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The Real Record of Senator John McCain – A Liberal Disaster

Mark Levin lays out the facts about the liberal record of Senator John McCain. Conservatives have no business supporting this man for President. I honestly do not understand why he is even still under consideration for the Presidency. Actually, I take that back. I know full well why people are still considering him: because they refuse to vote on conservative principles and continue to run back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, from CINO to RINO to CINO to RINO, based on polls, media reports and primary voting by Independents and Democrats, which all have the agenda of pushing the Republican Party to nominate a liberal as their Presidential candidate.

It utterly disgusts me to see this happening. People complain about the mass media all the time, yet, they turn around and do their bidding by supporting the man they are pushing. Brilliant.

[H/T to Mark Levin Fan]

There’s a reason some of John McCain’s conservative supporters avoid discussing his record. They want to talk about his personal story, his position on the surge, his supposed electability. But whenever the rest of his career comes up, the knee-jerk reply is to characterize the inquiries as attacks.

The McCain domestic record is a disaster. To say he fought spending, most particularly earmarks, is to nibble around the edges and miss the heart of the matter. For starters, consider:

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-Reimportantion of Drugs — a significant blow to pharmaceutical research and development, not to mention consumer safety (hey Rudy, pay attention, see link).

And McCain’s stated opposition to the Bush 2001 and 2003 tax cuts was largely based on socialist, class-warfare rhetoric — tax cuts for the rich, not for the middle class. The public record is full of these statements. Today, he recalls only his insistence on accompanying spending cuts.

As chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, McCain was consistently hostile to American enterprise, from media and pharmaceutical companies to technology and energy companies.

McCain also led the Gang of 14, which prevented the Republican leadership in the Senate from mounting a rule change that would have ended the systematic use (actual and threatened) of the filibuster to prevent majority approval of judicial nominees.

And then there’s the McCain defense record.

His supporters point to essentially one policy strength, McCain’s early support for a surge and counterinsurgency. It has now evolved into McCain taking credit for forcing the president to adopt General David Petreaus’s strategy. Where’s the evidence to support such a claim?

Moreover, Iraq is an important battle in our war against the Islamo-fascist threat. But the war is a global war, and it most certainly includes the continental United States, which, after all, was struck on 9/11. How does McCain fare in that regard?

McCain-ACLU — the unprecedented granting of due-process rights to unlawful enemy combatants (terrorists).

McCain has repeatedly called for the immediate closing of Guantanamo Bay and the introduction of al-Qaeda terrorists into our own prisons — despite the legal rights they would immediately gain and the burdens of managing such a dangerous population.

While McCain proudly and repeatedly points to his battles with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had to rebuild the U.S. military and fight a complex war, where was McCain in the lead-up to the war — when the military was being dangerously downsized by the Clinton administration and McCain’s friend, former Secretary of Defense Bill Cohen? Where was McCain when the CIA was in desperate need of attention? Also, McCain was apparently in the dark about al-Qaeda like most of Washington, despite a decade of warnings.

My fingers are crossed that at the next debate, either Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney will find a way to address McCain’s record. (Mike Huckabee won’t, as he is apparently in the tank for him.)

Also, SGT Tim at Mark Levin Fan has audio of Mark Levin talking about John McCain’s flip flips (should we call him John McKerry?):

On May 22, 2007, Mark Levin ticked off seven clear examples of Senator John McCain flip-flopping on: background checks at gun shows, making the tax cuts permanent, Guantanamo Bay, ethynol mandates, embryonic stem-cell research, fetal tissue research, and Roe v Wade. Yes, while he smirks and accuses other Republican candidates, McCain has also changed his position on major conservative issues, even on Roe v Wade.

Here is the bottom line. Stop judging this politician’s qualifications for the Presidency based on what he did 30 years ago while a member of the United States military and start looking at his career as a United States politician. You can simultaneously admire him for his career in the military and despise him for his career as a politician… and not support him for President.

I know that is my stance on Senator John McCain. He has my utmost respect as a military veteran and my utmost contempt for his career as a politician and constant betrayal of conservative values.

UPDATE at 23:58 EST on 11 JAN 2008: You can also go here to listen to Fred Thompson on the Mark Levin show as Mark gives Fred some advice on how to attack John McCain.

