It seems odd to start talking about the 2008 presidential campaign so soon, but our media machine it getting bored, and they noticed that the Dems are already attacking each other. It seems more a amplification of the media, of the actions of these folks’ supporters, who may have felt either slighted, let down, or just enamored with a new face. Enter Barach Obama.
Mr. Obama seems a rare commodity in today’s politics. He is youthful, poised and can put together a complete sentence that carries some lyricism. He could be, by Dem standards, the Holy Grail of politics. Shall we say it? Another Jack Kennedy? I bet it makes some shudder with anticipation to even consider the possibility. I feel happy for them, at least for the excitement. On paper, he is the archetype of the American dream: Broken home to Harvard scholar. Not the survivor of a childhood of great want, but definitely someone who was destined and willing to be successful. On paper, the man is hard not to like.
They may have a JFK. But he is not electable: not because of his race, but because his ideas have no real implementation. We are no longer seduced by dreams. His platform, for the moment, is universal health coverage.
The American people, especially those who pay taxes, are not fooled by the illusion of socialized health care. Sure, they may dream of a middle class handout. But look to Canada or to Europe to see the havoc it creates. The one industry that America can reasonably be proud of, after losing the automobile and electronics industries, is health care. Our standard of quality is the envy of the world. Our choice of care and caregivers is a right we demand. Whether you are enamored with the AMA and pharmaceutical industries or not (like me), our technology and professionals are the best.
There is no doubt in the mind of most Americans that socialized medicine--or single payer or whatever the catch-phrase of the season is--will cause every doctor’s office to look like an inner city emergency room: jammed with abusers of a free-for-all system. Have you tried one lately?
And where would our mortgaged country, courtesy Bush and the spineless Congress, get to pay for this new federal spending spree? Don’t we already have the worst deficit in human history?
No, the poor turnip that is the American taxpayer will not be fooled. Yes, crowds will cheer these rousing sentiments, but even in ultra-liberal Oregon, the voters defeated a single payer initiative by a landslide in 2000. Mrs. Clinton failed in her attempts, and so shall Mr. Obama. With that as his only discernable campaign position, what else is there? Here is the essence of it, as he said a couple of years ago:
No, people don't expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.
Bravo to the first line, but boo to the rest. A “slight change” in priorities to fund upwards of 100 billion dollars and create a brand new DMV-like bureaucracy that could actually kill you? What about the tidal wave of entitlement commitments already set to push the country into default? Truly, he is a devoutee of government meddling, a fan of the the New Deal, “we should be asking ourselves what mix of policies will lead to a dynamic free market..:” to which the French businessmen answered, and we still do: “lassiez-faire nous”. When will the message sink in? His training is only the training of lawyer, not a creator of wealth or a solver of problems: paper will save the world. Not.
The battle-worn Senator Clinton fares a much better chance: no, not because she is white, but because she is clearly corruptible.
Beneath the housewife bravado of standing up for her husband’s dalliances, her performance during those ridiculous events shows her ability to sink to the lowest depths of humiliation to get what she wants: the mantle of history. She remains a point of controversy because of the eerie nature of political ambition. On balance, her own biography reads like Mr. Obama’s. She is a driven, hard-working force. But we all watched her during the witch-hunt. I feel for my Dem friends when we think about the real crimes of the current administration compared to the trivial exploits of a man who apparently could never keep it in his pants.
Her war position, or “was” position, gets much made out of it. So what? She didn’t apologize for voting with most of the Congress. This is a standard non-news item. We have been reduced, by virtue of our whorish media, to the simple-minded morality of mommys’ making everyone apologize—so it’s all better. Right. This accomplishes, again, nothing. Nothing is truly addressed or fixed, but the pointless melodrama has been played out for the benefit of the advertisers. And now these words…
If she and her fellow Dems had any real guts, instead crying that they were duped and “not going to believe this president again," they would have impeached and tried Bush. But their inaction demonstrates the zero-sum rules of the game that the two party system plays on the American people. For some dark reason--I wish I had a great conspiracy theory more interesting than just brute self-concern--the Dems allowed a president to be placed on trial for lying about a pathetic sex act. Yet, the same crowd gave a blank check to the current president to cause the death of thousands of Americans and Iraqis and drive us into bankruptcy.
I’m not going to believe these politicians again. But you probably didn’t think I was fooled.
And what about Hollywood Al Gore? I’m sorry, but there is just not enough to talk about. Environmentalism is as big a political red herring as the War on Terror. It warms the heart and attracts the younger generations raised on Saturday morning cartoon propaganda. Fix the poor Earth, but mommy has to drive us to soccer practice in the Hummer. Politics slight of hand like this does not address any real fiscal or crime problems, nor does stopping abortions, flag burning, Howard Stern’s fetishes or monuments depicting the ten commandments. True, Gore was a real contender then, but consider whom he was running against. McCain won’t come off as bad.
The Dems only winning course of action is to present a calm, accountable approach to removing us from Iraq, rebuilding our international credibility by NOT doing anything violent in other countries, and restraining the spending addiction. Those are loftly goals--as mundane as they might seem--for a party that couldn’t beat Bush Sr.
If this doesn’t happen, then by default, they will hand the presidency to McCain, who has finally taken on the schizophrenic policies of the rest of the principal Reb mutants. Dr. Evil would be proud of the transformation (all he needs now are “lasers” on his head). If the “flip-flop” catchphrase were around, it might be worn out by the puzzling set of positions he takes. He came out against Falwell, but then saw the light. He criticized the war and yet still supports increasing troop levels. He even stooped this year to the pathetic bullying equivocation of a bipartisan non-binding resolution opposing a troop buildup in Iraq with a "vote of no confidence" in the US military. Figure his position on abortion out:
Yes, he wants the Christian right, just not so fervently. There is a big difference between changing your mind and trying to be all things to all people. The brave, untamed, Vietman vet routine is no longer cover for underhanded, calculated politics. The coup de grace is the evil McCain-Feingold Act of 2002, which did more to insure that only the rich participate in politics that all the hired bullies from all the political machines in history. By limiting individual contributions to a pittance, third parties cannot climb the money hill, needed for media access and “credibility”, even with help from the occasional enlightened angel. Only the rich (think Perot) can run, since only they can self-finance multi-million dollar elections. The grass roots have been cut.
Perhaps the Libertarian front runner Steve Kubby, a martyr to what strength, bravery and dignity stands for, and the author of California’s Prop 215, will be able to earn enough airtime to shine some light on the whole dirty business. The 1998 Libertarian candidate for Governor of California, he was targeted by the statist California Attorney General Dan Lundgren. After both he and his wife were vindicated of medical marijuana possession charges (legal in his state), he was hunted in and subsequently ejected from Canada with some deft ex post facto changes to terms of his probation—related to some mushroom pieces found in a guestroom. As a victim of a particularly painful strain of cancer, and legitimate medical user of marijuana, his ordeal upon arrival and incarceration in the US without lifesaving medication reads like a Stephen King nightmare…but this is real, folks. Your Government at work. We’ll discuss the left’s failure to attack the “war on drugs” sometime later this year.
Will Steve win? Probably not, but he will have an effect on the outcome.
Who will that leave running the country? Given the choices allowed to them, the body politic will wisely choose McCain without a willing Congress, or Hillary with a hardheaded Congress that will not commit political suicide. We will have peaceful deadlock again. Carter and Ford style deadlock. For libertarians (the small “L”) from all parties, a government that does the least hurts the least.
It may be too dramatic, or too early, to call this race a choice between evils, but so far it is certainly not a choice to improve things at all