Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Freedom to Die, the Democracy of Death

Looks like the demons finally caught up to Tony Snow. I do not wish cancer on anyone, even him, though, not with the history of cancer in my family. That is karma I do not F around with.

But, I was writing something and just heard his back-up babbling something about the House bill requiring the withdrawal of the troops from Iraq in 2008 putting "freedom and democracy" in Iraq "at risk."

Freedom and democracy in Iraq? Did I miss something? That is what freedom and democracy looks like? Holy shit these people have their heads up their asses if that is the spin they are trying to put on that bill. That was the goal over there, sure, but it hasn't been an achievable one for a long time. At this point I think the best anyone is truly hoping for is to prevent a nasty bout of ethnic cleansing, and even that in many ways is coming to pass. Yes, let's lose more of our brothers and sons so we can maintain the freedom of the Iraqis to kill and to die, and the democratic way in which every resident in the country has a big target painted on them by someone.

These days I almost am leaning towards the idea that the quicker we pull out, the quicker the civil war there will sort itself out, and maybe with less causalities than if it is drawn out over many years. Then again, it is very likely that American troops are having such a small effect on the country that nothing would really change if we pulled out.

It is a tough situation, and really, I admit, that I am glad that I do not have to be the one to make the call. I do not envy the President on that count. I just wish his staff did not come across as a bunch of idiots, and that he himself at least made the attempt to at least fake some gravitas on these issues, regardless of how competent or incompetent he really is.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hillary makes it semi-official.

I have been neglecting this site. Not so much because I had nothing to say but over the last year or so, there have just been few words to describe my feelings. Mostly fear and loathing, with a guarded sense of optimism creeping in last November. A sinking, squishing feeling to be sure...

Hillary announced her exploratory committee this morning. Personally, I think she would be a good president, but... I think she could get the nomination, but would America vote for a woman president? Mostly, yes, I hope. But there is still a small percentage of chauvinists out there who would not, and in what is likely to be another squeaker in 2008, this small percentage could cost the Democrats the election. Is it fair to say that she should not run because of this? Who knows? On the other hand, the Billary haters who would rather eat their own colon before voting for a Clinton probably wouldn't vote Democrat regardless of the candidate (Joe L., though technically independent now, possibly excepted) , so I don't think they will be much of a factor either way.

The main reason, at this point, that I do not fully support a Hillary run for 2008, though, is that if she won, that would make it 24-28 years where the U.S. had no presidents without the last name of Bush or Clinton. This, I feel, is rather disturbing. Now don't get me wrong, Bill Clinton always will be my president. Could he have done a better job? Of course. But in my lifetime, he has set the bar for the executive branch pretty high. For me, thinking that we might get a Clinton Part 2, then, is actually pretty exciting. But at what cost? It all falls into some strange gray area between political symbolism and realpolitik. In the end, I would hope, that if Hillary won, our democracy would be a lot less distressed than it is at the moment, and that our nation's role in the world would be relatively rehabilitated.

Still, I would expect, for the moment, that Obama and Edwards would accomplish both of these goals just as well as Hillary. For now, they are at the top of my list, though I am probably months off from picking my pony. Both need to show me a few things first, and there are others in the race that remain enigmas to me at this point in time. So, while the lines are being drawn for 2008, it is still going to be a few more months before the race begins for real. And in a sad commentary on the state of the nation, I do think a black man would have a better chance in '08 than a woman. Yucky, though, that we still even need to consider these things.

It will be interesting, for sure. And for old politics junkies like me, it is going to be a damn fun couple of years (election-wise, at least). Give us Universal Health Care and I will love you forever.