The good guys sweep the ‘Potomac Primary’


Tuesdays are turning out to be especially fine in the year of our Lord 2008.

Another excellent result tonight, with these two headlines topping the WashPost‘s Web site:

I’ve been following politics professionally for more than three decades, and I’ve never seen go as well as they have this year, as my greatly preferred candidates in the Republican and Democratic contests both move from success to success.

I hope I’m not jinxing anything with all this joy, but I can’t help it. I’ve never had the chance to enjoy a presidential election like this in my adult life, and may never get it again, so I’m not going to play it cool by making this world a little colder (doesn’t quite work, does it, except in the song; logically, it should be "makes the world a little bit colder by playing it cool" — oh, well; just enjoy it).

Even Mike Huckabee, a candidate I sorta like also, is playing his part by making this McCain victory worth reporting. Those wins he had over the weekend help to make tonight more enjoyable. And the closer we come to Obama passing and beating Hillary — and he’s got the Mo now — the closer we come to that no-lose situation I’ve been hoping for, which goes like this:

  • McCain has always been the one Republican candidate who can win in the fall, and it is a tremendous blessing that he’s always been the one worthy of the office. So he could be president.
  • The so-called "conservatives" who hate him with an irrational, childish sort of spite will have to do one of two things: Line up behind him, or stay home and deny him the White House. This would be a tragic result except that …
  • If Obama is the Democratic nominee, the "conservatives’" petulance will result in electing HIM, the other very fine candidate in the race.

Either way, I get my way, but far, far more importantly, the nation is better served than it has been in many an election.

Anyway you look at it, Paul Simon’s gonna have to change the words to HIS song.

The only thing that can spoil all this is if Hillary Clinton manages to pull this thing out. That looks less and less likely, although at the same time I don’t EVER expect to see her bow out. She wants it too badly; the good of her party is nothing against that.

But that, you see, produces another wonderful result, because both of the following happen:

  • The "conservatives" get behind McCain as their only hope for heading off their worst nightmare, and
  • All of us independent swing voters who might have voted for Obama turn out strongly for McCain; she won’t get any of that vote to speak of.

Coo-coo-ca-choo, Mrs. Robinson. I do believe I see Joltin’ Joe coming back in from center field, on the run, the winning out in the web of his glove.


29 thoughts on “The good guys sweep the ‘Potomac Primary’

  1. James D McCallister

    One wonders if the Clinton attack machine will go full force now to whittle away at Obama support in the general, clearing the way for a one-term McCain presidency and then a Hillary run in 2012.
    And are these two candidates acceptable to Bloomberg? I was assuming he’d make his third-party attempt would come in the face of a Clinton-Ghouliani matchup.

  2. Lee Muller

    I don’t know what thrill Brad gets out of most Americans having to hold their nose to vote, but I guess a lot of people have given up on the idea of real people running for office, instead of these media cartoons, with their Madison Avenue focus group marketing.

  3. Gordon Hirsch

    “… the status quo is not sustainable.”
    Had to borrow this quote from Brad’s single-payer post yesterday, but it still applies to the topic at hand. I used the same phrase a few days ago in reference to our irresponsible military spending, social spending, trade deficit, and other pressing policy issues that threaten our future through unsustainable growth.
    Given the realities of our economic condition, it’s hard to share Brad’s personal glee for the current campaign leaders.
    Hillary would drown us in tax-spend social programs, McCain in more military might. Obama’s campaign of “change” is a bucketful of vagaries that belies even more social spending. Yet these candidates lead the pack with unsupported promises that no Congress would approve, ignoring the economic realities of our age.
    It’s the same kind of selfish, vacant, thinking that Brad engaged in yesterday, promoting single-payer health care as “VERY expensive” without regard for such minor details as who would pay, or at what cost.
    November approaches. It’s time to discard the stump rhetoric and start focusing on HOW candidates will salvage our economy and restore fiscal responsibility in government.
    Let’s start with a balanced budget, which was within reach before 9/11. That might introduce some reality to the campaign process.

  4. James D McCallister

    But I thought conservatives believed that (according to Reagan) “deficits don’t matter.”

  5. Lee Muller

    If we just reduced social spending to the 2000 level, or that plus the inflation rate, the current tax revenues are high enough to give us a surplus that would quickly pay off all the debt accumulated since the 2001 budget.
    It is scary how many voters believe all these pie-in-the-sky promises from Obama and Hillary, or don’t care about the consequenses to the country or any other Americans, as long as they get more freebies and more of their moralism imposed on others (tobacco prohibition, gun control, abortion, etc).

