Archive for the ‘Giuliani’ Category

I felt sick reading John Hinderaker’s article, partially because of the violence visited upon the young man in the video but mostly because it’s just a matter of time before that sort of thing hits St. Cloud.

Forgive my pessimism. I’m usually an optimist. After watching St. Cloud deteriorate the last 5 years, it’s difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Next Wednesday, St. Cloud’s Police Chief will participate in a propagandist’s dream event to tell everyone just how wonderful St. Cloud would be if it wasn’t for those awful hate-filled Christians antagonizing those pure-as-the-driven-snow CAIR activists.

People are leaving St. Cloud. Some are moving to southern states but most are leaving for Sartell, Sauk Rapids St. Augusta and St. Joe. They’re leaving because they’re disgusted with spineless politicians, rising crime in core neighborhoods, a city council that thinks that the First Amendment is optional and a school board that thinks that sneaking a bonding referendum for a $100,000,000+ Tech HS should be voted on by only those in the ‘education community’. (That’s why the school board kept everything hush until the Times accidentally ruined the School Board’s plans.) But I digress.

John’s post is about the young man who got brutalized in Minneapolis just outside Target Field. This is one of the videos of this disgusting event:

Day after day, week after week, month after month, Democrats hint that law enforcement is the problem. That puts police officers in the impossible position of having to do a difficult job without the full support of the communities they’re protecting.

Authorities admit that violent crime is up in Minneapolis, although they surround that admission with happy talk, which won’t be believed by anyone who actually ventures into the city at night. (The story is the same in urban St. Paul. One night last week, the St. Paul police lacked the manpower to respond to three shootings that happened more or less simultaneously in different parts of the city.)

Minneapolis’s mayor is a young man who worked briefly in my law firm and is obviously not up to the task. Members of the City Council are ridiculously left-wing and totally ineffective. In both Minneapolis and St. Paul, civic authorities are convinced that policemen are the gravest threat to “communities of color,” and therefore law enforcement should be scaled back, or only grudgingly reinforced in response to events like the one you see in the video above.

Then John notes what someone reminds him of:

A reader reminds me that I should have mentioned this: “Some Minneapolis candidates say they can envision a city without police.”

Seven City Council hopefuls and two mayoral candidates say in a local voter guide that they can envision a future Minneapolis with no police. Asked, “Do you believe that we could ever have a city without police?” two mayoral candidates and two incumbents and five serious challengers running for City Council answered “yes.”

The idiots on St. Cloud’s City Council aren’t that stupid but nobody’s mistaking them for Einstein’s relatives, either.

What St. Cloud needs is its version of Rudy Giuliani. If we don’t find that person fast, I hate thinking what depths St. Cloud will descend into.

There’s no polite way of saying this so I won’t try. Tucker Carlson’s newfound notoriety has exposed his stupidity. His latest bout with stupidity came Friday night when he accused John Bolton of being a “bureaucratic tapeworm” who is pushing President Trump into war with Iran.

In his opening monologue, Carlson played “a clip of Trump explaining his rationale, that killing upwards of 150 people would not have been a ‘proportionate’ response to the fact that Iran took down an unmanned drone, Carlson lamented that this ‘most basic of all questions’ is ‘too rarely asked by our leaders contemplating war.'”

Carlson’s instinct is to believe that any use of the US military will automatically lead to full-scale war. That type of thinking isn’t just stupid. It’s dangerous. First, there never was a plan to introduce ground troops into this fiasco. Next, there still is a need to send a message to Iran, NoKo, Russia and China that the Trump administration isn’t dovish like the Obama administration.

If Carlson thinks that killing 150 IRGC troops is too hawkish, then he’s as dovish as a Democrat. Should the US do nothing while Iran blows up oil tankers and shoots down US drones? We took that approach starting in 1979. When 9/11 happened, someone told Mayor Giuliani that al-Qa’ida had declared war on the US. Mayor Giuliani’s reply was that Iran had been at war with us since 1979 but that we weren’t at war with them.

