Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

“We just live in it . . .”

February 24, 2012

The assertion that President Obama may have botched his chance for reelection in November because he didn’t start a war during the week of February 19 to 25 may sound absurd as that week comes to an end, but how will the President’s spin specialists respond if, right before the 2012 Presidential Election is held, the Republican candidate tells the voters that it is too late to stop Iran from developing an atomic weapon and that the last chance to prevent that development came during the last full week in February?

Usually avoiding American involvement in a new war is portrayed as a wise course of action, but with the Republicans this year the standard rules of political conduct seem to be in disarray, if not total chaos, and that leaves open the chance that the candidate who eventually wins the Republican Party’s nomination and who will attempt to limit President Obama to one term in office may not hesitate to point back at the last full week in February of 2012 and say that was when President Obama had the last chance available to use a surgical military strike to put a halt to the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

During the week of February 19 to 25, pundits and or journalists suggested thatIranmight want to use a preemptive strike to protect their own country.  The news media in theUSAran a story suggesting thatIranhad individuals inside theUSAdoing scouting reports for possible terrorist activity. 

If a President has solid intelligence asserting that another country is going to launch a preemptive strike against theUSA, doesn’t that mean that the President should launch a preemptive strike against them to defendAmericafrom a new Pearl Harbor-type attack?

Some altruistic personalities were suggesting that the week would have been a good time to launch humanitarian air strikes againstSyriato protect their citizens in much the same way as the war for humanitarian reasons helped diminish the carnage inLibyalast year.

Now that the principle of war for humanitarian reason has been established (by President Obama) can any Democrat rationally defend a choice to skip waging a new war for humanitarian reasons? 

The Republicans love to frame the issues and debates for the Presidential elections and so if they make the assertion that a surgical strike against Iran should have been launched this past week, then the Presidential campaign might be based on the idea that the winner should be the one who can most duplicate the war-like attitude of George W. Bush.

Wouldn’t it be über-ironic if George W. Bush’s brother used that bit of inverted logic to win the Presidency in November of this year?

If President Obama doesn’t attack some country soon, his fall reelection campaign might sound like a flashback toSan Franciscoin the Sixties.  “Make Love, not War” and all that.

It seems that Occupy San Francisco has faded into history.  The Republicans love to treat a problem by removing the symptoms.  Where have all the Occupy Protesters gone?

Page one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wednesday, February 22, 2012 edition, reported “Peter Cukor, 67, was killed at his home inBerkeleyminutes after reporting a trespasser.  Police were responding only to emergency calls at the time.”  Since the Berkeley Police Department was busy monitoring an Occupy Berkeley Protest, critics immediately demanded a complete investigation into the BPD response to the citizen’s call on the non-emergency line.

OccupyCalhas been moving a protest encampment around to different locations on theBerkeleycampus.

OccupyOakland, Occupy San Francisco, and Occupy Berkeley encampments have been dispersed.  The news media seems to have become distracted away from any questions about where the Occupy protesters have relocated. 

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, the San Francisco Organizing Project (SFOP) had members of the local clergy present a letter to a representative of Wells Fargo Bank asking their bank to put a halt to foreclosure proceedings in the state of California until a study could determine if the paperwork had been done carefully and legally. 

Would the clergy’s protest have received more news media coverage if any of the Occupy groups had provided additional protesters?  There were no San Francisco Police Department officers in riot gear monitoring the possibility that the clergy protest might get out of hand and necessitate numerous arrests.

The Occupy San Francisco protesters have disappeared and news coverage of the possibility that the city will host theAmerica’s Cup yacht races has become the hot controversy for local political observers.

To some cynical observers, it may seem that the politicians inSan Franciscoare giving away too many concessions to various parties.  To others, theAmerica’s Cup races promises to bring additional tourist revenue to the area.

If some averageSan Franciscocitizens were to suddenly have the chance to do the tourist routine inFremantle,Western Australia, which would they rather see:  Bon Scott’s statue or the Museum with a yacht that won theAmerica’s Cup?

Recently the World’s Laziest Journalist noticed what seemed to be a T-shirt with a typo.  It read:  “Beat me up, Scotty!”  Then we realized that was aSan Francisco(Republican?) thing.

This week, folks in fog city learned that tickets would soon go on sale for a local venue for “<a href =http://shatnersworld.com/>Shatner’s World:  We just live in it</a>.”  Wasn’t that predicted ages ago by the Mayan calendar?

Former area resident (and columnist) Hunter S. Thompson has been quoted as saying:  “I wouldn’t recommend alcohol and drugs to anyone.  But they have always worked for me.”

Now the disk jockey will play The Iron Butterfly song “Beyond the Milky Way,” the Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil,” and Scott McKenzie’s “What’s the Difference?”   We have to go see if flower power is still happenin’.   Have a Haight & Ashbury type week.

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USA on the road to political perdition?

June 30, 2011

Here are the elements, which would indicate that all the ingredients for America’s worst political nightmare, are now simultaneously, in play:

1.  Congress has twice in recent weeks gone on record saying that President Obama exceeded his authority and committed a violation of the War Powers Act.

2.  President Obama has already delivered evidence that his much vaunted political negotiation skills are overvalued and may be inconsequential at best.

3.  The Republicans would not hesitate to use the threat of Impeachment proceedings as a bargaining chip in the budget crises negotiations.

