Singin' them ol' VP Blues
I kept a straight face when I wrote that last sentence. Aren't you impressed? I just knew you would be.
Here's where it's bound to get REALLY interesting. At this writing, Mitt Romney is overseas, knockin' 'em dead on his 2012 Foot in Mouth Tour. After he's finished wowing them in Europe and Israel, he'll be facing some hard decisions once he's safe home on this side of the pond. The most crucial of these will be his choice of a running mate. Back in the day, the vice-presidential nominees were pretty much decided by the conventions. "Leave it to the collective wisdom of the pols" was the rule of the day. Not anymore. Lucky Mitt! He will get to choose the "man" (With only two exceptions, all of the women within the GOP are bat-shit crazy) who will be "a heartbeat away from the presidency". Given his recent choices, this one ought to be a pip.
I sure don't envy the Mittster. He's found himself smack dab in the middle of one of those "danged if he does and danged if he don't" scenarios. Just consider the pickle that he's in. The "base" of the Republican party doesn't trust him. They never have. They never will. Forget the fact that he's a Mormon! He was the "moderate" (read: LEFT WING EXTREMIST) governor of the hated "Taxachusetts" - pro-choice, pro-gay - and the man who brought affordable health care to that state. He is anathema to the neanderthals who long-ago hijacked that party. What to do?
Here is his dilemma. In order to bring out the base, it is absolutely essential that Romney do what John McCain did four years ago: place on the ticket an extremist twit with the IQ of a half-eaten box of Milk Duds. That'll bring out the base alright. You bet'cha! The only problem is that such a choice will scare enough moderates into handing the election over to President Obama. However, if he chooses a reasonable and enlightened running mate (not that they even exist in that disgusting party anymore) the base will stay home. As I said - danged if he does and danged if he don't. Life is beautiful. Unlike 2008, you can bet next year's crop on the fact that they're thinking long and hard about this one. What to do indeed.
What he'll probably do is choose a robotic nonentity; someone with a serious case of narcolepsy would be the ideal. In effect he needs to find a man who will be sure to keep his mouth shut. Just smile a lot, read the speeches that are carefully written for him - and for the love of mike, KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THE MEDIA! The very last thing they need is one of those Katie Couric/what-do-you-read moments. Just keep everything carefully scheduled and scripted. So who will be the lucky one to stand by the side of standard bearer Mitt?
I've got bells that Jingle Jangle Jindal....
My money is on Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal. He's just so right for the position. There's just not a lot going on there to be sure; a little Indian Ken doll. He's got all the personality of a mannequin in a Bombay men's haberdashery. He's from the south, and he's as non-controversial as a southern politician can possibly be. Also (and this is not to be underestimated) there is his undeniable "non-whiteness", which would be the perfect counterpoint to the president's undeniable "non-whiteness" - something they've got to be taking into consideration as I write these words. I'm placing all of my bets on Bobby boy. My goodness, he's perfect!
Think about this. Who was the last really impressive GOP VP nominee? Since I know next-to-nothing about William Miller (Goldwater's guy in 1964) and with the exception of Jack Kemp (who ran with Dole in 1996) I'll have to say that Henry Cabot Lodge, Richard Nixon's running mate in 1960, was the last one with any real gravitas. The rest of them have been duds: Spiro Agnew, Dan Quayle, Sarah Palin - a virtual Hall of Fame of mediocrity. I have a funny feeling that the pickings won't be that impressive in 2012. That may merely be a guess on my part, but it's a pretty educated one. These knuckleheads rarely surprise.
"The vice-presidency ain't worth a bucked of warm piss."
John Nance Garner
That was then. This is now. I once read an entire biography of Harry S Truman where the name of his VEEP, Alben Barkley, wasn't even mentioned in the index. The first modern vice president was Eisenhower's guy, Tricky Dick Nixon. Although he didn't really care much for him, Nixon briefly became the acting president when Ike suffered a heart attack - and then a stroke - in the mid nineteen-fifties. To Nixon's credit he behaved admirably during this period, never overreaching his power and keeping the country assured the president was still in charge. It is not a well-known fact, but during his years as the Number Two man in Washington, Nixon reached out to - and regularly communicated with - Martin Luther King. He seemed like a fairly decent sort back then. It makes you wonder what happened to the man.
But the man who changed that office forever was none other than Sickie Dick Cheney, the man who put the "vice" in the vice-presidency. It's by now a given that it was he who was really running the White House during the years 2001-2009. Dubya was just a pathetic figurehead; a dim-witted pawn in the neocons' twisted game of Risk. It was only at the very end of his two terms, when he refused Cheney's request (order?) to grant a pardon to Scooter Libby for the Valerie Plame affair, did George W. Bush finally stand his ground as chief executive. The kindest thing that can be said of Dubya is that he probably never fully understood what was going on around him. Imbecile.
So who's it gonna be in 2012? Another top contender for the slot is the St. Paul mannequin Tim Pawlenty. Although that wouldn't surprise me I think Jindal will be their choice. Whomever they pick, one thing is without question: 2012 is going to be a very weird and wild campaign season. Fasten your seat belts.
Reader/blogger, Mack Lyons, has just suggested to me the ideal (for our purposes) running mate for Mitt Romney: ALLEN WEST! Can you imagine???
Here is a link to Mack's site:
The choice is Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. I never dreamed they would go with the author of that hideous "Ryan Budget Plan". Already conservative tongues are wagging that this is a huge mistake on Romney's part. Maybe. Maybe not.
Spanking the Donkey
by Matt Taibbi
All the President's Men
This was the only time that I know of when the movie was actually better than the book. Jason Robards is perfect as Washington Post editor, Ben Bradlee. This is the best film ever made about journalism. I never tire of it. In fact, Sunday is always movie day for me. I just might watch it again this afternoon. This film is a must-see for any self-respecting political junkie.