Backtracking With Apologies

thompson_main.jpg

Ok.  I lied.  A couple of months ago, I said on this very blog that I would endorse nobody in the GOP primary.  My intent was to maintain unity against the Hillary machine (though Obama seems primed).  I am, today, going to give my anti-climatic endorsement for the GOP primary.  This is primarily because of the “hot” candidate who seems to be the talk of the primaries – Mike Huckabee.  Though I will vote for Huckabee if he the GOP’s nominee, I believe he is not the best choice for the GOP.

I will officially cast my lot with former Senator Fred Thompson for the GOP nomination.  Among the current frontrunners, Fred is the only true conservative.  I will agree with Steve that Duncan Hunter is a more pure conservative than any.  I would vote for Hunter in a heartbeat, but Fred is best positioned when it comes to the primaries.  I have nothing but respect for Fred and his positions.  I disagree with his support of McCain-Feingold, but that is his only strike with me.

Fred has garnered the support of the National Right To Life Committee.  His support of socially and fiscally conservative positions as a Senator is impeccable.  He, along with John McCain, did not favor a Federal Marriage Amendment which would preclude myself and my partner, Patrick, from marrying if we so choose.  That won’t gain him many points with evangelicals, but many have chosen to overlook that in favor of his incredible conservative credentials.  This is a plus for me and a tribute to his staunch embrace of federalism.

Rush Limbaugh struck first, so I consider it fair game.  Mike Huckabee is not the best choice for our party.  His social views are acceptable.  But he is a fiscal populist.  I have been critical of President Bush for the same reasons.  The former GOP majority in Congress spent money like drunken sailors.  That is part of the reason that they are now a minority.  The secret that no one seems to address is that Bush enabled their addiction to spending.  I can’t deal with that.

Huckabee seems to have a similar affinity for this and has a record for embracing taxes.  His past statements on AIDS and other issues also makes him vulnerable to the press.  I am not sure that Huck has the ability to win over the voters in a general election.  As I said before, I am concentrated on seeing the GOP retain the White House in 2008.  And I will speak my mind to help that effort.  I do not believe that Huckabee will be the answer.  I may slap myself a year from now, but I feel that I need to speak up as we approach the primaries.

Giuliani and Romney would be good choices.  I am not here to sink them.  I would gladly support either.  But given my choice, I feel that Fred Thompson is head and shoulders above the rest.  Fred has been lackluster in his campaign, but he still has a shot.  I hope that GOP voters will take time to examine his record and determine, as I have, that Fred is the one true, viable conservative in this year’s race for the GOP presidential nomination.

Fed Up With Dr. James

Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, is using his perceived clout with Christian conservatives to submarine the presidential hopes of several GOP aspirants.  He has notably poo-poo’d Rudy Giuliani, and now he has Fred Thompson squarely in his site.  Dobson is notable for his proclamation in March that Thompson, baptized into the Church of Christ, was not a true Christian.  Dobson apparently has special access to the Book of Life and a direct line to God himself.

Now comes the news that Dobson, in a personal email, challenged Thompson’s conviction to conservative positions and his desire to run. 

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?” Dobson wrote.

“He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”

What Dobson fails to mention is that Fred Thompson believes that marriage, like abortion, is a matter that should be left to the discretion of the states.  A strong supporter of states’ rights, Fred firmly believes that, on many levels, the Federal government has overstepped its jurisdiction in matters that should be left to the states (read – the 10th Amendment to the Constitution).

Dobson and other Christian conservatives support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would bar gay marriage nationally. Thompson has said he would support a constitutional amendment that would prohibit states from imposing their gay marriage laws on other states, which falls well short of that.

Karen Hanretty, a spokeswoman for the Thompson campaign, said Wednesday in response to the Dobson e-mail: “Fred Thompson has a 100 percent pro-life voting record. He believes strongly in returning authority to the levels of government closest to families and communities, protecting states from intrusion by the federal government and activist judges.

I find it ironic that Dobson sees himself as a conservative when a true conservative is one who upholds the rights of states against the encroachment of an overbearing federal government.  Obviously, Dobson believes in that tenet only to the extent it doesn’t interfere with his agenda.  While I disagree with Thompson on his past support of McCain-Feingold, I have found Fred to be a solid conservative on most other positions near and dear to my heart.

I said it in March, and I’ll repeat my indictment against Dobson again.  Dr. James fancies himself a kingmaker in the GOP.  He wishes to have MoveOn.org-like power in order to affect GOP politics to his own benefit.  I often wonder how much of his rhetoric is based on principle and how much of it is based on his need to prop up his stature among his perceived power base.

This is not a slap at Christians (why would I slap my own personal beliefs?)  And, further, it is not a slap at evangelical Christians.  The evangelical movement is an integral part of the GOP’s base and underlying philosophy – the philosophy that embraces Judeo-Christian values.  This indictment is simply a reflection on James Dobson himself.  Dobson is to the evangelical movement what Jesse Jackson is to the civil rights movement – an outdated blowhard using his position for his own narcissitic purposes.

Again, I’ll call for Dr. Dobson to butt out if he has nothing constructive to add.  Large numbers of evangelicals and their leaders have already embraced Thompson, Giuliani and Romney based on their own principles and a lot of homework.  Dobson is merely an odd-man-out.  And I wish he would stay out.

A “Nudge” for Duncan Hunter…

hunter1.jpg 

In re-living the Texas straw poll earlier this week, a great article followed up.

In this same straw poll, is should be noted that John McCain won only eight votes out of 1,300.

“U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter of California won the poll, easily besting former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee and U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who had many supporters at the gathering but whose bring-the-troops-home message did not thrill the voters, who were delegates to past state or national GOP conventions.

Most candidates blew off the poll. But Hunter, a Vietnam veteran, stumped Texas leading into it and hammered his commitment to the Iraq war, his belief in fair trade and his advocacy for a fence on the Mexico border.”

I am a bit ticked off at Fox News for not making this a bigger story.  As I type this, they are discussing Fred Thompson.  I do like Fred, but Hunter appeals to me a bit more for the following reasons:

  • He built the fence beween San Diego and Mexico.
  • He’s a true Vietnam Veteran.
  • He is promising committment to completing the Iraq war the right way (victory!)
  • His son is in Iraq right now.
  • The people of Texas in a poll selected him over Fred Thompson.  Not to be a suck-up to Philip and Jennifer here, but I do not think there is a better representation of America’s heartland than Texas.
  • It was fun to watch Ron Paul stomped out by both Duncan and Fred.

One more thing to consider.  Fred Thompson is a Tennessee Senator.  What does that mean?  It means he had to be the minimum amount of conservative that he had to be to get elected there (a very red state).  Hunter on the other hand has won elections in the very blue land of San Diego consistently getting 70% of the registered Democratic vote as well as 60% of the hispanic vote.

By the way, he kept the support of hispanics after building the fence.  Which I think is a great representation of what hispanic-Americans REALLY think about illegal immigration.

We have about 120 days until the Iowa caucus.  I am begging you folks to at least check out all you can on Duncan Hunter.

Fred’s Finally In

After testing the waters for months, Former Tennessee Senator, Fred Thompson, finally dove into the 2008 race for the GOP Presidential Nomination.  It’s perhaps the worst-kept secret of this poltical season, but he finally made the announcement on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno – to be aired after I go to bed.

GOP opponents and some pundits believe that making the announcement in such a pop culture setting is demeaning – especially in light of tonight’s GOP debate (which many think he should have joined).  I’ll admit that I would have preferred to see him make the announcement on the steps of some building in his hometown of Lawrenceberg, TN, but I’m just glad he’s finally making it.  I’m also not sure that he would be wise to join the debate on the day of his announcement.  But that would bring up the question of his timing.  Oh well. Now, at least,  we can finally have a discussion about the GOP candidates with all parties involved.

FYI – a whole series of articles preceded his announcement in the press today.  Check them out (not all maybe flattering). The line-up is complete, and the race is on.

What Fred Thompson Must Do

Thompson Enters, Right Stage

Thompson’s To-Do List Looms

Thompson Joins Debate For 30 Secs

NOTE:  I am not endorsing anyone yet.  Really.

Saying It Like It Is

thompson_main1.jpg

David Broder of the Washington Post offers a glimpse of GOP presidential-candidate-maybe, Fred Thompson.  The things he says in the article are soundbytes.  But I sincerely hope they are true.  He likely won’t win a lot of friends on the left, but their cause is lost.  Fred’s challenge is not only to speak to the base, but also to the independent voters.

I’ll let you read the article.  See if you agree.  This short piece certainly isn’t enough to secure many votes, but it gives me hope that there maybe a strong GOP contender willing to walk-the-talk in 2008.

Thompson readily concedes that he does not know “where all those chips are going to fall” when he starts challenging members of various interest groups to look beyond their individual agendas and weigh the sacrifices that could ensure a better future for their children.

But these issues — national security and the fiscal crisis of an aging society with runaway heath-care costs — “are worth a portion of a man’s life. If I can’t get elected talking that way, I probably don’t deserve to be elected.”

Fred doesn’t have anything to lose as an ex-Congressman.  That may well be the best thing he has going for him.  I look forward to his possible entry into the GOP race.  Someone who appears as principled and unrestricted as Fred might breathe new life into a moribund Washington DC at last.

A True Presidential “Rock Star”

[googlevideo=http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8029495293276651129&hl=en] 

I know this video is two weeks old, but I have to point howI absolutely love a Republican candidate who isn’t afraid to insinuate “insanity” against liberals, especially against Michael Moore.  This is awesome!  It’s almost as great as Ann Coulter or Rush running for President. 

In addition, he truly does speak for Americans everywhere!

 I’d be severly disappointed if Fred apologizes.

Fred Thompson Officially In!

fredthompson.jpg

I remember months ago when Philip from Red State Gay emailed me asking me what I thought about Fred Thompson.  He was pretty excited about him. 

At first; I admit, I was skeptical.  But I’m now thrilled that this great American is officially running!

I forget, who was the last great Republican/Actor to run for President?

*****Updated*****

Correction:  He’s “officially” teasing us – not YET officially running.