Thursday, April 23, 2009


I've been reluctant, and still am, to comment much on the Obama administration. The main reason for this is simple - how can you tell the effectiveness of a policy just days or weeks after it was put in place? I think that's just silly. What I can say is that the president is doing his best to undo some of his predecessor's less-attractive tendencies, particularly on the international side. No doubt some of what he's doing will turn out to be wrong, but we are a long way from being able to sift the wheat from the tares. Americans right now have to be something they are not good at - patient.
What's more interesting to me is how the minority Republican Party is reacting to the new guy, and what it says about them. I have to say that right now, though these things can change in a hurry and in ways no one can predict, the GOP has - "nothin' ".
NO leaders to speak of. The House has John Boehner (did I spell that right?), who sees his job as leader of the House GOP as a daily procession to the nearest microphones to which he can say, in so many words - "No. We can't support that." Even if you beg for alternatives, you won't get much. The Party's strength is now people with less education - folks from the South and West who take their talking points straight off the radio. And on radio, big plans about new policies and new directions take a back seat to the kind of stuff you could call "guess what he did today". If GOP Senate leader Mike McConnell were to walk down the center stripe in the middle of town all he could draw would be honks to get out of the way.
The same applies to possible candidates. Last I heard of Mitt Romney he was raising funds for a three-term GOP Senate dinosaur (Bennett), trying to promote him as a "revolutionary". Pathetic. Newt Gingrich gets his mug on FOX News pretty often, but the last time all he could do was cluck cluck about Obama shaking hands (SHAKING HANDS!) with Hugo Chavez. I have read that Bobby Jindahl is a very smart guy, but who can tell me what his job is now, or where he's from? Anybody?......?
Did you catch last week's Tea Party thing? Holding several hundred of these little affairs might be impressive, until you find out that it was FOX News that got it all going. The Republican loonies were in attendance, but how do you protest high taxes when your take-home pay just went UP, even if not by much, due to a tax CUT? Our local Party drew decently in a pretty liberal enclave, but it had no official host, only impromptu speakers (which is to say, old guys) and no unifying message at all. The realization that they were demonstrating on behalf of the nation's best paid people, who face the ugly prospect of a 2% tax hike (at a rate far lower than the top marginal rates of Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan) just doesn't seem to get through. The same could be said for the notion that the interests of those at the TOP of the financial food chain may not be the same as the rest of us. And why would it? That item seldom gets much play on the radio.


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