Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. The very latest studies from South Carolina continue to show, for the most part, a dead heat between Huck and McCain. One deviant result, from the American Research Group, is Huck with a seven point lead and Thompson with a real surge to a strong third. That could lead Fred, Mitt, and Rudy fans to hope for a combination of Huckabee first and Thompson second that might really take John out. Because studies aren’t showing the same thing and the Palmetto state is in for some nasty weathy today, I can’t say for sure that fantasy won’t become real. But because the old are more persistent in the face of adversity than the young, I’m guessing the weather might favor McCain. You might also say, of course, that Huck’s evangelicals are better mobilized and ready to go no matter what, but I have no idea whether or not that’s true.

2. I continue to be bothered by Huck’s exploitation of the Confederate flag issue, which is contrary to his whole record on race in Arkansas. It’s not a big deal, but a deal. I say this only to encourage him not repeat this error in future states.

3. Bill Kristol, at THE WEEKLY STANDARD, has an exellent article about Republicans applying too high an ideological standard to Huckabee, McCain, and Romney. He says, and I gotta agree, that all this Reagan nostalgia is sort of creepy. Reagan was the leader of an ideological movement, and candidates generally aren’t. A normal candidate is an impure mixture of a variety of elements. BUT: Huck is pro-life, pro-guns, pro-low taxes, and was a very popular governor of a conservative state. McCain’s voting record has consistently been rated very highly by the American Conservative Union etc. (That is--his voting record is actually quite different from Lieberman’s or Scoop Jackson’s.) Romney manages to be moderately conservative on every issue. (Rudy, for some reason, is missing from the article.) Bill’s advice: Be for your favorite candidate, stop demonizing the others, the ones mentioned all good enough.

Discussions - 21 Comments

The attacks candidates make on one another, or that others make on them, might seem like good political theater, but it does get old. The tedium of this long campaign makes bumping and jostling between candidates inevitable and there may be nothing we don't know about these people by the end, much as we wish we didn't. Coming up with something to keep you in the news every day, lest you be forgotten, must be a political manager's nightmare. The temptation to use whatever comes to hand must be ever-present.

Kristol's advice is very good, because people, like me, get tired of watching the bruising. It has been hard to pay attention or it is not really that because attention is so demanded but it has become sickening to HAVE to pay attention to the wretched spectacle, especially knowing it will go on for months and probably not with felicity. It is hard to see how anyone is going to get to the convention without looking awfully battered and ugly. It will not only be the blood on the face that turns us away, but the blood on the hands that makes each of the candidates unappealing for the purpose of representing the party. This struggle does not look heroic, but petty, banal, mundane and increasingly bilious. At this rate, we will not be presenting our hero at the convention - none of them will (even merely to appearance) be noble, brave, true and worthy of following. And they are all doing this to themselves.

Of course, maybe we will have some surprise at the convention, unfortunately not Cheney. I have heard that Newt Gingrich is trying to position himself to lead there. Is there anyone in the party actually capable of pulling off a surprise? Does the convention get enough coverage anymore to make for a proper show?

Anyway, it is hard to watch and yet fascinating, like a dog fight or like the whole of TV, one long, brutal entertainment.

Sure, the contest to prove each candidate is more like Reagan is annoying and not always relevant, but this story is as old as Thomas Jefferson's successors, Franklin Roosevelt's, and all those JFKennedyites in both parties. Candidates love to hark back to the last widely respected President, esp. those who realigned the political landscape.

Dennis is right, but it's interesting that really none of the GOP candidates (save Rep. Paul) is campaigning as someone who is going to "realign" the political landscape. In that sense, Obama's more of that sort of candidate (though clearly in ways I think wrongheaded).

I can't help but be dreadfully underwhelmed about Huckabee and the prospect of his national security/foreign policy leadership. Bush's greatest weakness as a President has been his seeming unwillingness to drive (rather than manage) that area of policy. I don't think Huckabee would be much better.

