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2008 Presidential Race, Conservatism, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney

>It is Time to Unite Around Mitt Romney

>WHY CONSERVATIVES MUST SAY “NO” TO JOHN MCCAIN AND MIKE HUCKABEE

Mitt Romney for PresidentThe contest for the Republican nomination is now down to two candidates. Conservatives have a clear choice: we can place expediency above our principles by voting for John McCain or we can unite behind a classic conservative, Mitt Romney. Those are the only two viable choices remaining. A vote for one will expedite our nation’s leftward drift. A vote for the other will advance the conservative principles, aka liberty, that history has proven to be best for all people.

John McCain: Big Government Republicrat

John McCain wants us to believe that he is the true conservative candidate. The popular McCain narrative is that he is the war hero, government shrinking, country uniting conservative and, most importantly, the only one who can defeat the Democrats in November. McCain continually proclaims that he is proud to have been a foot-soldier in the Reagan Revolution. That is to be commended but what about the last two decades? Anyone who has followed politics for the past several years knows that John McCain is no Reagan Conservative. Rather than running through the usual litany of issues, let’s take a look at John McCain’s politics in relation to the Democrats, the old media, and big-government Republicans.

McCain and the Democrats

Grover Cleveland once said, “A man is known by the company he keeps, and also by the company from which he is kept out.” What company does McCain keep? John McCain is the favorite Republican of the Democrats and is consistently praised by the old media. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle revealed earlier this year that McCain’s chief political strategist, John Weaver, approached the Democrats about the possibilty of joining the Democrat Party. The Hill reports, “Daschle said that throughout April and May of 2001, he and McCain ‘had meetings and conversations on the floor and in his office, I think in mine as well, about how we would do it, what the conditions would be. We talked about committees and his seniority … [A lot of issues] were on the table.'” McCain’s response: “I have never considered leaving the Republican Party, period.” No matter who is telling the truth, what makes the story so believable is that it is just as easy to see McCain as a Democrat as it is a Republican.

In 2004, John Kerry offered the vice-presidential position to John McCain. John McCain said, “obviously I would entertain it.” At one time he said he was offered the VP slot, at another time he says he was not offered the position. Either way, it is difficult to imagine John Kerry offering his VP slot to one of our solid, principled conservatives.

McCain & ClintonOne more head-scratcher: In 2005, John McCain told Tim Russert on Meet the Press, “I have no doubt that Senator Clinton would make a good president.” Conservatives have more than a doubt about that one. When Russert asked Clinton if McCain would make a good president, she replied, “Absolutely.”

What’s with this mutual admiration society with McCain and the Democrats? They have such high regard for one another because McCain has more in common with the Democrats than he does with conservative Republicans. Democrats like Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton love John McCain because they are on the same team so many times. They have different letters by their names but they hold much in common.

McCain and the Old Media

Democrats aren’t the only ones who love John McCain. The old media were very quick to annoint McCain as the front-runner and do all they can to help McCain get the nomination. The New York Times and now the Los Angeles Times have endorsed John McCain. These solidly leftist editoral pages have endorsed John McCain because they have a lot in common. The LA Times would be thrilled with the virtually open borders and amnesty of McCain-Kennedy. The old media would love to have a monoply on political speech resulting from McCain-Feingold’s attack on the First Amendment. McCain is an opponent of Bush and he sticks it to conservatives time and time again. He has embraced the higher taxes and increased government controls over the economy by means of the global warming fraud. He blocks steps toward energy independence by opposing ANWR drilling. Why wouldn’t the leftists who dominate the old media love John McCain? He supports many things they want. The same could be said of other Republicans but not any conservatives that I can think of.

The media are setting John McCain up for a fall though. If McCain can eliminate the possibility of a conservative becoming president, the media will breathe a sigh a relief, dump McCain and continue their efforts to ensure that Clinton or Obama becomes President.

McCain and the other Big Government Republicans

Big Government, Nanny State Republicans like John McCain consistently side with Democrats against conservatives by opposing tax cuts, pushing for open borders, blocking our judges, and limiting our freedoms. Former Senator Rick Santorum recently stated, “I just have to tell you, as a leader, as someone who had to put these coalitions together, it was always hard and we very rarely on domestic policy had any help from the Senator from Arizona.” And, “The bottom line is that I served 12 years with him, 6 years in the United States Senate as leader, one of the leaders of the Senate — the number-3 leader — who had the responsibility of trying to put together the conservative agenda, and almost at every turn on domestic policy, John McCain was not only against us, but leading the charge on the other side.”

John McCain engages in the class warfare rhetoric of the left when it suits his aims. When he was one of the very few Republicans who sided with the Democrats in opposing the Bush tax cuts, McCain claimed that the tax cuts for the lower and middle classes were acceptable but he could not support the tax cuts for the rich. That’s closer to John Edward’s class warfare agenda than conservatism. If cutting taxes is the right thing to do, and it is, then its right for everyone. McCain’s rhetoric against the so-called rich is disturbing.

McCain also raised a red flag during the California debate when he raised the prospect of government intervention in the sub-prime mortgage issue in the form of punishing lenders. This is an example of McCain’s Big Government Republicanism in the form of a command and control economy. It betrays McCain’s underlying belief that big, nanny government knows how to handle the intricacies of the economy better than the private sector and the free market.

At a time when many people are saying that the economy is their number one political concern, John McCain’s lack of consistent economic principles is troubling. He admitted that he lacked depth when it came to economic matters only deny that he ever said such a thing when confronted about his statement. Joking that you’re going to read Alan Greenspan’s book and consult him whether dead or alive might be good for a few laughs but it hardly inspires confidence.

And when it comes to his fellow congressman, why does McCain consistently support big government Republicans over conservatives if he is such a strong conservative? Many Republicans will remember John McCain’s support of the liberal senator from Pennsylvania, Arlen Specter, over the rising and very popular conservative candidate Pat Toomey. Specter versus Toomey presented a stark contrast of ideas and McCain’s endorsement of Specter is very telling.

We’re Republicans and not Democrats for a reason

If you, like John McCain, are against tax cuts, for open borders and de facto amnesty for illegal aliens, for public financing of campaigns and the accompanying damage to free speech, for higher taxes and economic controls in the form of global warming schemes, oppose replacing our oil imports from Saudi Arabia by blocking drilling in ANWR, worry about judges wearing their conservatism on their sleeve, think that Hillary Clinton would make a great President…there is already a party for you. It’s called the Democrat Party. If these policies represent you and you are a Republican, that’s all well and good, just don’t call this conservatism. Don’t expect the majority of Republicans to go along with you in voting for a non-conservative to represent the party. Again from Sen. Santorum, “I’m concerned we’d have a president whose first reaction would be to go to the other side to solve a problem instead of trying to find like-minded Republicans to come up with solutions. There is nothing worse than having a Democratic Congress and a Republican president who acts like a Democrat in matters that are very important to conservatives.”

I appreciate John McCain’s military service and many of his positions on national defense. His wartime record is tremendous and I am grateful for his service, particularly as a P.O.W. I believe it is helpful when our Commander-in-Chief has prior military experience but if that were of utmost importance I would have voted for John Kerry rather than George W. Bush. McCain touts his support of the surge in Iraq but he is not the one responsible for the surge. He does not even attempt to hide his disdain for Donald Rumsfeld but the Secretary of Defense answers to the President, not the other way around. If McCain has problems with our strategy in Iraq, he should criticize Bush directly but he does not do this in order to avoid alienating the base of the party. Rumsfeld is a more convenient target. McCain is wrong on closing Gitmo and wrong on constitutional protections for enemy combatants. Conservatives agree with McCain in much of his positions on Iraq but that does not necessarily make him the best candidate for Commander-in-Chief.

The Only One Who Can Win in November?

Electability is important but is not the most important consideration. The most important consideration is our principles and the fact that conservative principles are what’s best for the nation. Let’s lose the election to the Democrats before we abandon our principles by voting for a candidate who echoes the Democrats. We continue to move to the left and move to the left. In the meantime, some Republicans say, “Well, at least we’re not as bad as the other guys.” We need to stop the drift and take a stand.

Reagan's Victory in 1980Some Republicans complain that we shouldn’t criticize McCain in case he gets the nomination. Let’s cross that bridge if we get to it. John McCain is not the only one who can beat the Democrats in November. Jimmy Carter led Ronald Reagan in the polls and we know how that one turned out. Things will be different once we get this down to a one on one contest between the Democrat and Republican. This contest isn’t over yet. If conservatives will unite with Mitt Romney, we can still nominate a conservative. And on that note…

Conservative Huckabee Supporters, It Is Time to Switch to Romney

If conservative voters would unite behind one single candidate, we can keep the Republican Party conservative and defeat John McCain on Super Tuesday and beyond. We can nominate best remaining candidate with the best ideas for the country. Right now, each and every conservative Huckabee, McCain, Paul, Thompson and Giuliani supporter needs to realize that this is now a two-man race between John McCain and Mitt Romney. If we want to elect a conservative, we cannot split our vote. It is time to unite around Mitt Romney.

A Vote for Huckabee is a Vote for McCain

McCain & HuckabeeHow? Like it or not, Huckabee is done. Huckabee does not and will not have the delegates, momentum, or money. Huckabee will probably win Alabama and maybe a couple other states but he will not win the nomination. Most Huckabee supporters probably realize this. If you are one of the few who still thinks that Huckabee can win the nomination, there is probably very little that can persuade you to change your vote. But if you are one of the majority who understands that Huckabee will not win the nomination, please switch your vote to Mitt Romney.

Voting for Huckabee will accomplish nothing for you. One AP report this afternoon stated, “In the short-term, McCain is helped by Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist preacher who remains in the race and could split the conservative vote with Romney in the Bible Belt and elsewhere.” This is certainly the case. If you are a conservative and you know that Huckabee cannot win then you also know that voting for Mike Huckabee is the same a voting for John McCain. By voting for Huckabee you are splitting the conservative vote between Huckabee and Romney and thereby strengthening McCain. Huckabee’s supporters believe that he is the best conservative candidate but now, after Huckabee’s losses in SC and FL, voting for Huckabee will actually undermine the principles you hold to because you will assist a candidate who does not share your principles.

Principles Over Politics

Some Huckabee supporters, and I hope these are few, are taking satisfaction in the fact that votes for Huckabee next week will hurt Romney and stick it to conservative talk show hosts. One popular conservative and evangelical blogger wrote, “Also, having McCain as the nominee really ticks off all the people that unfairly trashed Huckabee (Rush, Mark Levin, et. al.). It may not be enough to ease my discomfort over McCain, but it nevertheless brings me great pleasure.” And, “Fortunately, he still has enough money to stick around and bleed votes from Romney.” Comments like these are bitter, petty, immature, and vengeful. Think about it. Hurt feelings over Huckabee getting roughed up by Romney in previous weeks are worth helping to elect the obviously more liberal John McCain? To believe that would be very short-sighted.

On Thursday, Mike Huckabee said, “If people think that I’m quitting, they need to get the message loud and clear. Somebody’s going to have to beat me.” And, “There’s no way I’ll walk away.” Loud and clear message to Mike Huckabee: the GOP has already rejected you. Huckabee has been beaten. When he lost South Carolina, he lost the nomination. Losing Florida sealed the deal. I don’t know if McCain and Huckabee already have a deal worked out but the only thing Huckabee staying in the race does is help McCain. If Huckabee won’t drop out of the race, conservative Huckabee supporters need to drop him and vote for the only remaining conservative candidate with a chance to win: Mitt Romney.

Why am I focusing on Mike Huckabee and not Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul? First, it is Mike Huckabee who stands to take the most votes away from Mitt Romney on Super Tuesday and beyond. Second, I already expect many conservative Giuliani supporters to swtich to Romney as I’ve said previously. And third, I don’t expect Ron Paul supporters to change their vote at any point in the campaign. The same thing goes for conservative Giuliani and Paul supporters: don’t split our vote. Switch to Mitt Romney.

Our loyalties do not rest with any one candidate. Our loyalities do not even rest with the GOP. Our loyalties rest with the principles of liberty. Most of us are probably not going to be able to go with our first choice but that’s life. That’s politics. I wanted Fred Thompson to be the nominee. Romney is not even my second choice but he is obviously the best conservative candidate left. It was Otto von Bismark, Prussian and German statesman of the 19th c., who once said, “Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable – the art of the next best.” For Mike Huckabee, becoming the GOP nominee is not possible. Mitt Romney is the next best conservative candidate and for him, the nomination is attainable.

Mitt Romney: The Best Remaining Conservative Candidate

Mitt Romney wasn’t really on my radar screen when I first started to decide who to vote for. I knew that Romney came to some of his conservative views late in life and that was enough for me to take a pass. I knew that Thompson was who I wanted to go for so there was no need to look any further. When it became clear that Thompson could not get the nomination I had to take a deeper look at the remaining candidates. What I found is that Mitt Romney is the best remaining conservative candidate. He is not perfect and he is not my first choice but if we have to choose between McCain and Romney, and that is who it is down to, then it is clear who must unite behind.

But He’s a Flip-Flopper!

In a blog post earlier this week, David Frum of National Review states the concern that many conservatives have had with Mitt Romney, “I do not find it easy to believe in the sincerity of Romney’s abrupt post-2002 conversion to more conservative positions on abortion, gay rights, gun rights, and immigration. People change their minds, I accept that. But on so many issues? All at the same time? And at such a convenient time?” This is a legitmate concern. As Frum goes on to say, “I agree with those who say that conservatives should always welcome converts. The proviso is, however, that you should welcome only those converts you can trust to stay converted.” Will Romney stay converted on abortion, gun rights, preferential treatment for gays, and immigration? Time will tell but the indications from the past six years look good. Romney has consistently made the case during the campaign that the principles of conservatism are indeed his principles.

Some conservatives cannot get past that fact the Mitt Romney has only been pro-life for the past several years. On this point Michael Reagan commented, “It may come as a surprise to these purists, but Ronald Reagan once supported abortion too. Yet nobody ever questioned his strong pro-life credentials after his conversion to Republicanism. They accepted his sincerity. Why can’t they accept Mitt Romney’s? Romney’s record shows he should be totally acceptable to all conservatives, yet because of one dubious question concerning the validity of his conversion to the pro-life side, he is deemed unsuitable to carry the conservative banner.” Reagan conservatives should be willing to accept those who have switched from pro-choice to pro-life even if the decision was made later than they would have liked.

Most Consistently Conservative Candidate…Remaining

Fred Heads for RomneyFred Thompson was my first choice for President. He was the most consistently conservative candidate of the race. Now Romney is the only remaining candidate who legitimately represents all three branches of the Reagan conservative coalition: social conservatism, economic conservativism, and strong national defense. In an interview with blogger Edward Morrissey, Romney stated, “I do represent all three branches of the conservative coalition. I’m a social conservative. I respect the right to life; I respect traditional family and I respect the right to citizens to bear arms and so from a social conservative standpoint, my credentials are firm. With regards to economic conservative my record is of not having raised taxes; balanced the budget of all four years of Governor; created a surplus account for over two billion dollars during my term as Governor and so my record of a growth conservative is also firm. And finally with regards to foreign policy and national defense, I am in support of growing our military capacity by a hundred thousand troops. I’m the first, I believe, of the candidates to call for raising military spending to four percent of Romney & ThompsonGDP. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has now called for a similar figure and I believe that these credentials as well as my perspective on helping developing the world wide strategy to defeat global Jihad establish my credentials as a conservative in all three areas of conservative strength.” McCain is strong on national defense but weak on economic and social conservatism. Huckabee is solid on social conservatism but weak on economic conservatism and unprepared on national security. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council criticized Huckabee on this exact point when he said, “The conservatives have been successful in electing candidates, and presidents in particular, when they have had a candidate that can address not only the social issues, [but] the fiscal issues and the defense issues. [Huckabee] has got to reach out to the fiscal conservatives and the security conservatives.” Romney is stronger than the other candidates in all three areas.

