Your Big Fat Election Brain Dump, 1/11/08

Because I haven’t pissed you guys off enough recently, that’s why.

* I was asked just before the New Hampshire primary who I was voting for, which confused me, because I don’t live in New Hampshire; Ohio’s primary isn’t until March 4. Even then, I’m not going to be voting for a presidential candidate in Ohio’s primary, because it’s a closed primary and I’ve been registered as an independent for as long as I’ve been voting. No soup for me.

But this doesn’t particularly worry me. In a matchup, I’ll take any of the top Democratic contenders over any of the top Republican contenders, because aside from the fact that there are no Republican candidates who I have any interest in voting for (I find McCain the most congenial to me philosophically and the only one who, should he win, won’t have me looking somewhat wistfully at the New Zealand immigration site to see if I have enough points to qualify), there’s also the simple fact that no Republican administration is going to be as motivated as a Democratic one to stop doing all the fucktarded things the Bush Administration has done over the course of the last seven years. Sorry, guys, the dude has trashed your brand.

I’m not going to go so far as to say that if the Democrats nominated a circus bear I’d vote for it over any GOP candidate, although I probably would vote for a circus bear over, say, Huckabee, because the bear would almost certainly know more about foreign affairs. But Clinton or Obama (or even Edwards, although I suspect he’s already toast and just hanging about to be kingmaker)? Really, not a problem.

* Well, if I were going to vote for one of the Democratic candidates, which would I vote for? Honestly, I have no clue, partly because since I don’t get to vote for either, and would be happy with either, I haven’t given it that much thought. But also, I’m happy to have the two of them debate each other and give everyone a good look at their positions and such. Emotionally, Obama appeals to me; he’s good with them there word thingies, and also to be blunt about it, having a President Obama would make it feel like the American people were doing a Ctrl+Alt+Delete on the previous eight years, and there’s a lot of appeal to that. But Clinton’s selling point — she’s already got the presidential apparatus ready to go — is not insignificant either. And also, you know, I don’t really have that foamy “Clintons are made of pure, baby-pureeing evil” thing going on, either. So I have no idea which I would go for. Since I don’t have to worry about it, I won’t.

* People who loathe the Clintons, singly and severally, like to cling to the shibboleth that her negatives are so high that when it comes right down to it people just won’t be able to will themselves to vote for her, and thus: President McCain (in a best-case scenario). I think these people are kind of high. Hello, McFly: This is a Clinton we’re talking about. You can’t kill them, they just keep coming, and you don’t need to look any further than New Hampshire for proof of that. What GOPers really fear about the Clintons is that at heart they have that same amoral “fuck you, I’m going to win this thing” vibe going that the GOP have made a bedrock of their recent character, and they do it better than Karl Rove and an entire flying squadron of College Republican automatons could ever do it.

Ask yourself, Clinton loathers: if in some alternate universe 2000 had been between Dubya and Clinton (either Clinton, they come as a package deal), do you think the Clintonistas would have tolerated the Florida vote count shenanigans? Does anyone really believe that Bush would have walked out of that the winner? One of the things I’ve always said about the 2000 election is that ultimately Bush won it because the Republicans were willing to snorkle through pig shit to get it, while the Democrats, and specifically Al Gore and his people, didn’t want to get their precious widdle hands mussed. When it came down to it, Gore didn’t want it enough. “Not wanting it enough” is not going to be a problem for Clinton.

For all the people who seem to believe that Clintons are universally loathed simply for being Clintons, it’s worth remembering that for the entirety of Bill Clinton’s second term (you know, the one he was impeached in), his approval rating never dropped below 54% (according to Gallup); as a contrast, the last time Bush saw an approval rating higher than that was the first couple of weeks of his second term; he hasn’t been at 50% since May, 2005 (alternately, his disapproval rating has been greater than 50% since August ’05). Al Gore’s cardinal sin of the 2000 campaign (aside from not fighting for it at the end) was running away from Clinton’s popularity; all he had then was himself. Hilary Clinton isn’t Bill Clinton, of course, for better and worse, but I think nevertheless the expiration date on the “Everyone hates the Clintons” meme is coming up a lot sooner than the Clinton haters suspect.

These are reasons that I can’t help but think the GOP would rather face Obama than Clinton in the general election: because I doubt she’s as unpopular as some folks want to believe, and also, when it comes right down to wallowing in the pig shit and going after your opponent with a splintery baseball bat, no one does it better than the Clintons, and the GOP is out of practice dealing with an opponent who not only hits back but is out to break your fucking skull. Obama’s already been marked as someone who wants to take the high road, which is to say, he’s a sitting duck for a smearing, and we all know how the GOP loves a soft target. The Clinton’s aren’t going to put up with that crap. The first 527 to try to Swift Boat Clinton is likely to get its collective ass handed to it.

* That said, I think it’s entirely possible we’ll end up with Obama as the Democratic candidate, in which case the GOP had better hope smearing still works, because that’s all they’re going to have on the dude. There’s no one out there who thinks Obama has experience; that’s not why you buy the Obama package. You buy it because the guy is smart and inspirational and makes people feel like a better day is coming; indeed, one of the more astute (and positively heretical) ideas I’ve read is the one that suggests that Obama is the true heir to Reagan, not for his policies but for how he makes people feel about where it’s possible for the country to go. If that’s anything close to the truth, then I hope the conservatives enjoyed their time at the top, because it’ll be going bye bye.

* Also, the GOP field? Monkeys. Or more accurately: Jesus Monkey, 9/11 Monkey, flip-flop Monkey with perfect hair, Monkey who wins teh Internets and fails everything else, and John McCain, who is not a monkey, but who is two years shy of how old Ronald Reagan was at the end of his second term, which is worrying. I want John McCain to tell us right now who his VP choice is going to be, because I have a sneaking suspicion that knowledge is going to be relevant in his case, and if he picks a monkey of the same quality as the rest of the GOP field, it’s back to perusing the New Zealand immigration Web site again.

But aside from McCain, seriously, y’all, what the hell? Is this field really the best you can do? Don’t get me wrong, Huckabee’s Chuck Norris ad gave me a giggle, and I think it’s nice that Ron Paul gives the “I read Atlas Shrugged every year and it gets better every time” crowd something to do through the chilly winter nights. But this is no way to run a railroad. I sincerely do hope McCain takes the nomination, because although I disagree with him substantively on a number of policy points, at least saying “President McCain” doesn’t make me want to vomit in my mouth a little, the way “President Romney” or “President Guliani” does (saying “President Huckabee” doesn’t make me want to vomit, but does make me want to sigh heavily and shake my head sadly). I can live with a President McCain. But I’m sorry for you Republicans you don’t have a better set of candidates to choose from.

* Bloomberg? If he does jump in, he’s a Perot, not a Nader. Another thing for you GOP folks to worry about in an already worrying year for you.

139 thoughts on “Your Big Fat Election Brain Dump, 1/11/08

  1. Well said, all of it. A couple of things I like to point out when discussing Hillary: first, she’s darned near a Republican herself, so I don’t get why the right wing hates her so much. Second… I firmly believe, as you say, if she gets the nomination she’ll fight for it. Kerry didn’t in ’04; Gore’s biggest mistake in ’00 was thinking that the Republicans were intelligent people who had the country’s best interests at heart, as he himself did.

    I live in California. I’ve got my absentee ballot, but I haven’t looked at it, and I have no idea who I’ll be voting for.

  2. I think a lot of people would turn out just to vote against Hillary. I just don’t think they would all vote for the same person – so yeah – I think it wouldn’t be as powerful as some think.

  3. I totally agree with you on well everything John. The Demo’s will win the next election. McCain is their only hope and even with him being the candidate…. they still have little chance. I think the other Republican candidates are horrible… worse than even… gasp! John Kerry who is Mitt Romney but better….

    Anyway… the sheer numbers of voters in New Hampshire and Iowa for the democrats in the primaries really points to the fact the democrats are going to dominate in November. These are states that are really even in the general election republican to New Hampshire and yet in the primaries are seeing 100,000+ more people vote for Democratic Presidential candidates.

    I too like McCain… I’d like to see him after he loses the election be in the Democratic cabinet… help end the war effectively… help unite the two parties away from the stupid party bickering where nothing gets done. Use his experience… and his honor and dedication to the USA…. to help unite the country. To bring a new era of change and the end to the stupidity that has been alive and well in America where everything is black and white or blue and red.

  4. To me the republicans win the 2004 election on portraying a true war hero… a rich man that volunteered to go to Vietnam and served there as a wimp. Insane! And somehow those same evil geniuses gave us Bush in 2000 instead of a true hero and patriot in McCain.

    Yeah Clinton will not let the Rove’s of politics lead the debate… they will fight back and through any smear campaign. Unlike Gore, Kerry or McCain in 2000.

    I do wonder if Clinton wins the nomination will she lose the many idealistic Obama supporters? If Obama wins over Clinton will many key Democrats and the Clinton’s withdraw and let Obama get hammered? Can the Demo’s come together after what will be a long and hard faught and close primary campaign?

  5. Not sure how good the Clintons are at fighting back actually; under Bill’s presidency the Democrats did lose their historic majorities in Congress, while much of his second term was wrecked by zippergate and all that. What Bill was good in was getting through the mudslinging without having anything stick to it as well as coming over as somebody who genuinely liked everybody he came across with.

    Hillary doesn’t have these qualities in quite the same extent, though her little moment in the New Hampshire primaries was, even if deliberate, quite sweet. That’s what won it for her I’m convinced, as the very predictable media backlash about that pissed off enough (female) voters on the day into voting for her…

    Don’t count Edwards out yet; he’s quitely picking up his delegates as well, came second in Iowa before Clinton and like you said, might just be the deciding factor down the road: Obama/Edwards perhaps?

  6. I’m not sure why otherwise sensible, leftist people so often like McCain, as despite his big reasonable Republican stance he’s just as bad as the rest of his party. He fell in line behind Bush quite quickly after all.

  7. Hilary and Obama are socialists who want to grow the size and scope of the federal government and take us down the road to the complete nanny state.

    I’m pulling for Fred Thompson. Yes, he’s a social conservative which means many, if not most, of you reading this will disagree with several of his positions. But at the core of his ideals is federalism; the federal government should be limited to those specific powers delegated to it in the Constitution. Though he personally opposes gay marriage, he also opposes a Constitutional amendment banning it because he believes it’s something the states should decide for themselves. Reagan was the last president truly to champion federalism.

    So far he’s the only candidate from either party who has put forth plans for tackling the various problems this country faces from the War on Terror (yeah, it’s a misnomer, I didn’t name it), to illegal immigration, to Social Security, to reducing government spending, and so forth.

    And he views the presidency as a service he would perform, not a prize to be won.

  8. If Bloomberg jumps in, he’ll hurt the Dems, not the Republicans. He’s a sensible, slightly-left-of-center guy who became a Republican for the sole purpose of avoiding the clown car cavalcade that passes for the Democratic mayoral primary in NYC.

    He’s a very smart man and a great mayor. I just hope he stays the hell out of the presidential race.

  9. Well, I must say I am refreshed to hear from RR. While I am basically a Republican (I say basically because I have some VERY strong disagreements with my party, less than with the Dems though) I am afraid I too am not very happy with our current crop. I am backing Fred Thompson because, for me, political races are job applications. And he seems more focused on doing the job than in a personality contest.

    I care not for looks and posturing and glibness… I care about, as RR does, his stance as a federalist. I believe one of the greatest evils we face is big government. We seem to be creeping closer and closer to allowing, nay even asking that Big Brother do EVERYTHING for us. Not his job. Government should start locally and all issues should be handled at as local a level to the issue as possible. Thompson does not seem to want to be Big Bro… and that I can get behind.

    I am very sorry to say I believe RR and I may be casting lost ballots, but of the available ‘evils’ Thompson, to me, is definitely the ‘the lesser of’.

  10. Ok, now I want you all to bear in mind that I am an Aussie, born and raised, and therefore all I know about US politics is what I get through the media and people I know that have been there/are from there. (Australia is also a very different country to the USA, both politically and culturally.)

    That said, every time US politics come up, which they do a lot, lone superpower and all, I boggle. I just don’t get how any sane, self-respecting person can call themselves a Republican and still face themselves in the mirror each day. There has to be something there that I’m missing, ’cause otherwise it just doesn’t make any sense.

    And the US Democrats are only better in comparison to the Republicans. Hell, almost the entire US political process, from the ‘first past the post’ system, through the voluntary voting, the electoral college, the brain-breaking primary system and even down to electing a lot of government positions (sheriff, judge, school board, etc.) just makes me clutch my head in confused pain.

    Note: I’m not saying that the system is utterly, inherently wrong, and I’m not saying our system is inherently better. (Hell, the Aus. political system has it’s own nasty, stupid bits too.) I’m just saying that I don’t grok how/why the average US citizen accepts/lives with/praises this system.

    Martin @#6, I think you’ll find so many ‘leftist’ people saying nice things about McCain is in part because of the contrast with his opponents, and in part some of the reasons that RR @#7 gave. This one in particular: And he views the presidency as a service he would perform, not a prize to be won.

    Not trying to kick anyone’s sacred cows, nor start any mudslinging here, I’m just putting forward *my* outsider’s view.

  11. *duh* And I’ve crossed the streams, er, candidates. McCain=/= Thompson, fool.

    Can’t brain today, I have teh dumb.

  12. I’m just saying that I don’t grok how/why the average US citizen accepts/lives with/praises this system.

    The nice thing is, you don’t have to. The system will keep working, and we’ll change it if we don’t like it. In the meantime, you and the other Commonwealth folks can engage in the enjoyable national pastime of sneering at the Yanks.

    Given John’s comments about the Clintons’ indestructability, I think we need to keep ZPH well away from them. If they, too, became brain-eating, shambling undead, they’d be a zombie army all by themselves.

  13. I have a feeling that Ron Paul will become a Nader, and probably more the Republicans’ Nader than the Democrats’ Nader.

    I wonder how Ralph Nader feels that his practical legacy is his name being used to describe nothing less than a monkey wrench in the spokes of a real party’s political machine.

  14. mythago @ #13:

    The nice thing is, you don’t have to. The system will keep working, and we’ll change it if we don’t like it. In the meantime, you and the other Commonwealth folks can engage in the enjoyable national pastime of sneering at the Yanks.

    Never said I did have to. No reason you people should change it just because some guy on t’opposite side of the world doesn’t get it, either. Not my country, you’ll run yours as you see fit. Which is as it should be, IMHO.

    As for ‘sneering at the Yanks’, it’s more ‘taking the piss’ than sneering mostly, really. For the most part, we like you lot. Which is why we *do* take the piss. We only do it to people we like.

    And don’t feel singled out. We take the piss out of everyone we like. The Brits, the Canadians (from Canadia!), and most especially the Kiwis cop it as well. We’re often pretty savage about taking it out of ourselves, too. It’s a sign of affection, more than anything else, really. (Never claimed Aussies were sane/reasonable/logical, either, after all.)

    Really my point with that sentence was trying to make clear just how fundamentally it doesn’t fit into my head. Which is much more a failing on my part that anything to do with the USA.

    Aaron @ #14: I don’t know how Nader feels about it, but it strikes me as both horribly unfair and tragic.

  15. I don’t grok how/why the average US citizen accepts/lives with/praises this system.

    Oh man, come on… that’s easy!

    We CREATED it remember. This was a new thing in the world… not based on any other current political system then in effect. We were winging it…

    Besides… it’s our political system! The problem isn’t that we accept/live with/praise it… it’s what our accepting/living with/praising it says about us that scares the crap outta me.

    My dad said something that has stuck with me over the years… “Democracy, as a political system, sucks on ice. But it is vastly better than anything else man has tried so far.”

    I have always liked that one…

    FYI, there are very few places in the world I want to visit… Down Under is one of them.

  16. Never claimed Aussies were sane/reasonable/logical, either, after all.

    You can say that again!! I was tendin bar once in Nags Head, during the 3+ years of my summer break, and I had the great pleasure of spending a week with 4 Aussie lads on walk-about (well, they said it was supposed to be a walk-about but they felt that was inaccurate as they could not stay in country long enough to walk more miles than they flew gettin here and back… One kept calling it a fly-about but he also kept getting punched… Understand, the WHOLE week he kept gettin punched).

    Well, a more fascinating time I could nay have had lemme tell you!

  17. John, your post is nearly spot-on. And perhaps Clinton will manage to sweep past all of the negatives, win the presidency and succeed as a President.

    But there are people like myself who support all of the Democratic Candidates except Hillary. Richardson was my first choice, but he dropped. I’d be happy with Edwards, Biden, Kucinich (and his aliens), but I’m supporting Obama.

    If Hillary wins the nomination, you can have it. I won’t vote. Granted my lone vote won’t make much difference in the scheme of things, but perhaps I’m not alone. I don’t like the divisions and hatred that have consumed this country for the past four presidential terms. I don’t like the secrecy and abuses of power that I fully believe Clinton will continue. I don’t like the way corporations have written their own laws and regulations and how the Executive Branch has embraced those corporate interests. These are things that will only get worse under Clinton and may not get worse, might even get better under a different Democrat.

    If it’s Hillary, I’ll stay home and that’s one less vote for the Senate candidate, the mayor, and the local judges.

  18. Clinton and Obama are socialists? They’d pretty much be considered conservatives in most other countries.

  19. Yes, well, Democrats = Conservative, Republicans = batshit insane More Conservative….it always amuses me when people seem to identify the Democrats as corresponding to parties in other countries that really are pretty socialistic. :) Or even middle-of-the-road liberal (granted, by *our* non-American definitions of middle and liberal, but…)

  20. @ J Ghoti Dalziel: I don’t grok how/why the average US citizen accepts/lives with/praises this system.

    Well, the average US citizen doesn’t accept/lives with/praise the system, the average US citizen doesn’t vote: in the US there’s an “unexpectedly high tornout” when the 51% of the citizens vote (at a Presidential election, the numbers are way low for everything else), compare this to most Western European countries, where a 75% turnout is worryingly low.

    That said, I’m really amused by RR (‘Hilary and Obama are socialists’)! Socialists! You have no idea of what socialist means, by the rest of the world standards there’s hardly a socialist in the United States, the left wing candidates would be considered centrists of even right-wing in most European countries!

  21. 16. J Ghoti Dalziel says : every time US politics come up, which they do a lot, lone superpower and all, I boggle. (…) There has to be something there that I’m missing, ’cause otherwise it just doesn’t make any sense.

    Same here (in France). But I guess that the point is that while the rest of the world is mostly concerned with US foreign policy, the President of the USA is basically elected on domestic issues. Even the Iraq question seems almost reductible to US troops going back home…

  22. McCain is every bit the flip-flopper that Romney is, and with a lot of the same issues. Worse, the one issue that he should be tough on, torture, he gave in to the Bushies. He’s been the number two war supporter (after Lieberman), and lately he just looks a little scary in the eyes.

    I’m sorry, but if you still think McCain is reasonable or clean, you’re crazy. The guy has sold himself out. Sad.

  23. I’m well aware of McCain’s record, which is one reason I won’t vote for him, Jemaleddin. The reason I find him more tolerable than the others is based on other factors.

  24. Obama’s already been marked as someone who wants to take the high road, which is to say, he’s a sitting duck for a smearing, and we all know how the GOP loves a soft target.

