Patterico's Pontifications

2/7/2008

Mitt Quits

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 11:35 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

Mitt Romney has ended his battle for the GOP nomination. According to a spokesman, Romney decided to quit as he wrote his CPAC speech. He announced his decision to a stunned CPAC audience this morning.

Courtesy of Fox News, here are selected excerpts from his speech:

“If I fight on in my campaign, all the way to the convention … I’d forestall the launch of a national campaign and frankly I’d be making make it easier for Senator Clinton or Obama to win,” Romney told the Conservative Political Action Conference. “Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”
***
“This isn’t an easy decision. I hate to lose,” Romney said Thursday, as many in the crowd booed the decision. “If this were only about me, I’d go on, but it’s never been only about me. I entered this race because I love America, and because I love America in this time of war, I feel I have to now stand aside, for our party and for our country.

Mitt Romney is a man of principle in a party that used to stand for principle.

— DRJ

72 Responses to “Mitt Quits”

  1. mitt romney is a man of principle in a party that used to stand for principle.

    that’s absurd. mitt romney was in favor of gay rights and a woman’s right to choose when he was running for governor of massachusetts. the only principle he stands for is his own self-interest.

    on a more current note, take a look at his equation of a democratic victory with “surrendering to terror”. i don’t believe that this sort of rhetoric endears the republican party to the middle, which both sides need to win.

    assistant devil's advocate (c8bb7c)

  2. I agree with you DRJ. A little like the 76 election when Reagan stepped aside for the good of the party.
    I have a better impression of Romney after this. Hopefully his example will cause many GOP stalwarts to at least reconsider their position in regard to McCain.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  3. I was listening to Rush cover this. Very sad, but I expended my energies and emotions on Fred. There’s little left in me.

    Rush said that McCain will be accompanied at CPAC today by Sen. George Allen and introduced by Sen. Tom Coburn. I won’t watch, I won’t listen, and I won’t vote for McCain, period.

    Peg C. (836973)

  4. As someone who would love to vote for a conservative in America, I do not understand how
    someone will not vote because they are just
    angry because a man with character dropped from
    the race leaving only McCain left to win.

    I do not respect McCain, in any way, but I have
    even less for Hillary or Obama.

    The thing I really don’t understand is voting
    for the dems because McCain is worse than
    them.

    He is not, get busy and remember the real
    Clinton years, the shame being shown to the
    world, having to impeach the president, having
    to see a country with a depleted forces because
    the Clintons don’t like the military. And much
    more, as you know, but seem to have forgotten.

    As for Obama, he is a baby, and I believe a
    real crybaby, time will show us and please
    don’t have that be when he is president! Please!

    We all get angry when we fear something and
    I think Americans are feeling unrest and do
    not want to vote for someone like him, but he
    is military and will continue to support the wars.
    This is vital to America and the world.

    Carole (d7968b)

  5. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/02/mccain_or_the_wilderness.html

    An excerpt
    “The idea of a concession on national security by conservatives is especially troubling. After six years of blood and treasure, and with the counterinsurgency working, to consciously turn over Iraq to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama . . . words fail.

    This isn’t an apologia for the senator. Unlike Reagan, he is too self-preoccupied. There is a danger his presidency would be mainly about legacy, and therefore disorganized. This is a call to play the cards on the table. Conservatives are not in the wilderness. They should get back in the game.”

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  6. As someone who would love to vote for a conservative in America, I do not understand how someone will not vote because they are just angry because a man with character dropped from the race leaving only McCain left to win.

    How about “I want to vote for a conservative so much I refuse to vote for someone who isn’t one?”

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  7. ““Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.””

    – Mitt Romney

    Pardon my French in advance, Patterico, but Mitt Romney can fuck himself for that one. No one on either side of the aisle is interested in “surrendering” to “terror”. There happen to be different schools of thought on how “terror” is to be fought, and if Romney can’t realize that, well, good riddance.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  8. Wow.

    Yeah, how dare he use rhetoric, because Liberals NEVER do that…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  9. First choice – Fred Thompson
    Distant second choice – Mitt Romney
    Third choice – none
    Its a bummer.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  10. Let me leave you with this quote,

    “Obama and Hillary won’t be able to leave Iraq as President because with their election they own the war, but only McCain can leave Iraq immediately.”

    PCD (c378fd)

  11. For those who blame his failure on evangelical Christians like me and our perceived prejudice against Mormons, just listen to his statements on abortion in his debates for Massachusetts governor and you will see how poorly he appealed to us with or without the Mormon issue. This was a huge issue.

