Friday, January 04, 2008

President Huckabee or President Obama UPDATED

How do them apples strike you? Do you feel like you just ate a worm?

I'm coming to believe that I'm more moderate in my political beliefs than I ever imagined. The primary voters in Iowa, if they are representative of the mood of the country chose extremes--at least superficial extremes. In Huckabee, the voters get a folksy, religious populist in the Jimmy Carter strain. In Obama, the voters get a "change agent" outsider willing to take on D.C.

Neither man is what the voters believe them to be. In fact, they're more alike than different when it comes to their view of the role of government. Both believe that government solutions is the answer to all problems. Both use the victim rhetoric to appeal to the oppressed. Who in America is oppressed these days? For all the wealth and prosperity and personal happiness, it doesn't seem to be enough. Everyone carries the victim mantle now, and the candidate who best taps into the resentment gets the votes. Actually, the Dems feel victimized just living in a country that elected George W. Bush, twice. And the conservative Republicans are fuming about immigration and the corrupting influence of Washington. It seems like every Republican sells out. Still, it seems to be pure fantasy that either candidate will change much.

And then, these guys will have to be elected by the general population. Both are extreme. I'm a rather conservative Christian and Huckabee turns my stomach. And while I like Obama for his personality and his attitude, he's too inexperienced. Period. Not to mention that he's also exceedingly liberal in the Chicago strain of liberal. Um, no. The presidency is not where you gain your first executive experience, or it shouldn't be the first place that happens.

Having these guys in the general election will cause all sorts of electoral distress. I would predict record low turnout. Many people will pick neither candidate. This is all conjecture, though. It's early.

Huckabee won't be the Republican candidate. As much love as he got in Iowa, he won't feel the same thing other places. Romney is sliding. Without his immense personal wealth his goose would already be cooked. I cannot believe that I'm writing this, but John McCain is coming back and may well surprise everyone. Fred Thompson might come back, too. We'll see.

Will Obama be the nominee? It's a very good maybe. It's definitely between Obama and Clinton. The inevitability of Hillary has worn off and Obama's win may embolden voters who personally liked Obama better but were afraid to vote for him. But Hillary is a disciplined machine. That counts for a lot. George W. Bush's discipline and support structure made the difference down the stretch.

More thoughts:

The Anchoress doesn't think Iowa means squat. And she so distrusts Huckabee (as do I) that she's leery of his using Chesterton to lure Catholics. Ugh. Well, I think Iowa means more than squat. I think it's shifted the Democrat side significantly. The Republicans? I still view Huckabee as a Dean who has yet to really scream.

Betsy Newmark talks about how Iowans chose "novices" when the world events seem to demand experience. She, too, hopes Huckabee fades fast. It has occurred to me, that bloggers might be considered part of the elite chattering class by the average voter. Do bloggers skew libertarian or just more liberal?

Captain Ed says that Hillary is a spoil sport. Has she ever struck you as gracious? That would not be one of the first qualities I'd pick.

I'll add more updates later. It's just a start.

UPDATE:

In the Iowans are idiots department: Jonah Goldberg says this (read the whole thing):

More important, if Iowans are so deadly serious about the issues, why is ethanol the third rail of Iowa politics? It’s hard to reconcile the idea that Iowans are exemplary custodians of civil virtue with the fact that they are rabid defenders of welfare checks for government moonshine.
John Hawkins gives clear-headed analysis, but I'm more interested in fantasizing about Fred Thompson pulling this out.

8 comments:

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

Yesterday (as part of the Iowa Caucus Hype), Wall Street Journal reminded me that Iowa has only picked a winning candidate once in its history: Jimmy Carter in 1976. Every other time, it's been an early-peaking boom-and-crash.

Today, they have an editorian about how voters seem to go for total outsiders about every 16 years (similar to the 22-year generation/turning of the Strauss-Howe Cycle), and we're about due for another shakeup.

Huckabee. If there's any Ross Perot who can make good on that Christian Leadership threat to bolt the GOP and form a Pure Christian Third Party, it's Huckabee. Just like Ross Perot, except CHRISTIAN! (See! He even staged his Holiday campaign video with a Cross in the Background!)

James H said...

Well I hope you keep a open mind about Huckabee.

I spent a considerable amount of time in THe Anchoress comment section defending Huckabee from a Catholic Point of view so you can view it there if you wish. Again I ask people to withhold judgment.

TO be honest the ways the conservative press has treated us and what I see written I would be wary too. However as I point out much is not true.

I think it will become clearer in the future and people can make better judgement for good or for bad on the whole lot of people running . I know how this works. Every 4 to 8 years we make our fellow conservatives that are running appear to be the person that will bring the party down and make our guys Saints and the other devils. THen we have amnesia about it and when it happens again we are aghast!!!

I do think perhaps we all get too dramatic about it .

Unicorn- That was a book case. If people think there is some subliminal plot I wish they would find some facts. I am not sure why he would need to be subliminal about "Christ" when he says the word Christ in the commercial.

I guess I laugh at the whole "subliminal thing" because the whole thing was ad libbed and tapped in tow quick takes. We are not exactly a campaign with a ton of money and to be honest I don't think it is the budget yet.

However as a Catholic if I have my imput, I will lobby for a subliminal picture of the Host so we can get more Catholic vote. I will discuss that in the Dirty Tricks Conference call tomorrow. Maybe I can get a bonus and have Latin in the background and perhaps it will get some viewers to ask for decent music at Mass. :)

Anyway I will let you know how that goes.

Oh and I think you can rest assured that Huckabee will not go third party. In fact if Rudy gets the nod he might be the one thing that will quell a silly Social conservative revolt.

Chalmers said...

I have said it before and I will say it again... Iowans are idiots. They are a joke. Conservative?!? Sure, they are about as conservative as a south Chicago crack mom with 6 kids on the first of the month!

As for the "accidental" commercial cross, give me a break. I don't care how small the budget, lighting effects like that don't happen miraculously. The cross was purposeful, at least be honest about it. The Huckster is a good old fashioned Baptist revival charleton. Anyone feel like a healing? What a sham.

galensmark said...

I'm 60, a Vietnam vet and conservative Christian.
Huckabee SCARES me. Mainly it's that passive aggressive thing I think he thinks we're too stupid to recognize and that Jimma' Carter folksy thing. Jihadi's will no doubt be impressed.

Obama is for change...won't talk specifics so I can only assume most of us aren't going to like it or want to pay his price. There’s too much H20 behind those ears. Needs to lay chilly and dream up a plan.

I occasionally purchase laying hens from Iowa and they are generally smarter than the average knuckle dragging caucus clown.

The man of my prayers is named Fred.

God save this Nation.

Melissa Clouthier said...

James,

I'd like to keep an open mind about Huckabee, but I just can't. I know the type. He scares me.

Unfortunately for America, I think there are plenty of people who look past his policy and focus on his supposed halo.

You are not alone in your defense of Huckabee. He has more traction than I imagined, if some acquaintances are any indication.

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