Wednesday, October 31, 2012
The Politics of Desperation
I've been away from the constant barrage of political garbage for about a week, but now I'm starting to put my toe in the water to see if it's OK to go back in. Hurricane Sandy has taken a lot of the luster out of the presidential election, as it should. We're still going to have an election next Tuesday, whether we like it or not. Hopefully, we come up with a clear winner Tuesday night, so we can go onto solving the problems that have been ignored.
We normally give politicians a little latitude because we know their limitations and their tendency to exaggerate. I had already given up on Romney’s tax plan that didn't add up but now Mitt Romney is running an ad in Toledo, Ohio, where they make the jeeps in question, saying that Obama bailed out Chrysler, and they repaid us with plans of moving their entire operation to China. Forget politics; just think what that does to the worker's morale. Mitt Romney knows that story came from a blogger with no credibility whatsoever. It's not only the ad which may be out of Romney’s control but it’s the lie Mitt is repeating in Ohio. Politifact gave him four Pinocchio's for the outrageous claim but Mitt Romney has doubled and tripled down since then, knowing some unsuspecting voters might not notice the lie. This morning, MSNBC's political consultant Mark Halperin tried to make excuses for Mitt by saying that Chrysler will build some jeeps in China. For example, let's say China agrees to buy 10,000 jeeps if Chrysler builds 3000 of them in China. That doesn't leave Mitt Romney off the hook because he said Chrysler would move the whole jeep operation to China. In that example, the 3000 jeeps built in China is part of a contract negotiation and it doesn't mean that those 3000 jeeps ever had a chance of being built in the United States.
It's normal for a sitting president and a governor of a stricken state to coordinate FEMA's efforts to bring relief to the citizens of those states as quick as possible. The governor normally accompanies the president when he takes to the air to see the damage, so they can show him why he needs some resources and where. The president has the ability to cut through red tape and eliminate some of the normal power plays between the federal agency and the state officials.
The Republican governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, praised President Obama for his leadership and corporation during his state's initial attempts to recover from the storm. I didn't think much of it but apparently the political pundits did. Charles Krauthammer said Christie's words were equivalent to $200 million of campaign funds. One of the stupidest remarks I've ever heard came from one of the stupidest hosts I've ever seen, Fox and Friends, Steve Doocy." Mr. Doocy asked Governor Christi this question " Over the last couple of months, you have appeared throughout the country, Governor, on behalf of Mitt Romney… (W)e hear that perhaps Mr. Romney may do some storm-related events. Is there any possibility that Gov. Romney may go to New Jersey to tour some of the damage with you?" Only to be slammed dunked in shame by Christie when he said, " I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve got a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff. I have a job to do. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me."
As far as I can see, the political landscape hasn't changed much, the race may be getting a little tighter, but it's still about Ohio.