Sunday, August 05, 2007

The '08 presidential contenders

Nothing brings the readers of this blog together like politics -- every time I write about it I transport some of you into a warm, fuzzy world of smiling dolphins, hopping bunnies, fluttering butterflies, and candy-scented breezes. NOT. But what the hey, it’s been on my mind lately, so I have decided to comment on how the 2008 race for president is shaping up.

Readers who may have missed the fact should know at the outset that I am a lifelong Democr
at, a liberal with libertarian leanings, and that I think George W. Bush is the worst president since James Buchanan, who let the nation slide into Civil War. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read “I never thought I’d miss Nixon” and realized how sad but true it is

I do not think the GOP h
as always been the rudderless pastiche of business interests, religious zealots, fearmongers, neo-conservative ideologues, and opportunists that it is today. Lincoln was perhaps our greatest president, Teddy Roosevelt was a credit to the nation, Ike was a decent man. Nixon, by comparison to Dubya, was at least smart and based his foreign policy on reality rather than fantasy. Reagan could talk in complete sentences, even if I thought many of his policies were misguided. Bush’s father was actually a halfway decent president, handling the end of the Cold War with aplomb and responding appropriately to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. I supported that Gulf War; I have never supported the disaster that Junior has unleashed, which is now the central focus of the 2008 campaign.

All this is apropos of the fact that when I look at the candidates, I try to look as an American as well as a Democrat, to figure out who actually might have the mettle to do the job in these
difficult times. So far, I am surprising myself in how my thinking is evolving.

The Democrats

Before the Dems began their debates a few months ago, I was basically in the anybody-but-Hillary camp. I saw electoral disaster written all over her, and I was not fond of her support for the Iraq war resolution. She was about my fourth or fifth choice for a nominee, and I was looking more seriously at some others: Barack Obama, whose spidey sense about the war jibed with mine from the start and who is indeed a new, fresh face in a country tired of the same-old same-old; John Edwards, who seems to have learned from his Iraq mistake, who is addressing health care in big way, and who has the potential to run well in regions like the South where Democrats have had trouble; Bill Richardson, who brings a great resume to the job and who as governor of New Mexico might help my party make dents in the Mountain West, a traditionally Republican region that is making its way leftward in fits and starts.

Then I saw the debates, all three so far. And I realized that the one thing I want in
a president is an adult, someone who does not need on-the-job training. We are still suffering through George W. Bush’s on-the-job training and look at the disasters it has wrought. Now, admittedly, most presidents are faster learners than Bush -- no, he's not smarter than a fifth-grader, to borrow from the title of the popular TV game show -- so I am willing to forgo a little experience if a candidate seems to have the right sense of judgment, depth, and wisdom.

Looking at the field, I see two good pres
idents: Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Clinton has distinguished herself mightily in the debates, scoring points for concise and sensible answers, for her bearing, and for her skill in taking advantage of her opponents’ mistakes. Her performance has erased any doubts I had that she could stand up there on a stage and best whomever the Republicans nominate, and I can also see her in a room being tough and smart and commanding when meeting with foreign leaders.

Joe Biden was a surprise to me; direct and to the point, experienced, with a plan for a political solution in Iraq. Alas, he has neither the money nor the following to get nom

Obama has been, on balance, a disappointment. He has “good bones” to use a real estate term, b
ut like a house with great potential he needs work. The recent flap over “Would he meet with foreign leaders?” like the presidents of Iran, North Korea, and Cuba shows his inexperience. Hillary is right; a president keeps her cards close to her vest, lets underlings do the groundwork. Then Obama made things worse by announcing that he’d send troops into Pakistan, if need be, even without the permission of the government there. Now, we may have a secret plan to do just that, and if a president were to strike when the iron was hot to get Bin Laden there would be few complaints. But, again, presidents must hold their cards close; sometimes it is best not to telegraph such intentions, which risk destabilizing an important but shaky ally, just to prove you can be a tough guy. This is all rookie stuff, and it puts me off.

Edwards has great hair. Once again the media and the pundits are focusing on the inconsequential when there are real issues to be had. I have always sort of liked Edwards (though I voted for Howard Dean in 2004) and I have always sort of felt uncomfortable with him. Anyone running for president is ambitious, but I have always detected more ambition than depth in Edwards. Nonetheless, he is hitting the right points on many issues such as health care and the corporate influence in Washington and I have not ruled him out. He has the potential to run well across the board and we Democrats should never keep “electability” far from our minds.

Richardson has been the biggest disappointment. His debate performances have be
en lackluster and tongue-tied. His answer to health care is “more preventive medicine,” which is not exactly what I am looking for when it comes to access to insurance, insurance for those with pre-existing conditions such as CLL, and the like. He just doesn’t seem to have the bearing and quick thinking that would get him through a presidential campaign. (Now, vice president, that’s another story . . .)

There are the others: Chris Dodd, who is almost a caricature of a sen
ator, Dennis Kucinich, who says many things that appeal to me viscerally but who looks like an elf and could never be nominated or elected; and crazy Grampa Mike Gravel, who reminds me of Dana Carvey’s Saturday Night Live character “the Grumpy Old Man.” But it’s great to have him there, on the end of the stage, keeping them honest and lobbing politically incorrect bon mots.

, there’s Al Gore, my hands-down favorite and the man whom I truly believe was elected president in 2000. I wish he would run but he won’t. I have always sensed that Gore was in search of his soul -- and now, with his global warming crusade, he seems to have found it. His mission is important, and I hope he wins that Nobel Prize, and I still shed a tear for my country that a 5-4 vote of the US Supreme Court blocked a recount that would have probably led to a different, better path for us all.

The Republicans

Ah, what a great time to be a Democrat. The Republicans have a crop of flawed candidates and are about to sink the only one who might actually stand a chance next year.

I used to be afraid of Rudy Giuliani as a nominee. There was the thought that he’d run well in Democratic areas such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. But the more I see and hear his rather shrill and grating personality, the more that comes out about the backstory to 9/11, the more we see of his family relationships, the more I think he will start to sink like a rock at some point in the general election. Bring him on, GOP. As one commentator said, he’s like Bush on steroids. People are tired of Bush, and they’re tired of people who think the only way to get elected is to use fear of terrorism as a mantra. The man has no national experience, and he’ll turn off large numbers of conservative Christians. Go Rudy! Go Rudy!

Mitt Romney i
s pretty good on his feet in a debate but he suffers from a couple of problems. One is that he’s said a lot of liberal things in the past that make him look all the more opportunistic now that he’d trying to appear conservative. The other is his bearing, which is, how shall I put it, rather John Kerry-esque. There’s an elitist sense about him and it won’t play all that well in the heartland. Unfortunately, his religion -- Mormonism -- makes some people uncomfortable. From a cynical political point of view, this is an advantage for the Democrats, but as a country I hope we have gotten beyond irrational prejudice in our deliberations. Like Obama's race, Clinton's sex, and Richardson's ethnicity, Romney's religion should make no difference to our vote.

Fred Thompson is the great unknown, at least to me. I don’t know how well
he’ll come across, and whether he’ll be able to build a coalition beyond the GOP. I do get the sense that there’s nothing exceptional or extraordinary about him, and I don’t really see him capturing the national imagination. He is probably more of a placeholder than a force, and can probably not muster a groundswell of support or affection as Reagan did.

Which brings us to the last of the major contenders, John McCain, my home state senator. I kind of like McCain. I don’t agree with him on enough things to actually vote for him, but I appreciate his independence of mind, his sense of humor, and what I see as a genuine desire to do right, to be a good public servant. History often turns on “what-i
fs” and I wonder how things might have been different today had McCain, not Bush, been nominated in 2000. John McCain could have been, and probably would be, a capable president.

Alas, we are where we are, and McCain suffers from his own dedication to the truth as he sees it. Americans complain that they don’t like to be pandered to, but when candidates takes unpopular positions they go unrewarded. McCain’s enthusiasm for the war is something I regard as misguided but it is at least genuine; his support for the failed immigration reform package sealed his fate with those in the party who see no room for dealing with the realpolitik of the situation. McCain, who was a prisoner of war, is also is the only Republican candidate willing to take a strong stand against the abuse of detainees (and how sad is that, here in the land of habeus corpus). This is to his credit, and McCain would still play pretty well in a general election. But his odds of making it that far are getting slimm
er and slimmer.

The spouse in the White House

The GOP has a tough road next year regardless, but it lacks an inspirational figure who can unite the party, let alone the country. As much as Hillary might be hard to take for some people -- and I think for some, a strong woman of any stripe is off-putting -- she is likely to grow on people with time. Nobody doubts that she’s tough, or that she’s smart, and those are qualities we want in a president.

There is always ta
lk of presidential spouses and how they help or hurt; Michelle Obama stands out in a positive way, as does Elizabeth Edwards. Bill Clinton stands out most of all; ever popular in the heartland of the country, he will be of immeasurable help in making Hillary a more accessible personality to those who may be a little unsure about her.

I vote on February 5, which is becoming known as Super-Duper Tueday, the day when something like 20 states vote. I figure by then the Democratic race will be down to Hillary v. Obama or Hillary v. Edwards. Much to my amazement, I am leaning toward Hillary. I have a feeling that come November 2008, a lot of other people will be surprising themselves, too.


Vance Esler said...

As I have commented before, I am an issues voter, not a party supporter.

I am afraid that I have become quite cynical, and I don't trust any of the candidates so far.

But from an objective viewpoint, I agree that right now, the Democrat field looks more likely to win -- especially with the barrage of anti-war movies that will be hitting the screens in 2008. (Just saw a bunch of previews at the theater a couple of hours ago... Free advertising for the Democratic party. Clever.)

voltaire said...

Read the piece on "President" Giuliani in the current issue of Harper's. Scary!

Anonymous said...

First of all, we know you'd never seriously consider a Republican. I want you to be very, very honest, David...if this were 1864 you'd be screaming that that war-monger Lincoln needed to be replaced by that nice man, General McClellan. You are only trying to fool some folks by professing support retroactively for someone running 143 years ago!

Myth 2: George Bush is stupid. Hmmm, did you get into Harvard and/or Yale? Do you have an MBA from, say, anywhere? No?

"President Bush's IQ has been estimated to be between 125 and 130, well above average.

Bush's SAT score was 1206 (566 Verbal, 640 Math). See the upper-left
corner of his Yale transcript:

This web page offers a theoretical conversion of pre-1974 SAT scores to IQ:

Based on that conversion chart, Bush's IQ would be about 129.

"On his SAT's, President GW Bush scored 566 verbal and 640 math, for a
total of 1206 (from ). The
Bell Curve author Murray estimates a 1206 SAT equates to about 125 IQ.

" Finally, when it comes to raw IQ, Bush is in the mid-range of
American Presidents. In 1999, Charles Murray and I calculated, based
on Bush's SAT score of 1206 (old-style scoring system), that his IQ
was probably about 125 or a little higher..."
source: Steve Sailer,

What's your IQ???

(I will say I'm not a big fan of Mr. Bush. He is not a conservative. He places too much emphasis on loyalty (see: Rumsfeld), he has a tin ear, the execution of the war has been inept from almost every angle. But this is a new type of war, and he is not the only person to make bad decisions (see: Rumsfeld).

Myth 3: Gore won the election. Hello!!! Bush won the electoral college vote. Gore won the popular vote. Guess which one prevails?

From CNN:
Florida recount study: Bush still wins

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.

The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago conducted the six-month study for a consortium of eight news media companies, including CNN.

NORC dispatched an army of trained investigators to examine closely every rejected ballot in all 67 Florida counties, including handwritten and punch-card ballots. The NORC team of coders were able to examine about 99 percent of them, but county officials were unable to deliver as many as 2,200 problem ballots to NORC investigators. In addition, the uncertainties of human judgment, combined with some counties' inability to produce the same undervotes and overvotes that they saw last year, create a margin of error that makes the study instructive but not definitive in its findings.

As well as attempting to discern voter intent in ballots that might have been re-examined had the recount gone forward, the study also looked at the possible effect of poor ballot design, voter error and malfunctioning machines. That secondary analysis suggests that more Florida voters may have gone to the polls intending to vote for Democrat Al Gore but failed to cast a valid vote.

