Thursday, February 25, 2016

Selecting the Next Republican President

Although I have not posting anything in the last few months, I have been following – or trying to – recent events in regards to the selection of presidential candidates in both parties.  I care about polls as much as predictions on what global warming will do.  The beginning of voting is turning opinion into facts, and that is what interest me.  (Back to my analogy of the importance of current predictions on global warming:  the next few thousand years will turn opinion – or climate predictions – into facts and show that these supposedly educated predictions as to what will occur are only slightly more accurate as that of global warming deniers.)  Anyway, this election is a doozy.  While Trump is keeping as good or better lead than polls indicated, the regular Republican candidates are not positioned as polled.   

However, I could not let recent events go unmentioned.  Jeb Bush quit and many feels this is the end of the Bush dynasty.  Maybe so, and then again maybe not.  MoDo seems to think so. 

I hate to see Jeb leave.  He was just the moderate type Republican the current political environment could use.  Maybe he could get something out of the Tea Party Congress that no Democrat ever will.  I was hoping his quite subtleness was like his father’s, a politico I had grossly underestimated.  While President, I thought Poppy Bush – to use MoDo’s referencing of the Bushes – was a bumbling fool.  It was only after he left office that I came to realize he was a subtle genius. 

This conclusion occurred and was reinforced seeing what came after – especially by his son, W.  For me, W made Poppy’s legacy.  Beating his older brother to the White House was all W wanted to do, and once he got there, he was at a loss for what he should do.  In stepped Cheney and Rumsfeld with the typical Republican view of foreign policy and the results on implementation of this naiveté view followed.  We overthrew Saddam, changed the balance of power in the Middle East, and started the legendary Sunni/Shia war.  This legendary conflict is hundreds of years old.  The Ottoman Turks kept it down; nothing was allowed to interfere with the lucrative Silk Road.  And to some degree, so did the British after WW I for different reasons that are oh so British. 

As stated before, Poppy Bush kept Cheney and Rumsfeld in check, quietly, imperceptibly.  He had a much more realistic view of foreign policy than the two war hawks working for him.  He had more experience.  I came to realize he was probably one of the best foreign policy wonks we’ve had in quite some time.  The war to remove Saddam from Kuwait is a benchmark of how we should have handled U.S. involvement in the Middle East. 

Poppy Bush was also the right man in the right place when it became obvious that we had won the Cold War and Communist USSR fell apart.  Seems the old Cold War adage of falling dominoes was true but they were falling in the opposite directions that those supposedly wise in foreign policy had us believe and committed to involvement and dying in Vietnam.  Seems that by the late seventies and through the eighties, rebels and insurgents could see capitalism provided a higher stander of living for even the lower classes and they wanted that type of economy when they took over.  Oligarchy abound – corrupt to be sure, but then so were the communist economies.  China on the other hand became China Inc.

Of course our best Middle Easter strategy has all changed, thanks once again to the bumbling of W.  We could sure use Poppy Bush’s abilities in handling the current Middle East fiasco.  The way things are going, the Sunni/Shia war, especially given the latest flare up between Saudi Arabia and Iran, could escalate into WW III.  Who would have thought?

Today, in the Middle East you are either for the Sunnis or the Shias.  We need to recognize the new reality.  Assad is Shia.  Iran which is Shia is helping Assad.  Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and other middle Middle Eastern nations are Sunni; they are against Assad.  The U.S. seems to be both: we are against Assad but we are on the side of Iran and Iraq in fighting ISIS.   If Saddam was still in power, there would be no ISIS.

Russia is on Assad’s side and appear to be for the Shia nations.  Got some news for you Mr. Putin: Big Mistake!  You and your fellow Russkies will live to regret this as much as any wise U.S. person does our overthrow of Saddam.  Putin may have made Russia the new Satan in place of the U.S. – and Russia is so much closer for Middle Eastern terrorists.

Anyway, back to the Bushes.  I hope we have not seen the last of that subtle genius in handling of Congress and foreign policy.  By the way MoDo, Poppy lost in 1992 because of Ross Perot and that dreaded third party candidate effect.  If you moderate Republican really want to insure Trump does not win, get a Republican vote grabbing third party candidate running and you can keep a Democrat in the White House – either Hillary or Sanders, doesn’t matter – and keep our current dysfunctional failing system of government.

I anxiously await Super Tuesday to see if the run of the mill Republicans can garner some delegates for politics as it has been, or will Trump shown that his candidacy is a new phenomenon that pundits will have to chew on for months – if not years -  to come.