October 26th, 2013

Uniting the Republican Party: winning and losing

“Uniting the Republican Party”—has that become an oxymoron? I hope not, because it’s very hard to win elections if the party is having a civil war.

Ted Cruz has this to say about it yesterday in Iowa:

And let me tell you, growth and principles are ideas that unify Republicans,” he said. “They are principles and ideals that unify the evangelical community, the liberty movement and the business community. Growth and freedom are principles that bring together Main Street and the tea party.

I suppose that’s true, as far as it goes—although I would prefer to substitute the phrase “the preservation of liberty” for the word “freedom,” and put the word “economic” before the word “growth.”

What really caught my eye, though, was this statement of Cruz’s from an interview with the Des Moines Register:

It’s not a question of purity,” Cruz told the Register. “It’s a question of standing for common-sense conservative principles that are shared throughout this country that have been part of the American fabric of every small town and every small business and in families all across this country.”

Cruz said every Republican presidential candidate who ran as a strong conservative won — Nixon in 1968 and 1972, Reagan in 1980 and 1984, George H.W. Bush in 1988, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. And those that ran as an establishment moderate lost — Ford in 1976, George H.W. Bush in 1992, Dole in 1996, McCain in 2008 and Romney in 2012, Cruz said.

I find this an interesting statement for two reasons. The first is the year Cruz chose to begin his look back, and the second is how he characterizes the various Republican candidates. He starts his list in 1968, but what about 1964? Ever hear of Barry Goldwater, arguably the most conservative Republican candidate since the Roosevelt years? We all know how that one turned out. And how about Nixon in 1960? Wasn’t he just as conservative then, when he lost, as he was in 1968, when he won? And was Bush I really so conservative running for his first term? I submit that although he became less conservative in 1992, and this was most definitely part of the reason for his loss, was he really a “strong conservative” in 1988, when he won? A stronger conservative, yes, but I’ve usually heard him referred to as the quintessential “establishment Republican.” What’s more, 1992 was a strong third-party year, and Ross Perot’s candidacy is regarded by many as having been instrumental in Bush’s 1992 defeat.

But do I agree with Cruz’s more general message about presidential candidates and which type of Republican has a better chance to win? Let’s put it this way: I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to run a strong conservative, nor is it necessarily a good thing to run an establishment moderate, if you look at it just in terms of winning/losing. They certainly would govern differently as president, and that would matter. But what I really think is that Nixon in 1960, Ford, Bush I in 1992, Dole, and McCain lost for reasons other than their principles, conservative or moderate. Each one had a lackluster and/or off-putting personality, and each was running against a more attractive candidate in that sense (even the 1976 Carter was more charismatic than Ford, although that’s hard to believe; and of course Obama was quite charismatic in 2008). And Reagan won his two terms in part because that dynamic was reversed: he was charismatic and he ran against lackluster, unappealing guys (Carter had become unappealing, and Mondale always was bland). We don’t tend to think of Bush II as immensely personally charismatic, either—he was not—but look who he was running against: Gore and then Kerry.

Yes, principles are part of it all, too. But I don’t see them playing all that big a part in distinguishing among which Republicans have won the presidency and which have lost.

Note that I’ve left out 2012, when Obama beat Romney. That’s one’s a little bit the same as the rest and a little bit different. It was the same in that Obama is apparently a more compelling and attractive personality than Romney, although I sure don’t see it; polls indicated that Obama won because he was perceived as more “caring,” for example. But I also think the 2012 election was corrupted by several things that made it somewhat sui generis, including the viciousness of the attacks on Romney and the extraordinary partisanship of the MSM in that battle, worse than I’d ever seen it before. Many people would include election fraud in that list; I don’t see it as having been all that significant, although some may have occurred.

Of course, Cruz (whom I happen to respect) has a vested interest in saying what he did about election history and principles. After all, he’s not the most charismatic guy in the world. Then again, neither is Hillary. But is he “likeable enough” to win?

