Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The road not taken

Tigerhawk explains who he supports for the Republican Presidential nomination and in the general election. But it's the decision-making process he goes through that's particularly interesting. It begins by laying out what personal qualities, in his opinion, a President should have; a crucial step because to spec the candidate often implicitly names the man. But he's not through. Tigerhawk goes on to examine his shortlisted candidates on their positions where the issue is not the man but the plank on which he stands. Finally there's the question of electability, without which it's all academic.

Whether you agree with Tigerhawk's choice or not it's fair to say that he looks under the hood and kicks the tires with due diligence. Who does he pick? Well read the whole thing.

Nothing follows.

26 Comments:

Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Why hasn't McCain run for President in 2004? He's been campaigning on television for that purpose since forever.

2/05/2008 08:34:00 AM  
Blogger RWE said...

I agree with Tigerhawk's analysis and with his choice, which was the same one I made for the same reasons - except for one thing.

I also agree with Dick Morris is that McCain is more electable than Romney. Sen McCain's support of selected liberal causes makes it more likely that Democrats would vote for him. If Republicans can hold their nose and swallow the McCain medicine he is more electable. And I think they will end up pinching their nostrils shut and putting down the mark for McCain given the alternatives.

It is true that some Republicans would like to see Hillary elected on the basis that making her President would eventually ensure the utter destruction of the Democratic Party. Electing Sen McCain is likely to do damage to the Republicans as well, since they will recall holding their nose - but will do far less damage to the country. Most people will no doubt be utterly disgusted with what Hillary produces, but short of an asteroid hitting the planet, getting rid of the greatly expanded social welfare programs that she will use to buy votes will be all but impossible.

Our best hope is that a President McCain will be an "honest politican" and "stay bought" - realizing that the conservative viewpoint is what enabled him to be elected and thus flip flop over to that viewpoint once and for all.

2/05/2008 08:36:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Why should we just assume that McCain is more electable than Romney? I think it the opposite and here is why. Elections are won by emphasizing the contrasts between candidates and not the similarities. McCain is closer to Hilary on many issues than he is to Romney, Personality wise McCain's quickness to take the cheap shot is also closer to the Clintons than what Romney has shown us.

McCain himself has said that Hilary would make a good president. How many times do you think we see and hear that quote? Bottom line is that if the electorate didn't see much difference between Hilary and McCain they would go with the younger candidate and get the feel good about voting for a woman.

Against Obama McCain would look like an old Establishment stiff - which is not an entirely inappropriate description by the way. McCain doesn't have the likeabiity or quick wit that made age an asset instead of a liability for Reagan. The Romney contrast of a mature, successful accomplisher of great things would resonate much higher with voters against Obama's obvious inexperience. When the Red Phone rings at 2 AM which one would you want answering it?

2/05/2008 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Tigerhawk's analysis was logical but I disagree with his conclusions.

The differences between McCain and Romney are mostly shades of grey. There is no point in going over Tigerhawk's analysis point-by-point since it would be a comparison of my shades of grey versus his. However, there are two points concerning McCain and Romney that are not subtle. McCain's heroism and personal honor have been put to the ultimate test and shown to be sound. McCain has the right stuff to lead the nation through a major world war against Islamic fascism or a bad economic recession. Unfortunately McCain's personal valor is offset by his extreme old age. It's not clear that McCain could survive eight years of office. McCain's choice of Vice President will be very important since that person will almost certainly become President.

A big problem that I have with Romney is his being a Mormon. Mormonism is an embarrassment to religion. How ***anyone*** can believe in that cow flop is a total mystery to me. One could counter-argue that Romney was born a Mormon and it's hard to break free of childhood indoctrination. However I broke free of my childhood religious indoctrination and Romney (as President) should be at least as pig-headed as myself. To my mind, Romney's Mormonism disqualifies him as President.

My biggest concern with this up coming election is NOT the Republican candidates. Due to the economy, the next President will probably be a Democrat. We are now down to two choices, i.e. Hillary and Obama. Hillary is a known quantity. We know that she will make a bad President. However we also know that she is intelligent and ruthlessly opportunistic. She will do what ever she must to hold power and survive. Her own motivation to survive and succeed means that she will not make suicidally stupid decisions. This sort of argument is NOT true for Obama. Obama is genuinely dangerous. Obama is the classic handsome, smiling demagogue. The MSM and liberal elite adore this guy and will not criticize him. I suspect Obama has lots a skeletons in his closet (drug abuse, criminal history, etc.) but the MSM is ignoring them. Whether the skeletons come out through the Internet remains to be seen.

A big difference between Obama and John Kerry was that Kerry radiated liberal flakiness, i.e. Kerry had the word "Moonbat!" flashing over his head like a bright red neon sign. I have more than a sneaking suspicion that Obama is at least as screwy a moonbat as Kerry. However Obama is sufficiently political to keep his moonbat tendencies under wraps. This is the nub of my concern: Obama might sail into the Presidency, unchallenged by the MSM. Then we could wake up the day after and realize that Obama is really a John Kerry / George McGovern clone. With a George McGovern clone as President, what do you think is the likelyhood that the Islamic fascists will perceive us as weak and attack a major US city with a WMD? Also what are the chances that a George McGovern clone would make the wrong decisions during a major economic recession, e.g. more socialism? I suspect the answers to both questions are 100%.

Our biggest worry should be that Obama does not become President.

2/05/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

The Mormon outlook is actually noble. As man is, God was. As God is, man can become. This I submit is a noble thought, and gives a human being something to stive for. It beats the predestinationism of my Lutheran background. One is saved by one's own effort, not by belief, or divine fiat.

You can find plenty of silly stuff in any outlook. A deeper look shows more. And in Mormonism there is always something more.

If the lifestyle of the members is a testimony to the value of a religion the Mormons come off quite well. They have evolved with our society, having cast off some of their objectionable older ways.

2/05/2008 11:17:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

"As God is, man can become."

And who will the angels obey?

2/05/2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

Me, when I'm Boss:)

2/05/2008 11:56:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

I was and still am a “Rudy” guy. Unfortunately, my party has decided to drive off a cliff and go for either the Angry White Guy (McCain) or the Chameleon (Romney). My only hope is that McCain is nominee as I believe Romney will be crushed in the general as his serial flip-flops will be exposed and exploited by the Dems and the media. For all his warts, and McCain has legions of them, one of his admirable traits is his willingness to go against the tide and stick to his beliefs and principles. I don’t agree with most of them, but I know what I’m going to get with McCain. Plus the fact that his youngest son is a Marine in Iraq stands tall in my book. Romney I just don’t trust. I don’t have anything to back up this opinion other than my “Spidey-sense” has been telling me since the get-go that something is up with the man that just isn’t right for some reason. I am not alone in this uneasiness about Romney, but since “stopping” McCain has become the new imperative for conservatives many are all too willing in my opinion to overlook his flaws. So today I am voting for Rudy even though he is out of the race and will support McCain come November and hope he makes an inspired choice for his running mate (General Powell, anyone?). And for all those that cry “Purity over Victory!” I only ask one thing: Don’t sit out the election and hand the White House over to Hillary or the Kid. The Supreme Court, Iraq, Taxes, Federal spending; the big issues, all will be better served by a President McCain rather than the alternatives.

2/05/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Boss,

How are you with the sword? There being other Bosses.

2/05/2008 12:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

James Dobson has weighed in against McCain. Says if it's Hillary or Obama, or McCain, he won't vote for the first time in his life.

h/t: me Boss

2/05/2008 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Mr.Atos said...

The choice for me is easy. Which candidate is Jack Ryan?

The 800 pound Guerilla in this election is religious bigotry. Eggplant simply had the courage to express it. But, those who sacrifice this election for their hatred, have not only surrendered their principles to their vices, they will have damned forever their own virtues and values. We will all have to live with it. Unfortunately tens of thousands more won’t. And ultimately Eggplant, that is something you will have to live with. Because no one in this country need ask permission of you or anyone else, what religion, idea, or belief they may ascribe. They simply are obliged to treat you with civility, and respect... and may I add expect from you the same.

2/05/2008 01:10:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

I am annoyed by how America's present day political culture expects a politician's family to participate in his campaign. The Democratic presidential candidates in particular have been quite open about turning a political campaign into a family occasion. That said, I wish that Mitt Romney had not brought his family into his campaign. Within Mormonism, one's family is one's religion; for a Mormon to trumpet the wholesomeness of his family is to effectively trumpet his religion.

