Tuesday, November 12, 2002

ZZZzzzz... Hmffflgghh... Whaaa... YES! I'M AWAKE! NOW, WHERE WAS I? OH, RIGHT!
Why did Marshall Wittmann -- better known amongst Blogospherians as "The Bull Moose" -- close down his online Project for Conservative Reform last month? Finally it can be told!

Writing for the National Review Online, Stanlety Kurtz reports that Marshall has signed on as John McCain's Director of Communications -- after having first changed his registration from Republican to Independent.

What does this mean for those who can't get enough of second-guessing John McCain's next step? Kurtz speculates that Senators McCain and Lincoln Chafee are planning to bolt the Republican party in January, immediately tipping Senate control back to the Democrats again. Whether this is a good idea depends on how badly you want to see Fritz Hollings (D-Disney) cripple your computer and home entertainment systems with the Consumer Broadband and Digital Television Promotion Act, increasing the likelihood that this monstrosity will eventually enter the canon of American law, forcing you to buy duplicate Harry Potter DVD's for each device you want to watch it on.

More interestingly -- despite his many past protestations to the contrary -- this sets the stage for McCain to make one more run for President, this time as the last, best hope for the Dems to recapture the White House in 2004.

Prior to the election, there was speculation (much of it by the Moose himself) about a McCain run for president, either as an Independent or as a Democrat. At the time, McCain's office dampened the speculation of a presidential run by downplaying rumors of Wittmann's imminent appointment as communications director. But Wittmann is on board now, and it seems very likely that McCain is on the verge of announcing his presidential candidacy.

From McCain's point of view, the Democratic nomination must look mighty tantalizing right now. With antiwar liberal Nancy Pelosi as its newest high-profile spokesman, the party is digging itself ever more deeply into its rut. Even more mainstream Democratic presidential hopefuls will find it difficult to distance themselves from their party's leftist and anti-war base during the primaries. If McCain sails into the fray with his tough-minded foreign policy, war-hero credentials, and moderate-liberal domestic platform, it could electrify the public and bring moderate primary voters to the polls in droves. The other Democrats would split the leftist base, handing McCain the nomination.

At this point, I'd have to agree. As things stand now, McCain is just about the only Democrat that I could stomach voting for in two years. Last Sunday, I watched Sen. John Kerry on the Brinkley Stephanopolous show essentially forfeit his position as a major contender, as he insisted that his party had lost so many midterm elections because they had failed to adequately communicate that only the Dems stood against the Repubs to protect ANWR from oil drilling -- and that only the Dems were prepared to stand up to the chemical industry special interests, and force them to pay for their own toxic waste cleanups.

Oh, come on, Senator Kerry. Stop by the 21st Century once in awhile. It's a nice place to visit, even if you wouldn't want to live here.

For starters, the facts of the oil industry's ANWR drilling proposals are far too complex for any thoughtful person to wholly, reflexively dismiss them out of hand in a five-second sound bite. To simply declare that it's an Altogether Bad Idea -- without even the slightest acknowledgment, in passing, of the issue's complexities -- suggests that one has simply never given the matter any serious thought.

But if you truly believe that among the greatest contemporary threats to America is a chemical industry gone amok, then you've already lost my vote. Love Canal was a scandal and a tragedy, and Hooker Chemical Company was itself a swamp of corruption and criminal negligence. But if you're going to trot out these 20- and 30-year-old straw men as worthy targets in 2004, then you are too far gone to be taken seriously.

John McCain, on the other hand, need ony switch parties to have a serious shot at Democratic nomination. He will not also have to make the wrenching transition from another century.

But does McCain have a serious shot at defeating the impossibly popular Bush -- who will by then almost surely be seen as the great military leader who freed the Iraqi people from the grip of a dangerous psychopath and began the difficult task of bringing modernity and democracy to the Middle East? More to come...


Post a Comment

<< Home