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January, 2008:

Only 9 1/2 more months of this crap

That’s the only bright spot about the current presidential race.  This race has gone on too long, is obsessed with issues better addressed by other branches of government (or by the private sector), and will get really nasty soon. A week from tomorrow is Super Tuesday, and once a nominee from both parties is evident, the gloves will really come off. I suppose it’s been fun watching the Democrats recoil at Bill Clinton’s campaign tactics, and slippery rhetoric. I could’ve told them about that 16 years ago. Of course, who’d listen to a precocious high school senior who was driving the Bush-Quayle bandwagon?

The best candidate in the race has dropped out, maybe to reprise his role as a Manhattan District Attorney on television. Apparently, he didn’t want to be President enough. Oh, he wanted to be President enough to form an organization, campaign in Iowa and South Carolina, and present some of the sanest policies on either side.  He just didn’t want it in the same way the people still running want it. Never mind that his primary opponents include a big-city mayor who shows no interest in anything west of the Hudson River; a Baptist minister who later became a nanny-state governor; a polished businessman who served as governor of a very liberal state, yet practices a religion with which many are uncomfortable; a backbencher Congressman who actually holds a principled view of the Constitution but associated himself with racists and Anti-Semites as recently as 10 years ago; and a longtime Senator and war hero who claims economics is not his strong suit, but has promised more war.

In that group, I actually favor the last guy mentioned, Sen. John McCain, despite the blatantly unconstitutional McCain-Feingold Bill; despite his shaky economic credentials. Maybe my second choice is Romney. After that, I don’t know what I’ll do.

It has been entertaining watching the Democratic primary. John Edwards, the ambulance chaser, has no chance, yet he’s campaigning, qualifying for Federal matching funds.  Hillary Clinton has turned nastier and nastier to retain her status as the inevitable candidate, sending her husband out to be the hitman. I’m sort of  hoping the Clinton’s do a remake of the “Before It’s Too Late” ads Bernard Epton used in 1983. I thought the Democrats were about racial unity and tolerance, while the Republicans were the race baiters?

People are tired of the Clintons as much as they’re tired of the Bushes. (Why don’t we get tired of the Daleys, Jacksons, Lipinskis, Mells, and Daniels in Illinois?) So, even though Hillary Clinton has more cash, give the edge to Obama. Bad news for Republicans, for sure. Clinton can not win a general election. George W. Bush would beat her. Worse news for Republicans, particularly ones that believe in smaller government: Obama is a disaster.  Four years ago, the portrait of Obama that Jack Ryan’s campaign was set to paint was that of a near-socialist, who occasionally voted present in the Illinois Senate as not to tarnish his record with controversy.

National Review’s John Derbyshire’s critique of Obama today is devastating:

 All I see is great gusts of hot air. When he says something that actually has any semantic content, either it is just false, or else it is naked socialism. …

Cynicism towards the kind of vaporous flapdoodle Obama trades in is fully justified, and ought to be encouraged. Doubt that an Obama administration will be able to do any better with the nation’s issues than a Clinton, McCain, Romney, or Paul administration, is likewise fully justified, given Obama’s lack of executive experience, or of experience in any real job; as is doubt that the things Obama says he wants to do, are desirable. Fear that an Obama administration will just take more of our money to sluice away on bureaucratic extravaganzas, ditto.

The man’s a hard-left socialist, for Heaven’s sake. Anyone falling for this stuff learned nothing from the later 20th century.

Obama’s not an empty suit, but his message is hollow. His platform is much like Huckabee’s. It’s filled with things he cannot possibly hope to accomplish, or even worse, filled with things he should not do.

On the other hand, will Obama have to run a campaign as nasty as the Clintons have run before? Obama hasn’t had to  … yet. Unfortunately, if he gets the nomination, I don’t think it will be close enough for him to sharpen his knife.