 

January 11, 2008 , 11:27PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mark Levin | Comments Off on The Real Record of Senator John McCain – A Liberal Disaster

Fred Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending

Imagine Rudy Giuliani’s great tax plan coupled with this plan to reduce government spending by Fred Thompson. Should be music to the hearts of all fiscal conservatives: Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending

In 2007, the federal government’s spending rose to an astounding $2.8 trillion — the equivalent of $22,000 per household. Growth in federal government spending, however, rarely translates into better services for the American people. Solutions for many public policy problems are best found in the private sector, and then at the State and local level — not in Washington, DC. Indeed, the federal government loses billions every year due to ineffective programs, poor management, waste, and fraud. And, the problem is getting worse. Within the next five years, federal spending is expected to reach more than $3.2 trillion, or about 20 percent of our economy; more than half of this amount is mandatory spending for entitlements. Increasing government spending is not the answer to our country’s problems. It is time to get it under control with better solutions and better management of our federal government.

Go to the link to read the details of Fred Thompson’s plan.

January 10, 2008 , 9:16PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Fred Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, Taxes | Comments Off on Fred Thompson Plan to Reduce Federal Government Spending

Fred Thompson Stands Alone on This Issue

After reading this headline over at HotAir about Mitt Romney talking about how he can defeat Barack Obama, the current national Democrat frontrunner in all the polls, it hit me how different and unique Fred Thompson’s campaign is from every other candidate in the Presidential race.

First, it’s interesting how we have gone from having the GOP candidates puff themselves up as “the only candidate who can beat Hillary!” to now having them proclaim their bonafides by saying they can beat Barack Obama.

But if you watched Fred Thompson’s 17 minute message to Iowa voters last week, there was a part of that message where he talked about bringing back the once great Democrat Party from the clutches of the radical left leadership. He talked about wanting to earn the vote of moderate Democrats who are frustrated with their leadership and want to vote for moderate or conservative values and principles. He talked about how the Democrat Party leadership had left the Conservative Democrat voters without a party. I thought this was a stunning highlight of how unique a campaign Fred Thompson is running from all the rest of the candidates.

Rudy Giuliani runs as an honest liberal. For that I admire him, even if he will not earn my vote, since I am a conservative. But he also has run mostly on being “the only candidate who can defeat Hillary”.

Mitt Romney suffers from flip-flopping on issues. People can’t really trust him, because he seems to be a political opportunist, changing his stance on issues for political gain. Someone called it “ambition without principle”. He is basically a moderate, but is trying to appeal to people as a conservative, even though he used to be liberal on issues. He’s basically running as a faux conservative. And now also is running on a “I can beat the Democrat nominee” campaign.

Mike Huckabee and John McCain are running on populism and trying to redefine conservatism. John McCain also tries to appeal to “independents”.

Duncan Hunter is the only other candidate running on a conservative message.

And now back to Fred Thompson. While the others (save Duncan Hunter) are using one of three campaign tactics:

(1) Redefine Conservatism and run as a populist
(2) Run as a liberal/moderate, but state they can beat the Democrat nominee
(3) Some combination of (1) & (2)

Fred Thompson runs on conservatism and appeals to conservative Democrats. While John McCain tries to redefine conservatism and appeal to “independents”, Fred Thompson stays true to his conservative principles and tries to appeal to Democrats who believe in conservative principles and are tired of their radical left Party leadership.

I just think that is something that is really getting overlooked in this campaign. Fred Thompson is really running a great campaign message. He is appealing to independents and Democrats, but not with populism or redefining conservatism, but with the belief that the base of America is made up of true conservatives who want conservative government. It is just a shame that people focus so much on his style, instead of his substance. Because his message is one of the best, if not the best, ones out there.

January 8, 2008 , 1:57AM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatism, Fred Thompson | 2 Comments

Rush Limbaugh: Media Supporting Huckabee/McCain to Destroy Conservatism

Rush Limbaugh bluntly tells it as he sees it.

My advice to conservatives is to ignore the mass media and the political pundits who are all hoping to destroy conservatism and usher in the rise of populism and open borders. Ignore them all as they are just trying to depress you. The two conservatives in the race are Duncan Hunter and Fred Thompson. Vote for one of them come your primary.

