Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Random Observations

1. Fred Barnes goes through all the possible Republican VP candidates on THE WEEKLY STANDARD page and concludes that the weighty choice with the fewest liabilities is Romney. But the objections to Mitt are weighty too. Most important, it’s all too clear that Mac doesn’t like him, and this time especially the ticket should be a team. The point of Bush-Cheney was to give the president foreign policy expertise he really needs, and I think this time the message should be that the VP would give the president domestic expertise he really needs. Romney certainly is an expert, but would it seem clear enough that Mac would reply upon his advice?

2. I think McCain should check out very carefully another longshot VP possibility--Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. She’s young, smart, really popular, and probably America’s prettiest governor. Palin just announced she’s seven months pregnant with her fifth child. Apparently nobody had noticed (and not because she’s overweight or anything like that). There’s a lot--really a lot--to be said for a woman candidate who lives her family values. (A Romney-Palin ticket might even have been accused of being natalism run amok.)

3. I found out at the Bioethics Council meeting that health economists really respect McCain’s heath care plan. Mac would eliminate the bias in the tax law in favor of employer-based policies and give each American a $2500 ($5000 for families) subsidy to purchase his or her own insurance. His goal is to maximize your ability to choose your own provider and kind of coverage, detach your insurance from your job, and encourage innovative multiyear policies. The concern some economists have is that the subsidies may be too small to pay for adequate coverage and achieve McCain’s goal of getting all Americans insured. But all in all, there’s a good chance Mac could really become credible on this domestic issue.

Discussions - 13 Comments

My colleague Robert Stackpole grades the VP choices and gives top marks to Pawlenty.

Mr. Lawler, could you explain how Gov. Palin "lives her family values" merely by giving birth to five children? Giving birth says nothing about how she is raising those children, educating them, caring for them, etc. Do you have some idea of how she is doing these things? Do you base this judgment solely on the fact that she's a married Republican who has had five children? If so, I'd caution you against that standard. Do the Amish and Mormons have the best family values?

Further, Gov. Palin has done some things in her official capacity that might not mesh well with some conservative's ideas of what constitutes "family values." Further, how is she able to properly fulfill her traditional family values role as a mother AND commit adequate time to her duties as governor? At some point one simply wouldn't have enough time to fulfill both roles properly and in an exemplary fashion. Does she employ a nanny? Are nannies an acceptable component of family values? I thought we were supposed to imagine nannies as being part of snooty liberal America and Hollywood families.

But she is fairly pretty and certainly popular, so maybe if she doesn't get the veep slot she could try to be Mrs. America or Mrs. Four-Kids-or-More America.

I think Pawlenty would be ok but just ok, not really adding much gravity or strength to the ticket. And I certainly wouldn't give Huckabee an A-, because he too never bonded with mainstream Republicans. On Palin, I was only calling for more research, so to speak. I'll let everyone judge for himself about the two links. For myself, I'm short on context. She appears to be happily married and all that. Thanks to Craig for raising those concerns, and I hope others raise more. Obviously my interest in Palin came from enthusiastic Alaskans and the need to "think outside the box" on this.

Anybody as stupid and obnoxious as Craig Scanlon must be employed in academia. On a bright note, we get our recommended daily allowance of boilerplate lefty talking points in one convenient dose.

Sometimes I suspect he is merely some computer program, like the Chomsky generator.

Craig Scanlon is my hero! No kidding! I check in on NLT from time to time, and I am absolutely humbled that he still has the stamina and the fortitude to keep it up. I tried for a long time, and quit so that I could spend some quality time with my family.

Craig -- nice work.

Craig, I think a lot of pro-life activists like the safe haven law. And the vote on benefits was to judge public opinion in the face of an adverse court decision. (That is my superficial reading. I am open to correction if wrong.)

Yes, just having kids is some indication of family values in light of the modern yuppie, self-centered trend to have 1 or 2 kids for economic and social reasons.

And yes Sarah Palin is attractive. I didn't know she had five kids. Now I feel somewhat guilty for thinking that. I won’t be voting for McCain, but I would be OK with a Palin VP choice. :-)

I'm ok w the safe haven law, esp. in the context of Alaska, which has a lot of dysfunctional rural villages etc. And it's only human (and so somewhat sinful) for a man to lust in his heart (or elsewhere) for a hot mom--so long as he doesn't do anything about it.

Why would anyone object to a safe haven law? But I have to say that I am not enthusiastic about Palin for VP.

Here, as elsewhere, McCain will do what he wants to. Not necessarily what makes sense from a political standpoint. The veep speculation is pointless, unless one has some ability to influence the man.

Julie, I think a safe haven law is a necessary evil of modern times. You would object to it because it allows a mother to fob off the most fundamental and essential of all human obligations. We don't allow people to just opt out of debts (well we sorta don't) or contracts etc.

What is wrong with Palin? Here kids have some odd names. Maybe she is a crunchy con.

Red: I'm not sure I'd call it a "necessary evil." But I know what you mean. Still, you can pass a judgment on the moral fitness of a mother who can (or must) "fob off" her obligations vis a vis a child she has conceived and birthed . . . but whatever judgment you make of her morality in conceiving the child or in "fobbing it off" is undoubtedly overwhelmed by the good opinion you must form of a person who can put the interests of her child above her own in the end. That is a true mother and a true act of love. I resist the comparison of a child to a debt or a contract. That is too rational a way to view children or motherhood.

As for Palin, I'm sure there's nothing "wrong" with her. But call me old-fashioned . . . I just don't think a woman with a newborn infant and 4 other small ones has the time or the mental energy to do the job of Vice President (leave alone campaign for it). Even allowing for the possibility that it can be done--why do it? Is she the only person in the whole country fit to do this job? It all seems just a little unnecessary to me. Serving as governor of Alaska is, I am sure, a pretty demanding job. But she's not in the national spotlight in that capacity like she would be as a VP candidate and then VP. She's young. If she's any good her time will come when she's got more time for it.

OK. I agree with the last paragraph completely. Palin is in here mid 40's. I wonder if this baby was "planned" as they say. The speculation that I have read is that the pregnancy takes here out of contention and as far as I am concerned, that is appropriate. Surely you know I would never call anyone old fashioned.

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