Romney has consistently displayed a depth of knowledge and understanding when it comes to every major issue raised throughout the course of the campaign. In the debates, Romney was always prepared to give clear, meaningful answers and solutions to the issues at hand. Mitt Romney is ready to lead. He has a depth and range of executive leadership that no other candidate of either party can match. He was a governor, rather than a senator, and a business executive. He accomplished conservative aims in one of the bluest of blue states. Romney has picked up numerous endorsements from conservatives who know agree that Romney is the only choice for conserative voters: Rick Santorum, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Hugh Hewitt, National Review, Ann Coulter, Paul Weyrich, Mark DeMoss and others.

Republicans have a clear choice this week. We can vote for a liberal Republican who will take us further to the left as he mimics Democrats and aims to please editorial pages or we can vote for the best conservative candidate remaining. Conservative Huckabee supporters: stay true to your conservative principles by uniting behind the only conservative who has a chance to win. Don’t help McCain win by splitting the conservative vote between Huckabee and Romney. This Tuesday we can keep the conservative coalition intact by voting for Mitt Romney.

For more information on and analysis of John McCain’s record, see:
McCain-Feingold — the most brazen frontal assault on political speech since Buckley v. Valeo. McCain-Kennedy — the most far-reaching amnesty program in American history.
McCain-Lieberman — the most onerous and intrusive attack on American industry — through reporting, regulating, and taxing authority of greenhouse gases — in American history.
McCain-Kennedy-Edwards — the biggest boon to the trial bar since the tobacco settlement, under the rubric of a patients’ bill of rights.
McCain-Reimportation of Drugs — a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety.”
[Links and the comments following each of the above bills provided by Mark R. Levin, chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese in the Reagan administration, here.]

Related:
Romney Wins Maine Caucuses (AP)
Romney, McCain tied nationally (Rasmussen Reports)
Welcome, Fredheads and Huck-a-fans, Evangelicals for Mitt
A Conservative Case against McCain by Kathryn Jean Lopez
Mike Huckabee’s New Deal. More God, more government by David J. Sanders
Arkansas Under Huckabee: taxes up, government up, Democrats up and Republicans down
McCain, the anti-conservative by David Limbaugh
The Real McCain Record by Mark R. Levin
Conservatives push back against McCain by David Paul Kuhn

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Discussion

159 thoughts on “>It is Time to Unite Around Mitt Romney

  1. >”BTW, we’re coming home on April 15 and will be there until May 27. We will be in Dallas for about two weeks and want to get together with you guys. I’ll let you know what weeks we’ll be there.”Good! Looking forward to it.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 2:43 am
  2. >”So then the war is their fault and not Bush’s? Strange spin.”Bush takes responsiblity as Commander in Chief for the good and the bad. Secondarily, Congress do too since they went with it. If it is true that the majority of Democrats thought the war was wrong but voted it for it anyway because of popular opinion then I condemn them for this, don’t you? “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it.” The nation mocked Kerry for this for a reason. They can’t it both ways which is exactly what they were trying to do.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 2:40 am
  3. >I’m actually reading “Seers, Sybils and Sages in Hellenistic-Roman Judaism.” I’m using our conversation to stay awake!Trust me, this will be all over the BBC news in the morning. THey have really been following it lately, although they don’t seem to really understand what’s going on.I’m going to bed! It’s been real. I’m sure I’ll talk with you tomorrow.BTW, we’re coming home on April 15 and will be there until May 27. We will be in Dallas for about two weeks and want to get together with you guys. I’ll let you know what weeks we’ll be there.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 2:32 am
  4. >”It’s 2:30 in the morning here.”I was just thinking about that!Aren’t you going to stay up to see who wins CA? 🙂

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 2:29 am
  5. >It’s 2:30 in the morning here.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 2:27 am
  6. >Although I do see you were not saying they were right or wrong. So scratch that comment!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 2:26 am
  7. > “I admit, you guys found an example where the Dems compromised. If Bush was wrong, then they were wrong for doing so. Wouldn’t it have been better for them to have refused to compromise on this and let the chips fall where they may, let history prove them right (not commenting on whether they were or not)?” So then the war is their fault and not Bush’s? Strange spin. We cannot say “They never compromise” and then when we see they have say “Well they shouldn’t have.” That shows you’re looking for a negative view of their decision. No matter what, they did it wrong. Look a lot of compromises on both sides prove to be failures and a lot prove to be successes. My point was that you said you haven’t seen them compromise in 15 years. I showed you were they did it in the last 5. So we cannot say they never compromise. I think with McCain in the White House we will see a better working relationship but it will probably take a little while.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 2:25 am
  8. >”But was not the vote for the war a compromise on something they were voicing they were opposed to? Yes or No?”Yes. See above.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 2:19 am
  9. >”As you already pointed out, they voted the will of the people.”What does that mean? Isn’t that the definition of political expediency? They vehemently opposed the war, knew it would unnecessarily send our soldiers to their deaths (I added the word “unnecessarily”), but they voted for it merely because it was popular at the time and now you’re saying that Bush was wrong. How horrible it was then for the Dems to compromise their principles just to go with what was popular for a season. I admit, you guys found an example where the Dems compromised. If Bush was wrong, then they were wrong for doing so. Wouldn’t it have been better for them to have refused to compromise on this and let the chips fall where they may, let history prove them right (not commenting on whether they were or not)?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 2:18 am
  10. > “When has anyone seen the Democrats compromise in the way we’re discussing here? I haven’t seen it in the 15 years I’ve followed politics. I don’t see it happening any time soon. Does anyone have any indication that they will compromise, participate in give and take, concede rather than fight?” This is your comment from much earlier. I gave you an example earlier but you put some really good spin on it. But was not the vote for the war a compromise on something they were voicing they were opposed to? Yes or No?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 2:17 am
  11. >”I don’t trust any candidate that thinks the GOP has it right on every issue. This person is unbalanced (not mentally…I’m using the word properly, not colloquially) and will not have a successful term.”I have to say, this has really become a strawman for those who continue to repeat this. I’m going to have to do some sort of search so I can find these GOP politicians who have voted for every GOP bill 100% of the time and against every Dem bill 100% of the time. Let me state, if such a person exists they are surely wrong for doing such a thing. “I’d rather have someone that can work with the other side of government than someone that foments the ideology of hatred for the dems.”Another strawman that keeps getting repeated for some reason. People who think Republicans are correct 100% of the time and HATE Dems. I’m not sure how these people, whoever they are, keep getting drug into the conversation. No one here has expressed such a thing. Have they? Have I? I’ve made it clear that I oppose politicians on principle. Are there candidates for president who are saying such things. If things keep getting mentioned about hating the Democrats, thinking they are evil, are our enemies, conservatism is perfect, GOP is correct 100% of time, etc. then I will have to assume we are totally talking past each other or you think this is what I believe or its keeps getting said even though no one here believes this. Either way, its a problem of assumptions or communications or both. I don’t know. I’ll say again that I categorically deny these silly positions just so there’s no confusion about it.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 2:10 am
  12. >My last post was meant to go right up beneath Jeff’s previous post.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 6, 2008, 2:06 am
  13. >As you already pointed out, they voted the will of the people.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 6, 2008, 2:05 am
  14. >That’s some pretty good spin. But you’re not answering the question. When one looks at people through a negative lens it is easy to question their motives. But given the benefit of the doubt, that is, that they are not enemy combatants of the US, they are Americans who want to contribute, I think to automatically assume they are always doing everything as political expedience is wrong.My point still remains. They did compromise. That’s right, the Dems who have never and will never compromise, compromised. Wow!I agree with Matthew, however, that because they do have the majority, they are not the ones who now have to compromise. That is all the more reason to put McCain in the White House right now. The last thing we need right now is a bull-headed president.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 2:01 am
  15. >”I do know there is evidence that they vehemently opposed the war.””…stand on the floor and send young soldiers to certain death…”Wouldn’t this be a perfect example of why the Democrats SHOULD NOT have compromised? They vehemently opposed the war, they knew they were sending young people to their deaths, and they did it anyway. Huh?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 1:53 am
  16. >Let’s not forget, “public opinion” is supposed to be what moves politicians in this country.Besides, Bush was wrong to invade Iraq. So it turns out the Dems were right. That’s not going to help us the next time we ask them to trust us and compromise.In the end, Jeff, you can ask for the nuts and bolts of what a compromise would look like, and I can’t answer you. But if I could, I’d be running for president. Compromise is never easily achieved, otherwise it wouldn’t be compromise. I don’t trust any candidate that thinks the GOP has it right on every issue. This person is unbalanced (not mentally…I’m using the word properly, not colloquially) and will not have a successful term.Furthermore, you ask what is wrong with wanting a GOP government across the board. I answer, NOTHING! But you won’t get that in this term. It simply isn’t going to happen. In fact, it seems probable that the dems will increase their majority in the coming term. So the reality is that the president will HAVE to compromise in order to get anything done, whether he wants to or not. I’d rather have someone that can work with the other side of government than someone that foments the ideology of hatred for the dems.PS – I’m eating crow right now with regard to Huckabee. Let it never be said that I was unwilling to admit when I was wrong. I am confident he won’t win the night, but he is giving 2nd place a pretty good run. It will be interesting to see if this continues as the polls close to the west.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 6, 2008, 1:53 am
  17. > “Do you think they would have done that if public opinion had not reached a tipping point?” Look, you nor I can know their true motives. That point is clear. I do know there is evidence that they vehemently opposed the war. They made that known. Yet, in light of what the President was proposing, they gave in and voted with him, still voicing their disagreement. Now, in all of the hoopla, people say they did it because it was politically expedient. But it is clear that these are motives one cannot know. These statements are CLEARLY motivated to color the Dems as having wrong motives on a HOTLY debated topic. My point is, this is such a politically charged discussion that these kind of claims are obviously biased. One CANNOT know their motives. One can only assume. When you assume based on a harsh ideological opinion of a group, you cannot help but cast their motives negatively. However, given the benefit of the doubt that these are American men and women, who may disagree with me ideologically, but are nonetheless American men and women, many of whom have children, it is difficult for me to think they they would stand on the floor and send young soldiers to certain death over political expediency. I just think the harsh rhetoric in the argument can be POSITIVELY shown to be emotionally and politically motivated and thus cannot be proven. Given the weakness of such a view, I think it is irresponsible to make such claims against FELLOW AMERICANS (the point NO ONE is getting).