43 Responses to “Uniting the Republican Party: winning and losing”

  1. Mitsu Says:

    I happened to spend a very interesting flight from Denver to San Francisco sitting next to this engaging Mormon woman from Salt Lake City. We talked about a lot of things — she runs a mommy blogging aggregator, so we talked about blogs and the tech industry, Utah, Sundance, etc… her devout Mormonism came up as well. But this was also shortly after the 2012 election and I was a bit hesitant to bring up politics, as our conversation was going so well — but, eventually the subject came up, and she asked me, “What team were you on?” I told her, “well, you know, I’m a typical guy from California. I was on Team Obama.” She looked thoughtful for a second, and said “I know Mitt Romney. I worked with him on the Winter Olympics. He’s a great manager and would have made a great President.” Then she paused. “But, in order to win the nomination, he had to appeal to all these people… ” — she gestured to her right with both hands, kind of cupped, as if to indicate an abstract sphere of people over on the far right of us — “… all these extreme people. And I realized that if I voted for him I would be voting to support those people, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do that. So I voted for Obama.”

    The 47% video and similar gaffes, of course, didn’t help him much.

  2. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu:

    If that’s what that woman actually said, then her “reasoning” is about as twisted and stupid as anything I’ve ever heard. Vote for Obama, because he only appeals to the pure of heart and the good and non-extremists, as opposed to Romney? It would be laughable if the consequences weren’t so serious.

  3. Mitsu Says:

    Yes, that is what she actually said. How is it “twisted and stupid”? The reason is very simple — since Romney had to appeal to the far right to get the nomination, it would mean that he would end up having to govern at least to some degree in a way that would appease those same constituents — people who advocate ideas which she disagrees with strongly.

    It reminds me of the 1992 election in California when Barbara Boxer defeated Bruce Herschensohn in the same election where Clinton won. I remember listening to the local news guy reading out election results, as I happened to be living in San Diego at the time. To my amazement, Boxer won the city of San Diego (not the whole county, but the city). At the time, I had been under the impression that San Diego was a solidly Republican town. But then I dug into it a bit more — since Republicans had dominated San Diego for so long, the war there wasn’t between Democrats and Republicans, it was between far-right Republicans and moderates. And in many ways moderate Republicans (who dominated in the city of San Diego proper) hated the far right even more than they hated Democrats. When Herschensohn won, from the right-wing of the party at the time (not sure he would qualify these days), it incensed enough San Diego voters to make them vote Democratic, even for a liberal Democrat like Boxer, to carry her in the city.

    It was a sea change, a defining moment. In my view, California politics hasn’t shifted left over the last few decades … it’s the Republican Party that has shifted sharply right, and Californians are more or less in a similar place to where they’ve always been, politically.

  4. Mitsu Says:

    (I should note: when the news guy read the San Diego results he also seemed to do an on-air double-take … like, what? Boxer won in SAN DIEGO? Everybody was surprised but longtime San Diegans.)

  5. neo-neocon Says:

    Mitsu:

    As I already indicated, “twisted and stupid” because whatever objection she could have had on that score re Romney would go double for Obama.

  6. lacune Says:

    Say what you want about Cruz, but the shrill Hillary is *not* likable. The Dems knew this in 2008, and they know it now. You can see the writing on the wall as they hope a candidate they can continue to play the race card with (Michelle or Booker) throws their hat in the ring… or else go with Nanny Warren, who as much a career liar as Hillary, doesn’t have quite that dismissive tone.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    lacune:

    That’s what I meant by writing “likeable enough.” It’s what Obama snidely said in 2008 about Hillary.

    Hillary is not especially likeable in the sense I mean it in this post. Nor is Cruz, although I happen to like him.

  8. Mitsu Says:

    >would go double for Obama

    Well, clearly, that’s your impression but it’s not mine nor hers. In my view, and the view of most people I think in the country, Obama and the national Democratic Party is a center-left party, something akin to the Liberal Party in Canada (which is considered quite conservative by many of my Canadian friends, but is to the left of our Democratic Party by most objective measures). Truly leftist points of view, a la, say, the Green Party, or a social democratic party (a la the Socialists in Sweden or the NDP in Canada) have no national representation per se in the United States. You may disagree with this, but I daresay it is the view of most non-Americans looking at our politics.

