Patterico's Pontifications

11/24/2004

A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book

Filed under: Books,Principled Pragmatism — Patterico @ 6:32 pm

I finally got around to reading Hugh Hewitt’s latest book, the delightfully titled “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat (Crushing the Democrats in Every Election, and Why Your Life Depends on It).”

Hugh Hewitt has been very kind to me personally. He has mentioned my blog on the radio and on his own blog, helping me to build a steady, growing readership of people interested in media bias issues generally, and the bias of the Los Angeles Times in particular.

But Hugh has a different political philosophy from mine. And in this post I intend to be brutally honest about the differences, including where I find Hugh to be persuasive — and where I don’t.

[UPDATE: Prompted by reading more than one blog post characterizing this post as a negative review or sharp criticism, it is not intended as such. I think this is a great book that everyone should read. I wouldn’t be giving copies of it away if I thought otherwise.]

I come from the school of principled Republicans exemplified by Spoons, Kevin Murphy, the Angry Clam, and Kathryn Jean Lopez. We are the most upset when Republicans fail to fight for what we believe to be core Republican principles: limited government, free speech, conservative judges, gun rights, and other bedrock conservative ideals.

We fought the selection of Arlen Specter as head of the Judiciary Committee. We are outraged by campaign finance reform laws like McCain/Feingold, which we see as a direct assault on the First Amendment. Our favorite Supreme Court Justices are Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. We would rather lose a slim majority in the U.S. Senate than kowtow to self-aggrandizing scoundrels like Jim Jeffords.

We value truth and credibility above all else, and we hate hypocrisy. As a result, we are among the most vocal critics of bias in the media, because we believe it is a thumb on the scales, significantly interfering with people’s ability to weigh the truth. Our unswerving allegiance to the truth, and the value we place on our personal credibility, makes it a point of pride for us to denounce hypocrisy wherever we see it — even when it’s on our side of the aisle.

We agree with many tenets of the Libertarian party, and we sometimes vote Libertarian, just to make a point. While we may sympathize with the plight of illegal immigrants, we are nevertheless enraged by the federal government’s refusal to take genuine action to defend our borders. We think Roe v. Wade is an abomination that has done more damage to proper constitutional interpretation than any other decision of the last 50 years or more.

If we live in California, we voted for Tom McClintock over Arnold Schwarzenegger.

We are not utterly blind to pragmatism. We may have railed about the obvious shortcomings of George W. Bush — but most of us ended up voting for him. And of the group I mentioned, I am probably further along the spectrum towards pragmatism than most. But I still consider myself a purist more than a pragmatist.

Hugh Hewitt is here to tell us that purists like us are a danger to the Republican party, and consequently to the nation as a whole. His message is simple: “Majorities matter. Majorities matter. Majorities matter.” And I think that the primary message of his book is that any behavior that stands in the way of garnering consistent Republican majorities is counterproductive.

So while Hugh says his book is for everyone, I believe that his primary audience is people like me: the purists who are more concerned with maintaining our principles than we are in building working majorities that may not share all of our core convictions. Hugh’s book is something of a modern-day “The Prince,” designed to persuade us that power in the service of Republican principles is the highest good — and to show us how to achieve that power, through building majorities.

As such, Hugh’s book is a fairly direct challenge to the way I look at politics. I’m not sure I’m convinced — yet — but he makes some good arguments. I think those arguments are worth discussing, which is why I have issued a proposal to discuss Hugh’s book in the blogosphere — and to buy the book for a few people whose philosophies are similar to mine, and in whose opinions I am interested.

The primary thesis of Hugh’s book is that 9/11 made it clear that national security is far and away the most important issue facing the country. And, Hugh argues, the Democrats cannot be trusted to do what is necessary. The Democrats, in short, are going to get us killed. So we have to beat them.

