"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Americans Long for Political Campaigns of the Past Without Super PACs!

This article by Gwen Ifill describes what I am feeling about this election to a tea along with 2008 for me:
It is all very dramatic. But when I set aside these books and turned to my day job in recent weeks, this is what I saw: 
• Senate aspirants who denounce bipartisanship.
• Campaign advertising that cast candidates in the worst, most sinister light.
• Endless debates about cultural hot buttons that most voters say don't matter to them.
• Fifty million dollars in super PAC spending that will pollute swing state airwaves for 26 more weeks. 
Perhaps I am mistaken. Perhaps it is the veil of history that makes the challenges that confronted Herbert Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Richard Nixon seem so much more consequential than what we are seeing now. 
The four items that bother her are the same ones that bother a lot of us.  What happened to the days in the Senate when Senators fought like cats and dogs on the floor to get their way and then went out to dinner together.  I wasn't that long ago -- happened during the Reagan years all the time.  The Democrat leaders of the Senate under Reagan and then under Bush 41, I admired -- Sam Nunn of Armed Services and David Boren of Foreign Affairs were what leaders should be about.  It wasn't about scoring points for their side and trashing the other -- it was about doing what was right for the Country.

After seeing former Senator Boren now President of the University of Oklahoma in action here in Norman, I am reminded even more that his expertise on foreign policy was the best.  When he came to OU, he started teaching a class in political science which everyone I have ever heard that took his class has nothing but praise for the man and how he conducts the class.  He welcomes to campus Democrats, Republicans, Independents, leaders from foreign countries and people in the news.  What he has done at OU is nothing short of remarkable with all the money he has raised for the university and how he has truly changed OU into an academic and research university in addition to athletics in his tenure.  The amount of money he has raised is staggering -- hit $1 billion dollars several years ago and is on his way to $2 billion.  This is his dream job but when you see what he has done for OU, you wonder how we got someone like Bill Clinton with no credentials to speak of instead of a David Boren or Sam Nunn won the Presidency.

What happened to bi-partisanship and compromise to do what is best for America?  It seems they would rather trash each other on both sides, launch numerous investigations that go on for months on end, and make the other side look inept and out of touch even if it is not true.  You put both sides in a sack and shake it up and they come out together.  They don't deserve our support for the way they have been acting like spoiled children that didn't get their way.

The 1980 race was hard fought in the primary with Ronald Reagan winning the nomination and going on to win the general election with his positive ideas that America's best years were ahead.  He knew there would be road bumps, but he reached out his hand to work with the Democrat controlled Congress to do what was best for all of America not just a select few.  He ended the Cold War which was amazing as most of us had lived with it our whole lives.  He believed in negotiation and making sure that America came out of top.  The best thing was that he was likable by both sides even if the other side didn't agree with him.  A true statesman who came not from a wealthy background but from a small town in Illinois who became a sports broadcaster on the radio, an actor, Governor of California, and then President.  Reagan was the American Dream.

It says a lot when you discover that Mitt Romney NEVER liked Reagan and his agenda since he became an independent in 1976 and stayed that way except to be a Democrat to vote for Tsongas until 1994 when he took the opportunity to become a Republican when he and his wife knew no Republicans in MA in order to avoid a primary with Ted Kennedy and go straight to the general election.  Thought our choices in 2008 were not the best but at least I liked McCain as a cost cutter in the Senate.  This time it has gotten worse on the Republican side with a candidate out of touch with the Republican base.  The Republican Party has demonized Obama just like the Democrats demonized Bush to the stage not believing much of what Democrats or Republicans say.

