Tag Archives: washington

Who would Reagan endorse?

Every Republican candidate has referenced President Reagan at some point.  All want to be seen as being the most like their icon.  After watching most of the debates, as you know, there have been many.  If Reagan were here today, he would endorse (drum roll, please): Jon Huntsman.

While his level headed and non-rabid demeanor has made many paint him as a liberal, he is not.  He is pro-life.  He has a 100 percent approval rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).  He worked for President Obama, sure, but he has also worked for Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush.  He served two terms as governor of Utah. Those are not liberal bonafides.  You don’t have to take my word for it — and I am a liberal so you shouldn’t (it’s all about perspective, you know).  But Haley Barbour knows a thing or two about politics and conservatives and has said this:

Jon Huntsman and I served together, and while we don’t agree on some issues, there’s no question that he’s a conservative. He’s way to the right of Barack Obama for goodness sake. But yeah, I consider Jon a conservative. As I said, we have some issues that I think are important that we have different views on. But he was in the Reagan administration, elected governor of a very conservative state — elected and re-elected by the way. So if you’re asking me if Jon Huntsman is qualified to the Republican nominee for President of the United States, the answer is, of course he is.”  View it here.

Plus, Huntsman did a good job.  Taxes went down.  Job creation went up.  The Pew Center on the States found that Utah was the “best managed states” under his tenior.

And Huntsman has solid foreign policy experience and knowledge.  We live in an increasingly interconnected world.  We need someone at the help who will not need to rely on advisors in high level meetings with foreign leaders — they will not be in the room.

President Ronald Reagan — and I can assure you waxing nostalgic for him is something I never thought I would do — would look at the current crop of GOP candidates and pick Jon Huntsman because he is a competent, pragmatic, intelligent and thoughtful person.  He has been consistently conservative.  To my friends on the right, being rabidly anti-Obama doesn’t make you conservative, it makes you rabidly anti-Obama.  There are plenty of lefties who are upset with him, too.

But what about the fact that Huntsman worked for President Obama?  Reagan started off as a Democrat but more than that, he saw the value in working with the other side of the aisle.  Tip O’Neil never would have given a press conference saying that “Democrats and Republicans are drom different planets.”  Never. Would. Have. Happened.

As for the rest?  Mitt Romney would be a second choice, if we could figure out WHICH Mitt Romney would be headed to the White House.  After that, I almost thing Reagan would stay home rather than vote for someone proud of their ignorance.  Yes, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry — I am talking to you.  Newt Gingrich?  Believes his own PR too much and will self-destruct — we want a winner here, people.  Ron Paul & Rich Santorum, right, like that’s gonna happen.

I want President Obama win reelection but having Jon Huntsman as his rival — as scary as that might be for Democrats as he has the best chance of any of them to win the general, it would move our conversation to a better, more productive place.

Every four years, we have the opportunity to look at our government and decide how we want to govern ourselves, who we want to be as a people and what we can do — together — to solve our problems.  We have serious issues that deserve more of our attention that birth certificates or fighting over who knows less about what.

How stupid does he think we are?

There’s one angle to Herman Cain’s presidential campaign that has not been covered.  One question I would like to ask: How stupid do you think we are?  Clearly, the answer is very, very, very stupid.

After watching him in the debates and doing interviews, it is pretty clear that he lacks even the most rudimentary knowledge of policy and politics.   I didn’t think it was possible to be alive during the last decade without having heard of neo-cons.  And his foreign policy knowledge is downright scary.  Didn’t know China has had nuclear weapons for fifty years?  You think the Israelis would be open to discussing the ‘right of return?’  Do you read any news at all?  And for good measure, the 9-9-9 plan would be horrible for everyone — especially the poor and anyone living on a fixed income.  The federal sales tax of 9 percent would be a tax increase on everyone, and the 9 percent income tax would be a tax cut for the wealthy and a big tax hike for those who are barely holding on.

What makes Cain’s economic plan even worse is that he doesn’t seem to understand it all that well.  I thought Governor Mitt Romney made a great point about the sales tax.  He asked Cain if the sales tax included in his plan would replace the current state sales taxes.

“No, your’re mixing apples with oranges,” Cain said.

“So I am going to get a bushel of oranges and apples?” Romney asked.

“You’re mixing apples with oranges,” Cain replied.

Way to stay on message but he didn’t answer the question and I think that is because he didn’t understand it.  Supporters point to his business successes and he done well but I don’t sense a whole lot of intellectual curiosity there.  In his defense, no one knows everything but being proud of knowing nothing doesn’t inspire a whole lot of confidence.

The newest political scandal is almost the least important clue that this man would be a disastrous president.  But the allegations are serious — and growing more so as more women come forward with stories about Cain.

