Monday, January 21, 2008

The Aftermath of SC

Well, folks, it looks like Thompson didn't pull off that miracle Karen and I have been praying about for the last couple of weeks. I've heard various arguments for whether or not he should stay in until February 5, and I can't say I know which I prefer. My delusions of a Thompson surge are all but vanished.

So where does this leave me? Maybe you should ask me after Florida. Giuliani's chances seem to be decreasing my the hour, and I might agree with some of you that this is not an altogether bad thing. I suppose at this moment, I am most interested in seeing Romney do well. Even though he is not very much of a conservative, he is at least more conservative than McCain and Huckabee (I dislike these two liberals almost equally).

Here is an interesting discussion over at Redstate. The comments are as interesting as the post. What will I do if the nominee is McCain or Huckabee? I have no idea. I'm glad I don't have to make that call yet.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please tell me that you wouldn't vote for Giuliani even if his "chances" weren't decreasing. Is there a difference between him and Bill Clinton other than their political parties? Talk about immoral...!

Romney being your #2 choice is interesting. I guess I just can't get through my head, that you would vote for a "conservative" regardless of what they believe on anything else. I'm a conservative, but I'm a Christian before I'm a conservative. We're talking about somebody who believes that Jesus and the Devil are brothers (and yes, mormons Do believe that even though that topic seems to be Taboo after Huckabee brought it up). You don't see any problem with having a National Leader who believes and stands by that??

So fine, we get sombody that is for tax cuts, small government, whatever, but they're pro-abortion. (Yeah I know--Romney supposedly isn't "anti-life" anymore. And I know that you've already gone through some of those hypothetical situations on here.) I like what Randy Alcorn said: "Sacrifice children on the altar of Republicanism? I won’t do it. The children aren’t expendable. The Republican party is. The logic that we’ll really save lives because fewer will die under Rudy than Hillary doesn’t cut it. No, I’ll vote for someone who won’t sacrifice children on the altar of expedience, pragmatism, partisanship or economic philosophy. And I won’t consider it a wasted vote, because if the two options on a ballot so blatantly dishonor Christ and His values, then the real waste would be voting for one of them.”

You might have already read that post on my old blog, but in case you haven't, here's a link: http://www.morgandenise.com/?p=665. That contains a link to the full article by Randy as well.

Morgan

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

I agree with Morgan. The suggestion that you'd vote for Giuliani but not for Huckabee is perverse.

Why? Because you're willing to use the lesser-of-two-evils principle on abortion, but not on economic conservatism. This kind of thinking is indefensible.

todd said...

Strong words Stephen -- I have to admit though, Philip's political pandering on this blog does make a case for your comments.

Say it ain't so Philip. I'd like to hear you get hypothetical -- what would you do? Seems like you'd have a ready answer that seeing how decisive your comments come off on your blog.

Philip said...

Seriously, it's getting hard to get a word in edgewise, and on my own blog to boot! Don't you guys have jobs--or hobbies other than commenting on this blog?

I like Morgan's quote, except I would change a few words:

"Sacrifice conservatism on the altar of Republicanism? I won’t do it. Conservative principles aren’t expendable. The Republican party is. The logic that increased government taxes and spending and feel-good foreign policy should be accepted because abortion will be outlawed by Huckabee (oh wait, it won't be) doesn’t cut it. No, I’ll vote for someone who won’t sacrifice conservative principles on the altar of expedience, pragmatism, partisanship or good-intentioned wishful-thinking. And I won’t consider it a wasted vote, because if the two options on a ballot so blatantly dishonor Reagan and his values, then the real waste would be voting for one of them.”

Stephen: The reason I can accept Romney or Giuliani in a lesser-of-two-evils scenario (and I'm not completely convinced about Giuliani--or Romney) and not consider McCain or Huckabee is because the first two will at least give conservative principles a shot. The last two seem very committed to tearing down conservative principles.

And as I have explained several times before on this blog, abortion (a hugely important issue) gets a lower weighting in the scale for the simple reason that the president can do so little about it. Giuliani and Romney have both pledged to appoint originalist Supreme Court justices. This comprises about 95% of a future president's effect on abortion policy. That's enough for a check in the pro-life box beside their names.

Yes, I know Giuliani is not really pro-life, but he does believe in the constitution and will work to limit judicial activism. Again, I'm not sold on him--I know he has some baggage.

My conservative principles will remain unchanged: 1)Limited Government, 2)National Security, and 3)Abortion and Social Values. I will continue to defend or attack any and all candidates based on these principles.

I'll ask again: What are your principles? Because if they are 1)Abortion, 2)Abortion and 3)Abortion, you're not really a principles voter, you are an identity voter. All a candidate need do is sell himself as matching your preferred identity and he has you. Indeed, I believe, among many Christians, Huckabee has done just that.

Travis said...

I don't understand your reasoning. Not only am I surprised; I'm disappointed. Yes, the President has little direct influence on the abortion issue. What does it say; however, about the character of a man who affirms the taking of innocent life? What does it say about the character of a man who is a pure political opportunist? Romney is a chameleon who attempts to blend in with his surroundings—pro-choice in Massachusetts; social conservative in Iowa; agent of change in New Hampshire; auto industry protector in Michigan.

Conservative principles? How about principles? Period. Your new guys lack them, but they are sound on tax issues and national defense.

Stephen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen said...

The distinction that needs to be made, Philip, is that between moral and practical issues. Abortion and gay marriage are moral issues. The size of government, taxation, national defense, and health care, to name a few, are practical issues.

Compromise on practical issues can yield good results--this is why a lesser-of-two-evils approach works in this realm. Conservative principles are not Biblically mandated; they just work the best.

On the other hand, compromise on moral issues is what has corrupted this nation to begin with. Moral issues like abortion and homosexuality are explicitly addressed in the Bible, and as Christians, we are clearly instructed to oppose these abominations.

You've already explained that you are approaching the abortion issue practically by supporting anyone who pledges to appoint strict constitutionalist judges. But do you take a practical approach to the advancement of conservative principles? Since you approach the moral issue practically, I expect you would here also.

This is where the flaws in your logic lie. Namely:

1. If you approach the abortion issue practically, how can you say your position is better served by allowing Clinton/Obama/Edwards to win by not voting for Huckabee if he is in fact the nominee? Huckabee has already committed to appoint only strict constitutionalist Supreme Court justices.

2. If you approach issues of conservative principles practically, how can you say your position is better served by not voting for Huckabee? He may not be as conservative as we would like, but surely he is more conservative than any of the Democrats.

Only fanatic opposition of Mike Huckabee could lead to such irrational positions.

Philip said...

Travis: I make no claim that Giuliani or, to a lesser extent, Romney have sparkling-clean characters. I agree that they seem more than willing to change their positions on issues as it suits them politically. However, I also see McCain and, yes, even Huckabee as also possessing this dubious trait. The only guy a trust is Thompson (and even he did some switching in the past), but he is no longer in the game. Therefore, if all candidates have character issues, then character plays a much lesser role in my decision-making process. Character matters to me a great deal, it just doesn't happen to matter in this year's primary.

Stephen: You are mixing two issues. Your last two statements deal with the case of Huckabee vs. a Democrat. Honestly, I have only begun my analysis of this situation. He would probably destroy the Republican party and do considerable harm to the conservative movement (not to mention wreck the economy and endanger the nation's defense), but he probably would be better than any of the Democrats. I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Note that this argument also applies to you in the case of Giuliani vs. a Democrat. Wouldn't he be better for the country and even for values than a Democrat?

Now to answer your first comments concerning practical issues vs. moral issues. As I've pointed out before, stealing is right up their with murder in the Ten Commandments, so limited government and lower taxes is also a moral issue. National security is also a moral issue, as we are protecting human life here as well.

However, in the political realm, even moral issues must be dealt with practically (Yes, I support conservative principles in a practical way, hence my tacit support of lesser candidates). Presidents face certain realities in shaping public policy. To ignore these in favor of moral purity is to ensure political defeat.

Ultimately, these moral issues will and must be decided in the human heart rather than at the ballot box. Even if you somehow managed to secure a political victory (think about Prohibition), it would always be in danger of being overturned. Even Constitutional amendments are not guaranteed to be permanent. Only a change of heart can accomplish what you wish to achieve--through the preaching of the gospel. No president can deliver what you ask of him in this regard.

Stephen said...

>Note that this argument also applies to you in the case of Giuliani vs. a Democrat. Wouldn't he be better for the country and even for values than a Democrat?

I only applied this line of reasoning to you because you already took the pragmatic approach. When it comes to abortion, I haven't relinquished idealism.

Philip said...

Oh, so the pot calls the kettle black, just not that shade of black. :)