Category Archives: Republicans

09. Marco Rubio

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

Extremely recently, Florida Senator and Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio seemed destined to run for President, or at least snag the VP slot, in 2016. He heroically forced former RINO Florida Governor Charlie Crist to out himself as not only a RINO, but a full-on liberal. Saving the Florida GOP from itself, he won a three-way race in Florida to secure his current seat in the Senate, a race that made the Democrat come in a very distant third.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio
Florida Senator Marco Rubio

Once he actually won, the love-fest was on and he was declared the darling of the GOP. He was all set to be the GOP and Tea Party rock star.

Then he took office and started voting.

Turns out Senator Rubio governed from his Senate seat closer to John McCain than John Barrasso. The biggest sticking point has been his decision to join the infamous “Gang of Eight,” a group of senators who broker compromises without even debating conflicting principles, usually to the extreme benefit of Democrats and liberal causes.

That’s not the sort of candidate the Florida Tea Party thought they were supporting. It’s not the guy Sarah Palin endorsed. But his participation in the Gang of Eight has seen him drop out of the national conservative dialogue as a “likely 2016 presidential nominee” to become more of an afterthought at best, and someone who may even see the Tea Party seek to replace him in 2018 when he’s up for re-election.

Is all this deserved? Partially. His decision to sit on the Gang of Eight for Immigration Reform won him no new admirers while costing him many admirers who had previously been on-board with him. Outside of immigration, Rubio has been a reliable conservative, but he has been schooled by fellow freshman Texas Senator Ted Cruz on style points.

Beyond those perceptions, Rubio’s been doing damage control ever since, and while he’s young and perhaps learned his lesson about being too quick to compromise… and compromise is inevitable when you’re in a legislative body instead of an executive position like governor, if you hope to get anything done… the sheen is almost certainly off the rose for Senator Rubio.

While he could recover, the best bet for Rubio would be to latch on as a VP candidate to someone else at the top of a GOP ticket. As a Florida Senator, he’d be an attractive running mate for the heart and electoral votes of that red-leaning-purplish state, and if the ticket he’s a part of wins, it would be a great training ground for a future top-of-ticket run, where he’d hopefully feel freer to hold to the values he ran on.

But it’s a sad set of missteps and missed opportunities. Six to nine months ago, he’d have easily made my Top Five list.

10. Mary Fallin

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

Imagine if Parks and Recreation character Leslie Knope were a Republican from Oklahoma: she’d be Mary Fallin. Fallin has worked in the Oklahoma Department of Tourism/Recreation, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission, and Oklahoma Office of Personnel Management, also worked in the private sector, and has held the office of Lieutenant Governor under two different governors, won election to US Congress, and became the first female governor ever elected to office in Oklahoma, all well before she turned 60, which she’ll do later this year.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin

The only troubling aspect of Fallin as a contender is that she’s not really that tested on the national stage, and she has some skeletons in the closet, including rumors of an alleged affair in 1998 that could be dredged up to haunt her.

Her biggest pre-gubernatorial accomplishment was writing a strong anti-stalking bill that became law. She’s held to generally conservative values, though that’s not very hard in Oklahoma, and so far has settled budget discrepancies via budget cuts, streamlining, and “modernizing government.”

Of course, even that raises concerns for some, since “modernizing government” is old Clinton Era-speak for expanding government. The biggest shock is how little we know of her after so many years in public life.

Unlikely as a top-of-the-ticket candidate, Fallin would make an intriguing pick as someone else’s running mate, depending on electoral demographics at the top of the ticket. She is, however, the first person who’d get knocked down a spot on my list if Scott Walker proves adept on the national stage.

11. Scott Walker

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

Quick quiz: name the only sitting governor in American history ever to survive a recall election. If your mind went to anywhere other than Wisconsin in 2012, you’re wrong. Scott Walker is the only one to do it so far. And in a purely purple state that Barack Obama won in both 2008 and 2012. Not a bad starting point, since the focus of the recall enacted against him was: budget cuts.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Even more impressive is that Walker not only survived the recall, but increased his margin of victory from his initial 2010 victory, rising from 52 percent voting for him to 53 percent voting for him. That’s unheard of in a recall election circumstance.