I will take the Presidential races of the past any day over what we have this year!
History's Romance: Why Politics Past Beats Politics Present
Gwen Ifill
Updated: May 21, 2012 | 5:46 p.m.
May 21, 2012 | 5:45 p.m. 
Is it just my imagination, or have politics and politicians grown smaller?
I've been flirting with this conclusion after diving into two enjoyable presidential history books by night while covering 2012 politics by day. The books, Robert Caro's The Passage of Power and The President's Club by Michael Duffy and Nancy Gibbs, take us inside the West Wing in a way that screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s fictional White House never could.
Caro, in the fourth of what is scheduled to be a five-volume retelling of the operatic life and times of Lyndon B. Johnson, guides us through assassinations, missile crises, and doomed wars--all while peeling back the layers on one of America's most complicated presidents.
Duffy and Gibbs spread their story over decades, providing us with a rare look into the tiny club of men who know what it's like to hold nuclear codes and wear the Air Force One flight jacket. 
Each book challenges our assumptions of what it takes to be president. These men are statesmen, but they are also--without a doubt--skilled and consummate political operators.
Johnson, as Caro tells it, was never more depressed than when he was a power-deprived vice president, never more insecure than when he was a powerful president on the brink of war. 
And Gibbs and Duffy describe how presidential membership has its unique privileges. Every president from Hoover to Obama recognized that it would be essential to rely on the only other men who had occupied the Oval Office, even if they distrusted the politics or personality of those predecessors. 
Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman’s bad blood faded only in the wake of the Kennedy assassination, when the men and their wives met for a drink at Washington’s Blair House after the somber funeral. 
In the end, the presidency is the loneliest and craziest job on earth, and once the oath is taken, it is sealed in quiet return visits, public photo-ops, and anguished phone calls. 
I'm fairly sure that reporters of the time did not, for example, appreciate the full scope of the enmity between Johnson and Robert Kennedy.
“You hate to use words as a historian like hatred,” Caro told me on the PBS NewsHour. “But hatred isn't too strong a word to describe the relationship between Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. They hated each other.” 
And even the reporters who covered the rise of a charismatic California actor could not have known the full extent of the dance he and a fellow Californian executed as they both clawed toward the presidency. “Nixon clearly did not think Reagan was in his league,” former Nixon aide Patrick Buchanan told Gibbs and Duffy. 
For history's sake, I await the books that tell me the real arguments under way now. I'm not sure I could bear it if it turns out this period of history really was about hockey moms, birther debates, and debt-ceiling standoffs. 
Over to you, historians.  Excerpt:  Read More at The National Journal

When historians write about this campaign, don't think it is going to make either side look good.  Believe Republicans will go down in history IMHO as having the nastiest primary for President ever where the sole purpose of the Romney campaign was to tear down the other Republican candidates in the 2012 race although he wasn't Mr. Nice in 2008 either -- he just got worse with the Super PAC money.  Now the supporters of other candidates are all supposed to come together to support the man.  That is not happening. Some of us are close to the word used to describe the relationship between LBJ and Robert Kennedy:

I'm fairly sure that reporters of the time did not, for example, appreciate the full scope of the enmity between Johnson and Robert Kennedy. 
“You hate to use words as a historian like hatred,” Caro told me on the PBS NewsHour. “But hatred isn't too strong a word to describe the relationship between Robert Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. They hated each other.”
Never have disliked a Republican candidate to the stage when he comes on TV, I flip channels.  Have done that for years with Democrats but now I am doing it with Romney because he is pretending to be someone he is not with all the flip flops trying to get conservatives to like him.  Why did so many people endorse Romney early in the Republican Party?  Makes no sense when they knew what he was like from 2008.  Is he help funding their campaigns with Super PAC money from places Crossroads by by Karl Rove.  This is another Rove campaign for those who haven't figured out he is running the Super PACs for Romney with monthly meetings and for the establishment to take out conservative candidates.

When they say money talks, they must have had Romney and his Super PACs in mind who are using wealth to try and buy the Presidency worse than George Soros and his buddies did for Obama.  The nastiness and arrogance of Romney and his campaign and what they have done to the Republican Party in order to make him the nominee has left a bad taste in a lot of our mouths from the primary and it is not improving.

I am not forgetting that Romney endorsed Governor Perry's opponent in the 2010 Governor's race at the request of Karl Rove and Bush 41 so for the RNC and others to expect Perry supporters to line up after the way Perry was treated in the primary, forget about it.  There was no class from the Romney side in the primary against Republicans and President Obama can expect the same or worse -- millions spent on trashing him by Romney and his Super PACs who Karl Rove coordinates.  Do voters want Karl Rove near the White House again?  No more then they want George Soros and others is my guess.

The 2012 Presidential election IMHO will go down in history as the election where money talked and a minority of Republicans voted for a flawed candidate who was pretending to be conservative and whose background as a vulture capitalist is not supposed to be discussed.  When he said he loved to 'fire people' believe he meant it.  He seems to have zero empathy for the poor and middle class as he doesn't believe they deserve or need college degrees.

Romney is a man that I will never support because I think he is Obama lite and am not alone in that analysis.  Money and negative ads have an adverse affect on me in all races from the White House to the local Court House.  Shame on the Romney and his campaign for their outrageous attacks during the primary in 2012 and shame on Obama and his campaign to Hillary in 2008 to win an election by using underhanded tactics.  Romney and Obama for the way they handled their contest primaries deserve each other but the American people don't deserve either one.  Win at any cost has gotten out of hand on both sides with all the money entering the race which make candidates look bought and paid for which is probably closer to the truth as why we have little 'common sense' left in DC.

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