    The Republican Party, however, has had a strong shift to the hard right in recent years, something that is clearly evident and has been reported on by political scientists and others for quite a while.

  9. Mike Says:

    Cruz won the shutdown. Everyone else lost.

    He is, at this point in time, probably the only credible “Republican” voice their is.

    He fought against every odd, and he “lost” – except he won since in a matter of a week Obama and all his crapola was exposed to the entire world and soon to the suffering of all of America.

    The rest of the Rs are nothing. Less than nothing. McCain in his whole career never was credible on anything except being the guy who reliably bashes Republicans. Romney, another guy who refused to fight. The 2nd tier guys remain mostly in place. Cruz leads the pack of a few around him. They are the only thing worth calling Republican these days and good for them. We can win with them. The rest of the lifers will get in line when they see where things are going.

  10. George Pal Says:

    I wonder about Cruz and ‘conservative principles’. The principles often seem ardent in the written presentation, lyrical in the oral presentation, and truant in the floor votes. Would Mr. Cruz dispense with the political quilting so he might regale us with tales of ‘conservative principles’ having stayed the Leftward tide that has turned into a tsunami? Of course he can’t. We now find, after fifty years of ‘conservative principles’ that have been part of the American fabric of every small town and every small business and in families all across this country, that all is flotsam.

    Perhaps he will hone his patter so that in the future he will remark not on a nostalgia for what never was but but an indictment of what had happened – ‘conservative principles’ have been a pretension and not a conviction.

  11. Mike Says:

    George,

    Can you repeat your main point in a few sentences and give an example.

    I get you don’t like Cruz. For that you can get in line with the rest. But for the life of me I can tell why you don’t like Cruz except that the world is not perfect.

    Are you saying he is a hypocrite?

    Back that one up.

  12. Ann Says:

    That highly selective and misleading history of Republican presidential candidates Cruz gave the reporter is not a direct quotation but the reporter’s summary. So perhaps it’s not quite what he said; maybe he did mention Goldwater and maybe he did qualify that “conservative” tag for Nixon and the others somewhat. At least I hope so. If it’s a completely accurate recording of what he said, then it diminishes him greatly in my eyes because I don’t believe he’s ignorant of the actual history, and what we’d be left with is a guy who doesn’t mind bending the truth.

  13. Mike Says:

    Highly selective? He gave the list. The Goldwater election was a complete aberration. It should have been left out. Kennedy was shot one year prior. He did no campaigning; his ghost did. The country was in a state of shock.

    It’s silly to go after Cruz for not mentioning Goldwater. George Washington reincarnated would not have beaten Johnson that year.

    The criticism of Cruz sounds familiar – vacuous and merely vindictive. People, I think, criticize him because they refuse to fight and he will and that embarrasses them about themselves.

    Get over it.

  14. Ann Says:

    The thing about the Goldwater defeat is that he was beaten so badly by Johnson. The final tally was Johnson 61.1%, Goldwater 38.5%.

  15. Matt_SE Says:

    @Mitsu

    What positions exactly separate the “far Right” from the center-Right…or for that matter, from the center-Left?
    What do you think a Tea Party president would do that would be disastrous for the country?

  16. George Pal Says:

    Mike Says:
    October 26th, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    I get you don’t like Cruz.

    On the contrary, Mike. I am agnostic about Cruz. What I don’t like are the testimonies regarding ‘conservative principles’ of which much is said and little demonstrated.

    A Cruz success:
    The filibuster in the midst of GOP Inc. discomfit. He demonstrates he may be ready to take on the GOP as well as the Leftist tide. If so, good for him.

