Saturday, January 19, 2008

2008 Election Preseason Tryouts

The Presidential pre-screening process has been upon us for a few weeks now, up to and including the entire past year. I figure a lot of my loyal readers have been wondering what I thought of the various candidates. Unfortunately, I haven't really been paying that close attention. You see, Illinois isn't a Primary state, so I get to ignore a great deal of the Primaries hooplah. Once we whittle it down to a mere two or three candidates, then I'll do more research and figure out which one I'm actually going to vote for. It's political apathy like mine that makes this country great.

Still, I can't help but catch little blurbs about various candidates even though all they really are to me right now are silly playthings for my own amusement. Since I do have a few general and probably ill-informed opinions on the various candidates, I figure I'll jot down some notes about them just in case any of my readers in the few Primary states that haven't voted yet needs some kneejerk reactions upon which to base their decision. The Republicans can go first since, after eight years of George W. Bush, I seriously doubt the country will be ready to vote another Republican into office until at least 2012, when his brother Jeb will run and everyone will vote for him because if there's one thing Americans excel at, it's not learning their goddamned lessons.

John McCain
John McCain is a Vietnam Conflict vet who was captured and tortured by the Vietnamese and later released to work in American politics to ensure that our nation's youth would never be sent to another foreign shithole to be tortured and killed in a pointless war again. Except that he was one of the Senators who approved the Iraq War. This was after he challenged President Bush on events leading up to September 11th and the resulting political fallout.

I don't really know where McCain sits on the political fence anymore. When he was running in 2000, I would have voted for him if my state were one of the Primary states, but now that it seems senility is driving him further into insanity, I'm not so sure. If before he was straddling the political fence, it seems he lost his balance and fell off directly nose-first up President Bush's ass. Either he was hoping that embracing the Dark Side of Neoconservatism would help him fail just hard enough to get elected President, or the Bush Administration — more than likely, because this is what they're good at — either found some dirt in his past that was persuasive enough to blackmail him into seeing things their way, or threatened to kill him if he didn't play ball. You can never be too sure with the Bushes.

Either way, it seems like whatever his plan was, it seems to be working for him because he is one of the Republicans' top contenders. Not that it's really going to matter because no one trusts the Republicans right now anyway, thanks to eight years of Bush's inept bungling.

Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee is an evangelical Christian governor from Arkansas. He is constantly reminding us that religion does not play a factor in the electoral race, but that Christianity is a far less absurd than many other religious beliefs that his opponents might share, *ahMormonismhem*. Although he claims religion does not play a factor in the race, he constantly reminds us of his, up to and including a recent statement that could be pretty much summed up as "The Constitution should be rewritten to reflect the Bible, as our Founding Fathers would have wanted." No, jerkoff, if they wanted it that way, they would have written it that way. Maybe we should rewrite the Bible to reflect the Generation One Transformers because I believe that's how God would have wanted it. That's not what God intended, you say? Well, I don't really see God speaking for himself on that matter, so let's just assume everyone wrote their shit the way they intended it written, and while we're at it, go fuck yourself.

When he releases statements to the press like that, one begins to wonder if he's even serious about the Presidency, or if he's just in it to get a few laughs before continuing to run Arkansas into the ground. That's right, this guy's so bad, Arkansans don't even really like him. I have no idea how he got to be the governor of the state for so long, especially being a Republican in a primarily Democratic state, but I wonder if it has anything to do with his competition. For instance, the Illinois governor, Rod Blagojevich, managed to be re-elected despite his demeanor as a more aloof version of Ernie from Sesame Street. This is because he somehow got opposed by even more reprehensible political figures like Judy Topinka, who looks like el chupacabra and who was the State Treasurer when the former governor was embezzling, which means she was either in on it or too stupid to question where all the money was going, and either way no one wanted her as a governor. I think Mike Huckabee might be in a similar lucky situation, where his only political opponent is Farmer Joe's Prize-winning Hog, and even then only narrowly beat it.

Basically, if George W. Bush one time remarked to the Amish that he believes God speaks through him, then we should fully expect to see Mike Huckabee just chucking Bibles at everyone from the podium and shouting at us that we're not Christian enough. If you want to raise the high bar Bush has set for ignorant religious intolerance, then cast your vote for Mike Huckabee and force God to weep for His reputation.

