I’m a Fred supporter. Fairly obvious from the picture and link on the sidebar, but let me put it in a little more perspective.
I’m not really happy with Fred’s support for McCain-Feingold, though he has since said that at least parts of it were a mistake. I’m not really happy with his social conservatism, since I’m more of a libertarian.
But of all the candidates running, his views most closely match mine, and on the things we disagree about, I don’t think it would be difficult to block any legislative moves in those directions he might want to take.
Above all, when the job of selecting Supreme Court nominees rolls around, he’s about the only candidate I trust – trust – not to give us another Souter. I don’t trust any of the other ones to do anything but make bigger, more intrusive government.
No matter who gets the (R) nomination, I will hold my nose and pull the lever for him, because I know if one of the Democrat frontrunners wins the White House, the Supreme Court will be more screwed that it was after FDR got through with it, and the lower Federal courts will be as bad if not worse.
The Courts may not save us, but they can certainly sink us.
Fred has a pretty large following in the blogosphere. Here’s some of what others are saying about him:
Fred’s my “Goldilocks candidate”: On national defense and foreign policy generally, on taxes (and, in particular, income tax reform), on spending, on judicial appointments, on immigration, on increasing the size and capacities of the military, and on a host of other issues, he’s “Just Right.” And not only do his present views and positions match my own, but they’ve been consistent views throughout his career, so I don’t have to worry that he’ll be easily talked out of them through some rationalization in the name of “expediency.”
Ironically, Thompson’s political spine has been most evident in some of the very same episodes that his detractors will try to spin as grounds for conservative alarm. As a senator, Thompson cast lonely, politically unpopular votes grounded on a genuine understanding of and reverence for federalism, for example, that his political opponents have characterized as being “anti-tort reform.” I could write for pages about all that, but let me boil it down to a sentence: Fred Thompson has far more in common with John Roberts (for whose SCOTUS confirmation he served as sherpa) than with John Edwards, and if you can’t tell the difference, you ought not be voting in the GOP primaries anyway. – Beldar
If he is not already your top choice, Fred is probably in your top three. So even if not ideal, he is acceptable to almost every Republican. Beginning the general election season with an already consolidated Republican Party is a huge advantage when going against a Democratic nominee whose base will be nearly 100% united behind their candidate after eight years in the political wilderness. Each of the other candidates is strong in one or two of the three legs of the traditional Republican stool, but only Thompson has support from all three areas. No matter who the Republican nominee is, he will have enough trouble appealing to independents in the face of a hostile media onslaught. He doesn’t need the added distraction of also worrying about his base. Thompson also has the ability to connect directly with voters like he did with his YouTube response to Michael Moore and his “I’m not gonna play by your silly rules” retort to the Iowa newspaper editor. He has good instincts, and that will serve him well during the general election. – Bob Krumm
—My emphasis in this and other writings when it comes to political discussions has been on policy. I want a candidate who espouses small government, federalism, free markets, free trade, a brave and unabashed message of capitalism and consequential, weighty and creative solutions to the many foreign policy and national security dilemmas facing the United States.That’s why I am supporting Fred Thompson for President.
Start with the issue of policy substance. Thompson has loads of it, as this editorial makes clear. Thompson has made detailed and specific proposals concerning the issue of entitlement reform, oftentimes in the face of overwhelming and widespread political fears that to mention the need for entitlement reforms is to kiss one’s chances at electability goodbye. There is something refreshing about a candidate for President willing to risk his electoral chances to speak some hard policy choices and Thompson is to be commended for his bravery. As the editorial makes clear, Thompson has also presented innovative and intellectually rigorous ideas concerning immigration and the size of the nation’s military. The Adam Smith Institute comes out with justified praise for Thompson’s tax plan and notes that Thompson has a very interesting and original idea on how the United States could be transitioned to a flat tax system. Anything would be better than the current “progressive” scheme and Thompson is one of the few Republican candidates who has come out with a workable alternative tax system for the United States to adopt. – Pejman Yousefzadeh
A candidate for President should present to the voters a reasonably attractive personality, experience and evidence of sound judgment, a clear-eyed understanding of the challenges and opportunities our Nation faces, and an array of plausible, sound policy proposals. (Fundraising prowess and skeleton-free closets are nice, too.) He or she should also — and this is crucial — understand and appreciate the close, rich connection between the enjoyment of human liberty and the structural features of the limited government for which our Constitution is a blueprint.