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 1:39 am
  18. >”That is not dealing with the data fairly.” Do you think they would have done that if public opinion had not reached a tipping point? If that is your example I will give that to you. Maybe its a case of the exception proving the rule though.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 1:26 am
  19. >I understand, not a problem! It’s great discussion.I am just trying to tone the rhetoric that claims the Dems are our enemies. I just don’t buy it. I think they are dingbats most of the time and have some very different ideology than I am willing to buy into. But I cannot take the 100% right 100% wrong mentality. The Dems have something to offer this country. I want Republicans to be in charge of what that contribution is. McCain is the kind of Republican that will allow them to contribute without being a hinderance, I really believe that.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 1:12 am
  20. >For the record, I wasn’t trying to personally attack you by calling you naive. If I was trying to do that there are plenty of other words that I would have used instead. 🙂 When I’m talking about politics and such, I’m pretty matter of fact…I’m really not trying to attack anyone.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 6, 2008, 1:05 am
  21. >Jeff,Here’s my point. You agree that the Dems do not agree on the war. There is empirical evidence to this effect from the beginning. They were opposed to it from the beginning. Yet, they voted for it. You make the very general claim that the Dems NEVER compromise on what they believe. I give you an example, a very recent example, and you color it with a hyper-conservative brush. That is not dealing with the data fairly. Here is an example of where they compromised, call it what you like, but there’s your example. The problem is, your mind is made up. You are practicing the very kind of ideology that has our country in gridlock as we speak. I just can’t understand how you don’t see how one-sided that is! Moreover, I’m on the same side as you guys, but when I make suggestions that differ slightly, I get attacked personally. Don’t you see how extreme that approach is when you won’t even consider other options?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 1:04 am
  22. >”Young man, I can assure you naivety is not an accurate assessment, nor do I think our conversation should be reduced to that.”Bros! I love you guys. Let’s keep it cool. I say that to myself as well. I’m not gonna let any of this get between my relationships with anyone here. I’m gonna recommit to stay on point, keep it civil, respectful, considerate, and give those I’m debating with the benefit of the doubt and assume they have the best motives. Hope everyone else will do the same.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 12:59 am
  23. >To say they flippantly gave a vote to go to war because it was politically expedient is irresponsible.Its funny how Dems were all little General Patton’s when Clinton decided to bomb aspirin factories in Africa and a couple buildings in Iraq but turned Jane Fonda when it was Bush in office. I don’t get that if they’re simply trying to do what’s right. I’m gonna question their motives on that one.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 6, 2008, 12:55 am
  24. >Young man, I can assure you naivety is not an accurate assessment, nor do I think our conversation should be reduced to that.How can you say that the Dems stood on the floor and made a conscious decision to send men and women to certain death under the guise of political expediency?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 12:55 am
  25. >I’d just say you’re naive. Open your eyes.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 6, 2008, 12:50 am
  26. > “but it won’t change most of our views.” I’m well aware of that. When one only views data from one perspective, they always come up with the answer they sought before they started. It’s just not being balanced. Again, to make the charge that grown men and women made a decision that cost the lives of other men and women to go to war and die is just irresponsible. As much as I disagree with Dems on most points I would not make such a charge. That’s the part that’s over the top.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 12:45 am
  27. >Ok, Ok, I see. The Dems do everything with wrong motives and Republicans do everything with pure motives. Don’t you see how one-sided that is? The issue of voting to go to war is not a light thing and I’m sure none of them wanted to make that choice. To say they flippantly gave a vote to go to war because it was politically expedient is irresponsible.Nope, if I actually had said anything even close to that then I would agree that it would have been over the top. I never said Republicans always and pure motives and the Democrats never do. I gave you a specific issue where. You can give the Dems a pass on that if you want and write us all off as hyper-conservative but it won’t change most of our views.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 6, 2008, 12:38 am
  28. >Ok, Ok, I see. The Dems do everything with wrong motives and Republicans do everything with pure motives. Don’t you see how one-sided that is? The issue of voting to go to war is not a light thing and I’m sure none of them wanted to make that choice. To say they flippantly gave a vote to go to war because it was politically expedient is irresponsible.I know there is a lot of that type of thing that goes on in Washington but those are very serious claims. The fact is, they did compromise. Color it however you want but this Hyper-Conservative viewpoint is over the top.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 12:28 am
  29. >The Dems were looking out for themselves, not the country (with regards to the Iraq war vote). They voted for it because it was politically expediant to do so at the time…and bailed as soon as public opinion changed.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 6, 2008, 12:16 am
  30. >Jeff,I agree that right now that there is divisiveness and polarization between the parties. But it has not always been that way, even recently. Look at the war in Iraq for example. There was widespread opposition by the Dems from the beginning. Yet when it came down to it, they voted for it but voiced their concerns loud and clear when they did so. Are you telling me that this was not compromise on something they felt very strongly about? Come on! The talking heads can beat this around all they want saying “He voted for it then against it” or “Against then for it” but the fact remains that the Dems were adamantly opposed to this war yet they gave the President what he needed.What do you call that? I’m sure you’ll come up with another name for it but it sounds to me like the Dems saw a problem that had to be dealt with, they didn’t agree exactly how we were going about it but conceded and gave the President what he needed. Am I wrong.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 6, 2008, 12:01 am
  31. >”I am not asking the GOP to do this in a naive fashion or without reciprocity.”Then I hope for the best along with you. You guys believe that McCain is the man to represent the GOP side well in this regard. Maybe he’ll turn out to be. I’d like to see who the Dems have that will reciprocate. And I’d like to see what we have to give up in order to make it work. One of you said that you’re not asking that we compromise our principles. So the GOP doesn’t compromise their principles and neither do the Dems. We go to address abortion and I don’t know what this compromise legislation looks like where neither side has compromsised their principles. Or on judges. Or on Iraq, Iran. Or on tax cuts. Is there anything morally wrong with wanting to have a GOP president, a GOP majority in the Senate and House so that we can out vote the Dems and see our ideas implemented? No. Sometimes neither side is going to compromise and you just have to win. I’m not trying to be combative or difficult when I ask this: what issue do you guys have in mind when you are thinking of these compromises? We’d really have to go issue by issue in order to see how this would work out in reality. This probably isn’t the time or place for something like that but it would make a good discussion. I’m thinking of healthcare. We’ll demand tort reform as part of the deal. The Dems refuse, REFUSE to go along with tort reform. Argh! Its frustrating. Throw me a bone you guys. Help me see how this can work.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 11:25 pm
  32. >Jeff,I guess I’m old enough to remember a time when relations between the two parties were less acrimonious. They have never seen eye to eye. They have always employed heated rhetoric from time to time to communicate their positions and try and get their way. But it has been since about the time you began following politics that the nature of it all somehow began to change. This isn’t merely my view, nor is it the view of a particularly elite group. I have heard people in the private sector and people in the press, conservatives and democrats, all recognizing this brinksmanship.So I know it can be different. Your comment that we have to deal with things as they are stikes me as odd. Each of us wants change of one sort or another. None of us seems happy with the status quo. And the very environment in which our politicians are setting policy is itself something that is subject to change. I see no reason we can’t address this and seek to make it better. I am not asking the GOP to do this in a naive fashion or without reciprocity. I hope all will engage. And the only hope I see of this happening is if our next president is the sort of leader that can and will make the effort. I see this in McCain (even if you don’t think his previous work in this area is to be wholly commended). I don’t see it in Romney.Chris…thanks for the response. I think we are closer on that line than it first appeared.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 10:21 pm
  33. >”This trumped up scenario that our government has always been this divided is simply not true. Not in the sense we are experiencing today. It used to be that the parties worked in favor of the country. It seems now they work for the sake of ego. I hope that is not the case.”Well, we can only deal with the way things are today. “Anyway, the point I wanted to convey from your quote is that you are once again equating the Democrat side of the AMERICAN government with China and India. Give me a break. The comparison couldn’t be any worse! I think we are all getting caught up in our own rhetoric.”Not my point. Alter it so that the Dems are America and the GOP is China & India in the analogy. It doesn’t matter. Its an example of the foolishness of one side imposing standards upon themselves that the other parties who are engaged in the matter will not impose the same standards upon themselves. I’m comparing the call for compromise on the part of the GOP with Dems who will not reciprocate to the current global warming debate where we have some who are calling upon America to impose restrictions upon itself when countries such as China and India (co-equal offenders & global economic competitors) will not do the same. We hurt ourselves for no reason if we do that. Just like the GOP will hurt itself by compromising when the other side has no intention of doing the same. I have zero examples of Democrats who are willing to do the same things you guys are calling for the GOP to do. I wish it were not the case but it is.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 8:38 pm
  34. > ” Say we move forward with the approach Matt and Mark are proposing. The Democrats applaud us but they don’t reciprocate. We compromise, they do not. This is comparable to the problem we are having with certain controls in response to global warming. America places limits on herself but China and India do not.” Jeff,One cannot live life shooting with a “scared stick.” If we stand around in fear determining what we do or don’t do based on what we think someone else might do or not do, we get nowhere. I think history has shown that our government can work well together. This trumped up scenario that our government has always been this divided is simply not true. Not in the sense we are experiencing today. It used to be that the parties worked in favor of the country. It seems now they work for the sake of ego. I hope that is not the case.Anyway, the point I wanted to convey from your quote is that you are once again equating the Democrat side of the AMERICAN government with China and India. Give me a break. The comparison couldn’t be any worse! I think we are all getting caught up in our own rhetoric. It’s kind of like the compulsive liar (I’m not calling anyone that, I am simply using an analogy) who keeps telling the same lie over and over until he finally starts to believe it himself.Once again, it sounds like a lot of ego, pride, and reputation at stake to say, “Well, what if we do and they don’t.” We need to be bigger than that. For the sake of the country, someone has got to cut through this facade that is being created. The picture is not NEARLY as bleak as it’s being painted.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 7:19 pm
  35. >On compromise, styles of leadership, and all being on the same team:Call me a reluctant partisan/realist/pessimist in regards to reaching across the aisle and working together with our fellow Americans whom we are all on the same team together with. I agree with many of Matt’s comments regarding leadership. As a former military man myself I can appreciate the effectiveness of what you are talking about. In addition to what you are saying, I mentioned the pragmatic need to compromise that is a hallmark of many of the successful businessmen who are currently in office. Generalization time again, the former military members and the businessmen who may be amenable to the sort of leadership theories we are talking about have a greater presence in the Republican Party rather than the Democrat Party. Maybe that’s too much of a generalization but my point does not rest of this observation so I’ll move on. Here’s my concern. Say we move forward with the approach Matt and Mark are proposing. The Democrats applaud us but they don’t reciprocate. We compromise, they do not. This is comparable to the problem we are having with certain controls in response to global warming. America places limits on herself but China and India do not. That’s a problem. I’ll try to back off of the warfare, adversarial rhetoric if I can. Our friends, teammates, & fellow Americans, the Democrats, do not reciprocrate our outreach efforts then what? When has anyone seen the Democrats compromise in the way we’re discussing here? I haven’t seen it in the 15 years I’ve followed politics. I don’t see it happening any time soon. Does anyone have any indication that they will compromise, participate in give and take, concede rather than fight? Look at Leiberman. He is an outcast. He had to fight the party leadership to win re-election as an Independent. Where are these Dems who will work with us?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 6:16 pm
  36. >Matthew, thanks for your comments. I do think being kind and civil and debating on one’s principles, rather than on the basis of mere partisanship, is noble and desirable. But I don’t think there’s any virtue in compromise for its own sake. It’s not virtuous to compromise with someone when you believe doing so will be harmful for the people you’re governing.I don’t think gridlock is healthy, but I think the solution is to elect wise people into both the legislative AND the executive branches (and judicial while we’re at it). Then people with good ideas, rather than bad ones, will succeed in helping the country. A lot depends on the amount of conviction with which you hold a position. You implied yourself that you didn’t think compromising on the issue of abortion would be a good thing – I would guess, because you have strong convictions about abortion. By the same token, others have strong convictions about economic policies or even immigration policies, and they feel that compromise on this issue would be harmful. I admit that there are times when the best one can do is compromise, so that at least SOME of the result one desires can be realized, even if all of it isn’t. I guess I would ultimately agree with Solomon: There’s a time for everything – a time to join hands across the aisle, and a time to point out the error in your political opposite’s plans. I will unashamedly admit that I listen to Rush Limbaugh occasionally – I think more people would benefit from the exercise if they gave him a chance, though I know he can be offensive sometimes – and he recently remarked that Reagan united people by getting them to adopt conservatism, not by becoming more liberal himself.BTW, I visited PCPC in Dallas once, when I was at DTS. I liked it a lot.

    Posted by Chris Ross | February 5, 2008, 5:52 pm
  37. >”Hmmmmmm. Sounds like I’ve heard this argument before!”:) Yes, but not entirely. We haven’t really dug into the idea of Candidate X being the “Christian Candidate” who you will vote for if you are a good Christian. Several years ago I used to think about similarly to the way Randal is expressing it. Huckabee is the good Christian candidate, all Christians unite behind him, God will bless us if we do this, we’ll crash into moral oblivion if we don’t. You’re selling out if you go with this Christian. Maybe Randal wouldn’t put it that way but that’s a representative generalization of that sort of view. Now, what about the fact that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are professing Christians? Why not vote for them if the most important factor is the candidate’s profession of faith? He says he will not vote for a Democrat. Why? We’re back to political philosophy again. There are theological implications with issues such as abortion but primarily we’re speaking of political philosophy. A Christian candidate is desirable but not just any old Christian as Randal has demonstrated. We want the right kind of Christian and the right kind of Christian candidate is determined by their political philosophy. Its not just about abortion or there would be no problem with a pro-life Democrat but, as Randal stated, he will not vote for a Democrat. So to make the claim that Christian’s are compromising their Christian beliefs because they are placing a higher premium on the candidate’s conservatism than their Christianity is a distortion to put it mildly.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 3:57 pm
  38. > “can you honestly say that an issue as complicated as immigration can only have a conservative resolution or a liberal resolution? I think the warfare mentality says yes. It’s our way or nothing. And we’ll do whatever it takes to get our way, including character assassination. But a team mentality looks at each solution and attempts to craft a solution that uses the best of each approach.” Excellent point. Moreover, it is especially troubling to me to see believers getting caught up in the lynch mob mentality of Conservatism calling for the deportation of all immigrants, “because they broke the law.” Granted, this is a situation that needs to be dealt with. But for Christians to take such an unforgiving stance that lacks any compassion is disturbing. It demonstrates that a precedent is being given to political issues rather than caring for other people. From a strictly biblical perspective, one can see the fruit of the Spirit in how one treats others, especially those who the masses don’t consider worthy of such care. You know, the guilty, the criminal, the one who has done the unspeakable. Oh, that’s me!!!!!!! (and the rest of us as well)

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 3:48 pm
  39. >It’s hard to say Mark. I haven’t had much interaction re: politics either. I have been in several conversations with staff members over lunch, etc. With staff it seems to be a mixed bag. It is all republican, but as of a week or two ago there was at least one or two voices around the table for each of the three candidates. But I think I’ve been swaying some of them toward McCain. The discussions have been healthy and most seem to be undecided at this point. I did find it interesting that there seemed to be some consensus that Huckabee was using faith more as a tool than seemed appropriate. I say this was interesting because it didn’t follow much discussion, everyone seemed to already have formed their opinion.I just laughed to myself a bit as I started to say that the staff isn’t representative of the church, since we have more Baptists on staff than we do Presbyterians. But I suppose that would make it perfectly representative.In the end, I don’t think Texas is going to get a say in the GOP nomination. I think (as I have said above) that this will be settled by the end of the day today.This is perhaps not the forum for it, but I’d like to see some discussion on the relative merits of the GOP and the Dems primary systems. Particularly, I’m curious about the Republican’s winner take all system vs the Dem’s system in which they fight for each delegate (with super delegates acting as a sort of proctor). Anyone know of a blog or forum where this discussion has or is taking place?

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 3:07 pm
  40. >Matthew,We really miss the church, especially our Sunday School class. I have enjoyed your comments on this post and find it interesting that you seem to be in agreement in many areas regarding John McCain. I wonder what the consensus is at PCPC? I communicate often with members of our class but never anything relating to politics. What do you find is the overall attitude there? Are they more sympathetic to Romney or McCain?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 2:41 pm
  41. >Chris said,”candidates use that call to peace only when their side isn’t winning.”I think this is another facet of the problem. As Mark has pointed out, we tend to view the context as one of warfare, instead of one of a team trying to accomplish an end. Team members won’t always agree on what the best end is, or how to best accomplish it, but the fact remains that something must be done and this team must be the one to do it. So how should they proceed? If they see one another as mortal enemies, they will fight to the death, and all is fair in love and war, right? But if instead they see themselves as team members in disagreement, then they are more likely to proceed with the end in mind.This warfare mentality has another major weakness. It polarizes. Not only people, but issues as well. Chris, you speak of their policies vs our policies. But does each issue only have two possible solutions? Is it not conceivable that a third option (or more) might be discovered if winning at the expense of the other side wasn’t so much the focus? I readily admit some issues are simply polarizing by their nature. Abortion doesn’t seem to offer much middle ground. But can you honestly say that an issue as complicated as immigration can only have a conservative resolution or a liberal resolution? I think the warfare mentality says yes. It’s our way or nothing. And we’ll do whatever it takes to get our way, including character assassination. But a team mentality looks at each solution and attempts to craft a solution that uses the best of each approach. This may all sound very pollyanna, but it is the nature of mature leadership. I learned it (of all places) as an officer in the army. Now if the army understands and practices such leadership, why can’t our politicians?

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 2:39 pm
  42. >Hey Mark,Yep…we are here at PCPC. In fact, I was here when you preached your sermon last year about the time you were leaving. Your ministry here was greatly appreciated, particularly by your class. I’m encouraged to hear things are going well for you.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 2:29 pm
  43. >Hey Matthew,I just checked out your blog and noticed that we are members of the same church (PCPC)! Funny eh?My family and I just left Dallas in September 07. I taught the Good News Sunday School class for a year before we left.Small world.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 1:52 pm
  44. >Chris,I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I think debate is bad. Anyone that knows me will readily agree I don’t think that to be true. But there is healthy debate and then there is the way our two party system is currently operating. I’m suggesting that when two parties are running the country, each in need of the other in order to get something done, and neither side is willing to compromise, you get grid lock. And instead of figuring out how to move forward, they choose to call each other names and spend their time digging up dirt for a press’ insatiable appetite for mud. It’s something like the difference between our discussion here (which is clearly debate, but has focused on the issues) and the comment string on a you tube video. I think the government sound like the you tube comments. I’m suggesting that as long as we have a president in the white house that is only interested in maintaining this status quo, or at best has no track record of working to improve the situation, we are in for another 4 years of nothing getting done about issues as important as health care. There was debate during Reagan’s administration, but they still got things done. What (positive) thing has either party accomplished in the past 4 years?

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 1:17 pm
  45. > “You’re saying that Christians are selling out their beliefs in order to get a conservative in the White House. But you won’t vote for a Democrat even if they are a Christian. So you are essentially putting a candidate’s conservatism above their Christianity too, right? ” Hmmmmmm. Sounds like I’ve heard this argument before! “Good morning everyone.” How about good afternoon?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 12:53 pm
  46. >Chris,I checked out your blog as well. I only keep a blog for our church and immediate family to have a visual contact with us while we are gone, not much content I’m afraid.Anyway, congratulations on finishing in April. Edinburgh is a wonderful school. I applied there and considered studying with Hurtago but Loren Stuckenbruck is the absolute best supervisor in the whole UK (I know I am biased). I have already had my share of fish-n-chips. Love em! Are you planning on teaching or doing pastoral ministry? I didn’t nose around enough on your blog to find out. Thanks so much for your comments and engaging this topic with me. Take care.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 12:51 pm
  47. >Good morning everyone. Glad to see the discussion is still alive and well.Randal,Wait a minute. First, you said, “It blows my mind to think that some christians will sell out their beliefs just to get a Conservative in the White House.” But when I asked about other Christian candidates you said, “I won’t vote for a Democrat. Also, I am not voting on Huckabee solely because he is a Christian. I think he has the most leadership experience out of all of the candidates running today. The issues that he stands for best represent what I want for this nation.”You’re saying that Christians are selling out their beliefs in order to get a conservative in the White House. But you won’t vote for a Democrat even if they are a Christian. So you are essentially putting a candidate’s conservatism above their Christianity too, right? I do not necessarily have a problem with that if you are but it seems that you are doing what you are criticizing others for.”I am happy to say that we did not listen to those “medical professionals” and have a healthy 4 yr old son our 4th child and my wife has been cancer free just now 4 yrs. She went through 8 rounds of chemo & surgery while pregnant.”Wow, that is really great. I can’t imagine what you all went through with that.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 12:42 pm
  48. >Mark, thanks for your comments. Access is a huge issue. I keep waiting for someone to come up with a great solution other than socialization, but I admit, one has not been forthcoming.I wish you well on your research. I looked at your blog — your topic sounds interesting. I’m looking at early puritan spirituality (doing an ecclesiastical history doctorate) up here at the U of Edinburgh, hoping to finish by April. My wife and two sons are back in Texas, waiting for me to finish. Your daughter is adorable! I hope you enjoy your time in the UK immensely. Try the fish n’ chips, if you haven’t already. And despite all you’ve heard, haggis is worth a try, too …

