Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Great one gone

Just might have been the last of a vanishing breed.

Fred Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee, GOP presidential candidate, Watergate attorney and actor who starred on the television drama “Law and Order,” died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 73.

Mr. Thompson died after a recurrence of lymphoma, according to a prepared statement issued by the Thompson family. Mr Thompson, who had recently purchased a house in Nashville to return to Tennessee, was first diagnosed with cancer in 2004.

“It is with a heavy heart and a deep sense of grief that we share the passing of our brother, husband, father, and grandfather who died peacefully in Nashville surrounded by his family,” the Thompson family’s statement reads.

“Fred once said that the experiences he had growing up in small-town Tennessee formed the prism through which he viewed the world and shaped the way he dealt with life,” his family said. “Fred stood on principle and common sense, and had a deep love for and connection with the people across Tennessee whom he had the privilege to serve in the United States Senate. He enjoyed a hearty laugh, a strong handshake, a good cigar, and a healthy dose of humility. Fred was the same man on the floor of the Senate, the movie studio, or the town square of Lawrenceburg, his home.”

The REAL tragedy is that he didn’t win in his bid for president in 2008–although, with his integrity and sense of honor and patriotism intact, he’d probably be ill-suited to lead the kind of eye-gouging, bare-knuckles battles that will have to be fought if liberty is ever to prevail against the Goosesteppin’ Left. Those fights are going to require admitting that they’re not any sort of Loyal Opposition at all, but a dastardly enemy of Constitutional government who will stop at nothing to win; they’re going to require getting down in the gutter with them and fighting every bit as dirty as they do. I don’t think Fred would have been at all comfortable confronting that fact, sad as it is, and I’m as sure as I can be that he wouldn’t have been happy about it. But then, neither is anybody else, really.

That said, if there was anybody in the Senate–hell, in Mordor on the Potomac period (quote: “After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood”)–who understood the meaning and intent of the Constitution better than Fred, and who could articulate it in a more plainspoken, common-sense way, I don’t know who it would be. Bless him; may he rest in peace. I’ll use an old category from 2008 one last time for this post; it’s a reminder of a might-have-been that might have made a world of difference to us. And I’ll let Fred have the last word:

“Maybe I needed to be reminded of what an old-timer told me years ago after I’d had some success: ‘Just remember, son, the turnout at your funeral is still going to depend a hell of a lot on the weather.'”

Farewell, Fred. The nation needed as many of your kind as it could get, but unfortunately we only had just the one.

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FRED!

If only. If only.

BLUE ASH, Ohio – Former Sen. Fred Thompson today said he was “totally disgusted” by the Obama administration’s handling of the Libya terrorist attack, saying that U.S. officials failed to act “while our people were being systematically slaughtered” at the Benghazi consulate.

Speaking at an event sponsored by the free-market group Americans for Prosperity, the former Republican senator from Tennessee invoked his experience nearly 40 years ago as a Watergate investigator, saying that Congress must “get to the bottom of” the administration’s failures in the Sept. 11 incident that left Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans dead in Libya.

“This is probably the biggest cover-up in American history – and you’re talking to an expert in cover-ups,” Thompson said.

Thompson commented on reports that administration officials refused to approve U.S. air strikes to defend the embattled Benghazi compound because of concerns about civilian casualties.

“You’re outside our embassy while it’s being attacked? Fair game, buddy,” said Thompson, who unsuccessfully sought the GOP presidential nomination in 2008. With the latest news from CBS that the administration did not convene its Counterterrorism Security Group during the Libyan crisis, he said the scandal was “playing out as we speak.”

I can’t help but be saddened all over again by what might have been. Thompson 2016, anyone?

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More class warfare from the Dick In Chief

Listen to the lying fool lecture us on what we “can’t afford,” of all things:

President Obama used his weekly address to reiterate his demand for ending tax breaks for “millionaires and billionaires” in any budget deal to raise the nation’s debt limit.

“It would be nice if we could keep every tax break, but we can’t afford them,” Obama said. “Because if we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, or for hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, or for oil and gas companies pulling in huge profits without our help – then we’ll have to make even deeper cuts somewhere else.”

The president said that students, medical researchers and seniors would pay the price if those tax breaks were not taken away.

Yep — and you better be sure he’ll see to that, refusiing to compromise on his socialist agenda while parading the people he falsely claims to care most about as political pawns — of course, and as usual. Tell me, O King, when does the bloated federal government get to pay its “fair share” through some much-needed spending cuts, eh? More “logic” from the Pretend Pee-resident:

“That isn’t right, and it isn’t smart,” he said. “We’ve got to cut the deficit, but we can do that while making investments in education, research, and technology that actually create jobs.”

So your plan is to cut the deficit by spending more, then. Right. Gotcha, Einstein. No wonder your economic-destruction program has been such a resounding success at creating jobs and reviving our moribund economy. Not that it was ever really intended to do either of those things, naturally.

On Ogabe’s “fairness” smokescreen, Teh Fred! is, as always, right:

Every team has a go-to play when they’re in a bind. For the Dems it’s to talk about “the need for increased revenue.” According to Obama, we could balance that darned budget if only the millionaires and billionaires (read: couples making over $250,000) would pay their fair share. Obama and his team played that card again last week, during the Biden-led budget negotiations and debt-ceiling talks, prompting House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. John Kyl to walk out. For every three dollars of spending cuts there must be a dollar of additional revenues, the Dems insist. It’s as if Poppa were spending the family into bankruptcy but will agree to reduce his rate of profligacy only if Momma gets a second job.

Realizing that increasing taxes can never match out-of-control spending, the Republicans have dug in. They have also borne witness to the long history of compromise on this issue. The tax hikes are placed promptly into effect. The spending cuts never quite materialize as planned. The Dems are talking about closing loopholes and cutting subsidies in the current budget talks, but that’s just a door-opener for doing away with the hated Bush tax cuts “for the wealthy.”

Let’s get off the defensive with regard to this “fairness” argument and meet it head on. We’ve got the better argument from both an economicand a fairness standpoint.

First, I’d start with the question, “Just how much of any person’s money should the government take?” Polls indicate that the public puts that number lower than most politicians think.

Then I’d make these points:

Fewer people are already carrying more of the tax load in this country. More than half pay no income tax at all. Upper-income Americans are paying a growing share of our tax burden. Five percent of taxpayers pay well over 50 percent of the entire tax burden — a higher percentage than anywhere else in the Western world. (Yes, that would include France and Germany.) Moreover, the top 10 percent — makers of an average of $114,000 — pay almost 70 percent of all income taxes.

The soaking-the-rich argument is just a way for the voracious taxing machine known as the federal government to get its foot in the door so that it can get its hands on the middle class, where the real money is. If the government took all of the income of those making over $200,000, it would hardly solve our fiscal problem. It would barely cover Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and it wouldn’t cover those programs after five years. Obama’s soak-the-rich proposals would raise about $750 billion. If interest rates normalize, by the end of ten years that wouldn’t cover the additional interest costs to the government for a single year.

