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January 15, 2008

Comments

anduril

"McCain can beat Hillary." --T. Maguire

LOL - he lost to Romney in an open primary, with Hillary running again Uncommitted and Kucinich, and people think McCain can still bring all those independents and Dems over? Dream on.

Hey, I'll drink to confusion! Let's have a long primary season with the candidates having to fight for real GOP votes, committing to solid positions on real issues.

anduril

Thompson is obviously planning a major attack on the front runners and sees the Michigan results as a repudiation of McCain and Huckabee, more than as an endorsement of Romney. Thompson's campaign manager:

On higher taxes and looser immigration, Huckabee has been done his best these past few weeks to mimic McCain. But this is nothing new. In fact, while John McCain was leading the Senate charge to grant amnesty for illegal immigrants, Mike Huckabee was one of the loudest cheerleaders. And at the same time McCain was voting against the Bush tax cuts, Huckabee was in Arkansas increasing taxes some 21 times.

As for Mitt Romney, he has been all over the map on virtually every issue important to conservative voters.

As the contest moves to South Carolina, look for Romney, McCain and Huckabee to face serious questions about their commitment to consistent conservative principles. Their records are in stark contrast to Fred Thompson, who remains the one true steadfast conservative in this race.

hit and run

Well, it's obvious that Fred wins in SC and Rudy wins FL.

Why?

For the same reason that Huck won IA, McCain won NH and Mitt won MI.

And that reason is?

B-freakin'-cause.

Elliott

The Mighty Cause, huh? Maybe the netroots will have the last laugh after all.

Mssl

McCain wins the election and dems decide he's too old, like Bush is too much of a 'warmonger,' and terrorists kill him off because Hillary knows the Exclusionary African Church in America and the VP changes the constitution to understand God better, but I decide I'm quite busy and, besides, Satan got his orders a long time ago and there is supposed to be money, but there's nothing like old orders.

Marty

Much as I like Fred as a candidate, I just don't see him getting past also-ran status, even with a win in SC. Ditto Rudy in Florida.

I think we've seen the peak of Romney's strength, and his numbers will tank as primary season makes it's way further south.

That leaves McCain with the nomination. But on the upside, when he gets clobbered in November it'll finally put a stake through the heart of his presidential ambitions.

And good riddance. (First Amendment - what dat?)

Antimedia

Anybody who thinks they know how this turns out is blowing smoke. It's going to be a long time before we know who the nominees are, much less who might win the election. And things can turn on a dime. Just ask GHW Bush. Or JFk.

JM Hanes

anduril:

I like a man who keeps his promises! Would it jinx things if I were to say something like, "Let the McCain implosion begin"?

I did get a charge out of this bit from McCain's concession speach:

I congratulate Governor Romney on his victory tonight. He and his campaign worked hard and effectively to make sure that Mexi-, Michigan voters welcomed their native son with their support.
Too perfect.

Jeff

Tell me what happens next on the Republican side.

Republicans including Tom Maguire spend so much time demonizing their possible Democratic opponents that they outright forget that they are supposed to nominate a candidate on their side, and fail to do so.

Or alternately: Ari Fleischer proclaims the night (wherein his candidate of choice received roughly 3% of the vote, somewhere just below "Hate them all") a triumph for Rudy Giuliani, who is now sitting pretty. In other words, confusion and delusion continue to reign on the Republican side, as there is no candidate - perhaps apart from sleeper Fred Thompson (and of course that is meant literally) - who is not despised by a sizable chunk of the Republican portion of the electorate.

JM Hanes

Ari who?

Elroy Jetson

Fred wins South Carolina, parleys that into a win in Florida, then steamrolls to the nomination, and picks Romney as his running mate because he (Thompson) wants to serve one term only.
In the Thompson administration (after he beats Hillary!), Rudy becomes the AG. McCain goes back to being a pain in the a** in the Senate, and Huck tries for the Senate in Arkansas. He loses. Ron Paul serves in Congress until he is Byrd's age. Duncan Hunter becomes SecDef. Tancredo? Who knows.
Romney picks Jindal in '12 to be his running mate.

Nice dream, eh?

gis

Republicans new leader

http://www.opencongress.org/register

pete

"Tell me what happens next on the Republican side."

Why do you care? There won't be a "Republican side" by 2009. RIP

And we couldn't have done it with out you. Dig in chumps.

MayBee

In other words, confusion and delusion continue to reign on the Republican side,

Good guess! Further, the investigations for Jeff Gannon, Trent Lott, Fitzmas, Jeff Feiger, Duke Cunningham. and the GOP emails all come together and, along with the destroyed torture tapes, finally bring down Bush and the entire GOP!!!!
That isn't delusional, is it?

Rick Ballard

What's next?

Huck and McCain bleed out, probably after SC, certainly after FL. Huck only carried 9% of the Catholic vote (who accounted for 29% of the total electorate). He's toast. You can't say you're in the running with that kind of performance with a major demographic group.

McCain's strong point is Iraq? Among the 62% of Michigan Republican voters who approve of the war, he took 27% while 42% went to McCain. Among the 55% of Michigan Republican voters who rank the economy as their 'most important issue', 29% went for McCain while 42% went for Romney.

Perhaps McCain should have hidden the dagger when he patted the President and fellow party members on the back so many times?

Rick Ballard

"Republican voters who approve of the war, he (McCain) took 27% while 42% went to McCain Romney."

Night.

JM Hanes

Hey Hit, if you're around. Per yesterday's (?) thread, Good News of a sort:

"Also noteworthy: 41% of the electorate in the Republican primary identified themselves as Evangelical Christian. Romney, who is a practicing Mormon, received as many of those votes as the former Baptist minister Mike Huckabee."
Courtesy of First Read.

JM Hanes

Current Delegate Count (out of 2,380 total):

42 Romney
21 Huckabee
19 McCain
8 Thompson
2 Paul
1 Giuliani
1 Hunter

Interesting, no? McCain is technically in third place, for the moment.

bgates

Jeff - funny stuff, considering Ms "I put the 'Evita' in 'inevitable'" just won a squeaker vs "none of the above" herself.

My prediction: tired, punchy, on the 219th ballot in each convention, and after 8 months of failing to establish a governing philosophy more informative than 'change', the two parties collapse into each other and jointly nominate a Gore/Paul ticket to run under the slogan "Climate Change + Loose Change 08". Fred Thompson weighs his options until the last week of October, then announces his candidacy as head of the new Classical Liberal party. He wins all 15% of the True Conservative vote, the 3% of the electorate that think they are choosing the Golden Globes, and half of the 70% of the electorate who aren't aware of what the word 'liberal' used to mean.

The results of the election are annulled when a blog commenter points out that CNN and USAToday ran a poll in mid-January, which is held to be both predictive and binding for some reason, and John McCain is sworn in. But not as much as he's sworn at.

kim

Keep dreamin', EJ. I see the team of Thompson/Romney/Giuliani steamrolling after the convention settles the issue on Clarice's suggestions.
==========================

Vail Beach

Fred Thompson goes after Huckabee, McCain and Romney to win an upset in SC. He goes after Giuliani in Florida to win in an upset. Other votes accrue to each of the other candidates, with Romney ahead in delegates, but looking weak, with Thompson rising, but strongly only in red states and with Huckabee taking away just enough of his voters to keep him from overtaking Romney. McCain and Giuliani retain pockets of strength but mostly in blue states. However, each of them holds the potential trump card and the question is which red-stater does each one ally with, and at what price. Will Romney agree to be VP to McCain? Or will he pick Giuliani as his VP, and will Giuliani say yes?

The all but certain outcome of this race is a red-stater (Thompson, Romney or Huckabee) aligning with a blue-stater (Giuliani or McCain) from the existing ranks of candidates, running essentially as the Reagan Coalition Plus. DES: Defense, Economy, Social issues, plus something to lure a few blue states into their reach -- most likely, trying to sell a strong defense against terrorist Jihad networks.

Thompson/Giuliani? Romney/McCain? Thompson/Romney? Romney/Thompson?

Those seem like the four possibilities that will be seen as having a chance to win.

Can't be Romney/Giuliani. Social issues not a Romney strong suit and a Giuliani liability.

Can't be Thompson/Huckabee, Romney/Huckabee or the reverse of either, because that gets no blue states.

Can't be Huckabee/Giuliani or the reverse. Too far apart on social issues to be coherent.

Huckabee/McCain or the reverse also seems unlikely, although more plausible. The GOP establishment, however, would commit collective suicide at that prospect.

I've believed since the Iowa caucuses that Fred Thompson was going to wind up as the GOP nominee. I knew he couldn't really be as bad as he looked to start. Once he got off the ground, it would become apparent that here's a guy who fits the GOP agenda like a glove, who has stage presence, and most importantly had no enemies. The other four main candidates all have someone sworn to stop them. Fair or not, strong or not, having to contend with a sworn enemy wears you down. Thompson can attack all the others and not get much return fire, because he's got fewer vulnerabilities.

I'm just analyzing, not advocating. I really have no favorite among the five, and I'll probably end up voting Democratic. But that's how I see it shaking out. If Thompson draws Hillary, that's an interesting race.

kim

A female Democratic governor of a Red State will respond to Bush's SOTU address. Sebelius from Kansas out of Ohio; this is the one who tried to blame a Kansas National Guard overstretched by Bush's war for slow response to a tornado. It was a lie, and it was covered by Brownback.
=================

Tom Bowler

McCain draws big support from independent voters. He tied with Romney among Republicans in New Hampshire and lost big among Republicans in Michigan. He won't win the Republican nomination without Republican support. I'm predicting a Romney-Giuliani race after Florida.

hrtshpdbox

It's got to be a dark day in the Romney camp today, as everyone knows that "taking a gold" means that your candidacy will tank (ask Huck and McCain). Look for Thompson and Guiliani to strive for further losses, as racking up losses is the only way to stay competitive.

jimmyk

everyone knows that "taking a gold" means that your candidacy will tank

Hmm, reminiscent of this past college football season--every time a team rose to no. 1 or 2, it seemed to lose. Perhaps we can learn something. Who's the LSU candidate?

centralcal

Republicans have had a couple of little wild fires that threatened to get out of control.

Huckahooey in Iowa
McVain in New Hampshire

Luckily, these little flare ups have been doused, though some embers still send up smoke.

