AND WE’RE SPENT!!!

Yes, I’m a very happy man this morning.  I lived to see a black man elected president of the United States, and the guy ran on “Yes, we can!”, not “The terrorists win.”

For those of you who backed the winner, go ahead.  Pour yourself a nice big cup of smug.  You earned it.

For those of you who backed McCain, go ahead.  Have a good whine.  You earned it.

And remember, we didn’t have a coup.  The Supreme Court wasn’t involved.  In fact, nobody was poisoned.  It was all punching some serious chad.

Suck on that, Russia and China.

Kind Of Sad, Isn’t It?

“You can spin a six point loss however you want.”

Those were the words of a Clinton operative when a spokesman for Barack Obama pointed out that Obama walked away from Nevada with more delegates than Hillary.

Lately, it’s not been hard to see why Republicans hate the Clintons so much. Only Hillary Clinton would have the audacity to play the race card against a black candidate. She looks to Republicans like George Bush looks to… Well, everybody but the 33 percenters.

I should be thrilled with this year’s election. A black man or a woman may likely become President of the United States. Hopefully one of them or one of the front runners on the GOP side will go a long way toward restoring our tattered reputation in the rest of the world. Instead, I keep seeing one thing:

Bush/Clinton/Bush/Clinton

And I’m not one of those idiots who thinks everything Bill Clinton ever accomplished was a direct result of Ronald Reagan or that all of George W. Bush’s problems are Clinton’s fault. There’s a word for people who believe that:

Fucktards.

The truth is you have to stop praising or blaming the last person in the Oval Office during year two of a given president’s term.  Which means the next guy gets an 18-month free pass to blame W. for all his problems.  (And last I checked, Reagan had been out of office for four years when Clinton took office.  Do the math.)

Back to Hillary.  She’s displaying a lot of the same traits people don’t like about Bush, namely she wants the power more than she wants to serve.  Granted, it takes a certain amount of hubris and ambition to run for president.  I hope so.  You need someone like that to look someone like Vladimir Putin in the eye and tell him how it is.  You might say that’s why Vlad’s holding onto power well beyond the end of his presidency.

But when all the campaign rhetoric is done, and we’ve pretty much figured out which lies appeal to us more in the voting booth, you have to point at something that made the person viable for president.  Much as I dislike them, Huckabee and Romney were successful governors.  McCain has always been a moderate voice.  Edwards is at his most sincere when he talks about combatting poverty.  Obama’s talk is almost always non-confrontational as long as the Clintons aren’t involved.  You get a real sense of why these people want to be president.  With Hillary, you get the impression that it’s her turn.  She hasn’t said it.  I’ve heard a few candidates (Bob Dole comes to mind) backhandedly admit it, but never has it been so blatant without being said as it has with Hillary Clinton.

The bad news is I may have to vote for her on political grounds.  (John McCain might alleviate that dilemma for me.)  Which means I have to hold my nose in November and say yes to four more years of dynasty politics.

So, Canada, what can I do for you guys?

Did The Democrats Blow It In Detroit?

The past two years have been a rerun of my adolescence for the Rust Belt.  Big steel and the US auto industry take it on the chin with too much capacity, too many legacy costs, skyrocketing fuel costs, and a dollar that’s worth ninety cents in Canada.  Is the sky falling?

No, it’s just the 1970’s and 1980’s again.  Only instead of Jimmy Carter bailing out Chrysler and Ronald Reagan pimping free trade and a Cold War-fueled defense industry, we have the single most incompetent president in history scratching his head.

We’ve been hit pretty hard in Ohio.  Ford’s downsizing had roughly the same effect on Cleveland as dropping an atomic bomb.  But it’s Michigan, epicenter of the US auto industry, that’s really suffering.  The surprise here is which candidates addressed the issue this past Tuesday:  John McCain and Mitt Romney.

Well, those names actually shouldn’t be surprising.  McCain enjoys broad independent appeal, which lets him speak to labor’s woes in ways the Huckabees and Thompsons of the world cannot.  Romney should not surprise anyone either.  His father once headed American Motors back before it was known for the Pacer and the Gremlin.  So while I’m no fan of Mitt, it doesn’t exactly come as a shock that He of the Perfect Hair has a soft spot for Detroit.

Many die-hard Democrats will think I’ve just committed blasphemy, but there’s a problem.  And you can lay it directly at the feet of the Democratic Party’s leadership.  See, the Democrats are snubbing Michigan this year.  Why?  They moved their primary up to mid-January, between New Hampshire and Super Tuesday.  And that’s bad because…  Um…

Paging Howard Dean.  You wanna explain this one to me?  Do you want to explain why I had to hold my nose a moment ago to praise Mitt Romney, a candidate I generally find as real and sincere as a late-night infomercial host?

The only candidate running in Michigan for the Democrats was Hillary Clinton.  All the rest pulled out because the DNC got pissy about Michigan moving up its primary.  No Barack Obama.  No John Edwards.  No Dennis Kucinich for the pure liberals.  Just Hillary.

What sort of message does that send a badly depressed Midwest?

“Screw you,” comes to mind.

Basically, where the party fubarred the whole thing is by penalizing Michigan for the most dubious of reasons.  If you’re going to complain that Michigan is too early, then Iowa and New Hampshire should also be punished.  Do you think Iowa represents the rest of America?  Or New Hampshire?

But no, someone in the Democratic Party decided to blow off the Rust Belt, blow off not only the automotive industries, but the unions that represent their workers.   Someone in the party leadership decided to blow off the party’s base.

So my question to the DNC is:

Why do you want to hand this election over to John McCain?

I don’t mind John McCain, since I’m an independent.  Besides, a Democratic Congress might do very well if it has to work with a GOP president who not only reads books, but has actually written a few.  (Come on, George.  You can read a newspaper.  The New York Post even likes you.  Or used to, anyway.)

But why in the hell do you guys want Michigan (and probably Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois with them) to go to the Republicans?

Might you want to rethink your strategy?

Don’t worry.  I’m sure the people of Michigan will rethink it for you.