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December 15, 2007

Another Christmas myth, shattered

The claim that those new, LED Christmas lights never burn out? Is mostly bullshit.

December 05, 2007

Ha ha, this sucks

Rudy and Hill are cratering in the polls, but nobody "good" seems to be benefiting as a result.

I know frontrunners always see a little tightening before the actual ballots are cast, but there's clearly more than that going on with Giuliani, who's been unshakably leading the pack for months (years?) and is suddenly polling behind Mike Effin' Huckabee. Granted, Rudy's nosedive here is self-inflicted, but where does that leave us?

Worst case scenario? This year is like all the others. I begin the election cycle with high hopes. There are a couple of Republicans I like (Rudy and McCain this year) and at least one Democrat I'd consider supporting (Clinton and Richardson in this case.) Then by the time primary season is over, they're all gone. All of them. Every last one. This has happened to me every year since Reagan, so I don't know why I think this year would be any different.

But in my more optimistic moments, I consider the best case scenario. Rudy tanks in the polls, but there is no clear beneficiary other than Huckabee in Iowa, and he's not going to get the nomination because... well, he's just not. So either Rudy can pull out of the nosedive on MegaSuperDuper Tuesday or he can't. If he can't, who's going to be the alternative, the go-to guy for the party? Fred Thompson blew up on the launching pad, and Romney is permanently stuck at around 10%. Huckabee's boomlet will probably translate into about as many delegates as Howard Dean got in 2004, so McCain emerges as the consensus candidate. Mock me if you want, but who else we got?

(BTW, ABC's Match-o-Matic would have me believe my top 3 matches are Rudy, Romney, and Thompson, in that order.)

Who says I don't post timely, meaningful content anymore?

I give you the Top 10 Dirtiest Names in Sports:

10. De'Cody Fagg
9. Homer Bush
8. Albert Pujols
7. Irina Slutskaya
6. Ron Tugnutt
5. Assol Slivets
4. Dick Butkus
3. Johnny Dickshot
2. Dick Trickle
1. Chubby Cox

(Hat tip: Andy, who was a year late, so what does that make me?)

December 02, 2007

Iowa gets interesting

Huckabee and Obama now lead in Iowa, at least according to one poll. Man, I really don't know what to think of this. On the one hand, a horse race is always more fun to watch than a coronation, but other than the increased entertainment value, what to think?

Rudy and Hillary are my current faves from their respective parties (I've given McCain and Richardson up for dead, but will reconsider them should they resuscitate.) If I'm cynical and calculating about it, this could be good news for my top two. A strong finish by Obama could take Edwards out of the picture, clearing the way for HRC. Likewise, a surprise win by the (hopefully) unelectable Huckabee could kill off Romney, Giuliani's only serious competition at the moment.

That's all fine so long as I'm all Machiavellian about it, but when I step back I'm concerned. What does it mean that Huckabee is enjoying this late surge? I know there's general dissatisfaction with the current field among Republicans, but why this guy? Huckabee seems like he's been genetically engineered in a laboratory somewhere with the express purpose of pissing me off. A social, religious conservative with a populist economic message and a do-good, nanny-state, "heroic conservatism" approach to government? It's hard to imagine a candidate who's more anathema to me.

But perhaps this is the new direction of the Republican Party. Granted, there have always been tensions between the theocons and the libertarians, but we came to an uneasy understanding because we realized that both were necessary for a Republican majority. But now, small-government conservatism is getting thrown off the boat in favor of the (sadly) more popular social conservative agenda. Spending cuts don't bring people to the polls. Gay marriage does. That's the sad reality.

Who do I blame for the fact that the Republicans have betrayed their limited-government roots? I could blame Bush, with his "compassionate conservatism" crap. I could blame the recent, unlamented Republican congress for its complete abandonment of fiscal responsibility. I could blame Karl Rove, who sold the party's soul to the devil with his "we can give away goodies too!" approach, sacrificing the GOP advantage on fiscal issues for short-term electoral success on wedge issues.

And now Huckabee? What's going on in my party? The problem is not any one person. It's not Bush, it's not Rove, it's Huckabee, and it's not Tom DeLay. It's the party itself. A fundamental shift is at work, and this primary season will determine once and for all whether I have any future in it. Everyone likes to belong to a "team," but I'm about this close (holding fingers very close together) to going free agent on their ass.

Oh well, it will interesting to watch, no matter what.