President Clinton’s ‘strategy’ of appeasement, history shows, is what led Osama bin Laden to conclude that the US was a paper tiger:

After leaving Afghanistan they headed for Somalia and prepared for a long battle, thinking that the Americans were like the Russians. They were surprised when the Americans entered with 300,000 troops, and collected other troops from around the world-5,000 from Pakistan, 5,000 from India, 5,000 from Bangladesh, 5,000 from Egypt, Senegal, and others like Saudi Arabia. The youth were surprised at the low morale of the American soldiers and realized more than before that the America soldiers are paper tigers. After a few blows, the Americans ran away in defeat.

I’m not implying that Carlson is a coward. I’m stating that he’s an idiot. If he thinks that we should avoid war at all costs, which is what he’s said for the better part of a year, then we can’t let people like Tucker influence foreign policy.

Though the strike would have been “disproportionate,” the “entire point,” Tucker opined, was to lead to a “wider conflict” because “policy makers in Washington crave a war with Iran.”

There’s no proof that supports Tucker’s opinion but, in his mind, it’s Gospel fact. Just like when I ridicule other liberals about their wild accusations, I’d ask Carlson what his proof is for his wild accusations.

If I won’t let John Brennan, Adam Schiff or Jerry Nadler escape without providing proof for their wild accusations, why should I let Carlson off the hook without proof for his wild accusations?

Does Carlson understand the difference between full-scale war and a one-time military strike? He should. I’m just not certain he knows. It’s frightening to hear Carlson accuse the US of escalating the situation in Iran. The only other idiot who’d think that would be Dennis Kucinich. The US asked Japanese PM Abe to travel to Iran to offer the Iranians the opportunity to talk peace with President Trump.

Iran’s response was to blow up a Japanese oil freighter while the Japanese PM was in Iran. So much for the theory that the US escalated this tense situation to the brink of war. So much for Carlson’s credibility. Carlson is a low-talent provocateur. He isn’t the intellectual he pretends to be.

In a startling event, President Obama said that the US had eliminated Afghanistan as a source of terrorism:

In addition to his Alice-in-Wonderland declaration, President Obama said that US combat missions have finished. This is additional proof that the fastest way to end a war is to lose it. Regardless of President Obama’s sunny talk, the reality is that the terrorists have adapted. They haven’t given up the mission of creating a worldwide caliphate. They’ve just moved their training and planning bases from Afghanistan to another location.

In the days after 9/11, someone stated publicly that 9/11 was the day that terrorists had declared war on the United States. Rudy Giuliani corrected the person, saying that the terrorists had been at war with us for years, possibly decades, and that 9/11 was just the day that we joined that fight.

Similarly, the terrorists’ threat hasn’t ended just because President Obama held a press conference saying that the terrorists no longer posed a threat. The terrorists have a say in the matter, too. In fact, they’ll have a bigger say in the matter than President Obama will have.

That isn’t meant as disrespectful. It’s just that President Obama leaves office in 2 years. At that point, he won’t play the role of principle decision maker. That said, many of the terrorists will still be around 3 years from now. They’ll still have a say in the matter.

President Obama’s statements are either proof that he’s exceptionally arrogant or they’re proof that he’s buried his head in the sand on this issue. That isn’t good. We need a commander-in-chief who is tuned into reality. We need a commander-in-chief who isn’t afraid to see what he sees.

Right now, we don’t have that type of commander-in-chief.

While he didn’t call out President Obama and Al Sharpton by name, he still let both Democrats have it in this interview:

Here’s a partial transcript of what Giuliani said:

FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI: We’ve had four months of propaganda starting with the president, that everybody should hate the police, I don’t care how you want to describe it, and that is what those protests are all about. The protests are being embraced. The protests are being encouraged. The protests — even the ones that don’t lead to violence — and a lot of them lead to violence, all lead to a conclusion: the police are bad, the police are racist. Actually, the people who do the most for the black community in America are the police. New York City and elsewhere. They are the ones, not Al Sharpton, who are putting their lives on the line to save black children.

