Reflections on the Presidential Election
On the Democrat side, the nomination is probably Hillary's to win. Obama is running close enough to scare her, but... don't think so. Though idea-wise he's a vacuous collection of 60s clichés, he seems like a nice guy personally - so Hillary will destroy him.
On the Republican side, they could have the election if they ran a strong candidate against Hillary - but they ain't got one.
In a recent poll of 10,000 families each in eight states, the front-runner for the Republican nomination was "No Preference" at around 28% followed by Giuliani at about 26%. None of the others approached within about 8 points.
Attempts to contact No Preference for comment were unsuccessful.
Giuliani, hoo-boy. He rose to the occasion masterfully on 9/11 and has a record as a tough Italian-American prosecutor who wasn't afraid to say the word "Mafia."
On the other hand, he prosecuted Michael Milikin for the crime of being a financial genius who invented a way of funding high-risk ventures while protecting small investors from devastating losses. And by the way, got a guilty plea by threatening the man's little brother.
(If you think Michael Milikin was really a criminal, can you name the specific crime he was charged with? It's something involving obscure SEC regulations that can basically be interpreted to mean anything the prosecutor wants them to mean.)
Plus, the Giuliani campaign manager I talked to while updating a political guide came off as an arrogant prick. Sorry Rudi, I don't like your style.
Then there's Ron Paul.
Ron Paul is pulling enough support to surprise and worry the Republican Old Guard. This is great in a number of ways. Paul is activating the libertarian wing of the conservative movement and maybe even bringing in enough of the crazy fringe element of the libertarian movement long enough to pull a lever or two. Ron Paul attracts support from people who don't like the Iraq war - but don't hate America.
As a libertarian I should go for Ron Paul unreservedly, except...
One: He's dangerously naive on foreign policy. Recently it was pointed out to me that Paul has stated that Reagan didn't bring down the Soviet Union, it collapsed by itself.
That's not even wrong, it's a dangerous half-truth.
Yes the Soviet Union was headed for collapse all by itself. Their centrally planned economy was getting poorer and poorer and was just flat unable to keep up with modernity. Yes, they would have collapsed eventually. Back in the 70s, me and the CIA figured it would be around the year 2000 - still a pretty good guess I think.
But they had an option to keep themselves going - conquer Western Europe and loot it for the wherewithal to keep going for another generation. This is not a fantasy or a "what if?" the Polish government has been releasing the Warsaw Pact plans for doing exactly that over the past year.
Reagan's resolute defense of the West, and that audacious move of "buying the pot" with that crazy Star Wars project held off the Soviet Empire long enough for it to collapse under the weight of its stupidity.
Paul is part of that libertarian crowd who think that "If you do not aggress against others, they will not aggress against you."
In a word - wrong! The world just flat doesn't work that way.
If you haven't been in a fight lately, worked with an unpleasant co-worker you have not offended, or had the experience of being stalked by a psychopath, then think back to your playground days. When has that ever been true in your experience?
Two: Paul was the one "nay" vote on a bipartisan House of Representatives resolution asking the government of Bangladesh to drop the capital charges against Bangladeshi journalist Saleh Uddin Shoaib Choudhury.
Choudhury it seems, was arrested for treason, sedition and whatever else they could throw at him, for the crime of attempting to board a plane to Israel to talk peace.
It was a resolution for God's sake! Not a threat or a declaration of war. It wasn't even a hint that they'd reconsider the $60 million gift the US bestows on them every year. Resolutions don't mean anything but a gesture of moral disapproval, everybody know that. Except that sometimes it means a lot to the people in those appalling countries.
I want to know why Ron. Is this your idea of non-interventionism?