I Pity the Fool!!

To understand Trump and Trumpism we must focus not on the why, or the what, but on the tactical how. For just as the invented persona of 80s icon Mr. T would take no guff so does the GOP’s 2015 Extreme! Mr. T out-alpha and out-anger anyone that takes his bait or challenges him.

Witness the obliteration of South Carolina’s plantation belle Lindsey Graham, who dared call Mr. T “jackass”. In response, Mr. T recited Lindsey’s personal phone number. To retaliate, Lindsey cut a commercial wherein he goofily breaks his own cellphone again and again. The ad was funny, but stupid because Lindsey responded to a punch in the face from the sandbox bully by doing a jester dance. It doesn’t get more beta than that.

The whole episode was infantile, but it was obvious who the strong one was: Mr. T! And thus the Graham Cracker crumbled.

Not all of Mr. T’s opponents are cowed as easily as Dim Lindsey. Sometimes, Mr. T wins ugly. Fox fox Megyn Kelly got treated to a Mr. T Twitter Troll roll of sexist blather for daring to point out Mr. T’s past sexist blather. Ultimately, Kelly didn’t respond to Mr. T’s assertion of Male Privilege (“… she had blood coming out of her wherever.”), but did skip town for ten days; I suspect, because the row caused her potentially serious threats. Similarly, difficult as it is to feel sympathy for a nimrod like Lindsey Graham, reciting his personal phone number was possibly dangerous for Lil’ Lindsey. When Kelly returned Mr. T re-opened fire (“The bimbo back in town…”). Memo to the chummy, self-obsessed press class: ask Mr. T tough questions and get harried and threatened.

Mr. T turned to White Guy Privilege to take down Jorge Ramos. Evicting Jorge from the press conference (“Go back to Mexico Univision!), letting him back in, and deflecting Ramos’ sensical point that many immigrants actual enter the USA by train thereby undermining the efficacy of Mr. T’s ballyhooed border wall. Was Mr. T’s orchestration of Ramos’ mini-‘Deportation and Re-Entry’ (Mr. T’s immigration plan writ small) a suicidal dick move for the general election? Sure! But Mr. T wins again!

Mr. T plays offense by exerting Rich Guy Privilege, usually by saying that he knows someone (a celebrity, a finance big wig, border guards, lawyers) that has special knowledge about something. YOU do not know these Masters of the Universe, but Mr. T does. YOU do not participate in multi-million dollar law suits or mega-real estate deals or mega-bankruptcies, but Mr. T does. So there!

I’m not underestimating Mr. T. Not at all. He is quicker on his feet, funnier, and more interesting than his fellow cavalcade of conservatron clowns. Many of his disses are soooo true. Jeb!utante Bush is low-watt silver spoon mediocrity, Rick Peary is a dunce wearing “smart” glasses, and the economy of dummScott Walker’s Wisconsin sucks. Mr. T’s support appears to be broad across the various groups of bitter, Epsom salt-oriented white people that make up the GOP base. I hazard that this is because those that feel that they are having what is Mine taken by Them favor a man that berates and beats down all of the Thems that They throw at Him because that proves that He will not back down to all of those Other Thems that are taking what is theirs.

In boxing parlance, Mr. T is a brawler fighting in a small ring. No one will outbrawl him; but the tactics for a boxer-puncher to beat him are already apparent. Pick your spots, be prepared to get hit in exchanges, but punch more effectively by sticking to reality (Ramos almost did this on immigration, but Ramos was way too shaky — and to Mr. T’s credit Mr. T parried well) and forcing Mr. T to respond to substance with substance. Step back as Mr. T gets furious and flails, then wallop him again with more verbal onslaughts that require a cleverer comeback than, “you’re a bimbo!” In other words, the rest of the conservatron Royal Rumble bukakke needs to fight Mr. T with robust, substantive and precise oration face-to-face to win. Good luck with that! They are all too insipid and too hamstrung by goofball reactionary politics that are not much different than Mr. T’s hammy jingoism. Able reporters could corner Mr. T in a similar manner… and risk personal danger like Megyn Kelly or shaming like Jorge Ramos. (Ah, that little extra-oomph of intimidation!)

Mr. T cannot be knocked out until the GOP field is winnowed enough for an opponent to truly engage him. Oh irony of ironies, that may not happen for many moons because Citizens United bequeathed the ability for a single ultra-rich asshole to keep any one of these flailing buffoons around crowding the stage long after he (or she) has flat lined, thereby maintaining Mr. T as the biggest bull trout in a shallow, heavily polluted river.

For now, I pity the fool who thinks that Mr. T is not the favorite to win the GOP nomination!

Will the Newt and Sanatorium Make the Spirit of the Mittens Strong?

The Bull Trout is an adfluvial apex predator native to Pacific Northwestern rivers and lakes.  Bull Trout are fairly “average” looking fish, but they are every bit the champions of their domain as wolves or lions are to theirs. Biologists have described them as the “Tyrannosaurus Rex of the river.” They can and will eat anything smaller than them. Even little birds. Their favorite snack is juvenile Chinook salmon. Of all the daft details of endangered species politics, managing for endangered salmonids and Bull Trout is, for self-evident reasons, one the weirdest. In a largely unspoiled ecosystem (in this case the  salmonids were slaughtered in fisheries to near extinction by the turn of 20th century and bull trout were purposefully retononed by federal and state fisheries agencies in the 1920s – 1960s in order to make way for more desirable exotic species, but I digress), however, there is a symbiosis between the two species. By eating many subyearling and yearling Chinook — presumably, mostly the less fit ones — as they rear in riparian environments the Bull Trout reduce spatial and food competition at every other stage in the lifecycle for the remaining, more fit Chinook. In addition, Bull Trout attacks teach the juvenile Chinook how to evade predators, which is likely a very useful skill for when they enter the ocean as little fish in a gigantic pond. In this case the obligatory American-Indian saying is sage: “The Bull Trout makes the spirit of the salmon strong.” (This advantage for wild salmonids is undermined by state, federal and, yes, tribal fisheries agencies who inundate rivers with genetically inferior hatchery salmon in order to maintain a fishery with an “acceptable” harvest impact on wild fish — generally about 25% of the wild adult fish; the ones that have proven by their survival to have the most fit genes, but I digress.)

In 2008, Hillary Clinton was Barack Obama’s “Bull Trout”: A full grown top predator that had long thrived in a brutish Darwinian political environment where Obama, a temporal fry by comparison, had just emerged from his redd. The Conventional Wisdom holds that by forcing Obama to compete for space (states), food (voters), and to evade or contend with a kitchen sink of attacks (Hillary pressed the full Nixonian resentment card against Obama — long the Conservatrons’ best tactic), Hillary assured that the Spirit of the Obama was Strong. Having overwintered in the Primary Reservoir to survive Salvelinus confluentus Clintonessus Obama was indeed a “Jumbo Smolt” when he finally smoltified and outmigrated to the General Election Ocean in the summer. Once there, Obama outmaneuvered the Humboldt Squids (a voracious predator whose unusual presence off of Oregon and Washington may have largely wiped out the Sacremento River salmon run in 2008) and non-charismatic megafauna of his Conservatron competition and was able to return to the great “spawning ground of ideas” of Washington DC as a powerful November Hog. A few of the conceptual eggs the Obama fertilized have hatched. The full Affordable Care Act is scheduled to emerge in 2014, although the Conservatrons will try their hardest to scour or dessicate it while it’s incubating in the meantime.

Although Mittens has spent time rearing in the Primaries and Massachusetts habitats, he has not proven fit enough to outmigrate to the General Election Ocean. Resident Conservatron Suckers, (invasive) Crappies and Redband trout do not appear to like him or trust him. This has provided openings for other competitors to challenge him. The hope in Conservatron Land was that, after South Carolina, the Newt would be Mittens’ “Bull Trout” as Hillary was Barack’s back in 2008. The Newt is an experienced, tactical hack. The Newt’s hypocrisy is so paramount that he doesn’t even hide it. The Newt’s brand of confrontational hatefulness, pomposity, gimpy pseudo-intellectualism and Racism Lite rhymes with the Conservatron zietgiest. The Newt kinda’ looks like a Bull Trout, too.

Indeed, Mittens’ vertebrae appeared to calcify in response to the Newt. He was coached into being an aggressor in debates. He usurped a taster of the Newt’s trademark Nasty™. Mittens won Florida. Mittens won Nevada. It appeared that a swift Mittens was finally ready to strap the dog to the roof of the family car, undergo smoltification and outmigrate to the General Election Ocean. Then Mittens was felled by Sanatorium — Sanatorium! The Frothy Human Punchline! — in Colorado, Minnesota and Missourah.

The Conservatron illiteratti hasn’t whispered about Sanatorium being a potential “Bull Trout”. While co-opting a bit of the Newt’s Nasty™ was a necessary adaptation, having to out-wacko Sanatorium on social issues will force Mittens onto the opposite side of anyone that has ever been sexually active (or hopes to be) once the Conservatron elders finally truck Mittens to the estuary and he flip-flops into the General Election Ocean. After all, we’ve all befallen from several eons of fornicators, and despite the presence of lamprey-like Creepers such as Sanatorium most of us would prefer to enjoy fornicating safely, just as we evolved to do.

So why is it that the Newt and Sanatorium are not making the spirit — or at least the poll numbers versus “King Salmon” Obama — of the Mittens strong? It’s simple. Unlike Hillary, the Newt and Sanatorium are not noble “Bull Trout”. They are invasive, venal Smallmouth Bass. Smallmouth Bass are native to Southern warm water ponds, but have been introduced by bucket biologists and, of course, state fishery agencies to Northwestern reservoirs. They evolved to ambush spiny-backed, large resident fishes. Smooth-backed juvenile salmonids don’t have a chance against them, no matter how fit they are. Because Smallmouth Bass are fetishized by sun stroked license-purchasing yahoos they are managed by state fishery agencies as a sport fish (catch and release only), rather than a nuisance species to be eliminated (bounty fishery). While their periodicity with salmonids is temperature dependent and the extent to which they overlap is not entirely known as that would require state fishery agencies to monitor the impact of their management decisions, they certainly compete for food and space with native fish. When exotics are “flushed” out of a well-managed reservoir, salmonids immediately grow to be larger and more plentiful.

The Republican Party is a poorly managed reservoir full of invasive bass, crappies, channel catfish, legacy pollution and other Things that Should Not be There that Fuck with Everything that Should. Much as these invasive fish are managed by a state agency that profits from selling licenses to catch them and yet has a mandate to preserve the native species that these exotics destroy, so is the Conservatron bubble overseen by a media that treats the nonsense (evolution schmevolution, global warming is a hoax, austerity is expansionary) that emerges from its effluent as one side of an argument even as they claim to be crusaders for truth. As a result this years’ slate of Conservatron candidates has included jokers like Donald Trump, Herman Cain and Michelle Bauchmann and has been laughably weak (especially compared to the august Democratic field of 2008) because they have evolved to survive in a toxic cess pool with other sheltered meanies rather than developing the talents to outmigrate to the General Election Ocean.

Starting in 2004 Democrats are 9 and 0 in Presidential election debates. I am counting Obama’s 2010 impromptu confrontation with the Conservatrons in this tally. It is the most striking example. Obama was ambushed by the Conservatrons, he had no allies in the room, Conservatron Mike Pence (who looks like he was carved out of a pencil eraser) was the moderator. Even in the most hostile of circumstances Obama obliterated his opposition because ideas and skills that are developed by the non-native species in the Conservatron cess pool bubble are no match for those honed to compete for the votes of everyone else. Faced with someone that would actually challenge the basis of their concepts, rather than treat them as a “he said/she said,” the Conservatrons folded one after another in the face of Obama’s rebuttals and Fox News cut away rather than watch Obama continue to dunk on the Conservatrons in garbage time.

