Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fair Enough: So What Happens Now…in the U. S. and Illinois?

First, set aside the exuberance of the Left…that the election of 2006 was a mighty tidal wave of approval for it…and the hysteria of the Right…that the election was a disaster for it that can only be equated with the flood that made Noah and his family lone survivors. The fundamental calculus in distinctions between the two parties exists just about as closely as it did before November 7. For ten years prior both parties ranged from 47% to 51% of the popular vote and the 2006 totals will not vary significantly.

Second, much depends upon George W. Bush who can be less of a lame duck than formerly predicted. If he continues the firm tack in Iraq until the end of his term and resists the Democratic tendency to cut appropriations and troop levels…and if he has to accept them points out Democratic responsibility for leaving troops stranded in midst of a war, he can win: for the general tendency of the American voter is to win…not retreat—if a better reason than has been advanced heretofore can be given to warrant their support. If he weakens and decides he’s going to serve out his time and hope there is no recurrence of terrorism, he will be the loser. If…and this is important…the Democrats engage in a serious fight with him on strategy and keep up their strident calls for retreat—and something unfortunate happens—the shift in sentiment will be like night and day and Democrats will wear the collar for weakness that can determine elections for the next decade. The one thing I don’t like…and fear, actually…is the malleable gang that seems to be oozing into the government through the cracks in the wall: the Jim Baker crowd and especially the appointment of Daddy Bush’s hand-holder, Bob Gates. How the determination was made to give them entry is a mystery to me. I hope Bush hasn’t been reduced to listening to his creaky father whose arteriosclerosis in foreign policy and defense goes back to the preppy whimper “we can negotiate with them.” First the Russians and Chinese, now the terrorist nations of the Middle East.

Third, on the domestic front enough will be gained through dickering to avoid a standoff. Bush will agree to a minimum wage hike: so what? The walls aren’t going to fall except at the Cato Institute. Bush and the Democrats will agree to a humane…and, I hope, reasonably stringent…agreement on immigration—an agreement that could not have been attained if the Congress stayed Republican. Here the devil will be in the details but I don’t think disaster is looming over the horizon if something resembling the GOP Senate bill is passed with some of the kinks the conservatives called to our attention being ironed out. The Right will kill me when it reads this.

Fourth, the chance is that Charlie Rangel will settle for tax-free savings vehicles for lower-paid workers which is not too far from the private accounts that Bush had crusaded for. So if both sides drop a lot of the rhetoric, some constructive things can be attained.

Fifth, the presidential thing has opened up enormously in the past few weeks. Barack Obama is more than a token. He can very, very seriously become the Democratic presidential nominee—if the Rahm Emanuel-David Axelrod brain trust enables him to pursue a steady course. I don’t like either one of them but they’re very moderate strategists—not bomb-throwers. The fractured nature of the Democrats on the war should prohibit Hillary Clinton from getting the nod. My old Park Ridge neighbor (she lived on the corner down the block from me where I live on the corner) turns into a shrill harridan-type the moment she delivers an oration when her voice rises to a disagreeable shriek. On the Republican side, say goodbye to George W. Bush clones: notably George Allen and his cowboy boots and Sam Brownback and all those other nice guys.

At the moment, I would judge Rudy Giuliani too strident in social views to get nominated for president—but not for vice president. I hate to say it but John McCain…whom I’m not very fond of…a man of no fixed compass points except with the war is the man to beat. No conservative (and McCain forfeited his ideological stripes with authorship of that abomination, McCain-Feingold) even approaches him. Ugh: how sorry I am to say that. A very likely possibility would be McCain for president and Giuliani for vice-president which could be very, very successful. I’m convinced that this ticket would be elected over, say, a Barack Obama for president and a Sam Nunn-like figure (not Sam Nunn but someone like him) for vice president. And be elected over a Hillary Clinton-Barack Obama ticket or one turned around. The idea of two loose cannons—McCain and Giuliani—running the country causing the administration to detonate through spontaneous combustion is very possible. But we’re talking election here, aren’t we?

Sixth, about the Illlinois GOP. The foregoing scenario shows that divided government can work in Washington…that the Democrats will have to be very cautious about withdrawing troops levels and cutting appropriations for Iraq without becoming the goat party of defeat, disaster and disunion. The whole story about the nation shows that things can work out…and probably will—and that a Republican ticket I suggested can get elected. But that doesn’t go for Illinois.

In Illinois, an entire generation has not known anything remotely like a Reagan philosophy of state government—from Dick Ogilvie to Jim Thompson to Jim Edgar (although he had some thrift in him) to George Ryan to the recent Judy Baar Topinka. Liberals don’t like to be reminded that Judy received fewer votes than the apocalyptically anti-political Alan Keyes…saying that Keyes ran in a presidential year and thus got more total votes and Judy in an off-year and got fewer…but political theologians can debate that for years and come to no conclusion. The point is that mainstream media and liberal pundits have sold a bill of goods to GOP voters that only a “Combine”-clone can win. The incredible shrinking away of a GOP base for Judy proved them wrong (although they are still in denial).

The other day the Mother Church of Benign Republican Accommodation-ism, the “Tribune” issued a list of people, purportedly acceptable to it, for future GOP leadership. They were, almost all of them, familiar players with the “Combine.” The writer was one Rick Pearson who has been cheek-and-jowl with the “Combine” to whom the thought “conservative” is anathema. That list, which includes the man who was the fisherman’s lure distracting enough conservatives away to achieve a Topinka nomination (and who now tells Pearson: “who, me?”) is totally the wrong one. Thus there has to be a knock-down, drag-out battle to make the Republican party whole again. The fixer Bob Kjellander has to go and long before he’s led away in cuffs from the defendant’s table. Probably Andy McKenna, a nice guy but with no inner-force in him, has to go. There has to be a responsible but effective figurative blood-letting before the party returns to the kind of party other states have: no visible “Combine”…no big-time lobbyists making political policy for the GOP with wink-and-nod deals with Dems which started with Ogilvie…and a huge effort at reform.

That means reform of campaign finance…the ending of corporate and union donations (I’m a member of two unions: one in connection with my modest radio show and the other as a modesty paid adjunct professor at Roosevelt) to state and local politics…very possibly the passage of stringent contributory levels on giving. I think it means more voter participation in the election of the State Central Committee. Originally members were elected on a ballot in primaries; Big Jim Elephantine, Esq. with his arrogance changed all that and made the SCC members appointive by local committees (it smacks of inside dealing and indeed is: notwithstanding the weak nature of the SCCs anyhow). My only reservation about this would be to retain the concept that one not have to be a member of the Committee but who can be elected from outside.

The sooner the figurative blood-letting begins, the sooner the GOP will come back to life. In doing this, there must be no attention…with very few exceptions…to the mainstream media whose formal political writers…not all—but notable exceptions--are (a) illiterate and agnostic on philosophy and (b) sentimentally and femininely co-opted by liberaldom and the cause of the Left. I can only express this hope: let the figurative bloodletting begin!


  1. Yes, why haven't McKenna and Kjellander already had the decency to go!? They should have tendered their resignations the day after the election!!

    Keeping those guys around is like the Captain of the Exxon Valdez trying to stay around after grounding his supertanker.

    Hit the bricks losers!

  2. The thought of McCain getting the nomination for president makes me nauseous.

  3. I've always marveled at the way GWB's first campaign and nomination materialized almost from nowhere, despite his evident flaws at the time.

    Maybe the resurrection of GWHB hands is not a coincidence.

  4. Lovie's LeatherNovember 14, 2006 at 9:47 AM

    Of course, for the second day in a row, you bring out the Judy got less than Keyes crap. How many votes did your candidate get this year, Tom? Maybe 1,000? My person got 1,332,735. And your person got numbers too insignificant for me to know. Roeser's dream of the Republican party: running write-in candidates!

  5. L.L. it doesn't matter whether voters went to Stufflebeam, Whitney, or just skipped the race. The important thing is enough Republicans stood-up and said NO to Topinka, the wacky Dem that the Dems don't want either.

    The gay activists need to look elsewhere. The GOP is not the place to advance that agenda. And let's face it, the gay community was about the only group excited about Topinka. She was their Great White Hope.

  6. Lovie's LeatherNovember 14, 2006 at 6:23 PM

    I want as many people to vote Republican as possible. I am not going to segregate one group as democrats or otherwise. I think that just reaching out to the stereotypical white christian male is a bad idea nowadays. I certainly don't care much for homosexuality... but that doesn't mean that I don't want their votes....

  7. This time, in your comments on prospective presidential nominees, you make a glaring omission: Why no mention of the rising prospects of Mitt Romney, the "New England governor with Southern values"?

  8. ....when you consider that the results of the congressional election (and even state races) were greatly influenced by the occupation of Iraq.

    The following link is to a debate between George McGovern, Dennis Kucinich, and Joshua Muravchik -- an American Enterprise Institute fellow -- over the future of American military involvement in Iraq.


    Maybe your readers might be interested in what the media might look like if a liberal bias of the mainstream media really existed.

    By the way, notice how the AEI fellow attempts to blame McGovern for Pol Pot's rise in Cambodia rather than recognizing the role of the unauthorized Nixon/Kissinger bombing of Cambodia creating the instability leading to the fall of Prince Norodom Sihanouk's regime.

    No need to guess who the AEI will blame for the the continued violence after the withdrawal of US troops.

  9. Lovie's LeatherNovember 15, 2006 at 2:55 PM

    I stopped reading that stupid transcript the second that McGovern said the withdrawl from Vietnam was quick and forced, "where we saw the TV pictures of our last survivors there being airlifted off the roof of the embassy." He obviously doesn't remember that all US forces had been out of Vietnam at the time of Operation Frequent Wind. There was absolutely no funding for any military forces in Vietnam at the time of the evacuation. Those were civilians in a mad rush, not American troops. This guy is obviously a moron, and felt absolutely no conviction to read that crap further. Anyone who does attempt to read it, will be dropping IQ points by the bucket loads!