    I dunno. I know he likes to make people think he’s Mr. High Road, but did you see how his campaign reacted the first time the bogus “madrassa” thing came up? They clearly saw it coming a long way off and were ready to bust heads. Same with the stories about his youthful drug use, which Obama’s effectively neutralized just by being preemptively honest. I don’t know if it’s enough to counter an e-mail whispering campaign, but he hasn’t been shy about the content of personal smears–none of this Kerryesque “I’m above responding to that”.

  25. I used to feel more comfortable about McCain, but in recent years his equivocation, and ignorance on so many issues have made me feel that little bit more sick in my mouth each time I find more.

    Here’s one good example.

  26. Besides… it’s our political system! The problem isn’t that we accept/live with/praise it… it’s what our accepting/living with/praising it says about us that scares the crap outta me.

    My dad said something that has stuck with me over the years… “Democracy, as a political system, sucks on ice. But it is vastly better than anything else man has tried so far.”

    The thing is, “democracy” is a really broad term. As implemented in the US, it has a lot of serious structural problems that we inherited from 200-year-old political compromises. What we need is a better Constitution, which wouldn’t effectively disenfranchise huge chunks of the population, confuse half of the rest into apathy, and make it almost impossible for even an overwhelming majority to remove an incompetent administration; but I don’t see any way of getting a better Constitution that doesn’t carry a serious risk of getting a worse one instead.

  27. “…I think nevertheless the expiration date on the “Everyone hates the Clintons” meme is coming up a lot sooner than the Clinton haters suspect.”

    Are you kidding me? That thing’s had mold on it, and the mold has evolved to the point where it’s attained sentience, learned English, and says, whenever the fridge is opened, “Yo, could someone please tell Sean Hannity* to shut the fuck up? And close the door! You’re letting in all the heat!”

    The only time I ever hear how evil Clinton is anymore (not on Fox. I refuse to watch. CNN’s devolution is bad enough.) is when someone wants to defend GWB and the best they can come up with is, “Well, at least he’s not getting blow jobs behind Laura’s back.”

    *Sigh* Well, he should. He should also lure Cheney near a microwave.

    *Has Hannity ever figured out Bill Clinton left office in 2001? Or did they just give up and hire Dennis Miller to give Alan Colmes someone sane to talk to?

  28. 21. Gianluca Says: . That said, I’m really amused by RR (’Hilary and Obama are socialists’)! Socialists! You have no idea of what socialist means, by the rest of the world standards there’s hardly a socialist in the United States, the left wing candidates would be considered centrists of even right-wing in most European countries!

    A probably naive question : is there anything remaining on the field even remotely like Upton Sinclair’s EPIC movement, on which behalf Heinlein was candidate for California State Congress back in 1938 ?
    — although part of the Democratic party, these guys where socialists by any standard !

  29. Eric Picholle:

    “is there anything remaining on the field even remotely like Upton Sinclair’s EPIC movement, on which behalf Heinlein was candidate for California State Congress back in 1938 ?”

    Really, no.

    Jim Winter:

    The recent exercise in schadenfreude which erupted within the media when Clinton welled up at a campaign stop suggests that foamy Clinton-hatin’ is coming along nicely.

  30. “Not trying to kick anyone’s sacred cows”

    The only things sacred cows are good for are prime rib, grilled sirloin, and Huckaburgers. (Thanks, Stephen Colbert.)

  31. “My dad said something that has stuck with me over the years… “Democracy, as a political system, sucks on ice. But it is vastly better than anything else man has tried so far.”

    Your father was Winston Churchill?

  32. Personally, I think it’s quite laughable when people suggest that Hillary’s emotional breakdown was solely responsible for her winning the New Hampshire primary.

    It’s been known for years that polling companies have been more and more inaccurate, as results for both pre & post primary and major elections have been wrong. When they predicted a double digit victory for Obama, they didn’t take into account the younger generation of both women and men who have newly registered to vote. That demographic seemed to come out in droves in New Hampshire.

    Granted, while Hillary may appeal to some woman simply because she is female, breaking down at a campaign stop would not force throngs of women to go, “Oh my lord, that poooor thing! We must go out and vote and support her and then shop! Those big bad men are making fun of her!”

    Come on. Anyone who suggests that, obviously doesn’t know how an intelligent woman comes to a conclusion. The first thing I thought was, (and right now, I’m a Clinton supporter) “Damn, that was the worst thing you could have done,Hill, genuine or not.”

    This race has been a mud-slinging contest from the beginning, whether someone was white, black, male or female. Anyone who thinks otherwise has had their heads shoved in the sand. These are grown-ups, not children being assaulted by bullies on a playground. They know how to take it.

    As far as Obama is concerned, show me something more than inspirational speeches and I’ll become interested. Anyone who struts around a stage acting like MLK, has too much of an ego to get anything done. I want a fierce leader who is not afraid of getting the right things done, not someone who just talks about it with passion.

    Now I feel that a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket, would be unbeatable and really, that should be a main concern for the GOP.

  33. John Scalzi

    I’ll take any of the top Democratic contenders over any of the top Republican contenders,

    So what happened to you argument in 2006 that divided government is a good thing?

    Back then you said:Speaking for myself, I’m thinking perpetual divided government might deserve a chance.

    And BTW, so how happy are you with the Democratic majority you so passionately argued for back then?

    RR says

    I’m pulling for Fred Thompson. Yes, he’s a social conservative which means many, if not most, of you reading this will disagree with several of his positions. But at the core of his ideals is federalism; the federal government should be limited to those specific powers delegated to it in the Constitution. Though he personally opposes gay marriage, he also opposes a Constitutional amendment banning it because he believes it’s something the states should decide for themselves. Reagan was the last president truly to champion federalism.

    I’m with you. And I wouldn’t count him out just yet. In last nights debate, for the first time that I saw, he took complete command.

    In fact, I think he gave the best performance of any candidate in any debate thus far.

  34. Frank:

    “So what happened to you argument in 2006 that divided government is a good thing?”

    My opinion that divided government is a good thing doesn’t mean I should abandon all reason and vote for people who I think would be bad as president. That’d be just idiotic.

    If the GOP can manage, say, to take back the House, you’re not likely to hear me squawk about it. The chances of that happening in 2008, however, seem pretty damn slim.

    Re: Thompson: I’d be deeply surprised if he starts doing any better at this late point. On the other hand, most people thought McCain was toast a while back. So who knows.

  35. “If the GOP can manage, say, to take back the House, you’re not likely to hear me squawk about it. The chances of that happening in 2008, however, seem pretty damn slim.” — Scalzi

    Then again, I wouldn’t have bet on the Lege being able to drop to Nixonian-during-Watergate approval ratings, either. And they still have 10 more months of punting and diving before the general election.

  36. Brett L:

    It’s true, although a lot will depend on how well the Democrats can blame it on obstructionist Republicans rather than their own inability to maneuver around a president with a popularity in the low 30s. If the top of the card (i.e., presidential race) is going well, they’re in a better position for that.

  37. As I’ve had occasion to remark on more than one occasion recently, I am in fact the author of a blog post, several months ago, entitled “Barack Obama Can Kiss My Ass.” Which is to say, I’m not an uncritical supporter. But I think a few things you’ve said about him in passing are moderately off-target.

    For instance, What Matt McIrvin Said, above. I’ve actually been very impressed, over the last year, with the effectiveness and speed with which Obama’s campaign has handled the really nasty attacks. I find I like that in a potential nominee. I also liked Obama’s response to being asked what he’d do if, after election day 2008, we were in a situation similar to 2000. “Well, I’m a civil rights attorney,” he said. “But I’m also a voting rights attorney.” When I heard that, I needed a cigarette.

    As for “having the presidential apparatus ready to go,” I think Obama can match Clinton, Lego block for Lego block, on that one. For instance, Obama has pretty much all of the best and smartest of the Democratic Party’s foreign-policy mavens lined up behind him. Post-Iowa and New Hampshire, I don’t see Obama vs Clinton as an “insurgent” versus the “establishment,” but rather as a competition between two coalitions from within that establishment, and Obama has done a good job of building his coalition out of the the better figures and factions available.

    You say that people don’t buy the Obama package because he has more experience, and while you’re probably right, in fact he has more experience as a legislator that either Clinton or Edwards, and a history as a professional community organizer before that. Of course, for most people, he’s a skinny guy from Illinois with only a couple of years in Congress, and we know the country would never elect someone like that.

    I think you’re right about the Clintons’ personal tenacity, but I also think the Clintons were both disasters for the health of the Democratic party and moderate liberalism in general, and that a second Clinton administration would be more of the same, with an added dash of extra hawkishness. (And Bill was plenty hawkish himself.) Mind you, yes, I’d vote for her against any of the guys with [R] after their name, but only because I think she’d be a smarter and more responsible Republican than any of them would. This all goes along with the fact that I’m not actually a moderate liberal, I’m an anti-imperialist leftist with libertarian sympathies who also happens to believe in the value of small incremental improvement and furthermore rejects the Leninist idea that “heightening the contradictions” ever helps anything. If politics boils down to supporting the sometimes-sensible aristocratic faction at the King’s court over the psychopathic aristocratic faction, well, time to do that, because life is short and there’s work to be done.

    I really don’t get why you see McCain as even marginally better than the rest of that crowd. The guy is a third-generation Navy princeling with a sense of personal entitlement the size of all outdoors, and a reputation in Congress (and in the Arizona Republican Party) as an arrogant prick. His whole image as a “principled maverick” happened because he needed to attach himself to some goo-goo reform efforts in order to launder away the stink of the Keating Five scandal. Granted, he’s always been good at making friends with national political reporters, but since what we’ve learned over the last ten years about national political reporters is that they’re, as a class, amazingly horrible people, this doesn’t really paint McCain in a favorable light. On the issues, I can’t think of a single area in which he isn’t a catastrophe. On torture and climate change, where he likes to imply that he differs from conservatives, he’s sold out so many times he’s practically got a price tag tattooed on his forehead. On foreign policy, he’s basically War With Everyone All The Time Forever — in essence, Dick Cheney with a human face.

