ALL THE COMMENTS HERE. I'm reprinting my last comment on this
post because I keep hoping for a real discussion of what's to be
done. I began by quoting two paragraphs of a Diogenes comment which
took exception to the byplay beween us that had already occurred:
Let me see if I can understand this. If
one takes seriously the evidence that the republic is actually in
peril, one gets called names. We are to accept that because somebody is
a "professional journalist" that s/he knows what is best politically,
as opposed to the poeple of the country. We are to accept that the only
way to beat the creature that we have is to elect a Rockefeller
republican who invented Obamacare. We are to accept the WSJ/Chamber of
Commerce devil's bargain on amnesty and immigration. We are to accept
the continuation of the construction of the police state [have you ever
been to a "Fusion Center"? I have. Pure Police State.]
So because the mob is running the
administration, we are to ignore the fact that, without the "tea party"
[whatever that may mean to you], the compromise on the debt ceiling
would have been much worse. So let's elect more republicans who will
give away our birthright, our grandchildren's earnings, the rule of law
as opposed to the rule of men -- all of it, cause otherwise we'll have
Then I said this:
Uh, no. You don't understand right. You
certainly don't understand me.
I trashed Pawlenty from the very
beginning. (Do the search; I won't cite all the links.)
I trashed Romney so much last time around
 that I got berated by Dean Barnett and Hugh Hewitt as a
Mormon-hater and a disgrace to conservatives everywhere.
The "Bluto" charge is hardly name
calling. Who doesn't love Bluto from Animal
House? It's just that he may not be the world's best political
But what I'm seeing here in a lot of
comments is grumpy defeatism. Okay, let's go ahead and lose because we
will have been right. How's that going to help our children and
It won't. And citing Andrew Jackson as a
role model is feckless. His predominant character traits were choler
and an insatiable thirst for vengeance.
Is that really all you have left?
I'm not asking anybody to submit meekly
to [commenter] jaytee's analysis, which includes important insights
about how the great MSM machine works. But engage it. Debate him in
real world terms that are also aimed at preventing a second Obama term.
If I'm playing an NFL championship game with a pickup team, why would I
disdain the expertise of an NFL coach who has been in game-planning
meetings? I wouldn't. Unless all I want is to go down in a blaze of
Don't just lament the plight of our
heirs. Work to prevent that plight while there is still time. And there
IS still time before the ballots are cast in the 2012 election.
Almost a year and a half by my count.
What's the strategy that forestalls
disaster? Forget the presidency and focus on holding the House and
winning the senate to ensure gridlock? Maybe. Better than deliberately
giving the finger to the whole electorate.
Swallow your pride and get behind
Gingrich because he knows how the system works and is far more of an
adept on tenth amendment issues than any tea partier you can name?
THINK. Something Andrew Jackson wasn't
exactly known for.
The situation we're in now is mostly the
making of Obama but also partly the making of our own rhetoric, gaffes,
and half-assed spokesmen.
Deal with it.
Forget the Trail of Tears. Think Dunkirk.
It happened. The Brits got themselves trapped and faced total
annihilating loss -- without the rescue of their officer corps, they
could not have built a professional army to oppose any future German
offensive . They wriggled out of it without succumbing to the
temptation of another Charge of the Light Brigade.
Why they managed to win in the end.
Whether you know it or not, you're
actually making everything harder. What is needed now is not heat and
fury but cold cold plotting.
The Mission. The Mission. The Mission.
And one more thing: The Mission.
Now let the conversation continue.
A Technology Challenge
for the New Economy
DON'T BE ALARMED.
talking about innovation as if it's something the
government can do, or command, or fund, or somehow inspire. Really? I'd
propose a test.
Before we spend trillions on green jobs and antimatter-based
replacements for fossil fuels, let's see if the government can find a
technological solution to the second-worst esthetic blight on the
population of the United States.
No, I'm not referring to obesity. Fat is beautiful, as all the fat
people keep insisting we must accept for reasons of political
correctness. I accept. Fat is beautiful. Fat people seem to think so.
Good enough for me. Because I am nothing if not politically correct. A
real blight is one so generally accepted as a blight that few people
take issue with the assumption that it's some kind of problem which can
never be explained away. It's just awfulness incarnate. Like small
breasts and no hair. Unforgivable.
