Will Paul Ryan Be A Conservative GPS For Romney?

We can only hope so and pray that Romney will not hit the mute button.

Ryan gps

And it makes me wonder

English: Newt Gingrich at a political conferen...

Gingrich

“Hey, can you play, Stairway to Heaven?”

And, for the first time in a long while, I didn’t automatically change the channel.

It wasn’t like I had to break out the air guitar or anything.  Besides, it was only a short drive to the polls, and as an official “undecided” voter, I needed some background music to listen to while I was making up my mind.   Santorum or Gingrich, 6 of one … half dozen of the other.  Only thing is, I’ve wanted to vote for Gingrich for President for a long time, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had.  I’ll vote for Santorum if he gets the nomination, and I don’t feel the same way about Romney.

Over the past week, I’ve received a couple of phone calls each from Santorum and Gingrich supporters, but  easily 2 dozen Romney robo-calls.  Each call was a negative info hit about Santorum or Gingrich.  I kept remembering Barbara  Bush last week whining about all of the negative campaigning, and how it is hurting her guy Mitt — but it’s always Romney doing the negative campaigning.

There’s a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure, cause you know sometimes words have two meanings ..

I am tired of it, too.  It got to where would just hang up on the Romney calls.  The talking heads are saying he has outspent  his competition 5 to 1, but it seems a lot more than that. Romney has been all over TV.  Gingrich has been on radio.  Santorum has been on TV, but not that often.

The big question might just be turnout.  I voted around 11 AM and was #28 on the roll.  There was no crowd at all.  Only one other voter at the poll.  If the turnout is as light as my experience indicates, the best organization will be favored, and that means Romney. .

And it makes me wonder …

My prediction for Mississippi:  Romney 39, Gingrich 30, Santorum 21, Paul 9.

Update:  Just got another robo-call from the romney campaign.  If he loses, it won’t be because he didn’t leave it on the court.

More from:  Y’all Politics;      Jxn Jambalaya

.

Florida GOP Debate

Don’t look now, but Newt Gingrich just won another Republican debate. Tonight in Orlando, Florida, he was the clear winner. Newt came across as the smartest and most complete candidate in the room. He even had the best “moment” of all of the candidates.

When asked what he would do to help the country regain its confidence, Newt’s answer was a homerun. He recalled the Ronald Reagan bromide: “When your brother-in-law is out of work, you’re in a recession. When you are out of work, you’re in a depression. When Jimmy Carter’s out of work, the country will be in recovery.” Newt said the defeat of Barack Obama would be the single most important economic stimulus that the country needs.

Rick Perry lost ground tonight. So did the Massachusetts governor, who reminded me again of why I would like to punch him in the mouth. Michelle Bachman’s biggest problem is that she isn’t Sarah Palin. Ron Paul, John Huntsman, and that Johnson fellow somehow think they are running for the libertarian nomination. Sorry, but they were just on the wrong stage. Herman Cain and Rick Santorum had their opportunities, but didn’t change their also-ran status.

Unless Sarah Palin gets in the race, I’m going to have to seriously consider Newt Gingrich for the top spot.

Anyway, that’s the way I saw it. What about you?

Cringe-worthy moments … Malkin

Tax cuts for the rich, part 2

Decision Week for the Republican Primary has brought some interesting, although not completely unexpected developments with the withdrawal of Romney, the rise of McCain, and the near unanimous chorus in the punditeria that “it’s over.”

Also heard from the the pundit class is that Huckabee has had his 15 minutes, but he must not be the VP choice.

It may come as a surprise to many, but Huck is not running to be McCain’s VP. He hasn’t been running to spoil it for Romney. Or Thompson. Or anyone else.

He’s been running to win. Period.

And, with the time and money short, the delegate math becoming nearly impossible, and the odds growing longer than ever, Huck is facing the hard decision of either withdrawing from the race, or performing a near miracle at C-PAC on Saturday morning.

If there is one candidate in the race, on either side, who has the rhetorical flair to pull it off, it is Mike Huckabee. But what can he say, what words can he employ, what theme can he strike, to win the hearts and minds of the conservative base to become the viable alternative to John McCain?

I can think of only one.

Huckabee can answer, once and for all, the thorn in the side of fiscal conservatism: “Tax Cuts For The Rich.”

If there were any doubt that TCFTR would be a dominant theme in the general election, just listen to Obama’s Super Tuesday Speech. As I listened to the Senator’s list of grievances against the Right, the overblown hysteria about “100 years of war” just made me chuckle. Any Right-brain worth his salt can chew that up for breakfast. In fact, anyone who believes that either of the Donk Senators can compete on the National security field with the Republicans just hasn’t been paying attention. But, the TCFTR language was front and center, brought forth as the proximate cause of every fiscal problem facing the nation. The one thing, that if removed, would allow for the full implementation of every liberal pipe dream ever imagined.