Now, if one of the populists/CINOs wins the GOP nomination, I will not tell you to NOT vote for them. That is your choice to make. Personally, there are a few CINOs for whom I will never vote, because I see them as just as bad, if not worse, as Democrats: John McCain and Mike Huckabee. I am actually willing to give Mitt Romney a serious 2nd look. Rudy Giulini, I’m not so sure. If it came down to him and Hillary, I don’t think I would vote for him. If it comes down to him or Obama, I will vote for him.

But we all have to decide what is important to us this election cycle: winning at all costs or standing up for our ideology of conservatism. I hope all of you are analyzing this in a serious manner and not just voting based on fear of Democrats or just wanting to be loyal to political party over principle.

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, I want to remind all my Republican friends that there are many states after Iowa and New Hampshire where the Republican populations are far more indicative of the conservative base, and to get caught up in what happened in Iowa, to get caught up in what’s going to happen in New Hampshire as though they’re the only two states that matter and that they’re going to determine the fallout on both parties is a little bit over the top.

Iowa is a caucus; it’s a weird setup. New Hampshire allows independents to vote in the Republican primary, which is why McCain is doing as well as he is doing, and it’s why the media want this to be a bellwether against Romney. I mean, Pat Buchanan came in second. He came in a very strong second in New Hampshire in 1992. Now, I’m not saying that these contests are not to be taken seriously here, and that they’re not to be fought and to be won, but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. New Hampshire is no longer the conservative barometer it used to be. The state has changed, it is now quite liberal. A lot of people who used to live in Massachusetts have moved into New Hampshire to escape New Hampshire’s high taxation and other problems. New England generally the northern states, states like Iowa, is not where the conservative base resides in large numbers. The Drive-By Media would love to destroy the conservative coalition. They would love to destroy the conservative base to the Republican Party. That’s why they are promoting Huckabee; it is why they are promoting McCain.

The Drive-By Media, ladies and gentlemen, will tell us each and every day who the true conservatives in the Republican primary are, and they will tell us by virtue of who they attack and also by virtue of who they prop up. They are propping up McCain; they are propping up Huckabee. The Drive-By Media hate conservatives. They want to destroy conservatism. It is the bulwark standing in their way of power and monopolistic control of all the apparatus of the country, government, media, and everything else. It’s one of the best indicators I can offer you. If you’re asking who is the genuine conservative out there or who is most conservative, who is most liberal on the Republican side, just take a look at who the Drive-Bys are enamored of and you will be able to answer the question yourself without me having to tell you. Why do you think that Senator McCain is making his big stand in New Hampshire? Because he did well there in 2000 and because he knows he runs really well with independents. He knows that New Hampshire is not a big conservative state.

If McCain were running on a genuine conservative agenda he’d be focusing on South Carolina for example, but he’s not. He’s focusing in New Hampshire because he thinks conservatives can be outnumbered there by this new influx of independents. You know, he’s up there in New Hampshire, if you listen to McCain, touting his left-wing environmental agenda with Joe Lieberman, for crying out loud. Now, recently there has been an endorsement that have people scratching their heads. “Jack Kemp, supply-sider, endorsing McCain? What’s this all about?” I’ll give you two reasons, and I’m just hazarding my own guess here, but I think it’s the old boys club in Washington, the inside the Beltway establishment apparatus, and the dirty little secret: Congressman Kemp is an open borders guy. So is Senator McCain. Have you noticed that in these forums and debates, McCain doesn’t want to talk about immigration; he doesn’t want to talk about campaign finance reform; he doesn’t want to talk about the things that genuinely rile conservatives? He wants to sweep those issues under the rug, and try to redefine what those issues were all about and what his position was on both of them.

