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I'm Not Dead Yet

I was reading through my email last week, which seems to be about 98% garbage these days (I really need to break down and invest in a quality SPAM filter), when I came across a reader who noted I have not posted anything in a while, and who was wondering if I am OK. For the record, none of my colleagues were wondering, which makes me wonder if I am that forgettable, or I should check for spyware on more than just on my computer (naaah, don't want to go too 'Mel Gibson', and the tinfoil is needed for the cooking next week anyway), so I appreciate the question. But as it happens, the real world has been keeping me more than busy, and because I care about your interest in my posts, I won't post those details here, except that the last 2 months have included substantial performances by the IRS, my wife's SUV, my daughter's social identity crisis, a bit of intra-office warfare with a few hostile colleagues, a hospital visit and an unpleasantly thorough follow-up, and my dogs taking out the satellite cable for a couple days. In other words, same old same old but more concentrated.

I've also been trying to come up with a post that does something better than repeat what someone else has already written, and to do better than waste your reading time with my post. So far I suspect the present effort is not getting it done. But, the writing muse having become more of an insistent harpy in the past few days, I am posting a few thoughts here. Please accept my apologies in advance if I am boring and uninspired. After all, if you wanted that, you'd be at MSNBC.

So here we are, end of the month almost, and the elections went pretty much as we should have expected. That is, the Democrats threw away control of the House and tried to toss out Senate control too, but the Republicans as usual found a way to be almost as foolish and arrogant as their fellow politicians from Hades. Which reminds me, the MSM was sort of right in saying that Americans were angry at incumbents - yes, they were more upset at Democrats than Republicans, but that's not to say the average American thought he was handing control to anyone who thought the way Reagan did, just that the Democrats had proven they were even worse than the Republicans. That explains the results - folks didn't want the Democrats to run Congress, but they were far from happy about the Republicans getting back into the driver's seat.

Which brings us to the Tea Party. Generally, the Tea Party meant three things in this election - their candidates had a lot of support from grass-roots movements, which may or may not happen again in 2012, the Tea Party candidates who won focused on economic issues and avoided bizarre distractions, and we have yet to truly understand and define the identity, scope, and limits of the Tea Party Movement. It's not going to replace either of the two established national parties, but it can reform the system.

Consider Sarah Palin. She's smart, charismatic, and has a solid grasp of the issues, but she is not Presidential material. ** Sigh ** I know how that sounds, but hear me out. Look at our crop of contenders from the 2008 episode of "So You Think You Can POTUS". John "Military" McCain, Mitt "Governor" Romney, Mike "Flat Tax" Huckabee, Rudy "9/11 Mayor" Giuliani, Ron "Conspiracy" Paul, Fred "Quitter" Thompson, and Duncan "no-name" Hunter. Anyone there strike you as the next Gipper? Or even the next W?


Sarah Palin has undeniable skills. As a writer, speaker, motivator, activist ... the list is long. But we need a specific skill set to not only win the White House in 2012, but to effectively govern, especially since the Congress, even in Republican hands, is essentially an ill-behaved bunch of self-serving con men. We need a President capable of leading Congress to do the right thing, preventing them from going off course, and with the diplomacy and tact to get them to back him on the most important points. Bush was able to do this in military policy, but not domestic issues. Reagan was a legendary leader and motivator, but even he could not get the part united on all of the major issues. What I'm getting at, is you need to have a President who focuses on your top job, is thick-skinned yet humble, and able to line up the country for the right cause. Reagan saved the nation that way, W held us together that way, they both paid a price for it, and we need our next President to be made of the same stuff. Palin is a great individual, but while Alaska is a big state it's not preparation for tackling the federal government. She's tough enough to take on the kingpins of corruption, but in single combat as a champion, not a general in the war. Palin can focus attention on issues, but her solutions have not been fully developed or expressed in a way that stands up to attacks from the left. She's a star player for America, but not it's coach.

The question still remains, who is that leader we need? The clock is now running to set up the 2012 campaign to set the nation back on the right course.


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Comments (26)

The GOP is in real trouble ... (Below threshold)

The GOP is in real trouble in the 2012 presidential elections.

GOP primary history suggests that the presumptive "leader" usually wins the nomination.

Among the four currently at the top, none has the tools necessary to win either the primary or the general.

