Bill Kristol Optimistic

Great piece today in the Weekly Standard:

Last night, for the first time this election cycle, I watched a Democratic presidential debate. It was appalling. But it was also, in a way, encouraging. Before last night, I thought it was 50-50 that the Republican nominee would win in November 2008.

Now I think it's 2 to 1. And if the Democrat is anyone but Hillary, it's 4 to 1.
Here, judging from the debate, is what the 2008 Democratic nominee is likely to be for. Abroad: ensuring defeat in Iraq and permitting a nuclear Iran. At home: more illegal immigration, higher taxes, more government control of health care, and more aggressive prosecution of the war on smoking than of the war on terror. And this is only a bit of an exaggeration. Going into last night, I had no great expectations of the Democratic field. But the level of routine irresponsibility demonstrated throughout the debate was jaw-dropping. Bush may remain unpopular, and the Republican "brand" unattractive. But I believe the toughness of Giuliani, the sobriety of Thompson, the gravitas of McCain--any of these would be very difficult for the Democratic nominee to overcome.

Great minds think alike, I had very similar thoughts on this last night. I think you can boil down the race for the Democrat Party nomination for president on one simple question: who wants to roll back our freedoms the most? That seems to be the competition among the candidates. Any time one of them ups the ante, the rest follow. It's a question that should be asked of all the candidates from all of the political parties: Are you going to roll back freedom or maximize freedom?