Thursday, January 03, 2008

Comes Now the Deluge

LA Times carried a story on Tuesday that described what follows the initial round of voting in the Iowa Democratic caucuses. Candidates not garnering 15 percent of more of the vote are not viable, their supporters free to do as they please. Naturally, the front runners are looking at scavenging those votes. All very natural, and not surprising to anyone familiar with caucus procedures. The whole idea is a group coming together to reach a consensus.

Washington parties caucus on February 9. My precinct caucus site is literally right down the block. I’ll go as a Kucinich supporter and a vote in favor of a resolution demanding that Congress impeach and remove CheneyBush from both offices. The impeachment resolution is my opportunity to call this rouge administration to account. Supportingr Kuncinich at the caucus probably won’t make any difference since Washington also has a presidential primary on February 19. However it works, the caucus and primary election will make for some interesting times. Washington sent Kucinich delegates to the 2004 Democratic convention so he’s likely to have some support here. The campaign also gives me the opportunity to meet more people, always a plus when you’re new in town.

But a time will come that Dennis Kucinich will no longer be “viable” in any place other than wishful fantasy. Then, I must choose what I will do as a citizen in this election year. One choice is to opt out of the entire affair and become a Happy Idiot, centered on the god of consumption and my own little world. Not a likely choice for a number of reasons, most of them admirable. That leaves me with choosing among the remaining candidates. My second choice, Bill Richardson, is only slightly more viable than Kucinich, although Richardson is sometimes said to be a good shot at vice-president.

Clinton, Edwards and Obama are pretty much a wash in my mind. All have strengths and weaknesses, possibilities and limits. None really offer much real change despite their lofty rhetoric. Edwards may have the best “message” in his recognition of the Two Americas but I don’t see that he would be any better or worse than Obama or Clinton in offering real solutions rather than token efforts at the margins. I’m definitely conflicted about Clinton. She’s every bit as qualilfied as any candidate running for president, she’s tough as nails and could easily be a formidable leader like Golda Mier, Indira Ghandi or Margaret Thatcher. Obama seems the weakest of the to me–four years in the Senate and community organizing doesn’t look like strong experience. He’s more of a motivational speaker and inspiration than than a man with the experience and judgement to lead the United States. But then, Edwards only has six years in the Senate, so he’s pretty light on experience too. Clinton’s time in elected office is also limited but she’s had 16 years national experience and before that was involved with public affairs.

Strengths and weaknesses. Possibilities and limits. But each Democrat is far and away better than any likely Republican presidential candidate. A three way tie in Iowa that left the whole affair in doubt would be fine with me. Same for the Republican side, although a big showing by Ron Paul would be fun to see. More chaos and uncertainty might just change something.

And something's going on in New Hampshire, too, I hear.

Regardless of what happens today, I’ll go a-caucusing in February.


Michael Moore has some thoughts on the candidates.



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