  38. I could not agree more… you gave more detail on my exact meaning Matt.

    The exact way we implemented Democracy is obviously flawed, but as my dad pointed out, I still strongly believe it is a dayum sight better than anything else available.

    It was written 200+ years ago and then is not now. There have been changes in society that do impact how people are interpreting the defining documents. I can’t say we need a ‘better’ Constitution… who defines better? You? Me? Clinton? Bush? Exxon-Mobile? Peta? I am sure I don’t know… but I do believe, as does Thompson, that the basic ideals inherent in the Constitution are still as viable today as they were 200 years ago. And as you said… I don’t see any way of getting a better Constitution that doesn’t carry a serious risk of getting a worse one instead I agree.

    …disenfranchise huge chunks of the population, confuse half of the rest into apathy…

    Ask yourself a question… do you beleive there is any possibility of a revolt in modern America? And I do not mean, “Can we take em?” Meaning can the populace win against the military, I mean do you think enough of that populace can or may, be or get, disenchanted (disgruntled?) enough to seriously consider revolution?

    Consider the very large majority and the quality of life of the middle classes in America. Look at what we argue about ploitically… “better” health care; getting our troops home; “improving” our quality of life… not: “Health Care, what’s that?” and “Habeas Corpus has been suspended again!?” etc., etc., Bread and Circuses worked for Rome for a LONG time… we have just updated it to Starbucks and Monster Trucks… Bottom line, it still works.

  39. PNH:

    “I’ve actually been very impressed, over the last year, with the effectiveness and speed with which Obama’s campaign has handled the really nasty attacks. I find I like that in a potential nominee.”

    To be clear, I think Obama will be able to handle himself just fine when to GOP comes to try to thump on him. I do think he’s perceived by the GOP as a softer target, however, in part because of his strategy to be aspirational rather than ready to get into the dirt. Whether this is ultimately correct is another story.

    Re: McCain — Not disagreeing with any of that. I just find him more tolerable for various reasons, and I’d be interested in seeing how his style works at the top of the card. Not so interested I want him to win, mind you.

  40. The only smart and morally correct thing to do is to support my candidate of choice. People who support other candidates are clearly sexist, racist, biased ideologues with insalubrious motives, and probably offensive body odor. My candidate, by dint of godlike intellect, supernatural charisma, unconquerable resolve, and saintly humility, will reshape America into a new utopia where beer falls from the sky, pizza grows on trees, and unicorns frolic alongside well-ordered interstate freeways.

    All the other candidates would spend their presidential terms hunting and eating children, torturing puppies for sport, and using the US Constitution for intimate hygiene purposes.

    In short, if you don’t vote for my candidate of choice, what the hell is wrong with you?

  41. I do think a lot of people forget that Obama learned his politics here in Chicago. And if you don’t think we know how to sling mud around here, I got a bridge over the Calumet River for sale :-)

    I think that calling somebody who spent years in a North Vietnamese POW camp a “Navy Princeling” is rather insulting. However, that doesn’t make him a good President. Thompson is my “if I HAVE to vote R” choice, because he’s at least a principled R.

  42. Thank you for an enjoyable read to start the morning.

    Electing a Democrat president isn’t going to give us a “unified” government unless there are also 60+ Dems in the Senate. The administration is going to have to deal with the Senate GOP.

    McCain is a hypocrite monkey. And the sad thing is, he didn’t have to be. If he’d moved a little closer to the center, rather than going farther right, he could own 2008.

  43. Total… if my father was quoting Churchill he didn’t say. It was something he believed in and I am glad to know it orginated from that source. I have sometimes wondered if it was my dads orginal quote or not… You live and learn huh?

  44. John Scalzi

    To be clear, I think Obama will be able to handle himself just fine when to GOP comes to try to thump on him. I do think he’s perceived by the GOP as a softer target, however, in part because of his strategy to be aspirational rather than ready to get into the dirt.

    Actually, I think the opposite. By that I mean I think the GOP thinks the opposite.

    I believe the GOP is more worried about an Obama candidacy because we could possibly draw more independent voters to vote Democrat. Everyone knows you don’t win elections without taking the center (except, maybe, ‘net rooters and truthers).

    I think the GOP thinks that with Clinton as an opponent, it would energize their base and independents will trend their way because of Clinton’s high negatives in each and every demographic.

  45. Sean Eric Fagan:

    A couple of things I like to point out when discussing Hillary: first, she’s darned near a Republican herself, so I don’t get why the right wing hates her so much. …

    Uh. Hunh? Repealing (or not renewing, functionally the same thing) the tax cuts, universal health care…. As I understand it, she’s been posing as centrist for a while, and she may have some stances that put her close to some Republicans, but… fiscally conservative? Nuh-uh. Most Republicans are not going to like the policies of a President H. R. Clinton, and not just because they’re the policies of a Clinton.

  46. Frank:

    “I think the GOP thinks that with Clinton as an opponent, it would energize their base and independents will trend their way because of Clinton’s high negatives in each and every demographic.”

    Well, see, that’s one of my points, however. Anyone who doesn’t think that the Clintons don’t know how to maneuver around high negatives is deluding themselves. And the GOP would spend most of its time pounding on those negatives, which isn’t going to do wonders for them in an election year.

    I’m not one of those people who think the Clinton Well-Up Incident of 2008 has as much to do with her win there as others do, but I do think the unmasked glee lots of folks in the media indulged in when Clinton showed some emotion was a straw snapping the camel’s back. I suspect people will be more sensitized to attacks on Clinton for the mere sake of attacking Clinton, and that’s going to work against sustaining those negatives.

  47. I was totally looking at the New Zealand immigration site the other day! That’s crazy.

    Fred Thompson? Really, people? I don’t know, he just doesn’t seem to take any of this seriously.

    I would love to see an Obama/Richardson ticket, or if not, Clinton/Richardson. Richardson would offset any of the “Obama has no experience” arguments.

    As far as our government structure vs other countries, I do think we could use a bit of a revision. Maybe Single Transferable Vote. And I definitely think we need more parties. Two parties, and therefore only two choices, sucks.

  48. Honestly, my vote should a Republican of any stripe win, will to look into that interesting ex-pat package my engineer husband has been offered. Should Huckabee win, we’ll be beating down their door. “What do you have? China? Fantastic, we’ll take it!”

    Within the Democrats I have a hard time choosing, as each has some significant pluses and some equally significant minuses. Fortunately or unfortunately my own primary comes so late (May) as to be pretty much useless, so I really don’t have to make up my mind unless things continue to split evenly right on down the line.

  49. PNH -“I’m an anti-imperialist leftist with libertarian sympathies who also happens to believe in the value of small incremental improvement and furthermore rejects the Leninist idea that “heightening the contradictions” ever helps anything.”

    How do you quickly say that in an elevator political discussion? If you had to consolidate that down to a letter perhaps, maybe an acronym – uh, any suggestions?

  50. As much as I’ve voted Republican in the past, I agree with John that “President Romney” or “President Giuliani” scare the crap outta me. I think I could bring myself to vote for Edwards. Still trying to decide if Kerry’s support of Obama is good or bad. Must have been some really hard feelings in the Kerry/Edwards camp after 2004. I’m not sold yet on Obama or Clinton.

  51. John Scalzi

    Well, see, that’s one of my points, however. Anyone who doesn’t think that the Clintons don’t know how to maneuver around high negatives is deluding themselves.

    You are right, but, there is little doubt that Clinton will get the base out to vote, which is important.

    And to my mind Clinton herself is not a great candidate. She is definitely no Bill. She is not as at ease in public and she tends to muddy her message.

    Additionally, she only has the veneer of experience which will be unmasked in the general.

    OTOH, it remains to be seen if the center is as concerned with experience as GOP voters are. Almost every resume on the Republican side is deeper than either Clinton’s or Obama’s. The most experienced Democrats, Richardson and Biden, were jettisoned early on, which to my mind says something about the rank and file Democrats.

    If the center is less experience oriented than Republicans then, I think, Obama has the best chance of winning against every Republican other than McCain or Thompson. Though Huckabee’s evangelical populism and natural style would probably do too, but he alienates people like me. And I don’t know how many me’s there are out there.

    I’m not one of those people who think the Clinton Well-Up Incident of 2008 has as much to do with her win there as others do

    Neither am I. I think Clinton displayed a superior organization and GOTV network in New Hampshire. But, this will be severly challenged by Obama in Nevada because he picked up a very powerful network when he picked up the support of the Culinary Workers Local 226 which is a very politically active union of casino workers. They have a very powerful organization.

    Against that will be Harry Reid’s political machine which is behind Clinton.

    This will be a critical race in determining how these GOTV machines match up. If they are roughly equal, as I suspect, then it will be a contest between the candidates themselves.

  52. Ah McCain, he’s one step closer to war with Iran than Bush. He’s not in Rudy G’s level, but he wants war with Iran.

    I see no scenario in which a war with Iran would not result in total chaos in the middle east, and a likely world war. I also see no viable Republican candidate who does not seem to be pushing towards war with Iran.

  53. @19 Jardine: I feel like people get confused what socialism really means. Socialism is an economic system not a political one, I very much dought that Hillary and Obama are socialists dispite what some might think.

  54. Hey John, I’m not certain we can’t vote in Ohio’s primaries. From the Secretary of State:

    “Do I declare my political party affiliation when I register?

    No. Under Ohio law, your political party affiliation is determined by the ballot you cast in a partisan primary election.”

    and

    “How do I establish which political party’s ballot I am entitled to vote?

