Jan 23 2008

Down To Three In The GOP, We Need Just One To Counter McCain

Published by at 10:00 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

Update: One Fred Head sees hope in Rudy

OK conservatives, time for a reality check. We have three great men left standing in the election: McCain, Romney, Rudy. Sorry folks, preacher Huckabee is out. Between is comments about showing Iran true Hell and wanting a Christian constitution he is unelectable even in the GOP primaries. He is out of money and fading in Florida which he has decided to skip. The GOP cannot win without FL in the presidential election, so skipping that state is a death knell. He is done.

I know Romney can bankroll his way forward – which is why I think he is a bad choice. I also don’t think he carries well nationally (Rudy and McCain have much better name recognition). I also just don’t think he is the most conservative of the three – Rudy is. Outside the issue of his personal marriages, Rudy has pledged to continue naming constructionist judges to the Federal bench. And he has one helluva good tax cut proposal:

.. Make permanent the bush tax cuts NOW…not in 2010
… Permanently index the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and then eliminate it when practical (no timetable).
… Get rid of the Death Tax
… Lower the capitol gains and dividend rate to 10% and index to inflation. (Here is where he could go further and actually eliminate the capitol gains tax).
… Lower corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%.
… Trio of tax free savings accounts – Roth style – available to ALL income classes.
… Tax simplication strategy – one page tax return
… Three rates – 10% (40k), 15% (150k), and 30% (150k )

What the GOP needs is a strong, charismatic, national hero like John McCain but more conservative. More likely to cut taxes to help this economy instead of raising taxes with the Dems. More likely to keep our enemies in GITMO and try them in military tribunals than bring them here to America and give them taxpayer supported ACLU lawyers. More likely to stay away from the Global Warming Kool Aid until the science is proven and as solid as the science that states the Earth orbits the Sun. That is Rudy, not Romney.

Florida is the best last chance to slow McCain down and win the national election and progress conservative policies and not dismantle all the ones we achieved under George W Bush. McCain becomes problematic on the last goal, Mitt has problems in being a national force like Hillary, McCain, Obama and Rudy. For all his money Romney is just not in the same league, in terms of charisma, as the other three main candidates. He falls more into the Edwards category. And he is also a bit of a weathervane promising big spending and kicking immigrant butt if he feels it will get him votes. Pandering is not a strength.

Jay Costs notes on RCP today how a conservative challenger can still win against McCain in the environment of a brokered convention:

It should be clear from the nomination rules that somebody could find enough delegates to oppose McCain on the convention floor – even if he did not offer a serious challenge early in the process. From the unpledged delegates, to the delegates allocated by conventions, proportional allocation, and the congressional district delegates – there are a lot of ways to win convention support even as somebody else “wins” states. Eventually, an opposition candidate would have to break through with outright victories. He cannot win the Republican nomination underground – but the way delegates are allocated could keep the race close until he breaks through. Importantly, about 65% of South Carolina voters preferred somebody other than John McCain. This tracks with his standing in the national polls. So, the anti-McCain faction might have an audience – if it can find a candidate to rally behind.

To keep the brokered convention alive Rudy needs to win FL. A lot of conservatives have a personal issues with Giuliani, but he has pledged to represent the GOP and not his personal views. I actually find it astonishing and a bit shameful the GOP treats one of the heros of 9-11 like this. McCain is a hero of Vietnam – of a different time in our history. He has spent the last years trying to make the GOP and the country more liberal. Rudy made NY accept conservative policies and moved that state in the ‘right’ direction. America’s mayor deserves a shot and all those in FL (and beyond) who oppose McCain need to stop fantasizing and get a plan together to stop or slow him down. In politics is always comes down to selecting the least bad – we live in a diverse country and none of us get. The Anchoress and I both exist in about the same political sphere. Yesterday she admonished the Mary Poppins conservatives because they are upset they don’t have the perfect candidate to match their perfect world view this year.