    A Cruz failure:
    If a better use of a filibuster can’t be made than reading Green Eggs and Ham then give in, surrender. If you can’t use the time to make the case against more credit debt and the economic indenturing of the next generation and the next; and of ObamaCare and the fact that it will cost tens of billions more than proposed; and the the fact that the metastasizing bureaucracy necessary to facilitate it may make the US government the single largest employer in the world; and from that, a case that under that situation the country will cease to be, even ostensibly, a two party political system but will be, in effect, a company town – then give it up – take up golfing – invite Obama.

  17. parker Says:

    “You may disagree with this, but I daresay it is the view of most non-Americans looking at our politics.”

    Other than leftist elitists and RINOs (another group of elitists), no one cares about the view of most non-Americans. Personally, I’m with Clark Gable. And, I completely disagree that BHO is center-left. Jimmy Carter is center-left. BHO is something we’ve never seen before in the Oval Office. He’s Wilson on steroids and reminds me of Huey long, only far more vitriolic.

  18. JohnW Says:

    Mitsu– You’re seat mate might have been sincere but Neo is right. It’s like Catholics who believed Bart Stupak had negotiated a satisfactory agreement with Obama on the abortion issue. I just don’t think she understands who the people on the right really are. In New York City, she would be considered a far right wacko nut. Mormon? Really? How many kids? Mommy blog . . . how cute! She wouldn’t get that from anyone on the hard right. They would applaud her.

  19. betsybounds Says:

    The view of most non-Americans looking at our politics is of no importance. They have misunderstood our politics and ideas almost without exception for years–whether willfully or not is debatable, of course. Obama is not at all center-left, he’s a hard-left tyrant who is establishing a dictatorship before our eyes. Anyone who doesn’t see this isn’t paying proper attention.

    Gerald Ford probably lost because he pardoned Nixon. There were certainly other factors, but I think it’s easy to forget how stirred up the pot was during those years. He would have had a hard time beating anyone, and a national-government outsider from rural Georgia had a pretty good head start from the beginning in 1976.

  20. Ann Says:

    1976 was a very close election — this is how close (Carter figures given before Ford figures): electoral vote 297 to 240; states carried 23+DC to 27; popular vote 40,831,881 to 39,148,634; and percentage total vote 50.1% to 48.0%.

    The Nixon pardon was a big deal, but I’ve always thought Chevy Chase’s weekly depiction of Gerald Ford as exceptionally dim played a large role in making folks think Ford just wasn’t up to the task and that could have made the difference.

  21. betsybounds Says:

    Ann: Good point about how close it was. I will only add that when it’s that close, there are usually a number of things, any one of which could have made the difference. Chevy Chase’s weekly depictions of Ford as uncommonly dim might not have gained much traction had he not pardoned Nixon. As it was, of course, following Nixon’s impeachment, resignation, and pardon the country was pretty well set for a big change–no matter what other factors showed up, and whether they were marginal or not.

  22. neo-neocon Says:

    Ann, et al:

    Ford was a very very special case. He had never won a national election of any sort. He wasn’t even elected Vice President. People didn’t hate him, for the most part, but he was more or less an appointed, accidental president. He had no real national constituency except his party affiliation, and he was a very bland-seeming person on top of that.

  23. neo-neocon Says:

    Mike:

    My post was hardly that much of a criticism of Cruz himself. In it I say I respect him, and right after his quote about unifying the party I mention the things he said that I agree with (I merely add a few clarifying words to what he said).

    So your words “vacuous and merely vindictive” sound—hmm, let me think—vacuous and vindicative?

    I disagree with Cruz’s analysis of the elections and why they went the way they did, and I think leaving out Goldwater is a deep flaw in Cruz’s argument. There’s nothing vacuous or vindictive about that.

    I was well aware of the 1964 election, and Johnson was not well-loved in any way at the time. In fact, many people—many, including much of Kennedy’s own staff—disliked him because he was so different from Kennedy, and resented him for not being Kennedy, and even for being Texan. He would not have been all that hard to beat, IMHO, and certainly was not all that hard to at least be competitive with in the election.

    Goldwater was arguably the most conservative person who has run for president since the FDR years when the country swung more to the left. Goldwater was more conservative than Reagan later was, in fact. Goldwater frightened people (partly due to the MSM, which had a field day with him). He lost resoundingly. He was rejected, trounced. People felt he was a radical of the right, and a dangerous man.

    I remember it very, very well.

    That is what the MSM is trying to do to Cruz. I hope they do not succeed, because I happen to think quite highly of Cruz. But that doesn’t mean I applaud or agree with everything he says and does. He was just plain wrong to begin his count in 1968 and skip 1964, a year which arguably contradicted his entire thesis. He has to deal with that year; he cannot just ignore it.

  24. Steve Says:

    neo, don’t you mean gore and kerry not dole and kerry? What is missing from your analysis is the cultural shift. Kennedy would sound conservative by today’s standards. We’re seeing power shift away from states and toward DC. That is what the tea party opposes. The tea party says let’s stick with the constitution. Obama says he will fundamentally America. Mitsu thinks the tea party is radical. What a joke.

  25. neo-neocon Says:

    Ann:

    That’s a good point. I wondered about what Cruz actually said, too, and whether it was distorted. But the paper also quotes him as having said “After looking at that 40-year pattern, the D.C. strategists all say we need more establishment moderates because they haven’t won in four decades, but next time, trust us, they’re going to win.” What about “after looking at that 50-year pattern”—because if he went back 50 years he would see a good reason behind their fear of a “real” conservative. Fifty years would take us right to Goldwater.

    I happen to think the 1964 election scarred a lot of “establishment” Republicans. They didn’t want Goldwater to be nominated in the first place, and his loss in the election was enormous and ignominious. That primary season, and the 1964 election, could be learned from if conservatives would study them. I’m not sure what the lessons would be, but the 1964 election was an important battle, and ignoring it as though it didn’t happen, or excusing it away as the result of Johnson’s supposed great popularity, is a huge error, IMHO.

    And by the way, Johnson did have high approval ratings in his first term (first year, actually). But he was not well-liked, and I’m saying that as a person who was surrounded by Democrats at the time; if anything, he was resented for not being Kennedy. I’m not saying another nominee besides Goldwater would have won against LBJ, but I think Goldwater did especially poorly because of his perceived far-right radicalism (he opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Bill, for example, because of federalism).

  26. Matt_SE Says:

    Going back 50 years would take us 10 years closer to FDR, too. Ignoring Goldwater was intentional, I suppose, but we’re a different country now.

  27. blert Says:

    neo…

    That is scary, because Hillary actively campaigned for Goldwater!

    Barry Goldwater was demonized to such a degree my Grandmother told me he was the Anti-Christ!

    But then, she was a rabid FDR Democrat, an unpaid field operative. (A state party delegate, to boot.)

    Within almost no time, LBJ did everything that he said Goldwater would do: get us into another war!

    Goldwater would not have had any party commitment to sustaining the military insanities of the Kennedy-Johnson era. It’s the era of the Berlin Wall, Bay of Pigs, Missile Crisis — yiikes!

    The LBJ machine took Democrat foreign policy failures and laid them at the feet of Goldwater. How sweet that was.

  28. neo-neocon Says:

    Matt_SE:

    We’re a different country now. But not necessarily different enough that someone like Goldwater would do any better today in a national election. If you study his stands, he was pretty far out—which is not the same as saying he was wrong. But how many people would understand the reasons behind something like his refusal to vote for the 1964 Civil Rights Bill?:

    In 1964, Goldwater ran a conservative campaign that emphasized states’ rights. Goldwater’s 1964 campaign was a magnet for conservatives since he opposed interference by the federal government in state affairs. Although he had supported all previous federal civil rights legislation and had supported the original senate version of the bill, Goldwater made the decision to oppose the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His stance was based on his view that the act was an intrusion of the federal government into the affairs of states and that the Act interfered with the rights of private persons to do or not do business with whomever they chose.