And despite pressure and media outrage, Walker continues to govern as a full conservative, not just a budgetary one. Walker is pursuing a conservative social agenda as well as a budgetary one, on most issues.

Plus, his modest cost reforms actually saved the jobs of thousands of teachers who opposed those very reforms and led them to try to recall him.

As a result, Walker is now filling the profile in the GOP landscape that Rick Perry once held; only he’s pulling off his GOP miracle in a purple state Obama won both times, not a solid-red state like Texas.

But with Walker comes the same questions about him that the nation asked about Perry in 2012. Is he ready for the national scrutiny he’d face if nominated? Can he withstand the national GOP urge to bow and scrape at Hillary’s feet, and instead actually take her head-on, on the issues, in a debate?

That’s an unknown, so I’m placing Walker at number 11 on my list, if only because of the question marks. He’s probably my top so-called “dark horse candidate” for 2016, because if he chooses to run and proves himself adept, he could easily leap into the Top 5. But not just yet.

12. Rick Perry

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

Once upon a time, I was a Rick Perry type of guy. He seemed to “get it,” and has been better for Texas as governor than W. ever was. Plus, Texas is generally a good state to have in your electoral college tally. However…

Texas Governor Rick Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry

The only problem I really have with Rick Perry is that his 2012 run was an utter disaster. While he may hold the right values, he can’t communicate them effectively. And that’s almost as bad as having the wrong values. Whoever wins the GOP nod is gonna have to face Shrill Hill, the Porcelain President-in-Waiting, who can get away with saying “What does it matter?” about Benghazi and still be in the national dialogue for 2016.

There are people who have the right values, as Perry does, who will be far more effective than he’s proven to be thus far at actually articulating and communicating those values. Perry’s skill-set for running an effective and winning campaign is suspect because of his deficiencies in this regard.

While he’s not running for re-election as Texas Governor, thus clearing his schedule for another White House bid, my prediction is 2012 left too sour a taste in most people’s mouths and Perry will be overlooked by a number of more-appealing candidates with better skills in public speaking, debates, and out-n-out truth-telling.

I don’t think he’ll last long in 2016. But maybe he’ll surprise me. My doubts about him, though, are what place him this low on my list.

Even so, yes, he’d still be better than Jeb Bush or Chris Christie.

13. Condoleeza Rice

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

GOP think-tankers who concentrate primarily on foreign policy would love to see Condoleeza Rice run for president. And in light of the past five-plus years under the Obama administration’s blunders, who wouldn’t rejoice to see her foreign policy acumen once again leading the nation?

Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice
Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice

But it’s going to be 2016, not September 11, 2001.

And like it or not, that’s the problem.

Condoleeza Rice proved herself and her ability to lead under fire, beginning in the first George W. Bush term as the president’s foreign policy adviser before being promoted to Secretary of State after General Colin Powell left the administration for its second term.

Unlike the man she replaced (Powell), Rice has proven not to be so addicted to the national spotlight that she’d cozy up to whoever’s in power. She doesn’t seek out seats at Democratic events as Powell does. And those are both good and important qualities.

The trouble comes in when you look beyond foreign policy. Despite serving in the Bush Administration until the bitter end, a full eight years in the public eye, and another five-plus years having passed since then, the most we know about Ms. Rice outside of a foreign policy setting is that she’d dearly love to replace Roger Goodell as the commissioner of the National Football League someday.

That’s great, but foreign policy and football alone do not a president make. The big fear seems to be that if she ever revealed her domestic policy stances, she’d come across sounding more like Barack Obama, rather than George W. Bush… to say nothing of a real small-government conservative like Ronald Reagan.

What’s with the guessing game? Sure, she’s in the private sector again (more or less, if you count academia as the private sector), but after twelve years one should expect to know whether she believes in limited or expansive government; whether she favors budget cuts and tax reform over budgeting by continuing resolutions and out-of-control spending; let alone whether, as a woman, she supports or opposes the Roe v. Wade decision and/or same-sex unions.

