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Sunday, January 27, 2008

2008 Elections: The Current Political Picture

Well, Barack Obama totally rocked South Carolina, taking 54 per cent of the vote over Hillary Clinton's 27 per cent. We here at Casa de Los Gatos would have preferred that Edwards take the state, but when push comes to shove, we'd rather Obama took it than let Hillary Clinton win.

We feel the Clintons have just gone overboard lately, with their race-and-gender rhetoric, their arrogance, and their assumptions. Yes, Hillary Clinton is still much more desirable as a candidate and as a potential president than McCain, Romney, Ron Paul, Huckabee, or Giuliani. But that doesn't make her our preferred candidate.

Regrettably, our preferred candidate stepped out of the race. Dennis Kucinich, the Mighty Munchkin of Justice, as he's known in some parts of Blogtopia (y,Sctp!) bowed out to concentrate on keeping his seat in the House, which we fervently hope he does because he can help forward the cause of impeachment of the crooks and liars and war criminals who have ripped the country apart for the past seven years.

He served a noble purpose while he was running, though - he forced the other Democratic candidates to recognize the concerns of the progressives in the electorate. He showed up the mass media for the skanky corporate whore that it is. And he paid out of his own pocket to reassure us that, although there are problems with the voting system, our votes are being counted, but we must all strive for greater transparency and oversight of the voting process.

John Edwards has vowed to stay in the race to the bitter end. We really would prefer him to Obama, but there is no denying that Obama is electrifying the voting populace in a way that Edwards can't. We hope with all our heart that Edwards finds a place in the Obama cabinet that might result from the election.

Whatever happens, we don't want Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nominee. Although we were overjoyed when she won New Hampshire, her behaviour - and her political machine's - since that time have been utterly reprehensible. She's using a mighty political machine to steamroller voters, just as the Republicans have done for the past X years. And we don't want that. We sense that the voting populace at large is tired of it also. And we refer you to this excellent and highly readable post by Ms. Manitoba to prove our point.

When Barack Obama's supporters said they would not vote for Clinton, we were somewhat disappointed at first. We strongly feel that Democrats should hang together, and whoever the nominee is, we should vote for them. But the Clintons' shenanigans force us to see the declaration in a new light. And we now feel that it is correct to throw down the gauntlet and let the Clintons' political machine know that it's not going to steamroller the millions of young voters, progressive voters, female voters, minority voters in this country who are hungry for a change that Clinton, with her corporatist lackeys and lobbyist allies, will never provide.

So the race is now down to Obama (leading), Clinton (trailing, and, we hope, losing), and Edwards (hopefully, he'll take potential Clinton voters as she continues to enrage and annoy the voting public with her underhanded behaviour).

On the Republican side, things are looking pretty grim for cross-dressing manwhore Rudy Giuliani, who has been beaten soundly by Ron Paul in several states now. He's trailing Romney, McCain, Huckabee, and Paul, in that order. In Florida, where he concentrated all his efforts, ignoring South Carolina and Nevada, he appears to be headed down to a stunning loss - a loss so deep, it'll take decades for him to dig out of it. That's good. We don't need another autocratic, high-handed, obnoxious, bullying blowhard in the highest office of the land, or even anywhere near it. Go back to your speechifying, Rudy, rake in the bucks from your fellow Republicans who'll pay to hear you lie about your role on that fateful day, September 11th, as you continue to cover up your cronyism, your expending public monies on your various mistresses, your adultery, your unprincipled behaviour, your lies, and hopefully, your woes. You don't deserve a good life, buddy.

Fred Thompson, the brief darling of the mainstream conservatives (yes, the same who courted the religious right's vote while spitting on its voters) has vanished without a trace. No one seems to have noticed. He was a lazy jerk with a trophy wife half his age and no interest in serving the people whatsoever. Back to Hollywood, Fred. We hope you fail to land any significant movie/TV parts and are reduced to doing commercials for Viagra and hemorrhoid creams, like your predecessor, also-ran Bob Dole.

