20 January 2008

The Passion of the Huckleberry

An election on a Saturday, when more people are likely to be off work/out of school? Now there's a concept you could almost get behind.

Clinton wins in Nevada, Obama invokes Ronald Reagan, then claims he got more delegates out of the deal. Edwards is non-existent. America's faith in hopelessly corruptible spineless liberals bears no fruit yet again. Demographics are pretty much the last thing they have to argue about now.

Romney wins Nevada, GOP edition, which wasn't contested, while McCain scores narrowly over Huckabee in South Carolina, which was. This may be the dagger thrust for Huckabee, who doesn't have the cash to compete on Super Tuesday and needed the boost from a state where his unique base of support is pre-eminent. Huckabee may have suffered from the uniting of the factions opposing him coalescing behind the lesser-evil McCain who's seen, correctly, as more electable. (The only Republican candidate who is.)

Indeed, the McCain-Clinton matchup that now looks most likely among those possible would be a seriously bad portent for the Democrats. McCain is only Neutral Evil, and doesn't have anything for the liberals to arrange the easy talking points around. He is a hawk, but not a torture not, and not distinguishable enough from Clinton. He is not particularly religious, which is a double-edged sword; he isn't loved by the Christian Right, but nor does he stir the hive of liberals prophesying a pending theocracy. The Mushy Middle adores him with the same fervor it deplores Clinton, who often struggles to expand her draw beyond the yellow dogs. Both are distrusted by the natural base of the party, but McCain will be more willing to pander before the Clintonites come begging to the hippies. Were I put on the spot today, I'd have to predict McCain coming out on top of that hypothetical race. Of course, his fate is linked more than anyone to the situation in Iraq. If the present illusion of calming were to erupt again, his stature would have to be reconsidered. On the other hand, well, I'd advise you not think about it.