International Writers Magazine: Reality Check
Then There Were Three
McCain Seals Deal/ Dynamic Duo Cage Match
in the late hours of 1/29, as the GOP's most feared and disdained
candidate was wrapping up the Florida Primary, and ostensibly his
party's nomination for president, George Will, Bill Bennett, Rush
Limbaugh and the rest of the faux conservative Republican voices
in and out of the party came to fully understand, once for all,
the jig was up.
Nearly eight long
years of silently allowing the Bush Cabal to dismantle the myth of the
Reagan Revolution in a deluge of nation-building, entitlement-funneling,
corporate-toting, religion-pandering, fear-mongering, and spend-thrifting,
has left the driver's seat warm for John McCain.
Limbaugh was a little late last week when he said the
Republican Party would be left in ruins if either McCain (maverick moderate)
or Mike Huckabee (religious nut) emerged as its nominee. Its ruin had
long been painstakingly deconstructed, and in a tragedy worthy of Greek
drama, expedited beneath a torrent of his own joyfully vociferous compliance.
Limbaugh, along with every other alleged conservative,
as clearly defined by the post-war libertarian Barry Goldwater movement
-- reduced government by being fiscally responsible, staunchly secular,
ardently conservational, and unwaveringly isolationist -- had long ago
sold principle and ideology down the river to defeat the Evil Big Bill
Clinton and seize power.
The same "electable" cow-towing that phonies
like Limbaugh and his cronies now decry ("Never mind the bullocks,
here's the best chance to win!") worked against them in 1992, when
Democrats sold their ideological soul to defeat the Reagan 12-year monopoly,
motivating Republicans in 2000 to ignore principle and nominate a candidate
which eventually prompted conservative poster-boy Pat Buchanan to bolt
the party and run against him. Buchanan told me that winter that his
beloved party "walked away from their own grass roots, their own
people, and their own best ideas and platform."
Turns out George W. Bush is the same predictable Oil Baron
silver-spoon special-interest tote his father was, a man most authentic
conservatives painted as a festering wimp and a tax fiend. Yet he had
the "best chance to win", and win he did; twice!
Winning is a powerful amnesia-inducing agent for blustery
Take William Jefferson Clinton, who was never about Hope
or Change or "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow". He was
a winner. And winners are forgiven every questionable legal tactic,
ubiquitous peccadillo, and nasty back-door political muscling, just
as Captain Shoo-In was given a pass time and again, as he happily approved
every pork-barreled, ear-marked bill, while razing and rebuilding the
Middle East for billions of American tax dollars a day.
Now John McCain is a pariah?
However defined, the two-decade Arizona Senator has engineered
one of the great political comebacks of this era, worthy of Truman's
eleventh-hour victory over Dewey in '48 or Nixon rising from the ashes
to not only grab the Republican nomination 20 years later, but two consecutive
terms as president of the United States.
Less than 30 days ago McCain was a walking punch line
roaming the perimeters of the party trumpeting the escalation of an
unpopular war and pushing for illegal immigration amnesty. He was too
moderate, even too liberal, having twice voted against the Bush tax
cuts, pushed for campaign reform, and teamed with prominent Democrats
on a variety of causes including (gulp!) copping to Global Warming.
He's spent years dressing down Donald Rumsfeld as a blithering idiot
and failed miserably to kiss up to the Religious Right. Most crippling
of all, he had no money. Now he is not only going to represent the Grand
Old Party in the fall, but he will win the presidency hands-down.
If... Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee.
Madam Shoo-In's big Super Tuesday score is probably on
the ropes. Barack Obama's momentum, fueled by a saccharine Kennedy smooch-fest
and more Bill Clinton messiness, could push this thing into the convention.
But will it be enough to hold off the parade of hip-pocket Democrats
the Clintons have coming to them from years of Oval Office favors?
Even the most casual political observer knows a McCain
vs. Clinton national election campaign effectively hands the White House
back to the Republicans, as a fractured, rankled and otherwise sleepy
electorate, thus far limping to polls and squabbling internally, will
be sufficiently geared up by a north-eastern liberal woman senator who
happens to go by the name of Clinton.
Another phony Right Wing mouthpiece, Sean Hannity said
the other day that he cannot abandon 20 years of defending conservative
values just to back the best candidate to win, which is laughable hyperbole,
even for him. He, like Limbaugh and rest, already did so in 2000, and
he will do it again; as will Novak and Coulter and Will and so on.
Seven letters making up one little word will have these
cattle in tow: CLINTON.
Republican voters have backed McCain because they remember
the Reagan Myth as just that. Reagan significantly raised taxes every
year of his two-terms, including in 1983 to save the evil Social Security,
teaming with ultra-liberal Tip O'Neal, a mortal enemy, who had called
him "the most ignorant man to ever occupy the White House".
He appointed at best a moderate judge to the Supreme Court, Sandra
Day O'Connor, a move vilified by conservatives everywhere. He also played
the world map like a chess game, bankrolling secret, not-so-secret,
and flat-out illegal wars everywhere.
The vast majority of Republican voters also know that
McCain is their only candidate with a puncher's chance with independents,
cross-over moderates, Latinos, and the high-ceiling anti-Hillary voter
block. A McCain national candidacy would complete what many prominent
Democrats predicted in the fall of 1992, that the Clintons would sink
the party for decades.
Of course, this could be avoided.
If... John Edwards walks in step with Rudy Giuliani, who
endorsed McCain the day of this writing, and send his delegates and
union support Obama's way; creating a political vacuum the Democrats
could have owned nearly a month ago leaving Iowa, but inexplicably deflated
in New Hampshire.
An Obama national candidacy will never engender the kind
of motivational abhorrence a Clinton one will. Many Republicans, fed
up with the party, have already shown a willingness to vote for the
guy, never mind independents.
Edwards has made no secret that his plan after a crushing Iowa defeat
he toiled to avoid for nearly four years was to stay in the race long
enough to collect key delegates all the way to the convention, where
he would play king maker. As it is, Edwards owns a sizable chunk of
the party voice, and his timing to bow out seven days removed from 22
primaries speaks two ways: He will hand his constituency over to Obama,
all-but burying a woman he has beat upon for weeks, or silently bow
out and let the working class Democratic establishment of the past half
century move en masse into the Clinton Camp.
Either way, Edwards is angling for a spot on the national
ticket or a place in the winner's cabinet. The question remains: Who
can promise him the most prominent position for his anti-poverty/anti-corporate
Across the aisle, the only also-ran one-trick pony standing,
Mike Huckabee has managed to split the Evangelical vote for a staggering
Mitt Romney, ultimately costing the former Massachusetts governor Florida.
Huckabee is also angling for a seat on the national ticket; sealing
for McCain the religious-fanatic vote and sending Limbaugh's group into
spasms of feral madness.
With Huckabee, a likable, funny, and quality stumper,
McCain is a formidable figure; moderate, centered, fatherly, with a
consistent message of strength and experience.
Of course, the conservative wing could vote their conscience
and back the only true one of their brethren left standing; Ron Paul.
Campion Feb 2nd 2008
& Soul of Politics - Part II
Democrats At The Crossroads 2008
Standing at the crossroads of revisionist hard-sell, old-fashioned
populism, and disenfranchised symbolism are three wild-card presidential
Heart & Soul of Party politics
- Part One
Republicans Define Internal Battle For 2008
Despite dismal approval ratings, second-term numbness, and a celebrity
fatigue worthy of the latest Britney Spears meltdown, George W. Bush
is still the president of the United States
Hampshire: Same Song & Dance
Shoo-In Weeps To Upset/Mac Is Back & Rudy Exhales. Momentum Halted.
Freight Train Derailed. Revolution stalled.
Rises, Hillary Skids/GOP Field Swings Wide On A Holy Huckabee Blip
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