Kerry 2008?

I consider this a very strong motivator to increase pressure on Gore to run.

If the 2008 primary comes down the Hillary versus Kerry I have no idea what I’ll do.

Stick a fork in Angelides

The lamest campaign in recent California history, surpassing even such comedy reel hits as Michael Huffington and Bill Simon, is over. Angelides is down by almost 20 points in the latest PPIC poll. While it’s not as drop-dead-accurate as the Field Poll, even if this is an outlier, it’s still lights out. And here’s why:

Arnold is thirty percent up among Latinos. He is only down by 30 among Democrats, whereas he’s up by almost 80 among Republicans. Arnold has 20 points among independents as well.

It’s over.

UPDATE: I almost forgot Cruz Bustamante. (How could I do that?) He may be the lamest of all.

UPDATE 2: The scary-accurate Field Poll has the race 44-34. That’s a far cry from the 20 points we see in the PPIC poll, but it’s still bad news for Angeweedees.

Mr. Conservative

I’m sorry that blogger’s limitations will force this post above the below one, instead of side-by-side, but I wanted to offer my own take on Mr. Conservative.

First, I think you can forget about the anti-New Dealism. Goldwater was wrong on the–by far–most important issue of the day, the Cold War. The aggressive approach suggested by Goldwater was wrong in policy and politics. In policy, it might have provoked a war; in politics, folks were still in shock from the Cuban missile crisis and the Kennedy assassination. (Though Goldwater wasn’t the type to worry about whether it was the right time to say it.)

When the threat of the world exploding in 30 minutes is kicking around in the conscience of every voter, you can’t be wrong on that issue and win an election.

As for the rest, I’m a little less hostile to the man himself. I think Goldwater may have been blinded by his supposed individualism, but he was at least an interesting person. I believe that he was at least genuine in his convictions.

Less noble were the followers. You see, Goldwater was drafted. He resisted running for a long time. But the people that created to so-called Goldwater movement were not very interested in his libertarian ideas. Most of them used them as a convenient framework to advance pro-wealth and anti-desegregation ideas. The classic example is the idea of “state’s rights.” In the 60s, this was code for states’ rights to continue the practice of racial segregation.

I don’t think it meant that to Goldwater himself, and it doesn’t mean that to libertarians. To them, it means that there is some metaphysical property of states, called “sovereignty” that they preserve, even notwithstanding the federal government’s existence. This doctrine began to bear positive fruits not long after Goldwater’s time. In environmental law, the so-called New Federalism left certain aspects of environmental regualtion to the states. This, and this alone, is responsible for California’s air being cleaner than it was in the 1970s. If all clean air regulation was centralized, the powerful lobbies against it would never have allowed for strict enough regulation to account for the climate patterns in California enough to make the air clean. In numerous ways, devolved power to the states makes for better policy. As diar and urgent, for example, as gun control is in urban centers, it is not a priority issue in places like Montana. Preserving that distinction in public policy is directly attributable to the non-cynical application of the idea of states’ rights that flourished thanks to Goldwater’s moevement.

Likewise, true libertarians, like Goldwater appeared to be in Mr. Conservative, would never oppose gay marriange or abortion rights. (Though I found it convenient that Goldwater was suddenly pro-gays-in-the-military after he found out about his grandson, but many people had this similar awakening.)

The Republican party, however, has no use for libertarians other than the aspirational rhetoric that speaks to the patriotic soul ith its Apple-pie, motherhood, and baseballesque aroma of Americana. That rhetoric provides convenient vehicles to cut taxes–but only on the rich–and to tie the hands of the federal government, fully aware of the consequences, such as segregation, criminalization of abortion, and so on.

Goldwater is culpable to the extent that he knew or should have known that what he said was going to have that effect. He was also completely detached from reality on nuclear weapons policy.

But I always wonder if he would have felt the need to accept the crap the men around Johnson were telling him about Vietnam.

