Lyn Nofziger, the bare-knuckle Ronald Reagan pol, has a blog, Musings.
It's a weird combo of first-class tactical political insight (aka “stuff I agree is correct”), generally bad poetry (under the name Joy Skilmer), and stupid and only sometimes funny gags, all spiced with gratuitous, mean, and sometimes vicious hatred and anti-democratic and anti-liberal bigotry.
Until Karl Rove gets a blog, this may be the best insight into the canny Republican political operative's mind we are likely to get, although Nofziger, being an ideologically pure libertarian (on economic issues only; on social issues, especially gay rights, he's pretty much a grumpy troglodyte), is a very unhappy Republican these days.
Here's how Nofziger describes himself on his homepage
I'm Lyn Nofziger and this is my website. If you're looking for a female exhibitionist with a digital camera you've come to the wrong place.
On the other hand, if you want some conservative opinion laced with exasperation, an occasional limerick or other piece of doggerel, or are interested in the books I have written you're in the right place. All you have to do is click on “Musings.”
The odds are you've never heard of me, which is all right because I've probably never heard of you either, so let me tell you a little bit about myself. (If you want to know more you can always go to your favorite book store and order my political memoir—it is not a biography—which is called “NOFZIGER.” If you want to know less, stop now.)
I am a Californian, a World War II army veteran, a former newspaperman, a politician and the author of four—going on five—Western novels. I make an occasional political speech, write an occasional political column or op ed piece and complain a lot. If you visit this page from time to time you will be able to see what I complain about.
In more detail, I spent 16 years as a newspaperman, including eight as a Washington Correspondent for the Copley Newspapers of California and Illinois.
I served in Ronald Reagan's governor's office and White House and in Richard Nixon's White House. I have run and participated in numerous political campaigns, including five for president, and have won some and lost some. Once I even worked at the Republican National Committee.
I am a Republican because I believe that freedom is more important than government-provided security. Sometimes I wish I were a Democrat because Democrats seem to have more fun. At other times I wish I were a Libertarian because Republicans are too much like Democrats.
What I actually am is a right-wing independent who is registered Republican because there isn't any place else to go. In the future I expect to be critical of both parties and their leadership and a lot of other people and things, too.
Example of good political analysis:
- The unique thing about Dean and his campaign is that he and it are not at all unique. He started out as a little known governor from a small state. So did Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. He started out well behind in national polls and in the polls in states with early caucuses and primaries. So did Carter, Mike Dukakis, George McGovern and Clinton, but like them, he kept plugging away and somehow, where others failed, connected with the actvists who vote in primaries.
Like them he has successfully utilized new—and proven—campaign and money raising techniques. And, like them, he has worked and campaigned unstingly.
And all of this has made a major difference.
Perhaps, more than anything else, however, he has presented to Democrat activists a new face, a fresh, vigorous, seemingly forthright qpproach and a willingness to “tell it like it is” even at the risk of turning some people off.
Look at his opponents. They are either tired, old faces who bring nothing new to the table or they are so far out on the fringe they make the ordinary Democratic left-winger seem moderate. What bleeding liberal in his right mind would vote for Al Sharpton, Carol Mosley Braun or Dennis Kucinish. Well, Kucinich has Willie Nelson but one vote just can’t hack it.
Among the others the only fresh faces are retired general Wesley Clark and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. Clark got in the race too late with too little and is widely perceived as the tool the Clinton/Democratic establishment is using to try—vainly—to block Dean. The other day Clark told the world he’d like to be vice president by announcing, unasked, that he would not take that nomination under any circumstances. Don’t bet on it.
Edwards, with more ego than political smarts, got in the race early but didn’t know what to do after he got in. He started out well behind and has faded from there.
The other candidates have been around a long time and are a pretty wilted bunch—Lieberman, Rep. Dick Gephardt, Sen. John Kerry. None of the three offers any excitement or brings anything new to the table.
- -The nation’s chief adviser on matters of terror, Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge, has upped the danger signal a notch from code yellow to code orange.
At the same time Ridge has urged Americans to relax, don’t worry, enjoy the Chirstmas season.
Well, why not? What else can you and I do?
Meantime, security details in airports and other possible danger spots are being told to be ever more alert. But, jimminy crickets, aren’t they already supposed to be one hundred percent alert? If there is a need to tell them to be alerter, it means that somebody hasn’t been doing his job. Could it be Tom Ridge?
What will they do in the airports now? Make everyone take off their shoes?
There is talk of terrorists seizing planes again to use as missiles. Apparently everyone hasn’t strengthened their cockpit doors.
But the odds say that if planes are used they probably won’t be loaded passenger planes because you can bet passengers won’t sit idly by this time; they’ll start throwing things. Look for terrorists to use cargo planes or perhaps some different means, of which there are many, of inflicting damage.
I suspect the main reason Ridge had for changing the color code to orange is that he in particular and the administration in general are guarding their backsides. Just in case there is a terrorist attack during the Christmas season, neither Ridge nor the adminstration wants to be accused of not having been prepared.
When you come right down to it there probably is nothing much they can do to stop some sort of terrorist attack, but at least, responding to sure criticism from Democrats if there is one, they’ll be able to say, “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”
Examples of rabid commentary:
- “Liberal Democrats are beginning to breathe easier. It’s been more than a week now and Hillary Clinton still shows no signs of mad cow disease.”
- “Even smart liberals (if that’s not a contradiction in terms)” [even weirder…the “liberal” is…David Broder!]