The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Another take on the Missouri Senate election

In the past, I've rather liked a lot of the posts by Washington Examiner columnist Noemie Emery. Friday's paper had an interesting column regarding the Senate election in Missouri, for whom the Republican primary winner, Todd Akin, has gone so off-the wall that the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh think he should give up:

In 2006, unexpectedly bounced from his own party's ballot, Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman decided to run as an independent on a third-party line. The moment he did, he became the de facto Republican candidate, as the GOP decided to ignore its own nominee, neither funding nor mentioning him. Everyone understood what was happening, and Republicans voted for Lieberman. The state was (and is) Democratic, and Lieberman won.

In 2012, the Republicans' best way out of the mess in Missouri, now that they are left with a loon as a candidate, may be to do the same thing: Run a third-party line with the “real” candidate. But this time, actively fund and back him, with rollouts, endorsements and cash. This is because the installed nominee is not merely a blank, as he was in Connecticut, but a full-blown flake and media flame-out who needs to be wholly disowned.

Distance must be put between Todd Akin and the rest of the party and ticket, and this is best done by running against him. Link him to the Democrats and to Claire McCaskill, whose creature he does seem to be. During the primary, Democrats spent at least $1.5 million on television promoting him to Republican voters as the most conservative candidate. They also urged Democrats to go out and vote for him. By defining him now as a Trojan horse figure set to blow up and embarrass his party, Republicans could make the campaign against him appear more legitimate. They could also undermine liberals' efforts to link him to Romney, Ryan and other conservatives. If these are actively running against him, how tied together can they possibly be?

It's an open question who the third candidate should be, but it is one easily solved. Jennifer Rubin has brought up the name of John Danforth. Sarah Palin suggests Sarah Steelman (whom she endorsed), but she ran a few points behind Akin in the primary, and Missouri's “sore loser” law prevents runners-up from running in write-in campaigns. As the National Review's Jim Geraghty notes, a successful write-in candidate needs a simple name that is hard to misspell and a proven appeal to large blocs of voters, traits that he finds in one possible entrant: “If only some figure, well known to Missouri voters… would step forward and declare, “The name's Bond … Kit Bond.”

Other ex-senators are thick on the ground, and if Steelman can't run, she could campaign with and for them, driving a stake through the fake ‘war on women’ that the left wing is trying to wage. Campaigns such as these would give Missouri's voters a choice other than the other two ghastly options, and sever the links the liberals are trying to forge between Akin and saner Republicans. Who knows? They might even win.

Having nothing to say, Democrats are avid to run on distractions, from Seamus the dog to Rafalca the horse to Harvey, the invisible friend of Harry Reid, who keeps feeding him tidbits about Romney's taxes. They will continue to feed such distractions to the public till November, to drown out all talk of real issues like downturns and downgrades and “jobs,” the three-letter word that Joe Biden immortalized. This will never blow over, until it is made to. Unless Akin bows out, there's just one way to do it.

Ms. Emery has an interesting idea. The problem is that it will only work if one alternative candidate comes out. Otherwise, the vote will be split, and Claire McCaskill will still win. So who will do it?

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