Posts Tagged ‘Rubio’
August 15th, 2011 at 12:17 pm
How the American Public is Wrong

At NRO, Andy McCarthy  writes (bolded parts are my own emphases):

Pawlenty’s attack on Bachmann didn’t work for the same reason the conventional wisdom about Bachmann’s candidacy doesn’t work: You are not going to impress ordinary Americans, who think the system is broken, by bragging about how much experience you have in the system. I’m not saying Pawlenty was a bad governor — from everything I’ve read, he seems to have done a very good job under difficult blue-state constraints. But a case built on governing experience, which tells voters: “I know how to make this system work and get better results” is not going to bowl over people who think the system needs dramatic overhaul. They don’t want to hear about the results you’re going to get in Washington; they want to hear how you’re going to transfer money and power out of Washington. They want to know how you’re going to stop Washington from destroying our present and stealing their kids’ future.

I think McCarthy is correct about this being the overwhelming attitude among the public. I also think the public is dangerously wrong on this.

This attitude of “throw all the bums out” is emotionally satisfying, but profoundly misguided. If you are the general manager of a horrible football team — for instance, the Bengals for most of the past 20 years — you would be really, really, really, really dumb to throw all the bums out, especially if they are to be replaced only with people with almost no NFL experience. I’m sorry, but there really is a skill set that can be developed only through experience. A team full of rookies won’t win, can’t win, no matter what.

All the right sentiments in the world, and all the right issue “positions,” won’t do any good if those who hold the positions and sentiments have no mastery of the system. Why is it that in politics, but nowhere else but politics, does the public think that experience isn’t valuable? It’s an utterly illogical idea.

I’ve seen it again and again: “Reformers” get into office with all the best motivations but no idea about how things work. They remain reformers for two or three years — but then they either succumb to corruption, or to power trips, or to conventional wisdom that subverts their principles. The public can’t really know if the elected officials can be trusted to be true statesmen until those officials have been in office long enough to remain reformers even after the bad-old-boys have time to regroup, re-strategize, and counter-attack against the would-be reformers — and until all the other snares of office have been not just rejected but overcome, repeatedly, all while polishing the toughness and canniness necessary not just to say the right things but actually get the right things done.

Conservatives, of all people, should understand this. But these days, we don’t. We’re looking for the latest greatest American Idol; our attention span is about as long as a text message; we swoon over the newest savior while ignoring those who have maintained their integrity and actually improved their effectiveness over the years, all because we actually denigrate effective experience. This American Idolatry and denigration of experience is a terrible flaw on the right these days; indeed, it’s a pathology.

To take examples of people who are NOT running for president (and thus to avid a specific political stand; i.e., these are for example, not to pick on any actual would-be candidates), this is why it is absurd for conservatives to think, this cycle, of the likes of Chris Christie or Marco Rubio to be president. They just haven’t been at the highest levels of positions that require the right skill sets for a long enough time. They have huge potential; but potential isn’t the same as qualifications.

While I’m at it, the other flaw in conservative public perception is the denigration of legislative experience. Again, this is absurd. Knowing how to get things actually passed into law, through the legislative process, is a virtue, not a vice. Many voters may say they want “executive experience,” but the truth is that a major committee chairman or a party’s conference/caucus chairman or Leader in a legislative chamber is indeed a position that requires significant executive skills. Staffs are large. Power is utilized in an executive fashion. And the right combination of personal assumption of authority with the ability to delegate some responsibilities is essential.

Most of the worst presidents have been those with the least relevant experience. Obama. Carter. Harding. And, lest we forget, John F. Kennedy in his first two years, as George Will reminded us the other day.

And yes, I know that Kennedy had been in Congress for 12 years already. But he was almost a nonentity once there. He missed huge swaths of time while hospitalized, sometimes near death, with his Addison’s Disease. He was mostly a dilettante, with little actual legislative accomplishment. He was, in short, a lightweight in the House and Senate.

Anyway, in the spirit of Russell Kirk and Edmund Burke (although I tend otherwise to the Jeffersonian/Madisonian realm), I urge conservatives to remember that prudence and experience are usually prerequisites for wisdom and statesmanship. Stop looking for the new new thing. Stop looking for an Idol. Start demanding real accomplishment, not just splashy, ineffective PR stances.

