If my political predictions are at all like my football ones, then Fred Thompson is probably going to have a stroke tomorrow. But, because I still hope, and because I was right about the last two elections despite massive ridicule and disbelief (no, I have no proof for this, thus the need for this post), I'm going to jump on this bandwagon while it is still somewhat daring to do so.
Some of you know I started out supporting Giuliani, and I still have the cheesy cut-out membership card to prove it. It's not so much that Giuliani's changed as that I have, becoming more comfortable in my conservatism. And while I think Thompson has all of Giuliani's foreign policy toughness, he also has the cultural confidence that Giuliani lacks (or, as Giuliani would see it, that isn't all that important). Perhaps most importantly, unlike other social conservatives (genuine and phony) in the race, Thompson doesn't pander and he recognizes conservatism for what it is - a cultural movement - and not as a rhetorical tool, a political weapon, or a government program.
That Thompson isn't already a frontrunner is a mystery to me [UPDATE: see here], and extremely disappointing. If things will not soon change as I predict, and people like Huckabee, McCain, and Romney continue to stay ahead, then there is something seriously wrong going on here, people.
Incidentally, unlike some others, I don't think the presence of those three awful frontrunners highlights a major problem within the Republican Party - I think it highlights a major problem within the Democratic Party! No, bear with me for a sec, please. Huckabee is an absolutely perfect Democrat. Not that long ago, people like him - folksy, charismatic, populist, Christian, big-government types - were the leaders of the Democratic Party. The only reason he's a Republican is that the Democratic party has changed so much, become so morally bankrupt, that they don't care how big-government, how liberal, a person is - if he thinks that killing babies might be wrong, he must be mocked and excommunicated. McCain, too, would make a wonderful Democrat, were he not staunchly pro-military. Again, the Democratic party has become so twisted of late that this position, which until very recently came standard for Americans, is enough to disqualify him outright. As for Romney, well, he's just slimy, nothing to say there. To recap, in an only slightly different, slightly less crazy alternate universe, Huckabee, McCain, and Lieberman would be slugging it out for the Democratic leadership and the chance to face Thompson in the general. Instead, in this crazy mixed up world of ours, we have the best Democrats facing off againt the best Republican in the Republican primaries (and, as an inevitable result of the Democratic party's decline, three completely unqualified nobodies facing off in their primaries). So really, the only way to fix the Republican party is either to fix the Democratic party first or, the more likely scenario in my view, for the Democratic party to fade into America-hating irrelevance and the Republican party to split up into two or three new parties. Or, most likely of all, none of this happens and I'm exposed as clueless yet again.
UPDATE: As noted in the comments here, to get an idea of until just how recently it was that Democrats were actually, you know, not totally deranged, see Charlie Wilson's War.