The fact that the most we know about her outside of foreign policy is based off what smart people speculate about her, rather than anything she herself has written or said, is precisely why she’s appearing outside of the top dozen slots in my list. Condoleeza Rice brings a ton of qualifications to bear if she were ever to run for the presidency; but unless she’s willing to open up, make her views known, and defend them, moderates and conservatives alike can only view her with mistrust, not knowing whether she’d be an ally or an adversary if elected.

Next, we’ll move on to our select “dirty dozen” names. I hate putting them down in order like I am, because new information comes to light all the time and someone you once viewed as relatively conservative can prove unreliable with a single key vote. (Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan, anyone?)

14. Sarah Palin

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

 

Among GOP loyalists starved for genuine conservative voices, Sarah Palin was once a nearly singular ray of hope.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

The former Governor of Alaska emerged from somewhere near 30 Days of Night territory to be unveiled in 2008 as uber-RINO John McCain’s running mate against Barack Obama’s run for a first term. With her address to the GOP faithful at that year’s convention, her plain-spoken, bedrock conservative values lit enthusiasm into a moribund GOP ticket that year that reminded everyone of Bob Dole’s “It’s my turn” run against Bill Clinton in 1996.

If Ms. Palin had been at the top of the ticket, instead of the bottom, history may have played out differently, or at least more closely. With her soccer-mom values and her core conservatism, she immediately became the target of the mainstream media giants, who determined to take her down, even if it meant condemning her for things they themselves endorsed. And that’s exactly what they did.

Be that as it may, Palin is not now, and may never be, ready to run for the White House at the top of the ticket. The reason why has little to do with what the media did to her, and everything with what she did to herself. The first crack in the veneer was her decision to step down as Alaska Governor. No matter what reasons she cited about how it would be better for Alaskans, and how she’d wield more power as a “free agent,” the fact remains that when the pressure cooker arrived, she opted out of an elected office the people of Alaska voted her into, and that raises serious concerns about her ability to stand up to the pressures a White House victory would place her under.

In her current role as GOP kingmaker and de-facto leader of the conservative wing of the Tea Party Movement, Palin has proven herself better than the average GOP Power Player when it comes to identifying winning conservative candidates and championing their cause.

Without Palin’s help and support, current voices like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Marco Rubio (who admittedly fluffed it on immigration), might never have made it to the Senate to become the loud voices against compromise of values before a shot is even fired that they’ve become.

Palin’s star was a genie in a bottle; her best moment came at the 2008 GOP Convention and then it fizzled. She’s better-suited now to the role of inspirational conservative king-maker (and queen-maker), welcoming genuine conservatives back to prominence in the GOP. Hopefully her efforts won’t be in vain, but yes, even now, damaged as she is for her own run at the White House, Sarah Palin would indeed be far superior to Jeb Bush or Chris Christie as the 2016 GOP Presidential Nominee.

But there are better options.

15. Tim Scott

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

One spot up from Mia Love is newly-minted GOP Senator Tim Scott. He is already a history-maker.

Sen. Tim Scott
Sen. Tim Scott

Sen. Scott is currently the only U.S. Senator of African-American background serving in the U.S. Senate at the time I write this, and he’s also only the seventh such person to serve of that cultural background, in all of U.S. Senate history. Appointed by South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to replace Jim DeMint, who retired to serve at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank, Scott is currently serving an interim appointment. In November 2013, he will face a special election to fill out the balance of his predecessor’s term.

Those years will be critical for Sen. Scott. He has not racked up a significant track record in the U.S. Senate quite yet, and he’ll need to show in November that he can win the trust of the voters, rather than just the trust of their state’s governor. And of course, in 2016, he’ll face a second election, this time for his own full six-year term.

