Thursday, June 21, 2007

Just who the hell is Mike Gravel?

I like the long shot candidates, and not even Dennis Kucinich is as long as a shot as Mike Gravel. Who is this... oddity, to put it nicely? Who's this guy that has the courage to say the Empress has no clothes, that the Democrats are marginally different than the Republicans on foreign policy? Mike is doing us all a service by pointing out that the Democrats are not anti-war, they're anti-Iraq.

We have Obomba, Hillary "Bombdham" Clinton and John Edwards, who doesn't get a nickname (honestly, how many times can a guy run for Vice President) because he's not going to win.

Gravel made it clear that while the Democratic front runners will get us out of Iraq, they'll get us into Iran. And as Wolf Blitzer showed us, they'll also possibly get us into Sudan. Won't that be wonderful? We can get out of the Iraq quagmire and right into the next two quagmires right after.

But still, other than a crazy, old guy that reveals uncomfortable truths for the Democrats, who is Mike Gravel and why does he deserve enough respect to be up on stage?

Well, he was once a possible VP pick in the 70's, but that's low on his qualifications. What Mike Gravel did was help get one of the most complete versions of the Pentagon Papers released to the media. He also launched himself into a one man filibuster against renewing the military draft in 1971, and managed to get Senate Republicans and President Nixon to agree.

Just remember that the next time you wonder who the angry senior is.


From Drug Policy Alliance

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ed Failor's Next Move?

So, Ed Failor is the man behind the move to exclude Ron Paul from the Iowan Presidential Forum, sponsored by Iowans for Tax Relief and the Iowa Christian Alliance. I listened to him talk with Kent Snyder and Jan Michelson on radio. Ed Failor clearly came across as a man who is under attack and desperate to reach a reasonable solution without appearing to cave into pressure.

That solution won't happen. If things continue the way they are there will be two possible results:
1. Ed is overwhelmed and caves in, losing the battle, but making Ron Paul supporters looks like a group of annoying kooks.
2. Ed puts up with a couple weeks of no phone or Internet use but keeps Ron Paul out,

That's a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. Let me tell you what Failor ought to do:

1. Invite Ron Paul as well as Gravel and Cox and a couple more that were excluded, that way you're not caving in specifically to Ron Paul.
2. Cut the crap. No one believes that your schedule is carved in diamond, stop using this excuse. If you can't fit in a couple more candidates, then your organization has bigger problems than Ron Paul. By the way, what would they have done, hypothetically, if all their invited candidates had come? By my count they sent out about 16 invitations and received about 7 confirmations.
3. Tell the Ron Paul supporters that they're hurting themselves. When they give these annoying calls to a person's home, it drives people away. Hell, it's probably true that the thing that's making Failor most reluctant is he doesn't want to look weak under pressure. Tell them that Ed. Tell them that they're making you reluctant to change.

The Anuzis Effect

In this day in age, there is one, obvious truth than seems to have escaped those in politics: Don't snub the grass roots candidate. Whatever his odds, whatever his politics, today's grass roots champion is Ron Paul. His support comes from an active and interested group of Americans, a group of people that can't help but fight every chance they get to promote the Ron Paul campaign.

So, it should be no surprise that when he is attacked, the attackers get an earful. The first example of this was Saul Anuzis. Saul is the chairman of the Republican Party in Michigan. Following the infamous second GOP debate, he wanted to start a petition to ban Ron Paul from future debates. Bad move. His office, blackberry and even home phone was stuffed with angry Ron Paul supporters. It got so bad that his office was forced to stop answering calls. Tens of thousands of people called to give Mr. Anuzis a piece of their minds.

A little off the point, but I'm not angry with Mr. Anuzis. I sincerely believe that he fell for Rudy's distortion, which was only worsened by the media's parroting. Oh sure, I don't think he agrees with Ron Paul on foreign policy, but few Republicans do right now. But I don't think Saul was targeting Ron Paul for his positions, but rather his perceived positions.

But back to the "Anuzis Effect". This is going to be an important part of politics for years to come. And it's going to continue to happen as long as the elites think they can manipulate the process. The people aren't standing for it anymore. We don't want the herd thinned out for us, that's what the actual votes are for.

But why isn't anyone learning? The same mistake Saul made is being done again, this time in Iowa. As I type this, I am sure that the Iowa Christian Alliance and Iowans for Tax Relief are getting their share of heat. And not just them, but the co-sponsors of the debate as well. Their phones are all ready so busy that the grass roots are seeking out more relevant people to call.

So, when does it end? Not until the campaign ends.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Articles from the Spoof
This is my article about where each of the eighteen current, anounced candidates stand on fiscal policy.
This is my article about Rudy Giuliani picking up a presidential endorsement from Death.

Ron Paul's Pitfalls: The Internal Dangers his Campaign Will Face

If you spend any more than twenty minutes a day using the Internet, and you're a political addict, you've probably heard of Ron Paul. While Al Gore invented the Internet, it is currently Ron Paul who rules it.

Ron Paul is an awesome candidate, if your most important issues are ending the war and fiscal conservatism. I'll vote for Paul in the general election if he makes it there.

Despite all his positives, he has some major hurdles to overcome, and they come from his campaign. Let's start with the obvious, shall we?

1. Name Recognition
2. Money
3. A Party of Pro-War Conservatives
4. A Kook-looking Following
5. A Cult-like Devotion that is Frightening

Name Recognition- People don't know who Ron Paul is. And sadly, few know him as anything other than the guy that Rudy Giuliani "destroyed" in the second debate. That incident will be hard for him to come back from. Yes, it got him more attention and more coverage and more chances to be on television. But to the casual news watcher, all they know is that Rudy "beat" him at the debate.

Money- News has recently come out from the Paul Campaign that they've raised a couple million dollars so far this quarter. That's great news, and it helps him rise above the other "second tier" people, but he's still not even close to Rudy McRomney in funds raised.

The Party- While a sizable majority of Americans want a withdrawal from Iraq, a larger majority of Republican primary voters support the war. If Paul wants to win, he has to prove to Republicans that he is right on Iraq. I only see the situation there detiorating in the next six months, so it could very well happen. Until GOP opinion sours though, he needs to make sure he has the anti-war Republicans monopolised without driving away all the pro-war Republicans forever.

The Kook-looking Following- Ron Paul has been associated with "truthers". Not much more needs to be said, this association will hurt him. While he has personally denounced their message, they continue to flock to him and attach their message to him, which will instantly and permanently turn off the typical voter. Advice: If you're going to talk/post about Ron Paul, I shouldn't be able to know whether or not you're a truther or not, I should only learn about Ron Paul. The truthers aren't the worst part, though. It's the white supremecists that, for some reason, like the guy. I don't get it either, since I have seen nothing from the candidate that would cause me to think "Oh yeah, he'll keep them darkies down! And then we can go get drunk on Jack Daniels and drive the General Lee to the NASCAR rally!" All I've seen from him is a willingness to get the Federal government out of our, and Iraqi's, lives.

A Cult-like following- Ron Paul supporters swarm like ants. I won't be surprised if I see their carbon-copy replies to this blog. They search every corner of the web, desperate to find anything about their Messiah 2008. They post testimonials, telling how Ron Paul has changed their life, about how he'll save the country, about how he brings salvation, kicks ass and takes names. It gets ridiculous. They aren't helping him by flooding the web. They need to do what the more enterprising and intelligent supporters are doing: meeting in real life. Get off the web comments sections and start campaigning in real life, because that's where the votes are.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Premier Post: Why Fred Thompson? The Reason Fred Thompson gets Attention.

Fred Thomspon is not in the race for the Republican Nomination for candidate for President of the United States. However, he continues to outpace most of the announced candidates, including some of the so called "first tier" candidates. So, how is it that a man who has done nothing but say "Maybe I'll get in, just wait" is outpacing all these guys that are collecting and spending millions of dollars? It's because the current field of Republican candidates is awful. Fred is not popular by his own virtue, it's just that a tough-talking actor is a lot more appealing than most of the announced Republicans. Let's run down the list of candidates to see why they're falling short:

Rudy Giuliani- By far my least favorite of the whole pack. He's pro-choice, he's a gun grabber, he has stifled freedom of speech several times in New York City (The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression has given him several "Muzzle Awards" for his actions) and his claim to fame is his proximity to the fall of the World Trade Centers. In a pre-9/11 America, Rudy would be no where near where he is right now in the race. On top of that, Rudy has more skeletons in his closet than policy positions. Prediction: His campaign will implode before the first primary election is held.

John McCain- Another one that's not much to look at. He's hawkish, but opposes torture, a no-no in a Republican party that is hell bent on making sure every last terrist suffers a gruesome end. I actually laud him for his stance on the Orwellian enhanced interrogation techniques that are favored by eight of his nine colleagues. What I don't like about him is his part in the McCain-Feingold Act. Campaign finance reform inevitably entrenches incumbents and actually lends the system to greater corruption. It's a strike against him for many conservatives and libertarians in the GOP. He's also lost most conservatives on the immigration deal.

Mitt Romney- A candidate that is unremarkable except for his faith and amount of money. Mitt Romney has flip-flopped more than John Kerry in a Pancake House. He was for abortion before he was against it. He wants to cut spending at the Federal level, after he increased the Massachusetts state budget as governor. This is a candidate that offers nothing to social or fiscal conservatives. All he offers is Reagan-esque hair and "optimism". Prediction: Romney will be on several short lists for Vice President, due to his image.

This rounds out the so called "top tier". It's incredibly weak. Prediction: Due to the current weakness of the top tier, by the time the New Hampshire primary arrives there will be a new top tier with three different candidates.

Now, onto the so called "second tier":

Mike Huckabee- I don't know a lot about him, but he comes across as a "compassionate conservative", which is no conservative at all, says I. After six years of Bush, and the largest increase in the size of government since the Great Society, I don't think the fiscal conservatives will tolerate him. Despite this, his style helps him immensely, and he courts the religious right better than any other candidate right now. Prediction: Mike Huckabee will be top tier by the New Hampshire Primary.

Tommy Thompson- The "other" Thompson, who so ineptly reminded us all during the June debate that he's not a popular, famous actor from Tennessee, but rather a Turkey-necked ex-governor of Wisconsin. He's been weak at most of the debates. He was terrible during the first one, failing to provide an adequate explanation for why employers should be allowed to fire gays (which is different than saying they should) for being gay. After the fall out, he blamed his response on his hearing aid and bladder. At the second debate, he gave us bureaucratic jargon when asked what three programs he would cut from the Federal budget. Not until his question about health care at the June debate did he appear at least adequate. Prediction: Tommy will be gone by the end of November 2007.

Jim Gilmore- Jim Gilmore's biggest problem is that he doesn't stand out from anyone else. More than any other candidate (Duncan Hunter is close) I can never remember anything about what he says. When I discuss the debates with friends, I want to say something about each candidate's performance, and I can never think of anything, positive or negative, to say about Gilmore. He's forgettable, he'll be forgotten.

Duncan Hunter- Very much the same as Jim Gilmore, but at least I can remember that he wants a double fence along the border, named after him of course. He also has a son, Duncan Jr., that is serving in Iraq. It's good to know he has a personal stake in the mess.

Sam Brownback- Just like Gilmore and Hunter, except that I can remember something bad about Brownback. His stance of partitioning Iraq into Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish states is awful. It's probably the second worst idea I've heard during the debates (the worst was that we should double Guantanamo in size), and it's bad for him that this is the main thing I remember about him. I don't know if voters realize how bad an idea this is, but it's enough for me to not want to vote for Sam. He also lacks the charisma to win the nomination. He's in the running for VP, but that will still be a tough, long campaign.

Tom Tancredo- Admirable for his strong stance against Bush, but it's not a winning strategy. His tough anti-immigration talk will gain him some attention, but only if the issue stays in the news. He'll be hurt by his positions in the end, he's just too extreme, even if he's closer to the base than McCain.

Ron Paul- My personal favorite, but he has a tough battle ahead. His Internet celebrity status will help, but his biggest problem is that most news coverage of the campaign is reporting the horse race, and telling the people what the "front runners" are doing day to day. He needs to run spots in New Hampshire and get his "scientific poll" numbers up if he wants the attention the current "top tier" has. Paul is the lonely anti-war candidate for the Republicans. This will not help him win over supporters of the war, no matter how fiscally conservative he is. His best hope is that Republicans will tire of the war in large numbers during the next six months. It does seem likely that opinion will only go down of the war. Paul faces numerous other problems, and I could spend an entire blog post talking about his campaign, but I'll just give you a few more thoughts. As the only anti-war candidate, he'll gain traction as Republican opinion of the war sours. Prediction: Ron Paul will be one of the "top tier" candidates come January.

This wraps up the "second tier". In my opinion, it's not as disappointing from a position stand point (it's much better), but it is far weaker in popularity of style and personality.

So, faced with a terrible "top tier" and a "second tier" laden with uncharismatic dolts (excluding Huckabee, who is charismatic, and Paul, who is not a dolt) it only seems natural that voters would be looking for someone else to enter the race. Fred's appeal isn't what he's done, or his positions. Fred's winning campaign slogan could be summed up: "I'm not Rudy McRomney." Prediction: Fred Thompson will be a "top tier" candidate in January.

By allowing rumors of his entrance into the race flourish, Fred has given himself a lot of name recognition, on top of the name recognition he has from being an actor. As Reason described him though, he's Bush with a deeper voice. He also supported McCain's Campaign Finance Reform. On a positions stand point, I'm not convinced he's worth my support. And I'm certainly not in favor of supporting a candidate who's position on Iraq is to do what the President is doing. It's one thing to say you'd finish the war, but claiming you'd do it just like the current President is ridiculous. While Fred might gain votes in the GOP with that talk, it's no way to court the millions of Americans that are sick of fighting the war all together.

Predictions Summary:
Rudy Giuliani's campaign will implode before the primaries begin
Romney will be considered seriously as a pick for Vice President
There will be a new "top tier" by January, with three different candidates in it.
The new "top tier" will be Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul and Fred Thompson
Tommy Thompson will drop out of the race before the end of November