Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Shape of Campaign 2008

We are well into the official start of the 2008 Media Wants Clinton campaign, and I must say that things to this point have been entirely predictable. Right now Clinton's primary advantage seems to be that the more liberal elements (read: the vast majority) of the traditional media really want to make this an "epic" campaign. They need this to be all about a tough-minded woman(!) with a strong socialist agenda(!) fighting her way into the White House, seemingly against the odds.

Unfortunately her primary disadvantage is that those same liberal media outlets can't seem to agree on just what, per se, Ms. Clinton's agenda truly is. Is it the idea that a modern feminist can reach the pinnacle of male-dominated power? Or should it be that a moderate/liberal/moderate/whatever Democrat can return the country to the sound traditional values of destroying both the traditional American family and countless unborn children?

Sorry. Cheap shot, I know, but where Hillary is concerned I just can't help myself. For my own part I really could care less whether a woman becomes President of the United States. Big whoop. Just because we'd have a female chief executive wouldn't make the Europeans hate us any less. In fact, the primary difference between Hillary and Bill is that Hillary is only slightly more likely to land Air Force One wherever her favorite hairdresser might happen to be. That and the fact that she will probably have learned from Bill's lessons on proper intern care and keeping. Otherwise, I would fully expect to see a continuation of whatever agenda Bill never finished when he had the office and Hillary was probably creating behind the scenes anyway.

No, far more worrisome to me is that pesky social agenda of hers. In foreign policy matters, her stance on Iraq is what it is, and I can't see her getting in Iran's face, either. Likewise North Korea. Lots of saber-rattling, I'd like to bet, and lots of "dialogue," which is what career politicians do that allows bad guys to build and test weapons designed to make our property values plummet for the next hundred years or so. Business as usual on the foreign front.

But the real damage another Clinton presidency would wreak is in our domestic policy. Support of gay marriage is a given in a Clinton-II presidency. "Right to choice" (read: slaughter of unborn children) and entitlement programs galore are the spawn of a Clinton administration.

This is not to say that these policies wouldn't have a champion in any other Democratic candidate. My fear is that Clinton would see her presumed victory as a mandate from nature; the voters elected a woman to this office, which by extension means that they want me to enact these policies. Now. Hillary has shown herself to be at her energetic peak when she's grappling with social legislation, and I can't see that changing in the White House. I can't help but think that anyone else would show at least some restraint before crumbling our society.

The other part of my fear, of course, is that the Republicans will find themselves unable to create a significant challenge to whomever floats to the top of the Democratic ticket next year. I certainly am crossing my fingers for Mitt Romney, if he's the choice to counter McCain. "Anyone but McCain" is my campaign slogan for the coming election. I've written previously about Romney's real challenges as a candidate, hoping against hope that I will be proven wrong and that he really can stay above the political fallouts that seem to beset anyone who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. If Giuliani runs, that will only cement my support for the Romney campaign because at that point Romney becomes the only "true" conservative in the field. We certainly can't pin that label on John McCain. Rudy is really just a Democrat in a conservative-looking suit, so I can't see him carrying the banner for the party, either.

(Notice that I do not call Romney a "pure" conservative. I have mentioned before that there are no "pure" conservatives or liberals anymore. Just those that lean way over to one side of an argument or another. It may appear to be a semantics problem to you, but it makes perfect sense to me to differentiate between "pure" and "true" when describing political ideologies. Here at the Woundup, "pure" means someone who stays on the conservative side of every issue, no matter what that issue may be. A "true" conservative, on the other hand, stays conservative on enough issues to be well identified as a conservative. I may be splitting hairs, but when you have hair like mine you tend to split 'em rather than lose 'em.)

For these reasons I do not look forward to the coming campaigns with any gusto. Maybe I'm just getting old and tired, but a body can only take so much of a steady diet of hateful rhetoric between candidates before we just want to line them all up against a wall in front of a firing squad.

Besides, with John Kerry not running this time, where will we turn for entertainment?

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