McCain Wins Giuliani’s Mantle

Will he absorb any of his policies?

John McCain won yet another primary, placing him in a solid lead and granting the Republicans something they’ve lacked this entire campaign.  A front runner.  Mitt Romney has been, effectively, blasted as inauthentic.  He’s done the best in a state where his father built a reputation, and one with a large Mormon constituency.  How likely is he to see a repeat?

Rudy is planning on dropping out and endorsing McCainThis is not a star endorsement.  McCain and Giuliani align the closest on national security.  Will McCain pick up any of Rudy’s habits?  Has he already?

Democrats United: Pre-Existing Conditions

Right now, you can be as hard working as you like. Got a pre-existing condition? Health Care denied.

One thing all of the Democrats share in common, from Obama to Clinton to Edwards, is the desire to pass a law outlawing discrimination based on previous conditions. (Edwards is the only candidate to support universal health care coverage).

Neither McCain, Romney, Ron Paul, Giuliani or Huckabee have a plan to deal with this. The Republicans as a whole are loathe to regulate the insurance industry on this vital matter.

This is a practical issue that effects many of us. It is an issue on which the Democrats present a united front, and stand firmly on the side of ethics.

Risk vs The Fear Vote

Republican candidates, especially Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, have followed in George Bush’s bloody oratorical footsteps. They craft their messages using fear in the same way cigarette companies used free cigarettes. Instead of hook ’em while they’re young, its hook ’em while they’re old and afraid of damn near everything.  Fear campaigns target everyone, but they are  especially targeted towards taking advantage of the elderly.

From insistence on Americans being more target than citizen, to subtle attacks like emphasizing the importance of experience, its all about appealing to a sense of security. You see, Republicans (and Republican minded strategists) do have a lock on security. Not national security. Iraq is proving that. No, on the feeling of security.

But what America needs right now is not a feeling of security. It is actual security. And we are making a very direct trade. When we take the message of McCain and Clinton over more promising candidates like Obama or Edwards, we are opting for comforting gloss over substance. We are taking the nervous and exploited rheumy eyed views of the fearful old over the hunger for meaningful change hopeful youth bring to the table.

As a country we need risk. We need to take a sharp look at our very system of government and shake things up. And we are walking straight away from change into a cycle in which right wing extremists exchange rule with status quo centrists over the decades. And that dance only leads one way: away from progress and into a restrictive and bigoted past.

If we want to overcome our problems as a nation, we must overcome our fear.

The Iowa Primary Reader

Kos sums it all up perfectly with a post titled The Triumph of our Democratic Field:


Barack Obama won tonight, but, in a sense, John Edwards’ campaign also triumphed. The progressivism of the race, the focus on ideas, the courage of the Democrats — all were products of his early example. He began the campaign by talking about poverty, announced his candidacy in the mud of New Orleans, set the agenda with the first universal health care bill, and closed Iowa speaking of the uninsured. This is Barack Obama’s victory, and it’s richly deserved. But Edwards, running as a full-throated populist, set the agenda and finished second, ahead of the Clinton juggernaut. He said his role was to speak for the voiceless. He now barrels towards New Hampshire with ever more volume. And while his shot at the nomination is long at best, his candidacy, even if it fails, will have been far more successful than most.

I have to admit a bit of sentimentality. I loved all the speeches tonight — from Edwards’, to Clintons’, to Obama’s. I’m proud of my party. I’m hopeful for the future.

Melissa (Shakes) has hilariously telling pictures of the winners.  And also a line we might see again come the general:

Well, I think between this good Southern Baptist Preacher,
and this Muslim terrorist, the choice for America is clear.

Obama’s win, specifically, is a call for change and represents a real beacon of hope for the Democrats.  Not because of his policies,  but because even more than Edwards Obama has the ability to get out the vote.  Obama on the ticket means new and excited voters in the booth.

On the Republican side the results are dire.  The head far and away is religious nut Huckabee, and there’s a palpable sense of discomfort and itching coming from the conservative camp.  Tristero at Hullabaloo has some sobering thoughts:

Which brings us to the genuinely repellent topic of Michael Huckabee. The fact that he won the Iowa caucus chills me to the bone. This is a ruthless, ignorant, and dangerously opportunistic fanatic who is so unqualified for the presidency that no one in the media should have returned his calls. And they still shouldn’t.

His decisive victory is a bitter pill,  a two edged sword.  He’ll brings a few great weaknesses to the general.  From the right his spending and record on crime.  From the left his theocratic tendencies.  But at the same time it is frightening to see someone like that do so well.  It says a lot about far too many Americans.

The picture gets clearer when we look at the rest of the candidates.  A second place finish for Edwards means he is now a contender, and will head into NH with some serious momentum.  Hillary is running in deflated, facing numerous independents and Republicans who will cross party lines to vote against her.  The months of being propped up by the media as the front runner have met with a brick wall of a reality check, and rather than her last hope, NH is going to be a crushing defeat.  Frankly, whether Obama or Edwards take NH, they ought to get together and have that VP conversation.  An Obama Edwards ticket would present a strong and unified Democratic choice in 2008.

Republicans have a more complicated picture.  Romney’s finish at second is confusing.  He’s a compromise candidate, and his inability to pull in first in Iowa is going to hurt in NH, where familiarity is breeding some powerful contempt.  McCain came in third, but he didn’t even break 20 percent.  He isn’t really going into NH with momentum so much as positioning, but it might be enough.  Huckabee is in the opposite position, lacking in positioning, but bringing in some serious momentum.

The only candidate who did horribly who still has a shot at staying in the game isn’t even focusing on NH.  He’s aiming for Florida.  We can’t count out everyone’s favorite fascist, Rudy Giuliani.  But if he loses Florida in the face of a consensus candidate, he’s out.

All in all, the Republican are in for a rough  and divided ride.  While the Democrats are enjoying the rising winds of change.  I’d like to close with these words from Kos:

But tonight, seeing what transpired in Iowa, I can’t help but be hopeful for our party’s long-term future. The youth vote is turning out big, and turning out for us. Independents have had enough of Republicans and are trending our way. The center is moving leftward for the first time in a generation.

Tonight’s message was one of hope.

J Edgar Hoover and Giuliani

Via NewsCat, this set off some alarms:

Over the holidays there was a little noticed story published about recently declassified papers showing that in July 1950, only a few days after the beginning of the Korean War, J. Edgar Hoover wanted President Truman to round up and detain 12,000 American citizens.

Who was he targeting?  Does anyone want to be it was suspected communists?  Think of how close we came in recent history to the mass arrest of American citizens on the basis of political beliefs.

Now, couple that with two particular notes about Rudy Giuliani:

If elected Giuliani would extend the already power mad style of the Bush administration to new levels. Glenn Greenwald has the scoop:

Over the weekend, it was revealed by National Review’s Ramesh Ponnuru that Rudy Giuliani believes that, as President, he would have the power to imprison American citizens without any sort of review of any kind, and Giuliani stated he hoped to exercise that power only “infrequently”


Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.

Some say history repeats itself.  Combine a Giuliani Presidency with that history and the rising tide in eliminationist rhetoric, and we have an instant recipe for an oppressive tyranny on a massively tragic scale.  This time there would be no President to turn down J Edgar Giuliani’s request.  Giuliani would be the President.  A President who’s view of executive power extends ever further than George W Bush.

Republicans: Eliminating Muslims

Its always startling when a nasty bout of hate breaks out close to home. There’s a lot of nastiness in Herndon, VA. I was living in Reston when this joyful little gathering took place. So again I was startled when I came across this item over at Feministe (Jill):


That’s a short metro ride away. The post itself is about the comments by Rudy’s Aide, suggesting we need to “get rid of” Muslims. Jill goes into a bit more depth:

Deady later clarified:

“When I say get rid of them, I wasn’t necessarily referring to genocide. What I was referring to is, stand up to them every time they stick up their heads and attack us. We can’t afford to say, `We’ll try diplomacy.’ They don’t respond to it. If you look into Islamic tradition, a treaty is only good for five years. We’re not dealing with a rational mindset here. We’re dealing with madmen.”

“I wasn’t necessarily referring to genocide?” That may be more telling than the original comment.

Indeed. I hadn’t caught the clarification. It is worse than the original comment, all the more so in that its unfolding in a responsibility vacuum on the part of Giuliani.

Via Jill, Ali continues:

I will leave it to each individual to determine whether the GOP’s “gaffes” are just that, or that they are part of a sustained campaign to not only lose as many American-Muslim votes as possible (you guys are succeeding!), but to further demonize Islam in order to perpetuate some kind of religious standoff consistent with Tim Lahaye’s vision.

I think we have two things going on here. The first is that the Republican field is rife with riffs on the original Southern Strategy. We see it with Huckabee’s winks and nods to hardline evangelical Christians and anti-immigrant rants, Ron Paul’s winks to the white supremacist set, and Rudy’s Islamophobe nods.

The second is a rising tide of eliminationist rhetoric on the right, targeting Women, Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Homosexuals, and of course, Liberals. Sometimes this speech is hidden, as in the references to “New York/Hollywood liberals” (Jews) or “San Francisco liberals” (Homosexuals). And sometimes it is right out in the open, as is the case with the Georgetown poster up above targeting Muslims. In each case, the right wing in the country is working its base into a violent frenzy. All of this virulent hate seeping into and around the mainstream is normalizing notions of inferiority and “otherness”, as well as the appropriateness of violent reactions.

We cannot stand silently by while this tide of hatred and violence rises.

UPDATE: Just a note, the poster is satirical (the actual poster, which you can see here, is arguably worse than the satire (which adheres nicely to Tom Tomorrow’s rule of right wing reality).)

Eliminationist Rudy Aide On the Rise of the Muslims

Greg Sargent puts it best:

This has already gotten some attention, but it deserves a lot more.

So what happened?  (Emphasis mine)

The Guardian of London is conducting video documentaries up in New Hampshire. And they did a segment on Rudy in which they got a very off-kilter quote about Muslims from a Rudy campaign official in the state. The Guardian identifies him as John Deady, the co-chair of state Veterans for Rudy.

Deady — and the key here is that he is a Rudy campaign official — says that Rudy should be our President because he has what it takes to tackle one of our “most difficult problems,” which he identifies as the “rise of the Muslims.” Deady adds that we need to “chase them back to their caves” or otherwise “get rid of them.”

At the moment, there is silence from the Giuliani campaign and the mass media.

Any chance the national press will see this as newsworthy?

The Rudy campaign didn’t immediately return a request for comment. You can watch the whole video from The Guardian here.

In addition to the media question, what I want to know is:  Will the Giuliani campaign condemn this, or will they let it quietly form a new southern strategy?

Giuliani and Romney: Trust Deficit

Scot Lehigh has some remarkable fun with the three front runners in this rather well written op ed piece:

On the stump, the Mittster shines like a diamond . . . ah, make that a cubic zirconia. Why, if one hadn’t seen him run for the US Senate and Bay State governor as a Bill Weld Republican, he might seem both convincing and sincere in his recently adopted role as Reagan conservative.

He literally changed his political colors as soon as he announced.  Its like he never ran for office in Massachusetts (emphasis mine).

What’s more, voters I talked to didn’t particularly care that Romney has done some serious flip-flopping.

“Don’t they all?” said Loraine Battey of Hudson, who is undecided. “They say what people want to hear.”

“They all lie,” added Fred Taylor, a Hudson resident and Romney backer.

That last sentence is gold.  If I was working on a competing GOP campaign, that quote would be everywhere Romney was.  Perhaps under a heading like “Trust”.

Certainly Giuliani’s success in deworming the Big Apple compares favorably with what Romney accomplished in his single term as Massachusetts CEO.

In other words, something, anything, is better than a closed mouthed nothing.  Romney was the lame duck CEO governor.  He was all about secrecy.