If there's snow, it will likely affect the upcountry more than the low country, which ought to help McCain and hurt Huckabee. And those transplanted northerners are better able to drive in the stuff than are folks native to the region, which also ought to help McCain. If weather's a factor, it ought to be McCain in a snowslide.

Kristol is on the money.

Every candidate needs to sprinkle a little bit of "Reagan" into their speeches, public comments, and responses to questions in hopes of justifying their candidacy. It is incredibly phony, and it needs to stop. Politics is about coalitions, about losing battles to win wars, so to speak. If Republicans keep waiting around for Reagan-reincarnate, they will lose the election.

I have believed from the beginning that the only Republican in the field who can win is John McCain. But that's just my opinion; I'm a novice. I'm certainly no pollster.

The pugnacious talk radio machine, i.e., Rush and Sean, has made every effort to destroy McCain because he isn't a "real" conservative like Reagan. The most common criticisms:

1) He trampled on free speech rights with McCain-Feingold. That makes sense because when I think of Republicans, I think of the last bastion of First Amendment freedoms. Has anyone heard of wiretapping? (Not to say I oppose the NSA program altogether, but let's be consistent.)

2) He sided with Teddy Kennedy in the immigration bill. Of course, Republicans have a longstanding aversion to a steady supply of cheap labor from our neighbors down south. Further, it is entirely consistent with Republican principles to invite illegal immigrants to our country for years through continuing to look the other way and then to deport them when we have a change of heart. (Hate to say it, but Geraldo had a point on this.)

3) He opposed Bush's tax cuts. This is my favorite. If there's any concept that unites Republicans, it's the view that unrestrained spending is the necessary precondition for tax cuts. This makes perfect sense because every business wants to continually increase its expenses while slashing its profits. After all, the national economy is just microeconomics writ large, isn't it? That is to say, every economic question - healthcare, energy, etc. - boils down to supply and demand, right?

In the end, I suspect Republicans will go the way of Spalding Smails in Caddyshack, who, after asking for a hamburger, then a cheeseburger, then a hot dog, and then a milkshake, was greeted by Judge Smails's cold reply: " You'll get nothing, and like it."

Let's hope Republicans listen to Kristol's sound advice. They need not support McCain, but they should support somebody.

Otherwise, we'll have nothing, but we certainly won't like him, or maybe, her.

Be for your favorite candidate, stop demonizing the others, the ones mentioned all good enough. I like this advice as far as it goes. It is very important to remember that we are disagreeing more about the means to ends than the ends themselves (perhaps, Ron Paul excepted in some instances). That's why I have no problem with forceful disagreement with someone's argument about the relative likely success of a candidate or his policy proposals. But when people get to questioning a person's motives for supporting a guy and/or whether that person is a "real conservative" and so forth, it is tiresome. In all likelihood, most of us cannot say that the guy we tend to favor is a guy who is in their estimation a "real conservative" in every sense that we'd like to see him be one. But we are all grown ups and we have to work with the materials on hand. They are our choices and are all, in their way, good enough (probably) for government work.

Ranking the candidates as they stand:

On Principles:

1. Mike Huckabee-a clear and convincing leader on social conservative issues, with an amazing ability to communicate these ideals and the Natural Equality we are blessed with from God's reason and revelation. A thoughtful and moderate low tax and low regulation economic platform, slightly to the right of his record. Overall he has the most consistent conservative message of the bunch.

2. John McCain-a dominant leader on foreign policy, however that issue is fading. A good anti-spending, pro-life voting record, and overall conservative. Odd ideas in the field of Campaign Finance and Immigration gives one pause in deeming him the candidate.

3. Fred Thompson-rated higher before his odd political spat with Huck revealed he may sometimes just be saying stuff about the Constitution that he doesn't really know or believe. Still his record is solid, and his platform is thoughtful. He did support and help write Campaign Finance Reform though and lobby for an abortion group.

