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Thune for President?

December 22nd, 2010 at 12:03 am David Frum | 96 Comments |

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In every presidential election since 1940, the GOP has nominated a nationally known political leader. The closest the GOP came to deviating from the rule was Barry Goldwater in 1964 and George W. Bush in 2000 – and that was not very close. Goldwater’s views were famous even if he was not well known personally. George W. Bush was the massively re-elected governor of the nation’s second biggest state.

By contrast, the Democrats have repeatedly turned to less well known people. John F. Kennedy in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1976, Bill Clinton in 1992, Barack Obama in 2008 had nothing like the clear record and national fame of a Richard Nixon, a Ronald Reagan, or a John McCain. Kennedy, Carter, Clinton and Obama could be packaged and sold to meet the fluctuating requirements of the political market.

If past patterns hold, the Republicans would nominate in 2012 somebody with a large national reputation: a Newt Gingrich or a Sarah Palin. Mitt Romney is trying to be both a national front-runner and also a shape-shifter, in the manner of the 1968 vintage Nixon.

But suppose one of those three frontrunners stumbles, as seems very possible. Then … who?

Bob Shrum has long argued that the obvious solution for the Republicans in 2012 is Jeb Bush. Jeb could raise millions from a standing start, unite the establishment and Tea Party Republicans, carry a must-win purple state and appeal to Hispanic voters. If he were willing to run – and if he had a different last name – he’d be perfect.

I’d definitely place a side-bet on the Jeb Bush contingency. But two “ifs” is a lot of “ifs.” So, another possible solution is that the GOP will do something it has not done since 1940: nominate a true national unknown. This is the role that might be filled by a Mitch Daniels or a Tim Pawlenty. But if you really want to do the dark horse thing, who is darker than John Thune?

Handsome and athletic, Thune manages to combine a perfectly orthodox voting record (ACU rating 100) with an almost equally perfect absence of dangerously memorable utterance or action. His major accomplishment in the Senate: defeating a Department of Defense decision to close Ellsworth Air Force base in South Dakota. You can sculpt him into almost anything. In that respect, he’s the opposite of a Haley Barbour  - and a candidate to watch.

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96 Comments so far ↓

  • TerryF98

    If I were a hard core Republican (thank God I am not) and it came down to a choice between Palin and Romney, I would swallow hard and pull the lever for Palin. And I think very little of Palin.

    DSP to his great credit made a superb and brave statement at the top of the last page in that he would vote for Obama because of the weakness or the Republican 2012 choice.

    Respect DSP.

  • Watusie

    Spartacus, I think you are dead right. One thing never mentioned about Romney is that he has exactly one electoral success to his name. A somewhat flukey win as governor. Even Sarah Palin has a better resume than that – she had a somewhat flukey win as governor and was elected mayor of Wasilla.

    Other than that, he lost when he ran for Senate, he chickened out when it was time to run for a second term as gov, and of course he lost in the Republican primaries in 2008.

    The only other things on his resume are two turns at Bain and running the Olympics.

    As you say, “Romney’s outsourcing isn’t nearly is biggest problem, but it will certainly matter.” Because a massive portion of his resume – the time at Bain – will get a great big black mark next to it as soon as he encounters an opponent who isn’t afraid to raise the issues of asset-stripping, job-destruction, and off-shore tax havens.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    politicalfan: “What happen to the days when [Republicans] would bat down ignorant remarks? Are they they so concerned with getting back power that they will sell out a large group of Independents to achieve this?”

    I have absolutely no respect for Palin, but she is not the main problem for Republicans. If anything, she is a net positive in a purely political sense because she keeps the base engaged.

    The main problem for Republicans is the same one they had in Fall, 2008. They have no ideas that haven’t already been proven to be disastrous. Those conservative policies that have succeeded have all been adopted by Obama and the rest of the country. So how does the GOP distinguish itself from Obama if it can’t move to the left of him and all positions to the right of him are proven failures?

  • politicalfan

    TerryF98
    “If I were a hard core Republican (thank God I am not) and it came down to a choice between Palin and Romney, I would swallow hard and pull the lever for Palin. And I think very little of Palin.”

    Why??? Romney can flip flop just as well as the Palin. I don’t think she has as much brain power, that is what concerns me. I would flip if she cam out and actually answered questions about the economy, not a speech. Actual questions on the economy. Hope that she answers questions before you consider a vote. Seriously?

