April 17, 2015

I gotta tell y’all, I’m truly beginning to wonder if the Democrats are really going to allow the likes of Hillary Clinton to hijack their nomination process to the 2016 presidential election. I mean, if this week’s pathetic roll-out of her campaign is any indication of what’s to come you have to think that somewhere in the chardonnay-swilling salons of the Democratic Party folks are aghast at the monster they created by allowing the Clintons their “It’s my nomination, and I’m entitled to it, dammit!” approach.

It would be one thing if her campaign rollout exhibited all the signs of a savvy, charismatic, and attractive candidate ready to carry the Party’s mantle all the way to November 2016, but this week has shown nothing of that. The Clinton campaign has, instead, come off as distant, aloof, and pre-fabricated to the point of caricature. I mean, the big, black luxury van, the staged events with tables and placards designed to show how much Hillary “cares”, the unwillingness to engage reporters for any meaningful discourse – it just reeks of arrogance, privilege, detachment, and disengagement. And even Democrats are noticing.

But perhaps there’s a method to the madness, so to speak. If you’re a Republican candidate, it’s all about “gotcha journalism” – no matter how articulate or qualified you might be you can bet on the mainstream media going out of its way to make you look like raving, drooling, and frothing extremist. And if you’re Hillary Clinton, well, you may be aloof, arrogant and feeling entitled but you’re not stupid – you know that after eight years of the mainstream media playing lapdogs to the Obama administration’s seemingly endless domestic scandals and foreign-policy incompetency they’ll be looking to get its sullied reputations back by coming after you. So why not play it distant and aloof and carry that strategy as far as you can? Think about it: who in the Democratic Party is going to have the chops to push back on Hillary Clinton?

Personally, I don’t see Hillary’s campaign making it all the way to the 2016 convention. She’s a virtual ticking time bomb between her issues as a congenital liar, her gross incompetence as Secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation’s shakedown artistry from foreign nations, the e-mails that have likely been hacked and prepared for release by political operatives – on both sides of the political aisle – at an opportune time, and her general lackluster nature as a political candidate. It’s not unreasonable to envision a scenario where Hillary’s campaign implodes because of some major scandal and Democrats plead with Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren to come to the Party’s rescue on her Progressive white horse.

In fact, were I not so in debt I’d be willing to put money on that.

How do you solve a problem like Hillary? If you’re a Democrat, you bide your time and keep the long knives at bay. Because at some point you know they’re going to come out.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 02:21 | Comments (2)
April 4, 2015

I’ve been watching with detached bemusement the whole manufactured brouhaha over the state of Indiana’s so-called “Religious Freedom” legislation that Governor Mike Pence finally signed into law on Thursday – legislation that the Indiana legislature was forced to water down in the face of an entirely media-spawned “Days of Outrage” that featured every sort of liberal blowhard from Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, the NCAA, and – of course – homosexual and transsexual activist groups and organizations of all stripes descending upon Indiana like a pack of hungry hounds being tossed a ribeye.

It was oh-so sickening yet oh-so predictable.

First, let me say it’s a damned shame Republicans and conservatives feel the need to have to wade into such troubled waters like this, but the fact is that religion in America is under assault by the mainstream liberal media, the liberal courts, and, of course, gay-rights activists and organizations who somehow feel the need to make everyone miserable so they can feel good about themselves and the lifestyles and relationships they have chosen to participate in.

Think that’s hard? I don’t. Anytime you have florists, bakeries, and all kinds of businesses being fined and threatened with closure simply because out of their own religious convictions they denied to provide services to gay couples seeking to marry that should be an alarm bell to religious-freedom lovers everywhere. The horror of it! I mean, you would think that rather than declining to bake a cake or create a floral arrangement they had threatened to blow off the heads of prospective gay customers with a sawed-off shotgun. But that’s what you get in an America increasingly-driven by a liberal media hell-bent on instituting tolerance and acceptance when the very folks making these kinds of accusations as a means to drive the gay-rights agenda are anything but.

Listen, I don’t care who others choose to sleep with or spend their lives with. That’s their business. Are they living in sin? Well, orthodox and traditional Christianity thinks so, but then again so aren’t millions of other folks living in heterosexual arrangements outside of what the Church defines as “traditional marriage”. And when it comes to discrimination, let’s be clear about what discrimination is and what it isn’t. If a business refuses to do business with a group based on color, creed, sexual orientation, or whatever, that’s discrimination. But it is not discrimination to refuse to provide services to individuals based on behavior or requests you don’t agree with. Just as a church might, say, refuse to offer the sacrament of Holy Eucharist, and/or ask a couple (same-sex or otherwise) to leave the premises because they’ve been kissing and/or making a scene of themselves during a service, so may an up-scale restaurant also refuse to seat me were I to show up in a Harley-Davidson tank-top and jeans. Just as an atheist florist may not refuse to do business with Jews, Muslims, or Christians as a group, a bakery should be able to refuse a request for, say, a bachelorette party cake featuring a phallic symbol as its centerpiece.

There is little doubt that religion as a whole – and Christianity in general – is under attack in America. Unfortunately, that attack is coming from a relatively small yet extremely media-savvy and powerful group of activist organizations hell-bent on enforcing their own political agenda on everyone else. I believe most gay people are good and decent and just want to live their lives in peace like everyone else. Problem is, in this day and age where social media is everywhere you have activist groups whose sole purpose is to be offended and push folks around whenever they detect any kind of offense or potential for same. And their utter hypocrisy is beyond breathtaking: look at Apple’s Tim Cook – he’s all pissed off about the Indiana law because of its supposed potential for discriminating against gays, yet he has absolutely no problem with exploiting the poor by choosing to manufacture Apple products in sweatshops around the world and selling Apple products in Middle East countries where gays are not just discriminated against, but killed simply for being homosexual.

Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw summarizes the whole Indiana brouhaha far better and more eloquently than I ever could:

When Mike Pence decided to modify the RFRA to ensure that no business would “discriminate” against LGBT persons, he essentially caved in to the forces of narrative media machine and turned the law into little more than lip service which protects nobody. The more we allow a politically powerful minority which is favored by the media to cow both elected representatives and justices on our courts, the less control we have over our own lives. And worst of all, we will continue to dilute and poison the definition of actual discrimination until it becomes a laughing stock.

Indeed.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 01:24 | Comments (6)
October 9, 2011

One of the reasons I’ve liked Herman Cain right from the start is his unflappability; you may not always like what he has to say, but he’s obviously a man with ideas and a persona that makes people stand up and take notice. There are too many politicians – the one in the White House stands at the top of the list – that couch all of their agenda in talking points and partisan shots instead of just coming out and saying what it is you believe. I have to think the American public ought be smart enough (note i didn’t say they were smart enough, just that they ought to be) to hear what one has to say, listen to your proposals in an unvarnished fashion, and make their decision one way or the other. I can handle the truth. What I can’t handle is obfiscation and incessent talking points.

But I digress.

To understand just how far Herman Cain has come as a candidate, just listen to this interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell. How a guy can keep his composure while being accused of being a racist and a coward – that’s exactly what O’Donnell was calling Cain – is truly something to behold. Lots of people in the conserrvative blogosphere are wondering why Cain would subject himself to such an obviously over-the-top partisan grilling; I believe this is exactly the kind of thing GOP candidates ought to be doing if they want to be the last man standing in the arena under the hot lights of national scrutiny.

I only wish Barack Obama had been subject to the same kind of scrutiny during his campaign for President back in 2008; this country might have been a whole lot better off (not to mention being presided over by President Hillary Clinton).

But I digress.

At any rate, check out the interview for yourself. Herman Cain has come a long way in the last few months. He’s a quick learner, and people on the Republican side of the aisle are just now starting to pay attention. Does Cain have the money, organization, and steadfastness to survive the Republican primaries and become the party’s nominee for President in 2012? It’s far too early to say, but the way he kept his composure during O’Donnells’ overtly hostile (and in my view, totally unprofessional) interview shows he’s come a long, long way.

Cain also did a nice job at this weekend’s Values Voters Summit – a speech definitely worth listening to. Very inspirational. Without any Tele-PrompTer, BTW…

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:40 | Comments (0)
September 6, 2011

Count me as in a foul mood as we head out of Labor Day into the fall months. Oh, not because of the prospect of Arizona winter – I can’t wait for that, although I’ll certainly miss the pool as it drops from piss warm to refreshing to bracing to “oh sh*t, that’s cold!” in the span of just several weeks’ time. No, I’m bearish about a bunch of other things:

I’m bearish about this country’s future when I hear those like me who really just want the federal government to gear back on its reckless spending habits and (gasp!) live within its means be threatened with physical harm by a top union goon who’s sharing the stage with the President of the United States without any reproach whatsoever.

