Presidential Impressions

 

I watched the Republican presidential candidate debate on CNBC today. Just a few impressions: I like Romney on everything, Giuliani on security, Brownback on family issues, Tancredo on immigration, Huckabee on a lot of stuff, and Ron Paul not at all. (First, he was almost hysterical; second, he has two first names.) I like Thompson on YouTube when he’s bashing Michael Moore, but he was not very impressive today. I just hope the nominee is not Giuliani because I can’t deal with his position on abortion. Any comments? (That’s the first debate I watched.)Another thing I liked about this debate was that they were actually talking about substantive issues and they had actual debate. They also didn’t waste a lot of time. Haven’t seen any Democratic debates yet, but I would like to know where the theocracy police are when Obama says that he wants to build the kingdom of God on earth. George Bush has never even come close to such a statement.

Timotheos

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21 thoughts on “Presidential Impressions

  1. Didn’t see this debate, but if it comes down to Giuliani vs. Clinton, it won’t take me long to decide. I hope it doesn’t come to that, and would prefer Huckabee, but Romney is smart as a whip. Too bad he’s not smart about his religion. Ron Paul is a kook.

  2. Tim:

    I can’t believe you don’t like Ron Paul! He is the ONLY truly conservative candidate running. He’s the ONLY candidate who wants to reign in the power and growth of the federal government. He’s one of the ONLY truly pro-life candidates (he’s an OB/GYN, and is very very pro-life). He’s the ONLY candidate who doesn’t fall prey to the plethora of federal gov’t programs. And, he’s the ONLY candidate who used the phrase “Christian idea of just war” in a debate, and he was laughed off the stage for believing such a concept.

    I think you need to better research your candidate choice. I think voting for most of the other Republican candidates is no different than voting for one of the Democrats. When it comes to federal spending and abortion the Republicans and Democrats are coming awfully close to each other.

    Karl

  3. Paul sounds like he’s about to have a hernia every time he speaks. He’s like the right-wing Howard Dean. I don’t think I could listen to an entire State of the Union address.

    Seems to me that Brownback was the one who hit the pro-life issue hard on Tuesday.

    Whatever Paul’s feelings on Christian just war, he thinks that they should pull out now, which is just about the worst option on the table. I’m not sure what the best course of action is, but I’m absolutely sure that’s not it.

    (BTW, good to hear from you, Karl! Hope everything’s going well for you.)

    Tim

  4. Tim & Jim:

    I can’t believe you two are bashing Ron Paul so much… it seems as though instead of voting conservative, you’re both more concerned with voting Republican, which is not the same thing. When it comes to federal gov’t the Republicans and Democrats are the same… they both now want HUGE gov’t and a bloated bureaucracy.

    When the Republicans controlled the White House and the Congress, we got the largest federal gov’t in history. We are also engrossed in the most liberal Woodrow Wilsonian foreign policy ever imagined. None of this is conservative, but it has all become Republican.

    If the choice came down to Guiliani and Clinton, I hope your decision would be to vote third party, because there is no difference between G and C. Both want a bloated federal gov’t with no opposition to its power, and both would appoint pro-choice candidates to the Supreme Court.

    And Tim, it’s good to finally talk to you too… email me your phone number!!

    Karl

  5. I don’t know if third party is really an option, since you’re throwing away a vote, but I would consider it if it was Giuliani vs. Hillary. I suppose it allows a guy to keep his integrity.

    I’ll just say this: I’m not voting for a Democrat, because it has become the party of abortion zealots and anti-war fanatics. There are a few good Democrats left, but none of them is running for president.

    So, I’m hoping against hope that the Republican nominee is someone I can live with. No one, no matter which party, is going to be perfect, so I’ll take the best I can get. I do think most of the Republicans recognize that huge spending is bad and that Americans don’t want a government like that (unless they like Hillary). I think Romney could get things done from a fiscal standpoint.

    I don’t really know. I’m sort of waiting to see who the Republican nominee will be before I talk about another party.

    Karl, you didn’t respond to my assertion about Paul’s stance on pulling out the troops immediately. That’s what concerns me the most. And that’s not just bashing.

    Tim

  6. Tim:

    I don’t believe our being in Iraq is consistent with the Constitution, the ideals of the Founding Fathers, or in line with a conservative foreign policy.

    Iraq, and for the most part all of the Middle East, is not ready for democracy and it will not succeed. They do not have the culture which invites political and public disagreement and freedom. I think we should pull out and let Iraqis die for Iraqi freedom, not Americans die for Iraqi freedom. Freedom which is not earned will never be appreciated.

    I think we should let them fight it out themselves. American soldiers don’t need to be anywhere but in the United States… while we worry about the borders of Iraq and Germany and Japan and Korea, our own border lies unprotected, and millions of illegal immigrants are entering and creating all kinds of other problems for our economy and political discourse. The purpose of American tax money is to benefit Americans, not Iraqis.

    The most stable countries in the Middle East are monarchies, yet we believe imposing a system of democracy is a good idea. No country, no matter where it is, appreciates a foreign army’s presence. It may be hard, and yes, lots of Iraqis will die, but thousands already have, and we should not continue to exacerbate the problem.

