From Vivid Maps:
From FRC Action:
While the media largely ignores the party platforms after the political conventions, they should play a major role in every voters' decision-making for 2016. Apart from outlining the core beliefs and philosophies of the two parties, these documents are -- at their core -- the party's contracts with voters for how both sides will govern if elected. In many ways, these documents are just as important -- if not more so -- in guiding the politics of both parties as the candidates themselves.
Victor Davis Hanson: (my bolding)
So we always return to the central truth of 2016: Trump is a symptom, not a catalyst. He was created by the hyperpartisan unconstitutional overreach of Barack Obama, and by the appeasement of much of the Republican establishment, who wished to be liked and admired for their restraint and Beltway moderation rather than feared for their insistence on adherence to the Constitution and the protection of the individual from an always growing and encroaching government.
I agree with Jay Nordlinger's perspective:
. . . I’m certainly not voting for Trump. I think he is spectacularly unfit for the presidency, in both mind and character (but especially the latter). I’m certainly not voting for Hillary. I think she is equally unfit. I have opposed her, politically, since she emerged on the scene in the early ’90s.
I believe the Republican party has disgraced itself, in nominating Trump. I believe it has disfigured itself, morally. (Philosophically too, but that is separate.) The Democrats, I gave up on a long time ago (c. 1982). . .
Perhaps people think that Trump has some kind of claim on my vote, because I’m a conservative (and, until earlier this week, I was a Republican). I do not regard Trump as a conservative. I’m not even sure he’s a democrat. He strikes me as a big-government strongman, or would-be strongman: a prospective American Putin or Chávez. . . .
I simply do not have a preference between Trump and Hillary. They are equally distasteful to me, and I’m not going to vote for either one of them. Nor am I obligated.
I’ll vote for some third candidate — an honorable conservative, or at least someone who is not corrupt, dishonest, and dangerous. If there is no such candidate, I won’t vote for president. . . .
I wish I were, too Nordlinger writes:
I wish I were a Hoosier... … so that I could vote for Ted Cruz tomorrow. A sterling Reagan conservative. A classical liberal. A believer in limited government, the rule of law, free enterprise, peace through strength, the right to life. A smart man, a decent man. A bold man, a persistent man. My friend (incidentally). The kind of person who ought to be president of the United States.
He’d be great for the country, and world. So would Carly Fiorina, as vice president. They are a dream ticket for me. I believe a Cruz-Fiorina administration would be curative. I believe we would see quick and marked improvement in the economy, foreign policy, the courts — everywhere.
People say they will lose. That may be. Good and meritorious people have lost before. But I hope they win. I know they would be excellent in office, as I’ve said. Wouldn’t it be something to see it tested? Confirmed?
As regular readers know, I regard Trump and Hillary as unfit. Equally unfit, in different ways. But I regard Ted ’n’ Carly as marvelously fit. I hope Indiana voters will pull the lever for them. And that Nebraskans, West Virginians, and others will later.
I know that many disagree. They can write their own blogposts. I’m with you, Ted ’n’ Carly, and I’m grateful for you. Wish I were in Indiana to express it through a ballot.
At times you have to listen carefully above the general shouts and "noise" but Cruz's dialog is worth listening to. Cruz engages in a civil, facts-based dialog with a man who is a hard core, brain-washed Trump supporter.
I really like Carly Fiorina. She will bring zip and pop to Cruz's campaign. Her witty rebuttals to Donald Trump in the early debates were devastating. She can hold her own against Trump and expose him as the empty windbag that he is. She will give Hilary Clinton nightmares. Cruz made a wise move in selecting Carly at this early stage. Here is her acceptance speech.
Robert Gagnon and Elizabeth Humphreys set the record straight. And it does indeed need to be set straight! In their article, "Stop Calling Ted Cruz a Dominionist," they address many misrepresentations of the man and his faith. They write:
. . . Some have charged Cruz with being a “dominionist.” John Fea, professor of American history at Messiah College, raised this issue in an article in Religion News Service(picked up by theWashington Post). Another version of his views was recently published in Christianity Today. Fea is echoed by Warren Throckmorton, professor of psychology at Grove City College, and byFrederick Clarkson, author of Eternal Hostility: The Struggle Between Theocracy and Democracy(1997). Then there is the provocative article by Jay Michaelson, an LGBT activist and religion columnist at The Daily Beast, “Does Ted Cruz Think He’s the Messiah?”
Dominion theology and dominionism were terms coined in 1989 by sociologist Sara Diamond(Spiritual Warfare: The Politics of the Christian Right), referring to Christians who want to take over the government and six other facets of society (the media, business, arts and entertainment, education, family, and religion), together known as the “Seven Mountains.” Diamond views this as “the central unifying ideology for the Christian Right.”
The term has become elastic, encompassing Christians who believe the United States was once a predominantly Christian nation as well as those who hold “right-wing” views. But as many writers have noted, this elastic sense has become a bogeyman. Jewish journalist Stanley Kurtzcalled it “conspiratorial nonsense,” while Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson declared: “Thin charges of dominionism are just another attempt to discredit opponents rather than answer them.” Even the liberal journalist Lisa Miller called the loose accusation of dominionism “the paranoid mot du jour” (On the dubious ways that this term is used, see also Joe Carter.)
Cruz, however, is not a dominionist. As a teenager he joined the Constitutional Corroborators, travelling throughout Texas reciting from memory the text of the Constitution up through the Bill of Rights. He was taught law at Princeton by Robert George, and at Harvard Law School byAlan Dershowitz. Dershowitz, who is Jewish, observed that he was “one of the brightest students we ever had.” Cruz, with his formidable knowledge of the Constitution, is a passionate proponent for a republican form of government with checks and balances, accessible to all.
Accordingly, he stands against those who would use the Constitution as a cipher for personal ideology. Liberal proponents of a “living Constitution” seek to amend the Constitution by the fiat of unelected liberal jurists, bypassing the constitutionally-prescribed process of amendment. As Abraham Lincoln said, if American citizens accepted the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott decision, they would “have ceased to be their own rulers, having … practically resigned their government into the hands of that … tribunal.” Cruz’s view is consonant with two contemporary Catholic giants of jurisprudence: his professor, Robert George, and his mentor, the late Justice Antonin Scalia. George wrote us:
The contemporary religious Left’s version of McCarthyist red-baiting is to smear opponents by labeling them “dominionists.” … Ted’s not a dominionist; he’s a constitutionalist. I’ve known Senator Cruz for more than half his life. I supervised his junior year independent project and senior thesis at Princeton, working with him closely on the Constitution’s protections of liberty by way of structural limitations on power. I’ve stayed closely in touch with him in the years since, sometimes discussing constitutional questions (especially those pertaining to religious freedom). In 31 years of teaching constitutional law and civil liberties, and 25 years of serving on various capacities in public life, never have I met a person whose fidelity to the Constitution was deeper than Senator Cruz’s.
