Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Fabulous Four: Trump, Kasich, Rubio, and Bush

I’ve been in absentia, too busy working on my upcoming novel “One to the Heart.” Not only that, but also because there is already too much time devoted to the 2016 race that I didn’t want to add to the detritus of early speculation.  Who needs me to perorate on these weighty matters?  Only my dog and my cat;  herein depicted in attentive and reverential pose, pretending to listen when they are hoping for extra special treats in the form of food.  That’s not much different than much of the electorate though, is it?

It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton is getting squeezed. Those anguished cries coming from the Clinton Money Machine is proof enough that Server-Gate and Bernie Sanders’ alarming and precipitous rise in voter polls is hurting the doyenne of Benghazi Lies. Does Hillary Clinton also hear footsteps padding up behind her from VP Joe Biden, quietly assessing the mood of the electorate while spending time with his family after the tragic death of his son?  These obstacles are certainly more formidable to her than the rain of barbs levied upon her by current GOP (or third party) candidate Donald Trump.
But here are my time-saving tips for watching the political show:  Trump, first of all, will continue to have his appeal although the appeal already seems to be wearing thin. His interview with Hannity just two days ago was ample indication of that.

I’m enjoying Trump, the man, though I have reservations about Trump, the president. I serious did not like his attacks on McCain’s war record, remarks which I found absurd, uninspired, and disgusting. He was on soft ground there, considering his four draft deferments during the Vietnam war.  The Rosie O’Donnell thing? Wrong, but manageable in context of the poisonous vitriol she heaped on him.  Hitting at Megyn Kelly for her question: dumb, dumb, dumb because it sounded like the whining of a spoiled billionaire. Not to mention it looked like bullying. In spite of the social media uproar Trump created in disparaging her “bleeding from the eyes or wherever” the Fox News reporter wasn’t of such great media stature as to be a worthy target. She’s just a smart, tough reporter doing her job.   In raining invective upon Kelly, Trump turned a blister into a sucking chest wound, and the entire chorus of blind followers chimed in on Twitter to vent their outrage at a question that his Democratic opponents will ask him again and again. Was Trump thinking he would, by his reaction, put the question to bed?  Think again, Donald. You’re going to have to come up with a better response than to shoot the person asking the question.

Now for the rest and the more interesting part of my rant.  The entire political world has united against Jeb Bush.  The various factions invent their own reasons.  Hillary knows he’s going to be there, that he’ll be the last man standing, and she has to deal with that.  Chris Christie, who by virtue of his Obama Beach Hug at the Wrong Time, will never get anywhere and attacked Jeb Bush yesterday in a convoluted way to raise his own profile. These people know what will get picked up in the news cycle. So Christie saying Jeb was trying to “re-litigate” the Iraq War was simply his grab at headlines.  Okay, Christie, we get it; you were a federal prosecutor. But you are straining to use the "litigate" word, banging us over the head with it.  No one's trying to "litigate" the Iraq wars-- get over yourself!  It was similar to Trump’s mention that he was against the Iraq War (don’t know if he was against it after he was before it, though).

For the rest, Marco Rubio has a good game going, as does the new face John Kasich.  I can see Kasich breaking out at some point though he is certain to face criticism from the lockstep pundits kiting Trump—people like Laura Ingraham, e.g., Mark Levine, Sean Hannity (to a lesser extent), Anne Coulter, etc.  They don't find him conservative enough while the rest of them, somewhat ironically, find him too religious.

  I like most of the GOP candidates. I’ve even warmed a little to Fattie, or at least I’m able once again to see his strengths if I can ever get by the images of the Beach Hug and jumping up and down with Gerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys franchise. 

 I probably should have stated earlier that I think Jeb Bush would be the best president of the bunch.  I’ll explain later in full detail why he’s my pick, but the short version is that the next president will face the residuals of Obama's capitulation in the Middle East and Iran. I think there will most certainly be a momentous and unforeseen attack on the homeland by ISIS or AQ inspired Islamo-Nazis. A collective amnesia has already set in.  We are constantly blasted with the meme that we are "war weary" Americans when the fact is that Obama sounded a retreat on all fronts even while George Bush handed over a stabilized Iraq.  Obama also followed behind the Europeans in bombing Libya, then becoming confused and washing his hands of the whole thing--pretending, as it were. The result was Benghazi. 

I want a war president, a thoughtful,  informed, resolute leader who  will guide America with a steady hand through what is to come. Don't think for a moment that Jeb hasn't been studying world affairs, and that he hasn't benefited from his father's and brother's experience.  It's in his blood, so to speak, and he's got the right mix of it, neither too much of sabre-rattling nor too little of action when action is warranted.

We've had a newbie over the last 7 years and I don't want to see another president doing OJT with a nuclear Iran or a Pearl Harbor type surprise attack via dirty bomb in some American city.  Screw all that meme about "another Bush" -- everyone deserves to be looked at for who they are.  I am not my brother and neither are you your brother's keeper. (For the record, I would vote again for Papa Bush or George). 

If there is good news to bring it will be that any of the Republican candidates will manage an improvement in economic conditions that will help to abate the violence, dissension, and job losses in poor American communities.  (bi-lingualism would be a plus for any applicant as will a willingness to really understand what’s going on in the inner city neighborhoods of American cities)

 I think that Kasich, Rubio, and Jeb are the ones to watch as they gain on frontrunner Trump. The thing aboutTrump is that, while his energy level is high, and while he’s injected life into the process, you still don’t know who he really is. He’s so mercurial that you either wonder what vitamins he’s taking or when he’s in talk show mode or presidential campaign mode.  I suppose the two modes have become quite the same these days, so perhaps that’s is an “unfair” observation. 

The one thing you don’t wonder about Trump, however, is his ability to rock the media back on its heels with some neat feints and combination punches. That’s impressive to me, and Trump is TBE. So, homage!  There’s almost no one who doesn’t feel the MSM deserves to get bitch-slapped for its excesses, for its focus and delight in small matters of little consequence, for its pandering and its cowardly reticence in dealing with the really hard things like Benghazi and Server-Gate.

A word must be said about Carly Fiorina. I think she flagged in the California race against super-lib-left Barbara Boxer, but who could succeed in the Left Coast anyway?  She comes to this raise as a surprise (at least I was surprised) and a steady voice on the issues. She fought back successfully at Democrat smear-mongers who know little of economics or business but feel entitled to mouth off about her being fired as HP CEO.  Boardroom battles -- if you don't ruffle any feathers you're not doing your job, she says. I haven't included her in the list though I expect her to rise and keep rising.  She's a straight shooter and honest. I'd love to see her debate Hillary but she's not my pick because of the broad policy experience problem.

Remember that Hillary was on the prosecutorial team that pilloried President Nixon for his deceptions about Watergate.  What lessons did she take from it? Did she learn to lie better, more effortlessly? Did she learn how better to cover her tracks as Secretary of State?  It would be nice indeed if she learned that she should resign from the process and make way for Sanders and Biden.

 Nice, but impossible for the Deception Diva of the center-left Democrats.

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