21 November 2009

The American descent

I have as much interest in reading "Going Rogue" as I did picking up a copy of "The Audacity of Hope." Shame on any of you who have even thought about feeding the circus of idiots surrounding the country's two most self-absorbed politicians.

It's fascinating, really. As much as they would like voters to think they are polar opposites -- one, a haughty, elitist, traditional big-government liberal; the other, a tax-cuttin', gun-totin' conservative from, you betcha, the "real America" -- Barack Obama and Sarah Palin are remarkably alike.

They both have captured the policy positions, as well as the bleeding hearts, of their respective parties' most extreme factions. Their devotees blindly look past their non-existent records and cling to their cults of personality as fervently and vociferously as fanatical zealots. More so than any other politicians I've ever observed, each is convinced of his or her own brilliance. It seems that the word "humility" isn't in the vocabulary of either.

And when the book tours are over, and the lights are out, and America, as it must, finally gets to the business of governing, the fact is that Sarah Palin and Barack Obama are perhaps the two least-qualified and worst-equipped candidates for the presidency we will ever encounter.

For the cults these two politicians have bred -- and too, for the objects of veneration themselves -- it's never about the policies, but rather the personalities. After all, who needs policy? Obama and Palin themselves are the policy.

Americans made a horrific choice in November 2008. It passed up perhaps the most qualified candidate for the presidency in my lifetime in favor of arguably the least. Can you even imagine the depths of the abyss we'll discover if it makes the next-worst choice in 2012?

As Steve Chapman noted: Leaders who can think?

That's so 20th century.

18 November 2009

A second stimulus?

That's what it sounds like.

By the way, don't you love that the president has pushed virtually every fundamental item of import to the backburner in an effort to shove through his prized "health care reform" package? Afghanistan, immigration reform, and, I don't know ... addressing the fact that one-sixth of the workforce is either unemployed or under-employed.

Here is my take on the proposed second stimulus.

I was not against the basic idea of the first stimulus -- if it was actually an economy-boosting, job-creating stimulus, as opposed to a liberal grab bag costing, in the end, over a trillion dollars. However, the final product was laughable partisan hackery.

In fact, the effect of the first stimulus is so dubious that the official in charge of stimulus oversight said that the administration's questionable "jobs saved or created" metric is actually impossible to quantify.

President Obama had a great deal of political capital entering office, but like President Bush before him, he seemed determined to spend it as quickly as possible. As a result of our increasingly large crater of a deficit, as well as the far-left rhetoric and overall cost of the liberal health care reform package that is now before the Senate, Democrats seem stunned that independents are starting to bolt back to the GOP.

Perhaps it's because, as of October 30, according to Recovery.gov, of the $787 billion (remember, that number is pre-interest) earmarked for spending, just $216 billion has been paid out.

That's 27 percent in 7 months.

Let's separate the idiotic first stimulus from the potential benefit of a second one. I am no economist, but by all accounts, the first stimulus hasn't helped at all, and some predict the unemployment rate to rise even higher. If Congress is able to actually, substantively drive down unemployment with a real stimulus package that immediately creates jobs, Republicans need to seriously consider a good-faith proposal.

As much as I detested the idea of a liberal grab bag masquerading as April's "stimulus," the GOP has already accumulated plenty of ammunition for 2010. The focus needs to be on getting Americans back to work. And if the Democrats can come up with something useful -- which although highly unlikely, is still plausible -- then Republicans need to listen.

16 November 2009

38 percent of Americans are idiots

According to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll, 52 percent of Americans would "definitely not" vote for Sarah Palin for president in 2012.

But drilling deeper in the above-cited article, I discovered that nearly 4 in 10 of those surveyed believe her to be qualified for the presidency.

There are certain things worth fighting and arguing over. The Democrats' asinine health care bill, the bloated, laughable stimulus, taxes, abortion, judicial philosophies, and the role of the federal government. But it is not worth trying to argue to normal, clear-thinking Americans that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president.

I've written here before that Sarah Palin appeals to the lowest common denominator in the Republican Party. There exists nothing -- absolutely nothing -- about Sarah Palin's character, her record, her experience or her way of viewing the world -- that should indicate to you that she is even remotely qualified for the presidency. Culminating with her abrupt resignation from the Alaska governorship in July, she has demonstrated herself to be so sorely unfit for that office that it is beyond laughable.

For the love of all things good and holy, according to a recent Fox News report, she apparently made the discovery that I did at age 7, when I learned that Africa was actually a continent.

A Palin administration would give us a third Bush administration, with even greater levels of corruption, arrogance and incompetence. I didn't think it was possible for a Republican president to perform any more poorly than George W. Bush, but that was before Sarah Palin began considering herself presidential timber.

I'm baffled. Thirty-eight percent of you really believe that Sarah Palin is qualified to be president?

You're out of your minds.

09 November 2009

Required reading

Lieberman soldiers on.

Yes, this is exactly what the GOP needs. Have we ever seen a more dimwitted party chairman than Michael Steele?

More excellent material from John Burke at The Purple Center.

Need more proof that governing from the center not only works, but is a necessity?

On the other side of the coin, this piece of garbage from administration shill Eugene Robinson embodies everything that has gone terribly, terribly wrong with modern liberalism.

Speaking of lefty kool-aid drinkers, E.J. Dionne managed to shed the label for a few days and came up with a reasonably insightful piece on young voters.

The Detroit News examines at the utter failure of the "stimulus."

Huck: "I might be fat, but [Corzine] is incompetent, and I can lose weight."

And Aerosmith without Steven Tyler? Really?

Stewart does Beck

Jon Stewart is an occasional guilty pleasure of mine.

When he unloads on the $20 million man, it's wonderful.

For all his citations to the Founding Fathers, Glenn Beck sure must have missed the boat on some of the things John Adams had to say:

"Abuse of words has been the great instrument of sophistry and chicanery, of party, faction and division of society."

"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to the other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution."

I'm certain many readers view Beck as some sort of great patriot. But few people in 21st century America are as divisive or flat-out ridiculous as he is. Perhaps the most insightful thing I've ever heard Beck say was when he described himself as a "rodeo clown." His wild conspiracy theories and outlandish rhetoric have made him nothing but a shill, and ergo, those to the left of Gary Bauer have trouble taking him seriously.

It seems that anyone -- conservative or liberal -- who equates any presidential administration with the Third Reich ought to be so dismissed.

Maybe while he's recuperating at home, he'll watch Stewart cream him and have an opportunity to think about how ridiculous his shtick really is.

06 November 2009

"Irony," defined


At a tea party rally on the steps of the Capitol yesterday, in an attempt to show his originalist bona fides, House Minority Leader John Boehner mixed up the Preamble and the Declaration of Independence.


Apparently 10,000 (or, tens of thousands, depending on your source) tea partiers descended on the steps of the Capitol yesterday, cheering wildly while the likes of Boehner, Michelle Bachmann and Tony Perkins tossed them red meat.

(My parents' congressman, Rep. Todd Akin, also reportedly botched an attempt to lead the crowd in a recital of the Pledge of Allegiance.)

A woman named Mary Beth Bishop of Colorado spent $500 on a plane ticket, and was quoted by Politico as warning the Democrats, "We need to show and uphold the Constitution. It wasn't written on toilet paper."

Readers know I am no defender of President Obama's policies. But there is nothing remotely "unconstitutional" about publicly subsidized health insurance. It's certainly bad policy, and Republicans shouldn't hesitate to vote against any bill with a public option in it, but to say that the president and Congress are stepping all over the Constitution is absurd. This is the exact same battle cry used by left-wing moonbats use to claim that any law limiting abortion is "unconstitutional" -- the use of a conclusory statement of law with no precedent to support it.

Come to think of it, do you know what actually qualifies as constitutionally repugnant?

Detaining American citizens as "enemy combatants," without trial and without access to an attorney.

A president claiming plenary wartime powers.

A president, exercising his Article II authority, who claims that he alone determines the scope of that authority.

A president who claims that he cannot be limited by his predecessors' executive orders.

For the last eight years, Boehner, Akin, et al. sat idly by while the Bush administration engaged in an unprecedented expansion of executive power that, of all presidential actions since Nixon, was the most crushing to the text of the actual Constitution.

However, over the past 10 months, the House leadership and the right-wing lunatic fringe have apparently experienced an awakening as to what the Constitution purportedly says.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2009 Republican Party.