Friday, January 15, 2010

A Future Republican President?

In Massachusetts on Tuesday, voters will choose the person they want to fill the late Senator Ted Kennedy's seat for the remainder of his term. Martha Coakley is the Democratic candidate and Massachusetts is the most liberal state in the union (yes...even more than Vermont, New York, or California). The race is within eight points, with Coakley holding a slim lead. However, despite Massachusetts' reputation as a liberal haven, they did elect Mitt Romney as Governor for a term (it was hilarious to watch him disown his own progressive accomplishments as he tried to appeal to the ignorant and conservative evangelicals in his party during his presidential campaign in 2008).

The Republican candidate is Scott Brown (pictured above and below). If he manages a win, it will end the Democrats' filibuster-proof Senate, which may very well threaten President Obama's health care reform bill. More than that, though, if Scott Brown does win, he automatically becomes a front-runner for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 or 2016. That is how desperate the Republican party is for a true leader. Based on a few websites and articles I've read, he doesn't sound bad...for a Republican. In fact, he may just be the guy to return that party back to sanity after drinking the Bush-Cheney-Rush-Palin Kool-Aid for so long.

Think about it. Republicans are desperate for someone to lead the party off the crazy-train. It needs to flush the teabaggers down the toilet, to return those unreasonable, ignorant idiots back to the cess pool from which they emerged. Whatever happened to the party of Rockefeller, Eisenhower, and the elder Bush? The writing has been on the wall for some time now. The Goldwater, Reagan, Bush, Palin wing of the party has only gone farther to the right and crazy to the point where the sky is green and the grass is blue, the sun is black and the moon is made of cheese. It does not do America any good to have such a weakened party controlled by a fanatical group of unreasonable wingnuts, who are every bit as crazy as Ahmadinejad of Iran.

Speaking as a pretty loyal Democrat, I realize that we are bound to have another Republican president again at some point in our future and though its not my favourite option, I still have to live here during those years, so I want a president I can respect. A president who would not decide to only govern to his base of loyal supporters and say "screw you!" to the rest of the country (as Bush the younger had done). Bush's father was a president that I actually respected during his term of office. Though I wouldn't have voted for him in 1988 if I had been old enough, I still respected that he was the president and I actually liked him better than Reagan. In 2000, I wanted John McCain to win the Republican nomination, because I believed he would have been a better president than Bush the younger, if Gore couldn't win the election.

What kind of Republican would I prefer in the White House? Well...I like someone who is moderate, doesn't allow his or her religious beliefs to dictate policies, values competence above all else (loyalty is a necessary element, but never at the expense of competence), not divisive, able to reach across the aisle for the sake of national unity (without making charged accusations like "you're either with me or with the terrorists!"), and military experience is always a good thing on a resume. Obviously leadership ability, intelligence, and curiosity are all vital qualities as well. Charisma and telegenic looks don't hurt, either. But those last two points cannot be the top two qualities, otherwise we end up with the likes of Sarah Palin, who thinks she can wink and flirt her way out of trouble or controversy.

So...who is Scott Brown? He's a state senator (like Obama was!) and has also been a member of the National Guard for nearly 30 years (he's a Lt Colonel in the Judge Advocate General's Corps...yeah, he's a military lawyer). Both he and his wife were models in their younger days (see photo below, where they pose in front of a modeling photo they did together). In fact, Scott had even posed nude for a Cosmo shoot when he was a college student. I don't think that's enough to kill his career. In fact, it might even help him. Unless its only the tip of an iceberg. Hopefully he doesn't have any Jack Ryan-type secrets in his background. *(Jack Ryan was the Republican nominee to run against Barack Obama in the Illinois Senate race in 2004, who found his support evaporated after his divorce records were unsealed, revealing that he had made his actress wife Jeri Ryan--of Deep Space Nine--go with him to sex clubs in Paris and New York. When she cried about not wanting to perform oral sex on him in front of strangers at these clubs, his response to her was: "Your crying is not a turn-on for me.")*

The big question is, does he have the smarts or is he just another shallow overachiever whose political fortunes have more to do with looks than substance (see Sarah Palin, John Edwards, Michelle Bachmann, and Evan Bayh for examples)? Based on a preliminary look at his background (through an article at Huffington Post and on his website), I would venture to guess that he's no dummy (making it to Lt Colonel and being a military lawyer, as well as serving three terms in the state senate after being in the state house of representatives prior to that all indicate some level of smarts and commitment).

Even more amazing...this family has two daughters (doesn't it seem like men with only daughters end up as president lately?), one of whom (Ayla) was a constestant on American Idol in Season 5 (the year Taylor Hicks won). That shouldn't be surprising, as her father Scott had acted in some commericals as a young man and her mom, Gail, was a local television news reporter. You can't get a more telegenic family than that (hopefully, they are also without the dysfunction of the telegenic Palin family). For these reasons, this makes Scott Brown the one Republican to watch in the next decade. Even his name is "all-American"...and I have a theory that when America chooses presidents, we often pick the successor to be the opposite of whatever "flaw" we dislike in the current president. It remains to be seen in what ways President Obama will disappoint Americans, though he does seem likely to have a second term if the Republicans pick Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, or Newt Gingrich. Barring any embarrassing personal scandals, Scott Brown looks like he may have the winning shot in 2012...if he manages to win on Tuesday.

Though I have my differences with the military and its conservative mindset, I believe that military experience is a good thing on a political resume. The past three presidents have no or little experience (Clinton dodged the draft, Bush went AWOL from his National Guard unit to avoid a flight physical, Obama grew up after the Vietnam-era), but Iraq and Afghanistan are likely to still be American nation building projects for the far foreseeable future. Thus, it makes sense to have a president who has actual military experience.

It'll be interesting to see if the diehard Palinistas would accept Scott Brown as a Republican nominee without Palin on the ticket in 2012 or 2016. Now that she has her own show on the Fox Propaganda Network (I suspected that a deal was in the works soon after she quit the governor's office, but the deal was kept secret until Rupert Murdoch saw how she "performed" on the book tour), its even less likely that she'll ever be a candidate for office again. Her daily rants will only remind the American public of how stupid she is, as a daily show without filters allows her to make uncensored comments. She'll be a gaffe riot on a regular basis (her latest display of stupidity was when she answered a question about her favourite Founding Father being "all of them"--which is what she said about which newspapers and magazines she read to keep informed. Sounds like she says "all of them" when she doesn't have a clue. What would you like for dinner on this menu, honey? "All of them!").

Just remember that you read it here first...I am predicting that Scott Brown will be a future Republican candidate for president in 2012 or 2016. Winning on Tuesday makes 2012 more likely, losing means he'll have to seek the Governor's office, which means 2016 is more likely. I really hope he is a reasonable guy. My advice to him would be: "Don't drink the teabagger's Kool-Aid!" Appealing to the moderate independent swing vote is the only way to win the White House. And if being a conservative in liberal Massachusetts doesn't moderate you, then nothing will!

Below is an interesting video that Brown made with his daughters. It shows his playful side.

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