Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Day

Well, today was Leap Day... we won't have another February 29th until 2016.

Davey Jones died of a heart attack today.  That's sad, I really loved watching The Monkees when I was a kid, and really enjoyed some of their songs... I was just listening to this one now:

In happier news, today also happens to be Eugene Volokh's birthday.  Though I'm not really clear on how old he actually is if he was born on Leap Day.  Hmmmm...

Monday, February 27, 2012

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "Harvard Endorses Israel's Destruction" by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Mark Steyn's post "Contraception Misdirection" over at National Review.  Congrats!

The case for Mitt Romney

There are an awful lot of "true conservative" types dumping on Mitt Romney these days... some are saying that he is no better than Obama, and some are even threatening to not vote if Romney is the nominee.  I don't get it... I know that Romney isn't perfect, but I don't understand the hatred of him.

Here was Mark Levin in 2008 arguing that Romney was the most conservative choice:
Let’s face it, none of the candidates are perfect. They never are. But McCain is the least perfect of the viable candidates. The only one left standing who can honestly be said to share most of our conservative principles is Mitt Romney. I say this as someone who has not been an active Romney supporter. If conservatives don’t unite behind Romney at this stage, and become vocal in their support for him, then they will get McCain as their Republican nominee and probably a Democrat president. And in either case, we will have a deeply flawed president.
Of course that was before Levin suddenly decided to hate Romney's guts.  In 2008 he was calling Romney a conservative... maybe an imperfect conservative, but still a conservative.  And now Romney is some sort of ultra-liberal who should be hated like poison?

Well, I don't see any perfect conservatives this time around either.  I initially supported Rick Perry, but he just wasn't able to sell himself... so now that Perry is gone, Romney has become my second choice.  Who else am I supposed to vote for?  Rick Santorum may yet win the nomination, and I will vote for him if he does, but I don't see how he could possibly beat Obama in the general election.  (I don't think that Newt Gingrich could beat Obama either, but I don't see him winning the nomination at this point anyway, so the question is probably moot.)

As our nominee, Mitt Romney would keep the focus on Obama's failed policies... Romneycare is a problem for Romney, but not an insurmountable one.  I think Romney will do a much better job of exposing Obama as a radical leftist than Santorum ever could, mainly because Santorum is too eager to let himself get lured into lecturing us about things like Satan, sodomy, pornography, contraception, and whether or not Protestants are real Christians.

I've been fairly impressed with Mitt Romney's performance in the debates so far, and I think he would do just fine against Obama... but you don't have to take my word for it, here is Santorum himself endorsing Mitt Romney in 2008:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ace's review of "Ides of March"

He makes it sound pretty bad:
It's a movie by dumb people who think they're smart, for dumb people who also want to think they're smart, by people who don't know anything at all about the business of politics but think a few Cynical Sounding Lines of Dialogue will authenticate it all, for people who also don't know anything about the business of politics and will be fooled by a few Cynical Sounding Lines of Dialogue.
Though he does recommend watching it as a movie made so badly that it becomes unintentionally funny.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "Should The Catholic Church Go Medieval Over ObamaCare Regulations?" by Rhymes With Right, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Victor David Hanson's post "Iran 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 4.0" over at VDH's Private Papers.  Congrats!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy President's Day

I don't have anything very profound to say about President's Day, so I think maybe I'll just let some of our former presidents do the talking for me.

"Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves." -- Ronald Reagan

"The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission." -- John F. Kennedy

"A government for the people must depend for its success on the intelligence, the morality, the justice, and the interest of the people themselves." -- Grover Cleveland

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Santorum not a fan of Protestantism?

Apparently, Rick Santorum was giving a speech to Ave Maria University in 2008, and during his speech he declared that Protestantism was "a shambles" and "gone from the world of Christianity."

At least 51% of the country identifies as Protestant based on the most recent numbers that I have seen... and if Rick Santorum is on tape seeming to question the faith of over half the country, then how can he ever hope to get elected?  Count on an endless barrage of attack ads showing these quotes from Santorum over and over again... if Romney doesn't run with these quotes in the primary then Obama certainly will in the general election.  Do Santorum supporters not see this as a problem?

(found via @BenHowe)

Update:  Ok, so maybe Santorum only means to criticize mainline Protestantism, but that's still a very large chunk of the country to just write off... and don't assume that the rest of the country will be perfectly fine with a presidential candidate who is on record openly questioning the faith of huge swaths of the country.  If his supporters really don't see this as a problem, I don't know what else to say.

Update:  Great, and now Santorum's out on the stump saying stuff like this:  "Freedom isn't to do whatever you want to do, it's to do what you ought to do."

Update:  And what does he mean by that?  Well, the very first thing listed on the issues page at his campaign website is a pledge to fight pornography:
America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.

Every family must now be concerned about the harm from pornography. As a parent, I am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture.

For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.

Congress has responded. Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”
Update:  This promise to fight porn is still there on Santorum's website, but it doesn't show up as first on the list anymore... that's something I guess, but I find it very troubling that it is there at all.  Yes, other candidates have also pledged to fight porn, but none of the other remaining candidates are making this the priority that Santorum is... he is the only one who even bothers to list it as a campaign issue on his website, and the language he uses in his own pledge goes way beyond anything that Romney or Gingrich have ever promised to do.