I do wonder if Mr. Romney is dysfunctional enough for America. Personal quirks and foibles make it easier for voters to relate to a candidate. I have no doubt that Mitt Romney is a veritable hero among the captains of industry; he is a hardworking man whose energy and drive are badly needed in any future administration. I'd just rather see Romney serve as a cabinet official rather than as our Commander in Chief.

2/05/2008 01:44:00 PM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Within Mormonism, one's family is one's religion; for a Mormon to trumpet the wholesomeness of his family is to effectively trumpet his religion.

I've read some weird stuff but this comment goes to the head of the line.

2/05/2008 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

McCain is a disaster waiting to happen. Only Obama is worse.

McCain is inflexible, driven to cronyism, self-righteous, and terminally PC. He courts the media like an undying lover. All traits re-inforced by his time in the tiger cage. He is by personality the worst candidate save sheltered, rich boy Obama.

By contrast Romney has faced failure, knows he can be successful only if he makes an obstreperous and disdainful bureaucracy do what he wants. He understands because he's led private and public organizations larger than his cell-mates that accomplishing tasks where many people you'll never meet need to cooperate requires constant monitoring of data and metrics. He's also had the widest life experiences in terms of management of any of the candidates -- something that a President who will face unknown challenges will have to meet.

McCain's biggest weakness is his constant courting of the Press and refusal save Iraq to take any position that might make them not love him anymore.

Hillary's weakness is poll driven Nixonian power-hungriness.

Obama's is his naive and stupid beliefs, racist views/judgments, and poor managerial skills. If he can't keep Nation of Islam people out of his staff, how can he appoint people with an ounce of ability.

Romney's weakness is cool demeanor which goes over well on the boardroom where deals are made by handshakes but not in politics.

Of these, Romney's weaknesses are the least bad. Obama's the worst.

2/05/2008 02:16:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

More dangerous than Mormonism is John McCain's religion: Global Warming. He has said that he would spend any amount of money needed to fight this non-problem. Since (to the extent it exists)it is most likely caused by the sun, we might as well load a few trillion dollars into the Space Shuttle and fire it at the sun. It beats buying Carbon Credits from Al Gore.

2/05/2008 02:28:00 PM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

I have to vote based on the various threat levels this year.

Some would say the economy, I don't agree. I think that Bush and others are hurting the economy with their giveaways.

The economy will fix itself, a lot easier, if the government just stays out of it.

Some say the Islamics, I agree with this. They are the number one threat this year and in the next few years.

Some say immigration or the lack of legal immigration and the excess of illegals. This is number two in my book. But I see no president doing what actually needs to be done with this congress, so it's kinda a threat that will have to wait for new legislators who will insist that the immigration laws will be enforced.

Next to last is government spending. It is very, very important, to the future of this Nation. We have to not only reverse this debt, but make sure that it doesn't happen again.
Again this is dependent mostly upon congress and only when we replace them, will we see any gains in this area, but a stable, determined President can lead the way.

Lastly, but tied into the others, the future energy policys of this nation. We have to get out from under the black oil sword of the Middle East and the dictators of the South Americas. If if we don't soon, it will make the other prioritys impossible.

I think that no one term of any of the current prospects can correct most of this. But I do think that starting with someone who has a logical mind and proven determination and a history of getting things done is the best choice for this election cycle.

In my mind that is Romney.

And yes I do think he can defeat Clinton.

Papa Ray

2/05/2008 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

The trouble with Romney is he is not gay, he is not an adulterer, he doesn't use drugs, he doesn't drink, or even smoke, he is a good business man and has made lots of money legally, he is a family man, is married to the sweetheart of his youth, and has beautiful kids whom he loves, and who love him, is in control of his temper, has no criminal record of any kind, nor any scandals, is very well educated and well spoken, is a patriot, is white, and is male, and is a Mormon.

2/05/2008 04:53:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

bobal:

The trouble with Romney is he is not gay, he is not an adulterer, he doesn't use drugs, he doesn't drink, or even smoke, he is a good business man and has made lots of money legally, he is a family man, is married to the sweetheart of his youth, and has beautiful kids whom he loves, and who love him, is in control of his temper, has no criminal record of any kind, nor any scandals, is very well educated and well spoken, is a patriot, is white, and is male, and is a Mormon.

