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First GOP Shindig of the 2016 Election Season

Did anyone even know about the Iowa Freedom Summit? I didn’t, but it was essentially the launch of the 2016 election season for the GOP presidential hopefuls. Jim Geraghty has a pretty good assessment of the event, including assessments of the candidates. I only had time yesterday to tune in to two speeches on YouTube. I watched Scott Walker’s performance, because I was interested to see how he did. Walker has a touch of midwestern boring, but it was a solid speech. I like Walker’s record, but I’m concerned he might not be fiery enough on the stump to really connect with voters. The other was Chris Christie, who also delivered a pretty solid performance, but I agree with Geraghty that in a GOP primary he’s a second tier candidate:

If Bush and Romney are both in, you have to wonder how many big donors stick by him. He did better in his Iowa appearance than some might have expected, and he’s undoubtedly going to be a dominant figure in the debates. But he’s positioned himself in opposition to the rest of the party way too often, and you can’t win the GOP nomination from the Jon Huntsman slot, as the Republican nominee most acceptable to the Acela class that can’t stand Republicans.

Christie has strong political talents, but I think the compromises he’s had to make in a deep blue state controlled very decisively by the Democratic Party in every other aspect, is probably going to be too much for GOP voters anywhere other than the Northeast.

I want to like Rand Paul, but the unfortunate thing about Rand is that he shares something in common with Jack Kennedy; the biggest concern many people have is his father. I can accept that Rand is his own man, but I am very wary that he’s going to bring along the same baggage with him. If he can show he’s bringing along a different coalition, I might be open to him, but I’m not if he’s using his dad’s political apparatus. I also I’m not too keen with Tsar Vlad trotting around Eastern Europe in “quasi-isolationist non-interventionism,” as Geraghty puts it. I think after two more years of smart diplomacy, the next President is going to be in a real foreign-policy pickle.

On guns, any of these guys would be better than Obama, or Hillary, or Elizabeth Warren. I know, I know, “but… Carson,” “but… Christie,” “but… Mitt.” Yeah, we know the problems with those candidates, but the most important thing we need out of the next President are Supreme Court justices who are solid on the Second Amendment. Any Republican President is going to be expected to choose from the party’s short list. See the Harriet Miers nomination to understand what happens when Presidents don’t go that way. You’re not going to see any Republican President promoting an Obama nominee to the high court, or a liberal law professor. The only time this goes sideways is when the other party controls the Senate. By the reverse token, even if Jim Webb ends up winning in 2016, there’s little chance you’re getting a pro-2A justice out of him, no matter how much he might “support the Second Amendment” otherwise. The party divide on this issue has unfortunately become that strong.

19 Responses to “First GOP Shindig of the 2016 Election Season”

  1. Patrick H says:

    I think after two more years of smart diplomacy, the next President is going to be in a real foreign-policy pickle.

    Only if they continue to ignore the Founders warnings. Nothing wrong with Paul’s foreign policy- stay out of other people’s affairs, and just protect our coasts and our country. Look what all the meddling has got us- less free and less safe. Let the terrorists blow up other countries, and not give them anything else to blame on us.

    Its sad that people will pin his fathers’ baggage on him (which is people doing the liberal thing and using name calling as their argument), because Rand would be a great candidate. I’m torn however, because I’d rather keep him in the Senate. Same with Cruz.

    I could definitely get behind a Walker candidacy too. The others? Meh. I’d rather a Democrat. I think letting Obama win was actually the best policy- because it totally destroyed him and the Dems policies (as least for a while).

    • Sebastian says:

      Even Thomas Jefferson got us into foreign entanglements. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a world where we can just ignore problems overseas. Not when it only takes 30 minutes to deliver city-destroying military power to our shores from halfway across the world.

      • eric says:

        Even when it took 30 mins to destroy the world we survived it with MAD and good policy. You know Pakistan has nukes and supports the Taliban, why arent we invading them? A host of other states take similar actions, however we arent invading them.

        • Sebastian says:

          Even with MAD between two countries, both of which didn’t really want to push the button, we still came very close at least twice. Imagine MAD with several dozen actors instead of just two, and with some of those actors not really caring much whether they die in the promotion of their religion through conquest.

      • eric says:

        bullshit, several states can make due without a massive police state and MIC. EX Switzerland

        • Sebastian says:

          Switzerland, to a large degree, can piggyback off the defense budgets of other countries. If we disappear from the world, expect a lot more countries to develop nuclear weapons. Expect the world to become a much more dangerous place.

    • eric says:

      THIS ^^^ thouands of lives lost in Iraq and Afgan. Trillons spent and what do we have to show for it? What was the ROI?

  2. eric says:

    why the hate for Rand? Why this obsession with TEAM AMERICA global police? Is this what we really want and need? Big MIC is big government. Why should American tax dollars subsidize European defense?

  3. RAH says:

    The problem with Ron is that he always blames America when another state actor attacks us. That is is what we will not stand for. Rand is better but still seems to accept that logic. Personally I like being the feared big bad America. If we don’t take care of these evil countries and actors: ISIS, AQ , Boko Harum then they will come after us. Far as I am we could just nuke them till they glow. It is kill or be killed.

    Why do we subsidize Europe?. Simple it is WWI and WWII . WE tried isolation and got burned.

    I knew about the Iowa Freedom ahead of time. This was a big deal among conservative.

    As to gun rights . The Democrats have always been the party of people control and just do not want people to have the ability to have guns to fight the government or fight the criminals. They want a scared and docile populace. It has been that way since 1970.

    Any one who thought to trust a Democrat on guns is foolish. There are some good Democrats but not many. Reid was good and see how he was willing to stab us.

    • asdf says:

      RAH: “The problem with Ron is that he always blames America when another state actor attacks us. ”

      Jim Goad sums up your point of view perfectly:

      “Beware the moralistic nimrods who can’t tell the difference between explaining something and trying to justify it.”

    • Alpheus says:

      Actually, I consider WWI and WWII as examples where interventionism is what burned us. Even with the Lucitania and the Zimmerman telegram, we didn’t need to go overseas to fight: we could have just beefed up our army, and then announce to Germany and Mexico that they could invade us if they wanted to, but expect to be hard hit if they did so.

      And our ineffectiveness in preventing the Treaty of Versailles being nothing more than a whip for Germany is one of the leading factors that gave us WWII.

      Having said that, I cannot find fault in our participation of WWII, to the extent that we contributed to its cause in the first place.

      Now, having said all this, I would dearly like to pull out of the world, but I don’t know how to do it without completely destabilizing the world. (Beyond announcing to the world at day one that we will be pulling out our military in four years, and we will be providing citizen militia training–and training for training as well–for as many citizens around the world who would be interested in such things, and would strongly encourage governments to allow these citizens to acquire rifles for the defense of their countries….)

      • Sebastian says:

        I think there are good arguments that we never should have gotten involved in World War I. In WWII we were attacked, though we were hardly behaving as a true neutral when that happened. But even if we had, we probably would have gotten involved in WWII anyway, because the Japanese has designs on our pacific territories.

        • Alpheus says:

          The phrase you used, “though we were hardly behaving as a true neutral when that happened”, has just helped me understand, a little better, a borderline conspiracy theory that I’ve been unable to internalize. There’s a historian somewhere who uncovered documentation that showed how the FDR administration determined what they could do to push Japan into attacking us; they decided on seven things, and did them all…and we then got attacked at Pearl Harbor.

          This was apparently done in an effort to rally and unite the American people, to convince them to join the conflict.

          This is something that I don’t want to bring up in general, because (1) I’m not sure if avoiding those seven things would have been enough to keep Japan from attacking us (I can’t even recall at the moment what those seven things are, off the top of my head–and this is certainly a topic that requires deep study to fully understand it, something I haven’t yet done), and (2) I’m a little afraid of being labelled a conspiracy kook for bringing it up. But that phrase helps put things into perspective: we weren’t exactly acting neutrally at the time with the Germans, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we weren’t acting neutrally with the Japanese, either.

          • Sebastian says:

            It’s not really a conspiracy. The Japanese attacked us over sanctions that were imposed on them because of their invasions of countries in East Asia. But they had designs on our pacific territories anyway. Once they felt provoked, they attacked. They probably would have done so at some point anyway.

            Even so, Roosevelt was actively trying to provoke the Germans into declaring war in 1941, so it’s not really any secret Roosevelt wanted to get the US involved in the war. Really, the scale and scope of WWII was such that there was probably no way we wouldn’t have ended up involved in it even if we hadn’t provoked the Axis.

  4. Whetherman says:

    I read Jim Geraghty’s assessments and not once did I encounter the word “Christian.” Which proves, I think, that “stealth” is still alive and well and living in Republican candidate assessments. The closest thing to it was “social conservative.”

    Which means another season of being promised the moon, with the certainty of nothing much being delivered except impediments to abortions.

  5. Joe_in_Pitt says:

    This GWOT vet thinks we can still have a potent, agile military that can be feared due to it’s quick and merciless response to attacks on our interests.

    What we can’t have is the halfassed nation-building we’ve been dealing with since 2002 that has done nothing but waste trillions of dollars, thousands of American lives trying to babysit garbage, and eventual hasty withdrawals that completely negate everything we fought for.

  6. Dave says:

    “…even if Jim Webb ends up winning in 2016, there’s little chance you’re getting a pro-2A justice out of him, no matter how much he might “support the Second Amendment” otherwise”

    I’ll admit that Webb’s Senate behavior on the courts has been lackluster, but I’m not convinced by this argument. My belief is that his 2A beliefs are strong and in a leadership position, he would make better selections.

    That said, based on what I have seen with this republican shin-dig, I’m not convinced that the republicans “Get it” from the gun community. With Mittens and Jeb sucking up donors, they will effectively bankrupt the remaining republicans of operating money, effectively crippling the nominee against the eventual Democratic nominee, Joe Biden.

    Laugh all you want, but after the last VP debate, Paul Ryan, Mittens campaign & any objective viewer wasn’t laughing. Biden is the sitting VP and if he covets the nomination, there will be a very strong pull to the pseudo-incumbency of the VP office. plus, name a vice president who having sought the party nomination to run for president, failed to get it.

    Mittens is poison to the constitution and 2nd amendment in particular. Jeb may be a little better but we’ve been dealing with moderates for a generation and the whole time the left has dragged the country so far left as to be unrecognizable from 30 years ago. When Mittens gets the nod, do we hold our noses and go with Mittens, or do we once again tell the republicans “No thanks”.

    Mittens, Christie, are non-starters for us, no matter what the party loyalists tell us. if we accept their nominations and support them we are just plain stupid. Here’s another guy who is either going to run, or angling for a cabinet spot – Peter King (NY). This guy is on TV every chance he gets spouting his NY brand of republicanism, which is roughly equal to a center-left Democrat.

    Republicans need to understand from us that:
    1) we know that dems will say they support the 2nd amendment but will stab us in the back at the earliest opportunity and Dem gun owners will consistently fall for this ruse.
    2) Republican candidates have adopted this strategy in hopes that other gun owners will fall for the ruse.
    3) When Mittens got the nod, our community basically told Mittens and the republican establishment what Dick Cheney famously told Pat Leahy.
    4) ANY North East so called “republican” is not acceptable. not only will we not support you for president, we will withhold support for other candidates and foster another wave election for the Dems. We survived 8 years of Bubba, 8 years of the Zero, and we’ll outlast your next socialist.
    5) You need to tell us in unambiguous terms what gun control you’re going to get repealed, and how you’re going to change government to better respect our rights.

    Otherwise, the choice is getting made for us.

  7. RAH says:

    I like Perry He has the executive experience. Knows that we have to get the economy growing. Good on Gun rights

  8. Brad says:

    I like Rand Paul for two reasons, first as a small l libertarian he is the only Republican candidate who wants to cut back on the War on Drugs which has done such tremendous damage to our Republic. Secondly I think Rand Paul would provide a dramatic contrast to Hillary! and seriously erode some of the base strength of the Democratic Party voter base. But as a candidate with only limited experience in elected office, I admit Rand is a dark horse and who knows how he might really govern or how competently. In that sense Rand is a Republican version of Obama.

    I also favor Governor Walker, just for his proven ability to defeat the media/Democratic Party sh*t storm we know any Republican candidate for President will face in 2016.

    As for ex-Senator Webb. Screw him. He went out of his way to elect Obama by giving Obama cover on the 2nd Amendment issue in 2008. I would as soon trust Webb on gun-issues today as I would Senator Reid!

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