Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Republican Party’s litmus tests for presidential candidates.

Boy, it is looking like it is going to be very unlikely we will get someone from the Republican party who isn’t under the thumbnail of several special interest groups, namely the Fundamentalists and the NRA. Mitt Romney has been off trying to make himself look like a hard core Southern Baptist, which is a good trick for a Mormon. Same for John McCain, who I amazingly used to like, back in his “straight talk express” days, but is now trying to suck up to Jerry Fawell, Pat Robertson and that bunch. You have to apparently believe in 100% of everything the far right “Christianists” do, or they aren’t going to support you for president. The Big Business interests are a bit more pragmatic, I think, such that they will support anyone they see as following on with the special tax breaks and lax oversight provided by most of the Republican party. But the Fundies? No, I don’t think so. I mean, they even declared Fred Thompson not “Christian enough” the other day for their support.

That is why I think Giuliani really stepped in it this last week by declaring his support of a woman’s freedom to choose regarding abortion. That was actually a very good statement he made, where he said that people with differing viewpoints on this very emotional issue were all moral, and that we had to honor everyone’s position, especially those who are making the choice for themselves. I thought that a very straight up, honest and fine answer. I also think the Christianists will eat him alive for it.

This is an amazing thing where all the candidates for president from one of the two major parties has to pretend he or she holds every single viewpoint that the special interests holds, or else they have no realistic shot at getting that party’s nomination. Incomprehensible. I have always found it surprising that the Republicans are made up of so many different groups, such as Big Business, Fundamentalist Christians, anti-government types of all persuasions, etc. etc., and yet they are able to march, en masse, to a single drummer. If things continue as they are going now, however, I could see where the rest of the Republicans could just say, “screw this” and defect to the Democratic party (which is already underway in Kansas and other western states, which have elected the “blue dog Democrats”), or else form a third party. If someone like Chuck Hagel from the Republicans, who I like and think a lot of, even though I don’t agree with his actual stance on many governmental issues, and some truly moderate from the Democratic party could get together and make a third party run in the 2008 elections, I think this is the best chance this country has had since the Bull Moose party to have a viable third political party.

As it stands now, however, I am going to be very depressed when I see the Republican party’s platform for their convention. If they take us back any further into the past, we might start having the “free silver/gold standard” debate all over again.

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