Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Presidential 2012 – The Elephants In the Room Seriously Lacking Heft

Ron? Ron? Where are you? I'm stuck in zombieland...

It has been a crazy month, and the flurry of covering the provincial election has spurned me, perhaps, to sneak in a post about something less redundant in these days of diminishing daylight. The time has come to stop writing about what a colossal flop Barack Obama has been as President, and start looking at who might be gearing up to replace him and survey if there is any wreckage left to, well, wreck.

Doesn't it just feel like yesterday that you were watching that inauguration in the office cafeteria? It was less than three years ago. But the 24 hour news cycle calls for non-stop coverage of...nothing, really, so the analysis for when this happens again in early 2013 has already begun in earnest. Nobody can figure out who will win out to take on the Wall Street lackey talk radio loves to call a black enviro-socialist muslim marxist-leninist president.

Well, I felt the need to inform you that the talent pool so far is looking pretty weak. Not that I imagine many of my readers are registered Republicans, but the candidates being discussed for the herculean task of defeating his royal virtuousness Barack Obama are serious pylons. In France they call the prominent figures in the opposition Socialist Party Les Éléphants. Presumably because of their personalities, which loom large over the party, as does the disproportionate amount of influence in it that they carry. Now, in America the logo of the opposition, the Republican Party, is an actual elephant. But none of the Presidential candidates in it are putting out a particularly elephantesque vibe. The only elephant in this room of candidates is how the media continues to cover them despite how terrible they all are.

When you watch Michael Douglas, or Harrison Ford, or Josh Brolin, or Martin Sheen play an American president, they know that to appear credible and match the grandeur the audience instinctively assigns to the role, certain traits need to be displayed. Earnestness. Optimism. Elegance and savvy with just the right splash of toughness. In short, they subtly effuse their recognition that no man ever got the role that has an impossible amount of pressure and expectations for a human being to deal with right, but at least the guys (the ones we remember) gave an acceptable effort. These candidates were dealing with right now? I'm not even sure they're middle management material.

Let's start our list with Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, the two biggest textbook dickhead-in-suit, shit eating grin corporate glad-handlers I think I've ever seen. Look at those static, plastic grins. Are they in ads for Just for Men? Crest Whitestrips? Eddie Bauer? Are they approaching a lectern in a dreary hotel conference room to woodenly deliver worse then expected quarterly results? No, they're running for president, even though their faces belong in ads aimed at making stiff middle-aged men think its worth it to pretend they're in their primes again, or in front of audiences making stiff middle-aged men think they're gonna earn returns on their investments. Do I judge a book by its cover? Of course not. I know that Mitt Romney has cruised his whole adult life on the coattails of the business achievements and political acumen of his dad George. Rick Perry, meanwhile, in his last ten years as governor of Texas, has pursued the same evangelical, big oil, death sentencing, tough-talkin' agenda of his predecessor in the post, George W., and has presided over such shining achievements as having his state go from second worst to worst level of education in the State of the Union. I don't know why anyone pays attention to these idiots drone on about how they're going to turn around a bankrupt nation. Folks, we are heading into some dark days.

Will they beat Obama? Macleans had him walking off a cliff on the cover last week. He's trying to see just how many cartilages he can make the hordes of American left and progressive voters break in their noses while they hold them and vote for him. Let's go through his "change" checklist – 1)Close Guantanamo 2) End Wars 3) End Bush-era financial profilgacy and bailouts 4) Implement meaningful environmental policies 5)Broker mideast peace process, which is the latest to fall by the way side because “It's too close to election time and he's not gonna risk his neck over it”...Wow, a perfect doughnut zero for 5. And why were things so horrible under the previous administration again? Well, the fed shovelling endless trillions into Wall Street, two wars in far off muslim countries, and 40 million Americans with no health care, of course. The exact same state things are in right now under Mr. “Change We Can Believe In Himself”. If the American public realizes this, which they surely must as unemployment continues to rise and tent cities continue to sprout up from sea to shining sea, I declare this guy 100% f------ un-re-electable.

The problem with those first two republican guys I mentioned is that they're not candid. Who can relate to two lifelong pampered establishment figures in their mid-fifties? They just say whatever their people tell them to say and of course, oppose Obama for the sake of opposing him. This means they'll have about as much cred as the guys they resemble: Square middle-aged suburban dads. No, you need real, sexy outspoken heartland women to stand up to the demagogue in the white house and do him one better by breaking the final glass ceiling. That's why Congressman Bachmann of Minnesota is such a breath of fresh air from these two staid posers. Breathing fire about “homosexual lifestyles” and “Iowa tough-girl ness” will teach these newbies that less spine is not more and non-offensive is not the new black.

What remains to be seen is of course if she can stave off Miss “Too cool for school because I'm still in high school” Palin. The woman looms large and often silent over the media coverage, taking on Lord Voldemort “He who must not be named” characteristics. The high school reference is because she, due to already enjoying an extremely high profile, does not have to lower her notoriety factor by declaring that she's actually running. She prances around the halls of the nation, a gaggle of losers tugging at her skirt for attention while she retains her haughty expression and turned up nose. Such women in high school are not immune to the universal forces of age and decay, which continue to work away on them at an accelerated pace decades later when everyone has forgotten about them but they continue to be sustained by their powerful teenage status on the restaurant or retail shop floor. How many years will we have to watch Sarah's lustre dwindle over the jeopardy music of “Will she run? Won't she? Will she? Won't she?” Hopefully not past the next one.

Who knows. The sad thing is that there is a candidate, who consistently finishes first or close in the straw polls and primaries, and who is systematically ignored and snickered at by the mainstream media. His name is Ron Paul, and you've heard his name here before because he is maybe the only politician in North America who says anything true or real. Namely, that the federal reserve has bankrupted the country to the point where we have no choice but to return to currency that is verifiable because it is REAL (e.g., gold). He also says that U.S. should immediately end its wars and network of bases abroad because they are far too expensive. A 76 year old medical doctor, who because of thpse two sensible ideas that should be an instant landslide success, is instead dismissed as an old crazy nutbar.

Mr Paul enjoys support from a wide variety of people across the political spectrum who are tired of the lies, the malaise, and the bullshit of partisan politics and massaged strategy and messaging. In this way, he is the real elephant in the room. But the LCBO has an elephant in the room campaign too, in which they advise people not to let the drunk person who insists on driving become that elephant. Sadly, people still drive drunk. And republicans are probably determined to ignore this elephant and drive their party, and the country, into a solid tree at the side of the road.

If America and the Republican party had any sense they'd let Ron go kick this spineless poser of a progressive to the curb next year. But if they listen to stunned baby boomers like David Frum (who's considered an “enlightened” republican), they'll elect personality-less corporate robot whore like Romney who will duly bring the nation to its knees and then ride off in a helicopter with Wall Street bankers and the Koch brothers the same way Barack will if he gets re-elected.

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