  • abj

    Deep South Populist,

    As critical as I’ve been of Obama and the Democrats, I am actually leaning toward Obama at this point for 2012 because the GOPs candidates are so bad.

    As much as it pains me to say it, I’ve reached that point as well. Certainly, if the nominee is Palin, I’ll have no choice but to vote against her. If it’s Romney, I’ll get good and drunk beforehand and let intoxicated intuition make the decision for me.

  • TerryF98

    “Those conservative policies that have succeeded have all been adopted by Obama and the rest of the country. So how does the GOP distinguish itself from Obama if it can’t move to the left of him and all positions to the right of him are proven failures?”

    You are 100% right, and have you seen a subtle shift in the last two weeks. You hear a little less of the Kenyan,Mao,Hitler,socialist rhetoric, (apart from the usual nut cases) and a slightly more open aspect to dealing with things.

    Of course Republicans are still making total dicks of themselves over the 9/11 responders bill and some over the START treaty (McCain, Thune) but overall there seems to be a slight shift away from 100% lockstep obstructionism.

    Or maybe they just wanted to get on vacation.

  • TerryF98

    Why???

    Can’t really answer that as I am not a hard core Republican. I just feel in my gut that Romney is another GW Bush but smarmier. Palin despite all her faults and they are many and varied does have a little authenticity to her.

    In the end neither will be in the running. I think this is Hucks to loose.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    KBKY: “I’m not sure if California is indicative of the rest of the nation. The northeast, for instance, seems to like businessmen better than CA and I could see a candidate like Bloomberg doing well on a national level.”

    CA isn’t like most other states in the nation, but its racial, political, economic and geographical diversity provide a good testing ground for a candidate that needs to appeal to a broad swath of people with wide-ranging concerns in an extraordinarily expensive campaign. One of the problems I think most business people have when they run for office is they think governing is like running a business, but the two have almost nothing in common. Unlike business, government has no single objective at which the President or Governor can direct all governmental resources to achieving. There are competing interests and uncooperative team members can’t be fired.

    I think the skills required to both get elected and then be a good President or Governor are radically different from the skills necessary to run a large, successful company. Bloomberg may have both skill sets, although New Yorkers seem to barely think so since he won re-election with only 51% of the vote.

  • SkepticalIdealist

    -Kevin
    “In your analogy, your friends have to option to forego pizza entirely. Pizza Hut can’t just make a pizza, and force anyone it wants to pay for it, on the grounds that the pizza has already been made. It certainly can’t make a pizza for someone else, and charge your friends for it. ”

    First of all, everyone actually does have the option to forgo paying taxes in the United States. It’s called emigration. Secondly, Pizza Hut might be able to charge everyone for pizza if they all have already taken a slice, which we have. Everyone uses government resources both directly and indirectly. The roads and highways that enable commerce (i.e. our entire economy), the FDA that supervises the products we consume, and the public sector workers like teachers, firefighters, and police officers who not only provide vital services but also subsidize the jobs of private sector workers with their economic activity. I could go on, but I’m guessing we all get the idea.

    Government is sort of a package deal. We can’t just choose to pay for the parts we like at the exclusion of the parts we don’t. Furthermore, the right to private property is meaningless without the government services (i.e. the police force, military, and court system) that enforce it. You might be able to own things in an abstract moral sense, but just ask the Indians how well that “abstract” right holds up at the barrel-end of a gun. Rights, in the strictest legal sense, are claims that society expends resources to defend. And where do those resources come from that defend those rights? Oh yeah, taxes.

    I don’t understand what the issue is. Maybe someone can explain it to me. We collectively elect representatives in order for them to allocate our collective resources. If someone doesn’t want to be part of the system then they don’t have to be. They can work to change the system we currently have through the electoral process or they can move to a place that is already set up with a system to their liking. Either of those options is fine, but what I take issue with is people who try to cast our representative democracy (i.e. Government) as inherently illegitimate and taxation as theft. It just ain’t so.

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    TerryF98: “You hear a little less of the Kenyan,Mao,Hitler,socialist rhetoric, (apart from the usual nut cases) and a slightly more open aspect to dealing with things.”

