Friday, February 1, 2008

Early Blogging for Super Tuesday

by Norman Markowitz has endorsed Senator Obama, which is an important breakthrough for his campaign. Here in New Jersey, my sense is that Clinton will win because the traditional Democratic organizations remain powerful and the great majority of Democratic leaders and power brokers are supporting Clinton (those who are supporting Obama, representative Rothman, and the Mayor of Newark don't exactly represent the progressive wing of the party and are, in my opinion, positioning themselves to get something for themselves if Obama wins, in effect making an investment).

My view of the "great debate" was that both Obama and Clinton were trying hard not to fight each other because their constituencies realize that unity is necessary to defeat the Right Republicans, which is more important than who will be President. Although John Edwards remains on the ballot here in New Jersey, I have decided to vote for Obama as the best way that I can vote in the Democratic primary tactically to defeat the Republican Right.

No one is talking about the Republican "great debate" although I did see it and found it comical, particularly how all of them were falling over their feet to invoke the spirit of St. Ronnie Reagan. McCain who is being attacked for not being "conservative enough" (a bit like George Wallace in 1962, denouncing his opponent, Governor John Patterson, who in 1958 had won by claiming that he was a better segregationist than Wallace, for being "soft" on the integrationists and failing the segregationist cause) Wallace won of course, and the large African American minority in the state couldn't vote of course.

McCain, attacked for criticizing the Bush tax cuts (heresy), said that he was a loyal soldier in the "Reagan revolution" aka reaction who supported Reagan's glorious tax cuts, but that Bush's cuts went hand in hand with increased spending that raised the deficit. This is probably a harbinger of McCain's campaign. In reality, the deficit which was $1 trillion when Jimmy Carter left office was $4 trillion when Bush I left office, a fourfold increase. If McCain continues to talk that way, namely say ridiculous things that can be easily checked, he runs the risk of being mistaken for George W Bush.

McCain got on Romney for advocating a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq and Romney self-righteously denied all of that. Imagine, suggesting that there is a Republican candidate who will not not fight to the last Iraqi civilian and U.S. national guardsmen until Iraq has elections that are as free as Florida's.

Actually, there is a Republican candidate who does refuse to give the military industrial complex a blank check, the poor man's 19th century Republican, Dr. Ron Paul. Paul is an old fashioned conservative balance the budget no foreign entanglements Republican who appeals to libertarians, rugged individualists, and people who don't want to associate with the militarists, rightwing religionists, and general bigots who have become the lowest common denominator in the GOP, but don't want to be bothered to really understand what has happened to the country and what has to be done today.

I felt a little sorry for Ron when he mentioned that Ronald Reagan had once told him that civilizations that go off the Gold Standard were doomed to decline and launched into a soliloquy about the decline of the American dollar, as McCain smirked at him (I could see McCain saying to himself, "this dummy thinks that the Gold Standard has some meaning to the world economy today, when it hasn't been an issue for more than 70 years") and Romney ignored him. If Paul could somehow connect his anti-militarism with a little bit of Theodore Roosevelt's environmentalism and advocacy of regulating the Trusts, he might really be a progressive Republican (a group that was fairly significant a hundred years ago but today is virtually extinct, so extinct that it wouldn't help putting progressive Republicans under the Endangered Species Act, which the Bush administration has ignored anyway).

As we go to the showdown, I say, Go Giants, Go Obama, and most of all, Go and Stay Gone Bush and his party.

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