And, he argues, we must beat them soundly — because if we don’t, they may cheat. Democrats have a proven track record of election fraud. Whether it’s Tammany Hall, JFK’s fraud in Texas and Illinois, the “Torricelli option” for replacing a wounded candidate in violation of clear state law, Al Gore’s cynical manipulations in Florida in 2000, or the use of the partisan Ninth Circuit to delay the California recall election, there is a real track record of cheating by Democrats. So Republicans have to face the ugly but real possibility of electoral fraud in close elections. Hence the book’s title.

Accordingly, Hugh argues, it is critical to the country’s very existence to maintain and build on the emerging Republican majority. And you can’t do that by being a purist, and refusing to support people who don’t share all your convictions. Hugh argues that the majority’s the thing. You can’t worry about the motivations of those voting with you. You just want them voting with you.

Hugh accordingly recommends that people be principled and pragmatic partisans. He urges Republicans to steer swing voters into our party. And the way to do this is by focusing on our winning issues. Many of us may have strong ideological beliefs concerning issues like gun rights and abortion, but Hugh points out that these issues alienate a lot of centrist voters. So Hugh urges us to work on those issues quietly. We should be more vocal about the war, national defense, and homeland security — and to a lesser degree, immigration, judges, gay marriage, and God. (Keep in mind that these are Hugh’s arguments, not mine.)

Hugh also encourages us not to take shots at our own. He argues that there are enough targets on the left to take shots at, without giving ammunition to the other side by criticizing those on the right.

I think Hugh makes some good points. His advocacy of pragmatism is a concept purists should take seriously. Hugh wants the same things most of us want; that comes across loud and clear. He just has a different idea about how to achieve them.

And sometimes he’s right. The Arlen Specter incident is a good example.

I was one of the opponents of Specter’s becoming chair of the Judiciary Committee. All along, I recognized that it probably would happen anyway, and I said that I could accept that — as long as Specter received the clear message that he needed to play ball. But my first preference was to deny him the chair position altogether.

Hugh very publicly suggested otherwise, saying this was the wrong battle at the wrong time. Time will tell, and the answer is not yet clear, but in retrospect, I tend to think he was probably right. I think that the way it worked out, with Specter essentially promising to work for Bush nominees in exchange for the chair position, is probably the ideal resolution. Hugh could see this early on, where many of us couldn’t. I give him credit for that.

At the same time, I think Hugh can be too willing to abandon principle for my taste. Thus, I found off-putting Hugh’s seemingly approving quotations of politicians saying cynical things like: “Damn your principles! Stick to your party” (Disraeli) or “Conscience indeed. Throw conscience to the devil and stand by your party” (Congressman Thaddeus Stevens). The use of these quotations may be tongue-in-cheek, but it bothered me.

My most serious disagreement with him is in his advice that we should almost never criticize our own. I think we have to be willing to criticize our own where appropriate.

The main reason for this is idealistic: I think that an allegiance to the truth is all-important. But if you need a practical reason, try this: an excessive partisanship can cost you credibility. And damaged credibility will turn off swing voters at least as much as extremism will — if not more.

For example, like many, I thought President Bush did horribly in the first debate. By contrast, Hugh thought that the President had done wonderfully. I have no doubt that this was a sincerely held opinion on Hugh’s part — but he was pretty much alone in this opinion. I think that if Hugh were less of a partisan, he might have been a bit more clear-eyed about the deficiencies in the President’s performance. And I think that by expressing these deficiencies, Hugh would have gained some credibility with swing voters — credibility that he could have used later on to persuade people.

You have to be able to call them like you see them, even if it hurts people on your side of the aisle. In the long run, I believe this is not only the right way to behave, but I think it’s best for the party as well.

By the way, Hugh’s book is much more than an argument for pragmatism. It has valuable things to say about how to participate effectively in the political process. It covers the role of money and the flow of information in politics, and is notable for the prominence it gives to blogging as a way to check the power of Big Media — concepts with which I completely agree. I have focused in this review on Hugh’s argument for principled pragmatism because it is the argument that speaks most directly to me and to people like me.

Hopefully, I have given some idea of where I agree and disagree with Hugh. (By the way, I hope I have not mischaracterized Hugh’s arguments in any way, and if I have, it has not been deliberate. But why take my word for it? Read the book yourself.)

So let this post serve as the opening of a blog discussion of this concept. Already I have had a couple of readers take me up on the free book offer, and some others have told me that they intend to buy it on their own. I am happy to see this, and I encourage people to take part in the discussion. Let me know what you think.

41 Responses to “A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book”

  1. I understand the point about being principled but I believe Hugh has a valid point about unity too. Conservatives sometimes shoot themselves in the toe by being too principled. A case in point is the Senate race in CO. Pete Coors lost because he was seen as not conservative ‘enough’. In fact, he was very conservative in every way, but the fact that his company was ‘gay-friendly’ was seen as some kind of mark on his conservatism. A lot of primary Schaeffer supporters never got on board with Coors and he lost by a slim margin to a Democrat, despite Bush carrying the state by 9 or so points. It’s one thing to fight Arlen Specter, another to fight against even the perception that a candidate isn’t conservative enough. Are there times you should just suck it up and vote Republican or risk someone who doesn’t share any of your beliefs getting the seat? I think that there are. Some conservatives do not.

    Karol (4735f9)

  2. I agree with you, and I credit Hugh for opening my eyes to that. I hope some of that came across in the post.

    Patterico (76054e)

  3. From listening to Hugh (I have yet to acquire the book, hint-hint), while being a bit of a cheerleader, his main approach to politics has been quite pragmatic. Your discomfort with quoting Disraeli aside, the whole thing boils down to the fact that the Republicans – especially in California – have a nasty habit of making the “perfect” the enemy of the “good” – and thus allowing the “atrocious” to get elected in the process. In the 2002 federal elections, the Republican senatorial candidates managed not to do that, and as a result they consigned Jim Jeffords to his well-deserved self-imposed mediocrity.

    On a personal note – I, too, voted for Tom McClintock in the Recall, because I knew that it was our last, best shot at getting a true fiscal conservative into the Governor’s chair. Such an opportunity probably will never come again. However, when it comes time for re-election, there is no doubt I will be backing Ahnold, because of the two likely opposition candidates (either Phil Angelides or Bill Lockyer), either would terminally eff up the state given the opportunity. Has Ahnold been my kind of Governator? Not entirely. But I’m damn sure what I’ll think of Angelides or Lockyer.

    JD (044292)

  4. While being a “9/11 Republican” after many years on the “dark side”, I found Hugh’s book invaluable. I had my head in the sand for so long I really had no clue how to support a politician, let alone a party. Though I did not agree with the entire book, It’s pluses far outweigh the negatives and should be read by all. Contributing to candidates outside of my state and following some of the “rules” outlined in the book, I felt I was able to contribute to the overall elections, not just the Presidential race. I would recommend the book without hesitation.

    BurbankErnie (79378d)

  5. When the GOP earns my undying and uncritical support they will get it. I refuse to do what the black community has done, make themselves electorally irrelevent as they vote Dem no matter what. I don’t want the GOP taking me for granted.

    I’ve always been more of a ‘vote against’ guy than a ‘vote-for’ guy.
    I voted ‘for’ Mario Cuomo back when I still believed the papers. I voted ‘for’ Ronnie Raygun. I voted ‘for’ Moynihan. That’s it. I usually vote ‘against’ Dems, but that doesn’t mean I give crap one about the GOP. They’re politicians first and foremost so they don’t really care about me except to get me to vote for them.

    Ideological purity is nearly impossible.
    Even in your list, Patterico, I found stuff I disagree with.

    I’ll continue to vote against the Dems unless and until they get their crap together, but don’t mistake this for voting for the GOP. They’re just the least, worst option.