Republicans, conservatives, and talk radio (primarily Rush) helped douse the flames that MSM - cable, newspapers - were fanning.

Now, with them under control, maybe we can have the real race between Thompson, Romney and Giuliani.

Sue

In other words, confusion and delusion continue to reign on the Republican side,

Hmmm...so I guess this means Jeff knows the democratic nominee because confusion is and delusion isn't reigning over there. Oh yeah. Nevermind. Split wins for them too.

Rick Ballard

Sue,

It's possible that Jeff just watched the clown show in Vegas and realized that Ms Uncommitted was obviously the most qualified Democrat candidate in contention. You have to admit, if you could choose between the Red Witch, Hussein, Silky and Uncommitted, it would be a real no brainer. Right up Jeff's alley in that respect but its difficult to see how Uncommitted could extend her reach to pick up votes in a party not dominated by leftist pod people.

I suppose its best to just let him cry it out. It's not as if things will get better for him and he's going to have to learn to deal with defeat.

anduril

Closing points from Jay Cost's usual insightful analysis:

A final point on the Republican results. The exit polling data offers some counter-intuitive evidence about who is being helped by the conduct of the Iraq war. In New Hampshire, Romney won voters who approve of the Iraq war, 37% to 33%. McCain won those who disapprove, 44% to 19%. These basic results were replicated in Michigan. Romney won approvers, 42% to 27%. McCain won disapprovers, 36% to 29%.

These results are, I think, a blow to the idea that McCain did so well in New Hampshire because of the surge in force levels. They also may foretell trouble for McCain in South Carolina - even though he was an early and strong supporter of the surge, he does not seem to be getting a great deal of credit for it.

As for the Democratic side - the big story is Hillary Clinton losing the African American vote to "uncommitted." The exit poll pegged African Americans going against Clinton, 68% to 30%. It appears that opposition by African Americans induced a split in Wayne County (where Detroit is), 50% to Hillary, 45% to uncommitted. People in the media are going to connect these results to the racial kerfuffle of the last few days - and they are partially right to do so. But I think there is more to it than this. Since his Iowa victory, Obama's numbers among African American voters have been trending upward. Tonight's results are another indication that African Americans are breaking his way. The Clinton campaign should be worried about this. It appears as if Obama might be able to take an important part of the traditional Democratic coalition. He is thus moving beyond the relatively narrow appeal of previous "insurgent" Democratic candidates like Bill Bradley and Gary Hart. This is bad news for Clinton.

Part of McCain's problem is that he continually positions himself as the non-team player in a team sport who second guesses from the bench, cheers for the opposition as often as for his own team, and never fails to say "I told you so." That's not how you win the MVP and get nominated to represent your team.

Re Hillary and her team, these results have to have her in a quandary--how to beat Obama and still get the exceptional black turnout that Democrats cannot win without (or if you prefer, without which Democrats can't win). The more she goes for the nomination the more she alienates that base of support. The primaries are not turning out to be the victory/coronation tour that she needs to maintain a united party.

anduril

Mac Ranger mentions something I didn't know, under the caption: McCain's shadiness shines through:

"As I’ve said before, you can tell a lot about a Republican by the company he keeps. First McCain barters the names, addresses and other personal information of voters for a campaign loan..."

Mac then goes on to talk about the blasted Lieberman phone call that McCain sponsored, concerning which Powerline comments:

"When Markos Moulitsas urges Democrats to vote for Mitt Romney in the Republican primary, it is a story worthy of coverage by CNN and others. When the McCain campaign urges Democrats to vote for Senator McCain in the Republican primary, however, it is a story that barely registers. Will anyone who does this work for a living ask Senator McCain about the propriety of inviting Democrats to participate in the selection of the Republican nominee for president?"

These are perfect examples of why Republicans hate McCain and why no Republican state organization will get out the vote for him.

anduril

Re an earlier thread, the WSJ today has a review article of the Five Best Books on the role of commander in chief.

Sorry I screwed up the Jay Cost link, but I assume most everybody knows where to find him. Anyway:

Jay Cost's usual insightful analysis.

MayBee

When the McCain campaign urges Democrats to vote for Senator McCain in the Republican primary, however, it is a story that barely registers. Will anyone who does this work for a living ask Senator McCain about the propriety of inviting Democrats to participate in the selection of the Republican nominee for president?

That's perfectly legitimate. Michigan has an open primary for a reason-- so that people can vote for the person they most want to see be president. You are not required to be registered to a party to vote in the primary your tax dollars are paying for. As it should be.
Nobody is going to be elected President without cross-over votes from independents or the other party.

Appalled Moderate

I will admit to not havin a clue who will be the nominee. The Thompson scenarios, however, seem plausible to me. He's about the only one of the candidates who have not taken a position considered heresy by one of the groups in the party and he seems to be a pricipled conservative conversant with conservatism's underlying philosophy. Only problem is that someone needs to slip him some Red Bull in his coffee.

I thinnk Romney could become nominee without any of the groups getting too ticked off about it. I think McCain, Giuliani or Huckabee would cause at least one part of the current GOP coalition to stay home, particularly if Obama is the opponent.

