August 19, 2011

Palin, Perry and Random Thoughts After A Hiatus

I've been away from the keyboard for a bit, trying to restore some additional order to the chaos that is life.  Being away for extended periods without any commentary is bad blogging though.  Sometimes  a brief word or two is all it takes to keep the blog fires burning, so lets have a few.

On the GOP nomination race

Sarah Palin at the Time 100 Gala, in Manhattan...Palin Predictions: Speculation is rampant once again that the Thrilla from Wasilla is going to run.  Rove suggests its possible based on a seemingly ramped up schedule in September. Though I'm sure Rove would love to see anyone come into the race who throw a monkey wrench into Perry's plans, we stand by our longstanding prediction that Palin will not run. Though the comparison is not entirely fair, to our mind, Palin has become something of the Kim Kardashian of politics.  She's managed to turn her 15 minutes into a 24/7 and more power to her, but you can't be a money making political celebrity and a serious candidate at the same time (just look at Herman Cain).  She makes the media's hearts go pitter patter and I'd take great interest in watching her try, but its not gonna happen.

"The Honorable Rick Perry (front right), ...Perry's Pursuit of the Presidency: Gov. Rick Perry has thrown his hat into the ring and become the instant favorite on Intrade and in various polls.  I think he will be a bit of a litmus test for the political intelligence of the Tea Party contingent of the GOP.  He talks a good game, but just the little I've read of his record thus far doesn't secure his conservative bona fides with me, and prominent voices in the conservative movement are going hard on Perry.  Michelle Malkin is calling him out as a crony capitalist among other unsavory things.  She essentially says he's no better than Obama.  Our prediction: Perry is likely at the top of his popularity right now, but his vetting is only getting started.  We think its all down here from here as the base and the establishment really give him the once over.  Our money says its Romney's nomination to lose, barring the entrance of an unknown better candidate.

Other Contenders: There is talk of Chris Christie or Ryan getting into the race.  We'll make some more predictions there too: neither Christie nor Ryan will run.  

On Leaving Obama

A significant and growing portion of people out there who regard themselves as progressives are feeling truly disaffected from Obama by the day.  Calls for a primary challenger to him for the nomination have  begun to sound on the left and those calls may grow even louder. Its an interesting phenomenon, but whats really blowing me away is the vociferous grass roots reaction to criticism of Obama that has been opened up on black politicians and opinion leaders by regular black folk, occasionally amplified by celebrity.  Maxine Waters is finding herself in the crossfire.  Nasty criticisms have shown up on line of her for criticizing the president, leveled by black folk. The pushback is hard and nasty enough that Waters even bleats about getting beat up for talking critically about the president (hear it at 4:17 in this video clip). Usual suspects Cornel West and Tavis Smiley recently got called Uncle Toms by Steve Harvey, who criticized their so called Poverty Tour, which just rolled through Columbus, Mississippi.

I could go on a whole long rant about the so called Poverty Tour, but I'm just trying to hit it and quit it today.  So I'll simply say that while I can applaud West and Smiley for getting out on the hustings to raise issues, the poverty tour aims too low.  They essentially accuse the president of being too timid and too captured by the oligarchic forces of the financial elites to truly address poverty with any of the left's progressive prescriptions.  They actually have a point.   Where I think they run clean off the rails is wasting time barnstorming around the country to talk about  how the government ought to do more, when they could instead be helping create the infrastructure and momentum for a starfish structured, Tea Party of the Left, that would have a disruptive effect on the Democratic party like the Tea Party has had on the GOP.  Cornell and Tavis, I invite you to read my excellent post on building a disruptive Tea Party of the Left.  I advocate it not because I buy into progressive policy approaches, but because if West and Smiley are going to go out advocating for something to be done about poverty, it should be more ambitious than simply trying to get a larger group of people to beg for government intervention in their lives.  Tea Party folk are all about dictating to the government, not the other way around.  The Poverty Tour suffers from a poverty of vision and thats just plain ridiculous when you have West and Smiley heading it up.  They have little excuse in my book to underperform so severely, notwithstanding their status as irretrievably liberal progressives.
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