    When it comes to fighting wars, the task of the government is to execute that war and then return home. We have no obligation to build nations or set-up puppet governments. The government is put in place by God to wield the sword and punish evil-doers (Romans 13).

    Is this the only thing you disagree with Ron Paul about? If not, what else?

    My question for you is: how is the war in Iraq consistent with the Constitution and the Western (Christian) concept of Just War? Especially when Congress has not declared war, as stipulated by the Constitution, and pre-emptive attacks are not consistent with just war theory.

    I apologize if I sound combative, but before you mentioned Iraq, your criticism of Ron Paul was that his voice was annoying and that he has two first names. This is just proof that most conservatives do not know who Ron Paul is, because they have fallen prey to the media’s coverage which is all about Guiliani (who is as conservative as Hillary Clinton). And voting third party is not throwing your vote away… it is the privilege of the Citizen, and a message to the two big parties that they are no longer representative of the People.

  7. “American soldiers don’t need to be anywhere but in the United States.” I’m not sure about this. Would Europe be what it is today if it weren’t for American military presence? What about WWII?

    “Is this the only thing you disagree with Ron Paul about? If not, what else?” I’m not going to claim that I’ve read up on him. I was primarily talking about the debate on Tuesday, since that was the only one I’ve had the chance to see (before, I only had PeasantVision, i.e., no cable). I’m also not claiming I know a lot about the other candidates, either. Like I said, I’m waiting to see who will be the nominee.

    “My question for you is: how is the war in Iraq consistent with the Constitution and the Western (Christian) concept of Just War? Especially when Congress has not declared war, as stipulated by the Constitution, and pre-emptive attacks are not consistent with just war theory.” I’m not sure. Frankly, whether it was right or wrong to go there in the first place, we’re there now and, if we’ve screwed it up, I think we have a moral responsibility to make sure that it’s not worse when we leave than it was when we got there. At this point, it’s merely an academic exercise to talk about whether criteria for going to war were met. It’s sort of like arguing about whether Luther would have agreed with the American Revolution. Clearly, he would not have agreed with it. Yet, here we are.

    I agree, I don’t know much about Ron Paul. My first two comments were a joke. But you, combative? Never! And, as I think I’ve made clear, I don’t like Giuliani for president (except his stance on security and his disagreement with Hillary-Care.)

    “And voting third party is not throwing your vote away… it is the privilege of the Citizen, and a message to the two big parties that they are no longer representative of the People.”
    That’s a nice sentiment, but I doubt it sends any message to the DNC and the RNC if I vote for someone who’s never going to win. It would only work if enough people got fed up with both of them. It could happen, but it’s not happening next year.

    Tim

  8. Tim:

    You’re my favorite person to debate with, because you’re not combative and you’re smart 🙂

    Two things:

    1) We had troops in Europe in WW2 because we were fighting a war. Why are our troops still there?

    2) Do read up on Ron Paul… I encourage you investigate all the issues. I’ll send you some propaganda in the mail 🙂

    Karl

  9. “You’re my favorite person to debate with, because you’re not combative and you’re smart :)”

    Karl, you’re going to have to do better than that if you want me to vote for Paul! But thanks.

    “We had troops in Europe in WW2 because we were fighting a war. Why are our troops still there?”
    That’s not the point. You said, “American soldiers don’t need to be anywhere but in the United States.” If that’s true, then they shouldn’t have been in Europe fighting a war–at least not until the Nazis attacked NYC.

    Tim

  10. I’m torn among the Republican candidates for the primary. Ron Paul is right on in domestic issues. We have done heinous things to the Constitution. We can’t write a balanced budget to save our hide. The central bank is setting us up for inflation. On the other hand, Ron Paul’s libertarian foreign policy assumes that the people who want to kill us or convert us to Islam would be normal people just like us if we were to pull our troops home.

    I wish I could take Ron Paul’s domestic side and join it to a foreign policy to one of the other people who understand who it is we are fighting against, perhaps even Giuliani.

  11. Tim:

    You stretched my statement beyond it’s meaning. I don’t think American troops should be anywhere but America because we have not declared war on anyone. And President Bush even said the war in Iraq was over… the troops are not there fighting a war, they’re occupying a country. Empires occupy countries, Republics don’t.

    Ron Paul is not a pacifist. When we discovered that Afghanistan was connected to 9/11, then yes, we were correct in going to war with them. What we should have done is gone over, destroyed everything in that country, and then come home. The purpose of war is to destroy your enemy, not to “win their hearts and minds.”

    The 1986 bombings of Libya prove that it is an effective means of conducting “war” against terrorism. Libya has not been behind any more terrorist attacks since we reacted with swift military attacks without an attempt to win their hearts and minds or set-up a democratic regime.

    Our troops are deployed all over the globe at great expense to the American taxpayer, yet Congress has not declared war. That’s not right.

  12. “And President Bush even said the war in Iraq was over…” Maybe I missed something else, but I believe the words were “major combat operations.” Of course, that has not been the case either, but that’s a different point.

