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.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Mike Huckabee is unfit to be president. Here's why

Once more, Mike Huckabee is acting in a way that shows his unfitness for the Presidency. In a column entitled Huckabee Takes Aim at Court Activism on Gay Marriage dated May 28, 2015 by Andrew Desiderio on the Real Clear Politics site, we read:

With a Supreme Court decision expected next month on constitutional protections for same-sex marriage, one presidential candidate is not mincing words when criticizing what he sees as judicial overreach.

Specifically, the court is expected to rule on whether the 14th Amendment requires states to authorize same-sex marriages, as well as recognize those already carried out in other states. For Mike Huckabee, this is a clear case of the justices acting beyond the authority granted to them.

“Many of our politicians have surrendered to the false god of judicial supremacy, which would allow black-robed and unelected justices the power to make law as well as enforce it,” the former Arkansas governor said during his May 5 campaign launch.

That was hardly his first comment on the issue. “I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that – the supreme of the court,” he said at the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference in April, as the high court was holding oral arguments on the gay marriage case. “It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God.”

It is Huckabee's seeming willingness to make the United States a theocracy that I find appalling. The Supreme Court is not trying to “overrule God”; it is merely interpreting the Constitution. And God is irrelevant. What God believes is unknown to us — I as a Jew of course differ from Gov. Huckabee, an evangelical Protestant, in our beliefs as to what God's laws are; and others of different religious tendencies would have yet other ideas in this direction, but the Supreme Court is supposed to ignore this question. The Court is bound only by the Constitution. If it does violate God's will, God will punish the Justices. Gov. Huckabee has no more right to speak for God than do I or does any individual in the Supreme Court.

Desiderio continues:

Marbury v. Madison, an 1803 landmark case, created the process of judicial review, by which Supreme Court justices are given the power to determine the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress and signed by the president. It allows the judiciary branch to serve as a “check” on the legislative and executive branches. But many conservatives claim the courts have inched into the realm of judicial activism.

Huckabee, the 2008 winner of the Iowa caucuses, reiterated his criticisms during a “Fox News Sunday” interview last weekend. “The notion that the Supreme Court comes up with a ruling, and that automatically subjects the two other branches to following it, defies everything there is about the three equal branches of government,” he told host Chris Wallace.

The President and the Congress are sworn to uphold the Constitution. The role of the Court is to provide a definitive interpretation of the Constitution. Gov. Huckabee seems to imply that he would be free, if he were President, to interpret his oath to support the Constitution as one to write his own doctrine of what is constitutional. Since 1803, the nation has accepted Court decisions as the last word on constitutionality. Gov. Huckabee's ideas fly in the face of this agreement. This is hardly a conservative position.

Desiderio's column continues:

Wallace pressed his onetime Fox News colleague further, asking whether he would have approved of Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus’s 1957 defiance of the high court’s ruling on school desegregation.

Huckabee called that comparison a false equivalency, noting that both the legislative and executive branches agreed with the court on desegregation. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Huckabee said, was therefore right in sending the 101st Airborne Division to enforce and carry out the law at Little Rock Central High School.

Huckabee then presented a hypothetical of his own in criticizing those who “bow down” to court rulings that are not backed by the legislature: “What if the Supreme Court ruled that they were going to make the decision as to who was going to be the next president, and save the taxpayers and the voters from all the expense and trouble of voting, and they’ll just pick a president?”

Of course, nobody really believes that the Supreme Court would do such a thing. Even the Gore enthusiasts who would say that the Court came close to such a ruling in the 2000 Bush v. Gore decision have to admit that the Court never eliminated the election, but merely terminated the recount process. So Huckabee's hypothetical is of a piece with “What if the President said the Constitution was henceforth null and void, and his decisions, on all issues, were to have the force of supreme law?”

Huckabee spokeswoman Alice Stewart declined a request to comment on whether a President Huckabee would take any type of executive action if the court deemed all state bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, saying there is “not more to add.”

Both declared GOP candidate Carly Fiorina and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is expected to enter the presidential race soon, have said they would not fight a SCOTUS ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have signaled their support for a constitutional amendment that would prohibit courts from interfering with existing or future state bans on same-sex marriage. It is unclear whether Huckabee supports such a step.

The column then concludes with a summary of other opinions on Huckabee's position, including the two biggest organizations that are concerned with the issue:

But there’s plenty of opposition to this conservative stance. The Human Rights Campaign, a liberal organization that has been pushing for LGBT rights since 1980, says Huckabee’s comments prompt the question of whether Florida Sen. Marco Rubio or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who are at the top of the RealClearPolitics polling average among Republicans, are on the same page as their rival.

“Another day, another attempt from Mike Huckabee to test-drive a desperate and absurd rationale for denying marriage equality to everyone at a time when more than six in 10 voters support marriage equality and nearly half the country knows an LGBT couple that has gotten married or is in a committed relationship,” JoDee Winterhof, HRC’s vice president for policy and political affairs, told RealClearPolitics.

(Rubio and Bush aides declined to comment on whether either would employ a strategy of denouncing activist courts, but Rubio has said in the past that he does not want the judiciary to “impose” gay marriage on certain states. Bush does not believe the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage.)

Meanwhile, the Family Research Council, a prominent social conservative group, did not return a request to comment on whether it would embrace a strategy of running against the courts in an effort to enshrine traditional marriage. The group’s president, Tony Perkins, said during oral arguments before the court that it should not “impose” same-sex marriage on states where bans have been upheld.

One can scarcely think that either the HRC or the FRC would take a position any different from what it has, of course. And the final piece of Desiderio's column continues:

Huckabee has insisted that his appeal is not exclusive to evangelical voters, who are more likely to share his views, and has said he is also vying for the support of working-class Americans.

But will the Republican nominee – whoever that turns out to be – feel pushed to run against the courts in the general election? And prior to that, will any of the primary contenders make this issue a cornerstone of his or her campaign? Those will be tough choices to make, as recent polls show the tide is turning on social ideology nationally, with increasing support for same-sex marriage and marijuana legalization.

While social conservatives remain a powerful part of the Republican Party electorate in most early primary and caucus states, the GOP establishment has signaled it does not want to alienate younger voters, who overwhelmingly support gay marriage, by embracing unpopular positions during a general election.

The big problem is that any Republican who makes “social conservatism” the cornerstone of his campaign is going to make the Republican Party a laughingstock and throw away the votes of millions of people who usually vote Republican because it is the party of freedom, by making it instead the party of bigotry.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

More on that Canadian jeweler and the gay couple

I've now read more about that case that I posted about on Tuesday. It is very clear that the lesbian couple did not know about the jeweler's beliefs at the time they ordered the ring. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation site says:

White and Renouf visited the store and later gave specifications and a price range for potential rings.

“They were great to work with. They seemed to have no issues. They knew the two of us were a same-sex couple,” White said.

“I referred some of my friends to them, just because I did get some good customer service and they had good prices.”

That was before one friend went in to purchase a ring for his girlfriend — and instead found a distressing sign.

It reads: “The sanctity of marriage is under attack. Let's keep marriage between a man and a woman.”

The friend took a picture of the poster, which made its way back to White.

“I had no idea about the sign up until that point,” she said.

“It was really upsetting. Really sad, because we already had money down on [the rings], and they're displaying how much they are against gays, and how they think marriage should be between a man and a woman.”

The couple went to the store the following day, and asked about the sign.

“They just said that that's their beliefs, and they think they can put up whatever they want. I just said it was very disrespectful, it's very unprofessional and I wanted a refund,” White said.
As I said Tuesday, this changes the situation from what Cooke seemed to think. Cooke outlined a scenario where the couple concluded the deal in full knowledge of the jeweler's anti-gay beliefs. But it's clear that this was not the case. They found out about this after the order was placed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

John Kasich?

