Friday, March 30, 2012

Why I Clicked Rick

I have been presenting a small series over the past few days on my selection of the Republican candidate.

Today I will give a few reasons for my decision to vote for Rick Santorum.

Now it is time to talk about why I am still in the Rick Santorum camp.

My impressions are just that - thoughts gathered from a 10,000 foot vantage, they are not the result of any in-depth analysis.  I like Rick because of his "underdog" status, Americans have always pulled for the underdog and he fits that bill. 
He has been out spent (exponentially by most reports) yet he keeps on coming.  It is odd to me - but not really considering the integrity of the source- that John McCain, the lauded Champion of campaign reform (the legislation that offered one of the first stabs at diminishing the freedoms of the U.S. Constitution in recent history by proposing to limit political free speech) and a man so appalled by all the money in politics, would be an early endorser of Mitt Romney instead of the likes of Santorum who has spent so little money.

I think Santorum's campaign has been a representation of the pluck that once denoted the character of American culture.  It has been based mostly on hard work and not a lot of machinery or slick organization.  In fact, it seems strange again that those pundits that bemoan the huge amounts of money in politics are also the first to point out that Santorum's "lack of a strong organization" resulted in his name not getting on some ballots or his being ineligible for certain delegates.

Since Iowa, Santorum 's entourage has often been himself and a suitcase. I'm sure it is probably different now, but I like the folksy appeal of that mind-picture.

So conservatives (and many others as well), have long talked about how they yearned for a less-plastic candidate, someone who would not talk in 30 second sound bites, someone who didn't owe the success of their campaign to money or the "moneyed".   If that was you - well Rick may be your man.

Conservatives have also wanted a candidate with heart - someone who could espouse conservatism with passion and without apology.  This candidate has been something of a conservative bulldog for years; he was steadfastly defending George W.'s weapons of mass destruction claim when the neither Bush, nor his own team would do so.

Most of the statements that have gotten Santorum into trouble have been just that - heart statements - that weren't varnished or taken through ethic-cleansing.  Principled passion often yields such results: unvarnished truth and it doesn't change at the whim of the prevailing culture.

 Does Rick have skeletons?  My guess is - "no".  Don't you think Team Romney has the resources and has already shown the willingness to find and exploit any flaws from the past (or perhaps even create them)?   Ask Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain or any other candidates that dared to rise above the herd.

I honestly think that most of his flaws can be tied to party loyalty.  I don't easily dismiss the fact that he was part of the Republican congress' spending spree that resulted in their ouster in 2006.  I, too was disappointed that he endorsed Arlen "Howard Sprague"  Specter, but again, they had been colleagues.  Some might say Santorum is a better friend than a politician.

As for his "gaffes" - I honestly can't find a whole lot that I disagree with in them. The general consensus among media elites and Washington insiders seems to be that the best way to disarm Santorum is to try and portray him as a "crazy".  Most of his "radical" statements would have been considered mainstream in the not too distant past.

Bottom line - I just like the fact that the guy gets little respect from anywhere - even the Republican "powers-that-be" - yet he stays in there.  Like "Rocky" he just keeps getting up and getting back in there.

Rick Santorum offers a refreshing alternative. Am I ecstatic about his candidacy? -no.  Does he inspire me? - only sometimes; but in reality, I was not that crazy about Reagan until he actually won.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

On the Wings of a Dove

(I have to be careful lest the introduction be longer than the article) I'm doing a series defending my choice of Rick Santorum in the Republican primary.

Today I talk about Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is the other candidate I am not voting for. 
I do not have many thoughts about Paul because I have never really given him serious consideration.
I think the best thing Ron brings to politics is his son, Rand.
I cannot get past some of his ultra-dovish foreign policy statements; he somehow brings Ralph Nader to mind. . .

. . .  Oh and some of his supporters scare me a little.
Tomorrow, my defense of the Rick decision.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Giving Newt the Boot

Whether anyone really cares or not, I am offering a brief series on my thoughts regarding the Republican primaries. 

Today's candidate is Newt Gingrich.

Newt Gingrich - I like Newt.  I hold a deep appreciation for revolution he led in 1994.  I appreciate the way he has articulated conservative thought so eloquently over the years.  However, in my opinion he just falls flat now.  I just cannot gin up any excitement for Newt.

I was privileged to attend Newt's first "Renewing American Civilization" class at what was then Kennesaw State College in the 90's.  From the first day, when he gave a compelling and competent defense of prayer in  school, I was hooked.
He was always holding up books - many very old - and reading excerpts from them.  I found his class to be very inspiring.  In fact, no other class in my secondary educational experience left a more long-lasting mark.  I have read numerous books since that time either directly or indirectly resulting from his lectures. 

The same inspiration he brought to his RAC class, he held forth among the new wave of Republicans in office.  They took the stage and quickly fulfilled their list of promises for the first 100 days (as I recall, pretty much all of them) on time.

Then all of a sudden Newt went mute.
I kept waiting for him to step up during the "Government Shut Down" facade, to defend the actions of congress and to present compelling arguments for conservatism but Newt was strangely silent.

It later became apparent that Newt had joined the growing list of politicians under threat of Clinton, Inc.'s Scorched Earth Policy due to ongoing extra-marital affairs.

Newt did his requisite quiet time lurking in the background for awhile (a practice common among exposed politician's and Southern Gospel Music performers).

Then he was back; and in 2008 he toyed with the idea of getting in the Presidential race.  He dangled the prospects of his decision for quite awhile - milking it, savouring the attention - and then decided not to run.

I think that is where Newt missed the train.

He could have stepped into a primary race dominated by moderates and would have been the ONLY conservative alternative.  And if he had held to the conservative arguments - I think he would have exposed Obama for the "empty suit" he is.

