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March 09, 2007

Comments

Knowing the authoritarian excesses of Guiliani, as a New Yorker, I can say that I wouldn't want him to be President even if I knew we were in for another 9/11. He was great in that time of crisis, but an absolute nightmare the rest of his term. Unless you expect total 24/7 terror attacks, I can't see inflicting that guy on the nation.

Indeed, given how much power Bush has stripped from the other two branches of government, now is definitely not the time to put Rudy into the White House. He would most definitely make Bush look like an underachiever in the power-grabbing department.

Come on, you gotta go with Newt. He's already had two careers, one as a character on Green Acres and the second as a salamander in Congress.

Seeing Giuliani denounced by the real heroes of 9/11 means a great deal to me.

Sam Brownback seems like the only admirable Republican. I disagree with most of his distinguishing normative values, but I believe he would make his case in a fairly honest way.

I'd say the least objectionable Republican would have to go to Romney, for me. He's a flip-flopping technocrat; that's better than a operatic thug (Giuliani), and I'm not letting McCain forget McCain-Feingold.

It's an interesting plan, but I don't see how it breaks the rules of the game. If you were to, say, suck the accounts of the candidates you dislike dry, that'd change things.

As it is, how does adding another penny to the bucket change anything?

Giuliani is just, personally, bad news. I used to feel so sorry for the poor city lawyers from the Corp. Counsel's office who would get stuck bringing all of those nitwittedly meglomaniaical lawsuits to make people stop saying things he didn't like in ads on the city buses.

No one has struck my fancy at all from either party. No one I could vote for right now.

In all likelihood I would vote against HRC or McCain. But I’ll save my money for now in the hopes that someone emerges who I can actually feel good about supporting.

How is that when you say "Rudy Giuliani", I hear "Bernie Kerik"? Rudy's always surrounded by those weird acoustics.....

I can't say that any of the candidates sounds terribly good right now, but only Brownback sounds actively worse than Bush so whoever wins it'll probably be an improvement. Personally, I think Clinton-Giuliani: all New York, all the time would be a fun campaign. Actually, my current prediction is that we'll soon be having another Clinton presidency. I know it's an extreme long shot, but...People hate her. There's no way to get a Republican frothing at the mouth quicker than to mention Clinton. (Either Clinton, but I'm talking about HRC here.) But she keeps winning elections. She won the Senate on the upstate vote. Upstate NY has more in common with Alabama than Manhattan. And the one quality that seems to predict winners in national elections is teflon. So...who knows? The US might get its first woman president within a century of women getting the vote.

Huckabee, alone among the current Republican candidates, is respected by the lefty bloggers I read (e.g.). From what I've read he seems (except for the Dumond matter) like the sort of conservative I would disagree widely with but could stand.

What's you knock on Tommy Thompson? On the merits?

Sigh. Is there any point in time where a person should have the opportunity to support a candidate that they actually agree with? I feel like I've been voting tactically my entire life -- for the most "electable" candidates in the primaries and then the least objectionable in general elections -- and just once I would like to vote for somebody because I think they would be the best person for the job. Is that really too much to ask?

Daniel, join me in refusing to vote based on electability in primaries!

Speaking of which, anyone want to mount a primary challenge against Rahm Emanuel? Pretty please?

The reason I ask:

Hawkish pro-Israel lawmakers are pushing to strike a provision slated for the war spending bill that would, with some exceptions, require the president to seek congressional approval before using military force in Iran.

The influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee also is working to keep the language out, said an aide to a pro- Israel lawmaker.

The language is likely to spark an internal battle among House Democrats, some of whom fear an expansion of the Iraq War into Iran and others who are wary of sending a signal to Tehran that Congress wants to take the use of force off the table.

Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel of Illinois predicted that the language would ultimately not be included in the supplemental on the House side, although it is favored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.; John P. Murtha, D-Pa., chairman of the Appropriations Defense Subcommittee; and some Jewish lawmakers.

Emanuel said opposition could extend beyond pro-Israel lawmakers. “‘Keep this all about Iraq’ is the view,” he said.

This is so. bloody. typical. The appropriations bill is the best--really the only shot--Congress has of trying to prevent Bush from attacking Iran without Congressional authorization.* And I can tell you right now Emanuel's constituents support that overwhelmingly. This is an 80/20 Democratic district--far more liberal than average for Illinois, and Illinois sends Durbin and Obama to the Senate without much of a fight--and somehow this guy is the best we can do. It's as ridiculous in its own way as Lieberman--he's not Lieberman, but this is a heavily Democratic district. But he'll never even face a competitive election.

