Thursday, January 31, 2008

Dems Want to Lose -- But GOP Doesn't Want to Win

As a big fan of Victor Davis Hanson of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and offen qoute him on this blog. Today he has a column on the Presidential campaing that really puts thing into perspective. A few quotes from his column:
"Just a few months ago, the 2008 presidential contest seemed predetermined. The New York lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton were far ahead in their respective party polls. And in the one-on-one match-up, Sen. Clinton was all but declared the foreordained winner a year in advance.

But not now.

After Barack Obama's unexpected surge in Iowa, Bill and Hillary Clinton resorted to chewing him up through their trademark politics of personal destruction......

Long gone was Bill's carefully crafted veneer of ex-president as global humanitarian and bipartisan senior statesmen. Instead, the Bill of old lost his legendary temper at reporters. He shook his finger. He bent the truth. Always he distorted Obama's record......

The result of all this has been that while Hillary still polls ahead of the surging Obama in most states, in hypothetical general election polls she runs behind Republican front-runner Sen. John McCain.

End of story?

Hardly. In reaction to McCain's own surge and the Republican windfall, the conservative base went ballistic. Soon a Republican civil war broke out over how best to lose the election.

Despite McCain's 82 percent ranking by the American Conservative Union, and his support for balanced budgets, an end to pork-barrel spending and earmarks, strong support for the war, and expressed regret over once supporting the Bush illegal immigration reform package, McCain was branded by the conservative media as a sellout and a near liberal. Not to mention, he was supposedly too old and hot-tempered to be the Republican nominee. The more McCain was discovered not to be a perfect conservative, the more he was accused of not even being a good one....

The Democratic cat-fighters are doing their best to give away a once-sure general election, but the Republicans seem to be doing even more to ensure that they forfeit the unexpected gift they've been given.

If Hillary Clinton does end up winning her party's nomination, November's vote may hinge on whether moderates and liberals are nauseated enough by the Clintons' brawling and character assassination to cross over and vote for a decorated Republican war hero - that is, if his own flag-waving party doesn't destroy him first."

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." You can reach him by e-mailing

To read Hanson's complete column click on the title for a link.