    You may vote the primary ballot of the political party with which you currently wish to be affiliated. If you voted the primary ballot of a different political party in 2005 or 2006, you will complete a statement at your polling place confirming the change in your political party affiliation.”

    I’m certainly gonna try…not that there will be much of a choice come March.

  55. Joe:

    We can vote in the primary (and I will, for various issues that will be on the ballot). We just won’t be able to vote for party candidates.

  56. While I don’t agree with McCain’s stances, two things. One, I seriously doubt he would have gone into Iraq and made something up to appease oil. Secondly, the man spent 5 years in a Vietnamese POW camp. He deserves to sit in the White House for no other reason than that. Kind of a thanks for taking one for the team.

    That said, I like Obama and I agree that Clinton is way too conservative for my tastes. She does strike me as cold and blood thirsty, the way her husband doesn’t come across.

    One question though, there are so many things to fix and problems caused by the current administration to solve that the next admin is going to be doing a lot of repair work which isn’t sexy and calls for hard choices which Americans usually punish at the voting booth. Would it be better to have McCain win and take the heat for this and then go for eight in 2012?

  57. Izzy:

    No. Supreme Court and other judicial appointments, plus it’s four more years deeper in the hole.

  58. Don’t know if you were dumping your brain or mine, because I have to agree with everything you said.

    And thank you for saying it so much better than I could have.

  59. Two points: First,… OF COURSE McCain will choose a young ‘Jesus Monkey’ as his VP candidate. How could you think otherwise? The religious nutcase side of the Republican Party doesn’t like McCain, so that’s the only way the Republicans will really get them behind a McCain nomination. (Well, if the Democrats nominate Hillary Clinton, that would be a big help, too, no doubt.)

    Second, President Clinton may have won re-election and kept his approval ratings high, but the rest of the Democratic Party got stomped by the Republicans during his administration. Two years after Bill Clinton was elected, it was all over for the Democrats,… and for years and years afterwards. (And even Bill doesn’t bring out the venom like Hillary does.) Even if Hillary could win the general election, she wouldn’t drag other Democratic candidates along on her coattails like Obama would.

    I keep hearing Democrats say they don’t like Barack Obama because he’s too inspirational! Heh, heh. Are we really worried that we might actually win an election? Yeah, he’s too much like Reagan, who was WILDLY popular in the country (though I never understood it, myself). What a disaster if we actually got a candidate who wasn’t a policy wonk, huh? Someone who could inspire our country and get a huge voter turnout,… and absolutely pulverize the Republicans. Some one who has the potential of completely upending the political landscape all across the nation. Gee, it would sure bite if we were actually winners for a change, wouldn’t it?

  60. I wish our Gracious Host had been a bit less deceptive with this comment:

    Clintons are made of pure, baby-pureeing evil

    because they’re all made of “pure, baby-pureeing evil” — it’s just a question of whether one prefers Slurpee-smooth baby puree or likes a few chunks in it. Personally, I like my baby puree a little bit chunky, with some texture.

    I spent too much time inside the Beltway dealing with These Folk (several personally) to have much respect remaining for those who, in the aftermath of Buckley (“spending money on campaigns is symbolic speech protected by the First Amendment, regardless of the futile desire to avoid election fraud”), have managed to make their way to governorships and/or national office. The difficulty arises from the multiple levels of gatekeepers that these people have to pass through before they end up on the ballot; there’s no place any more for the Moynihans (to name one maverick from the past, and I’m not implying that I agree with all of his policy positions). That’s how we end up with candidates moving to the right all the time: Over time, money tends to accrete there. This is not unique to the US; anyone looking at European and/or Chinese history for the same patterns would reach the same conclusions. If you have to hang around with conservative elements to build your power base, you end up starting to think like them, or at least talk like them.

    Where is Screaming Lord Sutch when the US electorate needs him? Oh, that’s right — he’s dead. And a Brit, but who’s counting?

  61. Sam @58

    Socialism is an economic system not a political one

    You are correct, but it is an economic system that demotes the importance of private property and increases the importance of government control of the economy. I most definitely believe that Clinton, and many in the Democratic leadership support this.

    Most people misunderstand Fascism as well, which is not very different from Socialism in principle. Whereas in Socialism, the government attempts to directly own corporations, in Fascism, the Government simply has the majority of members on the board of directors.

    Izzy @ 61 speaking of McCain

    the man spent 5 years in a Vietnamese POW camp. He deserves to sit in the White House for no other reason than that.

    This ranks as one of the worse reasons I can think of for putting someone in the White House. Others would be “Because she’s a Woman”, another “Because he’s Black” and another “Because he’s a evangelical Christian”.

    John Scalzi
    Supreme Court and other judicial appointments, plus it’s four more years deeper in the hole.

    This is a good point of a GOP GOTV effort: both Ginsburgh’s and/or Stevens’ place on the court will likely need filling before the next term is out.

    And the people who brought us the “Kelo” decision should not be replaced by people of like mind.

  62. I like Obama as well but am scared, no, actually certain that the republicons will spend the rest of this year trying to paint the man as a Muslim extremist as they have already done in the past. The republicans, as we have seen in recent years, are Gods when it comes to pressing the “none issue” such as gay marriage, swiftboat loyalties, etc… and I am sure they will do it again. Can he and will he be able to get past their attacks? Definitely, he is no John Kerry weathering the storm waiting for someone to airlift him out, but it wastes a lot of Obama’s time where he could be talking about the true issues. Hillary would be a good candidate but I would enjoy a Obama as pres. and Edwards as VP run because of the ethnic and cultural diversity that would be on that ticket. You know, the whole North vs. South thing. I liked McCain as well (note the past tense) but he has gone to the dark side in the last few years with his strong alliance with King Bush. That being said, Wellington on the North Island is very pleasant this time of the year but a little windy as usual.

  63. I am a reformed, kool-aid drinking Republican. Used to think Reagan was God and voted straight Repub ticket on every election. Ten years ago I said I would never vote for a Democrat. Ever.

    Then along came GW, for whom I voted faithfully in 2000. “Trashed the brand” is far too mild an expression for what he has done to his party.

    In 2004, I said I would vote for whatever candidate the Dems ran, with the exception of Hillary Clinton. So I pinched my nose and cast a ballot for Kerry.

    Now, in 2008, I’d much prefer Obama. But I’ll vote for whomever the Dems nominate, be it Hillary Clinton, Socks Clinton, or that circus bear John mentioned. And that’s saying a lot considering my ailurophobia and ursaphobia.

  64. What jm said, #44. And I haven’t made any choices yet.

    I think Clinton displayed a superior organization and GOTV network in New Hampshire.

    Bingo. For all the yada yada, the Clinton campaign put feet on the ground and went out and dragged their strongest target demographics (women and voters over 55) to the polls. The weather cooperated. It was plain and simple good damn focused groundwork in the crunch, in contrast to the Obama and Romney campaigns boosting their media saturation buys.

    Obama needed the indies to break away from McCain and come to him in force (Romney needed them to go to Obama too!) and it just didn’t happen. Meantime the Clintonites went to the streets with lists and pulled in the people most likely to vote for them.

    If the indies had broken for Obama as the media predicted, he and Romney might have won. They didn’t. When push came to shove they stuck with McCain.

  65. Frank @ 66. I agree with the face of your argument but to call her a true socialist would be inacurate. There is a big leap between having socialist tendencies (I mean I guess you can’t get any more socialist than wanting universal health care) and adopting an economy controlled by the government (besides just having rules and regulations). I mean thats just unAmerican.

  66. Erik the Viking @ 67

    I like Obama as well but am scared, no, actually certain that the republicons will spend the rest of this year trying to paint the man as a Muslim extremist as they have already done in the past.

    Um, for the record, that wasn’t Republicans, it was Democrat Bob Kerry

    And let’s not forget it was Bill Shaheen, the Clinton campaign staffer who started the Obama sold cocaine rumor and Andrew Young who, trying to establish the Clinton black bone fides made the remark that Clinton slept with more black women than Obama

    Just sayin’

  67. I’m supporting Thompson, for all the reasons stated above. I don’t really get the “it’s too late” argument at this point–if he takes South Carolina his chances will improve drastically.

  68. All I ask, on behalf of the world which will have to live with the next four years of U.S. foreign policy: Please vote for the sane candidate. Do not vote for the psycho.
    :-S

  69. Speaking from experience, John, New Zealand is a very nice country.

    We have eminently non-insane politicians, and our idea of what constitutes a political scandal is a joke. Also, not cold. And we have pretty mountains. And far too many sheep. Inspiration for the next Android’s Dream novel?

  70. CEP
    Over time, money tends to accrete there. This is not unique to the US; anyone looking at European and/or Chinese history for the same patterns would reach the same conclusions. If you have to hang around with conservative elements to build your power base, you end up starting to think like them, or at least talk like them.

    Interesting…
    (1) Money (IE power) tends to accrete to the ‘right’;
    (2) Same pattern holds true world wide (IE regardless of political/social effects);
    (3) There is a need to hang around conservatives in order to accrue power (IE hanging around liberals does NOT bestow power);
    (4) If you think/talk like them then you logically end up owing them your power (IE being owned BY them in effect?)

    Just a thought…

    jeanjeanie
    OK… I must admit to feeeling better about Thompson’s chances after this thread.

  71. “Monkeys”? This is the best you’ve got, Scalzi? “Monkeys”?!”

    Are you feeling OK? Can we do something for you — send you some chicken soup, or some vitamin C?

  72. The people who believe that Obama is a Muslim extremist aren’t going to vote for him in the first place.

  73. I bow to the master; thanks for the most excellent post on American politics; I look forward to a few more in the next year.

