Monday, February 28, 2005

The Ongoing Cedar Revolt

Freedom continues its drive throughout the Middle East... (h/t, LGF, CNN)

  • BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- The Lebanese government abruptly resigned Monday during a stormy parliamentary debate, prompting a tremendous roar from tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in Beirut's Martyrs Square.

How far have we come? Afghanistan's regime - toppled, new elections held; Iraq's regime - toppled, new elections held; Libya's WMD's - deconstructed (or so we are told); "Palestine" - free elections, a possible road to peace (well, that, and if Palestine wages war against Israel once it becomes its own country, then bombing it into nothingness would not be frowned upon as much) and so forth; Egypt - preparing to quasi-democratize itself; and now this.

Chalk up another point for Dubya. It's like the domino-effect in reverse.

(from [Cedar] grows quickly—typically to full maturity in 15 to 20 years. The diameter of the tree is usually small (usually 14” to 16”), and there are many branches.

Well, Lebanon may not be the big catch a democratic Syria or Saudi Arabia would be, but it's another good move. I certainly hope many "branches" come out of this, just like they have out of every other move we've made in the Middle East.

I think the Lebanese may have missed the 15-20 year part. For that we're thankful.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Which Way To Go?

Hugh Hewitt asks: "Should the GOP leadership in the Senate push to a confrontation with the Democrats over the filibustering of judicial nominees, and if the Dems filibuster even one judicial nominee, should the GOP move to the "nuclear option" of a rule change, even if Harry Reid threatens a Senate shutdown?"

Now, I'm well aware I'm rather new to this blogging-scene, but I decided that since I have about as much journalistic credibility (i.e. none) as some journalists working for MSM, that I could have a legitimate say as well.

The nuclear option is a bad idea. Why? Because it's going to stay in effect for a LONG time. Long enough so that it will still be in power when the Republicans lose power back to the Dems (or the Libertarians, if one is to believe that the Dems are on their last legs). When the Democrats regain control and have the "Nuclear Option" rule change in effect, things won't be so pretty. What if they use it to replace Rehnquist with someone the Dems filibustered, and he's the only one who dies? If Hillary (stop with the "she-who-must-not-be-named childish rhetoric, republican-bloggers) wins in '08, (and even in '12), and the Democrats regain control in Senate (a 55-45 margin is easy enough to overcome in 5 election cycles), what then? Three more judges could die, and the Democrats would get to pick them, thanks to the nuclear option. That's REALLY not good. The "Establishment Clause" of the first amendment really would become the "Separation of Church and State"

Okay, so I'm a pessimist.

However, Hewitt is right in stating that the far-left reaches of the Senate have imposed a true Religious [litmus] Test on all further judicial nominees. If the Republicans won't use this to their advantage, they'll suffer the same fate that they did in 1992: A chance to end the Democratic Party once and for all and blow it by losing to a Clinton. The Republicans, while not using the nuclear option, must make sure the public knows of the far-reaching obstructionism that the Democrats are using. The "Shut-down" of the senate proposed by Harry Reid shows the Democrats for exactly what they are. They sound like children. (And I'm just coming from childhood myself). Whiny children who insist on getting what they want or else no one is able to do anything. The American Public once and for all needs to see what these people are up to. The Judicial Nomination process should be nigh-transparent.

I probably missed the point entirely, but I felt it was worth it. To sum up: Don't go the nuclear route, as it could bite you in the rear at a date 10 or 15 years down the line. On the other hand, do make sure the public sees all the Democratic filibustering, to show the American people how much the Democratic party really does act.

This has been too much baba gannouj for me to handle. Enjoy yourselves.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

First Look At The '08 Election

First off, I'd like to thank IMAO for including my answers to their quiz. It made me feel better.

Alright. Today, I'm going to take a quick look at the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election. Around the blogosphere, it seems that the front-running candidates would be Condi Rice and Hillary Clinton.

Now, it's been said by many (and you know who you are), that the Democratic Party is on its deathbed and must win in 2008 or face extinction. I can't say that I agree that this is the case. The GOP had their best chance, in my opinion, to knock out the Democrats in 1992, and failed. Just imagine if George HW Bush had won a second term in 1992. No Bill Clinton presidency, for one thing. No Lewinsky scandal. No evil KKKen Starr. Not even Al Gore. Probably the most important thing - no real notice of Hillary Clinton. Who would the Dems have run in 1996? Clinton again? Ted Kennedy? I think it's a safe bet to say that if the Dems had lost in '92, they would have lost in '96 as well.

Now, losses in '92 and '96 instead of 2000 and '04 would have put the Dems at the hand of a nasty statistic - only one election victory in the span of 28 years. That looks a lot harsher than say, the no electoral victories they've had in only eight. I would think that Republicans would have to win in 2008 AND 2012 before we could seriously give the talk about the Democratic Party at Death's Door serious consideration, though I admit a defeat of Hillary Clinton would probably send most left-leaning bloggers into convulsions.

However, it seems to me that Hillary is going to win in 2008. She won't reach 51.5% of the vote like W, (we may never see a challenger from the Democratic Party reach that mark again) and she may not even reach 50% (which hasn't been done by a Dem in how long? 30 years?), but she will win.

Why? Because the republican party is not unified enough. Not to say that the Democratic party is unified at all, but they're more likely than Republicans to vote for the person because of the letter next to their name than Republicans are. (To put it in a better way, Democrats are more likely to vote for the guy who DOESN'T have the R next to his name), whereas Republicans have an easier time casting votes for third party candidates (see 1992).

Who to run though? The obvious choices would in fact be Condi and Arnold. Not because of their credentials, though they both have very good things going for them (much more so Condi, however). The sticking point is, as in real estate, location, location, location. No one who has ever become president has lost their home state (see Al Gore, 2000), and a win in California by either of these two would basically end the election as is. The electoral vote count this year was 286-252. Assuming a switch by Ohio, New Mexico, and Florida to Democrats, and California to Republicans, the Republicans would still win 289 to 249, an even bigger margin. That is not good news for the Democrats.

What's stopping them? Well, for Arnold, his past is way too big to ignore, and he's still an immigrant, which means as of this writing, he can't run. Condi has the problem of never holding elected office. This may not SEEM like a problem, but I would like to see how she handles something like the VP first. Another problem is that she's unmarried. People don't seem to find that a good quality in an elected official. While she could be able to garner some of the female vote and some of the black vote, I don't think it would be enough to put her over the top.

Well, it would be in a two-horse race. If it was just Condi against Hillary, I could see another close one, but that won't be the case. The Conservatives in the Republican Party and the Libertarians in the Republican Party (like my own congressman Rob Simmons, republican in name only, though I do like him) will not be able to stick together for the next four years. They will run a 3rd candidate (not Simmons, of course) who will most definitely siphon off enough votes from the Republicans to tip the election in favor of Hillary.

Subjectively, I can't say that's a good thing.

Okay... maybe that wasn't a "Quick" look, but it's a look nonetheless. What can I say? Other than "Enjoy the Baba Gannouj" of course.