If your name is Herman or Gloria Cain, a simple "No" will suffice. I have serious mixed emotions about the Herman Cain Affair. I say that with no pun intended. Had my intent been otherwise, I would have indicated mixed emotions about the whole host of Herman Cain "Affairs". And, I would clearly have indicated that I was speaking, "tongue in cheek"...my own tongue AND cheek, of course.
I open the very first blog entry of this the 2012 presidential primary season with a commentary that is in part designed to more than insightfully illustrate the absurd, while very hopefully and simultaneously touching on topics which have the capacity to impact the most serious aspects of the nation we inhabit and the world in which we must necessarily function and exist.
It is my purpose to educate, opine and comment, all the while seeking to inspire unity, weed out the blivets of "B.S." by exposing them for what they truly are, providing quantifiable and qualitative resources where necessary and/or appropriate...and inspiring readers to not simply criticize one Party or another, or the candidates who present themselves for scrutiny, unless their assertions or stated positions demonstrate themselves to be worthy of the kind of rant which made the 2008 version of Thoughts at 3AM the highest rated and most watched political blog on MySpace, and the cornerstone of the now defunct ProgressivePolitico.com.
Let the games begin.
Wow! It was just over four years ago when I started covering the 2008 race. Credit was still available whether you needed it or not. Alan Greenspan was still a genius. Dick Cheney hadn't shot any of his friends in the face...that we knew of, and Rupert Murdoch was repeatedly instructing the MySpace Editorial Staff to edit my submissions without asking my permission, or even telling me that something I had written contained just enough truth to be deemed offensive.
Now, the country has been through the collapse of the financial sector, loss of more jobs than anyone at the Department of Labor has been able to accurately (or truly independently) even count, the permanent departure of corporate entities or brands which were part of the "Mom & Apple Pie" America that had been intact for as far back as the oldest living American could remember or had experienced.
We've been through radical real property devaluations, record unemployment, home foreclosures at historic levels and an unrest within the forty-eight contiguous states which has not been witnessed since anti-war sentiments were openly expressed in the early 1970's.
We've seen extensions of the Patriot Act, the flooding of the economy with federal stimulus dollars, the extension of armed conflicts around the world, and the reasoned, rationale and logical fear that the further degradation of the world financial circumstance and the likelihood of additional U.S. military involvements in multiple theaters will bring even greater instability to the managed chaos which our leaders are called upon to somehow wrangle on a daily basis.
We have congressional super committees which are pretty mediocre, a health care plan that a majority voted for and even they hate, which won't actually go into effect fully until everyone who voted for or against it is either out of office or dead, but which has already increased insurance premiums by an average of nearly seventy percent, tax increases on autopilot, complete and total gridlock and almost as many people camping out in NYC and elsewhere, as it took to overthrow six Middle Eastern governments.
Virtually everyone who has put pen to paper or fingertip to composite plastic to address the "how, why or when" associated with where we find ourselves today would point to a person or persons who are "all good," subsequently identify the "all bad" or "spawn of Satan crowd," seek to establish the endpoint to their personal "good old days," and then proclaim, as if handed to them on stone tablets, that you really can go home again...but that there is one and only one route. All other roads, quite naturally lead to "Hell-in-a-Handbasket," or Topeka, Kansas.
Excuse the somewhat random blazing of my personal Lewis & Clark Trail. Once we get to the Nuts & Dolts of our year-long discussion (pun intended), I pledge to you, on pain of a third colonoscopy, that you might even recommend that Bernie Sanders and Dick Shelby join Gary Sinise and me at one of Malibu's finer coffee brewing establishments, where together we can solve all the world's problems...once we figure out who's buying, and whether the expenditure is revenue neutral or a budget-buster from the word go.
Last little bit of history in this entry...
There are obvious differences between covering the 2008 campaign and the current 12 ring circus. In the last go-round, the Incumbent was a two term republican, and while there were a few horses in that race, the pattern was in place and in the end, most people who have lived through a few decades worth of republican primary battles figured out pretty early on who would end up carrying the flag.
On the democratic side...quite a different story. First of all, HIllary was in the race. She was "in it to win it." It didn't matter that she was the single most polarizing democratic personality since, oh...I don't know...her husband. But...Hilary had a few things going for her, like...more money than you could send to Iraq in two dozen tractor trailers. (We never actually found those trailers that went missing in Iraq. Did we...Mrs. Clinton.)
A political blogger never forgets the day he got his first death threat. From a democratic campaign, no less.
Add to Hillary, the first viable black candidate that no one thought was really viable at all until it was too late...the thought to be anointed John Edwards, Joe Biden, Dennis Kucinich, some crazy guy from Iowa who had been a senator but was out of politics since 1826, and the proverbial "cast of thousands" who either couldn't get into the debates, couldn't get a question if they did get invited, or was named "Richardson" and shamed out of the race, "a la" Herman Cane. Well, not "exactly" but...
On the republican side...you had Senator "Bo" and Governor "Ring"...and until Senator Insane realized that he couldn't excite a pole dancer with a trunk load of Jimmy Chu's...and felt compelled to take on a pole dancer and actually buy her a trunk load of Jimmy Chu's...republican presidential politics in 2008 was about as rib-ticklin' as watching Carrot Top mime his way out of a commercial front-loading washing machine during the spin cycle. Let me know if I should have used a better analogy. For some reason, no matter how many times I proofread this, the thought of Scott going round and round..and the, well...it was funny to me anyway.
I realize the world does NOT have all day to spend on memory lane, especially since there is so much happening right now...this time on the republican side. Herman was in. Then he was out. Then he was in. Ginger White couldn't believe her itty-bitty disclosure cost him both his chance at greatness AND the opportunity to sell more of his book than I sold of my last effort. After all, she was was sure he was Too Big To Fail. What is a Newt..really? Does Rick Santorum actually believe anything he says? More importantly, what the hell does he actually say? Will Ron Paul ever NOT suffer from a crisis of relevance? Which Mitt will show up to any given debate? How many jobs did Bain Capital actually create...outside of Mumbai? Who is "Walter"? Why won't the RNC allow Gary Johnson to play in the sandbox? And, who are the seriously fringe candidates that you never hear about...other than Governor Huntsman?
The best way to start the process will be to shed my previously tie-dye progressive frock, and morph into..."Middle of the Road Man"! Able to provide clear, concise, and humorous but completely true accounts of who the players are, how each plays "their game," and what we all might be able to anticipate should any of these extremely competent, grand bastions of all things worldly and leader, manage to bring down Fred G. Sanford's burgeoning empire.
MOST IMPORTANTLY...please take note, especially if you are a compensated attack dog employed by any campaign, interest group, formal association dedicated to the practice of either thuggery OR especially buggery...
SOME PORTIONS OF EACH AND EVERY POSTING WILL...I repeat WILL USE HUMOR, HYPERBOLE FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXAMPLE, VARIOUS OVER, UNDER AND OTHER RELEVANT TONES WHICH MIGHT NOT BE EMPLOYED BY OTHER BLOGGERS COVERING THIS OR ANY OTHER TOPIC, AND/OR WHICH THOSE WHO HAVE HAD THEIR SENSE OF HUMOR SURGICALLY REMOVED AT BIRTH...just might not appreciate.
We regret any inconvenience that may be caused by having the unmitigated gaul to even suggest that there just might be a extra fine line between contemporary American political dysfunction...and ah...dysfunction.