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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

THEODORE ROOSEVELT, address at the Sorbonne, Paris, France, April 23, 1910

First, it was Condi.

A brilliant academic, at the center of foreign policy for the last seven years. Intimately acquainted with the problems of the Islamic wars. The first black woman to serve as Secretary of State. Intelligent, cool, thoughtful. Yes, she says she has no interest in running, but if we press her hard enough....until we realized it would never happen, that she meant what she said.

Then, it was Newt.

Another college professor, a prolific author of Civil War books and the author of the Contract with America, the former Speaker of the House is the quintessential brilliant NeoCon. He's said he would enter the race if a real conservative doesn't emerge....although we haven't heard from him lately; still if we just hold out......until we realized he couldn't be elected dogcatcher with his personal baggage.

Now, it's Fred.

With a Jubilation T. Cornpone accent, he's put away bad guys on Law & Order since Adam Schiff left. We don't know much about his Senate accomplishments - which are sort of...well...scant - other than his being one of the few Senators involved in the passage of McCain-Finegold. We don't know much about where he stands on issues. We don't know much about him personally, other than his being really tall, although his non-Hodgkins Lymphoma will be sure to surface shortly. But it's rumored that he's thinking about anouncing on the Fourth of July, if he can raise enough money, and we can just hold out....

It's so easy to project a dream image onto these elusive quasi-candidates. When faced with the candidates already working in the field, you realize that you don't entirely agree with any of them. You have to settle for somebody that you agree wtih only 80% of the time - while this floating dream candidate agrees with you about EVERYTHING! You just KNOW it!

In this unusual election cycle - the first in 80 years with' no presumptive nominee from either major party - the buzz on the GOP side has been about "Who is the New Ronald Reagan"? It's hard to remember that in 1980, Reagan wasn't Reagan. That Bush fellow poked fun at his 'voo-doo economics', and Republican John Anderson felt so strongly that this elderly actor was such a bad choice that he ran a third-pary campaign against him. He pulled the Equal Rights Amendment out of the GOP platform to placate Phyllis Schlafley, and infuriated the GOP women led by First Lady Betty Ford. He was uninformed about foreign affairs, and parochial about social issues. Ron Reagan was, in fact, the 80% candidate.

It's time for the GOP to stop trying to fall in love, and choose a leader.


Blogger left wing escapee said...

Good post, Peter. I doubt that Thompson's entry in the race will change the three-way dynamic between Romney, McCain and Giuliani.

6:57 AM  

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