John McCain will not answer it. He believes it. He used the rhetoric of Left to oppose the Tax Reform Act of 2001.

Mitt Romney can’t, nor can Stephen Moore, Arthur Laffer, The CfG, Cato, or anyone else who would attempt a scholarly rebuttal. They’ve all tried and failed. Their words have fallen on deaf ears.

Mike Huckabee can.

The way to respond to a gutteral, populist charge is with a response that is equal parts of emotion and populism, and delivered with conviction. Huckabee can do it with the credibility that will be necessary to make it stick. He is, in fact, the only one who can. And, once successfully countered, it is put to bed, once and for all.

If he does it Saturday morning at C-PAC, then this really can become a two man race.

UPDATE: James Dobson endorses Huckabee

Continue reading

Romney to drop out

per Time’s Mark Halperin

Update: It’s official. “It’s time for me to stand aside.”

FoxNews’ Britt Hume says the GOP race is over.

hucks-army.pdf

Tax cuts for the rich

You’ve heard it for years. Depending upon your point of view, it’s either one of the more disingenuous claims of the populist Left, or it explains the unholy alliance of power and money of corporate America with the wealthy oligarchy.

You’ve examined the veracity of the claim, and answered it to your own satisfaction.

There is only one reason the Left continues to trot out the “tax cuts for the rich” theme: it works.

The reason it works is equally simple.

It is true.

It’s also false.

There are infinite possibilities to spin “the truth” from both sides of the political spectrum, with each side scoring points, discrediting the position of their opponent, and making convincing arguments of the “rightness” of their position.

TCFTR is an emotional, almost gutteral indictment that will never be successfully countered by a scholarly rebuttal, even with a little snark mixed in. That hasn’t stopped the Right from trying. Stephen Moore has tried, and tried, and tried. His case is persuasive – if you want it to be persuasive, and shameless propoaganda – if you are so inclined to believe. Largely ignored during the primary season, it will again become the Left’s weapon of choice in the general election season.

John McCain will not counter it. He believes it. He used the rhetoric of Left to oppose the Tax Reform Act of 2001.

Mitt Romney cannot counter it. A Harvard Business School response will fall upon deaf ears. Romney knows this, and he won’t even try.

Mike Huckabee can. He is, in fact, the only one who can. The way to respond to an emotional, populist charge is with a response that is equal parts of emotion and populism, and delivered with conviction. Huckabee can do it with the credibility that will be necessary to make it stick. And, once successfully countered, it is put to bed, once and for all.

The question is, “Will he?” It is a general election theme. The rewards for rolling out a tactic before time might decrease it’s effectiveness, but as time grows short, it may be the last card that Huckabee has left to play.

Interesting tidbit: “Who pays income taxes?”

+++++

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Would Ronald Reagan endorse your candidacy?

Absolutely the best response of the evening, and Mike Huckabee knocked it out of the park:

HUCKABEE:

huck2.jpgI think it would be incredibly presumptuous and even arrogant for me to try to suggest what Ronald Reagan would do, that he would endorse any of us against the others.

Let me just say this, I’m not going to pretend he would endorse me. I wish he would. I would love that, but I endorse him, and I’m going to tell you why.

It wasn’t just his specific policies, but Ronald Reagan was something more than just a policy wonk. He was a man who loved this country, and he inspired this country to believe in itself again.

What made Ronald Reagan a great president was not just the intricacies of his policies, though they were good policies. It was that he loved America and saw it as a good nation and a great nation because of the greatness of its people.

And if we can recapture that, that’s when we recapture the Reagan spirit. It’s that spirit that has a can-do attitude about America’s futures and that makes us love our country whether we’re Democrats or Republicans. And that’s what I believe Ronald Reagan did — he brought this country back together and made us believe in ourselves.

And whether he believes in us, I hope we still believe in those things which made him a great leader and a great American.

Huckabee could go a long way towards rebuilding the Reagan coalition by offering the VP slot to Mitt Romney. It could work.

Reagan Library GOP Debate

Not a bad showing for the four candidates. Well, three. I like Ron Paul, he seems like a nice old man, and pretty smart. But his foreign policy creds are scary, and he is not a serious candidate.

The questions were weighted heavily toward Romney and McCain. At least 4 to 1, I haven’t counted, but it sure seemed that way. Plus, there was someone who would interrupt Huckabee on his few responses. I don’t know if it was Anderson Cooper, or someone else close to a microphone, but it was clearly an attempt to cut him off, when CNN had begun the night saying they would allow each candidate to give full answers without a clock.

