Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Eric Cantor/Mike Pence 2012!

I generally like the idea of people other than governors and senators running for president, but I'm not so sure about these two guys: "Congressional Quarterly is reporting that two Republican congressmen, Eric Cantor of Virginia and Mike Pence of Indiana, could be looking to make a presidential run."

When it comes to the Republicans, I'd be happy to see Charlie Crist emerge as a major player, but I think that isn't likely until 2016 at the earliest. I think that the problem at this point is that someone like Cantor or Pence is going to be too conservative for the country in general (though the right would likely be pleased with either), while someone like Romney that could conceivably compete nationally would only be able to prevail by making so many deals with various factions on the right that they would simply be unable to be an independent actor in office. Mike Huckabee strikes me as the only one with an independent following that could allow him some space to maneuver on stuff like the economy and foreign affairs, but his views on these subjects have historically been fairly heterodox, which is why the establishment hates his guts. And I don't think that the GOP has anyone who can take on Obama at this point. The man's a one-in-a-generation political talent, like Reagan or F.D.R.

In any event, Charlie Crist is the most likely next Republican president, in my opinion. He strikes me as someone who can pitch conservatism to people who don't carry around Vietnam-era culture war baggage, and when one considers that the average listening age of a talk radio consumer is something like 67, in eight years there will likely be an opportunity for a different conception of conservatism. But I suppose we'll see. It took about that long after Tony Blair got elected for a lot of the old, intransigent Tories to die off and for Dave Cameron to come to power, and there were some similar demographic bombs at play then as well.

The Man, The Myth, The Bio

East Bay, California, United States
Problem: I have lots of opinions on politics and culture that I need to vent. If I do not do this I will wind up muttering to myself, and that's only like one or two steps away from being a hobo. Solution: I write two blogs. A political blog that has some evident sympathies (pro-Obama, mostly liberal though I dissent on some issues, like guns and trade) and a culture blog that does, well, cultural essays in a more long-form manner. My particular thing is taking overrated things (movies, mostly, but other things too) down a peg and putting underrated things up a peg. I'm sort of the court of last resort, and I tend to focus on more obscure cultural phenomena.