Mitt Romney
I know almost nothing about Mitt Romney except that he's a Mormon, and what the fuck kind of first name is "Mitt"? Since neither he nor his radical Christian opponent Mike Huckabee claimed to want to make the candidacy about religious preference, I find it kind of odd that the only thing I know about Mitt Romney is that he's a Mormon. Certainly that can't be the center of his entire platform. The guy's name sounds like a Muppet, and he
looks like a Muppet, too. With a nation full of middle-aged voters with the mentality of spoiled five-year-olds, I'm actually surprised he hasn't been made President yet.

Rudy Guiliani
Stubbornly refusing to spend a lot of money on the primary elections has resulted in a fairly poor showing in the early polls, which seems to be working into his plan perfectly. Apparently his plan is to fail in every conceivable way possible. As the mayor of New York City, his major claims to fame have been being fairly personable for someone who looks like a cannibalistic serial killer, and most importantly, not reacting to the September 11th terrorist attacks by hugging his head in a fetal position under his desk while sobbing uncontrollably. Many people still remember him as Mr. 9/11, even though his only real contribution to the War on Terror has been cleaning up the mess. I think it's hardly enough to win him the Presidential bid, especially when he's only putting in a half-hearted effort to get past the pre-season tryouts.

Now for this election year's most important players, the Democrats. The Democrats have had a hard time in the last eight years. For a long time, they were held subserviant to a majority Republican Legislative Branch. Through the constant fumbling of the Republicans, however, they were able to convince enough people in 2006 to give them a decisive Congressional victory, promising to hold Bush accountable for his actions. Well, in the year since, they managed to boldly propose new legislation for the benefit of the country and mankind in general, which the President immediately vetoed. They also sternly refused to pass various questionable bills from President Bush, only to give up in the face of his severe, childlike stubbornness and just give him whatever he wanted. So the Democrats have been like the tired parents of the spoiled toddler that is our President. Just about everybody is sick of Republicans now, thanks to Bush, so this year will be the Democrats' turn to ruin the country even more.

Hillary Clinton
I never really did like Hillary Clinton, even when Bill Clinton was the President and everybody was saying that Hillary was really running things because Bill was this sort of aloof, gee-whiz kind of guy and Hillary was the angry ice queen. Hillary was the Dick Cheney to Bill Clinton's George W. Bush, if you will. I never did really trust her.

Yet it seems she's going to be the Democrats' most prominent candidate. Some people believe this is because she's a woman, and a fairly large portion of the country believes it's high time we have a woman President, no matter how qualified or not she might be for the job. If Jenny McCarthy ran on the Democratic ticket, she would also have a fairly decent chance of winning just based on the political platform that she is a woman. Plus, she's far hotter than Hillary. She would get the youth vote easily just by promising to do press conferences in a bathing suit. The same promise, however, would guarantee that Hillary wouldn't win because she's, like, sixty.

I don't think it's that she's a woman, though. I think she's leading in the primaries because, no matter how much we hated Bill Clinton when he was President, George W. Bush's complete and utter ineptitude has transcended Bill to a near-godlike status by comparison, and people automatically assume that anyone who shares a name with Bill Clinton will govern in much the same way. People would be just as likely to elect George Clinton or Clinton Kelly if they ran for office. We should learn from the recent past. Whereas George H. W. Bush kind of screwed up the country a little bit, George W. Bush really, really screwed up the country a lot. The point being? Just because two people share the same last name or have some relation to each other, it doesn't make them the same person. We won't get Bill Clinton's governing style just because he's married to Hillary, especially since it's apparent that they don't really listen to each other anyway.

What I don't like about Hillary is that, by all indication, she's set to continue George W. Bush's foreign policy guidelines, which have been proven ineffective at best and completely disasterous at worst. While the majority of the Democrats in Congress were busy feebly attempting to thwart George W. Bush, Hillary was voting in favor of his policies. Yet she claims to be some sort of Messianic agent of change. I highly doubt it. If we vote Hillary Clinton into office, it means that, for the past twenty years, only two families have been in charge of the country, and those two families are a) friends and b) distant relatives. It almost makes it seem like America is turning into some sort of royalty or monarchy, doesn't it? Hm.