The Consrevatrons don’t breed Presidents. They concoct invasive predators with an unnatural advantage over their prey, designed to grow large and just healthy enough to absorb the toxics in their crumby habitat, until they become too poisonous to tolerate and only the ignorant would want to keep them. On the occasions when one of these creatures slimes or steals its way into the “spawning ground of ideas” in Washington DC, as Generalissimo Bush did through his putsch in Florida in 2000, the results are horrendous: asleep at the wheel for a disastrous terrorist attack, an unnecessary nine year war, fiscal mismanagement, torture, hundreds of thousands of needless dead people and countless maimed American troops, and the Great Economic Collapse.

The longer Mittens spends in the Conservatron cess pool the more inbred he will become. For the Spirit of the Mittens can Never be Strong because his stock has no soul.

The Egypt Credit Countdown

Que the Conservatrons saying that Egypt’s peaceful, internal revolution that resulted in regime change was a direct result of Generalissimo Bush’s invasion of Iraq in T minus five… four… three… two… one….

This is one of those times when it is gratifying to have a real President and not a nepotistic dunce like Dubya’. I’m not entirely sure how, but one just senses that Generalissimo Bush would have blown this somehow. It’s tempting to say that Obama’s outreach to the Arab world, as exemplified by his speech in Cairo early in his presidency, provided some of the spark for this and the regime change in Tunisia. More likely, those revolts  and the crushed uprising in Iran, are more the result of a demographic wave of young people that are aware of the freedoms that most people have simply demanding them for themselves and their countrymen. I cannot pretend to be any manner of expert on these matters. Today anyway, the joyous scene in Egypt gladdens even the most cynical heart. And it was all done without a single American military boot on the ground or drop of blood in the sand.

Ah, Conservatrons and Victimization

A nine year old girl is slain. A sitting federal judge has been murdered. There was an attempted, pre-meditated assassination attempt on a sitting Congresswoman — somehow, she is still living despite having a bullet pierce her skull, travel trough her brain, and come out of the back of her head. Several other people were killed. More were wounded. More still were terrified. A city, a state and even a nation are shaken. Yet, of course, the real victim is Sarah Palin.

The narcissism and victimization complex on the Right is a wonder to behold. Jaw dropping, incomprehensible, bizarre, almost scary in the same way that seeing a truly deranged person meander the street is scary. IOKIYAR, I guess….

Fukuyamaed

Francis has an interesting analysis of our recent history (which was evidently restarted at some point) of  populism generated by right wing “left behinds” that only serves to embolden the plutocracts that are leaving these Conservatron Patsies behind. Fukuyama does make some worthwhile points about Chicago School economics providing a pseudo-intellectual rationalization to Reaganism and allowing bankers and “economists” to participate in a revolving exclusive circle jerk that enriches them both. Still, Fukuyama is leaving out the Racist Elephant in the room, namely the Republicans’ Southern Strategy. Fukuyama notes that somehow there was a populist sense that government would only waste money that cropped up in the 1970s  without ever considering that for a southern FDR Democrat the government redistributing wealth to electrify the south and the west in the 30s is worthwhile, but once the government assures that blacks are no longer formally second class citizens in the 1960s, then its redistribution must surely go to helping THEM (whoever they may be — there are many THEYs) at the expense of HIM. Or, as Ronald Reagan said, “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”

Sure I used a Strawman and my analysis isn’t appearing in an academic magazine, but click on the link and decide for yourself who has the more compelling argument. I feel that MacGregor’s First Rule of American History still holds: At the end of the day, everything comes back to race.

Relevance and Liberal Disenchantment

The icy analysis of the Tax deal is that it be a worthy gain of stimulus even with its fetid Bush Tax Cut for the Rich after birth. Sausage making process. Hold nose. Compromise. Be satisfied knowing that UI has been extended for some and that worthy things have been accomplished. Onto the next battle.

Legislative process. Been there. Done that.

So why the liberal disenchantment?

I think it all goes back to the vital leadership quality of relevance. Relevant leadership is, obviously, leadership that addresses pertinent concerns or issues. At first glance it appears that what any president or major public figure is doing is relevant — that’s why there are a gaggle of media filter-feeding barnacles there to report on it and beam it into your living room. But an audience does not relevance make. Consider pre-historic relevance archetypes. If a group of early hunter/gatherers needs to navigate a fearsome jungle to get food, then the person that claims to know the way through will be highly relevant. If an early agricultural village’s water supply has dried up from drought, and someone decrees that they know of a new water supply, the person with that knowledge becomes politically important quickly. Imagine how relevant someone with the demonstrated ability to immediately cap a rupture oil well 10,000 feet below the ocean would have been during the Gulf Oil Spill disaster in the summer of 2010!

Obama burst onto the scene through a mastery of relevance. Regardless of how obtuse his “hope” rhetoric was, it was the perfect antidote to the venality and mendacity of the Bush era — especially when juxtaposed with Hillary’s early “inevitability” strategy. The confounding undercutting of the Obama presidency has been the his loss of relevance. The too small Stimulus was passed without adequately describing how it addressed the economic crisis. Health Care Reform was formulated without anyone being sure what Obama was for, other than the resolution of the legislative process. Worst of all, the infuriating Bankster bonuses were allocated with nary a peep from the President. Time and again, Obama has played Prime Minister or else been mute on the pressing issues of the day.

