Monday, May 07, 2012

Gentlemen, start your engines

So I see the campaign season has been declared officially opened. President Obama came out of the gate with some tough populist type talk and the punderati are appalled, appalled I tell you, that he's actually trying to win by pointing out stuff he's done. Like killing bin Laden. Because it's unseemly to boast or something like that. Which is not to be confused with our former President Codpiece strutting around in a flight suit under a Mission Accomplished banner when the mission was, you know, not really accomplished. I mean we're talking about a party that elevated a blowhard know nothing into a viable candidate for Congress on the basis of being Not a Plumber. So, not a problem.

Charlie Pierce, as always, has something interesting to say about it, though he's a bit pessimistic about Obama's chances.
The time to talk honestly and ferociously about the abject failure of the Avignon Presidency was in 2009. The time to demonstrate that failure by investigating the incredible panoply of crimes and blunders that were committed by the previous administration on almost every possible issue was shortly after he took office, when he still had at least theoretically congressional majorities and, in any case, could have, by executive order, released documents detailing at least some of what went on. The time to talk about the sheer sociopathic disregard for political norms illustrated by the new Republican majority elected to the House in 2010 was in 2009, when that disregard was on display at rallies, and in the disruption of town hall meetings, and when the manic energy that has forced the Republican party to abandon reason was at its highest levels. The time to talk — nay, holler — about the disinclination of the opposition to do the business of the people was every damn time they refused to do it. The time to do all of this effectively, alas, has passed.

There was too much conciliation, too much presumed good faith, a continuation of the haughty disdain for what raw, bloody partisan politics can achieve that we saw in the last campaign. There was too much reaching out, too much pre-emptive compromise, too much thumb-sucking about the "shellacking" in 2010, and not enough of grasping the American people by the shoulders and shaking them, saying, "Do you see what you've done? Allen Fking West?" ...
You know the drill, read the rest of it at the link. I think he's being too gloomy myself. He's right that it's coming too late and Obama should have been flogging the GOPers from the start and put some damn banksters in jail right away. But times have changed. The electorate's attention span has become shorter than a hyperactive two year old since the Carter years. They're not even really paying any attention yet. They care more about who's winning Dancing with the Stars. This election will be decided in the last three weeks or so and it damn sure won't be decided by issues. It's all about optics now.

All I know for sure is if the GOPers manage to bamboozle the public into making them King of the Hill again, I'm going to find religion and pray like hell that the Mayans are right. Annihilation will be a whole lot less painful than living with the results of that.

[More posts daily at the Detroit News.]
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