Politics: July 2004 Archives

David Szondy has been watching the Democratic National Convention and, in his August 1 entry, has concluded that the race is now Bush's to lose. Kerry can't embrace his Bush-hating base without alienating undecided voters, doesn't have the economy to run on, and is in an untenable position regarding the War on Terror:

What I came away with from in Kerry's speech is a man who would indeed defend his country, but only in extremis and for whom 9/11 is a tragedy rather than an atrocity. His strategy for the war on terror will likely be that he will continue to help Iraq, but will undertake no new military initiatives or stand up to the French. He will instead quickly and quietly relegate the war to the back burner. "War" will become a rhetorical word and it will be a matter for diplomacy and law enforcement. We will see the odd special forces raid; a missile strike or two; deference to Chirac; embracing of the UN; all sorts of new commissions, committees, and conferences; resolutions and treaties aplenty will be signed; but the end result will be a Munich Accord with the Axis in return for promises to behave so that the West can return to the status quo of the past five decades. Meanwhile, the terrorists and their sponsors will do as they please knowing that no one will seriously bother them.

What I see is basically this: assuming that nothing new happens in the next four years (no new strikes against the Axis or spontaneous regime changes), if George Bush is re-elected we will face a ten to one chance of a major terrorist strike against the west. By that I mean one where we lose 50,000 people in an WMD attack (If we take out Iran or North Korea the odds shoot to a hundred to one). If John Kerry is elected, we face even odds of getting hit. This is because, whatever his failings, Bush knows that we are in a real war with real villains who want us dead or enslaved and our enemies know that Bush will kill them. Kerry gives the impression that they are just a problem to be managed, and that is an impression that is one of dangerous folly.

With this in mind, all Bush has the initiative. All he has to do is speak honestly about what he believes, what he has done, and what he will do and the electorate will have a fair measure of the man. With Kerry you have a man who is without the support of his very antiwar supporters if he speaks true, will not fight if he is false, and would hit soft either way.

Read it all, then go enjoy some of the light-hearted stuff in the archives.

Convention wishes

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There's a teleconference for Republican National Convention delegates on Monday night. It's good timing: Watching this week's Democrat convention has got me thinking about our shindig in a month's time. Here's my wish list:

  1. No lame pop music from the '70s (or any other decade). Aging boomer Democrats look awkward enough boogying on the convention floor -- imagine how goofy Republicans will look. Let's go for traditional upbeat patriotic music instead -- John Philip Sousa is timeless.

  2. Get rid of all the milquetoast moderates they've got lined up for the prime time speeches, and give the podium to eloquent, passionate leaders who can make the case for the Republican platform. The supplemental list included some improvements, like Colorado Governor Bill Owens, but more could be added. Now that he's our Senate nominee, Tom Coburn would be a great choice. So would Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina. Herman Cain would be terrific; even though he didn't win his race, he's got a future in politics. Michelle Malkin offered some suggestions on her blog.

  3. And why not show off our party's deep bench? Put the spotlight on up-and-coming stars now serving in state legislatures, county courthouses, and city halls. I'll bet the state chairmen would have some suggestions. From Oklahoma, I'd suggest Speaker-to-be Todd Hiett and State Rep. Pam Peterson.

  4. Let's have at least one real debate -- a decision for the delegates to make where the outcome isn't predetermined. I suggest a debate about the 2008 nominating process. I believe the process is broken -- not counting incumbents running for reelection, we haven't had a nominee with the enthusiastic support of the grassroots of the party since 1980. (Counting incumbents only takes us up to 1984.) Republicans haven't won a majority of the popular vote in a presidential election since 1988, when we were helped immensely by an incompetent Democrat nominee running on a platform of "competence, not ideology". 1988 happens to be the year that Oklahoma and many other states switched from caucuses to primaries, as part of the push for Super Tuesday. The system we have gives all the delegates to a candidate who can manage the slimmest of margins in the early primaries, and the field is cleared within a week or two as everyone scrambles to jump on the bandwagon of the inevitable winner. I'd like to debate a national rule that would nullify any state rule binding a delegate to vote for a particular candidate. Whether or not there's agreement with my diagnosis, the debate is worth having. What better way to demonstrate that the Republican Party is responsive to the grass roots?

  5. Highlight the War on Terror every night. Remind the delegates and the viewers what is at stake. Give people a vision for the long road ahead and why we must take it. Remind people what happened on September 11th, 2001, and also the terrorist strikes that led up to it -- the '93 WTC bombing, the bombing of the American embassies in Africa, the attack on the USS Cole, all the way back to Iran's seizure of American hostages in 1979. Help people understand that a strong defense is not enough; we must take the fight to the Islamofascists. We also need to emphasize the progress we're making. Maybe someone could arrange for Hopper Smith to speak to the convention via satellite from Afghanistan.

In a time of war, a time when so much is at stake, we don't need a big party choreographed to the music of Kool and the Gang.

Cain rising


As Tom Coburn heads for what could be an outright primary victory at the end of this month, another principled conservative in on the rise in Georgia. Herman Cain, former president and CEO of Godfather's Pizza, is rising in the polls in his race to succeed Zell Miller in Georgia and has front-runner Johnny Isakson running scared. Over on the Southern Appeal blog, there's a post that neatly captures why conservatives are so excited about his candidacy. He's a straight shooter, "a conservative 'Bullworth' candidate who tells voters... exactly what he believes." And what he believes is grounded solidly in conservative principles, on social issues as well as economic issues. The link will take you to a couple of extended quotes from Cain's speeches and website which will give you a flavor. Cain and Coburn will make a great team, and conservatives ought to do what they can to make sure both win their nominations this month and are elected in November. (Remember even if you can't vote or pass out flyers, you can give money through his website.)

Like the Oklahoma race, the conservative favorite started as an underdog. Unlike the Oklahoma race, the establishment favorite in Georgia is a social liberal, which should make the choice for Georgia voters even clearer.

Thanks to NRO's Corner for the link.

The Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas is hosting an exhibition from the American Museum of the Moving Image in New York. Called "The Living Room Candidate", it's a collection of TV ads for presidential campaigns going back to 1952. You don't have to go to New York or Dallas to see the exhibit. It's online here.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Politics category from July 2004.

Politics: June 2004 is the previous archive.

Politics: August 2004 is the next archive.

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