Now, in the wake of the Conservatron resurgence of 2010; so called austerity is purportedly relevant to the electorate. Regardless that, intellectually, what is needed is more stimulus; the fact that there must be shared sacrifice to balance the budget for the greater good makes an intuitive sense because sacrifice is what just about every American has done since the Great Economic Collapse. Obama justified an anti-stimulative freeze in federal pay by saying that, this was the sort of broad sacrifice that was necessary given the debt situation. His Cat Food Commission has just finished describing the sort of baubles that must be given up to balance the budget.

And into the maw of the great sacrifice beast is extracted… an unnecessary bon bon for the Wealthiest! Freezing federal pay ($5 billion savings) is necessary sacrifice, not extending ultra-stimulative unemployment ($5 billion per month) is necessary sacrifice, raising the retirement age is necessary sacrifice; but the Wealthiest need not have their tax cuts sacrificed. Just as the Banksters that caused the Great Economic Collapse need not have their shenanigans seriously investigated, need not have their bailout money monitored, need not have their compensation reconsidered, need not be cajoled into actually loaning any of the money they are sitting on to worthy customers, and need not have anyone less familiar than Larry Summers or Tim Geihtner populate high economic places.

At the end of the day Obama is asking everyone to sacrifice instead of the wealthiest. Given the reality of the Conservatrons, he got the best deal that he could. Given the reality of the inability to hold the architects of the Great Economic Collapse accountable or demand any ballyhooed sacrifice for the wealthiest, it’s infuriating. And irrelevant.

The Long Winter of Our Discontent

I like President Obama more than any other political figure in my lifetime. I like the President for the same reason the Conservatrons hate him: he seems like one of “us”. He’s the only major political figure  to hail from the “us” that I recognize myself to be a part of.

Objectively, Obama’s first two years have been a sterling success. The economy was saved from Depression, two Supreme Court justices were confirmed, the auto bailout saved thousands of jobs and three huge companies, fundamental health insurance reform and financial reform were passed, and the ball was generally moved forward on issues from womens’ equity, to green energy, to nuclear disarmament. Unnoticed by most, Obama has also done a tremendous amount of healing beneath the skin by inserting earnest and sophisticated citizens into Cabinet and under-Cabinet positions that were once the province of Bush junta “Brownies”. The Education Department is utilizing venture capital style experimentation through the Race to the Top contest. Steven Chu is the best Secretary of Energy in the Department’s history having oriented it towards resolving cutting edge technological problems while personally participating in small ventures like orchestrating the ultimate capping of BP’s gushing oil well in the star crossed Gulf of Mexico.

Obama’s first two years are also a self-evident failure. If you could time travel back to Inauguration Day 2009 and tell an Obama supporter the result of the 2010 midterms, the supporter at first would not believe you and then conclude that the two intervening years were a disaster.

There are two obvious horseshoe-and-hand-grenades failures from Obama’s first two years. The first was the Stimulus that was too small, but advertised as being just as right as the Third Bear’s bowl of porridge was for Goldilocks. Paul Krugman, who has only been correct about almost everything since the daisy brained days of W’s 2000 presidential campaign, has written extensively about this on his blog. The second would be the bonus imbroglio with AIG and other bailed out Bankster Rats’ Nests. Yes these bonuses are just a goofy form of delayed compensation, and maybe there is little legally that the government could have done about them. But gut feelings are not always wrong. The sense that the same corrupt Master of the Universe nimrods that caused the Great Economic Collapse only to be bailed out by the serfs were then somehow deemed to important to risk losing, and were thus rewarded for their destructive errors was logically infuriating. My participation in this blog flatlined after Obama was ineffectual in contending with the bonuses either substantively or through oration. Of course I argued, donated a few dollars and voted early in 2010, but my enthusiasm was deflated.

It’s not clear how Obama could have given voice to this populist fury or exactly how Obama should have played the Stimulus. Maybe he chose one of the best possible courses in each case – perhaps alternative actions would have turned out worse. Regardless, the 2010 elections are proof positive that what he did do failed. It’s even possible that he wasn’t the right man for the job. Obama’s Hope message resonated in the early rounds of the Democratic Primary because it was the antidote to the low morals and manipulations of the Bush regime and the agony of the Fear Years. Clinton seemed to “connect” better on the economy after the Ohio primary (whatever that means), but her foolish vote in favor of Generalissimo Bush’s Iraq War II cost her the Democratic nomination and, with it, the Presidency. Would HRC have succeeded in these two make-or-break areas where Obama didn’t? Who knows, but the “spiritual thirst” of America was far more meat’n’potatoes in the fall of 2008 then it was in the summer of 2007 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina finally obliterating Generalissimo Bush’s string of fooling all of the people (or at least a preponderance of them) all of the time and the agony of deceit began to permeate workaday life.

Maybes, wouldas, couldas, and who the hell knows? Oh well. Whatever. The tragedy is that we are where we are and it is hard to see how Obama’s failures leave America any real way to get out of the Great Economic Collapse. There was a fluffy tech bubble in the 1990s, but computers, the Internet and cellphones were also tangible improvements that created wealth and new businesses. The Web 2.0 Facebooks and YouTubes of the 00’s also added real economic development to the empty calories of the housing bubble. Today, corporations are sitting on heaps of dollars like hens atop an egg, but what is it that they should spend it on? Who is going to buy the products that corporations create with their ample capital in sufficient quantities to generate self-sustaining wealth and jobs?

Obama’s able Cabinet and their underlings can still heal beneath the skin, the Fed can give the Market more quantitative easing hand jobs, and Obama can surely make his mortgage program more effective. Still, the huge Stimulus spending that must be done on infrastructure, the smart grid, and a bevy of other initiatives; the Stimulus spending that objectively would end the Great Economic Collapse will not get done. America is settling in for a long long winter of meager growth, diminished expectations, and near-feudal wealth concentration, meanwhile the Conservatrons and the junior varsity fascists in the Tea Party will use the resulting disorder to pit dispossessed groups against each other while distracting them with fake issues (Ground Zero Masque!) and phony scandals (Obama’s a Muslim!). Obama and Progressives will be playing defense, stopping the barbarians at the gate and keeping them from smothering the infant recovery in its oxygen tent.