Update:  Carol Platt Liebau tries to warn her fellow social conservatives of the damage that Rick Santorum is doing to their cause:
Rick Santorum is certainly a patriot, and a man of courage, conviction and principle, but he lacks the cheerful demeanor and deft touch that mark the most effective proponents of social conservatism. Indeed, the danger Senator Santorum poses to social conservatism is grave, and it is real. First, his history of inflammatory statements coupled with a persona that can come across as dour and preachy opens him – and social conservatism – to easy, ugly caricature that could marginalize and cripple the movement disastrously for years to come.

Finally, Senator Santorum’s tendency (understandable in a candidate) to discuss social conservatism in the context of government policy overlooks the central role that religion and the culture must play, if the ideals he so clearly cherishes are ever to win the day. In an era when Americans are coming to recognize the dangers of an over-powerful, too-intrusive government, choosing a nominee who seems all-too-willing simply to swap his own (socially conservative) government policies for President Obama’s (left-wing) ones cedes Republicans’ most powerful rallying cry for retaking The White House this fall: It’s all about freedom.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "Glorifying Evil" by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Daniel L. Davis' post "Truth, Lies and Afghanistan" over at Armed Forces Journal.  Congrats!

Santorum surges... for now

So after Rick Santorum managed to win in Missouri, Minnesota, and Colorado, he seems to have replaced Newt Gingrich as the current favorite not-Romney...  how many not-Romneys will we have to go through before we can finally settle on a not-Obama?

Mitt Romney just won in Maine, and also won the CPAC straw poll, so I'm not sure how far this surge will ultimately take Santorum.  Newt seems to finally be imploding, something I predicted would happen eventually, and Santorum seems to be winning over most of the supporters that Newt is losing... also, Mitt Romney recently stuck his foot in his mouth a few times, and Obama seems hellbent on pissing off as many Catholics as he possibly can, so all this is working together to help Santorum.

But will this perfect storm last long enough to get Santorum the nomination... and would a Santorum nomination be a good thing?  I would certainly vote for him if he won the nomination.  I am still leaning towards Romney at the moment, but if for some reason Romney dropped out then Santorum would be my next choice.  He'd be the only choice left for me at that point, really... I refuse to vote for Newt in the primary, and I refuse to vote for Ron Paul in either the primary or the general election.

I think that Santorum is mostly right on the issues, and he often manages to have the best line of the night in these debates... but I worry that as nominee he would get strong support mainly from social conservatives while too many moderates and independents end up running away from him screaming.  It's not just that Santorum is pro-life and opposes gay marriage, those are pretty standard positions for a GOP nominee to have... it's that he's so strident, and he puts so much emphasis on those issues.  My fear is that it will be too easy for the media to bait Santorum into saying things that might make many social conservatives happy but sound crazy to just about everyone else.

Obama is already vulnerable on the economy, and he is making himself more vulnerable by overreaching on the issues of abortion and religious freedom... I'd hate to see us throw away that advantage by nominating someone who appears to be trying to overreach from the other direction.

Update:  Leon H. Wolf writing over at Red State cautions us against bringing back Compassionate Conservatism to the White House:
I defy any of Rick Santorum’s supporters to point out to me one instance – even one – of Rick Santorum battling other Republicans on spending.  Maybe it happened and I missed it; I certainly don’t pretend omniscience.

I don’t suppose this would matter so much, except that the people who are now flocking to Santorum are the same people I hear constantly telling me that another go-along, get-along Republican is completely unacceptable, and that they’ll stay home if one is nominated.  It isn’t enough, I am constantly told, for the nominee to oppose Democrats now and then – we must have someone who will also oppose feckless Republicans.  What good will it do us to march toward socialism a little slower than the pace preferred by the Democrats?  It boggles that mind that, as an electorate, we rejected Rick Perry because his voice sounded too much like George W. Bush’s, and yet we stand on the verge of nominating George W. Bush’s true ideological successor, Rick Santorum.  Bush’s fundamental problem was that he lost his veto pen until the Democrats took control of the Congress and let the Republicans run all over him on spending; who can say with a straight face that Santorum would not have this exact same tendency?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Council Has Spoken!

This week's results for the Watcher's Council vote are in, they've been posted over at Watcher of Weasels. The winning council entry for the week was "The New Egypt -- Bankrupt and Sinking Fast" by Joshuapundit, and the winning non-council entry for the week was Ali Sina's post "What Is My Identity?" over at  Congrats!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mr. Positivity

I just caught a rerun of the press conference Newt Gingrich gave following his loss to Mitt Romney in the Nevada caucus... it was strange, very strange.

Gingrich spent almost the entire press conference calling Mitt Romney the worst liar in the history of politics, without bothering to refute any of it or even describe what any of Romney's lies were.  According to Gingrich, the reason he lost in Florida was because Romney lied and lied and lied all throughout the Florida debate, and Gingrich was so shocked by all these terrible lies that he didn't even know how to respond...  and yet, at no point during the press conference did Gingrich mention a single one of these terrible lies.  Strange.

Gingrich insists that he wants to run a positive campaign...  this from the despicable creep who falsely accused Romney of trying to starve Holocaust survivors.  This is the kind of stuff that makes me more and more willing to settle for Mitt Romney.

I will vote for Newt Gingrich if I have to, because I'd rather have him than Obama, but I don't see how he is a better choice than Romney.  Romney pushed for Romneycare while he was governor of a blue state... what was Newt's excuse for advocating for a national health insurance mandate for about ten years?  Newt's connections to Fannie and Freddie seems a lot harder to defend than Romney's time at Bain Capital.  And Newt can cry about people bringing up his infidelities, but when you cheat on your wife while impeaching a president for cheating on his wife, and then you later run for president yourself, it's going to get brought up... a lot.  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney doesn't have anything even close to that kind of personal baggage to worry about.