But alas - Newt had "skeletons"; possibly some yet unexposed.  I think Newt was fearful going up against Clinton, Inc. again.  And my guess is that he saw that whether Clinton or Obama won the Democrat nomination, he would be cast as the dastardly villain ... again.

For whatever reason, he bowed out - but for me his prolonged "flirting" with the option just left a bad taste in my mouth.  I think we needed  Newt in 2008.  To top it off, he seemed to join a chorus of other milk-toast Republicans who, at the time, were saying that just maybe the era of Reagan was over and we needed to move on. 

At that point, Newt showed up on my list of stuff I'm done with.

As you may see, most of my decisions were made prior to this election season.  Don't expect much analysis or deep thought for tomorrow's offering... I will be looking at Ron Paul.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mitt's No Fit

In this year's primary vote, I opted for Rick Santorum and continue to feel that - of the present field - he's the best choice.  I am doing a little series on why I am not opting for the other guys, then finishing out with some of the reasoning behind my decision for Santorum.

Today the candidate is Mitt Romney. 
Mitt Romney - like Santorum, I voted for Romney during the 2008 primary season.  And like Santorum, I did so because I thought he was the most conservative of the candidates running (which is not saying much).  When I saw the Romney add recently, replaying Santorum's endorsement of Romney in 2008 (and when I heard Romney reference it during the debate), I grinned.  It was certainly a clever move. 
But then as I thought more about it:  who ends up looking noble in that ad - the candidate who once spoke approvingly of one he now withstands; or the candidate who accepted his endorsement and then - for political purposes - used it to stab him in the back? 

To me, Rick Santorum comes across more loyal to his friends - nobler. 

In 2008, Mitt was the last chance to put down McCain, whom I have long viewed as an opportunist gladly dancing to the pipings of the press.  McCain could not seem to restrain himself from fawning to the Left and from pouncing on Conservatives.  Mitt folded - much too early in my estimation.  It was too sudden.  It felt as if the fix was in.   I have not since been able to escape the notion that somewhere, some powerful operative of the political machine patted Mitt's hand and said, "back off this time and next time we will throw everything we've got behind you."

Fast forward to 2012 and pundits everywhere have been talking about how Mitt would have the nomination sewed up in fast order.  They've talked about how the states would "fall like dominoes" and the delegates would stack up behind Romney, who would be ready by the end of January or February to prep for his race against Obama.

Unfortunately for Mitt, the people kept getting in the way.

Thinking adults - though their numbers appear to be diminishing quickly - recognize that over the past four years, this nation has lurched violently toward the left.  Adults realize the burdensome plight ahead of us and know that nothing short of "radical" (dare I say "draconian") reforms are required to get us back on track.

I think the best the Mitt can offer are "adjustments" - not radical shifts.

There seems to be a growing malignancy in our nation's capitol and Republicans appear to be only slightly better than their counterparts.  In 2010 - thanks to the Tea Party and other Adults - Republicans were handed a great gift.  They quickly took charge of that "gift" and began to try and reshape it.  As we approach another election, we see that most, if not all, of their promises are still un-kept.  Constituents are bewildered.

Mitt just seems to offer more of the same.
Finally - if for no other reason - I oppose Mitt because I deplore being told what to do.

Tomorrow we will take a look at Newt.

Monday, March 26, 2012

"Everybody goes to Rick's"

As I try to better adapt, demonstrate and live a more Biblical worldview, I have been forced to rethink my ideas about politics.  I am trying to re-examine those views which I hold dear - holding them up to the light - in order to detect flaws.

I enjoy dabbling in politics- grew up hearing it discussed often.  The conventional wisdom among Christian bloggers seems to lean toward appearing apolitical but I just think that because Americans determine the direction of their country, they hold a higher responsibility than the citizenry of other nations.  As Americans - and more so as Christian Americans - I do not believe we can easily afford to pass on political questions.  If the country goes awry, we must be held accountable to some degree.

Furthermore, because I find my voice being increasingly boxed out, I am choosing this forum to air my thoughts.

If you have read any of my thoughts previously, you know that I am a hard-right leaning conservative.

In the last Presidential election, I voted -reluctantly- for John McCain; and that solely because of the decision to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate.

In some ways, I felt relieved when Barack Obama won the election.  I knew that John McCain would have only prolonged our dismal slogging toward destruction - at least Obama would take us there in a hurry.  My hope was that we could ride out the storm and the people would be ready to embrace a return to first principles.  I remembered Jimmy Carter's ridiculous term and how that afterward,  people would have accepted Richard Nixon back in the White House before voting for him again.
Perhaps Americans would learn quickly that our founder's knew what they were talking about.

I entered the Obama Presidency in the same way I faced my fears as a child on the little train in the petting zoo at Grant Park in Atlanta.  We went there each summer for a family reunion and I was afraid of the tunnels through which the train passed. I overcame that fear by riding the train and when approaching the tunnel, I would stare at the floor, shut everything out and practically hold my breath until it was over.

I entered 2009 with an attitude of "holding my breath until it was over".

In this year's primary vote, I opted for Rick Santorum and continue to feel that - of the present field - he's the best choice. 

Over the next few days, I will present some of my thoughts about the primary:  why I personally am not pulling for the other candidates, and why I am voting for Rick Santorum.

A few years back, R. and I were listening to Rick being interviewed on talk radio (I think it was during his failed attempt to return to the Senate).  I told her then - he's grooming for the presidency, his talk is on a national basis.

I wondered why he hasn't caught fire  during this election cycle.  Perhaps it is due to his lack of funding or the backing of the party.  Or maybe he is just simmering.

Tomorrow we look at the primary "front-runner" ... declared so much too early if you asked me ... Mitt Romney.