I Hope We Can….

Conservatron Farce and Tragedy

Way back in 2006 during the Page scandal I wrote that the Republican Party had become a parody of itself. The farce continued over this week as the Conservatrons dished up hyperbole about Sotomayor’s ballyhooed “reverse racism.” What is incredible about this how ably the Conservatrons inserted this “controversy” into the media. Even as former representative Heather Wilson (R-NM) rejects the junior varsity fascism of skatmunchers like Rush Limbaugh on “Real Time”, she still bloviates about how “the question is, will Sotomayor apply the law equally to everyone” thereby keeping alive Limbaugh’s reactionary hooey in a way that is appropriate for respectable company. Because this equals conflict, the superfluous filer feeders in the mainstream media report on it breathlessly.

Thus the Conservatrons win the meme war, but for the rest of us actual Americans, the idea that an accomplished Latina might once have made a jocose statement appropriating broad stereotypes about her ethnicity/culture by stating that a person with her background might reach a better conclusion on an issue than a white man without her life experiences is boring. That’s because we know a variety of people and and get how a person celebrating their own culture does not equate to them hating everyone else. Duh! I know this because I am a wily Jew.

In short, while the Conservatrons are still decent tacticians, their resentment mongering is so impertinent and ugly that no reasonable person takes it seriously. Sadly, this is where the Conservatron tragedy comes in.

Generalissimo Bush and the Conservatrons coup d’etated and fearmongered the reactionary Nixonian/Reaganite conservative ideology well beyond the expiration dates of its ideas. During Conservatisms long nadir (2005-2008) Team Bush used their official power to stall and delay popular positions on the economy, health care, environment, foreign wars etc. etc. Once power finally returned to the Democrats, the vast majority of America’s polity had progressed far beyond the Conservatrons’ politics. The ensuing era of rapid but orderly change is still at the start of its beginnings.

It is no surprise that the shrinking minority of Conservatron dead enders are feeling bewildered as their countrymen lap them in the great 8000 km steeplechase towards modernity. It is doubly no surprise that some of these encrustations turn to violence when the majoritorian political process leaves them so greatly outnumbered. The purposeful inciting of these “left behinds” is the disturbing place where the stressed out hyperbole from the Conservatron echo chamber meets the attacks on Democratic lawmakers in Arkansas or the murder of Dr. Tiller or the creepy venom of last fall’s McPalin rallies that sought to tar the current President of the United States as a terrorist ally. Conservatron commentators are not directly at fault for the violence, but violence is the logical extreme of soft-serve racism that has been the engine of their ideology.  That’s how it shook out forty-one years ago when the Conservatrons first attained power.

As Long as We Are Talking Identity Politcs with the New Justice

How about a Native American? Given the unique and unusual relationship that American Indians have with the Federal government as citizens of various derivations of quasi-separate nations, a Native could provide a valuable perspective to the SCOTUS’ ruminations.

I have no idea if there is an able Native justice out there, but since there will be an element of “just because” to this selection then you might as well go with a Local.

Also, I welcome the inevitable Conservatron hyperventilating and projectile vomit of fnords over whoever Obama selects. Please let them fool themselves into believing that a proxy fight over whatever wedge issues no one cares about anymore is their way out of the wilderness. This is just proof positive that there is no need to take them seriously for now.

Check and Mate

“I know that we haven’t agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.”

May have noticed that the Conservatron legs were a little creaky in rising for the applause line in bold above. That’s because their entire ideology is predicated on some people loving their country more than others, or somehow being more American than others. Of course, in the unofficial State of the Union context, no Conservatron could sit through that statement, even as it drove a stake through their fetid dark hearts.

All that leaves the Conservatrons is Bobby Jindal the Page, sounding like he is reading a children’s book full of false choices and nonsense, having his own McCain Green Screen moment.

2009 Will Be More Like 1933 than 1993

The Stim will soon be passed with fractional Conservatron support. The sample size is small, but two situations similar to this one offer potential guidance on how the politics of this will play out.

Example One is 1933 when FDR passed a substantial part of his New Deal legislation with minimal GOP support. The media back then was owned almost entirely by the same class of people that attempted a fascist Coup against FDR. In spite of the negative reaction from the out-of-powers-that-be, the Democrats expanded their majorities in the 1934 mid-terms and FDR won more states and total votes in 1936 than he did in 1932. This neat feat was accomplished even as the Depression dragged on because, regardless of what the Conservatron elite claimed, the New Deal made things better. Where once there was no job, now one was a part of the CCC. You didn’t have electricity, but after the New Deal, you did. This self-evident improvement was the cornerstone of the Progressive Populism that reigned over the American polity until 1968.

Example Two is Clinton’s Balance Budgeting of 1993. The 1993 recession was not as bad as the Great Depression; but personal desperation is personal desperation, regardless of how society at large is fairing. Clinton came into office without a popular majority and could not get a stimulus bill through Congress and had to nix the Middle Class tax cut that he had campaigned on. The Budget Bill that finally passed reduced taxes on the poorest Americans, raised them on the richest Americans, and cut the budget. Although the economy soon recovered it did not begin producing many new jobs until late 1995. Without the stimulus or the Middle Class tax cuts, and with typical venal negativity from the Conservatrons and their water carriers in the media, the lot of most Americans did not appear to improve. The Democrats got trounced in the 1994 mid-terms and Clinton had to largely play defense for the rest of the 90s.

The Great Economic Collapse is closer to the Great Depression than the early 90s recession, but in many ways self-evident improvements are harder to establish. Developing and deploying non-GHG emitting energy through an Apollo style program would better the lives of everyone on the planet and probably set the stage for an economic boom. It would also take several years before the benefit became obvious.