    Even so I personally would have voted for him over McCain and Huckabee if I had had the chance. But in CA, NJ, & NY Romney would have lost even if every vote for Huckabee went to him.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  12. Giuliani would have been almost impossible for me to vote for. Some months ago I thought that’s where we would be. So yes I can vote for McCain. I think Romney would have been better, and Thompson better still, but I can settle for McCain over Clinton or Obama.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  13. Pardon my French in advance, Patterico, but Mitt Romney can fuck himself for that one. No one on either side of the aisle is interested in “surrendering” to “terror”. There happen to be different schools of thought on how “terror” is to be fought, and if Romney can’t realize that, well, good riddance.

    Comment by Leviticus

    Precisely!

    s gerber (668c03)

  14. Thank God Romney’s out. Only that redoubtable lantern-jawed bastion of virile maleness stood between us liberals and total surrender to the terrorists.

    I can’t wait until Hillary or Barack wins and we get to live under Sharia law. I’ve just sent my measurements to the turban factory, personally, and I’m one-third done memorizing the Koran! I hear the hafiz get a particularly juicy place in heaven.

    Russell (5ecf4a)

  15. Levi,

    Conservatives view this as surrender but liberals don’t. I think there is a valid rationale for both sides but as a conservative, Romney is entitled to use conservative principles and rhetoric to define his actions.

    In my view, conservatives view disentanglement during a time of war as cutting-and-running. For us, the image of the helicopter on the Embassy rooftop in Vietnam is still imprinted in our minds and something we never want to see happen again. To avoid that, we are willing to be the world’s policeman.

    On the other hand, liberals disagree with the concept of military entanglements and, where that’s not possible, they want to exit as soon as possible. That’s been their policy since Vietnam and now with Iraq. Liberals are only willing to use military force in places like Somalia and Bosnia, where America can leave at will because our national interests are not at stake. In essence, liberals view America as the world’s good Samaritan that acts when and where it wants but has no duty to act.

    To an extent, liberals have been branded unfairly with the label of quitters because they don’t want America to be the world’s policeman. (It’s unfair because it’s not quitting when you never wanted to fight the battle to begin with.) In reality, today’s liberals are isolationists. The problem for liberals is that, after 9/11, most Americans aren’t.

    DRJ (517d26)

  16. Romney 2012!

    Cory (9c37f9)

  17. “Frankly, in this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign, be a part of aiding a surrender to terror.”

    Such quaint cries of faux outrage over that wisecrack! Haven’t the criers ever listened to a Hillary speech? Convicting her political opponents for ‘crimes’ with no supporting evidence (yeah, Republicans all sacrifice the children so they can be war profiteers) is standard procedure – and her supporting ‘operatives’ like Sidney Blumenthal are even nastier.

    Go Romney! Holding up a mirror to the Reid/Pelosi party of American defeat may hurt some feelings, but then the truth does really hurt sometimes.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  18. Pelosi is perticularly good at it…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  19. Scott Jacobs: “How about “I want to vote for a conservative so much I refuse to vote for someone who isn’t one?””

    How about voting for the benefit of conservative judges like John Roberts?

    David Blue (685d1b)

  20. So you';re saying I should vote for Huckabee?

    Because McCain is NOT the guy to back if yuo actually want conservative judges. He’s shown us that much with the Gnag of 14…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  21. “Yeah, how dare he use rhetoric, because Liberals NEVER do that…”

    – Scott Jacobs

    Well, Scott, feel free to tell those “L”iberals to do the exact same thing. I won’t begrudge you an expletive or two.

    Leviticus (b987b0)

  22. Haven’t the criers ever listened to a Hillary speech? Convicting her political opponents for ‘crimes’ with no supporting evidence (yeah, Republicans all sacrifice the children so they can be war profiteers) is standard procedure – and her supporting ‘operatives’ like Sidney Blumenthal are even nastier.

    Even if we were to pretend that tu quoque was a valid argument, do you have any quotes to back this up?

    Vergil (444e9b)

  23. One or two each, or in total?

    Because Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, Dodd, Feinstein really need at least one each…

    Scott Jacobs (3c07ad)

  24. From Hillary, I mean. I will grant you the scumminess of Blumenthal.

    Vergil (444e9b)

  25. Mitt Romney is a man of principle…

    Is that meant to be funny? Or did the meaning of principle change when I wasn’t paying attention? The guy changed positions as often as I do my underwear. A principle should have a half-life longer than an NBA season.