Duncan Hunter, another also-ran, dropped out before Thompson, presumably because a jail cell with his name on it was calling out for him. Given his role in the bribery and corruption scandals of Duke Cunningham and Jack Abramoff, he couldn't leave the political arena too soon for us. Have a nice time in jail, old son, and we hope you're getting the real deal and not some Club Fed cell.

Tommy Thompson, another also-ran, apparently left the campaign to change his adult diapers and never returned. Good riddance to bad rubbish, we say. Again, no one really seemed to notice that he was campaigning or when he left.

The less said about Sam Brownback, the better, so we will say less. Incidentally, while the worthless son-of-a-turtle might have given Hickabee a run for the evangelical vote, he -- unlike Hickabee -- was a corporate stooge, not a populist, and we're glad he's gone.

That leaves McCain, Romney, and Hickabee. We know that the Republicans hate Hickabee with a passion because he grew up poor and espouses populist positions. A Yahoo News article states, in part:
Rush Limbaugh couldn't be clearer - supporting former Governor Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign is a really bad idea if you are a true Reagan Republican. In his opinion, Huckabee's nomination would mark the end of the Republican Party as he knows it. And Limbaugh isn't alone: Fellow talking head Sean Hannity and a whole host of conservative talk radio hosts love to pummel Huckabee and fellow candidate John McCain. The hate formerly reserved for Democrats Bill and Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Howard Dean is now directed at Republicans like Huckabee and McCain.
He doesn't have a problem with raising taxes on the rich to pay for better social programs, and has espoused improvements in education, health care, and social welfare, all seen by wealthy conservatives as unnecessary pandering to the poor and working class. Hickabee has the fundie Christian vote and he's striving for the backward racist vote as well, and we believe he has a better chance of attracting that than either Romney or McCain, unless Paul has that vote sewn up tight.

Still, that's not going to win him any significant number of the all-important independents and conservative Democrats that he must win for a realistic shot at the presidency. So I think we can safely say goodbye to him and his dog-torturer son. We won't be shedding tears.

McCain's involvement with the S&L scandal will hurt him among middle-class, working-class, and poor voters with long memories. However, they're not a significant proportion of the electorate. But there's more. Most conservatives distrust McCain because he has held positions that they don't agree with, and has only recently come around to the "accepted conservative wisdom." Hah! They're working to swiftboat him already. See the Council of Conservative Citizens (no link, they're fucking crazy) on the topic.

Many independents don't trust McCain because they remember when the Shrub's minions stabbed him in the back, and they also remember when he showed up to kiss the Shrub's baboon ass in public and without shame. They also remember how he once (in his "maverick" days) reviled Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson for the loony extremists they were, and now, in his nakedly wretched desperation to win the Presidency, kisses their asses in public. Anyone who dislikes the situation in Iraq must be feeling trepidation at McCain's comments about staying there for hundreds of years.

And finally, young voters have no connection at all to the man, because they are in the greatest danger of being drafted, and he's a warmonger. Because they grew up in a world that is half a century away from the world in which he grew up. And we also believe that there is a strong and rising fear out there that McCain is simply too old. He might not live out a term. Heck, he might not even live out the election. He looks old. He looks redfaced and tired and balding and sometimes he opens his mouth and says things that sound borderline senile.

So he might win the nomination, but we very much doubt he can win the election.

Finally, Romney is the darling of the business sector of the Republican party, but he cuts no ice with the evangelical Christians. Currently, reports are claiming that Romney is the most hated of all candidates. Non-Mormons mostly view Mormonism as a bizarre religious cult, with its emphasis on oppression of women, polygamy, and conversion of people without their knowledge or consent.

Interestingly, it's still all up in the air, and Super-Tuesday won't decide the winning candidate for either side. So your vote really does count, this time, for the first time in a long time. This time, you make or break the election. So get out there and vote, whoever your candidate is. Take your Mom or Dad or Grandma to the polls with you. Promise your colleagues you'll buy a round at the local bar or bagels for Friday breakfast if they'll bring in their proof of voting. Give your neighbour a ride, even if she's voting for a candidate you hate. Volunteer to be a campaign worker or a poll observer or just to pick up elderly people and schlep them to the caucuses or whatever.

Let your voice be heard!

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