Winning by shutting up the loudest?

When I first contemplated the candidacy of Fred Thompson in mid-March, my reaction was positive. I was sick of the election then, and I'm more sick of it now, but I might as well repeat what I said:

I would not be surprised to find that because Thompson is the equivalent of genuine combat veteran of the worst political war this country has seen in modern times, he has a different view of the process than your typical ego-driven, hard-charging political animal.

The man has been in the arena and seen the worst of it.

What appears to be an absence of drive might indicate the presence of something much more important and in generally short supply: political wisdom.

I think Fred Thompson has sufficient political wisdom that he might be worthy of being drafted into service even if he expressed no interest in the office.

Since then, he's made it clear that he doesn't need to be dragged into running, but at the same time, I think he's wise enough to be cognizant of a genuine problem which is missed by the political junkies.

The problem is, it's too early to be sick of the election -- mainly because it's too early for there to be an election to be sick of! (That this is lost on political junkies is not surprising, because like any other variety of junkie, they have a craving not shared by non-junkies.)

What I like most about Fred Thompson is that he doesn't seem to be in all that much of a hurry to kowtow to the political junkies. I think he senses that there's huge disgust among ordinary people over the growing movement to estabish a national culture of, of....

Election addiction? I don't know exactly what to call it. Many commentators have been talking of campaign fatigue -- and if there's fatigue at this early stage, what are the implications for the future? If one thing's certain, it's that the culture of "premature election" (which is what this is) will not go away anytime soon. Instead, it will get more and more relentless. There's already talk of ruining the Fourth of July with more premature announcements that people just don't want to hear.

So far, Fred Thompson has made it quite clear that he won't mind being a candidate when he's good and ready, but he doesn't seem to be in a hurry to insult ordinary voters by being in everybody's face. It's a delicate balancing act, but I hope he keeps it up, because I hate this seemingly irreversible process of premature elections that won't go away.

For shutting up the loudest and not beating people over the head, Fred Thompson gets an A. As to how to go on being a front runner (or near front runner) without running in a campaign nearly all normal non-junkie types are totally sick of, I wouldn't know how to advise him, though.

Maybe he can make his announcement, then take a summer vacation.

UPDATE: I'd be willing to bet that Fred Thompson neither owns nor wears a pair of these. (The wearing of which a prominent law professor deems impeachable.)

posted by Eric on 06.13.07 at 08:08 AM


Here's the thing about Fred. He is the every-man's man. We have a crowded room of sycophants sucking up to every minor interest group and playing identity politics to the highest form. Americans want action over words. I don't need to feel better about what you plan on doing. I want you to do what is best for America as an American. Sure, I'd like to be kept in the loop, but if I'm secure in the knowledge that you have the best interests of the country in mind (and not the best interests of your political party), I'm ok with secret deals and back-room hand-shakes. And Fred probably isn't going to fall into the typical corruption traps ... he has that 30 seconds of acting he gets paid for every night and a wife that makes Lewinski look like a tramp. Corruption Scotchgard.

mdmhvonpa   ·  June 13, 2007 9:46 AM

Eric, I like Thompson, too, but I've been burned too many times before by politicians. And since he was always soft on illegal immigration before, why should I believe that he will suddenly change his spots on this issue anymore than I should believe that Rudy Giuliani will?

Granted, a traditionally restrictionist candidate like Tancredo or Hunter could always get bought off and break my heart, but at least there's a chance that such a candidate might hold true to his long professed beliefs. I don't see any chance that a Giuliani or Thompson will suddenly see the light. And no matter how tough a candidate talks on the War on Terror, it's difficult defending a nation that has ceased to exist.


Nicholas Stix   ·  June 13, 2007 10:39 PM

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