Thursday, October 18, 2007

Joe Klein Likes His Mustangs...

But the guy sees the GOP field clearly and boy he can write it.

From Klein's latest column:

I am not suggesting that John McCain is a plausible front runner for the Republican nomination. Republicans tend not to like people like McCain: too wild, too willing to work with Senators like Ted Kennedy (gasp!) and Russ Feingold (gulp!) on legislation. Then again, what are the options? There is no plausible front runner. Each of the Republicans is flawed and flailing. The despair and hilarity as the various candidates try to squeeze into the conservative base's straitjacket, like the stepsisters struggling to fit into Cinderella's slipper, have been the gaudiest political show of 2007.

To review the bidding on the leading candidates: Rudy Giuliani, the national front runner in the polls, supports abortion rights, supported gun control, supported Democrat Mario Cuomo for Governor, moved in with a gay couple when his second marriage fell apart—and, pause for breath, well, isn't that enough? Mitt Romney, the front runner in Iowa and New Hampshire, was a liberal when he ran for the Senate from Massachusetts and a moderate when he ran for Governor. He has disavowed his former positions on abortion, gay rights—and now seems even to disavow the groundbreaking state health-care plan he passed. Asked in a recent debate if he'd seek congressional authorization to take out Iran's nuclear facilities, he responded, "Well, you sit down with your attorneys..." For a Republican, that's something like a Democrat saying, "Well, maybe we should overturn Roe v. Wade and turn abortion over to the states." Also, he is a Mormon, which many religious conservatives consider a cult. Fred Thompson seems to be performing a quarter-hearted presidential-campaign drop-by, living proof that not all actors can play charming. He's another divorc�, and was once, among other things, a lobbyist for the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association.