Tuesday, June 26, 2007

See Republicans Run

So much wackiness, so little time.

I'm beginning to wonder if it's an intentional republican strategy to bury the public in so much wrongdoing that we give up trying to keep track. Well, I'm giving up on trying to keep track of the hard facts (since they don't get reported anyway), and am going to rely on my nose for fishiness as well as frequent application of the duck test for things that are ducked up. (Duck test: If it looks, walks, and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.)

One might assume that the republicans running for President would be suffering from defeatism, having all of the baggage of Bush on their backs. But one would be wrong. They are full of optimism. Except McCain, who is noticeably grouchy. Because he is going to lose and everyone knows it, including him. We know this for sure because the press is being so deferential to his war hero status.

I still like Mitt. I used to like McCain, even voted for him in 2000. But he's getting nasty in his old age. The sarcasm, what's up with that? The cheap political one liners don't wear well on an elder statesman.

Rudy is getting lots of play, and credit for "winning" the 2d debate, which I missed. Rudy smells like a phony to my knowing nose. A pro-choice Catholic with three wives. A tough guy draft dodger. I don't mind Catholics (used to be one), and I don't mind pro-choosers, and I don't mind divorced folks. What I do mind is hypocrites, and Rudy quacks like a hypocrite. Bringing his girlfriend to the house to meet his kids while he's still married to their Mom? There is something wrong with that. So what then? We have a first lady who thinks it's OK to sleep with married men? For a tough guy, I don't see much self discipline there. His commitment to his church and his family are both too flexible. The draft dodger thing just adds to it. None of these items on their own would bother me so much, but the cumulative effect is to draw a picture of a man who likes to be tough on others but not on himself. We have plenty of those already.

Fred Thompson I'm not buying either. Phony baloney. I'd like some clarity on whether he really owns a red truck. He's not a real leader, but he plays one on tv. Folks are hoping that he'll be a second Reagan. Well, a lot of things worked out OK under Reagan, but I never liked him as President until we had Bush 1, who was a disaster by comparison. But now I like Bush 1 in comparison to Bush 2, who even republicans are now admitting is a disaster by comparison to anyone. Reagan had principles. Not always mine, but generally good ones. Fred just seems to be doing what he likes. But I'll give Phony Fred a good chance of winning. Americans have proved in the last two elections that they'll take style over substance. We have become a bluepill nation.

Mitt is the real deal. Yeah, he's a draft dodger and doesn't really hunt as much as he'd like us to think, but so what? He's still married to his wife, whom he left Stanford to be with at BYU. That's a sacrifice for love in my book. He is loyal to his church and its teachings. We haven't seen any of his kids in rehab. And he's a self-made millionaire. (I know "millionaire" is out-dated, but "self-made rich guy" just doesn't have the same ring to it.) Frankly, I like a guy as President who can go out into the world and be successful.

I also like a guy who will change his mind. The flip-flop tag on Mitt does not stick. Leading takes flexibility. When circumstances change or when new information is received, it means making a new decision. We have a leader now who is incapable of re-evaluating situations. This leads to paralysis in dynamic situations, and the world is a dynamic place. Part of faith is believing that there is always a right path to be found. But we have to be willing to look for it. Put another way, any football fan will tell you that great coaches make half time adjustments to game strategy.

So Mitt has changed his position on abortion, gay rights, and gun control. Well, so have I. Several times. One writer said that Mitt was too slick in the 2d debate, and is a man of positions, not principles. Nonsense. It is just the opposite. Mitt walks the walk while others just talk the talk. He honors his marriage, he follows his faith, he's cleaned up corruption at the Olympics, he's successful in business and in politics. Judge by deeds, not words, and Mitt looks pretty steadfast.

So there is the Mitt lovefest. On the other hand, no military experience worries me. But if we go by that standard our choices are McCain or Ron Paul.

So why republican optimism? Well, it's because they are running against democrats, of course! Don't underestimate the democrats' ability to screw this up.

Some days I really wish Bill Clinton was running again.