Sunday, January 14, 2007


Latest newspaper column:

Well, here it is, 2007, and quite a few people have thrown their hats into the ring for the 2008 presidential race. Several more are seriously considering it.

Problem is, all of them are unelectable.

At least that's what the scribblers and chatterers of the national media have to say. Mention any candidate, Democratic or Republican, and someone -- either Democratic or Republican -- has smirked "Him? (or "Her?") They'll never win. They're UNELECTABLE!" Some examples of these declarations, which your Humble Columnist reports but does not necessarily endorse:

  • John McCain: Unelectable! He still backs a troop escalation in Iraq. He's reported to still have mental issues from Vietnam (note that the people spouting this line don't claim he's actually nuts; they just say "some people think" he's nuts). He's too liberal. He's too conservative.
  • John Edwards: Unelectable! He doesn't have enough experience. He's all smile and no substance. He's too liberal. He's not liberal enough for the Democratic base. He's a trial lawyer. He's too rich. (This last one really baffles me. But I've heard several sneering references to "millionaire" John Edwards, as if George Dubbya Bush went to the White House straight from living in a cardboard box in the street."
  • Rudolph Giuliani: Unelectable! He went through an ugly divorce, and his ex will crucify him in the media. He's too liberal. He's pro-choice (meaning the Religious Right will destroy him in the primaries). He has gay friends (ditto).
  • Sam Brownback: Unelectable! He's too tied to the Religious Right. (Contrast with Rudy Giuliani above.)
  • Barack Obama: Unelectable! He's got a funny name that sounds too much like Osama. His middle name is even worse: Hussein. Everyone will think he's a Muslim (even though he's a member of the United Church of Christ). He's too liberal. He's not liberal enough. No one knows where he stands on the issues. Plus, he's, you know, b-l-a-c-k. Note, of course, that the people who bring this last one up are quick to assert that they're not racist. Oh, no. It's everybody else who'll vote against Obama because he's, you know, b-l-a-c-k.
  • Hillary Clinton: Unelectable! She's too polarizing. No one likes her. (No one seems to be able to articulate how both of these can be true. If she's "polarizing," at least someone likes her, no?) She's too liberal. She's too middle of the road. She's a Republican in Democrat's clothing. She's too ambitious (which is kind of a bizarre criticism of a candidate for Leader of the Free World. Ambition would seem to be a defining characteristic of a presidential candidate). Oh, and she's a woman. Of course, none of the people bringing this up would refuse to vote for her just because she's a woman. See "Barack Obama" above.
  • Tom Vilsack: Unelectable! He has a funny name that can too easily be turned into a childish insult. He's too liberal. He's too moderate. No one knows him outside the Midwest.
  • Al Gore: Unelectable (despite winning the popular vote in 2000)! He's too stiff. He's too wild-eyed and crazy. He's a "serial exaggerator" (even though most of his purported exaggerations, such as "I invented the Internet" have proven to be deliberate misquotations by the press). He keeps talking about global warming, which nobody believes in, outside of every scientist in the world who's not on an oil company payroll.
  • Wesley Clark: Unelectable! Not enough charisma. Michael Moore likes him, so he's obviously too liberal. He used to be a Republican, so liberals don't trust him because he's obviously too conservative. He's a war criminal (I still don't know where this comes from, but I've seen it from both the Far Right and the Far Left).
  • Joe Biden: Unelectable! He's a blowhard. He keeps putting his foot in his mouth. He's too liberal. He's too much in bed with big corporations.
  • Mitt Romney: Unelectable! He's a Mormon. People are scared of Mormons. He's too conservative. He's flip-flopped on abortion and gay marriage. He's from Massachusetts.
  • John Kerry: OK, I'll give you this one.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind, though. At first, all the wise and far-seeing pundits thought Jimmy Carter was unelectable (remember "Jimmy Who?")

The same group of self-appointed prophets declared Bill Clinton unelectable (remember "Bimbo eruptions"?) The late and now lionized Gerald R. Ford once declared Ronald Reagan "unelectable" because Reagan was too far to the right.

Heck, do a Google search on the word "unelectable" and see whose name pops up first.