Of course, there's nothing to be done about the first of these. Women's
determination to insert baseballs or softballs into their chests in the
utterly vain belief that it will make them more attractive to the
opposite sex, whatever that happens to be today. Never mind that "tit
men" are generally the lowest form of life on earth, including
plankton. Why don't women know that in the infinitely superior wisdom
they always display in commercials and sitcoms? Unless somebody's
kidding us on the subject of female wisdom. It's a mystery. Also, an
unfolding natural disaster no one seems able to control. Who wants to
grapple with a bra populated by rocks? Women who spend thousands on
such self-mutilation are beyond all help and can be reached only
through pity (which still isn't an official government function, at
least not explicitly). It's so obvious that all breast implants are an
abomination, there's no accounting for the fever that swipes women's
supposed intuition about all matters sexual and replaces it with a
grotesque anatomical joke. Not even the government can deal with the
delusions of crazy women.
Which leaves us with the Second Worst blight, one that maybe, just
maybe, technology can address.
I refer, of course, to the scandal of male pattern baldness and the
absurdly idiotic lengths men will go to in pretending they don't suffer
from it. (As all men do. Percentage of bald men tracks precisely wih
age. 30 percent of thirty year olds are bald. 50 percent of fifty year
olds. 70 percent of seventy year olds. Aren't men supposed to be the
sex with a knack for math?)
Good God. If you thought I was being hard on women before, you were
wrong. Men are absolutely fucking nuts on the subject of head hair.
Never mind that some of the admittedly sexiest movie stars are bald --
Sean Connery, Bruce Willis, Jason Stathem, and on and on. No. The rest
of us have to be subjected on a daily basis to absurd comb-overs, truly
rotten toupees you can't take your eyes off because they're so awful,
and the whole gruesome hair-plug thing, which makes the male head look
like a cribbage board. It's time for the feds to DO something about this.
I want a government investment in male hair infrastructure. Not to cure
baldness. But to offer solutions to the maimed of spirit who can't deal
THE CHALLENGE: A convincing toupee that doesn't give a bald
fifty-year-old a twenty-year-old head of hair. Hey! Shocking concept,
Novel concepts to be incorporated
into the design: As we get older our hair thins. It's simply insulting to
everyone to pretend this hasn't happened to you, too. So the new
government-innovated toupee will actually let people see your scalp,
the way they can see the scalp of every man who does still have hair. You know.
Just enough hair to be plausible and convincing. Like all the rest of us
older guys. Unless
we're Bertrand Russell or Ronald Reagan. But none of you are Bertrand
Russell or Ronald Reagan, are you? (And I'm guessing Rick Perry isn't
either, but it's still a guess, except for the Bertrand Russell part.
Ronald Reagan part.)
Proof of concept: Local TV
weathermen will cease to look like walking ads for closeout sales on
carpeting. Elderly Republican congressmen from the midwest won't always
look like they're wearing a brimless baseball cap with a spurious
ruler-straight part. And Donald Trump might stop looking like the
world's oldest gay blade auditioner for the role of the Scarlet
Proof of success. It will be
affordable. Even used car salesmen will be able to stop looking like
THE EXPECTATION: The government can't and won't fund such research,
because it might stop Republicans from being an automatic on-camera
laughingstock. Even if
they funded it, the results would be even more ludicrous than what we
routinely guffaw ourselves sick at in ads for "The Hair Club for Men."
And the cost per toupee would be $269,000.
But try it. It's cheaper than turning government loose on wind farms,
healthcare, electric cars, and child nutrition.
And it would serve the incredibly valuable purpose of keeping the
government out of the
business of tits. Which are absolutely our business, not theirs.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
the hell did Instapunk get me to
root for a couple of bloodsucking lawyers?
CHECKS BACK IN. On Instapunk's suggestion, my wife and I started
watching the show
Suits on USA this summer. It's
made for some great summer watching,
lots of fun, and you should check it out. But that's not the main point
of this post.
When IP recommended the show, he pointed out some parallels. The show
is about Harvey, a top New York lawyer, the best at what he does. He
doesn't lose cases. He's a gunslinger in negotiations, a quick wit in
conversations, and a bit of an egomaniac… sound familiar? But the
show's protagonist is not Harvey, it's Mike, the kid from the above
clip. He's got a photographic memory and a money flow problem, so he
lands an associate's position working directly for Harvey under false
pretenses. After the setup in the pilot episode, the show has become a
pretty standard serial. They work a case or two, beating the odds and
outsmarting the competition, while Mike sorts out his personal life and
tries to maintain his cover.
