Archive for February, 2007

McCain’s Demise Exaggerated

February 28, 2007

Dick Morris’ latest attempts to grab attention for himself come at the expense of John McCain’s campaign to be the Republican nomination for 2008. A Voice of Reason, in a most interesting post, takes Morris’ view that McCain’s campaign is faltering at the first hurdle and looks into the reasoning behind this.

A lack of campaign finance is naturally a huge concern.  John McCain’s website (www.johnmccain.com) lists numerous fundraising events that are happening in the near future, indicating that McCain is aware of this problem. On the other hand, McCain might not feel too concerned by the absence of millions in his campaign chest – after all, he is the most well-known of all the candidates and as a Senator his views have received much attention without the need for excessive campaigning. Hopefully, the McCain team are aware that his celebrity status will not be enough to win the Republican nomination.

A Voice of Reason makes a fair point when he states, “McCain doesn’t seem to be the same maverick who was willing to buck the system.” McCain’s compassionate conservatism (illegal immigration, environment) has traditionally appealed to moderate voters from both parties and to a seemingly growing number of independents/undecided. This would be ideal if he were running for the Presidency right now. However, the nomination/primary system dictates that any politician has to appeal to their own party first and foremost. Thus, almost every candidate from both parties is having to ‘nuance’ their feelings on major issues and to tow the party line to some extent. McCain is no exception; a maverick politician usually has more work to do than a political poodle in convincing the base to choose him as the candidate.

The problem arises when the compassionate conservative  makes attempts to ‘appease’ the extremists of the party; if the ‘old guard’ Republicans accept him and choose him as a candidate, they run the risk of having a Presidential candidate who will be accused of flip-flopping to win the nomination. The moderates and independents would understandably begin to wonder if this candidate can be trusted to stick to his principles and his word.

At present, I personally believe McCain retains (‘hangs onto by a thread’ might be more accurate) his maverick reputation in that his so-called ‘flip-flops’ could be seen more as changes in emphasis rather than policy. 

His belief in sending more troops to Iraq (much earlier than the timing of this latest surge) might well be the proverbial albatross around his neck.  On the other hand, a change in fortune in Iraq (however unlikely that might seem) might tip the balance in his favour, as might the growing threat of Iran. Voters might see McCain as the most reliable candidate to defend America’s interests.  This situation could also bode well for Giuliani who has the reputation for handling a crisis at the time of homeland America’s darkest hour with calmness, intelligence and resolve.

As it stands, McCain seems to be gaining ground on Giuliani in the polls (if they mean anything).  Talk of a dire situation for the McCain team seems somewhat hyperbolic. Dick Morris has his own agenda which seems to gravitate around the theory of getting as much publicity for himslef as possible. 

If the leading two candidates for the Republican nomination are not McCain and Giuliani when it comes down to the crunch, the Republican Party will have shot itself in the foot. I, too, am pleased to see the apparently cordial relationship that exists between John and Rudy.  Maybe a dream ticket in the offing?  They would be unbeatable.

The Left’s Plan: Flee Iraq and Kowtow to Iran

February 25, 2007

Britain is planning to withdraw 1600 troops from southern Iraq. The mainstream media celebrates and the people rejoice. 

These two sentences would not seem out of place in a pro-Al-Qaeda, anti-democratic publication. Unfortunately, they sum up perfectly the reaction of many of the democratic countries that Al-Qaeda and other Islamic extremist groups intend to harm, or better still, destroy.

The timing of the withdrawal of British troops is clearly unhelpful to the Bush administration, since the US has applied the opposite strategy – redeploying more troops. Many critics of the war will overlook the fact that the majority of these soldiers are being sent to Afghanistan to strengthen the forces in the face of renewed attacks from Al-Qaeda that are predicted to come in the spring. That the troops are being removed from Iraq rather than redeployed within Iraq is a matter for some debate. Blair will certainly have discussed his plans with President Bush before deciding upon the current course of action.  It would have been an ideal opportunity to demonstrate the solidity of the Coalition, if the British forces had moved into Baghdad – even for a limited period of time. As it stands, the move out of Iraq, when taken with the withdrawal of other forces (Danish, South Korean), tends to add fuel to critics’ claims that the war on terror is losing support even among America’s most loyal allies.