The final question of the night, “Would Ronald Reagan endorse your candidacy?”

Huck hit it out of the park. Hopefully it will be up on youtube soon. I’ll post it when available.

Update:  CNN has posted the transcript
AP has more

Huckabee–the big winner

All in all: Huckabee gained ground, McCain probably lost ground, and Romney didn’t help or hurt himself – although he did effectively defend himself. McCain sounded petty – and that’s not the McCain voters know and like.

But to the extent that Huckabee may have made any gains from his performance, Romney’s got bigger worries out of tonight than the Arizona senator. – CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Fiscon Identity Politics

images3.jpg“I would also suggest that one needs to look very carefully at exactly what the business record is,” Huckabee said.”If it’s taking companies that are in serious trouble, buying them when they are in pain, selling off their assets, then making huge profit off of it then that’s not something a lot of Americans can relate to, except those that have lost their jobs because of those kind of transactions.If that’s the turnaround then there are a lot of Americans who do not want to see their lives turned around like that.” source

Before taking a morning jog in Ft. Lauderdale, Mike Huckabee’s remarks regarding Mitt Romney’s business record drew a very sharp distinction between the vision of conservatism espoused by Wall Street Republicans and Main Street Republicans. It is a distinction drawn previously by both Huckabee and Duncan Hunter, and one that has come into increasing focus as the economy emerges as the top issue in the campaign.

Ironically, it is the success of the Bush national security policy, and the counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq that has diminished the war and national security as the primary focus of the campaign. But, if the economy is Romney’s supposed strong suit, a closer look at his record in the private equity business is warranted.

romney3.jpg …as the leader of private equity firm Bain Capital from 1984 to 1999, Romney’s record shows that while some of the firm’s investments helped companies grow, others ended in thousands of layoffs, and in some cases, bankruptcy.

Layoffs are a common result of private equity takeovers, with Bain Capital no exception….

Companies such as office supplier Staples Inc. and pizza company Domino’s were successful Bain investments under Romney.

But medical test maker Dade Behring, circuit board maker DDi, American Pad & Paper and auto parts company Cambridge Industries are among the companies that went bankrupt after Bain invested in them with Romney at the helm….

The private equity model is built on loading companies up with debt — which can ultimately prove too heavy a load for the business, as was the case with DDi.

Bain invested $46 million in DDi in October 1997 and later sold shares worth at least $93 million, according to a report by the Orange County Register newspaper. The Anaheim, California, company ultimately went bankrupt, laying off 2,100 employees. source

“It always makes sense to fight for every single good job.”

This was Mitt’s campaign rhetoric in Michigan and SC. It makes perfect sense for a candidate for President to say this.

But, if this had been his attitude as a businessman, this is certain: He would not have amassed the personal fortune that is financing his run for the Presidency, and thousands of “good jobs” at DDI, American Pad and Paper, Cambridge Industries, and others might still be around.

It does help to explain, however the club for growth’s enthusiastic support for Romney, despite his less than sterling fiscal record as governor of Massachusetts — he’s one of their own.

“his support for broad-based tax cuts in liberal Massachusetts together with his enthusiastic embrace of the Bush tax cuts on the campaign trail offers hope that Governor Romney’s previous ambivalence on tax policy is more a function of Massachusetts politics than his core beliefs.”

Ah yes. hope!

The fiscal record of Romney is somewhat similar to Huckabee. They both governed Democrat majority states as pragmatic conservatives. But Romney comports himself as a fiscon, so establishment Republicans give him a pass, and praise his record as offering hope.

He’s one of their own. More “identity politics?”

==========

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Identity Politics in Nevada

From the Associated Press:

On the Republican side, Mormons comprised a quarter of those attending Nevada’s GOP caucuses, and more than nine in 10 were voting for Romney. Romney is a Mormon, and his religion has been cited as a problem by some Republican voters.

About half of Romney’s overall vote in Nevada came from Mormons.

This would seem to be a clear-cut case of “identity politics.” Fine with me. I don’t give a hoot why a voter chooses to vote for a particular candidate. It isn’t any of my business. It isn’t anybody else’s business either.

Mike Huckabee has been criticized and reviled by a large number of conservative pundits and molders of conservative opinion for “identity politics.”

NRO’s Kathryn Lopez’s , in a post-Iowa Caucus piece captures the truly dramatic rhetoric from Michigan congressman Pete Hoekstra, who says he is “scared.” According to the Congressman, the identity politics of the Huckabee campaign, and the implied bigotry of Christians who will not support a Mormon candidate causes divisiveness, is a threat to world peace, apple pie, and the Rule of Law.