In releasing the report, the consortium said it is in no way trying to rewrite history or challenge the official result -- that Bush won Florida by 537 votes. Rather it is simply trying to bring some additional clarity to one of the most confusing chapters in U.S. politics...

Using the NORC data, the media consortium examined what might have happened if the U.S. Supreme Court had not intervened. The Florida high court had ordered a recount of all undervotes that had not been counted by hand to that point. If that recount had proceeded under the standard that most local election officials said they would have used, the study found that Bush would have emerged with 493 more votes than Gore.


I know that David and many other people (i.e. Democrats) live in a fantasy world. Repeating the canards in David's posting gives credence to this.

David...Wake up...You lost...So sorry (not really).

Mr. Clinton lost the election for Gore with the Lewinsky, Flowers, Broderick, Jones, etc. etc. adultery. Adultery does not set will with many. Clinton is a sleaze. Gore believes this cost him the election.

Myth 4: Nixon was better than GWB. I'll bet Homer Simpson's last doughnut that you HATED Richard Nixon when he was alive. I'm sure you NEVER had a good thing to say about him. I KNOW you never voted for him, or would have voted for him. I'll bet you still have the McGovern bumpersticker on your VW Beetle.

Let's clear up one thing. Richard Nixon was no conservative. I'll give one example which proves it. Wage and price controls. No conservative would EVER institute wage and price controls. They don't work and it's government meddling at its worst.

Myth 5: "Hillary Clinton...could stand up there on a stage and best whomever the Republicans nominate."

I have met Mrs. Clinton (have you?). She is shorter than you'd think, much more wrinkled than you'd think, and more insincere than you'd think.

Mrs. Clinton is probably the most centerist of the bunch (which isn't saying much). B. Hussein Obama is a lightweight and a cocaine snorter. His statement that he would snuggle up to Castro and Chavez et. al. within hours of being inaugurated was a stupid statement. His statement that he would invade Pakistan, but NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES use nuclear weapons disqualifies him from serious contention.

Joe Biden is a self-acknowledged plagiarizer.

Richardson is an interesting candidate, but he is buried in the back of the pack.

John Edwards (the Breck girl candidate) is my favorite, though. How beatable can you get? A $1,400 haircut? And that Youtube video of him fussing with his hair? An election-killer. He is the prettiest candidate, though...

Now to the Republicans...

More of your true colors...criticize Romney because of his religion! Especially with you an acknowledged non-believer. That's low, but typical of Democrats.

R. Giuliani is the strongest candidate, in my opinion. People just like Rudy. He comes across sincere and believable. His support of killing terrorists is unsurpassed. I think he'd run an excellent campaign. I just don't know if his support for abortion will be a deal-killer for Republicans.

Fred Thompson seems like the real thing, but he doesn't have the experience that, say, a Ronald Reagan did (another man that your truly loathe, your words notwithstanding. I know you never voted for him, did you? Did you ever seriously consider voting for him? No? What a shock!).

I do think it's funny that the Democrats and their lackeys the mainstream media are attacking his wife. Big, bad, whimp Democrats!

He just doesn't have a track record. He'd really have to prove himself. And, of course, he has lymphoma, which the Democrats will not-so-secretly attack him on.

Romney is a good candidate. He is articulate and likable. Let's see his staying power.

McCain is the one candidate that could blast the Democrats back to the minority where they belong (permanently). However, he's erratic. He probably cost himself the nomination by his unqualified support for open borders.

Duncan Hunter is a good candidate, as is Tom Tancredo. But neither has caught fire.

Ron Paul is the new Lyndon LaRouche

Myth 6: POWs at Guantanamo Bay are really just misguided kids who should be rewarded with citizenship and an income for life. Kill Americans? Who cares! Get the ACLU to file suits to make them seem like puppy dogs. We pretend to flush a Koran down the toilet? HORRORS! They behead scores of people? That's just their culture! And anyway, WE MADE THEM DO IT BY DARING TO FIGHT THEM IN IRAQ! (Of course, didn't Sept 11 happen BEFORE Iraq? I know, I'm just a evil temporalist, insisting that things happen in consecutive order. How narrow-minded of me!)