    …in a party that used to stand for principle

    And when was this? Or should I ask, just what principle? Was it during Bush’s terms when they eagerly expanded the federal budget, when they went along with McCain-Feingold, when they signed on to Sarbanes-Oxley? Was it during the 90s, when they played racial games with redistricting to ensure their own re-elections? Was it during the latter part of Reagan’s term and Bush I, when they raised taxes? Was it when, rather than fight a principled fight for conservative justices, they okayed putting Souter on the bench?

    The sad fact is that we haven’t had a consistent conservative to rally around for quite a while now. Sure, there are some GOPers who embrace some plank of conservative thought, but none who do so across the board. But hey, even I fall off the wagon every now and then, so maybe a most-of-the-time conservative is all we can hope for…

    steve sturm (40e5a6)

  26. Most conservatives are converts. “A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged,” goes the conventional wisdom. Or (paraphrasing Churchill): anyone who’s not a liberal in his 20s has no heart, and anyone who’s not a conservative by his 30s has no brain.

    Gov. Romney may fairly be criticized for being a late convert on many issues. If he wishes to have a future in the GOP outside of Massachusetts, he’ll use the upcoming months to show that he’s in fact a firm convert, however. That many of his principles are recently acquired is a legitimate ground for concern (and that was precisely the reason he was not my own first choice among this year’s field), but it does not make him “unprincipled.” And I agree with DRJ that today’s decision, in particular, was itself a highly principled one, in which he articulated the transcendent issue with rifle-shot accuracy.

    Beldar (3df1f4)

  27. “…but as a conservative, Romney is entitled to use conservative principles and rhetoric to define his actions.”

    I believe not only entitled to but compelled to as it is more than an in-name only conviction. Mitt’s concession speech evidenced a humility that most certainly was hard-learned as he appears to be so highly competitive. My hats off to him for a gracious exit.

    “On the other hand, liberals disagree with the concept of military entanglements and, where that’s not possible, they want to exit as soon as possible. That’s been their policy since Vietnam and now with Iraq. Liberals are only willing to use military force in places like Somalia and Bosnia, where America can leave at will because our national interests are not at stake. In essence, liberals view America as the world’s good Samaritan that acts when and where it wants but has no duty to act.”

    DRJ, I’m curious – based on this, do you believe Ron Paul to be a lib?

    Dana (b4a26c)

  28. “The guy changed positions as often as I do my underwear.”

    Or as Triumph put it, “He has taken more positions than a Great Dane trying to mount a Chihuahua.”

    CStudent (f57a20)

  29. McCain gave a good, pragmatic speech at CPAC.

    Since I don’t consider McCain a baldfaced liar I’ll assume he’s being truthful in what he says he will do as President.

    So, yesterday I was willing to strike the match for the GOP’s funeral pyre, today I’m inclined to support McCain.

    But I have a strong suspicion that if McCain betrays the trust this time it won’t be just McCain that pays the piper — it will be the GOP itself.

    Good speech, McCain.

    AKT (368f89)

  30. McCain gave a good, pragmatic speech at CPAC.

    Since I don’t consider McCain a baldfaced liar I’ll assume he’s being truthful in what he says he will do as President.

    So when he needed to shore up the base because we’ve started to catch on that he’s a RINO, and he finds he might actually need our support, THEN he’ll show up…

    How quickly everyone forgets last year’s CPAC…

    McCain doesn’t care if he destroys the GOP, so long as he gets his first…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  31. Dana – not on domestic issues but on foreign policy, yes.

    Steve Sturm – I wasn’t speaking about Romney’s stand on the issues. My comment was directed at the timing and reasons for Romney’s withdrawal, which I consider a principled decision because it benefited the party more than Romney. (Granted, it saved him some money but if he was worried about saving money, he never would have self-funded his campaign.) However, it wasn’t my intent to revisit the flip-flop issue, and it would have been more accurate if I had said this was a principled decision.

    FWIW I feel the same way about the timing and manner of Fred Thompson’s exit.

    DRJ (8b9d41)

  32. The only chance the Republican party has to a victory is if it’s a McCain/Romney ticket. That’s the only way a lot of doubtful conservatives will even vote for McCain.

    Joanna (d671ab)

  33. Beldar and DRJ: fair enough, but, to me, it ain’t standing on principle if one doesn’t take a bit of a hit for taking a particular stance, something along the lines of Bush standing firm on Iraq despite the huge blow in popularity he’s experienced as a result (I disagree with that decision but give Bush credit for being stubborn, oops, I mean principled). My guess is that Romney’s decision to drop out was driven more by the realization that he had no hope of winning the nomination than by any desire to help the GOP. A good, and certainly dollar-wise decision, but not one driven by principle. All Romney sacrificed by dropping out today, other than the opportunity to keep spending his money, was a few more weeks of press coverage and TV appearances.

