Monday, November 06, 2006

Of Donkeys and Elephants

Following the shock conviction of Saddam Hussein (if only Johnnie Cochran were still alive, he'd have got him off), the US mid-term elections are the major news event this week (assuming your news source is CNN). My prediction is similar to that of most of the better remunerated experts out there (no, I'm not quite sure why they get paid so much for stating the obvious either):
The Donkeys will win back control of the House of Representatives (the lower house of Congress), but they probably won't get the Senate out of Elephant, er, hands. It doesn't make much difference either way: as long as they control one of them, they can ensure Mr Bush is a proper lame duck for the next two years (Yes, I know, how could he get any lamer?).

The best thing about the mid-terms (and remember, I'm genuinely interested in American politics) is that when they're over, we can turn our attention to the far more interesting business of who will be the next President. I think the race for the White House in 2008 is completely wide open. A lot of people favour Hillary Clinton. I can't think of anyone worse. Apart from perhaps Jeb Bush (Dubya's Florida-governing little brother). The whole point of the US constitution is to prevent dynastic politics, isn't it? I like the dashing young senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, the latest hot Donkey (hopefully not the next Howard Dean), but I could also go for the Elephant candidacies of either John McCain (perhaps too old) or Rudy Giuliani (would he want the stress? I figure al-Qaeda will try to attack the US again in 2008 or 9, so maybe not).

Whoever ends up raising the cash to make a run for the Presidency (and the financial barrier is the hardest to break), I hope, at least, that the Donkeys can find a candidate with a bit of personality and wit. John Kerry reminded us all this week why he lost the last election, and Al Gore's recent promotional tour of his enviro-documentary almost answered the crucial question: which is more wooden, Al Gore or a rainforest? On the Elephant side, the likes of McCain or Giuliani would be a vast improvement on Mr Bush's God-bothering Neo-Conservatism. I read a good article about his so-called "faith-based" politics here. I don't think any of us (by us, I mean Earthlings) could take another four years of that. Personally I'd back an constitutional amendment to let Arnold Schwarzenegger have a go - he might actually tackle some of the key green issues - but I don't think that's going to happen (allegedly because his name is too long to fit on most of the voting machines).

A final mid-term prediction before tomorrow: turnout will be less than 50%. It's good to see that with America spreading democracy to the world, it's still alive and kicking back home! And I almost forgot - anyone with even half a soul will be cheering on Kinky Friedman in his attempt to become Governor of Texas. Vote Kinky!

1 comment:

Tim Worstall said...

Can't quite remember how I got here, from a UK blog or other.

Anyway, Hi! from Cascais.