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Those of you who came here looking for the “Evolution versus Intelligent Design”, essay please click here:

https://tyharris.wordpress.com/2007/03/27/evolution-versus-intelligent-design-astronomy-may-soon-settle-the-matter-once-and-for-all/

Those of you who came here looking for “The Most Worthless Generation” essay, please click here:

https://tyharris.wordpress.com/2007/08/19/the-most-worthless-generation-an-essay-on-the-state-of-american-culture-by-ty-harris/

Political Prognostications by Ty Harris on the 2008 Presidential Election:

This is not part of the “Essays” series persay, but rather just a politically- oriented blog-entry. It’s a summary run-down of some thoughts I have on the 2008 Presidential election. Nothing in this entry is particulary controversial or argument-inspiring, at least compared to the last two essays. It’s just a topic that interests me, and since this is my blog, I am going to write about it whether anybody reads it or not. Politics has interested me since I was about 12 years old. That’s when I started expanding my mental horizons a bit, away from my own small, personal  affairs, and into the bigger questions of what is going on in the world at large, and why things are the way they are. I remember as a kid, watching the evening news and asking myself ( and my parents ) endless questions about WHY there was so much fighting going on in the world, and about WHY there was a gas shortage. I was never really content with just accepting that things are the way they are. I always wanted to know the “why”. I wanted to know what was going on behind the scenes in the corridors of power, in government, and in politics that caused national policies and decisions to come about. I wanted to know what wars were SPECIFICALLY being fought over,  and what historical hostilities like the israeli-palestinian conflict, were SPECIFICALLY rooted in. I wanted to know WHY children were starving in Africa. I wanted to know WHY the world was the way it was. I didn’t see any really good REASON for all the poverty, hunger, war, and unhappiness in the world, and I so I really wanted to understand and know about the different social and economic systems that people had adopted in various cultures, that caused things to be the way they are. Those pre-teen musing were the beginnings of my “career” as an amatuer political junkie. In the intervening years, I have used my political punditry to stir up many conroversial and pointless arguments -for no reason whatsoever- in the workplace, in the home, and at many social gatherings such as holiday dinners and parties. And I never seem to get tired of  it either. I still remember going up into the study in the attic of my Grandma Harris’ large old house, and going through all of the hundreds and hundreds of books that she had on every subject you could think of. I devoured the knowledge contained in those books voraciously- especially the political ones-, and I still have fond memories of sitting indoors on rainy or snowy days- leafing through musty, old encyclopedias and ancient tomes- finding out interesting things about every topic under the sun. I also still vividly remember finding a worn-out, old booklet in a pile of books up there in that study, which contained the text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence. I found those documents fascinating, an I read every word of it, over and over again. I came to know those documents forwards and backwards. It was in those days that I first fell in love with America. I came to realize, through reading and through trying to understand the words contained in those documents,  just how lucky I was to live in a free country. The fundamental justification for everything America stands for is contained in the preamble to the Declaration of Independance, and I challenge anybody to this day,  to show me words or principles more true, more just, or more beautiful. In fact, if you want to read it right now,  you can click on this link:

http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/

I still get a shiver down my spine when I read the words in the preamble to the Declaration, the Constitution,  and the Bill of Rights. The words are so powerful, so revolutionary,  and so FEARED that they  are still banned and censored in places like China, Iran, and North Korea. But like all truth, there seems to be no way to hide the light in the darkness forever, and I dont doubt that we have only seen the very beginnings of the tidal-wave of Freedom and Democracy that will sweep this world in the next hundred years. As I grew up, and got older I kept reading. In high-school, when other kids were out drinking and partying, I was more likely to be found curled up in bed with a cold glass of milk and a copy of Nixon’s memoirs. I never lost my interest in politics, and I never joined the legions of beaten-down cynics who just shrug their shoulders today, and say that all politicians are corrupt. I never gave up on my country – or the world- as being beyond hope, and I never thought that my vote didn’t matter. To the contrary, I have never missed a presidential election in my adult life, and I have never stopped learning, reading, and listening as much as I can- trying to understand the issues, the arguments, the philosophies of governance and economics, and the various controversies that make up American political discourse in our times. My family was the type of family that sat around the TV on election night with our electoral tallies in hand, and our state-by-state predictions already on-the-record. I had many, many enjoyable political discussions and arguments with my Dad growing up. He shared my interests- if not all of my opinions- and it’s one of the things that I miss about him the most. To this day, on election night, I will be up until dawn waiting for the final tally and the returns from Hawaii to come in, long after the final result has been decided.