Is there anything more defining of what this country is all about than the ability and the freedom to prosper as a result of one’s own efforts? Shouldn’t we be able to win this argument with the American people?

Well, yeah, if the American people remain the American people. I’d say that isn’t anywhere near as much of a foregone conclusion as we could wish.

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Not so fast

J-Pod has it right:

Obviously, someone has to be the Republican nominee. But that someone is not on this list, and it sure won’t be Gingrich — who is not only on his third marriage, not only served his first wife divorce papers in a cancer ward, but also has a large number of politicians who actually served with him in Congress determined to make sure he doesn’t make it to the nominating convention. Nor will it be Huckabee, who was a genuinely surprising and interesting candidate in 2008 when he was unknown but now doesn’t have the “Hey, who is that guy?” thing going for him.

Once again, we have to be reminded of a few things. First, the candidate for president who won in 1992 didn’t declare his intention to seek office until the fall of 1991. Second, Barack Obama declared his candidacy in February 2007 and promptly wasted six months of money and energy and bad debating appearances. He gained no traction against Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t until October that he actually figured out how to run, and he might have spared himself the trouble if he’d waited until then.

So what does this tell us? It tells us that the person who can win has either not reached the point of deciding to run or that he is biding his time until later. It could be Chris Christie. It could be Paul Ryan. It could be Marco Rubio. It could be Bobby Jindal. One hears that the 2016 GOP race will feature all these guys in a superstar battle. If that one could, so could this one. And there’s plenty of time. Plenty.

Precisely so. All this blather and handwringing over this poll or that poll or who’s the front runner this week as opposed to five minutes ago is just so much mental masturbation. The nominee will be — had better be — someone who is either barely on the national radar right now, or doesn’t even register at all. Despite the fretting and fussing of people who think about politics 24/7 for a living, that isn’t a bug, it’s a feature, and has always been our best hope.

Insisting that the nominee simply must be one of the current crop of longtime hacks and over-ambitious also-rans is foolish, self-defeating, and just happens to completely ignore a good chunk of recent history. From Carter to Reagan to Clinton to Ogabe, a goodly number of our Presidents have been people who either were dismissed early on by the preening prognosticators of the Ruling Class punditry as unelectable, or simply weren’t given much serious consideration at all because of their nonexistent national recognition.

Howzabout we let the primary process shake itself out to at least some small degree before we throw up our hands and resign ourselves to some previous loser or disingenuous charlatan who keeps popping to the surface again and again, cycle after cycle, like a turd in a punchbowl? The elections are still a damned long way off; most people aren’t even paying attention right now, and there’s no real reason they should be; plenty can happen between now and then to tarnish a perpetual candidate or elevate a solid prospect from the ranks of the heretofore unknown, and almost certainly will.

As Podhoretz says, there’s plenty of time, and rushing in to declare a winner now only means that by the time the election does roll around, the current supposed front-runners will have had even more time to expose their myriad flaws and implode all over the electoral landscape. And there we’ll be again, walking into the polling place holding our noses and resigning ourselves to another four years of the same crap that got us into this mess — or giving up altogether, refusing to waste time and energy on a dog-and-pony show of no real value or consequence, and staying the hell home.

Oh yeah: I chose the category I did for this one just because I think it’s funny. I still think we’d be a hell of a lot better off if he’d won. And I still think the supposed lack of “fire in the belly” that all the professional handwringers complained about was one of the biggest reasons why.

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Competence versus the other thing

Another good one from Teh Fred!

As president, Obama has to weigh the realpolitik consequences of undermining Hosni Mubarak’s regime. But he also has a duty to act as the world’s most powerful spokesman for freedom and democracy. Balancing these incongruous responsibilities is part of the job. Some presidents do it well; some do not.

Ronald Reagan did it very well. What’s more, he knew how to capitalize on opportunities to remind the world where America stands on freedom and democracy without wavering or apprehension. Often it was without regard for political convenience or political correctness.

And Reagan set the tone right at the beginning of his term, famously calling the Soviet Union the “evil empire.” Critics derided the phrase as antagonistic. But Reagan knew what his critics did not: Liberals and the media weren’t Reagan’s target audience. “Finally, the leader of the free world had spoken the truth — a truth that burned inside the heart of each and every one of us,” Natan Sharansky wrote of the speech when news of it reached him and his fellow dissidents locked in Soviet gulags.

Did Reagan’s calling our No. 1 foreign-policy opponent “evil” make the State Department’s job harder? Probably. But Reagan knew that Sharansky and others heard him, and that his words brought with them something Foggy Bottom couldn’t: hope.

Yet another one of those ironies I’ve been prattling on about lately. Another good bit:

The arrival of Mikhail Gorbachev changed matters slightly. In a regime in which difference was abhorred, Gorbachev was different — and Reagan took notice. In subtle ways Reagan was able to work with — and manipulate — Gorbachev. But here’s the key: Reagan changed his approach without ceasing to act as the world’s foremost proponent of freedom.

Nowhere was this more apparent than in 1987, when he called on Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” This was at the time the two leaders were about to commence negotiations on nuclear disarmament. It’s well known that Reagan’s advisers repeatedly removed the blunt call for freedom from the drafts. (Undoubtedly, President Obama’s advisers have suggested he not take a firm stand in addressing the turmoil in Egypt.) Reagan said it anyway, because he knew it had to be said. By the way, he got his disarmament treaty, too.

If we didn’t have Teh Fred, we’d have to invent him. He’d most likely have made an excellent president. Too bad the misbegotten political system we have now doesn’t allow for guys like him, with his clear-eyed understanding of real American values and his ability to plainly and uncompromisingly articulate them, to rise to the top. Instead, we end up stuck up with a stunted crop of amoral, smooth-talking grifters in expensive empty suits for whom nothing, but nothing, is more important than that they be elected president, to choose from. It’s probably the most telling measure of how far we’ve fallen, and how quickly, of them all.

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Career change ahead for Thompson?

Some truly delicious snark from Teh FRED!!

At a time when the very survival of our nation hangs in the balance for future generations, we saw leadership incapable of playing anything more than small ball. It is hard to inspire the American people to great things if what you’re asking them to do is repair the tile on the bathroom floor of Suite 6204 of the Titanic. Obama actually made Clinton’s school-uniform program sound like the Marshall Plan. While some people were struck by the president’s reference to Sputnik, I thought it served as yet another reminder that we’ll be lucky if we can borrow enough money from the Chinese to buy a good telescope so we can watch their moon landing.

A telescope manufactured in China, no doubt, since we don’t really make anything besides electric cars anymore. You gotta love ol’ Fred. Be sure to read it all; the above is just the merest nibble of a pretty hearty meal. I still say America missed the boat by not putting him in the Oval Office. But if we lost a president, we seem to have gained an excellent comedian and satirist.

