Power and Politics - I am Not the Yellow Peril

The life and times of an Asian American activist who tells all the truth (and dishes news and analysis) but with a leftwards slant.

Friday, December 28, 2007

McHuckabee: What I don't want for Christmas

Yeah, I know we're kinda past that date. But here's what I'm pretty deathly afraid of - a McCain-Huckabee ticket. Back when McCain was actively imploding and had to reduce its staff by a third, I was relieved, because I see him as one of the biggest threats in a general election. Now Republicans, sick of EVERYONE in their field, are coming back around to McCain (per politicalwire.)
Robert Novak: "Sen. John McCain, given up for dead a few weeks ago as he ran a cash-starved, disorganized campaign, today is viewed by canny Republican professionals as the best bet to win the party's presidential nomination. What's more, they consider him their most realistic prospect to buck the overall Democratic tide and win the general election. Indeed, if Mike Huckabee holds on to actually win the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the road forward could be clear for McCain."

Meanwhile, the Washington Times notes the "once nearly bankrupt campaign" of McCain "was negotiating yesterday to charter a fleet of 'Straight Talk Express' buses for use in early primary states."
Why are GOP insiders coming back to the horse they staunchly rejected in 2000 for Dubya?
1) Because one of the original top candidates, Mr. 9/11liani is sick and wouldn't release health records, which kind of freaks out most people who worry that he will keel over on the campaign trail, not to mention his drag-wearing, gay-befriending, taxpayer-aided affair-flaunting ways. If you've got nothing to hide, why wait?!?

2) Because the Christian conservative base is freaking out about Romney the Mormon and can't stop talking about or thinking about this one part of him. Also, he's not ready for primetime. Plus he's the original flip-flopper, much like someone else from his home state, he supported abortion rights and attended a Planned Parenthood fundraiser Cos well, some of the Christian right could overlook him being from what they consider to be a cult and all, but donating to Planned Parenthood crosses the line.

3) And because McCain's not totally crazy, unlike some of the other Republican candidates, and because his "maverickness" and willingness to deviate from GOP boilerplate makes him a more attractive candidate to undecided and independent voters. Of course, this is before McCain decided to run as Bush 2.0 and try to pull a Hillary and claim the mantle of legitimacy in an election cycle when even Repubs are running as far away as they can from Bush's legacy of failed empire. In fact he's so not crazy and instead crazily strategic that he ditched his one defining characteristic as an independent to hitch his wagon to the Bush caravan, which keeps careening over the edge into the canyon. Repeatedly. (Imagine some M. C. Escher depiction of Manifest Destiny with 2 cowboys, a burning caravan, and lots of picturesque rugged landscape - canyon after canyon - as soon as you think you've gone over the edge, you see another canyon.)

And sure, McCain is steadfast. So steadfast that he hasn't changed his mind on anything from immigration (let's see, former sponsor of immigration reform - the McCain-Kennedy bill - turned neo-xenophobe.) Come on, your name was ON the (sorta) pro-immigrant bill as a lead sponsor. Now you're all, "I don't know him, he doesn't ride with me?" How ridiculous can you get? At least he's sticking with his guns and standing up against torture. Because at least that's not too controversial a position - who is going to stick their neck out and say "Hey, I'm pro-torture!"

(Well, apparently, a whole slew of the current field is pro-torture. Not sure how this is a Christian sentiment though.)

But this initial pro-immigrant stance is what would make Huckabee a good running mate for McCain. Huckabee was pro-DREAM Act, before he was against it. Huckabee provides political cover for the Christian right, as a former pastor. And McCain has even publicly stated that he and Huckabee get along well.
Sen. John McCain's strategists "are openly boosting Mike Huckabee in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses as their candidate's best hope for winning the New Hampshire primary five days later," Robert Novak reports.

"Reports have been leaked that McCain personally likes Huckabee and dislikes Mitt Romney. Apart from personal preference, the McCain camp acknowledges that a Romney victory in Iowa may trigger a win in New Hampshire and a chance to sweep subsequent primaries. The McCain insiders feel Huckabee will not be a serious candidate even if he defeats Romney in Iowa." (Political Wire)
Combined, the McHuckabee is like some god-awful ideal Republican monster, at least from my perspective, it's the last thing I would want to send our eventual Democratic ticket up against.

McCain provides the foreign policy heft, and Huckabee the "awshucks" common man factor and charisma that would be the most formidable GOP ticket in my estimation. Plus McHuckabee sounds like some kind of McDonald's special 2 for 1 offer, or their latest Sausage-syrup hybrid designed for the lowest common demoninator [pun intended], designed to appeal to all your bizarre fringe tastes. Here you can satisfy your NRA needs for your home-schooled kids and your foreign policy hawkness to the Christian base. One stop, hopefully stoppable shop.

To clarify in LOLspeak: DO NOT WANTZ McHUCKABEEZ!

Of course, McCain might actually wind up the GOP presidential nominee, since the Republicans seem to be stuck in a cycle kinda like our 2004 - low buzz or enthusiasm for candidates, culminating in a "Must stop Candidate X" coalition that props up some candidate who earlier had trouble making payroll. Kerry actually had to self-finance his campaign with a new $6 million mortgage on his home. Of course, if he had known then what he knows now, he wouldn't have done it given the crushing tide of foreclosures due to resetting rates.

And Huckabee sure seems to be playing the same sunny optimist role that Edwards did last time around. I've never hoped that a GOP candidate would emulate a Democratic campaign so much. We can only hope, cos we all know how that election ended in a crash-and-burn. (Oh yeah, don't forget to overpay your media consultants and starve your swing state GOTV efforts particularly in Florida and Ohio.)

Add in the Ron Paul 3rd party factor, and I think it's game, match, set for the Democrats. Because when the candidate on your team who generated the most heat (money) is a racist nutjob whose supporters are obnoxious spammers and who represents what you thought was a best the most fringe of the fringes of your party, you know your base is heavily dissatisfied and ain't gonna vote, no way, no how. It's pretty impressive that Paul's $20M haul for this quarter puts him on top of GOP fundraising. I can't wait to watch the incipient intra-party battle, especially since our top 3 candidates are pretty stellar, and share similar policy goals. Not to mention that the economy is in the crapper and a majority of Americans think we will enter a recession next year, well, it's no surprise that even Republican voters are awakening to the fact that in recent history, Republican presidents have brought us shitty economies (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II): "We did better when (Bill) Clinton was in than we did with Bush. It's just terrible." (AP via Yahoo)

So I'm looking forward to seeing not just who we pick, but also who the GOP picks. Because I'm pretty sure we can beat anyone from Giuliani (who I think is weakest) to the Paulster to McHuckabee. That's right, I can nickname as good as our dear leader with his beloved press corpse.

Yeah, Santa, this is all I want for Christmas, so Fed-Ex Next Day this sucker. (Miss the snark much?)

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