 So, here I am- all grown up- with a lifetime of political reading and thought under my belt going completely to waste. I just figure it would be a shame to have a blog, and to not offer my two cents worth about the 2008 election. So I will offer herein a few prognostications about the 2008 candidates, a few opinions about the issues, and a few predictions- just for the record. Labor day is traditionally the start of the American Political season heading into a general election year, so I wanted to get my opinions on the record promptly, before some of the candidates start dropping out, as they soon will.

I don’t want to drag out a hundred different issues in this blog entry. Anybody who has read my essay on “The Most Worthless Generation” already knows my basic stance on things, and the general direction that I come from politically. I am a conservative republican. I am a fiscal conservative. I am budget hawk, and I am a war-hawk ( some would say a neo-con. ) I have a populist streak in me, and I see eye-to-eye with Pat Buchanan on immigration and trade policy, although we had to part ways after 9-11 on the War on Terror, and on Foreign policy. I am pro-life, pro-gun rights, and generally conservative on most social issues. I’m not exactly from the redneck wing of the party though. I am not racist, and I have no particular problem with homosexuals. I like or dislike people based on who they are, and on how they conduct themselves- not based on what color they are. Also, I think gay people were just born that way. In the same way that I never made a “choice” to start liking women ( it just happened ), I think homosexuals never made a “choice” to start liking members of their own sex. I figure it’s genetic. I think that someday scientists will discover the “gay gene” and vindicate my opinions on that matter. So I guess I have a bit of a tolerant streak in me- although I also seem to have ZERO tolerance for certain behaviors that people CAN control ( For instance, these idiots in their cars with the loud, buzzy mufflers who drive around in residential neighborhoods playing loud bass and shaking windows. I wish the cops would pull these jokers out of their crappy honda civics and execute their sorry asses on the spot. ) I tend to like to evaluate issues on their own merit, and I can be persuaded if the facts support a particular side- even if it’s not my party’s traditional stance. I am open-minded on global-warming, although the hypocritical demagoguery with which the phoney-baloney left uses this issue nauseates me. I WOULD like a better national energy policy that would result in less pollution, ( and I am sure that our country could easily acomplish this, if the  environmental advocates who want to reduce carbon-emissions  would stop preventing us from building nuclear power plants). In accordance with my populist streak, I am not happy with corporate loop-holes and tax dodges that are enriching these villains at the country’s expense while the federal budget deficit grows astronomically each and every day.  My biggest issues politically are;1.) strong national defense and going after radical islamists in every way possible, 2.) education reform, 3.)  entitlement reform, 4.) immigration enforcement, 5.) homeland security, and 6.) trade policy reform. I agree, generally speaking, with the founding father’s original vision of limited government, but I am not a libertarian by any stretch of the imagination. I see that Government does have a proper role in certain matters that people can’t better do for themselves. I see also, however, that government is notoriously, and inherantly, in-efficient and I think that government programs should be viewed as a last-resort to solving most societal problems- not the first. I also advocate strongly for cultural reform- although I think that that lies less in the perview of politics, and more in the perview of the choices we make as individuals.  I may write an essay at a later date called “Why I am a Republican”, in which I will go through the issues one by one, and explain why I feel one way or another about a given topic, but for now, suffice it to say that the Republican party is on the right side of MOST of the issues that are MOST important to me- but not all of them.