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White House Investigates Self, Asks Self Tough Questions, Gives Self a Good Talking-To, Then Exonerates Self in Sestak’s NavyGate Bribe Offer! (Updated)

ROBERT GIBBS’ 18 & 1/2 WEEK GAP

Doug Powers:

It was back in February that Joe Sestak told a Philadelphia radio station that the White House offered him a job [Sec.of Navy?] if he’d drop out of the House race — an offer which would be a felony and could come with all sorts of possible impeachment implications depending on what levels it reached.

Weekly Standard:

I don’t have anything to add to what I said in March.

I don’t have anything to add today.

I don’t have anything to add to that.

I gave that answer in March, and I don’t have anything to add to that.

Jake, I don’t have anything to add to what I said in March.

I don’t have anything to add to what Jake asked me.

I will just refer you to what I said in March.”

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has been doing his best “Groundhog Day”-impersonation for months, endlessly repeating himself, leaving reporters twisting slowly, slowly in the wind.

I’m told that whatever conversationS have been had are not problematic. I think Congressman Sestak has discussed that this is — whatever happened is in the past, and he’s focused on his primary election.”

So was CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President.

A White House investigates itself and finds nothing wrong. A press secretary stonewalls and stonewalls, hoping the questions will stop, yet they don’t stop, even as the once-whispered word “impeachment” becomes a growing clamor.

Where have I heard all this before? It all seems so familiar…ah, yes–now I remember:

August 29, 1972: ‘Internal Investigations Have Found No Wrongdoing in White House’

Nixon Speaks:

“…[W]ithin our own staff, under my direction, Counsel to the President, Mr. Dean, has conducted a complete investigation of all leads which might involve any present members of the White House Staff or anybody in the Government. I can say categorically that his investigation indicates that no one in the White House Staff, no one in this Administration, presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident. …

Before Mr. Mitchell left as campaign chairman he had employed a very good law firm with investigatory experience to look into the matter. Mr. MacGregor has continued that investigation and is continuing it now. …

What really hurts in matters of this sort is not the fact that they occur, because overzealous people in campaigns do things that are wrong. What really hurts is if you try to cover it up.”

The question remains:

What did the president know and when will he find a hole in his schedule between tee times to know it again?

UPDATE: “Obama’s Watergate”

“Paging Fred Thompson, paging Fred Thompson…”

UP-UPDATE:

White House Calls Sestak’s Brother

Sestak “answered honestly” when asked if asked if he’s coordinating cover stories with the Regime’s Dept. of Official Truths(tm).

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If only she were First Lady

But of course, she isn’t the classy, radiant beauty and all-around super-genius that current First Whiner Worfette is. Ladies and germs, may I present the lovely and talented Jeri Thompson, taking it to ’em:

It’s great that maestros of slime like Begala, Carville and Greenberg (What? Did Sidney Blumenthal miss the reunion lunch?) are able to get their young Bartlebys in the press to trumpet in breathless tones their genius for having President Obama and the House and Senate Democrats target Rush as the centerpiece of their “distract America campaign.” But like their “Vast Right Wing Conspiracy” campaign back in 1993-1994, “Rush is the Republican Party” will backfire by ultimately re-booting the conservative movement.

Team Obama, made up mostly of the warmed-over leftovers from Team Clinton, is drawing from that old Clinton gambit in the La Affaire Limbaugh. Team Obama is using Rush to distract the American public from what they really want to do: regulatory impositions at the Federal Communications Commission on media ownership, local media diversity and content requirements for station licensing, which will in effect impose a kind of “Fairness Doctrine” without calling it as such.

One of Rush’s greatest gifts is the ability to never talk down or underestimate his listenership or the American public, something the Obama administration and Liberal radio has done routinely. The listening , thinking public won’t be fooled by these diversionary tactics. There is a reason that there are few, if any commercially viable “progressive” radio programs. And a reason that “Rush babies” populate this country. This very conversation sharpens the focus on the issues Rush has been talking about, and others (like my husband, Fred), have been fighting for for over 20 years. Friends like Mark Levin, Sean Hannity and others provide the kind of echo chamber the Left would love to control for themselves.

This little “high-school Harry” exercise has revealed that the Obama administration would rather focus on the destruction of one man with the full force of the office of the President of the United States, while Americans’ wealth dissipates in platitudes, earmarks and break-out play groups. Even people who voted for President Obama know instinctively that this is more than unfair; it is dangerous. For once, I agree that this administration supports transparency: it’s crystal clear that these people will do anything to achieve their socialist utopia, the America of our Founding Fathers be damned. This must not happen, and Rush, we are with you.

America, you missed your chance. Think the estimable Mrs. Fred Thompson would have alienated and insulted the leader of our closest ally and his family by cluelessly offering them cheap dime-store trinkets as “gifts” on their first White House visit (maybe we could call this thumb-in-yer-eye “diplomacy” Not So Smart Power)? Hell, no. Hope you’re pleased with what you got instead: Jefferson’s “reign of (Leninist) witches.”

FRED in 2012! Maybe we’ll have all learned our lesson by then.

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Thank You, Fred

This pro-gun limited government federalist thanks you for your contribution to this campaign, sir, and to our nation. You have my prayers for your sick mother, and your family. I wish you good fortune in your future endeavors.

I hope you will consider running again in 2012. We’ll really need you by then. But I wasn’t kidding, in denial, or having a temper tantrum when I said I’m still voting for you. 😀

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Needle in haystack sighted

The first intelligent and dispassionate look at the primaries in the lamestream press I’ve seen so far, by Jed Babbin at Human Events:

Just whose primary elections have we been following so closely?  If you think they were Republican affairs, think again. Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina all allow crossover voters — independents and Democrats — to vote in the Republican primaries.  In Florida, only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary.  Though Florida isn’t a typical Red state, it will be the first real barometer of Republican voters’ thinking.

Iowa is a caucus, not a primary, and like New Hampshire is a small state of extremely limited significance. Of the two other primaries so far, Michigan is predominantly Democrat, and so we are left only SC as a consistently Republican, and therefore possibly bellweather state. There’s just one problem: SC’s votes are tainted by allowing independents and Dems to vote in the Rep primary. How tainted, you ask? Mr. Babbin provides the all-important context :

According to a Fox News exit poll, 32% of the Michigan Republican primary voters identified themselves as independents or Democrats.  Another Fox exit poll showed 20% of the South Carolina Republican primary voters said they were either Democrats or independents.  In Michigan, Gov. Romney won with 39%, Sen. McCain was second at 30% and Gov. Huckabee third at 16%.  In South Carolina, John McCain won with 33% of the vote, Mike Huckabee had 30% and Fred Thompson had 16%.  Given those margins, it’s pretty clear that the Dems and independents controlled the result in both states.

A 20% spoiler vote in SC? A quick and dirty comparison removing 10% from McCain and Huckabee each would give McCain 23%, Huckabee 20%, and Thompson 16% – a much tighter race than the one the media is attempting to create. This combination of deck-stacking by outsiders and media control of the narrative is giving Reps candidates they don’t really want, based on the illusion of electablity being created by their opponents.

Mr. Babbin clearly understands the dynamics at play here:

The Republican Party has allowed its opponents to capture the primary process.  If Republicans are going to choose a nominee they can rally around, they have to compel the candidates to take stands on the issues that matter to them most.  Unless a candidate does that, he can’t possibly win in November.

Republicans lost the 2006 election by compiling a record that pleased only Democrats and avoiding taking hard positions on what matters most to their base.  Republicans will lose the 2008 election if they don’t choose a candidate who is a solid conservative and campaigns on conservative issues and principles.

and prescribes corrective measures:

It’s probably too late to reclaim the television debates from the liberal media. But it’s not too late to reject the Republican contenders that would most please the Democrats.  But if we, as conservatives, speak out as actively and forcefully in the primaries as we did last summer on the illegal immigration issue, Republicans could still choose a winner.

Are you listening, Republicans?

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Former Republicans still voting for Fred

Even though most of the “conservativetalking heads are trying to convince us how sexy these lipsticked pigs McCain (RINO, Screwedus), Romney (RINO, Lastpoll) and Huckabee (RINO, Heaven) look, I’m still voting for Fred. If he drops out of the race, I’ll write him in for my vote. Yes, I know Fred has no chance of winning as a write-in candidate. Yes, I know if any significant numbers of conservative voters do likewise, the Republican nominee has no chance of winning – and that’s my whole point. My hope is that a sufficient number of write-in votes for Fred will force the Stupid Party to recognize that independent conservatives will no longer vote for liberal Republicans just to save us from liberal Democrats. That ship has sailed. Voters interested in a liberal will vote for a Democrat, not a squishy RINO. We conservatives must therefore vote with our feet.

Perhaps had you Republicans thought about giving your natural base a candidate they could vote for a little sooner, your party wouldn’t be imploding. But go ahead: you geniuses keep right on pandering to the mushy middle, the unprincipled, the undecided. Keep right on ignoring the folks who brought your party back from near extinction in the post-Nixon years. Make sure your candidates don’t try to run a campaign outside the parameters set by your sworn enemies, the media. Use Fred as your object lesson of what happens to candidates who don’t bow at the progressives’ media altar, and play by the other side’s rules. Show your ever-dwindling supporters how good little bitches let the other guy set the agenda and frame the issues. And whatever you do, don’t vary the lockstep march down the Iwannabea Dem trail lest the lemmings see the cliff you’re leading them over before you reach it.

You’ve learned nothing at all from Reagan or the Contract with America. You’ve been cheek-and-jowl with the Democrats at the taxpayer’s feeding trough for so long now that not only do you look and sound just like them, you want to be them. To paraphrase a great American, I didn’t leave the Republican party, the Republican party left me.

And so you bloody fools are going to suffer a historic defeat: worse than Bob Dole’s embarassment, maybe even worse than Mondale’s disgrace. Congratulations, you’ve certainly earned it. Unfortunately, it’s the nation that will pay.

Update! Mourning in America begins.

Updated update! Discerning Texan urges Fred to stay in the race.

Update to the updated update! Bill Quick walks, too.

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Rome is burning

Two comments left at Quick’s; first, Billy Hollis:

I don’t trust McCain to do anything he says if he thinks doing otherwise will get him good press and good mentions in the history books.

Hanson says that McCain’s betrayal on tax cuts, immigration, and McCain-Feingold are “legitimate concerns”, but we should balance that with McCain’s support for the surge and his desire to get control of spending. But I believe that if the New York Times pounds on McCain enough, he’ll find a reason to go back on those principles, the same way he jettisoned free speech to get good press over campaign finance reform. He sucks up to journalists, and I don’t trust any politician that sucks up to today’s leftist hacks.

As I stated as plainly as I could at QandO, I won’t vote for the man against any Democratic nominee. I’d rather see a Democratic president that might rouse the poltroons in Congress to rediscover their principles than a Republican president who would quite likely sell out freedom and convince the Republican poltroons to go along with him.

Amen to all that. And this one’s mine own:

…Europe Lite, here we come.

And then there’s this: “…with the willing help of a party that has forgotten the principles it once stood for.” Forgotten? They’ve all but specifically renounced them. To hell with ‘em. I, like Bill, will wait until I’m given something to vote FOR rather than against. As an old girlfriend of mine used to say, you get what you settle for. I’m done with “settling” for the lesser of two evils.

A petulant, childish response to an imperfect world? Perhaps. But you don’t elect conservatives by voting for liberals, no matter which party they represent or how that party tries to obscure the truth about what its candidate really stands for. Dubya’s inept reign ought to be object lesson enough of that.

If this country is ever to be turned aside from the nanny-state/socialist path it’s on and put back on something resembling a Constitutional footing– and I seriously doubt that it will — it’s going to require statesmen, bona fide leaders, to point the way. But all we have available to us now are mere politicians.

These are sad, trying times indeed for anyone concerned about meanly losing the “last, best hope of earth.”

We’re marching hard and assiduously in precisely the wrong direction, and right now I don’t see much reason to expect a turnaround anytime soon.

Lambs to the slaughter, that’s us.

Update! “‘We are not blind to the obvious,’ said one senior campaign adviser (of Fred’s -M).” Nor am I.

Updated update! Via Glenn: message of hope, or forlorn self-delusion?

You can still have a huge impact–one way or another–on who becomes the next President; Senator, you can still be the next President. That is far too valuable to abandon the playing field to some two-bit Arkansas shyster now.

The bottom line is that you are still the standard bearer for the vision of the founders and of the vision of Reagan. We need that vision right now. The longer you can stay in and get your message out there, the better.

Take Huckabee out; the rest will take care of itself. And let’s see what your count is in February. It is not too late to win this election; just ask Rudy Giuliani…

Thanks for continuing to fight the good fight.

We’ll see, I suppose.

Update to the updated update! Unsurprisingly, GOP-forever shill Bill Kristol goes a-whistlin’ past the bone orchard:

So the conservative commentariat should take a deep breath, be a bit less judgmental about these individuals–and realize that there is not likely to be a second Reagan.

There most certainly isn’t — not so long as people like Kristol are willing to sell out conservative/Constitutionalist principle to vote for the GOP, no matter how much elbow grease its overlords expend on polishing up the same old RINO turds, anyway.

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Good Morning, South Carolina!

ZIP-A-DEE-DOO-DAH, ZIP-A-DEE-DAY!

