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– Mugsy

I was never a fan of Former Senator John Edwards. But as lower-tier candidates dropped out one by one, he was the only one of the three remaining candidates whose policy agenda and position on most issues I felt comfortable with. With his departure Today/Wednesday, I find there is no candidate whose policy decisions and stated agenda I feel is my “natural next choice”.

I have noted my problems with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama on several occasions here on Mugsy’s Rap Sheet in the past year. My chief complaint with Edwards was only his lack of political experience. And I think it was that lack of political experience that handcuffed Edwards from challenging Senator Obama on his own inexperience.

There is no way on Earth I could vote for any Republican (yes, even anti-war Ron Paul, whose Libertarian solutions mean privatizing just about every government service we now enjoy. And if you think that might be a good idea, I have just two words for you: Iraq/Halliburton), leaving me with just two unpalatable choices: Hillary or Obama.

Since I can no longer choose a candidate based on their policy positions or stated agenda, that means picking a candidate based upon who I think has the best chance of BECOMING the kind of President we need to undo the catastrophic damage done by George Bush over the past eight years. The next President will have to deal with an Iraq that will be left in shambles, courting close ties with Iran (not necessarily a bad thing, but will be spun as “a catastrophe” that is “all the Democrats fault”. They will face a nearly $10 TRILLION dollar National Debt that looses $400 Billion tax dollars a year just to pay interest on that debt… so if the next President wants to fund the government without borrowing still *more* money and growing that debt, they are going to be faced with cutting “something” that one group or another will raise holy hell over. Bill Clinton found the money by cutting our bloated military budget, and the Republicans then used that defunding to unfairly blame him for the disaster in Iraq.

Sen. Hillary Clinton has always been the most hawkish among all the Democratic candidates on the subjects of Iraq and National Security. She voted to declare part of the Iranian Military, (their Quds Force) “a terrorist organization” (which Obama criticized, but then failed to sign the Webb Amendment criticizing that vote). Sen. Barack Obama, while he has claimed the mantle of Howard Dean as the candidate that “opposed the Iraq war from the beginning“, the reason for his opposition wasn’t because he thought invading Iraq was “unnecessary“, “wrong“, or that thousands of innocent Iraqi’s that had nothing to do with 9/11 might be killed, but because… as he stated in the Democrats second debate last year… “I anticipated that we would be creating the kind of sectarian violence that we’ve seen and that it would distract us from the war on terror”. On the subject of Iran developing nuclear weapons, he stated: “I don’t think that’s disputed by any expert.” Flash forward eight months later when the latest “National Intelligence Estimate” revealed that Iran abandoned its nuclear weapons program in 2003.

Neither candidate has demonstrated the kind of judgment I think we need in our next President.

Following the egregious abuses of power by President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal and the growing disaster that was Vietnam, the country reacted by electing the most honest, decent Democrat in the country: the Governor of Georgia Jimmy Carter. I’d put Governor Carter’s morals and sense of right & wrong against George Bush’s any day. But because of a “perceived” failure to deal with “the Iran Hostage Crisis”, soaring gas prices, and inflation, Carter lost his bid for re-election just four year later and hastened in 27 years of extremist Republican rule in the White House, Congress or both, for the next 27 years.

The American voting public has an EXTREMELY short memory, and doesn’t understand how government works well enough to understand why you can’t always have both “guns & butter”. How else do you explain Americans voting Republicans back in charge of both the White House and the Senate just four & six years (respectively) after Nixon/Watergate?

My greatest fear at this point is if the next President, once again being ushered in to “fix” the crimes and failed war strategy of the previous Republican president, will be misperceived as a failure just four years from now and set the Democratic Party back another 30 years. And with the next President almost certain to be either “the first woman” or “the first African-American” President, a failed presidency could set back either movement every bit as long.

Right now, I can not endorse either remaining candidate for the Democratic nomination based upon anything they have said or their proposed agenda up to this point. Instead, I’ll be waiting to see who reconfigures their campaign that suggests they are mostly likely to BECOME the kind of President this country will desperately need in the years to come.

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