I’m bearish about this country’s future when I hear those like me who really just want the federal government to gear back on its reckless spending habits and (gasp!) live within its means be called “barbarians” by the Vice-President of the United States.

Look, I expect the likes of those in the Congressional Black Caucus to use over-the-top political rhetoric and accuse the Tea Party of wanting to take the country back to the days of lynch mobs; they’re a bunch of obnoxious and ignorant racists to begin with. But I do expect the President and Vice-President (elected, BTW, to represent all the people of the United States, even those who hold political ideologies they disagree with) to conduct themselves in a way and manner consistent with their offices. Instead, Barack Obama and Joe Biden have revealed themselves to be nothing better than the obnoxious goons they share the stage with and support politically. It’s disgusting, reprehensible, and demeaning to the offices they hold.

Every time I think there’s no way the Obama administration can go any lower in terms of its rhetoric and competence, every day seems to bring a new floor. I mean, think about it – even if you’re not a conservative or Tea Party member – what good does this harsh tone and lack of civility accomplish? Is it just to rev up the union base of the Democratic Party? Is that what this is all about? Does the President and the Vice-President really think they help their own cause by accepting and taking such a strident tone towards Americans who simply share a different political ideology than they do? Is that what the Presidency has come to? If so, the Obama administration has hit a new low in its “hope and change” message from 2008.

It’s disgusting and demeaning to what the Presidency should be and symbolize. I’m bearish about this country because of what Barack Obama is doing to it. In my view, he’s playing the class warfare card and instigating actions that could have implications far beyond anything he can imagine. It’s dangerous politics and it’s not right. In fact, it’s downright scary.

And don’t get me started about the Red Sox, I’m very bearish about them as well. But I’ll write about my grievances with the Sox and GM Theo Epstein in another post.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:06 | Comments (0)
September 2, 2011

Rob over at CrabAppleLane Blog (a.k.a. “the blogging bodhisattva”) has a good post about the return of Dick Cheney with his book “In My Time: A Personal and Political Memoir”. On most issues involving politics you’re likely to find Rob and me on opposite sides, but he hit the nail on the head this time when he wrote:

There was a time I liked him. Loose cannon, hypocrite, and always funny with his quips. I think he’s poisonous now. Poisonous to his party, poisonous to his cause (The war on terror), and poisonous to his former boss. Someone should tell him his service is no longer needed.

Couldn’t agree with Rob more there. We’re in a time right now where politics is so divisive and so negative, and I believe Cheney has a lot to do with that. I write often about the arrogance of Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, but Cheney’s a Republican example of the same kind of arrogance – the arrogance of power and the idea that Washington (and in his case, the Bush White House) knows best.

Most certainly, the buck stops at the desk of the President, and I have no doubt that President Bush was the one making the decisions when it came to the “war on terror”; in that way, I completely disagree with the liberal, loony left who saw Cheney as some Darth Vader character pulling the strings for a dunce of a president. But there’s little doubt that Bush respected Cheney’s opinion greatly, and that Cheney and Don Rumsfeld were the hawks that led W to take the “war on terror” to the level and involvement that it did (and, to Barack Obama’s detriment, still does).

I understand the reasons for going into Afghanistan in the first place after 9/11, but after we crushed the Taliban we should have left it at that – it would have sent a powerful message to the radical Islamic fundamentalists of the world that you mess around with the USA, you’re gonna get hurt, immediately and badly. But staying around to nation build was an ill-conceived idea, and we’re still paying for it in blood, dollars, and prestige nearly ten years later.

With Iraq, I understand the whole WMD issue and Saddam Hussein as a “grave threat” and what Bush might have been thinking about when he chose to go in – after all, he had 9/11 happen on his watch and was determined that it not happen again. I get that. But still, it was flawed intelligence, and I have to think that we could have waited Hussein out longer and more diplomatically until a time when (or if) he made any kind of real threatening moves, then smash him fast and hard just like with the Taliban. Instead, we got ourselves into another protracted engagement, and to what purpose?

