Sometimes you can see it coming

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By John Barnhart

I can still recall the August evening, 34 years ago, when I sat with some friends and listened to Richard Nixon give his resignation speech.

Nixon's resignation was no surprise. By the time I came home from college for the summer, it was already obvious that Nixon was toast. His support among his own party's senators was evaporating and it was clear that, if impeached, a vote to remove him from office would probably pass the Senate.

Sometimes it's obvious how certain things will turn out.

At this point, it's obvious what the "Democratic" Party is going to do when its convention meets at the end of this coming August. It is going to officially make Barack Obama its nominee for president. As I write this, Hillary Clinton is still fighting, but it's obvious that she's toast.

Personally, I hope she keeps on fighting after the last "Democratic" Party primary. I hope she fights all the way to the convention floor.

This does not mean that I'm a fan of Hillary. I'm not. I think she is a dishonest, power-hungry cutthroat and I'm glad that she and her husband won't be returning to the White House. I want to see her keep fighting because the battle seems to be generating a lot of animosity within the "Democratic" Party, enough that a minority of Clinton supporters may even vote for McCain in November. The longer the battle goes on, the less time party leaders will have to pull things together.

A bitterly divided "Democratic" Party will be good because it decreases the chances that Obama will be elected. This is good because Obama, as president, will give us Jimmy Carter all over again. He won't be a good president and, if he's elected, some of those who vote for him will be really sorry they did before his presidency ends. Like Obama, Carter fooled a lot of us back in 1976 and my vote, in that election, is the only vote I've ever cast that I came to regret.

The outcome of the 2008 presidential election is not obvious. Part of this depends on whether we conservatives manage to shoot ourselves in the foot. Some seem determined to do so. Ron Paul, who only has something like 21 delegates, is determined to fight all the way to the Republican's convention floor, even though John McCain has the necessary delegates to be nominated. And, not long ago, I got an e-mail from a conservative organization supporting Bob Barr for president. Bob Barr, a former Republican, clinched the Libertarian Party's nomination.

If any conservative wants to see Barack Obama in the White House, then supporting either of these two guys is the way to accomplish that. The Libertarian Party is a fringe party with some seriously bad ideas, such as legalizing drugs. Ron Paul is a crack-pot. Neither will ever be elected president. However, Paul could raise an anti-McCain ruckus at the Republican Convention and Barr could shave votes off McCain's tally in November. Either could result in Obama's election.

Another thing that's not obvious is where the Republican Party is going, but history does shed some light on this. Things looked bad for Republicans after Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford pardoned him back in 1974. Within a decade, things had changed. Jimmy Carter turned out to be a doofus and Ronald Reagan, who evicted him from the White House, turned out to be a pretty good president. He also brought in the "Reagan Democrats."

Now, although Republicans can't seem to win a special election in a safe seat, the party does have some bright stars in the form of conservative southern governors. Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, has earned a reputation for fighting against pork barrel spending. Then, there's Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, governor of Louisiana. The son of immigrants from India and a convert to Roman Catholicism in his teens, Jindal has built a reputation as a staunch social conservative.

"Democrats" had better watch out.