Posts Tagged ‘Gary Johnson’

 

More on Romney

Saturday, July 14th, 2012

Or should it be, Moron Romney?

So you may or may not be aware, but a lot of the Ron Paul folks have been organizing to become delegates for the Republican National Convention in Tampa in August. Why are they doing this? Well, they have no illusions about who the nominee is or who they will be voting for. What they are doing is making a long term play: they are attempting to grab control of the party apparatus so that they can help pave the way for a Rand Paul nomination for President. They assume that Romney will lose in this election cycle, but on the off chance that he wins, they’re prepping for Rand Paul’s nomination in 2020.

So this caused something of a minor embarrassment for Romney when his delegates all LOST the delegate elections in his home state of Massachusetts. So what did Romney do in response? Well, he cheated, changed the rules, and got the delegates booted. You can read the full story here and here.

I seem to remember him having done something similar to this before, to a gubernatorial candidate, Christy Mihos…

Look, Romney is an imperious prick, who thinks very short term and is entirely risk averse in all the wrong ways. Instead of trying to win these new delegates over, instead of welcoming them to the Republican party, he tried bullying them and then cheated and got them thrown out of the party.

It may not have occurred to you or those of you in the Romney camp, but the left is already cooking up a plan to delegitimize the election should Romney manage to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Just google “republican voter suppression” and see what comes up (UPDATE: in fact, here’s an article from today’s paper!). And in the midst of this plan, Romney goes ahead and does what? Suppresses the votes of Ron Paul Republicans trying to win delegate seats. This after having previously done much the same thing with regards to Christy Mihos. Way to establish a pattern and throw fuel on the fire. Does it not occur to him that he’s playing right into this meme?

Oh forget it.

I was giving some thought to voting for Romney after the Roberts decision. Now I’ll prolly just stick to my plan to vote for Gary Johnson.

 
 

The Republican Candidates

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

Every four years since starting this blog, I’ve done a rundown of the presidential candidates before the first primary/caucus votes are cast. So it’s time to maintain that tradition, giving you my opinion and recommendations. This year, there are only Republicans running in the primary, so that is who we will run down. This election year we may wind up seeing third party candidates run, and if the Republicans nominate a dope, then those third party candidates may deserve a close look. But for now, we’ll just stick to the Republicans. I’ve been debating whether or not to include dropout Herman Cain in this analysis, and I guess I’ll include him at the end if I have enough time. Otherwise, it’s on to the candidates. I’m addressing them in roughly the order of their appearance in recent polling data:

Willard Mitt Romney:

Mitt Romney has been the presumptive nominee for some time, and given Republicans propensity to nominate the guy next in line, it would be foolhardy to dismiss Romney’s chances at securing the nomination. Having said that, it is my opinion that Romney would be a disaster for the party if nominated, and would likely lose handily to President Obama.

There are two main issues that this campaign will hinge on: 1) Obama’s handling of the economic crisis and failure to take us out of it, and 2) Obamacare. One may even argue that Obamacare should be #1 because it was Obama’s signature legislative achievement during his first four years And certainly, many people, myself included, would argue that the two issues are intimately related, that businesses are refusing to hire because they want to see the fallout from Obamacare come first.

Moreover, Republicans have been fighting the Democratic urge to socialize medicine since at least the Truman administration. And despite Democrats fighting for this for the better part of half a century, Democrats still didn’t have a consensus to socialize medicine, nor did they really have the votes. But they passed it anyway, adding fuel to the fire of teh Tea Party movement, which helped to usher in the Republican house and nearly the Senate in 2010.

So given that, it would seem odd indeed to select Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee in 2012. Romney had implemented a pre-cursor type program in Massachusetts, dubbed Romneycare, and had written in his book (first edition) that he thought it could act as a template for the nation. His current stance, that it was good for Massachusetts but would be bad for the country, rings hollow.

What’s worse, perhaps, is that Romney blew what could have been a prime opportunity to rectify this situation when Obamacare was undergoing passage. Had Romney stood up, and said, “Look, I tried this in Massachusetts, and look what it’s done. I learned from my mistake, don’t repeat it.” he could have been a potent voice for stopping Obamacare, and he could have become a hero to the Tea Party folk. But instead, he tried to be “consistent” by removing the passage from his book where he said that Romneycare could be a model for the nation.

It’s also important to note that Romney has never held a controversial position in his life. Rather, throughout his political career, he has tries to alter his views, or undergo change of hearts, to develop new positions that would appeal to the group of people whose votes he was trying to get. As a result, he has never held a difficult or controversial position and tried to stick with it. In every debate, Romney always tries to say that his opponents just don’t understand his positions, but he never says “Look, I’m right and you’re wrong and here’s why.” I can’t imagine that this pattern will change during the general election.

And it is during the general election when that will matter most. If Erik Erickson is to be believed, Obama is planning to run an election challenging the “moral basis of capitalism”. He is itching to run against Romney because he believes that Romney personifies the cartoon greedy capitalist who steals from the working class. While Romney certainly built companies up, like most private equity players, Romney almost certainly took dividend recaps out of companies only to let them go bankrupt, a practice that is rather widespread today and which infuriates the employees of the companies so raped. Romney seems unlikely to have either the stamina or the ability to defend himself from the planned attack, let alone to defend the entire free enterprise system. For that we will need someone else. Hence, I cannot vote for Romney in the primary.

(I will likely not vote for him in the general election either if nominated. This is because the Republican leadership really needs to be taught a lesson, and voting for Romney teaches them that I’m willing to vote for whatever POS candidate they shove in front of me. I’m not, so I won’t.)

Newt Gingrich:

There will always be a soft spot in the hearts of rank and file Republicans for Newt Gingrich, if only because of the upset he architected in 1994. This is partly why he finds himself at the head of the pack in the Republican primary.

The other reason why he finds himself where he is is that Republicans have not had an articulate presidential nominee since 1984, 27 years ago. Let us review:

  • 1988 and 1992: George HW Bush. He could put a complete sentence together, but admitted to having had no “vision thing”. And what little of it he did have involved “1000 points of light” which was another way of saying “I think Reagan was a meanie and I aim to return the Republican party over to the old guard again”. He was largely successful in doing that, but utterly demoralized the rank and file of the party in so doing.
  • 1996: Bob Dole. Septuagenarian Bob Dole spoke about himself in the third person on the campaign trail, when he was capable of putting a sentence together. He won the nomination largely by trashing Steve Forbes flat tax plan with the help of Alphonse D’Amato, thus demoralizing fiscal conservatives. With no platform on which to differentiate himself from Clinton, and coming across as a crank and an old coot, Bob Dole lost.
  • 2000 and 2004: George W Bush. Bush could barely put a sentence together, and proved to be very similar to his father when he adopted as his vision thing something called “compassionate conservatism”, which was another way of saying “I think Reagan was a meanie and I aim to return the Republican party over to the old guard again”. Except that George W Bush had become born again, and was thus able to hoodwink the evangelical religious right into voting for him. He barely beat John F Kerry for reelection, which is a frightening thought. George Bush demoralized the base with programs like No Child Left Behind and the Harriet Miers nomination. And he ended his administration “Abandoning capitalism in order to ‘save’ it”. Once again, the base was demoralized, embarrassed and a bit enraged.
  • 2008: John McCain. Another septuagenarian nominated, another disaster. John McCain made his name in politics by being the Republican continually willing to stick his thumb in the eye of his party in exchange for media accolades. And boy, did he ever get media accolades. Unfortunately, McCain expected these accolades to keep up when he got the nomination. Silly him. He didn’t understand that parading Republicans who criticize their own party serves the media’s interests, namely, helping the Democrats win. When John McCain became the nominee, he no longer served the media’s purpose, and was dispensed with. McCain seemed surprised by this turn of events, and hasn’t been heard from since.

So in light of that horrible train wreck of nominees, it is understandable why the Republicans should so yearn for somebody who can make the Republican case articulately. Unfortunately, Newt Gingrich’s words do not really mirror his actions. Ron Paul has been running an ad showing Gingrich’s many transgressions, including:

  • His support for an individual mandate (aka Obamacare)
  • His work for Freddie Mac as a “historian” netting $1.6 million on the eve of the company’s collapse
  • Calling Paul Ryan’s plan to reform medicare “right wing social engineering”
  • Appearing in an ad with Nancy Pelosi calling for a curb on carbon emissions due to man made global warming.

The first point should be an automatic disqualifier for attaining the Republican nomination. The second point is idiotic, but something I could live with. The third and fourth points are his efforts to be welcomed into the cocktail circuit around Washington DC, also something that should be a disqualifier. And finally, despite all his articulate talk, going on to Newt Gingrich’s website reveals very little regarding policy positions. Now I know that all the candidates do this, put up pithy paragraphs instead of real position papers, but Newt’s argument is that he alone has the intellectual heft to carry us through the current crises. Yet his website indicates none of it, leading me to believe that it’s all bluster.

The only reason why I’m considering voting for Newt Gingrich is that for some reason, probably stemming from his personality, Newt utterly appalls the Washington establishment. And the thought of forcing them to deal with someone they don’t like brings me great pleasure. So if he is the nominee, I will consider voting for him. But I may still vote Libertarian as I did in 2008.

Ron Paul:
Ron Paul may well win the Iowa primary this year, and it is conceivable that he could be the nominee. Ron Paul is known as Dr. No in the house, because he’s a medical doctor and he votes no on just about every piece of legislation that comes before the house. He’s been calling for an end to the Federal Reserve and a return to the gold standard for decades, and his warnings about the country’s profligate spending have proved prescient. Paul ran for president as the nominee for the Libertarian party in 1988, and he ran again in 2008 for the Republican nomination coming in fourth place. This year, polls have him coming close to winning in Iowa.

The appeal of Ron Paul is that he is the original libertarian Republican. Iowan Republicans like him because he’s genuinely pro-choice, and Tea Partiers like him because he understands economics the best of the candidates. The reservation people have with respect to Ron Paul is that his foreign policy is essentially isolationist, and thus unrealistic for a global economic power. I’ve written previously about Ron Paul’s foreign policy views, and I too have reservations regarding them. But there are reasons to overlook them.

First, Ron Paul isn’t completely insane. He did vote to authorize action in Afghanistan after 9-11. And one would imagine he wouldn’t hesitate to kill Osama Bin Laden and his ilk either. Second, we’re broke. We really are, and we don’t have the resources to keep invading places. And finally, does anyone doubt that the entire source of our recent foreign policy problems, including 9-11, stems from our decision to invade Kuwait in 1990? We invaded to protect nobody worth protecting, and Saddam Hussein surely would have sold us all the oil we could have ever wanted, and if Saddam had gone in and taken Saudi Arabia as well, we’d likely have been rid of the Wahhabists a long time ago, or at a minimum Osama Bin Laden would have had local issues to contend with, instead of plotting against the United States. After witnessing all the foreign policy blunders of my lifetime, I find it difficult to say that Ron Paul is the dangerous one running for president. And besides which, Ron Paul is 76 years old. He is likely a one term president anyway. if you believe in his economic ideas but dislike his foreign policy, ask yourself, can I live with his foreign policy for just four years?

More importantly, ask yourself if the country can survive for four years without Ron Paul’s economic prescriptions. I would wager that it may not. The country will most assuredly survive four years of Ron Paul’s foreign policy.

If Ron Paul is the Republican Nominee, I will most assuredly vote for him.

Rick Perry:
Rick Perry appeared to be the perfect fusionist candidate, a blend of Ron Paul’s economics with standard Republican foreign policy with some evangelical stuff thrown into the mix as well. Unfortunately, Rick Perry’s opening debate performances were inarticulate, and at times confused. I wouldn’t count Perry out yet, he could stage a comeback. But I believe the Republicans are so starved for an articulate nominee, that Perry has likely screwed up his candidacy beyond repair.

Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann:
I’m grouping these two together as they are more or less one in the same candidate. These are what I call religious identity-poltics candidates. More or less their message is, “vote for me, I go to the same church you go to”. As a result, I find both their campaigns distasteful in the extreme. Rick Santorum especially. Santorum seems to believe that rights stem from families, or some such nonsense. The word family doesn’t even appear in the constitution. It’s just bizarre and misinformed.

Needless to say, there are no circumstances where I vote for either of these two people to be the next president.

Gary Johnson:
What a great candidate running a spectacularly bad campaign. For those not in the know, Gary Johnson is the other libertarian candidate in the race, a two term governor of New Mexico who vetoed over 700 bills and brought the state’s budget into balance. Gary Johnson also was a successful businessman, starting his own company up and selling it for a 7 figure sum. He also is an athlete, and has climbed Mt. Everest.

Johnson has run a terrible campaign, however. He has way overemphasized his stance on legalizing marijuana, and his foreign policy views which are more or less in line with Ron Paul’s. What he should have been saying is this: “Republicans have been searching for a governor who has a real record a reforming a state, and who can bring that experience to Washington. You wanted Mitch Daniels and Chris Christie, but they wouldn’t run. But here I am. I vetoed over 700 bills, I actually shrank headcount in state government in my two terms as governor, and I did it all in a predominantly Democratic state. And when I left office, it was because I was term limited. I’m still well regarded in my home state, and unlike one other governor standing on stage here, if nominated I’ll carry my home state with me.” That would have brought down the house.

Oh well. Maybe in 2016.

Buddy Roemer:
Buddy Roemer was a former house member and governor of Louisiana. His views as expressed on his website seem reasonable, and he looks articulate in his videos. I suppose he would have been a reasonable choice for nominee, but he wasn’t allowed in any debates. At least Johnson was allowed in one or two. More on the debate issue later. Suffice it to say, if Roemer somehow defies all expectations and becomes the nominee, I’ll prolly vote for him.

Jon Huntsman:
Totally forgot about that guy. Why is he running? Anyhow, Jon Huntsman began his campaign by sticking his thumb in the eye of rank and file Republicans, something which is more or less unforgivable, especially coming off as ambassador to China under Obama. I’ve been impressed with him in the debates, and I guess his record is pretty conservative. But he certainly doesn’t excite me. And I think that Republicans have had enough of candidates who thumb their nose at the rank and file (see John McCain).

Jon Huntsman won’t be the nominee, but I suppose I’d vote for him if he were, maybe.

The Debates:
As I noted above, Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer were excluded from all of nearly all of the debates. Given that every candidates rise and fall has been solely based upon each candidates debate performances, such exclusion is tantamount to keeping these candidates off the ballot entirely. I believe that Gary Johnson was excluded because the media absolutely loathes libertarians (and yes, I’m including the conservative media in this too). I’m not sure why Buddy Roemer was excluded. But it’s absolutely clear why Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachman were included when their poll numbers were more or less the same as Johnson’s and Roemer’s. The reason they were included is that they are caricatures of themselves, and with their brand of religious identity-politics they make the Republicans look like kooks. This serves the interests of the media well. It does not serve the interests of the Republican party.

In the future, Republicans need to either insist that all declared candidates be included, or otherwise have a lottery for the low polling candidates to get a slot on the debate stage. But allowing the media to decide who debates and who doesn’t is ceding way too much power to a class of people who are generally hostile to our interests as Republicans. I should hope that this would change in the future.

Also, I think we all need to thank Newt Gingrich for holding one on one debates with other candidates. Those debates have been the most informative and best debates we’ve had. I wish each of the candidates had been willing to hold one on ones with each of the other candidates. Hosted on YouTube, those debates would have been far more informative than the group debates we’ve had.

Endorsement:
Look, there’s no two ways about it. I will be voting for Ron Paul in the primary because of the candidates we have, he seems to me to be the only one who understands our fiscal and economic situation. So if I am to have any hope of having this resolved within my lifetime, I have to vote for Ron Paul. Also as I’ve said before, a government that repeatedly violates your rights isn’t one worth keeping. And Ron Paul is the only candidate who wants to end the Patriot Act and respect our civil liberties.

I had toyed with the idea of voting for Herman Cain. Cain’s 9-9-9 plan was pretty good, and he seemed to understand that we shouldn’t be assassinating American citizens abroad, and he was the only candidate other than Ron Paul who wanted to roll back the Patriot Act. And as a black man, he had the potential to break the Democratic stranglehold on the black vote in America, without which Democrats would stand no chance for winning on the national stage, and probably in many states as well. But alas, he proved to be ignorant of too many issues and unable to discuss things in an off the cuff way. And he finally succumbed to the smear campaign against him.

So it’s Ron Paul for me. Ron Paul has a chance at the nomination this time. So I’m rooting for him to win it. If he doesn’t win it, I’m not sure how I’m going to vote. But more importantly, I’m not sure how bright the outlook for the United States will be either.

 
 

Awaiting The Wall Street Journal Endorsement Of Gary Johnson

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Instapundit quotes from a paywall hidden WSJ endorsement of John Huntsman’s platform:

The heart of the plan lowers all tax rates on individuals and businesses. Mr. Huntsman would create three personal income tax rates—8%, 14% and 23%—and pay for this in a “revenue-neutral” way by eliminating “all deductions and credits.” This tracks with the proposals of the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson commission and others for a flatter, more efficient tax system.

That means economically inefficient tax carve outs for mortgage interest, municipal bonds, child credits and green energy subsidies would at last be closed. The double tax on capital gains and dividends would be expunged as would the Alternative Minimum Tax. The corporate tax rate falls to 25% from 35%, and American businesses would be taxed on a territorial system to encourage firms to return capital parked in overseas operations.

Mr. Huntsman would repeal two of President Obama’s most economically debilitating creations, ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. Mr. Huntsman has it right when he says, “Dodd-Frank perpetuates ‘too big to fail’ by codifying a regime that incentivizes firms to become too big to fail.” He’d also repeal a Bush-era regulatory mistake, the Sarbanes-Oxley accounting rules, which have added millions of dollars of costs to businesses with little positive effect.

Mr. Huntsman says he’d also bring to heel the hyper-regulators at the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration and the National Labor Relations Board, all of which are suppressing job-creation.

Boy, if they like those policies, how can they not fall in love with Gary Johnson’s?

  • Where John Huntsman wants to reduce the corporate tax rates, Gary Johnson has proposed eliminating the corporate income tax altogether. This will make the United States the best place in the world to locate one’s corporate headquarters, and will likely result in the repatriation of untold billions of dollars.Johnson has also called for eliminating the use of the income tax code as a way of managing the economy or people’s behavior.
  • Huntsman is for repealing Obamacare, Dodd Frank and Sarbanes Oxley. This is de rigeur for a Republican nominee. While his website doesn’t explicitly say so, I believe he is for repealing these three pieces of legislation as well.
  • Huntsman wants to bring regulations to heel, which again, is de rigeur for Republicans. Johnson is talking about bringing entitlements to heel, which is far more difficult.

Why take John Huntsman seriously and not Gary Johnson? John Huntsman was a one term governor of Utah, a Republican stronghold. Gary Johnson was a two term governor of New Mexico, a largely Democratic state. So getting elected and re-elected there is a much bigger deal than getting elected only once in Utah. And Johnson managed to take on his congress, eliminating his state’s deficit without raising taxes, while issuing over 750 vetoes.

There are 4 governors running for the Republican nomination, from Texas, Massachusetts, Utah, and New Mexico ordered by size. Their respective GDPs are $1.2 trillion, $379 billion, $114 billion, and $80 billion. Of these, only two have managed to get re-elected, Rick Perry and Gary Johnson, And of these, only one came from a state not normally friendly to Republicans, Gary Johnson. If John Huntsman, a one term governor from a relatively small Republican state, is taken seriously as a candidate, then so should Gary Johnson, a two term governor from a relative small democratic state. If Chris Christie is an interesting potential candidate because of his ability to advance Republican ideals in a largely Democratic state, than so should Gary Johnson be an interesting candidate. If Mitch Daniels is an interesting potential candidate for resolving his state’s deficit spending issues, than so should Gary Johnson for resolving his states issues.

I eagerly await the WSJ’s editorial page’s review of the exciting candidacy of Gary Johnson.

 
 

Fisking Dorothy Rabinowitz

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I was infuriated reading Dorothy Rabinowitz this morning. So I’m just going to dive in and fisk her entire column:

To win the presidency in 2012, the Republican candidate will require certain strengths. Among them, a credible passion for ideas other than cost-cutting and small government. He or she will have to speak in the voice of Americans who know in their bones the extraordinary character of their democracy, and that voice will have to ring out steadily. That Republican candidate will need, no less, the ability to talk about matters like Medicare and Social Security without terrorizing the electorate.

Ideas other than cost cutting and small government? You mean like banning light bulbs and expanding entitlements? Didn’t we just purge ourselves of those kinds of Republicans? Didn’t the voters soundly tell the Republicans they didn’t want any more of those kinds of Republicans?

What you ought to do is start by asking why is it that we need to elect a Republican in the first place? If you want to elect a Republican just to elect a Republican, then go ahead and nominate the best looking candidate with the most mealy mouthed views, and you’ll have your best shot. Such a Republican won’t be likely to accomplish anything, but you’ll win an election.

But if you can answer the question about why we need a Republican in the White House in 2013, then you can begin to answer the question which one should we nominate. I’ll get to that question in a little bit. Back to Dot:

Americans already have plenty of cause for fear. They have on one side the Obama health-care plan now nearly universally acknowledged as a disaster. A plan that entails huge cuts in health care—$500 billion cut from Medicare—that will nevertheless cause no pain, according to its architects. As the polls on ObamaCare show, this grand scheme appears mostly to have alarmed Americans.

Americans ought to be alarmed for a whole host of reasons, cutting Medicare being the least of them. Suffice it to say that Obamacare amounts to a pig pile on top of an already alarming situation, a situation which Dotty Rabinowitz doesn’t seem to care much about:

From the Republican side comes an incessant barrage of doomsday messages and proclamations that the nation is imperiled by the greatest crisis in a generation—not, as we might have supposed, by our ongoing, desperate unemployment levels, but by spending on social programs. No sane person will deny the necessity of finding ways to cut the costs of these programs. But it’s impossible not to hear in the clamor for boldness—for massive cuts in entitlements—a distinctly fevered tone, and one with an unmistakable ideological tinge. Not the sort of pragmatism that inspires voter confidence.

This is nothing short of a smear. The calmest, most boring candidate on the campaign trail right now is Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson is pushing the most radical agenda of all the candidates, wanting to cut trillions from the federal budget. And yet his arguments are entirely pragmatic. He frames every question not as a moral one, but as a cost-benefit analysis. He can come across as calm and reasoned as a result, and can win arguments with that approach. But he’s not lighting any fires.

People don’t fight and die for a cause because its more practical or efficient than the alternative. They fight and die because they believe they are on the side of moral right, or because their life is literally on the line. The current battle over spending has both elements. The budget will consume us, and it is a moral atrocity that we are bankrupting ourselves the way we are. But Johnson only barely makes the former case, and never the latter. Chris Christie makes the connection well, but he isn’t running. And Mitch Daniels made it superbly, with his “Red Menace” analogy, but he won’t run because his wife is a slut. And so that leaves us with few choices.

In fact, it is the central dichotomy in the current field of Republican candidates. The ones who speak most fervently seem to have the least aggressive plans for attacking the new red menace, and the ones with the best plans refuse to speak with moral fervor. But to complain about too much moral fervor when we face a life or death catastrophe is to really miss the boat.

Thinking about all this, a physician friend recalls a lesson that experienced doctors learn: A patient comes in with symptoms—is it angina? Will it lead to a heart attack? Patients whose doctors show deliberation and care in the choice of their treatment, he observes, tend to have increased faith both in the treatment and the doctor. That is a point of some relevance to politicians.

So wait, the Republicans haven’t shown care and deliberation in their discussions? So it’s Paul Ryan taking the “burn all this shit down” approach? To imply so is fundamentally dishonest. I expect as much of the left, but the Wall Street Journal editorial board members?!?

The Republican who wants to win would avoid talk of the costs that our spendthrift ways, particularly benefits like Social Security, are supposedly heaping on future generations. He would especially avoid painting images of the pain Americans feel at burdening their children and grandchildren. This high-minded talk, rooted in fantasy, isn’t going to warm the hearts of voters of mature age—and they are legion—who feel no such pain. None. And they don’t like being told that they do, or that they should feel it, or that they’re stealing from the young. They’ve spent their working lives paying in to Social Security, their investment. Adjustments have to be made to the system, as they now know. Which makes it even more unlikely they’ll welcome handwringing about the plight of future generations.

So here is the crux of it: Fuck the younger generations, they don’t vote as much anyhow. Don’t piss off the older voters, they don’t give a shit about America’s future, nor should they.

You know, it occurs to me reading this that the baby boomers get their unfair share of the blame for our current predicament. After all, I remember the mathematical certainty of this day of reckoning being discussed back when I was in high school, some 20 odd years ago. And at the time, boomers were still relatively young, and certainly didn’t control the levers in Washington. No, it was the older generations, who in response to scare ads from the Democrats marched to the polls to make it clear that dealing with this day of reckoning was a death sentence for any politician who dared. And so it never happened. And here we are today, reading Dorothy Rabinowitz, a woman who appears to be older than dirt and certainly older than the boomer generation, telling us once again to lay off.

Well, I can’t put this any more politely than to say Fuck You Dorothy Rabinowitz.

Your generation has had every ample opportunity to deal with this situation. It was not the younger generations who instituted the Ponzi scheme known as Social Security. It is not the boomer generation, or generation X who refused to consider means for reforming it. It was you, and your ilk, who deluded themselves into thinking that they were paying into a retirement system, a magical system that returned insane benefits compared to the amount paid in. So you want your money back? Shit, i think we’d all be happy to give it back to you. It’s the benefits that can’t be paid, not your “principal”.

“Adjustments have to be made to the system, as they now know”… AS THEY NOW KNOW?!?!?!?!? Where the fuck have you old people been for the last twenty years? Thirty years? Did you all fail math class? Adjustments have been needed for 60 years now, since the baby boomer generation came into existence, or at least 40 years when it became apparent that there wouldn’t be enough members of generation X to pay for the boomer population bulge. And you couldn’t have dealt with it then??? And you want sympathy today, as if this is just something that suddenly came up (apologies to the Brady Bunch)? Well fuck you.

Our current predicament is existential. It is a matter of stealing all the life’s savings from everyone under 50 to blow it on retirees. Either we decide to move forward with that insanity or we don’t. Either way, I’m starting to hide my money. I would suggest my readers do the same.

The Republican who wins will have to know, and show that he knows, that most Americans aren’t sitting around worried to death about big government—they’re worried about jobs and what they have in savings.

I can’t believe I even read that sentence.

To create a job requires some planning, and certainty about the future. Our current future looks like one in which we bankrupt the country, either by means of high taxes or inflation of the currency, in order to shovel Spaghettios into the pie holes of old people like Rabinowitz. If you don’t deal with that reality, there will be no future jobs. We will become Europe, with a permanent unemployment rate hovering between 15% and 25%. If Rabinowitz can’t see that, she lacks the most basic of economic understanding.

The candidate would do well to give time and all due detail—the material is rich—on the activities of the Justice Department under President Obama, the most ideologically driven one in U.S. history. He would make the connection between the nature of this Justice Department and the president’s view of the American nation.

I think people are more concerned with us becoming a police state, ala TSA nude pictures and groping, than with the idea that the justice department is being too soft on terrorism.

That view was made clear early, in candidate Obama’s repeated reference to that happy time ahead when America would once again be worthy of respect—which we had presumably lost through our immoral policies—and when we would regain the trust of friends and allies around the world. That vision, still alive and well two and a half years into his administration, has been nowhere clearer than in Attorney General Eric Holder’s determined effort to give 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed the benefit of a trial in an American court, with full constitutional protections. Only with such a trial, Mr. Holder argued, could America prove to the world the fairness of its justice system.

I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t an opening salvo for a Giuliani campaign. If it is, then wow, is he hitting the wrong notes. Here’s a hint: as bad an idea as Holder’s was, nobody gives a crap now. Really.

I can’t continue. Basically, the rest of her point is to run on foreign policy. I can’t imagine that what the country wants right now is to see the US more deeply involved in affairs abroad, nor do I think we can even afford it if we wanted it.

I wrote about this issue back in 2004 when Bush was running for re-election. And more or less, nothing has changed since then other than the passage of time, which has only made the issues worse.

What worries me is not that Republicans won’t win the presidency in 2012. Frankly, I think they could nominate Bozo the Clown and still beat Obama. What worries me is that they won’t nominate somebody who is serious about tackling the problems that we face, namely what Mitch Daniels termed the Red Menace. And I’ll tell you what, if the Republicans don’t take care of this problem in 2013, I’m not going Galt, but I am going Francisco. I’ll be voting Democrat from now on and working overtime to accelerate the looming bankruptcy so that we have a chance to learn our lessons and come out of it reformed on the other side as quickly as possible. I have zero desire to live through a 25 year or near permanent recession which is what will happen if we allow this to drag on out. I think we have at best a 50% chance of nominating a serious Republican in 2012. People like Dorothy Rabinowitz are doing everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen. They need to be purged.

 
 

Giuliani in 2012? Yes He Can!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Rudy Giuliani’s name pops up again:

Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose presidential campaign fizzled in 2008, is leaning toward another race for the White House, according to a close associate. New York Republican Rep. Peter King, who has known Giuliani for more than 40 years, says the former mayor “is very close to saying he’s going to run.”

“If he were to make the decision today, he would run,” says King.

Giuliani has two serious credentials going for him in running for president.

  1. He cleaned up New York City, including fiscally, battling an obstinate and hostile bureaucracy in the process.
  2. He fought financial corruption and crime head on as attorney general.

That’s pretty much where we stand with domestic issues today as well. Between Naked Short Selling and the general breach of fiduciary trust that most of Wall Street has been guilty of, there’s a real need for someone to take them on head-on, and not appoint yet another member of that cabal to the head of Treasury or the Attorney General’s office.

The other candidate who really appeals to me is Gary Johnson. His tax plan is most similar to my own, and he turned around the state of New Mexico, balancing the budget and vetoing over 400 spending bills, many from a Republican congress. But he’s not especially charismatic, and certainly isn’t being taken seriously by the powers that be. And the State of New Mexico is only about a quarter the size of the City of New York, so he doesn’t measure up to Giuliani in terms of the size of the problems he dealt with either.

I think Giuliani let his detractors get under his skin last time. They kept saying that he’d blow up, and that outside of New York City, people wouldn’t be able to handle his harshness or abrasiveness. So he did his beat Reagan impersonation and was all smiles and optimism. But that’s not Rudy, and it didn’t work all that well. I think people are angry now, and the real Rudy would tap into a vein that he could readily exploit.

Moreover, as this would be Rudy’s second time running, he would take away the “it’s his turn” mantle away from Romney. That mantle would now be in dispute. This greatly decreases the likelihood that Romney could cinch the nomination, something that would be a net positive in general, even if neither of them gets the nomination.

So i hope Rudy gets in. With Mitch Daniels gone, we need someone with a real record and who has an edge and is willing to act. As i said, I’d normally support Johnson at this point in the race, but if Rudy gets in, I think I may have to switch.