    Posted by Chris Ross | February 5, 2008, 12:33 pm
  49. > “I hope I have not come across, at any time here, sounding callous to the needs you have expressed on behalf of yourself and your daughter.” Not in any way Chris. I appreciate your comments. I agree that we have serious problems with litigation in the US regarding medical malpractice claims. Yet, on the other hand, we have some cases where doctors are grossly negligent. Obviously there needs to be a clamp down on what it legitimate and what is not. But we also have the problems with the pharmaceutical and insurance companies that have a very strong control on Washington. Any system will have issues of corruption and, while I think ours is just more polished since it comes in the form of well-dressed lobbyists, there is a major problem nonetheless.I am not at all in favor of the Democrats developing a program where they are trying to run our lives or control healthcare. I think that would be a mistake. I am talking about access. For the person earning $60,000 to $90,000 in the US it is difficult to afford quality health insurance. And even then the coverage is deplorable. In my case, my daughter does not qualify for SS benefits because I make too much money (and trust me, not very much. I do part-time business consulting, probably 25 hours a month). If I was broke, she would qualify. But I don’t want to be broke nor will I accept that type of lifestyle just for that kind of coverage. On the other hand, I really don’t make enough to purchase good insurance (I mean ample coverage). I have spent $500.00 per month for $2500 deductible with 80% coverage afterward just for catastrophic emergency. So if I go to the hospital for a major surgery, and spend two days, I could be looking at a $5,000-$10,000 hospital bill afterward. Now add that to my $500.00 per month insurance bill and I’m beginning to sink. The problem is, many Americans fall into this income bracket and are having a difficult time paying for insurance. Many don’t have it. SOme have to make decisions about their children’s health because they can’t afford to go to the doctor because it will cost them $200 every time they visit the doctor. People should not have to make these choices.So I agree that the US has the best doctors in the world. But I also see that they have a failed system because not everyone has access. Access to good healthcare is the key. So long as they cannot offer that it is a failed system.Most of the opinions that I see regarding healthcare in the US, that is, positive remarks, come from those who are from affluent backgrounds, who have access to good healthcare and can afford good health insurance, and more importantly, have not had a major health crisis in their life. I don’t see the same review coming from those who do not have these connections. Thus, I am in agreement with you on most points. But I do see the US as having a failed system as it stands because of these issues. I should state here that I do not think the answer is for government to control the healthcare system. As you are well aware, our government is not very good at administrating these kinds of programs. But something has to happen and that something is ACCESS.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 11:42 am
  50. >Hi Mark,Wow — you’re in Durham and I’m in Edinburgh! Who woulda thought? I always love seeing the cathedral there when I go through on the train. I’d like to stop and explore sometime. As far as the healthcare issue, I think it’s give and take: you get the government behind healthcare, and you make things more affordable, but generally lower quality. I still have faith that we can correct the problems in the US system without asking DC to underwrite it. Most of the problems stem from corruption anyway, in my understanding: frivolous medical lawsuits (by mostly Democrat trial lawyers) that drive insurance companies to charge more and cover less, pushing affordable healthcare out of the common man’s reach. We need to regulate these slimy lawyers and the insurance companies that over-charge (though many are merely looking out for their own bottom line), and as much as possible, keep medical care private and therefore competitive and therefore top-notch. Republicans will be more likely to do that. Democrats will more likely succumb to the pressure and give government (the biggest corporation of all, which has no competition) the burden of taking care of us all. I hope I have not come across, at any time here, sounding callous to the needs you have expressed on behalf of yourself and your daughter. My view is that government SHOULD actually tax its people on behalf of those with acute needs, such as the very elderly and those with disabilities of different kinds, including children and adults with Down Syndrome. I think in a perfect world, we would pay about 5-10% income tax, but that would be more than enough because the feds would use much less of it on entitlements for people who CAN genuinely provide for themselves, and instead help those who cannot (or can barely) support themselves. Many consumers and charity groups, unhindered by heavy taxes, would also lend their support, financial and otherwise, for those with greater needs. What I fear most is the insatible attitude that sees the answer to all problems in government. I see Democrats taking us down that road at greater speed than Republicans.

    Posted by Chris Ross | February 5, 2008, 10:47 am
  51. > “but at the sames time, I have seen with my own eyes the downside of socialized healthcare.” Chris,I too live in the UK. I live in Durham and I must say we have received the best medical care we have ever received, including the US. I have never sat in a doctors office for over 15 minutes waiting to see a doctor. I could call this morning and be in within an hour. Also, my doctoral supervisor had an operation last year, I think within a month of being diagnosed of his condition. We have three therapists who visit our home weekly (physical. speech, educational) working with our daughter who has Down’s Syndrome and they have been absolutely brilliant with her! I have also been to the dentist in Sunderland, which I have to say was about as dismal as any other dental experience I have even had.I would add, I have a colleague who took his daughter to the University Hospital here in Durham who very quickly was diagnosed with Leukemia. They travel to Newcastle for treatments and she is doing quite well and is expected to make a full recovery. Now, having said that, I also understand the reason it is a bit different here is because it is such a small town area. I know it is different in the bigger cities.However, what I was proposing was not necessarily a program like the NHS. You and I both know it has its own problems as you have pointed out. However, it is not as bad as it often seems. It tends to be viewed more negatively by Americans who are accustomed to a different type of system. My point is this. Both systems have their faults but which of the following scenarios would you choose. If you had a child with special needs that required certain types of therapy in order to assure good development and independence later in life, would you rather be in the US where the therapy is great but we cannot get it or be here where the therapy is really good and they come to my home, three of them, once a week each? I think that is a no brainer. So I think individual circumstances where people have very high American expectations do taint the NHS as being particularly poor healthcare. Again, I am fully aware of its problems and know it doesn’t work like this everywhere. But to say that the US has a superior system is a farce. How can one’s system be superior when so many millions don’t have access to it? Sure, if you have a job that has great benefits you are okay. Even then a grave illness can leave one at the brink of bankruptcy. Our healthcare system is becoming one fit for either the extremely poor or the extremely wealthy. So Yes! We need SERIOUS healthcare reform in America. WHo do you think is more likely to propose such a reform and what would it look like?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 9:46 am
  52. >”So when it comes to health care, I disagree with everything the Republicans stand for.”Mark, I have lived the past four years in the UK, where healthcare is ‘free’ – meaning it is paid for by high taxation. I agree that the US system needs fixing, but I would submit to you that the problem is not to socialize or get the government funding all healthcare, as the left would like to do. We have benefited from the UK NHS (National Health Service) in some ways – our second son was born here, practically free of charge (except for the extra 1,0000s we pay for schooling here, which contributes to NHS) – but at the sames time, I have seen with my own eyes the downside of socialized healthcare.For many conditions, people go on long waiting lists to be seen, and by the time they are seen the condition has either passed on its own or gotten much worse. Honestly, it’s not horrifically bad, but it is significantly worse than in the States – so much so that I hope we never, ever, ever choose this over what we have. Dentistry is especially poor. The dentists are not paid that much, so they use cheaper materials and opt for cheaper treatments. It’s very common here for dentists to simply pull children’s teeth when they have any kind of problem, rather than treating them with fillings, etc. The philosophy is that their teeth are temporary anyway, so just pull them. That’s why a number of Brits have problems with crooked teeth – b/c they’ve been pulled out when they were young and they grow in that way.I could go on, but there’s not room here. Like I said, it’s not like the third world, but it is considerably worse. I hope none of my Brit friends read this and get offended. We have serious problems in the States with our healthcare system, but the care itself is still top-notch, and people flock to the US for it.By all means, fix the problems we have, chasten the insurance companies and the trial lawyers who perpetrate frivolous medical lawsuits, but DON’T opt for socialized, government-sponsored healthcare. Also, Matthew, I would take exception with your view on debate and disagreement. Those two things have been a key part of law-making, not only in the US, but in most Western states, for centuries. Opposing sides debate vehemently instead of shooting each other, and that’s how ideas and laws get ironed out. It’s not hurting anyone for conservatives and liberals to debate. There’s no reasons for conservatives to concede to liberal policies, because almost all of them that I know of are wrong or counter-productive or downright immoral. I think the merits of compromise and diplomacy between the parties are overestimated, and candidates use that call to peace only when their side isn’t winning.

    Posted by Chris Ross | February 5, 2008, 9:16 am
  53. >I won’t vote for a Democrat. Also, I am not voting on Huckabee solely because he is a Christian. I think he has the most leadership experience out of all of the candidates running today. The issues that he stands for best represent what I want for this nation. The pro-life platform he has never wavered on, unlike Mitt Romney & McCain is a state’s rights guy on this issue. After going through my wife having Stage III Breast Cancer & being pregnant too has more solidified my stances on this issue. No woman should ever go through having to be deceived by “medical professionals” that an abortion is best for that woman. This is not true! America should never allow abortions, there are 50 million Americans that have not been allowed to live in this great nation, that is because their mother or parents chose to kill them. Until we get rid of abortion our nation will never prosper. Mike Huckabee will institute an amendment to protect life, this has been the Republican Party platform since 1980. No other candidate running does not support this amendment. I am happy to say that we did not listen to those “medical professionals” and have a healthy 4 yr old son our 4th child and my wife has been cancer free just now 4 yrs. She went through 8 rounds of chemo & surgery while pregnant. This is why we support Mike Huckabee!!

    Posted by randal | February 5, 2008, 5:25 am
  54. >”I know we are not voting for a pastor but that dosn’t matter. It blows my mind to think that some christians will sell out their beliefs just to get a Conservative in the White House.” “I believe this election is about saving the soul of our nation, if any other candidate gets the White House, this great nation will be doomed to hell.”Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are Christians. Why won’t you vote for one of them?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 4:55 am
  55. >”I would rather be ruled by a just Turk (read: Muslim), than an unjust Christian” – Martin Luther

    Posted by Jared Nelson | February 5, 2008, 4:02 am
  56. >I don’t mean to be ugly when I say this, but I think that any Christian that is voting for Huckabee solely on the basis of his faith identity has been sold a bill of goods. Instead of voting for the Christian, perhaps it would be best to vote for the candidate that will be most effective in leading this country. That may be a believer. It may not. But whoever it is, you won’t know him by his faith.I don’t think Romney is the best candidate, but that isn’t because of his Mormonism. It’s because I don’t think he is generally in the habit of telling the truth. Therefore, I don’t trust him. If you trust Huck and like his platform, by all means, cast your vote.I agree with you, Matthew.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 5, 2008, 3:52 am
  57. >Hi Randal!I think the mindset you seem to represent is very much a part of the problem in the western church today. Evangelicals seem to think the best candidate will be the best Christian. Among our choices four years ago, I have no doubt that GWB was the candidate most serious about his Christian faith. That doesn’t seem to have done us much good. If you think Huckabee is going to win and then guide this nation based upon his born again principles, I think you are in for serious disappointment. I would like to respectfully challenge the notion that God is only blessing this nation in this election if he places a born-again believer in the white house. I don’t mean to be ugly when I say this, but I think that any Christian that is voting for Huckabee solely on the basis of his faith identity has been sold a bill of goods. Instead of voting for the Christian, perhaps it would be best to vote for the candidate that will be most effective in leading this country. That may be a believer. It may not. But whoever it is, you won’t know him by his faith.I don’t think Romney is the best candidate, but that isn’t because of his Mormonism. It’s because I don’t think he is generally in the habit of telling the truth. Therefore, I don’t trust him. If you trust Huck and like his platform, by all means, cast your vote. But Christians need to wake up and stop allowing anyone that claims a strong faith to garner their vote on that claim alone.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 3:44 am
  58. >I can never vote for Mitt Romney. He is a Morman and thats it for me.I know we are not voting for a pastor but that dosn’t matter. It blows my mind to think that some christians will sell out their beliefs just to get a Conservative in the White House. Romney raised fees in his state and he forced people to have health insurance in his state and if they did not, they were charged $1,200 a year, legalized gay marriage, advised during a debate with Ted Kennedy that he would never change his principles on abortion thus remaining pro-choice. A person does not change their mind at his age, it is done solely to run for President since knowing the Social Conservatives would not vote on the pro-homosexual & pro-choice platform. This is NOT A CONSERVATIVE position. The talking heads on the radio have put their support behind Romney and have done everything they can to bash Huckabee. I used to trust them but they have lost all creditability with me and I thought they were supposed to let the candidates share their thoughts and let the people decide. If it comes down to Romney I don’t vote and there are a lot of people with that view point. Mitt Romney is calling for Huckabee to drop out so he does not split the conservative vote, but it is Romney going after Huckabee’s base. In todays times with the church having watered down messages, Christians are not being led to Christ. There is no substance to the messages that are received in churches, it is about how many people can I appeal to so that I can fill my pews. I believe this election is about saving the soul of our nation, if any other candidate gets the White House, this great nation will be doomed to hell. I think this has sparked a great movement in this country, and if not Huckabee in the White House we will not stop making this grassroots movement for Huckabee and praying for salvation of our nation.Since when do we vote based on electability? I thought we should vote for the person that best aligns with the voter. I think everyone will be thoroughly surprised after Super Tuesday, when God rewards a miracle with with Huckabee winning GA, TN, AR, MO, OK, MT, AL, WV, and many more. Then on Feb 9 winning KS & LA and Mar 4 TEXAS.

    Posted by randal | February 5, 2008, 3:19 am
  59. >The Google searches do crack me up. I saw one the other day that had the terms Ann Coulter and gay mafia. Pretty funny! 🙂

