Jay Reding.com

Where To Now?

Stephen Bainbridge, another Fred supporter, argues the case for sitting the rest of this one out. He’s right: all the other candidates have flaws, which is why those of us who smartly supported Fred weren’t on their sides. Romney is too plastic to win. Rudy is dead in the water and hasn’t done enough to get social conservatives on his side. Mike Huckabee is dumber than a box of rocks and has gone out of his way to offend fiscal conservatives. That leaves John McCain, who is at best an inconsistent conservative and has offended both wings of the Republican coalition from time to time.

Fred should stay in the race as long as he can. We need a consistent conservative in their to keep the others in line and remind the party what we’re really fighting for. His speech in South Carolina, though clearly one presaging his exit, reminded me of why I supported Fred in the first place. He finally found his campaign style—several months too late to win, but that’s politics. Now, the race is about principle rather than winning.

At the end of the day, we have an obligation based on our deepest principles to ensure that someone like Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama does not become President of the United States. We are in a long war against an implacable enemy. The next President will likely shape the Supreme Court by appointing new Justices. We need a Supreme Court that does not rule based on their own social inclinations justified only by the flimsiest constitutional rationales. We need an economy that can compete in the 21st Century, not one that is mired in protectionism, regulation and excessive taxation. We need a government that reflects the moral will of the people, not one that strives to undermine the family—the very mortar that holds this society together.

Sitting out just isn’t an option, and someone like John McCain who is right 82.3% of the time (according to the American Conservative Union) is a better choice than someone who is actively hostile to all our shared principles.

4 responses to “Where To Now?”

  1. Lucien Begworthy says:

    Unlike many who spout nothing but dread about the possibility of a contested Republican Convention are failing to grasp the potential of such a prospect. For years people have been complaining about the lack of attention paid to the Conventions and the declining TV coverage and ratings. A contested Convention would provide us multiple opportunities. First, it offers a perfect platform to have an open discussion about what we believe in both ideas and principles. Second, it offers us a chance to put our candidate(s) in front of millions more people that normal. Third, it gives the “young turks,” who may have believed the compressed primary schedule and fundraising mountain were too daunting because of the lunacy of the system, an opportunity to come forward. I would be overjoyed to see John Kasich, JC Watts, or John Thune come forward (personally, I would quit my job and volunteer for a Kasich/Watts or Watts/Kasich ticket in 2008). A contested Convention would be the perfect springboard for such a candidacy, because it would be the first time many Americans would be paying attentin anyhow. If Hillary wins and doesn’t offer the second spot to Obama (which she won’t because he will decline to play second fiddle and it will weaken her immediately), the black community will have to make a decision if Watts is on our ticket. A true conservative, who happens to be black, should give 10% to 20% of them pause in the voting booth.

  2. Mark says:

    “those of us who smartly supported Fred weren’t on their sides”

    You’re a legend in your own minds only, Jay. All 11 of you.

    “Romney is too plastic to win.”

    Probably against Obama, but he’d beat Hillary.

    “Mike Huckabee is dumber than a box of rocks and has gone out of his way to offend fiscal conservatives.”

    I don’t know Jay. The “dumb guy” has kicked the ass of your “smart guy’s candidate” in every single contest so far. Only in your world can the guy who went from 1% to a nine-point victory in Iowa qualify as “dumb”, while you and your ilk “smartly” supported a candidate who in three months fell from a national lead to single digits. As for Huckabee “offending fiscal conservatives”, their ranks have become so microscopic in the year 2008 that they scarcely matter anymore.

    “Fred should stay in the race as long as he can.”

    Fred’s only motivation for staying in the race at this point is to divide the bubba vote (in SC, FL, and on Super Tuesday) with Mike Huckabee so that his BFF John McCain can slip by with wimpy pluralities in state after state.

    “Sitting out just isn’t an option, and someone like John McCain who is right 82.3% of the time (according to the American Conservative Union) is a better choice than someone who is actively hostile to all our shared principles.”

    At least you’re honest in admitting you’d ultimately vote for John McCain. Plenty of hard-right demagogues like Tom DeLay are attempting to scare Republican voters into casting a ballot for somebody else by insisting he’ll sit out the 2008 election if McCain’s the nominee. In 99 cases out of 100, these guys are lying. Whether the Democratic nominee is Billary or Obama, the Republicans will unite in opposition and vote for whoever the Republican candidate is. The only exception is evangelicals who WOULD sit out the election if Giuliani was the nominee….which is wildly improbable at this point.

  3. Mark says:

    Lucien:

    “(personally, I would quit my job and volunteer for a Kasich/Watts or Watts/Kasich ticket in 2008). A contested Convention would be the perfect springboard for such a candidacy”

    Pretty far-fetched when there is no indication that these guys even want to be President. That ticket would have the potential to be fearsome, but not if these two relative nobodies were foisted upon the American people less than three months before a general election.

    “If Hillary wins and doesn’t offer the second spot to Obama (which she won’t because he will decline to play second fiddle and it will weaken her immediately), the black community will have to make a decision if Watts is on our ticket.”

    Highly unlikely. Maryland Republicans thought that selling the same old conservative message with an affable dark-skinned messenger would lure in black votes in the 2006 Senate race…..but Michael Steele barely outpolled George W. Bush in Maryland, even against a dullard Democratic challenger. I’m highly skeptical the Republican Party’s biennial attempt to woo African-Americans by using black surrogates as mouthpieces for an unpopular message will be any more successful that it was in previous disastrous attempts.

    J.C. Watts is a well-spoken conservative and would be a pretty solid Republican running mate choice at some levels, but his views on key issues are so antithetical to the majority of his race that it’s hard to see how a measurable number of black voters would toss aside everything they believe to support him on the basis of race alone. If I was a black voter, I’d be offended by that logic….just as I’d be offended by the GOP “outreach” efforts of putting Chaka Kahn onstage at the 2000 Republican convention and believing that’s enough to win over black votes.

  4. Lucien Begworthy says:

    Mark –

    You seem to be under the impression that I believe Watts would get a majority of the vote; not so. I am merely saying that there is a strong number of blacks who vote Democrat because that is what they have always done (just as there are Republicans who do the same). Many of these individuals believe in strong families, are deeply religious, and believe they must work to make their way in this world. As I stated, a Watts candidacy could provide us with another 10%-20% of the black vote; by no means am I saying a majority. Your comparison to Maryland is tangential, at best. The black candidate lost a primary, BUT I am saying the perceived slight of the most viable black candidate in history, by not offering him the VP slot, could be viewed by that 10%-20% as a reason to give pause. A certain segment of the black population strictly believe that any black, Republican or Democrat, would be a success on the national ticket and will support Watts to that end.

    You seem to forget, Kasich already ran for President once and has indicated a desire to return to public service. Kasich was forced out by the overwhelming money going to Bush in 2000 and the notoriety being granted to McCain. If you don’t think three months would be enough time, then you are delusional. If they were chosen at the first contested convention in decades, they would be introduced to the country on one of the biggest stages ever. The story itself would be front page news for at least the next two-three days. Ground troops would be energized, because these guys offer a lot of what isn’t being offered currently. True conservative values, energy, ideas, and personality. The money would flow in for these candidates AND the opposition would be facing candidates who were not beaten and battered by the primaries AND they would have to start from scratch on their opposition research. Both of these gentlemen could position themselves on the war, but neither has a vote to weigh them down.