Wednesday, December 21, 2011

On the eve of Iowa

I’ve said a lot about the individual candidates. Let’s take stock one more time.


Like Data and Lore, there are two of him: good Gingrich and bad Gingrich. Like The Three Faces of Eve, you never know which personality will emerge.

Good Gingrich is the iconoclast who challenges the conventional wisdom. Who questions a false premise. Who shakes up the establishment. Examples of good Gingrich are his positions on the federal judiciary and the so-called Palestinians.

Bad Gingrich is the pundit who contradicts himself because he talks too much, because he’s seduced by academic fads, because he lacks an ideological center. The political precession of the equinoxes.


I think Perry has good instincts. I think he’d be better than Romney. But on national and international issues, he comes across as a psychic or faith-healer who lost his earpiece. That blank look when he can't hear the backstage advisor whispering his cues.


Romney and Gingrich are a study in contrasts. Gingrich has a disturbing capacity to self-destruct.

But I prefer him to Romney. He had more of a conservative core than Romney–who has none.

Romney is less likely than Gingrich to implode. That’s both a strength and a weakness. He’s timid, cautious. Plays it safe.

The downside of being risk-averse is that he doesn’t generate any excitement. He’s so predictable and scripted. It’s like the difference between live TV (where anything can happen), and prerecorded TV–which edits out the flubs.

Romney would handle himself well in a debate with Obama. Smooth, affable, unflappable.

But is that enough? Wouldn’t that makes it sound like a discussion between two reasonable men? We need a candidate who can draw blood in a debate with Obama.

Enter Gingrich. Gingrich is scrappy. A street-fighter. He’d try to destroy Obama in debate. If he succeeded (and he has the ability to pull it off), Obama would stagger out of the debate like a battered boxer. I think that would be far more damaging to Obama’s image than a gentlemanly debate between Obama and Romney.

Ron Paul

I actually like some of his proposals. For instance, he wants to ax the departments of energy, housing and urban development, commerce, interior, and education. He also wants to let young workers opt out of Social Security and shift Medicaid and Food Stamps to states in the form of block grants.

Great ideas!

But therein lies the problem. Those actions require Congressional authorization. He’s been serving in Congress on-and-off since the mid-70s. If these proposals were doable, why hasn’t he done it by now?

Even when he’s right, he’s ineffectual. If all I cared about was ideological purity, Bachmann would be preferable to Ron.


He’s my favorite candidate. I do think he needs to recalibrate his position on foreign policy. Nation-building was a bust. You can’t keep pouring resources down a bottomless drain. You need to show tangible results. Measurable progress.


  1. I think the fact that Ron can't get those things changed says more about the rest of congress and the Presidents than it does about him. The leviathan may too big for anybody to effect any real measured change in the overall size of government.

  2. That would be great if a Congress man could change policies, but that's a tough one.
    As President he has a better chance to change things for the better of the nation.
    And he is the one with the most integrity, and will definitely not make GOVERNMENT BIGGER, as the others will, even Santorum, who is a fine leader, but would spend billions and billions on Aircraft Carriers and bullets.
    (But, we could invest on the Steel Market if he gets in.)

    Ron is the best choice for our out of control government growth and spending to stop. His weaknesses can be strengthened; I think, once he's in, because of his integrity.

  3. Steve,

    Why do you think Santorum hasn't gotten much national traction?


  4. Some people seem to find his demeanor off-putting.


    Article about Paul on abortion. Good.

  6. Paul has some big time problems with his integrity I'm afraid, about his Newsletter, and his trying to side-step some things he said. Sad. Very sad for me. But, hey, I can still hope for our Lord's grace to raise up a good man.