I’ve been fascinated by articles I’ve read recently suggesting that the Republicans (and within that conservative Republicans) are torn when it comes to the 2008 Presidential election.
If the articles have it right, then their primary goal is to find someone who can beat Hillary.
I’m tickled by that for a couple of reasons.
First, they assume Hillary Clinton will be the nominee. I’m actually leaning toward Edwards. Not because I want
Edwards necessarily* (and not because I don’t want him necessarily) but because I think Hillary is going to blow it on Iraq (to date she has completed messed that up), and the more folks learn about Obama, sadly, the more I think they will not see him as the first African-American to win the White House. Not a reflection on Obama, so much as it is a reflection on the electorate and its "sensibilities."
Second, in their efforts, conservatives are effectively ruling out the candidates who they like the most (it sounds down right liberal/progressive/Democrat, circa 2004. We all agreed that Bush had to go, many of us wanted Dean, but hoo-haw, we couldn’t see him winning, it so we sold Dean low and bought Kerry high, and we held his stock even as analysts advised us not to, holding on to it until he dropped off the big board completely. Well at least we weren't hit by a capital gains tax, but I digress…)
Of the five Republican candidates running or poised to run, conservatives love, love, love Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback. But even conservatives know both are too far right to have any appeal at all where it matters most: Michigan, Ohio and Florida (everything else is pretty much decided already).
So they’re left with three options that have to leave them feeling like they’re choosing between the lesser of three evils.
John McCain has too much history. Sure, he’s cozying over to the right millimeters at a time, but no one thinks that’s anything other than an effort to broaden his appeal in the primaries. If he is nominated, everyone expects him to center-up for the general election, which means the real McCain is the one who voted against the federal ban on same sex marriage, didn’t line up behind torture, and help knock down the nuclear option during the judicial nominee kurfuffle in 2004.
Then there’s Mitt Romney. Why oh why, conservatives ask, why, oh why can’t he be a regular Christian? He’s anti-choice, he’s against same sex marriage, but he’s Mormon (gasp!). Also, there's one pesky problem. He's anti-choice and anti-same sex marriage today
. Yesterday, when he wanted to be governor of Massachusetts, he was pro-choice and supported gay rights. Not the safest bet to put all your chips on if you want 8 more years of extreme social conservatism (these folks hate science people! They hate science!).
Last, but not least, is America’s Mayor (but not my Mayor), Rudy Giuliani. Ann Coulter likes to accuse 9/11 widows and widowers of profiting from tragedy, but no one, no one has profited more from 9/11 than Giuliani – no one, not even flag makers. Trust me on this, the guy is an egomaniac with an anger management problem, and, on top of it all, he’s pro-choice and supports gay rights. I hope he gets the nomination – it will guarantee us an exciting election. We can all watch while his temper boils over, he hogs up credit for things he had nothing to do with, and contemplates his fourth marriage (not that I'm judging).
And it all adds up to Democrat heaven. We can’t lose. Huckabee and Brownback are coo-coo for cocoa puffs and will not get the nod. If they do, go ahead and plug in the donkey. Democrats will win big. The other three are practically conservative Democrats – especially considered against the stubborn wacko in the White House right now.
So, no matter how it all turns out, one has to give Hilary credit for bringing change to the White House.
*I'm a Kucinich man right now. Yes, I know he will not, cannot win, but he lines up with me on the issues, and I have to support that right now. I need that right now, okay?