A week or two ago, a somewhat different episode appeared. Instead of
working a real case, the stable of young Harvard Law associates are put
through a mock trial presided over by the firm's managing partner.
Mike, whose powers of recollection have earned him notoriety in the
firm, is put up against a cutthroat hotshot out to make a name for
himself. With the firm's partners acting as the jury, all the associates' career prospects
are on the line.
Of course, Mike is put into the unfortunate position of needing to
break a witness on the stand… who happens to be the office's beautiful
paralegal that he's got the hots for and has also recently betrayed. So
he has to decide: win the case and lose a friend or throw it and get
back in her good graces. He has to choose between being Harvey, who
always does what it takes to win, and being, well, a nice human being.
Mike throws it. Later, he goes to Harvey's office, unhappy with the
loss but feeling vindicated in his choice. I don't think there's a clip
of it out there, so here's a transcript:
… I decided it wasn't worth
hurting someone for the result.
Harvey: The result is:
you just told everyone at this firm,
including myself, that you have a weak stomach. You don't have what it
Mike: You know, you keep
telling me I have to decide what kind of lawyer I
want to be, and if I were smart, I'd be just like you. Because
everybody knows you're the best. But I'm also trying to decide what
kind of person I want to be. Sometimes I like my kind of person a lot
more than yours.
Harvey: You want to know what
kind of person I am? Tough, but fair. I
call it like I see it, and what I see is a kid who asked for an
opportunity, but he still hasn't decided if he wants it or not.
Hmm. So if Instapunk is Harvey, who is Mike? Instapunk still has it,
obviously, but all summer he's been looking for someone to step up.
Sure, Mike could be Brizoni -- he's got the writing chops, he's got
something to say, and he's got the reins of the site. Instapunk keeps
goading him because he knows what Brizoni is capable of. But this post
isn't a slam on Brizoni -- he gets enough from Instapunk in front of
and behind the scenes, I'm sure.
I'm aiming this metaphor at myself especially. I thought I could help
out this summer, but besides a TV and book recommendation, I haven't
been able to pull it off. I keep wrapping myself up with other
projects, idling a large amount of time away reading, playing and
walking around with my kids, and doing summer vacation things. I
haven't been following the large and important political events taking
place even as you read this, and I've felt properly chastened by IP's
serious warnings. I've basically chosen to be a normal human being, but
I've recently recognized that the stakes have been raised.
Like Mike, the fake lawyer, it looks like I haven't decided what kind
of person I'm going to be yet. I haven't made the clear decision to be
an active and intentional participant in democracy and its future. I've
been content to be a lurker, a reader, and an infrequent commenter, but
that's not going to win cases… or elections.
I'm aiming this metaphor at you all, too. Maybe it's just me and you're
fully invested in actually saving this sinking ship. I know Instapunk
has the smartest commenters on the intertubes, but what is it worth if
. I debated deleting Brizoni's latest post, but I didn't do it
because we're still about freedom of speech here.
But I will sigh. Because the upcoming election is about the United
States of America, not Obama's racial animus. I suspect that animus
exists, but it's hardly the most important thing. The important thing
is removing him from office. He's not behaving like a racist or
racialist. He's behaving like a scared Chicago politician running like
hell for a reelection he has done nothing to deserve.
His jobs bus tour, for example, never went near a predominantly black
community where unemployment is running at close to twice the national
average. His fundraising efforts are still focused on Hollywood and
other elites that are overwhelmingly white, hypocritically green, and
annoyingly pink rather than black. When he panders, it's to La
Raza, not African-Americans.
Is he vacationing in Harlem? No. He's rooty-tooting it up at Martha's
Vineyard, playground of the bluest blue bloods in America.
What are his colors? White, green, pink, blue, and brown. Why do you
Waters is so upset?
I was at pains to write some time back that Obama
not actually a black president. He's a dogmatic, inflexible,
political ideologue of a president who lacks the experience and the
common touch to connect with the American people who have been
devastated by his elitist certainty with regard to policy.
Why do I keep talking about "winning"?
that's what matters. The Republican field is full of loose
cannons who are all prone to offensive gaffes on a near daily basis.
