Tagged: Election

The Filibuster

Obama/Biden is hardly the Cabrera/Fielder combination it once was.  Should the president drop Joe?

Aaron T.
Woodbridge, VA

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Apparently the VP’s comments about the big banks putting “y’all back in chains” under a Romney administration have set off a firestorm of criticism.  Of course the Romney campaign indignantly declared this a new low in an election that will surely reach entirely new lows over the next few months.  But if you take a step back, none of this should really come as a surprise.  It’s just Biden being Biden.

Anyone who follows politics knows that Joe Biden is a walking gaffe machine.  I mean, this is the man who famously referred to the future President as “articulate and bright and clean.”  At least this time he’s pointing his rhetorical weapons of mass destruction at the other side.  And let’s be honest here, that’s part of the reason why Obama brought him on board as VP in the first place.  It’s also one of the reasons why there’s absolutely no reason for the President to drop him now.

Honestly, Biden’s moment last week was a godsend for the Obama campaign.  It followed news of the Paul Ryan pick, a moment that was supposed to change the election debate to matters of the economy and the budget.  Instead, the press and everyone else is talking about Biden’s statement.  Add in that it fires up an important part of the Democratic base, black Americans, and I really don’t see where this is hurting the Obama campaign at all.  Biden’s “gaffes” often serve to humanize both him and the President he serves.  They also give the campaign a way to say something while still claiming plausible deniability.  “Hey, we didn’t ask him to say that.  That’s just Biden being Biden.  However, now that you mention it….”  Sounds like a winning strategy to me.

More than that, though, Obama has no desire to get rid of Biden because Biden is the guy who turns the Obama strategy into reality.  You think the Affordable Care Act gets passed without Biden making calls and twisting arms?  You think “Don’t ask, don’t tell” gets repealed without Joe putting in some face time?  Sure, sometimes he may force the President’s hand, like with his comments on gay marriage, but is that such a bad thing?  Here’s an even better analogy.  Biden is COO to Obama’s CEO.  And trust me, being CEO without an effective COO is a painful proposition.  Just ask George HW Bush about that one.

Should Obama drop Joe?  Hell no.

-A

Back to Reality

I’ve been pretty focused on the Olympics for the past couple weeks.  I’ve watched enough handball to hold me over for the next four years and realized that men’s basketball is much more fun to watch than women’s basketball.  I’ve seen decathlons, pentathlons and heptathlons.  And the best part was, I used all the Olympic goodness to ignore the silliness of what passes for news in the US as of late.  Well, that’s over.

Now it’s all about Paul Ryan and Chick-Fil-A.

Paul Ryan?  Not really a big fan.  He seems to be a return to the Bush years, years that didn’t really turn out so well for America

Chick-Fil-A?  Well, it’s chicken.  Some people love it, others don’t really care.  Me, I don’t think I’ve ever actually had Chick-Fil-A.  It’s kind of funny.  The only time I ever remember even wanting it was when I was flying through Cincinnati one afternoon.  Everything else just looked nasty so I thought I’d give it a chance.  Except that it was a Sunday so there was no Chick-Fil-A to be had.  Not exactly a point in their favor.

Man, this is going to suck.  I love politics but this race has already gone ugly and the chances of it coming back up out of the gutter are slim.  Even baseball doesn’t seem to have the power to overcome the post-Olympics slump, although I’m still holding out hope.  And if worse comes to worst, there’s always football.  It just won’t be the same without Usain Bolt, though.

-A

A Winning Strategy

A couple years ago I was out with some friends and even though it was still early in the night, one of the guys started dancing with a relatively unattractive young lady and making overtures to convince her to come with him and get out of the place.  When I say early, it wasn’t even midnight yet and the place was open for another couple hours.  It didn’t make any sense to me because a bevy of beautiful young ladies were still floating around, getting drunk and and seemingly unattached.  I couldn’t understand what was happening because this guy isn’t bad looking, has an interesting job and should be able to do better.

As soon as possible, I pulled him aside and asked what he was thinking.  He listened to my arguments for a moment and, once I had finished, responded with three words: “Go ugly early.”

In retrospect, he had a point.  At the end of the night, all the pretty girls left and the rest of us were still there, desperately and drunkenly hitting on what was left.  His thought was, why delay the inevitable when you can take care of things early and be assured of some sort of result.  It may not be a winning strategy in terms of quality but it seems to work in terms of quantity.

This is why I’m not all that surprised to see the Presidential race already shaping up to be nasty.  I guess if there’s any surprise, it’s that Obama, Mr. “Hope and Change,” seems to have gone there first and seems to be doing so pretty effectively.

Now, I’m actually of the opinion that Obama’s first term has been relatively successful.  His actions and those of his team prevented the recession from deepening into a depression.  Whether you agree with his politics or not, stepping in to save GM prevented catastrophic job loss at a moment when the economy could have crumbled under the weight of all those jobless people.  However, it’s hard to prove a negative so Obama is instead saddled with the weight of continuing economic sluggishness and jobs numbers that just refuse to grow.

But that’s not the story at this point.  Sure, it’s the summer and that means the undecided voters haven’t really tuned in yet.  But it was also summer when the Bush campaign launched its “Swiftboat” campaign against John Kerry and when people finally started paying attention, that had become part of the narrative.  Obama has managed to “Swiftboat” Romney with the tax return issue and if history serves, the issue will still be front and center come September when voters tune back in.

The story becomes even more interesting if you buy into the theory floated by Businessweek earlier this week.  Romney has adamantly refused to release his 2009 tax returns despite calls by some in his own party to do so.  This “lack of transparence” has damaged Romney’s standing but still he holds firm.  Why?  Well, Businessweek’s hypothesis is, maybe Romney didn’t pay any taxes that year!

