Friday, January 26, 2007

Dark Horses and Flying Pigs

Holy-moly, I asked for it and I got it. Truths are beginning to fly out of the mouths of politicians at an alarming rate, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill calls Cheney "delusional" regarding his views on Iraq and Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Nebrasaka, tells his fellow Senators who are reluctant to take a clear stand against the current Iraq policy that if they are more concerned with their poll ratings than with stopping the proposed troop "surge" then maybe they "should find another job -- perhaps selling shoes".

Keep an eye on the sky people, pigs will begin to fly any day now.

Okay yes, I'm delighted with both statements. It's refreshing and hopeful to hear some of our leadership spit out the unvarnished truth and consequences be damned. On the other hand as a democrat I'm concerned that our party is already sliding down that slippery slope of handing over the '08 election one more time.

Hagel may very well run in '08 and I'm going to do what I usually do and fly in the face of most of the political "experts". The "experts" are doing what experts get paid to do (state the obvious), yammering about how Hagel may not have a snowballs chance in hell of winning his primary because of his stance against the war and lack of lockstep loyalty to his party.

Keep believing that and watch Hagel wipe the floor with your faces.

Most of America could give a shit less about either party. Understand this: we don't trust either of you and frankly, you could almost say we hate you. We think most if not all of you are a bunch of elitist bastards more concerned with keeping your stranglehold on the rest of us than with actually accomplishing anything. Most of the time we're right.

Looking at Hagel's voting record I'd have to say he's as bad or worse than all the rest. He is a true conservatives conservative. The problem is he speaks the language. He has a firm grasp of some of the basic things that appeal to Americans in general. He understands that running against the grain on some major issues plays to our love of voting for the dark horse. Ask Joe Lieberman. He understands that most of America will happily overlook most of his stances on other issues even if they are diametrically opposed to their own views if they decide he is the man with the big fuzzy brass balls. We love our big fuzzy brass balls.

The experts can spin 10,000 reasons that Bush squeaked back in against Kerry in '04 but it came down to one simple thing: Americans believed Kerry had no cajones. It's really that simple.

So I'm going to go out on a limb here and make my call. Hagel is most likely the greatest danger to a democratic win in '08. I have very little faith Hillary Clinton would stand a chance against him. Obama might. Maybe on a good day. John Edwards might make a good showing on Dancing With the Stars but up against a big hairy set of huevos he'll be toast. I'm holding my breath waiting for New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to show us his testosterone level, my money is on him.

Yeah, I hear you laughing out there, "oh please, some guy from New Mexico". Yup, some guy from a state a lot of Americans think still belongs to Mexico. There's an advantage to coming from a podunk little state. You don't get to be as insulated from the realities of us unimportant little commoners and you might just speak the language. Ask that guy from Arkansas, Bill Clinton.


mw said...

I have been reading blog commentary about the WaPo article on Hagel all day, and yours is the best analysis I have seen by far, and one of the very very few with actual original thought.

That said, I don't have the same objectives for 2008 as you, although I am a registered Democrat. It is pretty easy to document that things always get worse when one party is in control of both the executive and legislative branch (Niskanen So I support the best candidates of either party consistent with maintaining a divided government. I supported Democrats for the House in the mid-terms, thinking the Republicans would keep the Senate. They did not, and it will be structurally virtually impossible for the Dems to lose congress in '08 as a result. They would have to screw up in two years on a scale of how the Republicans screwed up over the last six. Unlikely. They just don't have time to screw up on that scale.

So to maintain a divided government in '08 the Republicans must maintain the White House.

It is going to be tough road. The President has now put us on a path that insures that the War in Iraq will be the only issue that matters in 2008. The Republican right is so out of step with the majority of Americans over the War in Iraq, that I cannot see how Republicans can nominate an electable candidate.

Chuck Hagel is a rock solid conservative in the Goldwater tradition. He is more conservative than McCain, Giuliani, Romney, and certainly more conservative than Bush. He has been on the right side of this war since 2002 and that makes him the only electable Republican in the field. Too bad he won't make it through the gauntlet of Republicans who have redefined being a Republican with a single litmus test of blind support of the President's policies on Iraq. You don't have to be a fiscal conservative to get their support. You don't have to be a social conservative to get their support. You just have to put on your blinders and march lockstep on a flawed war strategy.

If Republicans like these carry the day, you will have no worries. It will be the end of the Republican Party as a relevant political force for a generation.

Omnipotent Poobah said...

Sounds logical to me. I'm backing you.

Not Your Mama said...

MW: Thank you for the very generous compliment.

I see your point about keeping them divided and I do not disagree, the idea of an all-democratic government does worry me as well. It's why I'm leaning away from Obama much as I like the man.

Hagel worries me because he can win running as an independant. At first glance he does remind you of Goldwater, I made the same connection but it's an illusion. Check his voting record, Goldwater got into trouble because he was not a social conservative. Hagel is no social libertarian, he's Focus on the Family's wet dream.

We'd be getting Bush Part II with the only real change being Iraq policy. Even assuming Hagel could finesse his way through the current foreign policy nightmare, on the domestic front can we really afford another 4 years of far right social conservatism?

OP: it's still early so much may change. I just love sticking my neck out to see if it gets chopped off.

Vigilante said...

NY Momma, you raise a legit concern. Hagel could not win a GOP nomination any more than Nelson Rockefeller could. His only shot is as an independent. Could be dangerous ingredient in the '08 mix.

ryk said...

MW, maintaining a divided government does keep one party from screwing things up too badly, but it does it at the cost of neither party being able to acomplish much of anything. We end up with a stagnant government. I guess even that is better than what we've had the last 6 years.

ryk said...

Not Your Mama, I have to agree with you. Hagel is out in front and saying all the right things. As more and more people who consider themselves Republican or conservative realize that Bush needs to be reined in, they will prefer to look to Republicans to do it and Hagel's popularity will skyrocket.

Mr. Mack said...

I lived in New Mexico for years, and I like Richardson. The problem with him is that he seems to shrink when being interviewd. He completely blew his appearance on Hardball, as he just recited his resume' again and again. Perhaps he will get some handlers, and do better with press.

Yup, Hagel will be formidable, but a run as an independent probably insures a Dem victory, no?

Not Your Mama said...

but a run as an independent probably insures a Dem victory, no?

Maybe, if we take the threat seriously enough. Now would be a really bad time to take that for granted though.

Blows if Richardson can't get the image going. He's the only one I'd put any money on being able to get us out of some of the mess we've gotten ourselves into.

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