Saturday, February 23, 2008

Experience is not what it used to be

This is not the season for experience. The Clinton’s, one of the most politically adroit couples to come along since maybe the Roosevelt’s, has been unable to overcome the change movement that is in the air. People want change. People want to be inspired by their candidate. People are tired of experience.

And who’s to blame them? When the current administration came into office, it was one of the most experience groups in governing that has taken over for some time – except of course for the President himself. And yet, these pros made the mistakes of amateurs. Lucky for them, the military was educated enough from its experience that it saved their ass – sort of.

So why shouldn’t experience take a beating? Throw the bums out and get all new bums. Even if they are new and don’t know quite what to do, we know from experience they can’t do much worse than someone with experience.

Woops! I’m evoking experience to degrade experience. Isn’t that a self-defining definition or self-fulfilling prophecy or just plain selfish?

One BIG difference in this election that’s way different than almost all that have come before is the election of a Senator to the presidency. The last time that happened was when John Kennedy got elected, and I don’t know when it happed before that. Experience has taught us that for senators to get to be president, they need to get themselves picked as a vice president first. While it's not unusual for senators to get their party's nomination, they don’t usually win presidental elections.

A very good route to the White House is to become a governor first. They do very well in presidential elections. Seems we are always picking outsiders. Seems change is not all that much change.

The very best way to become president is to be the commanding general in a major war. That strategy has worked from Washington to Eisenhower. Some things never change.

Which brings up another thing experience is famous for: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Does that mean that if Obama brings enough change to the government it will be the same as what we got now?

One of these days, these Obamaniacs are going to wake up with a big case of change-hangover. And experience teaches us they will become disillusioned and cynical about their government and politics. They will turn away from it and return to sports or celebrity-watching or American Idle/Idol, and experience politicos will move back in and run thing just as they always have.

Experience will do that to you.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

In Frank Rich’s Sunday column, The Grand Old White Party Confronts Obama, he comments on just how white the Republicans are and the Obama phenomena that may (or may not) be sweeping the country right now and it is a heralding of the end of the white man racism of the Republican Party. I don’t think that’s true. I would like to think it’s true, but I don’t believe it is. I commented much the same there and am repeating it here.

When LBJ signed the civil rights bill he bullied through Congress, he is supposed to have said he lost the South for the Democratic Party. Would seem the old pol was right. One of the best things that every happen to the Democratic Party was all those good old boy racists, those Dixiecrats, the Strom Thurmans, and Trent Lotts became good Republicans. Good riddance. The Democrats may never win in the South again but it’s a better party for it.

While Obama may win the nomination because of picking up so many delegates from southern states, he can not depend on winning those states in the general election. They will go Republican just as LBJ predicted. The good old Southern boys will not return to the Democratic Party until the Republicans reduce their wages’ purchasing power to the levels it was in pre-Depression times before the Democrats and the war raised the standard of living for everybody but the exceedingly rich – and increased the number of rich people, also.

I’m one of those Democrats that liked McCain from way back. Like others, I think he has the potential of being another Teddy Roosevelt. Just as nobody but an old Cold Warrior like Nixon could have opened talks with China, so too, only a Republican can bring way-needed progressive changes to our government. Those right wingers don’t like him any more than their forefathers dislike Teddy, and rightly so from their point of view. He will be their undoing.

Will Mr. Change cause a change in the South? I wish the current Obamania would make it happen but I’m too cynical to believe it. McCain will be our next President. It won’t even be close. There still that much hate in this country.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Nora, Darling

[Nora Ephron wrote over at the Huffington Post The A.D.D. Election in which she lamented she could keep track of what was going on in this election cycle. I commented on her post and here is my comment below, although I fleshed it out a little more.]

It’s not ADD when you got data overload. There’s just too, too, way too much − of everything. Election-wise that is.

It’s not ADD; it’s Bizarro World and I don’t know which one is Superman − or Superwoman as the case may be − but I do know where the Kryptonite is. That’s entitlements. Don’t get near that or you become very, very weak − politically that is, to wring out this analogy for all its worth.

Anyway, this time around, it’s a Bizarro World. What’s up is down, what’s down is up. Experience doesn’t matter – except in practice. Experience teaches us that unless there is a very good practical plan, change will change nothing. Does the takeover of Iraq come to mind?

But of course our overthrow of Saddam has changed everything – nothing like what was planned – we’ve changed the balance of power among Muslim states in the Middle East and Southwestern Asia that has been in existence for centuries. If Mr. Change wins, he’s going to have to deal with that, as we all are. Thank you, Neocons.

We have learned one thing that has not changed in our selection of a president. America’s 9/11 Mayor’s strategy − as well as “rank’em, pack’em, stack’em*” Thompson’s strategy − has taught us is you can’t ignore the early primary. Even if you know you will not do well among the holier-than-thou or the northerner-than-thou, you got to make a show of trying. A no show got no go.

Like you, Nora darling, I was hoping Super Tuesday would end the madness. And, for the Republican it did − sort of. The “sort of” reinforces the idea that Republicans would rather be “right” than win or that they prefer a faux hero who pretended to land a plane on a carrier instead of someone who actually landed a plane on a carrier.

Of course, the Republicans can always depend of the strategy that has worked for them oh so well in the past. They can depend on the Democrats to lose an election that any pundit except those from some Biazrro World blog would predict they would easily win. I wonder if Mr. Change can change that.

Anyway, Nora darling, not blogging just commenting (too late!). Let’s do lunch. Have your bot contact my bot. Love ya’, mean it.

*One of Thompson’s lines in a Die Hard movie − the second one I believe. Wouldn’t you have just loved to hear him make at least one State of Union address? It woulda’ been a stem-winder.