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 5, 2008, 1:06 am
  60. > ” I don’t know what to say on that one and I don’t think any of the presidential candidates do either.” Perhaps this would be a better post.I am currently working on one to post this week on another issue.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 1:03 am
  61. >”I am a Republican, I consider myself a conservative, at least moderately so, but I don’t buy the whole package my friend. And anybody that does is not thinking for themselves.”Point taken. Perhaps it could be inferred that some of us agree with the GOP all the time or think that what we call conservatism has all the best answers to all societal issues all the time. But I don’t think anyone here really thinks that. It’d make a great future post to talk about what is right and wrong with conservatism. I hear you on the healthcare issue. I don’t know what to say on that one and I don’t think any of the presidential candidates do either. There are problems with purely free market solutions to our healthcare system and problems with government-controlled universal healthcare. Its extremely difficult.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 12:50 am
  62. >”Small point, but I’m gonna call you on the Iraq War comment. The Dems fought it tooth and nail. Even in their yes votes they declared their opposition.””…or that the Dems voting yes at the time were happily letting Bush have his way are flat out revisionist.You are correct. What I’m saying is, after they fought it they did eventually go along with it and then jumped Bush when public opinion turned. Maybe it was a bad example. My point is, they don’t compromise. They are highly disciplined as a party. I’d like to go along with the sentiment of ending the polarization and reaching across the aisle. Recent history shows me that this means I’m going to have to concede the field in order for this to occur because the Dems won’t compromise their core beliefs.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 12:39 am
  63. > “What core principles will I have to give up because the Dems will not give up their’s.” Well, voting for Romney, a guy who has been pro-choice throughout his career, looks as if you are already giving up a MAJOR one. But let me stay on target here. “First, Democrats do not and will not compromise with us. Does anyone disagree?” I disagree strongly. You are making a sweeping generalization about only those issues that are important to you. Certainly, they have issues just as important to them. That’s why I am not saying that each side should give up all of their fundamental political ideologies. I am saying that one can look at the Reagen era and see a Republican getting Democrats to come together and work to get things done.The reason the Bush-Kennedy education bill looks like it does is a prime example. Rather than sit down and write a cohesive, strategic plan together, Bush just says write the bill and I’ll co-sign it. Great example. They can’t get along long enough to sit down and work things out so it gets done half-way.Look, I’m telling you the Democrats are not enemies to the US. They are an enemy to an ideology that people are holding on to too tightly. I am not saying abandon everything you believe in. I am saying, make sure what you believe in is worth flushing our country down the toilet because your too stubborn to evaluate things.The older I get and the more I live through the more I re-evaluate things. I’ve lived on both sides of the spectrum as you well know. But you know what. I have children, four of them. One of them is disabled. Now, I have to lie in bed at night and wonder who will take care of her when Aimee and I are gone. What ideology do you think I am going to follow. You think I give a crap about tax cuts for the rich? I don’t think so. I am more interested in a healthy medical system that can provide the care my child needs without putting me into bankruptcy. I had health insurance in the US that cost me $500.00 a month for a $2500.00 deductible. Even then they only pay 80% after the deductible. I have a daughter that needs physical therapy, speech therapy, educational therapy. What do you think the American system does. It stands back and boasts that it is the best in the world! Yet so many people can’t get access to it. Not because of illegals either. But because if you don’t have the money to get into these special care medical facilities you’re out of luck!So when it comes to health care, I disagree with everything the Republicans stand for. Yet I am a Republican. It’s easy for Hannity and Rush to talk about how great our health care system is. They make 40 million a year. You see my point? Every ideology has flaws. I am a Republican, I consider myself a conservative, at least moderately so, but I don’t buy the whole package my friend. And anybody that does is not thinking for themselves.I’ll take the 60% right you mentioned earlier for Republicans. But I’ll also take the 40% the Dems have to offer. Because, as I have said over and over, THEY ARE NOT OUR ENEMIES. They are Americans too. THey just think differently than you do about things. Learn to live with it! It ain’t ever gonna stop.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 5, 2008, 12:37 am
  64. >Small point, but I’m gonna call you on the Iraq War comment. The Dems fought it tooth and nail. Even in their yes votes they declared their opposition. I listened to almost every minute of it on NPR, which suspended programming to follow the debate from the floor. Any arguments (such as Obama is using against Clinton) that there is flip flopping on the part of the Dems on this, or that the Dems voting yes at the time were happily letting Bush have his way are flat out revisionist.As for the nature of McCain’s compromising, I’m not so concerned about whether or not he compromised with them, but instead with whether or not the policy ideas were good. Of course, this point can be debated ad nauseam.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 5, 2008, 12:28 am
  65. >”…why would I want someone in office who is going to keep this polarization of our country going?” “The Democrats often represent issues that I don’t agree with, but they are not our enemies.” “…ability to persuade people and to get both sides to work together.” “How about understanding that some Americans disagree.”I agree. The country is polarized in many ways. There is much that we disagree about. Now let’s talk about getting both sides to work together and working with Democrats whom we disagree with.First, Democrats do not and will not compromise with us. Does anyone disagree? When have you seen this happen? What examples can we look at? Democrats as a whole (I’m speaking about elected officials rather than the general populace here) tend to be more ideologically driven than Republicans. Republians tend to have more businessman who are experienced in compromising in order to work toward goals. That’s a generalization but I think it provides a little insight into why Republicans give in more than Dems do.How do we reach out and work with Dems on abortion? They will not even compromise on partial-birth abortion? How do we compromise on overturning Roe v. Wade? We want it to happen, they say “never!”I’ve only been actively following politics for about 15 years but that’s long enough to know that Democrats never give in on what is important to them. They never concede. We have to out vote them, pure and simple. We have to have greater numbers. We have to force our ideas through. Or they go along with it if it the people are for it but as soon as opinion turns, they beat the hell out of us. See the Iraq war. They demonized coservatives on illegal immigration all throughout the 90’s (racist, etc.) and concessions have been made only because the people have finally reached a breaking point. Opinion turns and we’ll be back to racists again if we ever stopped being such.Compromising with the Democrats looks like the Bush-Kennedy education bill. Here Ted, write the bill and I’ll co-sign it. I’m not interested in that sort of working together. So this is why I ask – what does ending the polarization, compromising, and working with the other side of the aisle look like? How will that work? What core principles will I have to give up because the Dems will not give up their’s.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 5, 2008, 12:01 am
  66. >Look, here’s the deal. Anyone who says McCain is not good for this country is out of their mind! I’m like Matthew, why would I want someone in office who is going to keep this polarization of our country going? The Democrats often represent issues that I don’t agree with, but they are not our enemies. Good grief, to here some of you guys talk, you would think these people had bombs strapped to their chests ready to bring about mass destruction to our country. This is getting WAY over-played. The fact is, McCain has enough sense to know that the greatest strength a president has is his ability to persuade people and to get both sides to work together. We don’t need another Superman. He’s gotten us into too much of a mess as it is. We need someone who knows how to get people to work together. Can you not see how far this Conservatism mantra has gone? It is becoming extremist. At first, the Dems are out mortal enemies. Now, even Republicans are our enemies because there not as much “like we are.” Sounds like political Phariseeism to me. How about understanding that some Americans disagree. If our greatest asset is to argue with one another about who’s right and who’s wrong, it won’t take long for our country to fall. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Jesus ca. 30 AD.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 4, 2008, 11:10 pm
  67. >I always get a kick out of some of the word searches that direct people to CRM. I’ve noticed a couple Google seaches for combinations of “McCain” and “mafia” that brought people here. Is there anything I need to know about McCain and the mob? 🙂 This happened a couple weeks ago with another candidate but I can’t remember who. We get at least one hit every single day by people searching for sex jokes or dirty jokes thanks to Nate’s post a little while back. He predicted that would happen. Funny.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 11:04 pm
  68. >”Whatever happens tomorrow, we will all live to fight another day (God willing) … and there will still be lost people everywhere – Republican, Democrat, Marxist, Taleban – who need to hear about the grace of God in Jesus Christ.”Very true. Welcome, Chris. Thanks for jumping in.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 10:58 pm
  69. >Matthew, point taken. Whatever happens tomorrow, we will all live to fight another day (God willing) … and there will still be lost people everywhere – Republican, Democrat, Marxist, Taleban – who need to hear about the grace of God in Jesus Christ. Heck, we should pray that Romney and his family will come to know the real Jesus.

    Posted by Chris Ross | February 4, 2008, 10:54 pm
  70. >The funny thing about regret is that the losers are never prone to it. If Huckabee doesn’t get elected, there will be no one to regret what he did in the white house, and no policies he’s responsible for that we might regret. I think Jeff’s right. Whoever wins, we will likely find ourselves at some point wondering what the other candidate might have done instead. But this is true from every angle, and therefore can’t be very persuasive.As for Huckabee, I wonder if he will even place in tomorrow’s contests. Right or wrong, he isn’t even getting any press anymore. And once the press begins to ignore a candidate this late in the race, it rarely ends well. Another 24 hours and we can cogitate on what happened instead of what might happen. For better or worse this GOP race will likely end tomorrow night.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 4, 2008, 10:21 pm
  71. >I’m pretty sure that even my 8 year-old niece knows who he is.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 10:01 pm
  72. >Boy, Jeff. I gotta hand it to you for trying to hold back the FLOOD of inexplicable Huckabee and McCain support and Romney hatred here. I just read all the comments, and now I’m bordering on full-blown depression.My prediction: these kinds of attitudes will put McCain in the Republican spot. Come November, he’ll get into the Oval Office, and over the next 4(-8?) years all these folks will be plagued by regret for having once entertained the notion that voting for him was a decent idea. Huckabee supporters will regret it too. I do not understand the comparison b/w Romney and Clinton. Did anyone see McCain lying about Romney’s comments on “timetables” at the debate over the weekend? He equivocates about his former policies, instead of admitting they were liberal. And he puts Romney down repeatedly for being a wealthy businessman. The fact that Romney has a lot of money tells me he knows something about economics (and saving responsibly). I’m frightened to hear conservatives talking like liberals and socialists and throwing contempt on people for having financial acumen. In contrast to Romney, McCain has admitted he doesn’t know tons about economics, and he’s a career politician, not a businessman. Oy vay. I’m praying for a Romney upset.

    Posted by Chris Ross | February 4, 2008, 10:01 pm
  73. >Who’s “Huckabee”?I swear that name sounds familiar.

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 4, 2008, 9:59 pm
  74. >Jeff,Great response. It clarifies things for me a great deal. Where you and I both probably appreciate McCain, we are on the same page. However, on those issues that you don’t like him, I do. So when I run the mental algorithm, I find a candidate whose actions I appreciate in the main. I also find a candidate I feel that I can trust (I don’t feel dirty after I hear him speak). With Mitt, I feel like I need to shower after I hear him speak. I don’t like some of the things he has done in the past. These two things create a knock out punch in my mind. I don’t feel like I can trust him, and he has held some positions and participated in the creation of legislation (in Mass) that I deeply disagree with. So when he asks me to trust him because he’s changed, I simmply can’t. McCain (in my mind) is a known quantity.We both agree on this, though: A GOP candidate will eventually disappoint us somehow.Thanks for the engagement. Vote McCain! :^)Matt

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 4, 2008, 9:57 pm
  75. >Also, I just thought that I’d point this out…where I live, and prob. much of the northeast McCain is crushing Romney because of the ex-Giuliani supporters going to McCain not because of the Huckabee supporters voting for Huckabee.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 9:49 pm
  76. >If you’re a conservative and don’t want McCain OR Romney as the GOP nominee then get out and vote for Huckabee!!! Come on, let’s do it!

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 9:46 pm
  77. >Again, to conservative Huckabee supporters who know he cannot win & do not want McCain to win: Let the two-man race be a two-man race tomorrow! I think you should come over to the more conservative Romney but choose between McCain and Romney before you vote tomorrow. Huckabee cannot win. Romney cannot win without conservative Huckabee, Giuliani, and Paul supporters switching their vote to the best remaining conservative candidate.From: 2008 Republican Presidential Primary, Delegate Math Favors McCain. Monday, February 4, 2008.”After Super Tuesday, there are 980 remaining delegates available through primaries and caucuses. Even if you assume that Romney gets to 400 delegates tomorrow, he would need to win roughly two-out-of-every-three remaining delegates to catch the frontrunner. It’s even more difficult if Mike Huckabee stays in the race and earns some of those delegates for himself. That’s why, on the day before Super Tuesday, Rasmussen Markets data gives McCain a 87% chance of winning the nomination (current pricing ( 88.0%). As Rasmussen Reports indicated last week, McCain’s victory in Florida may have made him unstoppable. It is still not all rosy for McCain. A string of Southern State losses for the frontrunner combined with a Romney victory in California could fundamentally shake up the race. That’s not a likely scenario, but it could happen.” It COULD happen. If you are a conservative and don’t want McCain to be the nominee, vote for Mitt Romney.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 9:43 pm
  78. >”I would as a Bush 2000 primary voter, and 2000 and 2004 general election voter, though I am not a contributer. Or, I can just post it here.”I’ll send you an email.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 9:17 pm
  79. >”Also, I was not implying that you had said you trust words over action, but I think that is what voting for Mitt has to be in the end, do we trust his campaign words more than his Mass governor record. I think that is implicit, but I did not wish to imply that you hold that as an explicit principle.”Gotcha. That is implicit to a degree. I feel burned by many of Bush’s actions as compared to his previous words. I really don’t know what to do about this. I am resigned to the fact that the politicians will prove to be less satisfactory than the candidates. I suspect I might be burned by Romney not living up to his words. I’m fairly certain that I will be burned by McCain’s future actions compared to his words and past actions. Romney has many negative past actions but also some good past actions. He says he has changed in regards to the bad. McCain has done good and I hope we would continue those good actions. But he has many bad actions and he doesn’t think they are bad. He continues to defend them. Romney says he has changed. Time will tell. It might seem foolish to value Romney’s words over McCain’s deeds but the problem is that I am not impressed with a lot of McCain’s deeds. Is it risky to take Romney at his word that he has had a change of heart on key issues. Yes. (Before I make my next statement let me remind you that I fully expect a GOP president to disappoint us to one degree or another.) But I just do not see him going back to appointing liberal judges, taking pro-choice positions, and otherwise reverting back to the things of the past that he claims to have had a change of heart about. How could he? Republicans would erupt in protest and would lose all confidence and thereby lose all ability to govern for the rest of his term. He would be thrown out after the first term. I don’t think that is very realistic. Al Gore was pro-life and changed to pro-choice. Some say it was due to political expediency and maybe it was. Its probably more accurate to say that the pro-life position was the expedient one in TN. Either way, he never looked back once he changed. He couldn’t. I don’t think Romney will either. Reagan was pro-choice, switched to pro-life and we’re glad for it. Time will tell with Romney. I think the chances are greater that he will stick to his current “convictions,” expedient or not only he really knows, than the chances of him reverting back to the liberal ones.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 9:16 pm
  80. >Jeff-“I would love to have someone write The Case for John McCain or A Conservative Case for John McCain.”I would as a Bush 2000 primary voter, and 2000 and 2004 general election voter, though I am not a contributer. Or, I can just post it here.Also, I was not implying that you had said you trust words over action, but I think that is what voting for Mitt has to be in the end, do we trust his campaign words more than his Mass governor record. I think that is implicit, but I did not wish to imply that you hold that as an explicit principle.

    Posted by Jared Nelson | February 4, 2008, 8:31 pm
  81. >”But hey, we are to judge a man for what he says, not what he does, right?”I certainly haven’t said that and don’t believe that so I’m not going to take the time to go into that and further.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 8:26 pm
  82. >””What’s the difference between McCain and Clinton” is a propaganda push- a scare tactic. But since you asked, a lot. I call being pro-life and committed to a victory in Iraq big differences.”It could be interpreted as a scare tactic but what I was really interested in seeing was what those differences are rather than just being told that they are so different. I find a lot of similarities between Clinton and McCain but that’s not really something I can say about too many conservatives. I know there are important differences between McCain and Clinto so I’ll let it drop.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 8:22 pm
  83. >Hello, Matthew! Thanks for joining the discussion.”The fundamental problem in this whole discussion is that it is assumed that if most “conservatives” want to go a particular direction, then that is conservatism and it is therefore good. All comers must be evaluated and either embraced or rejected based upon this criteria. I find this particularly disturbing on a site that is primarily concerned with espousing a Christian world view.”The concept of ‘Majority rule / mob mentality of conservatives = conservatism = good’ would certainly be problematic. If I have stated or implied that this is what I adhere to, I apologize for the confusion because this is not what I intended. Mine is a struggle with the tension between idealism and pragmatism. Romney does not represent a pure or most ideal conservatism and he is not the best of the conseravative candidates. As a conservative candidate, he is flawed and leaves much to be desired. Even if a majority of self-professed conservatives stamped Romneyism as “conservatism” and therefore “good” would not make it so. If it seems as if this is what I am attempting to do, it is not.I am a Republican. Throughout our primary process I have idealistically been attempting to put conservatism above mere electability, principle above partisanship. If electability were most important I probably would be for McCain. But because having an electable conservative candidate rather than just the most electable candidate is more ideal I supported Fred Thompson rather than the front runners at that time. “Electable” eliminates candidates such as Alan Keyes. “Conservative” eliminates John McCain. This does not mean that there is nothing conservative about him because that is not true, of course. But he is such a mixed bag that “conservative” is just not the best way to describe him. If we were to use conservative in a very general sense and say that all of the GOP contenders are conservative compared to Clinton and Obama, I could go along with that. But right now we are having an in house debate among Republicans and it is just not accurate to say that all of the candidates are equally conservative (not that that is what you are claiming).Some want to include Romney in the group that we cannot call conservative and I disagree. I cannot discount every political speech, interview, and debate where he has expressed clearly conservative ideas during this decade. Some want to toss this aside as mere words used exploit the conservative base of the party in order to grab power. If were as slimy and power hungry as the Clintons (as is often said) why did he not go into politics right away as they did? He spent a great deal of time in the private sector as a successful businessman. I suppose if he ran for senator, governor, and now president out of a hunger for power then maybe I should assume that he became a business executive out of sheer greed. As I’ve stated, I am not totally naive and am skeptical of his late conversions on some key issues but I am not prepared to call him a liar either. He has displayed enough positive character traits throughout the course of what we know about his life to prevent me from going there and comparing him to Bill Clinton. Back to the tension between idealism and pragmatism, ideally I want a conservative candidate and pragmatically this candidate needs to be someone who can win. Why? We cannot hope to have conservative principles implemented in government without conservative officeholders and to have conservative officeholders we have to win elections. Thompson dropped out of the race. Keyes is not electable. And now Huckabee is not electable. So we’re down to Romney and McCain. I believe they both have a chance at winning the nomination and the general election. I choose the more conservative of the two candidates which is Romney. I do not claim to be his biggest fan but I want the next president to be a conservative albeit an imperfect one due to his recent changes in positions and the doubts this raises. What are you not supposed to like about McCain? Well, I certainly do not say that there is nothing to like. I have listed, although not gone into great detail disecting, what there is not to like about McCain. He is unrepentantly proud of McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, and McCain-Leiberman. For the sake of time I am not going to break down the negatives of each bill. At the bottom of this article I have listed links to groups such as the Heritage Foundation that analyze these bills. They are very problematic for conservatives and they are some of his proudest efforts in the Senate. I also believe that he would be an undependable president for conservatives due to the way he has attempted to nuance his positions regarding these matters throughout the campaign. He says he is not for amnesty but in the meantime it can be shown that he used that exact word to describe an aspect of his immigration bill before the campaign. He goes on about how he basically does not have much depth concerning the economic matters but when asked about these comments he denied he said such a thing. If is reported and collaborated by serveral others that would not be for another Alito, he doesn’t want someone who wears their conservatism on their sleeve like that (I do). He denies this. He says he was offered Kerry’s VP slot then he says he wasn’t. Several Democrats say he explored joining the Democrat Party, he denies it. Things like this occur time and again and I am left with the impression that he will not be dependable. If conservatives were disappointed with Bush they should be prepared to doubly disappointed with McCain.He is a supporter of individual liberty but not so much of limited goverment. The two should go together. I could go on but will not for the sake of time. Perhaps we can dig deeper later.I like McCain as a person. He is a national security conservative. If he wins, I will be pleased about this aspect of his candidacy. We face many national security related challenges and I think he would do a fine job in this regard. But I think Romney would too (maybe not as well) and Romney has a decided edge in domestic matters. We shouldn’t go for the strong Commander in Chief only when we could get that and a strong executive leader and a more conservative candidate in Romney.You PCPC guys are tough but I’m enjoying all this. ;)By the way, I would love to have someone write The Case for John McCain or A Conservative Case for John McCain. I sent out a call for this to the CRM contributors a few weeks ago. If one of you wants to do that, go for it.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 8:16 pm
  84. >I think the election has become a vote of: “Do you want McCain to be the nominee, yes or no” with no attention paid to Mitt. Really when you think about it, what do you trust word of someone when they are running for office or record of governing? McCain has voted pro-life, McCain says he’s pro-life. Mitt has funded abortions in Mass and took a pro-choice a possition when running for a liberal state’s governor’s office, he now, when he running for the conservative party’s nomination, says he is pro-life. McCain has been consistant on winning the war, McCain supports the surge. Mitt has said he wants to get out of Iraq, now when he running for the conservative party’s nomination, he doesn’t. McCain has voted for tax cuts and spending cuts (excepting the Bush ones), McCain says he is for tax cuts and spending cuts. Mitt has raised taxes and spending in governing, now Mitt when he running for the conservative party’s nomination, says he is for tax cuts and spending cuts.I suppose I could vote for Mitt if he promises to have a group of conservatives in every room during his presidency that he can pander to…a politician’s Words vs his Actions, which is it? What we are doing here is glossing over Mitt’s record. 5 years ago, especially 15 years ago, “liberal” would have been a good label for Mitt. But hey, we are to judge a man for what he says, not what he does, right?

