Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Tuesdays with Paulie

Vice President Condolezza Rice?
She's making her case to the right people

News broke Sunday morning on the ABC program “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” that Secretary of State Condeleeza Rice is courting the Vice Presidency nomination under the GOP banner. Republican strategist Dan Senor told the ABC Sunday morning show that “Condi Rice has been actively, actually in recent weeks, campaigning for this.”

Senor claims that Rice has been making the rounds amongst Republican power players, including speaking at the all important weekly breakfast meeting hosted by Americans for Tax Reform, which is headed by Grover Norquist. Her recent address to the group was her first ever meeting with the powerful political organization.

Your brilliant blogger has no doubt that Senor's claims are correct. Whenever you want anything in Washington involving the GOP, one of the most important stops you have to make is the ATR breakfast. Rice who is viewed as a very moderate conservative has received the support of Norquist who told Foxnews Monday that "she would be a good Vice President because she would be a good President." That is a strong endorsement from a major GOP power broker.

Rice would be a fascinating choice for John McCain. She definitely brings a great deal of experience to the table. She understands the inner workings of Washington and she has the respect of many Independents and Democrats. She also is an African American and of course a women, but the race and gender issue may be moot regarding Rice because many blacks view her in an Uncle Tom light because she is associated with the Republican Party and some women despise her over her involvement and support for the war in Iraq.

As far as I am concerned, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Rice, but I am disappointed that she has let her emotions and to an extent ego get in the way of her good judgement when it comes to the Middle East.

As I have stated in previous publishing's, the Bush administration has fallen into the same trap the Clinton administration did. With their time in office coming to an end, they see the prospect of middle east peace and the ultimate prize of a real two-state solution of a secure Israel and a prosperous Palestine becoming a reality under their guidance slipping away. Rice has stepped up her criticism toward Israel and has been placing more pressure on the Jewish State to make concessions for peace. To her credit she always condemns Palestinian terrorism and never justifies it. However she also has publicly stated that Israel does have a partner for peace when referring to Mahmoud Abbas. I know she believes Abbas wants peace (I have doubts), but she is too smart to not realize that his power is limited and any deal he brokers won't even be honored by the majority of Palestinians, especially the terror groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad.

As a VP nomination she does bring some views that go against the standard GOP grain. She describes herself as "mildly pro-choice." However her views may be acceptable, especially compared to Obama and Clinton. "I'm a strong proponent of parental choice, of parental notification. I'm a strong proponent of a ban on late-term abortion. These are all things that I think unite people and I think that that's where we should be," Rice told the Washington Times. From a pragmatic point of view, conservatives should accept her answer. The reality is that abortion rights aren't going to change in America. 20 of the past 28 years has seen a pro-life Republican in the White House and abortion is still legal. Common sense laws and culture change should be the focus and Rice is on the program.

She does support limited affirmative action in the sense that race can be one factor in determining school and job applicants, but she is against quotas. " I've been a supporter of affirmative action that is not quota based and that does not seek to make race the only factor, but that considers race as one of many factors," Rice told urban radio networks.

The question for McCain and his campaign is who brings the most to the table in achieving a November victory. Rice will be viewed as a Washington insider and can be used against McCain by the Democrats who will use her nomination to make the case that McCain is a continuation of President Bush. On the other hand she brings the experience McCain is utilizing to show he is ready to serve now.

Free Tibet...Free Tibet
But don't make the Olympics a political cause

For a long time your brilliant blogger has been an advocate for the people of Tibet and my admiration for the Dalia Lama knows no bounds. The government of China has been a leading abuser of human rights for well over a half century. The terror they instill and the beating of peaceful protesters and Buddhists monks is an abomination. With this said, I do not support turning what should be the last remaining pure idea left on earth, athletic competition, to be turned into a political stance. Do not boycott the Beijing Olympic games or the opening ceremony.

For days now new reports world wide have showed protesters trying to put out the Olympic torch as honored athletes and citizens carry the flame from city to city and country to country. First and foremost the attacks on these innocent participants, who have nothing to do with the atrocities committed by the government of China, are despicable in there own right. These ignorant individuals are doing a terrible disservice to their cause.

The potential harm that may come to civilians and police officers who are protecting the torch runners is unnecessary and gives credence to China when they refer to the protesters as violent needing to be dealt with by violent means. Remember, the whole world is not just watching China, but you as well.

The governments of Germany, France and others have already stated their intention or the possibility that they may boycott the opening ceremonies. The idea behind these decisions are well-meaning, but they do not solve anything. The only victims are the athletes who won't be permitted to take part in the opening ceremony, which is a big part of the Olympic experience they worked hard for.

President Bush has already stated he plans on attending the Beijing ceremony and rightfully so. Hillary Clinton has called for him to boycott the event. A typical Democratic move in the same tradition of Jimmy Carter, who forbid the U.S, to participate in the 1980 Moscow games after Russia invaded Afghanistan. What did that solve? Nothing, except hundreds of U.S athletes who trained their whole lives for the games had their dreams crushed due to politics.

If a message must be sent to China and I believe the world can still do so, then travelers should boycott the games. Hurt China financially. Family and friends of athletes should still attend, but vacationers should stay home. Tourist dollars truly defines a game success for a host country. Don't spend your money, but let the kids march in the opening ceremonies and compete. Leave the competition and thrill of victory wholesome and innocent. The adults should argue in the other room while the kids play.



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