Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The GOP debate - the candidates begin to run against Bush

The second time the cameras have caught Rudy and Romney arm in arm..could this be the `08 ticket?

Well I predicted it, and it appears that the same thing occurred to the GOP front runners as did to me - the road to victory is to run against a failed and unpopular incumbent and promise change, ala' Sarkozy in France.

At last night's GOP debate,(for a transcript, go here ) Rudy Giuliani once again came across as the front runner he is, and the clear winner according to most observers.

Once again, he proved that. along with Duncan Hunter, he has the best understanding of whom we're truly at war with than any of the candidates on either side:

"...the problem is that we see Iraq in a vacuum. Iraq should not be seen in a vacuum. Iraq is part of the overall terrorist war against the United States.

The problem the Democrats make is they're in denial. That's why you hear things like you heard in the debate the other night, that, you know, Iran really isn't dangerous; it's 10 years away from nuclear weapons.

Iran is not 10 years away from nuclear weapons. And the danger to us is not just missiles. The danger to us is a state like Iran handing nuclear weapons over to terrorists."

Even John McCain gets it to some extent, as seen by this exchange with CNN weasel-in -charge Wolf Blitzer:

"I am convinced that if we fail and we have to withdraw, they will follow us home. It will be a base for Al Qaida. And we will be facing greater challenges and greater sacrifices....And when Senator Clinton says this is Mr. Bush's war, that this is President Bush's war..what Senator Clinton doesn't understand that presidents don't lose wars. Political parties don't lose wars. Nations lose wars, and nations lose the -- have the consequences of failure.

BLITZER: Senator...

MCCAIN: We must succeed in this conflict.

BLITZER: ... the question was, if General Petraeus says...


... it's not working so far in September, what do you do then?

MCCAIN: Then you have to examine the options. {...}you withdraw to the borders and watch genocide take place inside Baghdad. You watch the destabilization of Jordan. You see further jeopardy of Israel because of the threats of Hezbollah and Iranian hegemony in the region.

All of the options I could run through with you. My friend, none of them are good. That's why we must succeed and give it a chance to succeed.

BLITZER: All right.

Immigration, of course was in the forefront of topics.

I absolutely loved Duncan Hunter's pithy comment on the fence he wants to build:"If they get across my fence, we sign them up for the Olympics immediately!"

John McCain was forced to admit that the current amnesty legislation `wasn't the bill I would have written' but was, in the end left sputtering ""For us to do nothing is silent and de facto amnesty."

He was hammered on by the rest of the fold. Or as Romney put it after the debate, "Senator McCain and I were able to distinguish ourselves on immigration in a way that will be lasting in people’s minds."

Giuliani also drew major applause when he referred to the proposed amnesty bill as business as usual in the nation's capital: "The problem with this immigration plan is it has no real unifying purpose. It's a typical Washington mess."

"The litmus test you should have for legislation is, is it going to make things better? And when you look at these compromises, it is quite possible it will make things worse. The organizing purpose should be that our immigration laws should allow us to identify everyone who is in this country that comes here from a foreign country.

They should have a tamper-proof I.D. card. It should be in a database that allows you to figure out who they are, why they're here, make sure they're not illegal immigrants coming here for a bad purpose, and then to be able to throw out the ones who are not in that database....On September 11th, when we tried to figure out who was in this country, it took weeks to figure out who were the right people and who weren't, because there isn't such a database. And that is a fatal flaw in this legislation. And wishing it away doesn't make it possible."

The other candidates piled on Bush as a matter of fact, they were even asked a lead in question about how they would employ Bush in their administrations.

"The president ran as a conservative and governed as a liberal," Tom Tancredo said. "That is what has really been the basis, I think, of the distrust that has developed among the Republican base. It's well founded." Tancredo also recalled that White House aide Karl Rove once told him, "Never darken the door of the White House." The congressman said he would tell Bush the same thing.

"We went to Washington to change Washington, and Washington changed us," said former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, once a member of Bush's Cabinet. "If we're going to spend money like as foolishly and as stupidly as the Democrats, the voters are going to vote for the professional spender — the Democrat — not the amateur spender — the Republican."

Probably the nicest thing said about Bush was by Thompson, whom, when asked how he would employ Bush in a future administration said "Well, I certainly wouldn't send him to the United Nations!"

Even John McCain joined in, when talking to Erin Flanagan, who lost her younger brother in Iraq in 2005. "I'm going to give you a little straight talk," McCain told her "This war was very badly mismanaged for a long time, and Americans have made great sacrifices, some of which were unnecessary because of this … mismanagement of this conflict."

That actually provided McCain with one of his few good moments in the debate...having the courage to look this distraught woman in the face, express his empathy and in a sense take accountability for her loss when that was clearly not his responsibility to assume. Certainly no one can ever accuse McCain of lacking courage.

The point of all this is, that what we are seeing is one of the chief attributes of leadership..the ability to analyze what went right, what's going wrong and to propose realistic policy changes tofix what's wrong, rather than simply dealing in platitudes and blame.

I'm cautiously optimistic.

As for President Bush, if this trend continues he may not even get into the building at the next GOP convention, let alone speak.


Anonymous said...

regarding thompson's comment:
why not send shrub to the UN?
he is an internationalist.
just like his daddy.

i especially like tom tancredo's comment by rove being made public.

as for shrub speaking at the convention, it would go a long way in recruiting the conservative base, but it won't happen. #41 & #43 will appear together and tell everyone that they and our eternal friends have made the world a safer place........for shrub to spend all that jizyah he's going to get come 21 jan 09.

Rosey said...

I have nightmares about Hillary actually winning.
I hope Rudy is it. He's the only one I have confidence in right now. You know, when he first took over as mayor of NY, there were these guys with squeegees that would rush over to your car as you came out of the tunnel. They would make your windshield dirtier and demand money. Everyone hated them, and many feared them. Rudy made them disappear. He started fighting crime from the squeegee guys. Now they are just a vague memory. He'll do the same to illegal immigrants and Al-Qaeda. Mark my words.