"And this strategy must be a comedown for at least some of the idealists who elected Obama in the first place. Following expectations few presidents have raised as high, Obama has transformed into the most typical of politicians. There is little distinctive, elevated or inspirational about his message or his tactics. And this adds an unwanted accomplishment: the further political disillusionment of a nation."
"I know that in every campaign, politicians make promises about cleaning up Washington. So its easy to become cynical. I know that for me, reform isn't just the rhetoric of a campaign; it been a cause of my career."
"Not one of these individuals should ever be allowed anywhere near the kind of power one is given upon assuming the office of President of the United States...and yet the "mainstream" news media has been propping these three up as legitimate, thoroughly normal candidates for the highest office in the land. It is a testament to how utterly deranged our political culture has become that any of these people would even be considered an appropriate candidate for dog-catcher, and yet we will spend the next fifteen months being spoon-fed the idea that these three are perfectly appropriate potential nominees, and not a pack of deranged fanatics who couldn't govern their way out of a wet paper sack."
"Something is drastically wrong with our presidential nominating system when a handful of religious zealots in Iowa and the home of Strom Thurmond's Dixiecrat/Republican Party are to have such a decisive role. The underlying truth here is that the media, with their great editor in the sky, dictates the low of events."
Update: A lazy, almost disinterested, viewing of the major news outlets on this warm Saturday afternoon revealed more on the trio of wingnuts that Republicans have anointed as their best. From the Washington Post a front-page article on Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas who claims credit for job creation that doesn't belong to him. According to the Post,
"Perry says the Texas miracle rests on conservative pillars that he would bring to the White House: minimal regulation and government, low taxes and a determination to limit the reach of Uncle Sam. What he does not say is that much of that job growth has come because of government, not in spite of it."
"So when Mr. Perry presents himself as the candidate who know how to create jobs, don't believe him. His prescriptions for job creation would work about as well in practice as his prayer-based attempt to end Texas's crippling drought."The last article, for now, on wanna-be president Perry comes from Bill Boyarsky at Truthdig,
"Gov. Rick Perry is a happy executioner, having presided over 230 executions in Texas. That's more, reported The Texas Tribune, 'than any other modern governor of any state.' Perry's energetic support of capital punishment and his blind refusal to consider any mitigating evidence in the cases of death row inmates, not matter how scientific, show what a danger he would be if placed in charge of the federal government's huge law enforcement system."And then there's the lovely Michelle Bachmann, who is truly batshit crazy. She should scare the bejeezus out of everyone in the mainstream but, given recent events in American politics, that polity seems to have vanished. Here's some of what Matt Taibbi said recently, but I would strongly urge you read the entire article from Rolling Stone,
"Bachmann is a religious zealot whose brain is a raging electrical storm of divine visions and paranoid delusions. She believes that the Chinese are plotting to replace the dollar bill, that light bulbs are killing our dogs and cats, and that God personally chose here to become both an IRS attorney would spend years hounding taxpayers and a raging anti-tax Tea Party crusader against big government. She kicked off her unofficial presidential campaign in New Hampshire, by mistakenly declaring it the birthplace of the American Revolution."And another beauty passage from the Taibbi article,
"Bachmann's entire political career has followed [a] pattern of God-speaks-directly-to-me fundamentalism mixed with pathological, relentless, conscienceless lying. She's not a liar in the traditional way of politicians, who tend to lie dully, usefully and (they hope) believably, often with the aim of courting competing demographics at the same time. That's not what Bachmann's thing is. Bachmann lies because she can't help it, because it's a built-in component of both her genetics and her ideology. She is at once the most entertaining and the most dangerous kind of liar, a turbocharged cross between a born bullshit artist and a religious fanatic, for whom lying to the infidel is a kind of holy duty."Joshua Holland at AlterNet posted a recent article that demonstrates the disdain so-called "constitutional conservatives" have for the founding document they claim so fervently to uphold. His piece is aimed squarely at Perry and Bachmann, and it begins with this commentary,
"A great irony of our political discourse is that those who describe themselves as 'constitutional conservatives' display not only habitual ignorance of what our founding documents proscribe, but also show blatant scorn for the most important principle they enshrine: the separation of powers."Another post from AlterNet rates Bachmann and Perry to determine which is the bigger wingnut, and is an eye-opening read. All this material is readily available elsewhere, but this post nicely captures the comparison.
