Saturday, January 26, 2008

And now, fighting out of the red corner...

I know it’s been awhile, but now that we’re in the heat of the election season, it’s time for me to jump back into the blogosphere.

DISCLAIMER - I am currently a candidate for the office of Democratic State Central Committee in Louisiana - District 82 - to be elected February 9, 2008 in conjunction with the Louisiana Presidential Primaries. I have already been elected by default to the office of Democratic Jefferson Parish Executive Committee.

In case you missed it, we’ve got a presidential election going on around the country. Here’s a synopsis of who’s who. Like they say in baseball, you can’t tell the players without a program.

THE RED TEAM – the Republicans

John McCain – Lots of problems with this guy. His 72 years would make him the oldest elected president in history. His temper is also well known. But his biggest drawback is that he’s running on a platform of continuing Bush’s policies to the letter. He wants to continue borrowing over $340 million a day from China so we can stay in Iraq. He has stated that as far as he’s concerned we might be there another 100 years. He said in the recent Florida debate that he knows of no general, including General Petraeus, who doesn't think we can't sustain ourselves in Iraq indefinitely. Actually, General Petraeus said a year ago the army was stretched and straining. Just last month Army Chief of Staff General George Casey said we're deploying at unsustainable rates. Sorry Mr. McCain, but that was incredibly wrong.

His former “maverick” image keeps him from being among the favorites of the radical right, but that image really disappeared after a couple of years of Bush’s first term when he suddenly gave in to Bush’s torture demands almost as suddenly as if he’d been tortured into it himself. Maybe we should check the White House basement for pods. In any case, he voted against Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy TWICE, but he now wants to make permanent what he previously didn’t even want to make temporary. As Paul Begala recently said, it’s sort of like promising to marry a person you wouldn’t even date.

He also stands out as the only republican who is pro-immigration, which keeps the radical right punditry from backing him. He once SPONSORED Campaign Finance Reform in the Senate, but has not agreed to limit himself to matching federal funding for the election.

He also pretty much plays up to his audience, no matter their issue. He’s been an Episcopalian all his life, but upon speaking to a group of evangelicals, said he’s been Baptist for many years. Who knew? Certainly no one on this planet did.

Mitt Romney – This is the stereotypical rich, country-club republican. If he wins the republican nomination, they may have to change their symbol from the elephant to the panda bear – or, perhaps that should be spelled, “pander” bear. This guy changes his stance more often than Senator Larry Craig.

Who wakes up at age 55 to completely reverse their positions on everything from a woman’s reproductive healthcare choice to marriage between same-gender couples except someone who wants to pander to a particular audience when beginning a new campaign?

He is, by far, the most hated person running for president. The other candidates despise him as being a look-down-his-nose-at-you type of snob.

He is also, by far, the wealthiest person running for president. His worth is estimated between 500 million and 750 million dollars. Why anyone would ever give this man a penny is beyond me. All he has to do is reach into his wallet to fully fund his run for the White House. He has a history of buying up companies, selling the pieces off to make great profits, then laying off some workers and cutting back the others’ pay and benefits. So much for this guy improving our economy.

His Mormon religion turns off the fundamentalists who don’t believe in anything so tremendously different from their Bible.

He has made more misstatements than anyone. This former governor of Massachusetts made an analogy to the PATRIOTS winning the World Series (the Boston Red Sox won; the Patriots are Boston's football team). He said his sons helping him campaign for president was the same as others’ sons fighting in Iraq. He used to say he and his father marched with Martin Luther King in Detroit. This election cycle that changed to just him saying he saw his father marching with King in Detroit. When it was revealed that Romney’s father wasn’t in Detroit when King marched there, he changed it to his having seen his father as having marched with King philosophically, but never meant to suggest he saw it with his own eyes. This is from a Mormon whose religion considered black people to be subordinate to white people. He and his wife also laughed about abusing his dog by strapping him in a cage to the roof of the car when driving on an extended road trip.

Speaking of his father, who was a governor that once ran for president himself, Romney has tried to portray himself as a Washington outsider. Romney's mother also once ran for Michigan senator. Somehow the Washington outsider shoe just doesn’t fit any way you look at it.

Ron Paul – A former libertarian whose supporters are crazily enthusiastic, and I mean that in a sincerely complimentary way. “Ron Paul revolution. Give us back our constitution.” They certainly have the best chants, if not the best chance.