    I’ve been somewhat surprised by this, although I have no expectation it will last. I just think the GOP is in a bad position if it truly wants to govern well. I don’t think it’s in nearly as bad a position if it cares only about winning elections.

  • kevin47

    “First of all, everyone actually does have the option to forgo paying taxes in the United States. It’s called emigration.”

    The option to leave the country is insufficient for the government to assume autonomy over our funds. Again, this is reflexive of an ideological worldview in which we are somehow indebted to the government. It is the other way around.

    “Secondly, Pizza Hut might be able to charge everyone for pizza if they all have already taken a slice, which we have.”

    I’m just pointing out why the analogy doesn’t work. You are correct, however, that if we don’t believe we should pay into government, we should not expect things from government.

    “Government is sort of a package deal. We can’t just choose to pay for the parts we like at the exclusion of the parts we don’t.”

    Nobody is arguing that we can. But you are saying that returning money to the taxpayers is an expenditure. That is an ideological assumption. There are plenty of people who favor dramatic cuts to a variety of programs, and don’t want to pay for them.

  • Carney

    SkepticalIdealist, thanks for making a serious effort at responding to my point re taxes and spending. Unfortunately your clumsy Pizza Hut analogy fails on several levels. In the first place, Pizza Hut, like most businesses, charges everyone, rich or poor, a flat rate for the “benefit” of its pizza.

    By contrast, the bottom half of income earners pays only 3% of the taxes, the top half pays 95%, the top 10% of income earners pay 68% of the tab, and 1% of income earners pays a whopping 37% of all income taxes paid.

    So unless you support not even a flat tax, but a capitation tax in which the cost of government is divided per capita and everyone is handed a bill for his per capita share, your analogy fails. Pizza Hut cutting the fees it charges to the top 1% down to 30% or 20% is not such an injustice after all, even if you object that that top 1% is getting 19% of the income. Still a flawed analogy because we all benefit equally from the national defense, etc.

    Watusie, Harry Reid is attaching his internet gambling bill to the 9/11 responders bill too. Your selective silence on that is telling.

  • Watusie

    Carney, “Watusie, Harry Reid is attaching his internet gambling bill to the 9/11 responders bill too.”

    First of all – that is bullshit. Aren’t you the one who normally runs around yelling “Read the bill!”?

    Secondly, are you somehow suggesting that is what is motivating Thune’s opposition? Well, A: please provide a link to him saying that. B: did I mention your original claim is bullshit??

    In the meantime, Thune just voted against START.

  • TerryF98

    “Harry Reid is attaching his internet gambling bill to the 9/11 responders bill too. Your selective silence on that is telling.”

    You make these sort of statements with zero to back it up.

    I have checked this out and despite a lot of searching am unable to find any reference to this bill being attached to the 9/11 responders bill.

    So you are either blowing smoke as usual or woefully mis informed as usual, which is it?

  • politicalfan

    SpartacusIsNotDead-
    “The main problem for Republicans is the same one they had in Fall, 2008. They have no ideas that haven’t already been proven to be disastrous. Those conservative policies that have succeeded have all been adopted by Obama and the rest of the country. So how does the GOP distinguish itself from Obama if it can’t move to the left of him and all positions to the right of him are proven failures?”

    What if Obama calls their bluff? He makes them make cuts? I think that we define the word conservative differently. If we were all handed the government checkbook. We would cut in some places and others we would leave alone. This is the ideology problem of both parties, they don’t want to cut certain things. I think that the President is smart enough to pull a major Palin. I am actually excited to see the new congress come in. Stay tuned- We will be shouting- “I am Spartacus!” Liked that movie a little too much but old karate movies are still greatest!

  • Watusie

    I was just trying to find the roll call for the START vote and stumbled upon another little snippet: Thune also voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

    And he’s never met a delaying tactic he didn’t like:
    http://www.filibusted.us/senators/400546

    Well, OK – not never. But 87 out of 90 times is close.

  • politicalfan

    TerryF98-
    Palin has been great at advertising herself as conservative. I am sure that she rates as a conservative, but I just don’t know. She will flip flop in a heartbeat- I don’t think she is who she pretends to be. I can give her some credit because a lot of politicians do this. However, I think she is going to flop hard. Don’t get me wrong, I think Palin is probably a nice lady behind the curtain. However, I just don’t buy that she has enough knowledge to face the issues that we have in solving some of the budget issues. I also think she likes being a celebrity and the President has to be able to take a ton of heat. She is not going to have time to battle people via twitter and FB. I dislike that she has the comfort hiding and not answering a ton of questions.