    I would vote straight Libertarian if there weren’t so many ‘ideologically pure’, scary people in that party. Too bad Ross Perot was so crazy, he had a good idea.

    Veeshir (23bdf8)

  6. In the end, the most important part of Hugh’s book (note-I haven’t read it) is the extent to which he documents the extensive history of vote fraud by Dems.

    If you want to win over the American center, prove that the other side has been cheating for decades. All the rest will fall into place.

    stan (8e6f34)

  7. Karol- that’s a two way street- lots of times, the conservative loses because so-called “moderate” (actually liberal) Republicans refuse to vote for them.

    Don’t blame the conservatives alone.

    The Angry Clam (c96486)

  8. Patterico: Aside from declining to throw away my vote on a joke candidate in 2003, I think I come pretty close to your definition of a principled conservative. I’m not quite ready to concede that Hugh Blewitt was “right” about Specter. I think I like the final result, but that result would not have come about if a lot of conservatives hadn’t been calling for his head. As to the name “Blewitt,” he basically lost all credibility with me in 1992, when he projected equal confidence that some other guy named George Bush was going to be re-elected President.

    Angry: I can think of plenty of conservative Republicans who lost a general election because moderate and/or liberal independents wouldn’t vote for them, but when was the last time one lost because moderate/liberal Republicans wouldn’t? I think if you were to poll all registered Republicans in this state, you’d find precious few who voted for anyone other than Bill Simon in 2002, or wouldn’t have gladly voted for McClintock in 2003 if he were a serious contender in that race. The only thing they wouldn’t do is throw their vote away on McClintock, which made about as much sense in that odd election as it would in a regular general election to write in the guy who lost the primary.

    Xrlq (6d213c)

  9. Amusingly, here in Washington State…

    it _is_ close, and there’s ballots being ‘found’ in King County (Seattle + suburbs).

    One county (King) did a partial hand recount while the rest of the state did a machine recount as required by the legislation covering elections here.

    One county allowed Democratic operatives (not state employees, party operatives!) to solicit signatures for provisional ballots that had invalid signatures. (Then three days later handed over a list of names to the Republicans so they could do the same.)

    The state law on counting and recounting is that the provisional ballots needed to be done for the initial count – they’re not ‘votes’ if they weren’t part of the certified ‘count’. (A recount is supposed to recount exactly the same ballots.)

    Sigh.

    Al (98e4ad)

  10. Clam – FWIW, Lundgren did run for U.S. Representative in 2004 (replacing Doug Ose, CA-3rd, I believe) as the relative triangulation candidate in the primary in comparison to Rico Oller and the incumbent’s sister, Mary Ose. When I saw “triangulation,” I mean that he was able to stay out of the mud-slinging between Ose and Oller, and managed to post positions somewhere to the left of Oller, to the right of Ose. Lo and behold, he won the primary.

    And then proceeded to win the general election convincingly, without any radical changes in position from primary to general.

    Perhaps Lundgren learned his lesson from his campaign against Gray Davis. Perhaps many CA Republicans could learn from him, and quit acting like a Polish firing squad.

    JD (479dfa)

  11. Veeshir, your comment (I would vote straight Libertarian if there weren’t so many ‘ideologically pure’, scary people in that party. Too bad Ross Perot was so crazy, he had a good idea.) really struck me, because that’s precisely how I feel.

    In fact, I agree with you a great deal. I think many of us were pragmatists when it came to this most recent Presidential election simply because the alternative was so completely unpalatable.

    However, I’m not prepared to support every Republican candidate (or any other party, for that matter) unequivocally. Candidates must earn my vote, regardless of what party they are affiliated with.

    antimedia (5bfaef)

  12. Dan Lungren (note spelling) was a horrible candidate, mostly because he came off as none too bright, not because he was too conservative. On the issues, he was anything but that. His anti-227 posturing suggests that he was if anything too liberal for the state, certainly nothing for conservatives to get excited about. I also don’t think the NRA gave Lungren an “F” rating because he was too “conservative” on the Second Amendment. So he supported the death penalty. Big whoop, so did Davis.

