Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Republican 2008 Presidential possibilities.

I have no special expertise in the polls and probabilities of who will become the Republican nominee for President in 2008, nor do I have any direct knowledge or deep study of how the Presidential election is likely to go. But based on what I have seen in the media and read on the blogs, I think that three posts Kevin Drum wrote yesterday seem to express the current situation quite well.

First, Kevin quotes this exchange between George Stephanapolous and George Will from Sunday's "ABC with George Stephanapolous":
George Stephanopoulos: If this now declared deadline of Gen. Petraeus of September, if the political goals haven't been met by then, do you see large scale Republican defections at that point?

George Will: Absolutely. They do not want to have, as they had in 2006, another election on Iraq. George, it took 30, 40 years for the Republican Party to get out from under Herbert Hoover. People would say, "Are you going to vote for Nixon in '60?" "No, I don't like Hoover." The Depression haunted the Republican Party. This could be a foreign policy equivalent of the Depression, forfeiting the Republican advantage they've had since the '68 convention of the Democratic Party and the nomination of [George] McGovern. The advantage Republicans have had on national security matters may be forfeited.
[Underlining mine - editor]
This is a very pessimistic view of both the Republican prospects for winning the Presidency in 2008 and for the long-term effects on the republican Party of running while the War in Iraq continues. I do not see any evidence at all that this view is too pessimistic for 2008. I am less certain of the long-term effects.

But Thomas Sowell's statement ( Bio.)
When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can't help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.
Dr. Sowell's claim to fame is that he is a Black man with an ability to write extremely conservative literature. In this statement he appears to be as pessimistic as George Will, and thinking in the kind of extreme right-wing manner that led the Spanish General Franco to rebel against the Spanish government in the 1930's. Let's just say that Dr. Sowell has no real hope for a Republican win of the Presidency in 2008.

So in the absence of any well-known Republicans providing more positive prediction for 2008, the next question is who will the Republicans nominate to run for President in 2008. Kevin provides the currently obvious pick. The choices are:
  • John McCain.
    Currently Sen. McCain is spiralling into irrelevancy. He hung his hat on his hawkish rhetoric to expand the war in Iraq and win, assuming that bush would do the sensible thing and accept the lifeline thrown by the Baker-Hamilton group. When instead bush rejected that and went for the surge, the total unreality of McCain's rhetoric was exposed. That then accentuated the age problem. McCain just looks and acts too old to be President, two years before he could take office. He is toast.

  • Rudy Guiliani.
    New Yorkers are simply waiting for Rudy to implode in front of a camera somewhere. It's just a matter of time.
  • Fred Thompson.
    He is just a display of how desperate the Republican Party is for someone plausible to run. The Republicans look back to Reagan is their last, best President, and since he was an actor, maybe they can get the actor Fred Thompson to run and be another Reagan. While the Republicans could do a lot worse, the general public isn't going to buy someone just because he is on TV all the time in the popular Law & Order shows. That's just desperation speaking.
  • Mitt Romney.
    Ex-Governor of Massachusetts who has had to sharply revise his political views literally overnight from those acceptable to the generally liberal Massachusetts voters to those acceptable to the Republican social conservatives. He is, however, wealthy and attractive on TV. Personally I doubt that most Republicans would be happy voting for a Mormon, but it looks like he is all they have.
So Kevin Drum and I pretty much agree that as of right now, Mitt Romney has the best chance of getting the Republican nomination for President in 2008.

The result is that the Republicans themselves don't give themselves any real chance of winning the Presidency in 2008, and all of their candidates are badly flawed, but most are flawed a lot worse than Mitt Romney, so he will probably be chosen to make the sacrificial run for the job.

At the moment, things look really dark for the Republican possibilities of winning the Presidency in 2008. However, things change very fast in politics, and it is a really long time until the Republican Convention and the Presidential election in 2008. When training for the military I was introduced to the concept of "begin morning nautical twilight" (BMNT). Just prior to that moment is the last really dark part of the night. After that, the sun is close enough to the horizon to begin to shed a little light. While the military teaches that as the most likely time to start an attack, it also has psychological ramifications. It is the darkest the night can get then, and can be followed by slowly increasing amounts of light. I'd rather hope that right now is really end evening nautical twilight (EENT)for the Republicans, suggesting that a long dark night is ahead for them.

I'm just not ready to count on it.

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