As Sarah Palin campaigns for the presidency while on her book tour, a great deal of attention is again being directed at her intellectual capabilities — or the perceived lack thereof. As we've already been down this path last year, I have to wonder if all this commentary about Palin doesn't speak more about the intellectual capacity of the average American. Are we busy proving to the world that "Stupid Is As Stupid Does"? According to the observations of Danish-American actor Viggo Mortensen, that play may well already be on the world stage.
Faced with several daunting issues which directly affect our future, we are instead continually focused on several relatively trivial issues. We deem Sarah Palin's inane ramblings to be fascinating reading as we continue to ignore the revelations emerging from the British investigation regarding their entry into the Iraq War. We have more to say about the self-destruction of Tiger Woods than we do about the destruction of the rain forests. We're riveted to dance-offs and talent competitions while we disdain to discover what the newer candidates stand for as they rise to challenge incumbents either in primaries or the main event.
I'm one of those who believes that Sarah Palin actually has a shot at becoming president even as I marvel at how dumb Americans can be for backing her. My belief is based both on demographic numbers (and not the Old Testament Numbers) and Obama's past performance. Rasmussen — as GOP-friendly a polling firm as exists — cannot hide the fact that the your father's Republican Party is dying just like he is. As their December 2009 poll shows, only 18% of party-affiliated respondents admit to remaining Republicans, trailing the pack behind Democrats (36%), Tea Baggers (23%), and undecided (22%).
If this were all the numbers to crunch (and they aren't by a long shot!), then Barack Obama could rest easy for now. But Rasmussen goes on to look at the independent voters unaffiliated by party membership, and those numbers would convert the finest Nobel Prize Banquet fare into gastric dynamite. Almost two-thirds of those polled admit to being either Tea Baggers (33%) or undecided (30%), leaving Democrats (25%) and Republicans (12%) trailing in their wakes.
"But wait!" you shout. "Tea Baggers aren't a party!" You are correct, of course, but think about what these numbers represent to those who are ambitious. If Ross Perot had pulled 33% of the vote in either of his campaigns, he would have been the Occupant of the Oval Office. Sarah Palin is already at 33%, and if the undecided were to merely split evenly among the parties, she would have 43% of the vote – or the amount Bill Clinton had to win in 1992.
Mark Karlin of BuzzFlash.com observes that "as ignorant as Sarah Palin is, she's got energy galore and a rough-edged passionate sense of victimization that appeals to the white low wage earners and jobless who are looking for someone to blame, and Sarah serves it up on a heaping plate of 'it's all the fault of the liberals.' "
Viggo Mortensen may well be on to something with his comments, for what other reason can one offer regarding Barack Obama naming a former Palin gubernatorial staffer to a Federal post in Alaska? Is he attempting to drain off some of this "energy galore"? Or is this nomination a reward or incentive for others to stab Palin in the back for personal political gain? If Obama were more of a hands-on president, one might understandably attribute such a Machiavellian move to him. But since he has adopted a presidential persona of "I'll just stand back over here and let you guys fight it out", he has to be seeking to refuel his flagging presidency with something, even if he has to siphon Palin's "energy galore". He'd be better off hoping that Michelle's Christmas gift to him is a "Mr. Fusion" like the one that powered the time-traveling Delorean in Back to the Future 2.
But instead of that movie, Barack Obama seems determined to reprise Forrest Gump. Like Gump, Obama's up against high expectations, prompting Politico pundit Lisa Lerer to pose the question "Does world expect too much of Obama?" He isn't helping himself very much by ducking another opportunity to bow to royalty, but that may well be due to the puny amount of US government debt being held by Swedish financial interests. According to the Department of the Treasury/Federal Reserve Board report of November 17, 2009, Sweden holds only $18.3 billion in Federal debt as of September 2009. Japan and OPEC respectively hold $751.5 and $185.3 billion, so one can see why Obama might well have thought it prudent to bow only to those who hold large amounts of the notes to the Empire. (Just for the record, he would also have bowed to Chinese President Hu if protocol allowed it, as China holds $798.9 billion of our governmental debt. None of these figures includes any US commercial debt, which remains at much higher levels.)