When Ben Carson asserted he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,”Cruz rejected that view: “The Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office, and I am a constitutionalist.” At a CNN Milwaukee Republican Presidential Town Hall discussion, Cruz responded to the concern that his Christian faith would interfere when “making decisions for all religions in the United States.” He replied, (more. . .)
It won't be a bad thing.
Jonah Goldberg describes Trump's technique in answering questions:
If you listen to Trump’s answers to almost any question about how he will fix a problem, he uses up the first 95 percent of his time explaining, re-explaining and demagoguing about how bad the problem is. (That is, if he’s not talking about polls.) Then in the last few seconds, he says we’ll fix the problem by being really smart or by winning or by hiring the best people. In other words, he has no idea how to fix it.
Goldberg despairs over the anti-anti-Trump conservatives for whom he has had great esteem in the past (e.g. Newt Gingrich, Bill Bennett) but who now make excuses for Trump saying he may be okay after all. (Read the whole piece)
** Liberty University newspaper interviews Chancellor Falwell on his personal endorsement of Donald Trump. (Falwell was wined and dined)
** Michael Signer - Here's what demagogues like Trump do to their countries when they take power: "The Donald has all the traits of his political forebears, and he'll present all the same dangers."
** On evangelical support of Trump:
Stepen Prothero: He [Trump] has not hypnotized evangelicals into forgetting the foundations of their faith. He is simply revealing the fact that their faith is now more political than theological. The white evangelicals who flock to his rallies like their parents once did to Billy Graham revivals know that he lives a life comically at odds with teachings of the Bible and the examples of the saints. But his political theology resonates powerfully with their narrative of decline and revival. Classically that narrative ran from sin in the Garden of Eden to redemption on the cross. Today it takes place in an America that has fallen from its founding glory yet will, by God’s grace and Trump’s hand, be made great again.
On days like Super Tuesday, it is hard to remember that there are still born-again Christians who take their marching orders from the Bible rather than from the Republican platform. . .
Drudge backs Trump. That's no secret. Drudge pushes live-streaming Trump events in red ink -- even ordinary campaign stops-- and he posts whatever he can that is negative about Ted Cruz. For that he uses huge letters and headlines. Michelle Malkin calls him out in the following video. In it she accuses Drudge of a double standard. He posts Ted Cruz being prayed over, but not Donald Trump (who also has been prayed over).
Last night's debate went out of control. Trump acted like a town drunk, the audience high schoolish, and the moderators like hapless parents unable to control unruly children. As far as analysis goes, David French offered as good a summary as I have seen (below). [Photo above is of a moment of silent prayer on the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Does Trump ever bow his head?] French:
David French writes:
The scandal du jour, from the ignorant, anti-Christian sectors of the Left, comes courtesy of a brief excerpt of a radio interview with Heidi Cruz, Ted Cruz’s wife:
For those who don’t have 92 seconds to listen, here are the quotes that caused Ken Meyer at Mediaite to call Cruz’s statements a bizarre rant:
We are at a cultural crossroads in our country, and if we can be in this race to show this country the face of the God that we serve — this Christian God that we serve is the foundation of our country, our country was built on Judeo-Christian values, we are a nation of freedom of religion, but the God of Christianity is the God of freedom, of individual liberty, of choice and of consequence.
Jon Green, a regional field director for Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign, also found this excerpt offensive:
I think that’s something that this country really needs to be reminded of, is that Christians are loving people, are nonjudgmental people, but there is right and wrong, we have a country of law and order, there are consequences to actions and we must all live peaceably in our own faiths under the Constitution. And Ted is uniquely able to deliver on that combination of the law and religion.
Thomas Jefferson envisioned a wall of separation between Church and State. Ted Cruz envisions that wall being torn down entirely. He’s not judging, he just thinks people who disagree are wrong and bad.
In reality, Heidi Cruz’s comment represents a standard (and accurate) expression not just of Evangelical beliefs, but also of American history. Christians aspire to “show the face of God” in all that we do — by imitating as much as we can our Savior, Jesus Christ. We fail often, but we’re better for the effort. As for Cruz’s statement that our nation was built on “Judeo-Christian values,”
From CBN News:
"Sen. Marco Rubio's passionate profession of faith before a meeting of Iowa pastors last Fall played a big role in his surprisingly strong showing in the Iowa Caucus Monday night."
As I have written previously, I personally support Ted Cruz, but I see much to praise and admire in Marco Rubio. Rubio's response to a question in this video is utterly unique. Watch the video and be amazed. Rubio has a genuine gift of preaching. (See also my earlier blog post on Rubio's response to an atheist who challenged him at a town meeting.)
CBN News reports further on Rubio's unexpectedly good showing in the Iowa caucus:
Few expected Rubio would do so well, but he capitalized on a last-minute surge in the polls and stumped hard in the final days of the campaign.
Members of the Rubio team believe the groundswell began in November, kicked off by his stirring explanation of the Gospel and the influence of Jesus Christ in his life before dozens of Iowa pastors.
Chief Political Correspondent David Brody said a senior adviser to the Rubio campaign told him CBN's exclusive coverage of the pastors event was a "game-changer" for the campaign.
- Andrew McCarthy points out Cruz's uniqueness: (my boldings)
The most significant aspect of this [Cruz's victory] is that Ted is a conservative running as a conservative – not in the modern mold of a Republican who thinks he can make big government work more efficiently, but in the Reaganite mold that sees government as the problem. . . .
More than any outsider, though, Senator Cruz is attempting to move the public to our principles – even if it means taking on ethanol in the den of ethanol – because those principles can improve the lives of all Americans, regardless of group identity. In a time when progressivism is failing us, spectacularly, in government, the economy, the international arena, and the culture, Ted is campaigning to defeat it, not to fix it. [See Cruz's earnest conversation with an irate Iowa farmer - video]
- A journalist (Erica Greider) who met Ted Cruz before he ran for any public office and has followed him since, has listed and amplified The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Ted Cruz. Here is the list, but you have to read the article (insightful, and well worth reading) to get the meat on the bone.
1) Ted Cruz is not a fire-breathing extremist.
2) Cruz is also not a wild-eyed maniac.
3) He has nerves of steel.
4) Cruz is smarter than us.
5) He may even be too smart for his own good.
6) Cruz is very serious about strategy.
7) Cruz is meticulous with his words.
8) Cruz is a mainstream conservative from the Texas Republican establishment.
9) Cruz is really into the Constitution. (By high school he had memorized it. His undergraduate 1992 thesis at Princeton, was about the historical and theoretical underpinnings of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.)
10) Cruz is in it to win.
- Two months ago I posted David P. Goldman's article, 10 Reasons to Vote for Ted Cruz, which is worth a careful rereading. I am a Cruz supporter based on all these considerations.
Marco Rubio's amazing response to an atheist has gone viral and may produce a pro-Rubio surge in Iowa. (I posted the video a few days ago).
Tony Perkins, who heads up the Family Research Council, last night endorsed Ted Cruz as his personal choice for President of the United States. (He was not speaking on behalf of the FRC organization). What he says (below) about the next president bearing responsibility to appoint at least two or three new Supreme Court justices should sober all voters. Here is Perkins' statement from his Facebook page:
I am personally endorsing Ted Cruz for President of the United States.
Here is why:
Ted is a constitutional conservative who will fight for faith, family and freedom. He will defend our right to believe and live according to those beliefs. Our families will be protected and freedom will once again mean something in America.
I trust Ted to fight to pull America out of the political and cultural tailspin that President Obama’s policies have put us in. This is no normal election; this election is about the very survival of our Constitution and our republic.
The next president will likely appoint two or three justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, which will impact our nation for decades to come. Unfortunately, previous Republican presidents have either been unable to identify liberal jurists in conservative clothing or have been unwilling to fight for true conservative nominees.
Listening to this interchange has raised my respect for Marco Rubio very high indeed. It happens that I am a Ted Cruz supporter at this point, but I am truly impressed with Marco Rubio's response.
** Interesting update (1/21/16): Evangelical leaders support Rubio by a wide margin but evangelical rank and file support Trump by a wide margin. Story here.
David P. Goldman writes:
10. He really knows economics--not the ideologically driven pablum dished out at universities, but the real battlefield of entrenched monopolies against entrepreneurial upstarts. As Asheesh Agarwal and John Delacourt reported in this space, he did a brilliant job at the Federal Trade Commission: "Cruz promoted economic liberty and fought government efforts to rig the marketplace in favor of special interests. Most notably, Cruz launched an initiative to study the government’s role in conspiring with established businesses to suppress e-commerce. This initiative ultimately led the U.S. Supreme Court to open up an entire industry to small e-tailers." Anyone can propose tax cuts. It takes real know-how to cut through the regulatory kudzu that is strangling America enterprise.
9. He really knows foreign policy. He is a hardline defender of American interests, but wants to keep American politics out of the export business. That's why neo-conservatives like Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post and Kimberly Strassel at the Wall Street Journal keep sliming him. The Bushies started attacking Cruz a year ago, when he stated the obvious about the Bush administration's great adventure in "democratic globalism": "I think we stayed too long, and we got far too involved in nation-building….We should not be trying to turn Iraq into Switzerland." He's not beholden to the bunglers of the Bush administration, unlike the hapless Marco Rubio.
8. He really knows the political system. As Texas solicitor general, he argued nine cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won five of them. How many other lawyers in the United States have gone to the Supreme Court nine times on points of Constitutional law? The best write-up I've seen on his brilliance as a Constitutional lawyer came from the liberal New Yorker--grudging praise, but praise nevertheless. Some of his legal work was brilliant, displaying a refined understanding of separation of powers and federalism. If you want a president who knows the mechanism of American governance from the inside, there's no-one else who comes close to Cruz.
7. He's an outsider, and America needs an outsider. The public thinks that Washington is corrupt, and it IS corrupt. The banks are corrupt, the defense industries (with their $1.5 trillion budget for a new fighter plane that won't fly) are corrupt, the tech companies (run by patent trolls rather than engineers) are corrupt, the public utilities are corrupt. The American people want a new broom. But it helps to put it in the hands of someone who knows his way around the broom closet.
6. Trump and Carson aren't serious candidates. Carson is an endearing fellow who has no business running for president: apart from his medical specialty, his knowledge of the world is an autodidact's jumble of fact and fantasy. Donald Trump inherited money and ran a family business: never in his life did he have to persuade shareholders, investors, directors, or anyone else to work with him. At best, he knew how to cajole and threaten. It's been his way or the highway since he was a kid, and that's the worst possible training for a U.S. president.
5. Cruz is in but not of the system. The distinguished conservative scholar Robert P. George mentored him at Princeton and the flamboyant (but effective) liberal Alan Dershowitz taught him at Harvard Law School. Both agree he was the smartest student they ever had. An Ivy League education isn't important unless, of course, you don't have one: to run the United States, it helps to have dwelt in the belly of the beast. Cruz came through the elite university mill with his principles intact, and a keen understanding of the liberal mentality.
4. He's got real grit--call it fire in the belly, but Cruz wants to be president and wants us to want him to be president. Determination is a lot more important than charm, where Cruz won't win first prize. When it comes down to it, Americans don't want a charming president, but a smart, tough and decent one. Marco Rubio, the Establishment's last hope after Jeb Bush's belly-flop, is instantly recognizable as the tough-guy hero's cute younger brother. Either Cruz or Fiorina would fill out the ticket.
3. He knows how to run a real campaign as opposed to a flash-in-the-pan media event. Cruz has boots on the ground, an organization of people who believe in him and raise money at twice the rate of Rubio--with an averge $66 donation.
2. He's a true believer in the United States of America. His love for his country and belief in its prospects are impassioned and unfeigned. He's ambitious, but his ambition stems from a desire to serve, where he believes that he is uniquely qualified to serve.
And the top reason to vote for Ted Cruz is:
He can beat Hillary Clinton. Not just beat her, but beat her by a landslide. Mrs. Clinton isn't that smart. She looks sort of smart when the media toss her softballs, but in a series of one-to-one, nowhere-to-hide presidential debates, Cruz would shred her. Cruz was the top college debater in the country. He knows how to assemble facts, stay on message, anticipate his opponent's moves and neutralize them. He's a quarter-century younger than Mrs. Clinton, smarter, sharper, and better prepared. He's also clean as a whistle in personal life and finances, while the Clintons could reasonably be understood to constitute a criminal enterprise.
John McWhorter - English is weirder than pretty much any other language
Jim Geraghty - Bobby Jindal's amazing accomplishments in Louisiana. Why didn't people pay attention?
Victor Davis Hanson - The Debacle that is the contemporary American university
Hillsdale College offering: A free 9 week online lecture series on C.S. Lewis
The Atlantic - What ISIS really wants
- - Ben Carson - "Hitler" Could Happen Here
- - Spyridon Mitsotakis - Dorothy Day's Catholic Worker Movement has descended into hard-core political Leftism
- - Wesley J. Smith - Psychologist blinds woman who didn't want to see.
