Saturday, December 22, 2007
I'd have to say that this column by Peggy Noonan pretty much sums up Governor Huckabee. While Noonan points out his social conservative bonafides she also notes that the former is also an populist in the form of William Jennings Bryan, Huey P. Long and John Edwards. I for one can't fathom the notion that the conservatives who ascended under the rein of President Reagan's would be willing to toss their principles of free markets, smaller government/fiscal conservatism, national interest foreign policy, and pro-family for a former Governor of Arkansas that is a nice fellow who appeals to most but swears away from the other facets of conservatism that produces a winning coalition. While Huckabee is a nice fellow to hang out with or to offer you guidance in "life's highway," I believe that it's far better to lose an election by clutching to a candidate that hews to the conservative principles set by Goldwater and Reagan rather than someone who appeals to one aspect of the conservative coalition. If people thought George W. Bush went soft on conservatism with his excessive spending, growth in government, and his "compassionate conservatism,"(Even if the folks in the White House went well beyond the ideas of Marvin Olasky)they'd think he was William F. Buckley Jr and Barry Goldwater(the 60 and 64 version) compared to the plans under Huckabee's belt. The former Arkansas governor might have lost 100 lbs but he still hasn't shed the economic and political populism that he demonstrated so well in the home state of Bill Clinton. One governor from Arkansas is enough for one lifetime. From the looks of it, Gov Huckabee might be the choice of evangelicals in Iowa but isn't the choice that will forge a conservative coalition that wins elections.
*Here's George Will's take on the former Governor of Arkansas.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I have to say that Rich Lowry's most recent column gives a pretty good assessment out today on Governor Mitt Romney's speech on faith at the George Bush Presidential Library. Here's a look:
Romney appropriately steered his discussion away from Mormonism in particular to our civic religion, or as he called it, our "common creed of moral convictions." This is our fundamental American public faith: that we are a religious people who should acknowledge our debt to our Creator in our public ceremonies and rituals, and more importantly, in our devotion to equal rights under the law and to liberty.
Believing in this civic faith is the real "religious test" in American politics; it's impossible to imagine anyone being elected president who doesn't profess it. Romney argued that demanding anything more of a presidential candidate is basically un-American. In a passage invoking shunned religious dissenters Ann Hutchison, Roger Williams and Brigham Young, he placed Mormonism in the tradition of once-exotic faiths in America that have been absorbed into the mainstream precisely because our civic religion is so broad and open.
Romney had his slips. It's not true that it would violate the Constitution's prohibition on religious tests for office if a presidential candidate talked in detail about his faith and people voted on that basis; people can vote for or against candidates for whatever reason they like. Romney seemed to contradict himself by not wanting to get into doctrine but still going out of his way to say he believes that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
But overall Romney dealt with a complex topic admirably. At bottom, all that Romney asks is something very basic -- that he be judged on his merits as a businessman, father, governor and presidential candidate.
In the conclusion of his speech, Romney talked of the difficulty of settling on a prayer at the First Continental Congress in 1774 because of all the different faiths represented there: "Then Sam Adams rose, and said he would hear a prayer from anyone of piety and good character, as long as they were a patriot." Amen.
I for one liked the speech and believe that Romney's speech was more in tune with our Founding Fathers and embodies the spirit of this this nation which is freedom. To gather a further understanding of Governor Romney's speech then I suggest you click on the video clip below.
I know the MSM and the various observers of Presidential politics have had their fun calling Fred Thompson "lazy" or "uninterested" in the run for POTUS but he's still an impressive interview. Here's an impressive interview of Thompson from the Charlie Rose Show that might change some minds.
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Here's a good column by Col. Ralph Peters(Ret. Army) in which the former Colonel has Q&A with Lt. Col. Jim Crider of the 1st Squadron of the 4th Infantry and points out how our troops are making great strides in defeating the insurgency in Baghdad. Unlike the speculating that we find with the talking heads of the MSM, Peters provides us with a no-nonsense interview with a Colonel who is on the ground and is actually implementing General Patraeus' counterinsurgency plan in Iraq. If you want an informative pieces on how our soldiers are effectively taking down Al Qaeda and helping the people of Iraq bring their nation out of near chaos, then I suggest you read this column. Here's a look:
Q: What are the keys to working with Iraqis?
A: The key is to focus on building a relationship. Our squadron didn't hold every Iraqi responsible if a roadside bomb went off. We didn't wait for good behavior before helping with essential services - we just did it and positive behavior followed.
Second, we kept our promises. If we said it was going to happen, it did. Third, our actions were always justified and proportional. If we detained someone, he was bad - and the people knew it.
Q: You've gotten to know our enemies pretty well - what are their strengths and weaknesses?
A: Initially, the enemy's greatest strength was the ability to hide in plain sight - by co-opting or intimidating the people. We turned the tables. People in our area are now pointing out insurgents who did their deeds one or two years ago. They can hide from us, but not from their neighbors.
The enemy's greatest remaining strength is the central government's slow pace, measured against the impending US troop draw-down. If the people get discouraged, they'll turn elsewhere.
Q: This has been a learn-as-you-go fight. Can you identify three key counterinsurgency decisions you and your subordinates made this past year?
A: We've been on the ground 24/7 in the neighborhoods, not just holed up in an outpost. We also have an ongoing operation, Close Encounters, in which platoon leaders and NCOs literally go into living rooms and kitchens to sit down with people and get to know them, house by house. We learned about their concerns and broke down misconceptions about American soldiers. We not only found people who were willing to talk about the insurgents in their neighborhood, we also found doctors, businessmen and others with the skills essential to rebuild the area.
We aggressively emplaced walls to restrict the insurgents' ability to move, while providing physical protection to vulnerable people on the outskirts of dangerous areas.
If you'll allow me a fourth - we handed out small business grants. This was huge. It quickly produced tangible results. People here believe what they see. If they see businesses open, full streets and US soldiers on patrol, then it must be normal and safe.
Sorry - there's a fifth, as well: We embraced the Sunni turn against the insurgents.
Here's wishing Lt. Col. Crider and his men great success and a safe journey home. Hopefully we'll see more pieces like this in the near future.