    I will give her credit where credit is due, but as a person who loves my faith, she simply offends me. I am not an inclusive thinker and I want a President that will represent everyone regardless if they are Conservative and or Liberal, silly games. I just don’t buy what she is selling. I also think that there are a lot of folks that are already in the Congress that have her same abilities. That is enough-thank you very much. I watch some of the President’s worse critics to get a tab of truth, the same is true when I watch his supporters. I tend to zone in on CSPAN because the rhetoric is way too much at times, I dislike the dumbing down of people. (Reading and research is not a friend of rhetoric). I would rather hear the debates on the floor and see how people vote. http://www.themudflats.net (critics of the Governor, but a different perspective). I just think we need to seriously weigh out our options. I am not sure Romney is the answer either but I keep waiting to see some serious candidates.

  • Deep South Populist

    The more I learn about Thune, the more I like him. If the national GOP is smart, they will start moving Thune up the chain of command now.

    Thune would mop the floor with Barack Obama in the South, mountain West, and Midwest. If the fools in the national GOP would just behind him, it would be a walkover.

    http://www.ontheissues.org/House/John_Thune.htm

  • Watusie

    Thank you for that link, DSP.

    Did you notice that he voted “Yes” on defining unborn children as eligible for SCHIP – but voted “No” on adding born children to SCHIP?

    If that doesn’t sum up the modern Christian evangelical politician, I don’t know what does.

  • SkepticalIdealist

    Wow, I’m surprised at how thoroughly misunderstood the entire pizza hut analogy has become. I’ll make sure not to use it in the future because somehow people have developed the absurd notion that an analogy between two things means they have to be alike in every single situation and in every conceivable aspect, instead of within the strict confines of the circumstances that were laid out.

    I was merely pointing out that a cashier giving a discount to their friends, which is analogous to a tax cut, would be a cost that is passed on to the other people in the system (such as the owner and the other customers). It is, in effect, an expenditure. Here, let me prove it to you: What is the material difference between the cashier giving their friends a discount rather than taking an equivalent amount of money from the register and handing it over? None, by my count. There’s virtually no difference between giving people money and charging an equivalent amount less than what you should’ve in exchange for a service or product.

    “The option to leave the country is insufficient for the government to assume autonomy over our funds. Again, this is reflexive of an ideological worldview in which we are somehow indebted to the government. It is the other way around. ”

    You make it sound like people owing the government money in principle is some kind of evil, tyrannical thing that should never be allowed to happen. People are also indebted to MasterCard, they’re indebted to Bank of America, they’re indebted to hospitals, they’re indebted to all manner of people, service providers, and corporations. Why should someone who defaults on their loans have their house seized by the bank, but not have the same thing happen when they have 7 years of unpaid back taxes? It’s simply not consistent to say that some creditors deserve to have their debts repaid, but another creditor that represents our entire community does not. Let me ask you, if moving out of the country is insufficient, would you prefer for people to be able to opt out of all public services (trash pick up, police, fire, etc.)? Being part of society means paying part of the costs that enables it to function. What kind of system of government do you think would function without levying taxes?

    No one likes paying taxes, especially to pay for programs they don’t like. I certainly don’t. I also believe that some tax systems are decidedly unfair, and that some taxes are more punitive than others. That doesn’t mean it’s a some kind of satanic plot. At worst, it’s a bad tax that can be fixed through legislation. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, communism or being personally owned by the government.

  • Deep South Populist

    Watusie, No, I didn’t catch that. Admittedly, it’s a funny contradiction. Good for a chuckle.

  • TerryF98

    “Watusie, No, I didn’t catch that. Admittedly, it’s a funny contradiction. Good for a chuckle.”

    More like blatant hypocrisy.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    “But you are saying that returning money to the taxpayers is an expenditure. That is an ideological assumption. There are plenty of people who favor dramatic cuts to a variety of programs, and don’t want to pay for them.”

