Thursday, January 03, 2008

Speaking of that primary news I've been avoiding: on the Democratic side, it's seeming more to me like Edwards is probably the best of a not entirely satisfactory lot, because he shows the most signs of actually understanding that the Republicans and business interests will howlingly oppose just about any attempt to roll back the lingering craziness of the Bush years, in any sphere. He's the only one who's making a point of saying that --- and given his background as a forceful litigator, it's conceivable that he actually means it. It's also nice that he's saying, at least in public, that pulling the troops out of Iraq means pulling them all out, not leaving tens of thousands in for some nebulous training mission.

Dodd certainly deserves props for being just about the only person in the Senate to actually lead opposition against at least one of Dubya's blatantly unconstitutional maneuvers --- very much against the will of his own party leadership. But if you have to choose between an emphasis on the economic disaster, and an emphasis on the civil rights disaster, consider this: people with food on their tables and roofs over their heads can agitate for more civil rights. People with civil rights but no food on the table may be trying too hard to get it the next time their civil rights get taken away.

I'm not decided myself, but Obama's echoing of right-wing talking points (even on social security, fercryinnoutloud!) has turned me off, and Hillary's talk about the war is downright scary, so it's down to those two, or to one, if I limit myself to media-annointed major candidates...

Update: Well, so much for Dodd, at least in the Presidency. I think he would have been perfectly fine in the general campaign --- as noted below, I think all the Democrats in this round are stronger than anyone running on the Republican side. But in this primary field, he didn't effectively compete...

And one last point: for this primary round, we can say to hell with "electability" even on strictly tactical grounds. Given the weakness of the Republican primary field, and all that the Republicans have to live down, any of the Democrats should be able to wipe the floor with any of the Republicans --- and if they can't, it's a problem with the party itself. So it actually makes sense, for once in our lives, to really think hard about a strange question that no one is accustomed to discuss at all when talking about the various presidential candidates: which of these people would actually do the best job at governing the country?


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