Revisions/extensions (11:44 pm 1/3/2008) – This was originally posted 12:51 pm 12/17/2007; I bumped this to the top because the Iowa caucus is today. Also, I redacted Tom Tancredo’s bit; he dropped out after the initial posting.
R&E part 2 (5:08 pm 1/3/2008) – I didn’t realize that with “pretty” permalinks, I had destroyed those that had linked to the page before I bumped this up to the top. Sorry about that. I fixed that oversight.
R&E part 3 (7:58 pm 1/7/2008) – Back to the top again just in time for New Hampshire.
R&E part 4 (5:59 am 1/29/2008) – Cold, hard reality has set in with the ouster of Fred Thompson and Duncan Hunter. At this point, I can’t recommend anybody, but I’ll put this back at the top.
R&E part 5 (6:37 am 1/31/2008) – Call it rationalization, call it what you will, but if the Double Talk Express wants to lie through his teeth, I will do whatever I can to stop him. Also, scratch Rudy Giuliani.
I wanted to do this last week as a companion piece to the “24 campaigning days to Iowa” one, but things got a bit topsy-turvy. John Washburn took me to task for not including Ron Paul in the look at why the top-runners would and would not get their party’s nomination; I’ll briefly explain why not. While Paul’s support is a mile deep, with another $4 million+ money bomb yesterday, in terms of Republican voters, it’s two feet wide, with no real support in any early-state poll.
With that bit of housekeeping out of the way, it’s time to note that there are 17 campaigning days until the Iowa caucuses and climb the molehill. Wisconsin set its too-late-to-matter Republican primary ballot order in a very convenient way for me (H/T – Jib/Badger Blog Alliance), so that’s the order I’ll take the candidates. John, and supporters of Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, will be glad to know I’ll include them this time.
Rudy Giuliani Why I could support him: He is very willing to engage in the war against radical Islam, indeed calling it just that. He says he wants to appoint conservative judges. He has a track record of cutting taxes. What mitigates against supporting him: Oh, where to begin? Let’s start with his unabashed support of Roe v Wade and subsequent court rulings imposing abortion-on-demand from the bench. Instead of cutting spending to match cut taxes, he raised fees. He ran a sanctuary city. He loves the idea of grabbing guns. I could go on all day, but I’m out of time.
The policy takeaway: Given I believe that borders are meant to be enforced, the role of government and especially the judicial branch is to be limited, and the Second Amendment means we the people can defend ourselves against among other things a tyrannical government, I cannot support Giuliani in the primary.
Why I could support him: He won’t attack Christianity or gun owners.
What mitigates against supporting him: Oh, where to begin, part deux? I’ll start with his tax record; he begged for tax hikes while in Arkansas. Staying with taxes, he wants a national sales tax of 30% to replace everything else. He is a lover of big-government solutions to problems. He likes the idea of an intrusive government. He is, at best, terribly naiive on foreign policy and at worst the second coming of Jimmy Carter. Once again, I could go on all day, but I’m out of time.
The policy takeaway: There is absolutely, positively nothing conservative about Huckabee, so I cannot support him in the primary.
Duncan Hunter Why I could support him: He recognizes we need a secure southern border, and pretty much alone among the candidates, he recognizes the threat that Red China poses. What mitigates against supporting him: His support of the “Fair”Tax.
The policy takeaway: Hunter is very intriguing.
Why I could support him: He’s pretty tough on the war against radical Islam, and very outspoken against pork-barrel spending.
What mitigates against supporting him: Again, where to begin? He does not comprehend the First Amendment. He has a rabid opposition to tax cuts (not to be confused with his opposition to tax hikes). He has a mistaken, though personally-justifiable, aversion to torture and near-torture.
The policy takeaway: Between McCain-Feingold and his opposition to tax cuts to try to force a cut in spending, out goes McCain in the primary consideration.
Why I could support him: On most domestic issues, he is a Constitutionalist.
What mitigates against supporting him: How many times am I going to ask, “Where to begin?” Let’s start with a complete lack of comprehension of how those outside of the United States think. I’ll toss in a lack of knowledge of world history. He is a goldbug who refuses to acknowledge the Golden Age of Gold has ended.
The policy takeaway: Given I’m an amateur student of history, Paul’s lack of comprehension is a disqualifier in the primary.
Why I could support him: All of his flips have been to the right.
What mitigates against supporting him: He who flips tends to flop back (I didn’t mention it earlier, but Michelle Malkin has the transcript on the flopback on amnesty). One of those flips that haven’t happened and indeed was reinforced was his gun-grabbing tendency.
The policy takeaway: If only I could believe,….
Tom Tancredo Why I could support him: He is the strongest candidate against illegal immigration. He does exhibit some federalist tendencies. What mitigates against supporting him: He also is the strongest candidate against legal immigration.
The policy takeaway: So close, yet so far. Fred Thompson Why I could support him: He’s strong on the war against radical Islam, his tax plan (borrowed from my Congressman, Paul Ryan) is eminently supportable, and he has serious federalist tendencies. What mitigates against supporting him: He had a significant lapse of reason regarding the First Amendment, and that was only partially remedied.
The policy takeaway: He’s the second-most-intriguing candidate on the issues.
With the policy cases made, I can now take intangibles into account, such as popularity. I would have recommended Duncan Hunter, and indeed, I have donated to his campaign, but he failed to catch on with even the Republican faithful. Similarily, I would have recommended (and did recommend) Fred Thompson, but once again, he didn’t catch on with even the Republican faithful outside the blogosphere.
Taking everything into account, I am recommending
Fred Thompson nobody at this time Mitt Romney in the Republican Presidential primary.
Revisions/extensions (11:18 pm 1/1/2008) – Welcome, those of you who followed in from the subtle pimping over at Hot Air. Well, Michael in MI asked for a listing of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, and I had noticed a certain lack of collation of same. I am usually a man of few words, but I tried to stick to “hard” items I could verify.