Category Archives: Romney

Is a Democrat Win in ’08 the Best Outcome for the GOP?

As a life-long Republican, I have often sworn that I would never vote for a Democrat under any circumstances.  However, now I am starting to re-think that position.   You see, the GOP nominated (or is close to nominating) John McCain to be the party standard bearer, and it seems to me that a victory in ’08 for McCain would do more harm than good for the party. 

John McCain has been moving to the left ideologically since the 80’s.  Back in his early days with the Party, he was a consistent conservative, but today his is spotty at best.  So what does the party want?  A President from their party who will essentially push for the same legislation as Hillary Clinton; legislation that they will have to be grudgingly pass?  Or do they want a Democratic President pushing that same legislation and be able to fight it and defeat it and establish itself as the standard for conservative values, families, and capitolist economics?  I would submit that the latter is the best outcome.  

As I mentioned in a previous piece, when I look at what a McCain presidency would look like, I see more war, a bad economy, and a government that maintaines the current level of inefficiency and ineptitude.   It is not that I think McCain is a bad guy, has terrible ideas, or would even be a bad President, it is that McCain would be mediocre at best; he would be no better than previous no-name Presidents that we can’t remember like Franklin Pierce or Calvin Coolidge.   Well, I am no fan of mediocrity, let the Democrats produce mediocre Presidents like Carter and Clinton.  The GOP needs to stand excellence and only accept excellence, but like they did with Bob Dole, they have chosen to throw in the towel, to pick the “next” guy, instead of the best guy. 

Thus, I am convinced (as of now) that the best thing for the GOP is to have Hillary or Barack win in November as difficult as that may be to accept.  McCain will not excite anyone and will do nothing to build the Party, while a Hillary or Barack presidency will remind Republicans why they are Republican in the first place.   A Democrat in the White House will rile the base so much, that in 2012 the Republicans will (hopefully) be smart enough to nominate a the best person, not just the next guy on the block (although both of those could be the same person, Mitt Romney).   So as of now, I say full speed ahead for the Democrats, I will not cast a vote for you in November, but that does not mean I will cast a vote for McCain either. 

So you McCainiacs or even just Conservatives and Republicans who vehemently disagree with me have a lot of convincing to do between now and November; get crackin.  And let your boy McCain know that Huckabee is a deal breaker as a running mate.  I want Huck nowhere near the White House.   If he is on the ticket, I may well end up actually casting my vote for the Democrat. 

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Barack Obama, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney

Mitt’s Out, What now?

What a fun and exciting Presidential campaign this has been.  The GOP had a solid group of strong candidates running for the nomination this year. For me Mitt Romney was the best candidate for President in a long time, he just wasn’t able to pull it through.  When I started this blog I did not intend it to be as Mitt and election heavy as it ended up being.  Now that Mitt is out I have two questions that need to be answered: Where does Mitt go from here?  Where does this blog from here.

Well, the first question is the more difficult one.  Mitt is going to stay involved in politics in some way or another and I ultimately think that he will run again in 2012 if a Democrat wins the Presidency.  Between now and then I could see Mitt becoming head of the RNC or going to work for a conservative think tank.  But most importantly, he will devote a lot of time to his family.  Undoubtedly, he missed a lot with them over the last year and a half, he will want to make that up. 

So where does Dry Fly go.  Well, we are going back to the original idea for this site in the first place, with a few modifications.  One thing I learned working on this blog was that people don’t care about non-U.S. issues, not one bit.  However, that is where my passion lies, I love international affairs and politics, so I am going to write about issues of great importance or that are just interesting that are international in nature.  Also, I am going to follow closely the Presidential race, but I am not endorsing a candidate yet.  Obviously, I lean towards McCain, but he has a lot of convincing to do and some will depend on his running mate (it better not be Huckabee!).   Finally, we will write about general U.S. political issues.   The hope is that it will continue to be a place where those of you who check it out regularly will continue to come and also that we will provide interesting writing on a variety of subjects.  To this end, I am looking for 2-4 more people who would be interested in blogging here.  If you are interested in what it entails, email me at dryflypolitics@gmail.com and send along a writing sample.

One more thing, we will keep you up to date on Mitt and his doings, especially if he stays involved in politics.  Personally, I am praying that he runs in 2012. (By the way, you don’t need to be a Mitt fan to blog here. I am taking down the Mitt banner next week, I am keeping it up through the weekend as my own personal tribute).

3 Comments

Filed under Election 2008, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Religion, Republicans, Romney

Mitt and Fred Up; Impact on Iowa

Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson were the two obvious winners in the Iowa debate yesterday.  Mitt wins because he had the best answers, was specific, showed Presidential attributes, and differentiated himself from the rest of the competitors.

Fox News Focus Group: Mitt Wins

Fred won because he had solid answers and had the most memorable lines and moments of the debate.  His refusal to raise his hand and not answer the global warming question was priceless.  It will probably help him with the voter too.

Fred’s Memorable Moment:

The rest of the candidates were largely forgettable.   McCain started out well, but as the debate wore on he seemed annoyed or, perhaps, somber.  Every answer showed his age and he talked with a soft and almost reflective manner, that normally wouldn’t bother me, but this is about 4 straight debates he has been like this; it gets old.  Additionally, he has become a one-issue candidate.  What immigration is to Tancredo, Iraq/Vietnam is to McCain.  One issue candidates don’t win.  The one positive, he didn’t say “let me give you some straight talk”.  I hate that.

With the exception of Huckabee, there is not much to say about any other candidate.  Rudy needed a big day to stem his plummeting numbers, but he didn’t.  Alan Keyes and Ron Paul were made for each other, how about a Paul/Keyes run on the Libertarian ticket; that would be hilarious.

Huckabee had the most pressure as the new Iowa front runner.  He folded like a cheap tent.  It wasn’t that he said anything wrong or detrimental, but he wasn’t himself.  I really think that he went into intent on not cracking jokes and limiting his witty statements; I think he wanted to come across as Presidential.  It didn’t work for him. 

What baffled me though, were the “so-called” experts on the MSM (Fox and CNN).  Many of them said that Huck won by default because none of the other candidates challenged him and he had no tough questions.  They argued that his style today won’t be a negative because most people weren’t watching.  I disagree.  While most of America wasn’t watching, Iowans were.  That is most important.  I really think this debate, coupled with the negative news of late will pull Huckabee back to the pack.  The one-night stand is over.

So in the unlikely event that I am right about Huck, what happens in Iowa.  Well I think two things will occur.  First, I think Mitt will get his mojo back and win the state.  Huck will finish a close second.  However, both Mitt and Huck need to check the rear-view mirror for Fred Thompson.  It looks like Iowa is Fred’s Alamo. He is putting all of his effort there and had a successful debate.  We saw how fast Huck caught fire, if Huck quickly flames out that support could quickly switch Fred and put him in the race. 

However, timing is a tough thing.  The Christmas holiday will likely hamper any major movement in the campaigns, leaving just one week to boom.  Additionally, what kind of ground game does Fred have in Iowa?  Not much of one.  Nevertheless, I think this new push will give him a solid 3rd place finish, with Rudy being a distant 4th.

All in all, things are starting to shape up nicely for Mitt.  He has received a bump nationally from “the Speech”, had a great debate, and pulled within 5 points of Huck in the latest Iowa poll.  A lot have said, and I agree, that if Mitt wins Iowa, he will then win New Hampshire in a landslide, and will then win the nomination.  It will be fun to watch, no matter what happens.

8 Comments

Filed under Conservative, Democracy, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Iowa, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, New Hampshire, People, Politics, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, South Carolina

Pre-Speech Excerpts from “Faith In America”

The Romney campaign released the following excerpts this morning to wet our whistles in preparation for Mitt’s anticipated religion speech this morning.  (Note:  the speech is at 1030 EST, it should be streamed live on mittromney.com if you want to listen to it.)

“There are some who may feel that religion is not a matter to be seriously considered in the context of the weighty threats that face us.  If so, they are at odds with the nation’s founders, for they, when our nation faced its greatest peril, sought the blessings of the Creator.  And further, they discovered the essential connection between the survival of a free land and the protection of religious freedom.  In John Adam’s words: ‘We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion… Our constitution was made for a moral and religious people.'”

“Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom. Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God.  Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.”

Focusing on the founding of our country is an extremely smart path to take.  If there is one things conservatives and most Americans are passionate about, it is the Constitution and our nation’s founding; what better authority to quote than John Adams!  

 Also, it is also wise to stress that religion is an essential component to America and freedom.  This may, however, be a bit risky when facing a Democrat in the general.  Could it be used against him?

“When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God.  If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest.  A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States.”

Obviously addressing the concerns regarding Mormonism. This is his Kennedyesque statement, so to speak.

“It is important to recognize that while differences in theology exist between the churches in America, we share a common creed of moral convictions.  And where the affairs of our nation are concerned, it’s usually a sound rule to focus on the latter – on the great moral principles that urge us all on a common course.  Whether it was the cause of abolition, or civil rights, or the right to life itself, no movement of conscience can succeed in America that cannot speak to the convictions of religious people.We separate church and state affairs in this country, and for good reason. No religion should dictate to the state nor should the state interfere with the free practice of religion. But in recent years, the notion of the separation of church and state has been taken by some well beyond its original meaning.  They seek to remove from the public domain any acknowledgment of God.  Religion is seen as merely a private affair with no place in public life.  It is as if they are intent on establishing a new religion in America – the religion of secularism. They are wrong.“The founders proscribed the establishment of a state religion, but they did not countenance the elimination of religion from the public square. We are a nation ‘Under God’ and in God, we do indeed trust. “We should acknowledge the Creator as did the founders – in ceremony and word.  He should remain on our currency, in our pledge, in the teaching of our history, and during the holiday season, nativity scenes and menorahs should be welcome in our public places.  Our greatness would not long endure without judges who respect the foundation of faith upon which our constitution rests.  I will take care to separate the affairs of government from any religion, but I will not separate us from ‘the God who gave us liberty.'”

A couple of thoughts from these quotes.  First, Mitt is being very careful here to not equate Mormonism with Christianity; this is smart, as many evangelicals would be quite upset if he were to equate them.  He then wisely builds from that into the moral standards that religious community shares. 

Diving into the constitution and the interpretation of ‘separation of church and state’ is risky water in the general election. However, for the GOP he nailed it.  He is being very shrewd by talking about the removal of God from our public sphere.  If there is anytime of year that this will resonate, it is Christmas time.  Every year controversies about Christmas trees or even saying “Merry Christmas” stir up the passions of conservatives like me.  This should prove to be an emotional string that he can use to build support. 

“These American values, this great moral heritage, is shared and lived in my religion as it is in yours.  I was taught in my home to honor God and love my neighbor.  I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.  I saw my parents provide compassionate care to others, in personal ways to people nearby, and in just as consequential ways in leading national volunteer movements.”

Wow, tieing in race.  I think this is an obvious semi-preemptive defense regarding race and Mormonism.  However, bringing this up may just create more questions and controversy for him to deal with.

“My faith is grounded on these truths.  You can witness them in Ann and my marriage and in our family.  We are a long way from perfect and we have surely stumbled along the way, but our aspirations, our values, are the self -same as those from the other faiths that stand upon this common foundation. And these convictions will indeed inform my presidency.”

His family is one of his greatest strengths in this race.  Highliting them and the way that they have consistently lived their faith should prove valuable.  He is also stressing the similarities between the values and morals of Mormonism and the rest of Christianity.

“The diversity of our cultural expression, and the vibrancy of our religious dialogue, has kept America in the forefront of civilized nations even as others regard religious freedom as something to be destroyed.


“In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this:  Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion – rather, we welcome our nation’s symphony of faith.”

Optimism, the word that is resonating from all of this.  He is using national pride and the core principles of the conservative movement as the tools from which to base this speech.  From the excerpts here, it looks like he will knock it out of the park. 

However an important factor is how it is delivered.  If he can avoid looking fake and scripted, but instead look genuine and heartfelt, it will go over well.  If not, it will not matter what he says.

It will also be interesting to see what kind of coverage this gets from the media.  Is it highly or sparcely covered?  Is that coverage positive or negative?  The post-speech spin will likely be more important than the speech itself.  Look for supporters of all the candidates (including Mitt) to be actively supporting or criticizing the speech for the next couple of days. 

Well, I know that I am biased. I am reading these excerpts as both a Mormon and Mitt supporter.  I am very interested in what all of you think about them.  Leave comments below!

4 Comments

Filed under Bible, Book of Mormon, Candidates, Christian, Christianity, Democracy, Democrats, Doctrine, Election 2008, Family, History, Liberal, Liberalism, Media, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Religion, Republicans, Romney

“Sure-Rudys”: Corruption and Rudy Giuliani

The more that I read and learn about Rudy Giuliani’s history, especially as it relates to the Bernard Kerik scandal, the more convinced I am that he is unfit for the Presidency. Not only that, but his Presidency could potentially do irreparable damage to the Republican party. His liberal social stances (which don’t trouble me as much as they do most conservatives), the likelyhood of an extremely harsh foreign policy, and his continued ability to be drawn into scandal after scandal are a recipe for disaster for the GOP and America.

Yesterday, Time published an article by Michael Duffy titled, Rudy Giuliani’s Kerik Problem. This is more than a problem, it is a train wreck. Here are some troubling passages from the piece:

The promotion would make Kerik the No. 2 man at the agency overseeing the city’s prisons and lockups. Kerik balked, worried about his qualifications, but Giuliani insisted. “Just do this,” the mayor said. “Do what I’m telling you.” Relenting, Kerik agreed, but as he tells the story in his autobiography, what happened next was a little creepy. “In this dark sitting room, one by one, the mayor’s closest staff members came forward and kissed me. I know the mayor is as big a fan of The Godfather as I am and I wonder if he noticed how much becoming part of his team resembled becoming part of a Mafia family. I was being made. I was now a part of the Giuliani family, getting the endorsement of the other family members, the other capos.”

Obviously the most troubling aspect of the precedeing paragraph was the staff members being brought into kiss Kerik. It continues:

The call was the most important Giuliani had to make. And so the choice of Kerik and the relationship between the two men raise legitimate questions about how Giuliani would perform as commander in chief: Does he choose his team members for their competence or for their obedience? Does he prize loyalty at the expense of ethics? Or does he now see in his relationship with Kerik clear lessons about how he rewarded and promoted those around him?

Loyalty isn’t just any virtue for Giuliani; in his memoirs he called it “the vital virtue.” That’s an interesting plug from a man who has been married three times and informed one of his ex-wives that their marriage was over at a press conference. Loyalty, an attractive virtue in friendship, is an alarming one in politics, when faithful cronies are promoted in public service simply because they show fealty to the boss.

This is what is most troubling. While loyalty is important, it is not everything. There are times when circumstances dictate that loyalties be split in order to do the right thing. It appears that Giuliani lacks this ability.

Additionally, this is the exact problem that President Bush has had, and it has cost him and the country dearly. What I see from Giuliani is essentially a less level-headed and quicker to the trigger Bush. I think he will simply be a more hard-core extension of the Bush presidency, and that would be terrible. (Note: I think Pres. Bush has done a good job as President and I do support him, however, I also think that it would be healthy for the country to have a change of pace, hence why I like Mitt).

Giuliani also has a problem of being able to give credit where credit is due and, like Bush, listening to dissenting opinons. Essentially, Rudy surrounds him self with “yes-men” who will tell him what he wants to hear.

Giuliani has never been famous for tolerating dissent or sharing credit. His assistants in the U.S. Attorney’s office had a tart nickname for the people Giuliani often promoted: they were called “the Sure-Rudys,” guys who would echo the boss’s instincts and decisions no matter their wisdom — as in “Sure, Rudy.” The Sure-Rudys weren’t very smart, a former assistant said, but they would reliably tell Giuliani he was right.

I don’t think I need to tell you how this would be detrimental in the White House. We already saw some of this in 2003 regarding WMDs. At least now we have Petraeus, Gates, and Mukasey; all of whom seem to not be afraid to say what they think. Conversely, expect a Giuliani administration to be full of incompetent “Sure-Rudys”.

Finally, there are indications that Giuliani was aware of or at least was suspicious of Kerik’s antics all along:

There is some evidence that Giuliani had at least a hint of his top cop’s darker connections. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the man who oversaw the vetting of Kerik to be police commissioner in 2000 was aware of Kerik’s ties to Interstate Industrial. According to his notes, the investigator, Edward Kuriansky, briefed both Giuliani and his chief counsel on the matter. Giuliani told a state grand jury last year that while he recalled Kuriansky’s briefing, he had no recollection of hearing about Kerik’s relationship with the firm or its principals.

What I see in all of this is the makings of an extremely corrupt Presidency. One which would prove to be disasterous for America and worse for the GOP. The GOP, of all groups, should be shunning corruption in all its forms considering its recent history.

If the final race ended up being between Clinton and Giuliani, we will have a choice between two people with very scary and shady backgrounds and the makings for guaranteed corruption in the White House. So how do I vote in that circumstance? Probably 3rd party while hoping Hillary wins. Why? Because she will be beatable in 2012, and her replacement will hopefully be one of good conservative credentials that I can be proud of. If Giuliani wins, he will not win a second term and we will be guaranteed a Democratic president in 2012. That’s not what I want. I would rather suffer through 4 years of Clinton than through 12 years of corruption and socialist policies. There are enough great candidates running for President on the GOP side, why choose the one with the most baggage and penchant for mafia-style leadership? I, for one, am backing Romney, but McCain, Thompson (though a disaster in his own right), and Huckabee also have the ability to be good Presidents without destroying the country and the party. Think about it.

5 Comments

Filed under Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Politics, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Uncategorized

Could Pat Robertson have clean hands and a pure heart afterall?

A well known comic and lesser known blogger, Scott Adams, coined a term (as far as I know) that I’ve adopted as it fits perfectly in the way I live my life. It’s called the sniff test. Basically, if something smells a certain way it more than likely is in fact that thing you’re smelling. In the case of Robertson’s endorsement, I think I’ll apply the sniff test:

Question: Is there any shred of evidence that Pat Robertson’s endorsement of Giuliani is of pure motive?

That’s a personal question I’ve been struggling with since I first read the news. I know a little bit about how Pat has spoken about the LDS faith historically, I know that there are plenty of ignorant people that buy into the palaver of websites like carm.org, I know that it’s very possible that Robertson is taking the enemy of my enemy is my friend approach. At least it smells that way, further investigation is needed.

What better place to start than Pat Robertson’s website to see what he really stands for as a religious leader. Deep down, does he personally believe that abortion is wrong all the time, most of the time with certain exceptions, or is it acceptable all the time? Does he believe that our 2nd Amendment should be a right that is earned rather than one that is lost? Does he believe that marriage should be a bond between man and woman, or are there acceptable alternatives? To my dismay I couldn’t find any content regarding these topics, so I’m left wondering what his personal stances on those topics really are.

So, assuming that his personal views on those topics are congruent to Giuliani’s, then an endorsement would be applicable. However, doesn’t it seem that he’d have to be conservative on those topics to consider himself an evangelical leader? Logic dictates that personally, he’d be a staunch conservative on those topics, and would be pushing for the conservative candidates (Romney, or anyone else for that matter). Potential, compromise number one; endorse a candidate he agrees with personally, but not religiously, or endorse a candidate that doesn’t appear to have any shot at actually winning, or the third option is endorse one of the front runners with whom you may disagree with on some topics, but overall the good outweigh the bad OR there’s something else.

Here’s the conspiracy that I call “SOMETHING ELSE”:

Reading his website again I started to read his biography, after perusing a short time I got two distinct impressions. One, I believe that he believes that politics is the next step for him. I believe, that he believes that he’s the man for the presidential position not these other guys. Two, I get the impression that as an evangelical leader he’s not a spiritual conservative. He’s a pragmatist. His teachings are about common sense (his teachings actually match up to the counsel given by the leaders of the LDS church, which he calls a cult). I also found this snippet that piqued my interest, “I’m an entrepreneur at heart…..”

That to me says that he sees himself as a business man first, and spiritual leader second. He would never publicly say it in those terms, but you get the idea. That’s why all of his books, teachings, etc, are all pragmatic. That’s what sells, leave the extreme viewpoints to Micheal Savage and the terrorists. Toe the middle of the road and people will support you, both vocally and financially; the perfect setup for a businessman.

Why do I bring this up? I (RationalZen) personally believe there are ulterior motives at play. They are of either a financial nature, Giuliani gave him the offer he couldn’t refuse for his endorsement (much like the other party candidates do with the unions), or they relate to his own political aspirations. Perhaps he wants to divide the Republican party, so in 5 years when Hillary has polarized the country he can be the pragmatist that saves America as the next great candidate.

I don’t think that Robertson is a bad guy, I don’t know him from Adam, nor do I know what’s in his heart (God looketh upon the heart). I respect him as a businessman, not necessarily as a spiritual giant, but for me something just doesn’t smell right with what he’s doing in this presidential primary race. If he is trying to position himself to fulfill his political aspirations, I fully support that notion. If you’ve got a goal, than do what it takes to accomplish it. I would congratulate him for that notion, rather than castigate, it may appear as a wolf in sheep’s clothing but that’s probably not the first time he’s been labeled that In this situation I’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but the more I analyze the scenario the more I believe that this endorsement stinks for both Giuliani and Romney. He’s too bright of a guy to not understand what ripple effect this endorsement might have, something is fishy and time will have to tell what he really is after.

Rational Zen (part-time contributor)

6 Comments

Filed under Candidates, Christian, Christianity, Conservative, Election 2008, Family, LDS, Mitt Romney, Politics, Religion, Romney, Rudy Giuliani

Robertson Endorses Giuliani, Why?… Mormonism

This morning it was announced that Pat Robertson is endorsing Rudy Giuliani for President. This could turn out to be the biggest and most costliest compromise of his career.  Pat Robertson has been a giant among dwarves in the evangelical movement.  He has been a vocal leader in the movement against Abortion, Gay Marriage, etc.   Now he has compromised all of that to support Rudy Giuliani, an unapologetically pro-Choice candidate.  Why did he do it?  One word, Mormonism.

In all reality one may consider Mr. Robertson to be between a rock and a hard place.  Like many other political observers, he likely viewed the GOP race to come down to either Giuliani or Mitt Romney.  Not exactly the ideal situation for an evangelical leader.

So Robertson had a choice.  He could support the one GOP candidate that furthest from his moral and political views or he could support the candidate who espouses his same views more than any other candidate but belongs to a religion he loathes, believes is a cult, and believes is a threat both spiritually and financially to him and his constituents.

He chose the former.  He chose to risk losing all credibility and being pushed to the fringes of the “moral majority” wing of the American electorate, all for fear of legitimizing a religion different from his own.  How disappointing.  Does he not know that despite doctrinal differences and misunderstandings, the LDS Church is among the biggest proponents of strong families, and pro-life and pro-marriage causes.   But that is not enough, Mr. Robertson could not allow a Church that he fears to potentially have the boost it would by Mitt Romney being elected as President.   So he chose to become a hypocrit and compromise all that he stood for.  He would have been better off endorsing a candidate that couldn’t win, aka Huckabee or Thompson or by not endorsing at all.

34 Comments

Filed under Christian, Christianity, Conservative, Democracy, Election 2008, LDS, Mike Huckabee, Military, Mitt Romney, Mormon, Mormonism, Politics, Religion, Republicans, Romney, Rudy Giuliani