Dream Candidates

Friedersdorf picks his ideal GOP 2012 contenders:

My somewhat uninformed guesses: David Petraeus and Colin Powell (who’d have all kinds of difficulty winning the primary). These accomplished generals share one related trait: deep credibility as men who are serious about national security, enabling them to run as sane, experienced stewards, rather than bellicose idiots so desperate to seem toughest on terrorism that they spend the primaries calling for “doubling Gitmo” and competing to see who would torture in more contrived ticking time bomb situations.

They’re also both post-partisan figures of the kind that Americans seem to like, haven’t got long voting records to be picked apart, and can nevertheless credibly claim more executive experience than President Obama.

Who says Petraeus is a Republican? And he has publicly vowed to not run for high office. I'm also creeped out by the militarism of this, and know full well that Powell would be more anathema to the base than even McCain. And can you see Petraeus - an educated, civilized, humane man - presiding over the party of Beck and Limbaugh? Only if the elites had any power. But the elites have either left or have thrown their lot in with the populist maniacs. Conor can dream, I guess. And the future is always unpredictable. But there are forces that have to run their course. Even into an abyss.