4. Rudy Giuliani-a sort of principled tax cutter and solid economic conservative. He has principles on social issues, they just happen to be Democratic ones. His explanation of gun control, Roe, etc has revealed that he really doesn't know the Constitution or America all that well.

5. Mitt Romney-a decent man in private life, but a public life fraught with flip-flopping. More flip-flops in 14 years (only 4 years of it in office) than John Kerry had in 20 years in the Senate. He doesn't have the backbone to take his personal beliefs in America, explain them to America, and implement them politically.

On Chance to win the Nomination:

1. McCain-national frontrunner, national hero, chance for a knockout blow if he wins SC.

2. Huckabee-second nationally, strong in SC. A win today and he's got a chance; loses its over.

3. Romney-he's the only with money-his own-to go nationally with ads. Still his lack of principle and his sad powerpoint speaking have shown his price for vote is quite high.

4. Giuliani-national name recognition doesn't win nominations.

5. Thompson-his high water mark was the day he announced. He should drop out tomorrow after failing in his second "last stand."

On General Election Chances:

1. McCain-hero, statesman, appealing to independents; old, cranky, arrogant.

2. Huckabee-communicator, principled, likeable, energetic; pastor, closet full of social beliefs far to the right of mainstream.

3. Giuliani-national name, cool image, funny; corrupt, New York, poor communicator.

4. Thompson-ability to communicate when he tries, tall, manly; lazy image, weak campaigner, tough to defend his 1 against all Senate votes on National stage.

5. Romney-ability to lose the election in a Goldwater-like landslide. Stiff, fake, weak record which he waffles on when trying to defend.

You could have a 100% rating, but if you try to sell out America for the Hispanic vote, if you try to bring in roughly 60 million people into our country, effectively establishing a neo-slave class, if you try to drive down the wages of lower and lower-middle class Americans, all for the bottom line, and if you try to do this all within the next 15 years, if in some quasi-multicultural frenzy you try to displace America's traditional Anglo-Protestant culture, in lieu of God knows what, ................................ if that's what you try to do, then THAT breaks all bargains!

In an overall percentage of votes, a single vote for the comprehensive immigration package would only count as a single contrary vote to an overall body of Conservative work. But in as much that single vote figured to change America forever, ............................ the percentages then get thrown out the window.

If you were for that creepy amnesty bill, if you were for bringing in 60 to 80 million people all within the next 15 years, {and yes, THOSE WERE THE TRUE NUMBERS, although they weren't the ones you heard being batted around on television, and I got that information from several senior Senate staffers}, if that's what you were for, then there's no way you should be considered for the GOP nomination.

THERE'S NO WAY McCain can be considered. WE didn't bar him from high office, it's not us who rendered him toxic. HE did that to himself, and he did that all on his own. In fact we were begging him to stop, we were begging him to maintain his credibility with conservatives. We implored him to be mindful of the base, we warned him of the consequences. But he went off on one of his Maverick benders, lapping up the love of a media that despises conservatives and conservatism. What were we to do, we couldn't just avert our eyes, we couldn't pretend that he didn't declare war against the base of the GOP. Just like that President of ours.

As for Reagan, some are trying to establish some cult of personality. And certain authors like Peter Robinson have tried to cash in on that, all the while pushing that cult of personality, endlessly regaling us with the minutiae of Reagan's personal life. The way Robinson goes on and on about Reagan makes him out to be some kind of demi-God. And RR would NOT have wanted it. Reagan knew himself to embody certain ideals, certain principals, certain convictions, all of which were distinctly American. It didn't have anything to do with Reagan per se, it had everything to do with America. America lost its way, but Reagan remembered. And when America was ready to listen, he reminded them of the wisdom, the hard won wisdom of yesteryear. And it was that wisdom that led America safely home, through the harrowing drama of the Cold War, and through the bleak years of economic liberalism. THAT'S why Reagan was so successful. Because he articulated and amplified core Americana.

