Frank Donatelli lays it it out here.
One sentence version: Any of the Democrats who would get elected as a result of a third-party candidate would be worse than Giuliani on the issues that are important to conservatives, including with Supreme Court nominations. Yup.
John Hawkins agrees:
The point is: the GOP is not perfect and it’s not ever going to be perfect, but if conservatives want to get our agenda enacted or to block the Democrats agenda, we need Republicans in office — and the more of them the better.
Does that mean we’re, “supporting the leftward shift of the Republican party?” No, it means that we’re acknowledging that the GOP is the imperfect instrument through which conservatives enact our agenda. It’s better to put Republicans in office and try to shape their behavior to our liking than to put Democrats into power and then pat ourselves on the back for our purity.
Hawkins also points out that the challenges should come in the primary process, whether it is a presidential race or a congressional race. We have every right to support challengers who we feel are more ideologically pure, or for the simple reason that the incumbent hasn’t been an effective representative for our interests. That’s where the presidential race is now. Everyone has their own pet issues, and none of the candidates are seen as the perfect choice. It comes back to something I have always believed and have written about previously…it’s always better to get most of what you want with Republicans than to get none of what you want with Democrats. That is especially true when we consider a potential Hillary-Rudy matchup next November.
While it makes sense to vote for someone like Giuliani over Hillary, I can understand why someone who doesn’t believe that Rudy’s the right guy wouldn’t want to donate money to him or to volunteer for his campaign. You can’t sell a candidate you don’t believe in.
Tags: ’08 election, Republicans, conservatives
I’m sure Fred Thompson is a good guy. I’m also sure that there were many persuasive people telling him that he could be the one to save the GOP from Rudy McRomney, and no doubt Thompson is more conservative in some areas than the current top three. But it’s fair to say that there was no way that Fred Thompson could be the savior of the GOP, or another Ronald Reagan, or the “one true conservative”. His record in the Senate is mixed, and it resembles John McCain’s on illegal immigration and campaign finance reform, two areas where McCain runs into trouble with the base.
There are many objections I have to James Dobson critiquing possible GOP nominees, but I have to agree with him, and with what Quin Hillyer wrote in the American Spectator, when they suggest that Fred Thompson doesn’t act like he wants to be the nominee or to be President. It’s an admirable quality in a candidate, I guess, not to look like they were planning their Presidential run for many years before taking the plunge. However, if Fred wants to continue to be taken seriously as a candidate, he has to start doing his homework on the issues of the day. He can’t go to Florida and not know about the local issues (Terri Schiavo, drilling in the Everglades). If he’s going to be an advocate for conservatism, he needs to know what he believes and why he believes it. He can’t get by on Southern charm alone. Ask Mike Huckabee how much money his campaign gets from his great personality and folksy speeches.
It’s not just the objection to Rudy, Mitt, and McCain that drives conservatives to look for someone else. All three men have flaws I can live with as the GOP nominee. Conservatives are looking for someone with a vision, a new direction for our party, and a direction for our country. We need someone who is bold enough to tell us the truth about where the Republican party has failed the people of this country. We need someone who knows what is wrong and how we can fix the GOP. We want to be inspired with big ideas and someone with the kind of vision for change that Newt Gingrich has (only in a more electable package). It’s no wonder that all of the candidates don’t quite measure up to those high standards.
Fred Thompson could be the guy who could unite most of the base, but he can’t just coast through this process if he wants to be the nominee.
Tags: Fred Thompson, ’08 election, Republicans, conservatives