Back in 1999, a lot of people already had George W. Bush figured out. Back when the press was going on about “compassionate conservatism”, we knew that Bush was really just a cowardly, ignorant, dishonest, incompetent, alcoholic, run-of-the-mill schoolyard bully. (Anybody who’s watched “Li’l Bush” on Comedy Central will know exactly what I mean.)
He wasn’t a conservative; he wasn’t compassionate; he wasn’t particularly well-qualified to do any of the things a head of state needs to be able to do. Lots of us already had that figured out, but apparently enough people fell for the act not just once, but twice (well, just once, actually, but that’s beside the point).
Some of us knew that Bush couldn’t possibly be a conservative as far back as 1991 or 1992, because his father certainly wasn’t. I was still voting Republican back in 1992, and I was so thoroughly disgusted by G. H. W. Bush that I swore I would never again vote for anyone named Bush.
So pay attention: I’m about to give you the benefit of that prodigious insight.
Republicans: Either McCain or Ron Paul is your man. They’re the only legitimate conservatives in the race who aren’t embarrassing flat-earth ignorami (Sam Brownback? Duncan Hunter? Mike Huckabee? TOM TANCREDO??? Come on, you’ve got to be kidding).
Giuliani, Romney, and Thompson are just trying to shake you down, the way Bush did.
But since the GOP is pretty much already doomed, here’s another pearl of wisdom: Don’t worry, Republicans. Hillary is your friend.
Yeah, she’s promising to do the things that uptight, cheapskate, mean-spirited Republicans have refused to do for decades now. But she’s going to do them in a Republican-friendly way. She’s not talking about single-payer national health care; she’s not talking about immediately pulling out of Iraq; she’s not talking about throwing the borders open. I don’t know why she’s not doing these things; many of us wish she would. But she isn’t.
I’m somewhat dismayed that Clinton seems inevitably destined to get the Democratic nomination. I prefer the policy positions of Edwards, Richardson, and Kucinich – even Obama, although he’s starting to look more and more like Hillary Lite. But it really doesn’t matter, because whoever the Democratic nominee is, the Republican will be worse, and so I’m going to vote for whoever gets the Democratic nomination, even though I might very well not be excited about it.
So, Republicans, here’s your free tip: Just like George W. Bush is not really a conservative, Hillary Clinton is not really a liberal. Get comfortable with the idea of another President Clinton. Hell, you might even see some fiscal responsibility (and a budget surplus or two) before it’s all over, which would be better than the Republicans have been able to do since at least Eisenhower.