There was an amusing story in the New York Times the other day about how the supreme ayatollahs of the Christian Right are having trouble finding a presidential candidate to support in 2008.
They don’t like John McCain who once described them as “agents of intolerance.” Nor do they like the thrice-married adulterer Rudy Guiliani who is pro-choice and pro-gay rights. And they are not real happy with the Massachusettes liberal, I mean Republican, Mitt Romney either, despite his efforts to woo them.
Candidates whom they might like better such as Sen. Sam Brownback of Kan. and Rep. Duncan Hunter of Calif. don’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning the nomination. So they are desperately looking for someone else to recruit into the race like South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (who would have no better chance than Brownback).
It is, I think, a hopeless cause. President Bush has thoroughly wrecked the Republicans’ chances of victory in ‘08 with his spectacular failure in Iraq, his doubling of the national debt, his incompetent bungling of the Hurricane Katrina response, and much more. It is no surprise that no one connected to the Bush administration is running for president in ‘08. Everyone knows that Cheney was never going to run, but if he had he would be toast right now as he is even more unpopular than Bush. Condoleezza Rice has probably shot her future White House chances in the foot and everyone else in the administration is too busy running for cover to consider running for higher office at this point.
The 2008 election is going to be the cakewalk for Democrats that Iraq was supposed to be for the U.S. Hilary, Obama, Edwards, Dodd - it doesn’t matter. We could nominate the proverbial Yellow Dog and win in a walk next year.
The thing that we need to be concerned about is what happens after that. The smarter Republicans have already thrown in the towel for ‘08 and are busily plotting to undermine and vilify whoever the Democratic winner is so that they will be a one-term president (i.e. Jimmy Carter) who will lay the foundation for a resurgent Republican who will have the favor of the Religious Right to triumph in 2012 (i.e. Ronald Reagan).
But I’m hopeful that we will have a repeat of a different history and that the Democratic nominee will be more like an FDR taking the reigns of government away from the failed Herbert Hoover of our time. But the battle over which of those scenarios will play out is already underway.