Why do I keep talking about "The
Mission?" Because it doesn't matter if you personally can make
excuses for the public flubs of Perry, Bachmann, Palin, Romney, etc, by
citing worse outrages by Obama and Biden. Get used to the fact that
Republican gaffes matter and Democrat gaffes don't. If we convince
ourselves we can win that
game, we automatically lose.
Here's a sobering poll
about the Tea Partiers. Read every word.
This is our election to lose. And we ARE losing it.
The Power to Compel
Tired of hearing about the long
abolished draft. Who are libertarians defending? Not
these guys. Shammadamma.
. Just had an interesting discussion with Peter,
otherwise known here as PC. He's a Paulista, committed to the idea that
if we leave the world alone, the world will leave us alone. The seal on
his view is that no government has the right to compel military service
and the risk of death and dismemberment it represents.
Which is a valid philosophical position up to a point.
And a potentially devastating critique of all foreign and domestic
military policies of all nations up to the present day, when the
world's armies are overwhelmingly volunteer forces. For example, it
makes Lincoln into a tyrant and a thug, because he drafted the millions
who became part of the 600,000 battlefield deaths of the Civil War.
There are, in reality, only three arguments against Peter's position.
If you disagree with any of them, he is right.
There are wars that need to be fought.
Certainly not all of them. We'd all like to think that war is something
which can be outgrown. People can get smarter, etc, but the fact seems
to be that governments are a necessary evil, and governments employ
force, for good and ill (Peter thinks governments are unnecessary...),
and sooner or later the troops will be called upon to exert the will of
whatever government is involved. Pretending this won't happen seems to
be the biggest delusion of all idealists. There will be Alexander,
Caesar, Charlemagne, Darius, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Tojo, and other
tyrants who are determined to prevail. What do you do then?
2. Defenseless people get killed unless someone defends them.
Usually women and children, and old people.. Invasions of defenseless
peoples result in massacres. Women are raped and killed, children are
raped and killed. It's no good pretending that bad things don't happen
when all the world wants to believe in harmony, wisdom, and peace.
3. Young men will be involved,
Who are the rapers and killers? Overwhelmingly, young men. What are
young men? Athletically fit risk-takers who don't believe they can die
until it happens to their comrades. What are armies? Young men
(hopefully) disciplined. Taught to fight and kill amd maim each other
rather than rape and butcher innocents.
Remember, we're talking Peter's worst case here: the compelled, the
drafted. The volunteers of our time, and every time, are way above
that. They fight for others. As, I suspect, do the drafted. Something
the Paulistas know nothing of. Patriotism.
I'm building a logic box here. For Peter. He can argue 1) that are no
wars which need to be fought. Which, given Hitler for one, is absurd.
He can argue 2) that there is no difference between people, that a
woman or a two-year-old child is not worth defending any more than an
eighteen year-old-boy who has every capability to defend himself with
bullet and bayonet. Good luck with that, especially if the two-year-old
is your own daughter. And he can argue 3) that young men who seek every
opportunity to demonstrate their invincibility on athletic fields, in
motor vehicles, and the rough-and-tumble of daily adolescent life aren't willing
to risk their lives for others, only to prove their priapism. It comes
down to this for the smart ones, the ones who know the score (according to Paulista scripture): They
think they look good in uniforms. They want to show
off. They want to be the bravest-looking on the scene.
Peter's just that much too to old to remember the hero impulse. That
fleeting feeling you could do it all if anybody asked. Now he's
settling into the first signs of middle age. "I don't want to die. Why
should anybody risk it?"
So nobody should risk it. Not ever. But think what that would mean.
The 101st Airborne would have caved in the Battle of the Bulge. The RAF would
have bailed on saving the U.K. during the Battle of Britain. The Marine
Corps would have folded at Iwo Jima. The Rainbow Division would have
said "No thanks" at Chateau Thierry and Belleau Wood.
Would the world be different now? You bet your ass. (Peter would
probably be a drafted corporal in somebody's
Grant can't bring himself to spend lives taking Richmond, because who
really cares if there's one American Nation, or two, or four?
We can keep going. Wellington decides to "fuck it" at Waterloo. Nelson
decides the "Battle of the Nile" is a waste of time. You know. The kids
All that really matters is that eighteen year old boys get to do what
they want, because eighteen year old boys are absolutely and completely
Which is how it seems, I'm sure, if you're thirty looking back on
But not to anyone else. I remember how I felt when I was probably going
to be drafted. In the top thirty of lottery numbers. I'd been hoping to finish college first. But okay, I thought.