 Both modern American political parties today are like “Big Tents” in the sense that there are a number of “wings” in each party who part ways on particular issues, but who share a lot of common core-beliefs that still bind them together as a party underneath the tent. The primary candidates often reflect these various “wings”, and in the primaries, those of us who care enough to vote, pick the candidate whose beliefs most closely reflect our own special conscerns. In the general election though, usually, the wings set aside their differences and come together for the good of the party, and you have to settle sometimes for a guy whose general philosophy matches your own more closely than the other guy’s. That’s how I came to vote for Bush- twice. The first time around, I voted for him because he was a social conservative, and a straight talker. After 8 years of listening to the pervert-in-cheif  explain his way out of his “bimbo eruptions” with such brilliant statements as ” it depends on what the meaning of the word is, is”, I was ready for a good ol’ boy from Texas who loved his wife, saw things in black and white, and had some kind of a moral compass. After 9-11, I was glad for my choice of bush, because he had a Reaganesque good-and-evil view of the world, and I knew that he wouldnt be afraid to meet radical  Islam on main street at high-noon and shoot it out clint-eastwood style. In the post-911 world , the presidency is not for the morally and idealogically conflicted. And Bush was neither.

 I have supported bush’s overall policy on the war on terror 100% from day one. In the field of foreign policy, his clarity of vision has served the country well in terms of GENERAL guidance.It’s in the details, the implementation, the management, and the competence areas that Bush unfortuately doesnt do quite as well. It’s clear that his heart is better than his head. He means well, but let’s face it- he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer sometimes. While I support our war-effort in iraq in terms of the justness of our cause, tactically speaking, it’s been a botched disaster of incompetent management from day one. Rumsfeld bears a large responsibility for this fiasco, but so does Bush. ( General Shinseki will go down in history as the Cassandra who was absolutely right about everything, but who – sadly- wasnt listened to by anybody. ) The Hurricane Katrina fiasco was one of the worst examples of presidential incompetence in the history of the republic ( right up there with Clinton and Carter giving enriched uranium to the North Koreans ). We have had 8 years of complete non-leadership on energy policy, trade policy, and on immigration policy. Bush’s fiscal policies have been disasterous- nay catastrophic. His primary fiscal legacy will be the HORRIFIC Prescription drug bill, which- when added to the already un-funded entitlements of medicare, medicaid and social security – may be the final nail in the coffin for our nation’s financial future. Also, he brilliantly managed to turn Clinton’s ( and in fairness, the republican Congress’s ) budget suplus into a deficit of historic proportions. Fiscally, Clinton was actually  more of a Republican than Bush has been. The border situation is a disaster of unmitigated proportions, and he has continued the utterly ruinous trade policies of the Clinton/Gore administration. Frankly, I am ready for a change. I am NOT voting for a good ol’ boy this time around just because he’s a republican, and because I think his heart is in the right place.

If a candidate wants my vote this time around, he had better quit talking in vague generalities  and show me some specific policy proposals on a whole range of issues that have been totally ignored by Bush for far too long- especially illegal immigration. I’m not voting Democrat, but by-god, if John McCain gets the nomination, I ‘m staying home for the first time. The democrats can put whoever they want in office, and I’ll wait for 2012 to see if my party can nominate a serious candidate who will protect the god-blessed borders! So- without further ado- the candidates, and my take on them…

 The Big Four Republicans:

John McCain-

 As I said, if he gets the nomination, I am staying home. I know other conservative republicans who feel exactly the same way. When you lose the base of your party you CANNOT win a general election, and McCain is in trouble now. McCain was actually the presumptive early-favorite going into this, so he has had to make some major mis-steps to wind up where he is now. He is also a very decent, honorable man who I would be proud to shake hands with, but when he decided to part ways with the party base on immigration reform, he sunk his presidential chances. Honestly, the border situation has gotten so ridiculously out of hand, that I am NOT voting for somebody who is soft on this issue. I respected McCains’ brave attempt to clean out the agean stable that is the  modern political process, with his Campaign Finance Reform bill even when most republicans didnt support that. I am willing to tolerate a little bit of his “maverick” tendencies as far as toe-ing the party line goes, because it smacks of integrity and intellectual honesty. But if there is ONE issue that good Americans in BOTH parties are howling for blood on, it’s border security. He screwed himself on that issue, and he would probably admit it if you asked him. And it’s too late for any feeble back-tracking now. I don’t trust him. When we needed him most on this issue, he wasnt there for us. Sorry, John. Sadly, his brave, and patriotic support  of Presidnt Bush on the Iraq War has probably damaged him more than helped him. There are just too many independents and “particular participants” out there who have totally had it with the whole fiasco and how it’s been run. If Bush had fought the war correctly, with appropriate troop levels and such, McCain might be riding a wave of victory right into the white house now, but with things all going bad, and the President’s poll numbers in the toilet, the wagon he hitched his star too is going right down the drain. I dont think McCain will get the nomination, but according to recent polls, he IS one of the very few republican candidates with a real chance to beat the democratic nominee.

