"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Monday, February 26, 2007

So It's President Rudy, Then

Almost 2 years before the next Inauguration Day, every poll and every bit of conventional wisdom agrees: Rudy Da Man to lead Team GOP to victory.

He skates to the nomination: head evangelical honcho Dr. James Dobson hates John McCain for calling certain Christians "agents of intolerance," libertarianish tax freedomers hate John McCain for voting against the first and decisive round of Bush tax cuts, and Rush Limbaugh hates John McCain for McCain-Feingold, the Gang of 14, and a couple dozen well-deserved other things.

Such unanimity is rare in the Republican Party. John McCain is a consensus builder, let's give him that.

Mitt Romney's single term as governor of Massachusetts and a few years as steward for the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics, although estimable, make Barack Obama, who at least served in his state legislature, look like an elder statesman. Plus Romney subscribes to Mormonism, which unfortunately, Harrison Ford never made a movie about. Mitt would have better luck if he were Amish---although that would make it tough for Putin or the mullahs to get him on the red phone and he'd have to take a rowboat to summit meetings. But with one of those cool black hats and some whiskers, he'd look positively Lincolnesque.


The 2008 general election will be even easier for His Rudyness, because if there's one thing collectivists hate more than their opponents, it's each other. Most of America despises Mistress Hillary, even those who pretend to like her. Barackorama will find out that leading the free world is even harder than quitting smoking, although it's nearly a dead heat. He'll succeed at neither, if only because he's crazy to try both at the same time.

And if there's anybody who's no Jack Kennedy, it's John Edwards, who not only chased ambulances but caught them. He used the ensuing millions to score an entry-level job as a US senator, but after 6 agonizing years of clockwatching, bailed to send his resume out full time from a monstrous enviro-unfriendly compound instead. Forget about Jack Kennedy---Edwards isn't even a John Kerry, to whom "a lifetime of" certainly applies, even if "public service" doesn't.


So for now, it's President Rudy. Much can happen in two years, and the prostate cancer that sidelined Rudy from sending Mrs. Clinton to well-deserved political obscurity in the 2000 New York senate race could become a factor again. I meself am good with Sen. McCain, who is wrong on all the little things, but not the important ones. Such faint praise was heaped on Winston Churchill, and all he did was save the world.

But as a Republican, I wish we had some bench strength with guys like Bill Richardson or Evan Bayh: they're superbly qualified and probably not nuts. Their politics are often not the same as mine, but neither are heir apparent Rudy's, and the GOP has a lot, and too much, riding on our new quarterback's arm, head, and prostate gland.

11 comments:

Mike D'Virgilio said...

Tom, sure seems this way doesn't it. I think in addition to 9/11 and his response, the one reason conservatives are so inclined to like him is because liberals and liberal organizations in NYC hated his guts when he was mayor. When a guy is on the top 10 most wanted list of the ACLU what's not to like?

You can bet that if he does get the nomination the "drive by" media is going to savage him good. But he gives as good as he gets, and we'll probably like him all the more for it.

We could live with McCain, but he'll piss us off more than Rudy would. Either one would be infinitely better than the first woman president.

James F. Elliott said...

This post seems to be criticizing Democrats for not coming to a consensus candidate a year before the primaries -- where they come to a consensus on candidates. Isn't that... I dunno, cheap?

I'll really enjoy watching the Republicans nominate a man who had his wife served with divorce papers while she was in the hospital and told her via a press conference. Family values, my entire behind. Rudy's qualifications are, what? Being mayor of NYC on September 11, 2001? Woo. Presumably his being an unethical nutcase won't hurt his chances?

Tom Van Dyke said...

This post is saying I'm not crazy for Guiliani, and wish the GOP had someone like Richardson or Bayh.

This post was also making fun of things like the Clinton-Obama flap, and nuts like Code Pink stalking Hillary.

Unity movements eat their own first; the GOP, altho civil, is not a unity movement, thank God.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Come to think of it, we do have a guy as solid as Richardson and Bayh---a highly popular ex-governor of a swing state.

Unfortunately, his name is Bush.

Matt Huisman said...

I'm not sure that Richardson* and Bayh count as "bench strength", as neither has totally sold out to the netroots base (yet) and are therefore completely unelectable due to lack of funds (controlled by said base). There are a handful of sane Republican Senators/Governors out there in the same boat - and they too have no shot of winning.

*Richardson is also unelectable on grounds of being too frumpy.

James F. Elliott said...

Whoops, mixed my Republicans: It was Newt Gingrich who served his wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital fighting cancer so he could be with his mistress. Rudy just announced his divorce in a press conference. He was the one who broke the law slandering an innocent man the NYPD murdered. My bad.

Wait, that still doesn't work well for the Republicans.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I don't disagree with the facts contained in your slimebomb, James.

The thing about Newt Gingrich is that there are several items that keep him from being a serious GOP contender. If we could separate Gingrich the political genius from Newt the person, he would be Da Man.

Your charge of slander on Rudy will be heard out as the process goes on, I'm sure. As for his personal life, that's a ding, too. But the GOP has come to a consensus, not unity, about that stuff. Jerry Falwell will not stalk him like some Code Pink.

The libertarian right isn't very worked up about this, and the Christian right per John 8:1-11 isn't as judgmental as they're reputed to be.

The hypocrisy game has little appeal for me, so if Rudy were someone you agreed with politically, but his personal life would disqualify him from your vote, you have the floor. I'm always happy to find a window into leftish Victorianism.

But if you're going to judge him by standards you yourself do not hold, then it's just so much noise.

James F. Elliott said...

Sometimes you are so obtuse I want to scream.

Tom Van Dyke said...

It's possible you're being disingenuous, JFE, but it's dawning on me that what I take for granted as a cultural Christian sounds like so much backwash and sophistry to you. Judge not lest ye be judged isn't just relativism or some moral escape hatch. John 8 is central to the Christian consciousness.

I won't say that I wouldn't be more comfortable with someone who's made fewer mistakes than President Rudy, but Christianity only claims there were one or two people in human history who were without sin. All the rest of Christianity's saints were all sinners too.

Neither does a relatively clean bill of moral health mean that someone age 40, 50, 60, or 70 can't fall into total depravity when the occasion finally permits. Although virtue is a habit, we all still remain quite human. If Mitt Romney Himself, or me, were found in bed with a dead woman or a live boy, who would be surprised?

Well, I would, but I think you get my drift.

James F. Elliott said...

I get the feeling that you invited me back because you felt a jonesin' to demonstrate your much vaunted Christian superiority. It rather smacks of hubris.

Tom Van Dyke said...

I see why Jesus frustrates you. What's the point of moral perfection if you can't condemn anybody? How arrogant.

As for me, I'm a bad example of a Christian, and claim no superiority over anyone. In fact, being a Christian doesn't make anyone necessarily better or less of a sinner than anyone who isn't a Christian.

It's an elusive concept, as I admitted above, and quite sincerely.