The Times, They Are A-Changin’?

Let’s talk a little politics, shall we? Specifically, the current Presidential race.

Barack Obama has swept the recent Democratic primaries (I believe he’s won 10 in a row) and is now, at least in delegate count, the front runner for the nomination. With his fresh young face, his rhetoric of “Change We Can Believe In” and his Kennedyesque qualities, his possible nomination is making Democrats’ collective pants go crazy. The problem with the whole, I’m-the-candidate-that-will-clean-up Washington bit, is that it doesn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a pleasant bed-time fairy tale, but its just that, a fairy tale. Mr. Smith doesn’t go to Washington anymore. Actually, I take that back. He does, but when he gets there he’s told to shut up, vote the party line, and if he’s a good boy, he might make it on a committee after he’s paid his dues. Now Obama hasn’t been around long enough to be a hardened Washington insider so his “change” rhetoric might play for a while, but sooner or later he’s going to have to articulate actual ideas he has about policy to back up his vague and ambiguous calls for change.

Now, as a Republican, the Democratic scenario provides me with conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I think that Hillary would be an opponent that McCain could beat. She is nothing if not polarizing and I think more people hate her than love her. On the other hand, while I’m not a Clinton hater (I don’t believe that Bill was the devil; I don’t believe he should have been impeached; I think he accomplished some good things), I ama Hillary hater and nothing would please me more than to see her lose the nomination which, in her mind, was predestined to be hers. But possibly the best scenario, for Republicans, would be for Obama to cruise in to the Convention with a sizable lead in the delegate count and for the Super Delegates (fighting for truth, justice, and the fact that we know what’s best for the people) to give it to Hillary. Then you’ll probably get a bunch of pissed off Democrats who’ll take their toys home because they don’t want to play anymore and stay away from the polls, a prospect that can only help the Republicans.

On the Republican side of things, McCain has the nomination wrapped up, although the “miracle worker” Huckabee can’t quite get it through his thick skull. A guy I work with said that what Huckabee doesn’t realize is that if Jesus came back today, it would only hurt Huckabee because the only people that support him would all be “gone with the rapture” as it were. I’m not really a fan of McCain. I was really getting warmed up to the idea of Romney in ’08, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. I’m one of those group of conservatives who thinks that McCain would have felt far too comfortable as John Kerry’s running mate if he had accepted the offer.  Historically, Independents like McCain so that’s good for us. And he’s not quite the apostate that some make him out to be. He’s pretty conservative on social issues and foreign policy, and he’s talks a fiscally conservative line. But there’s the sticky issues of McCain-Feingold and the fact that he’s always wanting to jump in bed with the Democrats at the most inconvenient times (usually to upset the plans of his party’s sitting President and his personal nemesis, GWB). My personal impression is that, sometimes, McCain’s only guiding principle seems to be: What’s best for John McCain. But, as all good Republicans, I’ll get in line and support him come election day.

Speaking of election day, and like, actually voting on said day, one of my favorite aspects of this year’s political season has been the Republican (in name only) candidate Ron Paul’s campaign. Every day, from mid-2007 on, I would see on the front page of Digg at least half a dozen articles/blogs extolling the greatness of Ron Paul. Or articles/blogs about the “Mainstream Media” trying to subvert his candidacy. If you believed the buzz on the internet, Ron Paul was Washington, Lincoln and T. R. all rolled into one and ready to kick some Washington-insider ass. You’ve got to love a guy who says he’ll disband the IRS and the CIA on day one of his Presidency.  I’m holding a Ron Paul business card that I picked up and on the back of it it says “Ron Paul is #1”. It goes on to say “Ron won more straw polls than any other Republican (21 of 43 straw polls across America); Ron placed third or better in 79% of all straw polls (34 of 43 across America); Won national debate polls on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC News and C-SPAN; Ron Paul is the most-mentioned candidate in blogs according to since May 2007; More ‘Cash On Hand’ than McCain, Huckabee, Tancredo and Hunter combined (Stats as of 11/17/07)” On the front, it has his campaign slogan, “Hope for America”. I think in an effort to be more truthful, he should change his campaign slogan to “Ron Paul, you can’t buy crazy like this!” It’s too bad for Paul (although good for America) that none of those bloggers or people polled could actually find the time to get off of their fat lazy asses and actually vote (maybe they were too busy playing WoW). When I look at CNN’s Election Center 2008 website it shows that he never got more than 8% of votes in any primary. I guess that’s what you get when you rely on people who write anonymously from their mother’s basement as your base.

Anyway, the one thing we can probably all agree on is that, so far, this political season has been much more interesting than any of us thought it would be. I can’t wait until both candidates are decided and we get to see them duke it out until November. And then…back to business as usual.