“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Monday, June 16, 2008

September Surprise - McCain Drops Out (Huffington Post)

Arriana Huffington has always been the queen of the big top, but the queen's blog may have the top act of this election cycle. Step right up folks and be amazed.

When McCain Drops Out Huffington Post - Yahoo

When the Republicans choose their candidate on September 4th, there is a very real chance that they could throw the election into an unexpected chaos as they pull a genuine September Surprise.

I think there is every reason to believe John McCain won't be the nominee. Ok, let me say that again. McCain will not be the Republican candidate in November.

Here's how it could happen:

At some point in mid August, John McCain will announce that he has decided that he can not accept his party's nomination for president. The reason will be health-related, and that may turn out to be the truth. Anyone who's seen him on stage these days knows he looks like he's about to keel over. And anyone who's been on a presidential campaign knows the physical demands are grueling and can be a challenge for a young man.

But excuses or facts hardly matters. He won't be accepting his party's nomination.

The reasons are simple. He can't win. Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee -- the polls all show that McCain's pro-war stance and Bush endorsement make him a lost cause in November. That combined with soft stand on litmus test conservative issues make him an unpopular candidate among the base. I know some Democrats that think the Republicans are planning to let McCain lose and 'sit this one out' so that they can hang the democrats with a bad economy and a war that is a morass. But that just isn't how they play. They play to win every hand -- think about 2000 with a popular Democratic president and good economy and a solid VP running for president. Why did they put up Bush? And why did they fight so hard? Because, you don't ever throw a game. And they're not going to throw this one.

McCain won't be the nominee.

By August, they'll have done something to try and pick away at Obama's popularity. They'll emphasis race, or whatever they can to get him to appear less than perfect. Then, they'll bring out of the woodwork a surprise candidate who can shift the story fast. With just two months before the election -- the new candidate will have little time to be 'vetted' but will be shiny and new, and will get a lot of media attention as Obama's newness will have become -- by then -- tarnished or at least no longer the surprise that it has been as he unseated Hillary.

So, who will be the Republican candidate that faces Obama in the fall?

I've spoken to a number of friends who -- when presented with this set of facts respond: "but they don't have anybody else." That's simply not the case.

Joe Trippi, campaign consultant and most notably Howard Dean's campaign manager, said of McCain dropping out: "While crazy, this may be the best shot they have."

There are a whole list of Republicans who in many ways are more likely to energize the Republican base. One thing is certain -- there are candidates that will play to the core issues in ways that McCain simply can't.

Here's a list of names. Some you know, some you don't. But each of them knows their name is in play. Among them --

  • Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State)
  • Colin Powell (fmr Sec. of State)
  • Marilyn Musgrave (Colorado Congresswoman)
  • Mitt Romney (fmr Massachusetts Governor)
  • Mike Huckabee (fmr Governor of Arkansas)
  • Charlie Crist (Florida Governor)
  • Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota Governor)
  • Bobby Jindal (Louisiana Governor)
  • Mark Sanford: (Governor of South Carolina)
  • John Thune (Senator from South Dakota)
  • Dick Lugar (Senator from Indiana)
  • Chuck Hagel (Senator from Nebraska)
  • MIchael Bloomberg (NYC Mayor)

Ok, go ahead knock them down. One by one. See if you can really remove ALL these names from a list of candidates that are more likely to give Obama a run for his money. They'll come on the scene late, with a press corps that is looking for a horse race and a new story. Obama's frontrunner status will be upset, and there will be a set of variables that need to be calculated -- and tested against a weary electorate.

Is this supposition? Sure, but one grounded with enough history and observation to take it beyond conjecture and into the realm of the possible.

So -- before the Democrats go and game out how to beat McCain, it may be worth thinking about what happens when he says he won't accept the nomination. For the Republicans, a wide open convention would be both good theater and good politics.

In your heart you know she is nuts. Drove her first husband into light loafers.


  1. Townhall.comThe NewsNews ArticleBlack conservatives conflicted on Obama
    campaignBlack conservatives conflicted on Obama campaign

    Another bunch of "conservative" folks abandoning every issue in order to vote for a marxist/socialist because of his skin color.

    Better, if you are going to have brain surgery, that the surgeon not be annointed based on skin color alone: » Texas Girl Recovers From Surgery That Removed Half Her Brain

    And the brain dead I posted 2 days ago:

    Dismayed Republicans emerge as Barack Obama supporters -

    WHAT do the daughter of Richard Nixon, a speechwriter for Ronald Reagan and the son of Milton Friedman, the monetarist economist, have in common?

    They are all Obamacons: conservatives, Republicans and free market champions who support Barack Obama, the Democratic party nominee, for president.

  2. Doctors Remove Part Of Texas Girl's Brain

    The pictures following this one feature a girl who had the same surgery who is going off to college to become a teacher.

  3. Twenty years ago, Carson pioneered curing Rasmussen's encephalitis in children by removing half the brain.
    "Let's try this!"


    We went out to eat with the Millers, and Jodie was brainstorming (or half-brainstorming as the case would be) ideas for new shirts to be sold to support The Hemispherectomy Foundation.

    Remember, these ideas are coming from an 18 year-old girl with only one cerebral hemisphere.

    1) I only have half a brain, what's your excuse?

    2) Anyone with half a brain knows that!

  5. Dr. Benjamin S. Carson Sr. -
    From Slow Learner To Brilliant Brain Surgeon

    Mom had a 3rd grade education:
    Worst of all, she found out that her husband, a minister, already had a wife on the other side of town with five children. With all of these challenges she was determined that somehow her two boys would one-day amount to something good.

    “I did not like school very much and there was no reason why I should,” recalls Carson. “Inasmuch as I was the dumbest kid in the class, what did I have to look forward to? The others laughed at me and made jokes about me every day. I really felt I was the stupidest kid in the fifth grade.” It was his mother’s love that stressed that education was the only way he was ever going to escape poverty.

    She sought guidance through prayer about Ben and his older brother Curtis’ situation. She was given the wisdom, which was to limit the boy’s television viewing to only two pre-selected programs per week. They were currently wasting away with mindless TV. Also, they would each be required to read two books per week and do a written book report on them. “Even though I was in the fifth grade, I had never read a whole book in my life,” Dr. Carson states matter-of-factly.

    Ben Carson - Wikipedia,

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  7. Peanuts are tasty.

    Of course a member of the collective would not want to be judged on results, in Latin America, just upon intentions.

    Which are always the "best".

    Seven years of missed calls and botched plays, going back the the "coup" against Hugo, as just another example of Team43 missing the boat, in South America.

    But let's not be hasty, let's give failure another term. Maybe things will turn around.

    As to permanent bases in Iraq, go campaign on that one. The GOP has avoided that rhetoric, with cause.

    $3 nillion per week, 52, 520, or 5200 more weeks?
    The electorate will decide, as unlike Germany and Korea, there is no bi-partisan agreement on the scope and scale of the threat, to US.

    Another one of Team43's fumbles, not building consensus for their perception of the threat amongst the electorate, no effective leadership on that score.

  8. For a politician whose forte has never been domestic policy, McCain has a peculiar taste for complex, verging on unworkable, regulatory schemes.

    Let Them Eat Honor

    The attraction for McCain of these plans isn’t their intricacies, but their symbolism.

    Campaign-finance reform demonstrated his incorruptibility; comprehensive immigration reform his belief in an America open to all comers; cap-and-trade his commitment to fight global warming.

    These positions were all the more alluring in that they placed McCain in opposition to what he considered the loose ethics, nativism, and head-in-the-sand denial of global warming of his own party. They marked him as a bold reformer refusing to compromise himself:
    Here I stand, I can do no other.

  9. In an interview on the Today show, McCain ridiculously held out the prospect that advances in alternative energy might lower the price of gas by November.

