The perfect political storm

As a system of generating governance, I am ever more disappointed with the American political process. The “team” nature of it, the destructive nature of campaigning (and that the campaign never ends these days, with everything a sound bite targeted at destroying “the other side” during any discussion), the blatant support of moneyed interests to encourage campaigns, and so forth… it’s no way to get good law, good leadership, or engender trust.

But as a spectator sport… well, we’re in the preseason for the most exciting political game in this country in my life, perhaps in the history of the country. As usual, the party out of office has no clear nominee – plus, with the party in office looking weak, every Democratic player who ever had a thought of sitting in the Oblong Office has got to think that This Is The Time.

Meanwhile, the party in power can’t run their incumbent, and unlike most such cases, the VP is unlikely to run. And while in some such cases the sitting president would annoint someone to continue his work, even if they do so the Bush administration is so tainted at this point that others in the party would be willing to put up a real challenge to the annointee. Despite some recent popularity problems, the Republicans are still the party in power, so any Republican who ever had a thought… yadda yadda yadda.

So expect big piles of candidates on both sides, pulling each other apart. Expect some unlikely souls getting more support than they would obviously get. Folks are already trying to declare who the candidates will be; never believe those folks, not a one of them would have picked Jimmy Carter as the candidate, much less the victor, this far before the 1976 election. And as much fun as a Clinton vs Rice campaign would be, neither seems likely to make it through this process. Oh, folks won’t hold Clinton’s links to her husband against her (for the primaries, most of the folks that count like ol’ Bill), but she’s been acting so far away from Democractic center on so many issues that her support won’t be that deep. I actually believe Condi when she says that she doesn’t want the Presidency, and she’s too deep in the taint of the current administration and the war to seem a likely winner. (But if I were the Republican nominee – and the odds of that are under 13%, believe me – I’d be calling her up to take the VP slot on the ticket. Give a little signal to the Bush fans that we aren’t really abandoning them, while at the same time giving a good tug on folks for whom her sex and race are appealing; she’s got enough horsepower that she’s clearly not just a novelty candidate.)

So as much as I dread the results, I feel quite certain that this game ain’t gonna be boring.

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Published in: on January 22, 2006 at 12:08 am  Comments (3)  

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  1. NBC cancels The West Wing, makes several midseason moves

    The West Wing is done in May.
    Las Vegas moves from monday to friday.
    In the “Who cares?” department The Apprentice moves to monday after Howie Mandel’s Deal Or No Deal.

    Also…

    “The network has two more midseason shows: Heist, a cops-and-robbers drama from the director of Mr. & Mrs. Smith, and Teachers, a comedy about a high school English teacher.”

    The Office will go off the air at the end of March so star Steve Carell can film a movie, Reilly said. He said he also hasn’t figured out what to do with the ill-fated Friends spinoff Joey, which has 12 new episodes done but no place on the schedule.”

  2. Folks are already trying to declare who the candidates will be; never believe those folks, not a one of them would have picked Jimmy Carter as the candidate, much less the victor, this far before the 1976 election.

    That’s what I’ve been saying to friends, it’s definitely too early and the best bets (on both sides) are names we aren’t familiar with. I don’t think there were any pundits predicting a Clinton campaign in 1990.

    I’m not enthused about the prospects for a Clinton campaign, but when I’ve seen polls about her the numbers were much higher than I expected. One definite advantage she’s got is that she’s been the target of political smears for years and I think some of those claims are starting to fall on deaf ears.

  3. I think that folks eventually added it all up and realized that at the center of the attacks on Hillary were that she had ambition and that she stood by a man who did her wrong… the former being a good thing with the more progressive folks and the latter a positive with more traditional folk. That doesn’t mean that either groups love her politics, mind you, but at times saying you’re for someone is really saying you’re against how they’re treated.


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