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Pataki For President!

Noam Scheiber has two items suggesting that New York Governor George Pataki is exploring a presidential run. I hope he throws his hat in the ring. It's always fun to see moderate Republicans fall flat on their faces. Consider: This is the same political party whose base thinks it's unacceptable for Arlen Specter to be a committee chairman. Now Pataki is going to be president? It'd be hilarious. And if he somehow did get the nomination, then by putting up a pro-choice, pro-gay candidate with zero national security experience, the general election would wind up being essentially a referendum on domestic economic policy, which really isn't where the GOP wants to go. So count me in for the primary!

December 15, 2004 | Permalink

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And the Mountain states will love his extremely Pro-Environmental record!

Posted by: Give up | Dec 15, 2004 1:27:27 PM

In '88 and '92 George HW Bush was the Republican nominee for president, and he was a moderate. In '96 Dole was the Republican nominee for president, and he was a moderate. In '00 McCain finished in 2nd place (and for all intents and purposes Libby Dole was the 3rd place candidate) and they were moderates. And Bush certainly was not the most conservative candidate in '00 - Alan Keyes, Dan Quayle, and Steve Forbes were running on far more conservative platforms. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that Republicans have had no trouble supporting moderates in recent years. Contrast this with the Democratic party, where the only moderate candidate in '04, Lieberman, was utterly rebuked by the Democratic Party and out of the 6 serious candidates he was the 2nd one to drop out after Gephart. Kerry could have been a moderate, but he was getting trounced in the Democratic primaries until he gave up all his moderate issues and starting running against the special interests and Benedict Arnold CEOs.

Now don't get me wrong, Pataki would be a terrible candidate. He's been a lousy governor and he has no charisma. But among '08 GOP candidates right now many of the top choices are moderates - Giuliani, McCain, Powell, Jeb, Arnold (assuming a constitional amendment is passed). Among serious candidates really only Frist and Owens are seriously conservative.

Either way I've had it up to my kiester with your smarmy posts suggesting that you know everything about what political parties should do. I recall many, many posts last year where you suggested that Kerry would win and the GOP would finally moderate as a result. Maybe it's time you stopped offering unsolicited advice to America's governing party and focused your efforts on trying to moderate a Democratic party that is utterly devoid of interesting new policy ideas and is strangely devoted to maintaining a deteriorating coaltion of interest groups that steadily loses market share every political cycle. I also think it's time you took that picture down. Seriously buddy, it's not doing you any favors.

Posted by: dell | Dec 15, 2004 1:41:02 PM

C'mon, Matt, you public intellectual, you. GOP kabuki is so... pedestrian.

Over at Left2Right, Don Herzog examines the limits of public reason (if that's the right term...heh) and brings up the Lippman/Dewey debate.

How about a thumbnail sketch of the history of the question for us lazy, ignorant netizens?

Posted by: Sven | Dec 15, 2004 1:42:57 PM

The Republican party is moderate!

Democrats are a bunch of crazed liberals!!

You are an idiot, and your picture makes you look ugly!!!

Posted by: lled | Dec 15, 2004 1:46:29 PM

You mean hilarious like conservative candidate Lieberman falling on his face? That kind of hilarious?

Posted by: j.scott barnard | Dec 15, 2004 1:50:26 PM

It is so touching to see the concern all of the Republicans posting here have for the Democratic Party. Thanks loads fellows. We needed those words of encouragement. Now, tell us how we should change our party so as to appeal more to our core constituency. I'm sure you have many good thoughts on that subject.

Posted by: Vaughn Hopkins | Dec 15, 2004 1:55:29 PM

Maybe it's time you stopped offering unsolicited advice...

physician, heal thyself.

Posted by: cleek | Dec 15, 2004 1:58:07 PM

j. scott barnyard, Dellis (who, btw, didn't go to Harvard!)

You guys know that Joementoum was really really close to becoming VP?

You guys also know that the most powerful Democratic politician is antiabortion, right?

Posted by: heh | Dec 15, 2004 2:06:35 PM

Dellis (btw, doesn't it piss you off to see an ugly guy like Matt go to Harvard?)-

"And Bush certainly was not the most conservative candidate in '00 - Alan Keyes, Dan Quayle, and Steve Forbes were running on far more conservative platforms."

And Kerry certainly was not the most liberal candidate in '04 - Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Carol Mosley Braun were running on far more liberal platforms.

"But among '08 GOP candidates right now many of the top choices are moderates - Giuliani, McCain, Powell, Jeb, Arnold (assuming a constitional amendment is passed). Among serious candidates really only Frist and Owens are seriously conservative."

Partially Correct. Frist and Ownens are the only two solid movementarians. However, Powell, Arnold, and serial adulterer and Bernie Karrik support Guiliani are far too liberal to get it done during the primaries. Shit, McCain lost South Carolina, in part, because of the dreaded liberal label.

Posted by: heh | Dec 15, 2004 2:15:49 PM

"In '88 and '92 George HW Bush was the Republican nominee for president, and he was a moderate."

Yes, but in '88, he was still pretending that he had learned something from Reagan, and wasn't a moderate anymore. I swear I recall him saying something to the effect that, "If you want Reagan, I'll BE Reagan."

Then he got elected, and turned into Mondale. ;)

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Dec 15, 2004 2:19:11 PM

HW Bush was a "moderate," but after that, its straight downhill. Buchanan and Robertson both ran to Bush's right and couldn't do anything, so they started to take over the party from the outside and were able to move it to the right. Bob Dole in 1976 was a moderate, but in 1996 he was up to his next in the far right. Also, comparing Bush to people like Keyes and Forbes who are to the right on one or two issues doesn't really do much, since Bush is overall farther to the right on every issue than any other modern President.

The real crux of the matter is pro-choice (and pro-equality, but less so) - since the movers and shakers in the evangelical community control all of the grassroots movement of the GOP and they absolutely will not support any candidate who considers granting equal rights to people with different sexual preferences or who wants to let doctors and women make decisions instead of the government.

Posted by: dstein | Dec 15, 2004 2:21:25 PM

But Jeebus wants you to vote for the Republican candidate. What difference could it possibly make what his positions are, or his experience is?

Posted by: grytpype | Dec 15, 2004 2:23:40 PM

Dell:

Jeb a moderate? You must be kidding

Posted by: Eduardo | Dec 15, 2004 2:27:37 PM

South ain't gonna vote for no Yankee, nohow. Pataki vs Clinton in 08 would be race to see who could lower the turnout most.

My bet is Jeb. Or Condi.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Dec 15, 2004 2:37:14 PM

If it was going to be Condi, I think they would have had Dick go spend more time with his family and move her into the VP slot already.

Posted by: absynthe | Dec 15, 2004 2:39:57 PM

I understand where everyone on this comment thread is coming from - these arguments have grown a bit stale. I'd prefer it if both the Republican and Democratic parties moderated. Personally, Lieberman embodies my political views perfectly. I agree with him on everything and disagree with him rarely, and I think he's a great leader. After witnessing his utter repudation by the Democratic Party last year, it irks me when Democrats suggest that only the Republicans need to moderate, and not the Democrats. I too agree that Bush should moderate and stop the anti-gay stuff, but at the end of the day the Republicans won (again) and the Democrats didn't, so clearly one party needs to change more than the other.

In '92 the Republicans were catastrophically defeated in both houses of Congress and the presidency. Instead of bitching and moaning about how the Democrats needed to moderate their liberal policies, Republicans ransacked their party leadership and came up with a number of bold, innovative, popular policy proposals that propelled the Republicans into being a majority party. Where is the Democrats' Contract With America? Instead all we hear from the Democrats is how they need a better political machine, or how they need a Southern Baptist to run. Bullshit. It's not style, it's substance that the Democrats lost on. The Democrats need to pick some serious, bold, centrist proposals to make America better. And it's not that hard to pick good issues. I don't think I'm going out on a limb in suggesting that entitlement reform might be a good idea right now before the Boomers start to retire. Where are the Democrats on this subject? They're not being innovative or thoughtful at all - instead Democrats are just protecting the untenable status quo.

But look, I'm not the one who should be delivering this message, even though I'm a Joe Lieberman Democrat. Until the Yglesiases of the world either believe this or are repudiated by a party leadership who does believe, the Democrats are going to be in America's political wilderness.

Posted by: dell | Dec 15, 2004 2:43:40 PM

You idiots are going to destory this country in the next four years, I'm not too worried about '08 and your bold ideas for the future you are flushing down the toilet anyway.

Posted by: absynthe | Dec 15, 2004 2:47:10 PM

By making him the candidate for vice president the Democrats have forever cast joementum out of the party!

Yeah, the values arguements which won this election for Bush are all about substance....right

Posted by: heh | Dec 15, 2004 2:48:54 PM

"In '92 the Republicans were catastrophically defeated in both houses of Congress and the presidency. Instead of bitching and moaning about how the Democrats needed to moderate their liberal policies, Republicans ransacked their party leadership and came up with a number of bold, innovative, popular policy proposals that propelled the Republicans into being a majority party."

I think Democrats attempting to nationalize the entire health care industry, while passing TWO unprecidented federal gun control laws, might just have had a little something to do with that victory. In fact, probably quite a bit more than that silly "contract".

Posted by: Brett Bellmore | Dec 15, 2004 3:17:57 PM

"It's not style, it's substance that the Democrats lost on. "

I call bullshit on all your houses. Democrats lost on style AND substance.

Preppy, arrogant, sneering urban liberal Ivy Leaguers who stand up on stage with nutty NARAL radicals, support affirmative action, partial-birth abortion, and can't make up their fucking mind about something as major as, oh, you know, a war lose.

The party is turning socially very liberal and economically centrist in the DLC mold. Both are moves in the wrong direction. They need to be culturally moderate and economically populist - like pretty much every other winner they've ever had.

Read - "Top Billings" and
Read - "The Da Vinci Code"

that shit is straight on.

And obviously, while the answer isn't John Kerry, the answer sure AINT "Joementum."
He's a fucking loser.

Posted by: hmm | Dec 15, 2004 3:20:26 PM

I actually think you are right but the thing is I don't really give a damn about social liberalism. I'm a white, heterosexual, man so maybe I'm biased, however since that's who breaks for the GOP maybe we are on to something.

Posted by: absynthe | Dec 15, 2004 3:22:50 PM

If it was going to be Condi, I think they would have had Dick go spend more time with his family and move her into the VP slot already.

Who's "they?" You try to move Cheney. GO ahead, try. Feel lucky, punk?

Posted by: Toadmonster | Dec 15, 2004 3:25:59 PM

heh.

Good point.

Maybe it's Cheney '08 and there is nothing anybody can do about it.

Posted by: absynthe | Dec 15, 2004 3:30:35 PM

They need to be culturally moderate and economically populist

I think maybe the problem is that it's hard to define 'economically populist' is the post-industrial world.

It's clear what it is when you are a factory worker and the factory owner lives in that big mansion up the hill; but when you're salesman at Sears? What's 'economic populism'?

Posted by: abb1 | Dec 15, 2004 3:36:14 PM

I am in California, so know little of Pataki, but he sounds a lot like our Governor Arnold, but without charisma or goofy, macho star-power.

Posted by: Debi | Dec 15, 2004 3:38:00 PM

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