I Read the News today, Oh Boy...
It's 2008, and the light at the end of the "Bush Years Tunnel" is nearly here. Only the most W-sucking dead-ender still defends this Worst President in the History of the USA, although there are still plenty of people defending the Republican Party.
My political predictions tend to be very, very wrong, I think because they're based on the public being a lot less swayed by BS than the public actually is, but I predicted in 1993 that the Republican Party was about to go the way of the Whigs: the Reagan years had been disastrous and the Bush years painful and tragic. In 1992 I was 17-year-old kid competing for low-wage jobs against middle-aged former managers with families and mortgages -- and winning. For those men and women, and certainly for me, "the Bush years" was synonymous with Everything Sucks.
So in 1999/2000, I predicted that there was NO WAY someone with the last name "Bush" could even SNIFF the presidency: no one wanted a replay of those days. But it turned out that Americans' memories were almost as short as their attention spans. And we not only got a replay out of it, it's been longer and harder than 88-92 ever dared to dream. It's been 8 long years.
I predicted in 1999/2000 that, rather than a "Bush," the Republicans would go for John McCain. He was a great candidate. A solid citizen, a veteran, a good speaker, the right age, and the media loved him -- moderates and a lot of Democrats loved him. He had it all going for him. But the Evangelicals hated him. So the force of the GOP went behind Bush. (I won't bother rehashing the SC dirty tricks.)
Now, in a stunning swivel, the GOP has put its force behind McCain, and everything feels very out-of-time, sort of like they're all doing the Macarena with their cabbage patch dolls, or something. I would love to have been a fly on the wall when Romney was told, "that's it, you're out." And I would love to have heard their reasons, although I can imagine them: the populace is swinging Democratic, and we need a candidate who's popular with at least SOME Democrats; Mitt, you'll still be a young man in 4 years, but you don't want to be remembered as a loser... something along those lines?
But no sooner had the king-making crown been passed than McCain is booed by the conservatives given the announcement. (I'm linking instead of embedding because the best vid I could find was from Fox News and heaven help me if I embed that.)
Is it just me, or does this look like a GOP concession speech? A "we're going with a candidate we don't even like, because other wise we can't possibly win" speech? I'm not going to predict the death of the Republican party again -- I've already been wrong once on that count. But they're running a candidate who might have been the right man 8 years ago, and who is by no means the right man now. It's 2008, people. Times have moved on. And the world, in no small part thanks to the Bushies, is a very different place from what it was back then.
It's beginning to seem possible that this election will come down to which candidate is part of the 21st Century, and which candidate is simply not.