Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Conservatives and change

Our friend James W. Ceaser reflects on the word of the moment, suggesting that Republicans should at least try to conserve victory in Iraq (promised by John McCain) against the airy "change" offered by Obama (which amounts to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory).

Now there would be a bold theme for Hillary: I’ll see the surge through and produce a conclusion that maintains (I know she’d have to say "reestablishes") America’s honorable place in the world, while Obama would sacrifice honor for peace.

Discussions - 9 Comments

On the contrary, the race (and blood-letting) have just begun. If Hillary can't go 15 rounds, she shouldn't be president.

She should (and likely will) break up the band of broads around her and put Bill in a closet.

Might she (like Reagan in 1980) make a daring pick for VP while still in the primaries?

I've always thought Hill to be vulnerable in a time of war (too many women in charge; visualize Nancy AND Hill together in ads).

Change is a self-defeating mantra. Barack will be old news in a few weeks, and Hill will be back....

This is what primaries are intended to be attheir best, tests to see whether candidates understand government by consent and all that implies.

To JWC: What's not to like is that Obama will probably beat McCain. And maybe a problem with picking Huck as a running mate (and there are good things about it) is that will be a double-alienation of regular or orthodox Republicans. The Republicans just don't win if th election turns mainly on the Iraq war; they need credible alternatives on the domestic issues etc.

And obviously that theme ain't going to work for Hillary in Democratic primaries.


Of course on both counts. I agree that McCain would seem too much like Bob Dole, with less dark irony. If people are still buying hope in the fall, the international brand will be less marketable than its inspirational Oprah Book Club counterpart.

And of course Democrats are too sold on their Iraq narrative to go for a different one, but--assuming current trends continue (not a foregone conclusion, I concede)--a "hopeful" narrative pointing toward victory might actually defeat defeatism (assuming a plausible domestic message to go with it).

A problem with Ceaser's piece and Joe's analysis above, is that it assumes that the true narrative on Iraq is going to matter. In a political sense it hasn't mattered, really, since after we entered the place. I think the truth will out in the end. The problem is that the end is likely to be in a history book, not November. Even good people who understand things are tired of the war. Sadly, the war will not tire of them, but that's not likely to be apparent before November. I wish it were less obscure to the people, but there it is. We all know why this is the case, but it's of no use to blame anyone now. I do not see a way for anyone (other than, possibly, McCain) to affect that perception. Unfortunately, I do not like McCain's odds. He says the many of the right things on Iraq but he mixes them up with so many unfortunate distractions (and petty animosities) that it is hard to hear him. This is the problem a politician gets when he attacks all things with equal vigor.

By the end of this election, the word "change" is going to be so over-used and meaningless that it will get a nice place on the shelf beside other meaningless words like "surge"...

Julie: Exactly right.

"while Obama would sacrifice honor for peace"

So withdrawing our troops from an unconstitutional (undeclared) and unjust war would be dishonorable?

Among the MANY liabilities McCain would have to overcome is that, as the V-word saying candidate, he's also the guy who insisted on a no water-boarding define-it-to-a-tee (so AQ can prepare) anti-"torture" position. No way the war-on-terror Republicans are going to embrace him over Guiliani. Or even over Mitt or Fred.

And I agree w/ Peter's comment about the impossible poisonous of a McCain/Huckabee ticket to mainstream conservatives.

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