Yesterday I was asked for my thoughts about a few current political questions. I publish them here, not so much because I think they're particularly profound or insightful, but because I have the hunch I'll want to check back in two years or so and see how close or far I came to getting 'em right. Questions are italicized; my responses are in CAPS.
What do you think about Russ Feingold?
ADMIRABLE GUY. PROBABLY CAN'T WIN. JEWISH, TOO LIBERAL, TWICE-DIVORCED. WISCONSIN IS A REALLY, REALLY INTERESTING STATE IN TERMS OF ITS POLITICS. THEY ELECT PEOPLE WHOM MANY WOULD DISMISS AS EXTREMIST WEIRDOS BECAUSE THEY APPRECIATE PERSONAL AUTHENTICITY MORE THAN IDEOLOGY. BOB LAFOLLETTE, JOE MCCARTHY, WILLIAM PROXMIRE, TOMMY THOMPSON... RUSS FEINGOLD. I LIKE HIM A LOT, I'D WORK HARD FOR HIM IF HE WERE NOMINATED. PROBABLY HIS STRATEGY IS TO BE THE IDEOLOGICALLY PURE CHAMPION OF THE ONLINE ACTIVISTS AND RAISE MONEY FROM HOLLYWOOD. THE PROBLEM WITH THAT IS THAT EDWARDS AND OTHERS WILL ALSO GO FOR THE ONLINE VOTE, AND THEY *ALL* RAISE MONEY FROM HOLLYWOOD.
Why doesn't he have more buzz? Too liberal? Too divorced? What's so great about Hillary?
HILLARY IS ALMOST LIKE A REPUBLICAN NOMINEE IN MOST [presidential election] CYCLES. HIERARCHICAL BY NATURE, THE REPUBLICANS TEND NOT SO MUCH TO CONTEST THEIR NOMINATIONS AS ANOINT A "CHOSEN ONE" TWO OR THREE YEARS OUT, CONDUCT A SEMI-FARCICAL SERIES OF PRIMARIES IN WHICH THE "CHOSEN ONE" USES HIS (IT'S ALWAYS A HE, OF COURSE) POWERS OF WEALTH AND ORGANIZATION TO CRUSH HIS RIVALS AND ASSERT DOMINANCE OVER THE HERD. YOU COULD MAKE AN ARGUMENT THAT THE LAST TRULY OPEN REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION WAS IN 1964, OR MAYBE EVEN 1952. INTERESTINGLY, THEY HAVE NO CLEAR "CHOSEN ONE" FOR 2008; IT WOULD BE MCCAIN, BUT TOO MANY PEOPLE STILL HATE AND FEAR HIM.
THE DEMOCRATS ARE NOT AS HIERARCHICAL AND WILL OFFER SOME INSTITUTIONAL RESISTANCE TO THE ANOINTMENT OF HILLARY, BUT SHE WILL HAVE THE SAME ADVANTAGES OF MONEY AND ORGANIZATION AS A TYPICAL REPUBLICAN FAVORITE. SINCE I CAN'T STAND HER AND THINK SHE'D GET CRUSHED IN A GENERAL ELECTION, MY FEAR IS THAT SHE'LL GET 40 PERCENT OR SO IN PRIMARY AFTER PRIMARY, WHILE FIVE OTHER DEMOCRATS WILL SPLIT THE REMAINING 60 PERCENT; SHE'LL GET NOMINATED, BUT PEOPLE WON'T BE EXCITED ABOUT HER, AND THEN SHE'LL LOSE TO SOME CRYPTO-FASCIST IDIOT LIKE GEORGE ALLEN.
Also, do you think Bill Richardson will be the likely VP candidate no matter who's running for Prez?
IT WILL BE EITHER RICHARDSON, GOV. CATHERINE SEBELIUS (SP?) OF KANSAS, OR BARACK OBAMA. RICHARDSON WILL RUN FOR PRESIDENT, AND HE'S CHARISMATIC; ALSO AS A HALF-HISPANIC, HE'D HAVE AN ELECTORAL APPEAL THAT NO OTHER DEMOCRAT COULD BOAST. A RICHARDSON/OBAMA TICKET WOULD BE PRETTY ROCKIN'.
If the republicans look strong in the midterms and look to a conservative candidate, who will they go to? Gingrich? George Allen? There seems to be no non-terrible choice. What are the chances of a Biden/McCain ticket (Biden was the one to suggest Kerry/McCain in '04),or for that matter, a McCain/Hagel ticket as an Independent Party?
NO CHANCE ON EITHER. THAT TRAIN HAS SAILED, SO TO SPEAK, FOR MCCAIN. HAGEL--HIS STEM CELL VOTE THE OTHER DAY NOTWITHSTANDING--WOULD BE MY FIRST CHOICE AMONG THE REPUBLICANS, SO THERE'S LITTLE CHANCE HE COULD WIN. INDEPENDENT THINKING AND RESPECT FOR THE OTHER SIDE ARE NOT HOW YOU WIN AS A MODERN REPUBLICAN WITH PRESIDENTIAL ASPIRATIONS. THEY'LL STAY IN THE BUSH STRAITJACKET BECAUSE THEY'VE INVESTED TOO MUCH TO DEVIATE FOR 2008. (2012 AND BEYOND WILL THE ELECTIONS IN WHICH SOME SOUTHERN-FRIED KHRUSCHEV "DENOUNCES" BUSH'S LEGACY AS NIKITA DID STALIN'S; YOU CAN'T LIE TO HISTORY FOREVER, AND BUSH IS SCREWING US IN WAYS THAT WILL TAKE DECADES TO BOUNCE BACK FROM.)
I HAVE NO IDEA WHO THEY'LL NOMINATE. HOPEFULLY THEY'LL SPLIT, WITH MAINSTREAM-ISH REPUBLICANS NOMINATING ONE OF THE THREE FORNICATORS (MCCAIN, GIULIANI, GINGRICH--ALL ADULTERERS) AND THE SNAKE-HANDLING FREAKS LEAVING THE PARTY TO NOMINATE SAM BROWNSHIRT--I MEAN, BROWNBACK.