Monday, May 22, 2006

You Heard It Here First

Apologies for my many months of absence. Real life has rather distracted me from blogging, but I did want to pop back briefly to note---

You heard it here first. Well, almost.

17 comments:

Cram said...

Richard,
I don't think I could bring myself to vote for Kerry or Edwards, two men who I have little faith in, but like you, I have always been puzzled by the disdain from the left and the right of Al Gore, a man who I would have gladly voted for in 04 and would in 08. Saldy, I don't think he will. According to an interview with The Observer, Gore said the following:

"I don't plan to be a candidate again for national office... I don't see any circumstances that would cause me to change my mind. I was in elective politics for 24 years. I've made four national races, two for president, two for vice president. I have found there are other ways to serve, and I'm enjoying them."

Of course, pundits can still debate the word "plan" in this sentence and interpret it as him leaving the door open, but I sincerely doubt it. Unfortunitely for us.

dcat said...

Roger --
You are a freaking genius! Good to see you back.
I too do no see the disdain for Gore. It makes no sense, especiually if one considers that he was one of the true legitimately prescient voices on terrorism among politicians pre-9/11.

dcat

Roger said...

Much as I like being called a genius, I feel I should point out that this was the work of Councillor Richard Huzzey.

dcat said...

Ooops. Well, then Roger is a moron. Richard is a God to me.

dcat

montana urban legend said...

I'm wondering if you guys shouldn't just come aboard with all the other subtle voices of the left who secretly hoped that McCain would find a way to clinch the 2000 nomination. Maybe not now, but...

I know, a partisan's gotta do what a partisan's gotta do. Until 2008, then!

Cram said...

I did wish McCain got the nomination simply because I thought he deserved it more than Bush. And there are plenty of Democrats that I would vote against if McCain were on the ticket.

However, although I respect and admire McCain in many ways (both for his military service and his political record) and could even be compelled to vote for him, he has never been as liberal as many of his liberal fans would like to believe. From abortion to labor unions and from gun control to gay rights, McCain is actually a very traditional conservative policy-wise.

dcat said...

I second Cram. For those of us for whom domestic issues matter, McCain would be simply unacceptable (Many of us feel the same way about Lieberman), and as he appears set to veer right for the purposes of the primaries, he becomes less so. I STILL do not see the problem with Gore. As I said earlier, his warnings on terrrism in the mid-90s were as good as we were able to get. Only biden, Hart, and Rudman are even especially close among politicians.

montana urban legend said...

I actually don't think I would have much of a problem with Gore; I might like him as a candidate and even president, but until his self-journey/"reinvention" is complete it's hard to know how his convictions will settle on other issues and governing style generally (although maybe it's better in the age of the single issue voter for a candidate to honestly say: here are two or three things I really care about and will stand and fight for, and the rest I'll be more open-minded about).

Although Russ Feingold seemed to be making a name for himself as one of the more stallworth (and consensus-capable) voices and potential nominees of the left, at least one political scientist thinks his recent second divorce will be too much of a liability. Personally I find him a bit abrasive, but maybe that's just me. (At one point I used to not mind separating personality from other considerations in a candidate).

dcat said...

MUL --
I like Feingold in many ways, but he is unelectable. His impeachment talk is too spinnable into radicalism. It is red meat for the base, but at the same time, relying on that base an be poiuson for a nominee's chances to go further.
The idea of Gore reinventing himself is interesting, but I think overstated. To me he is a far more real person than most of the automotons that run for office. And for all of the mockery of his movie trailer, by most accounts it is quite good. certainly there will be a lot of wattage in the Democratic primaries if Gore, Hillary, Kerry, Biden, and Lieberman all run.

dcat

montana urban legend said...

Let's hope the reinvention talk is overstated, as it's easier to claim that the murkier aspects of his political demeanor were simply a by-product of having to spend 8 years relegated to just administrating under the leadership of a political genius, and that the Real Al Gore has now decided once again to please stand up, please stand up, please stand up.

Plus the wisdom of years might make him more attractive in ways, but I prefer the firebrand who could basically tell Dan Quayle to take his administration and shove it in the 1992 debates.

dcat said...

MUL --
That Gore was good. This one might be better, though he is easier to pillory. But the Republican spin mnachine will pillory whichever candidate wins the nomination. Look at how they shamelessly useed the liars and ignoramuses of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. The current national GOP is utterly shameless.

dcat

Cram said...

I have always found Gore to be as consistent on the issues as any other candidate and the only "reinvention" he had was his campaign techniques and the shifting timidity of his opinions.

As for Russ Feingold, like McCain I respect him and could see myself voting for him depending on who his opponent is. I simply do not necessarily agree with him on many issues. However, with all respect, I also do not necessarily agree with the conventional wisdom about his electability either.

Although Feingold was the only person to vote against the Patriot Act, and opposed the war from the start (one of only 23 Senators to vote against the resolution), he still managed to win re-election in Wisconsin in 2004 by 12% points, the largest margin of his career, including counties that went for Bush.

In 2000 and in 2004, Gore and Kerry won the state with less than 1% margin (a statistical tie). Besides, perhaps the Democrats could use someone a little less afraid than the past few candidates.

In retrospect, I think people would have respected a Dean candidate or a Feingold candidate more than they did the more timid Gore or Kerry. People voted for Bush, in part, because they simply did not believe the Democratic candidates were sincere and as Bush loved to say, “you may not agree with me, but you know where I stand.” A powerful message, and one that Gore seems to have finally learned, which is why he has been a lot less "safe" with his words and a lot more passionate. When an anti-death penalty Democrat can win the Governorship in Virginia, and the most liberal Senator in Congress can win elections in the moderate state of Wisconsin, perhaps its time for Democrats to stop fearing strong convictions. Remember, it was “electability” that won John Kerry the nomination in 2004.

dcat said...

Cram --
Intellectually, Feingold might be ok voting against the Patriot Act. Remember that Bush opposed it at first too, until he coopted it for political purposes. But Wisconsin isn't particularly reflective of the rest of the country. I think he would get smashed in the South and West. He would not carry a state.
I agree with your assessment of Gore. I think an honest, straightforward, less (seemingly) political Gore candidacy would be refreshing. After eight disastrous years of Gore, he also would have a pretty powerful way to evoke the 2000 election without being specific.

dcat

montana urban legend said...

Cram - I'm still going through yours and Dcat's posts, but should just point out that Feingold's second divorce occurred (I believe) after 2004, and that this might be more of a liability at the national level than at the senate level in a small Midwestern state.

montana urban legend said...

Although I read an interesting article last week covering Feingold's recent journey through Alabama as part of the Democrats' recent musings at not so easily writing off the South, I think his stance on the Patriot act would - as I believe dcat suggests - be played there disengenuously, though effectively, as a weak point in his position on national security.

Of course, on that other note, if he finds a third wife - and quick - I think voters would be more gracious about making personal judgments regarding his electability. I don't think a bachelor would make the cut today though.

Cram said...

MUL,
It is worth pointing out that Kerry too was divorced and thanks to Ronald Reagan, it was never an issue (since Nancy was spouse No. 2 for the Gipper as well). Obviously, two might be pushing it, but thus far, I have heard little about Gulliani's triple hitters in his own quest to win over conservtives (not that it will happen, but that is another story).

In short, I am not yet convinced that his latest divorce will cost him many additional voters, although I agree with Dcat that Wisconsin might not be the best barameter.

Richard said...

Hm, I'd never previously suspcted I might be Roger. I've not seen us both together in the same place for ages, adding to the theories...

Richard.