Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Republicans

First they had John, Rudy, Mike, Mitt, and Ron. Am I leaving anybody out? I probably am. If so forgive me. I tried to remember you, but you were just so damned forgettable. If I left you out, don’t hold it against me. All you old white guys look alike to me.

I remember the early debates for how moronic all those guys seemed to me. Ron Paul stands out as the only one among the bunch with a mind of his own and the courage to express it. I’m not the sort of citizen who wants to do away with government entirely, so he seems like a fringe candidate, but I am heartened to see the support he has among young voters on the right. I like the idea that anyone, or any ideas, energize and engage young people in the electoral process. I don’t care who they vote for. But once they feel that small sense of power that casting your vote gives you for just that moment, I think they will be back to vote again. That’s a good thing for democracy.

Until yesterday morning, here in Utah, there were three “mainstream” candidates still in the race on the Republican side. Ron Paul was always considered a “fringe” candidate, and so he has been left out of the conversation and news coverage. It’s a pity. His participation in the conversation made it so much more interesting. Now he is relegated to footnote status.

Then in a stunningly disconnected and oddly intense speech Mitt Romney withdrew from the race (I have to quote this loosely since I don’t have a photographic memory) “And so, my fellow Americans……in this time of war, for the good of the country, I will step aside and ……..bla bla bla. My brain short circuited there for a second. It was a speech at CPAC, full of red-meat Republicans. Republicans who are still supporting a senseless, economically ruinous war, still rabid to keep their big tax breaks (welfare for the rich), anti gay, anti abortion, anti help for the poorest among us. Anti public school, since they can afford sending their kids to good private schools and will continue to whether or not we improve the public schools. Strange that Mitt Romney, a man who reinvented himself to run in a national election, seemed to be the darling of CPAC. When John McCain came to the podium to speak he was booed, even after the crowed had been asked not to boo—so much for Republican unity and polite behavior when covered by national news media. I’m quite happy to have McCain the Republican nominee. Whichever of the two Democrats running wins the nomination, they will make him look like the bad tempered, ill informed buffoon he has become, in any debate. It will be easy to piss him off, and it will be easy to discredit his support for the Bush/Chenney war and his desire to continue it for ….what did he say? A HUNDRED YEARS!!!! The only way we can continue the two wars we’re already fighting, and start new wars of aggression and occupation, is to reinstate the draft., and raise taxes on everyone. Our military is tapped out. We have sent our National Guard overseas in such numbers as to make us less safe at home. And in so doing, we have made service in our National Guard less attractive to millions of young Americans who want to serve our country at home, but now would be likely to be sent to fight in Iraq. All of this is bad news for America. But good news for the Democrats in this election season.