It seems that Governor John Kasich, of the state of Ohio, is planning to run for the Presidency, adding yet another name to the list of declared candidates. Gov. Kasich might make a very good President. He has experience as Governor — and was overwhelmingly re-elected to his second term after a very close election that put him in originally, which implies that Ohioans thought he did a good job in his first term as Governor. He also has experience in the Congress, which means he needs no schooling in Federal issues, unlike many Governors who may have concentrated on state-level issues. I would say that his only negative is that he is not well known. He would have to conduct an extensive campaign to make people aware of who he is. For myself, I think he would be easy to support.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

An episode that anti-gay people seem to think justifies their bigotry

In the online site of the National Review, a column by Charles C. W. Cooke dated May 22, 2015 reads:

In the American Conservative yesterday, Rod Dreher related the following story:

So, a Canadian Christian jeweler custom-made a pair of engagement rings for a lesbian couple, Nicole White and Pam Renouf, at their request. Later, when they found out that the jeweler personally opposes same-sex marriage, they went to pieces and demanded their money back. The couple now believes the rings they ordered will have been tainted by having been fashioned by jeweler Esau Jardon’s hands, given what impure thoughts he holds in his mind.

One could be forgiven for wondering how we are all supposed to keep up. Last month, as Indiana’s rather tame religious-freedom legislation was being torched by the mob, America’s more devout dissenters were informed that the price of participation in the marketplace was the subjugation of one’s conscience to one’s Caesar. “You can’t opt out of the law,” the agitators explained. “This isn’t the Jim Crow South!” Their core message? That if we all keep quiet about our views — and if we treat commercial transactions as commercial transactions — nobody will end up getting hurt. Or, put another way: “Cater my wedding, you bigot.”

In Dreher’s story, alas, the opposite case appears to obtain. “We can’t be expected to honor our contracts with companies that disagree with us,” the outraged couple is arguing, “for that might taint our nuptials.” The new message? That we can’t all get along by keeping quiet, but instead need to positively affirm one another or face the consequences. Or, put another way: “Even if I ask you to, don’t cater my wedding, you bigot.”

Would that the agitators could settle on a strategy.

Being a dastardly free-market type, I have no objections whatsoever if White and Renouf prefer not to use a vendor whose religious convictions they abhor. Choice, not force, is the guiding star of the classical liberal’s ship: If a free person objects to a business because it has a political sign in its window or because its owners are wearing a yarmulke or because its clerk is using a Mac rather than a PC, that’s fine with me. But we ought to be clear about exactly what happened here. As CBC News confirms, White and Renouf did not walk idly past the window and immediately cross the offending jeweler off their list, and neither did they converse with him a little and discover him to be objectionable. Rather, they found him to be charming and pleasant and happy to acquiesce, and, having been suitably impressed by his offering, they happily entered into a contract with him. And then, having later uncovered what was in his heart, they refused to take “Yes” for an answer.

When the couple “found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage,” Dreher writes, they “balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield.” Which is ultimately to say that White and Renouf sought to break their contract — not, you will note, because he was rude or because he failed to deliver on his promises, but because they made a window into his soul and they did not like what they saw — and then, when he objected, to subject him to bullying and to threats until he caved. Is that “tolerance”?

Wait a minute. It isn't that the couple “made a window into his soul” — The jeweler posted a sign proclaiming his views. Did the couple see that sign before ordering the ring? Probably not. So they ordered the ring, had it prepared, and then saw a sign in the jeweler's shop demeaning their worth as a couple. Suppose a Jewish couple had a ring made, and then discovered a Nazi swastika on display in the store. Should they not have canceled the transaction? I think they'd be right to call it off, even if the ring had already been made.

Cooke's column continues:

I rather think not. Indeed, ceteris paribus, one has to feel extraordinarily sorry for the vendor here, for by the standards that were established during the Indiana debate he did precisely the “right” thing. Carefully putting his religious reservations to one side, the man took on a pair of customers with whose decision he fundamentally disagreed, and he promised to do the best for them that he could. And still, it wasn’t good enough.

Were this a Monty Python sketch and not a horrifying power play, the tendering conversation would presumably have proceeded like this:

Customer: We are a lesbian couple who would like you to make us a wedding ring.

Business owner: Okay. I do not support gay marriage, but I will serve you as anybody else. This, I understand, is how it works.

