Tag Archives: Candidate

Is Carly Fiorina conservative? How can you tell if a candidate is conservative?

Carly Fiorina outperforms at first GOP primary debate
Carly Fiorina outperforms at first GOP primary debate

A lot of my friends are getting very excited about Carly Fiorina, and some of them are wondering why she is not on my list. Well, it’s because this is the primary season, and I am looking for someone who 1) is as conservative as me, and 2) has got achievements at advancing a conservative agenda. The key point being that just because a person is outraged at Planned Parenthood cutting into live-born babies, that isn’t the same as being pro-life through all 9 months of pregnancy, except for the case where the life of the mother is threatened.

To take one example, her view of religious liberty is not as conservative as mine, but it isn’t horrible either. Here she is on the Hugh Hewitt show explaining her view:

HH: And let me close our conversation by throwing a hard one at you. There’s a Kentucky county clerk today. She’s refusing to issue licenses to same-sex marriage couples. She’s in comtempt of court in essence. What would your advice be to her?

CF: First, I think that we must protect religious liberties with great passion and be willing to expend a lot of political capital to do so now because it’s clear religious liberty is under assault in many, many ways. Having said that, when you are a government employee, I think you take on a different role. When you are a government employee as opposed to say, an employee of another kind of organization, then in essence, you are agreeing to act as an arm of the government. And, while I disagree with this court’s decision, their actions are clear. And so I think in this particular case, this woman now needs to make a decision that’s [about] conscience:  Is she prepared to continue to work for the government, be paid for by the government in which case she needs to execute the government’s will, or does she feel so strongly about this that she wants to severe her employment with the government and go seek employment elsewhere where her religious liberties would be paramount over her duties as as government employee.

HH: You don’t counsel that she continue civil disobedience?

CF: Given the role that she’s playing. Given the fact that the government is paying her salary, I think that is not appropriate. Now that’s my personal opinion. Others may disagree with that, but I think it’s a very different situation for her than someone in a hospital who’s asked to perform an abortion or someone at a florist who’s asked to serve a gay wedding. I think when you’re a government employee, you are put into a different position honestly.

That’s a view that I can vote for if she is the Republican candidate, but not a view that I prefer when we are still in the GOP primary election. There are better candidates who have stuck their necks out further to champion causes I care about, like religious liberty and natural marriage.

I took a look at Carly’s record using this “On the Issues” web site and was surprised to see that Carly advocates positions more to the right than expected, but still to the left of my favored candidates. She is definitely a Republican, and her stated views are “good enough” for me to enthusiastically support her against any Democrat.

She’s definitely more conservative on same-sex marriage, taxes, abortion, gun control, health care, energy policy than I thought, but not quite as conservative as Jindal, Walker, and Cruz on some of those issues. The only real red flag I saw was supporting the DREAM Act. But she is definitely a Republican, and much more so than people like Romney, Kasich, McCain,, Lindsay Graham.

I really wish that more Republican voters would look at sites like On The Issues, and other sites that grade conservatives like Club for Growth, National Taxpayer Union, the National Rifle Association, and the National Right to Life Committee (PDF), in order to see who the best candidates are from their actions – not from their words during debates, campaign ads, campaign stump speeches, etc. Even a libertarian site like the Cato Institute, which embraces immorality on social issues, has good ratings of governors on fiscal issues (PDF). A person is defined by how they engage in enterprises, not by what they say when asked. Where do you put your money and time? What have you fought for? What have you achieved? You can’t judge a candidate by words and how the words are stated in campaign ads, campaign speeches, or debates – although debating and speaking are important for winning in the general election.

So, where do I stand? I am looking for conservatives who have won long, drawn out fights to get conservative reforms passed. That’s why Carly Fiorina is not on my list of candidates – because I have not seen her leading and achieving in the areas I care about. Her stated views are conservative enough, but now is the time for me to push for the candidates I really want. I have nothing bad to say about her, though, and will support her if she is the GOP candidate. But for now, I’m pushing for Jindal, Walker, and Cruz. I am also OK with Rubio, mostly because, like Santorum, he is so good on foreign policy.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley suspends licenses of two abortion clinics

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley

Good news from Life Site News.

Excerpt:

All three of South Carolina’s abortion facilities have violated state law – and Gov. Nikki Haley has issued an order that could close two of them in just over two weeks. And their managers and employees may face criminal charges.

Gov. Nikki Haley announced late Friday afternoon that she had issued Administrative Order of Suspensions against Planned Parenthood of South Atlantic in Columbia and Greenville Women’s Clinic in Greenville and assessed more than $10,000 in fines so far.

The state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) found 27 violations in those two offices – 21 at Planned Parenthood alone.

Nikki Haley is, of course, a Republican governor. There is not much enforcement against abortion clinics in Democrat-dominated states.

Although many Democrats have not seen the Planned Parenthood sting videos, Republicans are different. Although the Republican legislators in the House and Senate are dragging their feet, you can see real action from the governors. I wrote about what governors Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal did already.

What is so frustrating to me about the 2016 election is that so many low-information Republican voters are listening to what Donald Trump says during his media appearances about abortion, while ignoring his longstanding support for abortion. And these are not mere words, there are donations to many Democrat pro-abortion candidates, including many donations to Hillary Clinton.

This Hillary Clinton:

Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood
Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood

Here’s an article from the Washington Post about Trump.

It says:

Abortion

Then: On “Meet The Press” in 1999, Trump said he was “very pro­choice.” “I hate the concept of abortion,” he said. “I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. … but I just believe in choice.”