“Even people who like the president are tired of his style,” says one senior Romney adviser.

The dig was aimed at Rudy, but it does more than graze Mr Romney, the great corporate communicator.  Silent Bob would reveal more at a press conference.  At least he has facial expressions other than “invest” and “chin jut”.

For its part, the Romney campaign doubts that, after a president as polarizing as George W. Bush, Republicans will want a nominee as combative as Giuliani.

“Even people who like the president are tired of his style,” says one senior Romney adviser. “They are looking for somebody who is going to be more of a consensus builder and less abrasive.”

The thing is Bush ran as a consensus builder in 2000.  Look how long that lasted.  Does anyone trust any Republican to act in a genuinely bipartisan manner after Bush?

Further, the Romney camp thinks the indictment of close Giuliani associate Bernard Kerik will prove a heavy burden for a candidate who has made electability his campaign calling card.

This makes a great deal of sense.  Its hard to run as tough on crime when you are that close to it.  Who would trust that?

Both Giuliani and Romney have a huge trust problem.  For their die hard supporters, this isn’t an issue.  For the rest of the voting public it may well prove insurmountable.

Can We Acknowledge Polls are Bullshit?

Everyone enjoys a good intellectual wank now and again, but these games have got to stop. Math gives a convincing appearance of legitimacy when there is nothing but poorly designed pseudo scientific douchery at work. The best we ever get out of any of them is the opinion of 500-1000 people bandied about like its living proof Jesus rode dinosaurs. Sometimes certain candidates just aren’t cool enough to be included in “scientific polls”.

Take the Washington Posts Blog for example (emphasis mine):

A review of Post-ABC polls throughout the year, assembled by analyst Jennifer Agiesta of our polling unit, shows that Clinton has expanded her overall lead in the Democratic race in large part because of growing support among self-identified liberals.

Give me a break. And this will be trotted out as the media packages Clinton to maximize the absorption of political grease (ie experience) to better shove her and Rudy down our throats as the two candidates.

I’m physically sick of the fucking front runners gaining such momentum that choice remains an illusion. The media picks their little darling based on some bastard formula of “Money Raised x Money to be Made in Coverage” and then unlock the cages and cackle.

I will not excuse my anger, nor will I apologize. I am pissed! So shut the fuck up Washington Post, and shove that damn poll and your misleadingly conclusive headline up your business section and take a hike.

I’m voting for who I want, not “the most likely candidate”. And I hope my fellow enraged voters, Democrats and Republicans do the same.

Fuck Polls.

New York Times Wrong on Iran and the Democrats

Frank Rich has it absolutely wrong on Iran’s significance to the Democrats:

But what happens if President Bush does not bomb Iran? That is good news for the world, but potentially terrible news for the Democrats. If we do go to war in Iran, the election will indeed be a referendum on the results, which the Republican Party will own no matter whom it nominates for president. But if we don’t, the Democratic standard-bearer will have to take a clear stand on the defining issue of the race. As we saw once again at Tuesday night’s debate, the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, does not have one.

For one, I think the consistent growling on the part of the public and legislators with backbone will keep us out of Iran.

This is an incredibly good thing.

Not simply because of it means we will not enter into a massive conflict of choice at a time when our military cannot handle our existing conflicts.  Nor soley because of the massive loss of life we will avoid.  Because it represents a clear victory for Democrats and sensible Republican allies against a power mad Executive.  Stopping a war with Iran is a badge of honor Democrats can take to the polls with pride.

We heard you on Iraq, we learned our lesson.  We stood up to the President and we won.

Stopping an unnecessary war with Iran would be a triumph.

But if we don’t, the Democratic standard-bearer will have to take a clear stand on the defining issue of the race. As we saw once again at Tuesday night’s debate, the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, does not have one.