In all of this, I think Cheney was a main mover and shaker, and it’s because of him to a great extent that we’re still in the Middle East, involved the messes we’ve created for ourselves. Cheney is a huge proponent of executive power, but that power cuts both ways. We’re seeing the incredible expansion of executive power under President Obama domestically for all the wrong reasons (i.e., the federal government knows best); Cheney exhibits that same flawed judgment in his defense of the Bush White House’s use of executive power in the “war on terror”.

This country is so divided right now, and the politics are so poisonous; the re-emergence of Dick Cheney on the scene does nothing to enhave and improve the dialogue. Time to say “goodnight, Dick”.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:12 | Comments (0)
September 1, 2011

When I first heard earlier today that President Obama called for a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 7th to give his speech outlining his jobs proposal – the same night as a scheduled NBC / Politico-hosted GOP candidates debate, my first thought was, “he can’t do that without approval from Speaker of the House John Boehner”, and my second thought was, “what a stupid idea!” I mean, it made no sense on two accounts: 1) there was no way in hell Boehner was going to approve that, and 2) knowing that, why would the White House push such a thing without prior agreement from the Speaker? It just reeked of political opportunism and the opportunity to score cheap political points when, if he really wanted to look like a leader, the President would schedule his address at a date and time that would provide him the biggest audience to allow his message to be the focus.

A commenter over at Free Republic had it about right when he wrote:

Think about it.
Barry can’t do the 5th – Labor Day

The 6th gives the GOP debaters the 7th to rip apart his “plan”.

The 7th – nope

The 8th – Saints at Packers – only an idiot would go up against this game (so, I won’t rule it out).

The 9th – Friday of 9/11’s 10th anniversary. A Friday wouldn’t work anyhow (opening weekend of HS football), but especially this Friday. Put the 10th and 11th as a no, too.

The 12th – opening Monday Night Football – a possibility, but the news and mood will still be about 9/11

The 13th – probably the earliest that Barry can reschedule his “urgent” address to Congress that he and his cronies threw on some paper while goofing around the entire month of August.

I mean, this is not rocket science, and you don’t have to be a “professional” politician to see the logic in this.

But nooooooooo. Instead, what ended up happening is that: 1) the Speaker rejected Obama’s request due to “legislative practicalities”; 2) the President’s address will now take place on Thursday, September 8th, when most people will be gearing up for the NFL’s opening night, and 3) the focus will be no longer be on the substance of his address (if there is any), but on how the President of the United States ended up giving one of the most important speeches of his presidency on a night when most people will be watching anything else but him. It really boggles the mind.

Only the most egostical punk of a politician would use the misery of millions of unemployed as an opportunity to score cheap political points. Only the most incompetent of presidents would, in the space of a little more than six hours, have their plans for a major address turned into a PR disaster that infuriates both those on the right (for attempting such a cheap political stunt) and the left (for “caving in” to the Republicans and thus looking like the bumbling idiots they are). But that’s what happens when you have someone in the White House who thinks so much of himself that he thinks he can just steamroll over everyone and everything simply because he’s the President of the United States.

Barack Obama is losing it, and he’s a dangerous man to have in the White House right now. And to think I once thought Bill Clinton disgraced the Presidency. How times have changed! Compared to this narcissistic, egomaniacal punk, Bill Clinton is Lincoln, JFK, and Harry Truman all rolled into one.

We are seeing this White House unravel before our very eyes, and there are still fourteen months left until the 2012 election. I’m beginning to wonder if Democrats will allow Obama to go unchallenged in 2012. Where’s Hillary when you need her?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:01 | Comments (0)
August 30, 2011

I’m not going to get into a big anti-Obama diatribe over stories like this – it’s too damned hot outside to start a fuss. Besides, what I find most interesting about this story is that it’s just one of a number that have starting cropping up in the past few weeks as Obama’s poll numbers continue to decline. When you see stories like this cropping up, it means the White House has lost its ability to control the narrative about who writes what about the First Couple. Expect to see more of this in the future.

But I digress…

What I really want to say is that the next time “Moochelle” starts lecturing me about the energy I’m consuming, the food I should be eating, and how I should be living my life in general, I’m going to tell her (politely, of course) to shut the (bleep) up.