    He’s touting fanciful revolutionary breakthroughs within months without acknowledging the real technological advances that make it possible to drill with minimal environmental impact.

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. For Trish:
    NahnCee said...

    Bush is still President and will be for another few months. If you're PResident of the United States, you can cause a lot of mayhem in 5-6 weeks, let alone 5-6 months.

    All the media whores are calling this Bush's farewell tour, that he's trying to make amends with the Yurps for his bad behavior.

    I, on the other hand, think he's filling them in on plans to nuke Iran. He's moved the Navy fleet into that part of the world, so they're ready. He's met with Abdullah in Saudi Arabia, so the Saud's are ready. I think Israel is been in on the plan from the get-go so they're just waiting for the flag to drop so they can do their part. He's met with the Pope, so His Holiness is filled in.

    I'm watching to see if his next visit is to Australia to touch bases with Rudd. And Canada, although of the two, no one cares what Canada thinks because they don't actually *do* anything except kangaroo courts any more.

    I'm predicting that Bush will nuke Iran before he leaves office which means he's in the final stretch of months (or weeks) before that happens. He's just making courtesy calls to all the biggest Iraq nay-sayers now, to fill them in and loopify them about plans to take out Ahmadinnerjacket and his mullah buddies.

    Be interesting to see if they can keep the secret.

  12. "Of course a member of the collective would not want to be judged on results, in Latin America, just upon intentions."

    I didn't realize we were sent here to improve relations with the neighbors. But you know how it is. The wife is always the last to know.

    Whatever keeps nahncee's spirits up. We all have our happy thoughts.

  13. Seven years of missed calls and botched plays, going back the the "coup" against Hugo, as just another example of Team43 missing the boat, in South America.

    - Rat

    Why put it in quotation marks? Because you believe it was ours? Or because you're not sure that it was one?

    Monday after the Reyes killing, when Chavez was five kinds of bozo at the microphone, you were out of the gate proclaiming another failure by Team43. Inexplicably. Now that he's in trouble at home, OTOH, are we to bear responsibility for his difficulties? Our true agenda being one of support for the nutbag in Caracas?

  14. The only way I see this happening is with a person filling the void that you do not even have on the list at all:

    Newt Gingrich

  15. Blogger Doug said...

    "McCain = Rufus on LSD"

    yeah but I can sometimes relate to Rufus! I guess that says more about me than it does McCain.
    Deuce, you were not wrong that Flower of the cane is good stuff. The 12yo has just a hint of white oak..any more and it would taste more like bourbon than rum.

  16. Cato Monday:

    Candidate Obama has introduced an array of tax proposals, which he discusses in various places on his campaign website. There are four overlapping themes in the Obama tax proposals the way I see it:

    1. Social engineering.
    2. Discrimination.
    3. Economic micromanagement.
    4. Empty populism.

    Under social engineering, I would put Obama’s plan to greatly increase the dependent care tax credit. That would further encourage parents to find institutional day care for their children, rather than providing care themselves.

    Under discrimination, I would put Obama’s proposed special tax break for the elderly. The federal fiscal system is already heavily tilted in favor of the elderly, thus it is unclear why Obama would want to further discriminate against the young.

    Obama’s “American Opportunity Tax Credit” also creates unfair discrimination. This new tax break for college essentially increases subsidizes for future lawyers, accountants, and other professionals. Why subsidize these folks who will likely have much higher earnings than factory workers, retail clerks, and others who don’t go to college?

    Under economic micromanagement, I would put Obama’s Patriot Employer Act, which provides tax breaks to certain businesses that jump through hoops related to hiring, wages, and other items. Obama wants to cut capital gains taxes on certain investments and increase capital gains taxes on others, and he is proposing various narrow energy tax breaks.

    Under empty populism, I would put Obama’s railings against “tax haven abuse” and “corporate loopholes.” If Mr. Obama really wanted to reduce corporate tax avoidance–rather than just using it as a campaign prop–he would join with John McCain and call for an across-the-board corporate rate cut.

    A final category might be “innocuous tax cuts that do nothing for economic growth.” Here I would put Obama’s $500 payroll tax credit called “making work pay.” If Obama had wanted to spur employment, he should have proposed a cut in the payroll tax rate, which would change the marginal incentive to work, unlike the proposed credit.

    In sum, Obama’s tax proposals are pretty awful. It is true that many Republicans and Democrats have proposed similarly bad tax ideas over the years. But Obama can be contrasted with candidate McCain, who thus far has avoided narrow favoritism in his tax proposals, and favors broad-based tax reductions designed to spur economic growth.

    posted by Chris Edwards on 06.13.08 @ 2:31 pm

  17. The Economist:

    AFTER all the blood and blunders, people are right to be sceptical when good news is announced from Iraq. Yet it is now plain that over the past several months, while Americans have been distracted by their presidential primaries, many things in Iraq have at long last started to go right.

    This improvement goes beyond the fall in killing that followed General David Petraeus's “surge”. Iraq's government has gained in stature and confidence. Thanks to soaring oil prices it is flush with money. It is standing up to Iraq's assorted militias and asserting its independence from both America and Iran. The overlapping wars—Sunni against American, Sunni against Shia and Shia against Shia—that harrowed Iraq after the invasion of 2003 have abated. The country no longer looks in imminent danger of flying apart or falling into everlasting anarchy. In September 2007 this newspaper supported the surge not because we had faith in Iraq but only in the desperate hope that the surge might stop what was already a bloodbath from becoming even worse (see article). The situation now is different: Iraq is still a mess, but something approaching a normal future for its people is beginning to look achievable.
    The guns begin to fall silent

    As General Petraeus himself admits, and our briefing this week argues, the change is fragile, and reversible (see article). But it is real. Only a few months ago, Iraq was in the grip not only of a fierce anti-American insurgency but also of a dense tangle of sectarian wars, which America seemed powerless to stop. Those who thought it was just making matters worse by staying on could point to the bloody facts on the ground as evidence. But now it is time to look again. Each of those overlapping conflicts has lately begun to peter out.


  18. Damn, Doug.

    The only difference between me and McCrazy is I'm Right!

    Go blow your snark up somebody else's ass.

  19. Why was "coup" "", because it was basicly bloodless and it failed.
    Whether it was home grown or seeded in DC, I don't have the data to decide.
    But that it failed, as a coup, beyond doubt.

    Last I heard from Hugo, he was announcing the days of armed revolution, over, in Colombia.

    If Hugo was the action agent that cause Bolivia and Ecquador to "turn", on Team43's watch, he was misplayed.

    If the locals in each locale turned on their own, it was still Team43 that missed the turning tide.

    They send amateurs to fill the top spots, from FEMA to Costa Rica, from Iraq to Tijuana.

    Team43 has done extremely poorly in maintaining the US's priority position in positive influence.

    Especially if, as trish tells us, the past 7 years effort has boiled down to Colombia and a Trade Pact that is failing, too.

  20. For almost five years it has been the President's policy for US to stand down, as Iraqis stand up.
    With the US wanting to leave Iraq, as soon as the mission is complete, not a day longer.

    Now the Economist tells a storyline that if the US were leave, the Iraqi will, while standing tall, fall down like a house of cards.

    Their success, in Mosul, Baghdad and Basra, a mirage. Smoke but no substance.
    Just more time is needed.

    52, 520 or 5200 weeks, that's where the debate now stands.

    How good is the US military at accomplishing the Mission of standing up Iraqi security?
    Of State with securing Maliki and his Team?

    If they have failed, if the Iraqi cannot stand up, the US service providers have failed their Commander and his publicly stated policies, regarding Iraq.

    And Venezuela, Bolivia and Equador.
    Throw Nicoland in for fair measure.