My instinct (and it is just that) is that the full extent that America is screwed economically has not become entirely apparent yet. While the Stim is probably not enough, it is something, and could well be just about the only game in town for quite sometime. More importantly is includes most of Obama’s promised tax cut. Conservatrons can poo-poo the $13 per week nature of it, but having an additional $26 in each bi-weekly paycheck will make a tremendous difference to this typical American because it extends, for one day, the amount of time at the end of a pay period when I am not broke. That the Conservatrons cannot grok this demonstrates just how far through the looking glass they have fallen.

The Stimulus will create or preserve jobs for millions of Americans, and it will put some important extra dollars in the pocket of everyone. It will be up to Obama and the Democrats to keep on pointing out these benefits to underline them for those that are not directly assisted. With the economy lagging but the Stimulus bill providing a few sparks of sustenance the Democrats should be poised to win a few House Seats and, more importantly, a couple more Senate seats.

With over sixty Senators Obama may be able to complete the New Deal/Great Society and pass Universal Health Care, thereby providing the last technologically feasible self-evident benefit to everyone and setting up a landslide reelection in 2012.

Obama Appears to Choose the Eisenhower Model

Obama campaigned as a 21st century update of Andrew Jackson, but it appears that his model for governing is going to be Dwight David Eisenhower.

Obama and Ike are surprisingly similar. Ike was adored for being vital to winning World War II, but was a political ink blot. No one knew if he would run as a Democrat or Republican at first. Although he had to throw the Conservatrons of his day a bone by Veeping Nixon his administration was centrist to the point of being almost non-ideological — Nixon had almost no portfolio as VP (today Ike seems more Democrat than Republican). Obama is an obvious liberal, yet his calls for post-partisanship and his relatively thin voting record coupled with the acknowledged practice of others grafting their own aspirations onto his barrier breaking story makes Obama, oddly, a vague quantity akin to Ike despite Obama’s detailing of his policies in the 08 campaign.

Ike and Obama are both unlikely Presidents. Ike wasn’t a politician, but his military expertise was ideal for 1952 when the quagmire in Korea appeared unsolvable. Obama has less experience than most Presidents, but his newness and potential energy are the canvass on which the 2010s will be written; in 2008 Obama was the necessary redeemer for what Leonard Cohen calls America’s “spiritual thirst” in the bitter wake of the venal Bush occupation.

Eisenhower translated his novelty into action by delegating. Due to his dowdy public persona, Ike was criticized for being a hands off or even clueless president. We now know that he was intent and engaged behind the scenes. He took his military experience and applied it to his cabinet by giving his subordinates room to succeed and fail, while using the bully pulpit and the ceremonial aspect of the presidency to maintain his own personal popularity rather than trying to sway the polity to his vision, which was largely “post-partisan” anyway.

Obama has chosen more of a Team of Experts than a “Team of Rivals”. His cabinet includes sitting politicians like Salazar and Clinton with their own power bases and political capital. For the more technical work like energy and environmental policy (despite the broad passions stirred by these issues, actual work on them is all about nuances of details) Obama has chosen able technocrats that will be led by Carol Browner in a new energy/environment coordinator role. Vice-President Biden will be the point person on the economic stimulus activity.

Obama appears to be updating the Eisenhower Model by giving substantial ownership of policy to his cabinet members/subordinates, while largely staying above the fray himself. Hopefully, he will also use his preternatural talent as the greatest Persuasive Leader of his generation to create the space for his team to succeed.

This is brilliant politics for three reasons. 1.) Giving ownership of policy to subordinates makes Obama harder to hit. Early in the reign of the Bush junta Progressives were driven to distraction by the very visible Rumsfeld and Ashcroft, but Bush remained popular and Rumsfeld and Ashcroft only became unpopular when Bush did. The Public at large does not care about Secretaries, but ideologues do. By leading with his subordinates Obama will force the Conservatrons to swing wildly to try to hit him. Their foolish fixation on trying to link Obama to Blagojevich is an early example of this and has, of course, been a massive FAIL. Subsequent attempts by Conservatrons will be cat-chasing-tail exercises because scandalmongering for the sake of scandalmongering does not reflect the seriousness of the times, but Obama’s “no red America, no blue America, just the United States of America” trope does. That the Conservatrons have completely abandoned this high ground is astounding in its stupidity 2.) When Obama does stake political capital on a policy outcome it is more likely to be effective and decisive because it will occur relatively rarely and only after his subordinate has spent his or her political capital. 3.) Everyone prefers a boss that does not micromanage. I imagine that one of the reasons that Obama’s campaign was so tight is that he let his people do their part their way. Obama is more likely to win the devotion of his Team of Experts by following Eisenhower’s model.

Eisenhower’s governing style was not a complete success. After his heart attack in his second term Ike appeared to lose some control of his administration and it became mired in silly scandals and transgressions. The Republicans got trounced in the 1958 mid-terms. The U2 Spy Plane incident seemed to be a sign of Ike’s detachment. Still, when all was said and done and remembered Ike was popular and maintained the Leadership necessary to make a credible warning about the Military-Industrial Complex in his farewell address.

Team Obama is filled clever, able people that are also keen students of history. I think they can perform even better than Team Eisenhower.

Snider and the Flyers: Conservatrons

Update: Larry Brooks to Flyers, Snider and NHL: Shame on you!

I’m a Devils fan so I’ve always hated the Flyers. Hating your rivals is part of what is fun in sports. There have been admirable players on the Flyers over the years, but leadership matters. An effective head of an organization filters his or her vision down to its final product, for better or worse.