The Republicans have delivered circumstantial evidence that they are all in accord regarding a reevaluation of values for the tax structure, Medicare, the Social Security Program, the President’s power to pick and choose America’s wars, the mission of the United States Supreme Court, and union busting (to name just a few).  Asking if they are unscrupulous enough to initiate political blackmail to further their agenda seems to be an unnecessary diversion into an irrelevant debating point.  Wouldn’t the harshest critics of the Republican Party concede that the disciples of Ayn S. Rand would cheerfully be willing to do anything to achieve their goals?

If President Obama is vulnerable to political blackmail in the form of Republican threats to immediately initiate Impeachment proceedings for violations of the War Powers Act, then his effectiveness as a President is crippled and rendered useless.

If the Congress has twice voted to endorse the idea that he exceeded his authority with his military actions against Libya (which they have) then, at any moment of the Republican leadership’s choosing, they can use the threat of  immediate impeachment proceedings as a bargaining chip during any closed door negotiating sessions for other issues (such as the debt ceiling).

When that threat was delivered, the President would then have an extremely difficult decision to make:  He could remove the Republican advantage by immediately resigning or he could put his selfish instincts for political survival ahead of his patriotic instincts and blithely ignore his own vulnerability to manipulation via extortion and blackmail threats and quietly give in.  Using his past negotiating record as the basis for any “tells,” how well do you think he would be able to stand up against any such hypothetical coercion? 

At any moment, the debt limit negotiations may turn into a variation of the “Let’s Play Master and Slave” game. 

If President Obama chooses to ignore the implications of complete ineffectiveness for his party (and the country); then the Democrats will have a very difficult choice to make.  They can either make the impeachment threat themselves “Resign tonight or we will make the move to start impeachment proceedings in the morning” or they can let Obama undertake a kamikaze reelection campaign which will reek of self-destructive hubris. 

If the Republicans want to impeach President Obama and have the grounds to do so available today, why would they hold off on making their dream come true?  The Sadistic appeal of getting every possible negotiation concession first and then impeaching him should be rather obvious. 

An ineffective negotiator who wishes to sell his meager accomplishments as his credentials for reelection might remind some cynical critics of the ridiculous spectacle of an extremely old woman walking down the street in a scanty showgirl’s costume. 

The Democratic Party option of using political blackmail to force one of their own to resign from the Presidency may be repugnant but it would give them a slim chance of starting an immediate reorganization effort and a valiant effort to hold onto the Presidency for their Party. 

If Obama resigns or is impeached out of office, Joseph Biden would have the monumental challenge of simultaneously contending with the challenges of an administration transition, budget decisions for this and the following year, and (if he chooses) a reelection campaign with about a year until the 2012 Elections would be held.

If Obama does not resign immediately, then the Republicans could use the extortion ploy to gain every possible concession from Obama, then they could cripple his reelection bid with a delayed Impeachment Proceedings for a violation of the War Powers Act. 

Early in President Obama’s term in office, columnist Ted Rall called for Obama to resign.  Rall may have been a tad premature, but as time goes on it is becoming clearer and clearer to partisan pundits that Rall may have been exceedingly accurate in his assessment.

The conservative partisan pundits will delight in a prolonged period of tormenting the President and his supporters.  It would be variation of the concept of a Sadist’sValhalla.

The progressive pundits will be prone to encouraging a rapid transition and reinvigorating the efforts to produce a larger voter turnout in the fall of 2012.

Columnists who perceive that their mission is to produce a constant stream of disapproval of the <I>status quo</I> will have an abundance of available topics in the next few weeks, no matter what happens.  

Have any of the nation’s elite political pundits done a critical evaluation of this year’s football season from the point of view that it might be a part of a coordinated Republican union busting agenda? 

Will any of the partisan progressive pundits ask if the air strikes againstLibyaare being conducted by the Condor Legion?

Will any Democratic Party toady propagandist say when the “not days or weeks” air campaign againstLibyabecomes an event of longer duration than the Battle of Britain? 

Is news inAmericaskewed?  How many updates have you seen or heard about the meltdowns inJapan? 

Portrayals of the Palin vs. Bachman rivalry as a cat fight between harpies may have great entertainment value, but it also carries the subliminal message that the Republican Party has women (plural) who are qualified to seek the nomination and that, for the men in the liberal media, means it is business as usual to ridicule the women.  The implication is that the Republicans are more prone to taking women seriously and they expect women voters to vote accordingly.

Is having a negotiator in the budget talks who has been compromised, better than having no negotiator at all?  To some cynical columnists President Obama’s chances of using negotiations to avoid an impending disaster, based on his past negotiating track record, are nil and none.

One more thing before we do the closing quote:  The commentators are all noticing the strange Republican behavior.  Could their seemingly irrational, arrogant, reckless, and belligerent attitude be explained (by those pesky conspiracy theory nuts) by the idea that they are relying on the electronic voting machines to protect them from any possibility November 2012 Election revenge that any disgruntled voters might wish to inflict on them?

In the book “The American Home Front 1941 – 1942” (Grove Press paperback copyright 2006 on page 3), Alistair Cooke wrote:  “It has become the habit of historical narrative in our day to assume that history is an inveterate believer in dramatic irony and throws out to sensitive people, and to journalists with a flair for the dramatic, hints and early symptoms of impending glory or disaster.”   

Now the disk jockey will play “Tom Dooley,” “Marie Leveau” and “I surrender, dear.”  We have to go watch a fireworks display.  Have an “If not now, when?” type week.