Rudolph Giuliani-

According to current polls, he is the solid republican front-runner right now. He is also the ONLY republican that currently polls favorably in a head-to-head match-up with the early democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. I like Rudy Giuliani. He was a good mayor. He is a highly competent manager. He is highly results-oriented, rather than ideology-driven, and he DID clean up New York City with no-nonsense, hard-nosed anti-crime policies. But, like McCain, he is soft on immigration. New York City is one of the so-called “sanctuary cities” in this country now, where illegal immigration and illegal employment is ignored as a matter of policy, and Guliani had a large hand in that. I have zero faith that he is going to take serious measures as president to close the border, deport the illegals, and punish the employers who are driving this whole mess to begin with. I also question whether or not being the mayor of ANY city qualifies a person to be President. He is also an un-abashed supporter of abortion rights. The conservative christian base is NOT going to support his stance on that, and for many in that bunch, it’s their number-one issue. If you want the republican nomination, a good place to start is by NOT iritating the core of the party base. Nevertheless, he is a smart, articulate man, and he is rock-solid on national security. He, better than anybody else, knows EXACTLY what the islamic terrorists want to do to us, and there is no danger he will ever forget that. He might just pull it out and get the nomination. If he swears a blood-oath to do something serious on immigration policy, I MIGHT even hold my nose, cross my fingers, and vote for him in the general election, but he sure-as-hell wont get my vote in the primaries as punishment for this “sanctuary city” crapulence.

Mitt Romney-

I like Mitt Romney. I am voting for Mitt Romney. I want a proven track-record of results, specific policy proposals, and a candidate who is whip-smart and has the experience to do the job. That man is Mitt Romney. Yes, I know he is mormon, and that scares a lot of christians, but I am here to tell you that I have met many mormons, and they are every bit as conservative and family-values oriented as christians are. The man is running for head of the secular government, not for the position of supreme religious commander. Some tolerance is in order here. His record as Governor is stellar. He achieved FULL medical coverage in the state of Massachusetts with a brilliantly concieved, practical, and detail-oriented plan that assisted those who could afford the coverage the least, while still leaving the actual implementation of health care in the private sector- which is the exact opposite of hillary-care. Socialized health-care is coming if she gets elected, and it will be a total disaster for our country. You have been warned, and you heard it here first…Clearly, SOMETHING needs to be done with America’s health-care situation, but I believe that what we need is smart reform, not nationalization of the industry. He was a fiscal conservative in office, and a budget hawk. He wasn’t afraid to raise fees in his state to balance the budget, and he turned deficits into surpluses. I have had enough of the economic train-wreck that we have been on for the last 8 years. Romney will put the books in order. Also, he was the Governor of a state- which is a more appropriate stepping-stone to become head of the executive branch, than being a senator, a mayor, or a congressional representative is. He is also a sucessful businessman, a self-made millionaire, and is far and away the smartest guy in this bunch. He has flip-flopped on abortion, but he is saying what he needs to say now, to get the nomination. Really, it’s hard to know what his real thoughts on the matter are. He probably just said what he had to say on social issues to get elected as a republican back in liberal Massachussets. I trust him on fiscal policy, on national defense, on leadership qualities, and on entitlement reform. He’s saying the right things on illegal immigration too, although I don’t know if he’s for real or not. He’s certainly preferable to McCain and Giuliani in that regard. He has the money and the organization to do well in Iowa and New Hampshire, so he should pick up early momentum in the primaries. Go Mitt!

Fred Thompson-

 Sigh… He’s been hyped like the born-again second-coming of  Ronald Reagan, but I just dont see it. Reagan was a California Governor, and he cared a LOT about conservative principles. Reagan was on a MISSION. As for Fred, well, you get the idea that he doesn’t really care all that much. He had a short, un-distinguished, boring career as a senator from Tenessee. True, he was a reliable conservative vote, but what- in particular please- makes him qualified to be president? Sure, he’s a nice guy. A down home good ol’ boy who talks in vague generalities. But, I’ve had enough of that, and I dont care if he was an actor on Law and Order. As far as I am conscerned, acting abilities are where the similarities between him and the Gipper end. He’s a nice enough guy, but really, there’s NOBODY in this bunch of candidates who is fit to carry Ronald Reagan’s jock-strap- including Fred.

The Second Tier Republicans:

 Mike Huckabee-

 If Romney or Giuliani gets the nomination, Huckabee would be a fine Vice Presidential pick. He would balance the ticket demographically ( Northeastern/ Southerner ), as well as throw a bone to the religious right who – rightly- love Huckabee. Huckabee distinguished himself in the debates with direct, smart answers. He is a rock-solid christian conservative and is  an ordained minister. He is a sucessful state governor to boot. Heck, if I didnt like Romney so much, I’d be voting for this guy. His name recognition, his record of achievment, and policy proposals aren’t neccesarily on a par with Romney, so I cant vote for him in the primaries, but I do really, really like this guy. If Republicans lose in 2008, he might be a more well-known candidate for a second run in 2012. And if- by some miracle- Huckabee does get the nomination, I would whole-heartedly support this fine candidate. His inclusion on the ticket as a vice-presidential candidate would also greatly energize the base, and excite me as well.

Sam Brownback-

A good, reliable conservative, but not so much appeal beyond the hardcore conservative base. There’s only room for one such niche-candidate in the field, and the christians seem to have coalesced behind Huckabee. Besides, Huckabee is a better speaker, and is a Governor, as opposed to Brownback only being a senator. When Brownback drops out, Huckabee gets his base of support by default. That might be enough to move Huckabee up into the first tier of candidates- possibly ahead of McCain.

Tom Tancredo-

 I know I can count on Tancredo on immigration, but I’m not sure that that alone makes a person a viable contender. Besides, he hasn’t got the experience to be President as a mere congressman from Colorado. He knows this. He knows he isn’t going to be President, and I believe he is only making this presidential run as a labor of love, to draw attention to the problem of illegal immigration that has been ignored for far too long. He has forced the issue into the debate, and for that, God bless you, Tom.

Ron Paul- He’s the Dennis Kucinich of the republican party. He’s the niche candidate of the kooks. The black-helicopter, isolationist, libertarian wing of the party that unfortunately sticks it’s snout under the flaps of the republican tent. Paul is not so easily dismissed though- there is enough anti-war sentiment out there now, that dis-illiusioned, dis-enfranchised kooks from BOTH political parties are actually supporting this guy. He has growing grass-roots support. It’s hard to see the guy ever winning, but he does have some true-believer followers, who are peacefully participating in the political process and having their voices heard. For that, I must respect his devotees, even though I  have a hard time understanding why these genuinely earnest people think he should be President.

 Duncan Hunter-

Just as the religious wing of the party has to choose between Brownback and Huckabee, the anti-illegal immigration wing of the party has to choose between Tancredo and Hunter. NOBODY will ever out-Tancredo Tancredo, so I am not sure why Hunter is even in this race.

The un-announced Dark Horse:

Newt Gingrich-

Newt is every bit as smart as Romney, and he rightfully claims the mantle of “champion of all true conservatives everywhere”. The man has “been there and done that.” A former Speaker of the House ( third in line in the Presidential order of sucession ), he stormed the house of representatives in 94′ and gave republicans their first majority there since humans split from chimpanzees, I think. He has a knack for putting together a few key, focus-group-tested issues into a platform, and then beating the opposition over the head repeatedly with those talking points. He is a formidable campaigner. He said he would probably be getting in the race if Thompson flops as the annointed savior of conservatives ( my words not his )- which Thompson has proceeded to do so far. ( Skipping the debate was a BIG mistake Fred ). So Newt will probably get in. He is well-spoken, and has a broader-base appeal across the party than Huckabee does. Conservatives like him more than McCain, and he’s a better candidate than Thompson, so Gingrich – if he runs- probably COULD even wind up third behind Romney and Giuliani. If any of the other conservatives bow out, he picks up many of their votes at the expense of Romney and Giuliani. He could even wind up in second place behind Giuliani , if christians just aren’t having any of Romney’s mormon-ness and wish-washiness on abortion. As much as I really like Newt, I also hope he doesnt get the nomination. The problem is that he is a polarizing figure with high negative approval ratings outside the party. In this evenly-split elecorate, it’s critical to have a shot at swaying some of your opponent’s less-reliable demographics, and at winning over some independants. Also, it’s not a good idea to nominate somebody who will give your opponents an inspiration to go out to the polls in droves. Newt does for the republicans what Hillary does for the democrats. He galvanizes the opposition into action.