A good chunk of the current Reagan nostalgia is directly attributable to the attack on Reaganism launched by both Bush presidencies. The Rockefeller Wing, the Whigs, have done their level best to cover over, bury and entomb Reaganism. Reagan ran against them, against the Rockefeller Republicans, against the Whigs, against their domestic and foreign policy views. And he didn't just defeat the Democrats, HE DEFEATED THEM. He didn't just prove the Democrats wrong, he proved the Bush family wrong, he proved the Rockefeller Republicans wrong, he proved Kissinger wrong, he proved them all wrong. And they haven't forgotten it.

Take a look at the growth of government. GW has overseen the greatest expansion of the federal budget since LBJ.


Now just think about that.

Just think about that some more.

When he entered office the budget was about 1.6 trillion per annum. When he'll leave, it will be roughly 3.2 trillion. It might be over that. AND don't believe that it's all about bridges to nowhere. A doubling of the federal budget entails far more than out of control earmarks, because the earmarks that McCain loves to pat himself on the back about are CHUMP CHANGE compared to the rest of the federal budget. So within 8 brief years George Walker Bush DOUBLED federal spending. AND FOR WHAT? What did this expenditure gain the American people. Do we have a manned mission to Mars? Have we established a manned base on the Lunar surface? Reagan could boast of the greatest peacetime military expansion in American history, what can GW boast of? The war? That's not where the money is going though. A break down of spending shows the money isn't going there, it's not that which has caused this insane, irresponsible, Rockefeller like growth in the budget. Spending is just a single example of how the Rockefeller/Bush wing of the party declared open hostilities on Reaganism.

The Bush family, being filled with no true conservative convictions, being filled with nothing of that which overflowed from the very mind and person and voice of Reagan, has led our party back to the lost and bewildered state we were in, when Reagan rode in to the rescue.


But now Reagan enjoys his eternal reward. So if there's any rescuing to be done, it's going to have to be done by the base of the GOP. We need to wrest control of our party from Bush and from McCain. And from men like Bush and McCain. Our party needs to be delivered from the clutches of men like Card, Sununu, Rudman, James Baker, Chaffee, Specter, Lugar and Hagel.

There's an INCREDIBLE amount of work that needs to be done, for it's nothing short of a restoration project for the Grand Old Party.

What we need are bruising primary battles all across the country. We need fights like the one that Pat Toomey put up against Specter, and next time around, we have to warn away stalwarts like Rick Santorum from throwing their weight around behind the unconservative incumbent. We need to ABSOLUTELY eject Lindsay Graham. Graham needs to be defeated in the primary. We need to get rid of any overcaution about ridding ourselves of obnoxious incumbents. Incumbency can't be seen as the be all and end all.

Remember that REAGAN went after an incumbent, and not just any incumbent, he went after the visible face of the GOP establishment, who was then sitting President, Gerald Ford. He took on Ford, he took on détente, he took on Kissinger. HE TOOK 'EM ALL ON. Democrats, establishment, media, Whigs, Rockefeller Republicans, Soviets, he took 'em all on. And whipped 'em all.

We need to emulate him.

Because what he did, we can do. And he never had conservative radio hosts to assist him.

I continue to be bothered by Huck’s exploitation of the Confederate flag issue, which is contrary to his whole record on race in Arkansas. It’s not a big deal, but a deal. I say this only to encourage him not repeat this error in future states.

So taking a States' rights stance on the Confederate flag is contrary to his "record on race" (whatever that means) in Arkansas? You are buying the other sides spin.

No snow yet up here, so doesn't seem likely now the weather will affect turnout in the upstate.

That could lead Fred, Mitt, and Rudy fans to hope for a combination of Huckabee first and Thompson second that might really take John out.

I don't really want McCain to get taken out at this stage. He needs to split the votes from the liberal states with Giuliani on Super Tuesday.

Kevin M, if you are going to say "we" and pretend to be a Republican, it's not a good move to repeat a whole list of Democratic party talking points.

Rudy Giuliani-a sort of principled tax cutter and solid economic conservative.

That is Rudy the myth. For a look at the real Rudy, take a read here and here.

