Kudos and Catcalls: November 2010

As a means of reviewing current events, I present some stimulating recent developments.  There is a lot of reading involved, but I know you will do your homework.  My overall theme today is the elective process versus governing.  Our country thrives on the excitement, the opportunity for inflammatory rhetoric, the obscene fundraising and the general circus of running our elections.  Once elected, however, our pols dilly-dally, as we are faced with obstruction after obstruction, fulfilling only one goal: the next, often continuous election cycle.

As a prologue to the numerous messes in which America finds herself, I guess it is rather urgent that Jim Morrison of The Doors receive a pardon for his past sins, despite the fact that Morrison has been dead as a door nail for decades.  How relevant, meaningful  and world-altering this action is, proposed by outgoing Florida governor Charlie Christ.  NOT.  Christ, whose party flip-flopping was the demise of his most recent run, still cannot just leave office with a shred of dignity intact.  No, no.  He must wring out every ounce of political capital and media sensationalism during his last days in public service.  As if real issues of important substance were not already on the table, Christ needed to manufacture one last publicity-grabbing event.  Catcalls to Christ and his wastefulness.

Children of public figures, as a rule, should not be fair game in the media.  Yet, when these children voluntarily put themselves in the arena of media attention, backed by the their parents who will use even their own offspring for their own public ambitions, all is fair.  So we have the savvy Willow Palin conducting her own political dialogue on Facebook.  She offers such perceptive, high-class insight into our world.  Could her tirades be construed as typical teenage venting?  Sure.  But additionally, she clearly is imprinting her mother’s mouthy, trashy, dumb, divisive behavior.  Yet another Palin who makes me cringe as she is just about to open up her mouth.  I offer my sincere catcalls to Willow Palin for following in her mother’s footsteps and a hearty censure to Sarah for being such a terrible parent and role model.

And speaking of role models, here is an honest take on the Mama Grizzly persona.  This is just another example of the accoutrements of power actually having precedence over the real job of getting things done.  Make no mistake about it: individual differences make no difference as to whether a politico is effective.  There are just as many crazy, extremist female politicians as there are male political hedonists, e.g. Palin, Angle and McDonnell.  There are just as many political crooks who are members of minority groups as there are WASP thieves, e.g. Rangel.  Gender and race have no bearing on upstanding, acceptable and legal behavior.  Catcalls to all of those political newbies and old-timers who thought they had “arrived” at the status of acceptability by falling prey to the same corruption exhibited by their colleagues.

My final entry in the catcall column relates to the sacrifice of governing for the perennial attainment of elective office.  As we stand now, we have six weeks to push through legislation that is meaningful, i.e. the repeal of DADT, the repeal (or at least, the re-vamping) of the Bush tax cuts, immigration reform and even some environmental fixes.  Will Congress act, or just continue to use the issues as a stepping stone to their public image and their next election?  Here is an informative article by Michael Moore on some considerations for legislation during the last weeks of 2011.  Will the GOP obstruct once again, drooling at the thought of their majority come January?  Will the Democrats muster some backbone and enact an agenda before their majority runs out?  Doubtful on both sides.  The needs of the people are the farthest things from their minds.  These elected officials do not know how to govern or answer to their constituents who voted for them.  The only game they participate in is saving their necks for their next election.  Catcalls to these lawmakers who in reality, enact few pertinent items of legislation on the major issues.  Ya’ know —- like pardoning Jim Morrison.  Truly a major, historic piece of legislation, no?

On to the kudos earned in recent events.  Let me begin by turning to the music field once again.  Bruce Springsteen has released a new album, “The Promise”, derived from earlier works but nevertheless the recipient of much acclaim.  One of my favorite truths is “She ain’t a beauty but hey, she’s all right”.  Here is commentary from Andrew Sullivan and other bloggers on the timelessness of Springsteen’s latest endeavor.  Kudos to Bruce for being an honest artist, true to himself and the words he has penned over the decades.

Sometimes it is difficult to offer kudos to my commonwealth of Virginia.  It is such a politically schizophrenic state, perennially purple.  In 2008, Virginia went decisively Democratic, yet in the following election races, she took a turn for the GOP.  I guess everything is subject to flux.  Here is a new poll that shows there is still hope for my Virginia.  Can this survey be indicative of a state bordering on the more progressive political side, or is it an artifact of the organization conducting the polling?  Is Virginia really as conservative as previous studies have shown or is she moving over to a more liberal stance?  Who knows.  At any rate, I hold out hope for my state and if Virginia has the guts to move forward and demand real legislation and not just showmanship for re-election, I offer her kudos.

Finally, since this country is more interested in elections rather than governing, here is the latest political news, fresh off the presses: Michael Bloomberg is contemplating a run for the Presidency with running mate Joe Scarborough.  I truly do not know if this development deserves kudos or catcalls, so I will err on the side of optimism and offer kudos.  New blood could be good blood.  I wonder if Bloomberg will flip-flop party affiliation again.  I wonder if Scarborough had to seek permission from the head of MSNBC to even contemplate this move.  I wonder if Bloomberg and Scarborough will spend time, effort and focus on policies they may embrace that would actually help Americans, or if their all of their attention will be concentrated on their own elective ambitions.

Dearie me.  Same old, same old.  But hope springs eternal.  Jim Morrison might get a reprieve and in the end, although America aint a beauty, hey, she’s all right.

POSTSCRIPT:

Sorry for this late addition.  My highest kudos goes to Maureen Dowd for her column today, as it echoes similar thoughts on Bush/Cheney in my posts “Bush/Cheney: Duck, Duck, Duck, Goose” and “Bush’s Laziness Redux: Criminal Intent”.  It is a fantastic article, i.e. concise, simple and reeking of the hurtful truth.  By the way, is the truth so damn obvious or are MoDo and Yo Mama keen observers of the way things are?  Or the way they used to be.  Or the way they still could be.  Or the way we were.

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