factoid that many political pundits would like to become an actual fact. In the coming campaign for President, "Ron Paul can't win."
I'm here to tell you folks, like most of the things these talking heads pontificate about, it's nonsense. I'm not here to tell you he will become President, or even for that matter, the nominee of the Republican Party. (Which is a much more difficult task.) I'm only telling you that he can win.
And believe it or not, I am beginning to think that he might actually do both.
In fact, in my opinion, the biggest obstacle that he must overcome is the notion that he is unelectable. For any number of sensible sounding, but inaccurate reasons, many people have become convinced of that.
And now that the less suicidal liberals among us (think Steve Wynn and his recent anti-Obama rant) have begun to desert the current President in ever growing numbers they are looking for someone to vote for before their US currency turns into the Monopoly variety. And guess where they have begun to look? If you answered Newt Gingrich or Tim Pawlenty, go get your dunce cap.
Ron Paul would seem to be an odd choice at first glance. Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson might be a better choice for them, but it seems that most of them have never heard of him. Particularly since the main stream media is terrified they will like him a lot if they ever find out who he is, so they have excluded him from any mention at all and managed to keep him out of the last introductory style debate.
But they can't do that with Ron Paul anymore and it's getting ever more difficult to marginalize him after many years of doing their best in that pursuit and largely succeeding. He has been right on too many things.
So some of the darlings of the left have discovered him and apparently they like what they see and are talking him up on their pretend news shows. They also like it a lot that people like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh oppose Paul's candidacy.
But they better be careful of what they wish for because while they love his anti-interventionist foreign policy and his constant expose of the continuing failure of the "war on some drugs", they will be aghast at his never wavering attempts to dismantle the nanny state once he gets into office.
It should be interesting to watch how they twist in the wind and scramble to back off their fawning admiration for "Paulism" when he is going head to head with the hapless Barack H Obama in 2012. A really interesting video is below which might shock some of you no matter what you think of the people praising Paul.
Two candidates of totally opposite political theories and records going against one another at the precise time in history that the country needs to decide if it is going to camp or just fold up the tent.
This just might be the best political theater in our lifetimes. It's what I'm wishing for and I'm certainly not being careful about it.
When something goes wrong, even if it is an accident, the question is always the same. Whose fault is it?
There certainly is no dearth of contestants for the blame game. In fact, if it were an Olympic sport most of us could vie for a medal.
So where do we begin when we want to list the starting line-up for the finals of the contest called "whose fault is it that the country is disappearing into the political sewerage system?"
The obvious place would be with some of the all star players like the fat guy with the microphone or the comedian who pretends to be a news anchor. Those two might be appointed the captains of the opposing squads, but the teams wouldn't be hard to fill out from either the left or the right of the "entertainment" world.
Maybe a better place is the "news" world. MSNBC or FOX would be rich pools of talent from which to recruit. But that's no good, because they have melted in with the above group until there is very little distinction between them anymore.
Politicians would be the third place to look. They have taken the blame game from a sport to an art form. And the "new" media, blogs like this one, or those on the left or the right can't be overlooked either. I plead guilty as charged for my part in the crime.
Republicans blame Democrats, liberals blame conservatives, and Obama blames everybody.
TV pundits tell us that everyone, or at least most of us, want the politicians to be less partisan and "get things done." But even if that's sometimes true, it's only if it's what we want done.
The most overlooked group to scout from for the "blame team" is the same group who actually deserves the blame. Curiously, it's the same group who is to blame for all the incompetent dolts who have been elected to represent us, and by extension, all the problems we have. You might hazard a guess on who is in that group. A mirror might be helpful if you get stumped.
So whose side are you on? What team do you belong to?
Are you one of those who blame "Dimocrats" because "they can't think logically and just want to take things from some people and give it to others in the name of fairness?" "And everyone knows that Democrats/liberals think that everyone else is too stupid to run their own lives." Right?
Or are you one of those who believes that anyone who is a Republican/conservative is a knuckle dragging moron who just wants to control your life with their version of morality while enriching the already rich with the labors of the poor and downtrodden? Oh, and they are racists too.