    Speaking only for myself, I don’t remember if I ended up voting for Lungren or not, but if I didn’t, it sure as hell wasn’t because he was too conservative.

    Xrlq (6d213c)

  13. It had to do mostly with the pro-choice Republicans. “Republicans for Davis” was actually influential in that election, rather than the few crackpots “Republicans for [insert democratic candidate here]” groups usually are.

    They even had ad buys.

    The Angry Clam (c96486)

  14. So, Clam — you want your free copy or no?

    Patterico (44229b)

  15. As a former Libertarian, I know all about their purity police (I supported Russell Means over Ron Paul in 88 for Pres.) — and the Libs provide a good view of what “purity” might look like.

    It is FAR away from anything most reasonable US voters are interested in. In fact, had Kerry won in Ohio, we would be hearing about how the Kerry supporters want MORE Fed spending for everything, and higher taxes (on the rich!).

    Now I’m a Rep, and a healthy Rep party needs constructive criticism, both from opponents and supporters. Cutting some pork would be nice.

    I’m VERY glad the Specter challenge came up. The Roe “amendment” is terrible. I’d like Reps to be a little more honest about what their strategy is to change people’s minds; adoption instead of selfish abortion seems one route that is underdiscussed, culturally.

    I wish there was a gay AND abortion amendment that gave such laws back to the states, “overturning” Roe’s fed power, but allowing blue states to keep abortion legal, and red states to make it illegal. I doubt such diversity will happen.

    Reps also need to have a program to satisfy the voter’s addiction to OPM — other people’s money. I suggest Tax Loans (see my motime blog )

    Tom Grey - Liberty Dad (62a668)

  16. I’m with you Patterico. I’ll second the point made by a commenter that the only reason we got public concessions from Specter was due to the NRO led campaign. I’m sure a good game theorist would have a lot of fun with the true sincerity of the anti-Speecterites and what they were really after. The bottom line tho is that Hugh’s approach is the equivalent of Bobby Knight’s advice on rape, namely best to enjoy it if its going to happen anyway.

    Also, Hewitt may underestimate the real cost-benefit calculations of the typical voter. Sticking with a heartfelt, consistently held unpopular position can be a sign of good character to the voter that overrides a simple calculus of matching positions, esp when a view is explained with a lack of arrogance. Jerry Brown was always good at this on the death penalty. Prolifers have and can do well with this approach as well.

    Lloyd (7387b4)

  17. My copy finally arrived. I’ll post a review by the weekend.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  18. While I’m not a ‘purity absolutist’, there are places where it makes sense.

    A couple of years back Dick Rainey (R) was running against Tom Torlakson (D) here in NorCal for for state senate. Rainey was always a weak gun rights supporter, and Torlakson an opponent. As the campaign went on, Torlakson’s criticisms started to bite, and Rainey began to modify his gun positions toward Torlakson’s.

    I eventually wrote Rainey and asked “If your positions are indistinguishable from those of your opponent, why should I vote for YOU?”

    Party loyalty would have said to vote for Rainey anyway. Rainey did get my vote, because pretty much any alternative to Torlakson had to be better, but it was defnitely a ‘lesser of two evils’ problem, and I hate voting for evil.

    Rainey lost, BTW.

    John (e28e82)

  19. “Politics is the art of the possible.” I don’t recall who said it originally but it’s very true.

    There’s nothing wrong with articulating your principles and having lines you won’t draw. But there’s also a point where you realize even when there are people you think you are solidly in agreement, they will occasionally shock you and you will realize you have profound disagreements anyway.

    Thus it’s really the direction that’s most important.

    I tell my libertarian and conservative friends: if you expect Social Security and Medicare to be abolished, you can also expect to spend the rest of your life in the political wilderness. Thus the question becomes: can it be reformed in ways that make you happier, that you can get a majority to go along with you on?

