Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Today’s Big Issues

1. McCain’s decision to meet with Crist, Romney, and Jindal as potential running makes is encouraging. There are reasons why Crist would be a disaster from the point of view of social conservatives, but, considering the role he played in Mac’s key Florida victory, he doubtless deserves the meeting. The real and tough choice, I think, is between Mitt and Bobby.

2. I, for one, am thrilled with Big David’s victory over Little David on American Idol. That’s not because the American people overruled the snotty expert Simon. Simon is in many ways a wise musical man. Anyone whose signature song is IMAGINE doesn’t deserved to be idolized by our people. And, as Carl has explained, America needs a rocker with a really great voice. I’m writing to you from Provo Utah, and so I’m surrounded by people who disagree with me on this. And I must add that both Davids seem like very admirable, hard working, talented, and highly imaginative guys.

Discussions - 12 Comments

The real and tough choice, I think, is between Mitt and Bobby.

BAH! It is Mitt, in that he is a fake "conservative" too. Bobby would simply reveal his willingness to put all principal, ah good, ah substance aside if he even THINKS about hitching his wagon to the maverick. I had the honor of voting for the man. If he sells his soul to crude ambition here, I will have the honor of never voting for the man again...

Christopher, you do realize that living in a democracy (constitutional republic) means making and accepting compromise, don't you? Pillars of uncompromising virtue (such as yourself) do not get elected and are, therefore, ineffectual politically.

Let me add, I almost wish Jindal wouldn't run with McCain as I don't see it helping McCain's campaign very much, while a crushing defeat may well hurt Jindal's political future.

Today, and maybe not tomorrow, but definitely today, I would love to see McCain choose Joe Lieberman for VP. I agree with Andrew about Jindal. I like him too much to see him wasted when he is unproven, but seems to have so much potential for the future. Romney does not bring enough to McCain. I don't know of any Republican who does. If we are to consider Crist, in political terms, we might as well consider Lieberman. He's not a bad guy and is solid in a few important areas. There would be considerable political novelty (CHANGE!) in choosing Lieberman, who is currently an Independent, right? Democratic voters who would not vote for Obama would be even more inclined to vote for a McCain/Lieberman ticket.


If, as Joe Knippenburg suggests above, conservatives might as well be dead (politically, anyhow), why not?

Andrew: You categorize me incorrectly. Actually, it's a straw man because most everybody learns the art of "compromise" sometime in their teenage years.

That said, there are principles, and compromises that are really appeasements and defeats. Of course, you know this to.

I have noticed that this silly accusation of rigidity is often thrown around here at NLT. What gives?

Yes, it is true, Bobby going with "the mav" would be a "compromise" too far for most any traditional conservative. It would reveal his willingness to govern liberally when it suits him and his career - which of course would be an indicator that he is a GOP man (i.e. run conservatively, govern liberally) instead of a conservative.

Your not one of these "conservatives" who actually are liberal and justify rhetorically by calling it a "compromise" are you Andrew?...;)


The key is the "Jacksonian" vote in southern Ohio. Huckabee is the man for that. He doesn't guarantee Ohio by any means, but he's the most helpful there. He also helps in Missouri, helps a bit in Virginia, and gives us half a chance to hold Iowa, especially given his intensive campaigning there. Yeah, he'll lose McCain even more votes in the Philly suburbs, but that's Democrat country anyway. We will win Pennsylvania only if Obama collapses, which is not determined by the GOP veep. While Florida isn't a sure thing, if McCain needs special help (Crist) in Florida, he's already lost the election anyway.

Kate, I also like Lieberman for VP, but even more than this I just want McCain to run what he believes, and choose who he wants.

Why should the question be: Does McCain correspond to what is conservative? Instead of: Does McCain correspond to the wisdom he has accumulated in his long life?

In the course of McCain's life he has no doubt believed many different things, he has tested his beliefs, and ammended them as he saw fit.

No man may ever be greater than his own knowledge and wisdom. McCain is not exempt, nor would he somehow be exempt if he sounded more like Christopher or Dr. Lawler or David Frisk wished he sounded.

Principled conservatives should not want McCain to pick for VP any conservative who could be a successful national leader in the future. This is because: (1) if McCain wins, he will not govern as a conservative (however that is defined), and his VP will be hopelessly compromised in the eyes of conservative voters; (2) if McCain wins, his administration is unlikely to be successful (no matter what happens in Iraq), given the hostility of the media, the Democratic Congress, the adolescent and left-leaning mood in the country, and the serious problems the country faces, and the failure of the McCain administration will damage his VP; (3) if McCain loses, as is more likely, that, too, will seriously damage his running mate.