    The republican who really, really scares me is Mike Huckabee. I know conventional wisdom is that he is buffoon who has no foreign policy experience. His buffoonery is an act; there must be something about Arkansas politics that makes a smart guy pretend he is not so smart. Bill Clinton was the master at hiding his intelligence, and my gut tells me that Mike Huckabee is not a stupid man, he just plays one on television. He can always get the foreign policy experience as a running mate (say a Condoleeza Rice or a Colin Powell).

    He is also seems like a nice, likeable guy. I explained to a 12 years old at a Mike Huckabee event that if took what I believed and what Mike Huckabee believed, you would not find much in common. But you always get the feeling that we could have a nice, pleasant conversation about our differences. My sister (a savvy political operator herself.) has always told me that she would rather manage the campaign of a nice guy over a smart guy 10 times out of 10; you tend to win with the nice guy.

    If you are a democrat, Rudy Giuliani is the ideal candidate. While he is socially progressive, on the areas that matter to a lot of people, he is more right wing than Bush. He also seems like a truly nasty piece of work that would rather spit in your face than be nice to you (probably why his kids are democrats). If you took a list of what Rudy believed and what I believed, there would be more overlap than the comparison with Huckabee; however me and Rudy would likely get into a fistfight over our differences.

    That nastiness would cost. He makes all of the democratics, including Hillary Clinton seem warm and fuzzy. I would take that match up 10 times out of 10.

    I don’t know much about Fred Thompson, but I did meet some of his supporters in New Hampshire; we are talking bat shit crazy folks.

    As for why the right hates the Clinton’s when they sit mostly to the right of the democratic party, I am reminded of the quote attributed to Stalin about why he preferred fascist to socialists. With fascists you knew they the enemy; with socialists, they pretended to be your friends, but were really the enemy. I think the republicans have figured this out about centrists democrats, of whom Clinton’s are the standard bearers. Politically they are closer to republicans, but they are not republicans. They are democrats and therefore they are the enemy.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  74. The only thing about your post that annoys me is the fact that you’ve made some rather bold assumptions:

    1) I’m a Ron Paul supporter and I don’t like any of Ayn Rand’s books or her philosophical ideas for that matter.
    2) It is possible to dislike both the Clinton’s (or despise, loathe, if you will) and GWB.

    Otherwise, rock on. I’m all for people having their opinions and voicing them.

  75. JD Blackwell @ 77: Jumping in here, yes, that’s my general impression of how money and power (which, as you note, are intertwined) work — it’s one reason why I think leftward political action is necessary and admirable. When you say, “just a thought,” though, it sounds to me like you’re saying your four points (and the bold text in them?) imply something beyond what you’ve written. I’m on a slow track this morning — what are you getting at?

  76. “All I ask, on behalf of the world which will have to live with the next four years of U.S. foreign policy: Please vote for the sane candidate. Do not vote for the psycho.”

    You’re saying that our current blow ’em up strategy is not uiversally loved? And so, as a foreigner, which one is the sane one?

  77. #45, Chris Gerrib: “I think that calling somebody who spent years in a North Vietnamese POW camp a ‘Navy Princeling’ is rather insulting.”

    Well, I should hope so; I meant it to be insulting. I actually honor McCain’s military service, but it doesn’t mean he isn’t the son and grandson of two extremely well-connected Navy admirals, born to privilege and preference. The big difference between him and George W. Bush is that McCain actually demonstrated physical courage, and paid a heavy price for doing so.

    #55, Randy: “Must have been some really hard feelings in the Kerry/Edwards camp after 2004.”

    Well, yes, this is well known. Edwards felt Kerry should have fought harder over the voting irregularities in Ohio. The two men have barely spoken since.

    #61, Izzy: “Secondly, the man spent 5 years in a Vietnamese POW camp. He deserves to sit in the White House for no other reason than that. Kind of a thanks for taking one for the team.”

    That’s one of the more novel ideas for how to select a political leader I’ve ever heard.

  78. PNH – My point was that bashing somebody because of who he was born to is unfair. Now, if McCain was, like GW Bush, relying on his family for preference, you might have a point. As far as I can tell, he’s not.

    McCain is not my favorite Republican. I disagree with him on a number of issues, and his “Straight Talk Express” act is, well, an act.

    I’ve read some of Fred Thompson’s statements and articles. They seem fairly reasonable statements of mainline Republican principles. One of his big ideas is Federalism, which is actually a useful way to limit the harm done by following mainline Republican principles. This makes him in my view the least bad on his side of the ticket.

  79. For what it’s worth,

    Everyone who thinks that Obama is some nice warm neophyte hasn’t looked at his background. He is a machine politician from the south side of Chicago. He won his first election by having all of his opponents kicked off the ballott on legal technicalities. He won his current position by getting a judge to unseal his opponents divorce records and then leaking them to the media. He lives next door to the biggest bagman in the state. etc… You don’t succeed on the south side of Chicago without being ruthless.

    He may be the best choice, but he is not the fresh faced innocent who will end “dirty” politics in Washington like his campaign wants to portray him.

    No one at this level is.

  80. Patrick M wrote:
    “You’re saying that our current blow ‘em up strategy is not universally loved? And so, as a foreigner, which one is the sane one?”

    I wouldn’t go as far as universally loved. ;-)
    Foreign policy-wise, Rudy Giuliani is “the psycho I know”: I have read his official foreign policy strategy. It’s scary reading. His vision of the world is paranoid and authoritarian, and might actually cause wars.

    I don’t know Mike Huckabee’s foreign policy (does he have one??), but this recent statement might give you an idea…

  81. The thing I have noticed is that the only thing we like better than bashing our system is bashing anyone outside who bashes our system.

  82. I just wish the Dem’s would stay out of my wallet and the Reps would stay out of my bedroom. I am a republican that is seriously thinking of going libertarian. Everybody seems to think they know what is best for everyone else. Thpppt. Frankly I might just sit this one out. I voted for dubya booosh and Duke Cummingham so maybe I shouldn’t even join the fun. I have lost faith in our system. The politicians seem to say what ever they think they need to to get elected then do what ever the lobbists tell them to once they are in office. Top that off with revelations on J. E. Hoover, the Duke Rape case, the innocence project, the intel goat rope that sent us to Iraq, the FBI’s lead analysis, the list goes on and on. Not to mention my personal experience while serving jury duty. Neither party has a monopoly on coruption, stpidity and wastefull spending of our tax dollars. Property taxes, sales taxes, income taxes, capital gains taxes, ciggarette taxes, alcohol taxes, estate taxes. Don’t forget the vehicle registration fees.

  83. Andrew writes: If you are a democrat, Rudy Giuliani is the ideal candidate.

    I know I’m quoting you out of context here, Andrew, as you make it clear in the rest of your post that you’re not a Rudy fan. But on the off chance that anyone does think that Rudy is a nice mix of social liberalism and hawkish conservatism, please read Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent New Yorker article on him; you can find it at newyorker.com. And note the similarities to our current Fearless Leader: prefers loyalty over competence, check; secretive to a fault, check; thinks he can write his own laws (tried to change rules of mayoral succession, for example), check; sees no reason to talk to people he disagrees with, check. Wow, like we need another 8 years of that.

  84. Rembrant@91,

    Generally, I understood your perspective up to your listing of “the innocence project.” What’s the issue with them? Just curious …

  85. Now John, wot’s with the NZ fetish? Is it the snow, like you’re used to, or the sheep (which you’re so used to you have them on book covers!)? Both?

    As to your presidential thoughts, to an outsider like me they seem quite sane and reasonable – any of the Democrats would have to be better than any of the Republicans surely. Though if the USA is really determined to relive Vietnam in Iraq for the next 40 years and show the world how quickly democratic institutions, influence and wealth can be pissed away for naught, then there’s nothing much your friends can do except shake their heads and learn Mandarin. And build fallout shelters.

  86. Joel Stein writes a column in the LA Times and had this to say about Obama today (complete column at http://tinyurl.com/22ao3q) . I found it amusing and thought I’d share.

    ========================
    A black president? Seen a few

    Hollywood has warmed us up already, namely with Morgan Freeman in ‘Deep Impact’ and Dennis Haysbert in ’24.’
    January 11, 2008

    Alot of liberals say they’re not supporting Barack Obama in the primaries because an African American can’t carry the South in the general election — which is a liberal’s clever way of saying that he won’t vote for a black person. But, it seems, they’re wrong. Because while Iowa and New Hampshire aren’t technically in the South, they are full of hicks, which is what rich liberals actually mean when they refer to “the South.” You have to live among rich liberals to understand what they’re saying. You’ll never believe what they mean by “middle class.” They mean themselves.

    America is ready for a black president because we’ve seen them before. Black presidents, in fact, have been our awesomest presidents ever: Morgan Freeman in “Deep Impact” and Dennis Haysbert in “24.” And their approval ratings — box office grosses and Nielsen ratings, the only approval that matters in the U.S. — have been huge. The Freeman and Haysbert administrations, which endured Carter-level challenges such as a comet headed toward Earth and working with Kiefer Sutherland, have specifically prepared us for Obama. Like him, they confront without being confrontational. They’re calm, earnest, utterly decent and way, way cooler than white presidents — which is what I’m sure Joe Biden was trying to say when he called Obama “articulate” and “clean.” If only I had translated for him sooner.

  87. I’m on a slow track this morning — what are you getting at?

    Dan, sorry I am getting back late… that whole work-a-day thing you know… my boss disapproves of me boggin-alla-day.

    I have made statements to the fact that I am a republican… but the truth is I am simply more of a republican than I am a democrat is all. My “just a thought” is simply a thought-ladle… an idea-whisk… One of the reasons I am a republican is it works. It seems to take into account how humans actually are, not how we wish them to be.