    That’s just one example. There are many others.

    Dean Esmay (20197a)

  20. I am a Burkian Conservative with a strong Calvinistic background (and flavoring). I have not read Hugh’s book yet (hint), but am familiar with Hugh from his talk show and numerous articles. Growing up in the Chicago area, I am well aware of the Daley Democatic machine and its methods. The state of Illinois also made me very familiar with RHINOs. Depending on the degree of RHINO, it is sometimes preferrable to remove him, so we can have the possibility of a Conservative next election cycle. The opposition and ultimate collaring of Sen Specter was appopriate.

    Harvey Sietsema (f173e9)

  21. The problem, as always, becomes “How much BS do I have to put up with to push for my goals?”

    I’d like private social secutiry, truly free markets, nuclear power and everyone in al Qaeda dead. Do I really have to accept evangelical control of society in order to get them?

    Hugh is wrong, there are at least FOUR incompatible groups in the republican party: Christians, Libertarians, business centrists and hawks. All operate against the others on some axis (e.g. statist, social, economic or security).

    Thankfully, the Dems are far, far more confused.

    But we’re starting to look like the dog that caught the car.

    Kevin Murphy (6a7945)

  22. I disagree with you on borders. I wrote this yesterday responding to an email re: Social Security reform:

    I have been trying to figure out the Social Security scam for quite a while now, so I’m going to weigh in.

    The desire to privatize has a legitimate basis. But it’s probably a mistake. First, note that the New York Times has lost all its credibility this year, along with Dan Rather. So when the liberals like Jane Harman and Henry Waxman cry foul these days, or the Eastern press waxes eloquent, most of us no longer even study it to see where the flaws are. We dismiss it just like we would any new cartoon on Saturday morning. And we’re not Rush Limbaugh robots: it’s not that we want our favored constituencies first in line at the government trough; we want a whole new way of doing things.

    That being said, private accounts look like a sop to the Wall Street and banking lobbies. So forget it. In Illinois, so-called 529 plans are managed by a single investment firm, although they are sourced by many. Something smells.

    The big problem with Social Security is what our pal Alan Greenspan did in 1974 I believe. A big increase in payroll taxes has been collected since then and…SPENT… in the current government budgets for God knows what. Tell this to your average 25-30 year old and they freak! But really, once the taxes are received, it was the only possible result. Raising way more money than is needed for current Social Security expenses has meant stashing the excess in U.S. Government paper. And where does the cash go when the paper is issued? Right back into the Treasury for current spending.

    This has been a huge mistake. Some have suggested that this excess cash not be shown in the current years budget numbers, but it has. So things in Washington have been even more sleazy than we even suspected. And now that the annual Social Security excess is less – within 10 years it will turn to deficit – it would be the height of cynicism to take it off budget. But I digress.

    We should have been raising only enough in tax to pay current benefits all along, and this is probably the best choice going forward. Then, at some point, there will be a legitimate chance for society to debate whether Social Security taxes should be increased so we can continue to pay benefits to all – including those who obviously do not need it. This is means-testing and pay-as-you-go. It’s absolutely the bane of liberals. It changes Social security from being a savings program administered by government to a welfare program. For some reason liberals are certain this will lead to its shrinking and demise, and any potential lessening of the government reach is anathema. Listen to Chris Matthews sometime on this. Besides, how cruel would it be to making the chronologically-challenged accept welfare? And anyone not on the receiving end, well, would they still support government programs? The answer is yes, we will always support keeping people barely above the poverty line, which I can attest the current system almost accomplishes.

    The current generation of retirees is benefitting from an overfunded system and also reaping rewards from a housing market that for years has been goosed by the Baby Boom. I simply do not see the moral imperative need to pay Social Security benefits to fat cats. But what happens now is really not an issue, except as it continues the liberal illusion. We cannot save for a later date without stashing the money in government coffers.

    So the Republicans, and I cannot call them conservatives in any true sense of the word, seek to use the current surplus plus a lot more cash to fund accounts for the next generation (Generation X and Y.) Yet the article is absolutely right. A welfare program is then needed as a backup for poor market returns. Please recall that it took the Dow Jones 25 years to reach breakeven from 1929 forward. Some investment houses will fudge the figures to show that dividends moved that breakeven forward, but don’t be fooled. The dividend comparison is false. The Republicans are too timid to say what I have so far, so why not create a new program to cover it over? Forget it. True, if Social Security surpluses HAD been invested in market returns over the last umpteen years, there would be more money available. This is called investing in the rearview mirror.

    There is a huge danger out there. When Baby Boomers retire in numbers starting early in the next decade, there will be withdrawals from the stock and bond markets. Perhaps Republicans know this and want the new program to provide a substitute demand for stocks. But clearly, a lot of people at the margin will be heading for the market exits in the not-too-distant future. This is a problem for stocks. But not a problem for government to fix.

    The government will be exiting the bond market in a funny way starting in 2013, as the Social Security redeems the U.S. paper it owns (as the pay-as-you-go turns negative). Then, the regular borrowings of the government will increase to pay off the SS system redemptions. The budget needs to be a lot closer to balance then. And no lockbox can get us ready for that day. Regardless, the government take on the economy is going to increase a whole lot, first through new borrowing, later in higher SS taxes, unless means-testing comes in.

    So the plan to privatize is a bad one, regardless of the source of the criticism. What we need is to strip naked the origins of the problem and have a sane discussion of what we cannot do anything to fix right now.

    As for the Japs and Chinese pulling out of our bond market: they can create some havok from time-to-time for political purposes. This is why the protectionist saber-rattling is mere theatre. Those countries have the same problem the Social Security system did. Where to put large quantities of excess funds that is safe?

    On a constructive note, I would do 2 things. First, just bring the whole Social Security system into the government at large. Replace the current personal and corporate income taxes as well as the Social Security tax with a flat tax on all income – no exceptions. Put an end to targeted tax cuts and other breaks for favored contituencies. Send the K street lobbyists packing. Get the government out of the business of the shaping the economy. And bring the Scoial Security system to where its going to end up anyway. Reduce the 10,000 page tax code to a dozen. Second, open up the border to Mexico just as it is open between Utah and Colorado. Make all transactions in this country subject to the flat tax, possibly collected at payday. And secure property rights for Americans investing in Mexico. The weather’s better down there anyway right?

    Bill Palmer (4d34b7)

  23. A Message to “The School of Principled Republicans”
    Patterico’s recent post “A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book” is must reading for Republicans with any interest in actual politics, and in the mechanics of successful political gamesmanship. Please read his whole post for prop…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  24. A Message to “The School of Principled Republicans”
    Patterico’s recent post “A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book” is must reading for Republicans with any interest in actual politics, and in the mechanics of successful political gamesmanship. Please read his whole post for prop…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  25. PATTERICO VS. HUGH HEWITT —
    I’ll take my stand with Patterico. Quotable: I come from the school of principled Republicans exemplified by Spoons, Kevin Murphy, the Angry Clam, and Kathryn Jean Lopez. We are…

    PRESTOPUNDIT -- A Good Blog at a Great Price. Guaranteed. (84db7a)

  26. A Message to “The School of Principled Republicans”
    Patterico’s recent post “A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book” is must reading for Republicans with any interest in actual politics, and in the mechanics of successful political gamesmanship. Please read his whole post for prop…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  27. PATTERICO VS. HUGH HEWITT —
    I’ll take my stand with Patterico. Quotable: I come from the school of principled Republicans exemplified by Spoons, Kevin Murphy, the Angry Clam, and Kathryn Jean Lopez. We are…

    PRESTOPUNDIT -- A Good Blog at a Great Price. Guaranteed. (84db7a)