*I think it's less likely than not that the administration will do this, but the risk is real enough that Congress ought to do what it can.

I would earnestly recommend sending money to either Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter on the Republican side, and I certainly have no qualms about recommending money for Obama. ;)

Dianne:She won the Senate on the upstate vote. Upstate NY has more in common with Alabama than Manhattan.

Minor quibble. She did make inroads upstate by promising to deliver 200,000 new jobs, something they desperately need (still waiting for that delivery as far as I know), but she didn’t win on the upstate vote IMO.

Her margin of victory was more than the total population of the three largest upstate counties she carried. I know a lot of people there and they say “carpetbagger” with enough contempt to make your ears hurt. For the most part, when it comes to state or national elections upstate voters are pretty much disenfranchised by the impact of NYC.

Now on your Alabama vs. Manhattan point – I can’t argue there.

This is an 80/20 Democratic district--far more liberal than average for Illinois, and Illinois sends Durbin and Obama to the Senate without much of a fight--and somehow this guy is the best we can do.

I used to live in Emanuel's district -- heck, I even shook his hand on the Belmont El stop when he was campaigning for his seat for the first time. Struck me as a nice, mostly non-fake guy.

Didn't vote for him then, however -- but (and this will surprise no one) I back him on this particular issue now. Which may not be a good thing for him.

I would earnestly recommend sending money to either Tom Tancredo or Duncan Hunter on the Republican side, and I certainly have no qualms about recommending money for Obama. ;)

Thanks. I'll keep that in mind.

What's you knock on Tommy Thompson? On the merits?

He's not running?

I know a lot of people there and they say “carpetbagger” with enough contempt to make your ears hurt.

Which is pretty rich from a bunch of northerners. Anyway, as I said, I know it's a long shot, but so was the senate race in the first place. Plus I think a race between two pro-choice northerners would be amusing given the current political climate. And I suspect that Giuliani might pull a Clayton Williamseque implosion at the last minute if it really did come to Giuliani-Clinton.

"(and this will surprise no one) I back him on this particular issue now."

You think the President should be able to start a war on Iran without Congressional authorization? Yes. That appalls me and to some extent surprises me.

(unless Iran directly attacks us, invades Israel, (various scenarios that we know damn well won't happen & could be covered in standard disclaimer language & in any case would make it really easy to get Congressional approval).)

Personally, I think Clinton-Giuliani: all New York, all the time would be a fun campaign.

Ugh. A thousand times more boring than the Yankees - Mets World Series, and nearly as bad for the country. There are 292 million Americans who don't live in New York City, after all.

I've enjoyed New York the times I've visited -- upstate and down -- but, I mean, really.

There are 292 million Americans who don't live in New York City, after all.

True. But lately all the winners have been from the south* and people are starting to act like that's the only region of the country that matters. A little balance, please. Actually, I tend to wonder why "regional balance" matters at all. Are we not quite over the Civil War yet?

*Or at least made claims to being from the south. Bush is really from Maine, but he claimed to be from Texas. Same with Shrub. No real Texan has that Hollywood fake Texas accent that he puts on.

I have to disagree with the premise that the choice in 2004 was a no win situation. I think Kerry was a terrible candidate but I actually think he would have made a good president.

That said, Von, I think you should wait a day or two and see if Hagel enters.

There are 292 million Americans who don't live in New York City, after all.

what Dianne said. please, oh please, let us have a President without the accent. just for a little while.

I have to admit that sometimes I have fantasies of President Mike Bloomberg giving one of his micromanaging, perpetually irritated-sounding press conference in that nasal Boston accent. "People, people, we're working through the diplomatic process--of course there are a lot of moving parts, lots of meetings, lots of things to accomplish--the Syrians have agreed to a 10% increase in banana importation--the Israelis are installing 200 new street lamps--if we're all just sensible about this, we'll come to a workable solution--but this takes time, and you've got to be patient...."

We really need to come up with a better term than "pro-Israel" to refer to people who support the policies of Israel's more hawkish politicians. Are people who don't think attacking Iran would be a good idea by definition "anti-Israel"? Is is really reasonable to describe fundamentalist Christian wingnuts like John Hagee as "pro-Israel"?