Paul is the only republican candidate telling the truth about why we got attacked on 9/11 (because religious extremists felt that the USA building of the now-torn-down Prince Sultan air base in Saudi Arabia was an invasion of their holy lands), that we need to get out of Iraq now, and that the people of the USA deserve to have their freedoms reinstated. He is not well-liked by the other republican candidates, either.

Unfortunately, Paul is also a candidate with a history of bigoted writings filled with racist white supremacy arguments in favor of segregation. He doesn't want anything to do with the United Nations, doesn't want government regulating business practices of any sort, and has pretty much taken an isolationist stance in world affairs.

Rudy 9iu11iani – Running to be President of Florida. He has taken the unusual stance of ignoring all prior states just to win Florida. After a string of sixth place finishes everywhere else, he is, as of this writing, running third in Florida polls. Former democratic candidate Joe Biden had the best line of any candidate to date when he said of Giulliani that every sentence uttered by the former mayor has three things - a noun, a verb, and “9/11”.

If he doesn't win Florida, he won't have a chance. He’s not endorsed by the Firefighters, or First Responders, or even the major newspaper of his own city for the republican primary. He’s not even endorsed by his own children! His public relations firm still today works for U.A.E. who sponsors terrorist acts against the United States. He used tax dollars to chauffer around his then-mistress in the Hamptons. His right-hand man is involved in illegal activities with the mob. Like Romney used to be, he’s in favor of a woman’s reproductive healthcare choice, and marriage between same-gender couples. He’s also considered a bully and one of the meanest candidates in the race. He also has a particular penchant for crossdressing. These kinds of activities tend to not promote the full backing of republican voters. His southern campaign manager is Senator David “Prostitution, not Constitution” Vitter, and, inexplicably, has the endorsement of Pat “Christian Broadcast Network” Robertson. How’s that working out for you, Rudy?

Mike Huckabee – Until Fred Thompson dropped out of the race, he was the second dumbest candidate for president. Congratulations, Mike. Now you’re number one. A Baptist minister, Huckabee does not believe in evolution. I wonder how he feels about gravity and photosynthesis.

The radical religious right likes him, but almost no conservative pundit does. He's charming, but whenever he opens his mouth about foreign affairs he sticks his foot right in it. The recent republican debate in Florida produced this gem from Huckabee about Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction: “It doesn't mean they weren't there. Just because you didn't find every Easter egg didn't mean that it wasn't planted.” The “Easter Egg” reference does tend to downplay the lies and extremely costly nature of a war based on false statements. Doesn’t this also somehow harken back to George W. Bush’s horribly offensive joke at the Correspondent’s dinner a few years ago where he’s looking around the oval office asking where those weapons of mass destruction are hiding?

It got worse after the debate when Huckabee was asked to explain that comment. He said he meant that Saddam Hussein probably moved them out of the country to Jordan before the inspectors found them. Jordan? JORDAN??? Even among those who believe this theory of moving the weapons out of Iraq, the country in question was SYRIA. Oh well - Jordan, Syria - they’re all the same to Huckabee. Sort of how Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the same as Iraq to George W. Bush.

His son was also accused of abusing and killing a dog while at summer camp. This is probably the only thing he has in common with Mitt Romney.

I hardly knew ya’ – Fred Thompson was absolutely the dumbest and laziest candidate in recent memory. The pundits of the radical right loved him.

Duncan Hunter had the endorsement of Ann Coulter. How’d that work out for you, Duncan?

Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo don’t believe in evolution, either. Tancredo was running on the one issue of immigration (i.e. prejudice is good when it’s against Mexicans), so he was the anti-McCain - big with the "keep-out-the-furiners" crowd, but no one else.

Alan Keyes… wait, he’s still in it. They just don’t allow him to be seen nor heard from anymore.

WINNER – Close between Mitt Romney and John McCain, who really don't like each other. Romney can get the backing of the rich, radical right. He’s hateful enough of the poor, women, foreigners, and other minorities. The fundies will say he’s at least a Christian – albeit of some weird sort. He’s young enough to handle the office and, now at least, has their position on denying women their reproductive healthcare choices and opposing same-gender marriage.

McCain doesn’t sufficiently hate Mexicans to satisfy most republicans, and, at one time, didn’t fall into complete lockstep with the neocon agenda. But McCain does now. He also loves borrowing money from China to be paid back by our children and grandchildren, plus interest, to spend, along with American blood, on Iraq for at least as long as he lives. McCain has the clear momentum right now, but Romney has unlimited money to spend. It's not the betting favorite, but I think Romney still has a shot if he wins Florida. That will be tough considering the Florida governor, Charlie Crist, has endorsed McCain and may very well be his V-P running mate.