Saturday, December 29, 2007

We are entering the last year of the reign of George W. Bush. What’s next?

My title isn’t really 100% truthful, as Chimpy will still be in place for a few weeks in January of 2009. However, we will know who will be replacing him. I’m just beginning to wonder what comes next? Are we going to get Nero after Caligula? (For those not fully up on your Roman Empire similes, although Caligula was pretty bad, Nero was far worse.)

I, personally, think that Hillary Clinton would make a very good president. By all accounts, she has been a very good senator. Although it is by no means a given that she will get the Democratic nod, I am thinking that the odds of her being the Dem nominee are running about 3 to 1. I would really like it to be John Edwards or Chris Dodd, but I am thinking that isn’t going to happen.

There are two things that can come of Hillary being the Democratic nominee. The first is that she wins, and the next 4 or 8 years are pure hell for her, and a lot of the country, because the Republicans and all their attack dogs in politics AND the media see it as their duty to try to rip to shreds any Democrat that becomes too prominent. This happened to both Al Gore and John Kerry, they tried to do it to Nancy Pelosi with limited success. It won’t matter who is the next Democratic president. However, if it is Hillary, then I foresee all the attack dogs getting rabies and going all frothy at the mouth. Bill O’Reilly and everyone like him will all go nuts, blaming everything that has ever happened on President Clinton (her, not him, well, probably both, actually) and forget that Bush had eight years in the White House and the Republicans had a lock on both houses for I don’t know how long. All that will be forgotten. And all the Republican members of the House and Senate will do everything they can to bring the Democratic agenda to a grinding halt. They have already succeeded in doing that, of course, and they will continue with their obstructionist ways. I don’t really see a veto-proof Democratic majority. Maybe, but I still think that, between the 30% Republican base of this country and whatever dirty tricks that they can conjure up on election day will probably prevent a Democratic veto-proof majority.

The other possibility, of course, is that Hillary will turn out to be so polarizing that whatever advantage the “Republican Party” has given the Dems over the last eight years won’t matter, and the Republican nominee will be elected. Now, this possibility scares me a great deal, as there are some truly insane people over on the Republican side. The only one that I truly think might come close to doing a good job is John McCain, even though he is a long way from his “Straight Talk Express” days. These other people, well… Gulliani would be a continuation of the Bush’s administration, only amped up, like George Bush after four or five Red Bulls in the morning. In other words, a total disaster for this country. We really could end up with a fascist government after eight years of him. It’s hard to tell what might happen with Romney, as he says whatever comes into his mind that he thinks the people who will elect him want to hear. So, it’s really hard to tell what he might actually do if he becomes President. He may not even know himself, other than appoint a bunch of conservative judges. Huckabee… Same thing. I know I am very concerned about his overt religiosity. I don’t particularly want another person in the White House that thinks he is doing “God’s Will”.

I haven’t even begun to touch anything that might happen with domestic and foreign policy. I just believe that any Republican will continue on the path set by George Bush to make the United States a pariah in the eyes of the rest of the world. The current definition of Republican thinking seems to include the firm belief that the other countries of the world only exist to somehow benefit the United States. That kind of thinking will eventually get this country in deep, deep trouble. I can’t see anyone really starting a preemptive war on us, just because they are worried what we might do to them in the future. But I can see Europe banding together with Russia and other countries around the world to freeze the U.S. out. Once our economy is no longer the juggernaut that drives the world’s economy, there really won’t be a pressing reason for them to play ball with us. And this is another road the U.S. seems determined to go down.

I suppose my conclusion is that, even though I think it is imperative that a Democrat is the next president (unless somehow Chuck Hagel would run as an independent), there is no way that I think we are going to enjoy the next few years even if we do manage to get a Dem elected. It is going to take twenty to thirty years to repair all the damage that Bush and the mass conglomeration of conservative media outlets has done to this country. And the Dems may not be given that chance.

Prophesizing is a risky business. I just hope the next ten years aren’t what I am thinking they might be.

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