Thursday, April 23, 2015

Making the Case for Marco Rubio--Part 1


Recently, I did a brief post on the Republicans who are likely to run for president in 2016.  I expressed how I really like Governor Scott Walker, but Marco Rubio is the guy that has me most excited. 

As I continue to follow the race, I let out a BIG groan when I saw that Huckabee is going to make his announcement about getting into the race on May 5th.  I thought he was smart enough not to run this time, so much for wishful thinking.  Yet, despite his high hopes, I think that Cruz, Paul and Huckabee will all be fighting for the fringe vote.

Meanwhile, I have discovered some articles that make the case for Rubio and thought I would do a rundown of them:
-Marco Rubio leads GOP field in new national poll

-The Talented Mr. Rubio
David Brooks makes the case for Rubio and has a lot of great points.  Below are just a few excerpts:
Along comes Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio, 43, doesn’t just speak in the ardent patriotic tones common to the children of immigrants like himself. His very life is the embodiment of the American dream: parents who tended bar and worked at Kmart with a son who rose to become a United States senator. His heritage demonstrates that the American dream is open to all who come here legally and work hard. He is what many Republicans want their country to be.

1-He is, for starters, the most talented politician in the race.  In most primary battles, the crown goes to the most talented plausible candidate.
2- Rubio gives a very good speech.
3- He has an upbeat and pleasant demeanor. 
4-He has a great personal story. 
5-His policy agenda is more detailed and creative than any of his rivals. 
6-He has an overarching argument — that it is time for a new generation to reform and replace archaic structures.

Can Rubio win a general election? Well, he believes more in expanding the party than in just mobilizing the base. In his past races, he’s done better than generic Republican candidates because of his success with Hispanics. Youth is America’s oldest tradition. Who’s to say that voters won’t side for the relative outsider over the know-what-you’re-getting Hillary Clinton?
-The GOP Racing Form: First Edition
Charles Krauthammer loves Rubio as much as I do, and puts him in the top tier of candidates.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Conscience of a Conservative (A Review)

Thus, for the American Conservative, there is no difficulty in identifying the day's overriding political challenge: it is to preserve and extend freedom.  As he surveys the various attitudes and institutions and laws that currently prevail in America, many questions will occur to him, but the Conservative's first concern will always be: Are we maximizing freedom?--Barry Goldwater
I've heard a lot about Barry Goldwater, but had never taken the time to read much about him.  During my study of the civil rights movement in the 50's and 60's, Goldwater's name came up.  Some accused him of voting against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and thus being against civil rights for African-Americans.

I did some research.  While researching, I came across his short book that I knew outlined the conservative movement.  I decided to read, Conscience of a Conservative and find out for myself his stance on civil rights.

While he did vote against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he wasn't a racist nor was he against African-Americans having civil rights.  Yet, I found his view on this lacking in compassion.

He argued in Chapter 4, that the Federal government shouldn't be involved in forcing states to abide by civil rights' laws.  But in the next chapter, he argues for federal legislation to "fix" the problem with farmers getting subsidies.

Why was it okay to push for new federal laws for farming, but not for the much more important issue of civil rights?  While studying the civil rights' movement, I was shocked at how racist some of the southern governors were.  There is no way African-Americans would've been treated equally in the south had they not be forced to by the federal government.

Yet, for the most part, I agreed with the rest of what he laid out in the book.  Below I will list the Chapters and a short description of them.  It is amazing how this book was written 55 years ago, and yet most of it still applies today.

Chapters:
Chapter 1--The Conscience of a Conservative
Chapter 2--The Perils of Power
Chapter 3--State's Rights
Chapter 4--And Civil Rights 
I've already addressed this issue.
Chapter 5--Freedom for the Farmer
Not much has changed on this issue in the past 55 years.  Most Republican Representatives are against subsidies for farmers (or anyone for that matter), but farmers make up a big percentage of conservative voters.  Thus, the representative continues to support farm subsidies to keep his constituents happy.
Chapter 6--Freedom for Labor
Goldwater was spot on in describing the problems with Unions, we are still having the same problems, although they have been weakened in some states like Wisconsin.
Chapter 7--Taxes and Spending
This too, of course, is the same today except the numbers have gotten drastically larger.
Chapter 8--The Welfare State
Again, the same today, except the number of people dependent has risen sharply.  We have implemented some reforms, but not even close to enough.
Chapter 9--Some Notes on Education
Chapter 10--The Soviet Menace
While the Soviet Union no longer exists, and the Cold War has been won, Goldwater's views on how to deal with them could be applied to today's War on Terror.

I highly recommend this book for all conservatives.  Goldwater is said to be The Most Consequential Loser in American Politics.  I think that is true.  Goldwater influenced Reagan (who had a lot more charisma), and Reagan ended up being able to apply a lot of Goldwater's principles and make the Republican party more conservative.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2016 Republican Presidential Hopefuls


As I said in my Rubio post, it is nice to finally have some good options this time around.  When I looked at the field of candidates in 2008 & 2012, it left me depressed.

This year we have some great picks, and as always some less appealing ones as well.  I will admit that my assessment of some of these is more of a gut check reaction.  Yet, I have found my gut to be pretty reliable.