President Obama, Mayor de Blasio and Al Sharpton haven’t shown any leadership. They’ve thrown white gas on a difficult situation. As a result of their political pandering and spinelessness, 2 NYPD police officers were assassinated this weekend.

Thank God for Rudy Giuliani’s post-mayoral leadership. Rudy’s never been afraid to speak out against injustice. He’s never hesitated to do what’s right in terms of public safety. In fact, I’d love seeing de Blasio recalled and Rudy elected to fix de Blasio’s disaster.

Al Sharpton is trying his best to distance himself from the protests he incited:

Similarly, the Rev. Al Sharpton, who has called for peaceful protests, condemned “eye-for-an-eye” violence and called it absurd to blame protesters or politicians for the officers’ deaths.

“We are now under intense threat from those who are misguided — from those who are trying to blame everyone from civil rights leaders to the mayor rather than deal with an ugly spirit that all of us need to fight,” he said. Sharpton added: “There are those of us committed to nonviolence and making the system work. And there are those committed to anarchy and recklessness who could care less about the families of police or the families who have raised questions about police accountability.”

That’s an outright lie. Al Sharpton led a protest where protesters cut loose with this chant:

What do we want? Dead cops. When do we want them? Now.

It’s disgustingly dishonest that Sharpton would insist that he’s “committed to nonviolence and making the system work”, especially after participating in a protest that called for the assassination of police officers. Participating in a protest where killing police officers is encouraged isn’t the first step in showing your commitment to peaceful protests.

It’s how you incite the violence that got 2 NYPD police officers shot.

It’s time to usher Bill de Blasio and Al Sharpton off the political stage. They incite their followers, then pretend that they’re committed to nonviolence.

Here’s more on the subject:

Sharpton, De Blasio scrambling
Obama, MSNBC silent while NYC burns
Al Sharpton, racist provocateur

When David Paterson took over from Eliot Spitzer, it’s been a foregone conclusion that he’d win in 2010. That ‘sure bet’ thing is pretty much out the window now, especially after reading this editorial:

Gov. Paterson had the opportunity, and the obligation, to appoint a U.S. senator who has the standing and expertise to be a national leader in rescuing the American financial system and economy from dire peril. He fell far short.

The governor’s selection of one-term upstate Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand for this highly critical post, a seat long held by people of enormous stature, was decidedly underwhelming and thoroughly disappointing.

Though that isn’t insignificant, I suspect that this is the least of Mr. Paterson’s problems. I suspect that this will cause him far more re-election troubles:

For good measure, Gov. David A. Paterson’s advisers piled on a few more salacious tidbits: She has embarrassing skeletons in her closet related to taxes, a nanny and her marriage.

That Paterson would sanction such a frontal assault on Kennedy after she already had ended her quest to replace Hillary Rodham Clinton stunned even the most grizzled political insiders.

What was to be gained when advisers close to Paterson decided to dump on Kennedy in interviews with The Buffalo News and a handful of other news outlets Thursday, less than 12 hours after she already dropped out of the running?

What was the benefit the governor saw in attacking Kennedy, whose political connections, including straight to the Oval Office with President Obama, go far beyond anything the governor enjoys?

Gov. Paterson knew that not picking Ms. Kennedy wouldn’t get him on the Kennedy’s Christmas card list but then stabbing her in the back after she humiliated herself by dropping out was political suicide. The Kennedys know a thing or two about sharpening the long knives right before going for the political kill.

When history books are written, it will note that Gov. Paterson’s political career was inconsequential, tumultuous and exceptionally brief. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t lose in the primary. I wouldn’t be surprised if he announces soon that he’s retiring at the end of this term.

Here’s something interesting from the article:

Some Democrats say Paterson’s choice of Gillibrand could have selfish political motives. One lawmaker theorized that he took a lesser-known Democrat as a way of making the 2010 Senate race more attractive for a big-name Republican, say Rudolph Giuliani, to take on instead of running against Paterson next year.

