Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ne'er-Do-Wells, Has-Beens, and Freaks

Go ahead, call me out on it. The Republican presidential field is populated by those in the title. Go ahead, explain yourself before you call me out.

We have an historical flow -- not one the perfesser Newt might grok -- from, well, how far do you want to go back?? Let's use Ford as a demarcation line. He's a built-in lame duck following the scourge that was the Nixon presidency, and never himself elected or worn out. He just passed through.

Carter was called upon to be transformative, and, frankly, sans hostage crisis, might have been. People in the know (an assemblage, then, of non-dickheads ready to tell the truth) remember rightly that he modernized the armed services and established cutting-edge energy policies that were years ahead in wind and solar.

Reagan was someone who is lionized by the right but, when judged by people in the know, was essentially a pleasant man who tripled our national debt by cutting taxes too much -- and presided over a major transfer of wealth to the wealthy away from the middle class. His time was known as the "me generation" and a certain precursor to the 99% movement today.

Bush I, well, he was establishment all the way. He was a bold and decisive war leader, sort of "an invader before invading was cool" kind of guy. If he had a clue how to communicate like the Gipper, he might have made a decent second-term president. After all, he knew how to raise taxes when you just had to, so he did, and became toast in the bargain. Precursor to the curse of the wild, untamed Norquist? Maybe.

William Jefferson Clinton, WTF. Brash, full of ideas -- like Gingrich (GASP!!) -- but with the nimbleness and foundation to be a real man of ideas. Case in point: WAY ahead on teh gay, WAY ahead on health care reform, seriously good commander-in-chief -- if you favored butting heads with smarmy Balkan dictators AND not losing an American life in the process while advancing the cause of democracy while helping to sort out the post-Soviet era. Okay, dick-for-brains who balanced the budget and then some. Negative: Rubin, ending Glass-Steagall, being in favor of middle-school uniforms, eh, what's with the small ball?? And did I mention dick-for-brains, occasionally literally? Ended up very popular, still is.

George W. Bush, what's to say? The polls still tell it: he was really bad, so bad we elected a black man, that's how much we wanted as a nation to distance ourselves from the stench. I've lived a long time, and I don't remember an ex-president disappearing like him. Why? No one wants to listen to him in this country, and he's afraid he'll get arrested and delivered to the International Criminal Court if he travels, that's why. Example: can you imagine him going to Spain? Huh! Switzerland couldn't vouch for his safety, so he canceled.

Obama? Ask Glennzilla, as Atrios calls him, and we'll all agree that his Justice Dept. sucks (fill in the blank with paraphrasing from The Exorcist's best line), his war policy was too tough, and his cow-towing to conservatives in the guise of reasonableness (read SUCKER) was foolhardy when talking liberal-tough would have done the trick while on message and also showing some balls (can't hurt!). Oh, and his health care law was okay if weak tea to the liberal wing. Still, how much could he have gotten? I'll never know but happy for what he got.

Okay, NOW, we get to the present: what's the deal with the ne'er-do-wells, has-beens, and freaks we got in the GOP primary? Who among us, liberal, conservative, libertarian, and shit-for-brains like Glenn Reynolds (sorry, that was like name-calling, if only it weren't true), wouldn't admit after five shots of John Jameson that that's exactly what you've got on the Republican side? Face it, their mothers don't like them, don't trust them, don't want to be dragged into the mess their children made of themselves over the last decade or two.

Talk amongst yourselves, Dems, Repubs, moderates (what the hell is a moderate? Oh yeah, a Dem), and others. None of us like them, regardless of how we feel about Obama. Go ahead and admit the truth. You're screwed if you vote for them, we're screwed if too many vote for them.

Final thought: Don't you just love how Yahoo! Finance runs all kind of stories about the best places to retire abroad? I didn't so much, but now I'm reconsidering...

Update: Rolling Stone just seconded my call with a "The GOP's Crackpot Agenda" article. Nice.

Update2: Boy, I forgot Paul Krugman's take on Monday.

Dream team or nightmare? (glad I don't have to decide) (Oh, guess I did)

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