Where things stand.

Robert A. Ostrea, Jr. RAOstrea at IX.NETCOM.COM
Wed Feb 14 13:02:40 MST 1996

William wrote:

>Bob Dole:  His electability is in question, just as his personal character is
>not in question.  His lack of philosophical dependability, based on his
>record over the last quarter-century, and his obvious personal
>uncomfortability with philosophical conservatives make him an apparent Bush
>clone.  In Bush's case I voted for him in 1988 and against him in 1992,
>because I felt that his compact with the voters on taxes were as binding on
>us as it should have been on him.  The history of 1988-1996 shows us that a
>Bush type presidency is somewhat better for the country than Clinton, but is
>far more damaging to the Republican party.  I would vote for Dole, if no
>electable conservative were available in November, but not campaign for him.

The above is a very good brief description of Senator Dole; however, I would
not underestimate Dole's ability to defeat Clinton if he were to get the GOP
nomination.  Compromise is not that bad, in fact, it is necessary in some
instances to ensure that the country's vital interests are looked after.
Sure, the GOP and the Dems may not get ALL that they want, but a good
compromiser gets a good deal of his agenda acknowledged...

>Lamar Alexander:  He seems to be a younger, more electable, Dole.  Since he
>has less experience compromising than Dole, perhaps he would be less likely
>to do it.  His  apparent attack on the concept of a flat tax (not just Steve
>Forbes's version of it), would  preclude my support.

I, for one, am not convinced that a flat tax in the Steve Forbes fashion is
all that advantageous for the country.  I haven't seen enough analysis on
its effects and there are other concerns (mortgage and charitable
contributions) that I seriously question.  Lamar is actually in a GREAT
position to take the nomination.  If he places 2nd or a close 3rd in NH, I
say look out Bob Dole!  Buchanan's support will dwindle after NH.  I am also
beginning to think that Lamar can indeed defeat Clinton because he has
charisma and a good debate profile...

>M. Taylor:  He is unknown, or undesirable on all the above factors, and is
>not a serious candidate either in terms of issues or electability.


>Richard Lugar:  He is actually rather good on the substance of most of the
>issues, although he recently has taken the bad side of certain hot-button
>issues, apparently to gain press attention.  His long-time participation in
>the legislative process as a minority member give him most of Dole's
>problems, as well as Dole's advantages.  If we were voting on character
>alone, he and Dole would be 1 and 2, but that is not how we are (or should
>be) voting.

I think we all know that Lugar is in the race for two reasons: increased
name recognition (a possible Gubernatorial candidacy?) and to solidify
support for the Secretary of State/Defense position in a GOP administration.
I would say that if the GOP wins, Lugar is in.  If they don't, Lugar still
has great possibilities for his career...

>Patrick Buchanan:  I have worries about the first two factors, based on Pat's
>non-rejection of support from David Dukes.  It is true that Dukes supported
>Pat in Louisiana.  It is also true that Pat dissasociated himself from Dukes'
>vile stand on racial  issues.  This is morally and politically insufficient.
> While it is late, it is still possible for Pat to denounce these posistions,
>and to reject the support of those who hold them.  It is far too late in the
>day to dance around the issue of the KKK.  If he does not do so his campaign
>will be a walking political corpse, just waiting for the eventual, and
>justified, media hatchet job.  I could not support Pat in good conscience
>until he has done what must be done on this issue.  However, since I have a
>degree in economics, I still have problems with his total rejection of free
>trade, as well as his apparent willingness to use  government economic
>regulation as a tool.  Since he is basicly a solid conservative on most other
>issues, and since he could never get his non-conservative economic policies
>through Congress, and since the NAFTA and GATT treaties were both damaged so
>badly by the use of Buchananite regulations in their final versions, and were
>therefore only marginally beneficial, I would be able to work for Pat, IF he
>solves the Dukes cancer on his campaign.

I think you're correct in your concerns over Pat's PR problem concerning
racism and anti-Semitism.  I, for one, do NOT believe that he is either;
however, he can NOT win the nomination or the election unless he clearly
states his position on this issue.  More disturbing for me is his opposition
to free trade and his isolationist viewpoints.  As a businessman who's life
depends on international trade and exports, particularly, I will
wholeheartedly OPPOSE anyone who wants to turn back the clock and threaten
the economic vitality that is being experienced in U.S. communities by U.S.
companies engaging in international trade...

>Forbes:  I still have reservations about Forbes' philosophical dependability,
>but am not so concerned as I have been over his positions on the primary
>social issues.  If his abortion position is that we should use the 'baloney
>method', slicing off as many abortions as we can get electoral support to
>eliminate, while working to convince the public to accept it's near total
>elimination, while not emphasizing our commitment to positions that are not
>now obtainable, that is a position that I can support, although not in total
>agreement with.  On the other hand, if he is essentially taking the Clinton
>position of being totally pro-choice, while stating that he wants to make it
>'legal but rare', then it would not be possible to support him.

Forbes' inexperience of politics is, IMO, a negative.  Sure, it's nice to
have someone "outside the beltway," but like a Ross Perot, Forbes would not
be able to handle the Congress (regardless of which party controls it).  I
haven't heard many ideas outside his flat tax proposal, which worries me
that he doesn't have any ideas....

>     For this conservative, at this time I can only be comfortable supporting
>Keyes, while agreeing that his lack of money and organization make his
>victory unlikely.  If the problems referred to above are cleared up
>satisfactorily, I would be willing to work for Forbes or Buchanan (if they
>are not cleared up, I would not be willing to vote for them).
>I would not work for Dole or Alexander, but probably would vote for them,
>unless Howard Phillips conservative convention in San Diego, right after the
>GOP convention (obviously designed to receive a conservative walkout from the
>Republican meeting), produces a morally supportable candidate, electable or
>not.  I expect that in the case of a Dole or Alexander nomination this is the
>largest probability.

I think Keyes, and Dornan for that matter, are very honorable men who truly
believe what they preach.  Keyes is too conservative to be elected by the
general public, so is Dornan.  I had planned to vote for Dornan in the
California primary; however, if it looks like a real race between Dole and
Alexander, I will vote for Alexander.  If Buchanan amazes everyone and is in
contention, I will most definitely vote for Dole.  I will not campaign for
any of the Presidential candidates, because I plan to campaign for my local
Congressman (James Rogan, California Assembly Majority Leader, running for

>   It is clear that we are now very unlikely to be able to elect a Reagan
>conservative as President.  What we need to do is try to reduce the damage to
>our country and to the conservative control of the GOP.   My belief is that
> an Eisenhower-Nixon-Ford-Bush- Dole-Alexander type nominee would be only
>marginally better for our country in the short term than a second, and, last,
>Clinton term.  The damage to the conservative and therefore the long term
>national position would range from signifigant to catastrophic, depending
>upon circumstances.

I agree with your assessment above.  The most important thing I think is to
retain control of the Congress.  If Clinton gets re-elected, I WANT a GOP
Congress to check his ridiculousness.  A Dole or Alexander (or
Dole/Alexander) win would advance conservative ideology with the appointment
of federal and Supreme Justices and cabinet members....

- Robert

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