The Flyers have always represented a sense of reactionary hatefulness. An unscientific sampling of their fans (and yes, some of my best friends are Flyers fans) shows a lust not just to win but to physically pummel their opponents; a belief that losing 5-2 is okay if you won the fight in the second period. This is reflected in the make ups of their teams over the last several years. They have always featured plenty of goons, rugged wingers and some skill, but have not managed to maintain a franchise goaltender. And when the opponent outphysicals them the Flyers are the first to cry foul and unfair. The whining after Scott Stevens KOed Lindross was epic and legion. Hey. you wanted tough, you wanted pummeling, you got it.

In essence, you have classic bully behavior. Sort of similar to Nilap’s terrifying rallies of late. Perhaps it should come as no surprise that Ed Snider, the Flyers head who is also chairman of the awful Comcast Corporation and a major Conservatron, has invited Nilap to drop the puck at the Flyers’ home opener.

Ah well, number for Flyers’ PA office is 1-215-465-4500.

Lets Go Devils!

When Bush Patsy McCain Has No Clue, He Goes Random

Since 9/15/08 Bush Patsy McCain has: Called the fundamentals of the economy strong, then said he meant the American workers, been against the AIG bailout, been for the AIG bailout, called for a commission to study the economic free fall, thrown some innuendo sleaze balls about Obama and “connections” to Freedie Mae and Fannie Mac (only to have it bommerang), and most bizarrely called for the Chairman of the SEC to be fired. Of course, the President cannot fire the SEC Chairman, proving that this was not a well considered stratagem.

This demonstrates that when Bush Patsy McCain is contending with areas he does not care about he will try any old idea just to survive a news cycle. Activity must not be confused with execution. Consider the “fire the SEC Chairman!” gambit. Even if it were readily doable, it is a stupid idea. The current meltdown is not due to illegal trading that the SEC missed; it is result of the legal financial servicing of debt owed on rotten assets of the sort Bush Patsy McCain and the Conservatrons have long championed. Or, as the legendary economic soothsayer and sometimes rock star Roger Waters foresaw: “when the great economic collapse happens; it’s gonna’ happen, right across the board.” All that firing the SEC Chairman would do is put someone new into a job that is important for economic stewardship in the midst of a cataclysm. Even the most able person would still be getting their bearings and be less that optimal in their vital position for crucial hours, days and weeks.

This isn’t judgment. This isn’t leadership. It’s cantankerous randomness for no purpose but to run out the clock and hope the subject changes.

To that end Bush Patsy McCain and the Conservatrons are replaying one of their greatest hits: crying about the media.

Pathetic.

The Nilap Bubble Is Starting To Burst

What seems like two years ago, but was really a bit over two weeks ago I wrote this:

“A nice getting to know you might have sufficed had Nilap’s supposed claim to reformer fame not been contradicted by past actions, like being for the Bridge To Nowhere before she was against it. To earn America’s respect after this goopy soap opera, Nilap needs to have something meaningful to say about jobs, the economy, and even foreign policy. The “normalness” of Prego seventeen year olds, “The Fuckin’ Redneck,” DUIs, Jews for Jesus, petty small town hatreds, hunting wildlife from helicopters, firing librarians, denying global warming, fighting weird in-law rivalries through firing public servants, and playing footsie with half-baked secessionist parties just won’t cut the mustard.”

And:

“The Conservatrons don’t care about Nilap’s petty small-town rivalries, the hypocrisy embedded in her daughter’s tummy by a “fucking redneck,” or the rest because her goof city stances on creationism and abortion etc. are important to them. I suspect the rest of America is not concerned with how well they can relate to Nilap. Her “normalness” does not put food on the table or help pay the mortgage. Most importantly, it does not demonstrate that she can be president.”

If Obama was just a “celebrity” he never would have beaten the formidable Clinton Machine and the rest of the deep Democratic field. Beyond the rousing speeches there were articulate and relevant ideas. Obama was right about the Iraq war. He was right about a time line to remove our troops from Iraq. He had a meaningful set of ideas to address the budding financial crisis six months ago. Nilap has one well-delivered speech, stuffed like Twinkie with gooey lies, that she has repeated over and over and over while hiding from the media.

The Conservatrons also misundrestood the Clintonian sexism angst. I suspect that in their Tin Pot craniums, Conseravtrons who have lambasted feminists for eons thought they were unleashing a Feminist Boogeywoman that would reap the same imagined havoc on the Democrats as it had on them. The Clinton feminist backlash was organic outrage based on the frustration with characterizations by bloviators like Chris Matthews. At it’s core was the fact that a serious candidate was, at times, being marginalized by her gender. Pretending that a mental rice cake like Nilap is being discriminated against by imagining that the cliche “lipstick on a pig” is a slight just to her is obvious nonsense.

In the immortal out-of-context words of Kevin Devine, the rush has worn off and we’re left with this busted person. The MSM is beginning to report on Nilap’s lies. The latest NY Times/CBS poll has Obama leading by 5 after being down 2 a week ago, and Nilap’s unfavorables are increasing..

The Conservatrons will stay with Nilap because they care about her retrograde social stances, but as I said two weeks ago, for everyone else there is no there there.

Nilap Strategery II

Three days ago I wrote this:

“Of course Bush Patsy McCain and his Rover handlers knew about the Bristol Bany! Their strategy was to carefully roll Nilap out as an easily emphatic “hockey mom”. Then, once the teenage pregnancy popped out, goad the MSM to, hopefully — if you’re a Conservatron — with an assist from the Obama campaign, pile on to the Nilap’s to the point of ridicule and meanness. The Conservatrons would then use the echo chamber of their theofascist wing, which is so excited about Nilap, to ferment a backlash against the nasty treatment of this “everywoman” who is so lovingly just contending with a plain ol’ difficult mother/daughter situation just like any tough working mom would do! Aw schucks!

