Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Ideal Republican Candidate -- David Stockman

I suppose my ideal choice of candidates for this election would be Robert Reich as the Democratic candidate and David Stockman as the Republican. It's pointless to argue that neither one is electable. If they run against each other, one of them would have to win. The problem, of course, is that neither one is running, much less nominatable.

It's no secret that I would vote for Reich because I would look to him to undertake strong enough fiscal and monetary stimulus to actually revive the economy, and that I think Stockman is dead wrong. So why would I want him for a Republican candidate and be willing to take a chance with him as President?

For one, thing, because I have no doubt that he is sincere. While I may suspect other Republicans of calling for spending cuts and higher interest rates as sabotage, Stockman really means it, and I would count on him to follow through. Furthermore Stockman holds no illusions that we can balance the budget without tax cuts or with spending cuts for the poor only. If elected, he would seek to cut middle class entitlements and raise middle class taxes in a serious attempt to bring actual balance to the budget. He would also appoint members to the Federal Reserve who would actually raise interest rates, rather than intimidate the Fed into postponing any attempt to revive the economy until after the election.

Granted, I think all this would be disasterous, but hey, I could be wrong. And I trust STockman at least not to do anything truly insane like -- well, see here for where my feverish imagination can take me. And if it does turn out to be as disasterous as I expect, one of two things will happen. (1) Stockman will acknowledge he was wrong and change his policies. (2) Stodkman will insist he is right and his policies are a painful but necessary transition. Democrats will win the next election by a landslide and Robert Reich will be our next President.

Of course, Stockman could never be nominated by today's Republican Party. Aside from his willingness to raise taxes, he doesn't meet any of their culture war standards (see his Wikipedia entry here). Although born in Texas, he made his fortune on Wall Street. His wife heads Republican Majority for Choice. And I'm going to guess, he regards the whole culture war business as a foolish distraction from the real issues.

He has another obvious problem as well. I remember well when he was fired as budget director from the Reagan Administration, a political cartoon of the day said, "There goes the only person in Washington who can add and subtract." Stockman retains his ability to add and subtract to this day, which definitely makes him unelectable under any circumstaces.

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