Early on I was a Giuliani supporter but have recently been pining for Fred Thompson to enter the race. Rudy's responding, though, and his Twelve Commitments To The American People are worth considering. Competition is good.
I usually bristle when the Buffalo News editorial board goes on a rant about the Bush administration -- usually, but not today.
Memo to the next president: Laws don’t enforce themselves. Passports don’t fall from the sky. Requirements that many more people need any kind of government document to do something should also mean that the bureaucracy that provides those documents has to be ramped up to provide them. The Bush administration failed to do that. The next administration will have to clean up the mess.
After this immigration debacle, I'm down to my last nerve with George Bush. I still support him on the Iraq War and I'll always praise him for the tax cuts which have helped the economy to boom. But with the exception of those tax cuts, his domestic policies have been horrible and this passport fiasco is a good example.
Even the Washington press is beginning to realize how liberal, um, progressive Richard Nixon's domestic policies were. I wonder if it will take them 30 years to admit that George Bush is cut from much the same cloth coat.
Former Senator Fred Thompson, who has all but declared his candidacy
for president, may not be on the stage at Tuesday night’s Republican
debate in New Hampshire, but he will have another platform all to
himself – on the Fox News Channel.
Mr. Thompson is to appear live on “Hannity & Colmes” after the debate, which ends at 9 p.m.
This show may be an even better venue for Mr. Thompson, and indeed a
friendly one for him, even though he’s already an accomplished
television performer. He will have the set to himself and will not have
to compete with his 10 soon-to-be rivals for precious air time during
the two-hour talk-fest.
Oh, will the debaters be pissed off (and rightfully so) and may CNN's ratings tank to Fox's (and Thompson's) benefit. This will be fun and unprecedented stuff.
The controversial guest worker program would be capped at 200,000 a
year under the Democratic proposal.
The Bush administration
opposed that cutback from the original plan that would have provided
for 400,000 visas annually, with an option to increase that number to
600,000 if warranted by market conditions. The Democrats said the
temporary work program would create too large a group of second-class
citizens and negatively impact the wages of Americans in some
Another ludicrous restriction that makes no good sense at all would
require applicants for permanent residence to return to their home
countries. What purpose that would serve has not been adequately
explained by the framers of the bill. What would this do to those from
distant lands such as China?
Another aspect of the Senate
compromise would set up a point system for future immigration that
places less emphasis on family ties than has existed in the past. This,
too, makes little good sense and is not consistent with American
values. The point system would favor high-skill immigrants, but at the
same time undermines the traditional family basis of our immigration
He ignores Republicans' problems with it, though, and it's those that will kill it. Under the bill, 12 million illegal aliens will be able to apply for legal status and get it within 24 hours. If they don't have a criminal record, they're in -- no fines, no fees and very little hassle. They only pay a fine to apply for citizenship.
If making money, however, is more important than becoming Americans, they simply don't need to bother. This ease of winning legal status would only embolden even more to come here illegally. After giving amnesty to some 3 million illegals in 1986 and doing little since then to stem the entry of even more, this bill only reinforces a precedent -- get into the U.S. -- any way you can. The odds are pretty good we'll let you stay.
While the bill does provide some vague benchmarks to increase border security, many, if not most Republicans simply don't believe they'll be enforced. They're too far in the future and given Congress's seeming willingness to avoid this problem, stand too much chance of being changed before they're even implemented.
The problem of the illegals already here can wait until Washington has shown that the southern border has been shut down to illegal crossings. Then, and only then, we can discuss the niceties of how to go about digesting the 12 million already amongst us without worrying that another wave isn't already rolling in.
The Senate voted in favor of cloture on the immigration bill this afternoon. That doesn't mean the bill has passed, but it is an attempt to keep the momentum for its passage going. A whole passel of Republicans are in for a rude awakening if it passes. It could mean the cementing of the Democrats' future majority and possibly the presidency just because Republican voters will stay home out of frustration.
Or, it leaves the way open for a Republican presidential candidate who will vow to fight it. So far, that looks to be Romney or Thompson. Giuliani and McCain are close to official toast status on this very important issue for primary voters. The RNC doesn't admit it, Bush won't admit it and neither does the Wall Street Journal editorial page -- but they're out of touch on this one.