    The problem is there are nowhere near enough and it is criminally irresponsible to take a loan out from the Chinese to pay for programs that they have no power themselves whatsoever to cut. If Republicans cut the programs first (and they had the WH, Senate, and House for over 4 years (2002-2006 plus part of 2001) then I would have had no problem with tax cuts provided the budget was balanced. There is nothing ideological about being logical (except for the fact you can’t spell ideological without logical, but never mind)

  • kevin47

    “I’ll make sure not to use it in the future because somehow people have developed the absurd notion that an analogy between two things means they have to be alike in every single situation and in every conceivable aspect, instead of within the strict confines of the circumstances that were laid out. ”

    It is within the strict confines of the circumstances that were laid out that the analogy fails. You failed to account for the fact that many of those who oppose higher taxes also oppose increased spending. You compared such people to thieves, and so could reasonably expect some pushback.

    So yeah, I’d retire the analogy.

    I do agree that, in absence of spending cuts, a tax cut can reasonably be considered an expenditure. I also agree that, in terms of return on our investment, Pizza Hut is a perfect metaphor for our federal government :)

  • kevin47

    “You make it sound like people owing the government money in principle is some kind of evil, tyrannical thing that should never be allowed to happen.”

    No. I’m just saying this notion reflects a certain ideology. An ideology with which I happen to disagree, but one well within the realm of non-evil discourse.

    “People are also indebted to MasterCard, they’re indebted to Bank of America, they’re indebted to hospitals, they’re indebted to all manner of people, service providers, and corporations. Why should someone who defaults on their loans have their house seized by the bank, but not have the same thing happen when they have 7 years of unpaid back taxes?”

    There is no reason. If you take a government loan, you should repay it. I don’t think anyone is suggesting otherwise.

    “What kind of system of government do you think would function without levying taxes?”

    It’s not the payment of taxes, it is the mindset that defaults to the notion that lowering taxes constitutes a cost. That is true in some circumstances, but not in others.

    For example, as I note above, a tax cut without corresponding tax cuts can reasonably be labeled a cost. However, the fact that our government actively seeks to spend every dollar at its disposal, and then some, can reasonably be labeled an annexation of funds.

    The fact is that, if government has more money than it needs to cover chosen initiatives, it will simply find more ways to spend money. If the government becomes insolvent (unlike Pizza Hut) it will simply charge more.

    So that’s the issue.

  • sdspringy

    “Those conservative policies that have succeeded have all been adopted by Obama and the rest of the country. So how does the GOP distinguish itself from Obama if it can’t move to the left of him and all positions to the right of him are proven failures?”

    What a complete and utter canard, an ideology driven remake of actual history.

    Democrats have been screaming since 2006 about everything Bush/Republican and yet have provided absolutely NO alternatives. Lets review

    Iraq surge, the Dems hated it, General Peteraus was Betrayus and the Dems belittled and demonized the military strategy.

    Fast forward after Obama has replaced two Generals in Afghan who do the Dems turn to, Peteraus and what strategy to they implement——Bushes.

    After demonizing the Bush Tax rates since the moment they were passed and generally including any tax reduction strategy as an aide to economic recovery as a fallacy, what do Obama/Dems do??? Not only extend the Bush Tax rates but also create a couple of their own which is in direct conflict with their stated arguments.

    Gitmo,, the Dems have harped and complained about the facility and its purpose since it’s creation and now nothing. They never defunded it when they could have since 2006 and now when faced with the actual ramification of a closing they back away.

    Bushes wiretapping, Obama does it, a healthcare law that’s unconstitutional, a Wall Street reform act that does not prevent further bailouts and never addressed the housing market failures. Obviously the Rep should have had a policy in place for the Dems to plagiarize since they have been completely incompetent in crafting their own.

    Because from the Dem’s own mouths they will tell you that you have to pass a Dem crafted bill first before you know what’s in it.

  • politicalfan

    “What a complete and utter canard, an ideology driven remake of actual history.”

    sdspringy- so now what, they both are a mess? The only problem is that this lame duck has given the President some major wins. Can’t erase some of those wins.

  • Deep South Populist

    TerryF98: [Thune's votes on SCHIP are] More like blatant hypocrisy.

    Let’s be fair.

    Thune’s vote makes sense in light of his underlying assumptions on abortion. Given those assumptions, he couldn’t cast a vote with the implication that the unborn are anything other than children who deserve the same benefits as other children. He had to vote the way he did because of his strict principles even if he otherwise opposed SCHIP for fiscal or some other reason.