What pikers the Swedes are! No wonder Obama snubbed the Swedish king!
Back at home, where Obama might well be entertaining the notion that regal-like presidential grandeur requires his person to remain above the fray, visions of bipartisanship continue to hold his sway. But reality must be seeping in through the cracks of those visions, else why would Obama accuse the Republicans of political opportunism regarding their opposition to his plans to give away even more of Your Money to business interests (small ones this time) just to get you sorry mules employed? One can almost hear Obama channeling the least-popular third-Stooge, Joe Besser, when he whines at the GOP "Stop it! You're SCARING the American people!"
Such a pitiful performance is just one reason Sarah Palin is dogging your tracks, Barack!
Another thing Obama has to worry about is he's losing his magic touch with the public. Failing to deal in a timely manner with the issues plaguing Main Street while he still cavorts like one of Tiger's mistresses with Wall Street has everything to do with this missing mojo. Former Washington Post blogger Dan Froomkin — now with The Huffington Post — expresses his opinion that it's too late for Obama to actually do anything about what ails Main Street prior to the mid-term election. Says Froomkin, "actually lowering unemployment by then simply may not be possible."
Froomkin bases his statement on the observations of Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Economy.com, who predicts that unemployment about the time of the election will be "something close to 11 percent…assuming further action to stimulate a recovery." Such a condition, as Froomkin quotes Larry Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, is "seriously bad news for congressional Democrats."
Barack Obama will thus get his wish for bipartisan rule – along Republican guidelines. The voters didn't get the change they voted for, so they will again vote for change. Time Magazine reports that a new Bloomberg survey shows 59% think country is heading in the wrong direction while a new Quinnipiac poll announces that Obama's approval rating on health care reform is under 40%. Heck of a job, Barry! Are you SURE you aren't on the RNC payroll? You sure are successful at tainting the Democratic brand like botulism in their vichyssoise killed the Bon Vivant Soup Company!
So when one cannot smite one's foes with the jawbone of an ass, why does one in turn decide to act like a jaw-boning ass? Obama has no one to blame but himself for his poor showing as POTUS, but he sees fit to dump on John Conyers, claiming that Conyers was "demeaning" him over the sorry health care reform bill and the Afghanistan Surge. This is the thanks one gets for helping to get Barry elected! I wouldn't call Conyers for help in 2012, Barack – despite the growing surety that you are going to need all the help you can get.
Obama's ineptitude and misfeasance have energized the Republican Party like his promise and campaign oratory sparked the Democrats. Far from being dead with a political stake driven through its pacemaker, the GOP is seeing opportunities to capitalize on public discontent. They are already attempting to convince certain Democrats that leaving office while on top is a better option than being defeated in the next election. I can't speak as to whether these assertions are rooted in reality considering the dire straits in which the GOP finds itself based on the Rasmussen polling, but there's no denying that the Republicans aren't going to let facts get in the way of potential electoral victory! It's their history, and history is destiny!
Political victory, for whatever motivation, is certainly within GOP grasp. Obama's pissing on the Left is certainly bringing about response deemed favorable by the GOP! Producing a mandate to buy health insurance while doing nothing about most of the industry abuses is causing one blogger to proclaim that without a progressive alternative choice, he will stay home rather than vote for Democrats next year. Another commentator declares that "I'm voting Green next year. The Demopublicans have betrayed us and don't deserve any votes now."
And people doubt Sarah Palin's chances in 2012. As if!
As Mark Zandi and Larry Mishel point out, Obama's about done. About all that remains is for Sarah to dish up the dessert while she rides into Washington on the wave of discontent that is building like a Sumatran Tsunami. What the creditors of the nation will do at that point remains to be seen, but I wouldn't doubt that they will have decided enough is enough and call in their loans. Thus, instead of being the next FDR, Obama will then have become the next Hoover. He will hand-off a worsened national condition to Sarah Palin – only she won't have Gump's dumb luck to assist her in dealing with it all. At that point, we as a nation of Gumps will have verified to the world the truth of the platitude that "Stupid Is As Stupid Does."