I don’t have any insight into what Rudy’s ambitions are but I wouldn’t be surprised if he ran for governor so that Peter King could run against Gillibrand. Whether that’s the best top of the ticket for Republicans is another story.

One thing’s that’s certain is that Paterson’s picking Rep. Gillibrand gives the GOP a shot at regaining that House seat. The governor’s race will be far more competitive than experts predicted in 2007. Since then, Eliot Spitzer got run out and Paterson inflicted alot of political damage on himself. I’ll still have to see more to put this Senate seat in the toss-up column but it’s alot closer to being competitive than it was a year ago.

That’s alot of potential damage from a single bad decision.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Following yesterday’s vote on the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout, two things should be clear to the American people: Barack Obama is a sideline watcher and Nancy Pelosi cares more about playing hyperpartisan politics than she cares about doing what’s right for the American people.

When John McCain jumped into the mess last week, 4 House Republican were on board with the bailout. When the final tally was counted yesterday, 65 Republicans voted for the bill. John McCain’s jumping into the fray meant another thing: House Republicans got a seat at the table, allowing them to negotiate into the bill some meaningful provisions that would’ve protected taxpayers to a certain extent. John Boehner worked hard to get Republicans on board. That’s the picture of leadership.

By comparison, Barack Obama wanted to stay away in the worst way. He only returned to Washington because President Bush invited him. That isn’t the picture of leadership. The minute the meeting ended, his jet was winging him away from Washington. He didn’t lift a finger over the weekend. Yes, he stayed in touch with Secretary Paulson but he didn’t call House Democrats urging them to vote for this bill.

He essentially voted present again. That’s unacceptable, especially considering the fact that this was supposedly the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. In my opinion, there’s two reasons why he isn’t interjecting himself into this crisis.

I think the main reason is because he isn’t a leader. There’s a reason why he voted present 130 times in the Illinois Senate. I think it’s because he doesn’t have the courage to stake out a firm position on anything. Duane Patterson noticed that, too, in this post:

Senator Obama, on the other hand, showed up to the White House only when invited, spoke in platitudes, left, got beat in the debate Friday night, spent the weekend speaking in more platitudes, and did not lift a finger to dial the phone of any of his Democratic colleagues in the House to try and persuade them to consider supporting a bill Obama was half-heartedly on board with for the good of the country.

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Rudy Giuliani yesterday. This exchange highlights Sen. Obama’s unwillingness to work hard for the American people:

HH: Should Obama be out there right now demanding that this pass on Thursday, Mayor?

RG: Of course. He should be working the phones. That’s what a president…this is what our great presidents do. They work the phones. It just doesn’t all happen because you make a speech and say change. It just doesn’t happen because you have a catch phrase or you happen to be able to have sort of a rock star effect on people. Politicians don’t care about rock star effects on people. They care about are you negotiating with me, what you are going to do for me, how are you going to get it done. I passed a lot of legislation as Mayor of New York City. It didn’t happen because I’m a rock star. It happened because I could negotiate with people, and I could work with them to get it done. John McCain can do that. Remember, when he went to Washington, with all the Democrats attacking him, he took the Republicans from four to 64. When Barack Obama went to Washington, it looks like the Democrats disappeared.

Sen. Obama isn’t the only person who disgraced themself yesterday. Nancy Pelosi took an ‘I don’t give a damn’ approach to passing this bill. Based on her past statements, this bill should’ve been the highest priority since gaining the speakership. Instead, she didn’t even bother having James Clyburn whip the vote. Anyone who wanted a free pass on a tough vote got one.

This was a golden opportunity for her to have a significant accomplishment since claiming the Speaker’s chair. Instead, she chose to play the role of a petty tyrant, which is what she is. Her vitriolic speech on the House floor right before the vote was unprecedented in the history of the Speaker of the House. Yesterday was a time when bringing people together and magnanimity were needed. Instead, she told her members to go their own ways. Instead, she was vitriolic, not gracious.

