Thursday, November 04, 2004

political disagreements

Michael Totten, co-blogging at Satan's Anus, doesn't agree that the homosexuality issue was all that big an influence on the election:

I don’t know of anyone, anywhere, who swung from Al Gore to George W. Bush because of gay marriage, tax cuts, or for any other reason. I’m not saying they don’t exist. But if they do exist, I haven’t heard of ’em. They’re an invisible, miniscule minority.

Joel disagrees with me about Bush eyeing Iran:

There have been some predictions made about Bush’s policy over the next four years. Kevin worries that Bush might turn his eye to Iran. In my opinion, I doubt we’ll see that. We might see continued large arms sale to Israel (bunker busters and long range missiles) and encouragement for them to act in the best interest of their national security. Shoot, if things turn around in Iraq I could see us supplying them with arms and encouraging them to take care of their evil neighbors. Man that seems all too familiar. Whatever the course, the days of the United States taking out members of the Axis of Evil (all but) alone are over, excepting provocation on their part. The British will not support continued action nor will Japan. I mean South Korea doesn’t even support the action they are participating in how long can we expect support to hold up if the current course continues? Also, with troops spread across Afghanistan and Iraq, invading and occupying a third country is just not logistically sound (not without Bush throwing us deeper in to debt and turning liar/hypocrite by enacting the draft).

Good points. Bush has squandered diplomatic capital; he'd have a hard time gathering up a coalition of the willing if he decided to whoop Iran's ass. We're also spending ourselves into a hole, which makes future military operations less feasible. If anything, the financial situation will be more of an impediment to Bush than the question of rounding up allies; Bush has shown his ability to ignore world opinion (or to spin it another way, to stand firm in the face of spirited disagreement).

But if it turns out that Iran's defiance has a threatening dimension, I can see us performing bombing runs there, even if we don't end up invading. Would Israel do this in our stead? I don't know enough about Israeli politics and history to say.

Wooj disagrees that Bush's reelection is an occasion for joy:

Alright, fuck it. All this crap is only raising my blood pressure and harming my health, so I'm going to try to stop thinking about this and losing my temper. If Americans still want this jackass as their president, let 'em have it.

The Maximum Leader, siding with Smallholder, disagrees with me about a Democrat backlash in 2008. To wit:

Your Maximum Leader must agree with the good Smallholder on a whole bunch of other observations. First, concerning the [Big Ho's] predictions that the Democrats may be well positioned for 2008 or beyond. As it stands right now, your Maximum Leader doesn't think they are well positioned. But he does think that if they can find a moderate midwesterner/southerner with some charisma. They could easily make a presidential race [competitive]. Your Maximum Leader just hopes it is too early for anyone to be thinking seriously about 2008.

I think the Dems will end up doing the smart thing and not field Hillary Clinton in the 2008 race. I somehow don't think the country will be ready for her as president-- in part because she's a woman (and unlike the Brits, we don't seem too partial to the notion of a female at the top of the hierarchy, à la Thatcher and the Queen), but also because she's Hillary. I don't think she has anything like the political savvy of her husband. I think she's been largely riding on his coattails, which is probably why she didn't divorce him despite the fact that he was regularly filling Monica Lewinsky's nostrils with cock snot.

I don't claim to be an astute prognosticator. I think I read the national mood rightly this time around, but only because it seemed too obvious. I have no idea what the nation will be like in 2008, but for now I stand by my feeling that four more years under this administration will produce a more focused lib/Dem outcry. As the younger generation continues to trend more socially liberal, the gay marriage issue will be revisited, as will other social and geopolitical issues. If Bush makes a major gaffe in foreign policy, or if an attack occurs on American soil during his watch again, Bush and his party will lose what little mandate they received from the people this time around.

Ah, yes: Annika disagrees with Andrew Sullivan about the youth vote, citing conservative Jonah Goldberg here. Sullivan thinks the young'ns showed up to vote, but their voice was drowned out by the overall increased voter turnout. Annika agrees with Goldberg that the youth simply didn't go to the polls in significant numbers.

*** *** ***

I thought Kerry did the right thing in taking my advice. His quick concession (this moment just begs for a "French surrender monkey" joke) will do much to restore trust in the electoral process. It was a gentlemanly thing to do.

I'd also like to turn your attention to Tacitus for a second. Tacitus wrote the following, which resonated with me:

It's not too early to be philosophical about this election: the reality is that precious little may now be done to sway events. Like a spring-loaded toy, the electorate is in motion along a path predetermined by its own forces For myself, I know this much: if John Kerry wins, I will happily join the band of Republicans opposing him at every turn. If the President wins, I will happily join the band of Republicans opposing him at (nearly) every turn. For some of us who viewed this contest as one of discerning lesser evils, the future is one of struggle in any case. No sense in denying it -- the prospect is vaguely thrilling.

Final remark: I just wrote a goofy poem that probably sounded like a bunch of GOP-bashing. It was, but it was done in the spirit of resurrecting the conservative values I admire and agree with. Among those values: smaller government, fiscal probity, and tolerance (if not joyful acceptance) of diversity. A conservatism poisoned by the sensibilities of the religious right is completely unpalatable to me. I'm for stem cell research, gay marriage, and keeping private matters out of the prying eyes of the government. As longtime readers of this blog know, I'm a firm believer in American secularism and religious pluralism; the latter isn't possible without said secularism. The religious right is against all these things, and needs Big Government to achieve its ends, irony be damned. Conservatives need to be about the reeducation of the religious right, doing whatever is necessary to move it toward the 21st century. My humble suggestion: target the youth.

Gonna be an interesting four years.


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