Please, Chuck Hagel, hammer ’em. To those who are convinced I am a registered Democrat-something I have never been and will never be-it may come as a surprise to find that I currently would not completely rule out the possibility of voting for Chuck Hagel over Hillary Clinton. At one time I was a staunch fan of Hillary Clinton; her move toward the center since George W. Bush was appointed President has sickened me to the point where I simply hope with all my might that I am not forced to vote for her. If Senator Chuck Hagel were to win the GOP nomination and wind up in a race against Hillary Clinton, I would cast my vote for Hagel. At least Chuck Hagel has the honestly to register with the Republican Party instead of merely acting like a Republican.
Unfortunately, it appears that scenario is as likely as George W. Bush having an original idea. This election season is proving to be one for the record books. For the first time since Jerry Ford ran against Jimmy Carter there is no Republican candidate around whom the Religious Right can gather and prayr. Rudy Giuliani is a thrice married New Yorker, John McCain is still not trusted by them despite bending over to take his medicine at every opportunity and Mit Romney is a Mormon. It doesn’t take Nostradamus to predict that the Republicans are facing an uphill battle in 2008. Despite what you may hear from the spin doctors, the fact is that there are likely to be millions of solid Republican voters sitting at home on election day 2008. While it is true that they would prefer any Republican to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, it is also true that the true believers aren’t really motivated by the “anyone but” argument. Democrats were so desperate to have anyone but Bush in the White House that they even fooled themselves into thinking John Kerry was up for the job. He wasn’t, of course; even worse, he wasn’t up for the job of playing dirty pool against Karl Rove. The Religious Right are different from the Left in that they only get excited about someone to vote for; they don’t go to the polls en masse merely to cast a vote against someone. If you need proof, just take a look at the 1996 election. The Religious Right has never been more likely to vote against someone than in 1996 when that someone to vote against was Bill Clinton, and look what happened. Clinton won in cakewalk.
The GOP is bound to lose in 2008 as long as the Democrats don’t shoot themselves in the foot. Of course, the likelihood of the Dems doing just that is always at even odds. What makes 2008 such an unpleasant destination for the GOP is that this time around they don’t even have a Bob Dole. Now Bob Dole was hardly George W. Bush when it came to pandering to the basest instincts of the Religious Right. That’s because when it came down to it, Bob Dole was a man of decency. Lord know, I’m not a big fan of Bob Dole, but in comparison to the pure political animal that George W. Bush is, Bob Dole rises to the level of statesman. So here’s the situation: The GOP has no one who can be counted upon to win the hearts of the Religious Right. The GOP will try their best to make the election a referendum on Hillary Clinton, but she’s no John Kerry; this election will be about Bush and Iraq. So, lacking a candidate to rally around or a candidate to rally against, what possible chance does the GOP have when they have proven they cannot win the White House without a full scale turnout of their Religious Right base?
None. There is only one way the GOP can even hope to have a shot at retaining the White House following the historical levels of incompetence and criminality of the eight years previous. It most certainly won’t be won by putting John McCain up there as their candidate. John McCain has been in a lipstick-smearing embrace with Pres. Bush on Iraq the whole nine yards. A vote for McCain is like giving George Bush a third term and there simply aren’t enough idiots left in America for that to happen. Rudy Giuliani not only has his womanizing history, but the unpleasant fact that, um, he has no record. He was Mayor of a city that most people in America don’t trust. His greatest claim to fame is how he behaved following 9/11 and his most meaningful act then was to urge New Yorkers to go out shopping to prove we hadn’t been beaten. As for Mit Romney, well, he’s a Mormon. I personally have nothing against that, but if you think the tens of millions of evangelical Christians who take every word of the Bible literally are going to vote for a guy who believes in a book that says Jesus Christ walked around the Great Salt Lake then you are living in a dream world.
On the other hand, what would happen if the GOP nominated a man who cared more about American than his own party? What if the GOP nominated Chuck Hagel who said “I took an oath of office to the Constitution. I didn’t take an oath of office to my party or my President.” (He might well remind the other members of his party in Congress of that fact.) What if the GOP nominated a man who publicly called into question the actions of Karl Rove and the words of Dick Cheney? Sure, the GOP might lose those Religious Right voters. But they just might gain more than they lose by picking up votes of left-wing wooly-heads like myself.