    Actually, dropping out today was a very unprincipled thing to do. Since when is quitting before the fat lady sings, in walking out on those who put their lives on hold to work for his campaign, in abandoning those who wanted nothing more than an opportunity in upcoming primaries to vote against McCain considered an act of principle? Was it an act of principle when Bill Belichick walked off the field with time remaining on the game clock? Did Romney promise his supporters he’d only continue his quest so long as it wasn’t too tough of a fight? A real principled stance would have been to continue the fight so long as he was able to do so.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  34. A real principled stance would have been to continue the fight so long as he was able to do so.

    That’s the ‘principle’ of a suicide bomber. If you want to see a fanatic shut his eyes and fight till he’s immolated, well bully for you, but Romney himself values the principles of a coordinated party campaign higher than he does slugging till he drops. That speech showed that Romney not only has principles, but that he can make a decision for the greater good. He’s definitely executive material.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  35. Steve Sturm,

    I see your point and I don’t completely disagree. It just seems to me there are other ways to look at this. For instance, if Romney decided to stay in the race until there was no more hope, then he would also be acting on principle but it would be a different set of principles: Concern for his ideology and for the implicit promises he made to his followers.

    Those are worthy goals but doing that would (in my view) make Romney a Ron Paul-type of candidate whose allegiance is to an ideology or even to himself, and only secondarily to his Party. If that’s how he feels, Romney should have run as an independent. As a Republican, he also has to take into account the goals of his Party and he did that by acknowledging it was time to step aside.

    DRJ (517d26)

  36. The only chance the Republican party has to a victory is if it’s a McCain/Romney ticket. That’s the only way a lot of doubtful conservatives will even vote for McCain.

    I’m thinking McCain-Pawlenty.

    The MN governor is an evangelical – which helps in the South – and a fiscal hawk who erased a $4.5 million debt without raising taxes.

    Also, the convention is in Minneapolis, which means the ticket leaves town with a bigger send-off/tailwind.

    steve (407249)

  37. Steve (#33): Romney would probably have won a few more state primaries; he certainly would have continued to rack up votes and delegates, albeit not enough. He could have tried to be a force at the convention with delegated pledged to him. Moreover, there’s a chance that McCain might stumble badly, or have a sudden health problem.

    There were, in sum, plenty of excuses to keep fighting, and plenty about the correct choice that made it taste of ashes. But he did the right thing, for exactly the right reason, and used exactly the right moment and right language to explain why.

    Beldar (3df1f4)

  38. DRJ: taking a hit for the good of the party is something one does when they place a higher value on the means of accomplishing one’s goals than the goals we want to accomplish. Think about all the c**p we’ve had crammed down our throats over the past eight years in the name of looking out for the good of the party… and how little we received in return. At least conservatives had the good sense to say ‘Enough!’ when it came to Harriet Miers (sorry Beldar) and Bush’s immigration reform. It was a shame – and our shame – that conservatives didn’t force the issue many more times during Bush’s presidency. Perhaps, had they done so, we wouldn’t now be having to swallow a McCain nomination.

    My allegiance is not to the Republican party, my allegiance is with those who share my values. When Republican officeholders push policies and programs I believe in, they’ve got my support, and were there such a thing as a Democrat who shared my values, I would gladly vote for them. And when they act counter to my principles, they’re not getting my votes or my dollars, even if they do have an ‘R’ next to their name.

    stevesturm (8caabf)

  39. You sound more like a Libertarian than a Republican. It’s easy to confuse the two when you consider yourself a conservative (I do, too) but there comes a point when you have to compromise for the good of the whole. It’s a bitter pill but reality often means you have to take the bitter with the sweet.

    DRJ (517d26)

  40. Steve,

    Up to now, we’ve been talking about McCain but you also mentioned the last 8 years. I’m not happy with President Bush’s actions on entitlements and earmarks but I think his record is better than you imply.

    I agree Bush allowed the government bureaucracy to swell and permitted ever-expanding entitlements and earmarks. I consider these facts to be his greatest failings as a President. Bush also disappointed his base on immigration but his philosophy on that subject hasn’t changed in 10+ years — so as a practical matter it’s unfair to fault him for “letting us down” when he never promised to be strong on immigration or the border.

    On the other hand, Bush delivered on his promised tax cuts and on national security issues. Granted, there are areas we want to improve on but there are plenty of things that have changed for the better when it comes to the taxes and homeland security.

    Bush also kept his promises to conservatives on abortion and stem cells, and his Supreme Court and Circuit Court nominations have been first rate. Whether you liked Harriet Miers or not, I don’t think it’s realistic to believe Bush was trying to slip in a moderate Supreme Court Justice against the wishes of the base. I think Bush’s concern was to avoid his father’s mistake with Souter … and if that’s the case, then his aim was on target but his execution was lacking.

