A Curious Notion: A Storm on the Horizon

Isaac, a hurricane with a name that conjures up notions of biblical proportions is headed for TampaFlorida, of all places, and is due to arrive on Monday,  just in time for the Republican National Convention. This is such a delicious slice of irony that I refuse to open the door to all the jokes and puns in my own head much less to give an ear to any professional merry makers or comedians.

The truth of thing, on the other hand, is absolutely not amusing by any stretch of the imagination. It appears that in addition to the effects of the “Akin” comments last week there will be more items coming home to roost for the Republican presidential candidate and his running mate than just a potential natural disaster.

With simple objective analysis, it appears that we have a national office candidate that is at best opaque. He is a man equally disliked by a significant segment of his own party, and almost all of his previous political contestants. He appears to have unprecedented wealth for a political candidate, yet refuses to disclose all but the most minimum of financial details. He is a person who appears to have virtually no natural charisma, who has “flip-flopped on a significant number of well known public issues and, stands for nothing specific as far as policy goes. A candidate that is known to unabashedly pander to any audience that he appears before and does so without the recognition of gravity, or slightest shred of authenticity or discernable integrity. Given the lengthy delays and his vapid responses one easily is lead to believe that he has to consult with a secret kabal and cannot deliver an extemporaneous remark of substance or actual personal belief.

The issue of personal taxes has relentlessly dogged him all summer, and then there are the gaffs from the recent overseas trip this summer. A trip that was seemingly designed to distract from the deeply entrenched tax issue. Oddly enough, his initial misstep during the overseas trip was with one of our strongest allies, concerning the recent Olympic Games. You would think that this was something that he should be familiar with, given the experiences that he touts from the past winter games from Utah. This is piled on top of a regular monthly drip of gaffs since the primary season began for his party last fall.

Most recently the campaign rolled out their long-awaited pick for VP which in and of itself, was again probably timed as an another attempt to distract from the income tax issue. The event appeared at a less than well thought out time, only to have it drive up a “third rail” issue of Medicare and Medicaid in a negative way. This has been coupled with Congressman Ryan’s past legislative record; the Romney heralded Ryan Budget proposals, and now his links with the politically outcast congressman Akin. All of this with a virtual “gag order” being applied to the political press when it comes to issues concerning his time as a former governor of Massachusetts or his past exploits as Bain Capital CEO, both of which are claimed with the Olympics, as his bonafides for the nation’s next chief executive. All of this sits in front of a backdrop of income tax release and multiple tax shelter questions, accelerating an increasing volume of negative press coverage, as well as a rising tide of prominent elected and party officials advocating a more comprehensive release of financial disclosures.

It is interesting to try and understand the math that this campaign could be using to accumulate electoral college votes to forecast a victory in November when, there is no African American support, little to no Latino support, palpable disdain from the student/youth vote, a totally questionable amount of support from seniors, and a somewhat questionable amount of support amongst women. Recognize that women equal at least 51% of all registered voters. Given the endless parade of half-truths, falsehoods, and out right lies presented to the general public, via campaign ads, surrogates, and even his own speeches, a reasonable person could wonder if they really believe that there are enough “low information voters”, voter suppression schemes, or cash from superPACs to win this years election, much less claiming any discernable mandate for legislation or actions in governing.

The arrival of a mythical all cleansing mighty wind, while enjoyable, will probably be just another subtle sign that goes unnoticed by someone that believes himself to be a privileged character deserving “his turn” in office, not to mention a group of self-interested, insensitive, un-caring businessmen and political “fat-cats” that are salivating to finish the Bush-era agenda to create a free ride for profits from capital gains, kill off programs that provide support for the middle class and elimination of the social “safety-net” for that continual nuisance, the poor and downtrodden. Indeed a Curious Notion.

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