It makes sense.  The very wealthy took a bath in the 2008 crash but losing a lot one year often means a huge tax break the following year.  So, if Romney’s fortunes took a dive, it’s natural and perfectly legal that he didn’t pay any taxes the next year.  However, try explaining that to the millions of unemployed out there or the sizable number of voters already paying a higher tax rate than Romney in a normal year.  The American electorate is notoriously immune to nuance.  News of Romney not having to pay taxes in 2009, justified or not, could pretty much lock up re-election for Obama.

So, Team Romney sits tight and continues to get battered from all sides.  Maybe they’re playing a Muhammad Ali rope-a-dope and want to wait until the news cycle is in their favor before releasing what might be completely innocuous tax returns.  Or maybe they’re just going to play it this way all the way through to the end.  All I know is that if Obama does win in November, you can chalk part of it up to my buddy’s strategy.  Go ugly early.

-A

Texts from Mitt

It’s official.  The Battle Royale known as the 2012 US Presidential Election will pit the titleholder, Barack Obama, against the challenger, Mitt Romney.  But that presents a problem for Mitt.  He won the primary by being the least bad choice and through blatant pandering to the base.  That probably won’t work for the general.  The fact of the matter is, Mitt is looking for ideas and he’s looking for them anywhere.  So, why not turn to Obama’s last real challenger:

image via textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com

That’s not a terrible idea.  Kind of unfortunate for a Mormon, though.  Hold on a second.  I know!  Maybe man’s best friend can help out:

image via textfromdog.tumblr.com

Uh, nope, not so much.

Wait a minute.  I’ve got it!  Since Florida is important and the Republicans aren’t doing so hot with the Latino vote, why not kill two birds with one stone.  I’m sure Ozzie Guillen would be willing to help out:

"I love Fidel Castro!"

Oh boy.  That’s gonna hurt.  Ozzie just turned himself into Florida kryptonite.

Actually, you know what, maybe Hillary wasn’t such a bad idea after all.  Couldn’t hurt to try again, right?

textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com

There’s always drinking…

-A

Namely a Name

Yesterday was election day here in the Chi.  I was there bright and early, standing in line with old ladies and a man who smelled like gasoline.  Working class neighborhood.

We have regular old boring names like Jeff. Bob. Joe. Myrtle. Louise. Evelyn.

I look down at my ballot and get dizzy from these crazy names!  Newt. Mitt. Barack.

Immediately my mind strays from politics, and does what it often does when it would rather be doing something else… focusing on baseball.

My favorite baseball names, in particular.

Candy Maldonado. Boog Powell. Calvin Schiraldi. Pete Incaviglia. Elias Sosa. Willie McGee. Boof Bonser. Homer Bailey. Catfish Hunter. Urban Shocker. Rocco Baldelli. Razor Shines. Al Kaline. Goose Gossage. Yadier Molina. Dick Pole. Fernando Tatis. Ugueth Urbina (despite his homicidal tendencies). Dickie Thon. Harmon Killebrew. Tom Candiotti. Ray/Bob/Bret/Aaron Boone. Coco Crisp. J.J. Putz. Rusty Kuntz. Oil Can Boyd.

And, perhaps my very favorite, Kevin Bass, if only because I pronounced it Kevin Bass (as in, the opposite of treble) for a long time before being corrected on the little league diamond with snickers (not the candy bar) and jeers.  Still, to this day, I prefer my pronunciation.  It is much more marquis worthy.

Sadly, none of the above were on the ballot.

Ron Paul it is.

Happy Hump Day!

Jeff

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Don’t forget, a call for Filibuster queries is in effect!  Send us your questions (anything goes!) by emailing RSBSblog@gmail.com or by commenting below. We (and Kevin Bass) thank you.

RSBS Digest: Time Travel

Unless we’re talking about the cavernous anatomy of a female Kardashian, despite my best efforts, I still have not been able to pinpoint the location of a reachable and workable worm hole.  Hadron Colliders the size of Prince Fielder’s appetite are also difficult to find these days.  And let’s not even start talkin’ about the insane price of rocket fuel!

So how do I propose we travel back in time?

We open our eyes and take in the train wreck that is the Republican primary!

Want to live in a world where a woman’s reproductive rights don’t matter?  Vote Republican!

Want to live in a world where your life is governed by an invisible sky daddy whose literary tome is as angry, erratic and suspect as a Manny Ramirez press conference?  Vote Republican!

Want to live in a world where the ONE candidate who ACTUALLY MAKES SOME SENSE is so shunned that he doesn’t even have ONE person embedded in his campaign to report what is actually going on?  Vote Republican!

We might not be able to travel back in time to stop the JFK assassination or Don Denkinger’s blindness during the ’85 Series, but as the above scenarios prove, we can go back about 100 years without much effort.  Just know that, if we do, it may only be a matter of time before they may decide it is okay to own human beings and to kill others simply because they believe in a different fairytale.

Hate me.  Whatevs.  Just don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

How to Win Super Tuesday

Take it from them!  Just take it

Forget your fickle fossil fuel subsidies, your position on amnesty for illegals, your corporate bailouts!  Forget them! 

Who cares for your stupid little war on drugs, your ignorant stimulus spending, your silly stem cell debate?  Who cares?!?!

If you want to win Super Tuesday, Mr. Politician, take off your shirt, ride a horse and go shoot a stinking tiger!

And if they try to stop you from winning?  There is only one thing left to do.

KEEEEEEEEEEEL them.

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Of course, the above method may not translate well to the 2012 baseball season.  I have tried touting my team as the 2012 World Series Champions already.  But it’s not working.

Yet.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff