Saturday, December 19, 2015

Presidential politics in post-Rod Dreher America

'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the house
Every zephyr was stirring, more than one could espouse...

So of course I was going to use my definitive Dreher illustration:

Rod Dreher
Rod Dreher creating a synergistic blog post

I've been waiting for something to stimulate a focused and chewy analysis of our favorite foil, but, face it, as the tags (the inspiration for my little rhyme) to this post reveal, he's basically been reduced to juggling found objects on the street corner, hoping something will draw someone's attention:

Posted in Christianity, Dante, Politics, Presidential politics, Religion, Republicans. Tagged art, church, Commedia, Dante, Eugene Vodolazkin, Gregory Wolfe, Image Journal, Laurus, mystery, Orthodoxy, politics, religion, Republican, The Operation of Grace, Walker Percy.

True, both the Benedict Option and the kitchen sink are missing, but you get the point of Our Working Boy's lunge at synergy just another dog's breakfast freezing there on the sidewalk.

So let's talk politics instead.

First axiom: neither Republicans nor Democrats elect the President. The President is elected by the unaffiliated marginal votes in the middle which flip one way or another at the last minute.

And right now, things are scarier than you might think.

Both the Democrats' debate strategy and the recent DNC data gotcha hit on Bernie Sanders point convincingly to the DNC being all in the tank for Hillary Clinton, preventing even the slightest attack points from Democrat opponents from escaping into the wild. Her Benghazi and email lies have melted away into obscurity for all but Republicans, which, remembering our first axiom, is not enough.

This cycle, the deciding votes in the middle will decide on the basis of which candidate which they despise least makes them feel most secure domestically and internationally.

Right now, love him or hate him, on the Republicans' side, at least according to Republicans polled Donald Trump is exciting twice as many ostensible Republican voters as his nearest rivals; it would be foolish to assume that at least a proportional number of those in the marginal middle don't feel similarly.

Whether polls can translate into caucus and then later actual voters remains to be seen, but it is the inspiration gap itself that is disturbing: while the Democrats' nominee is being served to them like a rubber chicken at a bad luncheon, currently the most measurably inspiring, frontrunning Republican is essentially an alien from another planet.

Behind Trump, all the way around on the other side of the track, Cruz and Rubio are whacking at each other with their batons for second place. At the moment, I tend to view them as two halves of a separated brain, one (Cruz) stronger on immigration - meaning national integrity and national sovereignty itself - the other (Rubio) stronger on international national defense. And even Cruz's immigration stance seems to carry some unsightly weasel hair and dander.

To my mind, and simply dismissing Trump for the moment - which simply cannot be done any longer in real life - neither Rubio nor Cruz can run as the other's Vice President: to land those crucial independents and sufficiently Hillary-disgusted Democrats in the deciding middle, the Republicans have to put a woman on the ticket - Carly Fiorina.

So, to sum up my thoughts and let the rest of you throw your thoughts into the pot:

If your choice gets Hillary elected, your choice is moot.

Rubio, to my mind, is most electable by the largest spectrum of voters not voting for Hillary, but he will essentially be Paul Ryan running for President: you can expect sellout compromises of the sort Ryan just delivered in the recent Omnibus bill.

Cruz is the most fiery conservative and, next to Trump (as presently polled), will most galvanize the Trumpists and the base, but, by that same token, is less likely to land those in the marginal middle.

My bottom line: Rubio + Fiorina still make the best and broadest anti-Hillary package, but Rubio will need a strong, non-Ryan Republican Congress to take back their rightful, constitutionally separate power and force him to execute their will, not, like Obama, legislate from the White House.

And you noticed: I just blew off the Trump problem. Still unsolved.