For all of her faults, Hillary Clinton is still a Democrat, and can easily take a strong and clear stance on the defining issues of the race.  That includes Iraq, Health Care, and the Economy.  All issues on which Republicans (specifically Bush) are hurting in the face of an American public that wants a new direction.  Of course, momentum is growing against Hillary’s candidacy within the Democratic party.  I wouldn’t be so quick to write off the other candidates yet.

Mr. Biden got a well-deserved laugh Tuesday night when he said there are only three things in a Giuliani sentence: “a noun and a verb and 9/11.” But a year from now, after the public has been worn down by so many months more of effective White House propaganda, “America’s mayor” (or any of his similarly bellicose Republican rivals) will be offering voters the clearest possible choice, however perilous, about America’s future in the world.

The “clearest possible choice” sounds really good coming from trusted news personality Frank Rich.  But it is a load of bull.   If that clarity comes from the candidates offering needlessly bellicose positions, “perilous” only begins to describe the fallacy they’d be offering us.  Giuliani is the direct heir to Bush’s rotten throne and all the propaganda spewing out of it.  To suggest that whatever results from that bombardment is somehow “clear” is disingenuous.

The Democrats stand only to benefit from the Administration’s bloodthirsty stand on Iran, and the Republican’s candidates own support for that position.  Either way, Democrats come across as the party of peace, reason, and security.  After all, wars of choice actively make us less secure.  The American people understand this, as do the Democrats.  It is the Republican party that does not.  Regardless of whether or not Bush manages to drag us into another war, the Democrats will come out looking damn good in their opposition as the Republicans cower in spineless supplication.

CNN, Iran, Republicans and Ron Paul

For everything else about the candidate, he’s absolutely right about war. How sad that this is would even stand out.

In the recent Republican debate, candidates were asked about the President ordering strikes on Iran without authorization from congress:

The other topic that sparked fireworks was a provocative, albeit hypothetical, point of constitutional interpretation — would the U.S. president need Congress’ permission before launching an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities?

That’s bad reporting on CNN’s part. “hypothetical”? Bush has plans drawn up and the propaganda organ of the war machine in full gear.

Romney busts out of the gate with this bit of idiocy:

Responding first, Romney said as president, “you sit down with your attorneys” to determine whether such authorization is needed, but he said, “Obviously, the president of the United States has to do what’s in the best interest of the United States to protect us against a potential threat.”

He was immediately and forcefully shut down by Ron Paul:

Romney’s answer drew an incredulous retort from Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who said the president would “absolutely” need Congress’ OK before striking Iran.

“This idea of going and talking to attorneys totally baffles me. Why don’t we just open up the Constitution and read it?” Paul said. “You’re not allowed to go to war without a declaration of war.”

This didn’t stop the rest of the candidates from joining in with Romney:

However, the panel’s general consensus was that the president should be able to launch an attack without authorization if the circumstances called for immediate action, but that he or she should go to Congress if time permits.

Wow. In a time crunch? Then the constitution no longer applies. Imagine one of those clowns in office during a natural disaster, with Bush and the rubber stamp congress’s lovechild: martial law decreed by the President. Would you trust any of them with that power?

“If you have a very narrow window to hit a target, the president’s going to have to take that on his shoulders,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter of California. “He has the right to do that under the Constitution as the commander in chief.”

He is command in chief of the military, not the country. We are in charge of him. And we give authorization for war through the Congress. The President has no such right.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona agreed that a president would have to move on a threat requiring immediate action, but “if it’s a long series of buildups, where the threat becomes greater and greater, of course you want to go to Congress.”

McCain added, somewhat cryptically, “I believe that this is a possibility that is maybe closer to reality than we are discussing tonight.”

McCain is going with the “emergency zomg!” argument. But look at that last line. He’s being a creepy old man with insider political knowledge. Sometimes I love having this guy still involved in the debates. This line is only cryptic in the context of this article, the same one that suggests unauthorized strikes by the President are “hypothetical”. McCain was being uncharacteristically straight with the viewing public.

We should really be paying attention. With the exception of Ron Paul, every Republican candidate up there basically said the constitution can be disregarded in times of war with a shallow and obvious misinterpretation biased towards their own desire to conflate blood lust with strength.

Top GOP Candidates Back Bush’s Veto

Yes, Yes YES! The four top candidates are going against over 80% of the voting public on their top domestic issue. Hellooooo Democratic President in 2008!

That’s 84% (NYTimes, emphasis mine):

The poll also found overwhelming support behind the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers many low- and moderate-income children and is up for renewal in Congress this year. Eighty-four percent of those polled said they supported expanding the current program to cover all uninsured children, now estimated at more than eight million. A similar majority said they thought the lack of health insurance for many children was a ”very serious” problem for the country.

Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Mitt Romney are already on the wrong side of the voting public with their support of the Iraq war.

(image source: ABC News)

What AG Mukasey Means

Bush nominated(BBC news) retired Judge Michael Mukasey for Attorney General.  Some are suggesting this guy isn’t half bad (Mr Futomaki, dkos):

If this is true, Dems should truly breathe a sigh of relief.  While the man is no liberal, he is a true lawyer’s lawyer and a staunch upholder of justice and the rule of law.  Read about him on Wikipedia here.

Let’s take a look (wikipedia):

Mukasey also heard the trial of Jose Padilla, ruling that the U.S. citizen and alleged terrorist could be held as an enemy combatant, but was entitled to see his lawyers.

Ok.  He let Padilla see his lawyers.  He also allowed a US citizen to be held as an “enemy combatant”.

In a 2003 suit, he issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Motion Picture Association of America from enforcing its ban against the distribution of screener copies of films during awards season, ruling that the ban was likely an unlawful restraint of trade unfair to independent filmmakers.

That’s quite good!  It also looks like NY Democratic Senator Charles Schumer has been recommending this guy for a while.  Mukasey’s political support, on the other hand, is worrying:

Since retiring from the bench, Mukasey has made campaign contributions to Giuliani for president and Joe Lieberman for Senate.

And it gets worse:

In May 2004, while still a member of the judiciary, Judge Mukasey delivered a speech (which he converted into a Wall Street Journal opinion piece) that defended the Patriot Act; the piece also doubted that the FBI engaged in racial profiling of Arabs and criticized the American Library Association for condemning the Patriot Act but not taking a position on librarians imprisoned in Cuba.[11]

Between his staunch support of Giuliani (further details at WSJ Law Blog), and his defense of the Patriot Act, Mukasey might be yet another judge with interesting ideas floating beneath his public record.  I think we can get a very good measure of the man in this piece he wrote on August 22nd, 2007, over at the Wall Street Journal (emphasis mine):

It may be claimed that Padilla’s odyssey is a triumph for due process and the rule of law in wartime. Instead, when it is examined closely, this case shows why current institutions and statutes are not well suited to even the limited task of supplementing what became, after Sept. 11, 2001, principally a military effort to combat Islamic terrorism.

At the other end of the spectrum, if conventional legal rules are adapted to deal with a terrorist threat, whether by relaxed standards for conviction, searches, the admissibility of evidence or otherwise, those adaptations will infect and change the standards in ordinary cases with ordinary defendants in ordinary courts of law.

These proposals deserve careful scrutiny by the public, and particularly by the U.S. Congress. It is Congress that authorized the use of armed force after Sept. 11–and it is Congress that has the constitutional authority to establish additional inferior courts as the need may be, or even to modify the Supreme Court’s appellate jurisdiction.

Perhaps the world’s greatest deliberative body (the Senate) and the people’s house (the House of Representatives) could, while we still have the leisure, turn their considerable talents to deliberating how to fix a strained and mismatched legal system, before another cataclysm calls forth from the people demands for hastier and harsher results.

He is calling for a new set of courts to handle security matters.  Presumably with new rules, too.  His language is polite to a fault, and his reasoning is soft and precise.  Its the kind of argument that lends itself to trust and confidence on the part of the reader.  After all, Mukasey goes to the trouble of calling out the problems with the Padilla case, and suggesting that we are at risk of losing currently enjoyed legal protections.  But that call for a new set of courts is telling.  In conjunction with his support for Giuliani, I don’t think Michael Mukasey is a reasonable conservative we can all agree on.  I think he will be another enabler for an executive branch engaged in a nearly 7 year power grab, and that where others failed Mukasey will be amiable and skillful enough to succeed.