I think the Republicans are running an astonishingly weak field, and it just gets weaker when you actually investigate. Hagel is OK. Thompson would be OK. Don't know much about Huckabee, despite having mysteriously gotten onto the Arkansas GOP mailing list a few years back. Otherwise, ugh. (And I don't say this on ideological grounds.)

We, on the other hand, have the strongest field I've seen in years, and I'm counting HRC as a weak candidate, since I have yet to meet anyone who is actually for her.

I'm not sure if the Republican candidates are so terrible as much as the field they have to run through is so damaging. A year ago, I thought Romney was an okay guy and might be tough to beat. Like McCain, though, he's running a horribly insincere campaign--at least in the primaries. The Republican primary hurdles seem so much more absolutist than the Democratic ones.

Nah - they're terrible.

In some ways Romney freaks me out the most because I have NO IDEA what he actually thinks. For all I know he's being sincere now & was being insincere when he ran for governor.

Jackmormon: "A year ago, I thought Romney was an okay guy..."

-- one more indication that you're not from MA ;)

I really believe he's pandering now, but it probably won't matter on the social issues stuff: if he makes promises to the social conservatives, those chits will be cashed, regardless of his personal convictions (whatever they may be). And it seems like nobody can get through the Republican field without making those promises. Except maybe for Giuliani, which cracks me up.

Okay, OCSteve, you're right: they're all terrible.

one more indication that you're not from MA

Well, *I* wasn't going to vote for him!

True. But lately all the winners have been from the south* and people are starting to act like that's the only region of the country that matters.

Hey, I'll take a Midwesterner, too. Or even a left-coaster, for that matter. I'm totally over both the South and the Northeast.

We really need to come up with a better term than "pro-Israel" to refer to people who support the policies of Israel's more hawkish politicians.

We sure do.

In some ways Romney freaks me out the most because I have NO IDEA what he actually thinks.

He actually thinks he really wants to get elected and it is OK to say anything to accomplish that. IMO the assumption that he really does have some firm principles, even though no one knows what they are, is wrong.

von, Thompson is in Iowa http://www.tommy2008.com/site/Viewer.aspx?iid=7817&mname=Article&rpid=2220>exploring. Send him some money, and he'll stay in the race.

"I'm counting HRC as a weak candidate, since I have yet to meet anyone who is actually for her."

My wife, an L.A.U.S.D. school teacher, is for Hillary; so are at most of her mostly-female, mostly-liberal co-workers -- who openly say they'll vote for her because she's a woman. My Democratic-voting vegan lady bartender says the same thing -- she's for Hillary for prez (go-sister) and O'Bama for VP .

And I'm for her because it'll be a Bill-Hillary presidency if he-she wins, with Sven-billi making the major decisions when it comes to the big-picture war and peace issues.

Hillary's a 'lock' for the nomination. It's a done deal.

Phil, as a native New Yorker, I must ask, what the f*ck is your problem?

(Just kidding. Actually, I'm leaning towards a midwesterner myself.)

von, Thompson is in Iowa exploring. Send him some money, and he'll stay in the race.

I dunno. Sounds like a long shot. Let me do some thinking.

Hey, I myself come from deep NYC roots. Dad is a native Brooklynite, Grandma was 2nd-generation born in Manhattan.

I take back what I said about left-coasters, though. The last two of those turned out to be disasters.

The idea is to do what one can to avoid the tragedy of a match-up like the one we saw in '04, which really was a no-win situation.

That would be the choice between the dim-witted draft dodger and the smart war hero, right?

Yeah, that was a toughie.

As someone who voted for the smart war hero, I wasn't surprised he lost. Americans like their presidents to be cheerful optimistic folks. Sure, that sometimes means that we elect village idiots because they are the ones who least understand what the problems are, but personality matters, even if it doesn't control.

That said, I'd vote for Hagel as the Republican least likely to do damage. Yes, I know that Chuck doesn't exactly come across as the life of the party.

Tommy Thompson ran Wisconsin for 14 years and the state is still digging out from his big-spending, low-taxing, power-centralizing, unbalanced balanced budget. In the White House, I could see Thompson cheerfully propose America's first trillion dollar deficit. Still, he is personally very charming in his rural Wisconsin way, which, by now, is probably more act as reality.

For the least harm on the other side of the middle, I would have to go with Edwards or Obama. I don't know enough about Richardson, either, but he may yet turn out to be the best choice.

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