    Posted by Jared Nelson | February 4, 2008, 7:36 pm
  85. >Gina, what are you talking about? Huckabee’s chances of winning a national election are just as good as Mitt’s. I agree that McCain has the edge there. You are dead wrong to believe that McCain is more conservative than Huckabee. McCain has liberal tendencies and Mitt used to be liberal and now swears to be a conservative. Pick an issue and I doubt you can say McCain is more conservative than Huckabee. That is just nonsense.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 7:28 pm
  86. >We already voted, so are not up for grabs at this point, but I’m supporting McCain.Electability counts, especially with a Democratic Congress. Right now according to RCP, McCain is neck and neck with Obama and Clinton, Romney and Huckabee lose against both by healthy margins. “What’s the difference between McCain and Clinton” is a propaganda push- a scare tactic. But since you asked, a lot. I call being pro-life and committed to a victory in Iraq big differences.As the previous poster commented, what I see in Romney is Clintonesque politicking, and I distrust that more than I do McCain’s ability to compromise in the Senate- which I see as an ability to get things done. I don’t pretend he’s a perfect choice, but I think he would make the best president of all the candidates presented of both the Republicans and the Dems.I do agree with you that a vote for Huckabee at this point is a vote for McCain. I also think it’s crazy to consider Huckabee more conservative than McCain, though not as crazy as it is to believe he has a snowball chance in hell of winning a national election EVEN IF he gets the nomination.

    Posted by Gina | February 4, 2008, 7:21 pm
  87. >The fundamental problem in this whole discussion is that it is assumed that if most “conservatives” want to go a particular direction, then that is conservatism and it is therefore good. All comers must be evaluated and either embraced or rejected based upon this criteria. I find this particularly disturbing on a site that is primarily concerned with espousing a Christian world view. No one has pointed out a single reason why a vote for McCain is bad except “he isn’t a true conservative.” And? You mean his answers on a couple of issues don’t follow the party line? Is this supposed to disturb me? I’ve voted Republican ever since I was old enough. I’m ashamed for having supported Bush. No one questions his conservatism, and look where it has gotten us? I voted conservative and all it got me was the candidate that wasn’t a democrat. Great. McCain is the only dog in this fight that isn’t slimey. Huckabee is a goner (and was only using his faith to garner votes anyway). By all means, vote your conviction. He won’t win either way. Our choices then are McCain and Mitt. And Mitt clearly follows the Bill and Hillary Clinton School of Politics: Say whatever you have to in order to win the race. As a conservative (I think?) I don’t find McCain’s attempts to reform campaign finance to be contrary to my beliefs. Nor do I find his attempts to participate in the questions of immigration immoral or unethical. So what was it again that I wasn’t suppose to like about him? He tells the truth more often that Mitt? He has more foreign policy experience than Mitt? He is willing to set aside all the bickering that is en vogue in Washington in order to actually get something done?

    Posted by Matthew Bradley | February 4, 2008, 7:04 pm
  88. >McCain is pro-life, Romney says he’s pro-life. My queston is – what will they do about judges because that’s what they can influence regarding abortion.Yup, and both have poor records concerning judges. Romney appointed liberal judges in Mass. and McCain was for the Gang of 14.Also, I’m not a fan of having $50 abortions in health care plans like Romney had in Mass.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 5:18 pm
  89. >See, the Packers (Huckabee) weren’t in the game last night. Green Bay would have been a popular underdog but they’re out of it so it couldn’t happen.Nah, we’re not in the Super Bowl yet, we’re still in the playoffs. Huckabee is still in it.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 5:14 pm
  90. >”Have you ever wondered if Conservatism is 100% correct in all that it assumes? Have you ever wondered if Liberalism is 100% right in all that it assumes. Of course, neither one of these is 100% correct, although each side feels as if it is. The American mindset has become so “label” oriented that people are not considering the fact that NO ONE gets everything right.”I agree with some of this. What if one side proves to be right 60% of the time and the other 30% of the time? Both flawed, neither perfect but there’s still a pretty stark difference.On labels, I use “conservatism” as short-hand. We have to have some sort of labels because they give us information about the philosophical approaches we’re talking about. Its not convenient to get into neo-conservatism, paleoconservatism, libertarian conservatism, social conservatism, moral conservatism, fiscal conservatism, national conservatism, liberalism, classical liberalism, neo-liberalism, and so forth. So for me, its philosophical shorthand more than the name of the team I am a member of and will say or do anything to support whether right or wrong. “What I am concerned with is how some of you have bought into Conservatism as if it is the Gospel. Now I believe in conservative views and want our government to follow conservative views. However, along those lines I am most concerned with them following “morally” conservative views, such as abortion and appointing judges who are against abortion.”I don’t elevate man-made philosophies to Gospel status, of course. But I do not draw such a bright circle around so-called moral issues as I used to. I do not see any legistlation or matters of politics as non-moral. All of it represents someone’s morality. You just have to trace back to the underlying principles to see it sometimes. Abortion and judges are moral issues as you said. But so are economic issues. You mentioned tax cuts for the wealthy. That effects my employer, my father, my father-in-law, and some friends. But even if it did not effect me or anyone I knew it would still be wrong to not care because it doesn’t effect anyone I know. The mantra is that they don’t need the tax cuts. Really? You said the kind of cuts that McCain opposed were not for those $250-500K. I’ll have to take your word for it. I hope that’s the case. I can tell you this – my dad and father-in-law, both small business owners, need tax cuts. They don’t have multiple homes and a jet-setting lifestyle. They have families, grand kids, churches, and employees. The insurance company my dad has a contract with just told them that they will no longer supply their paper, envelopes, business cards, computers, or printers. He has to buy all that himself now. Where’s that gonna come from. I could into more examples but you see where I am coming from. These people have elderly parents to care for, kids they help out from time to time, grand kids to invest for, churches to give to, employees to hire OR FIRE, if need be. It kills me that the ones who cry about unemployment are the same ones who refuse to give relief to the wealthy. WHO HIRES EMPLOYEES? Its amazing. So tax cuts and ecomomic policies are moral issues. So is immigration, so is everything. That’s how I see it.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 3:52 pm
  91. >”I just think it is humorous to see so many “Evangelicals” falling for Romney’s supposed new understanding of abortion. What if he gets in office and then flops back over, then what?”Well, that applies to each and every one of us who is voting. Bush appointed Harriet Miers and we said hey, wait a minute! He’s done many things that have caused us to say I didn’t vote for him to do that. All we have are their records and their campaign promises and not a crystal ball. Romney’s late conversion is a problem, McCain’s gang of 14 episode is a problem along with his comments about judges who where their conservatism on their sleeve. Let me ask you this – what will the President do about abortion? What can he do? I’m not implying with my question that we should just go with pro-choice candidates. Will a GOP president write an executive order to reverse Roe v. Wade? No. He will sign or veto bills that come to him. He will appoint judges. And then there are some governmental rules he can change within the executive branch. McCain is pro-life, Romney says he’s pro-life. My queston is – what will they do about judges because that’s what they can influence regarding abortion.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 3:22 pm
  92. >”So the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl…now it’s time for Huckabee to win the GOP nomination.”See, the Packers (Huckabee) weren’t in the game last night. Green Bay would have been a popular underdog but they’re out of it so it couldn’t happen.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 3:07 pm
  93. > “Are you sure that you’re a conservative?” Oh, I think you misunderstood me. I know the tax cuts were very widespread. I think it was AWESOME! I get back probably $1600.00. My point was about everybody jumping on this conservative mantra about McCain not being for tax cuts for the rich as if it affected you in any way.I’m not sure how many millionaires you know, but two of my old business partners are and I have been privy to know a few. And you know what, they would like tax cuts, but they don’t get as bent out of shape about it as some conservatives do who don’t have two quarters to rub together!!! I am trying to highlight the fact that many young conservatives are just dancing every time the fiddler plays, even about issues they may or may not know anything about when it come down to how these things work out in the real world. I don’t think the wealthy should be treated unfairly, but with wealth comes responsibility. I won’t divulge the number, but at one time I made WELL into the six figure income bracket and paid 49% taxes after state tax. That’s right, I paid out 49 cents of every dollar I made. But you know what, it didn’t make me quit going after it and I was glad to have the 51% that was left over because it was still a WHOLE LOT!!!And truth be known, I was in the worst bracket of all. The REALLY incredibly rich faired a lot better than I did. They are the ones really getting the break. The guy making between $250,000-$5000,000 gets the absolute worst end of the deal. These are NOT the people getting the tax breaks that McCain is barking about. It’s the guys who are making millions and millions every year, who are privy to that only because they work in America and couldn’t make that ANYWHERE else that McCain has a problem with. He’s not saying gouge them, he’s just saying, if your going to give someone a break, give it to someone who needs it.I’m pretty sure I’m a conservative! I think the reason my “brand” of Conservatism looks so odd is that Conservatism is slowly morphing into an “I’m always right, you’re always wrong” movement. I don’t think I’m always right. In fact, the older I get, the more I appreciate other people’s opinions on things. My idea of Conservatism rests largely on moral principles, while I appreciate conservative political positions as well. I just don’t think EVERY conservative political position is right. I guess I’m morphing into an independent in that sense. I just think it is humorous to see so many “Evangelicals” falling for Romney’s supposed new understanding of abortion. What if he gets in office and then flops back over, then what?

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 4, 2008, 3:02 pm
  94. >See this is the kind of crap I don’t like…people saying anything to get elected.Mitt’s Vietnam Flip-Flop: His Most Distrubing Yethttp://townhall.com/columnists/DeroyMurdock/2008/02/04/mitts_vietnam_flip-flop_his_most_distrubing_yet

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 2:29 pm
  95. >”STUPIDY BREADS ITSELF.” Boy Richard, you proved that one! How about this:Stupidity breeds itself!Ha! Btw, the Bush tax cuts weren’t just for the rich. Are you sure that you’re a conservative? I could be wrong though, it’s all that Kool-Aid I drink, I guess. And the fact that McCain has Hernandez on his outreach teams speaks volumes about his philosophy regarding immigration. It will affect every American.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 2:09 pm
  96. >So the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl…now it’s time for Huckabee to win the GOP nomination. It’s too bad that people are trying to say that it’s a two man race and that a vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain. All that will do is pull conservative votes away from Huckabee in the south and splintering the conservative vote. The people crying out against that the most are the ones that are making that happen.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 2:06 pm
  97. >I wonder if anyone has given this idea any thought? Have you ever wondered if Conservatism is 100% correct in all that it assumes? Have you ever wondered if Liberalism is 100% right in all that it assumes. Of course, neither one of these is 100% correct, although each side feels as if it is. The American mindset has become so “label” oriented that people are not considering the fact that NO ONE gets everything right. The right has some great ideas, most of which I agree with, but not all. The left also has ideas that are worthy of at least some conversation. I am not about to get into which are good and which aren’t. That is a conversation for a later date. What I am concerned with is how some of you have bought into Conservatism as if it is the Gospel. Now I believe in conservative views and want our government to follow conservative views. However, along those lines I am most concerned with them following “morally” conservative views, such as abortion and appointing judges who are against abortion.Now, tell me, what do you think Romney, a man who has been Pro-Choice A LOT LONGER than he has been Pro-Life, is going to do when it comes time to appoint judges? Is it not funny that Romney conveniently changes his mind on abortion right before the election? I’m just not convinced! Moreover, I’m not willing to take a chance on this issue. I know what I’m getting with McCain. Now, maybe McCain has a guy on his Hispanic outreach team that you don’t like or he may not favor tax cuts for the rich (of which I’m wondering how that affects ANYBODY on this blog) and he may have a more compassionate view on immigration than you like. But he has been Pro-Life all along and that I admire. I don’t have to worry about these things with McCain. I consider the other issues important, but morally they are peripheral to this issue.I’m not questioning Romney’s sincerity, I’m just saying he has flip-flopped on this MAJOR issue at a very convenient time and it makes me nervous. Abortion is a terrible crime in our country and I just don’t think believers can make this a secondary issue. This one trumps most!I’ll even give this scenario. If Clinton or Obama were Pro-Life and McCain and Romney were Pro-Choice, not that that would ever happen, but if it did, I would vote Democrat. Now, I know that is far-fetched. But we have so-called “Conservatives” like Ann Coulter who are saying they would vote for Clinton over McCain. In my book, she and others like her are “fair weather” conservatives. It’s all or nothing with them and it can’t be that way. Our government works best when a sharing of ideas takes place and when people learn to work together. As I said, I like Conservatism, to a degree, but I don’t buy anybody’s program 100%. That is truly drinking the Kool-aid, which reminds me of an earlier comment. “STUPIDY BREADS ITSELF.” Boy Richard, you proved that one! How about this:Stupidity breeds itself!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 4, 2008, 11:47 am
  98. >”Then there is the Mike Huckabee factor. With little chance at winning his party’s nomination and having demonstrated next to no success outside his evangelical base, the happy warrior is nonetheless riding on into Super Tuesday. Predictably, he’s keying on conservative, Baptist-heavy Southern and border states that would seem most amenable to his message. And he’s airing the same popular, faith-based ads in those places as he did in Iowa, though at a much smaller clip. So far, he has focused the entirety of his criticism on Romney and not said a single cross word about McCain. Romney’s camp recognizes, with no small degree of frustration, that there is little they can do about Huckabee, a candidate who is likely to keep the conservative vote splintered. “He seems to be either running for a talk show host slot or the VP slot,” observed Madden.”from Romney’s last stand by Jonathan Martin, Politico.com

