Sunday, September 30, 2007

More Secrecy, Please

Our friends over at Salon posted an intriguing story today about a secretive meeting at which conservative religious leaders explored the possibility of supporting a third-party candidate should Giuliani nail the GOP nomination. An unnamed person "familiar with the proceedings" at the Saturday meeting in Salt Lake City said that James Dobson---who has made it clear he will not support any nominee who, like Giuliani, supports abortion---and other evangelicals were joined by Constitution Party chairman James Clymer. Now that's an intriguing ingredient to add to the mix.

Dobson has nowhere near the influence today that he had in the last millennium, but still, this development could shake things up even more for '08.

Actually, I hope more clandestine meetings are held in the run-up to the election. I was nearly numb with boredom thanks to this excruciatingly long political season, when along came Dobson and his colleagues on the Council for National Policy (which Salon describes as a "powerful shadow group") to stir me from my drowsy state. Hibernating like the black bears who frequent my yard was looking to be a mighty appealing way to spend the winter; I'd just get someone to wake me when the primaries are over, you know? But now, well, the prospects of reading about other backroom deals may help keep me awake and alert through the long and dark months to come.

I can only hope.

Oh, and if you're a Salon skeptic, the conservative news site WorldNetDaily also posted a story on the meeting and its outcome. Good luck accessing it, though; the site has apparently been swamped with attempts to read the story, and I was among those shut out.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is a Third Party the Answer?

The Constitution Party believes it is. Responding to the same Zogby poll I mentioned earlier in the week, the conservative political party issued a press release in which party chairman Jim Clymer made these statements:

Americans have lost faith in the two parties that have a stranglehold on this country...The massive defections from both parties ( coupled with the phenomenal growth of the Constitution Party (up 40% since 2004) should surprise no one. The winds of political change are blowing at gale force and by November, 2008 we’ll be in the midst of a Category 5 hurricane...

More Americans realize a third party candidate is going to be the ticket out of this mess.

I don't know. I'm not a party person at all. But what do you think? Do you believe a third-party candidate stands a chance in '08? What about the chances of an independent candidate rather than a third-party candidate? What would it take to break what Clymer calls the two-party "stranglehold"?

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Beware the Cranky Electorate!

Peter Callaghan of The News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, says we American voters are in a "foul and ugly mood," or rather, he reports on pollster John Zogby's findings to that effect. Here are several tidbits from his article, which is worth reading in its entirety:
The next president...will be the person voters think will redefine the federal government’s role.

Is this good news for Democrats? Maybe. His most recent poll showed that only 29 percent gave President Bush positive ratings, but Congress – controlled by Democrats – got just 11 percent. To put that in perspective, Zogby said 16 percent of Americans gave O.J. Simpson positive ratings in 1994.

You have to wonder how O.J. is polling along about now. But back to Zogby:
So Americans are as disgusted with Democrats as they are with Republicans for viewing every issue through a partisan lens. They want the parties to solve problems together, which is the opposite of what’s happening.

This is exactly what the best and the brightest bloggers out there have been saying for years. Solving problems---that's our agenda. Not making sure our party of choice is in power. Cranky? In a foul and ugly mood? You bet!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Rock the Debates

Rock the Debates, a nonpartisan effort to open the presidential debates to all viable candidates, including independents and third-party candidates, offers some telling videos of the frontrunners responding to a question about their opinion of open debates. A visit to the site, and watching the videos they've posted so far, is well worth your time of you're as frustrated as I am at the major parties' efforts to exclude the candidates they don't like.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Here's an Unexpected Question...

...for all you independents. Most of us are independent voters because of our disenchantment with the two major political parties. It's easy for us to rattle off all the ways that the parties have corrupted the political process. But here's a challenging question for you: What signs of positive change have you seen recently in either of the major parties? And another one: What are the parties or the presidential candidates doing to effectively appeal to independents?

Are there any signs of hope on the horizon? I'd love to get a discussion going on this topic.

Monday, September 17, 2007

It Is Finished. Thank You!

Thunderous drumroll, blaring trumpets, a choir of a thousand voices---I want it all! Yes, We the Purple: Faith, Politics, and the Independent Voter is finished. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who agreed to be interviewed and provided such terrific input. I am grateful to each and every one of you for making this a better book than I ever could have produced on my own.

When I say "finished," of course, I don't really mean finished. I mean that I've turned the manuscript in to the publisher (go Tyndale!), and the publisher has given it a thumbs-up. Actually, a hearty thumbs-up, but I'm not one to boast. So now it goes through several rounds of editing. It's scheduled for release in March.

I have at least a ton---okay, many, many gigabytes---of research that didn't make it into the book. Now that I have the time, I'll be posting a lot of that stuff here. I moved halfway across the country while I was working on the book, which seriously interfered with things like blogging and eating and sleeping and breathing normally. Now I'm blissfully kicking back and enjoying life once again. I can blog and eat and sleep and breathe normally, and even knit and read and cook up a Daisy Martinez meal once in a while.

Life is good, my friends.