Well, I haven’t been blogging about ANYTHING in the last year, so I guess it’s not surprising that I haven’t blogged about politics. But when I did start posting again it was all Mommy blogging. Do you know why?
Because politics are F***ING DEPRESSING, that’s why.
When I got back into blogging I spent some time reading the hits from my archive. You know, click on a post, read it, then click on the “related posts” linked at the bottom. It’s a great way to kill time while you’ve got an infant attached to your milk-makers :)
While some of my political posts still make for good reading, I got more enjoyment out of the personal recollections I’d captured for posterity. There are so many political bloggers, most of whom are smarter than me / work harder than me / have more time than me, etc. I don’t think I, or the world, is missing much if I don’t add my two cents. On the other hand, if no one writes about the digestive gymnastics of Little Gronk, no one will remember them a few weeks hence.
So that’s the personal aspect.
On the wider front . . . I’ve just gotten so damn cynical and disillusioned when it comes to politics. I still follow the news – Ace of Spades is my first and last read of the day – and every time I think things can’t sink lower . . . they do.
No politician of any stripe is an angel. Republicans have clearly earned and continue to deserve their moniker of The Stupid Party. But the crap that the White House pulls on a weekly basis boggles my mind. Here’s a quick recap from Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt email yesterday (the original includes hyperlinks, but they didn’t paste and I’m just too damn lazy to do it manually):
Similarly, I loved Pete Wehner’s post “New Obama Narrative: Epic Incompetence,” but I feel like it needed a bit of expansion. Because it’s not merely the competence that never arrived after all the hype of 2007 and 2008, but the entire gamut:
Bipartisanship: Obama doesn’t really respect anyone who disagrees with him; he prefers to adopt an “only adult in the room” pose, demagogue issues, and attack straw men. He’ll talk about the need for a “new tone” and then stand by as his allies attack opponents as “not one of us”, accuse them of committing felonies without evidence, and even of causing cancer. Far from the post-partisan healer he was sold as in 2007-2008, he’s a ruthless demagogue who urges his followers to “get in their face” and “punish our enemies.” “Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother.”
Honesty and willingness to acknowledge inconvenient truths: He thinks nothing of saying something that isn’t true if it helps him at the political moment — “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan.” When the promise is broken, it’s everyone else’s fault but his .
Engagement with the world: The president is functionally an isolationist and not that interested in the world beyond our borders. Russia’s aggression doesn’t trouble him enough to move beyond routine sanctions. Whether it’s the territorial saber-rattling of China and Japan, the Iranian nuclear program, the Syrian Civil War, increasing violence in Iraq, the increasingly routine provocations of the North Koreans, or the prospect of leaving a bloody, Taliban-re-conquered mess in Afghanistan. . . it’s clear from his weak-tea proposals, sporadic public comments, tone, and body language that the president wishes it all would just go away.
Consistent Concern: He doesn’t give a rat’s tush about half the things he criticized in the Bush administration: the increasing national debt, a dysfunctional VA, domestic surveillance, concerns about Americans’ privacy, meeting with lobbyists in the White House, appointing lobbyists to high-level White House staff positions, rewarding big-time donors with ambassadorial appointments. . .
A Focus on What Matters Most: His own staffers have described him as “impatient and disengaged” in key meetings, and the intelligence community has wondered how closely he reads his briefings. With increasing frequency, he says he learns about problems within his own administration from media reports. (See the NRCC’s new “Obama Excuses” page.) He really enjoys the good life of the presidency and doesn’t see any reason why he should limit public expenditures on himself and his family during hard economic times. He recently laughed, “That’s the good thing about being president, I can do whatever I want.”
Accountability: Obama is perfectly fine with letting his subordinates investigate themselves and assess their own failures — the Justice Department’s investigation of itself in “Fast and Furious”, the U.S. State Department’s review of its own actions before, during and after the Benghazi attacks; he picks his own people to examine his own NSA policies on domestic surveillance, and now Eric Shinseki will get to the bottom of any wrongdoing at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He rarely if ever fires staffers; the rare cases, like General Stanley McChrystal or Jofi Joseph, involve cases where an underling criticized him. Even the most consequentially incompetent, like Kathleen Sebelius, are given a soft landing months after they’ve made crucial errors to avoid administration embarrassment.
Respect for the Constitution: He was sold to us as a Constitutional law professor; in office, Obama enacted policies that violated almost every amendment in the Bill of Rights.
I think everyone who cares or thinks seriously about politics, world events, government or the like should be in favor of Republican presidents. Not because they will be superior in any way to Democratic presidents, but solely because Republican presidents are pressured and held accountable by the press while Democratic presidents just aren’t.
Sorry to end the week on a bummer note, but I’ve been meaning to mention this. To make it up to you, here’s a picture of Bubber without his cervical vertebrae: