March 13th, 2006

Dem Donkey

Mark Warner...

The NYTimes Magazine cover story this week is an assessment of how the early stages of the '08 Democratic primary are shaping up, focusing on Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia.

I don't believe Hillary can win the general election, and even though I'd vote for her over anyone the GOP is going to offer, I think that if she won, the Clinton-hatred that was cultivated in the '90s would come back with a vengeance, making it difficult for her to advance an effective agenda. Among the non-Hillary candidates, Warner seems the fairly clear best-choice. I like John Edwards and Al Gore better on policy, but I don't think either has a serious shot at actually winning. Edwards, if he wants to run for prez again, should really be looking at trying a term or two as governor of NC first. American culture, currently, is extremely harsh on people who've lost in the past; building up a record of political wins, and establishing executive credentials, would set up a much more credible candidacy. As for Gore, I do have a soft spot for his wonkishness, and it ticks me off that he has never gotten a fair shake from the media, which has cheerfully played along with various lies about him. But again, like Hillary, the ingrained attitudes towards him are out there, and would be a major hurdle. Having a candidate who hasn't already been defined would be nice.

Here is Warner as policy wonk, in an interview on health care issues, which shows off the fact -- mentioned in the NYTM article, but not really explored -- that on domestic policy issues, Warner has some good ideas and knows how to articulate them. I do hope he gets better on foreign policy. OTOH, considering how idiotic Bush sounded on both domestic and foreign policy in '00, I'm not sure a good grasp of the issues is necessary, as long as one learns to at least sound decisive. *sigh*

Here is Warner not throwing gays overboard.

Warner restores voting rights to ex-felons -- while one could note that most ex-cons who vote, vote for Democrats, I still believe that denying constitutional rights to people who have served their time is an injustice, unless you cite a serious threat of harm to the public. (e.g. I'm not against tracking child molestors, because their pathologies tend to be persistent. Also, I tend to think purchases of guns by violent felons should be held to a higher standard than a purchase by non-felons. Oddly, the NRA and its GOP stooges don't seem to agree; they seem to think felons should have guns, but not votes.)

Salon interview with Warner -- if anyone's interested in reading it but doesn't have Premium, I can post the text in the comments section...

I have a few spare Mark Warner bumper stickers, if anyone is interested...
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