Saturday, October 13, 2007

Auster asks "the biggie"

This is a continuation of Friday's blog post wherein I ask "Who would be your second choice for President?"

Lawrence Auster has replied in a comment to the entry asking a question of his own, which seems to me to get right to the heart of the matter of whether a traditionalist conservative can ultimately support a 'top tier' GOP candidate in the '08 election...

LA writes:

What if one of the top tier candidates came out with a decent immigration policy—not everything we want, but decent? I define that as opposing amnesty absolutely, stopping illegal immigration, and no increase in legal immigration, or maybe even a reduction in legal immigration. Would you consider supporting such a candidate, even if he was not on board with you on other issues you cared about?

LA continues:

If I saw a candidate who was not on board on the marriage amendment and other social conservative issues , but took a significant position on immigration, I would certainly consider supporting him.

TM replies:

On the question of whether I'd consider supporting a top tier candidate who took a decent position on immigration (by your definition), I'd have to answer that in the affirmative. In fact, such a candidate taking such a position on immigration, as long as he wasn't too far out there on other important issues would become very attractive to me. But I'd have to really weigh his position against his record as well as his character and integrity before I committed to supporting him.

Do you know of anyone who fits this bill, that you believe would stick to this policy once elected?

Vanishing American weighs in:

Terry, I think you've raised the question that occurs to me: would any of the top tier candidates be likely to actually honor a promise to control our borders, reject amnesty, etc.? ... I think all the top tier candidates have shown themselves willing to pander to Hispanics, or at the very least, to work both sides of the street as necessary to win votes.
Put simply, I don't trust them, based on their past records.

TM replies:

VA, your comments concerning the willingness of the top tier candidates to play both ends against the middle in order to win votes brings to mind Katie's Dad's recent blog entry where he shows decidedly that the GOP doesn't need the Hispanic vote, and in fact pandering to it is actually losing the GOP precious and vital support from its base, in spite of what Linda Chavez and the AMF says.

TM continues:

This seems like one of those "could I, would I, should I" questions. Could I support a top tier candidate taking up the Auster prescription for immigration policy? Would I support him? Should I support such a candidate? And it all boils down to the same answer with me; and this is where I agree with the Dobsonian principled approach...

As Dobson said in his answer to Sean Hannity's question concerning Rudy Giuliani's claim that he'll appoint constructionist judges as president, why didn't he do it when he had the opportunity to appoint conservative judges in New York? With regard to the other top tier candidates, Romney and Thompson, it's also a matter of character and integrity; a matter of what their political record indicates they'll do as opposed to what they say they'll do.

Some will certainly argue that if the candidate in question takes the Auster position on immigration, then at least we'll have something to hold him to irregardless of whether he intends to keep the promise or not. I think there's some merit to that argument, particularly as it relates to the candidate's first term in office should he be elected. But if any of you would argue strongly from that position in support of one of the top tier candidates, I'd like to hear what you have to say.

John Savage writes:

I'm pretty much with VA. If one of the candidates made a credible promise, I could imagine changing my position, but I just don't see that happening. In particular, I think I'd have to see a convincing statement from Tancredo about why he turned around and started believing in the nominee, since he currently thinks all the top-tier guys are phonies. For instance, Tancredo has criticized Romney's positions on immigration as a classic example of his "conversion on the road to Des Moines".

I'd also add that a decent position on immigration for me would have to include some sort of recognition that allowing Muslim immigration is tantamount to importing the jihad into America. I think the chances of us getting that from one of the top candidates is really low.


John Savage said...

Terry, very true. I don't know why so many conservatives are so gullible as to believe Giuliani's promise that he'd appoint good judges. I don't trust any of the top-tier candidates to do that. But that promise of Giuliani hardly ever gets any scrutiny.

Michael Tams said...


At the risk of being looked upon like the guy who farts in church ("who let him in?")...

I've decided that as much as I personally like Hunter and Tancredo, I'm supporting Romney in the primary (more on that qualifier in a minute).

While Duncan and Tom are both strong conservatives, I think Romney is the closest to my values among the leading candidates right now. I've blogged before on the nature of our election system and primaries and realize that my pragmatism on this may seem offensive to some. As far as primaries go, I'd almost consider some reform to the system that allows for multiple votes (cast 3 and weight each vote, or something along those lines). Under such a system, I think we'd end up getting a better reflection of who the best candidate is; more people like Hunter and Tancredo would get votes in a system that wasn't viewed - rightly or not - as throwing away votes.

Nevertheless, the system is what it is. As much as I'd like someone like Alan Keyes (still have his "Senate 2004" yard sign in my basement), I will accept compromise at the ballot box (more on that in a minute) to prevent genuine traitors (Dhimmicrats) from winning elections.

Now, I qualified my support for Romney as "in the primary." If Rudy makes it through the primary, I don't know what I'll do. Maybe that's a pretty good indication of what I won't do: vote for him. While he'd be less likely to actively seek the destruction of America than Hillary or Obama, I think he's just wrong. But if someone else makes it through the primary? Absent McCain, I'd probably get in line and support any of those guys.

I also mentioned compromise at the ballot box. This isn't a precursor to abondoning one's values. Indeed, I voted for Bush, but have spoken up (numerous times) when he's needed correction; clearly, however, those who held their noses and voted for Bush can be thanked that we're not staring down a Jean-Francois Kerry re-election campaign.

Inadequate analogy by its lack of elegance, but to me it's a little like those performers who spin plates on poles. With Rudy, that's a lot of babysitting you've got to do. With other candidates, far less.

In the interest of disclosure, I'll note off the bat that I disagree with Romney on increasing legal immigration. I'm not sure that's necessary. Before we go off solving the problem of "jobs that Americans won't do" I think we need to take a look at who is not working in America. If we've got productive people on public welfare, that's the first place to start. Yet, if we've had the debate and it looks like there are indeed jobs that need workers, fine, let's find a solution. But we need the debate.

For what it's worth, here's his immigration link:

I comment somewhat reluctantly given what I perceive to be my standing alone on the side of pragmatism, but my experience living under the despotic rule of Rod Blagojevich and the cruel results of the last GOP primary for governor has colored my opinion on these issues. It may be hard to understand, especially if you've never shared such an experience, but that's where I'm coming from.