Free Markets, Free People

Anthony Weiner

Politicians: Where do we get these people?

Camille Paglia is someone I disagree with at times but have always found to be, for the most part, refreshingly honest.  I like to read her thoughts on current affairs (don’t really care much about the cultural side of it all) and this week, in an interview in Salon, she answered a couple of questions that I think are worth discussing.

Question one:

Two words: Anthony Weiner. Your thoughts?

Two words: pathetic dork. How sickeningly debased our politics have become that this jabbering cartoon weasel could be taken seriously for a second as a candidate for mayor of New York. But beyond that, I have been amazed by the almost total absence of psychological critique in news analyses of the silly Weiner saga. For heaven’s sake, Weiner is no randy stud with a sophisticated sex life that we need to respect. The compulsion to exhibit and boast about one’s penis is embarrassingly infantile — the obvious residue of some squalid family psychodrama in childhood that is now being replayed in public.

I assumed at first that Huma Abedin stayed married to Weiner out of noble concern for her unborn child, who deserved a father. But her subsequent behavior as Weiner’s defender and enabler has made me lose respect for her. The Weiners should be permanently bundled off to the luxe Elba of Oscar de la Renta’s villa in the Dominican Republic. I’m sure that Hillary (Huma’s capo) can arrange that.

Her first point is the most important – how debased have our politics have become?  Look at the circus we deal with on a seeming daily basis. Look at the people we attract.  And consider the fact that Anthony Weiner actually figured he had a legitimate shot at being elected.

Look at this idiot mayor in San Diego.  He just can’t imagine why he should shuffle off the stage.  There are any number of others that need to take the hint as well.

It’s not just a problem on the left.  It is a problem on both sides of the isle. As we have said many times here, we are extraordinarily ill served by our political class today… at all levels and from both parties.  And it is we who we have to blame for that problem.  The fact that Weiner was indeed taken seriously until his latest nonsense was revealed is the point.  Elliot Spitzer is another example.  The fact that neither demonstrated any character or integrity previously should tell us we don’t need them anywhere near public office.  Yet somehow they get signals that they have a chance at a second try.  What those signals are I haven’t a clue, but whatever they are, we need to quit sending them pronto.

Question two:

Any hopes, fears or predictions for the presidential elections in 2016?

As a registered Democrat, I am praying for a credible presidential candidate to emerge from the younger tier of politicians in their late 40s. A governor with executive experience would be ideal. It’s time to put my baby-boom generation out to pasture! We’ve had our day and managed to muck up a hell of a lot. It remains baffling how anyone would think that Hillary Clinton (born the same year as me) is our party’s best chance. She has more sooty baggage than a 90-car freight train. And what exactly has she ever accomplished — beyond bullishly covering for her philandering husband? She’s certainly busy, busy and ever on the move — with the tunnel-vision workaholism of someone trying to blot out uncomfortable private thoughts.

I for one think it was a very big deal that our ambassador was murdered in Benghazi. In saying “I take responsibility” for it as secretary of state, Hillary should have resigned immediately. The weak response by the Obama administration to that tragedy has given a huge opening to Republicans in the next presidential election. The impression has been amply given that Benghazi was treated as a public relations matter to massage rather than as the major and outrageous attack on the U.S. that it was.

Throughout history, ambassadors have always been symbolic incarnations of the sovereignty of their nations and the dignity of their leaders. It’s even a key motif in “King Lear.” As far as I’m concerned, Hillary disqualified herself for the presidency in that fist-pounding moment at a congressional hearing when she said, “What difference does it make what we knew and when we knew it, Senator?” Democrats have got to shake off the Clinton albatross and find new blood. The escalating instability not just in Egypt but throughout the Mideast is very ominous. There is a clash of cultures brewing in the world that may take a century or more to resolve — and there is no guarantee that the secular West will win.

She nails Hillary and Benghazi on the head.  I couldn’t agree any more with her assessment of that particular situation and the response from Clinton and the administration. 