  21. Rat, you speak of every country as if it did not have a domestic politics of its own; as if political influence were there for the taking, regardless; as if policies pursued and actions undertaken by other governments here were immaterial. OTOH, you're not an advocate of the US-Colombia FTA nor a supporter of our policies or presence here where we can claim genuine success. This afternoon your complaint is "amateurs." Yesterday it was careerists.

    It wasn't entertaining when T did it. That you do it all under one avatar instead of five, doesn't make it any less nihilistic.

  22. (The Collective. I rather like the sound of that.)

  23. From the Pittsburgh Trib-Review:


    After being introduced by the Rev. Otis Moss III, Trinity's new pastor, as "a prophetic, powerful pulpiteer," a "preacher par excellence," Pfleger began his sermon by telling his adoring audience how to address someone who doesn't buy the idea of collective racial guilt, someone who says, "Well, don't hold me responsible for what my ancestors did."

    Pfleger's answer to that person of insufficient guilt and inadequate color, delivered in an increasingly breathless and crazed voice to an applauding congregation: "But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did and unless you are ready to give up the benefits, throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away all the money you put into the company you walked into because yo' daddy and yo' granddaddy and yo' great-granddaddy, unless you're willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation, 'cause you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy!"

    In other words, you're guilty unless you give up your money.

    Note: Pfleger's aforementioned sermon is best appreciated on video, available on You Tube's "Priest Michael Pfleger Campaigns for Obama at Trinity United."

    Anger, or envy, about trust funds seems to be a big thing with the Trinity crowd. Michelle Obama, for instance, bellyached regularly during her stump speech in the primaries: "You're looking at a young couple that's just a few years out of debt. See, because we went to those good schools and we didn't have trust funds. I'm still waiting for Barack's trust fund. Especially after I heard that Dick Cheney was supposed to be a relative or something. Give us something here!"

    Pfleger's relationship with Obama spans decades -- and the money has flowed both ways. The Chicago Tribune reports that Pfleger has given money to Obama's campaigns and Obama, as a state legislator, directed more than $225,000 of taxpayers' money to Pfleger's church.

    "In April 2004, Barack Obama told a reporter from the Chicago Sun-Times that he had three spiritual mentors or counselors: Jeremiah Wright, James Meeks and Father Michael Pfleger," writes Christopher Hitchens, adding that "the national civil rights pulpit is largely occupied by second-rate shakedown artists who hope to franchise 'race talk' into a fat living for themselves."

    Last Tuesday, Obama spelled out the outlines of his economic policy, a program that Rev. Pfleger might well call the first steps of a "faith-based" prescription to confiscate more of the money of the truly guilty.

    For starters, Obama promises to nearly double the tax on capital gains and dividends, from the current 15 percent to 28 percent, repeal the Bush tax cuts for upper-income households, maintain a 45 percent "death tax" on upper-level estates, increase taxes on the "windfall profits" of oil companies, raise taxes on businesses by "closing corporate tax loopholes," and increase the amount of income that will be subject to payroll taxes.

    That's a program that's more about the Gospel of Envy than job creation or finding oil.

  24. Jeeze,
    Joe (short)Buz and Rufus have to take mandatory remedial humor class when the Messiah starts issuing proclamations.

    LSD is this psychoactive drug, see, so if Ruf took enough of it, he'd hallucinate something like saving the World in five months w/ethanol, LIKE Sen Cane.


  25. Amature careerists come next, Trish.

  26. Like dopey, the amature careerist brain surgeon.

  27. "Joe (short)Buz and Rufus have to take mandatory remedial humor class when the Messiah starts issuing proclamations."

    Doug, just don't joke around and call him Hymie or he may get crossed and never come back. :D

    (The Messiah).

  28. Who knows, maybe she's right, we do live in a world of here today, gone tomorrow. McCain's not a quitter, but his health really doesn't look the best. We could wake up one morning and he might be in the hospital, undergoing surgery.

  29. Feel free to entertain him for the afternoon.

  30. Hear today, hearing gone tommorrow.
    (that would be now, for me)

  31. If we have a President Obama, he's going to find the problems overwhelming, and his tax increases can't but hurt the economy.