    DRJ (517d26)

  41. “Pardon my French in advance, Patterico, but Mitt Romney can fuck himself for that one. No one on either side of the aisle is interested in “surrendering” to “terror”. There happen to be different schools of thought on how “terror” is to be fought, and if Romney can’t realize that, well, good riddance.

    Comment by Leviticus”

    1. Withdrawal from Iraq in 90 days.
    2. No Wire tapping of terrorist cellphone calls.
    3. Close Gitmo
    4. No waterboarding even though US pilots were waterboarded in E&E training.
    5. open borders with drivers licenses
    6. terrorist POWS getting US lawyers and the US justice system wth all the rights of citizens.

    I could go on.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  42. Oh for the good of the party my ass! He knew the numbers, and he was already out! What a lying phony.

    Bill Boff (50fa4d)

  43. “1. Withdrawal from Iraq in 90 days.”

    – Mike K

    Soooo… what? Them bombing us when we invade their country doesn’t qualify them as TERRORISTS, as much as you’d like to believe that.

    “2. No Wire tapping of terrorist cellphone calls.”

    – Mike K

    And, coincidentally, no wiretapping of non-terrorist cellphones. Civil liberties are for TERRORISTS.

    “3. Close Gitmo”

    – Mike K

    Holy shit! We’re doomed now! There’s no telling what the 75% innocent TERRORIST population of Gitmo could do to us were they unleashed by the TERRORIST Democrats…

    “4. No waterboarding even though US pilots were waterboarded in E&E training.”

    – Mike K

    I’m sure those pilots loved it, too. I’m sure it was a great experience, one they’d love to share with 15-year old Iraqi TERRORISTS rounded up in undiscriminating street sweeps.

    “5. open borders with drivers licenses”

    – Mike K

    You mean, Mexican TERRORISTS are going to drive across the border with their freshly minted drivers licenses (provided to them by the TERRORIST Democrats) and commit evil TERRORIST deeds on American soil?

    “6. terrorist POWS getting US lawyers and the US justice system wth all the rights of citizens.”

    – Mike K

    Oh, the TERRORISTS are POWs now? Not “enemy combatants”? Does that entitle them to the protections of the Geneva Convention? You know, like, say, NO WATERBOARDING?

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  44. Hey Leviticus,

    The Geneva Convention only protects those who abide by it. Terrorists who don’t wear uniforms and hide amongst civilians, and blow up more civilians to score media coverage, and have no accountable chain of command, etc etc, have by their own actions opted out of the Geneva Convention. And said Convention exempts those fighting against such barbarians from its own provisions. Funny the MSM never puts that item in their anti-American propaganda.

    War sucks, but we should be in it to win, rather than pandering to the MSM.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  45. 2. No Wire tapping of terrorist cellphone calls.

    JTFR, nobody says this. The question is whether wiretapping is done with warrants, like in the United States of yore, or at the President’s whim, like in Zimbabwe.

    4. No waterboarding even though US pilots were waterboarded in E&E training.

    I take it the fact your wife consents to sex with you means I get to have sex with her too, right? Do you remotely see the illogic here, or did talk radio rot the brain too much.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  46. And Huckabee was hilarious on the Colbert Report last night. Air hockey, somebody’s a genius.

    Mike Ll (d5cc68)

  47. Hey Insufficiently Sensitive,

    The whole reason the President refers to TERRORISTS as “enemy combatants” instead of “POWs” is to avoid the international laws that govern the treatment of the latter. That way we can do whatever we want to them.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  48. Catching up…
    Levi/s gerber, #7:
    Your intemperance in your language toward someone who has not attacked you is unacceptable.

    You say that the Left is just as committed to fight the War-On-Terror to victory as is the right; if so, can you please enunciate the strategy &/or tactics that the Left has endorsed that will lead us to victory?

    stevesturm, various:
    By the votes in the many primaries, it is evident that the GOP at large does not share Romney’s vision; therefore, it would apprear that his withdrawal has more to do with country, than party.

    Mike K, #41:
    You pretty much nailed it there. By Levi’s subsequent response we see again that in this existential struggle, the Left and Right are speaking in foreign languages that the other does not understand.

    Someone posted that Modern Liberalism/Leftist in America are Neo-Isolationists. That is a great description for a group that has re-coiled so greatly from the horrors of war (that have always existed, and will continue), that they cannot conceive engaging in conflict even when our very exitence is at risk.

