Thursday, February 04, 2016

Cruzin' For A Bruisin'

I've though for some time now that Ted Cruz is the modern day Elmer Gantry.  Full of high minded hypocrisy.  In other words he's not my "second choice" for President and definitely not my first.

I thought the Iowa caucuses were more than enough for my loony tune fix.  I mean, come on, deciding a close election with a coin toss?  Best of six?  And Hillary wins each one?

Oh well, back to Cruz.  I thought he showed bad judgement when he tried to filibuster to defund Obamacare.  shutting down the government really solves nothing. He preached the high moral ground never-the-less.  Now he speaks of what he will do if he becomes President. That's a bit cheeky for a man who is extremely unpopular in his own party. Can he work with Congress?  I have my doubts.

The final nail in the Cruz coffin, though, is his sending out official looking statements telling the recipients if they didn't turn out for a caucus he'd reveal their voting record to the public. The other was his claiming Ben Carson was dropping out and to caucus for him instead.  The end result?  Well he won Iowa but I resent the idea that 180,000 people are going to sway how the rest of us vote.

I heard Ben Carson say there should be consequences for his actions.  Losing would probably be the best. I know how dirty politics can be but for it to start this soon is frightening.  What other stunts are his people harboring?  And how often does an after the fact apology wash?

Next comes New Hampshire.  Marco Rubio is out polling him and Trump retains his lead. What's next?  If the people really want an outsider, it isn't Cruz.  It will be interesting to watch.  Rubio becoming the establishment favorite seems likely because Kasich, Christy and Bush aren't making any headway.  Two of those three will probably be out if they don't do well in New Hampshire.  Bush still has money. Carley Fiorina and Carson will be soon to follow for the same reason.  No one wants to pour money into a losing cause.

That leaves Trump, Rubio and Cruz.  Wow.  What a choice.  And forget the Democratic side.  Cruz may be a dirty player but wait until Hillary starts after Sanders.

It would be great entertainment, watching from the sidelines.  If only it wasn't for President!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Trump Appeal. Are They Beginning To Get It?

The Washinton Post had an article surmising that the trouble Republicans have with Trump is that he's too moderate. Well, what do you know!

I don't know how often you have to hit these guys over the head to get them to understand it's what the electorate wants.  Maybe it's also dawning on them that truth and enthusiasm count.

Sure he's a character.  But man can he get the crowd going.  Without having to really say much.  Needless to say, that will have to change and he'll have to show he can be statesmen like when called for.  Until then however he's the go to guy for straight talk, albeit his own brand.

I was watching a bit of John Kasich last night and he nearly put me to sleep.  Other than not being an inspirational speaker he shares the same problem that Jeb has.  They are about as establishment as you can get and even though they've done good things in the past, it is the past.  Do accomplishments from 20 years ago really inspire?  It isn't the same world, country nor Congress.

I think the people are saying we want our parties to work together and solve problems; not have it all one way or the other. Who better than Trump?  Of all of them he is most able to negotiate.  Look at the empire he's built with that skill.

What the current administration and Kerry in particular seem to think is that appeasement is synonymous with negotiation.  Wrong.  In a good negotiation both sides get some of what they want but not all.  How much either gets depends on that skill.

I've often stated I don't want this man as President.  I've also admitted maybe we need someone like him. I'm glad there is still some time but what I'm finding is that I'm winnowing candidates at a pretty good clip.

Hillary is no longer inevitable.  Sanders is not electable in the general.  I really believe that unless we as a whole want to look like Greece or any of the other countries who have that form of government.  It would be like you giving all your money to the government and they'll give you back a stipend to live on.  Not my cup of tea.

Obama keeps telling us certain things do not reflect our values.  Not that he can decide mine for me but if in that he's suggesting Hillary does, he's nuts.

Donald likes to talk, Hillary likes to lecture.  A debate between them would be interesting but I'm willing to bet Trump would out talk her.

The next big question is who would each choose for a running mate.  Then which cabinet positions would they eliminate and who would be placed in the ones left.  One thing probably sure is that Hillary would not eliminate any of them.  After all that's what big government is all about.

Trump?  Who knows, so I watch and wait.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

President Who?

I was listening to the radio this morning where a study about the abysmal lack of civics knowledge today's college graduates have was being discussed. Consider nearly 10% of them think "Judge Judy" is a member of the Supreme Court.  That was a jaw dropper.

I felt pretty good knowing that my generation is far more knowledgeable about such.  But then we had civics courses in high school and college, if we went, as part of a core curriculum.

Some other shockers were many did not know the terms of either House or Senate members whats more able to name them.  It didn't say but I wager they don't know the same about the President and the Vice President.  They didn't know presidential impeachments are tried before the Senate nor that Congress has the power to declare war.

We've probably all heard "man on the street" interviews that show how many can't even name the Vice President and other pertinent questions but I always thought it to be a matter of selective editing depending on what I heard where.  Apparently that deserves a rethink.

It got me wondering if in order to vote one should have to pass some sort of a proficiency test; perhaps the same one people take before becoming a citizen.  They at least have a rudimentary knowledge of what makes this country tick, why and who the players are.

They don't have to go to college to learn that information, but they have classes and they do learn.  Colleges today are over priced with little substance to rationalize the cost.  We should put as much into education as we to sports programs.  Professors should be required to teach, not have surrogates do so for them.  It might even help to discourage over indulgence among the students.  There would be fewer students falling from balconies or out windows while in a stupor.

