EXAMINER PUBLICATIONS – DECEMBER 12, 2007
By Rich Trzupek
As we head toward a new year and a new presidential election, it doesn’t take a doctorate in political science to understand that two things would have to happen before a Republican was elected President in 2008: We would have to make dramatic progress in Iraq, and the mainstream media would have to acknowledge such progress.
While the first condition seems not only possible, but quite likely, given the events of the last few months, the latter condition is pretty much beyond the realm of possibility. In recent weeks, a few leading Democrats have admitted that the surge is working-declarations that got almost no press-while their quick recanting got all kinds of play in the media.
Like it or not, that’s reality. For the genteel conservative voter, that reality leads to an uncomfortable question: If we’re going to have a Democrat President, who’s the best choice?
Sure it’s unpleasant to contemplate these things, but questions deserve answers. We’d all rather choose between Ginger and Mary Ann, but that’s too easy. You can’t lose. The time to man-up is when you’re forced to choose between Aunt Bea and Granny Clampett.
The correct answers, in each case, are Mary Ann and Aunt Bea, by the way. Ginger would bleed you dry and the kind of freaky, hillbilly weirdness that Granny Clampett would be into is just too horrifying to contemplate.
Choosing among the Dems means picking between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. That’s hardly more palatable than the Aunt Bea-Granny decision, but it must be faced. Not for any practical reasons of course. Conservative voters will cast their votes for Rudy or Mitt or Mike or, if your humble correspondent had his way, for Fred. It won’t matter. The GOP is a forlorn hope in 2008.
My oldest, ultra-libertarian brother, stubbornly refuses to contemplate the new reality. Understandable, but hardly in the spirit of things. Gene and all of his fellow crumudgeons need to choose.
Who is the right pick? The answer is very clear, from a conservative point of view. As much as I hate to disappoint those who would like to see America elect its first woman chief executive, I have to say it: we shouldn’t elect a gal in 2008. We should elect Hillary Clinton instead, for Hillary is clearly the pick of the Democrat litter.
There are those who argue that Hilary is unscrupulous, underhanded and ruthless. These people are entirely correct. Those are not the reasons not to hope for Hillary if a Democrat is to occupy the White House. Those characteristics are exactly what makes her the best donkey in the herd.
Spare us another idealistic, unrealistic dreamer. We’ve been down that road before, with one James Earl Carter, an entirely decent man who did more damage to the world than any President of the 20th century.
Obama is Carter, with a slightly better education. His speeches feature the same kind of vague, “feel-good but means nothing” platitudes that the peanut king spouted in 1976.
This is not to say that Obama isn’t a good guy. I suspect he’s a great guy-the kind of guy you could shoot the bull with for hours and would leave a smile on your face. But that doesn’t make him qualified to be President.
The reality of the world is that its full of SOBs, so our leader needs to be the biggest SOB, or in Hillary’s case, the biggest B of all. Our best leaders have always fit that mold.
Lincoln is revered as an American saint today, but the reality is that Honest Abe was a ruthless as any leader we ever had. He never flinched when it came time to disregard the Constitution or pick a butcher like Grant to prosecute the war.
The same could be said for FDR, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan and Andrew Jackson. Great leaders may or may not be personally appealing, but all of them are capable of cold, hard calculation.
Obama, clearly, is incapable of doing that sort of math. That’s not really criticism. I’m far too soft to make these kinds of decisions myself, which is why I’m the last guy I would elect dogcatcher.
Sure, there’s plenty of downside with Hillary. Her ideas about health care and the economy are repugnant. Hopefully Congress would be smart enough to deflect, or at least dilute, the worst of her proposals.
Yet, for all of that, she’s a hard-ass. She’s somebody that would make Al-Quada and the goof-balls in Iran think twice. In this day and age, nothing is more important.
By contrast, Obama’s ideas about foreign policy are a bad joke. He wants to “talk.” He hopes to “reach out.” He’s full of angst, reflecting the self-destructive idea that America is responsible for the idiocy and the fanatics, instead of responding to them.
There’s nothing wrong with having a Barack Obama in the Senate, where his idealism can be measured and, if necessary checked, by 99 more realistic voices. Having him in charge of the nation would be nothing short of awful.
Barack should stick to dreaming with Oprah. There’s nothing wrong with having your head in the clouds. But, when it comes to leading the free world, we need someone with their feet on the ground.