silly democrats

Let me get this straight — John McCain’s military service doesn’t qualify him to be commander in chief, but John Kerry’s does?  That’s the unusual logic employed by Obama supporter, failed presidential candidate, and retired military guy General Wesley Clark.   Surely General Clark remembers his glowing comments about Senator Kerry and his war record, and let’s be absolutely clear about this — Kerry ran on that record until he was derailed by the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.  The Democrats seem conflicted about whether military service matters to presidential candidates.  Clinton = No.   Kerry=Yes.  McCain = Absolutely not.  Curious how military service only adds to your qualifications for commander-in-chief if you are a Democrat.

That’s ok though.  This is a debate I’m comfortable having with the Democrats all day long.  While it’s true that having military service doesn’t automatically qualify you to be President of the United States, McCain’s long record of public service, including serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee,  speaks to much more experience than Senator Obama has.   So Senator Obama’s surrogates like Clark want to question McCain’s experience. Ha.  Go ahead.    Do you really want to compare Obama and McCain on overall experience?  Good luck.

there he goes again

We should be so proud of our Republican nominee.  He’s very good at sounding like a Democrat.  John McCain opposes domestic oil drilling in ANWR, and I’m guessing that would mean he’s not onboard with this offshore drilling bill that just got killed in the House.  It might actually get some traction if it had McCain’s support.  He also conveniently missed the Senate vote on a windfall profits tax. The House Dems continue to insist that even if we started to drill our own oil, it still wouldn’t make a difference with gas prices.  Are they serious about this?  Are they so beholden to the enviro-nuts that they can’t see how much sense this makes?  I’m at a loss here.  The American people want us to use our own resources to combat high fuel prices, as well as decrease our dependence on foreign oil.  If the Congress even bothered to ask us, I’m confident that the majority would support offshore drilling.

I should expect such behavior from the Democrats,  but John McCain has gone out of his way to parrot their rhetoric and copy their talking points.  Today he’s taking on the overpaid CEOs, just like Barack and Hillary before him.  Those CEOs make too much money and they need to be more accountable to their shareholders, McCain says.  While I’m not entirely opposed to more accountability for CEOs,  I’m not convinced that he has the best solution to that with giving shareholders a vote on CEO pay.  John McCain seems to think that he won this nomination without many conservatives, and therefore he can do and say whatever he wants — but maybe the reason for this mind meld with Barack on these issues isn’t because he wants payback from us.

My theory is that the whole point behind McCain’s strategy is to say loud and clear to the former Hillary supporters and others — “I’M NOT BUSH”.  See…I believe in global warming, windfall profits taxes, not drilling for our own oil, and punishing the producers in this country for their success.  I’m not so scary.  That’s McCain’s new message, and I hate it.  Maybe he can convince enough people of his own worth that he can become president in spite of himself.   But at the end of the process,  we are all going to go into the next 4-8 years with our eyes wide open about both candidates, and that’s not a bad thing.

uneasy relationship

Bob Novak has a column today about McCain’s attempts to reach out to Christian conservatives.  He argues that McCain hasn’t managed to close the deal with them.  There are a variety of reasons for this, and Novak lists a few of them.  There’s one he overlooked.  McCain, despite his personal faith in God, does not have much in common with evangelicals.  He doesn’t speak about his faith very much, if at all.  He doesn’t speak their language, and he’s not George W. Bush (who was much more comfortable doing both of those things).  McCain isn’t one of them, and they knew that before he (out of political necessity) threw John Hagee and Rod Parsley under his bus.

McCain may have gotten popular with some Democrats and with the media by opposing some of the policies of the Bush administration, but those days are long gone.   It doesn’t help him to lose leading evangelicals from his camp, but losing conservatives would be far more damaging in November.  I hope that the McCain people recognize this weakness, and that they try to fix it.

no concessions

Silly Democrats. You thought that Hillary would just fade into the background after Barack clinched the nomination. Ok, so it was only a small percentage of your party who actually believed that, but still…the rest of you had to be surprised by the tone of her non-concession speech.

Thanks Hillary. Your speech distracted all of us from how totally uninspiring John McCain’s speech was.

a challenge

John Bolton challenges Barack Obama’s non-cowboy diplomacy. Read it here.

At first glance, the idea of sitting down with adversaries seems hard to quarrel with. In our daily lives, we meet with competitors, opponents and unpleasant people all the time. Mr. Obama hopes to characterize the debate about international negotiations as one between his reasonableness and the hard-line attitude of a group of unilateralist GOP cowboys.