The lesser candidates are what they are - lesser.

So the unfortunate choice right now are (1) one of the top four win the nomination, and hopefully are competitive in the general, (2) one of the lesser ones catch fire and imagination, for the primaries and the general, or (3) a white knight emerges soon.

You can assign probabilities for each of these outcomes, and you will realize the slim chances for the GOP in 2012.

The only certain outcome is that somebody will be the nominee.

As they say, the clock's ticking.

The problem with the GOP is... (Below threshold)
jim m:

The problem with the GOP is that they fixate on "mainstream" candidates. That is to say candidates who are acceptable to the MSM. This results in boosting candidates like John McCain, who are not supported by the base.

The current crop of front runners are all suspect. Romney is far to squishy on the issues and is a big government politician. That is death to election hopes in today's environment.

Huckabee is too much a panderer to the media spotlight. Whatever the media decide is important then he is for it. He has never been a serious conservative. He has always struck me as being from the Charlie Crist mold.

Palin has the TEA Party bona fides, but the media is solidly against her and that makes a tough hill to climb.

Chris Christie, on the other hand, is great on camera, speaks well, and has the right priorities to make him a winner in this current environment. Unfortunately, he claims not to be interested for 2012. That may just be posturing. I hope so. I don't see many candidates out there that have any experience cutting spending or who are willing to stand up to the unions and really take the fight to the liberal interest groups and the media.

If the GOP can't get him or someone like him they are going to have a tough time of it. While I believe that obama will do his best to improve GOP chances by remaining the insane ideologue that he has been, the GOP by choosing a crapy candidate will make it a nail biter.

It wouldn't be hard to do b... (Below threshold)

It wouldn't be hard to do better than McSame who apparently is voting for shamnesty next week.
But when you see how upset all the show business
tv hosts are over Bristol surviving on DWTS, you have to make sure Sarah Palin is elected president. Every time a liberal sees her or any member of her family smiling and enjoying life it takes 5 years off their life. She freaks the
anti american crowd even more than Dick Cheney.

Glad to hear you're still u... (Below threshold)

Glad to hear you're still upright.

As for 2012. THE conservative candidate might not even been on the radar screen YET. As for the 'recyclables', forget them.

Well said on Sarah Palin's ... (Below threshold)

Well said on Sarah Palin's pros and cons.

Palin will run and easily b... (Below threshold)

Palin will run and easily beat Obama, and make a fine president. Nobody fulfills the requirements given here.

DJ, glad your okay.<p... (Below threshold)

DJ, glad your okay.

Palin will do well keeping on as she is. She is making the MSM and liberals heads explode by just telling it like it is. She is a great motivator for the conservative base. After what she went through during the campaign, she had earned my respect.

Obama has lowered the bar so low, just about anyone can come into the fray with little or know experience, just having a skillset of speaking well.

I am certain that the really qualified candidates for both sides will not run due to the vile nature of present day politics. It is a shame. I even think John Adams wouldn't run for office in this climate. Too much hate going around. ww

Seriously doubt Sarah will ... (Below threshold)

Seriously doubt Sarah will run. Might campaign for someone else though. Nothing to do with her qualifications. She's more qualified than Barry, but hell, I'm more qualified than Barry.

Good to see you back, DJ - ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Good to see you back, DJ - my sympathies for having to deal with the IRS, especially, since with them even the most favorable outcome takes a lot out of you.

I agree Palin is better off as "Voice of American Conservatism" than as candidate. The media assaults upon her are completely unfair, but have left their mark and made her unattractive to mushy independents and toxic to Democrats who might be peeled off the Obama Hellbound Express.

Romney has his problems with the conservative base, especially due to mASS cARE and his spotty history on life issues. Some of the further-out-there followers of Huckabee also would never support a Mormon.

Huckabee is not acceptable. He's certainly no advocate of smaller government or of cutting taxes, and turned loose too many criminals who went on to create new victims. Forget him.

Christie is pro-abortion, and that hasn't washed in the Republican Party since Ford. Plus, while he's made an impressive start, he has a long way to go in saving New Jersey from Democratic follies of the past, and would be hit for leaving the job undone.

So I expect the nominee will come from the ranks of those not mentioned yet, or mentioned as "also viewed as potential candidates" list like Pawlenty or Daniels (there are some advantages to a Midwestern nominee). My personal "dark horse" choice might be General Petraeus.

Don't be such a stranger!

Palin will run for the nomi... (Below threshold)

Palin will run for the nomination, and probably win, simply because there is no other viable candidate.

Simple logic: Imagine you are Palin, and you see the other main contenders - Romney, Huckabee, Newt - none of whom can light up the base or independents, and none of whom has a snowballs chance in hell. Plus none of the lesser knowns can get traction, for one reason or the other.

There is only one candidate who can fire up Republicans, and bring in enough independents to win. But he will not run.

Anybody but Barry. Thats a ... (Below threshold)

Anybody but Barry. Thats a positive start.

"We need a President capabl... (Below threshold)

"We need a President capable of leading Congress to do the right thing, preventing them from going off course, and with the diplomacy and tact to get them to back him on the most important points"

Palin is the only one with the skills and the integrity needed to make that happen. There is no magic knight in shining armor that we haven't heard of coming to rescue the country at the last moment. It's time to stop dreaming about the perfect candidate and start supporting the one standing right there who is ready, willing, and able to serve her country.

"...her solutions have not been fully developed or expressed in a way that stands up to attacks from the left."

If you're going to chose a candidate based on the left's opinion of them, then you might as well just let the left chose a candidate for you.

Palin isn't afraid of nasty attacks because she knows you have to stand up to bullies to make them stop. Either the people of this country will learn that too, or we'll serve another four years with President Obama. Frankily, if people are going to just cower in fear because of the left's bullying, we might as well let The Chosen One continue a second term.

The question still remai... (Below threshold)

The question still remains, who is that leader we need?

Out there somewhere, but we'll never know where or who it is. The political process is so corrupt and befouled that the people who would make good leaders never run for office.

Mr. Drummond,The g... (Below threshold)

Mr. Drummond,

The generational timer for electing one of your own to the Presidency is running out fast for the Boomers - we're already at 20 (8 Clinton, 8 Bush Jr. and 4 Obama). Thus, the Boomers are right at the cusp of the generational change boundary, which is right in-line with the historical norm.

Face it, elder Boomers (borne before 1963) are getting up there. The following generation, the Realist (borne 1964 or later) are coming of age in the political leadership role. Their oldest cohort group will be 48 in 2012.

Realist could care less about the cultural wars that have so consumed the Boomers (yawn). They're tired of playing referee, and have already shipped the first cohort wave of Boomers off in their wheel-chairs so they can argue amongst themselves in the old-folks home about, "who was responsible for loosing Vietnam!"

Realist and the following Millennial are looking for leadership in their own mold (not the Boomer spin), someone who is a fighter, someone who can write their own speeches, someone who can see the world as it is (not like it could be - you listening Idealistic Boomers?), someone who can take charge and rein in Congress (no Boomer was ever successful in riding over that herd), someone who can say NO and who has real workable solutions to real world problems (not kick the can down the road), someone down to earth, and someone just like....well them.

Historically by 2012, the pressing issues of economic growth, facilitating private sector job creation, and slaying the government spending debt demon will be overwhelming. The Realist generation will be right on time to focus on doing what must be done.

A better setting things straight and fixing up crew will be at hand. Suddenly, the impossible will become do-able. They will start to change and discard the unworkable institutions that the Boomers have built and begin to render them in their own image (no matter how the few residual Boomers might squeal). It is their destiny.

If Republicans are smart, thy will forget about the old-gard in 2012, and focus on the new up-coming generation to select their next presidential nominee. Perhaps it will be Paul Ryan, perhaps a she, or perhaps one of his or her generational cohorts. But no matter who it turns out to be, rest assured, we'll all know soon enough.

Semper Fidelis-

Thank you for making the di... (Below threshold)
Rose Hughes:

Thank you for making the distinction that most people against Palin as President miss.

She's only qualified to be president when you compare her to the rest of the field. She is one of the better of the worst - which isn't saying that she is a good candidate just that there isn't much to choose from currently.

When the current President spent his entire 1/2 term as US Senator campaigning for his next job, labeling her a "quitter" (but not him) is simply sexist nonsense.

Looking at both as "not ready for primetime" is reasonable.

WBDJGood posts stimu... (Below threshold)

Good posts stimulate great comments.

I think Bruce is absolutely... (Below threshold)

I think Bruce is absolutely right! At least, I hope he is!