The second half of this strategy would be to go ultra-negative on Obama and hope that the Conservatron base + outraged Clintonettes turned Nilapsers + terrified independents would barely get Bush Patsy McCain a 49.5% to 48.9% sort of victory….”

I think I got a lot of this correct. The Conservatrons gambled that their sanctimonious theofascist wing wouldn’t care about a teenage pregnancy from one of their own; and the hypocrites proved them right. {Just imagine if one of Al Gore’s teenage daughters was pregnant in 2000} The brouhaha sucked up all of the oxygen and created genuine drama for Nilap’s speech. Had she blown it, that would’ve been the end of the campaign — that was a huge risk. To her credit she delivered the 36 Minute Hate well, except for when she tried to talk of anything of substance at which point she flailed hopelessly in the deep end. All and all, it was a Krispy Kreme Donut iced with cyanide.

This gamble was designed to turn the election towards cultural issues (abortion) and personality (hockey mom), while allowing the Conservatrons to curdle into their typically whiny crouch and bitch about the media and, of course, avoid mentioning the disaster of the Bush years.

The social issues part of this putsch worked perfectly; where the strategy fell short was with the rest of the Nilap story that was revealed. The history of petty feuds, abuse of power and vitriol undercuts the aw schucks image. The stretches on military experience were laughable. Any sort of “reformer” image is easily complicated by her pork seeking. Like Nixon, Nilap seems to be the sort of person who thrives on hatred and rivalries, at every level she has been in public life she has created enemies. Nilap is the spiteful popular girl who always gets killed first in a slasher movie. The fact that she has nothing relevant to say to people outside of the theofascist wing of the Republican Party will not be hidden forever.

Update: The Kilkenny letter appears to be genuine. It is just one person’s word, but it does concur with my sense of Nilap: http://www.andrys.com/palin-kilkenny.html

Conservatron Nilap Spin Update

As predicted below, the “victimization” of the everymom continues. Supposedly, Nilap’s failure to teach her daughter about contraception and the existence of a down syndrome baby only make her more “normal.”

Problem is, we are electing a vice-president, not a mascot.

Per “An Evolutionary Psychology of Leader/Follower Relations” all aspects of a leader’s life are valid because a leader needs the authority to organize people and punish free riders. A follower is less likely to trust in a leader they consider immoral, and of bad judgment, no matter how good his policies are.

So how do some politicians survive personal scandals like Nilap’s? Simple, their policies and ideas are relevant.

Look at the master. Bill Clinton survived countless bimbo eruptions in ’92 by continuing to talk to people, to understand their frustrations, and explain what he could do about it. His hornballery became “well that’s just how people are” rather than a disqualification because his ideas were meaningful to a multitude of Americans. What did Bubba do at his SOTU at the height of Monicagate? He just talked about policies, ideas and the country while ignoring the scandal. The Conservatrons and MSM hated it; the people loved it.

The Conservatrons don’t care about Nilap’s petty small-town rivalries, the hypocrisy embedded in her daughters tummy by a “fucking redneck,” or the rest because her goof city stances on creationism and abortion etc. are important to them.

I suspect the rest of America is not concerned with how well they can relate to Nilap. Her “normalness” does not put food on the table or help pay the mortgage. Most importantly, it does not demonstrate that she can be president. Nate nailed this with his post “The Essential Difference” on fivethirtyeight.com: a VP becomes President in a time of crisis. The President has just been assassinated, killed in an accident or a health tragedy, or is medically disabled. We all know the picture of LBJ being sworn in on an airplane, Jackie Kennedy beside him, with JFK’s dead body in the cargo hold. Are you really comfortable with Sarah Nilap playing the LBJ role in a similar tragedy?

I honestly cannot fathom how anyone takes Bush Patsy McCain, Nilap or the Conservatrons seriously at this point.

Eureka! Nilap Strategery Revealed!

A moment of clarity:

Of course Bush Patsy McCain and his Rover handlers knew about the Bristol Bany! Their strategy was to carefully roll Nilap out as an easily emphatic “hockey mom”. Then, once the teenage pregnancy popped out, goad the MSM to, hopefully — if you’re a Conservatron — with an assist from the Obama campaign, pile on to the Nilap’s to the point of ridicule and meanness. The Conservatrons would then use the echo chamber of their theofascist wing, which is so excited about Nilap, to ferment a backlash against the nasty treatment of this “everywoman” who is so lovingly just contending with a plain ol’ difficult mother/daughter situation just like any tough working mom would do! Aw schucks!

Recall that the backlash by boomer women over HRC’s New Hampshire tear up was egged on by the condescending hee haw of Conservatron swine like Rush Limbaugh. Methinks the Conservatrons were hoping to manufacture that lightening in a bottle here. Note that the Bush Patsy McCain camp said they were revealing the Great Land Prego due to the rumors of “liberal bloggers” not because this is the sort of crap that every Prez or Veep family must cough up.

The second half of this strategy would be to go ultra-negative on Obama and hope that the Conservatron base + outraged Clintonettes turned Nilapsers + terrified independents would barely get Bush Patsy McCain a 49.5% to 48.9% sort of victory.

With an Act of God named Gustav sucking up all the oxygen, however, the Nilap family values are left flapping in the wind like so many maternity dresses with no media bloviators about to create or defend a “victim”. Meanwhile, Generalissimo Bush’s reprehensible handling of Katrina has forced Bush Patsy McCain to play “statesman” with Gustav (Demonstrating basic concern for your fellow human counts as “statesman” if you’re a Conservatron), scotching one day of the convention and making it incredibly difficult to pull off the remainder of the scheduled Four Day Hate without looking like an utter douche. Obama wisely said that the Nilap grandkidlet is off limits. Now Nilap will have to prove that she should be one injured elderly heartbeat away from the presidency given her non-existent resume on her own accord.

Update: The McCain camp, led by Rove Acolyte Schmidt, is now calling the Nilap coverage “offensive.”