I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this [Republican] party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist
, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I'm just not sure he'd be pure enough to make it in this party. I'm not sure he'd be considered good enough. Hollywood
-- PEGGY NOONAN
Foreign Affairs magazine has been running a series of essays from the presidential candidates on what their foreign policy goals would be during their administration if they were elected.
I think it significant that Mike Huckabee is one of the last candidates to make an appearance on the august pages of this highly respected magazine. No doubt, the editors were hoping that Huckabee would have seen the utter futility of trying to fool people into thinking that he had thought much about the subject let alone come to any conclusions that wouldn’t reveal himself to be, well, a former governor of Arkansas with as much business being entrusted with the fate of the planet as my pet cat Snowball.
And at least Snowball has the good sense not to stick his nose into things he knows little or nothing about.
This essay is an embarrassment.
-- RICK MORAN
It's hardly a secret that the Republican presidential field is surprisingly weak and unimpressive, which has contributed to a GOP malaise. Poll after poll has shown Democratic voters enthusiastic about their choices, while Republican voters generally feel the opposite.
But it's worth pausing, from time to time, to realize just how feeble this field really is.
If he doesn't make it to the Oval Office, Mitt Romney can be marketed as a cure for insomnia. His flow of robotic rationalizations for past positions on "Meet the Press" today was enough to induce a stupor in any listener trying to connect them with reality.
Ask Romney the time of day, and he'll give you a rundown on his past experiences with timepieces from hourglasses on, how it all depends on where you are and tell you he's willing to let the states decide the time wherever you happen to be.
Except for the jarring commercial breaks, Romney was a white-noise machine to lull voters into believing that, if he gets to be president, we can all settle into a four-year nap. Side by side, he makes Fred Thompson look like a firebrand.
Romney did detour from unctuous smarm long enough to take a listless swipe at Mike Huckabee for criticizing Bush's conduct of the war in Iraq, but his heart clearly wasn't in it.
If he makes it, we can tune out during State of the Union speeches and stare at his hair.-- ROBERT STEIN
Here's the lesson to learn: It's always important to respect the values and principles of the voters. But politicians who want to deliver effective government and positive results have to care about more than values -- and have to do more than check their guts. They need to study the problem, master the evidence, and face criticism.It's not only conservatives who succumb to gimmicks of course. The left still feels a lingering attachment to socialism, the most disastrous gimmick of them all. Tough-minded conservatives slashed that illusion to pieces decades ago. But since then, we have begun to go a little easy on ourselves. And over the past half dozen years, the consequences of our militant anti-elitism has come home to roost.
If elitism means snobbishness, then of course it is a vicious thing. If it means being impressed by credentials instead of evidence, then again: good riddance. But if it is elitist to expect politicians to be able to see through glaringly false and stupid ideas -- well in that case, call me elitist.
-- DAVID FRUM