Now they’re saying if Romney finishes second, he’s finished. How can that be? How can coming in second in the first two states finish somebody? If he comes in second, it may disappoint some people, but it also means that in these two states he’s the only Republican to win high spots in both. The idea that anybody’s finished after New Hampshire and Iowa is absurd. It’s Drive-By Media spin designed to dispirit and depress people. They’re out there saying, “Where does Romney go after New Hampshire?” Where do any of them go? It’s wide open! They go on to the next primary! South Carolina and Michigan. That’s where they go. For the Beltway crowd — not just the media, but for people that live and work inside the Beltway — to make conclusive statements about who’s going to win and who won’t based on all this — two states — is nuts, at least as far as the Republicans are concerned. There is no one candidate that has any front-runner momentum right now at all on the Republican side.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: I know it’s easy to get caught up in the spin of the Drive-By Media — and not just the Drive-Bys, but the whole inside-the-Beltway crowd — making conclusive statements about who’s going to win and who won’t based on Iowa and New Hampshire, at least as far as the Republican Party is concerned — no one candidate has any front-runner momentum right now. Listen to this. Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll for yesterday shows McCain and Huckabee tied at 19%, Giuliani at 17%, Romney at 15%, and Fred Thompson at 13%. At some point, we’re going to get past these states that work for Huckabee and McCain. But there’s no clear front-runner on the Republican side. The only thing that you could say that might happen to somebody on the Republican side after two states is that expectations weren’t met. Now, it’s different on the Democrat side. You can see the panic in Hillary’s camp. You can see a big slide in her national polling. Obama has overtaken her nationally. He’s up double digits in two polls, in New Hampshire for tomorrow night. Unlike Romney, Romney has never led in the national polls, even though they talk about him as the front-runner, he never has led in the national polls.

You know who has led in the national polls has been Giuliani. But they speak of Romney as the front-runner; they attack him as the front-runner. Mrs. Clinton has always been the big front-runner in the Democrat Party, and she’s lost that status now in these national polls. And she’s losing to somebody, Barack Obama, who has absolutely no experience or qualifications to be president — and that is astounding, and it goes directly to her lack of likability. Now, I’m not sure she can’t recover someplace. She may be finished. I don’t know. The point is, nobody knows what’s going to happen. Even after tomorrow night, nobody knows, and it’s silly for anybody to start saying that they do. I wouldn’t be completely certain of her being finished. You know, she still has the support of the party machine. Now, that could be threatened. The stories are out there that Mrs. Clinton’s money is drying up. I thought she’d raised a hundred million bucks! I thought she’d raised all this money. Now we’re getting stories, that her donations are drying up; staffers are becoming dispirited. Maybe so. We’ll just have to see how it plays out. There’s no doubt she’s in deep trouble. Make no mistake about that. But to say that she’s finished, at this stage, is a bit premature.

I’ll tell you, there’s so much conventional wisdom out there. I, for one, just want to repeat this: I don’t think McCain’s a lock in New Hampshire tomorrow night. I believe these debates matter. I believe people in New Hampshire watch ’em. In both the Saturday night debate and the Sunday night forum, McCain did not do well. I don’t care what anybody tells you. You can look at the focus groups and see for yourself: He did not do well. He came off as sinister, mean, and strident on Saturday night. Sunday, he came across as tired and out of it, as though somebody had said, “Look, you’re a little too strident last night on Romney. Back off,” which he did — and then for McCain to sit there and whine and moan about attack ads? Come on! This ain’t beanbag! Politics is a blood sport. You know, McCain has run his share of attack ads. But these guys have been in politics all their lives. They’ve had attack ads run against them. They act like big babies, they can’t deal with attack ads. And, by the way, what’s an “attack ad”? You know, McCain is just like the Democrats in this regard. If you run an ad that’s truthful about their record, all of a sudden you’re “attacking” them. There have been some truthful commercials about McCain.

McCain has been the author of the first official intervention in the First Amendment in this nation’s history: McCain-Feingold. He has opposed tax cuts, the Bush tax cuts. So to put that out there in an ad is not an attack ad. It happens to be true. You have all this sensitivity about these attack ads. You don’t see Romney whining and moaning about these things. You don’t see Fred Thompson whining and moaning about these things. You don’t see Rudy whining and moaning. But you do see Huckabee and McCain whining and moaning about this. It’s unbecoming, because this is what it is. Politics is what it is. I’ll tell you what I actually think. This is based on truth, and it is in fact truth: the media are out to break up conservatives. I was instant messaging with F. Lee last night, and to me, there is no question. I spent this weekend in intense study of what’s going on up there. I watched more political TV this weekend than I have watched probably in the last six months. My instincts were confirmed: Media are out to break up conservatives, dispirit us, destroy us, destroy the Republican coalition of the evangelicals; the social and fiscal conservatives; they’re out to destroy that.

