The past couple of days have been eventful in the world of politics. There was a Republican debate, a presidential address to Congress, and shortly thereafter we kicked off the NFL regular season. I’m not sure what it says about this country that the President had to schedule his speech around a football game to make sure people watched, but that’s what happened. Scheduling aside, there is much to talk about.
First, the debate. I didn’t watch it. I have read the highlights. I probably should have watched because it is the first one Texas Governor Rick Perry has participated in, but I wasn’t that interested. Mostly, I didn’t care because the Republican party is not going to nominate anyone that I would consider voting for. Michele Bachmann claimed she would get the price of gas down to $2 a gallon. I thought that was interesting. I’m sure her reasoning is that if we open the whole country up to drilling we’ll find enough oil. In reality that is nonsense. The price of gas is largely dependent on the price of oil and we will never find enough to compete with the national oil companies of countries like Saudi Arabia. I thought the small exchange between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry about job creation was funny. Perry pointed out the Micheal Dukakis had a better job creation record than Romney did as Governor of Massachusetts. Romney shot back that former Texas governors Ann Richards and George W. Bush had a better record than Perry. Personally, I believe that shows that governors don’t have a whole lot of power over job creation.
Jon Huntsman would be interesting candidate, but I don’t think he has a chance. He might not be a bad choice for VP. He is a seasoned diplomat, and the eventual nominee is almost certain to lack foreign policy experience. Why won’t they have that experience? The answer is simple. Rick Perry is going to be the nominee. I don’t have a doubt about it. He really is the best candidate that the Republicans can put forward. He’s got all the conservative bona fides. He’s got all the folksy appeal. He’s George W. Bush on steroids. Unlike Bush he’s a real Texan. He went to Texas A&M (though his grades weren’t that great.) With the economy stagnating and job creation basically non-existent, he has all the ammunition to take down President Obama. Obama’s problem is simple. His argument is more complicated. Perry can tout his record of job creation in Texas. On the surface this record looks good, but if you look deeper you find that most of those jobs are low-paying and don’t have benefits like health insurance. Obama’s problem will be that most people don’t look deeper. On NPR’s “All Things Considered”, a Democratic strategist from Texas called Rick Perry, “the best, most talented politician to come out of Texas since LBJ.” If that’s true this election should be something to watch. Which brings us to the President’s speech.
Frankly, I didn’t think it was one of his best. I don’t believe it was particularly well-written. He told Congress to, “pass this bill,” far too often. From a policy standpoint, however, I think he is doing the right thing. His proposals will help everyday Americans. The middle class that doesn’t get talked about nearly often enough will benefit from the bill. The extension of the payroll tax cut, and unemployment benefits are good ideas. The fact that it won’t add to the deficit (which the president pointed out more than once) should make it palatable to Republicans. The President pointed out that the proposals in the bill have been supported by both Republicans and Democrats in the past. That, along with the fact that it won’t add to the deficit, should make it harder for Republicans to oppose it as another “government spending binge.” I firmly believe that the President has the best interests of the American people in mind. Yes, he has a political incentive as well. Job creation and a growing economy will help his reelection effort, but I think in this case he really wants to improve things for the people. We will see what Congress thinks.
Finally, I made a horrible omission. In my last post I recommended the film “Casablanca.” I talked about how the movie contained anything you could want. I talked about the amazing screenplay, and I talked about the stellar performances of all the cast members. To my dismay, I failed to mention Claude Rains. Claude Rains, in the role of “Louie” is absolutely one of the best parts in the movie. He even delivers the unforgettable line, “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” So, I must apologize for my error, and once again recommend that you see “Casablanca” It is one of the best films ever made.
Posted in Congress, Politics
Tagged Casablanca, Claude Rains, Congress, economy, George W. Bush, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, NFL, postaday2011, President Obama, Rick Perry
With Congress out on the playground this month, there is little in the world of national politics to talk about it would seem. Or is there? Republican’s seem to still be running for President so let’s take at look at the continuing Republican Presidential Playoffs.
Former Gov. Tim “I’m The Sensible Minnesotan” Pawlenty seems be dropping out due to injury. Sources say the injury is a bruised ego. His 3rd place finish in Ames just wasn’t enough to keep him going. It seems Ames was the straw poll that broke Pawlenty’s back. Herman “Three Page” Cain is sticking in the race but he isn’t generating the buzz he once did. Maybe the memory of former RNC Chair Micheal Steele is to recent for conservatives to put another African-American man out there. Or it could be that they figured out that Cain is just crazy. Let’s face it, you couldn’t put the legislative language to buy the paper for the legislation on three pages. Rick “Water Is What It Is” Santorum is still hanging on despite lackluster fundraising. Perhaps he hoping being a native Pennsylvanian will help gain him the VP nod. That or he doesn’t realize that no one is going to vote for him. The race “is what it is, it can’t be something else” Rick. You aren’t going to win. Newt “I’m Still Running” Gingrich seems to still think this is 1995 and he is a national figure. After his top campaign staff quit, you would have thought he would too. Instead, Gringrich has continued to run and one of his issues has been “made in America” products. That issue took a detour when he held up a “Newt 2012” shirt that was made in El Salvador at a press conference. Despite a strong 2nd in the Ames poll Rep. Ron “Ignored-By-The-Media” Paul, still can’t seem to get any real press. The only news stories about Paul seem to be about how the news is ignoring him. There has to be some kind of irony ban for something like that. Jon “The Other Mormon” Huntsman is also still chugging along, but in the midst of conservative Anti-Obama fervor, the fact that he was Obama’s ambassador to China seems to be dragging him down.
The media has officially declared the top-tier in the race now. Let’s take a look. Texas Gov. Rick “Jesus Make it Rain” Perry has jumped in the race and is already being called a “top tier candidate.” Perry has some unusual hiccups in his game, however. He allowed the execution of a death row inmate after being shown compelling evidence that the man was innocent, his less than impressive college transcripts made the Huffington Post, and he issued a proclomation asking Texans to pray for rain to help against wildfires as he cut funding for firefighters. He does have a strong ability to tell people how everything is President Obama’s fault so he may be able to overcome his rivals. How he will do in the finals is up in the air.
Mitt “It Wasn’t Just Like Obamacare” Romney is the real used to be a moderate, Mormon former Governor. While Obamacare could prove to be a liability Romeny has shown remarkable fundraising capability. We’ll see if the other two point out that Romney has left his old positions to become more “conservative.” 2012 could prove to be a drastic repeat for Romney.
To round out the “top tier” is this year’s most exciting, unconventional, and probably insane candidate, Rep. Michele “Where’s The Camera” Bachmann. Bachmann has created unbelievable fervor among conservatives. Fresh off a win at the Ames Straw Poll, Bachmann is possibly crowding Sarah Palin out of the picture just because she has actually completed a term in an elected office. While she has at least 3 unforced errors this year. She praised our Founding Father’s “opposition” to slavery, using a 9-year old John Quincy Adams as an example. She talked about sharing a hometown with John Wayne when it was actually serial killer John Wayne Gacy who lived in Waterloo, Iowa. Finally she recently wished Elvis a “Happy Birthday” on the anniversiary of his death. Obviously, her research staff needs a shake-up. Bachmann might do alright with the Republican base but there is no doubt she needs a new coach to get her through this.
It seems no Republican is without their flaws. Some individual strengths have emerged. Which of these will lead to the nomination? Then the question will be; do the playoffs leave the eventual nominee with the stamina for the finals?
Posted in Politics
Tagged 2012 election, american history, Founding Fathers, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, postaday2011, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty