Comments on: A midterm reversal for Obama? http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2010/10/07/a-midterm-reversal-for-obama/ Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.5 By: MekhongKurt http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2010/10/07/a-midterm-reversal-for-obama/#comment-32733 Fri, 08 Oct 2010 14:17:22 +0000 http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/?p=8257#comment-32733 Mr. Friedman makes some excellent points and observations here, and reaches some solid, if necessarily speculative at this point, conclusions.

However, there are some other points worth considering, in my view, worth taking up, if only to kick around a bit.

For instance, should the Republicans win the House (moderately conceivable) and/or the Senate (um, not so much), then they’ll have two years to push their scenario more often and more strongly than they have this Congressional tour. However, about the only two ideas I’ve seen with any clarity coming from the GOP are the “Pledge to America” and a promise to return to President George W. Bush-era policies.

I tend to vote split-ticket — never voted a straight one, in fact, though I’ve fairly strongly favored the GOP over the decades — but I have some friends who are such committed Republicans that they would almost rather be shot or to lose their American citizenship than to vote or support a Democrat, yet even a fair number of them are at least suspicious of the “Pledge to America,” pointing out it’s quite devoid of anything specific, instead filled with bromides, cliches, and platitudes. Some go even further, seeing it as a smoke screen for a stealth return to Bush’s policies, which they largely oppose.

So, if the Republicans enter the House victorious — let’s forget the Senate, since that’s fairly unlikely — and depend solely on the fluff of the “Pledge to America” and a return to policies that failed, except to improve the status of the upper-class and to widen income disparities even further, then they find themselves in a position to the emperor’s and his new clothes. Had Bush been eligible for a third term and won, I have little doubt we would have attacked Iran by know, “giving” us a THIRD war. Undoubtedly an unfunded one, as the first two were. Does the current GOP want us to move beyond “lock-and-load” to “fire at will”? Well, that fits in with platitudes regarding American exceptionalism, but it hardly fits in with the Pledge’s promise, for example, of a smaller, more transparent government. After all, there is precious little evidence, if any, from the Bush years to suggest the Republicans have any real interest in transparency in particular. To wit: warrantless wire taps and the FBI’s now-infamous “National Security Letters,” which amounted to, in effect, “notes from Mommy telling the recipient to ‘just give the nice man anything he wants, and oh, by the way, keep your mouth shut — or else.”

It would be salubrious for a Republican-led House to try to push for at least maintaining such practices or, preferably, expanding them. Then more Americans would see The Man Behind the Curtain.

The darlings of the Tea Party could be useful for eye-opening as well. Personally, though I’m far from being a supporter of the Tea Party, I do think Tea Partiers have some legitimate questions, concerns, and fears that deserve attention. (Of course, I also think some of the fears, in particular the “death panels” implanted in some by “The Nihilist of the North,” Sarah Palin, self-appointed “Mama Grizzly # 1″ are simply, and utterly, unfounded.) In any case, I suspect the Tea Partiers will find themselves with a sense of disappointment, at best, and outright betrayal, at worst. And we all know the old adage about the “wrath of love scorned.” It might also encourage members of the Tea Party movement to take a second — and deeper — look at people such as the Kock brothers and Dick Armey, not to mention Newt Gingrinch. (BTW, to Newt’s credit, his “Contract with America” was VASTLY superior to the limp rag “Pledge to America” currently on offer. The RNC should have asked HIM to write their “pledge.” At worst, he couldn’t have *possibly* done any worse, even had he set out to do so — which he wouldn’t have done. They likely would have ended up with a concise, hard-hitting, highly-specific, and clear document amounting to a real battle plan. One even an opponent could respect.)

And I’ve already mentioned Palin, who is more of a media star — for the moment — than a politician, given her evasiveness about 2012. If Thomas Jefferson is to politics what Shakespeare is to poetry and drama, then Palin is to politics what Immanual Kant was to easy-to-understand clear writing. (Just try Kant’s “A Critique of Pure reason” if you don’t get my drift. Brilliant philosopher, but exceedly difficult to understand.) I mean — “refudiate”?

It well could turn out that Republicans who are *not* on the far right might begin a push-back against Palin, if they ever get over their terror of her. I feel there’s some reasonable possibility she’ll implode before 2012, particularly if her Favorite Cub (one of them anyway), O’Donnell makes an idiot of herself should she win, a very real possibility. “Like Mother, Like Daughter.”

We’ll see. . . .

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