Law school can be demanding that way. Reading, studying, revising notes, and applying for internships. Apparently those things can get in the way of blogging about moderate politics. Weird. Anyway, it’s likely due to Thanksgiving and the upcoming final exam period that I will not be able to publish very much in the next two to three weeks. I’ll try to throw in some thoughts, as a study break, if anything interesting happens but until then, thanks for understanding.
As of the top stories over the past few weeks, I saw three things I wanted to mention.
1. Rep. Rangel received a censure from the House Ethics Committee that invested his shady financial reporting. 11 violations. Granted this vote will now move to the entire House of Representatives. Regardless of party affiliation, I do not see the sense in a mild, if not meaningless, punishment for a man that clearly disregarded the public trust. I also agree that removal from office or something might be a bit strong when there is no precedent for the House to do that. Yet, these are exactly the times when public officials fail to make a statement about honesty or integrity. Well, they’ll make a statement, just not back it up:
““It is my unwavering view that the actions, the decisions, and the behavior of our colleague from New York can no longer reflect either honor or integrity,” said the ranking member of the House Ethics Committee, Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.).”
Perhaps more than a censure than? I’m just envisioning Rep. Rangel being warned by a friend or close advisor about his loose attitude toward financial matters and him thinking “what’s the worst that could happen, a censure?” I guess it’s about time that I stop hoping for a politician or an entire Ethics Committee to step up and make a statement for honesty and integrity (besides when they are compelled too by the media or other public relations staff).
2. CNN Politics was reporting a Quinnipiac poll a few days ago that said 49% of respondents did not think, at this time, that President Obama deserved a second term. Apparently 43% did. Even though the data from this poll is meaningless that hasn’t stopped it from bothering me. I mean, you could ask another 1,000 people this same question tomorrow and get a totally different response depending on the day of the week, what President Obama was seen doing that day or simply whether Christmas music had started airing on local radio or not.
But it underscores the incredibly high expectations and double standard voters have for our Presidents. Comparatively, Obama first 2 years were immensely busy and filled with both domestic and international crises. I know he made some management and political missteps but he addressed (almost) everything he said he would. If he had tried even two more issues (say, illegal immigration and major climate control legislation), everyone from K street to cable news to local coffee shops would have used that against him and said he tried to take on too much. I’m not trying to be an Obama apologist or rewrite history, but what did we expect? My advice to Obama is to forget what’s “politically safe” like he did with healthcare and play hardball. Congress doesn’t wanna play ball. Make it hurt. Show the American people that it’s no-more-Mr. Beer Summit. You’ve got the pulpit for, at least 2 more years, use it. (Also, I don’t think anyone votes for another candidate if Obama takes control of his public image and goes after what he believes is right without reservation).
3. Speaking of other candidates…I don’t know if it’s because Bristol is on Dancing with the Stars or TLC debuted Sarah Palin’s new reality show, but Palin once again dominated the news, pop culture and podcasts last week. Can she be President? Has she lost her Momma Grizzly power? Do we know the real Sarah Palin? My goodness. Bottom line is that she cannot be President. She is less electable than Hillary Clinton in terms of polarizing, partisan candidates. I know she is a nightmare for Republicans because she can go rogue and split the Right’s vote. But she cannot win. So, let’s drop the charade.
Furthermore, I still believe that she does not want to win. She recognizes that her power is as speaker, pundit, author and reality star. She has the lifestyle, money and depth of substance that she is comfortable with. Get her in a campaign, even a primary, and her opponents will not pull punches simply because she looks good on TV. She could not finish her term as Governor of Alaska, cannot speak with depth about domestic policy or international relations and does not strike me as a “serious person”. Her use of Twitter, Facebook and blogs has been able to keep her in the cable news cycle but does not send a message of seriousness when it comes to choosing the 1 person who will represent our country. As you can tell, I don’t take her seriously as anything besides a partisan pundit. And that’s all I’ll say about that.
Thanks for reading. Happy Thanksgiving!