    Barbara Boxer’s votes were the exact opposite. She voted for SCHIP for children, but against SCHIP for unborn children. It’s equally asburd and contradictory IF you disagree with Boxer’s views on abortion as many do.

  • Arms Merchant

    Another suit. Hasn’t done jack. Doesn’t energize me.

  • Arms Merchant

    Not sure any of the prospective Republican candidates commonly mentioned can actually beat Obama — at least, the new triangulating, 2.0 version of Obama that we are beginning to see. The independents are a fickle lot and a bi-partisan, Kumbaya-fest could bring them back to the Dem’s fold.

    I’d like to see businessman Herman Cain run, if for no other reason to spark a debate in the black community (90% of whom still support the President) of how much “help” to blacks and minorities Democratic policies have been for the last 50 years.

    http://dailycaller.com/2010/09/24/herman-cain-former-godfathers-pizza-ceo-is-contemplating-2012-run/

  • Watusie

    “I’d like to see businessman Herman Cain run, if for no other reason to spark a debate in the black community (90% of whom still support the President) of how much “help” to blacks and minorities Democratic policies have been for the last 50 years.”

    Why does having Herman Cain as a candidate spark that debate? Was he somehow hermetically isolated from all Democratic-sponsored initiatives for the last 50 years, thereby providing some sort of control sample?

  • SpartacusIsNotDead

    SDSpringy: “What a complete and utter canard, an ideology driven remake of actual history.”

    You first argue that I’m wrong in saying that the successful conservative ideas have been adopted by Obama and the rest of the country. Then, as evidence for your point, you cite several Bush policies that Obama and the rest of the country have adopted. I trust that upon reflection you will see the contradiction.

    If you’re trying to claim I’m wrong because Obama and the Dems have adopted several Bush policies that they were formerly critical of, then you’re arguing against a claim I did not make. I said any GOP ideas that proved to be successful have been adopted by Obama and the rest of the country. I did not say Obama and the rest of the country did not also adopt some of the foolish GOP ideas. Obama and the rest of the county have adopted some foolish GOP ideas as well, which is why the federal debt is set to explode by close to a trillion over the coming years and it’s also why the country is mired in two stupid and costly wars. Liberals, of course, oppose all of these stupid GOP ideas.

    You’ve ignored my primary point, which is the GOP has no new ideas that can solve the countries problems. Practically all ideas to the right of Obama are hopelessly flawed, and all ideas to the left of Obama are anathema to GOP dogma. So what is the GOP to do? Oh yeah . . . Sarah Palin.

  • Arms Merchant

    Watusie

    Is this a real question? You’re honestly asking why the Republican candidacy for President of a black conservative businessman against a black Democratic incumbent would encourage African-Americans to talk about the pros and cons of Democratic versus Republican policies?

  • Watusie

    Yes, Arms Merchant, I really am.

    Herman Cain ran a pizza chain for six years, and now he does talk radio and FOX News. And he is black. So how does his token (you said as much yourself) candidacy for presidency “spark” some new discussion among black voters? You think they never noticed that Michael Steele, Alan Keyes, Condi Rice, and Colin Powell were black and Republican? You think in previous elections black voters have never bothered to think about the pros and cons of Democratic versus Republican policies?

    Now then – if I’ve been too harsh, and you actually think he would win the nomination: then what does he say to black voters? How does he disprove the idea that Democratic policies over the last 50 years have so advanced the ideas of equality that we’ve ended up with the astonishing situation of both major parties having black men as their candidates?

  • Arms Merchant

    Watsuie

    I suppose that someone who thinks that anyone other than a professional politician is qualified to be President might construe that I am advocating “tokenism.” I think a successful businessman or woman is probably more qualified to head the Executive branch than say, a one-term state senator and one-term national senator with no legislative accomplishments and no executive experience to speak of.

    No, I’m talking about practicalities. Politics is about getting more people to vote for your side than the other guy’s. Somewhere around 95% of blacks voted for Obama. Do you really think that Powell endorsed Obama because he preferred Democratic policies? The historic aspect of Obama’s candidacy overwhelmed party identification, even for that percentage of conservative blacks who typically vote Republican (about 11%).