That's my analysis. Take it for what it's worth -- I am 95% certain of voting for the Democrat this time around.

clarice

I think Jay Cost and Vail are both right.The loss of the Black vote to the Dems would be a disaster and it seems to be developing.

Patrick R. Sullivan

Iowa was the equivalent of, 'Pitchers and catchers report'. New Hampshire and Michigan, exhibition games.

The season opener is this Saturday in So. Carolina.

Other Tom

"these results have to have her in a quandary--how to beat Obama and still get the exceptional black turnout that Democrats cannot win without (or if you prefer, without which Democrats can't win)."

Pretty simple: she gets the nomination in the usual Clintonian way, i.e., by hook, crook, or any means necessary. Then she asks Obama to be her running mate. Will he accept?

My answer to TM's question is, I haven't a clue. The reason is, as Jeff so astutely points out, I'm too busy paying attention to the Democratic circus. If only I could focus my undivided attention on the GOP race, I'd be able to tell you right now who the winner will be. But hey, cut me some slack, Jeff--watching the Clintons battering a black guy and getting battered back is just too much fun to resist.

Pete (and Anduril) ought to explain to us why McCain polls ahead of Clinton in the general election at this point.

Finally, it's my understanding that the McCain ad said nary a word about "Democrats" voting for McCain. It was a plea for votes that came from a Democrat, but no more than that. (I could be wrong about that; someone correct me if I am.)

Rick Ballard

Clarice,

I think you can toss in a fair percentage of the Latino and non-gov union vote. The voter suppression suit will be heard tomorrow and if the Red Witch wins in her attempt to disenfranchise Latino union workers it's going to resonate with all three groups.

I don't understand why anyone would vote for a cross between Nurse Ratchet and Frau Blucher in the first place and I don't think that most Democrats would weep at her exit. Kinda like Republicans remaining dry eyed as ole Maverick gets hauled off to the glue factory.

MayBee

Did a lot of Republicans complain about Zell Miller at the 2004 Convention, where Republicans were picking a candidate?
Cause I don't remember it if they did.

bio mom

The Dems will not lose the black vote. This dilemma is just a problem for Clinton because she could lose the nomination. Once the Dems have their candidate, the black vote will belong to them as always. Sadly.

Other Tom

Looking further at the McCain/Lieberman ad, I come to the inescapable conclusion that it was a plea to Dems to vote for McCain. But that nevertheless strikes me as being a far cry from the Kos effort: Lieberman was saying vote for my guy because he'll be the best president; Kos was saying vote for Romney because, although we detest him, he'll be easy to beat in the fall (regrettably true, by the way).

Other Tom

It's certainly true that the Dems won't lose the black vote in November. The question is, what will the black turnout be if Hillary claws her way to the nomination by sliming Obama?

MayBee

Kos didn't do anything wrong, he just did something stupid. He tried to use his knowledge of the electorate to influence a vote. His problem is that he has only as much knowledge of the electorate as any other person, and he has less influence than he wants.

So Kos showed his ass.

hrtshpdbox

Huckabee regularly got exceptionally large (for a Republican) percentages of the black vote in his gubernatorial races. Which might be worth some consideration by GOPers who'd rather have Huckabee's type of Supreme court choices than Hillary's.

kim

Where is the book by the Congressional lawyer, anduril. Now I'm going to have to go look on the internet; I've loaned my own copy.
================================

centralcal

Rick: "Kinda like Republicans remaining dry eyed as ole Maverick gets hauled off to the glue factory."

Bullseye!

glasater

As a student of how campaigns have been run from local to national level for a long time a couple of things come to mind. Romney seems the best organized. McCain and Guiliani have a bunch of big names advising but that doesn't mean they or the heads of their campaigns will run a Rove-like effort. Romney comes closer there.

kim

'Presidential War Power' (1995), by Louis Fisher.
============================

Rick Ballard

"what will the black turnout be if Hillary claws her way to the nomination by sliming Obama?"

It will be pretty high in Detroit, Philadelphia and St. Louis (where it counts the most). Nobody will risk their rent subsidy by refusing to respond to the standard Democrat knock and drag tactics. The question is will they stay in line or vote for a fringe candidate? That's where the Red Witch could get clipped.

Glasater,

I agree with you regarding the professionalism of Romney's campaign. If he loosens up on a regular basis like he did after winning last night he's going to be formidable. He's just been too tight and obviously controlled so far.

GMax

I am 95% certain of voting for the Democrat this time around.

Posted by: Appalled Moderate | January 16, 2008 at 11:06 AM

Thanks for the honesty. Most of us knew you were a liberal but you always acted like that was so wrong as to be offensive. You must have been in a weak moment.

kim

By the wayside, speaking of Flexners, I once knew a woman whose mother had been treated by Dr. Flexner. He enjoyed Sunday juleps on house calls.
=======================

sbw

TM: Tell me what happens next on the Republican side.

Fred puts on his blue pinstripe suit and his honest, folksy look and [dolly the TV camera in for the close-up] speaks truth to blather. [Cue Fred]:

Politics gives us more than our own share of snake oil salesmen, promising something for nothing, and delivering more bureaucracy, bad laws, and empty promises to do better if we'll just give them another chance.