    As a whole we can tend towards being a rather crappy lot. We are often truly awful to each other. We are a quite greedy, self-centered, opinionated and over all rude tribe. But, we also seem to have that something wonderful… that spark of the truly good and amazing. The whole Dichotomy of Man thing you know. Yin and Yang, Good & Evil.

    I listen carefully to liberal friends and to those espousing liberal tenants and ideals and I simply can’t find these things being acted out daily by a majority of people (ah hem… I said a majority… and I mean of the worlds population, not just in the good ol US of A).

    Please, please understand me… I believe all of us should at all times strive for the best we can be. We should all set high standards for ourselves and work ceaselessly to attain those goals. But I also firmly believe you will not go far wrong if you hold your expectations of others to a very low standard. You will, far more often than is pleasant to realize, not be disappointed. And on the occasions that your expectations are exceeded, treat them with the joy and applause they deserve.

    I am a pessimistic optimist. I believe bad things are always gonna be entwined with the good things that will happen. Liberal ideals are great goals… but not daily realities for the most part. If they were, Exxon-Mobile would be pouring money into alternate fuels… not fighting them tooth and nail. Al Quida could not exist as they would read the REST of the Quran and understand just how badly off the mark they are from the real ideals of Islam.

    Hence my ‘just a thought’…

  88. PNH
    #61, Izzy: “Secondly, the man spent 5 years in a Vietnamese POW camp. He deserves to sit in the White House for no other reason than that. Kind of a thanks for taking one for the team.”

    That’s one of the more novel ideas for how to select a political leader I’ve ever heard.

    Really?? You have read Starhip Troopers right? One of my ALL time favorite ‘novels’… and as RAH said, the vetrans in his world were not ‘better’ people or more just than others… it was simply a balance of Responsibility and Authority.

    They accepted at some point in thier lives the posssibilty of death in defense of thier way of life… hence there was a karmic balance with allowing them to don the mantle of authority over that self same way-of-life.

    While I will prolly not vote for McCain, I cannot help but feel he, at least, has paid more of the true price for that office than others in the running.

  89. #89 Chris,

    Yes, the official story is that the “republican” newspaper independently went fishing for dirt to screw the “republican” candidate in order to help out the liberal democrat because they love “truth” or something like that.

    Or

    The liberal democrat (Obama) could have leaked the information to the Trib. and it was so “good” that they fought to have the record unsealed so that they could use it to sell a few more papers.

    I was living in Chicago at the time, and I will stick with option #2. You are of course entitled to your own opinion. My point about Obama stands. He is no stranger to the “rough and tumble” of negative politics.

  90. I’m technically not a Clinton hater.

    Bush 41, Clinton 42, Bush 43, Clinton 44.

    That just sends shivers up my spine.

    And considering my views more follow Kucinich and Gravel, which is about as different from the clustering that HC, BO and JE seem to be in from what I’ve seen in the various “Compare your values to the candiate” websites around and the Repugnacious ones.

    As much as I expected that the elections would be over the Iraqi War, I’m wondering if that might be wrong, and it might now be over the economy. With an almost 300 drop in the Dow today (not that directly affects most voters), and the fact that the current housing crisis is still awaiting that other the shoe, the commercial real estate melt down that is just as sure to follow the home real estate melt down.

    I’m glad I’ve got probably less than 50K left on the mortgage and under two years left on the car payment (three years ahead of schedule). It’s going to get real ugly before things get better.

    I’m also still standing by my prediction that the next administration (no matter which party wins) is only one term.

  91. John, I’ve been working as a poll worker (troubleshooter) up here in Lucas county for the past several years, and I can tell you that you can, as a registered voter, walk into your Polling place on Primary Day, and vote in whatever primary you want.

    All you do is tell the poll workers what ballot you want. As for the forms you allegedly fill out to affirm that you’re changing party affiliations, I’ve never seen one, but since I do ‘trouble shooting’ and not actual poll worker, I can’t be 100% certain that they don’t exist.

  92. Obama’s initial Republican opponent collapsed because it came out that, while married to the woman who played Star Trek’s Seven of Nine, he’d pressured her to have public sex in clubs in New York, New Orleans, and Paris, some of which featured colorful and highly specialized equipment.

    Obviously, the only reason for the newspapers to run with that story is that that they were pressured into it by Barack Obama. Otherwise they’d have ignored it entirely, since after all there’s nothing whatsoever unusual or grabby about the story itself.

  93. How ’bout that Ron Paul? How ’bout the fact that he’s apparently a paranoiac, a racist and a homophobe who published newsletters supporting David Duke and has been associated with an organization that thinks the Confederate States of America had the right idea?

    He’s actually much scarier than Huckabee.

    I hope McCain gets the Republican nomination because there’s a possibility that the Republicans could somehow win the next election (I hope not, but…) and McCain is, in my opinion, by far the least evil of a pretty vile lot. Yes, he’s an opportunistic ass who’s been doing a lot of pandering lately, has whiffs of corruption in his past, and has a big mouth. But “President McCain” won’t have me tearing my hair out on November 8th the way some of the other possibilities might.

    And yes, if the Democrats nominated a circus bear, I’d vote for it. I’d vote for it if it was dead and stuffed. I’ve been an independent my entire life, but the Republicans have made a compelling and persuasive case–for voting like I was a yellow-dog Democrat.

  94. A note on the whole “Obama and the Ryans” issue:

    I think Drew (87, 99) is forgetting that Jim Ryan, who was then the Attorney-General of Illinois (and no relation to Governor George Ryan, who was recently convicted in a bribery scandal and will be spending some time at Club Fed), had done two things to piss off the Tribune Co. long before the US Senate campaign:

    * Ryan had attempted to have two Trib reporters held in contempt for refusing to cooperate with him a couple of years earlier, while he was the State’s Attorney for DuPage County, over the Jeanine Naccarico case (in which a man served twenty years on death row for a crime that someone else already in custody had already confessed to… and the death-row inmate was eventually cleared by DNA testing). Ryan didn’t want reporters looking into why the State’s Attorney’s office continued to ignore all evidence regarding Bryan Dugan’s actual guilt. That alone would have been enough to cause me to vote against him; the evidence is quite clear that he abused public office for personal gain, and worse yet a public office that is supposed to be non-partisan. The Republican machine in DuPage county has managed to keep the investigation stymied and low-profile ever since.

    * Ryan is a White Sox fan, and did everything he could to make things hard for the Cubbies. (Admittedly, the Cubs can usually do that all by themselves!) The Trib owns the Cubs. In particular, Ryan tried to have the FCC look into the propriety of a newspaper owning both a TV station and a professional sport franchise in town… neglecting to research and find out that the FCC had already declined to do so, several times.

    I live close enough to Chicago that I’m sure I’ve voted for Obama several times. I’m not holding him up as a paragon of virtue; however, Drew’s comments are off-base.

  95. Justme @ 93 I have no problem with the innocence project. Quite the opposite. I have a problem with all of the wrongful convictions they have found.

  96. Kaf @ 104 —

    I should make it clear that I’m not a lingual purist. Just that the fucktarded are innocent bystanders who don’t have the capacity to stand up for themselves. Don’t degrade them by equating them with senators.

  97. I live close enough to Chicago that I’m sure I’ve voted for Obama several times.

    I hear it’s traditional to vote several times in Chicago. :-)

    No one needed to fink out Ryan. It was a juicy enough divorce tale that the press and stalkarazzi were bound to dig out some details. Hubris. Gets ’em every time.

  98. On the subject of Ron Paul, even if you ignore or explain away his racism, you’re still left with a big, solid nugget of twenty-four carat goldbug nuttiness unconnected with the messy reality.

  99. Bob:

    I do know those things about Rudy; between daily reading of Salon.com and my reading of the New Yorker, I know precisely what kind of piece of work Rudy is. It just strengthens my thesis that if you are democrat, Rudy is the ideal Republican candidate; he would lose to most of the democratic field.

    By the way, any Liberal who says that they won’t vote for Obama because he can’t carry the South are neither very Liberal or very Smart. None of the democrats are actually going to carry the Southern States (except for maybe Virginia and Florida). Refusing to vote for a African-American because he won’t carry states that the Democrats won’t carry anyways is what I like to call “polite racism”.

    Cheers
    Andrew

  100. Andrew’s 100% right: I live in North Carolina, I plan to vote for any Democrat who’s nominated, I sincerely hope that nominee is Barack Obama, and I have no illusions whatsoever that my vote will actually count in this blood-red state. A similar argument rebuts the people who think Obama (or Clinton, for that matter) is unelectable because of a last name: the people who won’t vote for Obama because his middle name (or Clinton because of her married name) weren’t likely to vote for a Democrat under any circumstances anyway.

    This is also why we libs need to worry more about the Republican nominee being tolerable than beatable. It’s nice to think that a lot of red-staters will note that Giuliani is an asshole, but I’m not so sanguine. I love my state for all its faults, but one of those faults is we helped re-elect George Bush despite his first term. And do I need to even add that the “winner-take-all” electoral system means that “purpling” a red state is meaningless if 51%+ of the voters stick to their usual “(R)” in the voting booth?

    The math (and history) clearly shows that an unpopular candidate can take the electoral college–which means the Republicans are only down, not out. Personally, I hope it’s “President Obama” being sworn in next January; but what the nation really needs is for both parties to put up their best man or woman, and to hell with “electability.”

  101. #98 – “Starship Troopers” is one of your all-time favorite novels? It was OK, I suppose, but “Old Man’s War” was the novel Heinlein SHOULD have written. And, er, I should probably remind you, they’re both fiction.

  102. Drew @ 87 and @ 99 – I too live in Chicago. My recollections and impressions of the Ryan collapse correlate nicely with Petit @ 106, with the added thought that if Ryan had just even half-heartedly admitted he’d requested kinky sex, he might have made a go of it.

  103. …I know precisely what kind of piece of work Rudy is. It just strengthens my thesis that if you are democrat, Rudy is the ideal Republican candidate; he would lose to most of the democratic field.

    I remember back in 1980 many of my fellow Democrats (both Carter and Kennedy supporters) being initially gleeful that Ronald Reagan was the Republican nominee-apparent; it was thought (at the time) that there was no way America would elect a right-wing “piece of work” like Reagan, and that he would be the easiest to beat (by either Carter or Kennedy) in November. Didn’t quite work out that way.

  104. Frank wrote: “Um, for the record, that wasn’t Republicans, it was Democrat Bob Kerry”

    You’re silly if you don’t grasp that the Republicans are the ones who started that in the same email rumor chains they use to spread things like Proctor and Gamble is run by satanists.

    Kerrey just borrowed their line on Obama.

  105. Kate Baker wrote: “As far as Obama is concerned, show me something more than inspirational speeches and I’ll become interested”

    In Illinois, Obama overcame bipartisan opposition, opposition from the Democratic governor, and the strong opposition of law enforcement to get a law passed that requires police to videotape all questioning of suspects.

    This was to reduce the occurrence of beatings, torture, and coerced false confessions as had a long history in Chicago, a city which tried hard to pin the rape of a small girl on two black boys under 10, too young to produce semen.

    What’s Hillary done lately with that kind of real-world meaningful effect?

    One key element of her experience was participating in the impeachment investigation that lead to Nixon’s resignation. This experience didn’t help her prevent her husband’s impeachment, nor has she put it to use against Bush and Cheney, who really do merit impeachment.

  106. JD Blackwell wrote: “While I will prolly not vote for McCain, I cannot help but feel he, at least, has paid more of the true price for that office than others in the running.”

    I’m guessing that as a long-term Senator, he’s already been living in Fat City for years and years, and living far better than many other Vietnam POWs who were there as long or longer than McCain was.

    So, I guess you can mark me down as a ‘no’ on whether he should get the presidency just because he was a POW.

  107. Petit@106: I think Drew (87, 99) is forgetting that Jim Ryan, who was then the Attorney-General of Illinois (and no relation to Governor George Ryan, who was recently convicted in a bribery scandal and will be spending some time at Club Fed), had done two things to piss off the Tribune Co. long before the US Senate campaign:

    Senate candidate Jack Ryan is no relation to Jim Ryan or George Ryan. Jack Ryan was an investment banker, not a politician.

    Jack Ryan wasn’t above questionable tactics, either:
    Controversially, in 2004, Ryan had Justin Warfel (a campaign worker) follow his opponent, Barack Obama, twenty-four hours a day and record everything he did in public on videotape. Warfel did not follow Obama into his office or private residences, but he recorded Obama at all other times. Warfel also heckled Obama by yelling questions at him in public. The tactic backfired when many people, including Ryan’s supporters, criticized this activity. Ryan eventually withdrew Warfel but did not apologize (Wikipedia)

    With Ryan being a non-politician, rather than a state GOP party fixture, perhaps the Tribune figured they could afford to go for the salacious details of his celebrity divorce. The fact they were sealed was no doubt like a red flag to a bull.

  108. One last note about the Ryan scandal.

    The Tribune corp merged with the LA Times in 2000. The story lead might well have originated from Hollywood gossip, not Chicago politics.

    As a scandal that touched both their markets, I doubt they would have been able to resist, Illinois political concerns be damned.

  109. Jon H:

    For future reference, I prefer one big post answer lots of comments than a bunch of smaller comments in a row. Just one of my organizational tics.

  110. Hey,

    Highly entertaining post. I really hope you’re right that Clinton isn’t so very loathed. I don’t want her to be loathed; I’m afraid that she is loathed, by a large enough portion of the electorate that she’ll lose in a general election.

    Also, I think “President Huckabee” is a great name for a really big sandwich.

  111. CG #113 – “Old Man’s War” was the novel Heinlein SHOULD have written. And, er, I should probably remind you, they’re both fiction.

    Ummmm… As this is a blog by a Sci-Fi author (and one of that genre’s pre-eminent modern authors as far as moi is concerned) and I have been a SF reader for, er, lessee… 47 minus 6… uh, er, 41 YEARS now… so as to their fictionality, I believe I am, er, well versed and need not your kind reminder, though I do thank you.

    If RAH had written OMW… he wouldn’t be Heinlein… he’d a been… Scalzi! (personally I think Scalzi does a better Scalzi than Heinlein could ever do…)

    But, speaking of fictionality… so were stories re satellites; trips to the moon; lasers; and so many other damn things SF has previsioned… fictional, that is. As for political systems… well, the future will tell.

    Jon H #118 – “…living in Fat City for years and years…” “…get the presidency just because he was a POW…”

    Again, Hmmmmm… For his service and the things that happened to him during that (voluntary we must remember) service does he (or any vetran for that metter) deserve the Presidency, or any political office or job? No, of course not… but he does deserve our thanks. Well, at least he does get mine.

    He still doesn’t get my vote though… don’t much like his politics me.

  112. Probably too late for this, but:

    “Obviously, the only reason for the newspapers to run with [the Ryan divorce story] is that that they were pressured into it by Barack Obama. Otherwise they’d have ignored it entirely, since after all there’s nothing whatsoever unusual or grabby about the story itself.”

    PNH, are you kidding? It grabbed me!

    Remember Juan Cole’s remark: “He made 7 of 9 cry!”

  113. Wakboth @110

    On the subject of Ron Paul, even if you ignore or explain away his racism, you’re still left with a big, solid nugget of twenty-four carat goldbug nuttiness unconnected with the messy reality.

    Oh, well yes. But his positions on Foreign Policy is pretty darn similar to Democrats.

    Now if he just wanted to raise taxes and expand government, he could switch sides and hold hands with Kucinich.

    John H @ 116

    Frank wrote: “Um, for the record, that wasn’t Republicans, it was Democrat Bob Kerry”

    You’re silly if you don’t grasp that the Republicans are the ones who started that in the same email rumor chains they use to spread things like Proctor and Gamble is run by satanists.

    Kerrey just borrowed their line on Obama.

    Oh silly me.

    BTW, can you produce one of those Republican email rumor chains ?

  114. Caw!

    Y’know, John McCain’s good rep is pretty much a media creation entire. And he has supported the Bushies every step of the way; if the man has any integrity, he keeps it well hidden.

    Hilary Clinton has never repudiated her pro-Iraqi-war vote.

    Obama’s health care plan had big problems, and he viciously attacked Paul Krugman for pointing them out.

    Huckabee is a theocrat. Ron Paul is probably an American fascist.

    Lots more food for corvids. Me, I’m for Odin.

    Caw! Caw! Caw!

  115. Bloomberg is no Perot. He isn’t even a Nader. What few votes he does draw will be from Democrats.

    Rudy vs Hillary – are neither of them nanny staters enough that we need Mayor Mike?

    Let’s assume Thompson vs Clinton – do you really think any Thompson voters will go for Bloomberg? I can see some Democrats believing that the Clintons have spent quite enough time in the White House.

    I don’t see any likely match-up where Bloomberg hurts the Republicans. I don’t think he’ll run.

  116. Drew @ 99

    I lived in Chicago then…and back when the Trib editorial page said this about Jim Ryan (back when he f-cked up a death penalty case):

    “Those who did wrong or were derelict also must be held to account. At the top of this list must be Illinois Atty. Gen. Jim Ryan…none of those involved in the Cruz prosecution deserves ever again to enjoy a position of public honor or trust. They have demonstrated that they have no honor and they merit no trust.”

    I’d say it’s possible that somewhere in the organization that penned those words, someone might’ve been gunning for Ryan. At least as possible as your “It was an Obama mole!” theory. Especially since back when that came out, Obama was busy fighting in the Democratic primary, and would hardly have bothered gunning against one of the many contenders for the Republican nomination.

  117. John wrote: “Who does she look like when she wears a pantsuit?”

    I don’t know but I bet she looks smashing.

    But I’m not sure she wears pantsuits. I think it’s in the Bible.

  118. Someone way up this chain asked how someone can look at themselves in the mirror & call themselves a Republican. Allow me:

    Don’t vote for crazy people just because they are in your party.

    I haven’t voted for a member of my own party in the presidential election since Bob Dole, and even he was not someone I was warm & fuzzy about.

    But I am not going to stop calling myself a republican, since the ideals the R party claims are mostly my ideals, even if they stopped actually following them years ago. Example:

    Tax the minimum amount necessary to support the services that you must have.

    I think that went out the window after Bush Sr got defeated by Reagan in 80, although they occassionally woke up from the kool-aid up until Bush Sr got killed in the 92 primaries for breaking his “no new taxes” pledge. (unfairly so, I might add.)

    And I will point out that the Reagan tax cuts were based on sound economic theory. (not trickle-down, but the Laffer curve) The problem is that every R since then has decided that since one tax cut caused a massive economic boom, every later one will too. Never mind that the theory indicates that any tax cut once tax revenues are at the Laffer maximum will cause loss in revenue that will not be covered by future growth.

    personal opinion: the Clinton tax increases left us near the Laffer maximum.

    The other thing I’d like to see is people stop yelling about government waste. Yes, on an absolute scale, we waste huge sums of money. But take a look at the percentage, and ask yourself how many auditors would we need to hire to police the budget. If the cost of providing good audit services is more than the expected waste uncovered by doing so, then it isnt a good plan to hire those auditors.

    Actually, let me rephrase that:
    I wish people would stop yelling about government waste and then cutting the audit departments/mine inspectors/what have you. Saving money this year by eliminating the audit department will save money, but eventually someone will notice that they can steal whatever they want. No one notices that Idaho has been transported into someone swiss bank account until someone tries to land a plane in Boise & wonders where the ground went.

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