Thursday, July 5, 2007

Townhall's Failings, Lieberman's Limitations, and Sarah's Possibilities

Hello everybody! I urge everyone to visit Elephantman’s site to read about what’s going on with Sarah Palin – and the growing media interest in our campaign for her. Working together – and constantly adding like-minded people – we’re going to change the direction of our country.

What we’re doing with Sarah – and will do with other candidates, such as the admirable Diana Lynn Irey of Pennsylvania – is something Townhall as an institution should be advancing, but isn’t. Instead, they give us a steady stream of essays from various octogenarians (Buckley, Rusher, and Sowell) who haven’t had a new idea in a generation.

We get easy access to the ponderings of George Will and Pat Buchanan, people who barely disguise their contempt for the average Americans who make up the real core of the Republican Party. The fact that Buchanan doesn’t like Jews (a generation ago Wm. F. Buckley, Jr. called him an anti-Semite) or Hispanics doesn’t make him a conservative.

Worst of all, Townhall provides endless updates – breathlessly expressed – about what the (failing) candidacy of “Mitt” is up to in any given day. Hugh Hewitt, author of a book on Romney, has a financial interest in the success of that campaign, and he should remove himself from blogging about the greatness of his favorite candidate. If Romney ever does get to the White House, it will be with a visitor’s pass.

Also, Townhall, aside from the individual blogs, has degenerated into one attack after another on Republicans, among them the most solid conservatives in the Congress. It does so because it believes it’s appealing to the “base,” the Know-Nothings, nativists, and absolutists who dominate the site and write the same meaningless “comments” day-after-day, year-after-year.

Nationally, the Republican Party is in trouble. The primary Republican candidates – Giuliani, McCain, and Romney – are raising a mere fraction of the amounts gathered by their Democratic counterparts. Republican front-runner Giuliani raised half as much as the Democrats’ second banana, Obama. Romney, who raised a lot of money in the previous quarter, generated half as much as cash as Hillary Clinton.

As for the mystery campaign of Fred Thompson, there’s zero evidence that he’s going to be able to raise campaign money at anything approaching the level of the key Democrats. His “Townhall Campaign,” consisting of one pedestrian essay after another, is not exactly impressive.

In the most recent quarter, the top three Democrats raised $68.5 million. In contrast, the three top Republicans raised $42 million – 50% less. Obama has had 250,000 contributors, a bigger number than the top three Republicans combined.

If Townhall was anything more than a place for the “base” to express its innumerable animosities, it would be discussing the contributions issue. It would be outlining ways for the Republicans to close the fund-raising gap. What’s more, it would be suggesting candidate teams that show some sign of being able to compete with the Democrats.

Right now, the Republicans are running a losing campaign, with the partial exception of Rudy Giuliani, far-and-away the strongest candidate.

Let’s say Rudy is the nominee: whom should he run with? A friend that I respect a lot says he should run on a national unity ticket . . . with Joe Lieberman. In other words, this is an interesting variation of our standard ticket consisting of two old white guys.

With all respect to my friend, I think Lieberman would be a terrible choice. He’s been a moderate socialist in economics and pro-Israel and anti-terrorist in foreign policy. He’s the Democrat most closely associated with the least popular undertaking since Viet Nam: the Iraq War.

If Lieberman would bring any fresh perspectives on issues, it’s hard to imagine what they’d be. He’s almost the personification of the failed policies of the past. To a nation crying out for something different, he brings more of the same.

How does Lieberman compare with Sarah Palin?

He’s old, and she’s not. He’s a liberal Democrat and she’s a socially conservative and economically libertarian Republican. He’s stuck to the tar baby of George W. Bush’s Iraq policy, and she’s not.

He’s a Washington insider, and she’s the opposite. He’s a passive figure, and she’s dynamic. He’s someone who couldn’t win his own Party’s primary, and she’s an individual who’s defeated the biggest political names in her state.

Joe Lieberman or anyone like him is not the right choice for the Republicans. He’s the representative of a Democratic Party that no longer exists. He’s the host of Politics Past.

Sarah Palin has a political future, and Joe Lieberman does not. It’s that simple.

If we want to nominate the typical two-some, the aging white guys, the American public will assume – correctly – that we have nothing new to offer. Staying the course when it leads over a cliff is not a viable political vision.

Why Sarah? “She's fresh, and everyone else is tired.”

Stephen R. Maloney

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