A Constitutionalist’s View of the GOP Presidential Hopefuls
There’s reluctance among conservatives to see the ideological flaws of the current crop of president-wannabes but unless we’re willing to line up each one of the 11 Republican contenders and strip off his 3 piece posturing to look deep into his political past, we’ll simply be fooling ourselves (again) when it comes to supporting a candidate for president.
Much like a woman who wants to get married so badly she ignores those ‘deal-breaking’ flaws, when it comes to the Republicans vying for the nomination, we just don’t want to face the truth, because well, it would hurt too much to say, once again, "He’s not for me", and move on, when there might not be anyone else to move on to. That kind of thinking always leads to desperation and ultimately disappointment.
For those who’ve been saying "he’s good enough, you can’t have everything" I offer the following perspective of the Republicans in the ’08 lineup.
Mitt Romney: Nice hair, easy on the eyes, good suits, and lousy standard-bearer for the pro-life, pro-family, pro-limited government constitutionalist crowd.
First off, Romney’s lightning bolt conversion to a pro-life candidate isn’t fooling many. His RomneyCare health plan, which he signed into law just over a year ago, forces the taxpayers of Massachusetts to pay for the gruesome slaughter of thousands of pre-born children in the state each year.
Romney campaigned for Governor of Massachusetts as a pro-choice candidate, and was endorsed by a pro-abortion political group. Regarding his position on abortion he said: "… When asked, will I preserve and protect a women’s right to choose, I make an unequivocal answer: Yes".
If, after hearing Romney wax conservative in the recent GOP debates you’re confused about Romney’s stand on abortion, marriage, gun control, gay rights or immigration, don’t feel too badly. Up until recently he was a hard core liberal on all of those issues.
Now Mitt’s hoping people will pay attention to what he says these days, not to what he did while governor of Massachusetts. While in office, Romney:
- supported and promoted legalizing homosexual civil unions
- opposed the Boy Scouts’ ban on homosexual scoutmasters
- refused to endorse original Massachusetts’ constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman
In 2002 Romney had this to say about some of the most draconian gun laws in the nation: "We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts; I support them," Mitt said. "I won’t chip away at them; I believe they protect us and provide for our safety."
Fred Thompson: Sorry folks, the kindly actor you’ve come to know through the TV series "Law and Order" is not who you’d like him to be. Despite the polls (AP/ IPSOS 6/9/07) which tout Thompson as a darling among conservatives, most are apparently ignorant of his political pedigree. Like his friend, McCain and other GOP leaders, he is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a main group behind the North American Union.
Thompson’s "Pro-Life" position in his own words: "Abortions should be legal in all circumstances as long as the procedure is completed within the first trimester of the pregnancy."
After 8 years as a US Senator from Tennessee, Thompson racked up some votes that should be cause for concern. He voted YES:
1. in support of the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Act- the law to silence grassroots conservative groups.
2. to expand NAFTA. Modeled after the European Common Market, NAFTA was a first step toward open borders in North America and the North American Union.
3. on allowing more foreign workers into the US for farm work. (Jul 1998)
4. on authorizing use of military force against Iraq. (Oct 2002)
5. for permanent normal trade relations with China. (Sep 2000)
6. for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. (Aug 1999)
7. to fund the GOP Medicare prescription drug benefit debacle.
Thompson also seems to believe in a robust military presence worldwide and apparently advocates continued US military involvement in Iraq."(Freemarket news.com) Prior to his run for U.S. Senate, he was a Washington lobbyist for 20 years.
Newt Gingrich: Not even close… In 1995 the 104th Congress’ House of Representatives, led by Speaker Gingrich was made up of 73 spanking new representatives who had their sights set on reducing the size, scope and cost of the federal government. They weren’t allowed to. Gingrich saw to that.
Remember Newt’s "Contract with America"? While it was portrayed as a way to fix our country’s problems it did nothing of the sort. The policies therein were unconstitutional, NATO was expanded, the feds got more control of law enforcement, laws affecting children and more. Within a year Gingrich’s approval rating had tanked. CFR member Gingrich tried to portray himself as a true ‘conservative’ twelve years ago, now he’s doing it again as a possible candidate for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.
