Monday, November 12, 2007
Well I was talking the other day to an old friend who lives in Topeka. This lawyer is very smart and over the course of time I have come to think of him as the very embodiment of the center of American politics. He was one of the first smart people I knew who supported Reagan, long before I would even have considered voting Republican.
We had previously discussed Giuliani, and I had expressed my belief that he is the least objectionable to me of the current crop of wanna-be Presidents. He's not terribly fond of Giuliani himself, but he's the sort of fellow who's never fond of any particular politician or party—all the more reason to sit up and listen when he ends up supporting one. Now we were on the subject of hospitals and he remarked that the VA hospital system has become truly awful and the people who are stuck in it are in very bad shape. He remarked that he can hardly bear to visit the VA hospitals any more because they are so dingy and depressing. I couldn't help but jump at the opportunity to put the wedge in, so I replied that once "his candidate" Hillary took over, every hostpital would soon become as dingy and depressing as the VA Hospitals.
I was rather shocked at his reaction. He immediately, and with surprising heat, starting attacking me over Iraq and Iran, saying things like "Do you believe we should go to war with Iran?" and "Do you really think Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction?". This unexpected barrage of assertive questions overwhelmed my ability to respond or answer in short time, but it made one thing abundantly clear to me: the country is frustrated and angry over the Iraq War. There is a widespread sense than Bush and the Republicans—no matter what the stripe—must be punished for their transgressions, and it matters little whether the instrument of punishment is Hillary or any other semi-reputable Democrat. The issue now is the Republicans, and unless that changes, Hillary will soon be in control.