OK, OK! So I lied. Sue me. I’m back faster than I expected. The lunacy otherwise known as politics keeps drawing me back. Blogging vacation, be damned.
First on the agenda, we have former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. Ridge is not my favorite politician, to be sure. My lasting memory of this dude was urging people to get ready for terrorist attacks emergency situations by loading up on duct tape. But he’s back in the news again. In this instance, the subject of discussion is one, Rush Limbaugh. This one was a little old apparently, but I thought it was interesting. Take a look:
Day-yum! Ridge did his thing, right? Well…not really.
Sure, it was impressive to see a GOPer make an attempt to put perspective on Oxy Limb and other right-wing noise machines. But, I won’t go as far as to say that Ridge’s interview was the fire and brimstone condemnation that many liberal outlets would have you believe (even CNN’s heading indicated that Ridge “took aim” at Limbaugh). Instead, I think he delicately hinted around the notion that Limbaugh’s ideology and the way he communicates that ideology was destructive to the Party. Instead of laying down the gauntlet, Ridge gingerly found something else to cite. I liken it to confronting a gunmen while he’s waxing a bunch of people. Instead of urging the gunmen to stop shooting people, Ridge is asking him to do it quieter.
In fact, I wouldn’t be suprised if Tommy Boy wound up being the next person to offer his apologies and his first born to Don Limbaugh, the all-wise leader of the Republican party.
Speaking of media twists and turns, does the Obama adminstration have the media in its pocket, or what?
Chip Reid and Helen Thomas had every right to be incensed. Not only did Press Secretary Gibbs exhibit some of the most juvenile behavior I’ve seen from that podium since Tony Snow, but the ultimate points they were trying to convey were completely ignored.
By tradition, townhall meetings are made up of random people who show up to ask random questions. Depending on the nature of the event, some changes may be made to the format. But the general idea remains. Townhall meetings are usually unstructured. But if it’s true that questions are being pre-screened, attendees are being selected in advance, and answers drafted beforehand, it shows that the Obama administration has no intention of hosting a truly open forum. If Obama plans to use these forums to push certain initiatives (like Health care reform, which I think will flop. I’ll address why later), don’t be surpised to see more of this one-sided media co-opting. For all the complaints we had about the Bush administration and Fox News pass they were given, the same can be said of the Obama administration and whatever media outlets allow this behavior to go unchecked.
Finally, the world of politics was tremored by the news that Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin has called it quits:
For some inexplicable reason, people are spending all their time trying to understand the reasoning behind Palin’s resignation. Look past all the long-winded babbling she did in her resignation speech and see the trees in the forest. This move can best be summed up in two words: POLITCAL…POSTURING.
No two ways about, the woman is clearly setting herself up for a presidential run in 2012. But unfortunately for her, the VEEP run of 2008 did enough damage to her political career to taint her gubernatorial stint (if you get recalled or voted out as a Governor, that dimishes your likihood of getting voted for as POTUS, in my opinion). Simply put, accepting the nomination on John McCain’s ticket may have given her a national spotlight, but it also gave her…well…a national spotlight. We were able to see in living color; the bungled interviews, the pathology of anti-intellectualism that has become a staple of the GOP, the unchallenged racism/paranoia coming from the McCain/Palin mob supporters, the scandals etc. Those things – in my opinion – all adversely impacted Palin’s performance approval ratings as Governor. Had she not put herself in the limelight by ambitiously accepting a role for which she was grossly unable to deliver, her antics at the state level would not have been as heavily underscored. Basically, she sucked as much as a statesmen like Jennifer Granholm, but was subjected to as much scrutiny as national leader like George W. Bush.
She decided to get away from all that while the going was good.
Honestly, for all the idiocy Palin brings to the academics of politics, she’s pretty smart when it comes to playing the game of politics. Distance yourself from your own screw ups (her time as Governor, the trainwreck of a Presidential campaign, etc.), deflect blame (i.e. play the role of the Armchair Quarterback against the current administration), and continue garnering sympathy by making yourself the victim of liberal elites, intellectual ‘snobs’, the media.
By the time Palin’s memoirs land in people’s dens and Obama’s initiatives keep getting stopped in their tracks, she’ll be in a perfect spot to secure the White House. She is stepping away from the action for a moment, only to come back stronger and refreshed in 2012. Dems, look out. Palin may not be the Gov. of Small Town, USA anymore. But she WILL be a force to be reckoned with.
You’ve been warned.
Of course, things I say can never be taken at face value. This is all coming from the person who was SUPPOSED to take a break from blogging. Riiiight!