1) My Favorites
Senator Marco Rubio--
I can't think of much that I don't like about him.  As I said in my post yesterday, he is a solid conservative, articulate about his views, a good sense of humor, optimistic, good looking, likeable and charming.

What sets him apart for me is that he is a solid conservative, he is strong when it comes to his foreign policy, and he has an attractive personality.  You don't win the presidency by being a moderate and by being boring, just ask Bob Dole, John McCain and Mitt Romney.

My only concern about Rubio is he doesn't have a ton of experience.

Governor Scott Walker--
Walker isn't as likeable as Rubio, but he does have an incredible track record and some great experience.  Who else has taken on the Unions and not only survived, but came out stronger?  He not only survived a recall election, but then won a second term.

He too is a solid conservative and a great governor.  A long time ago I thought Chris Christie was the same type of guy, but he turned out to be way too liberal.  Walker is a tough guy and a conservative, I like that A LOT!!

2) Acceptable Candidates
Governor John Kasich--
It isn't clear that Kasich is going to get in the race, and I'm not sure how much of a chance he has, but I have always really liked him.  He has great governor experience in the swing state of Ohio.  He is a fairly solid conservative.

Governor Mike Pence--
I love this guy, but don't think he will run.

Governor Jeb Bush--
I have always loved Jeb, even apart from him being W's brother.  But he is definitely too moderate for me.  That said, I wouldn't freak out if he ends up being the nominee.

3) People that I like, but don't think they have a chance
Dr. Ben Carson
Governor Bobby Jindal
Governor Rick Perry
Rick Santorum 
Carly Fiorina
Donald Trump--
He says he is seriously considering it this time.  He is a great businessman, and would do a much better job of running things than Hillary, but I don't see how he gets the conservative vote.

4) Not a Fan
Rand Paul--
He has several strikes against him.  He is Ron Paul's son, most of you know how I feel about Ron Paul.  I tried to give him a chance, but he is weak on foreign policy.  If you are going to be weak on foreign policy, we might as well have a Democrat in office.

Ted Cruz--
This is definitely a gut check problem for me, there is something about him that I just don't like.  Apparently, he is very popular among Evangelicals, well, not with this Evangelical he's not.  I watched his interview with Hannity after he announced he was getting in, and he didn't impress me at all.  I guess you could call it the Huckabee Syndrome--where a candidate makes your skin crawl.  I also don't think he has a prayer of getting the nomination.

Mike Huckabee--
I have been extremely open about my lack of support for both Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee on this blog.  I don't think Huckabee has a prayer of getting the nomination and would be shocked if he ran this time around.

Chris Christie--
When I first started learning about him, I was a big fan.  He stood up to the teacher's union and he reminded me of Rudy Giuliani.  But it wasn't long before he got cozy with Obama and did several other things that showed he was way too liberal.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marco Rubio Enters the 2016 Presidential Race!


It is an understatement to say that we had no exciting candidates running on the Republican side in 2008 & 2012.  There was no candidate who was actually a conservative, likeable and who had a chance at winning.

I'm pretty stoked that we have some great options this year.  There are plenty of candidates on our side that make me groan, but we have 2 exceptional ones, IMHO.  I am excited about both Marco Rubio and Scott Walker.  If push came to shove, though, I'd have to say Marco Rubio is my guy.



So, color me delighted when he entered the presidential race tonight with a great speech at the Freedom Tower in Miami.  I find him to be a solid conservative, articulate about his views, a good sense of humor, optimistic, good looking, likeable and charming.



I watched tonight's speech and then watched his speech that he made at CPAC (see above).  I went to his website and signed up to be on his email list.  I also gave a small donation, my first ever in a primary.

Tomorrow, I will do a post on all the Republican candidates for 2016 and my quick take on each of them.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

A Review of The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden


I have been a big fan of Mark Bowden's since I saw him on the documentary, The True Story of Black Hawk Down.  I have his book, Black Hawk Down, which is what the movie with the same name was based on, but haven't had a chance to read it yet.



After I saw the two-night special last year entitled, The Man Who Killed Usama bin Laden, I wanted to learn more and started looking for books about it.  When I saw that Mark Bowden had written one, I knew I had to read it.

Bowden did some brief biographies on some of the key players including President Obama.

He also pointed out some interesting factors that liberals have tried to deny:
--The fact that there was more evidence that Iraq had WMD's, than the evidence they had for where they thought Osama bin Laden was hiding.
--The torture of terrorists did play a part in being able to find Osama.
I thought Bowden, for the most part gave a well rounded picture of all the players involved and the piecing together of the story.

Yet, I did find myself taking issue with Bowden's assessments of President Bush and Obama.  I felt he gave way too much credit to Obama and not enough to Bush.
--He interviewed Obama extensively, and quoted him often.  Whereas, he didn't take the time to interview Bush.
--He was critical of Bush, and blatantly accused him of things that I thought were unfair and not true.
--He gave Obama a lot of credit for finding Osama bin Laden, yet, Bowden admitted that a lot of what enabled Osama to be found was advances made in technology that weren't there when Bush was president.
 All that said, I did think the book provided a good, overall picture of what lead up to and what happened when Osama bin Laden was killed.