They want to destroy that by getting McCain or Huckabee nominated. That’s how they intend to do it, and we have pundits, including some who are conservative, who are falling all over themselves to be the first to announce permanent realignments, permanent trends; the end of this era, the beginning of that era. In truth, all they have to be making such sweeping predictions is the results of the Iowa caucuses, where a couple hundred thousand people voted, 10% of those eligible, in a very odd format. Now New Hampshire is coming where the more liberal or populist candidate in the Republican Party now benefits from the flood of independents who vote in the GOP primary and skews the results, which means that you cannot draw conclusions about the Republican Party based on New Hampshire but they will anyway, and you’ve got to keep this in mind. Whatever happens in New Hampshire tomorrow night, the Drive-Bys are going to try to spin this as the end of conservatism as it’s known. Now, let me be blunt about some things here. Governor Huckabee does evangelicals a disservice when he uses faith to promote what is a liberal, populist agenda — an agenda that includes large tax increases, which were not offset by tax cuts.

I hope you saw the question from Romney last night to Governor Huckabee about taxes. He wouldn’t answer the question. He got very testy, and said, “I’m not talking to you, Mitt! I’m talking to the moderator, Chris Wallace.” So Wallace simply repeated Mitt Romney’s question.

“Well, did you raise taxes, a net increase, after all your cuts and increases?”

He didn’t want to answer the question. When he finally got around to answering, he said, “Well, the courts made me do it.”

Court orders were not responsible for $500 billion of tax increases, folks. I hate to tell you. There’s no governor that can say a court made him raise taxes that many times. It was a bit sad. The Huckabee agenda is large tax increases, not offset by tax cuts; open borders; amnesty for illegals, particularly their kids. He was also nailed on that last night.

“Well, governor, you’ve said that you want the kids of illegals to stay and go to school.”

“Well, federal government hadn’t done its job. Kids have to be educated.”

“Yeah, but you said that you want to give college students in-state tuition, and federal government doesn’t say anything about that.”

And then he said, “Well, what’s really going to happen here is when we deport all these illegals, they’re going to take their kids with them, if they go out of school, have to go back to Mexico, get in line, they come back, they’ll go back and finish school.”

“Uh, but I thought it was great to have ’em here and stay in school?”

It was just all over the ballpark. And then McCain trying to defend his amnesty (laughing) by saying it wasn’t amnesty because there was a $5,000 fine. Yeah, right. Let me say a couple of things about that $5,000 fine. Do you know who’s going to pay the fine, if anybody? Their employers are going to pay the McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill. But besides that, there’s no enforcement in that bill, or there wasn’t. Who’s going to track these people down and collect the money? What if they don’t have it? If the $5,000 is paid, then okay, there’s no amnesty. There’s a big penalty, right? No amnesty? It’s an annuity! If you’re going to get five grand from these people and that puts ’em on the Social Security rolls and on the welfare rolls, it’s an annuity! It is amnesty! He’s going out of his way to say it wasn’t amnesty, but it is — and in New Hampshire, you know, they’re not so concerned about it, the independents that have moved in there from Massachusetts, but this kind of stuff is not going to fly once we get out of New Hampshire. Once we get out of South Carolina, some of the border states, it ain’t going to fly, folks. Amnesty is not amnesty because we’re going to fine them $5,000?

Everybody knows they’re not going to be tracked down to be forced to pay the five grand in the first place! Our memories are not that short, here, Senator McCain. We remember this amnesty bill like it was yesterday. Our memories are not short on campaign finance reform, either. I mean you’re out there complaining. I thought you got the money out of politics! I thought you got all the mean-spirited out of politics. Now you’re out there complaining about “attack ads from Mitt Romney.” I guess we need some more campaign finance reform, don’t we, Senator McCain? (Big sigh) Anyway, back to Huckabee. You start granting amnesty for illegal aliens, that’s going to hurt the incomes and jobs of church-going, middle class Americans. And, by the way, this includes negotiating with Islamic fascists: The Golden Rule, treat them like we’d like to be treated and so forth? These Islamic fascists, they murder American soldiers. They’re set on destroying Israel. They’re threatening to kill President Bush when he touches down Wednesday in Jerusalem.