An eminent scholar of constitutional law, echoing James Madison and many other luminaries, has observed that “[t]he genius of the American Constitution lies in its use of structural devices to preserve individual liberty.” I agree. And, in my view, the candidate who seems most inclined, and best prepared, to honor this “genius” is Sen. Fred Thompson…. Sen. Thompson understands — as did the Framers — that (in his words) “[g]overnment must be strong enough to protect us, competent enough to provide basic government services, but limited by the delineated powers in the Constitution.” To achieve and maintain such a government — in a way that protects and respects human freedom — is, of course, no small challenge. Our constitutional response to this challenge reflects the considered belief that, as the Supreme Court has put it, “liberty of the person inheres in [constitutional] structure.” Put differently, and as Chief Justice Rehnquist observed, this “constitutionally mandated division of authority was adopted by the Framers to ensure protection of our fundamental liberties.”
These are not airy abstractions, far removed from real-world, “kitchen table” concerns. Our President must understand — and I believe Sen. Thompson does — the Constitution’s end (human freedom) and means (federalism, separation of powers, and limited government). This matters more, all things considered, than the extent to which his canned debate answers please dial-turning focus-group members. “Our Constitution,” he recognizes, “innovatively guarantees our liberties by spreading power among the three branches of the federal government, and between the federal government and the states.” – Notre Dame Associate Professor of Law Richard Garnett
Sen. Fred Thompson may be a professional actor, but it’s hard to find a more authentic conservative candidate in this campaign. He has been a consistent champion of fiscal discipline, national security, and government reform, among other issues important to the Right. As National Review recently editorialized, “Thompson has set a standard for specificity, conservatism, and soundness” yet to be matched by any other candidate. More than anyone else, he advocates a conservatism of the head that should appeal to conservative hearts. If the Republican nomination should go to the most principled and consistent conservative in the race, there should be little question that Fred Thompson is the man to nominate.
Some worry Thompson doesn’t want the presidency badly enough. In an era when politicians plan their political moves years, if not decades, in advance, Thompson is almost an accidental candidate: someone willing to run if the people want him on his terms. This may be his greatest liability — but it should also be an asset in wooing conservatives to his cause.
Thompson, after all, is not running a campaign of simple slogans or pandering platitudes. He is willing to take positions that risk offending potential constituencies. Witness his attack on the gluttonous farm bill and opposition to some business-favored federal tort reforms. He may have been unprepared to answer a media question about the “Jena 6,” but he can discuss the crisis in Pakistan, the threat of nuclear proliferation, regulatory bloat, or the future of entitlements with a level of nuance and detail that comes only from genuine intellectual engagement. If Republicans are looking for an “anti-Hillary” — a reluctant candidate with a commitment to limited government who will bring honor and integrity to the White House — it would be hard to do better than Fred. – Jonathan Adler
He’s pro life, liberty, gun, constitution, originalist judges, federalism, small government, low taxes, economic freedom, secure borders, strong defense, national security, national sovereignty, etc.
He’s the most reliable conservative in the field and comes without the social liberalism, abortionism, nanny statism, open borders, gun grabbing, big government, big spending, big tax leanings and unstable knife in the back RINO baggage of Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee and McCain.
He doesn’t cater to the global warming, socialized health care, or open borders/amnesty crowds. Just say no to all this liberal garbage.
With Fred, we know we’re getting a solid, no-nonsense, commonsense pro life and liberty conservative who will defend the nation, secure the borders, defend the constitution, appoint originalist judges, defend the Bush tax cuts, work to simplify and flatten the tax code, keep social security solvent while providing alternative private accounts, reduce government and spending, and work to return states issues to the states. Imagine that.
