Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Post-Partisan Presidential Politics?

AS OF NOW we here at WardensWorld -- the monumentally influential Internet Weblog -- are offically endorsing John Edwards for President in 2008 (that's in the unlikely event that there is an election and that the Bush$Cheney Crime Family actually plans on vacating the premises at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue). We see a ticket headed by the North Carolina populist, he of the Two America's stump speech and a renewed war on poverty, with Illinois Senator Barack Obama as VP, being pretty dang near unbeatable (in the unlikely event that they actually count all the votes this time).

But we have always had a soft spot here for Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel -- he of the long-held, laser-like and well-honed antipathy toward the totally corrupt, subliterate, draft-dodging, war-mongerer presently occupying the White House and his disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq. And it is clear that we're far from the only ones with Hagel For Prez fever. However, we remember reading that Hagel had all but abandoned those plans some time ago, mostly on the basis of lukewarm national support and lack of sufficient fundage to launch a successful campaign.

Now comes word from none other than the Dean of Inside the Beltway Punditry and Bush Toady No. 1, formally known as David S. Broder, that perhaps it's not too late for a Hagel run. And just who would complete this admittedly longshot ticket? None other than Mayor Moneybags himself: Michael Rubens Bloomberg. The diminutive philanthropist, whose worth is still in the billions even after giving away millions to charity, would solve the money problems of Hagel literally overnight. All puns intended, I was never a big fan of Bloomberg, despising his short-sighted plan to build a sports stadium on the West Side of Manhattan as well as his attempt to bring the Olympic games to New York City. But lately I've been willing to overlook his shortcomings due to his standing tall in the face of opposition to his traffic congestion plans, which even a vertically challenged pygmy can see is critical to the future of New York City.

Hagel still hasn't off
icially decided to run, but if he does it will likely leave the sinking GOP ship and run as an Independent. Just a few months ago, Bloomie did likewise, switching his party affiliation from Republican to Independent. There's just something about Chuck Hagel that we find appealing, whether it's due to his blue collar Middle American heartland values, his seemingly complete lack of artifice or pretension, the genuine integrity and honesty that define his 12-year record in the Senate, or maybe it's just the idea of a U.S. Senator calling himself "Chuck" as opposed to the more formal-sounding "Charles" -- which somehow doesn't seem like it was focus group tested or politically calculated (unlike, say, Charles "Chuck" Schumer).

As Broder himself puts it in a recent column straightforwardly titled Hagel And Bloomberg For 2008?:

"While Washington is gridlocked in partisan battle between two equally spent parties, the country is moving rapidly, (Hagel) thinks, to the conclusion that neither Republicans nor Democrats have the answers to the problems people see. The war in Iraq is the prime example, a war on which Hagel was perhaps the first prominent Republican to break with the president. Credit problems that have shaken the mortgage markets and fed the decline in housing add to the sense of anxiety. And the abject failure of Washington to deal with the issue of illegal immigration is fueling further frustration.

The common thread to all these problems, he says, is leadership -- and leadership is precisely what Bloomberg demonstrates every day as mayor of New York, following his success as a financial publisher. "A guy like Bloomberg could have deep credibility as a candidate," Hagel said. "He's a fresh face and a proven leader. It could be he'd release a dynamic that would be an answer for many people."

Now while we don't agree with Hagel on a host of social issues, on which the good Senator is still too conservative for our tastes, on the seminal issue of our time -- the disastrous war in Iraq and wrongheaded GOP designs for its foolhardy expansion into still more dangerous theaters -- we are in complete agreement. Plus, it can't be overestimated that because the decorated Vietnam veteran has seen actual combat and thus knows the true horrors of battle, he will be more reluctant to turn to military might as a solution to every world problem. This alone is enough to make Hagel stand out from the howling pack of bellicose war hounds and counterfeit commandos manning the GOP debate podiums, often spouting little more than singularly simple-minded variations on "Extinguish 'Em All & Let A Merciful Higher Deity Sort 'Em Out."

So in short (there we go again), don't throw away those Hagel For President buttons just yet. Far from collectors' items, there may be a more practical use for them. And who among us would not relish a series of Chuck Hagel versus Hillary Clinton versus Rudolph Ghouliani face-offs?


Serge A. Storms said...

While he doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell, I really like Kucinich...though I don't think I spelled his name right. At first I openly mocked him as the Prince of the Elves and he would make this country better through fairy dust and whimsy. Then I started listening, and he's got some good stances. Then I saw his wife and went right back to thinking he was some kind of mystical wizard. But a mystical wizard with good stances. He's probably one of the most Democratic of the Democratic candidates.

Wardens World said...

You're right about Kucinich: articulate, passionate, brilliant unashamedly left wing, and of course therefore all but ignored by the punditry. And yes, his wife is a nice complement to have on the campaign trail. Kucinich probably reflects my stances more than any other candidate, although I like Edwards focusing on not taking lobbyists money and on economic injustice, poverty, etc. Of course I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, thinking he was representative of my core beliefs, and it ended up costing the Dems the election, not because of my vote, but because in your crazy state, Florida, if everybody who voted for Nader had voted for Al Gore, the Dems would have won in a landslide. As it was, Gore won the popular vote by a lot that year, but because of the stupid electoral college system, Bush, aided by his brother Jeb and the Supremes, was appointed president, and the rest is history. And not good history either, but one disaster after another.

Serge A. Storms said...

I was in TX for 2000, I can't be held responsible for Florida. I've voted Nader twice. I also laughed a bit with the "Jeb and the Supremes" comment. I pictured him singing "Stop" with Diana Ross.

jimithegreek said...


Magnus Maximus said...

I don't know a whole lot about Hagel, but he has always seemed genuine, which is a rarity in Washington. I also like that he's been a thorn in BushCo's side for so long...the media seems to pay some attention to him which at least means Georgie-boy hasn't received a totally free pass since he decided to start blowing up Arabs, occupying their cities and raping their land and women. I'd like to see him run just to shake up the campaign a little...they're always such dull affairs, with the same posturing and pandering.

Warden, I see what you mean about Nader in 2000, but I would sooner blame the clearly crooked vote count than blame Nader. Or even the Supreme Court for halting recounts. It's incredible what happened, really; I still can scarcely believe it. 537 votes. And let our eight year National Nightmare begin! No one had any idea what a horribly crucial election that was...I'm sure all those Nader-voters have been kicking themselves for the last seven years! "Oh, shit, what have I done??!!?" Hmm, a gaggle of crazy PNACers cheat their way into the White House, and eight months later three skyscrapers "collapse" under mysterious circumstances...hmm...naww, stop thinkin' crazy! Eat a hot pocket and watch America's Got Talent instead! woohoo!"

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