politics

So who won Super Tuesday?

So who won Super Tuesday?

For the GOP, obviously McCain won big, and will almost certainly take the nomination. Huckabee is staying in, running surprisingly strong, and may have a shot at the VP slot on the GOP ticket.

For the Democrats, it depends on how you count. The Obama campain claims victory yesterday and a lead in the total delegate count. But look at the New York Times results, and they say Clinton's ahead. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Obama's cannabis cowardice

Reason magazine and StopTheDrugWar.org detail the sad story of Barack Obama's cowardice on the issue of marijuana decriminalization.

The Washington Times broke the story, reporting that in his 2004 Senate campaign Obama supported eliminating criminal penalties for cannabis use or possession. When the Times brought this up, the Obama campaign first stood by those remarks - then, within 24 hours, changed its story and declared that Obama does not support eliminating criminal penalties for cannabis.

If you thought Barack Obama was a man of courage, think again.

Edwards and Giuliani are out; I Want to Believe

Edwards is out. Giuliani is out.

Barring miracles or disasters, it'll be Clinton or Obama versus McCain or Romney. IMHO, of these four contenders, in the long run the worst possible outcome would be a Clinton victory. Not that she'd be a worse president - or at least, not much worse - than McCain or Romney, but a victory for her would do a lot of damage to the Democratic Party, just beginning to restore itself after the damage done by Bill Clinton and his conservative friends in the "Democratic Leadership Council".

A Clinton victory would also be a terrible blow to feminism. What's the lesson for little girls here - the path to success is marry a scheming bastard and ride his coattails? I'm all for a female president - but I want the real deal, a woman who gets there on her own merits. Hillary Clinton's senatorship and presidential candidacy is an insult to all the female officeholders who won office through their own efforts.

And I maybe could forgive all this, if she hadn't been so wrong on Iraq, and hadn't sponsored an attempt at an end-run around the First Amendment. Clinton delenda est.

McCain is old. He's hale and healthy for his age, but the office takes a toll on a person, and there's a good chance that if he made it, he'd be a single termer. He certainly wouldn't see the end of the hundred years (or thousand, or million years) of American occupation of Iraq that he wants. Still, he's a comfortable choice for a lot of people. And the far right hates him, which is something of a plus. If he gets the nomination, he could win in November - if he manages not to blow his top.

Romney makes a lot of noise about his experience as a CEO. Wasn't W supposed to bring us his business acumen, to be the "MBA President"? Running a country ain't like running a business. But it isn't like Romney was running a real business, a factory or a store or something - he ran a robber baron investment house that put a lot of people out of work to fatten investor's wallets. If he's the nominee, and the economy continues to tank between now and November, the Democrats can beat him like a gong if they spin it this way.

As for Obama, all I can think of is the poster that hung over the desk of Fox Mulder on The X-files: "I Want to Believe". I mean, look at this piece by conservative pundit Andrew Sullivan: .

At its best, the Obama candidacy is about ending a war — not so much the war in Iraq, which now has a mo­mentum that will propel the occupation into the next decade — but the war within America that has prevailed since Vietnam and that shows dangerous signs of intensifying, a nonviolent civil war that has crippled America at the very time the world needs it most. It is a war about war—and about culture and about religion and about race. And in that war, Obama — and Obama alone — offers the possibility of a truce

Obama is rapidly becoming more myth than man. I guess there's always been an element of that in the presidency, our dangerous psychological drive to look for a king, a savior, an alpha male (or alpha female) to lead our pack. Still, I think just the reality of a black president would do this nation a world of good.

I grew up Catholic. (But I'm feeling much better now.) I was a teenager before I learned that Catholics had once been a persecuted minority in this country. I think that the presidency of John F. Kennedy did a lot to wipe out that prejudice - not anything that he did as president, mind you, just the fact that he was, and that the world didn't end as a result.

So, yeah. It's irrational, it's unlikely, but I Want to Believe.

So when will Edwards drop out?

After a distant third place finish in the Democratic primary in South Carolina, his state of birth, I think it's pretty clear that Edwards is out of serious contention for the nomination. How long will he stay in the race? He's been splitting the "Anybody But Clinton" vote with Obama - how big a swing will Obama see when that block comes over to him? And will Edwards endorse one of his rivals? Interesting times.

Obama sings Reagan's praises

Huffington Post passes on the news about a recent interview with the Reno Journal Gazette where Obama had nice things to say about the Reagan presidency:

"I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. They felt like with all the excesses of the 60s and the 70s and government had grown and grown but there wasn't much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think he tapped into what people were already feeling. Which is we want clarity, we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing." -- Barack Obama

I'm with Edwards on this one:

"When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people...He was openly -- openly-- intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country...He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment...I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change."-- John Edwards

Senator versus Senator?

Way back in 2005, I noted that "the American people do not elect Senators to the Presidency...Since Amendment XVII redefined the Senate in 1913, only two Presidents have been elected whose highest political qualification was service in the Senate: Warren G. Harding and John F. Kennedy."

On the democratic side, all three of the candidates with a shot at the nomination (sorry, Dennis) fall into that category. On the Republican side, a recent national poll puts McCain just ahead of Huckabee. There's a chance the general election could come down to two contenders from the Senate.

Remember Edwards? And Kucinich?

Remember John Edwards? Manlier then Hillary, whiter than Obama, but by some estimations more progressive than either? Not as progressive as Kucinich, of course, but Edwards is considered more electable - especially by NBC, which is trying to revoke Kucinich's invitation to a debate.

And apparently they'll be able to keep Kucinich out, so long as they keep the broadcast only to cable's MSNBC. Broadcast and cable TV fall under different rules.

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