Comments Posted By Tom Kelly
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Fascinating discussion.

Let me say right up front that I'll support any of the GOP contenders who is nominated. To argue that any of them is no different than Hillary or Obama is absurd. Get out and meet some people on the left if you think that. Even Giuliani is 100 times better than Hillary or Obama.

I also want to say that I would support a limited government conservative if there was one in the race (other than Ron Paul, who loses me on the gold standard and foreign policy). There isn't. Fred Thompson could have worn that mantle, and won my support, but he jumped into the pool with a belly flop and then couldn't swim. In fact, I would like nothing more than to see McCain grab Fred's position papers when Fred drops and adopt them. Plus put Fred in the cabinet as AG (along with Phil Gramm at Treasury).

But, as a famous columnist wrote recently, you gotta run political campaigns with the politicians you have. We have four: McCain, Romney, Huckabee and Giuliani.

The "enthusiasm" of conservatives for Romney just baffles me. He's been on every side of every issue. In 2007 he denounced the health care bill he pushed in Massachusetts in 2006. Where will he be in 2009? Huckabee is a solid social conservative but has a very Bushian view of the role of government (i.e., he likes it too much) and appears to be ignorant of foreign affairs. Giuliani is pro-choice and has a history of being very fond of government power, at least when he is exercising it. He is also very close to the folks who got us into Iraq to promote "democracy".

Yeah, I disagree with McCain on campaign finance reform. I disagree with some of the positions he has taken on environmental issues (being from Minnesota, I'm used to disagreeing with Republican elected officials on those issues). And I disagree with his decision to work with Kennedy, rather than with his fellow Republicans, on immigration (which he has now recanted). But I agree with McCain on the need to fight jihad both forcefully and intelligently, and the need to avoid bankrupting our government over the next 30 years. Those are the central issues. And he is an honest and courageous man. I'm not looking for a guy who can check the right boxes on a survey or who is buddies with the GOP power elite -- we've had that for seven years. I'm looking for somebody who will get the big things right and get something done about them.

I agree about Dave on the conventional wisdom, especially this year. In two weeks there may be a "stop Giuliani" or "stop Romney" effort underway. We won't know who the nominee is going to be until long after Feb. 5, and we won't know who the next President is going to be until at least election night.

Comment Posted By Tom Kelly On 21.01.2008 @ 11:19

I'm a conservative, and a McCain guy. I came late to the party, because of McCain's shortcomings. But the next President needs to straighten out our policies with respect to jihad and start doing something to get entitlements under control. McCain is best positioned on both of those issues, from a conservative perspective. He is also the only one in the field with the courage to tackle these problems head on. He is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage (although, like Thompson, objects on dubious federalist grounds to a federal marriage amendment), and pledges to nominate conservative judges (he will have to be held to that one). He has been far more consistent in his positions than Romney, far closer to the Reagan vision of limited government than Huckabee, and is far closer to embracing traditional values than Giuliani. And I am damned sure we won't see LBJ-style growth in government spending over the next four years if McCain is in the White House.

Plus, in what is likely to be a bad Republican year, he can win (leads both Clinton and Obama in the polls).

Comment Posted By Tom Kelly On 20.01.2008 @ 12:25


I'm adding your blog to my favorites, Rick.

Comment Posted By Tom Kelly On 20.01.2008 @ 12:11

Very good list. Part of the debate about great speeches turns on how much weight is given to rhetoric and how much to impact. For rhetoric, Lincoln's Second Inaugural would be #1 in my book, but it had less impact than Gettysburg, MLK's speech, several of the others. For impact, Kennedy's inaugural would not belong on the list, and the Cross of Gold speech would be lower (Bryan, after all, lost badly, and the Great Inflation didn't start for another half century). For impact, Reagan's speech at the Berlin Wall would replace Point du Hoc, and his First Inaugural would be on the list (although lower than FDR's). And Lincoln's speech at Cooper Union would be on the list -- after all, without that speech, Seward probably wins in 1860 and lets the erring sisters depart in peace.

Comment Posted By Tom Kelly On 20.01.2008 @ 11:44



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