Barack Obama
Okay, not having been following the contestan— I mean, candidates very closely over the past year, I am going to have to go with my gut on this one, and my gut is telling me that I really like Barack Obama. I am a fairly intuitive person. If my gut tells me something, it's most likely right. If I try to reason against it, all reasoning will fail. So I've learned to trust my gut. Back in 2000, my gut told me that George W. Bush would be a horrible President. In the summer of 2000, after he named Dick Cheney his running mate, I remarked to my wife at the time that if George W. Bush gets elected, we will go to war with Iraq. I just knew it. After September 11th, I tried to apply reason, tried to give him the benefit of the doubt, but within a year later, I knew that my gut had been right, that George W. Bush was a corrupt, sadistic, and petty, little man and a horrible, horrible President. Well, this time, my gut is telling me that there's something I really like about Barack Obama.

Perhaps it's that he's the first major candidate that is telling it like it is, that the political parties need to start cooperating for the good of the country, that our foreign policy is fucked, that the people in the Middle East hate us because they're scared of us because they don't understand us, and they're only going to respond to our violence with more violence, and that we need to work with diplomacy more than aggression. He's a major candidate that has challenged the President's authority while in the Senate and actually tried to make himself an agent of change, more than Hillary has at any rate. He's about the only major candidate that hasn't been fully poisoned by the corruption of government and has the ability to inspire hope in a disenfranchised country. Barack Obama has a vision for a better country, and he's about the only candidate who does.

Barack Obama has two major obstacles to overcome. The least important is his name, because it's suspiciously close to Black Osama, and his middle name is Hussein. Okay, first of all, Hussein is a very common name in the Middle East. Just because his middle name is Hussein, it doesn't make him any more related to Saddam Hussein than a random person in the country with the last name Bush is related to George W. Bush. As far as the rest of his name, it's just a name. It has no connection to Osama bin Laden, who was literally four years old, and thus, I'd suspect, hardly a terrorist network leader when Barack Obama was born and named. Also, all that crap that you've read through spam email forwards about his "devout Muslim upbringing" is largely inaccurate. You have the entire goddamned Internet at your disposal, people, why would you ever believe anything you get in an email forward without at least shooting it through Google first?

The other, more relevant obstacle for Obama is his lack of experience, only being a two-year Senator, and having spent much of that two years on a book tour followed by a Presidential campaign. Well, there have been other great leaders who were two-year Senators, most notably Abraham Lincoln, who has his face etched into Mount Rushmore because he was so awesome. It's not the amount of experience one has; it's how great a leader they naturally are. It's what kinds of experts they align themselves with and how carefully they weigh those experts' advice before making a decision. George W. Bush has been a proven business leader, but every business he ever ran has crashed straight into the ground in a twisted fireball hemorrhaging money, much like he has done for this country. He has aligned himself with some of the most noted political advisors in the country and then insisted on doing things his own way. The only one of those advisors who wasn't completely corrupt, (hint: Colin Powell), resigned in protest. The rest resigned in shame.

One of my fundamental tenets is that leaders are born, not made. A person is either a leader or they aren't. Barack Obama strikes me as a leader. Hillary Clinton has to keep reminding us that she is a leader, which automatically makes me assume she isn't. If someone has to keep asserting that they are something, nine out of ten they're just compensating. Unfortunately, most voters are not that intuitive and will believe whatever they're told, so if Hillary is the loudest voice proclaiming leadership, she is the one the people will believe.

John Edwards
I don't know much about Edwards. I barely paid him any attention when he was John Kerry's Vice Presidential hopeful, and I've only paid slightly more attention to him now. He just doesn't blip my radar. I don't think he could do any worse a job as President than anyone else, but I've read little about him that separates him from the other candidates either. He's not the female one, he's not the black one, and he's not any of the crazy Republican ones. He's the short, smiley one. Apparently no one cares.

Dennis Kucinich
This guy's hanging on for the ride, isn't he? He keeps cropping up every four years as if he has any hope of winning. The guy is like the H. Ross Perot of the Democratic Party. He is a tiny, old, frail-looking dude who occasionally lifts up his big head off the podium to say something completely batshit insane. The only problem is that the ones who sound the most insane are the ones who are most likely telling the truth, because the truth sounds the most insane to people who are used to being constantly lied to. Too bad for him that no one is going to go against the status quo and actually pay him any attention. It could be that he's just actually insane, too. That's about all I can say about him because I'm running out of steam on this little exercise.

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