Gingrich’s globalist pedigree was evident back in 1994’s lame-duck session of Congress. His cheerleading for GATT and the WTO made sure the votes on those two sovereignty-bludgeoning tools got a pass. The vote on GATT should have been held off for a month when a more conservative Congress convened in January of 1995. GATT, that 120 member trade alliance that now dictates our trade policies has become part of the underpinning for the implementation of the North American Union. Thanks, Newt. (Seeing a pattern here?)
Gingrich, in 1978, supported the creation of the Department of Education. Our kids have been paying for the expansion of federal control over schools ever since. Can you say: "way down the list of industrialized nations in math, science and literacy scores?" Sure you can!
After that, Newt went on to support giving taxpayer money to the evil power that is Communist China, then voted to approve most-favored-nation trading status for the regime so fond of murdering political dissidents and harvesting the organs of those they’ve deemed "criminals". This, from the man labeled one of America’s foremost "conservatives".
Sam Brownback: Kansas Senator, elected in 1996 to the seat held by Bob Dole. On marriage Brownback said: "The right to marry is not the right to redefine marriage. Marriage is the union of one man and one woman."
Brownback is staunchly pro-life saying: "Abortion ends a human life". His votes have resulted in a 0% rating by NARAL. However, Senator Brownback softens his otherwise pro-life stance by saying he could support a pro-abortion nominee for president.
A voting record indicative of the senator’s decidedly unconstitutional political positions include:
1. YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security.
2. YES on enlarging NATO to include Eastern Europe. (NATO does nothing to protect the United States and again, brings us into foreign alliances our Founders warned against)
3. YES on implementing CAFTA for Central America free-trade. (If you liked what NAFTA did for the US economy you’ll love CAFTA!)
4. YES on permanent normal trade relations with China.
5. YES on funding GOP Medicare prescription drug debacle.
6. YES on reauthorizing the un-patriotic PATRIOT Act.
7. NO on getting troops out of Iraq by July 2007.
Disappointingly, Senator Brownback voted to send American troops to fight in Iraq. He’d do well to read the Constitution; not just because he sits on a House subcommittee regarding that august document, but, like his colleagues, he swore an oath to uphold and defend the principles therein; chief among them, no unauthorized wars. Brownback said that he never read the National Intelligence Estimate (the justification for the war) in advance. This lack of preparation is inexcusable.
Mike Huckabee: Governor of Arkansas for over 10 years, a Southern Baptist preacher, he’s pro-life, unapologetically Christian and is vocal in his rejection of the theory of evolution.
* has been criticized for raising taxes but says he cut taxes 94 times while in office.
* says he would have made the decision to go to war in Iraq if he were president.
* supports a guest worker program and has commented that "racism" could be responsible for those who oppose it.
* signed one of the highest minimum wage laws in the region.
His "nanny-state" tendencies are evident in his consideration of a law to ban pregnant women from smoking and his support for laws that require school children be weighed for obesity.
These state-level policy decisions are an indication Governor Huckabee takes a ‘more-is-better’ approach to the federal government’s role. Those who subscribe to a constitutionally-sound political ideology could not support Huckabee for president.
"How’s that working for you" is a phrase TV psychologist and author Dr. Phil is fond of asking those he counsels. After listening to those troubled by chaos and failed relationships, Dr. Phil asks the simple question to make a simple point: Continuing certain behaviors that have repeatedly failed to produce a desired outcome is just plain nuts. Yet that is what American voters are considering when they register approval for candidates like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani.
John McCain: Anger issues aside, John McCain sponsored a major piece of legislation so destructive to the republic it’s mind-boggling that the man could still be considered a "conservative". These two words should send chills down the spines of every liberty-loving American: McCain-Feingold.
The result of this and most ‘campaign finance reform’ was to make sure that only the richest people would even consider running for office. By making it so that a wealthy person couldn’t give more than a couple of thousand dollars to anyone running for office except himself, now only rich people will go for it.