So be it. I hope I can do my duty to my nation.
And then nothing happened. I was in the first lottery in which no one
was drafted. The war was over.
But I've never stopped believing I owed a duty to my nation. They can still collect at any time. I feel
genuinely sorry that so few feel that way today.
far we've sunk. There's word of a feud developing between the
Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain and The Food Network's Paula Deen.
What utter nonsense.
I've watched them both, enjoyed them both, and see real value in both.
But now Bourdain has called Deen "the most dangerous woman in America,"
"she forms alliances with the mosy unholy corporations in America," and
her food "sucks."
Let's back up a bit. They're both examples of the American Dream, that
improbable breakthrough which transforms also-rans into stars. Paula
Deen was a divorced Georgia woman of little education who faced down
poverty with her two sons by starting a lunch service that took off and
led to restaurants and ultimately television fame. Her business sense
is undeniable, and her willingness to share her personal experience
along with her recipes has made her beloved. Anthony Bourdain's
experience is almost exactly analogous in a completely different sphere
of life. He was a flower child who went to Vassar shortly after it
became co-ed, dropped out and stumbled for some years, then sought training
as a chef and discovered a knack for writing that gave him New Yorker assignments which led to
-- where have you heard this before? -- television fame and personal
So Paula Deen is more cook and Bourdain more chef. Paula is down home
and Bourdain is (perhaps ostentatiously) sophisticated and more writer
and professional traveller these days than chef. Why on earth should
one attack the other?
I have an advantage here that I will use ruthlessly. Although Bourdain
has been travelling increasingly far afield of late, more and more
pridefully, I might say -- to Cuba, to Vietnam, to other places of
Anti-American political bent -- he also spent episodes in the early
years of his show in urban U.S. locales whose cuisine was not exactly
healthy. I watched him rave over dishes in Cleveland and even his
native New York City that were so high in cholesterol the new Bourdain
would probably phone the food police, just as he has now apparently
done with Paula Deen.
Sad to say, it's all class warfare. which is almost always initiated by
those who fancy themselves better by birth. The relentless contempt of
the liberal elite for the just folks who dare to tread on the same
terrain. Is it possible the Paula Deen TV empire is much much bigger
than the Bourdain cult? I'm thinking, YUH!
So, Vassar boy is inherently superior to... well, full stop. Inherently
superior, period. Interestingly, though, we know who Paula Deen is
married to, who her sons are, and what she really values in life. Why
her viewers love her. With Bourdain, what do we really know? He has
friends or at least connections in foreign places, his appearance is
only gradually dissolving in dissipation (who's going to outlive whom here?), and he may or may not have a wife
at home, where he is never is and whom he never mentions. What we can be sure of is that if a Cuban
made his cocktail this evening, it's a damned sight better than the
cocktail he would have gotten in Miami.
. Well, not his first gaffe. His first official gaffe. First gaffe as President. I "drew" this a couple weeks after Obama, our intelligent antidote to eight years of Bush bumbling, bumbled his swearing in so bad they had to convene a do-over, just to be sure. Nothing at all happened today that's worthy of my esteemed comment, so enjoy this nugget from the Zoni archives.
. It was the top of InstaPunk's negatives list in his Perry point/counterpoint post.
Point: He's another Texas governor (shudder), openly and sometimes loudly Christian, and you can frequently hear in his speech the same slight Texas lisp -- a transformation of "esses" into "eshes" -- that so mindlessly enraged the elites of The New York Times and The New Yorker. Counterpoint: He's not George W. Bush. Their biographies are completely different. And he's much more at home on camera than W ever was.
I thought the onus would be on Perry to message these differences. Nope.
He chums the Paulista waters, calling Bernanke and the Fed "almost treasonous." Media pounces. Perry sticks to his guns. Media blinks, unsure what to do when a target doesn't cave the moment they start "tsk"ing. How do they contrive to respond? They contrast him with George W. Bush. For rill. This is from the Washington goddamn Post:
George W. Bush: Has not, as far as we can tell, threatened to end Ben Bernanke.
George W. Bush: Is probably not carrying a gun. [this non sequitur is a necessary part of the Left's rehabilitation of W into a better-the-devil-we-knew, tolerably moderate version of Perry. Good luck with that, Left.]
Rick Perry: If anyone coins any new words, he would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.