Median age at election for ... (Below threshold)

Median age at election for a US president is 54 years. Reagan, at 69 was the oldest.

The "moderates" and Libs wa... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

The "moderates" and Libs want desperately to lock out the conservatives in 2012.

Well Pence, coming from the House, hasn't a credible chance anyhow.

For that matter no one will vault from Congress, not after 2008's offering. Newt, are you kidding?

So the pragmatists have a clutch of COO types to choose from. None will light a fire under the base.

Ron Paul will win north of 15%. Dims get to choose the president again. Maybe they'll like your stiff, maybe O'Bufoo is gone and Hill wins.

But you'll incite the TEAs all.over.again.

I don't know. Do TV talkin... (Below threshold)

I don't know. Do TV talking heads and internet bloggers obsess over Sarah Palin, or is she a crutch for those moments when they cannot think of anything else to bloviate about?

Enough already. Wait until she announces a decision before telling her she made a mistake. How about that?

One thing I have noticed about SP. So far she has done a pretty good job of managing her life with no input from the Peggy Noonans, Karl Roves and D.J. Drummonds of the world. Anyone remember all of those who wrote her off when she recognized that she would be unable to govern Alaska effectively in the climate created by the hateful haters? Who was right then? Now some of those same folks don't think she is self-aware enough to manage the next phase of her life. Some of her uninvited advisors would do well to learn from her. In the meantime I feel pretty confident that she will make a sensible decision.

Oh! Since bloviating is cheap, I have an input. If she should get carried away by ambition, there is a little noticed weapon in her arsenal of sensibility--Todd. McCain turned her head once with the glamour of national politics. Todd was along every step of the way on that ill-fated journey. He saw the effect on her and the family. I don't think he is the type to be suckered twice. So, if she does run, it will be after a very careful assessment--by both of them.

Unlike most folks, I look a... (Below threshold)

Unlike most folks, I look at elections for clues about what is really going on - not through the lens of party (Democrat or Republican) - but in generational terms.

All generations grow up (their formative years), become young adults, reach midlife (raise families), and as elders assume a national leadership role... then they pass away. Its the cycle of life.

In political terms, generations first populate the People's House, then they become a majority in the Senate, followed by the Supreme Court, and finally - they elect one of their own to be President. That's the historical pattern.

Comparing the median age of the out-going constitutional office holders to the median age of the in-coming is a tell. All wave elections have an overwhelming (inter-) generational element - which is indisputable. Our most recent election meshes well with the weave of this dynamic fabric.

Interestingly, the rate of generational change is accelerating, but has not yet reached its climax. The old-guard elderly Boomer establishment, entrenched in the status quo, clings tenaciously to the reins of power - desperately trying to accomplish their generational mission (as defined by themselves) before they succumb. The fact is - the Boomers are running out of time. The longer this situational dynamic endures, the more abrupt the inevitable break will be. So, what does this portend?

In my opinion, this means - on or about November 2012, the Boomers will receive a fatal blow amidships, and as they settle deep into the water-line, those that haven't seen the light and bailed (Idealistic Boomers? yeah, right), will go down with the plunging ship from the resultant Realist's torpedo. In other words, the conventional wisdom is misreading events - the rising tsunami is in essence generational - and the effects of its wave has not yet overwhelmed the high but crumbling Boomer storm wall. But it will be breached, and very soon.

Does this make your day? Depends perhaps, on which side of the generational divide one resides.

Semper Fidelis -

"the Boomers will receive a... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

"the Boomers will receive a fatal blow amidships"

And they(I among them) deserve to be crushed. The 'Greatest Generation', our parents, left us the richest, most philanthropic, arguably the most ethical nation on the planet, perhaps in history. And we pissed it all away.

Conservatives need Palin to run, win or lose, and take our votes to the convention.

Mr. Gulrud,Ah, his... (Below threshold)

Mr. Gulrud,

Ah, historical legacies... tis really written by progeny. Our parents (yes I'm a Boomer too) were the "GI" (Government Issue) generation...they were great organizers and overcome a lot (The Great Depression and WWII).

