Archive for August 13th, 2011

13
Aug
11

‘a war between two americas’


Michael Tomasky (Daily Beast): …. let’s go ahead and think about a Perry-Obama race …. a war between the two Americas, each side represented by its respective cultural standard-bearer, each side’s foot soldiers absolutely smoldering with contempt for everything the other guy stands for and indeed the way he looks. We’ve never quite had that before, not in this way, so it’s worth thinking about.

… Republicans don’t want a posh, well-spoken Yankee who works at a place with a name like Bain Capital. In their deepest souls, they want a Texas governor. They want a shit-kicker. And here, we circle back to culture.

When my friends and I looked at George W. Bush in 1999, we shuddered like people who’d turned a street corner and stumbled across a dog’s corpse. We knew and had contempt for his beliefs, but it had nothing to do with them, really. It was just the way he presented himself. That puffed-out chest. That self-satisfied smirk. All that Jesus talk – even in the event that it was sincere, which we never quite bought, it was to a liberal deeply inappropriate to haul it into the public square like that. He represented Southern country clubs and Dodge Durangos and Browning bolt-actions and homes with no books in them …. Liberals just couldn’t stand the sight of the guy. And that was before he ruined the country.

I understand that conservatives feel similarly about Obama. They look at him and see wine-and-cheese parties where people have jazz playing in the background and where talk turns to the merits and demerits of Jonathan Franzen, who drive Priuses (or is it Prii?) and buy espresso machines and live in homes with far too many books in them. And worse than that: for much of Red America, Dr. Frankenstein himself could not have stitched together a more perfect Other: urban, urbane, sophisticated, intellectual. “Black,” of course, may no longer be a deal breaker in this day and age, but it doesn’t help. Many conservatives clearly can’t stand the sight of him.

Perry, on this scale, is chillingly Bush-like. I saw a clip the other day of him saluting … he looked exactly like Bush. The chest pumped up with self-regard. The overly aggressive way he thrust his saluting hand out from his forehead. He even, I swear, was smirking. I shuddered all over again.

During an Obama-Perry contest, millions of Americans on both sides would be shuddering constantly for four months. We’ve never had quite this kind of showdown culturally … I don’t relish this. We’re divided enough, thanks. To invoke one of Bush’s most degrading moments of smirky chest-puffery, I say don’t bring it on.

Full article here

13
Aug
11

unelectable

Andrew Romano (Daily Beast): …. disaffected conservatives think they’ve found their man. His name? Rick Perry …. The only problem? Perry has almost no chance – unlike, say, Romney, Pawlenty, or even Jon Huntsman – of beating Barack Obama in the general election.

This isn’t because he “sounds too much like” George W. Bush, as almost every pundit in Washington has been repeating, ad nauseum, since Perry first hinted in May that he might run. And it’s not because he’s “too religious”, either.

The real reason Perry will find it nearly impossible to win a general election is, believe it or not, substance. He holds three positions that vast majorities of the American public, Republicans included, will simply refuse to stomach – that America would be better off without the federal programs known as Social Security and Medicare, and that the government should do nothing (zero, zilch, nada) to counteract an economic crash.

…. I spent the better part of an hour talking to Perry about his political philosophy and policy prescriptions back in the fall….

In the interview, Perry hints that he would do more to limit the power of the federal government than any president since Calvin Coolidge. His argument is basically that we should dismantle most of the last 75 years of national policy and relinquish even Washington’s least controversial responsibilities to the states.

Perry believes, for example, that the national Social Security system, which he calls a “failure” that “we have been forced to accept for more than 70 years now,” should be scrapped and that each state should be allowed to create, or not create, its own pension system. “I would suggest a legitimate conversation about let[ting] the states keep their money and implement the programs,” he says.

Perry also includes Medicare in his list of programs “the states could substantially better operate,” suggesting that each governor should be “given the freedom from the federal government to come up with his own innovative ways [of] working with his legislature to deliver his own health-care innovations to his citizens.”

And Perry thinks TARP was a total mistake – along with all subsequent efforts to backstop or stimulate the economy. Instead, he prefers an entirely laissez-faire approach to job-destroying financial crises. “I think you allow the market to work its way through it,” he says. “I don’t understand why the TARP bill exists. Let the processes find their way.”

No Social Security. No federal health-care program for seniors. And no Beltway involvement – at all – during a crash or recession. These views will undoubtedly endear Perry to the Tea Party faithful. But they would alienate nearly every other voter in the country …. Somewhere, Obama’s aides are already dreaming up the attack ads.

Full article here

****

Meet Rick Perry (Texas Democrats)

Thanks Linda

13
Aug
11

iprez

President Obama leaves the Oval Office of the White House, Aug. 13, on his way to play golf at Andrews Air Force Base

13
Aug
11

weekly address




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