But they all got elected. And sometime in 2008, one of the "unelectable" people listed above will also be elected. Think about that the next time you hear a candidate described as "unelectable."


Anonymous said...

Edwards is a wolf in sheep's clothing, plain and simple.

Stop for a minute, and consider what he's actually done, and not his talk.

While many members in congress wisely voted against the Iraq war, Edwards not only voted for it, he co-sponsored the disasterous resolution with neocon Joe Lieberman, that made it possible.

Edwards also co-sponsored and voted for the massive increase in H-1b visas, that dumped 195,000 foreign workers on the job market, destroying perhaps hundreds of thousands of American tech careers.

Edwards voted for permanent normal trade relations with China, making American workers have to compete with Chinese labor standards, which of course they can't.

Edwards voted for the DREAM act, forcing states to give in-state tuition (a subsidy) to illegal aliens, when there are poor Americans in these states who can’t afford to send their kids to college, partially because illegal immigration drove down their wages. This act, of course only encourages more illegal immigration because it extends even further the taxpayers obligations to those who break our laws to come here.

But what about civil liberties? Here again, Edwards voted to the Patriot act, perhaps the greatest risk to civil liberties, ever.

Edwards supporters don’t want Edwards to be held accountable for these facts. Yet, Edwards made himself extremely wealthy holding others (such as doctors) accountable - while doctors malpractice premiums rose so much as to make many obstetricians have left their specialty. More illegal alien taxpayer payed births, and fewer obstetricians - could that be why health care costs are skyrocketing?

One simple question - 10 years ago, if you did your job, the way Edwards performed as Senator, do you think he would he advocate that you get a big promotion?

Or do you think he would he have sued you and taken you to the cleaners?

JD Rhoades said...

Anon: So Edwards is unelectable?

And which candidate do you back? It's only fair that you reveal your own bias.

Anonymous said...

what part of what i said, isnt true?

what part of what i said, isnt relevant?

JD Rhoades said...

And why won't you answer the question? And reveal who you are? For all I know, you're some shill for some other candidate. In fact most of the folks who stage these kinds of attacks turn out to be shilling for some other candidate with just as many flaws.

See, this wasn't an "I love Edwards"post, yet you felt the need to go after Edwards while giving every other candidate a pass...why is that?

Anonymous said...

what candidate am i for? we;;, none at this point, I think they're all terrible, but I think Edwards is the one with the rality farthersst away from what he presents.

Election is almost 2 years away - are you declaring that you cant criticize a candidate, unless you believe in another one? How far out from the election does this 'rule' apply?

2 years?

3 years?


what difference does it make who I am? what bothers me, is that many people put so much into who says something, or why someone says something, and so little concern into whether or not it's true and relevant.

everything i said is true, and TOTALLY relevant!!!

his only qualification, is one term as Senator, yet we're not allowed to discuss his record - notice Edwards never does?

It's because he (in my opinion) screwed middle class people completely

TO get good people to put their hat in the ring, we've got to make room, and move the creeps out first

JD Rhoades said...

The reason I asked is because, as I said, the people bleating "unelectable" the loudest are usually the supporters of some other candidate trying to poison the well of the one they see as the strongest rival. That makes their choice of allegations suspect.

For the record, I haven't made up my mind either. Edwards' votes both for the Iraq War and the Patriot Act as originally enacted trouble me as well.

But frankly, every candidate has done some things I don't agree with. The only one who perfectly agrees with me on all the issues is, well, me. And I ain't runnin'.

But I'll tell you this, anonymouse: you don't score any rhetorical points with me by knee-jerk cheap shots against trial lawyers. That kind of crap may play with the yay-hoos, but it buys you nothing here.

JD Rhoades said...

Interesting....a quick Google to look up the topic of H-1B visas reveals that some "anonymous" poster has been spamming message board after message board with the exact same complaints about Edwards (often in the exact same words): H1-b visas, illegal aliens, MFN status for China, the Patriot Act, and the Iraq War.

Which frankly, makes me suspect a shill (or an organized group of shills) even more.

Anonymous said...

There's one good reason why Brownback, McCain, Romney, and Guliani are unelectable - they're Republicans. :-)

Anonymous said...

Glad you saw the light with John Kerry.