Thursday, February 07, 2008

So, we are electing a president, aren't we?

Yes, I've noticed, but I have been very busy. I want to dive in, I want to follow this thing. I've watched a lot of CNN, I've, well, just really been strangely uninspired to write about this. Probably too much bitching and moaning about life over on my other blogs.

But, it's down- baring a near Biblical miracle for Huckabee- to McCain, Obama, and Hillary.

A couple of quick takes:

Clinton. First of all, having only two last names in the white house for twenty-four to twenty-eight years makes me very nervous. Is it Jeb's turn next? His brother kind of stepped out of turn and grabbed it away from the Jebster prematurely and then, like, totally fucked the thing up, damn little brothers…

But, Hillary... Really, the problem here is that the differences between Hillary and Obama are pretty subtle, leaving this in the eyes of many to be a choice between which first the Democrats are in the mood for this year. Still, there are differences, beyond the experience question, which, honestly, McCain will slay both of them on.

Health care is where I've managed to notice a little variety. I am not a fan of the government telling me to write checks to insurance companies. I would if I could, but I can't. I haven't taken the time to dig into the details, but I think mandatory car insurance is probably one of the worst scams pulled on America in a very long time, and I do not want to see this door even opened a crack on health insurance.

Frankly, there is one fatal problem with most of the health plans out there. Modern medical miracles are damned expensive. More expensive that 99% of the people in America can afford. If it was just a question of throwing a doctor a bill every year or two for a check-up, then this is fine, but it really isn't that simple. People cannot afford to pay for health care no matter how many medical spending accounts we set up. Only big government or big corporations can afford it.

So who do we sell our soul to? Which evil? All the talk about consumers and capitalism and market forces driving medical costs are bull shit. There is no free market in health care. There is no comparison shopping for emergency surgery, and sure we can choose between generic or name brand drugs, sometimes, but quite often even the simplest prescriptions can be budget killers for many Americans.

So in the end, any talk of reforming health care is almost a joke to me. Putting a band-aid on the beast. Until someone is really ready to get in and do some serious theoretical economic work on this issue, there is really no solution that will really fix it. In the end, I suppose, it comes down to- do I want to trust my health to corporations or to the government? Greed versus bureaucracy? Well, I think I'll take an inefficient, drooling bureaucratic hell that probably at least means well over a system that surely would consider a few extra deaths a fine trade-off if it helped raise the bottom line for the stockholder's annual report.

So, why the ill informed rant on health care? This alone pretty much throws me over into the Obama camp. Hillary has a little bit in there about requiring certain people, like semi-self-employed contractor types in fields like technical writing to buy their own insurance. Plus, if Obama doesn't try for it too hard (and he has been recently, or at least his people and everyone in the media have been), he does have a real JFK vibe to him.

And it is a beauty contest, and at the end of the day, after spending the last eight years listening to Stuttering George butcher the English language, I'd like an eloquent president the next time around.

McCain. Would I vote for McCain over Hillary?

If this is the match up, something interesting might happen. A lot of Conservatives might jump over and vote for Obama, and a lot of centrist Dems might jump over and vote for McCain. McCain does not scare me. Neither does Hillary, for that matter, and Bill will always be my boy… So, we might have an election here where I feel that no matter who wins, the country is going to have a pretty decent president. This sort of happened back in 1996, too. Dole would have done a fine job.

Probably what both Dole and McCain have in common is that they are very experienced politicians, and very competent public officials. This means that they should spend more time focusing on actual important issues and less time chasing after social issues that the government has no business being involved with in the first place.

Still, they'll get to nominate some judges, and this is where they'll, in the first term, especially, be paying back any social conservatives who do show up in November to vote for them, so I do stick, so far, to yanking the Donkey lever in November.

So who will it be?

Assuming McCain doesn't get caught in bed with two 19 year old dead male junkie prostitutes and a sexually excited Doberman, obviously he's got the GOP nod. This is no more true this afternoon than it was when I went to bed on Tuesday night.

But Barak and Hillary are neck and neck. So, one of two things will happen. The media will start talking about their stance on the issues, or they'll keep playing the popularity contest angle. If the issues rise to the top, people will make their choice based on these issues and it is really tough to call the results. If not, people are going to get sick of one or both of them. This is where Obama's likability comes into play. The more people get to know him, the more votes he picks up. So, unless the Clintons' can really turn this into a debate on the issues, and they are trying, they are probably in trouble.

My gut tells me it is probably going to be Obama. But I wouldn't bet my lunch money on it at this point. Hell, not even my milk money.

Finally, if it stays civil, whoever does win the Democratic nomination will probably have a pretty decent shot in November. McCain will be killed by his association with Skippy Bush. The Democrats will beat us over the head with every nice thing the guy ever said about the Disaster in Chief. Which really isn't fair, because McCain spent a lot more time beating the shit out of Junior than he ever did kissing his ass, but when he puckered up, he smiled big and made sure a lot of cameras were around.

However, if Clinton and Obama go all monkey cage on each other and the feces starts hitting the walls, they could take each other out of the general election. I think they do know this, and so far they have been pretty careful to stay civil, despite the media trying its damnedest to pull them into a twelve round monkey-poo wrestling match.

If they have the guts to know that November is bigger than either of them individually, who ever gets it should win the White House. And if they can get along, we all know that if they can grit their teeth, shrink the egos, and share a ticket, well… It would be such an unbearably goddamn sexy ticket that it could really be an unstoppable landslide for them - if we can manage to pull ourselves out of the cold shower long enough to actually go and vote.