Sunday, February 24, 2008

More politics

I've had a few similar political conversations recently that I find a bit disturbing. They condense to something like this:

Me: "I really don't like Huckabee."
Other person: "I can understand that."
Me: "I really didn't like Edwards."
OP: "I can understand that."
Me: "I really don't like Hillary."
OP: "What are you, some kind of sexist pig?"

It's starting to get irritating. At least I'm in good company; I recall Oprah getting some similar ration of crap from for supporting Obama instead of supporting Hillary. I thought feminists were against choosing a candidate solely on the basis of gender. Maybe that only applies if you vote for a man because of his gender. I understand this; it's human nature. A bias against me or my team is evil and unfair, but a bias that works in our favor is suddenly a good thing.

I'm also hearing a lot of trauma from Republicans about McCain. Apparently, he's too maverick and not Republican enough for some core segments of the party. I'm viewing this as pointless political grousing. Here's a fact: core Republicans will always vote for the Republican candidate. Core Democrats will always vote for the Demorcat. If McCain gets the party's nomination, he'll get the Republican core vote, period. I doubt he'll push many people to vote for the libertarian candidate, and anyone who thinks McCain is too liberal is definitely not voting for a Democrat. Especially if it's Hillary; the fact that the Republican leadership is considering Obama more of a threat than Hillary should give her supporters pause.

Me? If the race in November was Clinton/Huckabee, I vote Clinton. If the race is Obama/McCain, I vote Obama. If the race is Clinton/McCain, that's a tough decision. And I can't be alone in this. Strategically, Obama is a better choice for the party. The race isn't decided by the 20% of the population that's core Republican or the 20% that's core Democrat; it's decided by the 20% in the middle. And by the 40% who can't be bothered to vote. The race will be all about swinging the middle ground and energizing the apathetic. The single-issue voters have probably already picked their candidates (and parties). Once the campaign starts in earnest, both candidates won't need to worry about their base, just swaying the in-the-middles.

I think one of my big issues with both potential democrats is that they both are in favor of large-scale troop withdrawals in Iraq. I consider the Iraq war to be America's biggest policy blunder in my lifetime, but we're committed now. They say it takes ten years to fight a counterinsurgency campaign. We've been there for five, almost six by the time the next president takes office. It'll be the responsibility of the next president to see that we do justice to the Iraqi people, that we finish what we start. And I don't think Hillary or Obama are willing to do it. Does this balance out my doubts about McCain? I don't know yet. I'll have to see who he chooses for a running mate....

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