Customer: You can’t deny me service simply because you hold different views from mine.

Business owner: Indeed. I have no intention of doing so. Society is better off when our differences remain private.

Customer: Okay, let’s do business.

Business owner: Great.

Customer: Your private views are disgusting. You can’t make me do business with you. Give me my money back or I’ll unleash the kraken.

If this is to be our new standard — and time will tell — it would be useful to know what legal protection our recalcitrant firms will reasonably be able to recruit to their side. In both Canada and in the United States there already exists a pernicious imbalance in the supposedly free marketplace. If a browsing consumer doesn’t happen to like the politics or the race or the religion of a given business owner, he is quite free to decline to associate with it. Thus do some progressives like to skip Chick-Fil-A, an openly Christian business; thus do some conservatives prefer to avoid Apple, whose owner Tim Cook irritated them during the Indiana fight. By that very same law, however, it is strictly verboten for a business to discriminate against customers they themselves dislike — even if they feel that by fulfilling their legal obligations they will be violating their consciences. Are we really going to add to this already lopsided arrangement a general right to break contracts after the fact? Are we going to hand the integrity of our signed arrangements over to the whim of the mob? And if we are not, what are we to expect the government to do about those whose consciences now demand that they renege on their word?

I think one question that needs to be answered is “Did the couple know the jeweler's anti-gay-marriage beliefs before ordering the ring?” If they did, Cooke would have a point here. But if not, (and I suspect that was the case) I think they were every bit justified in acting as they did. And by the way, I'm not a “progressive,” but I boycott Chick-fil-A, not because they are owned by a Christian, but because they choose to insist that their franchisees keep the same Christian rules, such as closing on Sundays.

Finally, Cooke continues:

After the pusillanimity that was shown in Indiana, I daresay: not much.

Horrified by the hatred that had been cast his way, the jeweler appealed to what he imagined were the first principles of his adopted nation. “One of the reasons my family chose to come to Canada,” he noted, “was the freedom of rights.… Nothing in that shop or in these posters is against the law.… There’s nothing there that means to discriminate or to hate anybody else.… For the same reason, I ask to have the same respect in return, especially when it’s in my own business.” One is almost touched by the naïveté. This isn’t about respect, friend; it’s about power.

No, it is about the right of people to do business with people that do not think they are sub-human. But Cooke does not recognize this.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Marco Rubio?

I hadn't given a lot of thought to Marco Rubio as a 2016 candidate. But perhaps I should. There is an article entitled “A Hillary Clinton Match-Up With Marco Rubio Is a Scary Thought for Democrats” by Jeremy W. Peters on The New York Times' site which implies that Rubio is very good at capturing his audience's sympathy. And of course, his history of doing so well against the former Governor, Charlie Crist, among Republicans that Crist left the party and still lost when he tried to run an independent campaign certainly points to Rubio's electability, which is an important factor. He may be somewhat more conservative than I'd like, but he may well be a good choice. After all, anyone who scares Democrats interested in putting Hillary Clinton in the White House as much as is implied by that article is worth looking at.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Hillary Clinton's supporters see nothing wrong?!!

Hillary Clinton still has supporters who seem to find nothing wrong with the Clinton Foundation's accepting large sums from foreign sources. The article I linked to above has a paragraph:

The Clinton Foundation story is almost perfectly designed to polarize Clinton’s supporters and opponents along traditional lines. Critics say donations from foreign governments and business interests with a stake in administration policy raise conflict-of-interest questions, but even the conservative author leading the charge on the issue, Peter Schweizer, acknowledges there’s no “direct evidence” linking Clinton to any specific quid pro quo deal. Whether you believe there’s more to the story than just bad “optics” mostly depends on whether you see it as merely the latest in a long line of trumped-up Clinton scandals that didn’t pan out or the newest example of those ruthless and corrupt Clintons flouting the rules for personal gain.

