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Monday, June 27, 2011

Second term remedies

There is a lot of hot air in this early political season, but it would be more productive to have a sense of history and reality. Presidents seldom accomplish much in their first terms--they want to be reelected. Strange. Sure, they may pick a few low hanging fruit to please their base, but seldom is there substance. Now as I remember the current president has gone somewhat beyond that level of timidity. Some think he has gone too far. Others demand he immediately agree with their position (always the only reasonable answer). But there is never a single answer. Sometimes there isn't even a path to any answer. "All he needs to do is lead!" you declare. Lead whom, where? Can we accomplish today what we have never done before? That is what is being asked. The audacity of hope is now taken to mean the audacity of the unlikely. Maybe we can. It make me tired. Work hard for the reelection of this president and you will be amazed at what can happen--if the congress is also changed. The unlikely can happen, but only in a second term and after a lot of work and effort.
By the way, if you fear that he will be a one term president:  you have already lost your cause.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Direction is more important than the details

While it is indeed true that I would have like to have seen the President implement a more aggressive removal of troops from Afghanistan, in the end he is president and I am not.

I don't get to have a policy much less implement one, and as such my concern is more with the general direction of things than the specifics. To some this may seem strange and indeed weak, but I really think that is wrong. While willing to march (I have made numerous trips to my capital of Madison to make my views known to our soon to be former Governor), not every decision I disagree with needs to be protested. The need for protest was at the beginning, and it isn't really all that clear when that was. I think that an understanding of the history tells me that given the forces at hand the President is doing fine and doesn't really need my help. I think that he is in an excellent position to make a decision, and I am fine with that decision--agreeing or not.

This is not to say that I think his advisors are necessarily correct or even that the President understands the situation correctly--though I suspect he is doing fine. There is no answer; there are only a great many contradictory questions. It is a little late to be asking why we are there. The situation exists and its tentacles reach many places. Some say we need a new strategy! I say we have had quite enough of those, let’s try to actually leave. I don't care if the pace is too slow for some, or most. I only care that it has begun.

Monday, June 20, 2011


"Truths are the lies we agree to recite to each other." Nowhere is this more true than in politics. Ideology is nothing if not agreed upon lies. Everything is frame and spin. Nothing is true. Political reporting combines the lies of the press and the politicians. Of course sometimes one finds small bits that are worth agreement, worth reciting. But not much, and never forever.