And consider that he filed a lawsuit to get the line item veto thrown out, because Bill Clinton was cutting pork to NY.


The Rockefeller Wing, the Whigs, have done their level best to cover over, bury and entomb Reaganism.

Rudy Giuliani: Mr. Rockefeller represented "a tradition in the Republican Party I've worked hard to re-kindle - the Rockefeller, Javits, Lefkowitz tradition."

To the contrary John, Rudy USED REAGAN PRINCIPLES to solve New York City's problems. Rockefeller Republicans aren't tough on crime, they're not interested in cracking down on things like "squeegee men." A Rockefeller Republican would have turned up his nose at the mere prospect of doing what needed to be done to address New York's problems.

Giuliani doesn't stand in line with the Rockefeller wing of the party. If he had, they'd have supported him. The fact that the Rockefeller wing is still thrashing about between McCain and Romney tells you all you need to know about Giuliani, as well as all you need to know about McCain and Romney for that matter. The Rockefeller wing had no time, and has no time for a guy that unceremoniously booted an evil creature like Arafat out of a sainted "UN" gala. Oh the humanity! And who was it that flipped out about Giuliani booting that depraved sicko? The State Department, Nick Burns, formerly top gun next to Condi at that same Department.

Giuliani is simply too much for the leisured Rockefeller wing of the party. Rockefeller types shy away from intellectual combat, they never had much patience for Gingrich either. Both of them desired to upend the settled order of things, which was that Republicans were losers, and that well-mannered Republicans made their peace with that well established fact.

But Giuliani, Gingrich and Reagan WEREN'T losers, and set out for victory. And ever since we've had to bear with the endless moanings and groanings about "bitter partisanship." Anything that works for Republican ascendancy is decried. Anything that's consistent with the continuance of the old Liberal order, is applauded.

Well, old Rudy rocked their little Upper East and West Side worlds up there, amidst the concrete canyons of Manhattan.

Giuliani doesn't stand in line with the Rockefeller wing of the party. If he had, they'd have supported him. The fact that the Rockefeller wing is still thrashing about between McCain and Romney tells you all you need to know about Giuliani,

Dan, what you know about GOP politics could be written on the back of a postage stamp with room to spare.

It is EXACTLY the Rockefeller Republicans who are supporting McCain and Giuliani. The latest news out of Florida is that Crist and Martinez are trying to decide whether to endorse Rudy, or McCain. Romney has been endorsed by Robert Bork, Senator DeMint, and Tom Tancredo. If you think these are "Rockefeller Republicans" you need to wait untill you get out of high school before posting here.

Did you even bother to read the links I posted before setting off on your inane and rambling screed?


Did you guys see the piece by Michael Barone on NRO?
It ends with this: Ronald Reagan,... knew about the tawdry things yet believed there was something noble about our politics. Maybe we should feel that way, too. After all these years, I think I do.

I am impressed and I hope he's right that there still is something noble in our politics.

Oh for crying out loud John, you conjure up some quote that was probably a line meant to flatter at some damn dinner gala, and from that you think you've put together a case that's QED.

Why haven't you reviewed the YEARS that Giuliani spent in the mayor's office?

Where does that figure in your indictment of him? [And by extension, your indictment of me]. Rudy left in his wake a New York City changed forever, or are you one of those who parrots the lines spouted by Charlie Rangell and Al Sharpton, that Rudy's accomplishments were inflated, and belong in quotation marks. Are you one of them, one of those who can't take Rudy's successes, so you're intent on marginalizing them and trivializing them. I would like to think you're not one of them, one of those willfully, deliberately and purposely obtuse about his record.

What DID he do?

The WHOLE WORLD witnessed what he did for that city. Cities across the world send staffers to NYC to study what he did, and study the manner in which he accomplished it, so that they can go home and replicate his achievements in their own cities, and for their own communities. Now why would they do that, if he had done nothing?