Fuck Barry Goldwater

I have never seen greater manipulative self-serving tripe than “Mr. Conservative”. Grandkiddy Goldwater talks to prominent liberals to provide a more “interesting” look at Granddaddy Goldwater. This is done in the purple context of a progeny trying to learn more about a famous branch on her family tree. Only a true A-Hole would talk negatively about someone to that person’s granddaughter. Still, it is telling that Barry’s biggest barker in “Mr. Conservative” is the pseudo-intellectual George Will, the paragon of Tightie-Whitey Conservatism that is uncomfy with what FDR and Civil Rights wrought.

Goldwater made it from history’s trash can to its recycling bin because Ronald Reagan took on his faux-individualistic ideology with success and he became “liberal” by rejecting the Christian theofascism prevalent in today’s Republican Party. Reagan’s actualization of elements of Goldwater’s conservatism had disastrous effects for the poor and Goldwater’s liberalism-via-libertarianism only proves how low the statesman bar is set for Republicans. The pathetic Bush Patsy John McCain is a “Maverick” for not being willfully ignorant of Global Warming and for being against torture. Wow, what principle! Even for its rejection of the Christian Right, Goldwater conservatism still contained the seed of the divisive hate-based politics that Rove and company have slickened up today and that LBJ so ably denounced in his 1964 campaign.

The problem with romantic cowboy conservatism is that it is a myth. Yes, rugged individualist type settlers did work the West. But the pattern westward was one of small groups of whites living mostly peaceably with the native Indians. Then more mostly whites came and began to encroach on Indian lands. The Indians rightfully grew hostile and then the federal army came and that was that. It was the federal government that built the highways and dammed the rivers that allowed the west to blossom. This isn’t romantic or even necessarily interesting, but for better and worse it is true.

We have grown so accustomed to the society forged by FDR, Truman, Ike, JFK, and LBJ that it is impossible to imagine America without it. Goldwater conservatism rejected this America. Beyond its false and petulant pretext Goldwater conservatism is heartless. True, Barry did say that he regretted voting against the 1964 Civil Rights Act, but he only learned that he was on the wrong side of history after history passed him by through the efforts of truly great people like Rosa Parks, Hubert H. Humphrey, Martin Luther King and countless others.

Let us not forget that a Goldwater America would be an America that never “stepped forthrightly into the sunshine of human rights.” It would be an America where millions of elderly are destitute. Where there is no electric infrastructure to deliver kilowatts to sparsely populated rural areas. There may be nothing stopping individual states from enacting Civil Rights laws or allowing gays in the military, but there would also be no national force willing to take on the KKK or other domestic terrorist groups. There would be lynching. Unopposed, hate groups would work to divide America by color, ethnicity and religion. America would be hindered by not being able to tap the talents of all its citizens. Such a nation, in my opinion, would have lacked the moral authority necessary to lead the west in the Cold War. But at least we would use nuclear weapons with impunity.

Fuck Barry Goldwater.

Wither the Ass Kicking Dems of LBJ

The most interesting character in the inter-generational Goldwater masturbation “Mr. Conservative” that is pulsing through HBO currently is none other than Lyndon Baines Johnson. Although the film tries to make ol’ Plain Spoken Barry appear sympathetic as the LBJ campaign machine twists his blunt words, it is impossible not to see the reality of the pugnacious and idealistic LBJ lunging accurately for Goldwater’s exposed jugular.

In one commercial the LBJ Team takes Goldwater’s assertion that America would be better off if the eastern seaboard were sawed off of it literally. The commercial repeats Glodywater’s assertion and shows a wooden map of America floating in a pool. The eastern seaboard is sawed off and floats away. The commercial asks: how can a man who makes these assertions lead the whole country?

In another spot Goldwater voicing his rationale for voting against the 1964 Civil Rights Act is played over footage of a Klan rally. The commercial once again asks how a man who supports racist policies can lead the whole country.

Then there is the notorious girl-with-daisy-nuke commercial. Here LBJ’s attack is more instinctual. “Mr. Conservative” displays footage of ol’ Tell-It-Like-It-Is Barry holding forth on how America needs to get used to the idea of mixing nuclear weapons that can destroy entire cities into its regular military arsenal. The detachment of his delivery is off-putting, but the glint of glee in his eyes as he talks about nuclear holocaust is truly creepy. LBJ’s slogan on Goldwater was “In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts.” This assertion and the daisy commercial would not have worked if Goldwater’s own words, behavior and vibe were not so weird and discomforting.

LBJ’s idealism is heart breaking to behold today. His speechifying for a Great Society where every child is educated, the elderly are cared for and racism and division are eradicated is a profound contrast to Goldwater’s crabby faux individualism. His negative ads were not Rovian fnords, but harsh honest broadsides against the words and actions of his opponent that encouraged dividing Americans by region and color.

Today’s Dems lack the pugnacious idealism of LBJ. That is why they lose. If LBJ, or his team, were running against Generalissimo Bush in 2004 they would have had thirty-second commercials of Bush sitting in a classroom reading My Pet Goat. A clock marked “time elapsed since Bush learned that America is under attack by terrorists” would have ticked upwards and all of America would have been treated to the agonizing seconds of Bush just siting there like a stunned bird that just flew into a glass window. The words “President Bush?” would have appeared on the screen as the commercial ended.

If LBJ’s team were directing the 2006 mid-term election, across the country Barbara Bush’s bourgeois dismissal of the Katrina refugees as being fortunate to leave their New Orleans squalor for “homes” elsewhere would be played over footage of the evacuees’ struggle.

The Dems don’t need a Great Society policy suite. They need to be profoundly in favor of national unity and to have the guts to unmask the clever divisiveness and “racism lite” of the Conservatrons. LBJ did.

Democrats: Turning a big win into a small one

I feel like someone has given me some evil melange of acid and nitrous every time I read the political pages these days. I see ludicrous stories actually discussing whether it might be better for the party if the Democrats lose this election. In other words, through some clever machinations, it might actually increase chances for the White House in 2008.

I see tie-die, pulsating characters leaving trails in my eyes attempting to claim that Democrats should run on the economy, and not the disaster that is Bush, that approximately 60% of Americans see as a disaster.

It’s as if the Democrats were some poor African woman battling AIDS. The Democrats own immune system is busy killing the host body, diminishing its ability to fight off predators and provide leadership within the clan. Except instead of AIDS, the virus is some kind of self-doubt inflicting DLCism.

I’ve been to enough truck stops (I used to work in one), Waffle Houses, barbeques, and business lunches to know where this DLC virus comes from. Democrats look out across America and see hostile voters. They think that if they can cloak their Volvo-driving liberalism, they can get these dupes to vote for them. That’s entirely the wrong approach. You have to ask yourself how and why these people stopped liking the party of FDR. (Besides racism.)

Part of the reason is the self-doubt, the over-strategizing, and the cloaking of principals. Now, when people are exhausted with the late phase of the Conservative revolution, people are ready to look at an alternative. NOW is the time to wear your heart on your sleeve and proudly trumpet this alternative–not suggest you’re a cuddlier version of the same shit.

I think my election predictions were done too microeconomically. I think that, race by race, those predictions look right, but macroeconoically, the Democrats just can’t carry through a big win like that. Too many pussies on top.

So maybe, in the end, yet another defeat will help to purge the idiotfucks that have gotten us here and will lead to a better 2008, but I doubt it. Winning is winning.

NHL: More-o Longer Contracts

Dallas signs Morrow for 6 years, for $24.6M, for a reasonable $4.1M cap charge each year. Morrow doesn’t earn that salary by scoring, though he is a competent scorer. He earns it with grit and solid play in both ends, with a career total +98.

This is exactly the type of player that should be signed to long-term deals, like I mentioned before. Character changes way less often than point production does.

Say whatever you want, but I just can’t agree with signing any player to more than about 5 years when they’re young. Signing older players past their prime to long term deals may just be the cost of doing business, and you at least have some record to work with. Ovechkin and DiPietro aren’t the counterexamples to Yashin.

If I had to think of anyone, it would be a guy like Sergei Brylin. Giving a utility player like him a 10 year deal for, say, $20M in 1998 would have made sense.