Thursday, March 22, 2007

Some Thoughts on 2008

I've been giving the field of candidates for 2008 a lot of thought. A lot, really. For me, at least. And I've finally, barring unforeseen circumstances, decided a course of action. First, some analysis, starting with the official contenders:

Rudy Giuliani: The guy's as socially liberal as they come. Tough on national security and crime, sure but what else about this guy is conservative? I also proudly admit my first-line litmus test for candidates: they must, must be unapolagetically pro-life. I'm only willing to accept the tiniest nuance in this area (e.g., life-of-the-mother considerations, but only in extreme cases). Even if he suddenly switched to a pro-life stance, my second-line litmus test is the gay marriage issue (where I am slightly more flexible -- I'm willing to accept a "leave it up to the state to decide" compromise), and he fails there too! Therefore, I cannot vote for Rudy Giuliani.

Mitt Romney: He's a Mormon, and a flip-flopper. A few months ago, I was genuinely struggling with his Mormonism, as he was the only thing close to being a true conservative in the field. That is, I was trying to come to terms with his Mormonism, in preparation for giving him my support. True, having read this and parts of this and the relevant portions of this, it was a doomed and futile effort, but at least I was trying, okay? But once the YouTube Wars started, and it became known that this guy was still staunchly pro-abortion as recently as 2002, I got a free pass to stop in my struggle. An obviously politically-calculated position change does not exactly rally the base.

John McCain: I didn't trust him in 2000. Given the last 8 years of backlashing against conservatives just to grab headlines, why the hell should I trust him any more now? I disagree with some analysis that says McCain-Feingold will be his undoing -- that's inside-the-beltway echo-chamber talk there. I suspect that even the vast majority of those who vote in primaries don't even take that into consideration, and I certainly don't. It sucks, yes, and I certainly don't like it, but that's not why I won't vote for him. I just don't trust him.

All the other announced candidates: Heh. Heheheh. Bwahahahahaha... whee! Ok, seriously, now, really? If I'm going to throw my vote away, I might as well make it mean something, and none of these guys come close. Brownback might have, but even the slightest wavering on Iraq gives you the boot. Doubly so when it's motivated by polls. Actually, I sorta like Tancredo, but I have to admit I'd be embarrassed to tell people in good company that I voted for him. "A little bit nutty" is the first thing that pops into my head when I think of him, despite his almost-perfect rating from the American Conservative Union. And sorry, Huck, but you just didn't try hard enough, Arkie though you may be.

And the unannounced:

Newt Gingrich: I admit, I wasn't paying much attention in the 90's. Too apathetic in highschool and too busy in college. But despite being a stalwart conservative throughout those years, I still got a weird, creepy vibe from this guy, in terms of his political maneuverings. Since I've politically awakened, he's proven himself to be clever and insightful, far and above at least the above candidates. But he's got tons of baggage. And the revelation that he led the charge against the Philanderer-in-Chief with so much weighing on his own soul scares me. Anyone who can compartmentalize that well either has zero shame or a multiple-personality disorder. I think he may be more valuable to us as a policy wonk and commentator anyways.

Chuck Hagel: Oooh, please! Maybe if I vote for him, he'll pick Lincoln Chaffee as his running mate, and then we can all be friends and hang out at a protest rally and smoke pot and dress up like real Republicans! This action could only be followed up, of course, by an announcement declaring that we have nothing to announce.

Of course, this leaves only one big name, and you all know where I'm going with this: Fred Thompson. So, as I have mentioned above, I have decided my course of action: I will vote for Fred Thompson, both in the primary and the general election. Regardless of whether he officially runs or not. If I'm gonna throw away my vote, I'm gonna make it count, dangit.

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