Santorum is finally getting a look from Republican voters, if only a partial one, and it took long considering that he's far more consistently conservative in his positions. Is he electable, that's another issue.
Romney still has a fairly open path to the nomination only because the Anti-Romney vote has not solidified around a single candidate. And it hasn't solidified around a single candidate because none of the candidates really generates that much of an enthusiasm factor or makes voters comfortable.
The Pro-Romneyites know what they want. A stable candidate who will toe the Chamber of Commerce line and do a decent job of keeping the same mess going without being an "extremist" or alienating any sizable group. That means, contrary to what Coulter says, immigration reform and some form of national health care. It means compassionate conservatism. And it means a somewhat stable hand at the wheel.
Most Republicans don't like Romney or his positions very much, but there's no real ability to unite around an Anti-Romney because all the candidates are deeply flawed in some way. Gingrich may have been the best of the bunch, which isn't saying much, but he's losing steam much.
The rapid shifts from candidate to candidate is brand panic because no single candidate is able to hold on to voters. Ron Paul, who has always had a small but fanatical following, is a partial exception but his base is not really Republican and the voters he picked up as a temporary anti-Romney will move on leaving him with the same core he always had.
Gingrich seemed to have come closest to capturing what Anti-Romney voters wanted, a warrior who wasn't wasting his time biting at the ankles of the frontrunners. But weeks of sustained attacks took their toll, as did the lack of a debate forum where he could showcase what he does best.
Gingrich is not a campaigner. Give him a camera and a forum and he can sell himself, but he doesn't have that much use for the flesh pressing rounds of the trail. Bachmann had one of the best ground organizations in Iowa, only to have it taken apart by dirty tricks. Santorum put in the time in Iowa and is rising.
There is no serious or honest argument to make for Romney except that he may be electable and even that is debatable. He is at best more electable than his rivals because he's inoffensive. He's a window store mannequin with few views that he's not willing to change before and after an election. Which is why the establishment is running itself ragged trying to find an argument for backing him.
Coulter asserts that Romney is the only candidate who's right on the two most important issues.
In the upcoming presidential election, two issues are more important than any others: repealing Obamacare and halting illegal immigration. If we fail at either one, the country will be changed permanently.
But capitulate on illegal immigration, and the entire country will have the electorate of California. There will be no turning back.
Similarly, if Obamacare isn’t repealed in the next few years, it never will be.
The problem with Coulter's argument is that it assumes a number of things. First that Romney will be willing to take on ObamaCare. Romney has never come off as much of a fighter on controversial issues once in office.
Second Coulter equates E-Verify with opposing illegal immigration. It's somewhat more complicated than that. And even by the stats she quotes at the end of her article, Romney has a C Minus immigration rating. Perry has a D and the rest have D minuses except for Paul who has an F.
If Romney has a C Minus, then he's not exactly the best candidate on immigration, maybe he's the least worst one. If we take those numbers at face value, then every candidate is bad on immigration and there's no hope of electing a Republican president who isn't terrible on immigration.
And Numbers USA's piece on Santorum actually says that he was bad on immigration issues in the 1990's, but that he significantly improved later on. His actual grade is arguably better than Romney's. If he opposed amnesty while in the Senate then Coulter's assertion that he would support it in the White House is dubious.
Meanwhile the ugliness in Ron Paul's newsletters is getting some belated attention. Kirchick already dug most or all of this during the previous election, and the media and the establishment chose not to pay attention. This time they're paying some attention. Like all the marginal candidates, Paul is another wedge for Romney to win the nomination in the demolition derby of the anti-Romneys, but what happens then?
Ron Radosh at PJM has one possible scenario.
The danger, then, is that Paul will do what his followers want and what he originally promised he would not do: run on a third-party ticket for the presidency.
If Ron Paul follows that course, it means that he will take away just enough votes from the eventual nominee to assure Barack Obama’s re-election as president of the United States. Since Paul obviously believes that the positions of the Republican Party are no different than those of the Democrats, it makes sense for him to become the spoiler, thus asserting his own power in politics. For the rest of us, it will mean we have lost our only chance to stop the destruction of the America we have come to know and love by presenting Barack Obama with four more years to achieve his domestic agenda of transforming the United States into a European-style social democracy.
Some Paul supporters have already made the "Romney is indistinguishable from Obama" argument, which as bad as Romney is, is blatantly untrue.
Can a Third Party run by Paul get Obama elected? It's entirely possible if the Republican candidate performs weakly in swing states where Paul performs well.
Nader's Third Party run lost Florida for Al Gore. Romney is performing well in Florida and Ron Paul hardly registers there, but in a close race between Obama and Romney, even a minimal showing by Paul would be enough to swing the election to Obama. But the issue isn't likely to come down to Florida. There are other states where Paul can count on a turnout where Romney might be weak.
But on the other hand Paul isn't Nader. Nader's main appeal was to Democrats and those left of center. Ron Paul's appeal is more "complex" scoring better with Democrats and Independents then with Republicans.
