Sunday, November 28, 2010

Palin's 2012 Prospects, Double Standards, And Random Observations on Obama and the Midterms

Don’t you just love leftovers after Thanksgiving? Well, I've got eight leftover observations this November that I just had to share as they’re bursting out of my mental fridge.

1. First off, and I know I’m late in mentioning this, but did you notice that President Obama backed a complete disaster in Illinois -- mob banker Alexi Giannoulias? This doomed candidacy cost Democrats control of Obama’s old senate seat. Naturally, we can’t expect the press to focus on inconvenient news stories while they’re busy relishing the fact that one Republican defeated another Republican in Alaska by a few thousand votes. (In contrast, Democrat Giannoulias lost to Republican Mark Kirk by more than 80,000 votes). But if Obama couldn’t even get his hand-picked mob-banker buddy across the finish line with all the dead Dem voters in liberal Illinois and after making multiple personal appeals on Giannoulias’ behalf, he’s washed up, for sure, right? This utter lack of influence in his “own state” – nay, his own backyard – the senate seat that he so briefly occupied – suggested to me, at least, that Obama isn’t qualified to serve a second term as president. Don’t you agree? That’s the standard these days, you know. You have to successfully influence senate races in your home state to be seen as credible. In fact, I say Obama probably should resign now and “Go back to Chicago” with a paper bag over his head. Adding to the ignominy, however, Obama personally flew to Miami and campaigned for 28-point loser Kendrick Meek. Meek, who certainly was, couldn’t even beat a lowly Tea Partier or a disgraced former Republican in a state Obama carried in 2008. This was a primo opportunity for the Democrats to pick up a senate seat. What was Obama thinking? Call me a Rove, but this was disastrous. It suggests Obama lacks gravitas. He's out-of-touch. And he’s unelectable. According to me.

2. While on the subject of clunker endorsements, we can also unilaterally disqualify Mitt Romney and Chris Christie from running for president. This irresponsible duo unwisely endorsed and campaigned for Meg Whitman, who hired an illegal alien, failed to mention it to primary voters, and wound up losing the general by double digits to a washed up retread, Jerry Brown. Yes, despite spending $142 million of her own money, Whitman secured only 41% of the vote (just one point better than Christine O’Donnell – the impoverished Delaware Senate candidate nobody even expected to be in her general election). Whitman’s loss was particularly egregious given that the GOP swooped up blue-state governorships all over the country, including six Palin gubernatorial picks who won in surprising places. Couldn’t Romney/Christie have done more for their billionaire candidate? I mean, c’mon, Democrat Brown openly admitted he didn’t have a clue about governing California. Californians even had a taste of his cluelessness during his first tour as governor in the 70s. And they still picked Brown over the Romney/Christie endorsed Whitman. Let’s face it, Romney and Christie and their flawed judgment double-handedly turned the Golden State over to complete clown Brown. (Did you watch Brown’s meandering victory speech? Where is Andrea Mitchell when you need her to investigate a gubernatorial story that doesn’t entail flying all the way to Bristol Bay, Alaska? California is headed to bankruptcy and Brown’s hailing taxpayer-subsidized wind farms on election night!)

3. Meanwhile, speaking of ineffectual wind, it is considered gospel among the blue bloods that Governor Sarah Palin has no chance of winning the presidency in 2012.  They have come to this unassailable determination despite the fact that Palin has won more elections in her adult lifetime than Romney, Christie, and Jeb Bush combined (five to four). Her nearly 13 years in elected office roughly equals their combined elective experience. She is also the only potential candidate to have experience running on a national ticket. Maybe the blue bloods can get us a three-for-one special in 2012 … they nominate the trio of JebRomChris and we’ll nominate Sarah, given that it would take three of them to equal her – metaphorically speaking.

4. Slightly off topic, and totally random, but ever notice how President Obama’s speeches are like word cotton candy? They seem significant – even historically big – when you’re listening to them, but his words ultimately melt into nothingness and after a few minutes you can’t remember anything he said. Remember when he said this on inauguration day? 
On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.”

Whatever that means. One year later Gallup ranked Obama as the most-polarizing president ever. Two years later, he’s lost an historic 69 seats in the house and senate. I noticed right off the bat Obama didn’t promise to “end” petty grievances, if that were even possible in the natural world short of Messianic intervention. He just came to “proclaim an end.” Kinda like when I proclaim an end to the “petty whining” and “false hope” of late-night blogging. Whatever that means. Remember this point whenever someone complains about Palin’s so-called “word salad” speaking style. Salad is more nutritious than cotton candy. It’s crunchy. Crunchy is good.