Let’s face it: while Senator Tim Scott is more experienced than Mia Love at this point, he’s also too inexperienced to be a serious contender for the 2016 presidential race. If he wins back-to-back elections to the U.S. Senate seat in South Carolina, that will be a significant boost to his qualifications

What that means is, if Senator Scott holds the conservative line over the next few years (above and beyond winning two elections), he will start to look attractive in 2020 or 2024, much like Mia Love.

But early reports on him are hopeful. He has declared himself to hold many of the conservative values Jim DeMint held, and so long as he avoids following the example of the senior senator from his home state, Lindsey Graham, he ought to do just fine.

We’ll see what two elections and a lot more experience bring his way, but he is a name to watch. Maybe not for 2016, but definitely for the years beyond then.

16. Mia Love

16 CONSERVATIVE NAMES FOR 2016 AND BEYOND … WHO AREN’T CHRIS CHRISTIE OR JEB BUSH

Chris and Jeb

Coming in at the bottom of my list, for now, is one of the politicians I have the highest hopes for, but not in 2016. Down the line, however, in 2024 or beyond, Saratoga Springs, Utah, mayor Mia Love shows exceptional promise. And at the age of only 37, she has plenty of time to mature into a future White House run.

Ms. Love has all the right conservative positions on the issues; favoring fiscal discipline, personal responsibility and limited government, she is also pro-life, a supporter of 2nd Amendment gun rights, domestic energy exploration, and favors local control over Federal control on issues like education and land use. She is, by these positions, an impressive Constitutionalist.

Mia Love

In addition to her relative youth, Love’s minority statuses (she’s black, a woman, and a Morman) would prove a cure to many of the perceived negative stereotypes of the GOP on a national scale. However, before she can run for the White House, she still has some things to prove.

Although winning a local mayoral election is nice, she lost narrowly her first campaign for a U.S. Congressional seat in 2012, and has announced her intention in 2014 to run again. After losing by a mere 768 votes out of over 245,000 cast, she seems well-positioned to win the rematch in the relatively conservative state of Utah. But that will be her first litmus test; to win that U.S. Congressional seat in 2014. If she fails a second time, her career could falter before it’s really begun.

However, if she wins a couple terms to U.S. Congress, her next step would be to prove she can win a statewide office in her home state. That means a successful run for governor or U.S. Senate would have to precede any bid for national office.

That means a commitment of the next ten to twelve years of her career to building up her political resume, before a White House run would seem a wise risk. That’s not a negative, though. Along the way, she’d gain a lot of political experience that would properly prepare her for a future White House bid.

By the time Love reaches her fifth decade of life, if all goes well for her, she should be well-prepared for the national stage.

While most folks on this list will be ready for a White House run a lot sooner than Love, if her conservative credentials remain as sterling ten to twenty years from now as they are today, she could pose a brilliant challenge to whomever the Democrats are running, when Love’s hour in the national spotlight finally comes round.

Still, realistically, that’s a long way off and she has much yet to prove, in terms of her political acumen and her ability to win elections without sacrificing her conservative values the way so many do to “get ahead.”

But currently, we at WonderfulPessiment.com wish her much success in the future.

16 Conservative Names for 2016 and Beyond … Who Aren’t Chris Christie or Jeb Bush

Chris and Jeb
Hey all.

I know it’s a bit early to start handicapping the 2016 race, but someone has to replace Barack Obama in three years or so, and since the mainstream media is all about Hillary Rodham Clinton, I thought now would be a good time to start a list of names who show White House potential for 2016 or beyond.

Chris Christie

Those who follow this blog know that I’m a bit discouraged with the GOP of late; it’s not been a friendly place for conservatives for a while now, and given our White House success in recent years (four out of the last six presidential elections have been won by Dems), I think it’s time to start trumpeting some support for folks I think could win.

Now, when I say “win,” I’m not talking like GOP loyalists who love East Coast RINOs. I’m talking about conservatives. Genuine conservatives with a track record to back them up. Some of the names and faces you’ll see in this series are very fresh. Some are more familiar.

And I’m not going out on a limb to declare any of them “the next Reagan.” They’ll have to prove that to me.