Does that mean a third party run by Paul would actually hurt Obama more? Hard to say. But it might mean that if the race is close, it will require a good deal more numbers and state by state scrutiny to determine who Paul would hurt more.
In a general election those Democrats backing Paul now would split into those who naturally vote for Third Party candidates, and Ron Paul would just get the vote that they would have otherwise given to the Green Party. So they're a wash anyway. Would Paul be able to pull any Democrats who would otherwise vote for Obama? Very doubtful. Any Democrat so outraged over drone strikes or Manning that he would be willing to for Paul isn't likely to vote for Obama.
About the only voters that Paul might pull away from Obama would be independents. But Paul would also suck up Republican voters convinced that Romney is no different than Obama. There wouldn't be very many of them, but with Beck pushing Paul all through the election, it might be enough to eke out an Obama win in a close state race.
MAYBE HE SHOULD BE RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT OF IRAN
Apparently alluding to Israel and its nuclear-weapons arsenal, Paul said that “if I were an Iranian, I’d like to have a nuclear weapon, too, because you gain respect from them.”
Yet oddly Ron Paul isn't a fan of America's nuclear weapons arsenal. For the same tediously paranoid reason that he's opposed to a border fence or school vouchers or pretty much anything. Paul is very pessimistic about the American government, but optimistic about the Iranian government. With that why doesn't Ron Paul just run for election in Iran?
It's a semi-serious question. Ron Paul really dislikes the United States government. He thinks it's being governed by a secret society of CIA-Federal Reserve assassins. That we can't even secure the border because then we won't be able to run away to Mexico when the American Empire takes off.
Then why not just leave? If Ron Paul really believes the government is controlled by a secret society, then why does he think that he can be elected? Surely the Skull and Masonbergers would send another patsy after him and mutilate some cattle along the way. So either Paul doesn't really believe all this and is just pandering to his base, or he does believe it and doesn't want to take the time to run for President of Mexico.
Ron Paul has more confidence in the decency of Ahmadinejad then he does in the decency of American leaders. That seems to be part of a pattern for him. He thinks that we should have taken Bin Laden at his word for his reasons for attacking America, when he didn't take Bush at his word.
Fair enough. But then why stay here? If our system is so rotten, why not explore the free market economies and civil liberties of Iran, Mexico or Pakistan? If Ron Paul really believes that everything we do is doomed to fall into evil, then why not move somewhere that he can be optimistic about the authorities and the future?
TERROR FOR CHRISTMAS
The Nigerian church bombings were the resumption of a time honored Muslim tradition. That of Christmas terror.
Choosing a spot next to a light rail terminal, Mohamud waited for a train to arrive in order to inflict the maximum number of casualties on the families arriving at the ceremony. But instead of murdering thousands of people at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, he was arrested and dragged away while screaming, “Allahu Akbar.”
The Christmas Market has been held in Strasbourg, France for over four hundred years. A year before Al-Qaeda flew planes into the World Trade Center, European Muslims began scouting the site for a terrorist attack. Salim Boukari filmed the market, remarking at the people passing by outside the Strasbourg Cathedral. “Here are the enemies of Allah as they stroll about. You will go to hell, Allah willing.”
See the rest of the ugly litany of terror in my Front Page Magazine article, Muslim Terror for Christmas.
Also at the site Mark Tapson lists some of the seasonal harassment directed at Christians in Muslim countries.
In Iraq, for example, all Christian services and masses were scheduled for daylight hours. Why? “Midnight Christmas Mass has been canceled in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk as a consequence of the never-ending assassinations of Christians,” bluntly stated Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk in northern Iraq. In Egypt, where we are witnessing the outright, state-assisted genocide of the dwindling Coptic Christian population, churches were also threatened with violence. Christian prisoners in Pakistan, incarcerated for such crimes as blasphemy against Islam, were refused Christmas Day visits from their families.
See his piece, Islam's War on Christmas for the rest.
My other article for the week deals with Soros' black hand in the form of the Center for American Progress and the aid it's providing to the Muslim Brotherhood. See The Center for American Progress' Jihad Against the Free World
The Center for American Progress is not just any organization. Headed up by John Podesta, a co-chairman of Obama’s transition team and backed by a 38 million dollar annual budget, it is George Soros’ most ambitious attempt to turn his Shadow Party into a shadow government. CAP is the organization with the single greatest influence on the Obama White House and its foreign and domestic policy.
CAP is more than just another think tank; it’s a lever for shifting the Democratic Party further to the left, bought and paid for by George Soros and a roster of secret donors whose names are not made public by the secretive and powerful organization. Those who buy influence with it also get anonymity as part of the package.
But the Center is more than a rogue billionaire’s brand of progressivism turned into talking-point groupthink by Washington insiders. It is a link between the American left and the Muslim right, articulating the Islamist agenda as a vehicle for the foreign policy of the post-American left. It’s where Ali Gharib can run pieces whitewashing the Muslim Brotherhood while Zaid Jiliani attempts to justify the ambassador to Belgium’s comments denying the existence of Muslim anti-Semitism.