  6. Gordon Hirsch

    James … if that’s your definition of a conservative, I’m disqualified. It’s never failed to amaze me how people feel entitled to overspend or overextend, then cry foul when the debt comes due. Governments and taxpayers included. The sub-prime mortgage mess is a prime example. We blame the banks for lending to people who couldn’t pay, even though terms of payment were clearly disclosed as required by law. What about the people who signed those mortgages promising to pay? Why are they not responsible for their debts, as we are for ours? I wish someone would bail me out of my mortgage, but it won’t happen because I don’t borrow more than I can pay. Deficits matter, on any scale.

  7. Lee Muller

    40% of the new mortgages in 2007 were taken out by speculators, many of them buying 10 or 12 houses at a time to “flip”. They account for most of the mortgages in default who will lose the property, and the 30-day reprieve will not help them.
    source: AMBAC Feb 13, 2008

  8. JJ

    “The so-called “conservatives” who hate him with an irrational, childish sort of spite will have to do one of two things: Line up behind him, or stay home and deny him the White House. This would be a tragic result except that …
    If Obama is the Democratic nominee, the “conservatives'” petulance will result in electing HIM, the other very fine candidate in the race.
    Either way, I get my way, but far, far more importantly, the nation is better served than it has been in many an election.”
    Mr. Warthen, can you elaborate as to what you mean by “this would be a tragic result…?” You offer a qualifier, (“except”), yet that qualifier is followed by a presumptive preposition, “if”…
    I’m no English major, but you’re writing style leaves much to the imagination.
    So, McCain’s defeat would be bad, tragic, in fact, unless Obama (and only if) Obama is elected? That’s not what you wrote.
    And you’re the editor of the paper’s opinion page?
    Of course, when your only choices are a liberal senator and a liberal senator, I imagine you must be pleased.

  9. Gordon Hirsch

    More proof that cable TV makes morons by the millions. … I live in Myrtle Beach and have watched people “Flip That House” to make millions, then piss it all away on overpriced properties nobody would buy on a bet.
    Their recklessness is not our responsibility. … Pigs get fat. Hogs starve.

  10. bud

    JJ, I think what Brad is trying to say is that he does not want to see Hillary elected president. To him that would be tragic.

  11. Richard L. Wolfe

    The best thing to do is to pull the master republican lever. This will keep McCain from being embarassed and keep Obama’s margin low enough that he cannot claim a mandate when he gets in office. This way maybe we can get enough real conservatives in Congress to bring about grid lock and keep the nation from going further in debt.

  12. Brad Warthen

    The worst thing to do, ever, is to pull any party’s lever. Ever. No American should ever surrender his ability to think to a political party — not even the UnParty.

  13. Janice K. Harper

    Well, one of them is a good guy. I am a staunch Huckabee supporter and will stick with him through the GOP Convention as long as he is in the race, but if McCain is the nominee – he has my support 100%. Why you ask… All you have to do is a quick Google search on Obama or cruise around the internet. Here’s a tidbit that I came across this morning on a Ron Paul weblink
    This is NOT the kind of REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE that we need in America. I will vote for a war hero over a communist activist any day!

  14. bud

    The worst thing to do, ever, is to pull any party’s lever.
    Worse than murder? Worse than rape? Worse than lying us into a war?
    I know this is a bit of hyperbole but really. What is the big deal. If a given party encompasses the majority of your own personal views on the issues and all of the candidates are morally reasonable I don’t think a straight-party vote is that much of a big deal, even though I usually don’t.

  15. Richard L. Wolfe

    This is my be nice to Brad day so I will ignore his insults and insecurity for today.
    Neither Brad, McCain or Obama is the culprit that has recked the Republican party. I lay the blame at the feet of George W. Bush and the Republican majority before 2006. It doesn’t matter if you think the war was a good or bad idea. Bush did not sell it and did not keep the public engaged as to why we were not doing better.
    Like his father he was arrogant and dismissive of anybody else’s ideas. He should have dumped Cheney in 2004 and put a younger more inspiring real conservative on the ticket.
    The Congress was just as bad. They allowed Bush and Cheney to lead them off a cliff. As many have stated conservatives lose when they start acting like Democrats. So give Brad a break he has every right to be disgusted with the current administration.
    I am just as disgusted but for different reasons.

