Monday, January 14, 2008

Primarily Politics…

I follow presidential elections the way some people follow sports and I follow the sports the way some people follow similes. Truth be told, I don’t. And I think Vicky’s getting used to this. The other night, instead of asking me how the Giants were doing, she asked, “So, what’s the next primary we have coming up?”

For the last couple of weeks, Vicky has had to endure me watching the election results come in from Iowa and New Hampshire like I’d put down money. I hadn’t… tempting as it may be…

Why? Well, this is the future of our country we’re talking about, right? What else could be more interesting? I will admit that I’m a registered Green but, while there’s no viable Green candidate and while my request to work for the OC Greens was pretty rudely denied (I wasn’t in with the right group, it seems – which was my cue to wait things out until I found a new party or the Greens pulled their collective heads out of their collective asses), that doesn’t make the positions of Kucinich, Edwards, Obama, or Clinton less important to know.

(You want to know the Republican positions? McCain: The surge is working and we’ll only be in Iraq between 50 and 100 years. Giuliani: My city was attacked, which somehow makes me cool. Romney: You don’t have to be religious to like me, but it helps. Huckabee: Don’t tell anyone but I’m really progressive. So, who needs civil liberties? Thompson: Horizontal.)

At this point, my favorite candidates or Kucinich and Edwards, in that order, but I’m not naïve enough to actually believe they have a chance. That leaves Obama and Clinton, which puts everyone in the unenviable position of being either racist or sexist if you listen to the campaigns. By my way of thinking, the two sides making the same accusation of “____ist”, are mutually exclusive. When it comes down to it, though, Clinton’s accusation that Obama lacks experience is correct. At the same time, though, Clinton has too much baggage and, to my eye, is too conservative to be a good candidate. (Remember, she did vote for the Leiberman act that charged Iran’s military with terrorism, just the first step down a slippery toilet.)

I think Obama would make the best candidate exactly because of Clinton’s accusation. Look at Shrub. The first thing he did, a man with more political experience in abject failure than just about anyone, was bring in a lot of the old Republican guard from his dad’s day. Lots of experience put us where we are today. Experience in fucking things up isn’t exactly a good thing. Obama’s lack of experience would go a long way towards offsetting the last eight years, which has been an ugly experience.

Is he the best possible candidate? Probably not. But he’s far better than the alternatives.

Anyway, I started this by mentioning the primaries. Every time Vicky asks me when a primary is coming up, I wish there was some resource I could look at: a political calendar, say. Well, guess what: there is!

According to this, we have Michigan coming up tomorrow. The Republican South Carolina primary is on Saturday (the same day as Nevada’s caucus), with the Dems shot in SC coming the Saturday after. Then, Florida (with Giuliani finally supposed to enter the race – what a genius!) falls the Tuesday after that. Sadly, the primary after that could determine the whole thing. That one will determine delegates from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, and on and on. A sweep on February 5th could call the whole thing and leave out most of the other states. I think we should call that calendar broke and ask someone to fix it.

So, on to Michigan. I’ll be watching the whole thing as I cook dinner. (I’m making us some pasta w/meat sauce. Yum.) This thing counts more for the Repugs than the Dems, as they will determine 30 delegates. The winning Democrat walks away with zero delegates, thanks to Michigan illegally moving the primary date. But the winner will also gain notoriety and momentum towards the following week. Doesn’t matter. I’ll still be glued in, watching the plays and the scores and all the action.

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