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100 Below: Crazy Old Man?

Albert sat with his dementia-addled grandfather, Ted, often. Ted stared out the window and told stories beginning “I once…” Most stories started, “I once had a great sandwich at a diner in Portland.” They amused Albert in their ordinariness.

Today, Ted started, “I once did a hooker in Nevada.” This caught Albert’s attention. “She tried to change the price once we were done. We argued. Her pimp crashed through the door and we fought. I killed them both. Buried them in the desert. That’s why I don’t go to Nevada anymore.”

Ted winked, then stared out the window.

More Stupor Tuesday

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader got two great comments to the post below. Let us revisit them (for those of you who don’t like clicking).

First, from Smitty: “So, do you think the protest vote, and general indifference toward this mummer’s farce in VA, will lead to embarrassment for Romney.”

No, your Maximum Leader does not. The Virginia primary will be an afterthought in the commentary on the events of today. Romney and Paul followed the existing rules for participating and none of the other candidates did. Romney will get a win (with some delegates going to Paul due to proportional representation) and that will be that. Commentary will focus on what happens in other states, like Ohio. There is only one embarrassing situation your Maximum Leader can imagine for Romney. That scenario is that he wins less than 60% of the vote. If it is down to a choice between Romney and Paul and Mitt doesn’t pull out at least 60% then the “win” will be embarrassing. But only moderately. The news remains somewhere else.

Of course, the Virginia GOP and Democrat parties could and probably should be embarrassed by the primary. The restrictive rules to get on the ballot are likely going to be dropped as more people get angered by their lack of choice. If Virginia is truly a “swing” state; both parties would benefit from a rules revision. Your Maximum Leader is disappointed by the rules as they stand; but he has a rough time getting worked up about changing them. On the one hand he wants it to be easier to have choices; but on the other hand if one is serious about running for office you should know what it will take well ahead of time and make a plan. (NB: many are critical of Mitt for having been running for President for the past 4 years. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t fault anyone for that. If you want the job you actually have to make and act on these types of plans. Your Maximum Leader isn’t saying that it is a good thing that you have to run for President for 4 years; he is just saying it is what it is.)

Second comment from Eric:

You may not like Mitt, but a vote for Ron Paul, is a vote endorsing Islamo-Fascism, and a soft on terrorism foreign policy. Yes, he’s good on economics. But that doesn’t make up for the fact that his foreign policy views are decidedly surrender-tarian.

Islamism is the greatest threat this country faces. And anyone who appeases Islamists are siding with our enemies. It’s unconscionable that any Republican could vote for Paul, knowing this fact.

First off, thank you Eric for your comment. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe he’s ever seen you comment here before. He appreciates you taking the time to comment.

Your Maximum Leader, to be honest, doesn’t like any of the candidates running for President. He doesn’t want President Obama to win a second term. He can’t stand Rick Santorum. He really cannot abide by Newt Gingrich. And he feels mostly “oh hum” about both Paul and Romney. Your Maximum Leader disagrees with Ron Paul on more items than one can easily enumerate in the time he has to write this post. Your Maximum Leader believes that Ron Paul’s general conceptions of economics and foreign policy are impractical, unworkable and would be disastrous if attempted. That said, Paul’s positions are consistent and more or less understandable in the context of the type of libertarianism that he has always espoused. Would Ron Paul be a good President of the United States? No, he would not. The best a conservative can hope for is that Paul’s presence in the race will cause people to give more thought to smaller government and more liberty. Those overarching themes are positive and the GOP would do well to endorse and act on them.

As for Romney. Your Maximum Leader will have to fall back on William F. Buckley Jr.’s old maxim of voting for the most electable conservative available to you. Of the four candidates we’ve got to chose from, Mitt is it. That isn’t a ringing endorsement; but it is all he’s going to get from your Maximum Leader. Your Maximum Leader will not even claim that Mitt Romney is “conservative.” He is more to the right than President Obama is and he is more electable than the other three. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure where people get the idea that Rick Santorum (who cannot win re-election in his own - swing - state) and Newt Gingrich (who has never won anything except his - now former - congressional district) are more electable than Mitt Romney. Admittedly, Romney has lost elections too (famously the MA senate race to Teddy Kennedy) but in a race that will be a nail-biter it seems like you need to have a broad appeal to regular voters. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t see how Santorum or Gingrich or Paul are widely appealing. Don’t get him wrong, your Maximum Leader isn’t trying to claim that Mitt Romney is widely appealing to all voters. He is only claiming that Mitt Romney is more appealing to voters than the others.

All that said, your Maximum Leader still believes that all things being equal, President Obama will win re-election.

Carry on.

Stupor Tuesday

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader mused yesterday evening on Twitter (@maximumleader) about a number of things. For the sake of this post, he will focus on his tweet asking for whom he should cast his vote in Virginia’s “Super” Tuesday primary. Your Maximum Leader isn’t thrilled with his choices of Mitt Romney or Ron Paul.

So, your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain did the logical thing… We split our two votes. We flipped a coin to decide who got to vote for whom and then bucked-up and did the deed.

So there you have it. Word from two Virginia voters. One for Mitt and one for Ron.

Your Maximum Leader notices over on The Other McCain that Smitty cast his non-Romney protest vote earlier today. Like Smitty, your Maximum Leader & Mrs Villain were outnumbered by election officials. Our ratio was 5:2. Your Maximum Leader was the 13th person to vote this morning. Smitty had to produce identification in order to be allowed to vote; your Maximum Leader did as well. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t understand why so many people (generally Democrats) have a problem with requiring people to show a photo ID in order to vote. It seems completely rational to have a person establish their identity before voting. But then again, who said anything involving democracy has to be rational.

Your Maximum Leader will take issue with Smitty on one issue. Smitty’s post implies (by my reading) that the Virginia GOP is solely responsible for the “no write-in” policy and the tough process by which a candidate has to get onto the ballot in the first place. (A process that was, for a time, contested by the Santorum and Gingrich campaigns.) It is your Maximum Leader’s understanding that these requirements are not just GOP’s - but are in fact just as applicable to Democrats. Many would argue that both parties in Virginia have a long history of making it hard to get on the ballot. This has been to give the state parties more control over the election process (and to depress voter turn out it is often alleged). Your Maximum Leader doesn’t disagree with the rules per se. The rules are the rules and are subject to change. Perhaps Smitty’s involvement in local GOP committees will help to change the rule.

Anyhoo…

If you are in a “Super” Tuesday primary state - go vote.

Carry on.

History of the Future

Endnote from “Earth’s History,” published 2212.

The widely accepted first contact with the Silurdairians on Titan in 2157 was not in fact the first contact between the two races. The true first contact occurred in 1922 when a Silurdairian spacecraft made an emergency landing after a hyperdrive test gone awry. Had Greek sheppard Dimitrios Pereclius known that staring without blinking at a Silurdairian is considered highly aggressive behavior the history of our galaxy might have been radically different. Instead it ended with Pereclius reduced to a mass of bloody goo and the Silurdairians repairing their ship and returning home.

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