... I'm sure not letting him off the hook. No conservative should do that. We need to be extremely bothersome flies buzzing around his head at all times. Keep the pressure on him to make some changes that will make him — if not acceptable — at least more palatable to a goodly portion of the GOP. Here's a few items off the top of my admittedly pointed head:
1. Clean House, Senator
Two names, John: Juan Hernandez and Jerry Perenchio. In politics, perception is reality, and they've gotta go if you want to be perceived as being serious about border control. They serve at such high levels in your campaign that I'm surprised you don't shut down every day at about 1:00 for a siesta. Might as well build your vacation White House in Ciudad Juarez if you're going to continue to take advice from Señor Hernandez.
You can't honestly expect conservatives to believe you really want to build that fence, John, with these guys whispering open-borders platitudes in your ears all the time.
2. You're Getting Cranky With the Wrong People
Particularly, you need to quit chewing out conservatives who happen to disagree with you, and quit being so nice to Madame Clinton. Look, we just can't tell at this point whom you will be opposing in November, but fer Pete's sake, GO AFTER 'EM. Don't yarn about how "civilized" a campaign you would run if Billary gets the Dem nod... point out her liberal stances and how dangerous they are to the progress of the nation. Don't let Obama's color fool you, either... underneath that deep tan, he's still a politician, and politicians don't become politicians because they were nice to everyone, especially their opponents. But above all, don't let them get away with surrender politics in a time of war! You wanna be the battle-tough veteran and war hero? Great. Act like one.
3. Don't Forget You're Still a Senator
Even Clinton and Obama bothered to vote on the stimulus package. Right or wrong, they voted. Where were you? Trying to solidify your nomination prospects. Yes, sir, I presume to tell you how to do your job. After all, you work for me, remember?
4. Walk the Talk (and Talk, and Talk, and Talk...)
Quit telling us about how proud you are of your conservative record. We get it. You're proud. Fine. Just do us a favor and start acting like you're proud of it, will ya? Telling us to "calm down" does you absolutely no good if we find you constantly in bed with liberals in the Senate. You might have made a case for "compromise" and "bipartisanship" in ages past, but that was before your under-the-breath comments (isn't new media a wonderful thing?) revealed the inner-liberal you appear to have. You'd "draw the line at an Alito?" Not good, John. This does not give us great hope that you will, in fact, put forward truly constructionist justices for the Supreme Court.
While you're at it, do something about that temper of yours, hm? Metaphorically speaking, we can still take presidents out back to the woodshed if we have to. Job approval ratings spring immediately to mind. And you'll be facing an increasingly impeachment-happy Congress if you happen to take office next year. May want to keep that tucked somewhere in the back of your mind.
I offer these gratis, of course. My humble gift to the presumed nominee of the Republican party for 2008. No thanks are necessary, John. I'm only doing my part. Sorry I couldn't deliver these in person, but you're a busy man these days, and I understand. Even so...
Your move, John.
58 minutes ago