Time to move beyond religion and personal lifesytle and onto legitimate public policy…

August 14, 2011


Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota, is the first Republican casualty among the presidential candidates. He dropped out is the news this Sunday morning. Apparently his low-key style did not attract enough attention. Actually, I read the quote of one Iowa straw poll voter who said he liked Pawlenty but he wants to see what Rick Perry is all about. I would not know who Pawlenty was if he came to my front door (and apparently I didn’t even have his name down pat — I called him Tom instead of Tim in an earlier version of this post). That just doesn’t work in politics, not me not knowing him, but the public not knowing.You have to make a lot of noise or at least someone has to make it for you.


So Michele Bachman won Saturday’s Iowa presidential straw poll. But the news among the pundits was that Rick Perry, governor of Texas, is in the race for president and even picked up a few hundred votes in the poll as a write in. Libertarian Ron Paul came in second. Interesting, but few among the professional political watchers give the winner and the runner-up a chance for the real contest. I imagine the Republicans will have to field someone who does not come off as too edgy or out of the mainstream, even if the public is sour on the mainstream (a contradiction I know) and probably not someone with the twang of a Southern bible-belt tent preacher, and someone with a coherent plan for public policy, other than no taxes (although no taxes is always popular) and don’t let homosexuals marry one another. While I admit that it might be wise to make sure we are spending our current tax money in a prudent and efficient manner before we raise taxes, that is largely subjective and that alone will not solve our economic problems. And keeping homosexuals from getting married solves nothing. Maybe some of these people just don’t have real ideas about balancing the budget and improving the economy and getting people back to work, that is other than no new taxes and to get rid of all those pesky government regulations on business such as clean water and air requirements and worker safety requirements, and requirements that financial transactions be on the up and up.


ADD 1: This is a scary thought, but I think the elites and moderates in politics and government, whom we all have depended upon, have so let us down by their pandering or cowering before the extremists that a desperate or disgruntled electorate might vote in someone who is not well versed in history, world geography and geopolitical concerns,  governance,  politics in general, and even the fundamentals of American democracy. We could actually wind up with someone as bad or worse than George W. Bush.


While I have not had a chance to digest all the Republican aspirants to the presidency, and I really want to with an open mind, right now, from what I have heard and read so far, I would say that despite the fact that President Obama’s poll ratings are down and he seems to have alienated some of his base and the far left, if one of the Republican crazies gets nominated, he probably has smooth sailing.

It’s just hard to take Michele Bachman seriously. And yet it is serious that she and others are carrying the cross of  Christianity with them on the stump — they are not running to be head of the church, but the president of the United States of America which is supposed to have religious freedom, but which is not supposed to have a state-sponsored religion.

Many pundits seem to think that once the dust settles Mitt Romney (a Mormon, not a Christian) will run away with it and others see Texas governor Rick Perry (an evangelical Christian), who just officially entered the race today, as the one the Republicans might turn to.

All I really know about Romney is that I can’t stand his fake smarmy smile and his duplicity, his style of just putting his finger to the wind to see which way it is blowing and then going that way. And worst of all he thinks corporations are human beings and have individual rights as you and I. The only way that corporations are individuals is in a narrow legal interpretation of the 14th Amendment that has to do with their standing in civil cases. The far right-wing hand-picked majority of the Supreme Court has given a wide interpretation to that and has gone far beyond what has been understood heretofore. But bottom line, Romney thinks that corporations should run the country. That basically makes him a fascist. I think if you look at the history of fascism in Italy in World War Two and Nazism in Germany in the same time period you will see what I mean.

Rick Perry I know almost nothing about, except that he suggested that maybe Texas should secede from the United States — I thought that was settled in 1865 when the North won the Civil War. I also have read that as the longest-serving governor of Texas he is credited with doing great things for that state’s economy. And I also have read that he has drastically cut government services there.

I wish that presidential candidates would keep their religion to themselves (except as voters we do want to know what if any religion they claim to adhere to). I for one have little to no interest in their religion (except I want to know what it is) unless they want to push it on me or tailor their policies to fit their own brand of religion, in which case I would surly not vote for such a candidate. Now I suppose if a candidate is a born-again Christian and he or she wants to let others of that ilk know that he or she is one of them in order to garner votes, that is okay, but it won’t get my vote.