Herman Cain’s response to the allegations — and it’s hard to use the ‘none of this is true’ line when there are two recorded settlements with the women in question.  But his denials have morphed from one to another so much that he’s only making this much worse for himself. Threatening to sue Politico in a move inspired by Dan Snyder, won’t help things.

Mr. Cain, you are not ready for prime time and everything you do just makes that case more.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Kind of ironic bok title, huh?

Kind of ironic book title, huh?

Herman Cain, aka the pizza magnate and current flavor of the month in the GOP POTUS candidate, has made some interesting choices and statements. He seems to think running for president and selling books are not mutually exclusive activities.

To give him his due, the Cain campaign has bought a lot of his books so he is definitely selling a ton while running for president. And Governor Sarah Palin would tell you her VP run and the speculation about her possible 2012 run did not hurt her book sales but just because you can do something, does not mean you should.

This is not an anti-capitalist view I am trying to promote. Sell as many books as want but it seems a little unseemly to use a presidential run to do it. Any presidential campaign is really a multi-month (or year) job interview for the most (or one of) important jobs in the country. Nothing a candidate does will really prepare anyone to be president (and it’s not supposed to, you should be qualified to run before you make that decision) but it does give the nation a chance to get to know the would be candidates. This is not a time to bring anything but your A game. When you think about that, is this really the time to split your energy between running and doing anything else?

Running for president is hard. Not has hard as being the leader of the free world but it is hard. That’s why I criticized Cenk Uygar when he said that Mike Huckabee was “too fat and happy” to run. I have a lot of respect for people who admit that it takes a lot of time and energy to run and there are no guarantees. Good for you, Governor.

Governor Rick Perry has learned how much harder it is to run for national office (I believe he thought that his track record in Texas would prepare him better for the presidential race) than any state-wide. That’s one of the reasons he has said he may not take part in upcoming debates (not that his underwhelming performances have had any role, seriously, if you cannot stay awake past 8:00 pm, how can you be president?).

Congresswomen Michele Bachmann has learned this, too. Maybe that’s why her New Hampshire staff all quit in a huff. Maybe she thought she could make up facts as she goes along in this campaign the way she does every other time she opens her mouth but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as she thought.

So we come back to the current front-runner (in national polls, though, not the state polls, where it matters more), Herman Cain. It is worth noting that the title of this post could also refer to Godfather’s pizza. With all due respect to Chicago deep dish pizza lovers, you can theoretically make pizza outside of New York, but why would you?

Full disclosure, which is pretty obvious to anyone who has met me or read what I write, I am a liberal Democrat and have every intention of voting for President Obama. Having said that, I think having two robust parties and a vigorous discussion about where we want the country to go, is in everyone’s best interest. I was really impressed when Governor Chris Christie said that he believes in “small government, lower taxes and less regulation,” not because I agree with ANY of that, in fact I do NOT, but that’s where our conversation should be.

Herman Cain is not advancing our political discourse at all. His economic plan (the “9/9/9” or “9/0/9”) would be disastrous. His ignorance of foreign policy is scary. It is his lack of interest in running for office, while he runs, that bothers me the most. With little or no campaign infrastructure, few details on his policy proposals and a general laissez-faire attitude towards the process, I am left with the thought that if he doesn’t care about his campaign, why should anyone?

The art of the possible

Another broken record appeal


I complain about Washington, DC. The DC Metro sucks. The infrastructure is falling to pieces. The state of what we call political discourse makes me want to poke my own eyes out. Oh, and had to go to the CVS and some creepy, smelly guy stood way too close to me and was growling. Dude, can’t a girl get some space? Last point, we had a scary earthquake and now a crazy hurricane is coming our way. What next? Frogs? Locusts? Glenn Beck will hold another crazy fest on the mall and his minions will take over my favorite coffee place and I’ll have to get my caffeine at the totally ghetto Starbucks that frequently runs out of coffee?

Rant mode over.

And then, just when I think the best plan is to move to a farm in Wyoming, something spectacular happens; I look at the Capitol Building and all that negativity just vanishes. I remain in awe of the amazing thing we have created here. When we tear each other down by attacking each other’s patriotism or motives, we don’t just hurt our political opponents but we diminish our creation and ourselves.
My entree into this glorious world of campaigns and politics happened when I was eight. Funny story: I was at the Hawk n’ Dove waiting for a friend and the manager, Paul, asked me about this. I replied that I had started by volunteering to unseat the evil Conservative Party (not GOP, mind you, but Conservative) from the first district of New York — Bill Carney. The man next to me said, “That’s me.” — He proved it by showing me his Congressional ID. Open mouth, insert foot. We are now friends.