The American and Australian leaders appear to be the last bastions of reason and foresight when it comes to tackling the extremists.  While many in the media and in the leftist anti-war movement describe them as delusional, they are the loudest voices among seemingly dwindling numbers who can see the tragic consequences that await the oppressed in the Middle East and the free (for now) in democratic countries around the world if the white flag is raised. Iran is already taunting the rest of the world and will soon be threatening the world just as arrogantly with nuclear weapons.

Why? Ahmadinejad knows the majority of citizens of the United States, UK, Australia and any other country, for that matter, do not have the stomach for another war – even if dire consequences await the generations to come.

The Iranian President is also aware that Nato is beginning to lose its backbone for battle.  The Liberal Party in Canada, reflecting public opinion, recently announced a policy of complete withdrawal from Afghanistan if it holds the balance of power after the next election. When are politicians going to stand up for principles of freedom and democracy rather than surrendering to the whims of an under-informed and short-sighted electorate? 

Germany would have won WWII if major policy decisions rested upon the results of opinion polls.  If a leader had had the courage to launch a pre-emptive war against Hitler, many millions of lives would have been saved.  This is comparable to the situation against the Islamic extremists today. 

At the moment, the media and the left-wing politicians are in favour of postponing action against the extremists.  Postponing is the only verb to use here, for, undoubtedly, America and its allies will have to respond once a nuclear device is used.  By then, many more innocent lives will have been lost.

President Bush must remain steadfast in the face of intense criticism, if the war against the extremists is to be won.  The candidates for 2008 must realize they need to demonstrate similar resolve if America’s security is to be guaranteed.  So far, the Democrats have made it crystal clear that they will not fight.  They have offered no solid proposals for tackling terror apart from withdrawal from Iraq. Such a policy will only embolden those who seek to bring America to its knees.

Arnie Helps McCain Terminate Rivals

February 23, 2007

While many Republicans continue to claim that the idea of global warming is a hoax and a left-wing conspiracy to bring down the oil companies (?) among other theories, John McCain, taking a more realistic approach to the problem, teamed up with one of the truly great rising stars of the Republican Party, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California.

As numerous memebers of the Republican party persist in disputing the claims of many scientists that global warming is even occurring, McCain sees the larger picture:

“No matter who runs for president, this will be a very, very big issue.”

This is an undeniable fact, whatever one’s views on global warming.  The candidates who deny its existence or potential menace to life on earth will not gain any voters with this view and will certainly alienate many.  Through this joint venture with Schwarzenegger, calling for a low-carbon fuel standard across the United States, McCain has signalled his environmentally-friendly politics.  Schwarzenegger’s implicit support of McCain will come as a blow to McCain’s rivals owing to the growing popularity of support for the Governator.  It follows that many people, impressed with Arnie’s compassionate style of leadership , will be equally as enamoured with McCain following this type of co-operation.

Arnie and McCain share many similar characteristics.  Primarily they can both be described as ‘compassionate’ conservatives and the two of them are not terribly popular with some of the ‘old guard’ within the Republican Party.  Both men appeal to a wide range of voters, particularly the independent/undecided group in between the two parties.  Arnie has confounded early critics by continuing to receive support from voters of varying political leanings;  McCain should be equally as popular at the ballot box in 2008, once he wins the nomination – the ‘old school” Republicans need to realize the necessity of a candidate who can sweep the middle-ground in the political battlefield that is the Presidential race.

McCain and Giuliani seem the clear favourites at this early stage to be the candidates who can dominate the voters found at the centre of the political spectrum.  Any Republican trying to smear these men or to undermine their campaign runs the risk of conceding the race to the Democrats before it’s even underway.

Who Wants to be a Rock Star? Obama!

February 21, 2007

For some weeks now, Barack Obama has been described by the media as the “rock star” candidate for the Democratic Party.  One would imagine that this is a label from which any self-respecting politician and potential President of the United States would want to distance himself.  Apparently not.  Almost every Democratic strategist appearing on cable news shows seem to overflow with pride as they gush that Obama is the “rock star” of the Democratic Party.

To which section of the voters do they think this term appeals?  Probably the “Rock the Vote” demographic that catastrophically failed to materialize last time round and that left many in the Democratic Party feeling rather humbled.