The real debate is radically different. On one side are those who believe that negotiations should be used to resolve international disputes 99% of the time. That is where I am, and where I think Mr. McCain is. On the other side are those like Mr. Obama, who apparently want to use negotiations 100% of the time. It is the 100%-ers who suffer from an obsession that is naïve and dangerous.

Negotiation is not a policy. It is a technique. Saying that one favors negotiation with, say, Iran, has no more intellectual content than saying one favors using a spoon. For what? Under what circumstances? With what objectives? On these specifics, Mr. Obama has been consistently sketchy.

Bolton also says that countries like Iran can use negotiating talks as a ploy to buy time while they continue to chart the same destructive course. To be fair to Senator Obama, we do need more specific details under what circumstances and conditions he would agree to meet with countries like Iran. It’s possible that his foreign policy vision has undergone some evolution from the beginning of his campaign until this particular challenge, so if Barack Obama really wants to fight this battle directly with McCain, I’m with John Bolton — bring it on.

I’m anxious to hear his grand plan on how to get dictators and other foreign heads of state who desire our destruction and Israel’s to stop their evil intentions. In truth, foreign policy is a difficult business. No president has ever handled it perfectly. We have no guarantees that Barack Obama or John McCain will make every right decision, but we should have this foreign policy debate before we decide who should be President.

free-market myth

John McCain says that his lovely new cap-and-trade proposal is a free market solution. 

Skeptics like Lawrence Kudlow disagree.

He says:

Sen. McCain weighed in with a cap-and-trade program that he alleges will solve our global climate and energy problem. It’s a bad idea. It’s really a cap-and-kill-the-economy plan, as well as an unlimited spend-and-tax-and-regulate plan. It’s a huge government command-and-control operation that would make any old Soviet Gosplan bureaucrat smile.

Ironically, the U.S. has virtually the cleanest air of any country in the world. And market forces over the past thirty years have increased all manner of energy efficiency per unit of GDP by more than 50 percent. In fact, according the editorial page of Investor’s Business Daily, U.S. carbon emissions grew by only 6.6 percent between 1997 and 2004, compared with 18 percent for the world and 21 percent for the nations that signed the Kyoto protocol on greenhouse gasses. (Think Europe.)

Guess Kyoto’s not working.  I’m shocked.  The reasons Kudlow mentions for opposing this cap-and-trade deal are the same reasons the Kyoto Protocol was a bad idea. It’s an economy killer, and a promotion of massive new government bureaucracy and more stifling regulation to private enterprise.  This solution to the myth of climate change isn’t the right one.  We will do everything we can to solve the supposed problem except what would actually work to decrease our dependence of foreign oil — drilling and building more refineries.  The answer is obvious, if Republicans would be bold enough to make that case.  But they won’t.  They are too interested in being popular with their fellow Washington insiders than they are in doing the right thing for the American people.

not so fast

You know that conventional wisdom that this overwhelming Democratic turnout in the primary will lead to certain electoral success in November? Not so fast. The Washington Times found some researchers who insist that’s there’s no coorelation there. Jay Cost of Real Clear Politics says that, at best, the connection is unproven, and that the financial advantage Obama currently enjoys would have more significant impact on John McCain’s chances in November than the Democrat primary turnout numbers. I agree.

It’s not that the enthusiasm shown by the Democrats for their two candidates (but mostly for Obama) shouldn’t be a cause for concern for Republicans going into the general election in November.  What we have seen so far is that nothing is guaranteed for the Democrats, unless John McCain succeeds in completely alienating the rest of the conservatives who were resigned to voting for him with his stupid climate change nonsense.  I’m not ruling out that possibility, by the way.  McCain is trying very hard to separate himself from George W. Bush, and he might just succeed.  I can see how this would be a strategy his internal polling might suggest, but he won’t win with just Democrats and independents.  He still needs conservatives and other Republicans, even though he would like to pretend we don’t exist.

Obama will lose a significant amount of his appeal if he selects Hillary as VP.   She represents what has become the old politics.  It’s not 1992 anymore.  Many Obama supporters weren’t even paying attention during the Clinton years (with a few notable exceptions). He doesn’t need her, and she makes him less electable than he is now.  You can’t talk about the new politics and embrace a Washington insider like Hillary.  I know the Democrats want to end this process, but this isn’t the way to do it.  He can withstand the attacks that the Clintons have thrown out there.  She hasn’t put a glove on him, even with all this bad publicity he has gotten lately.  Obama can wait for the nomination.  He knows that he will eventually win it.