But before the mainstream media drowns out all other candidates with repeated choruses supporting their favorite RINOs who are almost guaranteed to lose (or make a GOP win into a loss by governing like Democrats), it’s time to do some “shock and awe” at what a wonderful bench of conservatives we currently have.

Most of these names are folks with experience, or, in the case of a couple names, those who show great promise.

I’ll dedicate a separate post in this series to each of them. And I’m calling this series, “16 Conservative Names for 2016 and Beyond … Who Aren’t Chris Christie or Jeb Bush.”

Jeb Bush

Now, some GOP loyalists may wonder, “What’s wrong with Christie and Bush?”

It’s simple. They aren’t conservatives. They’re fails, win or lose, for the conservative cause.

“But… but… you want to win, don’t you?”

I do. That’s the point. And considering I’ve been contemplating voting third-party for the first time in my life if either Chris Christie or Jeb Bush gets the GOP nod, I’m out to promote names I would be willing to vote for.

All sixteen of these names are way better than Barack Obama. And even the least experienced of them would still be an improvement over Chris Christie or Jeb Bush.

So, get ready, folks. I’ll be writing this only as I can, but soon, you’ll all know these 16 conservative names who I think are great candidates for the White House … either in 2016 or beyond.

A word or two on guns

I try to be discreet about where I live, other than saying that I live in the greater Portland area these days.

But given the course of recent events, I will admit that I live close enough to Clackamas Town Center that I often go there for lunch. In fact, the week before the shooting that made the mall temporarily famous, I went there for lunch no fewer than three times. One of those times, I even stopped in the food court there to eat my meal. Given the hours I work, I usually go for lunch between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

The following week, on Tuesday, I was revved up in my day job and so when I woke up especially hungry, I started my day out with an energy bar so that I could “get through” to lunch a couple hours later.

As a result of that energy bar, I thought about going to the mall for lunch less than I had the week before. Every time I thought about picking up some steak teriyaki that day, I put it off. “I’m not that hungry yet.” “It doesn’t sound that good today.” I wrote it off to just not being that hungry, and perhaps that I had gone once too often the week before.

“No problem,” I told myself. “I can go on Wednesday instead.”

So, sometime after 3 p.m., I harnessed up our little min-Pin and took her for a walk around the complex. As I walked her, I heard a few sirens in the distance. Then more than a few sirens. And by the time Shadow had finished her business, I even started to hear helicopters.

I asked a neighbor if they knew what was going on. They didn’t have a clue. Using my smartphone, I looked up The Oregonian and all I saw was a report of a fire in SE Portland, but I had no idea if the address was close by or far off.

Seems like a lot of fuss for a fire, I thought. Must be a bad one.

I walked back home, fed the dog her “good girl” bones for taking care of business like an obedient dog, sat down at my computer to get back to work, and decided due to the noise from the helicopters nearby, to look up the Oregonian web site on my PC instead of my smart phone.

That’s how and when I learned of the Clackamas Town Center shooting. Work was out the window for the rest of the day as I flipped on television news to learn more details. It was surreal to hear the sound of news copters on television live shots outside my favorite mall, then mute the TV sound and be able to hear the same helicopters.

Had I chosen to grab lunch at CTC that day, the timing would have been perfect to be right in the line of fire when Jacob Tyler Roberts, wearing a hockey mask and heavy black clothing, burst out of Macy’s and started shooting up the food court across from the Macy’s south location.

So, in a way, a protein bar perhaps saved my life that day. Because when I do lunch, I tend to go grab lunch first, then walk the dog when I get back. I would have arrived at Clackamas Town Center only a few minutes before the shooting began, and would have been waiting on my lunch to be prepared right in front of me when Roberts opened fire.

Now, sure… I didn’t go to lunch that day. My life was never directly in danger. But did the synchronicity of those events, the “I could have been there, in the line of fire” sense of things, mess with my head a bit? Just in terms of freaking me out a bit?

Yeah. It did.

But I felt far worse for the victims. Two adults died, and one teenage girl could have… but mercifully survived.