The so-called terrorists (you probably call them freedom fighters) would be flying kites and taking puppy dogs to the park EXCEPT FOR THE EVIL AMERICANS WHO DARE REMOVE AN EVIL DICTATOR from the face of the Earth (did you support that, David? Were you happy to see him dead?)

Thanks for writing, "Dennis Kucinich, who says many things that appeal to me" tells me all I need to know about your political philosophy. Your support of Hillary (NOT named for Edmund, contrary to her lie on the subject) means just one thing...electability.)


There are several things you don't comment on. America hasn't been attacked since Sept 11. No one ever thought that would happen, and it's all thanks to the Patriot Act and the Bush administration. (You'd never give him credit on that, would you?)

And what about the worst-case scenario (at least to the Democrats)...we begin to win in Iraq? I'm not claiming we will. The prosecution of this war has been absolutely terrible, as McCain says. But...what if that country stabilizes?

You better hope and pray that America loses this war. If we win (as Lincoln did, only on the basis of the fall of Atlanta), the Democrats (we have lost, Mormon Harry Reid, 2007) will lose their only issue. The economy is terrific, the Democrats are falling all over themselves promising to raise taxes and increase big government.

They'll be in big trouble if things improve in Iraq. Wonder if Clinton is praying every night for more American deaths in Iraq? Wouldn't surprise me.

David Arenson said...

As my grandmother said when the brisket burned, "Oy vey."

The last commenter does go into detail, ascribing all sorts of hidden motivations to me that are not there, as well as making criticisms that are completely unfounded: For example, my post says clearly that Romney's religion should NOT be an issue -- and yet some of his sainted Republican opponents are trying to make it one.

Hillary Clinton is "wrinkled"? This means she isn't a potential president?

Edwards spent $400 on his haircut, not $1400, BTW.

Yeah, I know Nixon was no conservative. That's why I thought some of the things he did were OK.
The GOP has moved from a centrist party to a right-wing party since his time. It has long since ceased to be the party of Lincoln and Roosevelt. Holdovers like McCain, who posses actual independence of mind, are pilloried for not following the extremist path. I find it interesting that, after 2000, McCain considered becoming a Democrat for awhile.

As to Bush's brain, the question is not who went to what college or how they scored on their SATs -- and his scores were lower than mine, FYI -- but what one does with that brain. The quality of judgment, the ability to make WISE choices, the intellectual curiosity to understand history. You can be book-smart but world-stupid. You can be book-dumb and world-wise. Bush is limited, stubborn, and foolish.

Finally, I freely admit I am a lifelong Democrat. I have never voted for a Republican. I thought about voting for McCain last time there was a senate race here, but he ignores health care issues like almost all Republicans do. This does not mean that I won't give the devils their due when they do something good, or when they show qualities I respect.

It may interest you to know that awhile back when I couldn't sleep I tried to lull myself into la-la land by thinking about all the presidents in my lifetime that I remember well enough to evaluate; I asked myself, from a purely historical point of view, considering both their flaws and their impact, how would I rank them. Here is what I came up with, from best to worst:

Bush I
Bush II

Anonymous said...

You got the party started! Cool!
Had to add, my darling daughter trumped Bush's
SAT in the ground! Braggin' rights!

Hope you are well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, David...

First off, I LOVE that you JUST HAVE TO GET IN THAT YOUR SAT SCORES ARE 'HIGHER' than President Bush. It's sad that you feel the need to brag. In contrast to you, I refrained from such a display of insecurity. (And it's not because I fared poorly on the SAT.)

The point remains that Bush is not an idiot, moron, retard, dim, dim-witted and a hundred other insultive terms you libs like to throw around.

You misunderstand intelligence. It is more than 'book smart'. It is the ability to see relationships, to describe consequences, to follow complex logic. Bush has demonstrated that. Contrast his performance now in press conferences with his early speeches. He's gotten a lot better.

As I've said, I'm not a huge fan of GWB. I believe he has made a number of bad decisions. But I've never insulted the man as liberals do.

BTW, let's see you give a press conference before the world, fielding tough questions such as, 'Do the troops have enough body armor?', and 'What are you going to do about failing bridges?'