Maybe he's our man after all. Not one full week into his official campaign, and he gets the media to mitigate his biggest weakness for him. The media! He's either the luckiest sumbitch alive, a criminal mastermind... or simply savvy enough to out-media-fu the media itself. Wouldn't that be a hoot and a half to watch.
8/18 UPDATE. By now you've all seen this video.
And you've seen Chris Matthews' "Bull Connor with a smile" gaffe. On Twitter, Allah Pundit lamented "I can't take 14 months of this." You got it backwards, Allah. They're already resorting to slipshod 3rd-rate Michael Moore creative editing slander. This is still week one of the Perry candidacy.
I'll admit. I'm starting to get my hopes up.
Monday, August 15, 2011
A Cold Look at
He's in now and wasn't at the Fox "christening" debate. So I spent
the morning going through his bio at Wikipedia and looking at his
most important national speeches to date. Not as an advocate or
opponent but focused on my original and enduring question, "Who can
win?" Here's my first report. It's divided into four parts. 1)
Negatives, 2) Positives, 3) "Can he win a general election
against Obama?" and 4) Open Questions. I'm using a
Point/Counterpoint format in each part because I think it's
appropriate. I think you'll see why.
Point: He's another Texas governor
(shudder), openly and sometimes loudly Christian, and you can
frequently hear in his speech the same slight Texas lisp -- a
transformation of "esses" into "eshes" -- that so mindlessly
enraged the elites of The New
York Times and The New
Yorker. Counterpoint: He's not George W. Bush. Their
biographies are completely different. And he's much more at home
on camera than W ever was.
According to the MSM, he suggested once (or seemed to) that Texas
had some right to secede from the Union, which could be exercised
if things got out of hand. Counterpoint. He didn't actually suggest
that, and that's not what the unique Texas Constitution approved
by Congress stipulates. The deal was that Texas had the right to
split into five states. Imagine what that that would
do to the voting balance in the U.S. Senate.
He invited Ted Nugent to perform at one of his inaugurals,
whereupon Nugent showed up with a Confederate flag tee-shirt. He
failed to disavow Nugent. Counterpoint. He personally
engineered the defeat of the Texas Supreme Court justice who led
the charge against affirmative action in Texas.
He has no advanced degrees. His lone college diploma is in Animal Science
from Texas A&M, and he was put on academic probation because
apart from quite a lot of B's and C's and few A's, he had nine
Ronald Reagan went to Eureka College and Harry Truman didn't go to
college at all. Would you really rather have Chuck Schumer?
He's presided over 234 executions in the State of Texas and vetoed
a law protecting the mentally retarded from being executed. Counterpoint.
He's a Methodist by birth. So was my grandmother. Methodists have
pretty stern moral codes. Is that a problem? He's also commuted a
few sentences, which can only be done in Texas if a commission
makes such a recommendation.
He boasted at one point that Texas was recession proof. But Texas
has an unemployment rate that approximates the median among U.S.
Texas has created more jobs than any other state since the advent
of the current recession.
He's so pro-life that he has sponsored and signed bills requiring
all kinds of onerous requirements on women seeking abortions,
including parental notification for minors, mandatory sonograms
shared with the mothers contemplating abortion that explain
heartbeats and fetal images. Counterpoint. Excepting cases of
rape, incest, fetal deformity, and statutory rape. And he stood up
against his own party to require vaccination against cervical
cancer. He lost.
He's all over the place on education, sometimes for budget
increases, sometimes against, and Texas keeps coming in last in
educational achievement statistics. Counterpoint. When you adjust
for demographics, Texas is actually somewhere in the middle in the
country in terms of educational achievement and a leader in terms
of reduced differential between black and white performance.
He's a sponsor for a Constitutional amendment against same-sex
He approved the New York law legalizing same-sex marriage on Tenth
Amendment grounds. In other words, if he loses the amendment
fight, he is content with the result. On tenth amendment grounds.
He supported the teaching of Intelligent Design as a vaild
alternative to neo-Darwinian Evolution. Counterpoint. So do I.
Conflicting theories are good for the developing mind.
Point. He speaks easily. He doesn't
seem to need a teleprompter. He's a natural as opposed to a
schooled politican. He actually looks a little like Reagan. Counterpoint.
He's NOT Reagan, however much we want him to be. And is that
really his hair?