RON PAUL STILL NOT MAKING ANY SENSE
Ron Paul accused President Barack Obama on Thursday of offering suspected terrorists fewer legal protections than Nazi war criminals were given.
The Republican presidential candidate laced into Obama for authorizing the CIA-led drone strike that killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an Al Qaeda leader, in Yemen this September. He reiterated his previously stated position that al-Awlaki’s American citizenship entitled him to due process.
More proof that Paul is an idiot. Drone strikes began under the Bush Administration. And Nazi war criminals only became war criminals after the war ended. We didn't try Nazi prisoners for war crimes during the war. If there was a Nazi officer with American citizenship during the Battle of the Bulge, we advanced on his position. We didn't stop the war and offer him Due Process.
As bad as they were, you know even Adolf Eichmann finally when he was captured he was taken to Israel. Israel gave him a trial. What did we do with the Nazis — war criminals — after World War II? They got trials. Yeah, and they got what was deserving: they got hung,” Paul told more than 700 voters during a campaign speech at a convention center in western Iowa.
Here Ron Paul isn't just wrong, he's inconsistent.Many of his Paleoconservative friends opposed the Nuremberg trials as having no legal standing. The Eichmann trials similarly had no legal standing.
If Ron Paul were at least intellectually consistent then he would oppose drone strikes and war crimes trials. Instead he uses selective rhetoric to argue a contradictory position. The Nuremberg trials and the Eichmann trial had no legal grounds except that when dealing with monsters you have to kill them. And if you're a nation state then your leaders occasionally have trouble pulling the trigger and instead go through the mechanism of a trial even when there is no reason or legal basis for one.
But the point that Cynthia McKinney's endorser is missing here is that the Nuremberg Trials took place after a war (that Ron Paul opposes) and so did the Eichmann trial. The war isn't over.
This is like arguing that the United States had no right to bomb Tokyo during WW2, but that it needed to apply due process to anyone in the city with American citizenship.
THE WORDPRESS JIHAD
The BareNakedIslam blog has been taken down by WordPress.The Twitter account is still up here.
Hillbuzz thinks that BNI's campaign against All-American Muslim's advertisers attracted CAIR. I suspect that is probably true as well. The blog also has some thoughts on how difficult dealing with Wordpress is.
Moonbattery suggests that free hosting makes a takedown more likely. That may or may not be the case. Paid hosts will also take down sites under enough pressure. Variables include who's running the show and how much pressure is involved. Paid hosting may be safer, but it's not necessarily certain.
IowntheWorld has a memento of a pre-censored BNI post, if you want to get a taste of the suspended blog.
THE SILVERSTEIN JIHAD
In one of the more astounding examples of pettiness and displays of outright despicable behavior, Richard Silverstein of the left-wing Anti-Israel Tikkun Olam blog decided that he had discovered the name of an anonymous Pro-Israel blogger and gleefully outed him in an entire post dedicated to the topic.
This is a sad window into a very sad human being who is nevertheless repeatedly featured as an authority by the New York Times and other media outlets, not because of his knowledge or expertise, but because of his relentless hostility toward Israel.
Now, due to a sloppy error on his part (thanks to an eagle-eyed Israeli who finds him as repellant as I, who caught it), Aussie Dave has exposed his real identity. And since I believe that hypocrites deserve their comeuppance and that their dark secrets deserve to see the light, I’m exposing him for what and who he is: David Loeb, 23 Rashi Street Beit-Shemesh, Israel. In his Facebook profile he notes some sort of affiliation with Virgin Megastores, which may mean he works there. If anyone knows, I’d like to find out.
It's pathetic reading that fills you with despair for the state of the human soul, or at least the soul of the Anti-Israel left.
I have seen ugly behavior in the blogsphere, but generally people step in and say something. But Silverstein's repulsive gloating only met with approval.
Uglier still Jillian C. York of the Electronic Freedom Foundation appeared to be egging Silverstein on. It is troubling that an organization which supposedly protects privacy would have an employee aiding in what she thought was the outing of an activist.
EFF's continued association with Jillian York severely damages its credibility and calls into question its principles. When a woman who serves as the Director of International Freedom of Expression at the Electronic Frontier Foundation acts this way, it shows that EFF is only dedicated to freedom of expression for those who agree with the politics of people like York.
Anyone who donates to EFF or supports it thinking that it is the electronic version of the ACLU and supports freedom of expression in a non-partisan way should now seriously reevaluate that. The EFF has shown that it supports freedom of expression and privacy only for those bloggers that it agrees with. It is not the ACLU, it is Media Matters and anything that it does should be regarded that way.
I have a more Torah oriented piece on Chanukah up here.
MORE GOOD NEWS FROM EGYPT
"Arab hate: A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo’s most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to “one day kill all Jews.”
Just step outside, can't you feel the warmth of that Arab Spring in the air?