Note too that Paglia’s candidate isn’t another senator.  She too has had enough of that brand of clueless fools that have no executive experience (although Clinton can claim exec experience with the Dept. of State, as far as I’m concerned she made a dog’s breakfast of her time there).  Hopefully the rest of the country is just as tired of it as Paglia is.

~McQ

If voters are so upset with the Republican House, what’s up with NY-9?

One of the things we constantly hear from the left is the public is already fed up with the obstructionist House and that the possibility exists Democrats may be able to reverse 2010 and take it back in 2012.

Really?

Well then explain NY-9, the congressional seat in a very blue district in New York city.   Disgraced Democrat Anthony Weiner resigned and what should have been an almost rubber stamp Democrat win has suddenly shifted in favor of the Republican challenger.

Why?

Well part of it is those troublesome independents again.  They refuse to listen to the left’s version of conventional wisdom.   But there’s also a good amount of crossover voting:

Turner’s winning in a heavily Democratic district for two reasons: a huge lead with independents and a large amount of crossover support.  He’s ahead by 32 points at 58-26 with voters unaffiliated with either major party.  And he’s winning 29% of the Democratic vote, holding Weprin under 60% with voters of his own party, while losing just 10% of Republican partisans.

We’ve been documenting the flight of independents from the Obama (and Democratic) agenda for a couple years now.  Nothing really new there.   But in a district as heavily Democratic as NY-9, it takes more than capturing the independent vote if you’re a Republican.  You have to get some pretty significant crossover votes as well.

So what’s causing this defection by some Democrats there?   Well, I’ve documented any number of stories saying that the bloom is off the Obama rose.  We had Richard Cohen in the Hamptons visiting with NYC’s liberal elite and finding very little if any support for President Obama.  We have Democrat Pete DeFazio saying the “enthusiasm” for Obama is gone.  Is NY-9 a referendum on the President?

If Turner wins on Tuesday it will be largely due to the incredible unpopularity of Barack Obama dragging his party down in the district.  Obama won 55% there in 2008 but now has a staggeringly bad 31% approval rating, with 56% of voters disapproving of him.  It’s a given that Republicans don’t like him but more shocking are his 16% approval rating with independents and the fact that he’s below 50% even with Democrats at 46% approving and 38% disapproving.

That’s got to be part of it.  Turner is also a strong candidate and Weprin, well, not so much.  But still, this is a reliably Democratic district, so that to has to be remembered.  Given a strong opinion of national leadership, it should be no real chore to overcome a GOP candidate there.  But that’s not the apparent case.  Here’s the warning sign:

One final note on the poll and what perhaps should concern Democrats most of all. 55% of voters in the district report having voted for Obama in 2008, which is the actual percentage of the vote he got in the district.  Last year a lot of the races Democrats lost were because their voters didn’t show up and the electorate was far more conservative than for a Presidential year.  When you lose that way you can say, well, our voters will come back out in 2012 and we’ll be fine.  But there is no enthusiasm gap here.  Obama voters are showing up in the same numbers they did in 2008.  But only 65% of them are voting Democratic.  That’s a really big cause for concern.

It is indeed a big cause for concern if that’s a pattern that repeats across the nation.  White it is possible that the Democrat may end up winning in NY-9 because crossover trend hasn’t yet solidified, the indicators contained in the PPP poll show contain some very disturbing news for Democrats, win or not.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

Observations: The QandO Podcast for 12 May 11

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss Weinergate, Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

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Whatever happened to “shame”?

I suppose, as with most people, you’ve been at least peripherally following what has become known as “Wienergate”.  I’ve avoided it like the plague here – I just don’t particularly care to push those sorts of stories.

But as it has evolved – risqué picture, claim of a criminal act, modified to claim of a prank and then finally admitted that all was a lie – I’ve figured at some point Anthony Wiener would feel shame and resign.  Especially when he finally admitted to sending the picture and it was revealed he had a pattern of doing so with young women.

Had that been a Republican we all know that feeding frenzy the fairly silent women’s rights movement would be involved in.  We also know we’d see the Democratic women in Congress up in arms ala Bob Packwood, right?

Weiner?  And yes, I’ve watched and enjoyed the many times juvenile plays on his name, but I can’t imagine him staying in office.  Or can I?

