Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter
ozma914

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next week's column: Feeling Blue in a Red State

SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK


For the first time in decades Indiana had a Presidential primary that people actually cared about, and Hillary Clinton walked away with it.

I’m actually writing this column five days before the primary, so I don’t have a clue who’s going to win. (I wrote next week’s column three weeks ago!) But what the heck – I’ve gone out on a limb before, and my average is no worse than people who write about politics for a living. Sometimes you just have to hold your nose and dive into the sewer, if you want to see who’s going to float to the top.

Not the metaphor most of us would have preferred...

Anyway, I’m so sure of being right that I’m going to e-mail this to myself and my girlfriend, so it has a time stamp. Just ask her.

Hillary has been saying the right things, and keeping the Clinton name alive across Indiana. Meanwhile, thanks largely to the Reverend Jeremiah “I’m a racist who despises the very country that gives me the right to spew this hate speech” Wright, Obama has been losing traction in the Hoosier state.

I keep having nightmares that the Clinton camp is paying Wright to keep his sewer trap open, but that doesn’t change the increasing discomfort Midwesterners have with the idea that Obama’s been in the thrall of some bad influences over the years. Some of us are starting to imagine Dracula showing up at an Obama rally to thank the candidate for being his Faithful Servant.

Meanwhile, it doesn’t make one bit of difference how many votes McCain got. He’s just sitting back, saving up his money, and savoring the civil war that threatens to engulf the Democrats.

This leaves political commentators in a tizzy, which is good because it keeps them busy and out of trouble. As for me, I was happy to see there’s still some competition going on, but I’m pretty much done with it now that it’s degenerated into mud slinging. None of the people I was interested in voting for made it this far, anyway, leaving me yet again with a “lesser of evils” scenario.

Here’s what I predicted way back in October, 2006:

May, 2007: The 2008 presidential campaign begins in earnest. By the end of the year there are 26 Democrat candidates, 19 Republican candidates, 78 independent candidates, and Ralph Nader.

September, 2008: After three days of waving banners and screaming, Republicans pick a far right wing conservative, and the Democrats a far left wing liberal for their Presidential candidates. Both claim to represent the “common” people.

November, 2008: Moderate voters stay away from the polls in droves, but of the 15% who do vote, most vote for the Democratic candidate. The Democrats declare they’ve been given a mandate by America to make changes, which they proceed to not make.


Okay, so I was off on some of this (but hey – Ralph Nader!). For instance, much to the chagrin of talk radio, McCain seems to be a moderate in most areas. I still stand by my claim that the Democrats will gain the White House, but it’s theirs to lose if they continue to take the low road and snipe at each other all the way to the convention.

If McCain wins the White House, it’ll end up in the history books, and be talked about for years every bit as much as a black man or a woman taking the office. Our Republican President has historical low approval ratings, making him just as unpopular as others who were hated during their terms, such as Harry Truman, or Abraham Lincoln. (Don’t look at me like that – read your history.)

Meanwhile the economy is on the downward leg of its normal up and down cycle, and even though most of the factors making this recession worse than most are out of the control of the President or Congress, they’ll get the blame anyway. Add to that an unpopular war, gas prices, the oldest Presidential candidate in history, and the lack of an incumbent candidate, and it’s a slam dunk win for the Democrats.

Except it’s not.

Part of it is that we, the voters, really don’t like anybody. Deep down we’re starting to realize Congress is just as much to blame for America’s ailments as the President, and all three of our choices come from there. We’re supposed to trust them to solve the problems? They caused the problems.

Part of it is that the issues are being bunched together. We want someone who agrees with all of our opinions, but there is no such person: If we like the anti-abortion stance of one, we don’t like their immigration stand. If we agree with one about the war on terror, we don’t like their economic policy. We’ve lost our ability to compromise; we’re so divided that we want all or nothing, and there is no candidate who covers “all”. If they don’t cover all, we don’t want them, so we stay home on Election Day and then whine about who gets elected by the minority who vote.

Remember way back about a year ago, when I announced I was going to run for President myself? I wouldn’t have had any luck either, because I would have insisted on having actual plans, and policies, and like McCain I would have called for working with everyone to find and implement solutions. You know, the stuff that never actually happens.

Jeez … I started this column with the idea of poking fun at what’s been going on, but it’s just not very funny, is it? Maybe I should start working on my own platform, after all. The worst that could happen would be getting hung from it.
Tags: column, new era, slightly off the mark
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