Ty’s Republican Predictions-

 Giuliani is in the catbird seat. Every one of these candidates has flaws which make them  unpaletable to at least SOME major wing of the party, and in the end, Giuliani may have the BROADEST appeal and simply be offensive to the LEAST number of republicans. Romney is my guy, 100%, and I hope he gets the nomination, but if he doesnt… well, I will probably support Giuliani for the good of the party. But I’ll be holding my nose when I pull that lever. I do hope Huckabee becomes the vice-presidential nominee. It would season him for a realistic run at the big chair in the future.

An Outrageous Statement by Ty, Sure to Draw Gasps From The Peanut Gallery:

 Truth be told, the most qualified guy on the planet to BE President of the United States is Dick Cheney. He can’t run for president, because of the unpopularity of the Iraq war,  and also because of this administration’s rank incompetence in so many areas , but if he COULD run, I would damned well support him. The guy is as rock-solid steady as they come. Our country’s enemies fear him in their bones, and honestly, he’s probably been the adult in this administration all along.

Two Other Guys Who Can’t Run:

Jeb Bush-

He is well-qualified to run for the office of President. He’s an experienced, well-spoken former governor of Florida, with a proven record of strong leadership, and he can bring Florida’s priceless swing-state electoral votes to the table. But at this point, the country is suffering from the advanced stages of Bush-fatigue, so it’s probably a non-starter, even as a vice presidential candidate ( which he would be well qualified for ).

The Terminator-

The only thing that stands between this California Governor and the oval office is the Constitutional prohibition on foreign-born citizens becoming President. If he could run, he would win, and I would sleep like a baby knowing that Arnold has his finger on the button. Nobody would DARE attack this country. It wouldnt be the M.A.D doctrine ( Mutual Assured Destruction ), It would be the A.I.D.O.Y.S.A.I.Y.E.T.A.I doctrine( Assured Instantaneous Destruction Of Your Sorry Ass If You Even Think About It ). I heard once, that Utah Senator Orin Hatch was working on a Constitutional Amendment to allow foreign-born citizens to run for President, but when the dems took over congress last year, that was the end of all that.

 The Democrat Big Three:

Hillary Clinton-

The fact that this obnoxious, insufferable, ethically bankrupt, soul-less seeker of power is currently running way-ahead in all of the polls to be the democratic nominee, proves that the Democratic Party has a slightly suicidal streak in it. I mean, havent they been frustrated long enough? Aren’t they tired of being denied and dissapointed? Even when Bill Clinton managed to sneak into office courtesy of H. Ross Perot, he had to practically govern as a moderate republican because of the disaster that Newt and company visited upon the democrats in congress. Now that the Democrats have both houses of congress, they have a REAL shot at finally getting some of their major policy initiatives through, if they can only find an electable candidate. But here we go again with  another Mondale/Dukakis/Kerry joke with no chance to win! Even if the democrats were to run the anti-christ himself, they couldn’t pick a candidate more certain than Hillary to bring out every last Republican to the polls on election day, no matter what- come rain, fire, hail, hell, or high water. How much does this woman motivate me as a republican to vote? Almost enough to make me actually vote for John McCain, that’s how much. I hope they nominate her. I really do. She will never be president. Too many people flat-out despise this very hate-able woman. Her marriage is a total sham, and it’s obvious that at her core, there is nothing there but a lust for power. And this recent business with the illegal campaign contributions from shadowy chinese figures is bringing back WAY too many bad memories. She’s got a LOT of baggage- the travel office firings, the improper gifts, the pardons, the secret nationalized health-care hearings, the rose law-firm billing records, Web Hubble and Susan McDougal, the insider trading, the ridiculous notion that she really didnt know about her husband’s innumerable extra-marital affairs that have been going on for decades…. I could go on and on, but I won’t. For republicans, a Hillary nomination is the same as handing us the keys to the white-house limousine again.