I'm running for President because I've had enough. Vote for me. You'll know where I stand, and why. ... And together we'll clean this mess up.

kim

Bien so, Monsieur Eaux.
==============

anduril

Did a lot of Republicans complain about Zell Miller at the 2004 Convention, where Republicans were picking a candidate?
Cause I don't remember it if they did.

Posted by: MayBee | January 16, 2008 at 11:24 AM

That's the wrong question. The question you need to ask is: did Democrats complain about Zell Miller, and the answer is--you betcha! Now, the current situation is slightly different, in that Lieberman was dumped by his own party, so Dems have little right to complain. However, the Republican complaint against McCain in all this remains: McCain is using a very, very liberal Dem/Indy Senator to get liberal votes to gain the GOP nomination. Neither Lieberman nor the Dem primary voters will support the GOP platform, and especially not on crucial matters such as judicial nominations. So a president McCain would be beholden to a segment of the electorate that can be counted on to oppose the GOP's platform and philosophy as a party. Would McCain sell out the voters and go with the GOP as president? Not likely, since he has a track record of making things unnecessarily difficult--or even impossible--for the GOP to advance its platform.

I don't see how any reasonable person can blame the GOP for being ticked off at McCain in this situation. The GOP is a political party, not just a mechanism for conferring a nomination as a meaningless label--within certain limits the GOP label means something and party activists devote time, money, and the sweat of their brow to making sure that that label retains its meaning and value. It's not just for rent to whoever can capture the flag. It doesn't matter that state law allows for an open primary--if you expect the party's support you need to please the party, and that's where McCain loses out.

kim

Bet there's a lot of Swifties in Caroline.
====================

MayBee

That's the wrong question. The question you need to ask is: did Democrats complain about Zell Miller,

Maybe I misunderstood you, but I thought you were complaining about Leiberman working for McCain, and McCain asking for the Dem vote.
Are you saying the big problem with that is that Democrats are unhappy with it? Or are you unhappy with it?

anduril

As I keep insisting, McCain's strategy now as in the past is essentially a third party strategy--he is attempting to appeal to minority factions from both parties and the actually relatively small portion of truly undecided voters. The difference is, instead of starting up his own party (because he knows that 3rd parties are losers) he is trying to hijack one of the major parties as his personal but temporary platform for a run at the presidency. If elected he will do little to nothing for the party that he hijacked and everything for himself.

Maybee:

1. I'm not complaining about Lieberman--he's free to endorse anyone he wants.

2. I am complaining about McCain trying to gain the GOP nomination by renting Dem votes--those votes will largely go back to the Dems in the fall, even if McCain gets the nomination (which he won't, anyway).

3. I could care less whether Dems are unhappy with either McCain or Lieberman--that's their problem and I have my own problems. What I'm saying is that any party that isn't institutionally insane will be totally p.o.ed at a maverick in its ranks trying to conduct an essentially hostile takeover using outsiders with no commitment to the party's philosophy.

RichatUF

Maybee-

Did a lot of Republicans complain about Zell Miller at the 2004 Convention, where Republicans were picking a candidate?

He gave a speech and was drummed out of any position of influence in his party. IIRC, one of his complaints was the Plame op [he wrote a WSJ editorial about it that got wide circulation]. The problem with McCain courting the cross-over Dem vote in the primaries is that those Dem voters are the most hyper-partisan [yes, even in SC] and they will go and vote for whomever the eventual D nominee is anyway. His "maverick" appeal to "independent" voters didn't carry him to victory in the 2000 primary, and now his act is well worn and tired. McCain isn't going to get the nomination and I'd be surprised if he won any other state other than AZ going forward.


Appalled Moderate

Gmax:

I am more Republican than Democrat on economic issues this season, but Iraq is a deal breaker for me. As all the GOP candidates will continue on in Iraq besides Ron Paul, I can't vote for them. And, under no circumstance would I EVER vote for Ron Paul. He's crazy.)

I do not think of myself as a liberal or progressive. I'm too skeptical of government power to embrace the uses of it the way the Dems like to do.

MayBee

Bush/Republicans invited Zell to speak, hoping Zell could convince Democrats to cross over support George Bush.
It is the same thing you are complaining about McCain doing.

JM Hanes

OT:

"Pete (and Anduril) ought to explain to us why McCain polls ahead of Clinton in the general election at this point."

At this early stage, I suspect simple name recognition has a lot to do with it. Giuliani got the benefit of that initially, but he just hasn't been in the news that much of late.

Appalled:

"I'm too skeptical of government power to embrace the uses of it the way the Dems like to do."

You won't have much choice if the Democrats have their way; big government will be embracing you. Are you actually saying that Iraq would be a deal breaker even if we've managed to turn things around? That does seem to be the Democrats' position: events on the ground are irrelevant.

MayBee

cross over and support

vnjagvet

I think the thing about McCain that troubles many conservative republicans is the same thing that led the Old Guard GOP to back Bob Taft over Ike during primary season and in convention in 1952. That thing is the tendency of certain (not all) career military officers to be, in many respects, ideologically apolitical. McCain exhibits some of those tendencies. The problem for him is that his temperament is somewhat prickly, i.e. more like Bob Taft than it is like Ike.