    “What we should have done is gone over, destroyed everything in that country, and then come home. The purpose of war is to destroy your enemy, not to ‘win their hearts and minds.'” Surely that doesn’t fit with the Western (Christian) understanding of Just War?

    Tim

  13. “Surely that doesn’t fit with the Western (Christian) understanding of Just War?”

    Actually it does. Just War says that you do not wage war to change a foreign gov’t to be just like yours.

    The bottom line is Congress has not declared war on anyone, and the deployment of our troops, and the President’s “war powers” are inconsistent with our Constitution, and we deserve to have a President that realizes that the executive power has grown beyond its original intent. No candidate but Ron Paul believes the executive power has too much power. That’s one big reason why I like him.

  14. “Just War says that you do not wage war to change a foreign gov’t to be just like yours.”

    That’s not what I was referring to. I was referring to this comment: “What we should have done is gone over, destroyed everything in that country, and then come home. The purpose of war is to destroy your enemy, not to ‘win their hearts and minds.’”

    There has a discriminate use of force.

    Tim

  15. “There has a discriminate use of force.”

    War is the ultimate use of force… which is why it should not be taken so lightly. It is also why Just War is to be waged in defense, not offense.

  16. “War is the ultimate use of force… which is why it should not be taken so lightly. It is also why Just War is to be waged in defense, not offense.”

    You assume that it was taken lightly in the case of Iraq–to say the least, a hard case to prove.

    Further, “discriminate” means you can’t kill everybody, which seems to be what you’re advocating. You don’t kill non-combatants intentionally, etc.

    Tim

  17. You’re correct, just war should be waged with the goal of destroying the enemy’s military (and its sources of strength — industry, infrastructure, etc). We agree that civilians should not be purposefully targeted. By destroying a country, I am not advocating killing everyone, but rather destroying their ability to continue waging war: targeting every bridge, every major center of industry, every military installation, etc.

    As for the war in Iraq and “diplomacy” in the Middle East overall, war is taken very lightly. Whenever there is something the administration doesn’t like, it threatens with war… it is a dangerous foreign policy. War is seen as a quick means to an end, rather than a last resort. And I’m not just picking on the Bush Administration, Clinton’s Administration was quick to drop bombs as well (Balkans, Somalia, etc).

    I think it’s a sad state of affairs when not wanting to run to war is seen as “pacifist” and “soft on terrorism”, but advocating a foreign policy where war is a quick fix is seen as strong. The Roman Republic went from a foreign policy of defense to offense, and its citizens soon found themselves subjects of a massive Empire.

    The Republican Party has a long history of running on a peace platform (i.e, Eisenhower and Korea; Nixon and Vietnam; Reagan and the Cold War), yet it has become exactly the opposite — the candidates who are the most popular are those who want to expand the war into the other Middle Eastern countries.

    History has much to teach us, yet those in power rarely listen.

  18. Tim:

    I meant to address this a while back, but forgot…. and for some reason I just remembered.

    You said, “It’s sort of like arguing about whether Luther would have agreed with the American Revolution. Clearly, he would not have agreed with it. Yet, here we are.”

    This is something that I hear Lutherans say often, however the statement is flawed (in my humble opinion). Those who rebelled against the English Crown did so within the bounds of English Law, not outside of them.

    “No taxation without representation” is NOT an American concept, it is an English concept, and it dates back to before the baronial rebellion against King John in 1215. Magna Carta, which emerged from that rebellion, gave English subjects certain rights and placed the King under the rule of Law. When the colonists in America (who were English citizens) petitioned to have representation for the taxes imposed upon them, they had a right to rebel when that request was illegally denied.

    The colonists were not conquered peoples, they were Englishmen who were entitled to all the liberties guaranteed in Magna Carta, including representation in Parliament. It was King George III who acted outside the bounds of the law, and the colonists responded according to their consciences.

    I just wanted to mention that. And even if Luther would really have been against the American Revolution, it doesn’t matter, because the rebels were still justified according to the law. 🙂

  19. During the buildup to Iraq, while no one clearly stated any specific goals for the action, I was under the impression the US was going in for the following reasons, which I was cautiously supportive of at the time:

    1) Get rid of WMD’s
    2) Remove Saddam from power

    Guess what? Mission accomplished. Come home.

    Dan
    On the other hand, Ron Paul’s libertarian foreign policy assumes that the people who want to kill us or convert us to Islam would be normal people just like us if we were to pull our troops home.

    I don’t think Paul thinks that. He thinks there will be less people who want to kill us if we remove ourselves from their back portch. World Empires make a logical target for aggression. He also thinks we would be in a better position to defend our homeland if our troops were defending our homeland. Why do we need a Department of Homeland Security and a Department of Defense? What is the Department of Defense doing if not defending the homeland? They are on the offense.

    Go Ron!

    Karl,

    We could have a good discussion on the American Revolution, but it is water under the bridge. The revolution wasn’t justified under anything but enlightenment philosophy.

    “…Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…”
    Declaration of Independance

    That’s total enlightenment bologna, and contradicts Paul.

    Romans 13:1-2 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

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