    I pity people with so little faith and heart.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  49. “Your intemperance in your language toward someone who has not attacked you is unacceptable.”

    – Another Drew

    Ooooo… Am I grounded? Should I go stand in the corner?

    He has attacked me. He’s attacked anyone who doesn’t vote Republican as a TERRORIST.

    Leviticus (35fbde)

  50. Well, we’ve heard from the 8th-graders, I guess.

    Oh, BTW, I don’t have the power to ground you; but, I do have the power to ignore whatever it is you write.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  51. My loss, right?

    It’s not like you made a point of listening in posts past. You already know everything there is to know about “the Left”.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  52. That is a great description for a group that has re-coiled so greatly from the horrors of war (that have always existed, and will continue), that they cannot conceive engaging in conflict even when our very exitence is at risk.

    This is, of course, hilarious when offered (as it usually is) by right-wingers whose acquaintance with the horrors of war consists of whacking off to the torture scenes on “24”.

    There is little reason why the horrors of war should include warantless wiretapping and torture. They haven’t in the past, and they don’t need to now.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  53. The whole reason the President refers to TERRORISTS as “enemy combatants” is, that he understands the Geneva Convention far better than his political opponents do.

    So he sends them to a tropical vacation paradise, feeds them halal food, furnishes Korans and asks them questions. I have no problems with that, since I retain my common sense about guerilla enemies who murder civilians for spectacular press.

    In fact, they are coddled at Guantanamo, unlike the prisoners of ‘heroic’ groups like al-Qaeda, or the PLO, or the rest of the anonymous rabble who practice Islamofascism to the cheers of fawning ‘international law’ blatherists.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  54. “So he sends them to a tropical vacation paradise, feeds them halal food, furnishes Korans and asks them questions. I have no problems with that, since I retain my common sense about guerilla enemies who murder civilians for spectacular press.

    In fact, they are coddled at Guantanamo, unlike the prisoners of ‘heroic’ groups like al-Qaeda, or the PLO, or the rest of the anonymous rabble who practice Islamofascism to the cheers of fawning ‘international law’ blatherists.”

    – Insufficiently Sensitive

    Whatever you say, Rush.

    If you think Guantanamo Bay is a “tropical vacation paradise”, why don’t you make some prank terror threats on a traceable phone line? You know: adopt an “Islamofascist” accent, grow a beard, and start squawking about “Allah”? You can give us an insider’s perspective on the place, in between sucking down pina coladas and having your nails done…

    Yikes.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  55. BTW, AJL, I’ll compare my service to the country with yours at any time.
    Also, references to personal behaviour in the privacy of my home, are unacceptable – even if they were true.
    As a Conservative who does not wish to have the government invade the privacy of my (or any other law-abiding person’s) home, I would appreciate it if you could stay the Hell away also.

    As to “unlawful combattants” (that is the technical language in the GC, is it not), we should not be detaining them. After a suitable “field interview”, they should be shot!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  56. After a suitable “field interview”, they should be shot!

    Since they don’t follow the Geneva Conventions, that’s legitimate – by the Geneva Conventions. But an extended ‘field interview’ also allows extended information to be learned from them, so let’s not be too hasty.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  57. As to “unlawful combattants” (that is the technical language in the GC, is it not), we should not be detaining them. After a suitable “field interview”, they should be shot!

    I’m OK with that after an impartial court-martial finds them guilty.

    OK, I’ll bite on the horrors of war. I have no military service, was very happy to miss the Vietnam draft by a couple months, and was probably 4-F or 1-Y for eyesight anyway. (I needed a waiver for my driver’s license, and that I really wanted!) OTOH, I was living in Jerusalem during the resumption of the second intifada and before I left (my wife and I had fixed-term temporary jobs there and had always planned to come back to the USA) two of my usual bus stops had been attacked by suicide killers, only one successfully. I also stopped shopping at the central market because of a bombing and changed my commute route because other drivers had been killed by snipers. I’ve heard artillery used for real. Frankly, I’d say I’ve been closer to the horror of terrorist slaughter (it caught up with one of my friends after I left) than a lot of lock-em-up and torture-em types. (The Israeli Supreme Court finally put a stop to lawful torture in Israel, and the ebb and flow of terror seems to have gone on much the same.)

    If we know who the terrorists are, get a damn warrant. Arrest them. Jail them. Abandoning centuries of hard-won rights, that’s surrender to terror. To the terror you feel in your knees.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  58. I’m OK with that after an impartial court-martial finds them guilty.

    I have no military service,, but if you had, you might have learned what courts martial do. They don’t try terrorists – they’re how we try our own military personnel when they’re accused of UCMJ violations.

