Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rejoining the Blogosphere, One Uninformed Opinion At a Time

I thought that I’d dip my toe, my Sgt. Hulka-styled Big Toe, back into the blogging world by discussing something easy. Something without controversy.

Who in the fuck am I gonna vote for?

I’ve spent my adult lifetime voting for people who didn’t win. I think I can name five people for whom I’ve voted that were ultimately invested in the office.

By that, I mean the people I vote for don’t win.

I guess that’s not a big surprise,; my animating political philosophy is that government is necessary and useful, but that people seeking elective office, once in office, are wrong, wrong-headed, and dangerous. Always dangerous.

Anyway, that’s for another post. . . .

I voted for Barack Obama. Barry, as I affectionately know him.

I’ll admit that I was motivated in no small part by his race. So I’m a racist, allowing the colour of the man’s skin to dictate whether I would like to see him in office. But I thought that it’d be a good thing to have a black president. Or, as Wallace would have written, a Negro president.

You know, Irving Wallace in The Man. But I digress again.

Anyway, I had some qualms about the policies of Mr. Obama, but I thought he was one of the ablest campaigners and politicians I’d seen. And he was black. And I liked him; he was, essentially, me.
Since his election, I find him an able campaigner, and a horrid politician. And worse leader.

My chief complaints:

(1) Staring the Greater Depression in the face, he ultimately ushered through a puny stimulus that was wholly ineffective and misdirected.

(1)(a) In doing so, he debased himself as a common sacko’shit politician, using shickedeedee and shickedeeda to mislead and obfuscate. He ultimately argued that every dollar spent by the government was “stimulative” – thus engaging in that classic rhetorical move of politicians: he rendered the word meaningless in order to support his position. Move along; no “change” here.

(1)(b) He initially turned the measure and creation of stimulus over to House Democrats. At the zenith of his presidential power – it just don’t get bigger than being a Jesus-like rockstar who resoundingly thumps his opponent – he ceded that power to a self-defeating, multi-part Rube Goldberg thingamajig. House Democratic leadership. By the time he stepped in, his power had eroded. The stimulus sucked. We suffered.

(2) He is an autocratic, authoritarian violator of civil liberties. Yes, he’s in a long line of autocratic, authoritarian violators of civil liberties. But move along; no change here.

(3) Unable to win the hearts and minds of the country on health care [leave aside the discussion of the unfair tactics used by opponents; even accepted as true, they resulted in Barry not winning the hearts and minds etc.], he accepted and compelled a last-ditch, razor-thin Senate passage that bent rules in a craven and callow way. Just as his opponents and predecessors had.

Newt Gingrich may be Nixon-like in his smarts and his shameless, unprincipled manipulation of people and language, but he effectively got something right this weekend: a dramatic shift in the landscape in this country can’t be imposed by a smarter, even “righter” bare majority. A war can’t be fought successfully without broad, well-versed support. Re-envisioning anything (as opposed to tweaking) has to have pretty damned broad support to not risk backlash. Social Security passed because it was a) not nearly as ambitious when introduced than it became, and b) was passed during the seemingly-never-ending Great Depression, when opposition to landscape shifts was difficult to muster (foundering ships look for tidal waves, etc.). The Great Society was passed after Goldwater and supporters screwed the pooch and rendered the Republican Party slightly more relevant than the Midville Bowling Team. Of course, a war without broad popular support brought them back.. . . .

My point here is that Barry was not a good or successful politician in mustering support, and once lacking, didn’t re-evaluate a course to ultimately get what he wanted. It just had to be too big. Reminding me:

(4) What the fuck was health care doing on the list before energy policy? I know that the hindsight of current turmoil in energy makes this easier to see, but the line that “Health Care is at the heart of everything in our economy; the recession and economic growth require addressing it” was, imho, bullshit. Close to true – health costs are huge economic drivers that harm any economic progress. But energy affects everything, including even health costs. “dependence on foreign oil” drives foreign policy, drives wars and attendant costs, drives

I think I said “everything.” It’s everywhere. It’s unsolved, and unaddressed.

But it is also as politically challenging as heath care, and lacks the sexy, distinctive re-creation of the New Deal successes that were transformative (and that Barry aspired to). He could put a lasting presidential mark through health care in ways that, I think, feel more personal. As an “entitlement” that people would personally carry with them, rather than a policy that people would benefit from.


You know, I’ve got about six more, but I realize again why this blog foundered [yes; I wanted to use it twice!]: I don’t give a shit. I give a shit about my President sucking, but not about explaining why. Everybody’s got their feeling, and their justification for that feeling. They’ll vote that way. Who gives a crap?

Of course, I might vote for the guy again. The GOP has been sucking helium, eating acid, and reading the Bible, and they’re just scary.

They demonize intelligence and lionize stupidity. Fuck them too.

I’ll try to post some photos of naked broads, or links to band websites. That I can handle.

Soy rojo

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