Wednesday, February 20, 2008

My Endorsement For the Texas Primary

Our Dear Leader

Yep, I'm voting for Hillary.

Now if you know me, you might think I've gotten into the DNC Kool-Aid stash, but there's some thinking behind this, so please bear with me.

The GOP nomination process is essentially done. Mike Huckabee would win the Presidency of the Confederate States of America hands down, but he is at best a regional candidate and in my opinion the GOP (and the country) would do better with a fiscal conservative over the next few years than a fiscal liberal and committed culture warrior.

Let's be honest, while I think Roe v Wade is a bad ruling and am against abortion, the American public is apparently comfortable with some degree of abortion availability and changing the mass mind is unlikely to happen. Same-sex marriage has been essentially blocked at the state level for the majority of states, and the current Supreme Court lineup would not seem to be the kind to generate a Roe v Wade decision overriding state constitutions to allow same-sex marriage, which is the only possible way that SSM will become an issue for most states. Gun control is the new "third-rail" of politics, which is amazing considering that 14 years ago the Assault Weapons Bill was passed with acclimation. It didn't change anything, and neither did its expiration. If anything the short life of the AWB underscored the pointlessness of restricting the rights of people who actually obey the law. Overall, I'm fairly pleased with the status quo, and a firebrand social conservative is more likely to pick losing fights.

Thus, we are left with the oldest Presidential nominee in history to carry the banner of the GOP, and if in a desultory fashion, conservatism. I don't agree with McCain on a variety of topics, it shouldn't be up to court determination whether my blog is an unfair imposition on the political process, the McCain-Feingold bill was a travesty of the First Amendment, and I blame GWB for signing it and the Supremes for upholding some of it. If you want business out of government, then get the government out of business. The best thing I can say for McCain is that, out of the current field on both sides of the aisle he is my pick for the question, "If Pakistan goes up in flames and their nukes are in possession of Islamists, who do you want in the White House?" That's the majority of my consideration in this election, and quite frankly anyone who was a former resident of the Hanoi Hilton has had the worst day of his life already. Nothing else that happens can shake you after that. Maybe I'm overemphasizing the positive, but McCain can do the job, and he's distanced himself enough from Bush on enough occasions to avoid the label of "GWB Acolyte".

As there is no real choice in the GOP election, and as Texas lets me meddle in Democratic politics if I so choose, this March 4th I will march forth to the Democratic polls and punch the touch-screen for Hillary Clinton.

Wow, really? Voting for ME? *cries*

Dick Morris, former Clinton confidante and able political operator (among other notorious avocations), says that Texas Republicans won't pass up a chance to give Hillary a black eye and turn out to vote against her in the Democratic polls. In my case, Dick is wrong. I can have a tiny part in giving a black eye to the entire Democratic Party, no matter who the nominee becomes, and I'll explain how.

Back in 2007, the Democratic National Committee decided to not seat the Michigan and Florida delegations at the 2008 convention because those state Democratic committees had their primaries "too early" to suit the DNC. If you want to talk about disenfranchisement, there's a good example. While the votes in MI and FL were tallied, they don't count at this point. The idea was that there would be a clear nominee by the time the convention rolled around in late 2008, and the nominee could graciously allow those delegates to be seated and pledge their fealty to the consensus nominee. Nobody loses, everybody wins.

Well, it's looking more and more like there will not be a clear winner by August. Obama is surging, but Hillary is still well in the race. Rather than being a backwater swamped by the massive delegate counts of Super Tuesday, the voting in Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania are Ground Zero for the Democratic nomination. My hope is that my vote for Hillary, and the votes of any other nominally GOP-voting people I can influence, will keep the delegate count from Texas (or Ohio, or Pennsylvania, if you're reading from there) solidly in the Hillary column, strictly to generate a circular firing squad at the DNC.

Riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Back to the Future!

I do not believe that Hillary has it within her to quit when she still has a statistical possibility of winning, even for the good of the party or the country. I hold no positive feelings for her at all, I despised the Clinton Administration and have no desire for a second. That being the case, she's a more vulnerable candidate in the general election than Obama, in my mind. The key is to keep her close, and be sure the Democrat nominee emerges not from consensus but from a smoke-filled room, in the non-democratic (and non-Democratic) manner of the past. A tainted candidate would be a wonderful thing to face in the general election.

And this is where the Michigan and Florida delegations come in. See, nobody campaigned there but Hillary was on the ballot in both, and nominally won both. If the difference in delegates between Hillary and Obama is enough for the MI and FL delegations to put her in the lead, the DNC will have a very difficult, and public, decision to make. Do they disenfranchise MI and FL to allow Obama the nomination, or do they break their own rules and hand it to Hillary? It's Hobson's Choice, and it's something Democratic strategists, including Howard Dean are dreading. From the CNN Political Ticker:

As predictions of a convention floor fight from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama continue to mount, Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said the party would likely intervene to prevent that scenario.

Dean said Democrats would look to “get the candidates together to make some kind of an arrangement” before the party meets in Denver this August to officially select its nominee.

In an interview on NY1 on Tuesday, before the outcome of the day’s votes was known, Dean said he thought the Democratic Party would have a nominee by mid-March or April.

"The idea that we can afford to have a big fight at the convention and then win the race in the next eight weeks, I think, is not a good scenario,” he said.

If there is no nominee selected by his predicted mid-spring date, or by Puerto Rico's June vote – the last presidential primary on the Democratic calendar – Dean said the party would likely bring both sides together to work out a deal.

“Because I don't think we can afford to have a brokered convention,” he said. “That would not be good news for either party."

There it is. The Democratic convention is eight weeks before the general election in November. Even Howard Dean doesn't like the scenario of going into a general election after a bruising and divisive convention. My read of Obama and Clinton supporters is that the longer the primary season goes on, the less love they have for the other candidate, and each other.

I don't care for Hillary, a co-dependent opportunist with a wide collectivist political streak who clearly thinks she's smarter than everyone in the room. I admire Obama's charisma, likability and ability to generate enthusiasm for "change", but his generation of "momentum" while being soft on specifics bothers me. I've read his health care proposal, and there's some hidden verbiage in there that I don't care for, some particularly "progressive" code-words that promise substantial government intervention in places where the market would suffice, were nationalized health-care advocates willing to give up their vision of a NHS/Canadian-style system. Basically, it bothers me when candidates generate energy without specific discharge points, and he's certainly not forthcoming with the policy lightning rods.

And so, I plan to vote for Hillary Clinton in the Texas Democratic Primary, in hopes of causing a political train wreck at the DNC convention in Denver, and I encourage you to join me in this effort.


Anonymous said...

why you hatin' on Obama?

Darren Duvall said...

Just callin' them like I see them.

Or with a little help from GIMP, picturing them like I see them.

Part of the national problem is the use of 'hate' where 'disagree' is more appropriate. I do not have a high level of emotion for or against Barack Obama.

Brian from PA said...

If the MSM is to be believed, it seems there are a significant number of Texas republicans taking the opposite approach:

SG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SG said...

Thanks to you and me they may be serving popsicles in hell today!
I did it to.
And yes, it hurt.
But I would rather see a Clinton vs McCain race than a Obama vs McCain race. Come next November I will be able to vindicate myself and return to my party. Now if Huckabee pulls out an upset and we have a Huckabee/Obama race, I will cry.