Brian's Endorsements for the Democratic and Republican Presidential Nominations

Bradley opened the nominating process just over a week ago, so I figure it's my turn. I'm not sure if Amy and Emily are going to weigh in, but I encourage both of them to do so. I get the feeling that I'm going to be the odd one out on the Democratic side, but I can live with that. So without further ado, here are my choices.

John Edwards
I've been leaning this way for a couple of months now, and I've solidified my support in the last couple of weeks. Edwards's rhetoric on the problems with corporate control of the US has gotten nothing but stronger, and that's what I've been looking for here. Yes, I know Dennis Kucinich is just as strong on labor, if not more so, but I am factoring in the ability to win the nomination into my consideration. If I felt absolutely the same about Edwards, Obama and Clinton, I might consider supporting Kucinich, but I honestly do have a preference among the big three, and I have to follow that.

But there's more to it. I've been reading Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine over the last couple of days--incredible book--and this passage is part of the reason I decided to do this post. From page 140:

The kind of crisis [Milton] Friedman had in mind was not military but economic. What he understood was that in normal circumstances, economic decisions are made based on the push and pull of competing interests--workers want jobs and raises, owners want low taxes and relaxed regulation, and politicians have to strike a balance between these competing forces. However, if an economic crisis hits and is severe enough--a currency meltdown, a market crash, a major recession--it blows everything else out of the water, and leaders are liberated to do whatever is necessary (or said to be necessary) in the name of responding to a national emergency. Crises are, in a way, democracy-free zones--gaps in politics as usual when the need for consent and consensus do not seem to apply
We're facing a potential economic firestorm right now, which means there's real potential for change in the way we've been doing things for the last 27 years or so. We can reinstate the power of unions, we can bring about universal health care, we can take some power back from the corporate elites who have held it for far too long, thanks to people like Milton Friedman, and of the big three candidates, I think Edwards is the one who is most likely to take on those interests. He did it as a lawyer, and he's been making noises like he's willing to fight a class war on the side of the economically disadvantaged as well as the middle class.

So he's my guy. I'll vote gladly for whoever the nominee is, but I hope it's him--and I hope Barack Obama is his Vice President.

Mike Huckabee
Let me begin by saying that as a politician, Mike Huckabee scares the ever-loving shit out of me. He's really good, in the same way that both Edwards and Bill Clinton are good, and if you know anything about me, you know that Mike Huckabee is the last person I would ever actually want to be President. So why am I endorsing his candidacy, when Bradley has taken the eminently more sensible tack of endorsing Alan Keyes?

Because I think Mike Huckabee has the greatest chance to finally explode the growing rift between the social conservatives--the gay-hating, fetus-worshiping, evolution-denying psychopaths--and the pro-corporate, anti-tax, anti-social program conservatives into a yawning, terrifying, mountaineer-eating chasm. Look at the right-wing blogs and you'll see the attitude--people who support torturing brown people, who think that the problem with Iraq is that we didn't nuke it, who think Stephen Colbert's fiery moat with fire-proof crocodiles at the base of the border wall is not only a good idea, but workable--that Huckabee is anathema to them. He's the mo-ped in the garage, that they are all secretly glad they have, but which they will mock mercilessly if they see someone on one in public. Some of them have gone so far as to say they would vote for Hillary Clinton over Huckabee, and given the level of Hillary-hatred among this set, that's saying something.

I think that a Huckabee nomination will result in either a wholesale defection of economic conservatives from the party, or a third-party run by someone like Michael Bloomberg, and either scenario is good for Democrats and progressives alike.

So those are my choices, for better or worse. The nomination process starts officially in 3 days, so we'll get to see how these two do. It's possible they could be gone by the time Floridians get to vote, or they could be in the thick of it. I'm interested in your choices, and in what you think of my reasons for these choices.

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