And let's see...George is President of the United States. Who is more successful???

You, like so many liberals, deliberately cloud the arguments by restating them incorrectly in the hopes that other mentally-deficient people (liberals) are confused and conclude, erroneously, that somehow you have made a point.

Where did I say that the very wrinkled Hillary was ineligible to hold any sort of leadership position simply because she was wrinkled? Never! She'd be incompetent wrinkled or smooth. Yet you lie to avoid engaging on the real issues.

Sadly, this is typical of the liberal.

You mention that I attribute a number of 'hidden motivations' to you. You aren't that clever, David. There isn't anything subtle or hidden about your sadly misalignment with the ways things really are.

Let's take your reference to Mormonism (the religion of 'I'm a loser' Harry Reid, btw). By even bringing it up, you make it an issue. Do you not see this, or are you attempting to pretend you don't understand? It's sort of like the question, 'So, when did you stop beating your wife?', or 'The fact that my opponent believes in a cult like Mormonism shouldn't be an issue in this campaign, and I promise not to dwell on the fact that my opponent belongs to the cult called Mormonism.'

I love the fact that you finally admit that you ONLY like politicians who are liberal.

The $1,400 haircut. Many sources cite that number. That's what I have heard. Google it to see multiple references to that amount. But even a $400 haircut from a man claiming to be a 'populist' is illustrative of a hypocrite.

But, in your world, its just peachy for a Democrat to lie, exaggerate and be hypocritical; were a Republican to do that, well, take the gloves off!

'The Republicans have moved from a centrist party to a right-wing party...' If so, the corollary is true. The Democrats have moved from a left-wing party to socialist. Not that I believe the Republican party is 'right-wing'. It MAY be center-right, but when a majority of Americans believe that same way the party does, it, by definition, is not 'extreme'. The left-wing Daily Kos crowd, in contrast, has become unhinged, calling for impeachment, instant surrender to fascist Islam, accusing Republicans of hiding Bin Laden until the next election (Maddy Albright, true!) Such wackos...

Colin Powell called himself a 'TR Republican'. I like TR a lot, myself. I'm suspicious of global corporations, I support America and her industries, her hard-working people and I support protecting the environment.

Think what the word, 'conservative' means. It means 'to conserve'. Get it? Not all Republican agree on every issue.

What we stand for is a strong America (you want to eviscerate it), a nation of small government (you believe that only a bureaucracy can spend my money effectively), a nation of values and principles (to you, 'if it feels good, do it'), the rule of law, not man (you like the individual (Clinton, FDR, the cult hero such as Che and Castro...see Mike Moore)).

I believe in hard work, you believe on giving drug users disability income for life. I believe in the Bible, you believe in Ebay (or perhaps you believe in nothing). I believe in merit promotion, you believe that race is more important. I believe that people are smart enough to run their own lives and make their own decisions. You believe that people are stupid and only a bureaucrat can spend money wisely.

I believe in the power of the individual, you believe that success should be punished by confiscatory tax policy. You believe in the redistribution of wealth, I believe in letting people keep what they earn.

You state that you are a life-long Democrat and have never voted for a Republican. (BTW, I do not believe that you EVER considered voting for Mr. McCain. I just don't believe it.) That tells us exactly what we need to know. All the crap about how wonderful Lincoln was, and what a decent guy Eisenhower was, blah, blah. You'd rather vote for Stalin than ANY Republican, admit it!

I know you've been drinking a bit too much Rituxan if you claim to favor Reagan over Clinton. Again, I just don't believe it; you are just desperately trying to SEEM open-minded.

Did you vote for Reagan? No. You admitted that.

BTW, I've not only voted for conservative Democrats, I spent one summer on the staff of a Democratic candidate running for the State Senate.

I'll revise your list to the correct order:

Nixon (he's probably our smartest president)
Bush the Elder
Bush the Younger
Carter (one of the worst presidents ever)

You like JFK? I'll bet you do! Know what he campaigned on (and did after being elected?). HE CUT TAXES! He also campaigned on a non-existent 'missile gap', but that shows he was no liberal (at least on defense and economic issues).

How far have the Democrats fallen. I give you...Howard Dean (EEEEWWWWWOOOOEEE!)