June 30th, 2011 at 6:44 pm
Obama Deserves No Respect

Please allow for a personal sentiment: I have no respect for Barack Hussein Obama. None.

Yes, I respect the office of the presidency. But I have no respect whatsoever for its current occupant.

There is a good reason why Mark Halperin used a nasty word to describe Obama after Obama’s press conference yesterday: because, if a not-so-nasty but otherwise entirely synonymous word had been used, Halperin would have been right on target. So was Sen. Marco Rubio.  This hugely egotistical man, Obama, has nothing to offer but demagoguery; has offered no leadership; has saddled us with debt; has no personal grace when challenged; has no dignity, but only petulance, when in the fray; has no respect for constitutional limits on his own power or those of his political appointees; has no real love for what this country is or has been but only for what he wants it to be after he “transforms” it; has little respect for the actual views of the American citizenry; has a dangerously radical belief in subjugating ethics for the sake of power; is fundamentally dishonest, not to mention horribly hypocritical on subjects ranging from the debt ceiling to the War Powers Act and plenty of other issues as well.

This is not a man who has ever achieved anything OTHER than self-advancement — indeed, he himself has admitted that he accomplished little as a community organizer; his legislative record is incredibly thin; and his presidency has been, in terms of results, disastrous.

In short, this is not a man to emulate either on the basis of character or significant attainments of any sort that are not self-aggrandizing.

There: ‘Nuff said.

May 6th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
GOP Donors Demand Crist Return Donations

Earlier this week, I posted that Charlie Crist was in a lifeboat without a paddle.  Now he may have to return the lifeboat as well.  Crist currently has $7.6 million in his war chest, but RCP’s Brendan Farrington reports twenty major Republican donors have demanded he give it all back.  Their letter reads:

“For years you have been one of the Republican Party’s most outstanding and vocal leaders. But now, because of simple self-interest and political calculation, you are walking away from the people and principles that you often told us defined you ‘to your core.'”

Furthermore, they are not simply demanding the return of their own contributions, but those of supporters they brought to the table, writing,

“We helped to support, and yes to bankroll, your political career. For years you have been asking us for money. And for years we have put our names and credibility on the line by asking our friends to donate to you. Those days are over.”

In making his break from the GOP, Crist has repeatedly asserted his allegiances lie first with the people of Florida.  Those donors are people and each made contributions based on his candidacy for the Senate as a Republican.  Gov. Crist may not have a legal obligation to return a cent, but if he’s as committed to Floridians as he says he is, the public trust should compel him to reimburse anyone who feels betrayed.

May 3rd, 2010 at 10:27 am
Crist in a Lifeboat Without a Paddle

Last week, the governor of Florida and candidate for Senate jumped the GOP ship and embraced all the rhetoric one expects from an independent. Having broken his partisan shackles, Crist no longer supports Republican ideas or Democratic ideas, just what he says are good ideas in the best interest of Floridians. He has even gone so far as to go on the record as being undecided as to whom he would support for leadership or with which party he would caucus, if any.

But whom does he think he is kidding? Had he entered this race throwing party affiliation to the wind, then perhaps many would have given him points for courage. The reality is he chose to run as a Republican. When continuously pressed by Fox’s Chris Wallace about the possibility of an independent run, he reasserted his Republican candidacy. Only in the waning hours before a filing deadline facing certain primary defeat at the hands of Marco Rubio did Crist rebuke his entire career as a Republican. As GOP strategist Brett Doster told Politico:

Charlie should get as much credit for his courage and boldness in making this move as the Titanic passengers did for boarding the lifeboats.”

This move represents what is really riling the public about politicians, a lack of integrity. With Obama and the Democrats promising the world and delivering little, Americans are tired of politicians saying one thing and then doing another. They are tired of leaders who look out for themselves first and the people second.

The GOP ship has sailed away from Charlie Crist. In the next few weeks Crist will begin to see just how hard it is to navigate a lifeboat to the shores of victory without his paddle (party organization), his wallet (party fundraising), but more importantly without his integrity.

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