Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Presidential Legacies - Part II

The historical legacies are like a series of matryoska dolls, going back to the War for Independence. We have to begin somewhere. We’ll begin with Ronnie . . .and save the earlier administrations for a cold winter day when there’s nothing current to think about.
Ronald Reagan was nominated and elected as Governor of California, then the second most populous state (=beaucoup electoral votes), as the then-most-recent neurotic electoral reaction to Kennedy Assasination-Johnson/VietNamChaos-NixonScandal-Ford-CarterMalaise. Ronnie came and the political system seemed to stabilize. He brought a few trusted staff from California and winged the administrative process with whatever GOP talent was around. In his mind, he was President and then he was going home. That’s what he did. If readers can point to any action he took to develop or sustain his policies, or to build GOP leadership, beyond his last day in the White House, please inform us all with a comment.
Geo.H.W.Bush was a different story. He was born to the Washington game. He, his family and the family friends have been in this game since his grandfather's time. He and the folks behind him have been planning and developing talent and making use of every opportunity for more than a hundred years. That’s how H.W. could sit on Naval Observatory Hill for eight years and not go mad. >link here< He put his folks in the Reagan administration when he could and he had a regiment of his own people ready when he took his turn in the White House.
Being clever does not mean being smart. H.W. ran his administration a bit too transparently as his own. His slights and mistakes, large and small, accumulated. Ross Perot’s third party candidacy from the right cost H.W. re-election.
Bill Clinton took a Democratic Presidential nomination that no one else wanted, because the experienced Washington politicians “knew” that H.W. couldn’t be unseated in his re-election bid. Clinton was lucky and smart and canny and won. He didn’t know anything about Washington but he was a quick learner. Hillary was such a shrewish hick that on her first night in the White House she was throwing White House china at Bill – leaving the Secret Service with a novel dilemma of how to protect the POTUS. Good Old Hillary - when in doubt, be a bitch – but is it sexist to observe that men don’t throw china?
Bill was canny and clever and imagined being in power forever. Apart from some awful bits of his wife’s campaign for the Presidential nomination, actually, Bill remains a world power.
BabyBush was waiting. He was also lucky. As I wrote in an earlier post, he won the governorship of Texas through luck. >link< From there, Daddy and his friends just carried him along.
BabyBush and Cheney and Daddy’s team were very “adult” in preparation for BabyBush’s administration. Plans, personnel and appointments were in very good order from the first day of this administration.
Baby Bush and Cheney gave no thought to their legacy. They took no interest in promoting individuals or ideas to perpetuate GOP leadership. They took no interest in establishing an identity for the GOP in the mind of the electorate.
Bad, bad, bad. Both BabyBush and Cheney exploited their opportunities, packed their bags and left. The United States deserved better.
Ask yourself where we would be today, if BabyBush had put the Democrats on the defensive in 2007 with Tort Reform and interstate sales/portability of health insurance, instead of building his library. BabyBush's Bungling in the 2006 Congressional elections is discussed >here<.

Biden was likely an impetuous choice to balance Obama’s youth and inexperience. The media were hilarious in their denial of Biden’s record as a corporate lackey and his well-known gaffe-a-minute behavior. Biden was never intended to be a future Presidential candidate.

Try to imagine what, or who, comes after Obama. To ponder that is to realize how thoroughly Obama consumes the oxygen of the current political process.

The Anointed Won will give no thought to what comes after him, because it doesn't concern him! There is meager consolation that, if he wins a second term, there will be only wreckage for the Democrats to build upon and so, presumably a great opportunity for the GOP. The catch is that the GOP will have to both accept the far-left detritus as a starting point and make some clearly principled distinctions in order to remain a viable political movement. The world will be a far better place if The Anointed Won is weakened in 2010 and defeated in 2012.

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