There just is nothing Christian about dealing with the enemy the way Governor Huckabee has proposed doing it. McCain is running away from his opposition to tax cuts. He did this last night. He never mentions McCain-Feingold, anymore — we do — even though he wouldn’t stop talking about it for years before this election. Senator McCain’s support for more rights for the detainees and the closing of Club Gitmo, to me illustrates a serious weakness in terms of securing this nation. You know, open borders and closing the borders is as much about national security as it is about the illegal immigration issue. Senator McCain has repeatedly joined with Feingold and Kennedy and other liberals to undermine one conservative issue after another, and this will be remembered once we get out of New Hampshire. We’re finished with Iowa. Once we get out of these places and go to places where the Republican conservative base really is, then all these soothsayers and wise men inside the Beltway are going to be in for a huge shock.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

January 8, 2008 , 1:18AM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatism, Duncan Hunter, Fred Thompson, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Populism, Rush Limbaugh | Comments Off on Rush Limbaugh: Media Supporting Huckabee/McCain to Destroy Conservatism

Back to Basics Time for American Conservatism

First, some perspective on the Iowa Caucus from Rick Moran at RightWingNuthouse:

Having lived in Iowa for 7 years, I would say that there is nothing much wrong with the people as much as the process of choosing a Caucus winner. It virtually guarantees an extraordinarily small group of people can have an enormous impact on the choice of a candidate for president.

Iowa has about 600,000 registered Republicans. Mike Huckabee got 39,000 votes. That’s about 8% of Iowa Republicans choosing a man who will now seriously compete for the GOP nomination.

Got that? 8% of one State’s registered Republicans voted for a candidate and now people are freaking out. There is something seriously wrong with people who want to call that a “victory” and now say that Mike Huckabee is riding a wave of political support to the Republican nomination for President in 2008.

8% of 600,000 Republicans voted for Mike Huckabee. Please explain to me how that result constitutes a ringing endorsement of a candidate. Please explain to me why 39,000 people in Iowa seem to dictate how the Republican nomination process will go.

I just don’t get it.

Anyway, some political bloggers and pundits are now hyperventilating at the prospect of a Mike Huckabee nomination and, because of that, are now throwing aside their principles (if they have any) and focusing on who do we support to make sure Mike Huckabee does not get the nomination??!!??’ Simply amazing how 39,000 people in Iowa have so much power over the actions of the rest of the nation’s Republican voters, huh?

Oy.

I prefer to focus on principles and values and specifically, Conservatism. I prefer to focus on voting FOR something, rather than against something or someone. I don’t like the fact that the Republican base seems to have taken on the strategy of the 2004 Democrat voters who used the “ANYBODY BUT BUSH!” strategy to try to win. Now, it seems, Republican voters are doing the same thing. First, they supported Rudy Giuliani, because they had the strategy of “ANYBODY BUT HILLARY!” And now, after they see 39,000 people in Iowa pledge their support for Mike Huckabee, Republican voters are in a panic and have decided on the strategy of “ANYBODY BUT HUCKABEE!”

I’m sorry, but being against something is not inspiring. It was not inspiring when the Democrats used it in 2004 and it is even less inspiring when I see Republican voters having that mentality now.

Which leads me to Rush Limbaugh today, who, instead of talking about ‘ooh! ooh! Which RINO are we going to support now to derail Mike Huckabee??!!??, he turned the focus back to Conservatism:

Folks, as far as conservatism is concerned, it’s back-to-basics time here. It looks to me, and it’s tough to make assessments here after one state has had its caucus, it may be even tough to make a seasoned analysis after even New Hampshire because New Hampshire and Iowa are both very liberal states. We’re going to get into the turnout, the nature of who voted, why the turnout was so large, the demographic breakdown because a lot of it is fascinating. But just looking at things after Iowa, it looks to me like many in the Republican Party, despite all their yearning for conservatives in Washington, are rejecting conservatism. I say that with all seriousness. It may change once we get out of these more liberal states, but with Huckabee and McCain leading in New Hampshire — look, they’re fine guys. I don’t want what I’m saying here to be interpreted as criticism. These are just observations. But with Huckabee and McCain leading in New Hampshire, they’re not consistent principled conservatives. Now, you may be saying, “So what, Rush, conservatism is old, it doesn’t matter, and Reagan was Reagan, and it’s gone,” and I understand that about Reagan, but I don’t accept that about conservatism. I’m not going to accept it.

New Hampshire will be influenced by independents who can vote in the Republican primary. It’s going to be an advantage for McCain, as it was for him the last time. I’m struck by the fact that conservatives call this program — and you know who you are — you have been calling this program for four years, complaining about the lack of a conservative in the White House. You’ve been complaining about the lack of conservative behavior and governance on the part of elected Republicans in both the House and the Senate. So I know you’re out there. You definitely want conservatism, but there’s something troubling out there. You seem to be rejecting it at the same time. Some people do. I don’t mean all of you in this audience. One of the things that I picked up watching all the various networks last night and listening to the candidates is that populism seems to be just soaring. Candidates with a populist message, not conservative, but a populist message are just soaring. Obama with a clear populist message in his speech last night. Obama is as liberal as Mrs. Clinton, if not more so. And that’s saying something.