I’ve got a good feeling about today. I think Our Guy is going to do well.

In “It’s Fred’s Turn”, Quin Hillyer lists many reasons why South Carolinians should vote for Fred Thompson, including:

“…if I were a Rudy Giuliani man on Saturday, I would cast a tactical vote for Thompson, thus giving the former New York mayor a clear shot at Florida without a clear front-runner to overcome. I might even do the same if I were a Romney man seeing a Thompson surge in the state, figuring that one more loss by a suddenly shaky McCain or Huckabee in a state in which each was supposed to be strong might knock at least one of them out of the race and out of Romney’s hair. Tactically, it also makes sense for any mainstream conservative to want to give a boost to the most consistent conservative in the race, just to send a message to those who say the old Reagan coalition no longer has relevance. A win for Thompson on Saturday would tell the world that consistency across the full gamut of conservative issues still carries weight at the ballot box. […]

Next, and most importantly, we move to purely philosophical considerations. It is here that Fred Thompson shines. His voting record in eight years in the Senate was sterling. He often stood alone for the principle of federalism — “states’ rights, correctly understood — a principle particularly appreciated by South Carolinians who want Washington to leave them alone on matters of economics and regulation. He had a 100 percent pro-life record. He stood tall against wasteful spending and high taxes. He pushed hard for high ethical standards and for efficient government reform. He’s the only candidate thoroughly trustworthy on judicial nominations. And he never wavered from a Reaganite position in favor of a strong defense and foreign policy.”

Now, let me share with you a personal letter I just received from Fred:

“Dear Noel,

How are the wife and kids? And your pet llama, “Begala”? Anyway, thanks for the trenchant foreign policy advice–I’ll take it under advisement.”

Okay, okay–I made that part up. Here it is:

“Thank you for your generous contribution. We’re in this race to win and your support is helping us bring to our fellow Americans the message of change and a call to return to the principles of our founding heritage. It’s critical that we address our nation’s challenges through the core ideals of self-governance, free markets, and the rule of law.

I believe there is a real sense across our country that we’re tired of the same old petty politics. Our fellow Americans want to see some real change. They want it in Washington, and they want it closer to home. They want a better future for themselves and for their families.

We can do it.

Thank you again for your encouragement and support.

Fred Thompson”

Yes, it’s just a form letter–but we can still learn some things from it.

First, Fred is in this to win…and we’re in it with him.

Second, Americans do want a change.

And third, that change should be a return to the principles of our Constitution and our Founders. For many candidates, that is just lip service, a mere afterthought. But for Fred Thompson, it is the first order of business.

Why the Founders? Because they got it right. And what they didn’t get right, they left us a way to get it right. Returning to the first principles of our Constitution would be the largest and best change of all–that’s why the Washington Establishment fears it so deeply.

Whatever happens today, this thing is not going to be over any time soon. So get off of that dime–support your candidate. And if you live in South Carolina, get out and vote–and take your neighbor. We only have one chance every four years–sometimes eight–to choose the direction of our presidential wing. We should choose the best.

And this year, in this election, that means Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson.

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Damn the torpedoes!

Two more for Teh Fred! First up:

Early last year while shopping at an Embassy Suites gift shop, I spied a Fred Thompson campaign button and snapped it up because the idea of another actor running for the highest office in the land intrigued me. This was months before Senator Thompson actually entered the 2008 Presidential race with what the MSM has continually described as a lackluster effort. I’ve noticed the negligent media coverage of Thompson’s campaign and it makes me wonder if the mainstream press considers him far more formidable than it would like. I’ve watched the debates, listened to the positions of all the candidates and I like Fred Thompson because he’s running as an adult, not an entertainer.

When the moderator of the Iowa debate asked for a show of hands for those who believe that global warming is serious and man-made, Thompson immediately said, “I’m not doing a show of hands today”. At least five of the other candidates had already raised their hands then lowered them when Thompson made his defiant stand against this juvenile request. It was clear who was a leader not a follower and isn’t that whom we’re supposed to be electing in November?

Supposed to be, yeah. But Old Media’s interest in promoting non-conservative RINOs, plus their business interest in a near-perpetual horse-race, simply doesn’t allow for that.

Next ringing endorsement is David Limbaugh’s:

There is simply too much herd mentality among us about electability. We tell ourselves a candidate is not inspiring, then pretty soon we’re convinced he’s unelectable, and, voila, he almost becomes so. Yet, at that very moment, he’s proving to us that he is quite presidential, quite electable and quite motivated for the job — if we can only shed our predispositions against his “electability.” Since electability is often a matter of collective perception, it can turn on a dime, as with the reversal of the respective fortunes of screaming Howard Dean and somniferous John Kerry in 2004.

This primary season, relatively speaking, has just begun. But Fred is now up against the wall. How can we expect him to have done much better than he has to date with everyone prattling on about the overwhelming odds against him? The “experts” continue to be wrong at almost every turn, so why can’t they be wrong about Fred, too? It’s time to quit empowering them by following their dictatorial doom-prophecies. It’s encouraging that John Zogby’s latest South Carolina poll shows that while levels of support for McCain and Huckabee “have remained static,” Fred is starting to move up.

Supporters have asked Fred to step up, and he has — he has shone brilliantly in the last month, setting himself head and shoulders above the pack in many cases. Now it’s time for conservative voters to step up and quit placing artificial limitations on Fred, and on themselves.

Fred has answered the conservatives’ call. Shouldn’t we answer his?

You all already know my answer to that one.

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Neither do I, Fred

Jon Henke sends notice of this perfect Fred quote, from the Corner:

In an interview with WCSC Charleston, Thompson gets to hit the federal government for not doing enough about illegal immigration and the need to secure the border, the importance of the Iraq war in the war on terror, and what responsibilities the government has and doesn’t have.

He’s also asked, “What is your guilty pleasure that people don’t know about?”

“Well…None of my pleasures are guilty ones. I enjoy a good cigar every once in a while, but I don’t feel guilty about it.”

If all of Thompson’s local television in South Carolina is like this, he’s got little reason to complain.

Yeah. And if Thompson is nominated, elected, and governs according to his core principles — which can’t truly be said of any of the rest of the B-list squad of suck-butt squid politicos currently grubbing their way to the Golden Slop Trough, who, á la Romney, have none — the rest of us will have no reason to complain either.

Update! On taxes, the WSJ says Teh Fred!’s plan represents “the simplest and best reform in the field.” They’re right. But hey, don’t take my word for it.

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Juggernaut!

From Teh Fred!’s campaign manager, William Lacy:

Because of your generosity we are $29,711 away from reaching our $1 million goal. Some FredHeads on the blog thought of a great way to make sure we meet our mark. At 10:00 local time give $10 to Fred’s campaign.

If 2971 FredHeads give only $10 we will reach this important milestone and give Fred the resources to continue spreading his consistent conservative message in South Carolina, Florida, and across the Super Tuesday states.