The "gut feel" side of me says Fred/Rudy in either combination would be the best ticket to win in 2008.

Intellectually, though, I can't get there given the results so far. I think it is more likely going to be a Romney McCain ticket based on organization and financing prowess exhibited thus far.

JM Hanes

I don't really see any of the nominees picking one of the other candidates as a running mate with the possible exception of Fred Thompson as a VP. I don't know if Thompson would agree though; Huckabee would probably jump at the chance, but I don't see anybody giving it to him.

kim

Romney would be Veep to Thompson in a heartbeat. Uh, well, you know what I mean. Besides, the CEO/COO model of Bush/Cheney fits Thompson/Romney like a glove, and face it, it's been successful. It's a business model. Pardon me, I meant to say a 'corporate' model.
=========================

Other Tom

"I don't see how any reasonable person can blame the GOP for being ticked off at McCain in this situation."

For the record, I've been in the GOP since 1962 and I'm not ticked off at McCain.

Romney oozes phoniness from every pore; people who are largely apolitical (and who comprise a substantial minority, if not a majority, of general-election voters) sense this intuitively and will reject him.

In 1964 we nominated a man who was bound to lose, but who we understood was ultimately going to transform the nation's politics, as indeed he did through Ronald Reagan. Romney will lose and transform nothing except the US Supreme Court, marginal tax rates, and our position of relative strength in the Middle East, all of which will be subject to the wishes of a Democratic president and congress.

From the Goldwater defeat came his natural heir, Reagan. What will come from the Romney defeat?

Appalled Moderate

JMH:

I am well aware of what the Dems want, though I never underestimate our system's ability to slow the inevitable passge of legislation to a crawl.

AS for Iraq -- now would be a good time for that political system to get its self together. They have about a year. If they can't get it done in that time, why should we spend another half trillion dollars there trying to force them to get things straight?

kim

In Sistani We Trust.
============

anduril

Bush/Republicans invited Zell to speak, hoping Zell could convince Democrats to cross over support George Bush.
It is the same thing you are complaining about McCain doing.

Posted by: MayBee | January 16, 2008 at 12:54 PM

No, Maybee. Miller essentially endorsed the entire GOP platform, no strings attached. Of course Bush appealed to all Americans, Dems and GOP, to vote for him and his platform. Bush gave up nothing--zero, zilch, nada--for Miller's support and Bush got his nomination by gaining the support of the party.

Other Tom: I'm not trying to convince you that the GOP is in great shape right now, but you won't convince me that McCain will fix its problems--or even try to, for that matter. He'd be a one term president who could care less about the party's future.

RichatUF

AM-

...why should we spend another half trillion dollars there trying to force them to get things straight...

We haven't even spent that much in the some 4 odd years we have been there to date. I wish they would get some new talking points for the reality based community.

1. It took us about 6 months to get out of Somalia-a much smaller deployment and logistically much easier to get in and out of.

2. The recent costs also include new equipment-the cost in the out years will decrease dramatically, especially with fixed bases.

3. The Dem's are lieing to you. If the Dem's were to rush for a headlong defeat it would take them about 2 to 3 years to evacuate the US forces in Iraq and probably increase the dollar costs dramatically. Moreover, what would a Dem response be to shelling or rocket attacks into Kuwait on US forces there or to attacks on the navy in the gulf orginating from Iraq. Why yes, they would send in the army and marines.

Rick Ballard

Rich,

There's a chance that the Korean War will come to an end soon. Do you think we'll be able to withdraw from South Korea after the peace treaty is signed?

I wonder what that war has cost over its 57 year duration?

MayBee

Miller essentially endorsed the entire GOP platform, no strings attached.

Miller did no such thing.

You are upset that *McCain* asked for Democrat votes because it's McCain and you don't like what he stands for.

Here is the text of the call you are getting all worked up about:

Hi. This Senator Joe Lieberman. I’m calling for John McCain.

As you may remember I was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2000. But this year I’m supporting Republican John McCain for President because he is the person best qualified to lead our country forward. He’s a straight talker who will always do what’s right for our country regardless of partisan politics and he’s the only candidate prepared to be commander-in-chief from day one.

There isn’t a competitive Democratic primary in Michigan this year and all registered voters are able to participate in a Republican primary. So I’m calling today to urge you to vote in the Republican primary on January 15 for Senator John McCain. He’ll break through the partisanship and make our government in Washington work for all the people again.


McCain asking for Dem votes, via Lieberman (who has been roundly criticized by Dems) is perfectly legitimate. There is no way to win this election without cross over.
I ask you, if that was Romney using Zell Miller, would you have a problem with it?

You seem to be conflating your feelings and some Republican's feelings toward McCain with the Republican's feelings toward McCain.

Appalled Moderate

Rick:

At this point, our troops being there does seem a significant subsidy for South Korean exports. (I agree with Rumsfeld on this one...It's time to declare victory and go home.)