The New York Daily News came up with this estimate of the candidates’ finances: Mitt Romney $250 million, Rudy Giuliani $70 million, John Edwards $62 million, John McCain $25 million, Sen. Hillary Clinton $15 million, and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson $10 million.
What makes the McCain-Feingold bill even worse, much worse, is it effectively restricts the content of political speech through advocacy groups.
The Senator from Arizona, one of the states most affected by the flood of illegals, has totally ignored the folks back home and the severe impact illegal immigration is having on their daily lives by leading the effort for the Bush amnesty plan.
Other inexplicable behavior which should give those contemplating supporting a McCain candidacy in ’08 pause includes McCain’s opposition to tax cuts in 2001. McCain sounded like a true Marxist when explaining why he opposed the cuts saying: "I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief."
Rudy Giuliani: "I cannot, and will not, vote for Rudy Giuliani in 2008". Those were the words Christian psychologist and commentator Dr. James Dobson. Dobson echoed the sentiments of many Republicans who are horrified that Rudy Giuliani would actually be their party’s choice in ’08. The former NY mayor’s positions on abortion, gay rights, gun control and illegal immigration, among other issues have conservatives seeking a lifeboat should Rudy get the nod.
The former mayor stated, "I understand the Second Amendment" and, regarding owning guns for hunting or collections, Giuliani believes "there is a right to do that." So that’s what the second amendment is all about, hunting and collecting antiques!
On immigration Giuliani has said he believes illegals should be able to "acquire" citizenship. I believe that’s called "amnesty", Mayor. Finessing liberal stances to make them more palatable is sure to fool some of the people, some of the time, to be sure, but those who’re paying attention aren’t buying it. Many suggest (Rasmussen poll 5/9/07) that they’d consider voting for third party candidate before they’d vote for Giuliani.
In addition to the ultra liberal Giuliani’s positions on the issues there are other considerations that do not bode well for the republic should this man become president. According to journalist Cliff Kincaid, Giuliani’s law firm is acting as legal counsel for the Spanish company (Cintra) that has been given the go-ahead to operate a toll-road in the Trans Texas Corridor project. This NAFTA Superhighway conduit would be the first time a foreign interest was awarded a building contract for a massive highway system. (Note that the silence about this project, not to mention Rudy’s unholy alliance with it, is deafening. Neither Congress nor the mainstream media has touched either subject).
As our review of this first group of candidates points out, they cannot be counted on to wage the much needed battles for constitutional government, therefore they have been dubbed, "The Seven Dwarfs." Moving in a more positive direction we turn our attention to several contenders who, thankfully, have taken solid positions on issues important to conservatives. We’ve dubbed those candidates: "The Three Musketeers."
Tom Tancredo: The Colorado Congressman’s principled stance on illegal immigration has cause him to take some hits for his unwavering insistence that we close our borders and reject amnesty in any form. There are areas in which Tancredo disappoints, though. Tancredo says it’s ok to attack Iran if they develop nuclear weapons. If that’s the case then why haven’t we attacked Russia, North Korea and China?
On the LIFE issue Tancredo is solid. He received a 0% approval rating from NARAL. Considering the source, that translates into a 100% pro-life voting record. He said: "The greatest day in history will be when Roe v Wade is abolished."
Tancredo’s less-than-acceptable record includes voting:
- NO on bringing the troops home within 90 days
- YES on authorizing the war in Iraq
- YES on warrant-less wiretaps
- YES on federalizing drivers’ licenses (REAL ID, the de-facto National ID card)
However, Tom Tancredo has some rock-solid positions and they include supporting the repeal of the 16th Amendment and abolishing the IRS. Tancredo received an approval rating of 84% by the National Taxpayers Union. Tancredo voted well when he voted NO on implementing CAFTA and YES on withdrawing from the WTO.
Duncan Hunter: The southern California Congressman is a strong supporter of secure borders. His efforts have resulted in over 59 miles of fencing in San Diego County. Hunter wrote the Secure Fence Act, extending the San Diego fence 854 miles across California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Hunter holds a strong position on trade issues: ". . . China is cheating on trade and using billions of American trade dollars to build ships, planes and missiles at an alarming rate while, at the same time, taking millions of American jobs." Hunter’s positions on NAFTA, GATT and the WTO appeal to those concerned about the vanishing industrial base and loss of American jobs.
