Posts Tagged ‘Cain’

The Party of Lincoln, Herman Cain, etc.

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln

By Bob Gaydos

(With a nod to the great Jimmy Cannon.)

It’s none of my business, but …

  • I haven’t seen a movie the likes of “Lincoln” in a long time. A recent 5 p.m. Sunday screening in a crowded theater at The Galleria drew tears and cheers (well, applause), both deserved. It’s a wonderful movie, the kind Hollywood seldom tries to make these days. Yet as I watched Daniel Day-Lewis bring the 16th president to life, with wit, wisdom and a willingness to play dirty for the greater good, I couldn’t prevent the present from worming its way into my thoughts. “Can you imagine,” I thought to myself, “if Mitt Romney had been president during the Civil War? Or George W. Bush? What would have happened to the country? The world?” It got me thinking about … well … fate. They say great events make great presidents, but this country has had a lot of commanders-in-chief who, in my view, might well have seen greatness escape them if faced with the issues confronting Lincoln — a civil war and slavery. Sometimes, I think, it takes the right person coming along at the right time to produce the most beneficial results, in our own lives as well as in history writ large. Of course, we have to recognize that moment, in the same the way the people who voted for Lincoln recognized theirs. Fuel for future blogs.

Meanwhile, it’s none of my business, but …

  • Herman Cain wouldn’t be my choice to lead a third-party movement by disaffected Republicans. The onetime presidential candidate and adulterer said after Obama’s reelection that the GOP no longer represents the interests of conservatives and is unable to change, so a new party is needed. So far, so good, either way you feel about the current GOP. But Cain made his name in business as the man who rescued Godfather’s Pizza by closing 200 pizza stores and eliminating thousands of jobs. A Romneyesque approach to success, wouldn’t you say? Is that what “real” conservatives want?

It’s also none of my business, and maybe no one cares, but …

  • Has anyone figured out why the New York Jets signed Tim Tebow, or how the team’s professional training staff missed his two broken ribs for two weeks? Just asking.
  • Has anyone missed the hockey season? I don’t get how owners and players in a league that has trouble attracting fans can argue over how much money they want to get from games to the point they don’t even play the games so don’t get any money at all. Is it just me, or is that nuts?
  • I also just don’t get the charm of camping out on concrete for two days outside big box stores for the opportunity to spend my money earlier than everyone else.
  • And aren’t people of a certain age who complain about e-mail and texting and Facebook and Twitter and who bemoan the fact that “people don’t talk to each other anymore” at risk of falling into fuddy-duddyism? If they aren’t already there?

It’s probably should be my business, even though I wish it weren’t, but:

  • Don’t Republicans ever get tired of signing pledges to do something or never do something (Remember the abandoned Gingrich-era pledge to serve only two terms?) Are they that unaware that the world we live in changes all the time and governing in an ever-changing world requires flexibility, not blind stubbornness? Yes, of course, I’m talking about the Grover Norquist “I will never vote to raise taxes” pledge that virtually every Republican member of Congress has signed and which is a crucial reason we are being told the nation is heading for a “fiscal cliff.” Large, mandatory spending cuts are due to take effect next year, along with an end to Bush-era tax cuts (a development the GOP typically refers to as a tax increase), unless Congress and President Obama can agree on a spending plan beforehand. If nothing is agreed on, Obama early next year will surely ask for what he has always asked for — a tax increase for the wealthiest Americans. That would be done by giving everyone else a return to Bush-era tax rates, which would of course be described as a tax cut by Democrats. How can Republicans oppose that? To head that scenario off, some Republicans are already talking about flushing their Norquist pledge and looking for revenues (taxes) this year to lessen the need for deep spending cuts. They’re doing this for the “good of the country,” they say, not for political reasons. Also, they lost the election.

Finally, it‘s thankfully no longer my business, but:

  • Does anyone, Republicans included, still think Sarah Palin was a good choice to be commander-in-chief in waiting? And, if not, why should we listen to anything the blustery John McCain says today? Coulda, woulda, shoulda named your own secretary of state, Senator.
  •  What the hell happened to the Republican Party between Lincoln and Romney?

















Home of the Free, Land of the Dumb

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

A dunce cap for the whole country.

By Bob Gaydos

What a dumb-a** effin’ country we live in.

It’s a struggle each week just to keep track of all the stupid s**t that goes on. I even feel obliged to start this column with obscenities because I want to reach all those under-40 readers who, thanks to today’s culture, don’t think you’re angry unless you say you’re p***ed.

Well, I’m p***ed. And I will try vent that anger while trying to refrain from further colorful language in honor of, well, the English language. (And there’s a concept we have stupidly abandoned, but I digress.)

Exhibit Number One, this week and for the past several weeks: In what civilized universe is the field of presidential candidates put forth by the Republican Party considered anything but an insult to the intelligence?

How are such proven intellectual lightweights as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry still considered to be possible presidential timber? Is balsa wood the new oak? Is Rick Santorum fit to play with other children?

Is Herman Cain — who once ran a pizza company not as many people had previously heard of as he would lead you to believe and who apparently doesn‘t know where Libya is — to be believed when he denies four allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior and one 13-year-long extra-marital affair? Are the evangelical, family-values voters who wag the GOP tail really OK with that?

And when Cain’s lawyer says, in response to the allegation of an affair: “This appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public,” do the morally superior right-wingers buy it, or do they remember that the same argument did Democratic President Bill Clinton little good when House Republicans impeached him?

And how dumb is this: The man who led the charge against Clinton then is now said to be the leading GOP candidate, largely because of Cain’s mounting personal problems. No one can call Newt Gingrich dumb — he won’t let you. But how preposterous is it that he rises on the ashes of Cain’s marital problems?

For those too young to remember: Gingrich has been married three times, but it’s not the numbers that count here. He dumped his first wife, who was his former math teacher, for his second wife while the first wife was in the hospital recovering from surgery for uterine cancer. The compassionate Gingrich served the divorce papers on her in her hospital bed. He then dumped his second wife, who was stricken with MS, for a much younger wife. He was having an affair with this woman at the same time he was leading the congressional campaign against Clinton for adultery.

Yet Gingrich gets the bounce from Cain’s fall over morality? Apparently so, because, unlike most of the rest of the field, Newt knows about Libya and all those other countries and the budget stuff, too. And, although he has good reason to do so, he hasn’t lied about his first name, like Mitt Romney did. The smiling, white bread whatever-you-say-I-agree-with candidate insisted in a debate that “Mitt” is his first name, when it is actually Willard. That is consistent with his lack of credibility on every issue, yet there he is, still the favorite candidate nobody in the GOP wants.

Tell me that’s not dumb. (We’re leaving the not-dumb Ron Paul out of this discussion because the Republicans always do.)

And what about the governor of Kansas? If you do Twitter, you probably heard that a high school senior in Prairie Village, Kansas, was summoned to the principal’s office and told to apologize to Gov. Sam Brownback for comments she made about him after attending a youth conference at which he spoke. The 18-year-old coed tweeted: “Just made mean comments at Gov. Brownback and told him he sucked, in person, #heblowsalot.”

See what I mean about language? Anyway, the girl never actually said that to Brownback, just sent it out to her small group of followers, but the governor’s top aide felt it necessary to monitor social media reaction to the governor and felt the comments were not “respectful.” Duh. She called the school and demanded an apology. Dumb and dumber. The girl, no dummy, said no. First Amendment. The governor backed down and apologized to her. Her Twitter following grew from 60 to 8,000 overnight.

You want another one from last week — the idiot who pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers on Black Friday to get first shot a new X Box. I thought we were stuck in a post-recession economic malaise, but apparently Americans, lacking jobs and losing their homes, felt patriotic and spent billions last week on gadgets and high tech appliances to pump up the economy.

Which bring us back to politics and all those liberals and independents who are giving President Obama so much grief for not being all they think he should be. Have you guys looked at the sorry field of opponents mentioned above? Have you forgotten that, without any help from Republicans in Congress, he passed health care reform, banking reform and tuition reform, repealed don’t ask/don’t tell, got rid of Osama bin Laden and Moammar Gadhafi, effectively ended the war in Iraq, and extended billions in aid to Americans who really were suffering from loss of jobs and/or homes?

Do you think any of those guys would have or could have done any of that? Do you think any of them would do anything but serve their rich benefactors — at the expense of the rest of us — if elected president? When he is under attack from the narrow-minded, mean-spirited, anti-intelligence forces controlling the GOP today, the president needs help from his friends, not more self-centered criticism. This is not Utopia. This is America 2011.

Dumb a**es.

GOP Flavor of the Week: Vanilla

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Mitt Romney, GOP's default favorite flavor

By Bob Gaydos

Don’t look now, but the flavor of the week for all those frustrated, angry, eager-for-change Republicans is … vanilla.

Not cherry vanilla or even vanilla bean. And no, sorry Mr. Cain, despite all the high-profile attention you’ve been getting from the media of late, not “black walnut with substance.” Plain old vanilla, aka Mitt Romney, is looking more and more like what he has acted like from the beginning of the tortuous Republican presidential primary process — the eventual GOP nominee.

That won’t be because he has captured the imagination of the party faithful (whoever they may be), but because none of the other colorful, imaginative GOP candidates has offered anything close to a resume that screams. “Pick me! I know how to do the job.”

The anyone-but-Romney crown within the GOP had a rough couple of weeks as two of their more prominent, colorful potential candidates both opted not to run. Chris Christie, the larger-than-life governor of New Jersey, who likes to beat up on teachers, has regularly insisted he was not a presidential candidate, but apparently felt obligated to consider the pleas to run one more time when all the vanilla-haters in the GOP begged him. Mr. Rocky Road said thanks, but no, once again.

And Sarah Palin, the hot fudge sundae who has been running away from political office ever since she was John McCain’s partner on the 2008 losing ticket, proved she is smarter than a lot of folks (me included) give her credit for, by saying she’s not running for president either. Clearly, it’s much easier to travel around the country on a spiffy bus, picking up hefty speaking fees than having to campaign for office, never mind actually governing that country.

On her way out, Palin tagged Cain (erroneously calling him “Herb,” not Herman) as the next flavor of the week because Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann, a make-up-your own-sundae candidate, had fallen out of favor when Texas Gov. Rick Perry jumped into the race. But Perry quickly went from being the favorite anti-Romney candidate to melted butter pecan after terrible debate performances. Apparently even Republicans have lost a taste for affable Texans who don’t know what they’re talking about.

That leaves Rick Santorum hanging around, even though almost nobody’s buying what he’s selling, along with Newt Gingrich, and no one’s going to buy any ice cream called Newt. And of course, Ron Paul, the Libertarian in Republican clothing, is still in the race. He’ll never drop out and could even get flavor of the week some time, but when he goes all soft-serve on the wars in Afghanistan and against drugs the GOP hardliners will go soft-serve on him. But mostly, it will be because they’re not sure what flavor he really is.

This, we are told, leaves Republicans with Cain and Romney. Republicans love colorful, tough-talking, no-nonsense businessmen who are convinced they know how to do what the “professional politicians” don’t. Ross Perot. Donald Trump. Steve Forbes. They made their fortunes in business (the latter two with the help of Daddy) and, by golly, they could do it in the White House, too. Or so they said.

But they couldn’t get the nomination because they couldn’t do what politicians have to do in order to succeed — understand the concerns of all the people and work with those who hold different views for the greater good. It is not just a matter of telling employees what to do in order to improve the bottom line. It is more a matter of improving all citizens’ bottom lines and, by the way, getting along with the rest of the world.

Perot ran as an independent, and a paranoid one at that. Trump was always just a TV act looking for ratings. Forbes proposed a flat tax on all Americans and said that would straighten out all our problems, not just the budget. He never got why that was unfair to those who were not born rich.

Cain has a version of this with his 9-9-9- plan. He also doesn’t understand why a 9 percent national sales tax on everyone disproportionately hurts those without a lot of money. Plus, it’s a tax, isn’t it? How is that Republican? He’s a black man who likes the up-by-your-own-bootstraps argument, which endears him to a lot of Republicans. Of course, he had parents who worked very hard to get him and his brother into college, where they could get the education to help them succeed. And for those who joke that President Obama (who never saw his father after age 10) never even delivered a pizza, Cain didn’t start at the bottom at Godfather’s Pizza; he came in as the boss and made it a success before selling it.

But Romney is also an incredibly successful businessman, who was also governor of Massachusetts and the guiding force behind the 2002 Winter Olympics in St. Lake City. He has had to deal with differing opinions and learn about compromising and raising revenues to keep things running. He even got a health plan passed for the good of all Massachusetts citizens. Unfortunately for him, these are seen as negatives by people who belong to one of the many vocal factions driving Republican politics these days, including the tea party folks. They dominate public debate and straw polls.

So Romney, who might really be more Neopolitan ice cream (vanilla, chocolate and strawberry), has stuck to plain vanilla until now so as not to seriously offend any of those factions and lose the nomination. (See: John McCain in 2008.) In return, they have accused him of being a member of a cult, because he is a Mormon, and two-faced, because he won’t absolutely, positively toe the line on not taxing the rich. At the Republican candidates debate Tuesday, Romney said, “I’m not worried about rich people. They are doing just fine.”

Geez, Mitt, that sounds almost vanilla bean. Or Democratic.