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 6:24 am
  99. >”I’m just not voting for Romney either.”But I thought you said you weren’t voting for McCain?! 😉

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 1:23 am
  100. >”Looks to me that Huckabee has the best shot at bringing down McCain in the south.”So for sake of discussion lets say Huckabee comes in second in those states (Insider Advantage has Romney ahead in GA, by the way). Then what? He’ll remain in 3rd in the delegate count and still have zero chance in all those others states I mentioned where he is in the single digits. There is no scenario where I see a path to victory for Huckabee. I was wrong on the delegate count before. I said Romney was ahead of Huckabee by 19 but he’s actually ahead by 37 now and only behind McCain by 16.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 4, 2008, 1:22 am
  101. >Jeff, you are looking at the national poll. I’m not really too concerned with the national poll since in the long run it is meaningless. I was looking at the southern states. Like I said earlier, Huckabee is ahead of Romney in Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, and a very close third in Georgia. Looks to me that Huckabee has the best shot at bringing down McCain in the south. The trends mean something but not everything. If Super Tuesday was further away it would probably mean a little bit more.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 1:07 am
  102. >Richard, welcome to the discussion. Be careful before you jump on other people, uninformed is one thing that I am NOT. I am very disturbed that John McCain has Juan Hernandez as his Hispanic outreach spokesman. That is one of the reason I will not be voting for him in the primary. I’m just not voting for Romney either.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 4, 2008, 1:04 am
  103. >By the way, if any of you are in the habit of “digging” articles, I would appreciate it if you use the “Digg This Story” option at the bottom of this post. It helps generate more exposure. Thanks.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 11:46 pm
  104. >Hello richard75013. Welcome to the discussion.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 11:37 pm
  105. >”I’ve been going by Real Clear Politics’ numbers, not Rasmussen. RCL averages the polls together. The numbers support what I’ve been saying. I talked about it in an early post.”OK. I think Rasmussen is generally considered to be the most accurate but I look at the RCP data. Huckabee is 3rd in the RCP average, Rasmussen, Pew Reasearch, USA Today/Gallup, ABC/Wash Post, and Fox News (link). If you look at their graph, Romney is on a sharp upward projection while Huckabee is on a less sharp but clearly downward trend (see link above). Romney is rising, Huckabee is falling. Is that a fair characterization using the RCP data that you are looking at?This is why the general consensus is that Huckabee will not will and we are down to a two-man race between McCain and Romney. My quesion is: since/if this is true what should conservative Huckabee supporters do? I strongly suggest supporting Romney in order to give us the opportunity of seeing some semblance of consertavism (the best remaining) advanced in this election.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 11:35 pm
  106. >McCain is an absolute abysmal imbosol!! He’s a RHINO republican and tried to shove amnesty down our throat 2 times with “HIS OWN BILL”. HE IS FOR TAXING USA companies only to solve a so called GLOBAL warming problem. Well what about the rest of the WORLD? You people drink the kol-aid of the press and are completely UNINFORMED. ROMNEY is this COUNTRYS BEST HOPE.You want to know something else, STUPIDY BREADS ITSELF. You will believe anything someone tells you if you are uninformed and that is what the liberal media is counting on. DO YOUR OWN HOMEWORK!John McCain should be renamed as JUAN McCain. Have you noticed who his heading up his HISPANIC outreach group for this race. If not, Google “McCain and Dr. Juan Hernandez.I WILL NOT, SHALL NOT AND CAN NOT VOTE FOR JUAN McCain, I would rather the Republican Party dissolve, period!

    Posted by Richard75013 | February 3, 2008, 11:26 pm
  107. >Romney takes the lead in CA according to Reuters/CSPAN/Zogby polling.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 11:26 pm
  108. >Also, I don’t care what the pundits say about Huckabee and his chances. Many have delcared him dead on arrival. Hugh Hewitt kept telling us how he had no chance and could never win Iowa. I don’t really trust them that much. They’ve lost a lot of credibility in the last few months.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 10:44 pm
  109. >My gut tells me if McCain gets the nomination that Fred Thompson has a very strong chance of getting the VP slot, especially as McCain knows he has some ground to make up with regard to his image among conservatives.It would probably be a smart move for McCain in that regard.

    Posted by GUNNY | February 3, 2008, 10:38 pm
  110. >I’ve been going by Real Clear Politics’ numbers, not Rasmussen. RCL averages the polls together. The numbers support what I’ve been saying. I talked about it in an early post.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 10:38 pm
  111. >”Which would be more likely to pick Fred for VP?Huckabee, McCain, or Romney?That would factor into my decision.”What do you think? I know McCain and Thompson have a friendship connection but I don’t see much beyond that.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 10:36 pm
  112. >”Oh dear friend, please tell me you haven’t fallen for this!!!! You can believe this, he’s investing millions alright, but you can bet your sweet #@!% it’s not out of a concern for you or me. It’s all about Romney!!!!”Of course not. 🙂 You just couldn’t see me laughing as I typed it. I don’t pretend that we’re selecting from a bunch of saints.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 10:35 pm
  113. >”His chances are looking just as good as Romney’s to me right now. For Huckabee to win, he will have to keep winning delegates…just like every one else. As you know, only 8% of the delegates have been voted on so far. I expect Huckabee to do well in the south…unfortunately Romney will bleed votes away from him down there. Romney supporters should be uniting behind Huckabee in the south so that we can stop McCain failure to do so would be putting partisanship ahead of principles.Trying to flip the script won’t work because there is actual data behind these assertions which is why there are no commentators who are claiming what you are. I know Huckabee tried to flip the script this weekend by claiming that Romney is taking votes from him but it doesn’t work.First, no Huckabee’s chances are not looking as good as Romney’s right now. Did you look at the Rasmussen Super Tuesday Primary Poll Summary and the Daily Presidential Tracking Poll I posted earlier? McCain leads, Romney is a close second, Huckabee is a distant third. Second, I don’t know why you expect Huckabee to do well in the south. Again, the numbers don’t bear this out. He lost SC and FL. He had a big lead in Alabama, now he trails. He trails in GA and in TN. He trails horribly (single digits) in the northeast and in the southwest (AZ – 9%, CA – 10%). I’m really not seeing this path to victory. He doesn’t have the delegates, money, or momentum. Huckabee has 19 less delegates than Romney and I do not see how he’s going to overtake him in delegate count. He can’t pace with Romney’s money. He is on the downward slide and has zero momentum. He had any momentum than would actually be seeing articles talking about Romney hurting Huckabee’s chances rather than the other way around. These facts show me that we have a two-man race. Do you have other numbers and analyses that show a completely different scenario? If so, I’d be willing to see how I’m wrong on this.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 10:33 pm
  114. > “Don’t you mean “It’s great to see how much he has selflessly contributed to and sacrificed for the betterment of our country”?” Oh dear friend, please tell me you haven’t fallen for this!!!! You can believe this, he’s investing millions alright, but you can bet your sweet #@!% it’s not out of a concern for you or me. It’s all about Romney!!!!

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 3, 2008, 10:16 pm
  115. >”You don’t seem to understand that the people that support Huckabee are supporting him because of their conservative principles.”I understand that fully. I actually appeal to the fact that Huckabee supporters desire to vote based on their principles. That’s why I want convince you and other Huckabee supportes that you will unintentionally undermine the implementation of your principles by voting for a candidate who cannot win. Huckabee is just a representative of your principles. It makes no sense to vote for him out of loyalty when he cannot win. Voting for Romney because of your conservative principles. He is conservative, McCain is not. McCain and Romney have a chance to win. Huckabee does not. You have to win in order to see your ideas implemented. If the choice is down to McCain and Romney, and it is, then voting based on conservative princples means voting for Romney.”There are two liberals and then there is a conservative in Huckabee. You may disagree with that but that is what many people believe.”Good. We probably agree on McCain. Now, how is Romney a liberal? If Romney is actually a liberal than I would have to re-think everything. How would you persuade me and all the over conservatives who have switched to Romney that he and McCain are liberals while Huckabee is a conservative?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 10:16 pm
  116. >Which would be more likely to pick Fred for VP?Huckabee, McCain, or Romney?That would factor into my decision.

    Posted by GUNNY | February 3, 2008, 10:03 pm
  117. >Also, I’m speaking for myself here but I will not allow myself to be forced to choose between two severely flawed candidates when there is a perfectly good candidate that I like still in the race with Huckabee.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 9:59 pm
  118. >There is not point in even discussing this. You don’t seem to understand that the people that support Huckabee are supporting him because of their conservative principles. There are two liberals and then there is a conservative in Huckabee. You may disagree with that but that is what many people believe.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 9:44 pm
  119. >”Romney outspends Huckabee by 20-1 in Iowa and loses.Rmoney outspends McCain by 8-1 in FL and SC and loses.Cannot wait to see this guy get his hands on the federal budget :=).”Don’t you mean “It’s great to see how much he has selflessly contributed to and sacrificed for the betterment of our country”? 🙂

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 9:39 pm
  120. >Romney outspends Huckabee by 20-1 in Iowa and loses.Rmoney outspends McCain by 8-1 in FL and SC and loses.Cannot wait to see this guy get his hands on the federal budget :=).

    Posted by David Cho | February 3, 2008, 9:36 pm
  121. >”Is it too late for Fred to jump back in?!C’mon, Fred. Get in for Super Tuesday.We need you!”There’s always the VP!Enjoying the discussion so far, everyone. Its good to talk about exactly why we disagree and do it in a fair and considerate manner (not that I always live up to that ideal!). The opposite seems to be the norm online.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 9:34 pm
  122. >OK, supposedly I am ignoring everything else Carter has ever written about Huckabee and Romney. Fine. The only reason I wanted to move on from Carter is because you are ignoring the point I have repeated over and over again as you defend him. If you want to ignore the statements I have quoted, that’s your choice. You keep talking about other things he has said as if that changes other things he has made clear. Fine. You think Romney bleeds votes from Huckabee. OK, so you disagree with Carter there. I think you’re completely wrong about that but at least you’re not voting out of spite for another candidate. So there are two (or more) different groups of Huckabee voters out there. There is the minority group who think Huckabee will win and that Romney is the one who is a distant 3rd overall and is bleeding votes from Huckabee. Those who think this need to be persuaded by the facts that prove that this is completely inaccurate. Once they see that Huckabee will not win perhaps some will be open to voting for the only conservative candidate left with a chance of winning. The majority of Huckabee supporters know he will not win and that it is a two man race now. Hopefully some of them can be persuaded to advance their conservative principles by supporting the only remaining candidate with a chance of implementing our ideas.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 9:31 pm
  123. >Is it too late for Fred to jump back in?!C’mon, Fred. Get in for Super Tuesday.We need you!

    Posted by GUNNY | February 3, 2008, 9:22 pm
  124. >Not trying to derail the discussion, just trying to set the facts straight. Focusing on two sentences and ignoring everything else he has said makes no sense. If you don’t want to talk about him any more that is ok, too. I didn’t bring him up.As I’ve said before, I feel Romney is bleeding votes away from Huckabee in the south.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 9:15 pm
  125. >”What is interesting is how they make it sound like McCain can actually destroy conservatism. What a RIDICULOUS statement. My friend, if conservatism is what these loud mouths say it is, then how can one little man destroy it? Conservatism stands or falls by its own merits. This just goes to show you how ridiculous the chatter is. And it is evident when people get caught up in it.”Of course he cannot destroy conservatism. Conservatism will remain long after he is gone whether it be with the people or carried out in government. But conservatives have to win elections in order for conservatives principles to implemented in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. He cannot destroy conservatism but he can sideline its influence in the executive branch for the next four years and this is what we do not want to have happen.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 9:11 pm
  126. >”The talk show circuit HATES McCain because they can’t control him and he doesn’t play by their rules.”Its not people’s inability to control to him or his unwillingness to play by the rules. That makes it sound as if he is a conservative who bucks the system like Tom Tancredo who continually pushes immigration reform whether the party wants to focus on that or not. Or like Ron Paul who votes against the party many times. I don’t a problem with how conservatives do or do not get along with the party leadership or talk show hosts.The problem is that he consistently opposes ideas conservatives believe in. He continually co-sponsors anti-conservative legislation. That is the problem. I posted links at the bottom of the article which provides analysis of McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Leiberman, etc. These are wrong ideas. They are destructive bills. I listed several issues that McCain is wrong about. I don’t care about Maverick stuff and the personality issues. I have a problem with his policies. If the failure to control him and his breaking the rules ever resulted in the advancement of conservative principles against the wishes of the establishment, I’d be right there cheering him on. But that’s not the case.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 9:07 pm
  127. >Also, this bit about Romney coming to a new belief system on abortion is crap! This guy is as slimy as Bill Clinton. He will tell people whatever he thinks they want to hear to get the vote. At least with McCain what you see and what you hear is what you get.I agree.

    Posted by M. Jay Bennett | February 3, 2008, 9:04 pm
  128. >”Well, that’s not true or would never bring up what he said. If you’re gonna bring up something he says, then I think you have to look at what he has said as a whole and not a few sentences.”Not sure why you cut my statement in half. The rest of it reads “…other than the fact that I hope his views I quoted do not represent the majority of Huckabee supporters.” I don’t know why you’re intent on defending him by ignoring his comments about bleeding votes from Romney and taking pleasure in sticking it to people who have criticized Huckabee. He said what he said whether it was in two sentences or two pages. I don’t know if you’re purposefully trying to derail the discussion by trying to make it about Joe Carter or what. I understand that you like him. I am not going to discuss him anymore. I am more concerned with trying to persuade Huckabee voters who agree with what was stated in those two comments to reconsider their decisions. He admits that votes for Huckabee will bleed votes from Romney. Do you?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 8:55 pm
  129. >I don’t get your comment about Huckabee’s record. Rush, Hugh, and Mitt have greatly distroted Huckabee’s record. That is a fact. I never said he is perfect. It’s funny to me though that the same people who called Huckabee a liberal were so willing to carry the pail for Giuliani and Romney and call them conservatives. It just makes people lose credibiility. Just like how you lost credibility in Hugh Hewitt, but are now back to believing every thing he says.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 8:31 pm
  130. >It’s interesting how the hype has gotten so out of hand in this race. Ann Coulter is the pinnacle of the idiocy. The talk show circuit HATES McCain because they can’t control him and he doesn’t play by their rules. What is interesting is how they make it sound like McCain can actually destroy conservatism. What a RIDICULOUS statement. My friend, if conservatism is what these loud mouths say it is, then how can one little man destroy it? Conservatism stands or falls by its own merits. This just goes to show you how ridiculous the chatter is. And it is evident when people get caught up in it.

