October 13, 2007

CLC 07: Duncan Hunter

Congressman and Presidential candidate Duncan Hunter addresses the CLC this morning. The first order of business is endorsing his son for his seat in Congress. Duncan Hunter Jr is currently serving in Afghanistan as a Marine, called back to active duty, and his father has been campaigning almost as hard for his son as he has for himself here at the CLC.

Hunter talks about the "arsenal of democracy," which he can see when he flies in and out of San Diego, and reminds us that Americans make things. The retreat of the manufacturing sector puts American security at risk. He tells the story of how the Swiss cut off production of a critical component of our smart bombs because of our policy in Iraq, and we had to scramble to find a replacement. Had we retained that capability in the US, it never would have been a problem.

The move of production to China is the most worrisome aspect of this dynamic to Hunter. The manufacturing base is what won us the great world wars, and if it disappears, the security of the nation will be at serious risk. We simply don't have that kind of total-warfare capacity any longer, and he blames the free-trade policies of this and past administrations for the shortfall.

We need to inspire the coming generations. We can't do that if our industrial base keeps shrinking. It will necessarily result in fewer opportunities, and in shrinking national wealth. In order to compete, we need to put tariffs on imports from companies who cheat on trade. Hunter rejects the notion that free trade trumps American interests, quoting Ronald Reagan that "when one party cheats on trade, there is no free trade".

Hunter will bring the jobs back. That's his bottom line on trade and national security.

On Iraq, Hunter says that it's in the best interest of America to expand freedom. We learned on 9/11 that if we don't change the world and make it free, the world will eventually change us. In WWII, we liberated millions of people. In Vietnam, we failed to protect freedom. In Iraq, it hangs in the balance. Hunter believes that we are now making solid progress in Iraq, and we now need to season the Iraqi Army in combat situations so that they can stand on their own.

Hunter says that the Iraqi central government "bumbles along, incompetent, as most governments are." However, it was freely elected, and Hunter believes it will stand. He says that Iraqi Army will wind up being the best institution it has, and it has a professionalism never before seen in the personal rule of Saddam Hussein and his predecessors. And on Iran, he says flat-out that he will not allow the mullahs to have a nuclear weapon -- period.

Hunter is an impressive speaker. If he had run from the Senate, or especially from a governor's seat, he would have probably been the flat-out frontrunner. He is the rare case of a Representative who should be taken seriously as a presidential candidate. It doesn't appear that will be in the cards in this race, but Hunter would make an excellent VP candidate for any of the frontrunners, if he can't get to the top of the ticket himself. I don't completely agree with his trade perspective -- I think we have more serious concerns about defense-industry consolidation than free trade -- but he deserves a higher office with more responsibility.


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Comments (16)

Posted by reddog | October 13, 2007 11:23 AM

We lost 3,000 of our citizens in 9/11.

Iraq has lost over 100,000 of its citizens. Many more have been greviously injured. Many more still are displaced persons or refugees in foreign lands. No one is working. The economy is at a stand still. Malnutrition is a problem. Basic sanitation is lacking.

Not one of the Iraqis killed, wounded, homeless, starving or refugeed had anything to do with 9/11.
They were never a threat to our internal security but they may well be now.

How has this expanded freedom or made us safer? Maybe Duncan could help them.

Posted by Carol Herman | October 13, 2007 11:45 AM

Well, there are a couple of outcomes.

For starters, Guiliani is not nominated by the GOP; and Hillary wins. Don't care if you run Romney. Or not.

It seems with the public mood running so high, that you see people from all over the map "paying attention," what the right is trying to do is "flex its muscle."

Since I consider Ann Coulter very smart. And, I used to love Drudge's radio show; I'd find myself listing to "new stuff." Stuff I had not heard, before. From anywhere else.

And, one Sunday night, following one of the first debates, Ann said she LOVED Duncan Hunter. But he wasn't gonna get recognized. Period.

Ah, and then she went on to discuss Fred Thompson. A candidate that needed the religious right, in order to proceed to victory; when he ran for Algore's senate seat; back in 1992; when Algore went from the senate into the veep's suite.

Thompson was very successful in Tennessee. And, Ann Coulter's point? To show that even where the religious right's votes count for points. In other words you can't win without this base; politicians say "JUST AS MUCH AS THEY HAVE TO, TO WIN." Not a word more. Nor do they really practice what they've hung themselves out on this limb, to promise.

In other words, like a game of Charades, people at large are supposed to guess what a candidate will be like. And, you can't really do this from listing the campaign promises.