I also see that you agree with me that Bush won the election. The vote margin would have been even greater had the networks (all liberal) gave the election to Gore before the polls had closed in the Florida panhandle. Remember? That suppressed the conservative vote nationwide.)

David Arenson said...

Oh yap, yap, yap.

I have better things to do than answer this sort of claptrap in detail. Talk about seeing the world through skewered lenses. Your worldview seems to fall in somewhere between Rush Limbaugh's and Bill O'Reilly's, which is just plain sad. Everything outside that is a caricature to you. You just can't imagine that I -- or anyone who disagrees with your distorted reality -- might actually be capable of seeing shades of gray, or might not fit the stereotypes you associate with the left.

I mean, good God, I never had a VW bug with a McGovern sticker. It was a frickin' VW bus, man!

Someday I will post about my late night encounter with George McGovern in his office (there really was one) and my experience in high school, winning a trip to DC from a very conservative congressman. He tried to convert me to 1) conservatism and 2) Christianity. He gave me a book called The Mainspring of Human Progress and sent me Bible tracts in the mail. Alas, none of it stuck.

I do appreciate the classic principles behind conservatism and even agree with some -- namely individual responsibility being of paramount importance, as is its flip side, individual liberty -- but the conservative movement in the US has been derailed/disfigured by extremists like yourself. Bush II is the summation of its moral, ethical, and political bankruptcy.

President Kucinich and Vice President Sharpton will lead us boldly forward into that socialist paradise that George McGovern and I have been plotting since that night long ago . . .

Grateful said...

I am more conservative than you. I think Ronald Reagan was one of our best presidents ever.

But I have become a Bush Democrat. Thanks to the current Bush, I don't care who runs, I'm just going to vote Democrat.

Anonymous said...

I love it!!!

David gives up!!!

In the face of multiple challenges to his urban myths (with references), David knows he's licked, and THROWS IN THE TOWEL!!!

YIPEEE!!! Game Over!!!

I win win win!!!

Yeah, the big 'I'm too busy to respond to what I started'.

Good one...

As to the 'Bush democrat', what does that mean? You think Bush is a Democrat? You're voting for the far-left after voting for a centerist candidate like Bush?

I see your convictions run quite deep, hah hah.

Give me a conservative man who is strong of conviction, strong of belief, stout-hearted, honest, and puts America above all else, and we will conquer Islamic terror once and for all!

As far for dribbling after your admission of defeat at the hands of your better, David, YOU are the one who is sad.

All you have now is the faint ad hominem attack, personal insults, and projecting your failings onto others. Sorry to disabuse you of your claims, but of course we all see shades of gray. Did you not understand that I fault Bush for some failings, praise him on others? Perhaps you are too eager to insult than to read.

You do look like a VW bus guy, now that you mention it. Still had the McGovern bumpersticker, though, I'll bet.

I admired Senator McGovern, not the least for his bravery in WWII. How his worldview got so screwed up is a real big question. Sort of like Wes Clark, I guess. And General McClellan.

I think it's funny, you calling me an extremist when it's YOU who is so out-of-step with America. Remember, even with electoral fraud and the backing of almost 100% of the media, the Democrats lost in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006. (You ask, 'wait a minute, didn't Congress go Democrat?' Yes, but the loss of seats to the other party was less than that of a typical sixth year of a presidency. So there! (the average loss in the House is 53 seats, in the Senate, 7 seats since the Rooseveldt era.)

Congress has a 63% disapproval rate at the latest NBC poll, and an anemic 24% positive rating. This is even WORSE THAN GEORGE BUSH. So the Democrat-run congress is completely inept and roundly disliked. What a success by the butt-ugly Nancy Pelosi and the Mormon Reid.

I did smile a bit at your reference to Dennis Kucinich as president. I WISH WISH WISH that Mr. Kucinich would be the Democrat nominee instead of the old warhorse Hillary (did I say she is terribly wrinkled???). I think that a dead Richard Nixon would beat Mr. Kucinich.

I suppose you consider him mainstream, the guy who wants to file impeachment proceedings against the President. Even the uber-liberal Pelosi and the Mormon Harry Reid won't go that far.

