Monday, August 20, 2007

The two-party system doesn't serve Sam Nunn very well.

The rest of us would do better by it than we would do with an independent candidacy by Sam Nunn. From the AJC:

In an hourlong interview, in his small office on Marietta Street on the edge of the Georgia Tech campus, Nunn acknowledged that he — like former Georgia congressman Newt Gingrich — is considering a run for the White House next year.

But unlike Gingrich, Nunn would run outside the traditional two-party structure.

"It's a possibility, not a probability," said Nunn, now the head of a nonprofit organization out to reduce the threat posed by nuclear, biological and chemical weaponry. "My own thinking is, it may be a time for the country to say, 'Timeout. The two-party system has served us well, historically, but it's not serving us now.'"

For the moment, forget his hatred of gays, and the fact that he used his position as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee to ensure another decade of discrimination against gay people in the armed forces, a stance that was evil and foolish at time and laughable now.

Instead, consider his critique of the "two-party system." Apparently, it's "not serving us" because there isn't sufficient debate over the wisdom of the Iraq war. Oh, and because "Those most concerned with global warming won't consider nuclear energy as an alternative."

What bullshit.

I have no idea what debates that Sam Nunn has been watching, but they haven't been the Democratic ones, where everyone shares his view that the Iraq war has been "a fiasco." However, unlike Sam Nunn, who has been silent until very recently, those at the Democratic debates have been outspoken on the issue for some time.

On nuclear energy, there is less consensus, but again, I wouldn't say that the candidates "won't consider nuclear energy":

Edwards: "Wind, solar, cellulose-based biofuels are the way we need to go. I do not favor nuclear power. We haven't built a nuclear power plant in decades in this country. There is a reason for that. The reason is it is extremely costly. It takes an enormous amount of time to get one planned, developed and built. And we still don't have a safe way to dispose of the nuclear waste. It is a huge problem for America over the long term."

Clinton: "I'm agnostic about nuclear power. John is right, that until we figure out what we're going to do with the waste and the cost, it's very hard to see nuclear as a part of our future. But that's where American technology comes in. Let's figure out what we're going to do about the waste and the cost if we think nuclear should be a part of the solution."

Obama: "I actually think that we should explore nuclear power as part of the energy mix. There are no silver bullets to this issue. We have to develop solar. I have proposed drastically increasing fuel efficiency standards on cars, an aggressive cap on the amount of greenhouse gases that can be emitted."

So there you have it: while Edwards does "not favor" nuclear energy, Clinton is "agnostic" and Obama thinks "that we should explore" it.

Sam Nunn's critique of the two party system is the same dishonest, recycled critique offered by the gasbags and airheads who support Unity '08 in their editorials - it compares the powerful mainstream of the Republican party with the powerless fringe of the Democratic Party, then presents itself as the sensible alternative.

In reality, we call that sensible alternative the mainstream Democratic Party.

The real issue for the the gasbags and the airheads and Sam Nunn isn't that there is no sensible alternative, it's that the sensible alternative has the audacity to consider other issues, to set different priorities, and in general, to respond to constituencies other than the aging, educated, professional, white, heterosexual men who populate the Unity '08 crowd. Their cry for a sensible alternative is nothing more than a childish demand that the sensible alternative listen to them and them alone.

At 70, Sam Nunn and his friends on the opinion pages have yet to learn how to play well with others. They need to learn that their issues are not the only issues, that their priorities are not the only priorities, that their way is not the only way, and that they won't always get exactly what they want.

In short, they need to grow the fuck up.