John Edwards-

 The biggest phoney-baloney hypocrite to ever come down the pike. Yeah, right, he cares about global warming while he drives around in his SUV, flies everywhere on his private jet, and uses more energy to heat and cool his buzillion-square-foot compound in a month than the average citizen spends in five years. His conscern for the poor half of his “two Americas” is so touching too, while he is living in his mansion, getting 400.00 haircuts, and working for the hedge-fund. And what exactly qualifies him to be President? Being an ambulance chaser trial-lawyer? One undistinguished term in the Senate? Being Kerry’s losing VP candidate? Please. If the dems dont nominate Hillary, I hope they nominate this buffoon so Romney or Giuliani can use him for a punching bag.

Barak Obama-

 While he is in no way qualified to be President, ( he hasn’t even completed his first term in the Senate!), of the top three Democratic candidates, he’s the least offensive one by far. If the Dems have any brains at all, they will snap out of their stupor and nominate this guy and seize the steering-wheel away from the seemingly inevitable Hillary nomination, before she drives the whole party over the cliff. The guy is talking tough on the war on terror, and wants to invade the tribal reigons of Pakistan to go after Bin Laden. Hell, I’m a conservative neo-con republican, and I may have to vote for the guy. He’s electable. It could actually happen. Plus, he has the backing of Oprah, who is more powerful and influential than Hillary will ever be…

 The 2nd Tier Democrats

Dennis Kucinich-

He wants to create a “Department of Peace”. Presumably he will also create a “Department of Dope-Smoking Hippie Crap” while he’s at it. We have Ron Paul. They have Dennis Kucinich. The kooks have their man.

Mike Gravel-

 Sigh. Shouldn’t there be some kind of psychiatric exam , before you are allowed to run for president? Did you see this guy in the debates? The other democrats were obviously embarassed that he was up there.

 Chris Dodd-

 Un-distinguished party-line hack from the do-nothing senate. Zero possibility of ever being President, and he knows it. Maybe he is running to raise his name recognition enough to possibly get tapped for Vice President, who knows….

Bill Richardson-

 I actually kind of like this guy. He’s a Governor. As a republican, I disagree with him on enough issues that I would never vote for him, but he’s not so far to the left that I wouldnt be able to respect the man if he were ever to become President. He’s a bit more moderate on some issues than some of his fellow democratic contenders. Some of that probably comes from being governor of a western swing-state with conservative values for the most-part. He also has experience as a cabinet secretary, but he didnt exactly accomplish very much while he was there. Based soley on experience, he’s the most qualified candidate in the field. If Hillary gets the nomination, she could use a guy like Richardson as a VP vandidate to smooth out some of the rough edges on the ticket, and he would even balance things demographically. Also, New Mexico is a small, but critical swing state in the very tight electoral vote breakdown. It could come down to those 4 electoral votes. He seems a bit out of his league as President, but would probably be a good VP.

Joe Biden-

 The smartest guy running for the Democrats actually. Has a nasty habit of speaking the truth though, and therefore wouldnt appeal much to the kook base. Generally acknowledged as an expert on the military, on intelligence matters, and on foreign-policy, he would probably be a steady-hand on national security, diplomacy, and the war on terror. Maybe a little too adult and responsible to get the nomination of the Defeat and Retreat party at this time though, whose primary mission this election cycle is to see us lose in Iraq as quickly as possible. A truly distinguished career in the Senate. A man of integrity, and somebody who could reach across the aisle and work with leaders in the other party. His approach to things would be different from Bush’s, but I would still feel semi-OK with Biden in the oval office. I guess that probably means that he has no chance of getting the democratic nomination.