BTW, I heard on the news this evening that the Demos are starting to consider what to do if the Petraeus report is even mildly positive. Since the Mormon Reid has long-ago concluded the 'war is lost', how can they spin this?

As I've said (and you have agreed with) that Democrats are now planting IEDs in Iraq to boost American casulties, they are deeply invested in America's defeat in the war.

Given that (1) the north is secure (Kurdistan), (2) Iran has been identified as the instigator of most of the bombings in Iraq, and (3) so far, things are quieting down, the bomb making by the Democrats must be ramped up.

The Democrats only hope is that (1) there is a big terrorist attack on the mainland US, or (2) the war goes south quickly in Iraq, or (3) Iran nukes Israel. It must be odd to pray every night for America to be defeated. Doesn't that qualify as treason?

America might be saved after all! Pray to God that it will be!

Oops! I suppose if you 'pray' it is to Gia or something.

Jenny Lou said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA.....What a great way to wake up and get my giggle on. One of the best political debates I've witnessed in a long time. I just wish Anon. would be man or woman enough to post their name. Now that's a typical die hard conservative Republican--hiding behind white hoods.

Anonymous said...

Hi David,
I have a question that may seem sort of dumb. Are some tests for CLL markers more reliable than others?
For example the IgVH mutational status test as compared to FISH? How correct is the IgVH test? This
question is hard to say what I mean.

Also you know good and well posting about the "contenders" was going to bring Anon. out of the woodwork. Fun times here!

I wish Anon would be a bit kinder to you because it makes me want to defend you is so not worth it with that sort. Same as Jenny Lou, got my giggle on too. (Love that saying, never heard it and
now well over used it :)!)


Oh if you know a site that has that info please let me know what it is. Thanks for taking your time, thanks for your site.

Anonymous said...

There is a rich and long history, of course, of political tracts being written by those who did not want other factors such as class or background to detract from the points they sought to make.

Since I read a blog by a man with CLL, one could assume I either have the disease, or have a loved one with the disease. Since the topic at hand does not relate to CLL, why interject my name and detract from my message?

Anonymous said...

I've been following this debate....I am a lifelong Independent, but I've always voted for the Democratic candidate. My parents were staunch Republicans, but I'm sure they would be appalled at the present day Republican party, and certainly this administration.

There's an interesting article that appeared in our local Sunday paper, the Oregonian. It was written by Bruce Bartlett, former policy adviser for President Reagan. It's entitled, "Viewed from the right, a viable candidacy jells." Anonymous, if you're able to access this article, I'd like to get your reaction.......!

David Arenson said...

First things first. Carlin, take a look at my latest post about Dr. John Byrd's comments and read the transcript of his interview. He gets into the question of IGVH and FISH tests and what is reliable.

As to politics, I throw up my hands. The problem with Anonymous is that he assumes if you don't answer every little point he has won the argument and that you "agree" with him. He blathers on about me agreeing with him that Democrats are planting IEDs in Iraq, for example (!) This doesn't qualify as debate, it is simply nonsensical and ridiculous.

To sum up: Bush II is a failure of historic proportions, whose election was doubtful but whose skills as a president are not: he is subpar. He has gotten us into a costly and unnecessary war that many conservatives (Pat Buchanan, Brent Scowcroft, to name just two) think was a mistake. Hell, Jerry Ford said it was a blunder and he was known for tripping on stairs.

So it's not just us McGovernites and "Gia worshippers" (whatever that is supposed to mean) who can see the handwriting on the wall. Anyone with a clear head and a sense of history gets it.

Finally, a word about the order of the presidents on my list and Reagan, which Grateful brought up.

When I made the list I tried to ask myself: Whose presidency had a big impact, especially in a positive way. Johnson's Great Society has made an indelible mark on America, despite the blunder of Vietnam, which it outlives in significance. If you notice, I placed Reagan second on my list. His enduring legacy to me is that he lifted the country's spirit and restored its sense of "we can do this!" after a long period of disappointment and doubt. Beyond that, I can and will argue with many of his policies, and with such mistakes as Iran-Contra, but it really felt like morning in America there for awhile, and it was what the country needed at the time. Nobody feels that way right now.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.