    I'm still awaiting the Michelle whitey video.

    For awhile, Doug, I had a ringing in my ears, but it has cleared up. Don't really know what caused it or what cleared it up. Though I figured it probably had to do with the noise of the machinery. Seems like I had it maybe a couple years. Doc said live with it. Not having any choice I did, then it went away mysteriously.

  32. I'm starting to feel terminal dread about the upcoming election.


  33. McCain Better For Economy, But Wall Street Giving Big Bucks To Obama

    Me, too. Starting to feel Obama is going to win. With a slaughter of Republicans in the House and Senate along with it.

  34. Ringing was definitely noise related, imo, al-Bob.
    (along w some hearing loss)
    Wife and I both suffer both from spending the last 19 years w/noisy fans.
    (shoulda broke down and gone AC, but we were green back when only the weird were.)
    Now everybody is weirder than we were.
    Such is life.

  35. The skinny black Marxist that could.
    (in their dreams)

  36. So the black brain surgeon is mostly ignored by the celebrity culture, and the doper Marxist is the Messiah.

  37. Hillary's Christmas ad comes to mind. All those presents under the tree, goodies for everyone, except the taxpayers.

    Yeah, and I wore earcovers too, almost all the time. Ears are sensitive organs, need to take precautions.

  38. I got an ear infection in Hawaii long ago. Had a big operation, and a new eardrum created. Didn't work out well. I'm nearly deaf on that side. Thankfully mother nature made two of most things.

  39. Hey..remedial humor aint funny. I'm digging the short joke though. A short buz is better than no buz any day.
    Progressive Liberal Watermelons are a major buz kill no mater how you serve or get served by them though.

  40. "Hillary's Christmas ad comes to mind. All those presents under the tree, goodies for everyone, except the taxpayers."

    It's nothing but a third-world patronage scheme, and about as supportable in the medium to long-term.

  41. The happiness index is stuck in the 30% range. Do we need a crash government program to move this up?

    But average happiness levels in America have stayed largely constant for many years. In 1972, 30 percent of the population said they were very happy with their lives, according to the National Opinion Research Center's General Social Survey. In 1982, 31 percent said so, and in 2006, 31 percent said so as well. The percentage saying they were not too happy was similarly constant, generally hovering around 13 percent.

    Why We're Happy

  42. The hotly contested fight for the nomination was changed by the assassination of Kennedy, Scheele said, and Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic nomination. Humphrey later lost to Richard Nixon in the presidential election.

    The last time the Republican Party was divided in a similar way was in 1976 when Ronald Reagan ran against sitting President Gerald Ford.

    The nomination was not decided until the Republican convention in Kansas City, where Gerald Ford won the nomination. Jimmy Cater later won the 1976 election in part because many Republicans still supported Reagan and did not vote, Scheele said.

    Divided Parties

  43. I'd say it's about time for George to make a visit to Iowa, just to let them know he's thinking of them.

    Flooding Threatens Farmers

  44. Well how long will it be before some jihadis captured in Afghanistan demand passage to San Francisco, and a hearing before the 9th Circus Court of Appeals? They could bring up all sorts of issues, even the legality of the war.

  45. Mideast oil producers are cash-flush with crude over $130 a barrel. That huge pool of liquidity is increasingly flowing to the world's fastest-growing economy: China.


    Robert Lawrence Kuhn, a senior Citigroup adviser on China, says Chinese officials welcome such interest because the Mideast has what China covets: oil.


    Kuhn estimates that Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia, hold about $1.5 trillion in foreign assets. About 80% is in the U.S., 18% in Europe and 2% in Asia.

    Oil Money Seek Homes

  46. We should pull a Hugo and nationalize that 80%, then hold a privatization auction only to US Born Citizens.

  47. Sorry, Doug; I just get real grouchy when I hear the name, McCain. And, then to see my name in the same sentence as his, . . . . . . well . . . . . .