Carpetblogger has finally accepted that, for the next 10 months, every conversation in a bar, in a taxi or a restroom stall will be dominated by U.S. Presidential politics. We've already had many animated -- sometimes bordering on violent -- debates among fellow Democrats about this historic and competitive primary election. And we've totally enjoyed every single one of them.
We've also spent a lot of time disabusing Europeans of their arrogantly misguided notions about the dynamics of US campaigns. This is our burden, but do you see us weighing in on the ever-so-complex Belgian parliamentary elections? We avoid claiming authority (very often) over things about which we know nothing, but every Nigel, Juan, Geert and Franz seem to think he understands the electoral college because he read Stupid White Men. Twice.
Even though as a matter of policy Carpetblog has stayed away from posts on US politics, we've never made any secret of our own political leanings. Given that we worked in Democratic politics for 13 years and tend to hold strong opinions, to do otherwise seems rather unlikely.
Because there's so much at stake and because Carpetblog is highly influential among opinion leaders in the capitals of Crapistan, we've decided to make an endorsement. Before weighing in, however, it is important to lay out a few of our guiding principles.
First, Carpetblogger is a Democrat. This means we have lost far more races than we've won. All other things being equal, or even given the enormous advantage of a wildly unpopular incumbent, shitty economy and disastrous war, Democrats will figure out the most spectacular way to lose. This is a fact.
Second, Carpetblogger believes the mid- and late '90s were pretty damn awesome. The economy was smoking, there were no real wars and They didn't hate us that much.
Third, Carpetblogger believes that the only ones who insist they will change things in Washington are those who have no idea how Washington works. Carpetblog does not believe in change. Indeed, Carpetblogger rejects idealism, particularly when it comes to political campaigns and democracy promotion.
Fourth, despite overwhelming evidence that suggests it's highly unlikely, we want to win. To us, winning is more important than being right.
Finally, over the past eight years, we found ourselves gradually becoming nostalgic for the first Bush. Then we began to think that Reagan wasn't really all that bad. Eventually, we started to think Nixon got a bad rap. Given this long, slow decline in expectations, Carpetblogger has a single demand for the next President: basic competence. Above all else, we want someone who can unfuck things.
So, yah. Hillary Clinton. That's who's getting the coveted Carpetblog endorsement.
First, Hillary is a snake, but she's our snake. In a fight, I'd want her watching my back. She's going to know where to stick the shiv and how hard to stick it. I like Obama. He's a very talented politician (and cute too!), but getting a pass on your Senate campaign because your opponent got caught going to S&M clubs does not qualify you to withstand the shitstorm that the Republicans will gin up. I want someone who knows how to fight dirty and win at all costs. On our side, no one can do that like a Clinton.
Second, it surprises me how caught up people -- especially those who should know better -- are in the "inspirational message of change and unity" coming from the Obama campaign. What kind of fool looks to Presidential politics for inspiration? All those people are going to be devastated when Obama loses in November. No one is going to be all that disappointed when Hillary loses. Why not be prepared for it?
Third, when I see Bill Clinton up there, I feel all warm and fuzzy, like it's 1997 all over again and all we had to worry about was who was blowing whom.
Finally, unfucking things. Remember that first two years that Clinton spent getting rolled by his own party over stupid shit like gays in the military? That's what I foresee the first two years of an Obama Presidency being like. Things need to get unfucked fast.
So, wait. You mean there's another party? In theory, we could care less about the Republican race and the circus sideshow of freaks running. But because Carpetblogger believes that Democrats will almost certainly be defeated, we endorse the Republican we will be least horrified to lose to in November, even though we are rabidly opposed to 95% of his positions and think he's way too old: John McCain. At least he's an adult and he might unfuck a few things before keeling over. For pure entertainment purposes, however, we'd opt for Mike Huckabee.
Seriously, five years of lowered expectations in Crapistan is like eight years of the Bush presidency: eventually, your standards get so low that anyone who isn't a wild-eyed creationist with 15 children and a penchant for the gold standard seems "not that bad."