Where things stand.

Laib, Steve A41 at MDBESF.MDBE.COM
Thu Feb 15 09:51:00 MST 1996

William Kanninen  wrote:

>With Gramm's withdrawal, where do we as conservatives stand?  We need to
>decide what are the factors upon which to base support of a candidate, and
>how do the remaining candidates measure up on these factors.

>I always felt that the factors I will base my choice(s) are as follows:
>1)  The character of the candidate.
>2)  The philosophical dependability of the candidate.
>3)  The electability of the candidate.
>4)  The support of the candidate for the three major conservative sets of
 >     A)  The social issues.
 >     B)  The economic issues of small government, low taxes, and free
 >     C)   Support for a prudent foreign policy, devoted to America's self

     An excellent approach, in my opinion.

>    Any candidate who possesses all of these factors should be supported.
> Unfortunately Phil Gramm did not, in practice, possess electability.  If
>had, he would have been the only candidate who had all of these factors.

     I agree in principal, but I'm not sure about electability.  While I am
     not a strategist, I understand from better informed sources that a
     better staff would have created a different result.  As an example,
     I had been emailing everyone in sight for contacts in the Gramm
     campaign so I could volunteer in Calif.  I was never contacted
     locally in 6 months of trying.

>Alan Keyes:
     Keyes is a wonderful orator, and has a strong grasp of the essential
     issues.  I don't take the complaints against him seriously.  What is
     more important is that the press virtually ignores him, and his morals
     centered campaign fails to capture the public interest in large
     enough numbers to make him electable.

>Bob Dole:  His electability is in question, just as his personal character
>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
     I take issue with character here.  Dole has been the consummate
     politician over his years in the senate, and he has taken large
     contributions from companies such as ADM for years.  A show
     of character would be to go on the record severing his political
     stance from his contributors.  This he refuses to do.  I find him
     highly unelectable, and question his willingness to stand up
     for the good of the nation.  His willingness to accept Clinton-Care
     showed me that he does not know how to lead.

>Lamar Alexander:
     Where most people go wrong on Alexander is that he has
     primarily served at the state level, and has not been associated
     with the legislative minority of the past 40 years.  He has shown
     significant leadership in state politics, and while I disagree with
     some of his comments on tax issues, he may be the best man
     for the job.  I believe that he may be a dark horse, primed to
     emerge through persistence or at an open convention.

>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.

     I think he is on some issues, but it matters not.  He goes nowhere.

Richard Lugar:
     Unlike a lot of people, I find him laughable.  I've seen him in
     several candidate forums and he never gave a straight
     answer to anyone.  He presented meaningless platitudes,
     ran around direct questions, and looked like a ventriloquist's
     dummy.  I simply can't see him being elected to any office at all
     yet there he is.  Still, he won't go far in the primaries.

>Patrick Buchanan:
     Pat has an ardent and loyal following.  I like some of his ideas, in
     the same way that I like Keyes'.  What concerns me is his apparent
     inability to understand the role of free trade as a wealth builder and
     a stimulus to competitive excellence.  Some of his other connections
     with fringe ideological groups, real or not need to be dealt with,
     and he seems unwilling to stand up and deal with this personal
     issue directly. I am also concerned regarding his lack of
     experience and sophistication in foreign affairs and apparent
     tendency toward isolationism.  This could be a serious flaw.
     In short, however, I do not think he is electable.  He has too many
     perceived deficiencies and the Democrats will make him look
     like the devil incarnate if given half a chance.

     I think Forbes is a flash in the pan, at most.  He may yet win in
     Arizona, but that may be his finest hour.  I expect that he will not
     be able to support sufficient votes over the long haul.  His version
     of tax reform will also make to many people shy away.  They do
     not like the idea of losing the home mortgage and charitable
     deductions even if it saves them money.

>   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
>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,
>Clinton term.  The damage to the conservative and therefore the long term
>national position would range from significant to catastrophic, depending
>upon circumstances.

     I'll disagree here.  If we have a moderate who is willing to stand on
     principal if necessary, and will work with a conservative legislature,
     we will make real progress.  Consider what would have been done
     this last year if we had a republican president.  I believe that we
     work at all costs to elect both a conservative president, even if he is
     a moderate, while working just as hard on the legislature.  If we get
     Clinton with a democratic legislature, it's a return to bigger and
     government, and potential enslavement to a national health plan, etc.

Steve Laib
Atty. and Philosopher

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