Of course, this is nothing new when it comes to liberals, they’re the absolute kings of hypocrisy when it comes to global warming and lecturing people as to how we ought to be living our lives for the sake of the children, the planet, and the polar bears. You know what I say about the damned polar bears? Screw ‘em! Besides, once they’re gone that just leaves more salmon (especially the blackened variety!) for the rest of us. But hey, is the fact that I like my seafood blackened mean I’m a racist? No, but the fact I don’t believe in global warming sure does, at least according to Al Gore.

(Actually, I’m surprised Gore even wanted to go there, considering that as a United States senator back in the ’60s his father Al Gore, Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act. But that’s the hypocrisy of the loony left.)

Fortunately, I don’t have to keep track of all the hypocrisy – Instapundit’s Glen Reynolds has done a fabulous job documenting it for everyone to see. Liberals love to preach, but they sure hate having to practice what they preach.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:44 | Comments (0)
August 29, 2011

neverforgetirene11 Hurricane Irene is history, and while it certainly didn’t measure up to all the media hype, the fact is that lives were lost and there will be a lot of damage resulting from it. I think there are some lessons that, if the media were truly paying attention to this kind of stuff (which they aren’t), we could all learn from it:

1. Hurricanes are unpredictable and even those most experienced meterologist will tell you that, while computer models have improved hurricane forecasting exponentially over the past couple of decades, we still don’t know exactly why hurricane A will behave differently than hurricane B given the same meterological dynamics. Hurricanes are very complex internal systems and marvels of nature.

2. The media should focus more on what the meterologists are saying and focus on what is happening now, rather than hyping what might or might now happen. Watching FOX News and CNN this weekend was painful: I mean, why must the networks insist on dragging local reporters outside to spew nonsense about something they really don’t have a clue about? The more I see of the media in general, the more I realize that journalism degrees at universities are useless: these people in the light of day are ignorant beyond belief and as dumb as a bag of hammers. And it isn’t just about hurricanes, either.

3. If the media (and the politicians) were really doing their job, rather than hype Irene and scare the daylights out of people, they would simply encourage people to use common sense and use it as an educational exercise in disaster preparedness if a much more serious event were to happen. Everyone should have a family disaster readiness plan – Glen Reynolds over at Instapundit has been stressing this for years. All unnecessarily hyping a relatively minimal storm like Irene was does is create amongst the public a false sense of security and – surprise! – further distrust of our elected public officials.

4. And speaking of the latter, watching the White House and the federal government “in action” the past few days will do nothing to reinforce the increasing notion that Barack Obama’s presidency is really nothing more than a non-stop photo ops with nothing really there. Roger Kimball of Pajamas Media writes the following:

A friend with a sense of humor sent me this reassuring story: “Obama Takes Charge at Hurricane Center.” “Now you can sleep well tonight,” he said. Hardly that. I mean really: does he look like a man who has a clue about what to do? Ponder the official NOAA name plate emblazoned with “Barack Obama President of the United States.” Why does that seem ridiculous? After all, he isthe President of the United States. Maybe it’s because it put me in mind of that iconic image of Mike Dukakis in his tank. Anyway, if it failed to be reassuring, it did introduce a welcome moment of levity.

Absolutely. I mean, did the White House really think that simply releasing a picture like that is going to reassure people that he and this administration can truly handle a really serious emergency were it to arise? Just another example of a president and an administration that sees everything – and I do mean – everything in terms of politics. And what’s up with the stupid placard in front of him? Doesn’t everyone know he’s the President of the United States? Or is he so clueless that he needs to know where he should be sitting? I mean, he’s at (I’m guessing) some emergency command and control center, not at some professional training seminar.

irene2

God, if this is what our federal government spends its money on we’re all in deep doo-doo.

Time to say goodnight, Irene.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:17 | Comments (2)
August 22, 2011

I finally completed the full cycle of opinions when it comes to President Barack Obama and his administration. While I certainly had my misgivings about the man and his ability to live up to all the impossible expectations both he and a slobbering mainstream media set upon him and his election, I was still willing to give the dude the benefit of the doubt. As I wrote back on the eve if his inauguration:

Look, I don’t wish the new President …but pardon me if I won’t watch or celebrate his inauguration. For some it’s a historic moment, and I say let them enjoy the thrills and chills of his inauguration day. But don’t come crying to me when the guy fails to live up to the impossibly high expectations being set for him and he turns out to be nothing more than the Wizard behind the curtain. Believe me, he has no more clue than you or I would as to how to turn things around (other than, of course, to spend money he doesn’t have and redistribute wealth it wasn’t his to begin with, but you can’t blame him for that – after all, he is a liberal).