It isn’t a stretch to think that she wanted this bill to fail. It isn’t a stretch to think that her plan was to let the bill fail, then blame it on Republicans. The problem for Speaker Pelosi is that the American people will find out that she didn’t lift a finger to get this bill passed. She didn’t pressure Democrats to pass the bill.

It’s obvious that Pelosi share at least two traits with Sen. Obama: Both are comfortable voting present when the pressure’s on and both are comfortable not lifting a finger to get important bills passed. That isn’t leadership.

That’s a Jimmy Carter disaster waiting to happen.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

This morning, everyone will rightfully be talking about Sarah Palin’s speech. It was a spectacular speech. It’d be a shame, though, if we didn’t spend a bit of time honoring Rudy Giuliani’s speech. It was a spectacular speech in its own right. Here’s one of my favorite sections of the speech:

Then he ran for…then he ran for the state legislature and he got elected. And nearly 130 times, he couldn’t make a decision. He couldn’t figure out whether to vote “yes” or “no.” It was too tough.

He voted — he voted “present.”

I didn’t know about this vote “present” when I was mayor of New York City. Sarah Palin didn’t have this vote “present” when she was mayor or governor. You don’t get “present.” It doesn’t work in an executive job. For president of the United States, it’s not good enough to be present.

You have to make a decision.

The job of most lifetime senators is to pontificate. The job of mayors, governors and presidents is to make decisions. I want someone who isn’t afraid of making decisions. I want someone in the Oval Office who makes the best decision even if there isn’t a good solution to a sticky problem. It isn’t the president’s responsibility to ignore a problem or to ‘vote present’.

There’s nothing in Sen. Obama’s resume that says he’s a great decisionmaker. The only decision he’s made that I’ve noticed was his deciding to dump Jeremiah Wright after Wright dissed him at the National Press Club.

Here’s another great section of Hizzoner’s speech:

But he’s never…he’s never run a city. He’s never run a state. He’s never run a business. He’s never run a military unit. He’s never had to lead people in crisis.

He is the least experienced candidate for president of the United States in at least the last 100 years.

Not a personal attack, a statement of fact. Barack Obama has never led anything, nothing, nada.

This reminds me of the old cliche that “after everything is said and done, more is said than done.” Hillary put it best in this quote:

“I know Sen. McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Sen. Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.” — March 2008 campaign commercial

As good as those prior sections were, this is my favorite:

We agree. We agree with Joe Biden…one time, one time, when he said that, until he flip-flopped and changed his position. And, yes, being president means being able to answer that call at 3:00 in the morning. And that’s the one time we agree with Hillary.

But I bet you never thought Hillary would get applause at this convention. She can be right. Well, no one can look at John McCain and say that he’s not ready to be commander-in-chief. He is. He’s ready.

There’s nothing like sticking a finger in Sen. Obama’s eye with the words of another Democrat. Expect this type of attack to continue. In fact, I’m expecting there to be a back-and-forth game with McCain-Palin advertising, alternating between ridiculing Sen. Obama with Democrats’ words and touting the McCain-Palin agenda to lay out a positive agenda that people can vote for.
Rudy will be an invaluable asset this campaign. He’s great at highlighting liberals’ ineptitude and questionable logic in a humorous light. The best thing about doing things that way is that you don’t leave your target anything firm to lash back at.

Expect Democrats to get increasingly frustrated with this pattern. They can’t unload with both barrels but they can’t do nothing either. It’s east of the rock, west of the hard place type of territory.

Thanks to Rudy’s speech, Obama-Biden will spend the next couple of days figuring their way out of that predicament.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Earlier today, Captain Ed announced that he’d caucus for Mitt Romney when Minnesota holds its caucuses on Super Duper Tuesday. Of the remaining candidates, I find myself agreeing most with Mitt. Something that Captain Ed said, though, raised some red flags for me. This is the part that caught my attention:

This decision did not come easily. Some have complained about the choices available to the Republicans, but I have seen the field as a collection of highly accomplished, experienced candidates, almost all of whom I could support, enthusiastically, in a general election. That made the decision as hard as it was, and it forced me to analyze what I want to see in a nominee.

