Monday, January 14, 2008

The Current Crop of Candidates

If you have read my posts "Presidential Legacies" and "The Modern Presidency: A Tour of American History since 1900" it will not surprise you to know that I find little to admire in the current crop of presidential candidates. The candidate who comes closest to matching my views on a range of issues (seven points of agreement on eleven issues) is Fred Thompson, who has the proverbial "snowball's chance in hell" of winning anything.

All I can hope for, at this point, is a GOP winner in November. That's not because I much like any of the GOP candidates (I don't), but because I would rather have Supreme Court appointments in the hands of a Republican president. From that perspective, even Rudy Giuliani looks good.

UPDATE (01/21/08): A McCain-Clinton presidential contest seems most likely at this point. A President McCain might very well subject prospective Supreme Court nominees to a McCain-Feingold litmus test. George Will writes:

McCain says he would nominate Supreme Court justices similar to Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Sam Alito. But how likely is he to nominate jurists who resemble those four: They consider his signature achievement constitutionally dubious.

When the Supreme Court upheld McCain-Feingold 5-4, Scalia and Thomas were in the minority. That was before Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor, who was in the majority. Two years later, McCain filed his own brief supporting federal suppression of a right-to-life group's issue advertisement in Wisconsin because it mentioned a candidate for federal office during the McCain-Feingold blackout period prior to an election. The court ruled 5-4 against McCain's position, with Alito in the majority.

McCain and Clinton: Not a dime's worth of difference as far as I can see. Both are statists to the core.

If the LP comes up with a candidate who's better than Michael Badnarik (the LP's 2004 nominee), I might just waste my vote on that candidate.