will win.

Score: 8

John McCain - I am ambivalent when it comes to McCain. I distrust him more than I distrust any candidate in the Republican race. He has made his bones in Washington by being a "maverick." Mavericks are loved by the media and are always hailed as "bi-partisan" and "independent" but when push comes to shove and the maverick needs that support of the party faithful, they come up short.

McCain really has no chance because the rank and file Republican base see him for what he is: a man willing to say and do anything to be loved by the media and to get elected. He seems to forget that the Republican base distrusts the media.

McCain has been a stalwart on foreign policy and deserves credit for that, but he is opposed to renewing the Bush tax cuts and is soft on immigration. Additionally, McCain-Feingold was one of the worst ideas in history and significantly hampers freedom of speech.

Score: 4

Rudy Giuliani - I'm still on the fence with Rudy. The most important issue of our times is the threat from Islamic fundamentalism and Rudy seems to get that better than any other candidate. Still his social liberalism is a concern, but he governed as a social conservative in New York.

Score: 5

All in all, I am very happy with the Republican field this year. There are a variety of opinions represented and we are having real dialogue about the future of the conservative movement and the Republican party.

The media portrays the Republican party as the monolithic, homogeneous, machine in which all independent thought and disagreement are prohibited. This could not be further from the truth. The Republican party is intellectually diverse in ways that the Dims could not possibly ponder. The Republican party is not made of single issue constituencies like the Dims. One can not pander to the Republican base by addressing just one issue which is why Huck will probably not win.

I would offer this advice to the candidates: Look at someone like me. I am a typical conservative. I am not a single issue guy. I base my decision by aggregating the positions of the candidates on national security, economic/tax policy, and social issues. I need to hear about more than your Christianity or thrilling life story. Tell me you are going to kill terrorists, cut taxes, and appoint good judges and you have my vote.