Thursday, May 22, 2008

The coming faux-conservative defeat

A good friend sent this along, courtesy of Sean Hannity. This is his idea of what McCain needs to do in order to be President of the United States. Let's examine these points, shall we:

1) To be the Candidate of National security:
a) Victory in Iraq
b) Fully support NSA, Patriot act, tough interrogations, keeping Gitmo open
c) A Candidate that pledges to NOT demean our military while they are fighting for their Country. eg Harry Reid: "the surge has failed", "the war is lost"
d) Candidate that promises to ensure that our veterans can live out their lives in dignity.

Iraq cannot be won; more to the point, as polls demonstrate, it's a losing issue. Torturing terrorists and spying on Americans is not only immoral--by virtually every ethical standard imaginable--it's wholly ineffective. Point c) is irrelevant. The last one is a good point, but it would be better to simply stop sending the troops to die for pointless causes.

I note, too, that Hannity has listed National Security as the most important issue. But this has never been the raison d'etre of the Republicans, and one need look no further than point one to see why the GOP is heading for a beatdown of historic proportions in the fall.

2) The Candidate who pledges to oppose Appeasement:
a) The Candidate will oppose any and all efforts to negotiate with dictators of the world in places like Iran, Syria, N.Korea, Cuba, and Venezuela without "pre-conditions"

Negotiation is a necessary step in the diplomatic process. As Pat Buchanan has repeatedly pointed out, FDR negotiated with Stalin, and Nixon talked with Mao. I find it impossible to believe that any of today's third-rate dictators are in the same league as the two biggest tyrants in history.

3) The Candidate Pledges to support Tax CUTS, and fiscal responsibility:
a) The American people are NOT under taxed, Government Spends too much
b) The Candidate who Pledges to ELIMINATE and VOTE AGAINST ALL Earmarks
c) The Candidate pledges to BALANCE the budget

Funny how Hannity ran Ron Paul out of town for running on these very points. Of course, Ron also has a record of fiscal conservatism, which probably makes him unpalatable to the neo-conservative Hannity. A hawk who is fiscally liberal is more at home in today's Republican party than a principled non-interventionist who has a proven record of fiscal conservatism. That's all you need to know.

Reagan and Bush both increased spending. You have to go back to Coolidge until you see a real spending cut. I don't know if Paul could cut spending in Washington. But I do know that moderate John McCain can't. Believing otherwise is foolish.

4) The Candidate Pledges to be a supporter of "Energy Independence"
a) supports Immediate drilling in Anwar and the 48 states
b) Building new refineries
c) Begin building and using Nuclear Facilities
d) expand coal mining
e) realistic steward of the environment
While simultaneously working with private industry to develop the new energy technologies for the future, with the goal being that America becomes completely energy independent within the next 15 years.

I'm all for drilling domestically, but would someone please tell me what the government has to do with oil supply? How hard is it to deregulate, get out of the way, and let the market go to work?

And what does work with private industry even mean? If the market can support an alternative form of energy, it will. If it cannot, government coercion is only going to waste taxpayer money, though I suppose it will also provide jobs for otherwise unemployable art majors.

5) The Candidate pledges to secure our borders completely within 12 months:
a) build all necessary fences
b) use all available technology to help and support agents at the border
c) train and hire agents as needed

This is a particularly stupid point, and not because I disagree with Hannity about the importance of border security. The fact of the matter is that it is impossible to defend a border as large as ours is, especially with two wars going on elsewhere in the world. As for the fence, despite the legislation that passed that requires it, it's quite simply never going to get built.

The solution to the illegal immigration problem is simple. If you remove the incentives which draw illegals to America, they will go back home. Imposing exorbitant fines on companies that hire illegals will cause employers to balk at the costs incumbent on getting caught; they will thus cease hiring illegals. The barbarians will then return to their own homes.

6) Healthcare:
The Candidate will look for Free-Market solutions to the problems facing the Healthcare industry, and will vigorously oppose any efforts to "nationalize healthcare".
a) The Candidate will fight for Individual health savings accounts, that includes "catastrophic insurance" for every American, so people can control their own healthcare choices.

Question: if the government keeps your money as "catastrophic insurance", whose money is it? It sure isn't yours. Sometimes Big Government conservative types like Hannity get confused about what a free market solution really is.

7) Education:
a) The Candidate pledges to "save" American children from the failing educational system
b) The Candidate will fight to break the unholy alliance of the Democratic party and teachers unions, which at best has institutionalized mediocrity, and has failed children across the country
c) fight for "CHOICE" in education and let parents decide
d) fight for vouchers for parents

The correct response is to abolish the Department of Education and let the states do the work. The federal government should have no role in educating the unwashed masses.

Alternatively, I would also accept "burn the schools" as an answer.

8) Social Security and Medicare:
a) The Candidate will "save" social security and medicare from bankruptcy.
b) Options will include "private retirement" funds so people can "control" their own destiny.

What about letting people opt out of a socialist retirement scheme? Again, if your private account is held by the government, you're not the owner of anything--save your chains.

The quickest way to "save" socialist security is to stop pouring money down the rat hole known as Iraq.

9) Judges
a) The Candidate vows to support ONLY judges who recognize that their job is to interpret the Constitution, and NOT legislate from the bench.

Finally, we agree on something. Now raise your hand if you really think John "gang of fourteen" McCain is going to appoint another Scalia. All of those with your hands up have failed the intelligence test necessary to secure your ability to vote. Better luck next election.

10) American Dream:
The Candidate accepts as their duty and responsibility to educate, inform, and remind people that with the blessings of Freedom comes a Great responsibility. That Government's primary goal is to preserve, protect and defend our God given gift of freedom.

That Government's do not have the ability to solve all of our problems, and to take away all of our fears and concerns. We need their pledge that we will be the candidate that promotes Individual liberty, Capitalism, a strong national defense and will support policies that encourage such...

It is our fundamental belief that limited Government, and Greater individual responsibility will insure the continued prosperity and success for future generations.

We the people who believe in the words of Ronald Reagan, that we are "the best last hope for man on this earth," "a shining city on a hill," and that our best days are before us if our Government will simply trust the American people.

Ignoring the fact that our best days are almost certainly behind us, notice that this contradicts almost all of his actual points. A government that is big enough to protect everyone from the hobgoblins that always threaten us is one that is, by definition, inimical to liberty. That Hannity seeks to use the government to offer "free market solutions" to problems caused by the very government which he clumsily champions is proof enough of what his conservatism really is.

I have never regretted abandoning the republican party, but I am going to be unusually thankful when McCain gets slaughtered in the Most Importantest Election Ever in November.

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