Also, I have acquaintances and neighbors who work there. I have heard them tell their account of being there when the mall went crazy in a bad way. I can relate very directly to the sensitivities inherent in surviving such an event.

So, I know guns are a touchy subject right now. Especially since, three days later, a much bloodier mass shooting took place on the east coast, taking the lives of 20 children and six adults. That kind of double-whammy is thankfully rare, but nevertheless disturbing.

Let me also say, I have no membership in any gun-rights group, though I do believe that the second amendment is there for a reason, and a very good one, and should not be abolished.

But do I have a taste for guns? Not personally.

When I was young, I chose fishing over hunting and concentrated most of my time learning that sport. Yet I did take part in a gun safety course in middle school, taught after-hours by the local chapter of the NRA. I did take part in rifle-based target shooting when I went to summer camp around that same period in my life.

And in high school, I went pheasant-hunting with my father one time. I was given an under-over rifle that had a .22 and a .410 built into it. I cleaned it many times.

But on that one hunting trip, I had a single opportunity to take down a pheasant my father had scared up, and even though I had it in my sights, I couldn’t bring myself to take the shot.

Not because I’m some weepy left-winger who thinks every deer harvested during hunting season is Bambi’s mom, either. It just didn’t appeal to me. I knew the moment I decided to let the pheasant fly away that I was a pure fisherman with no hunter in me.

So, yeah, I’m not even really a gun owner.

But I feel reassured by the fact that if I wanted to own a gun, I could.

(Technically, I do have a single pistol that my father, who served in World War 2, let me have as a keepsake. It’s kept in a safe place and probably hasn’t been fired since the 1940s when my father brought it home from Europe with him. And so far as I’m concerned, it’ll stay that way. I keep it purely as a reminder of my father’s military service.)

I’m not someone inclined toward gun ownership, personally.

Yet, once again, I feel reassured that if I wanted to own one, I have the freedom to do so, if I ever change my mind. Not that I expect to. But it is reassuring.

In wake of the Clackamas Town Center shooting, and the tragedy in Connecticut as well, the nation is talking once again about banning some, or perhaps even all, guns.

That, I oppose.

Why?

Look, we know the typical talking points on both sides, so I don’t have to restate them, do I?

“Guns are evil.”

“No, people are evil … guns are just a tool and if you take them away, evil people would use something else.”

On and on.

What I will say is this: both sides are arguing off-point most of the time.

To the gun-banning liberals, I’ll just say this: Show me a gun that, unaided by any human wielder, starts shooting up someplace, and then you’ll have a point that guns are evil. Get over that bit and start honestly arguing your real point: that, yes, it’s a tool, but you consider it a tool too dangerous to be owned. It might be a harder sell, but it’d be worlds more honest.

Also, show me how keeping guns out of the hands of those who obey the law prevents those who don’t obey the law from using guns, and again, maybe you’ll have an argument that makes sense.

But in the case of Jake Roberts, all his artillery was stolen. So shutting down the sale of guns, or banning semi-automatics, or restricting clip-sizes, or whatever else you think is a solution, would not have prevented Roberts’ rampage.

Make smarter arguments if you want to make your case, and stop arguing as if guns act on their own, without a person pointing them and pulling the trigger. Because right now, you really all sound silly. And stupid.

And, to the gun-loving, NRA-member conservatives, I’ll just say this: stop acting like every incident of violence is no big deal. This time, most of you kept silent for a respectful amount of time, and that was good. But to then suggest we all revert to a combination of the Old West and a police state, where there are a lot more guns being wielded, just comes off badly and makes you look like rabid dogs.

Yes, historically, you’re right: the second amendment isn’t just about hunting. It’s about giving the people an ability to overthrow the government, should it become unjust.

But let’s get real: the government now has nukes, tanks, way more firepower, and now even unmanned drones. Even if every citizen carried an Uzi on them, it would not ensure us of the ability to overthrow a corrupt administration. So let’s stop it with all the dialogue suggesting that’s even possible. It’s not.

What you should be doing is arguing for the right kind of reforms, reforms that might actually deter gun-related violence, but from a wiser perspective.