Frankly, this isn’t a great bunch of candidates. John McCain is certainly strong on the Iraq war but he’s also the guy who would pick justices who would preserve his only legislative ‘achievement’, campaign finance reform. He’s also the man who thinks that manmade global warming is so important that he’s willing to co-sponsor a huge tax increase to reverse manmade global warming.

That’s before we start talking about his role in the McCain-Kennedy Grand Bargain amnesty bill. Sen. McCain says that he “got the message” on immigration reform, that he’ll shut down the borders first before giving all the illegal immigrants amnesty. As I wrote here, we got the message, too, when he hired Juan Hernandez as his “Hispanic Outreach Director.”

That isn’t the resume of a great candidate. The only way you get there is if you’re good at rationalizing and if you use the loosest of subjective criteria.

Next there’s Mike Huckabee. His resume reads like a liberal’s. He’s cut some taxes, raised others. He tried giving illegal immigrants taxpayer-subsidized tuition breaks. That’s before we start talking about his foreign policy credentials, which are meager at best.

He’s run the Arkansas GOP into the ground, too, because conservatives frequently opposed his initiatives. According to the Washington Times article, anyone that didn’t follow him in lockstep was undercut by Huckabee.

Here’s another statement that I disagree with:

The Democrats have no one who can match that experience. Putting McCain or especially Fred Thompson against the Democratic nominee, whether that is Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, effectively cedes the inexperience argument. It argues that Republicans consider resumes to be irrelevant, and that will have us fighting with one hand tied behind our backs.

Having Fred Thompson as the nominee “effectively cedes the inexperience argument”? Who was the man that gave the most intelligent answers, whether the subject was foreign policy, immigration, specific entitlement reforms, the overall economy? Who mopped the floor with the other candidates in the ABC debate in New Hampshire? Who mopped the floor with them again in FNC’s South Carolina debate?

Putting Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama on stage in a debate against Fred would be a delight. He’d surgically destroy their arguments, just like he did with Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney during the ABC-sponsored debate from New Hampshire. Fred’s the only GOP with whom the word gravitas fits. Simply put, Fred was the smartest man on stage at the GOP presidential debates.

I’d further argue that Fred’s experience on the Intelligence Committee and Foreign Relations Committee gives him a depth of knowledge on the most important issue of the race that neither Hillary or Obama has.

To be fair, though, there’s much in Captain Ed’s post that I agree with. Here’s the part that I agree most with:

Both Rudy and Romney have led entire organizations in both the public and private sectors, with Romney getting the best in this area. They have had the buck stop at their desk. Both Rudy and Romney have transformed failing entities (New York City and the Salt Lake City Olympics).

It’s impossible to argue with Captain Ed’s arguments here. Both gentlemen have turned disasters into undeniable success stories. Here’s another statement with which I agree:

Mitt, however, has shown that he will fight in every state, while Rudy played a bit of rope-a-dope, and has apparently lost the gamble. Until the debate, I thought Rudy might have had the right idea, but Rudy still hasn’t come out of the gate in any effective manner.

Mitt has the resources needed to compete in each state, something that’ll be needed in the coming months.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

The Weekly Standard’s Andrew Ferguson has a must read column on why Fred Thompson’s campaign failed…and why it shouldn’t have failed. Here’s a delicious sample of Ferguson’s thinking:

The man or woman who seeks out such a life and enjoys its discomforts is not normal. Not crazy necessarily, but not normal, and probably, when the chips are down, not to be trusted, especially when the purpose of it all is to acquire power over other people (also called, in the delicate language of contemporary politics, “public service” or “getting things done on behalf of the American people”). The case is made, in defense of the contemporary campaign, that this is an efficient if unlovely way to choose leaders: It winnows out those who lack the stamina and discipline necessary to lead a rich, large, powerful, and complicated country. By this argument, Thompson failed because he deserved to.

