Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Impications of Romney's Withdrawal

"He [Romney] didn't connect with the voters." (Bill Bennett)

"[By continuing the campaign] I'd be making it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win." (Mitt Romney)

"I feel I must stand aside for the good of our Party and our country." (Mitt Romney)

Today, Governor Romney explained why it is so important to defeat the Democratic nominee, be it Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. He said that if either of them becomes President the result would be a "retreat in the face of evil extremism." Mitt Romeny's comments are right on target. The Democratic candidates' view of the "War on Terror" is that it is some sort of chimera. Obama and Clinton feel that kind of pretense is the best way to solicit votes from the far-left wing of the Democratic Party. In other words, they put their own electoral possibilities ahead of protecting the country and its soldiers.

Senator McCain can learn much from Romney's outstanding speech at CPAC. Romney pointed to the Democrat candidates as having two major defects: (1) their commitment not to a free society, but rather to a culture of dependency, where fewer and fewer people pay taxes and more and more of them look to government for subsistence; (2) their almost total lack of comprehension of the nature of the religious fanatics and mass murderers who want to destroy our society.

Romney pointed out that he and Senator McCainhave differences on several issues -- actually, the differences are relatively minor -- but that they agree on the central issue of our time. Romney said, "I agree with him [McCain] on doing whatever it takes to be successful in Iraq . . . and on [the necessity of] finding and executing Osama bin Laden." [Note: I believe bin Laden will be captured or killed during the presidency of George W. Bush.]

Sometime ago, I wrote about Barack Obama's response (in an early debate) to a question about what he would do as President if two American cities were attacked simultaneously by al Qaeda. His response was that he would form a "commission" to study why there had ben a 'failure of intelligence" in anticipating the attack. In other words, Obama would launch a witch-hunt designed to shift blame away from him as President. A cowardly response!

Barack Obama is of course an "eloquent" speaker -- as long as people don't examine the minimal substance of what his remarks. He's a purveyor of the emptiest form of rhetoric. He, like Clinton, promises his constituents everything, while asking nothing of them in return. He no more grasps the terrorist threat than he understands quantum physics.

His foreign policy is to avoid making any hard choices that demand sacrifice. His domestic policy is to redistribute income from his political opponents to his political supporters. That's the essence of his "campaign of hope" -- the hope of the unproductive to get more from the productive.

"Change" turns out to mean, "Vote for me, and I'll put more change in your pocket."

With someone like John McCain -- love him or dislike him -- you always know where he stands on the important issues. He's not in the habit of telling people only what they want to hear. With Clinton and Obama, all we truly know is what "stand" they believe turns into votes.

By suspending his campaign, Romney is giving John McCain a better opportunity to focus on the Democrats. McCain can point out that, if we want stirring speeches, we can look to Obama and Clinton. If we want a tough, dedicated President, we can vote for -- and volunteer for -- John McCain, a true American hero.

As for me, I stand with McCain. Go get them, John!


Thursday, February 07, 2008
Coburn Defends McCain At CPAC Meeting

U.S. Senator Tom Coburn’s speech at CPAC today:

I’m honored by the invitation to be here today. I want to thank each of you for your devotion to our country, and for the sacrifices you have made to participate in this event.

I have the privilege today to say a few words about John McCain, a man of rare courage and character, who I believe is uniquely equipped to lead our nation through the difficult challenges ahead.

As conservatives, I know that most of us are sick and tired of politicians who tell us what we want to hear then govern in the opposite way. We won’t have that problem with John McCain. He may not always tell us what we want to hear, but he will say what he means and do what he says.

John McCain has the unique blend of character, guts, and experience to tackle the two greatest challenges facing our country – radical Islamic extremism and the looming financial catastrophe that will hit our economy when the Baby Boomers retire.

The fact is, we haven’t had a president over the last eight years who had the guts to take on the excesses of a Republican and Democrat Congress. Our government wastes $200 billion every year. Every year. John McCain will lead a top down review of everything government does and actually cut wasteful and duplicative spending. If we don’t elect a president who will challenge the excesses of Congress we will wreck our economy. John McCain will heed Will Durant’s warning that, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself within.”

I trust John McCain because he possesses the rarest virtue in politics upon which all else depends – courage. He has risked his political life during this presidential campaign. In defense of the unpopular surge in Iraq, John McCain said, “I’d rather lose the presidency than lose the war.” John McCain may win the presidency precisely because he was willing to let it go in service to his country.

Courage matters most in Washington, especially when dealing with Congress. Just as no battle plan survives contact with the enemy, no presidential agenda – however conservative – survives contact with Congress. John McCain has the courage, grit and conviction to tell Congress no and fight for the reforms we need to secure our future.
Maybe it’s John McCain’s disregard for his own personal political safety and the opinions of other politicians that led an appropriator to say the thought of McCain presidency sends chills down their spine. Anything that sends a chill down the spines of big spenders in Congress should warm the heart of every American taxpayer.

