1. So President Obama jets off to Afghanistan, precisely why? To snow the troops, and us, into thinking he has an affinity for them? Please. Of course he has the basic human decency to wish them well-- up to a point. But this President, jumping through so many hoops to craft an aura of national security competence, has never supported their mission. And as I have said for years, you cannot support the troops if you denigrate a mission they believe in. This is global pandering of the highest order.
2. On the anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, I have about had it with the pressure to give Obama credit for it. What choice did he have? Our forces on the ground, who have never had a supporter in this man, reported they could take him out, and the President agreed to do it. I suppose I should be thankful he did not wave off the raid to appease the Muslim world, but my real gratitude is to the people who have fought this war that Barack Obama has never properly supported.
3. Regarding the Richard Grenell story: I am prepared not to care if a Romney foreign policy advisor is gay if I am certain that the advisor is on board with the conservative position of opposing legal equanimity for same-sex marriage. Grenell was not, and his departure is thus appropriate. He should not, in fact, have been hired. Gayness is not a disqualifier. Opposition to a major belief of the candidate is.
4. I have always distanced from the notion that the 2012 election will somehow emerge as the nastiest ever. They are all nasty. We just forget. What this election will feature is the most shameful, low, tactics of lies and class warfare from an incumbent since Carter lowered himself and his country in his 1980 attempt to fend off Reagan. I pray that this year’s voters similarly reject this bottom-feeding tactic.
5. Article after article moans and whines about all the political partisanship of the moment, getting misty about bipartisanship, compromise and unity. Once again, invoking an oft-repeated concept of mine, unity is usually impossible and compromise satisfies no one. Everyone, please stop looking for common ground between the left and right. On 95 percent of issues, it does not exist. There are two wholly different ways of looking at the nation, the world, our lives. If you are in Chicago and one idea is to go to New York and the other is to go to Los Angeles, what is the compromise position? Liberals and conservatives need to bring their best ideas to the table, fight for them and either win or lose. The winning ideas will either work or not. If they do, the politicians who backed them can claim credit and offer more of the same. If not, the other side can ask for its chance. The purge of moderates from both parties is not a crisis, or even something to be lamented. Moderates confuse people. People should figure out what they are and go with it.
6. The more I think about the Romney VP options, the more I mull the wisdom of the seemingly dry choice. Rubio is exciting but unvetted, Christie is a bigger-than-life distraction, and even Santorum, whom I love, might generate negative attention that is unhelpful in wooing independents. Ryan, Daniels, Portman are looking better all the time.
7. Okay, the current economy remains crappy. But it is nowhere near as bad as the end of the Carter years, with inflation and mortgage rates above 13 percent and a prime lending rate of 16 percent. I am tempted to say memories are short, but the election of 1980 is, after all, 32 years ago, and you have to be approaching middle age to have a conscious recollection of it.
8. Speaking of the economy, conservatives had better be ready to argue for the end of the Obama presidency even if the economy gets better. Our economy is still a comparatively resilient engine, even after years under the Obama bootheel. The GOP needs to argue that if voters want to see real improvement in job creation, the way to achieve it is with free markets and regulatory reform, both antithetical to the Democrat economic recipe.
9. I’ve seen the May sweeps month promos for Dr. Phil, featuring tell-all shows with a trio of women who have had babies by former Cowboy receiver Terrell Owens. T.O. apparently gets to sit there and get a good grilling from them and the host. That should be a blockbuster. Then there will be a show featuring that favorite of mental pathologies, Multiple Personality Disorder. In the promo Dr. Phil asks to talk to “Becky” as the guest of another name changes her facial expression and says “I am Becky.” Okay. Not to comment on “Becky” or any other specific MPD patient, but I’ll stick with my assertion that some folks asserting multiple personalities are just scam artists.
10. I’m not sure how stoked to be about the coming movie adaptation of “Dark Shadows.” Johnny Depp usually means a fairly diverting couple of hours, and everybody was geeked out on this show when I was a kid. But somehow I smell failure. Maybe it’s fear of Tim Burton, the once-genius director who hasn’t done a thing I’ve cared about in years.