    All this appealed to white Southern Democrats, and Goldwater was the first Republican to win the electoral votes of all of the Deep South states (South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana) since Reconstruction (although Dwight Eisenhower did carry Louisiana in 1956). However, Goldwater’s vote on the Civil Rights Act proved devastating to his campaign everywhere outside the South (besides Dixie, Goldwater won only in Arizona, his home state), contributing to his landslide defeat in 1964.

    He was defending the principle of smaller government, but how many people wouldn’t see it as mere bigotry?

    I actually think that Republicans should study the Goldwater campaign and try to understand what really happened. It was not a simple case of Kennedy’s assassination and Johnson’s popularity because of it, there was a lot more going on, a lot that may be relevant to today.

  29. neo-neocon Says:

    Steve:

    Yes indeed, thanks, “Dole” for “Gore” (four letters, second letter “o” last letter “e”). Will fix.

  30. Ymarsakar Says:

    Wasn’t he just as conservative then, when he lost, as he was in 1968, when he won?

    Nixon decided not to contest the election, even though a bunch of votes came up by magick for JFK.

    Goldwater was under the surveillance of the FBI and various other government institutions.

  31. neo-neocon Says:

    Ymarsakar:

    Yes, evidence supports the idea that there was fraud in the very close election of 1960, and that Nixon may indeed have won but decided not to contest it. It was a very close election, however, as was 1968, so neither year was probably a decisive win either way, and it’s hard to read what the results really signified.

    In 1972, however, it was a landslide for Nixon against McGovern. Did Nixon suddenly become so amazingly popular? No. McGovern was a weak candidate.

    By the way, in 1968 there was a very strong 3rd party showing by George Wallace. Experts believe that most of his votes would have otherwise gone to Humphrey, not Nixon. Nixon only got 43.4% of the vote, but Humphrey got 42.7% and Wallace 13.5%. Talk about anomalous elections!

  32. blert Says:

    Close… my parents split their votes! That’s the only time in their lives that happened.

    Without a doubt Wallace took Humphrey’s votes. As an out and out racist, Wallace was already repellent in Republican circles.

  33. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    One of the quotes that was used to demonize Goldwater was this: “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.” The MSM framed that to mean he was willing to use nuclear weapons in an aggressive way.

    Then LBJ’s team put together the “Daisy, Petals, and Mushroom Cloud” ad. It only ran one time, but was so successful in depicting Barry Goldwater as possibly an aggressive lunatic the election was essentially won at that point. Read about the ad here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisy_(television_commercial)

    The lesson is that the President must not seem to be an aggressive, hard-nosed persona. Most seem to want moderate, reasonable appearing, likable types for President.

  34. parker Says:

    “the Act interfered with the rights of private persons to do or not do business with whomever they chose.”

    Goldwater was on the right (as in correct side) in insisting that individuales have the right (liberty) to decide to interact or not interact with whomever they choose. We all, left or right, make decisions about who we wish to interact or not interact.

    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were lost long ago. I fear (yes, fear) it will require the shedding of much blood to reclaim these rights or that they will be lost for generations, including my grandchildren and great-great-great grandchildren that I will never hold in my arms.

  35. FOAF Says:

    “I happened to spend a very interesting flight from Denver to San Francisco sitting next to this engaging Mormon woman from Salt Lake City.”

    I don’t believe you, mitsu. I don’t believe this conversation ever took place. It is too pat, “an engaging Mormon woman from Salt Lake City” who can’t bring herself to vote for Romney because of the “extreme people” in the Republican party. It reeks of the posts you see from people calling themselves “concerned conservatives” or “lifelong Republicans” who just *had* to vote for Obama. Yeah, right.

    There is a certain odor in all your posts – the chin-stroking “thoughtfulness” and “balance” doesn’t quite conceal the smugness or the very calculated agenda-mongering. You also have a tendency to jump on the beginning of a thread and try to drag it in a direction that is not really on topic, e. g. the Norm Geras thread.

