Monday, January 06, 2014

Forum: Whom Would You Least Like To See In A Presidential Matchup In 2016?

Every week on Monday morning , the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher's Forum, short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture, or daily living. This week's question: Whom Would You Least Like To See In A Presidential Matchup In 2016?

The Razor: Well the Democrat is easy: Hillary Clinton. I would have preferred her in 2008; in fact I hoped she would win the nomination because I was never a Clinton hater like so many on the Right. But after her stint as Secretary of State, and particularly after Benghazi and the “WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE” breakdown in front of Congress, she’s not fit to be my county’s dog catcher.

On the GOP side it’s tougher. We’re still too far out to see who the main challengers are going to be, and in fairness no one stands out. I’m not much of a fan of Chris Christie given that I’m not a fan of his state nor of his anti-gun rights stances, but I suspect he’d put up a much better fight than Romney did in ‘12. Paul Ryan strikes me as another weak candidate at this point, as does Rand Paul. I hope to see one or the other grow, but I really feel that we need to find someone with management experience, and that means selecting a governor.

So I would probably select either Paul Ryan or Rand Paul as the GOP candidate I’d least like to see in the match-up, if only because Amateur Hour is over. We need experience.

PS: I personally know our dog catcher; he’s a nice guy with a tough job and people generally like him around here. If Hillary ran for his job she’d lose by a landslide.

The Glittering Eye: I don't look forward to anyone running for president in 2016. I find the entire prospect terribly depressing.

Given that proviso it's hard for me to give an answer to the forum's question other than a flip one: I'd like to see any Republican who could beat Hillary Clinton run. I don't much care who it is. I do not much want to see Hillary Clinton elected to the presidency. I'd like to see any Democrat who can beat her run. Or Libertarian. Heck, I'd even prefer a Green who could beat her.

JoshuaPundit: It's hard to answer this one from a negative standpoint, which makes it a lil' bit tricky (*chuckle*).

Frankly, given the mess the next president will inherit, it's hard to see who would want the job unless they had ulterior motives. Like say, Mrs. Clinton, who already has her sycophants  testing the waters for her.

What we really need, of course, is someone not part of the Ruling Class (or someone who doesn't aspire to be part of it), who is a person of principle who would be willing to do what it takes and get their hands dirty in order to fix what's wrong and deal with our deep seated problems. Based on that, I would not want to see a matchup between Mrs. Clinton or Chris Christie, Jeb Bush or Paul Ryan on the Republican side, among others.

We have, at this point, had three very poor presidents in a row, the worst in our history and all were two termers, meaning we have had a quarter century of dysfunctional leadership and in the case of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama,men who have avidly sought to enrich themselves personally through the office. I have often written that the issue for America is not our destruction - we're far too powerful for that - but whether we wish to reinvigorate our Republic on the principles it was founded or become Rome.So far, based on our last three presidents I think we're leaning towards Rome and it will take an incredible person to reverse that in the other direction.

The Roman Republic had its moment in 83 BC with striking similarities to our own in the strife between the optimates and the populares somewhat similar in outlook respectively to our own Republican conservatives and Leftist Democrats. The Republic was about to collapse in corruption, civil strife, cronyism and blatant mismanagement.

That's when Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Rome's most famous and victorious general and an optimate marched five of his legions back into Rome, assumed a position as dictator and took over the city.

The Senate, having no choice, appointed him dictator legibus faciendis et reipublicae constituendae causa ("dictator for the making of laws and for the settling of the constitution").

Sulla used his powers to enact a series of reforms to the Roman constitution, arrested and/or exiled a number of people he suspected of corruption or other crimes against the Republic and carried out a number of executions of those he considered traitors or whom had acted against Rome's interest.

Amazingly, once his reforms restored the balance of power between the executive and legislative parts of Rome's government and codified requirements for holding office, the economy was working well again and the state again operating on its founding principles, Sulla voluntarily relinquished his absolute power, disbanded his legions and resigned two years after he first became dictator, retiring to his country villa with his family.

In spite of how he took power, he remained beloved of Rome's people and was given a hero's funeral by the City when he died 3 years later. His contemporaries like Plutarch credited him with saving the Roman Republic, which managed to last for another half century before Augustus turned it into an empire in 27 BC.

I relate this not because I want to see a dictatorship ruling our republic, but to show how perilously close to the edge we are. Hopefully the changes we need will be carried out in a peaceful way by men who are as dedicated to our nation as Sulla was to his.

  Well, there you have it.

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1 comment:

B.Poster said...

The worst possible candidate for the Republicans would Jeb Bush. The Republicans are not serious about nominating him are they?

No matter how good a leader he may be or have been a governor of FL he has a huge problem. He has the name "Bush." His brother left office as the most reviled man in American history. He remains so to this day. While this may not be fair to Jeb, this is the case. Nominating Jeb would be suicidal for the Republicans.

As far as the candidates on the Democrat side, I think it is a mater of who is least bad. Frankly I don't knew who it is? The same really applies to the Republicans as well. Who is least bad? They are all quite bad right now.

"...the issue for America is not our destruction. We're far to powerful for that..." With all due respect, this is exactly what it is about and to suggest that we are far to powerful suggests an attitude of extreme hubris. I'm sure you are familiar with the statement that pride comes before the fall. I don't think many Americans actually believe the statement that America is to powerful to be destroyed. If they do, we are in more trouble than I thought.

The analogy to Rome is interesting, especially the historical context in 83BC. I could envision a scenario where an American general might attempt to assume power in a time of crisis to hold the nation together or in the aftermath of an attack on the US mainland. While I could envision something like that, there are several problems that make it VERY unlikely. 1.)Rome had no real international rivals for power during the time of 83BC. America does. If America disintegrated to that point today, foreign rivals would take advantage of the situation long before an American general could assume power. 2.)America has no generals who possess the competence of the of General Sulla nor are there any on the visible horizon. 3.)While America is currently an influential country, Rome ruled much of the known world at it's time. RELATIVE to the time period America's power today is not even close to what Rome's was. Additionally, except for perhaps a very brief period immediately following WWII America has never had this kind of power relative to it's time period that Rome had. Very respectfully, this is where this comparison of America's current situation to that of Rome breaks down.

I agree that it's hard to envision someone actually wanting to be the next POTUS unless they have an ulterior motive. I also agree that the next POTUS needs to be someone not of the ruling class. At a minimum they will need to focus on the following two things. 1.)Publically renounce the idea that POTUS is "the leader of the free world." He/she is President of the United States. Our own nation has enough problems of it's own. The resources are not available to focus on the problems of "the free world." Focus on getting our own house in order. Also, it's a bit confusing on just who the "free world really is!!" 2.)The dollar will lose it's role as world reserve currency in the next few years, if not sooner. American leadership including POTUS needs to start preparing for this. Of course all of this assumes the country actually survives long enough to get a new POTUS and new leadership in place. I pray it does.