He's been governor of one of the largest states in the union for
ten years. The longest continuously serving governor in the
country. He's won every kind of election from straight
Democrat-Republican to chaotic multiple third-party fiascoes. He
doesn't ever seem to lose his cool. Counterpoint. We don't want,
can't possibly contemplate, another George W. Bush.
He's true-blue American Dream material. He was a longtime pilot in
the U.S. Air Force, not a controversial blueblood National Guard
pilot. He's real Texas, not silver spoon Bush-slumming Texas. Counterpoint.
No Yale and Harvard but Texas A&M. How could that possibly
stack up against Columbia and Harvard?
Point. His record as an
executive in government is exactly what you'd expect it to be in a
contentious political environment. He's pissed off, at various
times, the right AND the left, including positions the right would
never like, such as funding the college education of the children
of illegals. Counterpoint.
He's just another southern pol with a collar that rises a little
too high on his neck. Obama will eat him for lunch.
He seems poised to straddle the divide between tea partiers and
mainstream Reublicans as no one else can. I'm with you in every
important principle but I'm also a pragmatist who knows how to
What chance in the debates does a Texas A&M farmer have
against Harvard Law School?
Can he win?
uh. Actually, maybe. What I was looking for when I went through his
bio was, "What do you say when the MSM come at you with blood in
their eye about THIS (or THAT)?"
I concede I was surprised by the answers. There IS something
Reaganesque about him. No matter what you accuse him of, there is
always something he can cite in the opposite direction. It's
impossible to see him as a bad man, an unreasonable man, an
uncompromising man, an ideologue. He's so comfortable in public that
he could charm away if not refute the inevitable attacks. Unlike all
the studied compliments to Barack Obama's political acumen, Perry
has the real gift of defending his principles even as he concedes
the occasional defeat.
In short, he has the indispensable quality: He can move to the
middle when the primary fight turns into a general election fight.
He can. Whatever position you accuse him of, he can cite an instance
when he was more moderate and compromising.Which was okay because he
was governing not posing. Unlike someone else we could mention.
Every supposed scandal in his record has been trumped by Obama's
record in the presidency. And, as we all knew from the git-go, being
from Texas A&M doesn't make you an idiot. It makes you the
favored underdog in an environment of -- what? -- well, the real class warfare:
know-nothing know-it-all totalitarians against us ordinary folks.
Not a situation the Democrats should really be relishing.
Of course, he has to downplay the Methodist thing. Independents
won't like it. To win, he has to be less godly, less Texas, and more
born on the farm and steeped in common sense. But how has he gotten
this far? He's certainly more spontaneous than Michelle Bachmann,
less vilified than Sarah Palin, and possibly incredibly dangerous in
a mano a mano confrontation with Barack Obama.
Yes. He CAN win. Whether he will or not depends on whether he's
ready for the majors. No one can speak to that with authority.
Is that his hair? Is that his hair? Is that his hair? If it isn't,
prepare yourself for a truly ugly October Surprise.
The New Kid In Town
SON OF A BITCH.
The Boss beat me to putting up a Rick Perry post by not even 15 minutes. His point/counterpoint was solid. But I've got a counterpoint that trumps them all.
IF THE GODS HAD MEANT US TO VOTE... Rick Perry is running officially for really reals now, no backsies. I was indifferent until I read his announcement speech. Have to admit, it made me moist. I'd like to think he's the real deal, the honest-to-Christ President-type presidential candidate. The guy who can actually do what actually needs to be actually done. But there's a niggling doubt I can't shake. Niggle unceasingly, this doubt does.
What I learned in my 20’s traveling the globe as an Air Force pilot, our current president has yet to acknowledge in his 50’s – that we are the most exceptional nation on the face of the earth.
...We don’t see the role of government as a nanny state, and we recognize there is no government money that wasn’t once earned through the sweat and toil of private citizens.
That’s why we object to an Administration that sees its role as spending our children’s inheritance on failed economic theories that have given us record debt and left far too many unemployed, threatening not only our economy, but our security. Our reliance on foreign creditors and sources of energy not only compromises our national sovereignty, but jeopardizes our national future....
We will not sit back and accept our current misery…because a great country requires a better direction…because a renewed nation requires a new president. That’s why, with faith in God, the support of my family, and an unwavering belief in the goodness of America, I am a candidate for President of the United States.
