Thursday, February 28, 2008

R.O.P.D.R.P.W. Episode XIII: Clockwise From the Left, Please

I firmly believe that had Thomas Edison built a time machine, it would have been purple with a lightning bolt on it. Also, President Arthur would have stolen it.

I realize that Chester Arthur has been done over and over again, but I picked him solely for his wicked-crazy facial hair. Check out the chops!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Election Impressions, 2008 (part III) The Republicans

This post has been two weeks coming, and in that space of time, the Republican side of the primaries has gotten extremely boring. While two weeks ago we were talking about a brokered convention, now it's McCain, McCain, McCain. Well, alas, it is not what it could have been. Here they are, following the same guidelines as I followed for the Democrats.

*Former Governor Mike Huckabee
Huckabee is still the favorite candidate among the religious right. In addition to all of what that brings, he supports the Iraq war, and is big on national defense, securing the borders, etc. Somewhat refreshingly, he does support the Fair Tax plan, and the abolition of the IRS. That aside though, I'm glad he isn't going to win the nomination, given his statements about wanting to amend the Constitution to "follow God's law." Don't get me wrong, I'm all for following God's law, but that's not the government's place. There are plenty of people in this country who would disagree about what God's law is, what God is giving the laws, or whether or not there's any God with any laws to begin with, so let's not go pulling down the first amendment, okay?

*Senator John McCain
McCain, for better or worse, is the guy for the Republicans. He lacks somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 delegates before he has the required count for the nomination, and has a 600 delegate lead over his closest competition, Mitt Romney, who endorsed him this week. He also has the endorsements of President Bush, the Governator, and a whole slew of prominent Republicans. McCain is best known for being a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and being a moderate in the Senate, crossing party lines on a number of votes, most notably the 2001 "Bush tax cuts", and co-sponsoring a number of bills with Democrats, most notably the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform bill. Recently, though, he's been trying to appeal to conservatives, saying that if he had the chance again, he would vote for the tax cuts, as well as being a strong proponent of the Iraq war, and the president's "surge" strategy. He was recently quoted as saying that we would stay in Iraq for "100 years" if necessary. Personally, I think he's much more moderate than he's been making himself out to be recently, and I'm going to wait to see how he stacks up against his eventual Democratic opponent before I make a decision reguarding McCain.

* Representative Dr. Ron Paul
From the beginning of this, Ron Paul has been my candidate. Really, he represents the only time in my short voting life that a major party's candidate has lined up with the majority of my views. Though he's a long-time Republican, he conforms much more to the party's long-time basic ideals than its recent practices, advocating small government and low taxes. What truly set him apart from the rest of the Republican field is his opposition to the Iraq war from the beginning. Essentially, he comes out to being fairly libertarian. In the preliminary campaigning season, it looked like he might surprise some people in the elections; he put up some astounding fundraising statistics, and made a splash going toe-to-toe with Rudy Giuliani over foreign policy in the debates. The media, though, never really gave him a lot of publicity, and while his supporters may be some of the most dedicated, he never really caught on with the larger party base, and has consistently brought in 5-15% of the voters in most Republican contests. Frankly, I had much higher hopes that the candidate I actually registered for a party to vote for would make a stronger showing, but I'm content that there are other people (and at least one actually in government) that feel the way I do about the way our country is going. A vote for Paul has become a vote for his message, and I'm encouraged that that message is not dead yet.

There is one positive I failed to mention about Governor Huckabee...he rocks!