Hunter is solidly pro-life. He has said he would aggressively promote a Right to Life Amendment to the Constitution, defining "personhood" from the moment of conception.
About the Second Amendment Hunter said: "It seems every election year, some liberal politician dons an NRA cap and grabs a shotgun for a hunting photo-op, as if that means they support our right as Americans to keep and bear arms. But the second amendment is not about hunting. It is about the right of you and me to be secure in our homes."
On education, Hunter said: "I believe we can educate students more effectively by returning school curriculum prerogatives to the states, local communities and, most importantly, to the family. State agencies charged with conducting education policies do not need expensive and inefficient mandates from a federal agency."
A big disappointment however is Congressman Hunter’s position on the war in Iraq. Citing his experience on the House Armed Services Committee for 26 years he says he supports the mission wholeheartedly. Hunter’s son has served two tours of duty there.
Jim Gilmore: Former Governor of Virginia, Gilmore set laudable goals during his campaign for governor and actually accomplished them. He signed an executive order reducing all state spending, except for education, and kept the state’s budget balanced even during a severe economic downturn. Imagine if we had a president do that at the federal level!
Instead of education debacles like ‘No Child left Behind’, Gilmore implemented school reforms in Virginia’s public schools that actually showed results. Scores on state and national standardized tests increased in math, English and social studies.
Gilmore served as Chairman of the Republican National Committee for one year (2000-2001) but was considered a dismal failure in that role. He resigned under pressure after the party lost key races and overall lost ground heading into a congressional election year.
Like Sen. Fred Thompson, Gilmore talks out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to abortion. Gilmore defends past pro-life positions noting that as Governor, he signed a law establishing a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions, as well as a ban against partial birth abortion and human cloning and increased funding for adoption services. Those measures do deserve praise, however Gilmore has been unequivocal throughout his political tenure in saying a woman has a "right" to end the life of her unborn baby in the first trimester. We would ask Governor Gilmore this: If an unborn baby is worth saving, does it really matter how big the baby is?
Somewhere in the lineup there just has to be a keeper. There is, it’s just that the Republican jihad against the man is drowning out his message. The mainstream press, too, has ignored, then vilified, then ignored him once again. However, the groundswell of support for the man is nothing short of astounding.
Ron Paul: The Congressman from Texas is quite simply, ‘the best they’ve got’. The physician is the only candidate who has a 100% constitutionally-correct voting record. Because he votes against unconstitutional bills every time, he earned the label "Doctor No."
He alone in the entire GOP lineup is the only one who voted against the war in Iraq. On every single issue he is a pure, unadulterated, founders-woulda-loved him conservative.
Paul never voted to raise taxes. Not once.
Paul never voted for an unbalanced budget.
Paul never voted for any infringement on gun rights.
Paul never voted to raise his pay.
Paul voted against the blatantly-unconstitutional power grab that is the Patriot Act.
Paul does not participate in the congressional pension program and he returns a portion of his annual congressional office budget to the U.S. treasury every year – a rare Congressman who practices what he preaches!
The attempts to ignore Congressman Paul have been calculated and sinister.
Though MSNBC reported that Ron Paul scored the highest positive votes in both Republican presidential debates and the polls showed he beat Romney, McCain and Giuliani, the media took no notice. Next, a text message poll after the Fox News GOP debate showed Ron Paul winning handily; still no notice from the media lapdogs.
Sean Hannity was less than fair and oh-so–off-balance the night of the Fox News debate when he "refused" to believe Paul won the debate. In fact, Hannity was downright apoplectic. Within short order, the poll numbers quickly showed a lagging Giuliani had overtaken Paul. Kind of makes you want to say "hmmm."
In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the "one exception to the Gang of 535" on Capitol Hill. So many men, so few true Constitutionalists.
There you have it. The round up on all the GOP candidates according to the Constitution Party's review.
Friday, July 27, 2007
A Constitutionalist’s View of the GOP Presidential Hopefuls