Gosh, look at Trent Lott. The man's an idiot. But he's "blessed" with the spirit of wanting to lead. So the congress critters were unable to find leadership. Obviously, not with the Ma & Pa Kettle Show, either.

While whatever "leverage" is being searched for ... there's still the reality that many voting Americans are angry. And, from both sides of the divide they pushed out republicans, in 2006. Americans, in general, hold a better rag than the one Pelosi carries; or carried around. The woman is an idiot, only off the scale from Trent Lott.

While Hllary will probably get the nomination, now. As oppositions form, they get to look stupid. Obama? Because he's thin enough to photograph nice? The MSM have no credentials, left. Their current flock of Dan Rather's are not king-makers.

And, the political machinery keeps running aground. Or into the mud at State Fairs.

Yes. People are paying attention! From the looks of things BOTH PARTIES ARE MISTRUSTED. And, either one of them will LOSE in 2008.

Oh, and I did read that President Bush would like to volunteer and help the winning nominee gain traction, by having Bush on stage, "campaigning his heart out." (What makes you think this would be a challenge? Why not think that Bush just gets misunderestimated? That just like in 2004, the entire press went against him, and his popularity rose. Didn't freeze up. Or anything.)

Then, I read. Bush would like to see Guiliani get the nomination. And, he sure sounds like a front-runner when you get to see the video clips. All he needs is for his health to hold out.

Three men have cancers. McCain. Guiliani. And, Fred Thompson. While they look good, they need all the blessings in the world just to stay healthy.

After Arik Sharon had his catastrophic stroke, I realized that charismatic leaders, when they leave the stage, leave a huge hole. That's hard to fill.

It's a credit to the one who comes after; not to collapse the party. (LBJ didn't follow the rules. LBJ was a one-termer. And, a bust. So was Harry Truman.)

Cards in the deck. Interesting when they get shuffled. And, you're there not to lose your shirt. Or your underwear. No pride in going home a loser.

While, yes. It seems Americans, through the Internet, have changed the ways in which politicians depend on getting seen. I think we're also watching the channeling of energies ... where the old primary buttons work no better than smoke-filled rooms.

You think the conventions, ahead, are gonna be scripted? Can't predict this. But I don't.

Posted by Sunflower Desert | October 13, 2007 11:46 AM

Good morning,

I'm not surprised your report on Congressman Hunter is so positive.

If he had run from the Senate, or especially from a governor's seat, he would have probably been the flat-out frontrunner.

That's the truth. I sure wish the Republicans could look past the frontrunners the MSM chooses for us, and see who is truly best for the party and the nation.

Thanks for the 1st Hand Reporting!

Posted by AnonymousDrivel | October 13, 2007 11:52 AM

I would love to see Hunter as VP even to the point of selecting a more liberal President who has questionable, if not new found, allegiance to conservatism. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that a doctrinaire conservative won't lead the ticket, but a Hunter in the wings bodes well for the libertarians in the GOP for future elections.

He is an impressive candidate though he won't crack top-tier for '08.

Posted by Rose | October 13, 2007 12:14 PM

Yeah, Duncan doesn't "stand a chance" because most of those who've seen him and love him won't bother to try to sell him in the face of Rudi's or Fred's "high numbers".

Meanwhile - to all you skanked up with Dah Ahnold Man Syndrome of "electability" - yesterday, Dah Ahnold Man signed a bill into law OUTLAWING the use of PREJUDICIAL TERMS in Public Schools, like "mom" and "dad", and "husband" and "wife", etc - they might offend some people from "non-traditional" backgrounds.

Duncan sounds like the man for the job - like Tom McClintock was the man for California.

But if you cannot see it, then he isn't the man for YOU!

Then all you have to worry about is if it was GOD HIMSELF that closed your eyes, because He had already decided not to waste His Best on folks who wouldn't appreciate it by half!

So, we go another circle around the Mountain, as they say.

How many of you guys know, it was only 11 DAYS between the Red Sea and the Jordan River to the Promised Land - but it took Israel 40 years to get there?

But whatever you guys do, WHATEVER YOU DO - DON'T vote for Duncan Hunter in the Primaries - it'll just make you feel stupid.

After all, you have your hearts SET on RINO RULE!

Posted by Drew | October 13, 2007 12:30 PM

It surely sounds as if you get your MD econ reports from Noam Chomsky newsletters. Even the NYT reports better #'s than that.

As to all of the displaced persons: Most (if not all) are ex-Bathists, and wouldn't be welcome in any part of Iraq these days. I'm sure that the sentiment in Iraq is: Good Ridance to Bad Rubbish (and Syria is welcome to them, and Jordan will regret accepting them - as they eventually do with all of the Arab rubbish they end up with).