Now: In an interview with Bloomberg Politics in January, Trump said, “I’m pro­life and I have been pro­life.” He said he believed there should be exceptions in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.

Hillary Clinton

Then: Either Trump or his son donated to Clinton in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, he invited her to his 2005 wedding in Florida, where she sat front row, and he’s donated at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. He also said in an appearance on the Howard Stern show in the mid­ 2000s that she was a fantastic senator.

Now: On NBC on Wednesday, he called Clinton “the worst secretary of state in the history of our nation” and said she would be “a terrible president.”

Another article from the Washington Post:

Billionaire Donald J. Trump, an early presidential favorite among tea party activists, has a highly unusual history of political contributions for a prospective Republican candidate: He has given most of his money to the other side.

The real estate mogul and “Celebrity Apprentice” host has made more than $1.3 million in donations over the years to candidates nationwide, with 54 percent of the money going to Democrats, according to a Washington Post analysis of state and federal disclosure records.

Recipients include Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.), former Pennsylvania governor Edward G. Rendell, and Rahm Emanuel, a former aide to President Obama who received $50,000 from Trump during his recent run to become Chicago’s mayor, records show. Many of the contributions have been concentrated in New York, Florida and other states where Trump has substantial real estate and casino interests.

Should we really be watching TV in order to find out about a candidate’s positions? Or should we instead be looking at their real-life achievements? Some of the achievements of governors like Scott Walker were multi-year fights. Isn’t it better to pick someone who has fought the left hard on social issues and won victories, rather than someone who just speaks about social issues in sound bites? Trump has no pro-life record, and we cannot afford another 8 years of a pro-abortion president. You cannot know what a person really believes about something by listening to words during an election campaign. Barack Obama promised we could keep our doctors and keep our health plans. Those were lies. I know this is surprising to many Americans, but not everything that a political candidate says on TV is true. Sometimes, you have to put down the remote control and pick up a history book in order to find out where a candidate stands.

American Spectator praises Australia’s bold new conservative leader

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia

Well, I think we can get some encouragement from this article from the American Spectator.

Let’s take a look at his policies and appointments:

On economic policy, his government has moved in the opposite direction of those who favor Dodd-Frank-like behemoth approaches to the financial industry. Instead it’s opted to simplify regulation. As the minister responsible for the reform bluntly pointed out, “no amount of legislation will ever be a guarantee against another Storm Financial.” Indeed it’s often excessive regulation that creates opportunities for financial shenanigans by industry insiders.

Regarding the welfare state, Abbott’s minister for Social Security, Kevin Andrews (another conservative politician-thinker), has announced a major overhaul of a welfare system that was starting to drift in a distinctly European-direction. Predictably the left are up in arms. But so too are those rent-seeking Australian businesses who now find themselves dealing with a government uninterested in subsidizing them. That’s nothing, however, to the fury that greeted Abbott’s disbanding of the climate-change bureaucracy established by the preceding Labor government.

[…]The first sign of Abbott’s seriousness about obstructing the left’s long march through the institutions was his government’s appointment of the policy-director of the center-right Institute of Public Affairs to the nation’s Human Rights Commission. This was widely seen as the beginning of an effort to re-balance an organization long criticized as monolithically left-wing. Since then Abbott has indicated that major changes are coming to the ABC: Australia’s government-funded institutional — and ideological — equivalent of the BBC.

[…]Along the same lines, Abbott’s education minister, Christopher Pyne, has initiated a review of the national curriculum implemented by the previous government. A moment’s glance at the curriculum’s treatment of history soon illustrates the extent to which it seeks to downplay Australia’s indisputably Western heritage. In the words of Sydney’s Cardinal George Pell, “Europe, Britain and the United States are mentioned 76 times, while Asia is referred to on more than 200 occasions.” This disparity is odd because although Australia is certainly in Asia, no objective observer could say that Australia is “of” Asia. Moreover, while Australian students learn about “Gaia” and other deep-green fantasies in grade 9, many Australian universities find they need to put the same students through remedial English classes once they begin college.

Then there are Abbott’s initial steps on the international stage. Take, for instance, his recent remarks at Davos. Much of the address was devoted to pushing a strong free trade agenda and insisting that governments should let business do what it does best: promote lasting economic growth. “After all,” Abbott said, “government doesn’t create wealth; people do, when they run profitable businesses.”

In the same speech, however, Abbott made the conservative point that economic prosperity and freedom can’t be sustained in a value-neutral world. Nor did Abbott shy away from relentlessly pressing one of the most important moral arguments for free trade articulated long ago by Adam Smith: that economic freedom, combined with the right institutions, radically reduces poverty faster than any other approach. “No country,” Abbott added, “has ever taxed or subsidized its way to prosperity.”

All in all, the address added up to a solid integration of sound economics with conservative principles. That’s what makes Abbott different from, say, Canada’s Stephen Harper or Spain’s Mariano Rajoy. Abbott happily engages in the indispensable task of moral suasion in favor of conservative positions. What’s more, he’s quite good at it. With his rare combination of plain-speaking and intellectual substance, Abbott makes conservative ideas sound, well, reasonable to the average voter.

Now, I personally thought that prime minister Stephen Harper of Canada was the best leader of any nation out there, but I had not been following Australian politics as much as I should be, and now I think I’ll give the crown to Abbott. He seems to have a good fusionist view that integrates economic policy and social policy, and that makes him better than Harper, in my view. I would like to see Abbott flex his muscles on foreign policy, as well. Something to look forward to.