Author: The BPI Squirrel

Furthermore! – Passion, Politics, Parties, and Patience

Passion has its place in politics, but it can’t replace organization and patience. (More) My twin daughters, Nancy and Michelle, were passionate about their new club yesterday. They scurried around, chittering happily as they built a clubhouse in another part of Árbol Squirrel and decorated it with some pretty beads from their bed nook. They even made a sign – “Very Nice Squirrels Club” – which also summarized the club rules in the metaphorical nutshell. (They also wrote the club rules in an actual nutshell.) Once finished, they settled into their clubhouse and waited for other very nice squirrels to join. An hour or so later, they came back with their pretty beads and their sign. “Only one other squirrel came to our club house,” they complained, “and she wasn’t very nice.” Nancy and Michelle are only seven, so their abundance of passion and scarcity of patience are normal. Alas, when it comes to politics too many adults have almost as much passion … and almost as little patience. Last night, for example, I spent some time on Twitter talking with a Disaffected Democrat. She was furious with President Obama over last week’s New York Times story about the Al Qaida “kill list” and drone strikes. The drone strikes were immoral, she said. Never mind that Mitt Romney also favors drone strikes, or his declared intent for a military...

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Furthermore! – Mitt Romney, Republicans, Defense, and Positional Spending

To understand Mitt Romney and Republicans on defense spending, “follow the money” may be less reliable than “follow the antlers.” (More) Michelle and Nancy were watching the deer wander around Árbol Squirrel. They wanted to know why the deer didn’t have any antlers, as deer usually do in photos and drawings, and why squirrels don’t have antlers either. I explained that male deer grow antlers and use them to fight over females. Most male squirrels don’t fight over females, and those that do usually argue it out by twitching their tails. As for why the deer outside Árbol Squirrel have no antlers, deer shed their antlers in the winter and start growing a new rack each spring. The male deer here have only just started growing their antlers again. I thought about the twins’ questions as I read about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s Memorial Day speech: We have two courses we can follow: One is to follow in the pathway of Europe, to shrink our military smaller and smaller to pay for our social needs. The other is to commit to preserve America as the strongest military in the world, second to none, with no comparable power anywhere in the world. Predictably, Romney promised the latter. Never mind that the U.S. already spends more on our military than the next ten biggest-spenders … combined: The U.S. has...

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Furthermore! – GOP Say 2012 Is Obama vs. Someone Else

Republicans are pushing a simple story for 2012: If you’re not satisfied with President Obama’s economy, elect Someone Else. (More) You’ve probably heard the joke about the cop who comes home to find a note from his wife: “I’m leaving you for anyone else.” It may have first appeared in a Squirrelock Holmes mystery, but Arthur Conan Doyle left it out of his version and the original nutshells have been lost. Regardless, that’s basically the Republican story for 2012. House Speaker John Boehner was pushing that narrative back in January, and in April he called on other Republicans to drive that message in the media: The President’s policies – whether we’re talking ObamaCare, the failed ‘stimulus’ or the reams of new rules and regulations – aren’t helping. They’re actually making things worse. Consequently, this November will be a referendum on the president’s policies, and we must use every resource at our disposal to drive that referendum. This is why presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney campaigns on his business experience, yet dismisses any criticism of his time at Bain Capital as “character assassination,” and why Romney can run a campaign so vague even fellow Republicans wonder about his plans while accusing President Obama of running a “hide-and-seek” campaign. Those are contradictions only if you see the 2012 election as a choice between President Obama and Mitt Romney. If you accept...

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Furthermore! – Republicans, Vetting, Veterans, and the Vet

Many Republicans remain convinced that President Obama would be neutered by aggressive media vetting. (More) When I asked Pootie the Precious what she thought about that idea, she dashed under the sofa. I texted her on my Blewberry and asked why she was so afraid of the vet. “It smellz weerd,” she texted back on her iHazPhone. “An she pokez me.” That’s basically what Republicans wish the media had done to President Obama in 2008, and want the media to do this year. Their idea of vetting involves speculation about whether the president ever resolved his racial and national identity crisis, of renounced the supposedly ‘radical’ ideas taught by a Harvard professor whom he hugged, held in the 1960s by a University of Chicago professor whom he met through an anti-poverty effort, or preached in a Chicago church. In fact, Critical Race Theory is only “radical” if you reject the persistence of white privilege, President Obama was a child when Bill Ayers allegedly committed crimes and Ayers had long since joined the political mainstream by the time they met, and Jeremiah Wright’s sound-bited sermon differed from Jerry Falwell’s declaration that 9/11 was divine judgment only in the list of government and social policies each blamed. Still, Powerline‘s Paul Mirengoff insists: But I’m hard-pressed to see a plausible case that Obama has resolved his identity issues by fully discarding the...

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Furthermore! – The Myth of the Missing Political Center

You know you’re in trouble when other people start referring to you in Sarcastic Capitalized Phrases. (More) It happened to me last night. I was in my office at Árbol Squirrel, working on my thesis in 21st Century Political Nuttitude, when Nancy chittered to her twin sister Michelle, “Uh oh. Dad’s getting Grumpy Again. Next he’ll want More Macadamias.” Yes, I heard the capital letters. I also realized the girls were right and it was time to put my research away and join the family for a Relaxing Family Board Game. (Note to the designers: Twigs And Branches would be a much more relaxing game without that “Oops! Lost your nuts!” square. Just sayin’.) So I knew the would-be third party Americans Elect had been cast into Pundit Purgatory when pundits began referring to other pundits who supported Americans Elect as “Very Serious Men” and suggesting those pundits file to run on a “Very Serious Ticket.” The underlying story is that “no candidate has reached the national support threshold required to enter the ‘Americans Elect Online Convention’ this June,” despite the fact that AE qualified for the ballot in 27 states and had a bankroll over $20 million. The party rules required only that candidates draw 1000 online votes in at least 10 states. No one met that bar, and none of the hoped-for big names – Jon Huntsman,...

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