Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 98

On Politics
The purpose of Sarah Palin’s bus tour is to draw attention to her. After all, Sarah is all about Sarah. Long live the nincompoop! By the way, the media and their obsessive coverage of Palin’s bus tour is equally pathetic – and, unfortunately, a sign of our obsession with media-driven pop culture.

Rep. Anthony Weiner’s (D-NY) poorly handled the situation with reporters. I know he is a live wire, but the interview I saw was at the nincompoop level.

Another week goes by without a jobs bill from House. To quote Speaker Boehner (R-OH), “Where are the jobs?”

Economist Bill Reich writes this interesting perspective about the debt ceiling.

I enjoyed the Wall Street Journal column about the 2012 GOP contenders for the presidency

I learned more about John Huntsman (R-UT) by reading his WSJ op-ed.

To learn about Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), see John Avlon’s column.

If someone rationale emerges from the Republican primary, does that mean they must appease others in the party by selecting one of the goofballs as a running mate? Hey – that strategy worked well in 2008!

On the Potpourri
The situation around Ohio State football created a lot of buzz this week. QB Terrelle Pryor is out of control and should leave the university. These things are obvious about former coach Jim Tressell: he’s a good coach and a poor administration with questionable character. That given, he wisll coach again.

Thank you Shaq for your years in the spotlight and the HOF waits for your arrival.

This story about baseball manager Sparky Anderson tells us more about him as a person.

I appreciate this Bill Tammeus post about prayer and political correctness.

It’s a good day when grocery store has free frosted Lofthouse cookie. It’s a great day when you return to the store and get a second flavor.

Earlier this week, another Playing for Change video came onto the scene. I didn’t know about the project, but learned about it on Wednesday’s Today show. Ironically, while watching the story, I saw it posted on Kansas Mediocrity as I was checking out the site. Enjoy and have a safe weekend.

On Early GOP Handicapping

As well documented on this blog, I’m an independent moderate, thus proudly boast allegiance to no political party. True to form, I will enter the presidential primary season as an uncommitted voter.

With the 2012 presidential election season ramping up, there is a lot of buzz about the candidates seeking the Republican nomination. With my vote up for grabs, here’s an independent moderates view of the GOP landscape regarding the odds of them getting my vote – after all, odds are I will vote in Ohio’s Republican primary. Then again, I also have a history of leaving the November presidential ballot blank, but have voted Democratic – and still may.

In the words of the old British colloquialism, “Fat Chance” – in other words, these candidates have zero chance of getting my vote – nada, zilch, zero, no-way, thus I won’t even think about Michelle Bachmann, John Bolton, Newt Gingrich, Gary Johnson, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain

The following have a “Slim Chance” of getting my vote. Although I will sift through additional information as it becomes available, “slim” also implies odds are against them getting my vote.

  • Rick Perry (Unannounced, but seems to be leaning)

“Maybe Chance” is for the fence-sitting candidates that I don’t know much about. That is, time will tell which way the will fall on the scale.

  • Tim Pawlenty

“Best Chance” does not mean an endorsement, nor does it I will vote for them. It simply means the candidate has the best chance of getting my primary vote.

  • Mitt Romney (yet I still believe he won’t get the nomination)
  • John Huntsman (who may be too pragmatic for the partisans)

Given the above, I won’t be surprised if the field expands over the next four months. In the mean time, many of the GOP partisans continue to back the unelectable.

On a GOP Glimpse at 2012

Jockeying to be the Republican presidential nominee has been underway for sometime – actually starting before the last election. In a this not-long-ago post, Al (a blog friend and sensible writer at 2012), wondered about who his party would put forth to challenge President Obama. With that as a cue, and with various announcements about candidates forming exploratory committees, maybe it’s time for an independent, moderate’s perspective of the GOP field.

In one corner, we have the ideological buffoons, those specializing is pandering rhetoric to the narrow-minded in the form of snake venom and snake oil. These candidates throw ideas against the wall hoping if they stick – of course sticking is more important than truth as they invoke fear over intellect, reaction over thought, rage over calm, populism over rationalism, and party over country in the name of the country. These are the candidates also use the names of dreaded historical figures from dark, worldly regimes from history to enhance their climate of fear.

In the next corner, the rational ideologues. As ideological buffoons and their followers taunt them, but the rationale ideologues remain tall for conservative principles. Although this group speaks with a degree of sensibility that can attract independents, they lack the rants that fuel populist masses. As with anyone in the political arena, some are haunted by their self-imposed albatrosses that hang around the neck – thus questions remain if the public will allow them to shed their bird of the noose.

In which corner will you find Michelle Bachman, Halley Barbour, John Bolton, Herman Cain, Mitch Daniels, Rudy Giuliani, Newt Gingrich, John Huntsman, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Pence, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump? You can decide for yourself, or you can give it your best shot to determine the few that I think may have a chance at unseating President Obama. After all, most on this list don’t because independents will have no part of them.

To many of us, and maybe most of us, the presidential campaign starts too early and takes too long; so I end this post with a quote from columnist Kathleen Parker.

Political polarization has so defined us that we are always deployed in campaign mode, never in repose. Politics is, among other things, spectacle, but there’s something dreary about the incessancy. Familiarity doesn’t only inspire contempt; it deadens the senses.