    Terrorists, or nonuniformed people-slayers, or righteous participants in the armed struggle, or unlawful combatants, however you name them, are pretty much fair game for the decision of the commanding officer in charge of their capture. They have all the status of spies. Summary execution isn’t out of the question if they aren’t in compliance with those bothersome Geneva Conventions – you know, uniforms, chain of command, namerankserialnumber. Remember they’re generally captured and disarmed while doing their best to kill uniformed US personnel. Their weapons are sufficient evidence to convict.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  59. If we know who the terrorists are, get a damn warrant. Arrest them. Jail them.

    So, what you are saying is that the fight against terrorism is purely a law enforcement, rather than at least a partial military matter?

    I don’t think that’s the proper way of looking at it.

    He has attacked me. He’s attacked anyone who doesn’t vote Republican as a TERRORIST.

    Nope, he didn’t say anyone who doesn’t vote Republican is a terrorist. Try again.

    Steverino (e00589)

  60. OK, Insufficient, as you will: an impartial military tribunal that follows almost all of the procedures of a court-martial. The GC text requires a “competent tribunal”. It isn’t the whim of the commanding officer. And it isn’t the Gitmo Follies, with Bush and Rumsfeld pronouncing guilt first (“worst of the worst”) and tribunals afterwards. (Incidentally, would you mind letting us know what your military experience is?)

    So, what you are saying is that the fight against terrorism is purely a law enforcement, rather than at least a partial military matter?

    No, fighting against a large group like Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is far beyond the scope of ordinary law enforcement. However, apprehension of sleeper cells within the USA is primarily a matter for law enforcement, unless you think the Al Qaeda threat requires imposition of indefinite domestic martial law. (Of course, many “conservatives”—I don’t understand how this fits with conservative principles at all—do seem to cherish just such a desire.)

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  61. No, fighting against a large group like Al Qaeda in Afghanistan is far beyond the scope of ordinary law enforcement. However, apprehension of sleeper cells within the USA is primarily a matter for law enforcement, unless you think the Al Qaeda threat requires imposition of indefinite domestic martial law. (Of course, many “conservatives”—I don’t understand how this fits with conservative principles at all—do seem to cherish just such a desire.)

    Thank you for clarifying. I don’t know why you’d think that I’d ever want martial law declared. In fact, the most you could infer from my question was that I saw the battle against terrorism required a mix of military and law enforcement.

    Frankly, I don’t know any conservatives who would want martial law declared. In fact, I don’t think I know of a single person who’d want that, regardless of his political views. Maybe you just hang out with the wrong crowd? Or maybe you were indulging in overstatement?

    Steverino (e00589)

  62. Steverino, I don’t see any way to support the Bush Administration’s original position in Padilla without acquiescing in unconstitutional martial law. Bush said that he could have anyone he wanted, citizen or no, dropped off incommunicado in a military brig for eventual military trial (or not). Anything else was, in the opinion of the sizable remnant of Bushies, surrender to terrorists. I think you will agree that the arrest of one terrorist wannabe (taking the evidence against Padilla at face value, which may be a mistake) is not a matter for the American military. The Administration is similarly disdainful of the Fourth Amendment, claiming a right to eavesdrop everywhere, all the time.

    If it looks like martial law and quacks like martial law, then it is martial law. The fact that Bush chooses to exercise (or attempt to exercise) despotic powers only occasionally does not mean he’s respectful of our legal tradition.

    Faced with McCain saying Close Gitmo and Romney saying Double Gitmo, I don’t see what’s more conservative about the latter. McCain is more in tune with justice here.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  63. AJL…
    Thank you for clarifying your position. As someone who has seen the intifada at fairly close range, I am positive that you would not wish such a situation to develope here within the ‘States. But, unless we wipe out this militant scourge from the face of the Earth, that is precisely what will happen.

    When bus-stops, pizzaria’s, and night-clubs within the USA start blowing up, all the ACLU lawyers in the world will not be able to stop the American People from becoming Jacksonians. And, when that happens, more than a few “innocent civilians” will be caught up in the mess. We have a history of intolerance for terrorism (by whatever name) within our midst.

    As to Padilla, by a fair reading of his history, he has taken up arms against his country, he is a traitor in many eyes, and he should be hung.

    I don’t want justice, I want to survive!

    Another Drew (a28ef4)

  64. Notice that if George W. Bush engages in only a fraction of the actions of past Democratic Presidents, he is accused of being a despot.

    The ludicrous rhetoric got old long ago.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  65. I don’t see any way to support the Bush Administration’s original position in Padilla without acquiescing in unconstitutional martial law.

