Gov Dave for President?
Hey c’mon folks, this could be fun.
I started this as a lunar eclipse coincided with the winter solstice, the first time since Galileo or Copernicus observed the heavens. It may not be Halloween, but there is electricity in the air.
And no, it was ten degrees and I was not setting my camera on a tripod outdoors to photograph the eclipse in time-lapse at 2:30 a.m. So instead I write in front of the fireplace.
During the past few weeks, President Obama arguably sacrificed his leverage with Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress and caved to the Republicans on tax issues. But he threw a bone to his Democratic constituents who do not pay any income tax — and thus would not benefit from an income tax cut — so we are going to cut their contributions to Social Security. Speaking of bone, this was a cut past the meat into the bone. We no longer expect taxpayers to pay for the general budget, but we do actually need taxpayers to fund Social Security’s Ponzi scheme. Obama snookered the GOP on this issue.
But, giving millionaires an extension on the Bush cuts? Who could have imagined Obama would cave on this? Was it that gash to the lip? Was that Mitch McConnell who threw the elbow into the President’s lip? No, not on the basketball court, but yes, in the Senate. Savvy old pros suck in the neophyte.
I don’t know if this is Hamlet or Macbeth. Act One: Democrats win everything — House, Senate, White House. Republicans contemplate bipartisanship for an interval measurable only in that amazing cyclotron tunnel in France for its brevity, then seize on a strategy borrowed from Nancy Reagan: Just Say No.
Here comes Health Care. Just say No ONLY REALLY LOUD!!!! Isn’t it fun, and easy? Don’t worry about analysis, JUST SAY NO!!!
Obama could pray at the chapel of bipartisanship all day long, he could buy beer for Republicans, he could promise health care for Republicans, it did not matter. Institutional deafness was the new winning strategy for the Party of No.
Then came the November elections. A widely, wildly divergent rush of anti-black-president, anti-tax, anti-mandate, don’t-tread-on-me voters rushed to the polls while Obama’s previously motivated voters apparently were into Facebook or Xbox, on the sidelines. Electoral politics are dominated by who can turn out the vote. Maybe there were epochs when voters turned out regularly out of devotion to civic duty, but probably not. K. Ross Toole’s books on Montana history relate wholesale purchases of beer for Butte miners to get their grimy butts to the polls to vote for the mine bosses.
I like Barack Obama. Disarming and engaging, he revels in challenging tradition. If he had not been handicapped by a demanding super-Democratic control of Congress, it would have been interesting to see how he would have cultivated bipartisanship. But, it never happened, until December. When the seesaw is so heavily weighted that one end is stuck in the mud for two years, it is difficult to make peace with those dudes suspended in the ozone at the other end. They don’t want to listen.
I think he misread his post-disastrous-election opportunities, but after being hung out to dry by Pelosi and that Steny guy, Obama made the safe play. The pitcher barely traps that troublesome line drive in the dirt. Does he go for the double play or take the sure thing at first base?
Muttering oaths, readers ask: What the hell does this have to do with Governor Dave? And what does The Sage Grouse know about baseball, anyway?
‘Lax, dudes. We be gettin’ there.
Remember the thicket of health care reform that entangled Hillary Clinton in 1993? Should Obama have pushed through a bunch of other things before blowing all of his political capital on this issue? Having control of both houses could breed arrogance, or even hubris; more likely the problem is the tendency of such majorities to demand adoption of pet agendas.
Wyoming 2010 election: Matt Mead, apparent centrist, beats the birthers, et al. The Sage Grouse has it on good authority that a bunch of Republicans worked hard to elect him and might be scratching their heads. Why would his Very First Appointment be a Democrat to be Attorney General? Geez, folks, I am a Democrat and I cannot answer that one.
Missteps. Missteps. Remember Ted Mack’s Amateur Hour?
Gov Dave did not make many missteps. I could question some of his appointments, but that is so yesterday. He finessed the GOP-dominated legislature (although arguably, that was not terribly challenging) and managed a mushrooming budget without pissing off GOP voters. Good grades all around. It’s easy to be popular when you have cash to throw around.
Not having had the conversation, I can only surmise why, but Gov Dave does not want to go to D.C., even to live in the White House. The pressure is enormous when you get there — Stan Hathaway had to come back home. I think Dave could handle the pressure, but I can understand why he would prefer not to, thanks.
Meanwhile John Barrasso is learning how to smile in the background in D.C.; it can’t be that hard.
Maybe after January, when amateur Matt Mead is governor and slightly-less amateur Barack Obama is President, we can revisit this issue.
The bottom line is: Gov Dave did not step on any appendages, Gov Dave can be candid and disarming, Gov Dave can be bipartisan, and Gov Dave is actually smarter than Sarah Palin. Plus, he has never been near any Chicago mob politicians. What else do we need for our next President? (Foreign policy experience? He’s been to China and Russia. Why go to Iran or North Korea?) But he might need to play poker with Putin.
Hey, hot damn! It’s been a long time since The Sage Grouse has conducted a poll. Do not check more than five answers:
Dear The Sage Grouse:
___I don’t want politics. Go eat stale Christmas cookies and shut up.
___I want Gov Dave to be president and I am sending you a gazillion dollars for his campaign.
___I want Gov Dave to be president and I am NOT sending you money. R U Nuts?
___I want Gov Dave to be prescient. Isn’t that enough?
___After Attorney General Bruce Salzburg retires, will he teach me how to tie flies?
___I want Gov Dave to be president because I don’t want Sarah Palin to be president, although I would like to go fishing with Sarah Palin. Does she tie flies?
Enter your responses in the comment box below or e-mail them to: TheSageGrouse@Wyofile.com