Obama appears to believe the hype, as can be seen from his fundraising attempts in Hollywood.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,253124,00.html

That Obama will be well-received in Hollywood comes as little surprise considering how out of touch the actors are with the ‘real world.’  Undoubtedly, he will receive many standing ovations for uttering the usual anti-Bush, anti-war, ‘wave the white flag and retreat’ rhetoric.  He needs to be careful with these lines of thought.

The American people are currently making their frustrations about the war in Iraq known through the very discouraging opinion polls.  However, reality might begin to set in, when visions of the terrorists celebrating America’s (and the Coalition’s ) capitulation and defeat (for that is what the Democrats and their friends in Hollywood seem to want) play over in their minds.

Rock stars can make flippant decisions without too much consideration and can spout their views with limited consequences.  An American politician cannot.  Particularly a politician who would be President.  Australia’s PM, John Howard, pointed out the glaringly obvious flaws in Obama’s Iraq countdown to surrender policy:

“I think that will just encourage those who want to completely destabilize and destroy Iraq, and create chaos and a victory for the terrorists to hang on and hope for an Obama victory,” Howard said on Nine Network television.

“If I were running Al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and be praying as many times as possible for a victory, not only for Obama but also for the Democrats.”  

The position of President of the United States during a time of war cannot be filled by a candidate who revels in “rock star” qualities.  That mistake was made before with Bill Clinton and we are all aware of the consequences. 

When the American voters realize the future of the American way of life is on the line, they will not waste their votes on a rock star.  Maybe Obama should reconsider his career choice.  Is it too late for him to enter this year’s American Idol?  Seeing how rattled he was by Howard’s remarks, it seems unlikely he would survive long with Simon Cowell.

McCain’s Wise Moves

February 20, 2007

John McCain is no fool.  He cannot be elected President of the United States if he does not win his party’s nomination.  Thus, he is restating his opinions on the key issues in order to communicate effectively where he stands.  He seems to be the only candidate, thus far, who is prepared to nail his colours to the mast.

Some have accused him of flip-flopping on the significant issues like Roe v. Wade.  When one considers his voting record and revisits what he has had to say on the matter of abortion (http://www.ontheissues.org/John_McCain.htm), his latest comments seem entirely consistent with his previous musings.  That he has mentioned the possibility of a repeal of Roe v. Wade is clearly a political move given the fact that many Republicans view this as a major issue.  He has to convince the majority of Republicans to choose him as their candidate – it makes sense to court them by clarifying certain positions.  This particular clarification does not contradict John McCain’s philosophy over the past decade or so.

The most vehement critics of McCain have not been the Democrats, as one might expect.  On the contrary, his own party members have been the most bitter of critics at this point. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/17/us/politics/17arizona.html?_r=1&ref=todayspaper&oref=slogin

Some Republicans in McCain’s state of Arizona have been heavily involved in campaigning for his rivals.  They feel McCain’s views on immigration, stem cell research, and tax cuts are unacceptable.  What they fail to realize is McCain’s stance on these issues is in line with the majority of moderates in America. 

2008 is shaping up to be a year when a candidate with extreme views will not win the Presidential race – unless the Democrats choose a candidate who is equally as polarizing (ie Hillary Clinton).  Even then, the crucial voters will be the independents and the moderates.  They are more likely to side with a compassionate conservative to whom they can relate rather than an extremist tow-the-party-line candidate.

What McCain’s Arizona Republicans do not seem to understand is that McCain is their best shot at winning the 08 election.  Take immigration, for example: the majority of Americans do not want to see all the illegal aliens rounded up and sent back to Mexico.  Why?  Principally, because such a task would be impossible.  Secondly, because America, the land of dreams, has been built by hard-working immigrants.  The amnesty McCain supports rewards those immigrants who are hard-working with the right to apply for legal status in the US.  Most Americans would not begrudge them this opportunity.  The gay marriage ‘issue’ will not decide the outcome of the 2008 election.  Republicans who believe this is a vital issue and who choose a candidate based on this run the risk, again, of choosing a politician who will be viewed as an extremist by many in the country. 

Republicans, such as the turncoats in McCain’s own backyard, need to reflect upon what they really want in a candidate.  Either they choose a candidate whose opinions reflect the more right-wing element of the party on issues such as gay marriage, gun control, immigration, tax cuts, and isolationism or they choose a candidate who will win the 2008 election. 

John McCain is a candidate who does not hold the more ‘traditional’ Republican views.  He agrees with some but takes a more moderate, compassionate approach on other issues.  This would seem to give him the best chance of success in 08.  Giuliani, for the same reasons, would be the next best candidate.  The question remains… Do the ‘traditionalist’/’old guard’ Republicans want to field their ideal candidate or do they want to remain in the White House?  They cannot do both.

Non-binding Resolution… Treason in a time of war?

February 19, 2007

The House hit an historic low this week with the shameful passing of the non-binding resolution that undermines President Bush’s efforts in the war on terror.  While the resolution itself cannot prevent the Commander-in-Chief from continuing to protect America’s interests and those of the millions of Iraqis who are relying on the United States to help their country stay on the path to full democracy, the fact that a majority in the House are against their President and the American military during this time of war sends a message of encouragement to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic extremists around the world.

These Democrats and those Republicans who stabbed Bush and freedom in the back with their treasonous voting are thinking only of themselves and their own political careers with no apparent forward-thinking.  Undermining the President at this most crucial time in the war on terror would be similar to calling for Churchill to step down after the disaster at Dunkirk.  The nay-sayers need to have more stomach for the battle – a battle for our way of life to continue unthreatened and for the spreading of freedom in those regions where only oppression is known. 

It is hard to believe that these politicians and others in the Senate, like Chuck Hagel, cannot see the bigger picture.  If their wish is granted and the US surrenders to the extremists in Iraq (and then Afghanistan – the next logical step), the violence will worsen and conditions will be rife for Al-Qaeda or some similar faction to acquire a nuclear device.  We will then need a lot more than Jack Bauer and 24 hours of time to clear up the mess. 

After the Democrats defunded the military campaign inVietnam in 1975, millions of innocent people lost their lives in that country and in Cambodia – the mass-murderers showed little mercy or respect for human life, safe in the knowledge that nobody would step in to stop them.  The consequences of retreating and offering up the white flag in Iraq (and in the war on terror, in general) will be more far-reaching than the Democrats and Chuck Hagel (et al.)  seem to be able to imagine.  The Viet-Cong stayed in their region; Al-Qaeda will not.  We know that from their activities over the past fifteen years. 

On Meet the Press today, Chuck Hagel told Tim Russert that he would announce his intentions regarding the Presidential Race for 2008 in the next two weeks.  He added that if he decided to seek the Republican nomination, he would lay out his plans for Iraq.  How nice.  In other words, he will keep his ideas to himself for now (just like most Democrats) so that he can use them as part of his political campaign.  That’s assuming he has some conrete ideas, of course.

It seems that politicians like John McCain, who put their country before their own aspirations are few and far between these days.  In Iowa, he reiterated his views regarding the difficulties in Iraq, showed empathy for the American people and made it crystal clear how essential America’s continued involvement and subsequent victory over the extremists are: “I know how tough it is for the American people, I know how frustrated Americans are, I understand your frustration, but I also want to tell you that I believe if we fail, the consequences of failure are catastrophic.”  In re-emphasising this, McCain again stands out compared with the other candidates (Giuliani honourably excepted). 

Surely, Hagel, Clinton, Obama and all the non-binding resolution devotees in the House can foresee the potential for greater calamity should America be seen to capitulate.  These politicians see America as the problem in the world.  McCain takes a different view.  There are problems in the world and the United States, the benevolent superpower, can tackle them for its own benefit and for the benefit of millions of people around the world.  McCain stands by his President during this pivotal moment in America’s (and the free world’s) history.  This is not blind support, for McCain has been critical of the handling of the war.  However, his criticism has never undermined the President nor the troops – this is crucial during a war.

Politicians on both sides need to realize that success in this war is much more important than any individual gains they seek to guarantee.  They should also remember that they were elected to represent their constituents and to act in the best interests of the country; not to follow, seemingly without thought, every opinion poll that appears on CNN. 

The White House called for there to be a debate and vote on a binding resolution regarding Iraq and funding of the troops.  Hear, hear!  Let’s see how many politicians are willing to have their names go down in history tainted with treason.  I rather doubt a similar resolution would pass.  Once again, though, it would not be a matter of principle for these politicians – no, it would be self-preservation. 


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