There is a very anguishing mental illness known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder in which the ill person believes their “true self” to be disabled–usually paraplegic or an amputee. Recently, I have noticed BIID moving toward normalization in the media, now being called “transabled.” This uncritical story of Jewell Shuping, a woman with BIID who self-identified as blind–and a psychologist helped take away her sight–reveals how far we have fallen as a society.
Rich Lowry recounts a couple of Carly Fiorina zingers on abortion:
A woman accosted Fiorina to ask, “How can you as a woman not support our health care?” In a firm and frank exchange, Fiorina probably left the woman determined never to try that again. “Oh, I support your health care,” the candidate shot back. “I don’t support butchering babies.”
... “Liberals and progressives will spend inordinate amounts of time and money protecting fish, frogs, and flies,” she said last week after a visit to a pro-life pregnancy center. “They do not think a 17-week-old, a 20-week-old, a 24-week-old is worth saving.”
MUST WATCH video of Carly Fiorina tackling simultaneously Iran and Planned Parenthood!
David French comments:
Carly Fiorina laid out the harsh and cold truth about Planned Parenthood in a way no other candidate has to date, amidst the media blackout . .. She is worth quoting and heeding:
"I dare Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to watch these [Planned Parenthood] tapes! Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, it’s heart beating, it’s legs kicking, while somebody says, “We have to keep it alive to harvest its brain!” This is about the character of our nation. And if we will not stand up and force President Obama to veto this bill, shame on us! Shame on us. Shame on Senator McConnell. Forcing a veto brings the issue to light, it does not shut down the government."
I’m not going to excerpt it for you, despite the length. You need to watch it all; if you can’t spare 20 minutes, at least watch the middle third where he gets into corporate cooptation of the one-party state. This is one of the most brutal attacks — not incorrect, mind you, just brutal — you’ll ever see by a senator on his colleagues, starting with his own majority leader. Sample quote: “[This majority] does get things done, but it listens to one and only one voice: That is, the voice of the Washington cartel, of the lobbyists on K Street, of the big money and big corporations.” This guy is talking about his own caucus.
As others have noted, Carly Fiorina will not be cowed by the liberal press into a defensive corner. She's a Tiger!
JAKE TAPPER: Let's turn to the question of abortions. I know you want to talk about it. One of your opponents, Scott Walker, signed a law in Wisconsin this week which would prohibit abortions after 20 weeks of a pregnancy. On Twitter, HIllary Clinton said:
"Governor Walker signed dangerous abortion restrictions into law in Wisconsin — without exceptions for rape and incest. Extreme and unacceptable."
Walker retweeted her, and called her "out of touch with most Americans."
What's your position on this legislation, which does not allow exceptions for rape and incest?
FIORINA: Well, let's talk about the legislation that's sitting on the Senate floor right now, which does allow for those exceptions —
TAPPER: So you —
FIORINA: Let's also talk about, let's also talk about Hillary Clinton's position. Let’s also talk about Hillary Clinton’s position. Let’s talk about what extreme is. It’s not a life until it leaves the hospital. That’s Hillary Clinton’s position. It’s Hillary Clinton’s position that a 13-year-old girl needs her mother’s permission to go to a tanning salon or a tattoo, but not to get an abortion.
It's Hillary Clinton's position that women should not be permitted to look at an ultrasound before an abortion, and yet people who are trying to harvest body parts can use an ultrasound to make sure that those body parts are preserved so they can be sold. That, Jake, is extreme.
TAPPER: Just to clarify — you think there should be an exception for rape and incest?
FIORINA: I would really be delighted if for once the media would ask Hillary Clinton about the extremism of her position.
TAPPER: Well, let's —
FIORINA: It’s not a life, it's not a life until it leaves the hospital.
My position is very clear. It's been very clear and consistent ever since I ran for the Senate in 2010. Anyone can look it up. (Subtext: "You know the answer to the question, Jake, so why are you wasting everyone's time on the house fire while the city is ablaze?" — Ed.) Yes, I support exceptions.
But the majority of the American people now believe that abortion for any reason at all to be paid for by taxpayers after five months is an abomination. And this videotape, whether you're a pro-choice woman or a pro-life woman, this videotape is depraved. The casual nature with which these people are talking about fetuses, and tissue and apecimens. I tell you what, if a woman was looking at the ultrasound at the same stage of pregnancy, the doctor would not be talking about fetuses, or specimens or tissues. They would be saying, "Look at your baby's heartbeat. Look at your baby's eyes. Look at your baby's organs."
TAPPER: Carly Fiorina, thank you so much. Thank you for taking our questions.
Tom Blumer at Newsbusters correctly observes:
Fiorina answered Tapper's question, but she made the larger points, and forcefully.
If Fiorina doesn't get the 2016 presidential or vice-presidential nomination — and those who haven't been taking her seriously need to start doing so — she should be hired immediately by whoever does so she can train them to face the hostile media. It's been many years since I've seen a GOP candidate handle the press in such a consistently deft and poised manner.
Rush Limbaugh likewise waxes enthusiastic over Carly Fiorina's skill at handling the press.
. . . Start your focus of attack on Hillary Clinton. She's the enemy. The Democrat Party's the opponent. You know she's gonna be the nominee. Hit her. Start now. It's a great way to explain who you are, in fact, by contrasting yourself.
This is my advice, okay? And one person either took the advice or instinctively knew to do it on her own, and that's Carly Fiorina, who, by the way, she's just, I think, kicking butt all over the country, folks. Every stop never gets off message. She handles the media with aplomb and skill and it's obvious she enjoys doing it, and she's schooling people. She's showing how it's done. Latest example, Tuesday night, CNN, The Lead with Jake Tapper.
Update: See Warren Cole Smith's interview with Scott Klusendorf, "A Lesson in pro-life apologetics."
He's been a conservative for about 10 minutes. Read his past statements.
Update 7/11/15 - Jonah Goldberg piles on
Update 7/14/15 - Daniel Greenfield - Why Trump is Winning Greenfield's article not only explains Trump's current successes, but advances a "take it to the enemy" approach that can reconfigure public opinion and win elections. I think Greenfield is absolutely right.
. . The real way to show voters that you care about them is by being a fighter. Cheering the boxer who is the “nicer” guy is a losing proposition . . .
Donald Trump shot out ahead of the pack by being a fighter. His political positions right now may be the opposite of his old positions, but few people care because they see him throwing and taking punches in the ring. They see him burning through a $3 billion brand just to get into the race.