And last, but certainly not least, is former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney. Mitt is hanging around the top tier of the Republican candidate group even though no one seems to want him. He's the guy who said recently "Corporations are people, my friend." As you might expect, dear reader, at Corporate Constraint, a site dedicated to the premise that corporations are decidedly not people, Mitt's steadfast support for CEOs earns for him exalted wingnut status.
And here's a few final words on Mr. Romney from a blog entry at The Nation site,
"Most politicians adhere to a broad political orientation, such as liberal democrat or conservative Republican, and shift positions over time as the nature of what is means to hold that place on the spectrum changes...Romney, on the other hand, has no such identity. In Massachusetts he ran to the left; now he runs far to the right. There is no overarching purpose -- whether is be fighting for social justice or defending traditional family values -- to his political career."How is it that American politics continues to serve up such vile candidates for high elected office? And remember, these wingnuts have already been elected to Governorships and Congress. It fairly boggles the mind.
Second Update: Madness in American politics has reached epidemic proportions! Think the new movie Contagion. The wingnuts in the Republican camp will no doubt point to the source as proof for their counter-argument, but true is true -- in Tuesday's (23rd) Washington Post I read two commentaries on the Governor "Haircut" Rick Perry. It seems his every utterance cries out for an NFL-style "C'mon Man!".
The first, from Richard Cohen, is titled "Rick Perry should stop and think". Cohen began his piece by saying:
"Whatever global warming might or might not have done to polar bears, it has put Rick Perry's presidential candidacy at risk. The Republican Texas governor clings to an ice floe of diminishing credibility, emerging in just about a week's time as intellectually unqualified to be president. He engaged in a brief dialogue with a child about evolution and came out the loser. Perry said there are some gaps in the theory. If so, he is one."Cohen's commentary states that when Perry's ideology collides with reality, ideology wins, as it does in his rejection of climate change. Cohen ends his piece with this:
"I take Perry seriously. He is no Michele Bachmann, unaccountably elected from a single congressional district, but a three-term leader of the vast nation of Texas. The achievement warrants deep respect and, after last week, considerable worry. It's not his thinking I fear. It's the lack of any at all."In another, this time by Eugene Robinson, it seems that the GOP is increasingly anxious about Perry's candidacy.
"In theory, Democrats should be nervous about Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to enter the presidential race. In practice, though, it's Republicans who have zoomed up the anxiety ladder into freak-out mode. To clarify, not all Republicans are reaching for the Xanax, just those who believe the party has to appeal to centrist independents if it hopes to defeat President Obama next year. Also, those who believe calling Social Security "an illegal Ponzi scheme" and suggesting that Medicare is unconstitutional might not be the best way to win the votes of senior citizens."And then Robinson points out that these and other loonie Perry views are catalogued in his 2010 book "Fed Up!". Even as his campaign people are trying to distance the candidate from his own words published less than a year ago, the candidate himself is pointing voters to it in his personal appearances. Robinson writes,
"But Perry doesn't give us time to plow through his tome, what with his frequent newsmaking forays into the rhetorical fringe. He had barely been in the race for 48 hours when he announced it would be 'treasonous' for Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke to increase the money supply before the 2012 election."And so, dear readers, I'm wondering just what is it about politicians (and this includes Obama) who write books and make speeches, but somehow believe that they'll be allowed to skate on their past utterances. It comes down to a blind and unwavering belief that they are destined for power, and that their lies are justified in service of the greater good.
Or, maybe I'm misapplying the concept of greater good. Perhaps these people, and the thousands more inside government, and the many millions more in the general public, are driven by their (to my mind) fanatical religious views that government should serve the will of god. These people -- Bachmann and Perry in particular -- are applying to their political campaigns the teachings and concepts generally known as Dominionism.
And, finally, for the broader damage that the loonie, wingnut conservative right is doing to America, go here.