January 4, 2008
Lord, protect the GOP from your followers
I also disagree with Tristero and likewise agree completely with Atrios on celebrating the ascent of Mike Huckabee. The majority of Americans, both Democrat and Republican, truly have no idea what a large portion of Huckabee's constituency really looks like, and a year-long election cycle is going to turn over rocks and cast sunshine on some of the most racist, bigoted, and homophobic rot that hasn't seen the light of day since before the Civil Rights era.
Terri Schiavo is a perfect example. Elian Gonzales is a perfect example. The Minutemen are a perfect example. Now imagine eight months of that. Imagine this promo from the NBC Nightly News: "Tonight, we travel to an Arkansas parish and ask the residents what they really think about Barack Obama." It's easy to understand why the media-class Republicans are shitting their pants over this. When the right-wing extremists of the Republican party are motivated by something, their major success is making the Republican Party look awful.
So yes, I would love to see Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee, not because I think that most Republicans are bigoted, right-wing extremists, but because I'm positive most aren't. And those people are going to be ashamed to be Republicans when Huckabee is through with them.
January 3, 2008
An actual Chuck Norris fact
Chuck Norris taught Bob Barker karate. I'm not kidding.
Only mentioning Norris because I'm looking at Iowa right now in the context of the various speeches everyone made. Hillary showed up with Bill, Madeline Albright, and the left half of Wesley Clark. Obama showed up with his two painfully adorable children. Edwards showed up with his wife and a very deep sense of denial. Huckabee pushed his own wife out of the way for Chuck Norris and his cuter wife. Biden apparently resigned from the race in the cellar where they filmed the last scene of The Blair Witch Project.
To be fair, it's important to A. take pretty much every unnamed-source report offered by The
Drudge Report's SwimFan Politico with a golf ball-sized grain of salt, and B. realize that anything a campaign might be saying negatively about their own candidate's chances at this point is an attempt to lower expectations.
Short of divine intervention, which has apparently already been staked by Huckabee, Fred's not winning Iowa, and for him to even place second would require every single poll and/or pundit to have been wrong for the past, oh let's say, ever. Not that I wouldn't love to see all the pundits look more like idiots tonight, but it's pretty clear that Thompson's people are doing their best to pray for a strong third-place showing and spin that as a positive thing.
That said, I don't really think I was offering some really unique or divine insight six months ago when I pointed out that Thompson was going to end up exactly where he seems to be right about now. Obviously there's always a chance for some amazing turnaround, but at this point I don't think Iowa has seen a miracle like that since Kevin Costner built a cornfield for dead baseball players.
What I really do find weird about this is if the rumor's true (and I'm sure there's some truth to it- I mean, honestly, other than Giuliani who isn't assuming they won't survive Iowa without making the top three?) then the only part of the Fred Thompson campaign to come to fruition would be the conspiracy theories from six months ago that it was all a big ploy to boost John McCain. If Thompson ends up dropping out and endorsing McCain to provide a big enough boost for the nomination, then I have a feeling RedState is going to become an online suicide hotline.
God, I love primaries.
January 2, 2008
January 1, 2008
Since we've only a few more days until the point is moot, Paul Waldman's analysis of all the leading candidates' possible running mates is a great read, and pretty accurate.
I've thought for a while that Mike Huckabee was a top contender for VP, but Barbour easily has been near the top as well. If McCain wins the nod and picks either, I'd like to once again emphasize we are so goddamn screwed. McCain has the frightening advantage of being a massively right-wing conservative who the media pretends isn't a massively right-wing conservative, thus giving him the ability to select a massively right-wing conservative as a running mate and giving us a massively right-wing conservative White House. Again.
The Democrats seem almost formulaic at this point to the degree that they might as well announce their picks now since there's virtually no chance of overlap. Hillary will pick either Vilsack or Bayh. I still believe Obama would pick Warner, who is so guaranteed to win the Senate race next year he has no risk in running for VP as well. It's the same deal as Joe Lieberman in 2000, only with the added bonus of a Democratic governor appointing his immediate replacement if he wins. As for Edwards, I think the speculation is beyond silly, and one of the article comments sums it up clearly:
If by some moderately long shot John Edwards got the nomination, and were Obama interested, an Edwards / Obama ticket might just effectively end the modern Republican strength in presidential elections.
Forget the so-called experts on this matter. Together they might carry, I dunno, 60 or 70 states. States would come into being just to vote for them.
Depressingly, Edwards/Obama is truly the only Democratic ticket that would actually excite me at this point. I also think it's the least likely.
Grown-ups, pt. 2
Adding to the previous post, I'm certainly not saying I'm the most mature person in the world here, realm of politics or otherwise. But I'd like to think that I'm at least honest when I'm being petty and juvenile for personal enjoyment.
For example, I've said many times that there's a part of me that would love Hillary Clinton to be president for no reason other than spite. I mean that, and yet I acknowledge it's petty and juvenile. Likewise, there is a HUGE part of me that would love to see John Edwards take Iowa with 40% or more, for no reason other than the fact that it would make people like Richard Cohen, Peggy Noonan, and pretty much every single person in Washington who is paid to pretend they know what is going on in the election look like compete freaking idiots.
That is equally petty and juvenile. But, see, I am being open that I am now writing about something for no reason than a petty hatred of other people. Richard Cohen, who like most of the Washington media quite clearly hates John Edwards, is doing that as well, but is pretending not to, like the catty bitch he is. That is why I am a grown-up and Cohen is not.
When I was still in high school and only just becoming "politically aware" or whatever you'd like to call the term for having an interest in politics beyond simply saying "I'll vote for Hillary because she's the Democrat," Richard Cohen was one of the first columnists I actively read. And I really liked him. This was because, as I've understood now for the last few years, I wasn't a grown-up. I have learned, in these past few halcyon years of political commentary, that I am now apparently older than Richard Cohen.
And we're back
Hope you all had a lovely holiday week and a half. I have to say, I'm absolutely overwhelmed with how much stuff happened in the last two weeks. I have this kind of 50% happy, 50% angry that I wasn't around to deal with all of it.
Blogging might be light for the start of the year, as I'm trying to spend some time revamping the site. While noticing I have to re-adjust my site template to bump the copyright notice up to 2008, I realized that it's been far too long to have the entire site done in Dreamweaver templates, and I really need to A. learn PHP and B. redo the site in it.
Anyway, a few angry posts I'm sure over the next few days, and there'll be a new comic on Monday. Happy New Year!