  36. neo-neocon Says:

    J. J.:

    The daisy ad. See also this.

  37. Matt_SE Says:

    “We’re a different country now. But not necessarily different enough that someone like Goldwater would do any better today in a national election.”

    I think you’re correct. The position he took was an intellectual abstraction that time has shown to have been true. The problem was that it could easily be propagandized into the much-easier-to-understand position of the racist south.
    America has not become more dispassionate and analytical in the interim (probably the opposite in fact), and the Democrats have shown their eagerness to exploit any number of “-isms” to win.

    I endorse Bill Whittle’s approach to winning over the voters: show them that what they actually believe in are conservative values, and remind them of all the ways the Democrats work to oppose the things the voters believe in.
    If the Dems want to fight that in their usual way, it will then be a battle of emotion-vs.-emotion. I assume the scales will be tipped in our favor, since we have reality and history on our side.

  38. Ymarsakar Says:

    Mitsu is an Obama supporting, anti Sarah Palin, zombie of the Left.

    Let’s not get side tracked into thinking Leftist propaganda is reasonable because it appears “sane”.

    Propaganda is propaganda, designed to control people’s emotions and thoughts, whether it is based upon the truth or deception.

  39. NeoConScum Says:

    N-Neocon: I’m catching up on reading some of your recent posts and this one on Cruz particularly interests me. ‘Fraid I’ve paid only semi-attention since Nov. 6th of last year—still in shock & alot of detachment—so, not real focused where Cruz is concerned. That said, the man strikes me as too darn similar to Obama in general ways: Resume Non-Depth, No Leadership experience, NEEDINESS for attention in the extreme, good Ivy Education, Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer…Little Exec.Experience… And, did I mention, NEED for endless attention. Endless “Campaigning” and aversion to roll-up-the-sleeves WORK and sweat.

    So, I’ll watch your ‘lead’ on the Cruz thing and see what your far closer observations bring…

  40. neo-neocon Says:

    NeoConScum:

    Well, I haven’t seen Cruz for long enough to make a judgment on it, but I’d say that it depends whether he’s trying to get attention because he feeds off it personally, or whether he wants to get attention for his ideas and because he thinks the GOP and conservatives should be more aggressive about that.

    I do like certain things about his resume, though, very much. His family background (particularly his father’s experience), his debating skills, and his senior thesis as a Princeton undergrad:

    Cruz’s senior thesis on the separation of powers, titled “Clipping the Wings of Angels,” draws its inspiration from a passage attributed to President James Madison: “If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” Cruz argued that the drafters of the Constitution intended to protect the rights of their constituents, and the last two items in the Bill of Rights offered an explicit stop against an all-powerful state. Cruz wrote: “They simply do so from different directions. The Tenth stops new powers, and the Ninth fortifies all other rights, or non-powers.

    Not a NEOcon :-).

  41. Mike Says:

    T. Roosevelt addresses the nitpickers and same-side critics of Palin, Cruz, Perry, Santorum, Lee, Ryan, etc., etc.

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

    The criticism always rings hollow, that is, after it does its damage.

    But the real payers are still standing. They are still up front. Perry, Palin. Cruz – are better than all their critics, especially the likes of McCain and Graham and pundit after pundit who obviously do not know doodle since they were wrong wrong wrong about everything and for 6 long years now.

  42. Michael Adams Says:

    Cruz was the lead attorney in the suit to stop the Dem attempt to steal the 2000 election. He saw the facts clearly, and argued the ones in court that could win.

    His second appearance on our RADAR was a small but very important court fight, to keep the Ten Commandments monument on our state capitol grounds. He argued the case, and he won.

    In conversations he has always understood the Conservative position, articulated it well, and I am pretty sure that his sense of strategy is as good as the wiliest of Dimocrats, and they are snakes with legs.

  43. NeoConScum Says:

    N-Neocon: Thanks, landlady. One ‘Angelic Neocon’ to another. I’ll follow your lead. (-:

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About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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