Conservative Political Commentary

...anti-socialist, anti-globalist, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Some Thoughts on GOP Candidates after the Debate of November 22

Newt Gingrich at CPAC FL 2011. Photo: Dreamstime.com
In the Tuesday (November 22) GOP debate, we have been treated to a Thanksgiving feast of discussion of foreign policy, in which all the candidates did an acceptable job of making their points. There were no major gaffes. All the candidates seemed confident and competent. Any of these candidates would be greatly preferable to Mr. Obama.

Newt Gingrich has taken the lead in the polls for now among GOP presidential candidates. His debate performances have been impressive and, for his campaign, efficient, since it doesn’t cost anything (other than transportation and scheduling) for him to participate. With his campaign all but written off earlier, he has come back to score substantially improved poll numbers.

Gingrich looks like a candidate with the depth of knowledge and ability to articulate his positions that a president needs to have. He has years of experience in government and in study of the important issues. It appears that he can be trusted with presidential responsibility. He has avoided shouting matches with his GOP opponents and saved his strong criticism for Barack Obama and the Democrats. He correctly foresaw the failure of the super committee and early and rightly pointed out the foolishness of that process.



(It’s a campaign video, but his assessment of the super committee is quite correct.)

On immigration, he said that long-time residents who came to the U.S. illegally, but have become productive workers, taxpayers, and contributors to the community, should not have their families broken up through deportation. This would represent a minority of illegal immigrants. Gingrich’s “humane” approach sounds mainly like common sense. 


If Newt is the nominee, he will be under intense scrutiny and will be attacked for his personal moral failures. If he succeeds in getting elected, it will be because the voters see him as such a great improvement over Obama that his past sins can be overlooked, or at least left in the past. Presumably, he has overcome the personal mistakes of past years.

I’m sure I wouldn’t agree with him on every issue, but I don’t agree with anyone on all the issues. I think he would make a fine president, and that he would get America on track back to normalcy. He understands the threat of radical Islam and the threat represented by our soaring budget deficits and incessant borrowing.

Brit Hume of Fox News commented on Newt’s poll numbers improvement (Daily Caller via Yahoo! News):


Another candidate showing depth of understanding is the much-unfairly-maligned Rep. Michele Bachmann. She demonstrated an impressive knowledge of complex foreign affairs issues, such as Pakistan policy. Given this and her previous debates, she has shown a good grasp of economic and social issues. I think she is thoroughly qualified to serve as president. She is hampered mainly by liberal smears against her that too many people unthinkingly accept, as with Sarah Palin. Generally, whom liberals fear, they smear.

Speaking of smears, Herman Cain was given the treatment by the Democrats, being accused by a woman who (just coincidentally – not!) lives in the same building as David Axelrod, and another woman who happens to work for the Obama Administration. These charges didn’t stick because voters have better access these days to sources other than the toadying Mainstream Media, and could find no substance to them. Cain’s defenders appear far more reliable than his accusers.

Probably none of the candidates can really be written off now, but, in my view, the race is going to get down to Romney vs. an anti-Romney in the person of Gingrich, Bachmann, or Cain. Possibly Rick Perry, if he can continue his improved debating. Ron Paul is still a factor. As for Santorum and Huntsman, their numbers remain very low, but it’s a year until the election and a lot can happen. There’s also a vice-presidential slot to fill.

As for “electability,” if Republicans can get together on a nominee, and run a reasonably competent campaign, they should be able to defeat Obama very decisively. America’s hopes for prosperity, military strength, freedom, and constitutional government increasingly depend on that.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Cain’s Current Skirmish Shouldn’t Stop Him

Herman Cain      Photo: Dreamstime.com
A new industry has sprung up, started by Politico and their numerous articles about sexual harassment accusations against Herman Cain. Many articles appeared, articles which contained no names or specific allegations, even noting that the supposedly offending actions were “not overtly sexual.” The writers were protecting the accusers, who had signed agreements of confidentiality after agreeing to cash settlements from the National Restaurant Association.

Now, a woman has come forward to accuse Cain of something specific, which supposedly happened in 1997, but was not dealt with at that time. The allegations against Cain appear to be politically motivated attacks, likely dug up by political opponents, and eagerly pounced upon by the liberal media, anxious to destroy Cain’s candidacy even though numerous articles were printed, stating no facts, offering no evidence and no justification.

Of course, liberal Reuters was quick to find three criminal lawyers who agree that Cain could have been accused of sex abuse by his latest accuser, if she had chosen to press charges, though prosecutors likely wouldn’t have wanted to take up this type of he-said-she-said case. In any event, it would be time barred now.


Herman Cain’s campaign success is definitely not liked by liberals or by some members of the Republican establishment, not to mention his GOP rivals. But this whole scenario smacks of the “politics of personal destruction” favored by the socialist liberals. Much like the vicious and spurious attacks on Sarah Palin.

Most Americans have enough of a sense of justice to understand that an accusation is not enough. Cain confidently maintains that these allegations are baseless, and his supporters have responded with increased financial contributions to his campaign. His poll numbers are holding up well.

Whether Cain’s enemies can do him real damage through these allegations remains to be seen, but a great many people see it, correctly, I think, as a media circus designed to cut down a black conservative who is also an unconventional candidate. It’s their choice of methods to avoid dealing with the serious problems for which he is offering solutions.

For media liberals, this circus is hypocritical, since there is no actual evidence to support the allegations, while they went all out to protect Bill Clinton, who actually was guilty of sexual improprieties. As Rush Limbaugh has said, for liberals, this type of behavior is a resume enhancement.

Scott Whitlock at Media Research Center reported on Friday, November 4, that networks had aired “a staggering 63 stories in just four and a half days.”

Further,

The ABC reporter [Brian Ross] also talked to Ricki Seidman, who he simply identified as a "political operative." Ross left out the fact that Seidman has worked for Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis and other Democrats.

Of Cain's accusers, who are anonymous, the political operative sympathized, "They've been called by all kinds of names already by people who have no idea who they are." (Ross did explain that Seidman worked with Anita Hill when she testified against Clarence Thomas.)

Of course, since there’s a woman who has come forward to accuse Cain and is represented by Gloria Allred (who else?), Cain’s enemies probably think they’ve sealed the deal. But if this doesn’t work, they’ll try something else. Cain has a thick-enough skin that he will weather this, and he knows he can expect every kind of phony charge the liberal media can blow up against him.

All this obscures Cain’s debate/discussion with Newt Gingrich, carried on C-SPAN, which was quite a refreshing change from the usual debate format. Cain demonstrated considerable knowledge of the entitlement issues, as did Gingrich. So far, Cain hasn’t missed any speeches or events. He continues to hammer away on his message. I’m listening, and I am sure a lot of others are. (See brief interview dated November 6 here).


I’m about ready to send a check to his campaign. Through his campaign, he’s earned my respect and admiration. I believe him when he says the charges are baseless, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone proving him wrong. Guilty until proven innocent? I don’t think so.
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