Lou Quacious

Unseen Outsider Insight....

Thursday, July 19, 2007

GOP=Trouble With a Capitol T

As the news of the desertion of two of John McCain’s top advisors came out last week, a sure sign of turbulence inside the campaign, and a new poll pegged the Republican frontrunner as “none of the above,” it becomes increasingly clear the entire GOP field has considerable ground to make up on their way to November ‘08. With donations lagging 50% behind the Democrats and no credible candidate anywhere on the radar one must wonder who the Republicans could possibly choose as their nominee.

John McCain, the insider’s outsider, who said all the right things in 2000, is now too broke and too old to be a plausible candidate. And that’s probably exactly what his campaign manager and chief strategist realized last week, as the second quarter donation numbers became official they jumped ship. He blew his chance in 2000 when the “Straight Talk Express” actually had some momentum, now he seems to sway like a palm in the political and cultural breeze, pandering to whatever crowd he happens to be addressing. He’s a joke; sidling up to the supposed “agents of intolerance”, supporting Bush and his war long after that’s a tenable position, and getting publicly befuddled like everyone’s favorite grandpa; McCain’s just not presidential material anymore. And as much as the GOP is looking for the next Reagan I’d hope they were wary of his one all too Reagan-esque quality and that is his seemingly approaching senility. If you’re voting for McCain you better be a big fan of the Vice President because you may be seeing a lot more of him then you think.

Then there’s Rudy, what can’t you say about Rudy? He or his top level people have been linked recently to cocaine and prostitutes and he’s got deep connections with the mob, that’s a pretty nice trifecta. So is his marital track record for that matter, he’s on wife number three, that ought to play well with Christian right where “family values” is such a big issue. But he’s still the hero of 9/11 right? Well not according to the International Firefighter’s Union which recently started running an ad campaign against him questioning his handling of emergency services during his tenure as mayor. What did he really do on 9/11 that any other mayor wouldn’t have done in the same situation with the same PR team around them? He stood on some rubble with a megaphone and waved some flags. Bravo brave Rudy or should I say “helluva job.” Guiliani’s a crazy New Yorker who probably couldn’t get elected for any public office in his own state, so why is he a viable presidential candidate? The simple answer is he isn’t, the media has enabled his ridiculous notion that he could ever lead this country for too long and it’s really not fair to him or us.

Luckily for the GOP though there’s Mitt Romney; the eminently presidential looking, church going, family man; perfect right? What secrets could this fine man possibly be hiding? Well, for one if the cardinal sin of the 2004 election was flip-flopping then Romney’s in a lot of trouble because the more you look at his record the more you see this guy’s like fish out of water anytime you compare his past positions to his present ones. His next biggest liability however might be secret underwear, that’s right he’s a Mormon, an on the surface seemingly innocuous little blip (hey Kennedy was a Catholic) but the more you look at this strange sect the more you realize it’s more like a weird Masonic cult and less like a legitimate religion. The Mormons in case you weren’t aware are known to wear secret undergarments with magical symbols that supposedly protect them from harm. If it sounds too ridiculous to be true that’s because it is, but it’s all too real, look it up. Another big difference is Mormons unlike Catholics have a history of polygamy and racism as tenets of the faith, neither of which is very popular in mainstream politics these days. As soon as people unfamiliar with this peculiar little cult realize what they are all about Romney should be laughed right out of the limelight, another victim of the media’s unreality.

What about Fred Thompson the dark horse candidate waiting in the wings ready to swoop into the race? He may not be a President but he could play one on TV so he counts. Eight years in the Senate as a distinguished loafer and skirt chaser and a stint on “Law and Order” that’s a pretty good presidential resume, I guess(Reagan and Clinton all rolled into one). A former lobbyist (we all know they’re pretty popular at the moment) and lawyer (another historically well-liked profession) who’s been divorced and is currently married to a woman 25 years his junior (that should go over well with those older conservative voters). Thompson is as fatally flawed as all the rest of them if not more so.

So who’s left? They still need not just a nominee but someone who can compete against the Democratic dream team and Bush’s epically low poll numbers. The only even remotely viable names I see in the Republican bullpen are Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Representative Ron Paul of Texas. Who and who? That’s exactly the problem for Republican’s; the two most promising, rational, and electable candidates have been pushed so far to the fringe no one really knows anything about them. The media is too busy focusing on the celebrity campaigns worrying more about ratings and the bottom line then serious news gathering. But that’s been a problem ever since the news became more of a profit maker than a public service, a big painful side effect of our ever expanding commercialization culture.

If the Democrats can just keep it together they should coast right into the Oval Office but you never know in today’s instantaneous and omnipotent media environment. One little slip and you’re out; just ask George Allen and his buddy “maccaca”. A year ago he was considered a frontrunner for 2008 now he’s politically dead and buried, and we’re still almost 18 months out from the election, so anything goes. But the Democratic bench is deep Obama, Hillary, Edwards even the second tier is strong with Richardson, Biden, and Dodd. Plus there’s still the chance Al Gore will jump in and ride a green wave into the White House. They’ve got enough candidates to run two or three America’s (however many we’ve got these days) and a huge money lead, so if they can’t cobble together a winning ticket out of that field they’ve got bigger problems then even the Republicans.