    If you don’t believe this, in the same election, around 70% of blacks in California voted for Proposition 8, a very anti-Democratic (in the party sense) position.
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2008/11/70-of-african-a.html

    What I’m saying is that the historic aspect of Obama’s candidacy in 2008 precluded much meaningful discussion about the merits of policies–for example, you got a lot of puff pieces in the black press on Michelle Obama. Just as 2010 was an opportunity to remedy that in many Congressional races, 2012 will be an opportunity in the Presidential race. Running a successful, qualified black conservative actually removes the issue of race, and highlights the policies, not the other way around.

    But I supposed that in liberal eyes, a businessman is an evil person and can’t be expected to help a nation who’s economy is suffering for lack of business growth. And of course, racism and tokenism lurk everywhere, and must be ferreted out!

  • Watusie

    I’m construing that you are advocating tokenism because you wrote “I’d like to see businessman Herman Cain run, if for no other reason to spark a debate in the black community”.

    The “if for no other reason” is a bit of a give-away.

    “I think a successful businessman or woman is probably more qualified to head the Executive branch than say, a one-term state senator and one-term national senator with no legislative accomplishments and no executive experience to speak of.”

    There is a debate there to be had on another day. For now: where is the evidence that Herman Cain is “a successful businessman”? Six years running a pizza chain founded and built by someone else? Yawn. There must be millions of Americans with better resumes than that.

    I think Powell endorsed Obama for exactly the reasons he gave at the time of making the endorsements: he was horrified by Sarah Palin and disgusted at the rhetoric of the Republicans.

    “But I supposed that in liberal eyes, a businessman is an evil person”
    You are not just a clown, you a clown new to town. I own two businesses, have started, run and sold half a dozen more, and have made many posts on many business-related topics on this site. Give the Google a try.

    That is why I look at Herman Cain’s resume and laugh.

    Bloomberg – now THERE is a successful business man.

  • Arms Merchant

    “How does he disprove the idea that Democratic policies over the last 50 years have so advanced the ideas of equality that we’ve ended up with the astonishing situation of both major parties having black men as their candidates?”

    This statement is so ignorant, I hardly know where to begin. Some Democratic policies have done nothing but increase dependency on government, destroy the black family, and led to social breakdown in the black community. Others, such as raced-based preferences, have outlived their usefulness and are so stupid at this point (think of a mixed-race family filling out the Census form and basing federal policy on the answers).

    And that’s precisely why Republicans want to have this debate and Democrats avoid it.

  • Watusie

    Meanwhile, you’ve got one party headed by Barack Obama and the other headed by Rush Limbaugh. I don’t think it takes a great deal of time and energy to work out which one is interested in racial equality. This “debate” you are talking about “starting” has in fact been going on for decades – and you are losing it. Badly.

  • Arms Merchant

    Watusie

    Nice ad hominum. Guess that’s what happens when the argument is weak.

    No, Bloomberg has made a lot of money. Here is a businessman: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/washingtonpost/obituary.aspx?n=thomas-e-sawner&pid=144190806

  • Watusie

    LOL, Arms Merchant – that is the best you can do? I’ll be happy to defend my “weak” argument all day long, so go ahead, show me how wrong I am.

    Bloomberg invented a business model and set up a company to exploit it, executing brilliantly with hardware and software and content. One hell of an achievement. You dismissing him as you just did indicates you are not suited to discuss the subject intelligently. You don’t like him = he’s not a good business man.

    Now, I’m sure you you’ll be boring and just repeat that about me, ala Pee Wee Herman, so let me pre-empt you: Rupert Murdoch. Vile human being. Possibly the Anti-Christ. I loathe everything about him. But – brilliant businessman.

    If you want to dismiss someone as merely having made a lot of money – well, that is Romney that you are thinking of.

  • Arms Merchant

    The “if for no other reason” is a bit of a give-away.

    The first paragraph gives context to the second.

    Liberals: seeing racism everywhere.

  • Watusie

    Racism…bad logic…factual inaccuracy…you do it, I’m gonna call you on it.

  • TerryF98

    Don’t argue with Sean Linanne (AKA Arms Merchant)

    Any contributer who comes and posts under any name other than the one he uses for articles does not deserve respect. Anyone who runs a racist blog does not deserve respect.

  • TerryF98

    Sorry “contributer” should have been in quotes as Linnane has never really contributed anything to this blog that made any sense. Apologies.

  • _will_

    Thune’s a C-Street theocon. Case closed.