When I was eight, I canvassed, I handed out flyers, I stuffed envelopes. On election night as we watched the returns, the areas I canvassed had a higher turnout for our candidate, George Hochbrukner (a hard name to spell but a great one to remember!) than other areas and I was sure that was because of my hard work. He lost. He lost the next election and was elected to Congress only when Bill retired. He quit when he could no longer go for a beer and have a conversation with his opponent. It wasn’t fun anymore. He thinks civility in this business is a pipe dream.

I don’t believe that. When I worked in the Senate, I felt a bond with all over staffers. We all were there, working crazy hours for next to no pay because we believed we could make a difference. The real difference between the two parties is not that one is more patriotic than they other or believes more in God. We all want to get to the same place, we just have different paths to get there.

I read on Conservapedia that Jefferson Smith from “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” was a Democrat. They also see it as demonizing Republicans. I don’t believe that. I refuse to believe that this movie was a partisan statement. It was a call to remember that politics really is the art of the possible.

Seriously, when did this start bothering you? Yesterday?

Wow.

This used to be one of my favorite photos of myself. Today? Not so much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If this Congressman Anthony Weiner situation had happened at a different time, I would have felt differently.  (I should point out before I continue that I have been pretty merciless in my criticism of John Edwards, someone I supported and worked for and when I started doing stand-up used to say “Every time I think this story cannot get any douchier, it does.”  That joke is as true today as it was two years ago when I wrote it).  The calls from the right for Weiner to resign and the “outrage” they have been falling over themselves to express sickens me.

You see, I have a few other scandals kicking around in my head making me put this in perspective.  There is neither rhyme nor reason to the order I am using.

America’s Mayor, Rudolph Giuliani.  The cheating really isn’t what bothers me.  He and his then-wife – Donna Hanover – were having very public problems.  This is none of my business.  Not until this happened; Ms. Hanover was doing an interview where she told of how they were “trying to work things out.”  As she says this, the channel goes to a split screen with the mayor giving a press conference that he was in the process of serving her with divorce papers.  Yes, that’s how she learned she was getting a divorce.  Ouch.  Where is he now?  Considering a second run for president.  Oh, he was a crappy mayor, too.

The GOP “ideas” guy, Newt Gingrich.  Three marriages and countless pieces of Tiffany’s jewelry later, everyone’s favorite “intellectual” and serial adulterer, divorced one of his wives while she was recovering in the hospital from cancer.  Doonesbury ran a cartoon of this at the time with Newt telling her to “Press hard, woman, you’re making three copies!”  Where’s this family values former Speaker?  Again, running for president.

The Governator.  Known for decades as groping women on film sets and press junkets around the globe, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “recent” antics should shock no one (not the LA Times who reported on this when he ran for governor).  Think it gets worse than fathering a child with your maid, who continues to work for you and bring her son who looks just like you to the house you share with your wife and children?  Oh, it does.  Reports have indicated when confronted with his – is it indiscretion at this point? – situation he told Maria Shriver that she had to move out.  Oh, and the premise of his new animated series (from the press release issued the week this story broke) is that a governor is living a dual life – as governor during the day and super hero at night – he even keeps a separate and secrete home under the home he shares with his wife and family that he doesn’t even tell them about.  And where is he?  Right, starring in a new Terminator movie.  He said he would be back…

David “Acorn shouldn’t get funding because they support prostitution and only I am allowed to do that” Vitter.  In 2007, the world learned that Senator David Vitter was a client of the “DC Madam.”  He had been a “client” from 1999-2001(he was in the House of Representatives where he was serving in the seat vacated when Bob Livingston – at the time Speaker – resigned following his own adultery scandal, for which Vitter praised him saying “This is what Bill Clinton should have done.”  If that doesn’t make your head spin, what does?).  The main difference between Vitter’s support of prostitution and Acorn’s is the latter was investigated and found to be false while the only standing between Vitter and a  criminal prosecution for his crimes is the statute of limitations.  Where is he?  The US Senate.

Henry Hyde – my personal favorite.  This is an oldie but goodie.  Congressman Henry Hyde – one of the chief prosecutors of the Clinton impeachment – admitted he cheated on his wife but explained it as being a “youthful indiscretion.”  He was 51 when that happened.  I have tons of time to do dumb stuff and claim it was all because of my youth.  The former Congressman has passed – at 83 after retiring with a full pension and some pretty sweet health insurance.

What people do in their private lives – no matter how public they have made their lives – is private.  None of what I wrote about is any of my business.  I was never going to vote for any of them (except John Edwards).  When Eric Cantor – Minority Whip and lead “you need to resign, Weiner!” point person – was asked about Vitter, John Ensign (affair with employee that was covered up with payments to his best friend and her husband) and Mark Sanford (flew to Argentina with state funds to have an affair) he said “We are a party of ideas, not personalities” – it makes my skin crawl.

So, no, I don’t think Anthony Weiner should resign.

All these cheaters deserve to live (but not work!) here.