Thursday, April 19, 2012

Casey Stengel to Democrats: can't anybody here play this game?

This is the 50th anniversary of the first season of the New York Mets and watching Democrats play politics since 2000, you cant help but be reminded that Democrats play politics like the 1962 Mets played baseball.

 Hilary Rosen a Democratic strategist who, like Marvelous Marv Throneberry once did,  actually cashes a pay check to play this game leaving people wondering why, led off the presidential campaign recently like  a Met lead off hitter in 1962, when she made the comment on CNN that "Ann Romney never had to work a day her life."

 One could make the case that if that comment is any example of Rosen's ability as a political strategist, the same could be said about her.

It didn't take long for horrified congressional Democrats and other strategists, including Axelrod and other Obama advisors, to distance themselves from her comment, acknowledging that  raising 5 children is a lot harder than anything Obama has been doing the last 3 years.

 But Rosen isnt the only Democrat or Democratic strategist, a term that has become an oxymoron, to resemble the '62 Mets.. Democrats, while proven right 95% of the time on policy since 1992 while Republicans have been proven wrong, and advocating policies that usually has the support of the majority of the American people,  have been nothing less than  pathetic when it comes to dealing with the politics of governing and even more pathetic when it comes to taking on Republicans in the public arena of debate. Which is why the Democrats had no runs no hits and a bunch of hugely costly errors when Pelosi and Reid capitulated to Obama's bungling and selling out of the public healthcare option, one of the most popular pieces of proposed legislation in history, and got slaughtered in the 2010 elections because of it by Democrats fed up with their not delivering on their promise.

 With Obama as president, Democratic political ineptitude has only gotten worse since Democrats are looking foolish  trying to defend a president so lacking in conviction and principle and who has already sold out so much of the Democratic agenda,   that it is only distaste for Republicans that doesn't insure that Romney will win in a landslide.  Casey Stengel would know better. Trying to sell Obama as a president deserving of re-election would be like Stengel trying to convince people the '62 Mets were pennant contenders. And if Romney is smart enough to distance himself from the radical right and repudiate their repugnant anti-American  ideas, he probably will win in a landslide since well over half the Democratic party is fed up with Obama anyway.

To show just how far Democratic political strategiy has fallen and how desperate and dishonest they've become in trying to defend Obama,  aside from Rosen's comment you have the recent comments by Donna Brazille, former DNC chair and former campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000 writing for CNN about Romney.

 Its important to keep in mind that Donna Brazille was Al Gore's campaign manager since, while every candidate bears ultimate responsibility for their campaign, and while there is no way of knowing how much input Brazille had in making final decisions,  it is still a fact that Al Gore ran the most imbecilic incompetent self-defeating incomprehensible presidential campaign in American  history. Gore and Brazille, badly misreading true public sentiment about the Monica Lewinsky fiasco, decided that their best presidential strategy was for Gore to distance himself from the most successful Democratic president since Roosevelt. Gore refused to campaign with Clinton. Gore refused to be seen with Clinton. Gore didnt want Clinton campaigning for congressional Democrats in states where Gore was making campaign appearances, a decision that infuriated many state party chairman who blamed Gore's decision for Democratic defeats in congress. Unfortunately, Gore's decision to distance himself from the White House succeeded. Permanently. And the country got stuck with George W. Bush in an election that Gore should have won in a landslide. And in terms of simple competency, John Kerry's presidential campaign was just as inept.  Kerry managed to lose an election to a president who arguably had the worst first term in American history. Yet on the day Richard Clarke testified  at the 911 Commission hearings that less than one month before the 911 attacks he and George Tenant  were "running around the White House like men with their hair on fire", armed with intercepts of  Al-Queda messages pointing to an impending major attack against the United States and was  ignored and rebuffed by both Rice and Bush, John Kerry decided to go on vacation. When Bagdahd exploded in terrorist insurgent attacks after it was confirmed that Sadaam didnt have WMD after all, John Kerry talked about gas prices.

Now we have Donna Brazille, former chair of the DNC and former Al Gore presidential campaign manager and an influential voice in Democratic politics writing for CNN ( cant they find truly objective people to be political commentators?) that Romney"bought  the Republican   nomination with  a bunch of nasty ads".

 This is not only political idiocy its the worst kind of hypocrisy. Who does Ms. Brazille think is stupid enough to believe that? Who did Brazille think would have won if Romney had not spent what he did? Santorum? Gingrich? Paul? 

 And the political hypocrisy is staggering. It was Obama who, in 2008, promised publicly and on numerous occasions including the presidential debates that he would only use public financing if he were the presidential nominee as part of his "promise" to change the way Washington works ( this was of course, before he sold out the public option  to healthcare industry lobbyists) . And it was Obama who, after he was nominated reneged on that promise overnight and raised over $400 million.. John McCain also promised to use public financing in the 2008 campaign, He kept his promise and was outspent by Obama by 5-1. Brazille complains that Romeny virtually stole the nomination by outspending Gingrich 4-1. Brazille also accuses Romney's spending of having "bought" delegates. She doesnt say a word about how the DNC threatened to strip many Hillary Clinton delegates of their credentials at the 2008 Democratic convention unless they promised to change their votes to Obama in violation of all of the Democratic party's rules and procedures for nominating a president and delegate obligations and disenfranchising literally millions of Democratic voters who voted for Clinton in the primaries. That is stealing delegates.

