Friday, February 17, 2012

Political Absurdities

By Alan Caruba

At various points in any election year, the campaigns achieve moments of total absurdity that are passed off as news, usually with a straight face.

When certain Republicans begin to refer to “vulture capitalism” you know such a moment has arrived because, if Republicans are not all about capitalism, there is not much else for them to discuss. By capitalism I mean the state of the economy, workplace and trade issues, taxes, and everything else involved with paying one’s bills and becoming filthy rich if possible.

Republicans read The Wall Street Journal. Democrats read The New York Times. I rest my case.

The other recent absurdity was President Barack Obama telling NBC’s Matt Laurer that he deserved a second term. As if driving the U.S. debt up to $15 trillion wasn’t enough, apparently Obama wants to stick around so he can cancel another project that could create 20,000 jobs like the Keystone XL pipeline.

It is patently absurd for Obama to claim that his administration has “created” new jobs, but that is his campaign message these days. How many are unemployed? Have given up looking for a job? The only jobs government creates are government jobs and those have exploded in Obama’s first term. The rest of the time government is usually a huge obstacle to the private sector when it wants to do the same thing.

The greatest absurdity of all of the 2008 campaigns was that a totally unknown Senator from Illinois, there for barely two of a six year term, should emerge as the “messiah” of the masses to save America.

From what? Answer: the dreadful financial mess based on the idiotic notion that government should be in the housing and mortgage business.

This genius then proceeded to spend the first two years of his presidency telling everyone that it was all George Bush’s fault, thus ignoring the many times Bush warned Congress against the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac implosion. Sadly, Rasmussen Reports says 40% of Americans do think it is Bush’s fault.

Obama’s “solution” to the mess was a multi-billion-dollar “stimulus” that, by now, everyone agrees was a political slush fund and a failure. Then he borrowed more money than any president in U.S. history—including FDR who had to fund World War Two. It’s a long list of blunders, but the bottom line is massive stagnant unemployment and a housing market that’s still in the tank.

Why does every national election always seem to produce at least one candidate who uses the process to advocate ideas that most voters regard as absurd and, of course, I refer to Ron Paul’s view that we should pull back all our military from their foreign missions. While I agree we should stop getting into wars without Congressional consent—something the Constitution requires—that rule has been ignored since World War Two.
Since then the U.S. has engaged in wars of every description while the members of Congress could be found whistling in the hallways of the Capital in the hope people wouldn’t notice. The United Nations has offered cover some of the time, but we went into Vietnam, Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq with only the flimsiest pretense that they were not military actions.

Not to be outdone, Newt Gingrich opined that the U.S. should put a colony on the Moon. This was so absurd that even Saturday Night Live lampooned it. What is absurd, however, is the way Obama has ended the U.S. space program to the point we have to hitch a ride with the Russians. Worse, however, was Rick Santorum’s recent assertion that Mitt Romney “rigged” the outcome of the CPAC straw vote. The last candidate who ran on moral issues was Jimmy Carter. Consider yourself warned.

I personally regard the term “flip-flopper” an absurdity because I have never known of any politician who has not changed his mind and, frankly, would not want to vote for one so inflexible he or she could not change with the times.

What’s really absurd have been the directions various presidents have taken the nation in the recent times. Lyndon B. Johnson not only expanded the war in Vietnam, but he threw in the War on Poverty for good measure. In retrospect, it was a total failure. Richard Nixon ended his presidency with the Watergate scandal. Jimmy Carter drove the oil industry out of the U.S., reduced our military strength, and was such a dismal failure he only lasted one term.

I’m thinking that Obama will follow in Carter’s footsteps and we shall look back on “cash for clunkers”, Solyndra, and, of course, Obamacare, and ask ourselves, what were we thinking? The answer is that a majority of the voters were not thinking!

Neither Carter, nor Obama are aberrations. They were the result of the hardcore twenty-five to thirty percent of the voters who are irredeemably liberal, vote Democrat, and for whom reality and facts are of no importance.

Then there are another percentile who identify themselves as Democrats without realizing that our current financial crisis was created by Democrats! Republicans will reliably vote for their party’s candidate and that means a thin sliver of self-identified independents will decide the November elections.

All elections bring out the absurd in everyone, candidates and voters alike. We fall in love with one, experience the rapture of supporting them, and then wake up the day after the election and spend the next four years feeling like a recovering junky.

© Alan Caruba, 2012


LarryOldtimer said...

As long as Republican candidates only take cheap shots at each other, no actual "message" can be produced.

So how did Obama get elected? By reading well from a teleprompter, and promising hope and change. He won.

Where is the Republic candidate who is an excellent orator? Which Republican can, with excellent oratory skills, campaign by standing up and saying, "I have complete confidence in the citizens of the United States, even if we have to go it alone!

"When I become president, I shall change . . and go on to list what really needs to be changed, and quickly at that, and go on to state, "What I have just listed are what really needs to be changed, and until these changes are made, there will be no hope for our economy! I will cause those changes to happen."

Find me a Republican candidate who has the guts to say those things? Why should Republicans avoid annoying those people who would never vote for a Republican? Why keep on being interviewed by a hostile main stream media?

We conservatives really need a candidate of courage, and one who indeed has faith that Americans CAN do it alone with out the help of (quite useless) allies (We can do it). And one who is eager to press these points home, which ever special interest group or "progressive" group complains.

We need an equivalent Winston Churchill as of now, not simply a guy in a suit.

Lime Lite said...

Don't worry too much Alan, I'm sure Romney will end up being the candidate. And by the way, it was stated on Fox (on the Waters slot on Wednesday's O'Reilly Factor) that Romney bused in his supporters and paid their registration so they could vote for him in the straw poll at CPAC. It's an open secret, as Ron Paul has been doing this for years. And yet Romney still has no traction with the conservatives. Funny that. Seems that money can't buy you everything after all. He just doesn't come across as a genuine guy - he needs to connect with people for them to vote for him and he'd better start soon otherwise he's going to lose out to Santorum. My tip: watch for Sarah Palin to enter the race....she's suddenly doing a lot of media and she's talking sense.

LarryOldtimer said...

As far as Romney is concerned, he too would be nothing other than a "guy in suit", and I can't begin to see him as a couragous person, and he certainly has no capability of oration.

Romney would end up just more of the same old, same old.

If it is Romney who becomes the Republican candidate, he will be toast, and so will the US of A.

Guy in Ohio said...

We have the ignorance and stupidity of the American public to blame for this mess we're in, and I just don't see a way out any time soon. No matter how we got that way, whether it was through complacency, laziness, our lousy schools or the relentless left-wing media programming, we must face the fact that a huge portion of our society has lost touch with reality.

Unfortunately, looking back through world history, it's pretty clear that when the majority of people in a society lose touch with reality and begin ignoring the truth, the collapse of that society isn't far behind.

In my opinion, we aren't too far from that point in America, and it's a real shame.

J Johnston said...

@ LarryOldtimer and Lime Lite: Two good comments.

To indicate "I think this or I think that" is not going to get Obama defeated. Convincing voters "I am going to do this." with specificity is needed.

And yes, I cringe to think Romney is going to be the candidate for the Republicans. Obama went from being checked out in a Piper Cub to flying a 747. Romney will be moving from a P-51 to a F-16. Palin would be going from a joy ride in a Cessna to flying a Boeing Dreamliner.

I am at the point where I think I might want to take my chances in the Dreamliner.