Monday, May 12, 2008

The Spring of our Discontent

It's spring, and a not so young political junkie's thoughts turn to the General Election in the fall.

If you believe most pundits, there's a tidal wave of opinion trending Democratic out there, especially at the Congressional level. It's a Democratic year, they say, and the neck and neck nature of Presidential polling is merely an indication that Rush Limbaugh's clever "Operation Chaos" has caused some temporary blood letting between the Democratic contenders.

I must admit that as a predictor of Presidential elections, I have a poor track record.

You all remember President Mo Udall in 1976. His one term administration was followed by John B. Anderson's two term administration in 1980.

Then there was President DuPont in 1988.

And George Bush 1's second term in 1992.

Who could forget President Steve Forbes in 2000, and of course, the current Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

You get the drift.

Which leads me to ponder the increasingly disappointing choices for this fall.

Hillary Clinton is out of it, of course, regardless of the outcomes of West Virginia and Kentucky. That leaves Barack Obama, who, I suspect, we will discover is even more disturbingly left-wing than we have learned to date.

On the Republican side, our nominee, Senator McCain, while right on terrorism and certainly a courageous war hero, seems determined to display that his misunderstandings of science and free markets are almost as egregious as those of Senator Obama.

Can you say "global warming tour" ?

And now, here comes Bob Barr, the "Peabodyesque" former Republican Congressman from Georgia whose claim to fame is that he chaired the Clinton impeachment, supports the American Civil Liberties Union, and is thrice married. To the consternation of the Ron Paul fanatics out there, Mr. Barr has declared his candidacy for the Libertarian Party's nomination for President. Now some pundits are pontificating that Mr. Barr's Libertarian run will have the same effect on Senator McCain's prospects as Ralph Nader's run had on Al Gore's 2000 prospects.

Such might be Mr. Barr's fantasies of his own importance, but the likelier outcome is that no one will be inspired by Mr. Barr sufficiently to see him as an alternative to the center seeking Senator McCain.

Which leaves me contemplating the wisdom of the founders, who set up the Constitution so as to limit the damage a President can do the country.

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