Liberals are "for the little guy", while conservatives are just for big businesses and rich people who don't pay their fair share of taxes. Right? "Obama is going to fix things that George W. Bush screwed up." "And he's a black guy (sorta) and I voted for him, so I must be an enlightened person who wants progress!"
Conservatives are for America while liberals hate our country and think we should be just like the enlightened Europeans. "Bush was fighting the bad guys and Obama is surrendering our exceptionalism and trying to make the USA into a socialist utopia." And anyone on any form of government assistance is a lazy slob who wants nothing more than the fruits of someone else's work.
Of course none of those attitudes apply to everyone on either team, nor does it describe what you or I think. After all, we are above all of that, it's only the other fellow who is so petty and ignorant. At some point, commonsense needs to prevail over the childish distractions all of us have fallen for at one time or the other.
One thing is certain however. The time for all that stuff is coming to a fairly rapid end, at least temporarily. It will be pushed aside at some point in the near future as our currency collapses under the weight of the state and national debt. When monetization causes everyone's money and savings to be worthless, all bets are off and the game is over. Both teams lose, and the other guy's attitudes don't matter much anymore.
A little math and a dose of commonsense will tell anyone (who abandons the above notions for a while) that even if we confiscated all the wealth of all the rich people we couldn't sustain the current system and its overwhelming costs. We need to spend less, a lot less. And we need to start right now (not in a few years or over a decade) before Greek style riots, or worse, begin.
If we don't, surely we will drown in the political sewerage we all have contributed to at one time or another.
Some of us semi-older types can remember back when Ronald Reagan fired all the air traffic controllers so that one small group of people could not hold the entire country hostage to their demands. In my mind it was one of the most decisive and rational acts of any Presidency.
It was also called "union busting" by the progressives of that day, but they couldn't get any political traction on it because the vast majority of the country was squarely behind the President, including many if not most of the rank and file Democrats of that day.
Unionists were shrieking as usual, but most of the people were in no mood for nonsense back then. We were trying to recover from yet another big government caused recession, coupled with massive inflation. (also caused by government meddling) Unemployment was extremely high, which also explained the country's lack of empathy for those poor downtrodden controllers who actually had well paying jobs.
Against the backdrop of that history, and the more recent history of the unionists rally/riots in Wisconsin, came the news last week that Chicago's new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, has decided to bust the public sector unions in his jurisdiction.
Some may protest that statement as hyperbole, but I would make the case that it is an accurate description of what Mayor Dead Fish has announced he will do. The headline in the Chicago Tribune on June 30th reads: "Emanuel to Unions: OK cuts or be laid off."
The story goes on to accurately describe the mayor's message to the city hall union workers as a threat. According to the story he told them that "unless they get on board quickly with the "money saving changes" to their jobs", he would fire 625 of them.
In plain terms, he is setting the rules and if they don't like it, out they go. Same as any other ultimatum from an employer in a company that doesn't have a union. Hmm, it's like there is no union. If that isn't union busting, then the term needs to be redefined. (To be clear, I support the approach.)
The point of all this is to demonstrate that when Democratic politicians recognise that the gig is up and make needed cuts, they are called "money saving changes and adjustments." But when Republicans do the same they are said to be "slashing and burning" all the things that made America great. (Freedom is what made America great, but that's to be argued in a different commentary.)
It's only politics and I have no sympathy for the Republicans. But unless we understand the game, we are just being played instead of watching with our finger on the ballot trigger while those that craft these images go about the business of enriching themselves with our taxes.
In Massachusetts, a state run entirely by liberals (of both parties), a law which is eerily similar to the one which caused union thugs to go ballistic in "cheese land" was passed by Democrats with nary a peep from the liberal press. It seems it was just common sense out East while it was union busting and teacher bashing back in the Midwest.
And now in the windy city, it's going to be hailed as good, sound, realistic money management by a hard knuckled whiz kid with close ties to a President who some of the more starry eyed among us hailed as the hope of the ages.
Barack Obama has proved his loyalty to the hands that fed him his election victory by handing them the keys to the company at government owned auto companies while exempting them from his socialized medicine scheme. But here in Chi-town his first lieutenant is a full fledged union buster.
And I'm OK with that.