Lately the topic has come up (more in the comments than main posts) of which of the viable Republicans might be preferable. Call it the lesser evil if you cannot conceive of the concept of a good Republican. This year has been harder than most to find one that stands out and is more tolerable than the rest (and I’m not terribly thrilled with the Democratic field either). It was due to considering this issue that I was interested when following track backs to a link from Stephen Bainbridge.
Bainbridge is looking at the candidates from a Republican perspective but he does make many points I agree with, along with providing a number of other links worth reading. He is playing a game of Survivor in finding reasons to eliminate candidates fro consideration, and linked here in his post on the case against Ron Paul. His arguments against Paul are argued in more detail at his blog but are summarized below:
1. “As Michael Medved observed, Paul’s campaign has attracted ‘an imposing collection of Neo-Nazis, White Supremacists, Holocaust Deniers, 9/11 Truthers and other paranoid and discredited conspiracists.’ It may not be a case of birds of a feather, but it’s at least a case of lying down with dogs and getting up with fleas. Moreover, ‘the behavior of Ron Paul supporters (spamming blogs that reference their candidate with fund-raising appeals and flaming anyone who actually dares to express substantive disagreement) frequently alienates far more potential friends than it attracts.’ (Link)”
2.Bainbridge objects to Paul for demanding immediate withdraw from Iraq, but as he agrees that “getting into Iraq was a huge mistake” we have some common ground.
3.The conspiracy theories–which is where Bainbridge links here.
4.This is a grab bag of objections for not supporting various conservative causes where Bainbridge supports government action.
5.Paul’s support for pork for his own district.
6.”According to the Club for Growth, ‘Ron Paul embraces the importance of free trade, but lives in a dream world if he thinks free trade will be realized absent agreements like NAFTA and CAFTA.'”
7.”Ron Paul claims to be a constitutionalist.” As I’ve often noted, Paul’s version of the Constitution is quite a bit different than what was intended by the framers.
8.”He’s a crank on economic issues and saying so brings out the worst in his supporters, as David Frum found out.”
I also agree with many of his arguments against Mike Huckabee with a condensed version presented here:
2.”He’s a religious bigot, as Hugh Hewitt points out.”
3.”He sounds pretty homophobic, as Andrew Sullivan points out.”
4.”Huckabee supports the death penalty.”
5.”Speaking of hardened criminals, is Wayne Dumond Huckabee’s Willie Horton?”
6.”He’s clueless on foreign policy.”
7.”Huckabee’s a serial tax hiker.”
8.”He’s probably a closet economic populist, as the Club for Growth noted.”
He has an earlier post here which more quickly eliminates McCain, Romney, Huckabee, and Tancredo. I’m not sure if this means he supports Giuliani or Thompson or if this means he just hasn’t gotten to them yet.
He lists a few objections to McCain including his support for campaign finance reform which he argues has “gutted the first amendment.”
His objection to Romney is that “I am deeply suspicious of politicians whose views on abortion, stem cells, and the rest of the culture of life issues ‘evolve’ just in time for them to run for higher office. Even when they claim to have come around to my side.” Apparently we are on the opposite side on these issues but neither of us trusts Romney on them.
On Tancredo he writes, “I don’t have a lot of time for a nativist (and, I suspect, racist). I’m an open borders guy and unapologetic about it.”