But I will stop here and say that historically Christianity has been the main religion in the United States. And just as I would not vote for someone who makes a big deal about being Christian, I would certainly not vote for an adherent to Islam. I see how they handle most things around the world and I don’t care for it. What a conundrum.

Really, organized religion seems to be behind much of the strife in the world. Maybe it is not the religions in and of themselves that cause so much of the problems, but individual interpretations of them and human jealously and opportunists who use religion as an excuse to get their way, through that is kind of like the argument that guns don’t kill people, people kill people.

But, any way, there is much fear and discontent what with the current economic situation in the United States and the world.

It is exciting to watch how this will all play out.

I for one would like to see change — Obama did not come through with it (except Obamacare and it is difficult to know at this time what that amounts to).  I don’t know why for sure. And if he is replaced we might well see real change.

But will we like it?

Palin might be packaged yet to lead Republicans, such things have happened before (Reagan, George W.)

June 9, 2009

Lord I wish the Republicans could get their act together. I would hate to think that they would be stuck with Sarah Palin.

She’s kind of an anti-elite, anti know anything pretend populist and super opportunist who wound up in the big spotlight in a quirk of fate and she just won’t go away. If only she had something to offer.

By the time anyone reads this probably she will have already attended a big Republican fund-raiser, wherever it was supposed to be. She kept everyone guessing whether she would speak, but last I heard she opted to just attend and let Newt Gingrich do the talking. But she’ll more than likely be taking furious notes or her speech writer will, since she plagiarizes from his works.

I read a partial transcript of a interview she did on FOX anything-but-fair-and-balanced news and it is plain to see why she would not be able to come up with her own speeches for an educated audience, but you’d think she could get a decent speech writer.

But I do think the Republicans have a big chance in the next congressional elections and the next four years at the White House after president Obama’s first tour (as of now anyway).

Just like the Democrats took back the congress, partly because of dissatisfaction with war policy, and the White House, in a referendum on the collapse of the economy, in the just-concluded elections in Europe and Great Britain, the left-leaning/socialist parties I understand took a drubbing at the hands of conservatives, over the world economic disaster.

Populations are not tied so hard to parties or dogma or ideologies as those who make a profession of the whole thing, so they are always ready to vote most any way out of desperation.

I saw on the cable news that Mike Huckabee is running first, and Palin is tied with Mitt Romney for second in the polls for who Republican voters might prefer for their next presidential candidate.

As much as I hate to face this fact, if Palin could be packaged right (and some Bubbas think she is packaged right), and if she could be trained to speak with just a tad more polish (not too much — don’t want to completely lose that red neck girl charm), and if she can be kept protected in controlled settings, and if people dislike the other side so much they don’t care anyway, she just might have a chance at the big enchilada.

From what I have gathered, Ronald Reagan was not big in the knowledge department, but he was an excellent actor (despite his B-roles) who spent years looking for the right role and finally found it (and I am not saying he did not mean well and did not do some good. But he was a Democrat and a union activist – actor’s guild– and then turned hard right Republican for campaigning and maybe right of center for governing. And he was always packaged well with handlers who gave him little room for error, although it occasionally did happen.

George W. Bush was (is) as far as I can tell ignorant and proud of it, but he belonged to a family who had cultivated its influence – made a business out of it. And for some reason large enough members of the electorate at the time were turned off enough by Democratic candidates that they did not care how their boy sounded or what he did.

Although I personally did not care for Mitt Romney, I was surprised that he was not the Republican candidate last time (I think the Mormon thing held him back). He has that make-money, all business reputation that might play especially well if the economy stays in the tank, plus that all-American righteous smirk (that can work both ways, but might work for him next time around).

Barack Obama has only had a hundred days and a month or so and in that time he has done fairly well, but the economy is a stubborn problem that will likely dog him and might well give the Republicans a good chance to get congress and even the White House back.

(Naturally if the economy were to come back gang busters in the meantime, all bets are off, but what are the chances of that happening?)

At this very time, it looks like North Korea could be a wild card that changes everyone’s game plan. But just as likely trouble will arise somewhere else totally unexpected to change the course of events for everyone.

But all things being equal, I’m thinking as much in disarray as the Republicans are right now, time is definitely on their side.