More disturbing for the Republicans and John McCain is that all these side issues that are affecting Obama will be old news by the time the election rolls around.  We need a better game plan than the Clintons had, and a candidate willing to make the case against Obama.  Is McCain that guy?  Stay tuned.

conservative cred

My favorite senator Jim DeMint has it, and he’s willing to help out John McCain. Senator DeMint is the kind of conservative that McCain should pick for VP. We need DeMint where he is now, but someone like him would be awesome as second in line to McCain.

Here he is defending McCain’s health care plan.

Why not nationalize health care and allow the government to control the entire system? Because as Americans we believe in the individual and in freedom.

Since the dawn of our nation, Americans have resisted government control over their daily lives. Unlike Europeans who have mortgaged their futures in the name of nationalized health care, we have an innate distrust of big government schemes. We have seen time and time again that the greatness of our nation comes from its people, not from the government. Perhaps most importantly, we understand, as Thomas Jefferson understood, that “Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have.” Jefferson went on to explain that “the course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases.”

The history that Jefferson observed then is the same that we do today. Those principles still hold true, and as we consider the health care crisis we face today we would do well as Americans to bear these thoughts in mind.

Do we want a solution that offers American more freedom, more choice and more competition? Or do we forsake our principles and follow the path of the Europeans, which has resulted in rationed health care, less choice, less freedom and future fiscal ruin?

I’m much more confident that Senator DeMint understands the way conservatism is supposed to work when applied to the federal bureaucracy than I am in McCain’s grasp of the concept. But his endorsement of McCain’s health care plan goes a long way with me, and I’m sure, with many of my fellow conservatives.

respect this

I have made no secret of the fact that Senator McCain and I have some serious disagreements on policy issues, but I have nothing but respect for McCain’s military service. That impression was reinforced by reading Karl Rove’s account of some of McCain’s adventures in Vietnam. It’s a must read for those who want to know more about McCain’s background, and I agree with Rove that he needs to make more of his personal bio part of the campaign. We know enough about his policy positions, and not much about his personal story. His campaign would benefit from making this side of McCain more visible, and it will help his chances in the general election, no matter what happens with the Democrats.

mccain is wrong

I’m not sure why John McCain is overreacting so much to the North Carolina GOP ad.   It is an ad that mentions Obama’s association with Jeremiah Wright and pointing out that Democratic candidates for governor Bev Perdue and Richard Moore support Obama.  Oh yeah, and the ad might have said a little something about Rev. Wright being too extreme for North Carolina.  There’s nothing racist about that.  There’s nothing controversial about that.  In fact, I’m not entirely sure this would be an effective ad.  The only thing that’s keeping this story going is that Rev. Wright feels obligated to defend himself against the injustice of bloggers and media people reporting on what he actually said.  If he didn’t,  I honestly believe this issue would go away.  John McCain won’t run ads on it, based on what we have seen this week from him.

I don’t think the ad is going to work because this is similar to the argument Republicans were trying to make in 2006 — beware Nancy Pelosi and the EVIL Democrats, because they will do all sorts of horrible things to make your life miserable.  Or something like that.    Did that work in ’06?  Did we gin up enough reasonable fear of scary Democrats to drive the vote for Republicans?  Umm…no.  Republicans were unmotivated and the undecided were willing to take a chance on the Democrats because the ruling party failed.  The Republican brand has been damaged, and it’s still damaged.  John McCain is doing nothing to help the Republican party rebuild that brand, and he doesn’t seem to have an interest in making that attempt.

This is why I believe John McCain overreacted to the ad.  He’s more concerned about losing those Democrats and independents than he is in keeping the Republicans he has won by default from deserting him in the general election.  It’s one thing to say that this isn’t the ad he would have chosen to run,  and another to say that the NCGOP is “out of touch”.  McCain still doesn’t get it.  He’s the one who doesn’t understand conservatives, and it’s clear that he doesn’t respect us.  Could the NCGOP have created a different ad based on pointing out differences between Democrats and Republicans on issues?  Yes, and I would have preferred that.  But McCain doesn’t have the right to demand that they pull the Wright ad.