Monday, December 03, 2007

Indecision 2008: The Year Before

You may have noticed that there is little discussion about the Presidential elections here at mwbh. This is one of those rare occasions when I really don't know what to say. Yet.

But here goes anyway.

For the last two elections, I voted for a third-party candidate -- Patrick Buchanan of the Reform Party in 2000, and some guy named Petrouka of the Constitution Party in 2004. I'm getting pretty tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils, quite frankly. I also appear to be turning into a Federalist in my old age. I don't expect the Federal Government to be whittled down to practically nothing in the coming years (at least while I'm still on the books), but time and the Department of Homeland Security are proving to me that we may be getting a little carried away. Fortunately, most of you Americans out there in blog-reading land will continue to elect senators and congressmen who will demand a lion's share of the Federal pie, so I'm sittin' pretty at the moment. But, I digress...

If Barack Obama is nominated by the Democrats, it will at least show that they thought outside the box for once in their lives. He could be reasonably entertaining. If Hilary is nominated, it will be the wake-up call that conservatives need so badly. John Edwards is barely worth mentioning, so I won't.

Meanwhile, with the Republicans, if Rudy is nominated, that wake-up call will hit the snooze button for four more years. You see, Rudy is no more conservative than Hilary. He's what we used to call a "Rockefeller Republican." The GOP will nominate him (or Mitt Romney) only if they want to offend the least number of people, which will also excite the least number of people. That will cost them big time, especially if Hilary gets the nod. Fred Thompson is a Federalist at heart. His position on abortion was once less motivated by the reality of when life begins, than it was whether the Feds should take the role of determining its place in society to the states. His declaration that Roe v Wade is "bad law" (an opinion shared by retired pro-choice Justice Sandra Day O'Connor) is consistent with this philosophy. People think he's "switched sides" on abortion. Well, he's on the right side now, and the consistent thread -- from 1994 to the present -- is a strict-constitutionalist philosophy. People say he's lazy, but they confuse style with substance, and they ignore that he has a very well-organized campaign. Then there's Mike Huckabee, who is gaining interest among "social conservatives," but he leaves behind him a record that needs some explaining (increasing Arkansas' budget while governor, not always being pro-life, some not-so-conservative things about his immigration policy, and so on). His smartest move to date was running a campaign ad summing up his immigration policy in two words: "Chuck Norris." I could learn to live with it. His biggest liability, however, is his name. (Be honest; you've thought about certain variations, haven't you now???) Ron Paul is a favorite among traditional Catholics. His biggest problem is his inability to take control of his own message, from the lunatic fringe types who get banned from conservative sites like for spouting all their "9-11 Conspiracy" nonsense. All this, before we even get into exactly HOW he would shut down the IRS or re-invent (or whatever it is he has in mind) the Federal Reserve. It doesn't matter; if he can't even run his own campaign...

Well, that's how it looks to me so far.

(By the way, all you 9-11 "truthers" out there, don't even THINK about posting here. I live in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located. If it were hit by a missile instead of a jet plane, we would have seen it, and the Arlington Country Fire Fighters would not have seen charred bodies strapped to their seats in the wreckage.)


Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I have to take issue with your description of Giuliani as a "Rockefeller Republican". Traditionally, Rockefeller Republicans have more dignity than to appear in drag on national television.

As to Obama's nomination being indicative of the Democrats thinking "out of the box", it would only be so in the sense that AT&T was thinking "out of the box" back in the 60s when they started selling telephones in colors other than black.

And I still haven't forgiven Thompson for voting to acquit Bill Clinton on the perjury charge.

David L Alexander said...

I can't defend Thompson for acquitting Slick Willie either, even though he attempted to do so based solely on the law, which was still a weak argument. It's the one thing about "The Fred" that gives me pause. Obama's nomination would be a blow to the status-quo of the Democratic Party, which might be enough to leave a vacuum for a transformation to a party that Catholics can support in good conscience once again. (That's a long shot, I'll admit.)

Now, who does that leave? Where do we go to find our next President?

Anonymous said...

Where do we go to find our next President?

You spoke well of the man to whom we should turn - Fred. The acquittal vote was unfortunate, but I think people are really nitpicking in an effort to find something wrong with every candidate. There is no other GOP candidate who combines economic, social, and foreign policy in such a high degree as Fred. Duncan Hunter might even be more conservative, but he really has no shot. Frankly I am baffled by the conservative reluctance to support Fred, as though his unwillingness to pander like every other candidate is a negative.

David L Alexander said...

"You spoke well of the man to whom we should turn - Fred."

Yes, but here's a question. Will his "strict constitutionalism" be enough to reverse the Wilsonian foreign policy that the USA has followed for nearly a century, and that is over-extending our resources? How does his sense of history serve him here? Will he maintain our role as the world's policeman? Can we afford to continue in that role????

Anonymous said...

I should hope that Thompson's originalism will serve him to reject a Wilsonian approach to foreign policy, though I am not sure one's preference on how to interpret the Constitution necessarily determines one's foreign policy. I'm not for America playing the role of the world's policeman, but it's not necessarily unconstitutional.

But that's nitpicking. Ultimately, is the Iraq engagement an act of policing the world and over-extension of resources, or is is it a necessary battle in a larger war on terrorism - one which deeply impacts our nation's security and freedom? How you answer that question might impact how you regard Thompson. Being in the latter camp, I am hopeful that Thompson will continue to fight. At the same time, I hope that he is willing to jettison the over-reaching rhetoric spewed by W.