But, being ahead of the curve on these kinds of things as I normally am (although in Goodboys Nation everyone knows no one listens to The Great White Shank), it wasn’t all that long before I feared the guy was in way over his head by misjudging his election as a mandate for his socialist, big government agenda rather than general dissatisfaction with the status quo and giving an inexperienced outsider a chance to change the way Washington works:

Think about it: elected under the guise of a uniter and a post-partisan leader, he has allowed the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and other prominent members of his party to call those who have the gall to earnestly and in good conscience question the rushed and radical reform of the nation’s healthcare system at a time of skyrocketing deficits, unprecedented federal spending, and looming crises involving Medicare and Social Security systems) “un-American”, “swastika carrying” brownshirts, and “political terrorists”.

And not only that. Just today, knowing full well he already has the necessary majorities in both the House and the Senate to pass whatever legislation he so chooses to push, he drags out Hillary Clinton’s old “vast right-wing conspiracy” to accuse Republicans of deliberately wanting to destroy his presidency! By taking this track, the President has abdicated his role as a leader and uniter; it smacks of political inexperience and a general lack of understanding regarding the role a President must play in being the elected representative of – yes, Barack – all the people, not just those who would happily and willingly drink whatever Kool-Aid you’re selling.

Were that he was just an incompetent, I could deal with that (heck, even the country could – after all, we lived through the Jimmy Carter era). But after this callous and disgraceful exhibition whereupon I wrote:

Y’know, I used to think Barack Obama was just an inexperienced street organizer who happened to hit the mother lode at the right time to become President of the United States – someone who got lucky and was just in way over his head. The more I see of him, however, the more I realize he is just a vile and despicable human being incapable of any empathy or interest beyond whatever suits his own narcissistic desires and political agenda.

I’ve come to see this President not just as incompetent, incredibly narcissistic, and politically tone-deaf beyond any reasonable measure, but dangerous to this country as well. I know there are plenty of folks out there who will disagree with me on this, but Obama is an extremist idealogue hell-bent on destroying as much of this country’s free-market capitalism and social and economic infrastructure in order to achieve his (and the Democratic Party’s) goal of instituting a European-style socialism whereby the government redistributes all income and, through regulation and policy, institutes its will upon the people in the name of “fairness” and equality”.

Harsh words, you say? Then explain to me the following and you tell me if I’m wrong. In just the past two weeks, he and his administration:

1. Issued an executive order bypassing this country’s immigration laws by issuing an “internal policy” not to deport illegal aliens other than those who have committed some other serious crime. The cynic in me sees this as pure electoral politics, but when you have astronomically-high and persistent unemployment, why would you allow people here illegally to compete for work for those here legally?

2. Thumbed its nose at Congress by continuing the practice of granting Obamacare waivers after it promised it would suspend that practice nearly a year ago. If Obamacare was so critical to reducing health-care costs and reducing the amount of people without insurace, why all the waivers?

3. In the middle of a struggling economy, announced plans to implement and enforce regulations that will not only put more people out of work, make us more energy-dependent, not less, and increase the likelihood of rolling blackouts.

4. Filed suit against the state of Alabama over its attempt to enforce anti-illegal immigration similar to the law (and lawsuit) involving Arizona last year.

There is no way anyone except the most hardened liberal ideologue could see in these actions anything but an administration that cares little about the rule of law and the economic stability and viability of this nation. You’re seeing a President who is pursuing unannounced war against the private sector and private industry, pursuing class warfare in the name of income redistribution, and imposing rules and regulations drafted by heavy-handed and unelected public officials. I once thought the Obama administration was simply over-zealous in pursuing its ideological agenda to the point of being clueless, but the more you see of it, the more you come to see it as reckless and lawless to the point where one has to wonder how much of this is intentional.

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:11 | Comments (0)
August 12, 2011

Is it just me, or are the broadcast “spectacles” that now serve as televised political debates tiresome and annoying? You get a big auditorium filled with partisans whooping and hollering for their candidates, you get these podiums lined up in front of swirling colors, and candidates attached to them looking like a bunch of freakin’ monkeys on display at a zoo. You got two or three people (or more) asking questions that you have to try and answer substantially in less than a minute’s time, and if you want to question another candidate you have to look over the heads of two or three other candidates (or more). I mean, it’s ridiculous format – if you’re a candidate vying for elected office, all you are is an answering machine tryng to spit out talking points fast; if you’re a voter, you’re not getting any sense of the person behind the politician.

