Saturday, June 2, 2007

Fred Thompson - The Search for a True Conservative

For those of us who think Fred Thompson is our man in 2008, we now begin in earnest to confirm what we think we know: Fred Thompson is conservative enough for us.

If you haven't started your "Fred for Prez" dossier yet, here's some research for reflection:

Fred on the Senate record: Serving as a U.S. Senator from Tennessee, December 1994 to January 2003, now out of the senate five years and living a high-profile lifestyle as an actor, attorney, public speaker and lobbyist, a look at his past voting record is a good place to start. On the Issues gives a comprehensive run-down of how Thompson placed his votes. See each vote detailed and categorized.

Fred as a "fiscal conservative," from National Taxpayer's Union with an analysis from Cato @ Liberty. A summary:

During his eight years in the Senate, Thompson had a solid record as a fiscal conservative. The National Taxpayers Union gives him the third highest marks of any candidate (trailing only Paul and Rep. Tom Tancredo). While he sponsored or cosponsored legislation over the course of his career that would have resulted in a net increase in federal spending of $3.1 billion, that is the smallest increase among the contenders. (By comparison, John McCain would have increased spending by $36.9 billion). He generally shared McCain’s opposition to pork barrel spending and earmarks, and voted against the 2002 farm bill. He voted for the Bush tax cuts and has generally been solid in support of tax reduction.
The Cato piece also discusses Thompson's consistent support of entitlement reform, a strong record on free trade with a current position of "control the borders first." Read more here about federalism, gay marriage and McCain-Feingold.

Fred on Israel and Palestine: HatTip to Demediacratic Nation for this... Fred's own words published at National Review Online and also, it appears to be the text of a "Fred" appearance on Paul Harvey's 'The Rest of the Story.' This piece speaks plainly, and I wish I had said it first! Here's a few important points from the text, but be sure to follow the link and read it all :
The Palestinian strategy is to purposely target and kill Israeli civilians. Then, when Israel goes after those launching the attacks, Palestinians claim to be the victims. If Palestinian civilians aren’t hurt in the Israeli attacks, they stage injuries and deaths.
Fred on Free Speech and Pro-Freedom Movements from his Townhall.com column:
There was a time, though, when Americans were on the front lines of pro-freedom movements all over the world. I'm talking about the “surrogate” broadcast network that included Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, often called "the Radios."

When Ronald Reagan was elected, he greatly empowered the private, congressionally funded effort and handpicked the Radios’ top staff to bring freedom to the Soviet Union. Steve Forbes led the group.

Cynics still say that the USSR fell of its own weight, and that President Reagan’s efforts to bring it down were irrelevant, but Boris Yeltsin and Mikhail Gorbachev say differently. Both have said that, without the Radios, the USSR wouldn't have fallen. The Radios were not some bland public relations effort, attracting audiences only with American pop music. They engaged the intellectual and influential populations behind the Iron Curtain with accurate news and smart programming about freedom and democracy.
The Weekly Standard's Stephen F. Hayes, after a four hour interview at Thompson's Virginia home, says:
And by the end of the conversation, two unexpected realities had emerged. If he joins the race for the Republican nomination, and if he campaigns the same way he spoke to me last week, Fred Thompson, a mild-mannered, slow-talking southern gentleman, will run as the politically aggressive conservative that George W. Bush hasn't been for four years. And the actor in the race could well be the most authentic personality in the field.
Read the above, From the Court House to the White House, and then Hayes' follow-up, A Second Helping of Fred with this:
Among many other things, we discussed the surge (he's for it, but thinks it was late and should have been bigger); cutting spending (he faults both the Bush administration and congressional Republicans for their failures); the Democrats' attempt to cut funding for the Iraq War ("tragic"); why he chose not to run for president in 2000 (he didn't want to be a "caretaker president"); his reading habits in college (Russel Kirk, Friedrich Hayek, National Review and, to understand the other side, the New Republic,); his frustrations in the Scooter Libby prosecution with the CIA ("they set this whole thing up") and the Justice Department (the case was brought because of "a breakdown" at DOJ); and which longtime Democrat he contributed to in 2006.
The "Second Helping" goes into detail on Thompson's thoughts on each of the above, including Scooter Libby.

Fred on "the biggest problem we have today,"...by Robert Novak's Why Fred Thompson published at HumanEvents.com:
"I think the biggest problem we have today is what I believe is the disconnect between Washington, D.C., and the people of the United States. People are looking around at the pork barrel spending and the petty politics, the backbiting. The fighting over all things, large or small, is creating a cynicism among our people." That cynicism, Thompson contends, mandates a different kind of campaign for 2008.

Thompson implied at Stamford that Republicans, along with Democrats, are responsible for making Americans cynical. While so far not spelling this out publicly, he deplores ethical abuses, profligate spending and incompetent management of the Iraq war. He becomes incandescent when considering abysmal CIA and Justice Department performance under the Bush administration. He is enraged by Justice's actions in decisions leading to Scooter Libby's prison sentence.

In his Senate voting record and his public utterances, Thompson is more conservative than Giuliani, McCain or Romney.
Read Novak's entire article as it is serried with Thompson insights.

Fred on the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and God as published in National Review Online - a snippet:
For Americans, these are found in the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. They include a recognition of God and the fact there are certain rights that come from Him and not the government. They are based upon a respect for the wisdom of the ages, and a belief that human beings are prone to err; that too much power must never rest in too few hands. The result is a system of checks and balances and a separation of powers that flow from our guiding documents and from the rule of law.

Finally, if we want to change or alter these concepts or any provision in the Constitution, we are given a specific method to do that — by Constitutional Amendment.
This is an important article, no matter your political leanings, and should you be of the "living, breathing Constitution" crowd, read it again, and shame on you. On this subject, The American Thinker's Edward L. Daley says:
Many judges these days like to refer to the Constitution of the United States as a "living, breathing document", implying that its text is designed to be flexible. It is not. The Constitution is a set of rules, and like any other set of rules, it is meant to be strict and uncompromising. Of course, the Constitution can be modified through the amendment process, but once ratified, any amendment becomes like the rest of the Constitution: rigid.
On being a Southern candidate," this pithy piece from Mike DeVine, Op-Ed Columnist for The Charlotte Observer, and blogging as Gamecock at RedState.com and Race 4 2008.com - this just a highlight - on complaints about the slow-talking mannerisms of Southerners:
Folks, voters vote on issues, character and leadership. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are all from the South. Bush kills terrorists. The other guys that talk slow appeased them. Bush cut taxes. The others from Dixie raised them. Bush picks good judges.
Clinton put a feminist on the court. Carter lusted in his heart.
Clinton lusted all over the carpet and Bush is faithful to his wife.
There's those rumors about country singer Lori Morgan, and flattering comments about her "ex" boyfriend ("boyfriend" - such a silly word for a man of Thompson's demeanor). More about that later.

This short list is just a few significant comments from and about Fred Thompson. Now, I'm waiting to hear his fix on the McCain-Feingold mess.

Article end.
Posted by Maggie

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