Sunday, May 11, 2008

I Don't Understand

Latest Newspaper Column:

I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent guy. I'm no Einstein, of course. Just ask my wife and kids. But I can generally figure stuff out.

Lately, though, it seems that the more I see going on around me, the less I understand. For instance:

*Hillary Clinton's major hope for winning the Democratic nomination is based on the idea that she'll ask high-ranking party members, the so-called "superdelegates," to ignore the popular vote, override the number of pledged delegates, and provide the party with what some of her supporters have called "adult leadership" to keep the stupid voters from picking a nominee that might not be "electable"-- as defined by the Clintonistas.

I don't understand how someone who does that gets to call anyone an elitist.

* In 2006, the Democratic Party's rules committee made a rule that only four states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina -- could hold primaries before Feb. 5. Florida and Michigan defied the rules.

They were warned if they didn't reschedule their primaries, they'd be stripped of their delegates. They didn't change. They were stripped of their delegates. The Clinton campaign never said a word.

Now, with things not going her way, another tactic in Hillary's victory strategy is to basically browbeat the party into telling those states, "All is forgiven, your delegates will count, or at least the ones I got when I was the only one on the ballot other than Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel."

I don't understand how she expects the Democratic Party to embrace a solution that will pretty much guarantee that future attempts to tell states not to jump the line will be greeted with hoots of laughter. The party lets Michigan and Florida get away with that, and some states will be holding their primaries at Halloween.

* don't understand why the Clinton campaign has done everything but demand that Barack Obama shoot the Rev. Jeremiah Wright in the head for his comments that God will "damn" America for its racism and its treatment of blacks, but has been notably silent on a prominent John McCain supporter, the Rev. John Hagee.

Hagee has said -- not just once, but several times -- that Hurricane Katrina was "God's judgment" on New Orleans for its own sinful ways. He's also said that the Catholic Church was a "great whore" and a "false cult system."

McCain has said he "welcomes" Hagee's endorsement, which means, I guess, that he's decided to write off Louisiana's electoral votes and he's not all that enamored of Mississippi, either, to say nothing of the nation's millions of Catholics.

Of course, McCain is probably counting on the press never asking him about this, which they probably won't, and that's another thing I don't understand.

*John McCain's plan for the economy seems to be "Make the Bush tax cuts permanent." Of course, tax cuts seem to be the Republicans' answer to everything including budget deficit, budget surplus, economic boom, recession, crabgrass, acne, and the gum disease gingivitis.

I don't understand why tax cuts are supposed to be so good for the economy, years of Bush-sponsored and Republican-Congress-approved tax cuts don't have us all wearing mink underwear while driving Rolls Royces fueled with 25-cents-a-gallon gas.

And before you blame the "Democrat Congress," let me remind you: Those tax cuts are still in effect.

* McCain and his people are mightily put out at ads being run that show McCain repeating his assertion that it was OK with him if we stayed in Iraq for 100 years. What he meant, he keeps saying testily, is not that he wants 100 more years of war. What he says is that he envisions a presence in Iraq like the one we have in Germany or Japan.

I don't understand how anyone who doesn't realize how different those circumstances are from the Iraqi quagmire gets to call anyone else "naïve" on foreign policy.

*I don't understand why so-called "experts" like New York Times columnists William Kristol and Thomas Friedman, both of whom have been so consistently wrong on pretty much everything having to do with Iraq, now get to appear on TV and pontificate about Iran.

In a sane world, the only appearance these dolts would be allowed to make in public would be with dunce caps on their heads while being pelted with old food. And yet they seem to make a tidy living at being consistently wrong about the length of the war, the reaction of the Iraqis to an occupying power, the reaction of other Arab countries to the invasions, etc., etc.

I'll tell you what, ABC and CBS and NBC and Fox and MSNBC: I'll go on your shows and be consistently wrong for half what you're paying these bozos.

Help me out here, folks?


Anonymous said...

Let me help you out Dusty.

-- All that HRC stuff is explained by the fact that the Clintons would snorkel through a lake of pig sh*t to get back in the White House.

-- McCain's economics are explained by the Republican party's infatuation with Grover Norquist. They truly do want to starve government to the point where it's so small they can strangle it in a bathtub.

-- I do recognize the disconnect between small government with minimal taxes and the 100 year occupation of Iraq, but I guess he's hoping he can get the Chinese to underwrite the debt in exchange for complete control over the US economy.

-- William Kristol and Thomas Friedman got brought in by the NYT to provide 'balance.' I suppose they do a good job of balancing Maureen Dowd, but otherwise they just join the crop of NYT op-ed writers who are long on opinion and short on judgment. The NYT is a sad shadow of its former self. So is just about every other newspaper.

-- Bill

Anonymous said...


I agree....except about Michigan, Obama & Clinton.

First, Clinton did say something when the Dem. Nat. Comm. said they would not seat the Michigan delegates. Obama said nothing.

Second, Obama was orignally on the ballot in Michigan, and withdrew his name rather then anger the Dem. Nat. Comm..

Third, and most importantly....It was the MICHIGAN Dem. Primary. What makes the Dem. Nat. Comm. think they can decide when the PEOPLE of MICHIGAN can have their Primary? We didn't need their permission. And when you come right down to it....why do they care when we have our Primary?

And lastly why didn't Obama support Michigan's right to hold their Primary when they wanted rather then short change his supporters by pulling his name?

Sorry, but this really a sore point in Michigan right now.

Anonymous said...

Doug, maybe the DNC feels it has an interest in keeping the process from becoming too ridiculously front-loaded. Of course, it's not as if it wasn't already so front-loaded that it was generally over (effectively, if not actually) by the time the North Carolina or Kentucky primaries roll around.

Here in Kentucky, we can't afford a separate Presidential primary. There's only five or six weeks between the last day of an even-year legislative session and the primary, so there's not a lot of room to move it up. So, we really can't play Primary Leapfrog. The more front-loaded the primary system gets, the more shut out we are. I don't expect you to care about that, but you shouldn't expect me to like it, either.

Anonymous said...

The easy way to solve this would be to divide the country in two halves and hold the primays two weeks apart.

No matter which half voted first they would not have enough votes to win the nomination. Within a month this could be settled. And let's be honest, are we really hearing anything new at this point that we didn't hear in that first month? Anything of substance.

JD Rhoades said...

The easy way to solve this would be to divide the country in two halves and hold the primays two weeks apart.

If you claim the national party doesn't have the right to tell Michigan (or any other state, presumably) when to hold their primary, how does this happen?

Anonymous said...


I was putting that solution out there as a counter to the DNC's argument that staggering the primaries is a matter of logistics for the candidates.

Funny, logistics doesn't seem to be an issue for the Presidental election.

Guess I am just getting cranking from this entire mess dragging on like it has.

Anonymous said...

The easy way to solve this would be to divide the country in two halves and hold the primays two weeks apart.

That might work, but making it happen would require organization and support (including financial support) at the national-party level.