For tonight’s Iowa debate, these problems were compounded by the sheer number of candidates. With so many people you could never get a sense of any kind of rhythm to the evening; it was a total mess. And the fact that, with all the problems involving our massive deficit not one – not one! – question about how each candidate would tackle the issue of Social Security and Medicare is beyond belief. I would have expected more from the Fox News and the Washington Examiner panel. Instead, we got a lot of questions attempting to provoke one candidate against another, and only Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Newt Gingrich seemed able to stay above the fray with any success.

When you have this many candidates perhaps a better format would have been all of them sitting around a table and just hashing out their own views to each other in a more conversational fashion – at least that way you’d end up covering more ground, and let the candidates be themselves a little bit more. Perhaps at this stage of the game it really doesn’t matter – after all, it’s still way way too early for these events to begin with. Maybe the media cares who wins the Iowa straw poll fifteen months ahead of the 2012 presidential election, but I sure don’t and I doubt most people do as well. Call me after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire and the South Carolina primaries in January, then we’ll have something do discuss.

Nevertheless, the question is who won and who lost? More accurately, who bettered their current position and who didn’t? Here are my quick thoughts on each one:

Rick Santorum – not impressive. Has this weird quirky smile. While I respect his pro-life position defending his position of prosecuting doctors who perform abortions is absurd. He didn’t help himself or hurt himself, he was just taking up podium space.

Herman Cain – he helped himself tonight by staying focused on his role as businessman and jobs creator. He’s not presidential timber, but he’d make a great VP pick for someone.

Michele Bachmann – Pawlenty went after her pretty good tonight and hurt her – a lot. She showed her relative inexperience by taking Pawlenty’s bait and going off the reservation on particular votes she made as a state legislator (who cares?) and worse, she fell back on the same talking points she’s been using for weeks about congressional legislation she either proposed, voted for, or voted against. Showing that, while the darling of many Tea Party activists, she’s not very influential in congress. She’s not presidential timber yet, but she’d make a great VP candidate for someone.

Ron Paul – What can I say, the guy is nuts. But I’m sure he helped himself immensely tonight, inserting himself into every discussion point that came up. Although I agree with him as far as decoupling ourselves from all the foreign military engagements we presently find ourselves in, he’s off the wall. Not that it will, but if it were to come down to Ron Paul vs. Barack Obama, I’m staying home.

Tim Pawlenty – I think he hurt himself big tonight by going after Bachmann. Had a funny line about offering to cook someone dinner or mow their lawn if they could show him Barack Obama’s plans for Socioal Security and Medicare, and if he left it at that it might have been the highlight of the debate. Instead he used it to make a crack about (I guess) Romney’s wealth, and it came off as petty, as were his non-stop attacks on Bachmann were. If he wanted to show how “tough” he could be by attacking Bachmann, it failed. All he came across as is churlish. He turned me off, I’m guessing others will feel the same way.

Mitt Romney – he helped himself tonight by staying above the political attacks. He’s sharp, but comes across as weirdly detached in some way. Still, I think his message about being a businessman resonates. Wish he’d talk more about how he rescued the Salt Lake City Olympics; there’s a real story of accomplishment there.

Newt Gingrich – Newt also helped himself tonight, especially when he pointed out the “gotcha” journalism being practiced by Fox’s Chris Wallace, whose repeated attempts to get the candidates to attack one another was annoying beyond belief. Newt came off as statesman-like, but he has way too much baggage to ever get the GOP nod.

Jon Huntsman – Like Santorum, he was just there. He didn’t help himself or hurt himself, he didn’t do or say anything that would make you want to hear any more or any less of him.

As far as the GOP race is concerned, it’s still way too early, and with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Sarah Palin due into the race at any time, that’s where you will see the race start to take shape. These are just the warm-up acts; it will be a Romney-Perry-Palin race by the time it’s all over, and tonight’s debate will be a long-forgotten blip on the too-early 2012 election scene.

Do we really have fifteen more months of this before us?

Filed in: Politics & World Events by The Great White Shank at 00:41 | Comments (0)

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