From what I've read about Crist, he would be totally out of his depth as president, should he succeed to office. At this point in our history, we do not need a shallow, blow-dried empty-suit who would be more appropriately employed as anchor of a local TV news show. Jindal may be substantively impressive (I don't really know), but, having seen him on C-Span, I wouldn't bet on him making a good impression on swing voters.

Why should the question be: Does McCain correspond to what is conservative? Instead of: Does McCain correspond to the wisdom he has accumulated in his long life?

Easy one Mr. Lewis. Answer: Conservatives are not interested in the "wisdom" of McCain. We have seen too much of it already and found it wanting.

Strange argument, that conservatives should give up conservatives for something allegedly better we might call "maverick wisdom". You talk as if Conservativism (let's define it as Kirk would) is not tested by time, as if it is something new. Even modern liberalism has been around longer than McCain's years, so by your argument it should be more reliable than the "mav"...

Peter: I take it all to be a hopeful sign that the American people--when push comes to shove--prefer the grown up who has proven himself in battle to the manufactured prattling of a child. Now that's putting more into the thing than it probably deserves and it's also too harsh on the kid (who has an impressive set of pipes) but the kid has to break free of the old ideas about music (imposed by the likes of his father) and do some homework. He has to be a bit more of a maverick and a lot more authentic. Like I said, all hopeful signs. No question, also, that Simon's harsh critique of the older David helped him in the end. I love the honest assessment that Simon gives to the performers and I hate it when the sentimental side of America overrules his good sense. There have been many times I have thought that Simon was more American than anyone else on that show. But in many ways, he's still very much a Brit. His original disdain for country music is waning but he's still pretty skeptical. And, he was a sucker for this kid and his paean to the Beatles. So I think, in this case, it was less the sentimentalism of the American people and more a good-old-fashioned "tell the Brit where to stick it" kind of reaction that propelled the big David to victory. That, and his wicked good talent. Even so . . . I preferred the Aussie, Michael Johns.

I never watched American Idol, prefered watching Ultimate Fighter 7 on Spike. I know the great majority of americans aspire to having aesthetic sensibilities complete with opinions on music...but to be true to my wrestling roots and my army trainning in combatives, and my less refined sense of what takes guts...I tunned in to watch a grown kid by the name of CB Dolloway beat the crap out of his opponent. CB and my brother dave used to wrestle in a great rivalry back in high school...since then CB went on to be an all-american wrestler at Arizona...and my brother became a marine...but I digress.

I am not sure I want to break this to you in this fashion...but perhaps...perhaps what you believe is "conservative" is simply a cultural identity, a cultural identity that you then judge Republicans by regardless of whether or not they agree with your principles...In other words, if Obama is an honest liberal...and I would say he is an honest Hegelian...but supposing this...then Obama as a democrat/liberal is capable of being honest in disagreeing with you because he represents the other party. In other words Obama is not supposed to be conservative...

But I would like to know how I would be justified in being mad at McCain for not being conservative...if conservative is simply a conceptual category that I employ in order to map out candidates. I personally liked Ron Paul, whom I catagorized as Misean(Von Mises, Austrians)...apparently howhever many conservatives and most americans are scared witless by him...so my choice won't work. What this tells me is that conservatives aren't really interested in limited government...well this isn't quite fair there is still the Chicago School of Economics...but apparently Dr. Knippenburg considers these folks to be a cult as well...so I suppose good old fashioned Lockeians might still exist, but apparently Lockeians don't exist(Lawler)...but apparently the 2nd Treatise is the root of all evil...now I personally like Ben Franklin, but apparently something the pope said about hope doesn't jive with his practicality...no doubt ever since the Hegelian sociologist Max Weber linked Protestant/Puritan faith with Capitalism and Ben Franklin. Now I don't know what happened to protestant faith but apparently the catholics are bullish about it...as soon as they are done grounding it in some sort of Metaphysics via First Things. Hell, not only can I not be mad at McCain for not conforming to my view of what is conservative...I can't even count on him being Christian to hear Dr. Lawler tell it(why did no one bother to take him up on it when he mentioned that McCain/Romney would be a non christian ticket...albeit Mormons are probably the most socialy conservative religion?)...in any case believe me I could go on all night with observations on the difficulty of establishing classifications...but suffice it to say that when libertarians can be socialist and conservatives can be pro-green...I am mightily inclined to take the word of wiser folk and toss baby...bath water and all and start over with mathmatics and Descartes...it is either that or Hegel...

Well obviously I am exagerating, but it does seem to me that Republicans simply assemble the ideas they like call them conservative, demand that political candidates pander to their "Conservative Idol" whether the candidate believes it or not, and then get pissed off when it turns out that he was only pandering because it was demanded of him.

Definately Hegel...it is all about recognition...

Thanks to Julie for offering such a fine comment on the more important of the two issues.

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