 The un-announced Dark Horse:

Al Gore-

He should run. Time is runnning out fast for him though, because he needs to get in the game FAST if he is going to compete in terms of organization and fund-raising. He is watching things, and weighing his chances, but he had better not wait too long or the bandwagon is going to pass him by. His opportunity is historical in proportion, if you look at things. You’ve got an unpopular two term incumbent republican President with approval ratings lower than some plague-rats I know.The democrats are riding a wave of popular sentiment and discontent in the country with the hugely unpopular war in Iraq. Gore’s chances would be MUCH better than in 2000, without Bill Clinton’s tom-foolery and hi-jinks , and much better than Kerry’s chances in 2004 against a 9-11- bolstered incumbent Bush before things went sour in Iraq. The democrats are PERFECTLY positioned to take the Presidency, but they dont have a viable candidate. Gore should get in there! Hillary is the republican’s heaven-sent inspiration to get everybody out to the polls, Edwards is a ridiculous clown, and Obama’s experience pales beside Gore’s. Gore has even given himself a lot of street-cred with the democratic base with his tireless ( if hypocritical ) efforts to raise awareness about global warming during his years in the wilderness. He was never a bad candidate to begin with , in terms of most of his positions on issues. Fairly strong on national defense- at least when he was a senator. He’s a moderately conservative southerner on a lot of social issues, so he has a potentially broader-based appeal out there in “fly-over country” than many  libs like Hillary ever will have. Also, he was against the war in Iraq from day one ( anything Bush is for, Gore is against as a matter of principle ), so the democrats already like him better than Hillary, who they feel let them down. On the negative side of the ledger, Al may actually be SLIGHTLY- but not totally- unhinged mentally, judging from some of  the shrill, crazy speeches that he gave in the wake of the 2000 post-election fiasco. Also, he is without a doubt, one of the most insincere and boring public speakers I have ever witnessed. But what the heck- he has had 8 years to work on his delivery. Maybe he will pull a Richard Nixon and rise from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix. There IS historical precedent. Nixon lost to Kennedy in 60′ in a VERY, VERY close election that was rife with voter-fraud and electoral shennanigans- just like in  2000.

Ty’s Predictions: 

I am not going to predict who will win the democratic nomination. It all depends on how suicidal the dems are feeling coming into the primaries. If they have a moment of clarity and choose to pull back from the abyss, it should be Obama. If not, then Hillary. The others don’t seem to be credible nominees at all.  What I WILL predict is this- if Al Gore runs, then he will win the nomination, AND the general election. The question is- will he run? I am told that the Clinton camp has people carefully monitoring  his weight at his public appearances, because they see that as the most likely indicator of whether he is going to run or not. He knows the nomination is potentially there for the taking in this weak field of contenders. The question is- is somebody who lost the presidency by 300 votes in Florida, AND wanted the job so badly that he was willing to try and SUE his way into the office- is such a person capable of passing up another grab at the brass ring? My guess is that he won’t be able to resist the siren call.

The Ten Million Dollar Prediction- Who will be the next President of the United States?:

Impossible to say with any reliable degree of certainty, but if I was in Vegas, and I had money riding on it , I would put my money on Al Gore. If he does run, then I will go out on a limb and definitively predict he will be the next president. If he doesn’t run, then my fall-back prediction would depend on whether Hillary gets the nomination or not. If she does, then I herebye make the following prediction- the republican nominee will win -regardless of who it is.  The woman is unelectable.

As far as who the Republican nominee will be, I will predict Romney, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. He’s not polling well compared to Giuliani, but he’s got more money than God, and he’s doing well in the early primary states. Now, if Gore doesn’t run, and democrats do the smart thing and nominate Obama, I will make the following prediction as well… crazy as it sounds, I think Obama will win. As a republican, I hope not, but the democratic nominee in this election cycle, if they even remotely electable, has the wind of historical precedent at their back. They would have to screw up royally to lose in this current anti-republican climate.

 So… my predictions, in order of likelihood of being the next president are…

1. Gore

2.Obama

3.Romney

Of course, the hazard of making reckless predictions about an event that is completely unforseeable at this time, is that I may be totally wrong about all of it.  Be that as it may, if you want to be a political prognosticator, then I think you should be brave enough to go out on a limb and make specific predictions that you have a chance of being wrong about, so I have done so. I hope that some of you fellow political junkies out there will enjoy these totally pointless ( but enjoyable from my standpoint ) political ramblings of mine. If anybody has any comments, please state the following in your comment somewhere- 1. Who do you predict will be the next Presient, and 2. Who do you WANT to be the next president?

Good night, and good Luck- Ty

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