Rich:

I'm aware of your point -- I don't expect the troops to come home on January 21. But I think the process should be started. Alternative is spending the next 20 years with sustantial troops in Iraq fighting a continuous war.

cathyf
I am more Republican than Democrat on economic issues this season, but Iraq is a deal breaker for me.
Whereas I see that resistance to sharia is, among other (more important) things, also an economic issue. Look at every Islamic country. Except for those which possess some unearned resource (gulf states -- oil; Indonesia -- a prosperous and productive Chinese merchant class) life under sharia is the canonical example of nasty, brutish and short.
GMax

Anyone betting on us pulling our troops out of S Korea? I know Maddy took IlJung at his word, but funny how that turned out. Think the S. Koreans are going to be excited about the prospect without the US military to act as a buffer?

What about Kosovo? How come there is no cry to get our troops out of there? Its not like its a part of the world that very strategic now is it? HMMM whats different?

If cost is the issue, how about those bases in Europe. Now you are talking some real money. Why don't we Ron Paul it, and just let the Europeans provide their own security. It makes a hell of a lot more sense that pulling out of a situation that is daily and steadily improving, we provide a hedge against the Persian aspersions and we hekp make sure no one gets any ideas about seizing either the Shaat al Arab or the Iraqi oil fields, easily the second largest reserves in the world.

MayBee

The Japanese would go bonkers if we pulled out of S Korea.

Syl

Alternative is spending the next 20 years with sustantial troops in Iraq fighting a continuous war.

with whom?

Jane

OT: 2 things:

1. From Fox News -WASHINGTON — A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday as part of a terrorist fundraising ring that allegedly sent more than $130,000 to an Al Qaeda and Taliban supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

The former Republican congressman from Michigan, Mark Deli Siljander, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about lobbying senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

A 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying — money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

2. From Roger Simon: Who would you like to be in the White House if Pakistan fell to al Qaeda and the Islamists gained control of its nuclear arsenal?

Answer that question and you will know your candidate. All the rest, as they say, is commentary.

The link to Roger is under my name.

Appalled Moderate

cathyf:

I don't see us waging war with states that practice sharia. We are just as likely to be allied with them. (See, Saudi Arabia)

GMax:

I don't see us pulling out of SK. Though, frankly, I would not mind those who benefit from our presence paying for it. (That's true of Kosovo and the rest of Europe, too.)

JM Hanes

Appalled:

" If they can't get it done in that time, why should we spend another half trillion dollars there trying to force them to get things straight?"

Because the alternative is violent chaos in the Middle East that will truly make Iraq look like a cake walk in comparison. If you were citing any specific reasons for the deadline you're setting, other than it seems like it ought to be enough time, I might take it seriously. It looks a lot more like wishful thinking to me. Per the debates, Democrats apparently believe the Iraqis are just lazy. So much for the new realism.

RichatUF

Rick-

I wonder what that war has cost over its 57 year duration?

Imagine how many welfare subsidies could have been funded with the billions and billions-enough to make the Red Witch weep. I was reading the other day, though I am unable to re-locate it, a bit about the US and China "talking" about what to do in the event of North Korea collapsing along the lines of Albania in 1997. Also, the Sunshine Policy is going under a trust-but-verify rewriting, because of the new president.

AM-

...Alternative is spending the next 20 years with sustantial troops in Iraq fighting a continuous war...

I am unconvienced that 20 years hence, even with a substantial committment, US forces would be in a "continuous war". War costs money and for all the economic gloom and doom, we can outspend and outlast the Iranians, partisian Iraqis, and al-Sadr-even today, even with all their oil.

We can't take Iraq in isolation to the rest of the gulf, or OPEC, or energy policy, or the war on terror. Iraq does have a set of decrete problems, however, us "leaving" [or whatever beyond the horizion scheme the democrats would like to float] isn't going to solve them anymore than us staying has made the situation worse in Korea. North Korea has a long history of incidents regarding the DMZ [among other places they engage in mischief around the world] and South Korea today is the world's 12 largest economy and an export power.

The situation in the Middle East is always going to drag in the US, regardless of how much we don't want to get involved. It would help the democrats a great deal if they could just be honest about it.

RichatUF

AM-

...Though, frankly, I would not mind those who benefit from our presence paying for it....

For a democrat you have an imperialistic streak. The dark side is strong in you.

qrstuv

What exactly is "moderate" about abandoning an ally, especially one who has the same enemy we do?

Why is it "moderate" to insist that the only good course of action is to retreat ASAP and leave such an ally on his own?

Why is it "moderate" to pretend that refusing to fight a vicious, immoral enemy will somehow improve our safety?

JM Hanes

When it comes to exiting Iraq, all the folks who have spent years insisting we should have contemplated worst case scenarios before going into Iraq, suddenly lose their imaginations completely.

Appalled Moderate

JMH:

The quick serious answer is that the Surge was supposed to provide the space for the Iraqi government to staraighten itself out and stop being a radical Shia only club. That's not happened yet (though the surge had been going on since the summer). There's plenty of evidence it is not going to. Hence -- a deadline.

Rich: What other middle east problems are we solving from Iraq? Iran remains obnoxious; Lebanon remains wht it is, as does Syria. Pakistan is scary and Afghanistan is still unsecured.

Appalled Moderate

JMH:

The failure of imagination may belong to the Iraqis, who want us out and like us as a whipping boy.

qrstuv:

You think you are conservative, but you use the rhetoric of Robspierre.