But the opposite case is easier to make, that the modern campaign excludes anyone who lacks the narcissism, cold-bloodedness, and unreflective nature that the process requires and rewards. In his memoir, Greenspan remarks that of the seven presidents he has known well, the only one who was “close to normal” was Jerry Ford. And, as Greenspan points out, Ford was never elected.

Fred Thompson probably feels terrible at the moment, but he should be honored to be in Ford’s company.

Frankly, I was upset that Fred didn’t garner more votes than he did. I’m more upset with the way the media gave his campaign less attention than they’d give a leper. Most of all, I’m upset with right-of-center commentators who talked endlessly about the latest poll, the candidates’ cash on hand and other horserace-related topics while ignoring the candidates’ qualifications.

To this day, I’m still convinced that Fred Thompson was the most over-qualified presidential candidate since Reagan. To this day, I’m upset that conservatives, who say that the GOP has to be the party of ideas, ignored Fred like he was the Invisible Man.

After the 2006 midterm elections, analysts said that it was an “ideology-free campaign.” I said that the GOP had to return to being the party of ideas. That’s what I’ve devoted the last 14 months to. On issue after issue, I’ll bet that Fred would’ve drawn a sharp, compelling contrast between the Democrats’ position and the GOP’s position.

Conversely, the least-qualified candidate was Mike Huckabee. Simply put, his smartalecky answers were seen as amusing, which garnered him some attention. Frankly, I’ve never even thought of the Huckster as a second tier candidate, much less a first tier candidate.

One theory I have about why Fred didn’t do as well as some thought he would is because the GOP focused on being a big tent party that it forgot to be a principled big tent party. The GOP got so enamored with the majority that they tossed aside the principles that brought the GOP to the doorstep of being the majority party for a generation.

Another theory I have about the GOP’s rejection of Fred Thompson is their not understanding what the pillars of conservatism is built with. At its core, the three essential pillars of Reaganite conservatism were liberty, liberty and liberty. Fred understood that we needed a strong national defense strategy to keep us a free nation. Fred understood that we needed to keep taxes and spending low to give individuals economic liberty. Fred understands that Americans cherish personal freedom, which is why small l libertarianism is part of the Reaganite-Goldwater model.

Views like these might have earned another candidate a reputation for “straight talk”, maybe even the title of “maverick.” But Thompson was more subversive than that; he was an existential maverick, and his campaign was an implicit rebuke to the system in its entirety. He was a man out of his time. With its reduced metabolism and procedural modesty, his campaign still might have served as an illustration of what politics once was like and, if we have the audacity to hope, might be again. After all, by the standards of a century ago, Thompson was a whirligig.

The best thing that could happen to the GOP is for the next generation of GOP leaders to be Fred Thompson intellectual heavyweights. That’ll take lots of work because intellects like Fred don’t come along everyday. Let’s illustrate that by playing a little word association with the candidates.

The first word I think of when I hear McCain’s name is panderer. (The second is stubborn.) The first word I think of when I hear Huckabee’s name is socialist. The first word I think of when I hear Ron Paul’s name is either Neptune or Pluto. The first word I think of when I hear Mitt’s name is flip-flopper. The first word I think of when I hear Fred’s name is gravitas. The first word I think of when I hear Giuliani’s name is 9/11.

That should’ve been the big indicator as to who was best equipped to be the GOP nominee. Unfortunately, the first states allowed open voting, meaning that liberals could pick candidates as unqualified as Mike Huckabee and as liberal as John McCain.

It’s time we started picking serious candidates that would’ve tied the Hillary Clintons and Barack Obamas of the world in knots. That’s what Fred gave us. Which of the last debates, from the ‘Schoolmarm’ debate in Iowa to the ABC debate in New Hampshire to the FNC debate in South Carolina wasn’t Fred the smartest man on the stage? That string of impressive debates was nothing less than an intellectual drubbing by Fred.

While the other candidates each settled into their niches, Fred owned the stage. National security credentials? Check. Fiscal conservative? Yep. Federalist? Definitely. Immigration hardliner? Without a doubt.