The hearings are a strategic opportunity for the Democrats, as drational (dkos) has insightfully noted.  The hearings are also an opportunity to find out more about the nominee.

Given this administration’s credibility and record, this is not an opportunity we can afford to pass up.

Ron Paul is the Best They Got

And that is not a good thing for the Republican party. The recent debate on Fox News was crazy. Freak show crazy (Tom Tomorrow):

Roy has it about right. And boy, is that Fox News crew one bunch of seasoned professionals or what? I mean, whatever you may think of Ron Paul (and I’m no fan), was it really appropriate to have someone giggling loudly off camera every time he responded to a question? (I was half-watching the debate while doing some other stuff — was it ever clear who exactly was so full of mirth?) Not to mention Chris Wallace’s instant-classic follow-up question: “”You’re basically saying that we should take our marching orders from al Qaida?” Amazing that the Democrats ever considered taking part in a debate hosted by these clowns. They almost managed to make the You Tube snowman look dignified by comparison.

Head on over. I just love Roy’s description of John McCain (emphasis mine):

McCain, God bless him, carries on a noble campaign for his own idiosyncratic version of insanity, which I admire because his is a recognizably human affliction, inculcated by years of torture followed by years of having to consort with greedy politicians who were certainly his inferiors. His quiet lunacy is very different from the noisy, slavering power-madness evidenced by the rest of these guys. He’s like King Lear standing among (but not of) a pack of Pavlov’s dogs.

The only guy who does well? Ron Paul:

And Paul, of course, stepped out of the 18th Century to defend the Constitution from these nuts. The Fox News scumbags sigh and giggle, but you can tell they’re pissed that they foolishly allowed a debate to take place in New Hampshire, where a free man will always command an audience’s respect.

The comments thread yields some gems regarding Dr. Paul:

I’m sorry, I can’t respect Ron Paul when he says dumb shit like this.

He’s respectable for his willingness to be true to his stupid ideals. Said stupid ideals are also dumb and moronic ideals. He’s not just any dumbass to me, he’s Mr. Dumbass.

Paul’s principles include voting against divesting taxpayer money from companies that support the Darfur genocide because FREEMARKETGOLDSTANDARD, or whatever

Ron Paul, as documented by Orcinus and others.

Gravatar Yeah, I have to agree, Paul is pus. For the purposes of this campaign, he’s adopted pretty much whole the concerns of the online “libertarians” (motto: the government’s right to extend its fist ends where my sensibly restricted gated community begins) who are in return keeping his campaign going through judicious freepage and the monkeywrenching of unscientific online polls.I’ll grant you that having adopted a consistent (if inhuman and stupid) philosophy makes him look practically sane next to his competition, but his legislative record is cheney-level butt ugly.

On the other hand, when the front runner DFHs him it does have the potential to peel off the dumber disaffected griefers in the general election, so go him.

Ron is a libertarian left out way to long, and now he smells like a right wing Christianist.  And he is the best the Republicans have.  Fred Thompson wouldn’t fare any better, he’s a stale replication of Bush.  Little tiny boots, if you will.

Rudy’s Mistakes in Less Than 30 Seconds

Ok, so 30 seconds may not be enough time to list all of his mistakes, but is certainly enough time to summarize them (clarification: the following quotes are mine, and not taken from the linked post):

Rudy put power and greed ahead of democratic principles and the responsibility of office.

Reason not to vote for the man?

If George W Bush is a can of Coke, Rudy Giuliani is Jolt.

Rudy expressed in a mathematical equation:

George W Bush * Caligula = Rudy Giuliani

The math angle gets more interesting when you take nicknames into account:

Little Boots * Little Boots = Rudy

That’s right. Rudy is Little Boots squared.