Wednesday, March 5, 2008



I’ve dropped my former hobby of political prognosticating. Why? I’m not very good at it. Earlier in this campaign season, I was convinced that we would be seeing a Rudy Giuliani/Hillary Clinton race in November. The former is long gone and the latter, even after last night, is still far from a sure thing and probably a long shot. (No, I wasn’t prognosticating there!) However, though I have given up political prognosticating, I have not given up on political pontificating, opining, or otherwise enlightening my friends and readers. So here are some random thoughts in the wake of last night, none of which is especially profound or previously unuttered:

· Most observers are arguing that the now continuing Democratic nomination race will hurt the Dems, that the Republicans can only benefit from the Democrats “tearing each other apart” while John McCain (Did you know he was a POW in Vietnam?) plans for the general election. I disagree. The race on the Dem side of the aisle should keep the voters focused on the Democrats and leaves Republican primary results as a footnote, if that, on the election nights last night’s results assured will continue. Sure, it costs money to keep up the internecine battle, but the amounts spent will pale compared to the free media the continuing race will garner.

· The continuing Democratic race will also keep political game day enthusiasts enthralled and pining for our ultimate political dream: a convention that is more than a demonstration of the callowness and excerebrosity of the types that get themselves elected delegates to these now shameless and meaningless political bacchanals. Here is one political enthusiast, albeit one who would never vote Democratic (or probably Republican, for that matter) nationally, who is delighted with last night’s outcome.

· The Formerly Corpulent Bloviator (“FCB”) Rush Limbaugh will, with his characteristic generous dollops of humility, take credit for Clinton’s victories, claiming that it was his urging of his ditto-brained disciples to cross over to vote for Hillary in order to keep the Democrats fighting with themselves, that sealed her victories in Texas and Ohio. Even if this is true (and I doubt that it is), it will in all likelihood backfire on the FCB for the reasons outlined in the last bullet point, unless his motivation was to help the Democrats nominate the weaker candidate, in which case he might have helped accomplish something. However, even if the latter was his motivation, it is hard to see how even the termagant Hillary Clinton could blow this one for the Democrats. But these are the Democrats, after all, who have displayed an amazing ability to pull defeat from the jaws of victory.

· Hillary Clinton has now won California, Texas, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Ohio. That anyone, especially any Democrat, who has carried these states does not have the nomination sewn up is testimony to the sheer convolutedness of the methods the Democrats have chosen to select their nominee. She could even add Pennsylvania to that list and still not be nominated. Hmm…

· While Clinton and Obama argue about who gets the better press, has anyone looked at how the reputedly liberal press treats John McCain? (Did you know he was a POW in Vietnam?) Words like “brave,” “a fighter,” “never gives up,” “war hero,” “straight shooter,” “foreign policy expertise” (Whence does the notion that John McCain is a foreign policy expert come? Since when does service in combat, even very valiant military service under almost unimaginably horrific circumstances, make one a foreign policy expert? If so, why did John Kennedy bring sink us deeper and deeper into the quagmire of Vietnam, oversee the Bay of Pigs, bring us to the brink of World War III over something that could have been avoided with a concession he was to make anyway, and design a ruinous Cuba policy that handcuffs us to this very day? If military service makes one a foreign policy expert, why did John McCain’s most ardent supporters only three years ago dismiss John Kerry as an ingénue in the field of foreign policy while touting the foreign policy expertise of their candidate, whose only “military” experience consisted of going AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard? If military service makes one a foreign policy expert, why did Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan achieve so much on the foreign policy front despite neither having seen anything that could remotely be construed as combat? Just asking.) fly off the lips, and the fingers, of various media types as if there were some kind of key on their word processors that they are compelled to hit immediately after typing in the words “John McCain” (Did you know he was a POW in Vietnam?). NO ONE GETS BETTER PRESS THAN JOHN McCAIN. (Did you know he was a POW in Vietnam?)

· President Bush is going to endorse John McCain (Did you know he was a POW in Vietnam?) today. Oh boy! The Democrats ought to pay all of McCain’s expenses for this trip to the White House, and doubtless will replay the tape of the endorsement speech endlessly during the upcoming general election campaign. Surely there are some who, as Bill Bennett said last night “like George Bush and feel grateful to George Bush,” but there aren’t many with such feelings if Mr. Bush’s favorable/unfavorable numbers bear any resemblance to reality. Even those few right wing pundits who are not so myopic to think that George W. Bush is the greatest personage ever to grace us with his holy presence in the history of mankind (well, maybe after Dick Cheney) argue that, while Bush might be, er, unpopular with the public in general, his endorsement should shore up “the base” for John McCain. (Did you know he was a POW in Vietnam?) But since when is “the base” so enamored with George Bush? Only those in love with this war still support George Bush, and they are in McCain’s corner anyway. “The base” has the same problems with George Bush that they have with John McCain over such issues as immigration and federal funding of public schools. So it’s hard to see how this endorsement does nothing but help the Democrats.

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