Monday, May 23, 2011

On Your Marks, Get Set,.......

Can you stand one more crazy roller derby name? I was told about a woman who wanted to honor her Jewish heritage, choosing the name "Mazel Tov Cocktail" for RD competition. BTW, is everyone out there aware that there's a major league ballplayer named Coco Crisp? No, really. And for good measure, there's a woman tennis pro named CoCo Vandeweghe, whose father is former NBA player KiKi Vandeweghe. Maybe having a president named Barack Obama isn't so odd after all.

Of course, it's still too early to tell, but we could have four more years to adapt to Mr. Obama if the early race for his Republican replacement is any indication. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels and family took a long look at the prospects and decided to pass on running for president. To no one's surprise, Tim ("No, I'm not Scandinavian") Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, decided his time to run is NOW, as did former pizza king Herman Cain. No declaration either way yet from the Twisted Sisters, Palin and Bachman. Count Mitt Romney as all but declared, with Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and former New Mexico governor Johnson all declared.
My perspective is this: many or all these folks have some ability, even if it's just to raise funds or generate headlines. And I'm sure more than a couple actually have the capacity to operate a coherent government if they had the right supporting players in place.
What drags down the chances of this pack is that the party demands that they say stupid- sounding things in order to be nominated, by which time it's too late to reverse field and say what they're really thinking.
Take health care as an example. The nation as a whole has moved to change the system, though the changes won't come quickly or all at once. Republicans, however, are stuck with about five lines - all that the opponents of change can comprehend. Anything more sounds too much like change itself, and since changing almost anything has to be seen as a disaster in the making, they're stuck with cliches that don't inform anyone or even allow the candidates to make distinctions between each other. The party has effectively put a cloture rule on itself.
Here's another. The Bush efforts to wiggle out of the charge of "torture" were so weak that they were largely ignored. Now the GOP is trying to re-brand themselves as having been pro-torture in order to try to get some credit for the recent whacking of OBL. It ends up sounding like "No, we don't torture, but whatever we did do sure made 'em squeal." Pathetic. Even McCain is back to his natural anti-torture stance.
Even the tea party guys, who were supposed to be such pro-little guy flamethrowers, have been bought pretty cheaply by big money interests, and can no longer be distinguished from the GOP regulars hanging out with lobbyists and rich donors. They were corrupted in about 10 minutes. Look for them, following whoever is the candidate, to be sounding like the old broken record: "Lower taxes, no estate tax, less regulation whatever becomes of the air and water, and more restrictions on tax users - like public school teachers."
I don't think Reagan himself could run successfully after being painted into such small corners. Just remember - They've done it to themselves, and deserve the results they will get.


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