I will add to that message. You don’t fight wars with the military you want, you fight them with the military you have. And that goes double for political battles. We need a conservative who can win the nomination, win the election and promote conservative issues. If you vote for anybody else (like Huckabee) you are voting for yourself and not to win the battle for the nation. If McCain wins (and folks know he is perfect for what I want on national defense and immigration) the GOP will never be the same again. I would prefer Rudy over McCain because he is a centrist like me anchored to the broader (not detailed) conservative view. McCain isn’t. But enough McCain supporters see Rudy as a reasonable centrist too that they could form up under Rudy. Even if the hyper-partisan right formed up under Rudy as well.

And that is the core issue – who has the big tent, the broadest appeal. Clearly McCain is not someone the more conservative elements will follow because he has been fighting them for years. Rudy has not been fighting conservatism. He has married a lot and once dressed in a costume (how quickly people forget Halloween and the joys of being young). But he has fought to push conservatism, not repeal it. Right now only the voters in FL can change the dynamic. Rally around Rudy and see what happens. It is better than just letting McCain get a cake walk.

Update: I want to note that a GOP that loses someone like the Anchoress is doing something terribly wrong. I am more than happy to stay outside the party walls as an independent. But when you find strong conservative voices (who won’t echo everything you want) leaving the party or more than happy to stay out it is a sign of problems – not strength or purity. More like decay. Anyway, I liked one other thing the Anchoress noted in her “woodshed” post:

The next president of the United States is already running.

That’s right folks. It is one of the 4-5 remaining viable contenders. It is no one else. So which is best for America (as opposed to personal pet causes)?

25 responses so far

25 Responses to “Down To Three In The GOP, We Need Just One To Counter McCain”

  1. owl says:

    If Mitt is the man, why exactly has he not set this race on fire? He had a large portion of the religious Right in his pocket from the git go. He cut a deal with Tancredo to bring on board the ‘do or die’ screamers on immigration. He had the pundits and talk radio pretty much in the bag. He has the MONEY. Only Fred was his competition with these folks. He is pulling delegates at a slow pace……but the man is not on fire.

  2. VinceP1974 says:

    Romney/Rice ticket is about as good as it gets! Otherwise were going to see a McCain/Lieberman ambiguous, conservative ticket…

    Left by Klimt on January 24th, 2008

    How do you now that… Does anyone even know what Rice’s politics are ?

    All I know is she’s a typical Appease-First, Arabist State Dept Functionary.

  3. wiley says:

    OWL – Some pretty goofy comments.
    Why is it necessary to set the race on fire? Some have done that only to implode. His slow, steady, persistent approach is working pretty well. Surely you know that, as a Mormon, Mitt had (has) a major hurdle to overcome with some voters, which includes many of the religious right. Huck was the one with the evangelicals.
    What talking heads or pundits did/does Romney “have in the bag”? Certainly he hasn’t drawn the fire that McCain & Huck have, and for good reason — he’s not a liberal or center-left like those two. Other than some luke-warm support, I’m not aware of any strong endorsements from the talkers.
    Depending on the state, Romney has been competing against one or all of the repub contenders. Yeah, Tancredo endorsed him, but I don’t know about any deals. Other than Thompson, none of the other candidates were believeable in their sudden tough talk on illegal immigration. Whether you believe him or not (I do), Romney has been consistent in his stance on illegal immigration since he began his run almost two years ago.

  4. owl says:

    What talking heads or pundits did/does Romney “have in the bag”?

    Yeah, Tancredo endorsed him,

    There is goofy and then goofy. To each his own.

    BTW, this one will be voting for the selected Pug candidate in spite of Tancredo.

  5. wiley says:

    I was being kind … evidently you think Tancredo has a popular radio show or has a syndicated column — he’s actually a congressman who is passionate about fixing the illegal immigration problem, of which most people support.
    Despite the incoherence of your post, we come the same conclusion.