Thursday, December 29, 2011

Assessing the Presidential Field

Ron Paul:  Says he is a libertarian and the defender of freedom.  Yet the man who would legalize drugs opposes abortion.  So the crack pipe is the symbol of freedom but the uterus is government property.  Mr. Paul espouses a U.S.  Global disengagement when the world is hyper connected.  If isolationism sank the USSR 20 years ago, what would happen to the U.S. today?  Finally, Dr. Paul believes in delegating federal power to the states.  With state fiscal situation direr than the federal situation, delegating responsibility to the states will be the quickest way to kill any hope of education, welfare, and healthcare reform.  Paul is the perfect candidate for 1781 to promote the Articles of Confederation; he is the most out of touch in 2012.
Rick Perry: If it were not for Mitt Romney, Rick Perry would be the poster boy for flip flopping.  The man has moved all over the map on immigration reform depending on the various reactions of debate attendees and his poll numbers.  This week alone he has changed his abortion position twice to try to out-conservative the conservative standard bearers Santorum and Bachmann.  Never has one man squandered so much going for him: jobs record in Texas, two term governor, no moral baggage, an understanding of immigration, and big funding in an attempt to become President.
Newt Gingrich: The man was briefly at the head of the pack due to the anti-Romney movement not buying into the Ron Paul Libertarian views and not believing Perry, Bachmann, or Santorum could win a general election.  With respect to ideas, Gingrich has some beauties: taking over the judicial branch by subpoenaing judges whose judgments he disagreed with, appointing John Bolton Secretary of State, space based laser systems (atmospheric Maginot line), and establishing a 2nd class of citizens comprised of long term undocumented church going workers.  For a man as prolific at writing, Newt is a lazy candidate; the man couldn’t even get on his home state ballot.
Michele Bachmann/Rick Santorum: The nuttiest of the right wing nut jobs; anti-gay, anti-abortion, anti-education hypocrites.  Santorum served the people of Pennsylvania when he voted for the budget busting spending spree during the Bush years and yet still calls himself a conservative.  Bachmann has singlehandedly ruined the reputation of the House Intelligence Committee.  The woman claims to be a constitutionalist and yet has no idea what the document stands for, let alone anything about our nation’s history.  These people are fundamentalists and fundamentally dangerous.
Jon Huntsman: The darling of the professional left because he is educated and compared to his competition, he is socially liberal because he acknowledges climate change.  Fact is, Mr. Huntsman is socially and fiscally conservative and his fiscal plan is more tax cuts and less regulation.  We tried that before and what we ended up with is S&L failures, Long Term Capital Management meltdown, and the Great recession of 2008.  Governing Utah is not the same as governing the U.S.
Mitt Romney: I believe Mitt is a decent man and if my business was looking to maximize shareholder value n the short term without any consideration of employees I would hire him.  That does not make him a good Presidential candidate.  He is a politician who has shifted to the right to appeal to the right tilting see-saw that is the GOP.  What we he do as President?  Who knows?  Part of me thinks he could be socially progressive like his time as governor of Massachusetts, but part of me also worries he is too tight with the pro-business get rich quick schemers.  I can’t take that chance.
So I am back to President Obama.  Is he perfect?  Far from it.  He lacks the emotional intelligence found in great leaders (Bill Clinton oozed the stuff), as does Romney, and he is less transformational than I hoped.  Could he have done more to help the economy?  Perhaps.  But his window to make the necessary changes was limited to the first two years before the GOP made its mid-term gains.  He chose to come up with a middle of the road stimulus to appeal to Republicans that got him nowhere and he expended his personal capital on Healthcare reform.  At the end of the day the political formula would have been to go big on the stimulus and table Healthcare reform.  But he didn’t and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not perfect, but he did get it enacted when all others have failed.  At the end of the day, assuming it survives judicial review, the ACA will be hailed as major progressive success like the Social Security Act and Civil Rights Act.  When it’s all said and done, he is still the candidate I will back.

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