  28. If it’s not close, they can’t cheat
    One of the blogosphere’s brightest voices, Hugh Hewitt, has written a book, as many of you know. It’s titled, “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It”. I haven’t read the book yet, …

    Confessions Of A Political Junkie (6df516)

  29. If it’s not close, they can’t cheat
    One of the blogosphere’s brightest voices, Hugh Hewitt, has written a book, as many of you know. It’s titled, “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It”. I haven’t read the book yet, …

    Confessions Of A Political Junkie (6df516)

  30. Debate over Hugh’s “If It Isn’t Close, They Can’t Cheat”
    It took a while, but someone has finally posted a sharp criticism of Hugh Hewitt’s book, If it’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat and it has kicked off an interesting debate… If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know where I stand on this issue.

    Stones Cry Out (ddecc4)

  31. If it’s not close, they can’t cheat
    One of the blogosphere’s brightest voices, Hugh Hewitt, has written a book, as many of you know. It’s titled, “If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It”. I haven’t read the book yet, …

    Confessions Of A Political Junkie (6df516)

  32. Party or principle?
    In the aftermath of this year’s election politics has nearly fallen off the radar completely. Call it burn-out, post election depression, or simply contentment with the status quo. No matter what the cause, both mainstream and internet pundits are ofte…

    In the Agora (523901)

  33. Hewitt’s Principled Pragmatism
    What to say about Hugh Hewitt’s new book If It’s Not Close They Can’t Cheat? Patterico has badgered me into giving my take on this, so here it is (You can find Patterico’s review here). I find I’ve come to…

    The Interocitor (9a1c22)

  34. Hugh Cites ‘Bear Flag’ Debate at The Weekly Standard
    Hugh has cited the ongoing Bear Flag League debate over at The Weekly Standard (also found at Real Clear Politics, Dec 9) The first paragraph of page 2 reads as follows: I long ago revealed myself as a single-issue voter:…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  35. Hugh Cites ‘Bear Flag’ Debate at The Weekly Standard
    Hugh has cited the ongoing Bear Flag League debate over at The Weekly Standard (also found at Real Clear Politics, Dec 9) The first paragraph of page 2 reads as follows: I long ago revealed myself as a single-issue voter:…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  36. A Message to “The School of Principled Republicans”
    (Welcome readers of Hugh Hewitt’s article. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading.) Patterico’s recent post “A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book” is must reading for Republicans with any interest in actual politics, and in …

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  37. A Message to “The School of Principled Republicans”
    (Welcome CBSNEWS.com and The Weekly Standard readers! Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading.) Patterico’s recent post “A Review of Hugh Hewitt’s Latest Book” is must reading for Republicans with any interest in actual politi…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  38. CBSNEWS.com … OH, Yeah! (formerly, ‘Hugh Cites ‘Bear Flag’ Debate at The Weekly Standard’)
    Hugh has cited the ongoing Bear Flag League debate over at The Weekly Standard (also found at Real Clear Politics, Dec 9). I didn’t know the article had found it’s way over to CBSNEWS.com ’til Justene (esteemed Calblog proprietoress) Emailed…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  39. ABCNEWS.com … OH Yeah! (formerly, ‘Hugh Cites ‘Bear Flag’ Debate at The Weekly Standard’)
    Hugh has cited the ongoing Bear Flag League debate over at The Weekly Standard (also found at Real Clear Politics, Dec 9) I was unaware that the article made its way over to ABC.NEWS.com, until Justene (esteemed proprietress of Calblog)…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)

  40. CBSNEWS.COM … OH, Yeah! (formerly, ‘Hugh Cites ‘Bear Flag’ Debate at The Weekly Standard’)
    Hugh has cited the ongoing Bear Flag League debate over at The Weekly Standard (also found at Real Clear Politics, Dec 9) I was unaware that the article made its way over to CBS.NEWS.com, until Justene (esteemed Calblog proprietress) Emailed…

    Calblog (2fb2f0)


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