I know, fraternities and such are trying to curb drinking and drugs but if the same effort was put into the classroom environment it would be better.  Get rid of the classes to nowhere because there's little if any demand for some knowledge.  Go back to the basics.

Of course secondary education and parents have some responsibility too. Give the kids the basics before anything else. After all these young people are the ones who will be leading us in the future.  Near future, not distant.

I'd like to think the names on the ballot have some meaning to them.  That of course means they have to vote.  Maybe apathy on their part isn't all bad.  If they continue sending bad choices to Washington because we didn't instill in them the knowledge not to do so it won't be an outside force that brings us down.  It will come from within.

Just look at us now.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Trump And The Rest Of The Republicans

Every once in awhile when I take a step back from the insanity of politics I try to make some sense of it.  My question to myself today is when did the Republican Party surrender to the conservatives? Especially since the front runner, Trump, is anything but.

He's constantly being given the litmus test and he fails in so many categories I'd think the Republicans who rebuke him would take a step back themselves and try to figure out why.  Maybe, just maybe, it's because for the most part he  and the people who support him aren't as conservative as the powers that be want him to be.

In my day lots of Republicans were socially liberal and fiscally conservative.  That makes me today an independent. Republicans are no longer socially liberal.  Anything but. And not unlike those we fight in distant lands if you don't agree with their point of view you're the worst of the worst and no attention what-so-ever should be paid to you. So far they aren't killing us physically though they are in many other ways.

There used to be a time, after having decided against being a Republican and becoming an Independent, when I could vote a split ticket.  No more.  I understand why so few people vote.  They're expected to march in lock step with the dictates of their parties and many just cannot do so with good conscience.  When the choice is one extreme or another, fewer and fewer are holding their noses while they vote.  They just don't bother. This is true of both parties.

I think Mr. Trump gives a voice to these people.  The more the overpaid and intellectually challenged voices like those of Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck preach their sermons of moral purity the more people turn to a Trump or a Sanders who tell it like it is from their point of view.  No ducking nor dodging.

I don't think Sanders will win the nomination.  If he does I don't think he can win the general.  I hope not anyway.  Not because I don't like him as a person but I do not like what he preaches.  Socialism.

Trump is more centrist than Sanders and that's part of what the people like.  So his demographic is the middle class without a college education. Guess what?  That's a sizeable number of the voting population.  He talks to them.  He gets them feeling like this man can make it better.  He isn't resented for his wealth but admired for how he got it.  He worked for it and his kids are working for their share.

So he's rude and crude.  Yet he runs in circles where that isn't the norm.  Pit him against Mitt Romney and he'll still win because he's the easier to identify with.

To the Republican hierarchy who so wants him to go away be careful what you wish for.  If it isn't what the voters want you lose.  Big time.  Just for once cease your behind the doors conniving and let the people who pay you make the decision.

Will they come out and vote?  For the right candidate I'm betting they will.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Trump - The Face Of What??

According to Pat Buchanan in an interview with  Chris Cillizza in the Washington Post Trump could well be the future of the Republican party.

I don't know whether to quiver in fear or celebrate the thought. My problem is I've never seen Mr. Trump act the way I think a President should act.  I've covered this at length in previous posts.  That being said, there is much about him I rather like. One, he's not exactly a Republican, nor a Democrat but more of a (gasp) centrist.  Could that actually become fashionable again? I really see him as the face of an entirely new party yet to be determined.

I like the fact that he plays no favorites.  True, he is his own favorite. He isn't taking some one else ideas and pretending they're his.  I like that he has brought to the fore that from which the other candidates shy away. He has brought discomfort to the campaign.  Perhaps his New Yawk brashness has allowed this.  That plus his personality.  Everyone else looks like they're no more than new faces running for old positions and the power that comes with them.  No one has any passion. Not that they're given much of a chance to show it except where they are physically, town halls, rallies and the like.

They have been given the chance to shine in the debates but no one has yet discovered how to out Trump Trump.  Jeb Bush comes across as weak and whiny.  He should have listened to his Mother.

Carly, I think, is too low key and while I still have a great deal of respect for her she just isn't catching on.  So much for those who think it's time for a woman in the Presidency. Considering the other choice for that honor is Hillary, I can't help but wonder what her supporters are thinking.

Old news is stale news and so it goes for Huckabee and Santorum.  I think Chris Christie missed his chance last go 'round. Rand Paul had best secure his Senate seat. Rubio seems like a nice young man but he doesn't exude the chops he needs to over come looking so young and in many cases indecisive.

My guess it's only a matter of time until Dr. Carson bows out. Rand Paul's Libertarian bent has run into the need for a very strong military; something that goes against his grain. Kasich seems a bit condescending.  We've one of those in the White House now.

Ted Cruz. He may claim to be an outsider but I don't buy it.  He strikes me as being very expedient in choosing where to say what.  That worries me. He seems like a another new face being an old politician.

Boy, I'm not much of a potential voter am I?  I don't expect to like everything about any one candidate but for now I'm having a difficult time finding anything inspiring about any of them.

There is still time.  I've read Biden has regretted not jumping into the frey. Wouldn't it be something if the Democrats are the ones to have a brokered convention rather than the rumor about the Republicans?

Maybe both should consider that option and each put forward a candidate that can inspire Americans as a whole.  But Sanders and Trump? It would be different. I think I can handle one or the other but, please, not both!