But my question — and I asked it of my wife, an enrolled Democrat who would like to see a woman President — is “Do you want a President who might feel herself beholden to a foreign party?” And she was responsive to it exactly the way I am. It is not a minor thing. It's a lot more serious than whether the Governor of New Jersey knew his underlings were going to block a lane on the George Washington Bridge.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Ireland's gay marriage vote

Ireland yesterday voted — by a 5 to 3 margin — to legalize same-sex marriage. It's hard to believe that a country which is so dominated by the Roman Catholic Church that abortion is still illegal there would vote so decisively that way. (It's been trumpeted as the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote. It is the first to do so nationwide. But in the United States, of course, it's a state issue and several states (including my own, Maryland) did legalize same-sex marriage by popular vote.We don't have a national vote on issues like this.

But let's not quibble. Congratulations to the Irish people for their stand in favor of freedom, and to the gay & lesbian community in Ireland for their victory.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Thoughts on the Obergefell case

One thing that needs to be noted about Obergefell v. Hodges is that the specific case of Obergefell has been consolidated with three other cases. And this may lead to a finding that legalizes gay marriage nationwide, using Loving v. Virginia as a precedent.

The specific case of Obergefell only involves recognition of out-of-state marriages in other states; this issue is really a no-brainer, because states have always recognized out-of-state marriages as valid, essentially a consequence of Article IV of the Constitution. Hoswever, whether a state can restrict marriages performed within its borders to opposite-sex couples involves a different issue. States have generally had the powers to define who can marry (minimum age and degree-of-relationship limits being common), but the precedent of Loving v. Virginia allows the Court to invalidate such restrictions if they are discriminatory. In that case, it was racial discrimination; here it is sexual discrimination. (As Chief Justice Roberts asked in the course of his questioning, “[I]f Sue loves Joe and Tom loves Joe, Sue can marry him and Tom can’t. And the difference is based upon their different sex. Why isn’t that a straightforward question of sexual discrimination?”) If it is looked at in this way, the precedent of Loving v. Virginia will guide the Court to legalize gay marriage nationwide.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Foreign developments and our 2016 election

During the four months or so that I was neglecting this blog, the foreign developments have been a great thing for the political Right. Both David Cameron in the United Kingdom and Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel won big victories, much greater than the polls predicted. It is to be wondered whether this is a portent for the 2016 election in this country. Certainly, I would like to see that.

Right now, polls show Hillary Clinton winning against many Republican opponents — not all the Republican prospects in all the polls, but generally in most polls that I have seen. But of course, November 2016 is a year and a half away. And a lot can change in that time. Yet what if the polls are as far off as they were in the UK ad Israel? Hillary might be losing even now!

All in all, there is hope for 2016.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Politics and the Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia

Democrats are blaming Republican funding cuts to Amtrak for the Philadelphia derailment. While I think that most Republicans are misguided in their desire to cut Amtrak, I think it is an implausible stretch of the truth. Perhaps Amtrak could have worked faster at installing the Positive Train Control that would have prevented the accident if they had had more money, but I don't think that was really likely. And money isn't what made the engineer do whatever he did that made the train speed up.

Amtrak is perhaps 10% responsible — they should have worked harder at installing Positive Train Control. And the engineer is 90% responsible. But don't blame Congressional Republicans for the accident. I agree that Amtrak needs more money than many Republicans want to give it. But this is not the reason.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Philadelphia derailment

The Amtrak engineer on the train that derailed in Philadelphia says he was not using drugs (and offered a blood sample to prove it) and was not using his smartphone. (I had suspected the first, my wife the second.) He does not remember what happened in most of the time around the derailment. Evidence shows that the train was speeding up when it should have slowed down just before reaching the curve where the train derailed.

The train had been inspected by Amtrak not long before, and found to be in good shape. Some action by the engineer, therefore, must have caused the train to accelerate to over 100 mph when it should be traveling 80 and slowing down to 50 as it approached the curve. It certainly wasn't on autopilot!

Right now, my inclination is to blame the engineer. But because he can't remember anything, we will probably never know the true story. However, if I were a juror in a trial, I would certainly find the engineer guilty of negligent manslaughter.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Dzhokhar Tsarnaev death sentence

The jury in the Dzhokhar Tsarnaev case has made their decision — and sentenced him to death. I, for one, applaud. I was fearful that in Boston, a city with a high proportionn of the population opposed to the death penalty, the jurors might include some who were sufficiently opposed to it that they could not sentence Tsarnaev to death. But fortunately this did not occur.

There are some who argue that sometimes a person gets convicted who is not truly guilty, and a death penalty applied to such a person is irreversible. I certainly do not deny that wrongful convictions do sometimes occur — there was a case that recently cane to light where a man in Virginia served 28 years for a rape and it was finally established that the perpetrator was a man who looked uncommonly like the prisoner. But nobody claims that Tsarnaev is the wrong man. Not even he nor his lawyer. The only defense that anyone has offered was that Tsarnaev was a pawn of hs older brother. And Tsarnaev's own actions after his arrest make it clear that he mas acting consciously. The jury did not buy that argument.

Giving a murderer anything short of the death penalty, in my opinion, says that the lives of the murderer's victims are less important than the life of the murderer. And I cannot accept such a valuation. So Tsarnaev's sentence is absolutely justified, and, as I said earlier, I applaud it.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Returning to the blogging scene (continued): The Supreme Court cases

Getting back to blogging, there are not a lot of things that can be discussed at the moment, which is part of the reason I have not been active the past few months. There are two pending Supreme Court cases which I think are very important: King v. Burwell, which could throttle Obamacare if it is decided on the plain language of the statute, and Obergefell v. Hodges, which might lead to gay marriage being recognized nationwide. But until June, the Supreme Court is keeping silent on how they will rule. And yet, the Justices have likely made their decisions already, so nothing I say can do much. (Of course, I doubt my blog is being read by any Supreme Court Justices, but one can only hope!). And besides these cases and the 2016 election, which I discussed yesterday, it's hard to come up with a topic to discuss. But I will try.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Returning to the blogging scene: The 2016 candidates

Recently I got a question as to whether I was sill blogging. And that reminded me that it has been a long time since my last post, and that I ought to get back. A lot has happened since my last post, and it will take a bit to get current.

One development that I do not like is that Chris Christie, my preferred candidate for the nomination, seems to have lost a lot of his support, and instead of being at the top (or near the top) in the polls, is somewhere in the middle of the pack. While I still consider him the best candidate, unless he recovers that top position, I suppose I will have to consider other options. There are other candidates, such as Jeb Bush, and Scott Walker, who could be good Presidents, and my only reason for not supporting them for the nomination is that I feel they have less chance of actually being elected, so if they begin to look electable to me, I could certainly support them.

A couple of candidates have been discussed recently who have a number of attractive attributes, but who lack, to my mind, some important qualifications for the Presidency. If Carly Fiorina had won the election for Senator from California when she ran, I would consider her a high-quality candidate for the Presidency. However, as it is, she is totally inexperienced in the ins and outs of partisan politics, and I can't consider her ready for the Presidency. Her executive experience, to be sure, is excellent, and this is an area where the current incumbent's total lack has shown. So perhaps she would not be a terrible choice, and if she should secure the nomination, I would certainly vote for her against Hillary Clinton in November of next year.

The other person I consider attractive in some ways but insufficiently experienced in some areas for the Presidency is Ben Carson. He is certainly an intelligent and thoughtful man, who could be very useful in a Republican administration as Surgeon General, or at the head of a task force on finding a replacement for Obamacare, or as HHS Secretary, but he has none of the political experience I think necessary.

There are also a number of people who are more experienced in politics and who have, specifically, the executive experience needed for the Presidency: such Governors and former Governors as John Kasich and Mitch Daniels. I could easily support either of these two or others like them, but I fear they need to become better known to the public. They suffer the same flaws that Jon Huntsman did in 2012.

There are a couple of people that I could never support, however. If a religious-right extremist like Mike Huckabee or Rick Santorum (Is Rick Perry going to run? If so, he falls into this class.) should get the GOP nomination, the GOP loses my vote. I still would never vote for Hillary Clinton, but my vote would go to any obscure third-party candidate I could find rather than one of these men.