So when 10:00 comes around add $10 to the red truck. You will have done your part to meet our $1 million goal and help Fred win the Republican nomination.

Please help Fred out–and thank you!

Once more, folks: make me proud. What’s the use, you ask? Well, there’s this little item, forwarded this-a-waywards by our esteemed friend Jon Henke:

Rasmussen Reports released their latest South Carolina poll. Fred has vaulted into a statistical tie for second place…

We are not surprised. South Carolinians know a consistent conservative when they see one.

Let’s hope so. Let’s hope the rest of America does, too.

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Blogburst for Fred update

From Rick Moran:

Well, you guys have done it again.

Once again our Blogburst for Fred has been a huge success. Not only have we helped the campaign surpass their goal of $540,000 (a goal we blew by at around 3:00 PM yesterday) but the contributions continue to roll in, heading toward an amended goal by the campaign of $750,000. As of 2:00 PM the board shows the campaign at nearly $710,000 putting that expanded goal well within reach.

If we are successful, we would have helped Fred Thompson raise $330,000 in less than 48 hours.

If you haven’t already today, add a gentle reminder to your readers to donate to the campaign so that we can build off of Fred’s magnificent performance during the debates last night and give Fred what he needs to win in South Carolina.

Again, many thanks for participating.

Keep that ball rolling, folks — the donation widget is over to the left. And that magnificent performance Rick mentions can be viewed in part here; Geraghty has the transcript of a blogger conference call with the Man himself which is well worth your time, too.

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Man the oars and start pulling

Rick Moran sends this:

I am once again writing to ask that you participate in a Blogburst for Fred Thompson.

Our last Blogburst was a huge success. My best guess is that more than 150 bloggers participated. The campaign was extremely pleased with our efforts and I’m hoping we can do even better this time.

I realize all of you have been advocating for Fred Thompson and most of you have already asked your readers to participate in the campaign’s latest fundraising drive. Some of you have been blogging about it for more than a week.

Some of you, like Bob Krumm, have gone so far as to travel to South Carolina to assist the campaign on the ground.

These efforts are exactly what is needed if Fred is going to carry South Carolina. But to give him the best chance possible, we have to maximize our efforts by working together. Hence, the reason for this Blogburst.

You may know that Fred’s goal to raise $540,000 for his South Carolina campaign is in reach. As of this morning, they have raised $420,000. I would like to urge you to once again post a request for donations from your readers so that we can put Fred way over the top and give the campaign a rocket powered boost into South Carolina and beyond.

You know what you must do, Grasshopper. Moran also has a post with further details here.

Update! What would a fundraising post be without a widget?
Fred08 - Contribute Now
I signed CF up as a Friend of Fred, so any donations you fiends in human shape make via this widget (which is also going up in the sidebar) will be tracked and attributed to us. Make me proud, people. Or, at least, don’t disgrace us anymore than I already regularly do.

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Steyn Brings It

THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ‘BOUT

From a column that should certainly be banned in Canada because it’s almost too good to excerpt:

…the subtext of both Democrat and Republican messages is essentially that this country is so rich it can afford to be stupid – it can afford to pork up the federal budget; it can afford to put middle-class families on government health care; it can afford to surrender its borders.

There is a potentially huge segment of the population that thinks homo economicusis missing the point. They’re tired of the artificial and, indeed, creepily coercive secular multiculti pseudo-religion imposed on American grade schools. I’m sympathetic to this pitch myself. Unlike Miss Noonan, I think it’s actually connected to the jihad, in the sense that radical Islamism is an opportunist enemy that has arisen in the wake of the Western world’s one-way multiculturalism.

In the long run, the relativist mush peddled in our grade schools is a national security threat. But, even in the short term, it’s a form of child abuse that cuts off America’s next generation from the glories of their inheritance.

Where I part company with Huck’s supporters is in believing he’s any kind of solution. He’s friendlier to the teachers’ unions than any other so-called “cultural conservative” – which is why in New Hampshire he’s the first Republican to be endorsed by the NEA. His health care pitch is Attack Of The Fifty Foot Nanny, beginning with his nationwide smoking ban. This is, as Jonah Goldberg put it, compassionate conservatism on steroids – big paternalistic government that can only enervate even further “our culture.”

Mark Steyn says of Gov. Huckabee: The problems begin when he stops campaigning and starts governing.” Some have said that is the Fred Problem in reverse.

In any event, I hope somebody e-mails this to the Thompson campaign, ‘cos this is what needs to get said, loudly, clearly, unfailingly and daily.

UPDATE–FRED BRINGS IT, TOO! Senator Thompson evidently got the memo, turning in by all accounts an impressive performance at last night’s debate. On top of taking the Silver Medal in the Wyoming caucuses. Our guy just keeps getting better. Go, Fred!

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Fred Wins the Bronze

NOT BAD

All things considered, Fred Thompson’s third place showing in Iowa, beating McCain, Guiliani and others, was pretty good.

Especially in light of the dirty trick by the Lying Hacks at Politico.com, who claimed on election morning that Fred was quitting. Even today they are still trying to spin Fred’s victory as a loss. Guess what; Fred is still a candidate, even stronger…and the Politico.com Toady Losers are still Unprincipled Frauds and Hack News Manufacturers.

A few things:

1.) Fred is going to have to step up it up–and so are we. I’m looking at how I might volunteer. Think about it, too.

2.) I agree with the gal who said “I already have a Savior. What I need is a president.” I always think of 1980, when a evangelical Baptist deacon and former southern governor ran against a divorced Hollywood conservative–which one was better for Christians and for America? Instead of bashing Christians for voting Huckishly, perhaps we should explain how Fred’s ideas are better… and that Huck is a liberal. I don’t think that case has really been made by Fred or by us yet, at least to everyday voters.

3.) For example; Huck tried to give illegals driver’s licenses before Hillary even thought of it. Bill Clinton turned Arkansas into a Republican state–Mike Huckabee turned it back. And Huckabee is getting credit for a Fair Tax that will not pass without 100 or so Republican senators. Not to mention that his Fair Tax specifically promises not to lower tax burdens, only re-shuffle them.

4.) Time may be short. This thing could go all the way to the convention…or it could be over in a month, with Florida voting followed by a dozen or so more on Feb. 5th. So get involved…or else!

5.) Iowahawk kills me. heh.

So good work, ’57 Phred-sters–but fasten those seat-belts–It’s a Bumpy Life!