As to your great concern with malnutrition and basic sanitation: Have you ever been to any part of the ME. The place (outside of Israel and the more cosmopolitan cities - but even areas of those cities) is backward, crude, and a general toilet. Of course, we could always implement our great low-income nutrition programs for them, and then their problem would become childhood obesity, and adult-onset diabetes.

Just remember, none of these problems will disappear with the onset of the Great Hillary administration. Just as the troops were not called back by the Pelosi/Reid regime.

Boo Hah Hah!

Posted by Jay | October 13, 2007 1:05 PM

RedDog - yes, people have died since our overthrow of the Hussien mafia regime, but funny, I didn't hear you whining about the hundreds of thousands who died during Saddam's reign? If Saddam wasn't overthrown, eventually his two sadistic sons (who were worse than him in some ways) would have taken over and they were both young and healthy and would have ruled for many more decades.

This is a broad, global war where Iraq, like Afghanistan, is but one front in it. We are safer since we are "tying them up" in their region of the world, whereas, if we weren't engaging them in combat, they would have much free time to plot, plan and use the West's open immigration (which I'm against) against us.

If you think Islamic terrorism is a tiny, fringe movement, think again. The ones who actually carry out attacks may be a tiny percentage, but a much larger percentage of "the religion of peace" quietly support the extremists.

The problem is Islam and the West if foolish to allow so many Muslims to immigrate here, put up their mosques (financed by Wahabbists) and push for more and more acceptance of sharia law in American civic life.

And by the way.....I basically agree with Duncan Hunter on the fact that we have too much "free trade" and our lack of industrial capability will come back to haunt us.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | October 13, 2007 1:37 PM


Back when Saddam Hussein was in power in Iraq, reddog WAS silent on the thousands upon thousands of Kurd and Shia bodies piled in mass graves in Iraq. Actually, reddogg was, at the time, more than likely vehemently opposing troops over in Kosovo - pointing out the 100,000 Serbians that were alive before the military action.

People like reddogg just won't be happy until they are curled up on a floor mat, facing east and waiting for the next directive on where to go and what to do. Can you say...."baaaaaa" ?

Posted by flenser | October 13, 2007 6:01 PM

It says a lot about the idiocy of the Republican voters that Hunter is polling at about 1%, while people the base detests are all over 15%.

How about defining the best candidate in ways other than "who does everyone else like"?

Posted by Rose | October 13, 2007 10:19 PM

Posted by flenser | October 13, 2007 6:01 PM



Posted by tony | October 14, 2007 1:51 AM

Jay, how does borrowing us into an insurmountable debt increase our security? How does attacking nations that did nothing to us help with our Security? I left the military when Reagan was reelected because I saw then the coming of the NeoCons and their taste for war. It was all over the place then, yet no one paid any attention. And Duncan Hunter wants to follow the same path toward American Superiority. This will not make us any safer.

Do you think the other nations of the world will remain our ally after our economy collapses and we can no longer offer military aid? We won't be able to buy friends anymore. We won't have the money to support the wars we have already started.
And with our arrogant attitude toward the rest of the world, they would most likely either sit this one out, or fight against us. Most of the world is already against us for the war with Iraq that we started.

Now Bush is attempting to antagonize Russia into, What? While Bush thinks it fine if the US disregards our treaty obligations, he doesn't think Russia or any other nation should be allowed to. It seems that the Russian people have once again take offence with our attitude toward them. While they are not able to fully rearm now, their oil and gas deposits are giving them quite a bankroll to take their spot at the head of the table along with us. How safe is this when they support the nations we are hell bent on invading?

Nothing Hunter is pushing will help America. And he still throws up the "Iran will have a bomb in two years" garbage to scare the unwitting into starting another war. We are already spread out so thin that we can't possibly fight a war with Iran.

People that support this mess that Bush started and Hunter wants to both continue and increase have put no though into the next 25-30 years when we will still be paying for the tax cuts and wars given to us by our current Republican Administration. But yet I am sure when taxes are finally raised to pay for these wars, it will all be blamed on the democrats. After all, republicans think we can fight wars for free, because they sure don't want to pay for the ones they currently support with such zeal.

To the point of Ann Coulter, she and her ilk from both parties are what is causing the outright hatred and partisanship affecting our government. People that support this kind of garbage are also part of the problem and should not be allowed on any news programs where they can spread the lies and hatred.