As governor of Texas I have led based on a few guiding principles. One, don’t spend all the money. Two, keep taxes low and under control. Three, keep regulations fair and predictable. And four, reform the legal system so frivolous lawsuits don’t paralyze employers that are trying to create jobs.
Over ten years, we have followed this recipe of fiscal restraint to produce the strongest economy in the nation. While millions of jobs have been lost over the last decade nationwide, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been added in Texas. Texas is home to one in 12 Americans, and yet since June of 2009, we have created more than four in ten American jobs.
...I will work every day to make Washington, D.C. as inconsequential in your lives as I can.
The sentiment is a thing of beauty. The weasel words are troubling. "As I can." What an out. If Perry does take office, and government gets more, not less, intrusive during his presidency, will he simply shrug and say "Hey, I tried. Sorry you can no longer paint your house the color you want without county, state, AND federal approval." I know we have no real candidates for 2012, and we're at the point where we need to grit our teeth and pick the least useless contender, but I'm afraid I have to insist on a stronger stance than "I'll try my best to get government out of your pocket and off your balls." More along the lines of "I'll get government out of your pocket and off your balls or die trying."
There were no such weasel words in his letter to The Response, last weekend's mass prayer event. Dawkins and the Reactionary God Hate Brigade to the contrary, there's nothing unconstitutional about a public servant having the gall to say God is good. "But what if a Muslim said Allah is good?" Dawkins asks? Still not unconstitutional. Even though the Koran is totally bogus.
However. Straw-clutching notions of constitutionality aside, Perry stands condemned out of his own mouth as incompetent to fly Air Force One.
Fellow Americans [we need to make this phrase the new n-word of politics. Most patronizing shit a politician can say. No one who calls you a "fellow American" thinks of himself as your fellow],
Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.
Some problems are beyond our power to solve
Full stop. This statement alone disqualifies him from becoming top dog of planet earth.
The previous paragraph about religious conviction was unobjectionable. The part about calling upon Jesus to guide us is a sentiment so often repeated it reads like a platitude. You love Jesus, yes, you want His guidance, yes, praise His name, yes. Fine and good. I'm not even mocking conviction as such. I've seen real love for and gratitude to God among my family and friends, and I respect it. Every now and then I express gratitude myself. Not to cover my ass-- Pascal's Wager postulates a tyrant Creator whose sole criterion for gaining paradise is having guessed the secret word-- but real gratitude. If he has pulled me out of fires I couldn't have pulled myself out of, I appreciate it. If he has. I've got no beef with sincere devotion.
But sincere reliance? Unacceptable. And, thankfully, mostly non-existent. When your car hits a patch of black ice and veers towards a tree, you grip the wheel and pump the brake. Your first instinct is not to fold your hands and bow your head. Nor do you feel ashamed afterwards that your first instinct wasn't that of a reverent supplicant.
Funny how it's only for the truly massive crises that we ask God to do our work for us. Ever prayed to get over what you thought was an insurmountable hurdle? Was your prayer answered? Not always? OK. But when they are, how are they? Does the idea to fix your problem come to you, and you then got busy? Was that God, or your own mind? Are you certain? Do circumstances you once thought intractable suddenly... tract? Was that God or just luck? Are you certain?
No, you're not. You may be convinced-- and that conviction may be correct-- and I mean really correct, as in true and real and historically & factually accurate and everything-- but you're not certain. God, if he exists, is a cagey sumbitch. Never shows his face. Or his hand. (you may be convinced you've seen his hand...) God's intervention is, at best, a maybe. Maybe he'll do something, maybe he won't. Maybe the thing that happened was him, maybe it wasn't. You don't know for certain. Which means you can't rely on God bailing you out. And you know it. May not know you know it, but you know it.
...according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.
I sincerely hope you’ll join me in Houston on August 6th and take your place in Reliant Stadium [did it have to be Reliant?] with praying people asking God’s forgiveness, wisdom and provision for our state and nation. There is hope for America. It lies in heaven, and we will find it on our knees.
Maybe you'll say that's just lip service to his religious constituents. I don't care. That last sentence is so disgusting, so abhorrent to the American premise that man is competent to govern himself. If he doesn't mean it, he should be ashamed he lacks the courage to denounce it. If he does mean it, he must never sit in the Oval Office. America can't afford a head honcho who flips a coin when it's time to make a tough call. A head honcho who believes it's inappropriate to not flip a coin.