Who Breaks Worse

I think things would be so much easier if President Bush could run for a third term.

This would make the 2008 presidential election picture at least a little bit clearer anyway.  Think of it this way, if Bush was capable of running for a third term, I doubt he would still opt to step down.  As a result, the GOP would either bite the bullet and expect a loss, or would at least hold a competitive primary in the hopes of forcing the sitting president out of office before he drug the party down (which, arguably, has already happened).

Meanwhile, with Bush in the game, should he go unchallenged, he would enter election day with an approval rating at around or below thirty percent.  Sitting presidents are considered vulnerable if they peek below fifty.  Twenty full poinhts below that, and he would be toast.  If, on the other hand, he lost the primary, one thing we have to remember is that this is Bush, and would have done a better job than any Democrat ever could of savaging his opponent.  Whichever candidate beat Bush in our hypothetical primary here would enter the General Election bloodied up something fierce.

At any case, the Democratic candidate would pretty much be a shoe in so long as he or she didn’t get on the stump and say disturbing things like, “I eat babies,” or simply attend fundraisers nude.

But with Bush being term limited, an interesting development occurs; every candidate is a candidate for change, even if only nominally.  It doesn’t matter that Rudy Giuliani’s foreign policy is potentially even more disastrous than Bush’s, Giuliani has a leg up because his first name isn’t George, last name Bush, and is therefore essentially identified by his middle initial(s).

It is still far too early to call, but as things stand now, the tea leaves all point to Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton facing off with each other for the main event, and in such a face off, there has yet to be a decided favorite.  For much of the early primary season, Rudy Giuliani seemed to hold the advantage, but recent national polls show Hillary Clinton finally overtaking him, though, by narrow margins.

Strangely enough, these two have more in common than just where they hail from.  For one, despite being in opposing parties, you’ll find their politics not particularly far from each other.  Hillary, probably one of the most hawkish of the Democratic candidates, may not be inflicted with 9/11 tourette’s like Rudy, but is still closest to him on foreign policy than any of her primary rivals.  Meanwhile, Rudy’s inability to hide his socially liberal past puts him within spitting distance of Hillary (who was never all that liberal to begin with) on social issues.

They would also both happen to be highly fractious.

With Rudy, his Achilles Heel would be his socially liberal past.  While the recent news from the Religious Right has been how much they are NOT endorsing Fred Thompson, it has just been made clear that key leaders in the politically active Christian community are ready to turn their back on the frontrunner as well.  In fact, woes within the GOP are such that the once dependable and powerful bloc is of the mind that they are ready to back a third party.

Sept. 30, 2007 | WASHINGTON — A powerful group of conservative Christian leaders decided Saturday at a private meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a third-party candidate for president if a pro-choice nominee like Rudy Giuliani wins the Republican nomination.

The meeting of about 50 leaders, including Focus on the Family’s James Dobson, the Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins and former presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who called in by phone, took place at the Grand America Hotel during a gathering of the Council for National Policy, a powerful shadow group of mostly religious conservatives. James Clymer, the chairman of the U.S. Constitution Party, was also present at the meeting, according to a person familiar with the proceedings.

“The conclusion was that if there is a pro-abortion nominee they will consider working with a third party,” said the person, who spoke to Salon on the condition of anonymity. The private meeting was not a part of the official CNP schedule, which is itself a closely held secret. “Dobson came in just for this meeting,” the person said.

Bad news for the Republicans, though I should add great news for the rest of America as this could mean the Religious Right being relegated to ineffectual third party status.

Not that things look much better on the Democratic side of the house.  The one thing going for Republicans is that at least Giuliani is getting strong competition on several fronts.  In the party of the donkey, Hillary Clinton continues to ride the wave of inevitability with a strong double digit lead over Barrack Obama just about everywhere but Iowa.  This despite a robotically perfect campaign reminiscent of the Al Gore 2000 debacle.

There isn’t much to get excited about when it comes to Hillary Clinton; she’s been the least forthcoming when it comes to platform specifics, and her dexterity on the chat circuit and in the debates may be impressive, but it also belies an unwillingness to put any ideas out there for the testing.  Obama and Edwards have fallen over themselves to put forth health care proposals, foreign policy proposals, etc. in the hopes of gaining the spotlight, but Hillary has managed to hold a commanding control over the spotlight by merely elevating herself above the party conflict.

On top of this, there is the idea that this is one of the most polarizing personalities in American politics.  The right has spent years and years going after her to the point where Clinton remains, of the 2008 candidates from either party, the candidate with the biggest consistent negative rating.

But disapproval does not come from the right alone.  While her desire to “socialize” medicine during her husband’s tenure in the White House had turned her into something of a leftist martyr on the national stage, it would be her hawkish turn in the Senate that would put many liberals off of her.  Despite this, she eventually read the writing on the wall, found liberalism for a short while (or, as she said in the YouTube debates, progressivism), and was touting the anti war rhetoric like nobody’s business.

But then something happened there too.  Somewhere along the line Hillary really started to believe the inevitability of her nomination, and has since started swinging back right, ostensibly to get a head start on the general election.  It is hard to say what effect, if any, alienating significant chunks of the base will have on her chances of winning the primary, but should she go too far, not only will her primary success be put in question, but that of the general election as well.

While Democrats are largely more satisfied with their field of candidates than Republicans, it is clear that both likely nominees are highly contentious within their own party.  With Rudy, it’s social conservatism.  With Hillary, you will find it more and more with true liberals and progressives, particularly those that are none too fond of the warhawks in DC.

