26 December 2007


Why should anyone give a damn what I think about the upcoming Presidential Election? Why should anyone give a damn what any one voter thinks? But, I've got this blog, so I'm going to use it to disseminate at least some of my political views.

Here's what I think about the upcoming Presidential Primaries:

First off, no matter who the Democrat Party candidate is in the November election, I'll probably end up voting for her, or him. We've had too much of the Republicans for the past eight years no matter who their nominee is. Things have tilted too far to their side. The country needs some balance and to get it, things are going to have to tilt back to the other side for a little while. Not to mention that the next president will certainly appoint at least one supreme court judge and the country cannot take the risk that the appointee will be heavily influenced by the religious right.

Plus, someone's got to cut back on war spending, and it isn't going to be the Republicans.

The funny thing is that people still labor under the delusion that one party is the party of sound fiscal policy and the other isn't. It's just not true. Both parties are profligate spenders. Both parties figure they can buy our votes through how they spend money.

The difference is that the Republicans overspend on "defense" and the Democrats want to overspend on domestic policies. Traditionally, the Republicans are the ones who actually believe in a free lunch. They want to spend without raising taxes. When they accuse the Democrats of being "tax and spend" - at least that makes sense. Don't tax, but spend anyhow is about as dumb a policy as there is. The Republicans just spend on different things than the Democrats do.

And the Republicans get away with that for eight, sometimes twelve years at a time, then the Democrats get elected and have no choice but to raise taxes to pay for all the massive Republican defense spending and tax cut backs. So then the Democrats get painted as the party that raises taxes and the Republicans get elected again. It's a pretty good political strategy and a really lousy fiscal one.

So, I'm not going to even worry about who the Republican nominee is going to be. Whoever it is, they aren't getting my vote - as amusing as I think Ron Paul is.

As for the Democrats, my top three choices for the nomination come from among the six serious candidates. (I say "serious" because I don't believe Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel ever had a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination, and even if they did, neither of them would be my choice anyhow.) But my top three are the least likely to get the nomination: Richardson, Biden and Dodd.

Richardson is my candidate of choice. He's got the widest range of experience, has proved himself an effective governor, and has some very bright ideas. Problem is, he's a lousy candidate. He lacks charisma, is sometimes too honest, and puts his foot in his mouth when he's tired - just like most people do, but presidential candidates need to learn to keep their mouths shut.

So, what of the other three, who seem to have a chance at the nomination?

I don't like John Edwards. I don't trust him, and he scares me. If you can really believe what he says - and I have my doubts about that - he has a near complete lack of understanding of the global economy, or the way that the global economy and trade affect the U.S. If, as President, he could actually do what he says he would like to do - which, luckily, he couldn't - in terms of trade policy, he would severely set back our economy. The U.S. would lose a great many more jobs than it has already. Any possible recession, would threaten to become a full blown depression, and it would take down a lot of other countries with it. I'm sorry about your father's job John, but we are the world's most developed, technologically advanced economy; there is no sane reason that t-shirts or socks should be manufactured in North Carolina. Maybe with all of your trial lawyer fees you can afford to buy undergarments made in America, but most people can't. We need better, new economy jobs, not to protect the old jobs that other countries can now do as well and cheaper.

Luckily, I don't really think he's got a hope in hell, anyhow.

So that leaves us with Hillary and Obama, and I'm okay with either of them.

I also worry, though, that either of them will have a more difficult time getting elected than they ought to.

Despite being one of the more moderate, centrist senators, who has received high marks for her willingness and ability to work with the Republicans, Hillary is still a very divisive figure. The Republicans don't just not agree with her, they hate her. And they're ready for her. I am certain that they have both barrels locked and loaded and ready to hurt her in all sorts of ways the moment she gets the nomination. They've been preparing for her for the past three years. I still think she can win, but it will be a whole lot closer than it ought to be. And, as much as I hate her stance on the Iraq War, I think she'd be a good president and surround herself with good advisors. And, though I would prefer our first woman president to be a completely self-made woman, rather than the wife of a previous president, I would be happy to see the breaking of that glass ceiling in any event.

As for Obama, as much as I would love to believe that race wouldn't be an issue in a presidential election, I don't believe that. It won't be a huge issue - most of the people who won't vote for a black man, wouldn't vote for a Democrat either - but I think it would still be a big enough issue as to also make an Obama election a whole lot tighter than it should be. And, with his short track record in national politics, a very close election will make it harder for him to govern effectively. I don't worry too much about the experience factor. I think an awful lot of what goes into making a good president is the people he or she is surrounded by. And I think he'd appoint good people. Also, being black, and having lived in Indonesia as a child, I think he'd be well-situated for beginning the vital process of improving relations with the Islamic world.

So, who am I going to vote for in the California Primary? I don't know. I'll probably vote for Richardson anyhow in the hope that he gets enough votes that whoever's the nominee has to pick him for vice-president or Secretary of State.

Now I'll try to get back to some more amusing topic in my next blog post.

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