The Romney Predicament
If nothing else Mitt Romney is a man of firsts. Four years ago when he ran for President he became the first Mormon to make a serious run at the White House. His recent re-entry into the field for this go around has produced another, and far more unlikely one. For the first time in history we have a candidate who is simultaneously the front runner and a long shot. While his prior bid found voters faced with an assortment of unusual and unprecedented factors to consider, this run finds that list not only still in-tact, but even longer.
A look at his chances reveals a lot to like, but also a series of tough spots created for both the candidate and voters. In the following we will weigh each against the other, not so much as a comparison of pros and cons but more as a look at advantages verses disadvantages. This distinction is important because classifying in terms of pros and cons makes the presumption that the realities surrounding a candidate are good or bad. In some cases I would argue that such judgments are unsubstantiated, in others the opposite of conventional wisdom may be true, and in yet others certain considerations are neither, and frankly should not be a valid part of the debate. That being said, letâ€™s start by looking at what is certainly a strong list of his advantages.
First and foremost, he is a serious man and a realistic candidate. He has a background of leadership in both the private economic sector and in government, a mixture that puts him in a nearly ideal position. While his background outside of politics makes it hard to clearly paint him as a life-long politician and part of the current â€œWashingtonâ€ problem, his tenor as Governor suggests that he would not be overwhelmed if he wins the job. Another huge feather in his cap [ . . . ]
Itâ€™s About FreedomArthur Brooks, at The Wall Street Journal suggests that thereâ€™s a bit of a culture war going on about the future of capitalism. The headline suggests that â€œThe Real Culture War Is Over Capitalism â€œ
There is a major cultural schism developing in America. But itâ€™s not over abortion, same-sex marriage or home schooling, as important as these issues are. The new divide centers on free enterprise â€” the principle at the core of American culture.I dare suggest Brooks in this quote, has this exactly backward. Heâ€™s pointing at a symptom and labeling at the root cause. Not that I blame him, really. Itâ€™s been so long since weâ€™ve dealt with things on the level of principle that even the more learned among us get it garbled in translation. I agree with Arthur that this is a war that is cultural in its nature. However, the war over capitalism, as he calls it, is part of the war on culture because capitalism in its truest sense can only exist in a free society, which is a culturally generated condition. It is the product of a particular variety of culture thatâ€¦ (at least until recently)â€¦ we here in these United States have been blessed with. What I am suggesting is that the principle at the core of the American culture is in fact freedom, of which capitalism is a product. While it is true that there are a few places in the communist world, China for example, where capitalism raises its head in some form, it is diluted in the extreme. It is in fact, capitalism in name only. Alas in the view of many, a goodly number of which were out on the front lines of the tea party protests last month, that kind of weak as dishwater capitalism, capitalism in name only, is the [...]
Specter, Principles, And Trust (Rather, the Lack of Them)
To begin with, letâ€™s get a snip of this morningâ€™s op-ed up on National Review:
Arlen Specter belongs to a type familiar to Congress: the time-serving hack devoid of any principle save arrogance. He has spent three decades in the Senate but is associated with no great cause, no prescient warning, no landmark legislation. Yet he imagines that the Senate needs his wisdom and judgment for a sixth term. He joined the Republican party out of expediency in the 1960s, and leaves it out of expediency this week.Indeed. At the end of the day,what we have here is the second in a line of what will be many â€˜victimsâ€™ of what are now being called the Tea Party protests. The first, I think, was John McCain. Now, youâ€™re going to be hearing, over the next weeks and months between now and the mid-term elections, how the supposed GOP swing to the extreme right has cost the Republicans the 2008 election. These charges have come from such as Lindsay Graham and Ramesh Ponnuru, among others, and of course from staunch Democrats, who it would appear are simply pulling themselves up on any available handhold. Specter, in particular blames that factor on his leaving the party. But itâ€™s not so. In truth, the movement of the party for the time that Specter has been in office, has been to the leftâ€¦ The exceptionâ€¦ Reagan.. being their wildest success. That leftward march since Reagan has damaged the party, and the country and culminated in the GOP losses in 2008. The Tea Parties have been a [...]
Stevens GuiltyI am not surprised at the guilty verdict handed down against US Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) on seven counts of making false statements. And nor should anyone else. I stated earlier in the year that Alaskan Republicans needed to find another candidate, but they failed. It amazes me that people like Ted can imagine that they are not only above the law, but that in the midst of failure they should continue on with their struggle for power when they should be focusing on dealing with the issue at hand... planning a appeal. From The Hill:
The senator vowed to â€œfight this unjust verdict with every ounce of energy I haveâ€ and said he would return home to defend his seat.â€œI am innocent. This verdict is[...]