And the Democratic party and congressional Democrats have paid the price for it ever since.

 Accusing Romney of having "bought" the Republican nomination while Obama is the product of the most dishonest presidential primary campaign and convention in history and is now  holding fundraiser after fundraiser to rake in as much campaign cash he can get his hands on only erodes Democratic credibility with the public in general. It also shows there is no real strategy for Democrats largely because Obama's record is so indefensible even to Democrats that they clearly feel the only strategy left is to try and say Romney would be worse. Which may not work.

 The other problem with Brazille's  distorted and hypocritical comments is that it erodes Democratic morale as well. since if you have to resort to that kind of distortion and dishonesty to win an election, maybe you dont deserve to win. Obama certainly doesn't.  Because unlike the '62 Mets, no one has found selling out the public healthcare option, reneging on getting rid of the Bush tax cuts, bungling the debt ceiling debate, and squandering what was once the largest congressional majority any president has  had in 60 years, very lovable.

 The Democrats best strategy to win in 2012, is to concentrate on retaking the House and maintaining their majority in the senate. If they try and tie themsevles to  Obama they are finished so they have to find a way to be Democrats without endorsingg Obama's first term.And without lying about Romney.  And in order to win, whether its congress or the White House, like the '62 Mets, they need to get better players. And like the '62 Mets, right now they just dont have them.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Obama's Newest Wall Street Scandal: Going Through the Motions of Accountability.

Barrack Obama's 13 year history as a politician and elected official is based on one idea: promise something for political advantage and then do nothing so the opposition can't hold it against you. He's done it so many times on so many things from healthcare reform to the Bush tax cuts for the upper 5% that there is no point in listing them all. But it's the most recent sleight of hand ( and sleight of what's left of his Democratic constituency) that needs to be pointed out.

Obama, after pressure from Democrats and the left, did as he usually does -- he made promises to quell the political heat that he had no intention of keeping. This time he promised a much needed investigation into the abuses of Wall street and banks that led to the economic melt down.

Many experts who looked at the activities of the banks claim there is evidence of criminal wrong doing, recklessness and a criminal disregard for regulation that caused the financial failures of Wall Street banks ( and AIG) that the country is still paying for.

Obama, in an election year, made promises to Democrats and independents ( conservatives will generally let banks walk all over them) that he would appoint a task force to investigate and if necessary prosecute those in the banking industry whose violation of law or regulation contributed to or caused the financial melt down.

The problem is, as is always the case with Obama, it was more words than deeds. There is in fact a task force but, thanks to Obama, it is comprised of a skeleton staff so thin and undermanned as to be virtually useless. Which, based on Obama's record is exactly what he intended. Appoint a task force to say he did it, but understaff it to such a degree as to make it impossible to accomplish anything so he can avoid criticism and retribution from an industry from which he hopes to raise tens of millions in campaign donations.

The number of investigators authorized by Obama for the financial crimes task force is 55 and many of those still haven't been deployed. In comparison during the savings and loan crisis in the 80's more than 1,000 FBI agents were assigned to investigate the activities of the banks, and that didn't include the large number of federal prosecutors assigned to assess culpability. The Enron scandal alone had over 100 agents assigned to investigate, a scandal which was a drop in the bucket in terms of damage caused to the country and the economy in  comparison to the financial crisis, yet the investigation into possible wrong doing by the banks which led to the biggest financial crisis since the Depression has a task force of 55 staffers .

CREDO is circulating a petition to Obama to increase the size of the investigative staff which you can sign by clicking this link. But sending petitions to Obama about anything is like sending a message in a bottle to the Bermuda Triangle.

A better policy is contacting the DNC and Debby Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair and threatening to withhold votes for congressional Democrats as well as Obama unless there is a real investigation and a substantial increase in staff and commitment, though withholding votes from Obama is probably the best thing to do anyway.

Obama's gutlessness in dealing with Wall Street is nothing new ( as was his gutlessness in dealing with the health insurance industry, the Republicans on just about everything and anything else one can think of). Democratic spokespeople like Wasserman-Schultz  want you to believe that Romney is the only flip-flopper running for president, when, whatever Romney's failings ( and they seem to have more to do with his publicly embracing right wing ideas he doesn't believe in for political purposes than his actual policies) Obama could give Romney lessons when it comes to saying one thing and doing another.

Its the DNC and congressional Democrats that need to be pressured to do something and to force Obama whether he likes it or not to make the investigation real, not the 55 member staff that seems to be intentionally inadequate to do the job.

If nothing is done Democratic voters need to somehow let congressional Democrats know that they wont be snowed anymore.

And in continuing the same pattern of his talk being cheap while knowing political campaigns aren't, Obama is once again talking up the Buffet Rule on taxes for the upper 5% income earners, something he could have implemented two years ago when there was a substantial Democratic congressional majority but didnt.

NOTE: as predicted the CREDO petiton was useless and they are now sending out emails urging Democrats to call Obama to demand a real Wall Street investigation. It seems these Democratic groups never learn.