Line Up the Donkeys

DemocratsSenator Bob Graham has joined the race for the Presidency, formally announcing his candidacy in his home state of Florida today. If this event and the first debate among Democratic candidates from Saturday are any indication, the 2004 campaign trail is starting to heat up, and I’m starting to try and get a handle on who the front-runners are, who has the best chance to win, and who deserves it.With so many contenders, it’s difficult to make sense of it all — what I want is a spreadsheet with all of the candidates’ names across the top columns, all the issues listed in rows along the left hand side, and notes indicating each hopeful’s position in the corresponding column. That may seem an absurdly simplistic way to approach such a contentious race, but heck, K.I.S.S., you know?

This much I’m sure of already: I will be completely depressed if Joseph Lieberman, already a front-runner, manages to win the party’s nomination. Given his hawkish stance on the recent war, his rather didactic emphasis on religion, and his support of the Bush tax cut, the man is practically a Republican.

In fact, he’s exactly what those on the political fringes mean when they say that offering the American voting public a choice between the GOP and the Dems is really offering them no choice at all. Lieberman represents everything that is wrong with Democratic strategy in that, as a response to the Republican domination of American politics, he offers little more than a lite version of conservatism.