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Meaningless caucus finally behind us

Oooookay, can we all settle down and get to business now? Fredheads, take heart; Beldar’s mid-December endorsement is perfectly germane:

Even my biggest reservation about Thompson actually reflects well on his political spine: If simply getting elected and staying atop the polls were what Fred Thompson were all about, he’d be a much better candidate, but ultimately a much worse president. For better or worse, he’s running his campaign the way he believes it should be run — meaning he wasn’t stampeded into an early start, and there are definite limits to the indignities that he’ll willingly suffer for the sake of retail campaigning. His abrupt refusal to participate in the recent “show of hands on global warming” in the televised Iowa debate, for example, was the act of a self-secure grown-up with a serious sense of statesmanship. Fred may be a good old boy, and indeed he’s charming as heck, but he’s just not a panderer.

Thompson has come a long way from a very humble start, so it’s wrong to say that he’s unambitious. But he does lack the overweening, compulsive degree of personal ambition that’s characteristic of many presidential candidates in both parties. Too much ambition is a bad thing, and Hillary Clinton, in fact, is an example of pathological ambition — a trait she entirely shares with her husband (while utterly lacking his charm). But during the late summer and fall, prompted at least in part by Fred’s critics among the pundit elites, I nevertheless wondered if Thompson had “enough” ambition. And indeed, if this were like 2000, in which a single, obvious GOP front-runner was cruising to the nomination with massive funding, and without serious missteps or questions about his candidacy, then the amount of fire in Fred’s belly might be inadequate for him to secure the nomination.

But historically, Thompson has been a strong closer, and he’s gotten sharper over the course of the fall. The GOP race — as evidenced by the remarkable Huckabee surge (which I am convinced will be followed with a Howard Dean-like collapse) — could not possibly be more wide open. I’m satisfied that Fred has plenty enough ambition to win the nomination in these particular circumstances. And at that point — when he’s past the humiliating cattle-call debates and onto a national stage from which tedious retail politics become less key — I’m convinced that Thompson will rise ever more enthusiastically to the challenge, and that he can be at least as enthusiastic and effective a campaigner as Ronald Reagan was in 1976, 1980, and 1984.

Mitt or Rudy won’t be the nominee; if either of them is, he won’t win, and the Stupid Party will be placing its two left feet firmly on the long dark road to fracture and permanent-minority status, which status it will richly deserve. Ditto this year’s Dean, Huckleberry Hound. The only Northeastern liberals who truly have a shot at being President won’t be on the Republican ticket. In fact, the only “Northeastern” liberal who anyone thought had a chance lost big.

All that said, I like Stephen’s response:

Dear Iowa Republicans,

I’ll put this in language even your tiny little Iowa brains can understand: What the f*** is wrong with you people?

They’re idiots, apparently. God-bothering ones at that. But in the end, it very likely won’t count for all that much.

Like I said, settle down, people. There’s a long road ahead, and we only just pulled out of the driveway, so stop asking the tiresome ten-year-old’s endlessly repeated road-trip question: “Are we there yet?” We ain’t, not by a long yard.

Update! Of course, the most meaningful, astute, and by-God IMPORTANT!™ analysis is from our man on the scene, the ever-redoubtable Iowahawk:

6:30 PM: The house is starting to fill up and the entry landing is filling up with filthy melting slush from the pile of shoes. Some of these idiots (especially the Mike Gravel people) don’t even take off their shoes and tromp crap all over the new carpet we just got from Menards. Joe Biden drops by, supposedly for some “last minute campaigning,” but I swear I saw him rifling through the coat pile.

6:42 PM: The Romney and Huckabee people are bitching about the lack of decaf soft drinks, and the Democrats are bitching about the lack of vegan hot dishes. The McCain people want their own room, so I send them to the garage. Holy Christ, I am glad this is only once every four years. I go out to the patio to light up a doob, and get startled by a couple of creepy pie-eyed Ron Paul zombies. “Drug… laws… are… unconstitutional,” they moan. *shudder*

6:58 PM: Finally, they’re getting started. When I came in from the deck some Romney dude was giving a speech on Massachusetts, and the Olympics, and his awesome hair, and blah, blah, blah. Just then I heard some yelling and clapping from outside the window, and it turned out to be Hugh Hewitt, so I went outside and chased him off with a shovel.

Comments are open for business, people.

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Surging Ronnie?

“You can’t be for big government, big taxes, and big bureaucracy and still be for the little guy.”–Ronald Reagan

More from Peter Robinson:

“Iowa Republicans, in other words, have wanted Thompson to do them the courtesy of actually campaigning—and now they’re beginning to realize that he has. First Thompson conducted a two-week bus tour of Iowa at which he campaigned in more than 50 towns and cities. Then he taped a 17-minute video in which he makes his case more calmly, deliberately, and and with incomparably greater respect for the issues than has any of his opponents. And? For a lot of Iowa Republicans, that’s all they needed.

The Thompson campaign may be shaping up as something like the precise reverse of the Clinton campaign. Presenting herself as the candidate of inevitability, Hillary dare not slip in the polls for fear of suffering a rapid and irretrievable collapse. Fred is by contrast the candidate who just can’t get elected—solid, likeable, and best on the issues—but, well, a man for whom it just isn’t going to happen. But as modest as it so far remains, his sudden rise in the polls—this “late-breaking surge,” to quote Zogby again—could persuade whole slews of Republicans that Fred could indeed win after all, leading to a definitive breakout.

From an unexpectedly strong third place in Iowa…to first place in South Carolina?”

Few things would tickle me more than if the voters chose to reward not the candidates who began salivating for the job three seconds after George Bush’s hand came off the Bible at the last inaugural, but the guy who, like Reagan, wants to “serve” as, not “be” president.

An tale of two e-mails:

“Mr. Robinson,

In your opinion, is Fred Thompson a Reagan conservative? I ask because you actually had a chance to work with the man and would know better than most. Rush said maybe only one candidate was a Reagan conservative, but he wouldn’t name him. My measly two cents says he was talking about Fred, but he didn’t want to endorse him. Thanks in advance.”

The second email, from my old boss in the Reagan White House—the man who hired me into the speechwriting shop—Ben Elliott. Ben himself worked closely with the Gipper, in particular drafting some of Reagan’s most memorable economic addresses. Ben writes:

“Only Thompson has a true conservative platform to defend life, liberty and American sovereignty. Only Thompson is advancing a compelling program for economic growth by controlling entitlement spending, unleashing innovation and making the American Dream real for every taxpayer. Only Thompson is committed to strengthening both our military and our intelligence and rallying the country for what must be a protracted struggle against jihadism.”

Is Thompson a Reagan conservative? He is indeed.

Fred is. The question becomes…are we?

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That’s No Fire in The Belly, Lady

IT’S AN ITCHY, BURNING RASH IN THE VERY SOUL

Remember when Fred talked about people who have plotted every day for the last forty years to be president, living and breathing for nothing else except their mad, unquenchable, personal ambition?

Bryan Preston does:

The New York senator also highlighted a chapter in her book, “It Takes a Village,” that talks about every child needing a champion. She said most children have someone in that role and she’d like to fulfill it for the whole country.

“I think the American people need a president who is their champion. And I’ve been running to be that champion — to get up every single day and do all that I can to make sure I provide the tools that every single American is entitled to receive and make the most out of their own lives,” Clinton said. […]

[T]he adults of this country do not need a “champion” who sees herself as “providing the tools” for us to live our lives. We’ve taken to calling this kind of thinking “nanny state,” but it’s more than that. It’s authoritarian, whether it comes from Hillary Clinton or Michael Bloomberg or whoever espouses it. And it’s also, in this case, disturbingly narcissistic. It’s not really about the people of the country, it’s about Hillary being adored by the people of the country. That’s why she puts herself at the center of her little dream. It’s about setting herself up as our beneficent master giving you what you’re “entitled to receive,” not what you’ve earned. Which means she’ll be taking from some according to their means and giving to others according to their needs.

Not only did Clinton dangerously come within an inch of calling Musharraf an assassin, she couldn’t even bother to get one single fact about Pakistan right. Not one.

“And then it hit me:

Sen. Clinton really didn’t know that the upcoming elections were for individual seats in Pakistan’s parliament. She actually believed that Bhutto, Nawaz and Musharraf would be facing off as individual candidates for leadership of the country in the upcoming elections.

Sen. Clinton didn’t know that Nawaz Sharif isn’t allowed to run for office in Pakistan because of a felony conviction. She didn’t know that President Musharraf won’t be on the ballot because he’s already been elected.

Sen. Clinton, a candidate for the leadership of the free world, apparently doesn’t know the first thing about the country referred to by some as “the most dangerous place on earth.””

Why? Because it’s not about Pakistan, or even keeping nukes away from madmen–it’s all about HER.

By contrast, here’s the guy who asked Fred Thompson that question:

I wanted to know does this man want to be my President? I got the last question in.

The answer was exactly what I hope it would. It was a great answer. At points during the answer I was ashamed I had asked the question. I knew the answer. Do I really want to support a candidate who lives to be President? Is that type of candidate really interested in serving the nation or serving his own self-interest? Sen. Thompson positioned himself as willing to serve, not for an enlarged ego, but out of a deep desire to serve his nation. He has desire to make our nation better for his children and grandchildren. Far from a slick Branson like presentation, he presented himself as a dedicated patriot willing to serve if we, the American people, were willing to have him do so. […]

After listening to Sen. Thompson and thinking about what he said, I can only conclude he is the best candidate for the job.

Conclusion noted and seconded.

Midwesterner at Samizdata explains why Fred is the successful small-government and national security candidate:

“Fred does satisfy voters concerned about our safety and about his understanding and capacity to protect it. And he has an almost Churchill like deliberate and imposing persona. Fred is the only Republican candidate that has a serious chance of winning the national election.

Fred will be the first time since Reagan that I actually vote for a presidential candidate instead of against their opponent.

Here is the real shocker. Cynical me, this is also the only time ever that I have donated to a political campaign except for one time I was a candidate for local office. That was a case of putting my money where my mouth is. I guess this is too.”

Now that’s the right kind of fire in the belly.

UPDATE: More data from Samizdata:

What the media…are saying is that Fred Thompson is too sane to be President. It is not enough to produce detailed policies for dealing with the entitlement program Welfare State (a cancer that is destroying the United States and the rest of the Western World), or producing a new optional flat tax (individuals could continue to use the existing system if they wished to) to deal with the nightmare of complexity that the income tax has become.

It is not even enough to have a long record of service, going back to Watergate and taking down a corrupt Governor of Tennessee in the 1970’s. And having one of the most Conservative voting records in the United States Senate – before leaving it in disgust at how the system did not allow real reform.

No – someone has to enjoy the prospect for office for its own sake, not to reduce the size and scope of government and restore a Federal Republic. One must enjoy the whole process of politics – i.e. be crazy. Or one must pretend to enjoy it – i.e. be a liar.

And then people complain that politicians are either crazy or corrupt. When they shoo away anyone who comes along who is neither crazy or corrupt.

The shoo doesn’t fit, Iowans–Vote Fred Instead!

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Tear Down THIS Wall, Too!

THE FULL-SPECTRUM CONSERVATIVE SPEAKS…

to you!

Former Reagan Speechwriter Peter Robinson:

In the passage I found the most striking, Thompson does something no other Republican contender has attempted: appeal to Democrats.

“You know, when I’m asked which of the current group of Democratic candidates I prefer to run against, I always say it really doesn’t matter…These days all those candidates, all the Democratic leaders, are one and the same. They’re all NEA-MoveOn.org-ACLU-Michael Moore Democrats. They’ve allowed these radicals to take control of their party and dictate their course.

So this election is important not just to enact our conservative principles. This election is important to salvage a once-great political party from the grip of extremism and shake it back to its senses. It’s time to give not just Republicans but independents, and, yes, good Democrats a chance to call a halt to the leftward lurch of the once-proud party of working people.

So in seeking the nomination of my own party, I want to say something a little unusual. I am asking my fellow Republicans to vote for me not only for what I have to say to them, but for what I have to say to the members of the other party—the millions of Democrats who haven’t left the Democratic party so much as their party’s national leadership has left them.”

This is reminiscent of Reagan’s talk to the people of North Carolina in 1976. Simple, straightforward, modest production values—just the candidate in front of an American flag and an Iowa flag—but (to use the word again) compelling. Reagan’s 1976 talk enabled him to recover after a string of primary defeats, winning in North Carolina, then going on to come within a handful of delegates of wresting the nomination from Ford. Will Thompson’s talk move voters in Iowa? Does his campaign have the money to get it on the air? Throughout the state? Or even in a few of the most important markets? Beats me. But we have here a serious man, making a serious case—and doing so in the context of a campaign that has otherwise descended into mere caterwauling.

Even at this late hour, I wouldn’t count Fred out.

Me either.

(Video here.)

UPDATE: More from Peter Robinson:

“While the other contenders are frantically saturating the Iowa airwaves with 30- and 60-second attack ads—Romney is guiltiest, if only because he’s richest—Thompson has sat himself down, looked into a camera, and spoken for a quarter of an hour, calmly and straightforwardly making his case. I myself find this impressive—in a way, moving. Thompson seems to have stepped out of the eighteenth century. He trusts voters to think. And if the comments on YouTube are at all representative, plenty of people agree. […]

Politics as, from time to time at least, they really ought to be.”

Mr. Robinson is, of course, a man who knows something about both principled conservatism and turning a phrase. From ‘Tearing Down That Wall’:

“There is a school of thought that Ronald Reagan managed to look good only because he had clever writers putting words into his mouth. […] There is a basic problem with this view. Jimmy Carter, Walter Mondale, George Bush, and Bob Dole all had clever writers. Why wasn’t one of them the Great Communicator?

Because we, his speechwriters, were not creating Reagan; we were stealing from him.”

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