5. Along these same lines, ever wonder how a man like Obama with no executive experience, and a history of radical and even criminal associations can get elected president in the midst of an international financial crisis? Moreover, how did a man with the most liberal voting record in his three brief years in Congress come to be perceived as a centrist on election night? Amazing, isn’t it? It’s because in addition to mastering word cotton candy, Obama is the master of obfuscating his true feelings. In his book, Dreams From My Father, he told us:
"One of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied; they were relieved -- such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young [..] man who didn't seem angry all the time."
So, to Obama, being courteous is just a trick, folks, to conceal his anger. The truth? Obama’s vacuous words and calm mannerisms imply a political moderation that's simply not there.

6. What happens when you’re a hardcore liberal with no governing experience, and pretend to be a moderate in attempting to lead a center-right country? You piss people off on both sides of the political spectrum, that's what. That's why Gallup showed Obama with his lowest quarterly approval ratings of his presidency last month. This is the enigma that is the Obama presidency. Liberals are disappointed in Obama and see him as caving to the rightwing when his signature legislative accomplishments (stimulus, Obamacare) thus far have attracted exactly zero Republican support. Conservatives see Obama’s $3 trillion-dollar deficit-spending joyride and takeover of major U.S. industries as constituting a horrifying “transformational” change that we’ve not seen before in our lifetimes. On a related note, look at this Facebook avatar currently used by my gay liberal friend in New York City. See what I mean? Obama can’t even convince his own that he’s fighting effectively for them. Who is Obama, really? I have no clue. Do you?

7. So let’s talk a little about phony declarations of bi-partisanship and the “false promise” of moderation, shall we? Obama convinced voters and pundits in 2008 that he was a centrist/pragmatist because he smiled a lot and used word cotton candy. His supporters figured he was just paying the customary lip service to independents and believed he would come home to his progressive views ultimately. Two years later they’re not really pleased with him. And independents have left Obama in droves. So what does this tell us? Talking out of both sides of your mouth does not make you a pragmatist. And phony moderation gets you nowhere. But more than that, not knowing how to lead gets you nowhere. We recall that in her February 2009 Tea Party Nation appearance, Governor Palin  told a supportive audience that she didn’t believe in phony declarations of bi-partisanship. In other words, bi-partisanship in and of itself is not the goal. It was more important to articulate clear  principles, achieve compromise where possible, but let the chips fall where they may. That is what we call leadership. Obama spends most of his time either pretending to be a bi-partisan leader or assailing Republicans. This is contradictory, it’s deceptive, and in the long run, it’s no way to govern.

8. Finally, what can we say for certain about President Obama? I think everything about him makes sense when we see it through the lens of his quest for power. It explains why the president who promised to be the most transparent on earth, is now one of the least. It explains why the president who talked hawklike on the campaign trail about following Osama bin Laden into a cave in Pakistan still clings to artificial time deadlines in a war he truly doesn’t want to win. It explains why a president who constantly assails big business is the recipient of so much of its largess. Indeed, when it comes to raw contradiction, it's hard to beat Obama: he has supported civilian trials for accused terrorists against the wishes of the American public but simultaneously engages in an unprecedented drone war that serves as judge, jury and executioner for the same terrorists in faraway battlefields. He promised to close Gitmo, but has simultaneously championed “unlimited detention.” President Obama assails the big drug companies even as he sat down with them in secret healthcare negotiations. He condemns “fat cats” on Wall Street but holds swanky fundraisers with them.

The truth is, Obama is still a community organizer at heart. And community organizers aren’t about effecting positive change … they’re about agitating for power. Chicago native Israel Vasquez, who ran for Congress this year, told me that nobody had ever heard of Obama in Chicago before he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004. Obama’s legislative district remains one of the most crime-plagued, drug-addled, gang-infested cess pools on the planet, none the better for his eight years of part-time "service."

Gov. Palin’s RNC words ring true:

“Some politicians use [the mantra of] change to advance their careers. Some use their careers to advance change.”

And that's why Sarah Palin should just run for president. Just do it, Sarah. You can't do any worse than these turkeys.

Editor's Note: Part Two of our two-part 10 Qualifications Sarah Palin Has Over Recent Presidents will be completed shortly, lest I be guilty of proffering false hope, and wind up suffering from the petty grievances and recriminations that for too long have strangled my writing process. Ugh, I sound like Obama's teleprompter.

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