The most-repeated ‘criticism’ of Fred was his……style. We were insulted by people who said that Fred didn’t have a fire in his belly. PHHHFTTT!!!! Give me a brilliant man who’s thought through the important issues of the day over a politician with fire in their belly anytime. That isn’t a difficult decision.

Finally, my hope is that we’ll take Fred Thompson, and like-minded politicians, seriously the next time around.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

Though I hate admitting it, it’s time to move on now that Fred’s dropped his presidential bid. Before we move on, though, I think it’s important to learn from Fred’s campaign.

The biggest lesson to be learned is that Fred shouldn’t have teased us so long with his entry. Fredheads should’ve contacted his campaign and told him he needed to get in so he could carve out his niche. Had the Fred Thompson of the last few debates jumped in in July or August, I’m convinced that he’d be the prohibitive favorite for the GOP’s presidential nomination right now.

The next biggest lesson we must learn as a political party is that Thompson’s type of conservatism is appealling. The other lesson we need to learn is that we don’t need to abandon conservatism to attract more squishy moderates. I’m all for a big tent but I insist that it’s a principled big tent. Which leads to this important point.

John McCain’s way of collaborating with Democrats is the opposite approach that Reagan used in winning over liberals. Reagan won liberals over with policies that made too much sense to argue against. McCain hasn’t tried winning liberals over. History will show that McCain caved each time he worked with Democrats. The only time he didn’t cave was on the surge.

McCain caved on the Gang of 14 without a legitimate reason. McCain caved on the First Amendment when he teamed up with Russ Feingold, Christopher Shays and Marty Meehan on campaign finance ‘reform’. He caved to Ted Kennedy on immigration ‘reform’, even allowing an open borders advocacy group like NCLR a seat at the negotiating table for the second bill.

Because NCLR was doing the negotiating, we knew that McCain wasn’t talking straight with us when he said that he’d learned his lesson about comprehensive immigration reform. Everyone knew that he and Ted Kennedy simply repackaged the same teethless provisions into a new bill.

Now we’re down to Mitt, Rudy, McCain and Huckabee, though I don’t think Huckabee will be with us much longer. For the reasons stated above, I can’t support John McCain. Simply put, he’s too headstrong to not attempt to shaft Republicans again. I won’t tolerate that. I also can’t support Gov. Huckabee because I’ve seen too many of his dirty tricks. I won’t support candidates that I can’t trust. I also think his Fair Tax plan is a disaster waiting to happen.

That leaves Rudy and Mitt. I like alot of the things that Rudy brings to the table policywise but I just can’t endorse him. I’ll support Mr. Giuliani if he’s the nominee but I won’t go farther than that.

That leaves Mitt. As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve had strong reservations about Mitt. I’ve questioned Mitt’s abortion transformation. I’ve questioned him about flip-flopping on the Bush tax cuts. I’ve called him a convenient conservative who didn’t always apply the principles of federalism.

That said, there’s alot of positions that Mitt’s adopted that I agree with. He’s said that he’d make the Bush tax cuts permanent, something I strongly agree with. Mitt’s said that he’d aggressively fight the jihadists, something else that I approve of. While I’m not convinced that Mitt would hit the ground running with foreign policy, I’d feel alot more comfortable with him if his running mate was Fred Thompson.

Having a Mitt-Fred ticket would be rock solid, far more impressive than Hillary and whoever or Obama and whoever. Fred’s conservative credentials can’t be argued with. Equally important, he’d give the Romney administration instant foreign policy credibility. With Fred as VP, we’d also be certain that the judges and justices that Mitt picked would fit the Roberts/Alito/Thomas/Scalia mold. You can’t do better than that.

I’m not endorsing Mitt Romney at this point. I’m simply pointing out what the best ticket is at this point. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have misgivings about Mitt but I’d also be lying if I said that he’d have the most upside as long as he’s paired with Fred.

Let’s face facts about something. A Mitt-Fred ticket has much more of a chance of uniting the GOP than any other ticket. We’ll need that if we hope to keep the White House under GOP control.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative