A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

May 4, 2007

The Debate: Who Won and Why?

You see the title; what is your answer. I will reply after I think.

Updated: Well I thought and I will now take out my teacher’s red pencil and give each a grade in no particular order.

Rep. Tom Tancredo – Looked frustrated at times. I think part of it is that his campaign is struggling for air, and the format hurt him as he tried desparately to get out his views and distinguish himself, particularly on immigration. I also think that people saw that frustration and it didn’t help. Grade D

Rep. Duncan Hunter – Was clear, concise, and strong in many of his answer. One area that may hurt him was he was the most aggressive on Iran, and to a country that is not at all happy with Iraq, showing this posturing towards another nation in the area, one that does make everyone nervous may hurt with many even among Hawks. His trade and pro-worker solutions were noteworthy. Grade B-

Mayor Rudy Giuiliani – He was strong on war on terror and framing himself in his model of Conservativism. The questions on abortion won’t help with the base, and will help him with those who are softer on pro-life/pro-choice. He stumbled on that area, but did make his case with his time as NYC Mayor. I still support him. Grade B-

Sen. John McCain – Anyone who said that he lacked vigor got the reply in spades, he was energetic, perhaps too much so, to the point of aggressiveness in tone and body language. He also really had a problem keeping to the time, and wasn’t held to the time limits strictly. He didn’t hurt himself, but I don’t think he helped himself too much. He came out fairly strongly against President Bush, with saying numerous times, “The war was mismanaged”. He seemed passionate and assertive, but perhaps too agressive. Grade C+

Gov. Mit Romney – Of all the candidates the former Bay State Governor stood out. I am not a big Romney fan, but if I had to declare an overall winner, it would be him. He was able to frame his “flip flop” on abortion, and gave a reason that was credible. He also was well versed on the issues and inviting. Grade A

Gov. Jim Gilmore – Did very well tonight too. He was able to state that he was the “consistent Conservative”. He also did well to elicit his positions. However, there are few moments that make him stand out, and he probably won’t see his coin rise. Grade B-

Gov. Tommy Thompson – Did very well on many areas, but there was one area that may hurt him, and that was the question about firing people due to their sexual practices. I also believe that there was a pause that would have allowed him to nuance his position, and his silence was pregnant. This will be picked up. I don’t know if this is a valid reason to terminate an employee in the private sector, other than religious organizations, such as a parochial school, which are exempt from such restrictions and understandably so. His Iraq solution is interesting and deserves a look. Grade B-

Sen. Sam Brownback – Made some good points tonight, and particularly in his stressing the need for the political process to have a more dominant role in the process. His stands on abortion will help only with those who don’t know him, as they are well known. He also held up his credos to the bases fondness of evangelical base. Overall he may have helped himself, but like so many in the second tier is so far behind. Grade B-

Rep. Ron Paul – Made his stand as the maverick in the field. He also came across as passionate, principled, and had a good wit. However, his views on foreign policy are going to hurt him in the end. As much as America may wish to go back to isolationism, that ship has sailed. He advocated himself well, but his views won’t hold. Hard to grade with this dynamic, but based on his performance, and not his substance B.

Gov. Mike Huckabee – He had some good moments, and probably the biggest yuck of the night with his joke concering “The Governator”. He came across as genuine but may have suffered from the format as his positions are hard to define from some of the others, and nuance of his stands may be lost in the shuffle. Grade B-

Overall big winner has to be Romney. He did very well, and being slotted first, by the draw helped him. I think the big loser was Tom Tancredo, and this is not a slight, but he seemed frustrated and this won’t give him much of a bump.

I think that the only shift will be Romney moving up, but the question is who will pay for this hike Giuliani – who probably won’t lose support, McCain or maybe the non-announced candidate, who will also miss South Carolina’s debate, Fred Thompson.

If I had to be like a reality show and only promote five I think these five will likely be in SC.

Giuliani, McCain, Romney, Rep. Hunter, and either Sen. Brownback or Gov. Huckabee.

Then again, I could be wrong.

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May 3, 2007

Where You Stand Politically

So, you want to  know where you stand and how you can get that cool little icon like I have on my blog?

Well, just go to this site and take the quiz.  I would put no opinion if you are not sure about something.

Please post your results, and you get BIG TIME BONUS POINTS for reasonableness if you score Moderate, Conservative or Liberal!  I “hope” I have constructed a place where divergent views are allowed and where we gain from seeing each other’s perspective.  I also hope that sometimes someone will say, I see your point, or something like that.

So often politics are too personal, so maybe this would at least bring back agreeable discussion and dissent to the forefront.

I’m posting this on all topics to hopefully get maximum participation.

IF you wish to take the quiz it is here.

Thanks!

May 1, 2007

Out To Lunch

Hats off to Woman Honor Thyself for this photo.

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The picture says it all, but of course some commentary is needed.

The sentiment is correct, and until the American people are invested in this war more than in national spending via Congress, and having “sympathy” for the troops and the families of those who have died or are in harm’s way, this war will never be seen as worth the cost.

The shared defense of this nation is a responsibility of the people, and not just 1% of the population, which is currently the percentage of those serving in the Armed Forces.  As a veteran, I went in because I wanted to do so, but this war has shown one true thing, major thinking needs to be considered about the efficacy of having an all volunteer Armed Service.  There simply may not be enough boots on the ground.

Until this war is nationally shared in sentiment more than having a yellow ribbon on a gas guzzling SUV or minivan the “Support of our Troops” is a euphemism and it is wearing thin.  A more realistic bumper sticker from many would be “Support War Profiteering”.

April 12, 2007

Bush Disapproval over 50% for Two Years; Trumanlike?

A very good post, although I don’t agree with the premise from “A Big Fat Slob”.

According to the latest USA Today/Gallup survey, 62% of Americans disapprove of the job that the Bush regime is doing. The poll was taken March 23 through 25; when the same survey was taken March 21-23, 2005, the disapproval rating was “only” 49%. Since then, over half of Americans have pretty consistently said that “Bush sucks”.

Yet, this regime continues to operate like it had a mandate (which it NEVER had). It is the arrogance of power; nearly everyone in the country opposes nearly everything that Bush and Cheney and Gonzales and Rice and the rest of the cabal does. Yet, they smirk and say, “Just try and stop us”.

The Bush regime likes to compare themselves to Harry Truman, who also had below 50% approval ratings in his last two years in office. Truman, they remind us, is now a highly regarded President. The implication that the Bush toadies would like us to draw is that history vindicated Truman in the same way that history will vindicate this gang of criminals and incompetents.

What the Bush apologists ignore — and depend on everyone else ignoring — is that history did not vindicate Truman. At least not in the manner that Bush would like us to assume.

Truman’s low marks at the end of his term, and subsequent withdrawal from his reelection campaign, resulted from the morass of the Korean War and his sacking of MacArthur. Ike was elected on the promise that HE’D go to Korea and clean up the mess left by Truman. Scandal and corruption at high levels in his administration, and his failure to deal with Congress to get his legislation passed, also contributed to his low scores on the national approval polls.

Today, Truman’s standing is not based on Korea, his domestic agenda, nor on any revisionist vindication of the corrupt elements of his administration. Truman is today honored (and we’ll leave it to the reader to decide if justly) for the successful conclusion of the wars against Germany and Japan, for the Marshall Plan, for the United Nations, the Truman Doctrine, Israel, and NATO. It is the perceived good done by Truman before those horrid last two years and apart from his outrageously incompetent and wrong-headed domestic policies (such as loyalty oaths), which serve as the base for his honored status today.

Truman’s handling of Korea is still viewed as pretty much the disaster that it was seen as back in the day. But Truman’s presidency had other successes, which history has judged outweighed the failures.

What are the successes on which Bush expects history to weigh him more successful than 6362% of his fellow citizens view him today? That’s not rhetorical — there are none. Not one. Much less any that would overcome the rank incompetence, the heavy hands, the corruption and criminality, the complete, miserable failure which is, and has been from first to last, the hallmark of this presidency.

My Comments:
A very good post, but, I disagree strongly with your assessment of the Truman “legacy”. Truman is given credit mostly for his “containment” policy and for not giving in to going nuclear in Korea, which many, especially MacArthur wished to do. The same could be said of the Iraq War.

I’m not saying that history will vindicate the current administration, but there are many simliar parallells to the causes of their administration. Right now the fear that I have, is that this will become similar to the Johnson (Andrew) Presidency, where you have a stubborn President, who will be wielding a veto pen frequently, and a Congress that will not let the President have any wiggle room. The real problem will be that legislation with regard to immigration, where there is enough consensus to sign a meaningful bill, budget items, review of Title I, and a score of other initiatives, including Coleman’s stem cell compromise may go down the drain, as the statements from DNC insiders are saying, they are not going to give this guy anything to hang his hat on.

In the end history will judge Iraq, not the present day, and we’re talking 30 to 50 years minimum before the fruits of this action are seen. Candidly, there are also major social differences in the mindframe of the American public regarding casualties and activity in a war. In the 1950’s the burden of the military was shared more equally by society at large, conscription was a fact of life, and though there were deferrments, the reasons and allowance of them were not easily given. The country also had a mindframe, and I think it was formed by the toughness of their life, that this country could stoicly take casualties. This was a nation that endured 100,000 KIA, Wounded and POW in one battle, The Ardennes, only five to ten years before. Also, the Great Depression, which had an equallizing effect on society, in that all classes were hit hard, although as always those with the least means were hit hardest, and society was better able to endure setbacks. I think that the American psychology of the Baby Boomers and subsequent generations, is just not able to endure the television and access to information about daily losses.

Again, the causes can fairly be disputed towards their differences, but that card is casually and incorrectly played.
America had a more America is right attitude, and today’s attitudes are more complex. This is not to classify “The Greatest Generation” as simplistic, but there was a simpler day to day attitude, and a world view that was certainly America first. This was greatly caused by Pearl Harbor, as America had been fiercely isolationist prior to WWI and between the wars. So, taken that value of isolationism, and add the other factors, plus the seeing the war on television everyday, it is understandable why this generation reacts differently. Candidly, the 40’s and 50’s would look at the 3,000 KIA and think it was a battle, not a four year war.

February 28, 2007

Does 2007 War Debate Sound a Lot Like 1993’s

Filed under: Congress,Draft,Iraq,National Guard,Politics,War Protest — avoiceofreason @ 10:51 pm

Oak Leaf posted two interesting pieces at Polipundit.com

 Oak Leaf is understandably concerned about the increasing pressures put upon the National Guard.

Probably the dissent of GOP lawmakers was 90% making life difficult for then President Clinton and 10% other factors.

Probably the dissent of Democrats today is 99% making life difficult for the President and appealing to their own base.

The comment about Oak being upset about the NG being overtaxed is relevant, and does show a glaring weakness in the laudable goal of an all volunteer military – spoken from one who gladly volunteered. These numbers are startling:
WWII 12% of the population involved in the military
Korea Information not available
Vietnam 2% of the population involved in the military
Iraq/Afghanistan 0.5% of the population involved.

Population growth aside, these numbers are noteworthy.

To replies that the regular military forces need to be enlarged, the question is “How”. At the current time re-enlistment bonuses and other benefits are high, but obviously many are not viewing – understandably – as being worth the risk.

Is a renewal of conscription the only viable option to the cries of increasing the size of the military?

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