Other critics have said that John McCain stood in the way of the conservative GOP agenda. But, as conservatives, we have to look at the whole picture. In fact, due to a failure of leadership in Congress, I’m not sure we’ve had a comprehensive GOP conservative agenda since 1995.

Was the Bridge to Nowhere and an explosion of earmarks part of the GOP conservative agenda? John McCain was one of only 11 Republicans who supported me in my fight to kill the Bridge to Nowhere. Most Republicans were marching off the bridge we were trying to de-fund. What John McCain’s record tells me is that we won’t have to wait until the last year of his presidency to see him pick a fight with Congress over wasteful Washington spending. John McCain will declare war on pork – the gateway drug to spending addiction in Congress – on day one. There will be no earmarks for teapot museums, First Lady Libraries and taxpayer-funded hippie flashbacks in a McCain administration.

The new prescription drug entitlement our party leadership pushed on us was part of the GOP agenda but it wasn’t part of the conservative agenda. John McCain had the foresight to vote against Medicare Part D, the largest entitlement expansion since Lyndon Johnson, when many Republicans were AWOL. John McCain believes Congress should keep the promises it has already made before making new promises it can’t keep. He also has the most comprehensive and conservative health care reform plan of any candidate. John McCain will fight the government-run, universally-controlled health plans supported by Clinton and Obama with common sense, free-market principles that work.

Even if John McCain has taken some positions we don’t like as conservative, I don’t believe you can ignore the fact that he took many bold stands against the Big Government Republican agenda that destroyed our majority. When most Republicans were trying to build a governing majority through pork – and were growing the government faster than the Democrats who came before us – John McCain was pushing the party in the opposite direction on key issues.

Let me touch on some other issues.

On judges, I wouldn’t have endorsed John McCain if I wasn’t confident he will nominate judges like the ones he has voted to confirm in the Senate: Bork, Thomas, Roberts, Alito, Priscilla Owen and Janice Rogers Brown. I also know that he shares my desire to see the Senate approve conservative judges now.

On immigration, John McCain was trying to solve a problem which, incidentally, hasn’t improved much. He listened and learned and decided the facts were on our side. He doesn’t have a secret plan to enact blanket amnesty as president. And, if he did, he knows I’d kill it.

McCain-Feingold misdiagnosed the real problem as too much money to politicians rather than politicians whose votes are for sale. Even though I disagreed with McCain-Feingold, John McCain’s desire to tackle corruption in the congressional neighborhood was correct. The source of Washington’s corruption isn’t K Street; it’s Congress’ lack of restraint, and John McCain has taken bold steps to tackle that problem at its source.

Still, I have to say that the concerns I hear about John McCain pale in comparison to the two greatest challenges facing our country – terrorism and a Congress that refuses to correct our unsustainable fiscal course. If we get all of those other issues right but those two issues wrong we won’t survive as a nation.

John McCain’s record on the issues that are paramount to our future is a record conservatives can support. John McCain also has a conservative record on what is arguably the transcendent social issue of our time: the sanctity of life. He has been pro-life for 24 years and his record that matches his principles.

And, on national security, John McCain is by far the most qualified candidate on either side. He will meet not only the security challenges we know about but, more importantly, those we don’t know about. Tyrants and terrorists will think twice about challenging the United States with John McCain in the White House.

Is John McCain perfect? No. Will we disagree with him sometimes? Yes. But, elections are about choices. I’d be happy to debate anyone who thinks staying home or supporting Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama is a better choice for our future than John McCain.


GenXDad said...

I agree that McCain has a very difficult path to the White House, mainly because the political tide is turned against the GOP.

The good news is the Democrats have two VERY poor candidates, while the GOP picked the very best possible candidate (right-wing critics notwithstanding).

I've argued in my latest post that I believe Clinton will be the nominee, when the dust settles, and possibly a very weakened one at that.

In a future post, however, I'm going to explain why an Obama nomination presents a better opportunity for a McCain win than Clinton, despite the current polls.

In the end, it's up to McCain to grab the brass ring, and I'll be commenting on that, too.

Stephen R. Maloney said...

I'll be looking forward to your columns. There will be nothing easy about winning the election this year. I've been advocating that people visit GenXDad's fine blog, which is accessible at: People like Hewitt, Limbaugh, and Ingraham have become useless as sources of political information, and people like GenXDad are producing some of the best material on the Internet.

steve maloney

Sanity102 said...

A VERY interesting note from a pundit at NRO...McCain did a 100 plus town meetings in NH before the election. Many of those there said they HATED what McCain told them...but get this Steve...they were going to vote for him anyway.

Why? Because they said there was something comforting in knowing the truth and facing the worst.

McCain's big appeal is also his ability to stand against everyone...the TSM...the big guns on the Right.

I think McCain should wait till they come to him. By all means, be generous, but let them know that they will never control him.

If he can continue to come across as the big old guy against the elite media...the "regular" guys/gals will vote for him.

Oh and one more thing...I believe it was Karl Rove who said that most of the base leave the primaries to the hard Right...this time, old time Republicans are coming out...and military people who almost never take a political side.

Again, as I said to the you think this is all coincidental?