  16. Richard L. Wolfe

    ” The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of mischiefs, which has ruined cities, depopulated countries, and disordered the peace of the world, has been, whether their be power in the world, nor whince it came, but who should have it. ”
    The point is in this tide of change it would be wise to exam a library of wisdom that has never been tried.

  17. Brad Warthen

    You knew what I meant, bud. It’s the worst thing you can do as a voter. You gotta look at context, buddy.
    How on Earth could anyone honestly say that “encompasses the majority of your own personal views on the issues.” They’re not coherent; they’re not consistent.
    Each party’s platform is built a crazy amalgam of causes that have nothing to do with each other. For me, roughly (and I do mean “roughly”) a third of what each party pushes is fine, another third is neutral or irrelevant, and the rest is highly objectionable. I really don’t see how it could be much better — either way — for anyone who actually THINKS about each issue.

  18. Lee Muller

    So Brad Warthen says he is not going to vote based on party, or platform, or issues, or lack of vision. He wants a “content-free” campaign, just looks and personality.

  19. bud

    Brad, let me guess. You agree with the GOP on big military spending, the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, government involvement in matters of reproduction, government abolition of medicinal marijuana, government control of ‘end of life’ decisions and government eavesdropping on Americans. All areas that involve a huge intrusion by the government.
    As for the Dems, you would support single-payer health-care, increased spending for education and welfare, more spending on roads and increased spending on sex education. Again, all areas that involve greater expenditure of money and are more intrusive.
    Sounds like a big-government partisan to me. Your only problem is you don’t have a party that shares that philosophy. There are just too few Americans who want the government to spend MORE in ALL areas of our lives. Every single person who writes on this blog thinks the government should stay out of some areas of our lives. But not Brad.

  20. weldon VII

    Personally, Brad, I can think of one VERY good reason to pull the GOP lever, or, let me hold my nose first, the Democratic lever.
    If all the candidates you support are on one side or the other, pulling the lever saves time, both for you and the person in line behind you.
    Unfortunately, all the local candidates in my county are Democrats, so I rarely get the chance to use the master lever.
    It really doesn’t matter, though, because most of the local Democrats are Democrats in name only.

  21. Gordon Hirsch

    Imagine voting booths where there were no master levers, and voters had to know enough to choose each candidate with eyes open. That would be a fun election. … Sorta like the way my wife bets on horses when we make those rare trips up North. …. ooooooh! Billary’s Pride in the 5th. And the jockey’s sooo cute in that pink silk cap. I like that one!

  22. Lee Muller

    Gordon, I agree. For years I have been saying we need to outlaw straight party voting. Most voters have no idea who 90% of the candidates are. Maybe we should remove the party labels from the ballots (if we ever get our real ballots back).

  23. bud

    Lee, you are advocating the abolitions of something? Is there any mention of “no straight-ticket voting” mentioned in the constitution? Whenever someone suggests they want the government only to do those things which are specifically articulated in the constitution they are being dishonest. What they really want is for government to stay out of matters that THEY don’t want the government intruding. The truth always comes out in the end.

  24. Gordon Hirsch

    bud, if “the truth always comes out in the end,” you should have no problem with dumping the party lever. … No need to make it a Constitutional issue, either. Like most of what we discuss here, it’ll never happen. People are too lazy by nature and the parties have a death grip on the voting process.

  25. Lee Muller

    The methods of voting are left to the states, and the state constitutions could be changed to outlaw party ticket voting.
    As a matter of fact, our electronic voting machines are not legal for elections in South Carolina. The Constitution and election laws require paper ballots of a certain thickness, to be cast in secret and counted in public.

  26. weldon VII

    Gordon, I like your idea, but I’d take it farther, though with my method, counting the votes would take quite a while.
    Instead of voting by multiple choice and party, just list the offices on the ticket and let voters write the name of the candidate they want to win. No party, no names.
    That would ensure voters know at least one thing about what they’re doing — the right name for the right race.

  27. Lee Muller

    I don’t know if it is still this way, but in Switzerland, they used to vote sort of like that. Names were put into nomination, then written on ballots in the election. You didn’t run for office; the public decided who to put up for the office. And you had to serve, and you couldn’t make a career of it.

  28. Lee Muller

    I have also long advocated that voters be able to select None of the Above.
    If no candidate won the election, it would be held over, and no one who ran before and was rejected, could run again.

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