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 3, 2008, 8:30 pm
  131. >”So, will Huckabee win the nomination? If you believe he will, how will it happen?”His chances are looking just as good as Romney’s to me right now. For Huckabee to win, he will have to keep winning delegates…just like every one else. As you know, only 8% of the delegates have been voted on so far. I expect Huckabee to do well in the south…unfortunately Romney will bleed votes away from him down there. Romney supporters should be uniting behind Huckabee in the south so that we can stop McCain failure to do so would be putting partisanship ahead of principles.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 8:26 pm
  132. >”But his views are inconsequential to me…”Well, that’s not true or would never bring up what he said. If you’re gonna bring up something he says, then I think you have to look at what he has said as a whole and not a few sentences.” I hope his views I quoted do not represent the majority of Huckabee supporters.”I couldn’t tell you. I can only speak for myself.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 8:23 pm
  133. >So, will Huckabee win the nomination? If you believe he will, how will it happen?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 8:18 pm
  134. >”So you did finally read that post by him that I linked to? ;)”I read it the day he posted it. I’m not sure how it undoes the very clear statements he made that I have quoted. But his views are inconsequential to me other than the fact that I hope his views I quoted do not represent the majority of Huckabee supporters.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 8:18 pm
  135. >”Putting up links that distort his record won’t change our mind. That’s part of the problem. Rush and Mitt and others have greatly distorted his record…because of that they lost credibility and it will be hard to believe anything that they say.”Then Huckabee supporters must believe that the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy has been resuscitated in order to take him down. Is there ANYTHING that anyone has ever said negatively about Huckabee that has been correct? What I hear from Huckabee supporters is everyone is out to get him, everyone is distorting his record, everyone is telling lies about him. This is truly amazing. I know what Thompson’s flaws are and I know Romney’s flaws are. The candidate’s I have supported are not perfect. They do not have perfect records. I admitted in this article that Romney is a flawed candidate. I don’t write off all criticism against him as lies, distortions, and attempts to destroy him. Does that happen? Sure. But not all the time, every time something negagtive is said about records and beliefs. Apparently Huckabee supporters believe that he is the perfect candidate because no criticism about him is ever accurate. He must be like John Edwards. When asked what he his greatest weakness is, Edwards basically replied that he often cares too much. Now that’s a real weakness!

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 8:15 pm
  136. >”Carter said what he said as clear as day.”So you did finally read that post by him that I linked to? 😉

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 8:15 pm
  137. >”I’m not real sure what he believes (although I do hear Mormons wear funny underwear!).”That actually sealed the deal in my decision to vote for him. 😉

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 8:07 pm
  138. >”Even Hugh Hewitt has admitted that the differences between McCain and Hillary are great.”Good. What are they? They are differences, sure. I ask the question though because I don’t think people realize how much they have in common. The greater point is that McCain is no conservative. “Any so-called conservative that would vote for Hillary over McCain really needs to take a step back and rethink excactly what it is that they believe in. If one (a conservative) really can’t bring themself to vote for McCain in a general election then they need to vote 3rd party for a conservative, not vote for a Democrat who is the liberal candidate.”That’s a red herring since no one but Ann Coulter is saying that at this time. I’m not interested in chasing down defenses of Joe Carter and Ann Coulter’s statements. Coulter’s point was to bring attention to the liberal views that McCain has on several issues. Carter said what he said as clear as day.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 8:06 pm
  139. >”The comparison of McCain to Hillary is sensationalism and you know it. Granted he is not the staunch conservative that Bush is, or even Romney.”What will they do differently from one another? Hillary is not going to pull troops from Iraq and everyone knows it. “I’m all for conservatism, but those who think McCain is a liberal are over the top.”I’m more concerned with what he does and believes than sticking a lable on him. I’ve laid out his non-conservative positions on a number of important issues.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 7:59 pm
  140. >What is the point of posting articles that trash Huckabee? Is that supposed make me switch to Romney? That will just have the exact opposite affect than the one you were going for. Those of us who like Huckabee, like him because we believe that he is the genuine conservative. Putting up links that distort his record won’t change our mind. That’s part of the problem. Rush and Mitt and others have greatly distorted his record…because of that they lost credibility and it will be hard to believe anything that they say. It’s funny to me how people were so willing to call Giuliani and Romney and others conservatives but yet those same people called Huckabee a liberal. I know outsider candidates really scare the establishment because they know they can’t control them but that is just ridiculous. As some recent columnists have pointed out, the GOP establishment and punidts wasted their time going nuclear on Huckabee, when they really should have been focusing on McCain. Oh well, hindsite is 20/20 I guess.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 7:25 pm
  141. > “Let me ask you this, other than abortion, what are the major differences between Hillary Clinton and John McCain?” Well, McCain is a man and Hillary is a woman. Duh! :-)The comparison of McCain to Hillary is sensationalism and you know it. Granted he is not the staunch conservative that Bush is, or even Romney. I’m all for conservatism, but those who think McCain is a liberal are over the top.Also, this bit about Romney coming to a new belief system on abortion is crap! This guy is as slimy as Bill Clinton. He will tell people whatever he thinks they want to hear to get the vote. At least with McCain what you see and what you hear is what you get. With ole Flip-Flop Romney, I’m not real sure what he believes (although I do hear Mormons wear funny underwear!).

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 3, 2008, 7:12 pm
  142. >Even Hugh Hewitt has admitted that the differences between McCain and Hillary are great. Any so-called conservative that would vote for Hillary over McCain really needs to take a step back and rethink excactly what it is that they believe in. If one (a conservative) really can’t bring themself to vote for McCain in a general election then they need to vote 3rd party for a conservative, not vote for a Democrat who is the liberal candidate.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 7:12 pm
  143. >So, you didn’t read the Joe Carter post I linked to I guess. He goes into detail about why he doesn’t like Romney. You can stay caught up on those two sentences if you like but that’s not he says. Here’s is a little bit of what he wrote:”[Note: I did not want to write this post. I’m tired of discussing politics and politicians and was looking forward to discussing something–anything–else. But many people have chastised me lately for basing my political view on emotion rather than reason (Dude, I don’t do that. I’m not Rush Limbaugh.). So this is a partial defense of my position. I hope that even where we disagree that we can remember that our differences in political opinions are ultimately trivial and should not be treated as more important than is necessary. As Dennis Miller used to say, “…of course, that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong.”]Many people have harshly criticized me for my harsh criticisms of Mitt Romney. They believe that my attitude is merely a matter of “sour grapes” over my preferred candidate fairing so poorly. While this claim is untrue, I have to take some responsibility for giving that impression. My experience working on the Huckabee campaign did leave me with a less-than-favorable impression of Romney and his staff.”He then does into detail and goes into Romney’s record.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 7:05 pm
  144. >”Also, take a look at the Fox News poll that I put up earlier. It shows that with Huckabee and Paul out of the race, that McCain’s lead over Romney actually increases. McCain beats Romney in a head-to-head.”Things change. Its not inevitable. Thats why people take the time to try and pesuade people.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 7:03 pm
  145. >”MDS: McCain Derangement Syndromehttp://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/191043.php”Read it already. This is more on point:McCain Derangement Syndrome: A reply to Roger L. Simon

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 7:02 pm
  146. >Also, take a look at the Fox News poll that I put up earlier. It shows that with Huckabee and Paul out of the race, that McCain’s lead over Romney actually increases. McCain beats Romney in a head-to-head.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 7:01 pm
  147. >”Just to clarify, Joe Carter isn’t just supporting Huckabee to get back at Romney.”Here’s what he said after admitting that McCain has the nomination wrapped up (ie. he knows Huckabee can’t win):”Fortunately, he [Huckabee] still has enough money to stick around and bleed votes from Romney. That won’t be enough to secure the nomination but it will help show that he is a contender for 2012.” Yes, he genuinely likes Romney but he knows Huckabee can’t win and will enjoy watching Huckabee bleed votes from Romney. He and I are in agreement that the Huckabee voters will bleed votes from Romney. What he is doing is strictly partisan and short-sighted. Its foolish to be thinking about 2012 for Huckabee right now.He also said,”Also, having McCain as the nominee really ticks off all the people that unfairly trashed Huckabee (Rush, Mark Levin, et. al.). It may not be enough to ease my discomfort over McCain, but it nevertheless brings me great pleasure.”Its foolish that people like this are taking their ball and running home because their first choice can’t win. Instead of being grown-up and discerning what the next best option is, people like this are sitting there taking pleasure in the hopes of getting a little revenge on people who did not support Huckabee. That’s raw partisanship. I hope people like this are in the minority. He shouldn’t be defended for this.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 7:00 pm
  148. >”Let me ask you this, other than abortion, what are the major differences between Hillary Clinton and John McCain?”According to the ACU and Progressive Punch, an awful lot.MDS: McCain Derangement Syndromehttp://mypetjawa.mu.nu/archives/191043.php

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 6:58 pm
  149. >According to Real Clear Politics (they average together all the polls, no cherry-picking) Huckabee is ahead of Romney in Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, and a very close third in Georgia. It seems to me that in most of the south Huckabee has the best chance of defeating McCain.Also in my state, NJ, McCain has about 49% of the vote. Even if every single Huckabee supporter went over to Romney, McCain would still be killing every body. Rudy leaving the race has greatly helped McCain in NJ, so unless the ex-Rudy supporters have a change of heart McCain will win NJ in a landslide. Why switch my vote to a guy I don’t like at all if he is going to get completely destroyed. I’d rather stick my principles and vote for the best and most conservative candidate, Mike Huckabee. You’re free to do differently, but not every one takes kindly to being told how to vote.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 6:54 pm
  150. >”PT, you gonna campaign for Hillary if McCain wins like Ann Coulter?”No. Let me ask you this, other than abortion, what are the major differences between Hillary Clinton and John McCain?

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 6:47 pm
  151. >”It would actually be more truthful to say that a vote for Romney is a vote Huckabee.”What legitimate commentator, pundit, analyst, advisor is saying this? Who believes that the top two candidates are McCain and Huckabee with Romney back in third with no chance to win? If anyone is out there saying that they are in a small minority. How can all of the many people who are calling this a two man race between McCain and Romney be wrong? Is it a conspiracy against Huckabee? RRasmussen is considered by many to be the most reliable pollster. He has Huckabee losing in Georgia and Alabama. These were supposed to be gimmee states for Huck. How can he win if he can’t win in SC, GA, FL, AL? Here’s Rasmussen’s Daily Presidential Tracking Poll released earlier today:”In the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, it’s John McCain at 33%, Mitt Romney at 29%, and Mike Huckabee at 21%. Ron Paul is supported by 6% of Likely Republican Primary Voters (see recent daily numbers). Romney leads by sixteen percentage points among conservatives while McCain has a two-to-one advantage among moderate Primary Voters.”Look at Rasmussen’s Super Tuesday Primary Poll Summary. You say that you will vote for Huckabee instead of Romney because Romney has supposedly given up on the Northeast. Rasmussen has NJ: McCain 43%, Romney 29%, and Huckabee 7%. So I don’t understand the logic there. As a matter of fact, Hucakbee is in single digits in 4 of the 10 Super Tuesday states. I can’t see how someone can come to the conclusion that Romney is hurting Huckabee rather than the other way around. Look at CA. McCain 32, Romney 28, Huckabee 11. Huge state, much at stake. Romney could easily make a play for CA with conservative Huckabee voters going for Romney.Romney is within 5% points of McCain in 4 Super Tuesday states. He could certainly contend for the win with conservative Huckabee supporters going to Romney. Once you come to the conclusion that Huckabee can’t win as most people have you can’t avoid the fact that his continued presence in the race is hurting Romney and helping McCain. I will respect Huckabee’s integrity and not assume that he is staying in the race to run interference for McCain by hurting Romney. I hope McCain and Huckabee do not have a deal worked out. But you can see why many people are speculating that this is the case. It will be interesting to see if we end up with a McCain-Huckabee ticket.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 6:44 pm
  152. >Just to clarify, Joe Carter isn’t just supporting Huckabee to get back at Romney. He genuinely believes Huckabee is the best candidate and believes that Mitt Romney isn’t so goood. He makes a strong case against Mitt. Since the cases seem to be so strong against both Romney and McCain, I don’t think that I should be forced to vote for either one of them in the primary.http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/archives/004209.html

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 6:32 pm
  153. >A vote for Romney would cause me to abandon my principles. Look at some of the links I posted. Maybe Romney should step aside in the south and not do the same thing that Fred Thompson did in SC.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 6:27 pm
  154. >”Wow! Sounds just like Rush, Sean, Ann, etc. etc…….””Yeah, it does.”Thank you! And I don’t even have the opportunity to study these things all day every day like they do. Now if I could just have the millions of listeners, readers, and dollars that they do!”I can’t sell myself out. I will be voting on principle and I will be voting for Mike Huckabee.”You are not voting on priciple if you vote for Mike Huckabee. You are working against your principles. As I laid out, Mike Huckabee will not win. All but a few realize this. Huckabee had his chance and he failed just like Thompson failed. Voting for Huckabee would have the same effect as me voting for Thompson. It would be a conservative voting for a failed candidate without a shot of winning. It would be failing to recognize that the race is down to two people: John McCain and Mitt Romney. A conservative who votes for anyone else is keeping votes away from the only conservative left who has a shot at winning, Mitt Romney. Again, you are working against your principles if you vote for Mike Huckabee because John McCain does not represent your principles and he is the one who will win if conservatives split their votes between Huckabee and Romney. I understand that Huckabee supporters think he is the best conservative candidate. I undestand that some Huckabee supporters hate Romney because his campaign went after Huckabee hard a month or so ago. But we are not voting for the best conservative candidate. If that were the case, I am sure that some people would be voting for Alan Keyes or Tom Tancredo this week. We are voting for the best available candidate with a shot at winning. The very few that actually think that Huckabee can still win will probably vote for him no matter what. I want to reach out to the majority of Huckabee supporters who realize that he cannot and will not win. It is time to move on to a backup plan. Conservative principles will not be put into effect if a conservative does not win. Huckabee is done and McCain is not conservative. Romney is a conservative and while he might not be our first choice, he is the best remaining conservative candidate with a chance to win. That’s why conservative Huckabee, Thompson, Giuliani, and Paul supporters need to unite behind Romney. If you know Huckabee can’t win and you vote for him anyway, you are putting partisanship above the advancement of our principles. If you know Huckabee can’t win and you vote for him anyway because you think he is the only conservative remaining, I invite you to look at Romney again. Stop thinking of him as an opponent of Huckabee. Look at his record. Look at his campaign. His is a conservative. He might not be as conservative as you want. He may have come to some of his positions late in life but he is a conservative. Many other longtime conservatives who are much more knowledgeable than I am are in agreement on this. I know it can be difficult to abandon a candidate that you’ve invested so much in. Unfortunately, the GOP has already abandoned Huckabee as a nominee. This happened when he lost SC and FL. Even though he won’t drop out, his supporters need to move on because of their principles and vote for the best remaining conservative candidate. The reality is: its a two man race and its a contest between a conservative and a non-conservative. We need to vote for the conservative.

    Posted by Jeff Wright | February 3, 2008, 6:16 pm
  155. >PT, you gonna campaign for Hillary if McCain wins like Ann Coulter?

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 5:19 pm
  156. >Romney’s Convictionshttp://online.wsj.com/article/SB120182471883733637.html

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 5:13 pm
  157. >…meant to say that a vote for Romney would be a vote for McCain.

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 5:05 pm
  158. >Yeah, it does. I can’t sell myself out. I will be voting on principle and I will be voting for Mike Huckabee. People like saying that a vote for Huckabee is a vote for McCain but that isn’t very truthful. It would actually be more truthful to say that a vote for Romney is a vote Huckabee. Romney has already given up on the northeast (where I live so I def. won’t be voting got Mitt) and he’s trying to compete in the south where Huckabee does really well. Romney is polling in 3rd those states. If he wants McCain to lose then I guess he needs to pull out of those states so that the guy that actually has a chance at beating McCain (Huckabee can win). Also, I’ve read the latest Fox News poll and it had McCain 48%, Romney 20, and Huckabee 19%. And like I said, Huckabee is actually ahead of Romney in many southern states. Also the poll showed that with Huckabee and Paul out that McCain’s lead over Romney actually increases in a head-to-head. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,327587,00.htmlhttp://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jWbI2rULUHnQwe-83Fd1Pb2lT8-wD8UHPVQG0

    Posted by J.Wizzle | February 3, 2008, 5:03 pm
  159. >Wow! Sounds just like Rush, Sean, Ann, etc. etc…….

    Posted by Mark Mathews | February 3, 2008, 11:45 am

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