Monday, December 03, 2007


Well, we've arrived at the two-thousandth post here at The Thinker (well, technically that includes some drafts that may or not be published, but by the time anyone goes back and reads all 1989 actually published posts, we'll be well ahead anyway, so I don't care). At least six or eight of them have had substantive content, and thanks to those of you who've stuck with us through the rest of the tripe that we've posted.

On that note, and since the Iowa caucus is only one month away, I'll dip my toe into the acidic froth that is the primary season. Try to ignore the screams.

This has been a particularly long and complex primary season, in part because this is the first presidential election since 1952 that neither a sitting president nor vice-president is running, giving two completely open primaries, and in part because I think it started back in 1952, before some of the candidates were even born. I'll deal with the Democrats in another post, but here let me skewer, err, discuss the GOP.

For some reason, there are still nine people running for the GOP nomination. Well, technically there's 9, because Alan Keyes is once again pretending to run. Since we established in 2004 that Keyes represents the lowest percentage of voters that will vote entirely on party identification, rather than on any qualifications of any sort, we'll just ignore him and discuss people who have a chance to finish above the Keyes line.

Part I - people who won't get the nomination

Not a freakin' chance in hell: Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter

No one even knows who these guys are. Tancredo is the biggest isolationist this side of Pat Buchanan, and wants to nuke Mecca, which will sell well with some rednecks, but no one outside that core GOP base cares at all about him. Duncan Hunter is from California. That's about all I've managed to learn about him, except that we need to fight everyone around the world who doesn't love us all the time.

There's a buzz, but still no chance: Ron Paul

Every good Republican primary should have a token Libertarian, if only to remind us of the dangers of the Grover Norquists of the world. Paul is against the Iraq war, which is a plus, but he's also against a useful government, which is not. He's probably getting more play from independents than the GOP base, who still loves the Chimp and how much we're kicking the world's ass.

Should have stayed out of the race: Fred Thompson

The oldest phenom ever, Thompson combines the hip, with-it attitude of Bob Dole with the drawing power of Spinal Tap after Nigel Tufnel left (temporarily). His polling numbers are falling, and with the writer's strike, he won't even have Law and Order to go back to.

Shouldn't have sold his soul: John McCain

Does anyone remember the McCain of 2000, playing the rational counterpart to the Chimp, before Karl Rove's underhanded campaigning techniques and the GOP machine run by the Bush Emprie and their Nazi dollars destroyed him? That McCain probably would be the front-runner with ease now, what with his unquestionable bravery in Vietnam and his centrism that appealed to many independents (and some Democrats). Of course, that McCain is gone, replaced by a man so desperate for the presidency that he gave up any pretense of independence and tried to suck up to the most extreme interest groups on the right (Bob Jones University, anybody?). Not surprisingly, voters have seen through this, although McCain does still earn points (from me, anyway) for his opposition to torture (given his obvious knowledge of the subject, it's funny to watch some of the other candidates act like he's just weak and foolish and that they're really the tough guys) and his somewhat balanced stand on immigration (which also pisses off the base, since it's not loaded with racism).

Part II: The actual candidates: Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee (coming soon)

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