I don’t have any witty comments or analysis because I have not been watching any of the debates or following them with any vigor. I heard Romney won both Michigan and Arizona last night, which means he’ll probably get the nomination.
What are the chances that he will have a smooth ride through the GOP convention? I think Santorum and Gingrich will fall in line and support him, but Ron Paul is quietly sweeping up delegates and I think he is going to make a major stink at the convention. He will not get too radical because of his son’s future in the Party, but he’s going to force Romney to make some concessions.
I think Paul will press him on a number of issues, but Romney will only capitulate to the Federal Reserve argument Paul so often speaks about. Gold Commission 2013?
None of this matters, of course. Obama will be re-elected. From a pragmatic point of view: he has killed bin Laden, waged a successful air war against a now-dead dictator in the Middle East, and not managed to get us into any more quagmires (yet).
The unemployment numbers have fallen (but be sure to check out the employment numbers) and the toxic memes associated with Team Blue’s campaign to shove a short-sighted health care plan down the throats of the populace has largely faded.
This is unfortunate because Obama and Team Blue have a number of very bad ideas they want to implement. More taxes and more spending are two of them (but hey, at least Team Blue attempts to pay for its spending binges!). I think a comprehensive tax overhaul is needed in this country. My two cents: eliminate the corporate tax rate, eliminate all federal consumption taxes, and implement a progressive tax rate for the next ten years while simultaneously gutting the federal spending level.
When I say gut, I mean eliminate whole Departments (Education, Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Homeland Security, etc., etc.) and start bringing our troops home.
Social Security is actually pretty good as it is, but the health care system needs an overhaul too. I would probably try to phase this out (or have an option to exit clause) over the next twenty years, and try to make it so that the factions of society who voted for the socialized medical schemes in this country have to pay for them as well.
After ten years, I think we would be in pretty good shape. I would then abolish the income tax and implement a tax regime focused on land and pollution.
Anyway, back to political analysis: overall, the wars that Team Blue fights are smarter, too (this is not to say that I agree with them, or think that they are good, but only that Team Blue is better at them than Team Red).
On social issues, too, the Republican Party is in deep trouble. The old people, normally the most conservative faction socially, are old hippies or probably learned through their Facebook connections that their cousin or niece or brother is gay (surprise!). The argument that legalizing gay marriage will lead to an assault on a church’s ability to marry whomever they please is a foolish one. First, why would anybody who has been excluded from a church because they are gay want to get married in such a church. Even if the bad blood associated from such purges would lead to a lawsuit here and there, the right of a church to marry whatever it pleases wold still be intact and robustly protected.
Both parties are wrong from a moral and practical standpoint on immigration and drugs. Delacroix has already gone over the immigration problem that the GOP has, but the party should be comforted knowing that Team Blue is actually worse when it comes to immigration reform (do you think labor unions like immigration?).
The drug war is easily the most dangerous social policy currently being pursued by the U.S. government. There is no reason to keep drug lords in power by artificially raising prices on some products due to the bad effects such products may have on some members of society. Legalizing drugs would also contribute to the lowering of prices for pharmaceutical products, which would in turn lower the overall costs of our malfunctioning medical markets.
If Romney is to beat Obama, he is going to have to come up with something much better than he currently has. Attacking Obama for apologizing about American foreign policy is not going to work. His angle on the unpopular health care plan is, of course, sealed off.
Both parties still err on a number of easily fixable policies that would go a long way to contributing to a wealthier, healthier society.
Romney needs to focus on smart tax reform, currency concerns, and big cuts in government spending in order to win the independent vote. Throwing out a couple of curve balls on drug reform and immigration reform would also help him with independents. Once he gets past the GOP nomination stage, he will have more room to cater to independent voters. If he tries to run as the nice guy who will help Americans out, rather than as a serious man confronting a serious problem, he will lose.
In the end, I expect an ugly campaign season. I don’t know how it is elsewhere in the States, but out here in California, during election season, the only commercials on TV are political ones. *GROAN*