    I’ll disagree with you there. Padilla, at the time of his arrest, was in possession of email addresses of AQ operatives. The AUMFT authorized the President to pursue persons aiding terrorist organizations that planned or had carried out attacks on the USA. So, yes, one could argue that Padilla was an enemy under the AUMFT. It might be a weak argument — it might even be an incorrect argument — but there’s a great deal of space between that and “unconstitutional martial law”. Supporters of Bush in this matter might be wrong-headed, but it’s a huge overstatement to say they’re pining for martial law.

    The Administration is similarly disdainful of the Fourth Amendment, claiming a right to eavesdrop everywhere, all the time.

    Nope, not quite. The Administration has claimed its authority to eavesdrop when one party is outside of the US, where the government has a reasonable basis to conclude that one party is somehow working or affiliated with Al Qaeda. (This is from Gonzales’s statements in December, 2005.) That’s not “everywhere, all the time”.

    Steverino (e00589)

  66. AJL:

    The GC text requires a “competent tribunal”. It also requires those who want its protections to follow that “text”. As said already, that means – you know, uniforms, chain of command, namerankserialnumber. Having Osama’s secret contact number doesn’t qualify.

    (Incidentally, would you mind letting us know what your military experience is?) Unlike Bill Clinton, when the President sent me “greetings”, I invested two years defending your condescending ass.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  67. Andrew J. Lazarus wrote: If we know who the terrorists are, get a damn warrant. Arrest them. Jail them.

    (V-8 like head smack) “Just arrest and jail the terrorists!” By jove, he’s got it! What a brilliant idea! It’s so simple! &lt/sarcasm&gt

    Abandoning centuries of hard-won rights, that’s surrender to terror. To the terror you feel in your knees.

    Ohhhh! Drama!

    It never ceases to amaze me how some people describe necessary increases in domestic surveillance and new proposals to shore up pre-cellular communication law with language designed to invoke the same pictures in the mind conjured up by reading Orwell’s 1984.

    And before you get the notion: Please don’t bother responding with yet another variation of the quotation commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security.” It’s one dead man’s opinion out of thousands of others, and that’s all. A blind squirrel finds a nut every so often, and one with 20/20 vision misses one occasionally as well.

    Contrary to the belief of Ron Paul devotees, the Founding Fathers were not infallible demigods whose words were gospel, and whose experiences of life as musket-carrying eighteenth century colonials gave their every utterance greater relevance than that of our twenty-first century contemporaries on the watch for plastic explosives on a trans-Atlantic flight.

    L.N. Smithee (b048eb)

  68. Here’s what Bob Dole said about Mitt on the Laura Ingraham show this morning:

    “[Romney] can never quite make the sale. I mean, people would [want to] buy the merchandise, and they’d go up to the counter, and they would stand there, and end up taking it back. I don’t know what was missing.”

    L.N. Smithee (b048eb)

  69. And Bob Dole is such an authority on winning elections!

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  70. Funny, I.S., I heard it was the ungrammatical “Greeting“. Poor memory, I guess, or you got a special one. [Induction notice scan] Your reading of the GC is wrong: the tribunal is required to establish that the detainee is, in fact, an unlawful combatant, after which everyone on this thread agrees he may be humanely executed.

    Steverino: the Administration’s arguments in Padilla are more of an excuse that a real argument, and the amount of faith the government had in them can be estimated by their transfer of Padilla back to the civilian court system. But interestingly enough, even the Quirin defendants got counsel and a trial. I don’t know what precedent Bush was claiming for Padilla. Padilla was imprisoned entirely on Bush’s say-so that the AUMF applied and, on the Bush Administration’s arguments, without any recourse. The syllogism, as I have pointed out before, is to take rules for battlefield detainees, then declare that with terrorism the whole world is the battlefield as a justification for using these rules at O’Hare Airport and elsewhere.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  71. Funny, I.S., I heard it was the ungrammatical “Greeting”

    So you, who never received one, are indeed the One True Authority – and the rest of us have lives and have moved on.

    Insufficiently Sensitive (b0db09)

  72. Correct me if I’m wrong (boy, will that open a flood-gate), but, I don’t recall the GC actually defining a “competent tribunal”. In past history this could be nothing more than a squad leader who, after searching the effects of a captured terrorist, decides that he probably has no further useful information, and orders him stood before a firing squad (or just personally dispatches him with a side-arm).

    I know the lawyers will object, but we are talking about war here, not a judicial process.

    If lawyers want to interject themselves upon the battlefield, they better buy lots of body armour, and lay a retainer on Blackwater for protection.

    Another Drew (758608)


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