He took a city that most wrote off as unmanageable, AND THROUGH REAGANISM, straightened it out, rendered it fiscally fit, cleaned it up, swept the criminals off the streets, brushed back the porn from the business districts and in short, SAVED NEW YORK CITY. And that's a cursory take on what he managed to accomplish.

The facts, the truth, the details, if studied, if digested, make his achievements even more epic. And that's the word to use: "EPIC!"

But all of that factors nowhere in your political calculus of him, and his political lineage. Why haven't you asked yourself what specific policies he enacted, and from where did those policies originate? Why haven't you conducted that review? Why haven't you compared and contrasted his record of his achievements to the decades long drift of the Rockefeller Republicans, and by contrast the tenure of Ronald Reagan.

What about his time in the Reagan Justice Department, before he got to New York City. How do you explain that? If the guy wasn't a conservative, how did he manage to land a place within the Reagan Justice Department? How did that happen, or was that just happenstance? William French Smith and Ed Meese weren't in the business of hiring Rockefeller types for the Justice Department. During his time at Justice Rudy worked with guys like John Roberts and Sam Alito. His conservative bona fides throughout that period of his career are rock solid.

So much so, that he received THE PLUM ASSIGNMENT for a prosecutor in America, THE U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF MANHATTAN.

Have you ANY idea how difficult it is to land an Assistant US Attorney position, LET ALONE a US Attorney position, let alone the one for Southern Manhattan. Clearly you don't. For if you had, you wouldn't go around questioning his conservative bona fides.

Beyond that however, who nominated him for that position? The President of the United States appoints US Attorneys. So which President appointed Rudy Giuliani to the most challenging US Attorney job in the country. Was it Gerald Ford, was it Nixon? Was it Carter? Was it Clinton? Who was it? Or did he get that job because of unreported connections to Jacob Javitz and to Nelson Rockefeller. Let me tell you something, and Hayward will back it up, the Reagan Justice Department was as staffed with conservatives as any department in the overall Reagan administration. Perhaps more so. William French Smith and Ed Meese didn't hire Rockefeller types. They hired guys like Roberts, Alito and Mark Levin. Giuliani was closely vetted, and closely watched.

Long before he became Mayor, the Rockefeller wing had DECADES to address the problems that were besetting New York City, and were steadily building throughout the 60s, the 70s, the 80s and the 90s. And NONE of them solved much of anything throughout that period. And what's more, they didn't know how to solve those problems. They subscribed to the idea of decline churned out by Kissenger and Carter. NYC kept getting worse and worse. People were fleeing in droves, businesses were leaving as well and new businesses weren't taking their place. The city was dying; the welfare rolls expanding, crime levels were skyrocketing, the police were embattled and the treasury was exhausted. Hollywood took notice and churned out creepy period flicks such as ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK CITY, starring Kurt Russell. Hollywood portrayed NYC as a bleak and dangerous place, whose inhabitants lived like hunted animals in their own apartments. NYC was becoming a place where Bernie Goetz defended himself on a train, and when prosecuted for shooting a guy when he was down, WAS ACQUITTED by a jury of his peers. THAT was what New York City was like. And there was no hope in sight.

But according to your version of events, all of a sudden a Rockefeller Republican emerged from the Reagan Justice Department with a clue on how to solve New York City's problems. What an amazing development! FOR DECADES Rockefeller Republicans hadn't a fricken clue, but then all of a sudden a guy comes along WHO WAS ONE OF THEM SUPPOSEDLY, with a clue. Reaganism didn't have anything to do with turning The Big Apple around. Reaganism was working elsewhere in the country, but it didn't have anything to do with Rudy's successes in NYC.

You think that's gonna' fly?

Rudy has been making speeches throughout the country, and has EXTOLLED REAGAN throughout the length and breath of the Continental 48. And has done so for years. Where are those quotes?

Why haven't you presented one, just one, of those quotes. Could it be because they tell against your case? Couldn't be that, could it?