In a campaign where the other candidates have carefully nuanced positions on most of the issues, Trump shows no signs of nuance. He may be widely inconsistent, denouncing illegal aliens one day and endorsing amnesty the next, but frustrated voters are sending a message that they want a fighter. . . .
Taking the fight to the enemy is scary. That’s why most politicians don’t do it. It’s easier to dance around, duck and hope you won’t get hit too hard when the time comes. Republican voters have become used to politicians who throw a halfhearted punch, play to the crowd and then play it safe.
That’s not what Trump is doing. He keeps taking hits and throwing punches. He may lose. He may take the Republicans down with him, but the base is happy just to see someone get out there and fight.
The left has a huge media and political infrastructure built in a plan that its activists have been pursuing for generations. It’s time someone punched them and their plan in the face. . . .
If the Republican Party wants to win something more than a seat at the pork table, its candidates will have to fight. They will get hurt. They will get beaten. But if they fight hard and well enough, the momentum will shift. Playing defense will never shift the momentum. At best it will extract the occasional meaningless victory that will end up disgusting even its own supporters.
The basic formula isn’t hard. Take an issue. Punch the left in the face over it. Don’t go on the defensive when the media whips up outrage. Don’t justify, apologize and explain. Instead punch harder.
Punch the left in the face over illegal alien crime, over its pro-crime policies and its massive debt, its war on religion, its hatred for the family and its obsession with censorship and control. Hit it over its failed foreign policy, its lost wars, its sympathy for terrorists, its lawlessness and abuses of power.
Keep hitting the left until it forgets its plans, until it feels doubt, until splits begin to form among moderate and extreme Democrats that translate into political defeats and compromises.
That’s not just how you win fights. It’s how you win victories that make a difference.
Read the whole thing...
I thought it a terrific speech. So did National Review's Kathryn Jean Lopez whose summary and comments follow below. Update 5/15/15: Peter Wehner at Commentary offered a thoughtful appreciation, summed up to some extent in this paragraph:
When you read the speech in whole, what stands out, I think, is that Governor Bush is articulating his understanding of the Christian faith in a way that is principled but not harsh, in a manner that is persuasive rather than aggressive, unapologetic and not offensive. He cares very much about the state of the culture, but he’s no culture warrior. This speech was his effort to unwind some fairly widespread caricatures, to represent his faith in a way that invites understanding rather than promotes division and distrust.
It can be a touchy subject,” Jeb Bush said during his commencement speech at Liberty University this weekend. “I am asked sometimes whether I would ever allow my decisions in government to be influenced by my Christian faith.” “Whenever I hear this,” the former governor of Florida, said, “I know what they want me to say.”
“Whenever I hear this,” the former governor of Florida, said, “I know what they want me to say.”
We of faith do know; we hear it increasingly said and see the idea behind it increasingly enforced. In many ways it’s what people have been saying since John F. Kennedy’s (in)famous speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association in September 1960. Indeed, since Kennedy, Catholics have led the way on this question for better or worse, first in seeking a place at the table of American civil society, then in diluting our contribution to it by privatizing and relegating to Sundays some of the best we have to offer.
This is not true of all Christians, thanks be to God. But it has been a scandal in our public witness and has allowed for the manipulation and marginalization of religious people that we see today.
Back to Jeb. When asked about if his Christian faith would influence his politics in any real way, he said:
The simple and safe reply is, ‘No. Never. Of course not.’ If the game is political correctness, that’s the answer that moves you to the next round. The endpoint is a certain kind of politician we’ve all heard before — the guy whose moral convictions are so private, so deeply personal, that he refuses even to impose them on himself.
Yes, that’s the game. And playing that way gets us to the point where we see Christianity making less of a difference in American political and cultural life. It’s a difference that, from our earliest days, we’ve relied on, that we’ve needed. It’s one that has been a corrective and a conscience.
And so Bush continued, knowing where we are, and assuming he was speaking to an audience poised to work to turn things around in whatever fields they go into, as Christians in environments — and a country — increasingly hostile to public, robust religious engagement beyond worship services or comfort or nostalgia: “The mistake is to confuse points of theology with moral principles that are knowable to reason as well as by faith. And this confusion is all part of a false narrative that casts religious Americans as intolerant scolds, running around trying to impose their views on everyone.”
Update 3/20/13 - The New York Times ran a substantial (and fair) piece on Dr. Carson titled, "Neurosurgeon's Speeches Have Conservatives Dreaming of 2016." It's an excellent introduction to Dr. Carson and his views.
Andrew Johnson reports:
Although he’s not closing the door on his own 2016 run, Dr. Ben Carson said he’s a big fan of another potential candidate who also happens to have medical experience. In an interview last night with Sean Hannity, Carson praised Senator Rand Paul, an ophthalmologist, for his courage, conviction, and logical thinking.
“Part of the problem that we’re having right now is that there are a lot of people who lack courage, who always want everybody to adore them, and that just are not willing to take stands based on real convictions, and when I see that, I’m really impressed with it,” Carson said of Paul.
As for his personal aspirations, Carson said he will revisit the possibility of running in a year or so to see if there’s “significant sentiment” in favor of his candidacy.
Me: I predict Dr. Carson will run. Last year he wrote, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great. (So far it has garnered 375 five star Amazon reviews!) Did Carson publish his book as part of a grand strategy? Quite possibly. The book, like his speeches, speaks with power to a great swath of the American people. For years people have seen Carson as a potential political star and have suggested he think about running for office. After his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, no less an influential organ than the Wall Street Journal headlined an editorial, "Ben Carson for President." I suspect Carson has been mulling the Presidency for years, particularly given the policies of the man currently occupying the White House.
Carson spoke at the recent CPAC gathering in Washington. A writer covering Carson's speech headlined his report: "How to destroy America in Four Steps."
He [Carson] explained that if he were an enemy of the United States, he would set about destroying the nation in four simple steps: create division among the people, encourage a culture of ridicule for basic morality, undermine the nation’s financial stability through excessive government debt, and weaken the military. ”It appears, coincidentally, that those are the very things that are happening right now,” he observed. ”And the question is, how do we stop it? Can we stop it, or must we inexorably follow the same kind of path that other pinnacle nations have followed before their destruction?”
Here is Carson's CPAC speech:
Carson is the most intriguing figure on the national stage right now. Whether he eventually throws his hat into the presidential race or not, I agree with the Amazon commenter who said of his book, America the Beautiful, "Every library in the U.S. should have a copy of this book." Amen to that. Carson's views are the tonic that the United States needs at this historical moment.
I think Laura Hollis has written an extraordinarily perceptive post-mortem analysis. I commend it to you.
I am already reading so many pundits and other talking heads analyzing the disaster that was this year’s elections. I am adding my own ten cents. Here goes:
1. We are outnumbered
We accurately foresaw the enthusiasm, the passion, the commitment, the determination, and the turnout. Married women, men, independents, Catholics, evangelicals – they all went for Romney in percentages as high or higher than the groups which voted for McCain in 2008. It wasn’t enough. What we saw in the election on Tuesday was a tipping point: we are now at a place where there are legitimately fewer Americans who desire a free republic with a free people than there are those who think the government should give them stuff. There are fewer of us who believe in the value of free exchange and free enterprise. There are fewer of us who do not wish to demonize successful people in order to justify taking from them. We are outnumbered. For the moment. It’s just that simple.
2. It wasn’t the candidate(s)
Some are already saying, “Romney was the wrong guy”; “He should have picked Marco Rubio to get Florida/Rob Portman to get Ohio/Chris Christie to get [someplace else].” With all due respect, these assessments are incorrect. Romney ran a strategic and well-organized campaign. Yes, he could have hit harder on Benghazi. But for those who would have loved that, there are those who would have found it distasteful. No matter what tactic you could point to that Romney could have done better, it would have been spun in a way that was detrimental to his chances. Romney would have been an excellent president, and Ryan was an inspired choice. No matter who we ran this year, they would have lost. See #1, above.
3. It’s the culture, stupid.
We have been trying to fight this battle every four years at the voting booth. It is long past time we admit that that is not where the battle really is. We abdicated control of the culture – starting back in the 1960s. And now our largest primary social institutions – education, the media, Hollywood (entertainment) have become really nothing more than an assembly line for cranking out reliable little Leftists. Furthermore, we have allowed the government to undermine the institutions that instill good character – marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches. So, here we are, at least two full generations later – we are reaping what we have sown. It took nearly fifty years to get here; it will take another fifty years to get back. But it starts with the determination to reclaim education, the media, and the entertainment business. If we fail to do that, we can kiss every election goodbye from here on out. And much more.
4. America has become a nation of adolescents
The real loser in this election was adulthood: Maturity. Responsibility. The understanding that liberty must be accompanied by self-restraint. Obama is a spoiled child, and the behavior and language of his followers and their advertisements throughout the campaign makes it clear how many of them are, as well. Romney is a grown-up. Romney should have won. Those of us who expected him to win assumed that voters would act like grownups. Because if we were a nation of grownups, he would have won.
But what did win? Sex. Drugs. Bad language. Bad manners. Vulgarity. Lies. Cheating. Name-calling. Finger-pointing. Blaming. And irresponsible spending.
This does not bode well. People grow up one of two ways: either they choose to, or circumstances force them to. The warnings are all there, whether it is the looming economic disaster, or the inability of the government to respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, or the growing strength and brazenness of our enemies. American voters stick their fingers in their ears and say, “Lalalalalala, I can’t hear you.”
It is unpleasant to think about the circumstances it will take to force Americans to grow up. It is even more unpleasant to think about Obama at the helm when those circumstances arrive.
Carrie Lukas observes: (my bolding)
Yet here is something that’s pretty clear, even as the dust settles. Men would have elected Gov. Romney President by a wide margin. Women, who cast about 53 percent of the votes, gave President Obama about a ten-point margin and another four years in the White House.
This should be a wakeup call for everyone on the Right. I count myself among those who assumed — clearly wrongly in hindsight — that the “War on Women” rhetoric wouldn’t work. From my perspective, the Democrats’ campaign for women was flatly insulting, treating women as sex objects (appealing to them to vote with their “lady parts”) and helpless wards of the state (Julia). The charge that Republicans want to restricted access to contraception — that is, beyond returning to the pre-ObamaCare status quo when religious organizations were not forced to pay for others’ contraception — is so far-fetched that it’s almost hard to know how to counter, since just engaging in the discussion grants the question a legitimacy it doesn’t deserve.
Survey research leading up to the election consistently suggested that jobs and economy — not the so-called “women’s issues” — were top of mind for female voters (just as they were for male voters). This suggests that, in spite of the Administration’s record of massive deficits, intractable unemployment, and rising cost-of-living, women believe that their prospects were worse under the more market-centered, limited-government approach advanced by Romney-Ryan. In other words, women remain unconvinced that Liberty Is No War on Women.
This election confirms that conservatives must, simply must, expand the coalition of those supporting our principles to include more women. This will require a lot of ground work to show women how the ideals of limited government and free markets do not threaten women’s basic security, but in fact can be the foundation of a healthier, more secure, safety net and greater prosperity and opportunities for women, as well as men. A more robust, sustained effort to start that conversation with new groups of women needs to start today.- Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum and co-author of Liberty Is No War on Women
This will prove interesting. Each pundit gives their electoral college vote predictions.
Experts predicting an Obama landslide - here.
Experts predicting a Romney landslide - here.
Me: I am cautiously optimistic Romney will win. If he doesn't, I will be devastated, feeling the country's stabilizing presence in the world will be unrecoverable, and we its citizens will be subject to ever-narrowing religious freedom and continually expanding totalitarian governance.
Peggy Noonan expects a Romney win -
I suspect both Romney and Obama have a sense of what’s coming, and it’s part of why Romney looks so peaceful and Obama so roiled.
Kimberley A. Strassel reports: [These are amazing flip-flops!!! I've supplied the topic headings]
*** Single-payer health system
"I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care program"—Illinois state Sen. Barack Obama, June 2003.
"I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter"—President Obama, August 2009.
"Leadership means that the buck stops here. . . . I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America's debt limit"—Sen. Barack Obama, March 2006.
"It is not acceptable for us not to raise the debt ceiling and to allow the U.S. government to default"—President Obama, July 2011.
"I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages"—Obama questionnaire response, 1996, while running for Illinois state Senate.
"I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage"—Sen. Obama, November 2008, while running for president.
"It is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married"—President Obama, May 2012.
"We have an idea for the trigger. . . . Sequestration"—Obama Office of Management and Budget Director Jack Lew in 2011, as reported in Bob Woodward's "The Price of Politics."
"First of all, the sequester is not something that I've proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed"—President Obama, October 2012.
"If I am the Democratic nominee, I will aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election"—Sen. Obama, 2007.
"We've made the decision not to participate in the public financing system for the general election"—Sen. Obama, June 2008.
"I will never question the patriotism of others in this campaign"—Sen. Obama, June 2008.
"The way Bush has done it over the last eight years is . . . [he] added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back. . . . That's irresponsible. It's unpatriotic"—Sen. Obama, July 2008.