Exactly. It wouldn't be any good for soap operas and reality television.

2/05/2008 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Bobal said:

"The trouble with Romney is he is not gay, he is not an adulterer, he doesn't use drugs..."

Adolf Hitler was a war hero, a self made man, loved animals, a vegetarian and faithful to Eva Braun to the bitter end. However I suspect Hitler would have been a poor choice for US President.

Wouldn't it be nice that Romney had all the excellent qualities that he has because he was a moral decent human being and not because he was a member of a mixed up religious cult?

There is a very strong possibility that sometime in the next decade several hundred million people are going to die very suddenly due to Islamic fascism. There are very few established religions in the world that are goofier than Wahhabi Islam. Mormonism along with scientology and Rev. Moon's Unification Church have the distinction of being on that short list.

If we're going to make a stand against Islamic fascism, it would be a good idea that our next President NOT be a Mormon.

2/05/2008 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

Wouldn't it be nice that Romney had all the excellent qualities that he has because he was a moral decent human being and not because he was a member of a mixed up religious cult?

Romney had the misfortune to be born into a mixed up religious cult that inculcates excellent qualities and creates moral human beings.

Religion is as religion does.

By their fruits you shall know them.

William James the pragmatist went along with that.

2/05/2008 08:56:00 PM  
Blogger Alexis said...

peterboston:

I confess to sounding weird. It is often difficult to not sound weird when discussing theology.

The eternality of family is a central tenet of the Mormon faith. In Mormonism, celestial marriage is about getting sealed with one’s spouse forever. The centrality of family to Mormonism can be illustrated by Family Home Evening, which is usually on a Monday and has become standard within Mormon families since the Correlation Revolution. When Mitt Romney talks in public about how marriage is eternal, he preaches Mormon doctrine.

Although it is understandable that Mr. Romney would refrain from overtly talking about his religion in public, I think it is a mistake. Mormonism is neither as scary nor as weird as its reputation, for Mormonism is Christian in the same sense that Christianity is Jewish. Yet, the more Mr. Romney refrains from overtly talking about his faith, the scarier and weirder his religion appears to outsiders.

Although I disagree with most Mormon theology, I do admire the hardworking and cooperative aspects of Mormonism that built Utah. If there is any moral rebuke against Rush Limbaugh’s claim that rugged individualism built America, it is how Mormons were able to carve out an inland empire that initially put a premium upon group solidarity.

No other religion has a founding Prophet who also ran for the Presidency of the United States and died trying. For Mitt Romney to achieve what Joseph Smith Jr. failed to achieve within his lifetime would be no mean feat, not merely in the political realm of the United States but also within Mormonism. As qualified as Mr. Romney is for the Presidency, I am concerned that Mr. Romney’s campaign for the Presidency may be integral to his quest to become a deity. If that were the case, I would feel awkward participating in any religious mystery dedicated to Mr. Romney’s advancement to godhood.

2/05/2008 09:08:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

I doubt Mormon doctrine holds godhead hostage to the vote of the fickle American electorate:) God help them if it does.

2/05/2008 09:25:00 PM  
Blogger bobal said...

One more thing. With Mormons, familiarity doesn't breed comtempt. That being a reason much of the intermountain west, where I'm from, went for Romney. It's academic now anyway, as Romney lost California, and he's toast.

2/05/2008 09:30:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

I've been voting since Reagan's first term... Haven't been particularly thrilled with his various successors, but at least I was able to rally around the Republican standard bearer (even the decent but forgettable Bob Dole)...

This time? Oh boy.

Never seen anything quite like this primary season. I feel a bit like the guy who went tailgating at the big game, had one drink too many and fell asleep in the back of the pickup, only to awake hours later in the midst of a parking lot porta-john forest with nothing but candy wrappers and empty beer bottles for company wondering "What the hell happened?"

I weep for the future.

2/05/2008 09:58:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Of course, my guy's been out for a while.

Bummer.

"Red Dawn" is playing on AMC... pretty much sums up my gloom at the moment.

2/05/2008 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Salt Lick said...

A few years ago, a caller to a talk-show best summed up my attitude toward people who "sit out" an election -- "We've got men and women in the field risking their lives to protect our right to vote, and other people are too prissy to go to the polls? You gotta be kidding me."

2/06/2008 03:16:00 AM  

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