BUT of course that assumes that quotes are dispositive here, instead of actual policy, policy proposed, policy fought for, policy enacted. I'm not interested in his words so much as I'm interested in what he's done. And we can see what he's done anytime we travel to NYC. And I was just there a month ago.

Go beyond the superficial, and check what the man did, what policies he enacted, what personnel decisions he made, how did they consist with or vary from the Rockefeller Republicanism you suggest he embodies. Do that. And do that in good faith. For without good faith, what's the use. If you won't assess what the man did, what he said, what he backed up, what he accomplished, then why bother commenting about the primary battle at all.

And here's something else for ya'. Rockefeller Republicanism was about TONE, about country club Republicanism, and it was as much about that as it was about being a faint echo of the Democrat party. And Giuliani is ENTIRELY too intellectually and culturally pugnaciousness to ever sit comfortably within the ranks of the Rockefeller Republican wing of the party. Reagan was a fighter. Gingrich was a fighter. So's Giuliani. EVEN IN TEMPERAMENT THEN, he's a Reaganite.

I suggest you begin some serious research into the years leading to the election of Ronald W. Reagan. For as Giulaini has often said, without Reagan, no one would've ever heard of him. You can begin with STEVE HAYWARD'S THE AGE OF REAGAN, the fall of the old liberal order, 1964 - 1980. That's a good place to start.

And there ARE conservatives who support Giuliani. STAUNCH CONSERVATIVES TOO.

Want me to name one? Fine. No prob.

JULIE PONZI SUPPORTS GIULIANI. And she's said as much. Ted Olson. Pat Robertson endorsed him too. Are they moderate? That's three people with sharply different backgrounds, yet they all support Giuliani. Imagine that.

Rudy is campaigning where right now? Is it the Northeast? NO, it's Florida. Somewhat South of the Mason Dixon, isn't it? If Rudy pulls out Florida, and there's no guarantee that he will, he'll demonstrate that his message finds traction outside of the Northeast. Though you don't want to concede the obvious, RUDY APPEALS to conservatives, and was the nationwide leader in the polls throughout most of '07. People support Rudy because they value competence, they value tested character, they value personal grit, political savvy and when necessary, downright orneriness. All of which Rudy possesses in spades.

Those of us who support Giuliani GO BEYOND THE SUPERFICIAL.

That's why we can't take seriously anything that Romney says or does. He can mouth his lines from now until the crack of doom sounds, and we're not going to believe a word he utters. Why? Because his words aren't backed up by deeds. That's why. Let him spend a decade in the cultural trenches where Rudy was, let him do that, then maybe we'll give credence to his words.

Going down the field, Huckabee hasn't the toughness for the job, and though some of his instincts are healthy, especially on sovereignty, some of his instincts hew a little too closely to Christianity. We're not electing a Pastor here, who promises to play well with the other children in the playground. We're electing a man who is going to be faced with some of the most grim tasks any President ever confronted. And Huckabee probably can't handle it.

As for Thompson, he has NO executive experience. Doesn't mean he's not conservative. It just means we can't deliver the federal government over to him. He can't be trusted. That's not unimportant, especially after the Bush administration, which has saddled our party with a bad rep for incompetence.

John McCain attacks the base with barely controlled glee.

So who's left? That would be Giuliani. Which is the guy many of us are supporting.

We're not blind to the things he's said and done over the years. But on the whole, he's the preferable candidate. AT LEAST OF THIS FIELD. And this is the only field we've got to select from.

This is a no-brainer.

Jesus, Dan, you really need to get a job or something.

I suggest you begin some serious research into the years leading to the election of Ronald W. Reagan.

In November 1980, Ronald Reagan was elected President. One month later, Rudy Giuliani change his registration to Republican.

Giuliani began the seventies as a pretty hard left Democrat who voted for McGovern. He changed his registation from Dem to independent in 1976 to get a job with the Ford administration.

You really need to set up your own blog, Dan, to post your extensive opinions on.

I swear, the typical Rudy supporter is every bit as nutty as the Paulistas.

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