1 Comments:

Blogger Evan Williams said...

Jeff Williams, (no, not my brother Jeff… this Jeff must be my brother from an another mother, a liberal one) makes some interesting points in his recent opinion piece. Although it seems a little early to begin electioneering, (since the election is yet 15 plus months away) here goes anyway!

Regarding Rudy Giuliani, Jeff cites two “high-level members of his campaign staff” who have resigned. That would be LA. Senator, David Vitter (Southern Chairman) and South Carolina Chairman, State Treasurer, Thomas Ravenel. Important men, yes, but not ones you would consider insider campaign staff members; and yes, these men have had serious moral failings, however, they are both elected officials and responsible to the voters of their respective states (who, incidentally, voted them into office in their last elections… apparently, Rudy wasn’t the only person fooled by these two charlatans). Certainly, both parties have enough bad characters to go around, shall we display the Democrat list now, too?

Rudy, however, unlike any of the Democrat candidates, has some actual achievements to point to in his distinguished career. As U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, he earned a national reputation for prosecuting mob bosses, corrupt politicians and Wall Street inside traders with equal vigor. In six years, he obtained 4,152 convictions; he was widely regarded as the most effective prosecutor in the country.

When Giuliani became mayor of New York, more than a million New Yorkers were on welfare; over the next eight years he moved 691,000 people from the welfare rolls to self-sufficiency. In just two years, serious crime had been reduced by more than one-third and murder by almost half. Over Giuliani's eight years in office, New York's crime rate fell by 57 percent, and the FBI subsequently rated New York as America's safest large city. Giuliani cut taxes while turning a $2.3 billion budget deficit into a multi-billion dollar surplus. Rudolph Giuliani was easily re-elected to a second term in 1997, carrying four of the city's five boroughs… and let’s remember, that’s a Republican in NEW YORK CITY!

Of course, his trial by fire on 9/11 is the stuff legends are made of; that might possibly be why that notoriously liberal periodical, TIME magazine, named him person of the year for 2001. As for the International Association of Firefighters taking a shot at Rudy… gee, could it have anything to do with politics? (Especially since the IAFF just happened to be a huge backer of John Kerry in the last election.)

Then there’s Mitt Romney, the savvy entrepreneur and former Governor of Massachusetts. All he did was start a highly successful investment company, rescue the foundering 2002 Winter Olympics and, as Governor, reformed state government, imposed fiscal discipline and improved education. Romney launched a major overhaul of Massachusetts state government and brought the state’s fiscal house in order, turning a $3 billion budget deficit into a $700 million surplus… without raising taxes or borrowing.

Ok, he’s a Mormon… and he may have issues with the base regarding his change in the position of being pro-life, but Ronald Reagan was once pro-abortion, too, until he saw the error of his ways, and it didn’t seem to hurt his political chances that badly. Both Rudy and Mitt Romney have been, and would be, outstanding chief executives, with the records to prove it.

Finally, there’s Fred Thompson. A man with a stellar legal career… but he does have those “lobbyist” and “attorney” tags hanging around his neck. I know that is a lot to forgive, but the man has such solid conservative ideas and principles he cannot be overlooked. Granted, he does not have that much of a Senatorial career to praise, but if that’s the criteria upon which we are judging candidates, he is, at worst, no less qualified than Hillary Clinton, John Edwards or Barack Obama, undistinguished senators all.

Yes, Jeff, he is married to a woman twenty-five years his junior, and that’s not a problem for me (particularly in view of the fact that she is quite accomplished and politically capable). What would be a problem is if he had legions of women who accused him of all manner of various sexual improprieties… even rape. However, strangely enough, all of Fred’s former flames (including his ex-wife of twenty-five years) heartily endorse him. Imagine that!

Plus, Fred Thompson has the intangible, presence… Presidential presence. The man just looks and sounds like a President, and if you’ve ever read any of his commentaries you would have to admit they read as Reaganesque; very grounded, very common sense, very much to the point. We did pretty well with an actor before, and Fred’s a decent actor… and he might be a pretty good candidate. He could be an extraordinary president.

So there you go, you’ve got three pretty good choices for the GOP, and for the Democrats you’ve got Hillary, John and “Barack” (he being named for the horse which allegedly carried Mohammed into heaven)… a pants suit, an empty suit and a bathing suit. Wow! You liberals must be licking your chops! Now I understand why you’re so desperate to get AlGore, into the race; these other choices make him look like a proverbial “white knight” (or perhaps more accurately, “wooden knight”) poised to ride to the rescue.

I agree with Jeff that John McCain is “toast”… ‘nuf said. And about his statement that Republicans are “lagging fifty percent behind the Democrats”, well, it is true that Democrat candidates are currently fundraising at a higher rate than the Republicans, but the National Committee picture is a little different. The RNC raised $33 million in the first four months of this year and had $14.2 million in cash on hand and was debt free as May began. The DNC has raised $19.2 million this year and had available cash of $6.1 million with debts of $3 million. It seems not quite so bad for those “Wascally Wepubwicans” as Jeff might like to think.

Well, it certainly is going to be interesting… but can it be so for 15 more months?

August 7, 2007 at 5:45 PM  

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