In fact, he comes closest to being the conservative leader I’ve been praying for all these years. I don’t know about you, but I think it would be great to be able to enthusiastically support and work for a true conservative candidate whose principles and convictions match so many of my own. – Free Republic’s Jim Robinson
It’s true I once called him “Punxsutawney Fred,” but his anti-candidacy has grown on me, and his backing of Federalist principles is a welcome break from eight years of big-government “compassionate conservatism.” Thompson might not be ideal, but he’s certainly better than we usually get, or even expect. – Stephen Green
Those are pretty typical.
Here are some of the man’s own words that I especially liked. When asked what he would do for Iowa’s farmers by a local reporter (obviously a leading question regarding the annual Farm Bill) he responded:
I would continue to enjoy the fruits of their labor. I’ve been looking all over Iowa for a bad steak and I can’t find it. Been trying my best. It’s not a matter of what I would do for the farmers. Farmers are not looking for a president to hand them something. Farmers want fair treatment and a chance to prosper in a free economy and that’s what I would help ensure. There’s a lot of programs we’ve got out there, some of which are good programs, some of which are not. And I think that we need to work our way through that and make sure we’re doing what’s good for the country, not just the farmers, not just the people of Iowa, not just the people of Tennessee. But good for the country. A sound policy that makes sense. I think there’s a lot more that we could do for the working farmer in terms of ecological programs and environmental programs – land conservation, soil conservation – that would be fair and it would be beneficial to the nation and to Iowa and to our country. We’re going to have to phase out the corporate welfare system we’ve got, however. There are extremely rich people living in skyscrapers in Manhattan that are receiving subsidy payments. I think that’s wrong. I’d put a stop to that if it was within my power. That still continues in this latest Farm Bill and it’s not right. There ought to be a cutoff at some level and it’s not right ot have millionaires receiving farm subsidies.
Didn’t hear that on the Nightly News, did you?
When asked in Iowa whether he would stay in the race, he responded:
That is a very good question… Not because it’s difficult to answer, but because I’m gonna answer a little bit of a different way than what you might expect. In the first is wanting the opporunity. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t. I grew up in very modest circumstances. And I left government and I and my family have made sacrifices for me to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I’m doing this. I figure if you’re gonna be clean, you have to cut the [unintelligible] off. And I was doing speaking engagements, and I had a contract to do a TV show, I had a contract with ABC radio like I was talking about earlier and so forth… I guess one would have to be a total fool to do all of those things and to be leaving his family, which is not a joyful thing at all… if you didn’t want to do it.
But I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have. (applause) When his talk first started it didn’t originate with me. There are a lot of people around the country and both directly and through polls… liked the idea of me stepping up. And of course, you always look better at a distance, I guess. (laughter) But most of those people are still there and think it’s a good idea.
I approach it from the standpoint of a deal… Of kind of a marriage. You know, if one side of the marriage has to be really talked into the marriage, you know, it’s probably not going to be a very good deal for either one of them. But if you mutually think that this is a good thing — in this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, the you have the opportunity to do some wonderful things together. I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that if I have the background, the capability and the concern to do this and I’m doing this for the right reasons… but I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president…. If what people really want in their president is a super type A personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about, for years how they can be president of the United States… someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they’ve enjoyed every minute of campaigning… (laughter) I ain’t that guy. (more laughter) [To questioner] So I hope I’ve discussed that, or I haven’t talked you out of anything. I honestly want… I can’t imagine a worse set of circumstances than achieving the presidency under a false pretenses, especially if you feel the way I do. I’ve gone out of my way to be myself, because I don’t want anybody to think they’re getting something they’re not getting. I’m not consumed by this process, I’m not consumed with the notion of being president. I’m simply saying I’m willing to do what’s necessary to achieve it if I’m in sync with the people. And if the people want me, or somebody like me, I will do what I’ve always done with everything else in my life. I will take it on and do a good job. You’ll have the disadvantage of having someone who probably cna’t jump up and click their heels three times, but will tell you the truth. And you’ll know where the president stands at all times.
Fred is running hard for a good showing in South Carolina heading into Super Tuesday. He’s trying to collect $540k by tomorrow to run ads in the state, and it looks like he’s going to make it.
Throw the man some money, would you? It would be a nice change of pace to have a President who is not consumed with the notion of being President, and who has policy positions and core values that align pretty much with mine.