Elections Have Become “Who Do You Love?” (was: Can You Say “President Huckabee?”)

Yes, I know. The guy just took the lead in polls in Iowa. And we don’t know whether he’ll even be able to hold onto that lead.

However, I get the feeling he’ll be the next president of the United States.

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Here’s something I’ve noticed about the presidential elections since 1976: We don’t so much elect presidents as we adore them into office. Outside of maybe Bush I (who lived in the shadow of Reagan), every President elected was loved by a sizeable group of people who voted for them, usually a larger group than dared love the other major party candidate:

  • Reagan vs Carter: Carter lived through some rough times, and wasn’t really up to them. Since the Fundamentalist Christians (watch this group) decided to pray for Reagan, it seemed natural that he would get elected.
  • Reagan vs Mondale: More a coronation than an election, especially since Mondale spent so much of his time fishing instead of campaigning. Reagan still had the love of the Christian Right (despite his nonappearance in church), so he won.
  • (Bush I) vs Dukakis: Dukakis lost this more than Bush won. Bush Sr. still had the Reagan love behind him at this point.
  • Clinton vs Bush I: Clinton played the Saxophone (Arguably Arsenio Hall‘s biggest moment). Clinton all but admitted to doing Jennifer Flowers biblically. Women all over the nation envied Jennifer Flowers, elected Clinton.
  • Clinton vs Dole: This was before we found out Clinton had no sense of control. Needless to say, Clinton was still loved.
  • Bush II vs Gore: One could argue that Gore chose to lose the election rather than admit he needed black help (had no trouble with them losing their right to vote…), but Bush II played the Fundamentalist Christians well enough to make them love him.
  • Bush II vs Kerry: Kerry was drafted to be the Democratic candidate, hence there was no defense of the slander against his record (and whatever people say, he DID go to Vietnam; Bush II went out of his way to avoid that war). Bush was loved well enough that Diebold wasn’t needed (outside of Ohio).

So what about 2008? Well, on the Democratic side there’s Clinton and Obama. Obama seems to have the support of the believers, but I’m not sure the love will transfer out of the black community (although I am watching). Clinton still has the air of the heir apparent (complete with the arrogance to match, never mind enough people of action would move out of the country should she be elected); nobody else seems to be worth even a mention.

On the Republican side, they’ve already gone through three different candidates without anything sticking to them. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani had the press fall in and out of love with them, and Mitt Romney seems to have trouble with his being a part of a deviant Christian “cult” (that happens to run a a few states out west, and no I don’t mean Scientology).

So now we have Mr. Huckabee. The guy who has with him all the “Christian” tags without the deviations or scars of lost battles. He can even claim that he did things with those without faith would never have done. Never mind the fact that Mr. Huckabee has a lot of ugly within him which the people of Arkansas know (and know how to remember full well, what with Mrs. Clinton hailing from NEW YORK).

My prediction is that the Religious Right will fall in love with Huckabee. The National Press, desperate for a Republican to elect, will swallow Huckabee whole, then work hard to elect him (this will include force-feeding him enough economic conservativism to insure that the tax rate for people under 100,000 rises precipitously to pay for new tax cuts to the rich). New, “hacker-proof” election machines will come, pre-set with programs to insure Huckabee gets elected in the south and west, insuring that the northwest, northeast and then non-dixified sections of the Midwest get punished for their existence.

And we will get involved in Iran.

You heard it here first (outside of the Iran angle, which I pilfered from Mad Magazine).

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Would You Believe They Found These In Wal-Mart?

Note: This has already been withdrawn by Wal-Mart, even before I found out about it.

I have a theory about this:

Now, do you honestly want your Daughter to wear these?

Basically, Wal-Mart’s bottom line is suffering. It seems people are no longer buying stuff at the end of the month.

So what’s there to do? Train your future customers.

Here’s the thing: you get a lot of teenage and early-adult girls wearing these and while they’re wearing them they’re thinking about ways of getting stuff. Suddenly they get an idea from the wording and put themselves out for “compensated dating” (a Japanese term for “Give me some clothes, I’ll give you some release).

Suddenly Wal-Mart is filled with overgrown Lolitas with their Hubert Humphreys in tow, overloading the miss teen aisles and stripping the clothes racks bare every Friday and Saturday night. The corporation’s bottom line bloats, new stores are built, and forty year old men who would have resigned themselves to infrequent bouts with Miss Michigan’s Evil Sister get to have sex with the daughter of the woman who put them in their place back in high school. Maybe the Wal-Mart doctor gets some extra business when he starts dealing with these new customers, from exams to under-the-table contraception to pregnancy options (will he be pro-life, or will Wal-Mart institute a “Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell” system between them and their patients/customers?).

Either way, something’s going on here and I’m sure Wal-Mart knows full well what it’s doing.

(or at least knew what they were doing. Fox News actually shamed them into taking the panties off the market. Evidently even THEY have things that shame them.

Waiting For Chicagoland’s Transit Crisis to Work Itself Out

For the past few months I’ve been watching the CTA, Pace and Metra sweat out multiple funding crisises, only to have the final solution pushed back.

The only problem: What IS the final solution?

It could be proper funding (i.e. an actual sales tax, of about 1%, spread around the six county area), a jury-rigged answer (more casinos, including one on what used to be Meigs Field) or nothing (let the stuff stand by and fall apart).

I’m sitting in Northwest Indiana, watching the circus from “a safe distance.” That safe distance being a state which lobbies for its leading industries to be allowed to do more polluting (and which is opposed by a state next door that is about to force its mass transit to fall apart but is overly eager and willing to deny a county across the state line from it its industries and sources of income) and has apologized for standing on “the wrong side of the Civil War.” They once had a good, unified interurban system but have since embraced the automobile and the eighty-year planning window for road improvements.

I came from a place with good mass transit (and the will to improve it); and while Northwest Indiana has crappy, disjointed Transit (most counties with this many people would unite their services into one county-wide service), there has been enough service to and from Illinois to justify it as a half-way livable place. Remove the money from Illinois Transit (as their Neocon Governor wishes to do) and you get an unlivable urban area with too little roadway and too much demand.

And all this at a time when we need to DEVELOP mass transit.

If the CTA, Metra and Pace lose their funding, I’m going to have to turn away from any and all wishes I have had to move there. I’ve had to put a hold on my ambitions (my financial footing is actually the best it’s ever been), but this may force me to just give up on it.