Posted by Jay | October 14, 2007 6:38 AM

Tony - Damn straight I want to preserve American superiority - why, because the it's the best way to preserve our LIBERTY AND INDEPENDENCE, that's why. For you information, we were at war with Iraq since 1991 and we've been generally at war with radical Islam since the 1970's. It's just that Bush had the guts to actually try and do something about it, not bury his head in the ground and talk about the 20, 30, 40 million of "Americans" who don't have health insurance, like we did in the 1990's (of course they are counting about 15-20 million illegal aliens in that figure as well).

I am a nationalist, a patriot, get it? It's not that I and other patriots hate the rest of the world, it's that we put OUR NATION first and above others, what part of that don't you understand? Just like a man puts his family first, then friends, then lastly strangers. Why? Because that's what adults do.

I have lived 44 years in Dearborn, Michigan plus two years in the toilet known as the Middle East while I was in uniform, I know a little something about Islam. Islam is a serious threat to the non-Islamic world. Why? Because it's a total world philosophy that very much includes a political view, which is totalitarian, archaic, oppressive and just plain ass-backwards. It is not "just another religion".

The "neo-con" label is a joke pushed by those with their heads in the sand. There is no escape from the fact that the West will have to confront Islam - no escape. Thanks to open, mass immigration, the muslims are here and they're pushing their sharia law into every corner of civic life in England, France, Canada, Australia, Norway, Holland and now the USA. Only, weak, limp-wristed idiots on the left give into this invasion.

Empire State building has gone green to "celebrate diversity" by respecting Islam; foot washing sinks are being put in airports, colleges and other public places, sharia approved menus are in many public schools, the Chi-Coms are putting anti-freeze in toothpaste and lead paint in kid's toys, the Chi-Coms are gearing up their space program, Mexican flags have been raised ABOVE the US flag on a few public schools and Post Offices, Iran has openly said it wants to destroy Israel and the US....hmmm, no the limp-wristed left says we patriots are just "over reacting". What a frickin joke.

And to top it, so called "free trade" has given away our capability. Why? It's a purposeful plan to weaken us into sniveling little wimps that are dependent on the rest of the world. And leftists are "worried about our image abroad". ROTFL my ass off! Grow up! When you're at war, the enemy is supposed to hate you and that includes the Quislings as well.

Posted by SK Johnson | October 14, 2007 12:55 PM

Fred Thompson got his boost in this election because of grassroot conservative bloggers, but in light of further investigation into Fred's earlier moderate positions and votes and observation of his lack of enthusiasm has caused a shift of people out of his support; particularly on the Internet. Duncan Hunter is quickly gaining that ground, particularly at places like Free Republic and Conservative's Forum. He has the experience, the credentials, the integrity, the energy, and the principles that the coservative base wants. He can win, and the wind is starting to blow his direction.

Get on board.


Posted by njcommuter | October 14, 2007 1:47 PM

I am a nationalist, a patriot, get it? It's not that I and other patriots hate the rest of the world, it's that we put OUR NATION first and above others ...

Given the last hundred years or so, we can see that putting America first doesn't mean putting it above others. America's defense has also been the defense of civilization and especially representative government. If you look at the 'tyrants' we have supported, you will see that they did not destroy the fabric of civilization. When they were gone, property ownership, stable currencies, and the rule of law were ready to move back. If you look at the tyrants the Left supports, you see the opposite: Mugabe, Peron, Chavez, Castro.

This country stands for more than just its own territorial self. The best defense of civilization has been, for over one hundred years, a strong, clear-headed, engaged America, and the best way to defend America is to defend civilization. For if even those who might support us in principle but are eaten by doubt should fall to the darkness, we will truly stand alone against the world. In World War II, Britian had the hope of America. What hope would we have in such a darkness? My heart says we could overcome. My head says we have no right to risk it, for our posterity or anyone else's.

Posted by Sean Cole | October 15, 2007 10:04 PM

Securing the Borders, Strong National Defense, Keeping Jobs here in the US, Pro-Life, Being able to get insurance across state lines, keeping eduction within the states.

What more could you want. Duncan Hunter IMO is not a top tier, middle tier, or bottom tier candidate.


Sean Cole

Posted by Shirley Rath | October 17, 2007 5:30 PM

I am so happy to hear others who believe that the media should not pick our candidates for us. Duncan Hunter is the best man for the job and he has my vote. It is sad to see Americans who give their vote just to those they perceive as someone who can win. Why vote, if the winners have already been chosen? Have courage and vote for who you believe is the best candidate and let the best man win. If all conservatives hear Duncan Hunters message and have aforementioned courage, then he will win the nomination.

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