Since the other side’s solutions are often off-target, don’t just argue about law-abiding citizens having the right to their guns: instead, argue in favor of smarter penalties, stricter enforcement, and other such solutions that might actually reduce the frequency of someone from walking into a mall or a school and shooting up the place. And stop blaming scapegoats like movies and videogames in the process, please. Stay on focus and on topic.

If the left’s ideas are wacky and off-target, than propose better solutions than them. Someone has to.

And to both sides, I’ll just add one more thing: Everyone on both sides wants to talk about solutions that will “prevent another tragedy like this from ever happening again.”

Which sounds right and good and noble.

Except, of course, that it’s impossible.

Long before guns, someone atop Mount Sinai once offered this bit of advice: “You shall not murder.”

Great law. Right idea.

And yet people still murder.

Truth is, those who are murderous, are murderous.

Those who set their mind to kill others, will find a way to do it.

Tragedies that result in the loss of innocent lives will never cease in this world, because there will always be those who indulge in selfish, life-robbing actions.

In other words: things like this will happen no matter what laws we pass, no matter what Constitutions we either uphold to trash, no matter how armed or disarmed everyone in general is.

Sometimes, people just choose selfish, evil actions over selfless acts of kindness and good.

That won’t change in this world, in this life, ever. That idealism is reserved for the world to come.

So maybe we should all get off our respective moral high horses about “my ideas will prevent this from ever happening again.”

Because if God saying, “Thou shall not murder” doesn’t result in the end of all murder… no other laws will, either.

The rest is about trying to increase safety and reduce risk.

But nothing, no law, will ever ensure complete safety or eliminate all risk. It just won’t.

That is what we all have to learn to accept and deal with. Only then can our dialogue become truly productive.

Gingrich eyes dropping out, combining forces with Santorum

Newt Gingrich recently admitted he may drop out of the race and throw his support behind Rick Santorum in an effort to deny Mitt Romney a clear path to the GOP presidential nomination. While some in the GOP fear a floor-fight for the nomination, one must remember that the struggle between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, only four years ago, came down to the wire as well, and that did not prevent Obama from winning in November.

It doesn’t require a degree online in political science to figure this out. Those uttering doomsday prophecies if the battle for the nomination continues much longer are largely from the Romney camp, who wish to be handed the nomination on a silver platter.

Personally, my favorite guy was Hermain Cain and none of the three folks left in the race strike me as wildly appealing in the way Cain did.

But all three of them would be a significant improvement over the Obama Administration, including Romney, and ultimately that’s what counts.

I don’t hate Mitt Romney. I will vote for him over Obama in a hot second. But is Romney my ideal candidate? Far from it. But I’m willing to give him four years to prove me wrong.

Santorum wishes for a two-man nomination race

Former Pennsylvania GOP Senator Rick Santorum claims that if Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul would just get out of his way, he could defeat Mitt Romney for the Republican presidential nomination. It seems a claim with some possibility, but is still a stretch.

And it’s not bloody likely; the only way Gingrich will get out of the race is if he loses in Georgia, his home state. Even then, he might be hesitant. And Ron Paul doesn’t care about winning, so he’ll stick it out till the convention for sure.

Personally, I have no great desire to see anyone drop out; I think the vetting process is a healthy one that will forge the survivor into a candidate ready to face the Obama money machine.

To be honest, none of the remaining candidates are personal favorites. They all have flaws; even Santorum. My favorite guy dropped out last fall, when Herman Cain stepped aside.

But does that mean I won’t vote? Heck no. This is about more than just finding a new conservative leader. It’s about preventing a second Obama term, so that his economy-wrecking health-care plan can be halted.

So, be it Romney, Santorum or Gingrich, I just want to see someone get it who can prevent a second Obama term and save the country’s economy as a result. Paul? Ehh… if he wins, that might cause me to stay home and not vote. But Paul landing the nomination is about as likely as me abandoning vlc media player download as my media player of choice on Windows 7 platforms.

(In other words, not bloody likely.)