Tuesday, July 31, 2012

No Taxes For Ten Years?


Everyone who is blogging about this probably has the same thing to say, and I'm not going to throw fuel on the fire by simply saying my own version of "holy cow!"

This is an apocryphal story, and if it should prove to be true, it really does highlight the divide between rich and poor in this country. America is not a country that wants to hate the rich; far from it. It is a country where being rich is not treated the same way it is treated everywhere else; it is something to aspire to, especially through hard work and perseverance.

The problem with Mitt Romney is that he is running a terrible campaign and he is stonewalling on his tax returns. He is a terrible politician who is fast becoming the poster child for being out of touch, too rich, and indifferent to political realities.

Nobody wants to hate Romney; people want to like him, but he is too used to holding his nose and stiff-arming the little people. He is an order giver, not a politician. He has failed to find his true calling in life, and, for that, we are now suffering.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Understanding Hillary Clinton


Reuters has a magazine article up on Hillary Clinton that is definitely worth looking at. This stood out:
the more Clinton waxed on about Suu Kyi, the more I thought that she was also talking about herself—a celebrity first lady with a troubled marriage who could have chosen to opt out of politics entirely but instead launched a whole new career as an ambitious United States senator turned combative presidential candidate before morphing yet again over the last few years into the most globetrotting top diplomat in American history. "When I was first lady," recalled Clinton, "I could say anything I wanted to say, and I often did." Here she stopped for one of her trademark deep laughs before adding, "for better or worse." It's a laugh that makes her very human—and also one that immediately calls to mind the many controversies of Clinton's long career. Remember "the vast right-wing conspiracy" that was out to get her husband during the Monica Lewinsky scandal? And her defiant taunting of Barack Obama during the 2008 primaries, when she said her future boss wasn't nearly experienced enough to take that 3 a.m. phone call? Now Clinton has a different role and a different set of dilemmas: If she speaks too forcefully about human rights, she'll be chided for letting wild-eyed activism get in the way of America's economic interests. But if she fails to bash the Chinese over their harsh treatment of dissidents and brutal suppression of free speech, then she'll be called a sellout. Her shape-shifting career guarantees that Clinton will be criticized at every turn, but it also gives her the opportunity, as she notes about Suu Kyi, "to put into practice everything she's been thinking about and working on her entire adult life."
The reason why it is so difficult for Clinton to speak about human rights is because few of her predecessors did enough on behalf of human rights to give her any room with which to work. Diplomacy is very much a game where you have to walk in the footsteps of your predecessors; for the entirety of the Bush Administration, Colin Powell and Condi Rice were de facto absent from any substantive discussion about human rights. The world suffered mightily for it.

Clinton will always be a victim of sexism and Republican hatred. They despised her then and they despise her now. On substance, she is better than all of them, and they know it.