Saturday, January 19, 2008

Political Update -- January, 2008

I can’t remember if I took time to crow here about my prediction that Hillary would win New Hampshire. Not bad, and it put me in very select company. Frankly, I didn’t hear any of the pundits make the same prediction, hypnotized by the polls they like to pretend they distain. Well, by election night, even I thought it was a bonehead prediction, but stubbornly sat with it. Somehow, Bill (her husband, but he has to say he thinks she'll win) and I were right and she won.

My general prediction that McCain would come back and win it all is also looking better right now too. At least, if he doesn’t, he has the lead for now, and I won’t look like a total idiot, which is what I’m really worried about, truth be known.

We all know, if we have lived through any campaigns, that everything could change on one day, by a bad moment in a debate (Dukakis; Gore) or a unguarded moment campaigning (Dean) or by giving a witty one liner (Reagan) which was probably written weeks earlier.

Was McCain reading this blog which gave an imaginary speech on his behalf (9/3/07). He seems to (please note: I’m kidding) in that he has come to realize that Americans want the border closed first before they consider any other immigration fixes and now says so. Although I am not one who believes the compromise immigration bill was amnesty (if so, we need a new word for actual amnesty; I would call the bill permissive rehabilitation, but politically, amnesty worked so well) it was a political compromise and had nothing to do with congress representing the people.

I think I have given Clinton this advice before. I’ll be nice and say it one more time. Stop raising your voice. Don’t lead chants. Don’t even say “Thank you, good night” to your audience too loudly. You are one of those people who shriek when they are trying to inspire. And, though your followers may forgive it, the general undecided public will notice it in a general election and talk radio will play it over and over again.

My preferences haven’t changed. I prefer McCain on the right and I have no preference on the left. The Republican candidates are busy encouraging their base’s religious fervor (yccchh) and the Democratic candidates are proposing give aways by the dozens (as if we can pay for them).

One thing we can be sure of, of course, none of the candidates are going to be able to do what they say if they win because they have to work with congress. But we will go on pretending that this is why we are voting for this one or that one. As I’ve said before, the politician whose views are closest to mine is Giuliani, who is also the one candidate I most hope loses. I too well remember his tyrannical ways as New York City Mayor (see earlier post -- “America’s Mayor” 2/21/07) and he hasn’t convinced me he has changed inside, although he has learned to give a speech like he’s having a conversation.

I have my wish list. I wish the Republicans would stop talking about Reagan like he was Jesus Christ. Or, if they are going to, they should just try and out shout each other more directly by carrying on like four year olds: “I’m Ronald Reagan”. “No, I’m Ronald Reagan and you’re a card carrying ACLU liberal”. Oh, shut up the bunch of you.

Bill Kristol wrote in his Weekly Standard a line I liked (the article is dated 1/28/08, but I don’t think he comes from the future or he would just tell us who won): “The normal American president is a politician, with semicoherent ideological views, who sometimes becomes a vehicle for an ideological movement.”

I wish the Democrats would stop telling us they are going to outlaw being poor, being foreclosed upon, low wages, etc. We can not spend our way out of the economic problems we face. The problems are due to pie in the sky thinking (I know -- I'm guilty of it myself). I wish that the Republicans would stop acting like the Democrat candidates actually hate America. They don’t. They hate the conservative vision of America.

I wish all of them would stop telling us how wonderful we are. It’s a relative thing. Sometimes we are wonderful; much of the time we “suck” and how much depends on to whom or what you are comparing us. It would be nice if there was a way to tally who panders the most and least. It might be a good way to vote. At least we’d have a better shot of getting someone honest in there.

I wish the Republican candidates would stop talking about Iraq like it is a great victory. It’s just better than earlier this year. It has still drained untold billions from our resources for a very uncertain future. And I wish the Democrat candidates would stop acting like they are really getting out of Iraq fast. They aren’t going to. They may actually be lying about this. I give some credit to Hillary for giving the reasons we can’t just leave. But even if one of the other two win, we aren’t going anywhere fast.

My favorite line in all of the debates (which are getting better as they get smaller) so far goes to Ron Paul, who, as part of his retort to being asked if he less electable as a “Republican” than the other candidates on the stage, said:

“Let me see if I get this right. We need to borrow $10 billion from China, and then we give it to Musharraf, who is a military dictator, who overthrew an elected government. And then we go to war, we lose all these lives promoting democracy in Iraq. I mean, what's going on here?”

Holy flim flam, Batman. I think he may be onto something. Consistent we are not.

Paul is an interesting phenomena. Although he gets few votes because he is just not considered electable, I actually believe that if he really had the support of the conservatives (who act like their favored candidate, Thompson, is the only conservative among the bunch), he would be the most electable in a general election of all of them after McCain and Giuliani (imho). Independents dig him, man. Even some Democrats. And, although, I think it is partly because they do not know him well, it is the perceived purity of his “constitutionalism” that entices so many people. People who never read a word of the constitution like the idea that we actually follow it occasionally. Of course, they have no idea how that might destroy their way of life (e.g., I have never bought that the federal constitution authorized some of the civil rights laws although they were probably the most beneficial and important laws to be passed in the history of our country).

Did Giuliani wait too long before taking his shot in Florida. I'm going to guess yes. He is not going to come in first. If he doesn't, his chances on super Tuesday becomes severely impaired.

I didn’t make any big predictions for the Nevada and South Carolina races because they seem so close between McCain/Huckabee in S.C. and Romney/McCain in Nevada and there is no way to tell who is going to show to the polls.

However, it should be obvious (so, I’ll point it out) that if McCain wins both that really bolsters his campaign going into Florida, while not destroying either of the other top contenders, but if he loses both, it will really cut into his momentum, and may even signal that he peaked too soon. Thus, today might be bigger for McCain than many realize.

A word to John Edwards. Please, after February 5th. Go back home. One, I predicted it and you'll make me look good. Two, you lost. Start a hedge fund or sue someone rich. You never had a chance and would also lose any general election. This may shock you because you were so successful in court and try and be so sunny and nice all the time, but most people don’t really like you that much. You are too rich without really impressing us with your qualities. You are a little too effeminate for most people. And you are too, too liberal to get elected. Even most Democrats realize that now. You make the other two look like right wingers.

Lastly, thank goodness for Dennis Kucinich, who has all the chances of winning as I do of making my first million before I’m 50. But he’s so much fun. Did you really demand a recall in New Hampshire after losing by one zillion points? You crazy card, you. You have to love that.


  1. Anonymous8:44 AM


  2. Anonymous10:04 AM

    Where did you ever learn to make those sleeping sounds? I have to steal that for myself someday.


Your comments are welcome.

About Me

My photo
I started this blog in September, 2006. Mostly, it is where I can talk about things that interest me, which I otherwise don't get to do all that much, about some remarkable people who should not be forgotten, philosophy and theories (like Don Foster's on who wrote A Visit From St. Nicholas and my own on whether Santa is mostly derived from a Norse god) and analysis of issues that concern me. Often it is about books. I try to quote accurately and to say when I am paraphrasing (more and more). Sometimes I blow the first name of even very famous people, often entertainers. I'm much better at history, but once in a while I see I have written something I later learned was not true. Sometimes I fix them, sometimes not. My worst mistake was writing that Beethoven went blind, when he actually went deaf. Feel free to point out an error. I either leave in the mistake, or, if I clean it up, the comment pointing it out. From time to time I do clean up grammar in old posts as, over time I have become more conventional in my grammar, and I very often write these when I am falling asleep and just make dumb mistakes. It be nice to have an editor, but . . . .