Under these conditions, both parties are looking as though they will suffer huge crack propogations in next years general election, and at this rate the big question may very well be, which party breaks worse?

13 Responses to “Who Breaks Worse”

  1. Laura says:

    Finally, a winning third party: The Corporaticans. They win no matter what.

  2. Good one Laura. 😉

    On my dizzying flight across the continent today I had some time to think (not much else one can do while pinned down for five hours by the pregnant woman in front of me who decided she had to test the limits of the recline function on her seat). Based solely on the response we received in the past two days from the Ron Paul Nation I would bet…. well… something not very valuable, that when Ron Paul loses the Republican nomination he has the support to pull a third party run. Now this is just my crushed-by-a-pregnant-woman-gut here but we have written about each and every candidate at this point and not a one has generated the kind of enthusiasm that we have seen from the Ron Paul Nation.

  3. Laura says:

    That enthusiasm is what Mick described early on is his response to Miss Nancy. There is a ‘heaven’-like promise from Ron Paul, so you can expect the group to hang on to the “promised land”. People got pretty excited about Ross Perot and he skimmed people from both parties the way Ron Paul is doing. They both sound great on one issue, then the little dictator appears to fight for your freedoms….

  4. mick says:

    Dammit, Laura, you got there first again. I was just working on a little post tentatively titled “Ron Paul: The New Ross Perot”, and then, on a whim, I decide to check what people were saying about Kyle’s post here, and what do I find? You stole my thunder again. Now I’m going to have to write about the NAU….

  5. Laura says:

    Thanks. But, I’m certain you’d produce an excellent, in-depth comparison. Remember, I operate at the ‘gist’ level.

  6. The theocrats meet in hyper-secrecy in Salt Lake City. Mitt Romney and Dick Cheney come to kiss the ring. The tobacco and alcohol lobby’s numero uno attack dog, now a union-buster, Rick Berman, is a featured speaker – he was just featured on “60 Minutes” in August, ”Meet Rick Berman, A.K.A. “Dr. Evil” – and all anybody can come up with is a rehash of some speculation on talk about a doomed third party run against Rudy Giuliani?

    Am I missing something here?

    More importantly, are you?

    Here’s some details on the Theocratic Hoedown in Salt Lake City.

  7. Aw… and I thought people were actually talking about my post.

    Note: Mike I would take that very non valuable bet.

  8. heh Corporaticans… anything like the Decepticons? Do I have to start worrying about politicians turning into hand canons and boomboxes now?

  9. matttbastard says:

    Gee, I’m awfully sorry, Mister Williams. I guess we didn’t get the official memo that the preferred topic du jour was the Utah theocon meetup.

    Of course, considering that ‘doomed 3rd party runs’ helped swing Presidential elections in both 1992 and 2000, I’d say it’s a topic worth considering and discussing–especially in light of the cult-like fanaticism of the Ron Paul folks (to say nothing of his surprisingly hefty war chest) and the dissatisfaction of said theocons with the current GOP crop o’ candidates.

    YMMV, of course.

    Regardless, I hope you can find it in your *ahem* heart to forgive us for so impudently straying off the reservation.

  10. bo says:

    Fact: This country has been taken over by phonies and liars and corrupt bankers who control Mainstream Media. They operate through front groups like The Council on Foreign Relations….They don’t want to lose their stranglehold and they see Ron Paul as a Major threat #1. Of course, they won’t admit this publicly, but in their secret meetings they are plotting their next move. They must do something before they lose their power….. they thought they had this election neatly sewn up with the majority of candidates on both parties being C.F.R. puppets… they realize maybe they have overstacked the deck, now the deck looks phony and suspicious (it does) point this out to any person with half a brain and the C.F.R.. goose is cooked. Here is a brief description of the C.F.R. ..

    The goals of the Council on Foreign Relations are best described by its very own members.

    Bill Clinton’s Georgetown mentor and CFR member Carroll Quigley says in his book Tragedy & Hope: “The Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of a society which originated in England… (and) …believes national boundaries should be obliterated and One World rule established.”

    Mr. Quigley is only different from Bill Clinton, George Bush and the rest of them in the fact that he thinks they shouldn’t try to hide this any more.

    These groups brag and laugh about how America’s two-party system allows for both groups to be controlled at the highest level but still operate like bitter rivals.

    As Quigley says, this gives the voters the chance to “throw the rascals out at any election without leading to any profound of extreme shifts in policy.”.

    Controlling Washington elite allowed private central banks to ” dominate the political system… …and economy of world as a whole” and implement a new system of “feudalist fashion” through “secret agreements”. Although he believes the CFR’s intentions should be more public, Quigley understands the average person doesn’t understand feudalism or serfdom and will never read his book.

    Allright, now that you know what the C.F.R. is up to here’s a list of 2008 Presidential Candidates that are members of the Council on Foreign Relations:

    Fred Thompson
    Rudy Giuliani
    John McCain
    Mitt Romney
    Jim Gilmore
    Newt Gingrich

    Hillary Clinton
    Barack Obama
    John Edwards
    Joe Biden
    Chris Dodd
    Bill Richardson

  11. matttbastard says:

    Oh for fuck’s sake…

    *headdesk*

  12. Okay, my horse race post just got hijacked for a Paulonite. I’m feeling double plus ungood right about now.

  13. Laura says:

    What MatttB said.

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