Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Almost time. . .

to start paying attention to politics again. Iowa and New Hampshire will be doing their ritual vetting in the coming days and once the dust settles, we should have a better idea about who will be the contenders to succeed President Bush. I've really tried not to focus too much on politics lately, because it has been so distasteful. But duty calls. A few quick thoughts:

  • Mike Huckabee does not impress me at all. He's pure Arkansas, almost a doppelganger of Bill and Hill. He's having his moment right now, but my sense is that he's not going to last.
  • I would like to support Mitt Romney, but he hasn't sold me yet. I'm not especially concerned about Romney's Mormon faith; I grew up in a heavily Catholic town that happened to have a Mormon mayor and her faith didn't cause her to do anything goofy. What bugs me about Romney is that he's a little too, shall we say, protean. Since he can be whatever you want him to be, it's like staring at a funhouse mirror. Ever since my surgery, stuff like that makes me dizzy.
  • McCain is still beyond the pale, no matter how reasonable he might look. He's a decent, honorable man who is responsible for one of the worst things that has ever been done legislatively in this country - McCain/Feingold. Free speech is paramount and government should not infringe on it, especially political speech.
  • True confession: I voted for Ron Paul in 1988. I was a young libertarian and George H.W. Bush didn't especially impress me. 20 years on, the world looks very different. Ron Paul is the same: principled, forthright and someone who should never be president.
  • Could I vote for a Democrat? Theoretically, yes. But not for any of the current contenders. Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama and Mr. Edwards are all big-time statists who aren't satisfied with the amount of power the government already has. They are all unserious people. When the most serious person on the port side is Joe Biden, you know that there's a problem.
  • So who does that leave? Rudy? Fred Thompson? Someone else? I don't know. We'll all have to sort it out pretty soon, though.


Anonymous said...

Hickabee, I mean Huckabee is being promoted by the left as they see him as a totally beatable candidate. He gets sloppy kissed white glove treatment now, but he'll be buried after the primary. Totally unelectable.

Right Hook said...

It's a tough pick for conservatives. I fully agree with your assessments of Huckabee and McCain. Romney hasn't convinced me yet that he's done flip-flopping on some very important issues. Rudy is essentially a law and order liberal.

Given the choices I would like to see Duncan Hunter in the White House, but that isn't probably isn't realistic given the mainstream media coverage. I feel the best (longshot but borderline realistic) hope is a Thompson/Hunter ticket. I will probably support whoever ends up being the Republican nominee, though it would be difficult if it turns out to be Huckabee or McCain.

The Dumbasscrat choice doesn't matter to me because I can't believe when the time comes to pull the lever for real that this country would put Shrillary or Obamalongadingdong into office.

Mark said...

I think you have it about right, RH. Duncan Hunter has a lot to recommend him, but no one since James Garfield has made the leap from the House to the White House. And it didn't turn out so well for Garfield, either.

I appreciate you stopping by - you and your colleagues do nice work at Boots On, especially in chronicling the follies of our local government here in NB.

Strolling Amok said...

Hey Mark, I owe you a bunch of comments. I'll be posting my own assements of the Democratic and Repuglican candidates sometime before the Iowa vote. I'll let you know when its up.
Oh and RH, I'm pretty sure Hunter Thompson is dead.

Anonymous said...

It’s Rich Kerwin, from Beloit. How are you doing? I stumbled upon your blog, and just read your comments on the pending election. As a Yellowdog Dem, who considers myself a libertarian leftist, I encourage you and all Republicans to continue to shun John McCain. He would win in a walk in the general, so I encourage you to continue this boycott. For what it is worth, here is my take: On Romney, you couldn’t be more correct. Romney is so protean he will attempt to portray himself as Bush's successor to his base, while signaling that he will withdraw from Iraq and restore government competence in Washington. The man is laughable, but then again, I thought that of Dubya as well. Giuliani frightens me. He is truly a small man in search of a balcony, and his relative secularism would lead him to wage an even more bellicose and authoritarian campaign on the terror issue to win over the Christianist right than Cheney has. He'd be out Bauering Jack Bauer - an unnerving prospect. I like Fred Thompson, but my God, somebody give this guy a shot of B-12. Huckabee is William Jennings Bryan sans Gold Standard and eloquence. I am praying he gets the nomination, because I am pretty certain that even Dennis Kucinich could beat him in the general. Then again, if he were to deliver a really good Cross of Gold speech at the GOP Convention, he might be able to win over the FLP and carry Minnesota. If I were a Republican, I'd say McCain is easily the strongest general election candidate. As a Democrat, I am leaning toward Obama, but I like Edwards too. But Edwards strikes me as a little to Populist/Old-School liberal, and I really don’t want to relive the Good Society. I am basically “anybody but Hillary”. And the potential dynamics of a race between Clinton and a Republican - almost any of Republican - makes me lean toward Obama.
BTW, I think it is important, when weighing candidates, to think of how potential general election pair-ups could change the dynamic of the race and even the meaning of various candidacies. Giuliani-Clinton race would be the worst possible scenario for our country. It would put the red-blue struggle on steroids. Clinton-Romney would be slightly less acrimonious, but perhaps more divisive. Romney's Mormonism will force him to go overboard on social issues to appease the evangelicals (like saying there is no room for people who lack faith in the public sphere, in America), and Romney-Clinton would lead to a huge re-hashing of Bill Clinton's entire personal life. The Rovian element of the GOP will try to engineer it so that the issue becomes a choice between a corrupt, boomer marital "understanding" versus a fecund, high-school sweetheart, gee-whiz marriage. Again, culture war central - although I'm not sure who would win. Still, if you want to relive LaLewinsky ad nauseum, you know who to vote for. McCain-Clinton would bring out the worst in McCain, but would also lead to an easy McCain victory. Whereas, Clinton vs Huckabee would be a landslide for her.
Put Obama in the mix in the general election and all bets are off the table. Obama-McCain would be the best outcome in terms of actually fostering a civil, constructive debate about the future. It would also automatically create a narrative of young versus old. Obama could counter by making Joe Biden his veep, thus neutralizing his foreign policy vulnerabilities. McCain could add Huckabee to tilt younger and pander to the base, and then play the experience card relentlessly. Obama-Romney would be more polarizing, though not nearly as much as Clinton-Romney, and Romney’s MLK gaffes would come back to haunt him. But the ugly anti-Mormon bigotry and racism would probably cancel each other out. Obama vs Huckabee would be fascinating, especially given Obama’s rather open religiosity, but I'm afraid I cannot see Huckabee gaining enough credibility on foreign affairs or economics to become president. And anyone in the GOP is going to have trouble fighting off the historical pull of a first Black Pres.
Edwards would probably win in a walk over anyone except McCain, but unless he pulls a Bill Clintonesque comeback over the next 30 days, it’s gonna be HRC or Obama. Anywy, I encourage you and all your GOP colleagues to continue to shun McCain. I can’t tell you how amusing it is to watch Republicans continue to shill for GWB after 7 years of corporate statism, especially in regards to his blatant and unconstitutional power grabs, while complaining about the egregious attack on free speech contained in the McCain-Feingold bill.
Mark, I’d love to hear from you. It has been a long time. I hope all is well, and I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.
Rich Kerwin

Chuckwagon Boy said...

Hey, my mantra is the same as Rich's quote - "Anybody but Hillary"!!!