Governor Huckabee: clearly populism. It was a great speech he gave last night. I’m not taking anything away from him, very articulate, very personnel personable, relaxed. He connects with his audience. It’s very crucial. He doesn’t talk over anybody’s head, doesn’t talk at them. He really makes connections. Now, the thing that bothers me about populism, though, as it relates to conservatism, there is this continuing refrain that there is economic insecurity, that it is widespread, that there is terrible angst, and people are at their wits’ end, particularly in the middle class, over their economic future. I happen to disagree with just how widespread the economic problems are, but I don’t disagree that there is angst. I don’t disagree that there’s some people that are feeling pressured and insecure about their economic future. I don’t deny that at all, but I’d like to find out why rather than just react to it. This does not make me a patrician — well, according to Susan Estrich it might. It’s amazing the evolution that the libs have assigned to me since I started in 1980. Now I’m a George W. Bush, a George H. W. Bush patrician, I’m an elitist looking down. It’s just amazing how I have gone through this evolution as far as they’re concerned.

But let me stick to this angst business. We had the Pew poll the other day on New Year’s Eve, 84% of the American people very satisfied with their individual lives, at the same time 70% of the people think the country is going in the wrong direction. This is easily, to me, explainable. Eighty-four percent of the people, a clear majority, by the way, of the 84% are very satisfied with their lives and feel good about their futures. So where does this angst come from? Well, the angst comes from, I believe, the media. As I commented yesterday, there is no such thing as good news allowed in the American media today, and particularly as the Drive-Bys are doing everything they can to get Republicans out of office and Democrats in; and, of course, making people believe the economy is in the tank is one of the key ways that they hope to be able to accomplish this. We could have news today that cancer has been cured and the Drive-Bys would put four experts, four examples of how this may be bad news. Iraq deaths, Iraq citizen deaths practically came to a screeching halt. How did the Drive-Bys report it? The funeral business in Iraq is hitting tough times. It’s this kind of thing, and this happens daily multiple times in this country regarding your children’s health and their future and their obesity, the economy and the subprime market and the crisis and the credit crunch and the housing markets and all of these things.

So it is what it is. And if people feel the angst, the angst is real. And so if there is a lot of economic uncertainty among American conservatives — and we know the liberals are pessimistic by nature. We know that liberals get up as pessimists, they go to bed as pessimists, and in between they’re mad as hell all the time. But this is not the characteristic of conservatives, but sadly it seems to be coming to that, which troubles me greatly. We live in the greatest country on Earth. When there are economic ups and downs, which there are, and some of you may think that there are bad times down the road, and maybe at present we’re in the midst of them, or you are, in your personal circumstances. The conservative attitude and mentality about this is not to look to a human being running for president for solutions. The solution is not getting up every morning and hoping something in Washington happens to change your individual life. I’m asking myself during all of these laments about the angst and the crisis and the insecurity, what happened to good old self-reliance? What happened to the can-do spirit?

What happened to the notion that we live in the greatest country on Earth and there are options, opportunities for prosperity unrivaled on this planet, here in this country? Why the eagerness on the part of seemingly so many conservatives to accept victimhood status? Why the attitude on the part of so many Republicans and conservatives to all of a sudden believe they’re helpless and that only a particular person running for president can fix their circumstances? This is something that is not characteristic of the conservative mind-set, the conservative ideological understanding, and yet it seems to be happening. I can’t deny that it’s happening. So it has to be dealt with. And how is it dealt with? It may be back-to-basics time, folks, in terms of explaining what conservatism is, what it’s not, why it’s important. I must take a break here. We’re going to come back, we’ll start on the Democrat side. I will continue to elaborate on this mini-brilliant monologue as the program unfolds.

January 4, 2008 , 11:40PM Posted by | 2008 Presidential Election, Conservatism, Fred Thompson, Iowa Caucus, Mike Huckabee, Rush Limbaugh | Comments Off on Back to Basics Time for American Conservatism