At one point, I'd been of the "well, we can't deport 12 million illegals so we have to give them amnesty" frame of mind. But over the last couple months, we've seen how some well-targeted raids on businesses known to hire illegals have worked out. Many are heading home and many others aren't attempting to come in because the atmosphere's suddenly perceived as less friendly.
A strong policy of discouraging illegal immigrants might take care of the problem without the need to deport them. They'll go home on their own and apply to come back here legally. No need to "encourage" them to do so. The current bill sounds just like an encouragement to break the law.
This immigration bill looks to have a life of its own now, but if it isn't squelched, the presidential race just took on a whole new life.
Should Thompson announce, his general-election advantage is that he's
not divisive. He doesn't evoke the kind of vitriolic hate that many
other conservatives inspire. He's the kind of guy who could broker
peace between Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell, someone who would bring
red-state and blue-state America together.
OK, very nice -- of course that will end once he declares.
Shortly after I wrote in 2000 that Thompson bears a striking
resemblance to the Klingon "Star Trek" character Worf -- high forehead,
wide nose and a hairline that exposes a bald top (Google it) -- a
package from the then-unmarried senator arrived in the mail. It was a
picture of Worf that Thompson had signed with this message: "In the
immortal words of Sawyer Brown, some girls don't like boys like me. Ah,
but some girls do."
You'd never catch Al Gore or Bill Frist quoting Sawyer Brown.
His folksiness and wit combined with his obvious education and political background will drive the Democrats to distraction. Their recently found love for Ronald Reagan will likely disappear for a spell. They'll drag out all their old insults (detached, uninvolved, uninformed and scripted) and try to attach them to Thompson. They won't stick.
Thompson's no shoo-in, for the nomination or the presidency. But he's the best I've seen in a long, long time.
When Thompson and his advisers talk about running a "different kind of campaign," this is what they mean. They believe he can use the Internet--in videos, audio files, and written commentary--to communicate directly with voters. His message will be unfiltered and therefore somewhat protected from mischaracterization by a left-leaning press corps in Washington. Campaign events will be filmed and posted so that interested parties--in this case, very interested parties--can see for themselves whether a Thompson performance was actually "lackluster" or lackluster only in the eyes of reporters. It is all part of Thompson's plan.
I'd say it's working out splendidly so far. The left was all aflutter in 2004 with Howard Dean's "Internet campaign", but that was largely limited to raising funds and publicizing campaign events. Thompson is using it to communicate with primary voters largely bypassing the traditional media. Oh, and Thompson has a response to Michael Moore's criticism of his cigars.
"As to the cigars, they are the result of the generosity of a friend of mine who gives me a few from time to time. We intend to see to it that they are destroyed over the next few months."
If you’re Fred Thompson, you’ve got to be encouraged about jumping
into the race. In the wake of Tuesday’s debate among Republican
presidential candidates, it was the former Tennessee senator who topped
the field in YouTube views — and he wasn’t even participating.
intelligence firm New Media Strategies measured which candidate got the
biggest YouTube bump from the May 15 debate in South Carolina. It also
counted the number of viewers of Thompson’s video responding to Michael
Moore, which was viewed online concurrently with the GOP debate.
of Wednesday afternoon, Thompson’s video, in which he suggests that
Moore might look into a mental institution, drew 598,600 viewers on
Vimeo, YouTube and Google Video.
That dwarfs the most views from
any moment during the debate. Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani’s exchange
over Sept. 11 was tops from the actual event, with 16,904 views from
Mitt Romney drew 4,394 views from online
postings; Paul alone got 3,273 views; John McCain, Giuliani and Romney
on terrorism and torture drew 2,621 viewers. Even Mike Huckabee’s
well-received joke about John Edwards’ hair only drew 365 viewers.
Michael Moore's challenge was superbly-timed for Thompson's purposes in that it gave him a huge audience on the day of the Republican debates.
[UPDATE:] I expect that one of the first criticisms of Senator Thompson will be that he smokes cigars. If he's the man I think he is, he'll respond by lighting another one -- winning 10,000 more votes in the process.