Republicans “need to stick up for our principles,” Hoekstra told National Review Online on Monday afternoon. We’re about “freedom and opportunity” — we don’t exclude people based on such things as race or gender, class or religion. But Hoekstra sees the Huckabee campaign as a divisive vessel of religious and class warfare.

No doubt Hoekstra, Lopez, Lowry, et al, have a perfectly reasonable explanation for the fact that 9 out of 10 Mormon voters in Nevada supported the Mormon candidate. And, we can be absolutely sure that it has “nothing at all to do with religion.”

After hearing CAIR deliver that same line for the last 6+ years, hearing NRO use jihadist rhetoric will be strange, to say the least.

But with NRO’s implicit support of Congressman Hoekstra for using Al Sharpton’s rhetoric, then I guess we really shouldn’t be too surprised.

Update: (1/21)
Chas Johnson calls Huck a Leftist.

This time last year, there was a lot of buzz over at his blog as to whether or not the social conservatives would support Rudy if he won the nomination. I thought so, at that time. Seeing this come from the self-proclaimed leader of the counter-jihad, I am now not so sure.

You don’t win support by trying to marginalize potential allies. But, since Rudy has been invisible in the Republican race up to this point, I suppose Johnson is just releasing some pent-up energy, and the same can probably be said of Tammy Bruce’s statement that she would vote for the donk candidate rather than vote for Huck.

So, Johnson and Bruce join the NRO-WSJ chorus, accusing Huck of being unable to expand his base. The unspoken irony is that none of the leading candidates have been able to do so.

Hawkeye Cauci GOP Presidential Poll

Welcome to The Hawkey Cauci Presidential Preference Poll. Posted over at the CB site Please vote for your favorite!

fredhead.jpghunter.jpghuckabee.jpgmccain2.jpgromneyannmitt.jpgronpaul.jpgrudy.jpg
Comments are open. Track-backs welcome.

Polygamy and sharia

Mitt Romney made news recently for his family having historical ties to the practice of polygamy. Described by liberal pundits as “the ultimate Mormon oddity”, the truth is that the Mormon church officially repudiated polygamy in 1890. It was, in fact, a requirement for the admission of Utah to the Union.

Polygamy is an affront to the principle of equality between the sexes. You would think that this would be an issue that is championed as a women’s issue. Sadly, it gets little attention from international organizations, even on International Women’s Day.

The practice is common in the Muslim world, and is becoming common practice in Europe, as well:

“the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reported statements from Norway’s Directorate of Immigration (UDI) that there are an increasing number of men with multiple wives in Norway. “The reason is married men travel to countries where polygamy is legal and then add a wife.” Though polygamy is illegal in Norway, “this is something that Norwegian authorities cannot prevent,” said UDI spokesman Karl Erik Sjøholt. …The Islamic Cultural Center Norway (ICCN), an immigrant organisation subsidised by the Norwegian state, advises Muslims in Norway to take several wives because polygamy “is advantageous and ought to be practiced where conditions lend themselves to such practice.”

Yesterday, LGF pointed to a reprint of an article at The American Muslim that encouraged the development of sharia law in America by using the model of Tribal Courts, as practiced by American Indians.

I recommend that as a first step, supporting organizations dealing with Islamic family law be established immediately. A professional association of Muslims in the law field (of whatever specialty) is a must. A law school students’ support group should be formed, and Muslim youth should be encouraged to enter this field. A second step would be to establish institutes in the U.S. which can supplement legal education with courses in Islamic family law. At the same time, pressure should be put on law schools to include courses in Shariah taught by Muslims.

This is not assimilation. This is not acceptance of American Civil Law. This is unacceptable. Inasmuch as the political left has resisted the logical step of protecting the institution of marriage through the amendment process, is there any other remedy that has legal and historical precedent? There is. And it goes back to that “ultimate Mormon oddity.” Joshua Trevino at Brussels Journal laid out the case in an excellent post from last year.

The precedent is the 1887 Edmunds-Tucker Act, which effectively disestablished the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until that entity gave up its doctrine of polygamy. The Mormons were effectively declared an organized-crime outfit: their properties were confiscated, and their leaders were driven underground. It took three years, but in 1890 they abandoned polygamy, Utah became a state, and the Mormons … have been good, patriotic, and peaceful Americans ever since. One, Mitt Romney, even has a shot at being President shortly. They were forced to join the civilized world by the United States government, which cared more for the norms of American culture than the values of the Mormon faith – and rightly so. Looking back, it is difficult to deny that this vigorous action – in which no American was killed, deported, put into camps, or hunted down – was to the ultimate benefit of the country and the Mormons.

If we could act with that degree of sanity, self-preservation, and humanity in 1887-1890, why not now? If we cannot, it is not because Muslims now – or any other immigrant community now – are worse than Mormons then: it is because we have lost the self-confidence to do it.

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