Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sitting in the Villainschloss right now in the middle of a domestic crisis. Apparently the Doctor Who marathon on BBC America is not “family friendly” viewing. (So says Mrs Villain.) Additionally, your Maximum Leader has learned that Mrs Villain has no interest in any of the college football on TV right now. So your Maximum Leader has done the wise thing and vacated the TV viewing area for the solitude of his study. (He will likely move back in and watch something a little later this evening.)
Your Maxmium Leader is really looking forward to dinner tonight. Delmonico’s raised on Smallholder’s farm. Matched with baked potatoes and some sparkling wines from around the world.
Your Maximum Leader’s offspring are taking a pool to see which of them will fall asleep first. Your Maximum Leader bet all of them that he will be the only one up at midnight and that he’ll have to wake them all for the change to the new year. Indeed, your Maximum Leader raised the possibilty that he might turn in early and let them all fend for themselves.
Your Maximum Leader got some nice comments to his post on spinning the Civil War. Your Maximum Leader thought the post would elicit some sort of response from the whole “slavery wasn’t the cause of the Civil War crowd.” Sadly, those idiots must know that this is not the place for them.
The interesting comments were about your Maximum Leader’s speculation that Mitt Romney will get the Republican nod in 2012. From Professor Mondo: “Meanwhile, Mitt Romney remains a charisma-free zone. I’m just afraid that the folks down here in Mondoville will go for the Huckster, who is just another statist. At this point, I’m kind of pulling for Mitch Daniels.” Our friend Polymath wrote: “My Lovecraft fantasy has me wishing for a re-animated Reagan.” And our very own farmer, the Smallholder, wrote:
Republicans give their nomination to the last cycle’s runner-up.
But Romney may be the exception that proves the rule. Since Republicans are on a jihad against Obamacare, the fact that Obamacare is essentially Romneycare does not bode well for Romney. It will be difficult for him to squirm away from his record during the primaries, particularly given his preexistent reputation for flip-floppigng. Gingrich advocated a version of health care very similar to Obamacare in ‘94, but he may be able to sidle away because it never went anywhere - Romney actually got it passed.
Mondo, I kind of like Mitch Daniels too. But he’s a bit too centrist to survive the primaries. He would make a good VEEP to appeal to the middle.
Polymath, I doubt Reagan could actually get tea-party votes today. He was too much of a pragmatist, rasied taxes to balance the budget, was in favor of arms control, and advocated tax rates higher than Obama’s. Folks are in love with an idealized person who never existed.
First off, your Maximum Leader must put an end to all this re-animated Reagan stuff. WE CAN’T GO ELECTING ZOMBIES TO OFFICE. Any office, not just President of the United States. Every person with an iota of sense knows that a re-animated corpse is a zombie and zombies aren’t cool. Zombies just want to eat our brains. Your Maximum Leader fears that a re-animated Reagan would not be a strong leader because he could always be sidetracked by a plate of warm steaming brains.
(NB: could one distract zombies by throwing them turrines of sweatbreads?)
Anyway… Even if you were able to safely reanimate Reagan (which your Maximum Leader doubts by the way) the 22nd Amendment still applies and he wouldn’t be eligible. Your Maximum Leader fears that a re-animated Harry Truman is our only option for zombie chief executive.
Your Maximum Leader will stand by the charisma-less, former Massachusetts Governor as the leader for the Republican nod right now. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t really think he knows enough about Mitch Daniels to get worked up one way or the other about him. Smallholder’s comment about Daniels being too moderate for the primaries seems to ring a little false as John McCain (no raging social conservative) didn’t have much of a problem navigating the primaries in 2008. Of course one can argue that the results (and “rage” as the media likes to call it) of the 2010 elections might have changed that. Frankly, your Maximum Leader doesn’t think so. The primaries are the primaries and any Republican who wants a crack at the top job will cater to the base to win the nomination. We speculate about how this year it will be different from past years; but it rarely is that different one cycle to the next.
The whole Obamacare/Romneycare bit isn’t too much of a reach. One can spin it as a question of scale and affordability. Use the Constitution, Obamacare is massive federal overreach; but what Romney did in Mass. is not the same type of deal. States can implement broad social programs within the state if they want. Since the state has to pay for the program it isn’t an unfunded mandate to all or a major source of future debt. It is a subtle argument to be sure; but it might have legs. (Also, Romney can claim that the program has been mismanaged in the years since he left the Governor’s mansion.)
It was Professor Mondo’s comment that Mike Huckabee seems to be enjoying wide support down his way that caused a little distress to your Maximum Leader. Mike Huckabee is one of those potential candidates that really does upset your Maximum Leader. Perhaps your Maximum Leader has a latent prejudice against social conservatives who might actually rise up the the highest office in the land. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t think that he is prejudiced against prominent social conservatives. He thinks his problem is when the conservative in question has ONLY social conservative credentials.
Winston Churchill once said that a fanatic was a person who wouldn’t change their mind and wouldn’t change the subject. Your Maximum Leader thinks that his major objection with many social conservatives is that everything boils down to abortion, prayer and whether or not the US is a Christian nation. Don’t get your Maximum Leader wrong, he is a pretty socially conservative fellow; but he is often looking for policy discussions on a whole host of subjects from his candidates, not just an exposition on religion and politics.
So back to Huckabee… He has executive experience (from a state that has already given us one chief executive). He also seems so authentic and natural as to be everybody’s friend. It is when he starts going on about his young Earth beliefs that he loses your Maximum Leader. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t begrudge anyone their own beliefs concerning the creation and age of the universe; but he finds that there is a strong correlation between those who believe that the universe was created exactly per the Book of Genesis and a lack of curiosity to the natural world. Curiosity in the natural world may not seem like a big prerequisite to higher office, but in your Maximum Leader’s mind it is. That type of curiosity should lead to an appreication for (if not an aptitude for) observation, recording of facts and formulation of hypotheses. Understanding and applying the scientific method (as it were) is a useful tool for developing mental acuity. Mental acuity is a trait of which your Maximum Leader is fond in political leaders.
So back to Huckabee… Your Maximum Leader just can’t imagine him as having the mental acuity needed to be president. This is based solely on Huckabee’s religious beliefs. This type of assessment (a prejudice if you will) is based solely on observations and experience your Maximum Leader has made of others. It may be that Mike Huckabee is a brilliant man with wisdom and understanding beyond what your Maximum Leader has observed. But given what your Maximum Leader has observed, Huckabee is sorta scary as a potential nominee.
Well… Your Maximum Leader believes that he’s run this train of thought off the rails and has no more to say (for the moment) on this subject. He’ll now open the first bottle of bubbly for the evening and see when he might get those steaks.