"I don't remember what the number was precisely. . . . We don't have to worry about it short term"—President Obama, September 2012, on the debt figure when he took office ($10 trillion) and whether to worry about today's $16 trillion figure.
"[Sen. Hillary Clinton believes] that . . . if the government does not force taxpayers to buy health care, that we will penalize them in some fashion. I disagree with that"—Sen. Obama, Jan 2008, opposing the individual mandate for health insurance.
"I'm open to a system where every American bears responsibility for owning health insurance"—President Obama, June 2009, supporting the individual mandate.
"Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times when America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive"—President Obama, April 2009, in France.
"We have at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms"—President Obama, April 2009, in Trinidad and Tobago.
"Nothing Governor Romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing"—Barack Obama, October 2012, on whether he went on a global apology tour.
"The problem with a spending freeze is you're using a hatchet where you need a scalpel"—Sen. Obama, September 2008.
"Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years"—President Obama, January 2010.
"So if somebody wants to build a coal-fired plant, they can, it's just that it will bankrupt them"—Sen. Obama, January 2008, on his plans to financially penalize coal plants.
"Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution"—Sen. Obama, August 2008.
"Here's what I've done since I've been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it's been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment"—President Obama, October 2012.
"If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition"—President Obama, 2009.
"We've got a long way to go but . . . we've come too far to turn back now. . . . And that's why I'm running for a second term"—President Obama, October 2012.
Photographed at the intersection of M-40 near Saugatuck, MI., this sign says a lot, and says it succinctly. (HT: Brian)
UPDATE: - A friend emailed me a link to a website with more good signs, including the following:
Tonight Gov. Romney and President Obama meet to debate Foreign Policy. The Family Research Council notes that:
In three and a half hours of debating, the candidates have exchanged 30,586 words--but not one of them was spent discussing marriage. Heading into this evening's contest, Barack Obama has yet to answer for one of the most defining moments of his presidency: his "evolution" on same-sex "marriage" and the abandonment of thousands of years of human tradition and logic. While tonight's debate in Boca Raton is focused on foreign policy, this final face-off will be the last opportunity Americans have to hear for themselves the stark difference between the two men on defining fundamental issues. The moderators of the previous two debates have largely avoided the subject of values, save a passing glance or two on contraception. The void is especially glaring given that a radical social agenda has been the hallmark of this President's entire first term. [emphasis mine] In fact, absent other tangible accomplishments to campaign on, the White House has resorted to highlighting its pro-abortion, Planned Parenthood policies in ads. President Obama isn't running away from his extreme social policy--he's running on it! And for once, it's time for Americans to hear why. How can Bob Schieffer squeeze in social issues? The same way President Obama did in his dealings with other nations and our military: by force
In many ways, the administration's international agenda is the perfect segway to a discussion on life, marriage, and religious liberty. For four years, President Obama has used his State Department and its diplomats as his agents of social change. He has not only pushed homosexuality on the military, but he's advanced his agenda on unwilling countries through his selection of controversial ambassadors and his celebration of "gay pride" around the globe. At home, he hid subtle changes to marriage in gay immigration policy, U.S. passports, or taxpayer-funded hormone therapy for cross-dressers. To export abortion, he funneled millions of dollars to his friends at overseas Planned Parenthoods, UNFPA, and other organizations that support gendercide, China's one-child policy, and forced sterilization. In countries like Kenya, which has a strong pro-life majority, the White House bullied its way through obstacles, hiring lobbyists to expand abortion in its constitution--illegally. And when it came time to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the President dragged his feet.
Yes, there are plenty of ways to introduce values into a debate on foreign policy. If Mr. Schieffer needs some conversation starters, he could start with FRC's new one-pagers on President Obama's record. Our experts combed through the last four years of the President's record and found plenty of disturbing trends. Of the 66 decisions he made that violate pro-family values, 60 of them were done without congressional approval. Check them out here.
From the Family Research Council:
While the media would like to portray conservative politicians as obsessed with abortion, the Democratic Convention last week told a different story. President Obama had over two dozen prime time speakers, including the heads of the largest pro-abortion organizations, praising unrestricted abortions at taxpayer expense.
Abortion giant Planned Parenthood, which gets at least one million dollars a day from taxpayers, is repaying the President's gratitude by launching a $3.2 million television ad buy in Ohio and Virginia on Monday as part of its biggest-ever campaign effort. The newest ad, called "Turn Back the Clock," is set to run on cable television in Northern Virginia for the next five weeks. The ad highlights Mitt Romney's opposition to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision and his opposition to federal funding for Planned Parenthood. There is a reason that the President's abortion allies are attacking Governor Romney.
Gov. Romney reiterated his desire to overturn the poorly decided decision, known as the Dred Scott decision of the 20th century. He also said he would overturn President Obama's actions that have resulted in taxpayers subsidizing and paying for abortions both internationally and at home.
President Obama has done a fundraising video from the White House for Planned Parenthood's PAC. According to their highly paid leader, who tweeted her excitement, President Obama called them yesterday to thank them for all their support of taxpayer funding of unrestricted abortion. To see the differences between the two party platforms on life and other issues check out our comparison here.
I share Stanley Kurtz's concerns. The only way to cut through the media filter that continually masks Obama's hard left vision for America is for Romney to stress the ideological battle underlying this election. He can't assume the American people see it clearly. I've highlighted sentences that I think need emphasizing in Kurtz's piece.
Overall, the Democrats put on an effective show. With the possible exception of the McGovern convention, this was the most left-leaning Democratic gathering in memory. Some of that may have been counterproductive, particularly on social issues. To the extent that Republicans dismiss this convention as either a failure or relatively meaningless, however, I think we’re fooling ourselves.
This election could go either way. If Obama squeaks by, he will have done so with the help of a Democratic party that has taken a large, open, and disturbingly leftist turn. I think we’re missing the significance of that. It is completely accurate to say that the Democrats are pushing a bogus reformulation of the American way of life — slapping a bunch of flags on their Julia ad and turning classic conceptions of civic and religious community into covers for a cradle-to-grave welfare state. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is becoming the new normal in this country, and Obama and his convention have only helped to cement the change.
Conservatives can puncture these arguments all we like, but we can’t cut through the media filter. More than that, the conservative case can’t break through the left-controlled education system that has profoundly shaped the Millennials. True, youth unemployment is giving many second thoughts about Obama, yet it’s been more a matter of sapping Millennial enthusiasm than of changing attitudes and ideas.
Do demographics doom the expansive liberal welfare state, regardless? In some sense, they do. Yet if Obama is in the driver’s seat as our fiscal woes mount, he will use the crisis to further his restructuring. California is our advance guard — our Greece — yet their budget crisis is two months away from prompting one of the boldest redistributionist transformations this country has seen in years (even if barely anyone knows it yet).
Only the Romney campaign can cut through
the cultural, educational, and media filters and force a debate over
the Obama Democrats’ bogus redefinition of the American dream. The media
can ignore what conservatives say, but they still have to cover the
candidate. With the exception of his welfare ads, however, the Romney
campaign has avoided an assault on Obama’s ideology. Romney’s entirely
plausible strategy is to downplay the ideological battle (Ryan
nomination notwithstanding). [A terrible mistake to my way of thinking. I agree with Kurtz]
As the Romney campaign sees it, the tiny sliver of remaining undecided voters consists of mildly disillusioned former Obama supporters, or at least voters who personally like Obama. Coaxing these folks to “break up” with their erstwhile beau means not making them feel like they were fools to buy into Obama’s vision to begin with. That cuts against any effort to unmask the president’s overweening leftist ambitions. Let’s just say that the president’s a nice guy who’s in over his head instead.
Okay, but Michelle Obama did a very effective job of pressing undecideds to give her nice-guy another try. And the convention as a whole did a better job of redefining government as nice-guyism writ large than Republicans would like to admit. Charles Krauthammer says that the counter to all this is exposing Obama as “a deeply committed social democrat” using his presidential power to enact the same “ambitious left-wing agenda” he “developed in his youth.” Well, yes. So far as I can tell, however, this sort of argument is the last thing the Romney campaign wants to make right now. Don’t want to drive away that tiny sliver of Obama’s wavering admirers.
I can’t say for certain that Romney’s strategy is wrong. But I do think it’s far riskier than we realize. Treating Obama as a nice guy in over his head, rather than a smart leftist who knows exactly what he’s doing, leaves the Democrats’ bogus narrative about government unanswered. America is changing, and Republicans are naive to rely on the public to simply recognize the problems in the Democrats’ claims without significant help from our nominee.
Republicans won big in 2010 by defining Obama as an overweening ideologue. Yet that was the Tea Party’s doing, not the Republican establishment. In those days, Romney even jumped on the tea-party bandwagon with some surprisingly cutting observations about Obama’s leftism. Obama may not have pivoted after the 2010 election, but Republicans did. They toned down their attacks on the president’s ideology, and to some extent helped to build up the very wall of “likeability” they now fear to scale, even as the president rejected the Clintonian way and stayed to the left. Were Republicans smart to hold their fire? Romney did try out the argument that Obama is moving us toward European-style social democracy during the primaries, but he’s dropped that now in favor of the kinder and gentler “break up” approach.
Republican reticence on these issues has been going on for a while. Beginning with John McCain in 2008, the party establishment has done a weak job of challenging the core Democratic narrative of the causes of the financial crisis. Clinton laid the foundations of the subprime meltdown, and Obama himself was in on the ground floor of the fiasco. If the public is willing to cut Obama some slack for the economic problems he inherited, that is partly because we’ve allowed him to define the problem to begin with.
I don’t have access to the Romney campaign’s focus-group and survey data. Maybe they’re right to try to pry away those erstwhile Obama supporters in only the gentlest of ways. Yet I worry that the Romneyites are fooling themselves. Technocrats and fixers from a state where liberals dominate, they are neither inclined or prepared to show how the Obama Democrats are slowly redefining American exceptionalism into the European social democratic dream. Romney may squeak by on bad unemployment numbers and gentle coaxing of undecideds, but patriotic veneer the Democrats have managed to slap on their leftism is worrisome. If Obama wins, it will be because we allowed him to get away with it.
From the Drudge report:
- NOONAN: 'Stale and empty... he is out of juice'...
- OBAMA HAMMERED IN FIRST REVIEWS...
- FROM THE LEFT: TOMASKY: Pedestrian and Overconfident...
- FROM THE RIGHT: KRAUTHAMMER: 'One Of The Emptiest I Have Ever Heard'...
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research council, reports:
Yesterday, Republicans enthusiastically approved the GOP platform, which Phyllis Schlafly said might be "the best one ever adopted," and as someone who had a hand in its creation, I agree. It is, as Phyllis points out, a true reflection of American values. The final document artfully combines the social, fiscal, and defense priorities of the GOP. For me personally, platform week was a proud moment as I watched the FRC Action team work with precision behind the scenes. Thanks to their expertise, we were able to have unprecedented influence on core conservative issues. As a delegate, I had the opportunity to basically rewrite the marriage plank, which led to the committee approving a much stronger version than 2008's.
"The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children... The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity." (For the full text, click over to page 31).
The media also picked up on FRCA's tough language on adult obscenity and pornography (page 32), meant to combat the Obama's administration's indifference on the issue. Together with our allies, we also moved to protect school-based clinics from the abortion industry (page 36), enforce conscience rights and federal marriage law in the military (page 46), push for faith-based exemptions in health care (page 34), explain how abortion hurts women (page 33), and support the right to self-defense through D.C. gun laws (page 13).
And while some Republicans try to downplay the significance of the platform, a new poll suggests these leaders are underestimating its importance to the American people. More voters are interested in learning about the GOP platform (52%) than hearing its speeches (44%). But if there was one speech that I hope they did catch, it was former Senator Rick Santorum's. Despite an endless parade of presenters--representing some of the best the Republican Party has to offer--Rick's remarks were the only ones of the night to highlight moral and social issues. "I thank God," he said, "that America still has one party that reaches out their hands in love to lift up all of God's children--born and unborn--and says that each of us has dignity and all of us have the right to live the American Dream."
If people want to understand why Santorum's campaign resonated with so many Americans, it's because he shares their passion for homegrown values. On the tough issues, he doesn't run away from his convictions--he runs toward them. And in these next two critical months, the Republican Party would be wise to follow.
-- Great background article on Ryan - Stephen F. Hayes - "How Paul Ryan became the intellectual leader of the Republican party." (HT: Drudge)
-- Ryan eviscerates Obama Obama and Obamacare in six minutes:
-- Stephen Dinan - "Obama and Ryan have tangled repeatedly."
-- Ryan's speech at CPAC earlier this year:
And may I say in passing, that others also recognize the despicably sinister, untrue, totally unfair attacks being levelled at Newt by the GOP establishment who want to sew up Romney's nomination as the GOP presidential candidate. I say this as a Rick Santorum supporter. (See Jeffrey Lord, "Elliot Abrams caught misleading on Newt.")
Click "continue reading" below for Sarah Palin's comments.