Rich:

The policeman on the beat gets paid. Why not the world policeman?

qrstuv

AM: That's no answer.

I infer that you do indeed think that it is a moderate and reasonable position to announce to an ally that you plan to abandon him at a certain date.

Moreover, you apparently think it is moderate and reasonable to make this announcement on the world stage so that all our enemies can hear it.

You apparently think that it is moderate and reasonable that an alliance with the US can be summarily revoked, and that it would be immoderate and unreasonable for anyone who wanted an alliance with us to hope for any better.

I just fail to see how you come to such a point of view.

Ann

grstuv,

I like the way you think, please visit JOM more often.

Appalled Moderate

qrstuv:

The reality of the current situation is that we are in Iraq to 1-20-09, and that some sort of pullback will be commenced under any Democrat. That's just life. W is not going to stand up and say: "We're leaving now."

I support the pullbck because our "ally", the government of Iraq, has been less than helpful in producing the condition for peace, and has been so unhelpful as to make peace unlikely on a long-term basis. Under current circumstances, I might rethink if there were a change in policy at the Iraqi governmental level, goven the recent success at the local level. I also think the Dem candidates might rethink, though it might be painful for them.

Of course, I'm sure your thought it was conservative to go to war with insifficient troop stength, with inadequate intelligence, and with borrowed funds, Kinda demonstrates how inadequate labels are in describing a person's positions, doesn't it?

qrstuv

Hey, you're the one who self-labels. I'm just calling you on it.

I would agree that it is *realistic* that if a democrat is elected as the US president, that some sort of pullout will occur.

I ask yet again why this is a "moderate" or reasonable position, rather than a backstabbing, cowardly one.

Kay in TN

Maybee:

Zell Miller came to the *convention* after Bush was *already* the unoffical nominee for weeks, as chosen by Republican primary voters. McCain is trying to persuade Democrats to vote for him in the primaries, because so many Repubicans do not want him as the nominee. Big difference.

Jane

Geez Appalled, what would you have done in WW2? I shudder to think.

MayBee

Kay in TN-
sadly for me, it is Rudy Guiliani that so many Republicans seem not to want as the nominee.

boris

our "ally", the government of Iraq

Screw that! Our ally is the Iraqi people and if they need more time to figure this sh!t out that's okay by me. The main thing the Iraqi people can do is build the economy and that requires stability that we can provide. Once there is a pole of chips in the kitty there is incentive for all parties to make a government that works. The problem with wearing politics blinders is missing the real picture.

boris

*** pile of chips in the kitty ***

Appalled Moderate

grstuv:

Prudence often entails getting out of a bad investment with a loss before it becomes even a larger loss. It's very moderate.

qrstuv

I notice that you regard as uncontroversial fact your *opinion* that all is lost, when in fact, your opinion is not shared by the people actually fighting this war.

It would seem moderate to establish the facts before making such a decision.

This is especially true after the bloodbath of SE Asia in the 1970s, after your comrades-in-ideology decided not to support our allies there.

It would also seem moderate to consider the cost of abandoning an ally. How many deaths are acceptable to you? Do enlighten us all as to your thinking.

Rick Ballard

"sadly for me, it is Rudy Guiliani that so many Republicans seem not to want as the nominee."

Who says? I want to see what happens in FL before I think about scratching Rudy. If the Red Witch keeps up her 'Alienate the Base' campaign then he's very viable. Especially if he does well in CA the week after FL. If it looks like he could put CA in play (and given the parlous state government situation there, it's possible) then the entire dynamic changes.

centralcal

Rick, I concur with your thoughts on Rudy. He has always been among my top 3 candidates.

vnjagvet

Based on our performance after Kuwait in 1991, it took a while for the idea that the US was a constant ally to sink in to the minds of the Iraqis.

We will never know whether a true occupation force of 300k troops might have made the situation better after the smashing military victory in 2003.

But we now know what sized force is working, and have a CIC in place that knows what he is doing.

Why not finish the mission?

My opinion is colored by my military service in RVN. The fact that we have an all volunteer force that overwhelmingly wants to complete the mission persuades me that the mission is worth it.

Soylent Red

We will never know whether a true occupation force of 300k troops might have made the situation better after the smashing military victory in 2003.

Oh yes we will. Because big footprint foreign armies don't effectively wage counterinsurgency. The McCains, and Hagels and Gen. Powells should know that based on fighting against a very successful insurgency in Vietnam and being eyewitness to how we botched the job.

They are still re-fighting the successful, but unique, Desert Storm campaign, which was all about mass and maneuver. Unfortunately our enemies are more interested in using methods that have worked against us in the past as opposed to playing into our hands.

The problems in Iraq do not stem from numbers. The problems stem from two separate factors:

a. MOS mixture is all wrong

b. training for most of the OIF 1-2 forces was not focused on counterinsurgency

We "lost" the peace in 2003-2004 because we had the wrong skill sets in place, and because most of the Soldiers at that point had about as much understanding of preventing insurgencies as Bill Clinton does about virtue.

For me the jury is still out on the surge. I think it fundamentally buys us time to let the MITT teams do their magic with the Iraqis, and lets the government work to legitimize itself further. But the effects, I predict, won't last forever.

This is a whole different kettle of fish.

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