They took charge and ran the country way longer than they should of (Presidents Kennedy thru Bush Sr.). They allowed the following generations their fun (remember your 1960's young adult days?), as long as their political clout wasn't challenged. The younger generations, donned the offered cerebral blinders which forever had a rear-view mirror bias (looking backward for leadership instead of forward)... that was the generational bargain offered. So, the "Greatest Generation?" Remove those blinders, and I think not so much...the "Greatest Generation" is the Millennials...like the one's fighting on our behalf in Afghanistan today.

Think my GI assessment too harsh? The generation between the " GI's" and the "Boomers" is known as the "Silent" generation. They earned this moniker because they are the only generation in the history of our country (10 generations actually - going back to the 1790's) who didn't elect one of their own to be President of the United States...we went straight from the GI Presidents to the Boomer Presidents (Bush Sr. to Clinton). However, they did leave their mark in the Civil Rights arena.

Your (and my) historical generational legacy has yet to be settled...but I think your probably right; future generations will not look kindly upon our era.

Interestingly, you appear to be a Sarah Palin fan. Last I checked on Wiki - she was borne early in 1964, which places her in the following Realist generation (albeit as a member of their first cohort wave). Out of the four main candidates in the 2008 election, she was the only one who wasn't a Boomer...which might explain a lot of why she received so much vitriol from some of her supposed Boomer superiors.

Tis something to ponder, yes?

Semper Fidelis -

GREAT TO SEE THE MIGHTY MR.... (Below threshold)


I have to agree with all, especially regarding Mrs. Palin.

Ms. Charen is tough here, but accurate:
"After the 2008 campaign revealed her weaknesses on substance, Palin was advised by those who admire her natural gifts to bone up on policy and devote herself to governing Alaska successfully. Instead, she quit her job as governor after two and a half years, published a book (another is due next week), and seemed to chase money and empty celebrity. Now, rather than being able to highlight the accomplishments of Sarah Palin's Alaska, we get "Sarah Palin's Alaska," another cheesy entrant in the reality show genre. She'd so much rather be out dog sledding than in some "dull political office," she tells the audience. File that."

I like Mrs. Palin, but grow weary of the Celebrity and Fan Fare. How does one who embraced the Maverick Platform, with Cap and Trade Taxation and the debasing of many admirable things the Republicans offered in the GWOT, still enjoy a mythic 'super conservative' Image?

The McCain-Palin Ticket offered one of the most liberal platforms in GOP History. Mrs. Palin also provided populist taxation on Oil Companies and built bureaucratic "Climate Panels" in Alaska. Hardly the 'ideal' dream.

She is attractive, nice, etc., with a good family. Likeable personally, but plays the stereotype to Our fine Base way too thick these days. Her abandoning the Governorship in Alaska was hardly responsible - far from Conservative.

Recently I winced with her continued focus on Karl Rove's simple criticism about a "reality tv" show. I also winced twice seeing Mrs. Palin hide behind the heroic GIPPER, when questioned about her "reality tv" program. She can stand on her own two feet, and shouldn't have to smugly bring RR into every conversation, to reflect upon his early acting career, to make excuses for her "reality tv" gig.

I was a big Palin fan back in the day, prior to when she took on the Maverick VP position. The Anchoress wrote about her as the Governor of Alaska. I had great hopes, but I know now, Sarah is a typical politician, who has turned major Celebrity. Image and Identity are always weak offerings.

We see the problems with the flops in Alaska, Delaware, Nevada, etc. It is always a fools game, this IMAGE - Identity Movement.

Best wishes DJ.
Take great care.

Of course the 'pragmatists'... (Below threshold)
gary gulrud:

Of course the 'pragmatists' and careeritsts of the GOP would like Palin to self-finance their campaigns and remember to take her seat when asked.

They've got nothing. Look at Gallups poll of Republican affiliates. She's in front without the TEAs.

"We like her but" we're embarrassed we rely on her trailer trash for votes, canvassing, pounding on doors, call centers,...

This spin is as transparent as it is dishonest.

And you losers expect to win with the same in-your-face-horsesh*t the POTUS stuffs in our face.

Good luck with that.

we need to get away from th... (Below threshold)

we need to get away from the need for a superman for president. We had Reagan, and he was just a speed bump on the road to serfdom. It can't be done every four or eight years, so we have to restructure the system so the superman doesn't have to do everything by himself (can't be done). REPEAL THE 17TH AMENDMENT and start putting the system back where it had checks and balances.






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