What finally compelled me to write about this shameful fiasco was this:

In the poll, 56% of registered voters in Weiner’s NY-9 district think he should remain in office, while only a third (33%) think he should resign. That result comes as further salacious details about the Twitter scandal have come to light.

Really?  So conduct in office that would be condemned in the corporate world, an rightly so, is okay in the political world?  Because that’s what Weiner’s constituents are saying. 

It’s easy to say “that’s none of my business” and  ignore his actions while he was supposed to be representing you.  But ignoring this means or saying he should stay, if he’s your Congressman, is saying you have absolutely no standards of moral conduct you expect from elected officials or those standards are so low that almost anything is acceptable.

In this case, if I lived in NY-9, I’d be ashamed to have Weiner as my rep.  And I’d be even more ashamed of the 56% who claim he should stay on regardless of his shameful conduct.

Whatever happened to shame in this country?

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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The QandO Podcast for 05 Jun 11

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael, and Dale discuss Weinergate, employment, and the budget.

The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2010, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

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Questions And Observations #5

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For new readers, “QandO” is short for “Questions and Observations”.

  • “Scientific proof” that Islam is the “correct religion” thanks to an electron- microscope. Yes, “molecules took beautiful shapes everytime they are exposed to air vibrations from reading the holy Quran or saying the word islam or the muslim call to prayer.” But is there scientific consensus?
  • Apparently Hamas and al-Qaeda are fighting it out for the Gaza strip. 13 dead and 100 injured. Only al-Qaeda would declare Hamas as being “too liberal”. So how will the San Francisco anti-Israel protesters protest this? My guess is that somehow Bush will be the blame. Also note how hard the report tip-toes around identifying the Hamas opponents as al-Qaeda
  • 60 Brooklyn New York seniors gave Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner an ear-full, with one of them calling him a crook who was trying to bankrupt the country. Weiner’s response? “You have a lot of good talking points”. Yeah, my guess is her “talking points” were in reaction to his talking points. You have to hope the Dems keep handling all of their constituent protesters in such an appallingly ham-fisted manner. Hard to turn old folks in a deep blue district into racist red-necks though, isn’t it?
  • Zomblog does a terrific retrospective of the Bush/Hitler meme during the last 8 years that exposes the faux-outrage of both the media and the left for what it is. It’s a rather interesting reminder of how casual and how widespread it was. Just as interesting is the amnesia that both the media and left are seemingly suffering right now.
  • Lefties are up in arms with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey after he came out in a WSJ editorial against Obama’s health care reform. You see, Mackey’s company self-insures and provides its own health care coverage. And it works. Mackey tops it off by saying we should be moving toward “less government control and more individual empowerment”. Liberals are enraged and boycotting, believing Mackey is biting the hand that fed him. I guess the entrepreneurial capitalist won out over the sniveling collectivist. He knows what got him where he is and it wasn’t government. Me? I’ve never shopped at Whole Foods, but I’m going to now.
  • In all of this health care stuff, let’s not forget about cap-and-trade. The Heritage Foundation has a new analysis out. If the bill is passed and signed into law as is, look for a 58% increase in gas prices, a 90% increase in electricity prices, and a $3000 per family increase in goods and services. At a national level, we’ll see a loss of 9.4 trillion in aggregate GDP between 2012 and 2035 as well as a loss of 2.5 million jobs by 2035. Other than that, it’s a peachy keen bit of legislation.
  • And for our “bad salesman tip” of the week – remember when you’re trying to sell government health care as an alternative to private health care, alway invoke UPS and FedEx as the good example and the USPS as the screwed up example. Heh … sometimes you just have to know when to shut up.
  • Congressman Bart Stupak, D-MI validates the contention that most of the Democrats put party over country. Stupak told Detroit News columnist Frank Beckmann that protests weren’t going to deter him from voting yes on health care. He said, “We’re not going to allow a small, vocal minority to dissuade us (from) our goal.” IOW, “screw you folks, I’m just going through the motions in these townhalls, Nancy Pelosi has my vote”

~McQ