I'm Not Dead Yet

I was reading through my email last week, which seems to be about 98% garbage these days (I really need to break down and invest in a quality SPAM filter), when I came across a reader who noted I have not posted anything in a while, and who was wondering if I am OK. For the record, none of my colleagues were wondering, which makes me wonder if I am that forgettable, or I should check for spyware on more than just on my computer (naaah, don’t want to go too ‘Mel Gibson’, and the tinfoil is needed for the cooking next week anyway), so I appreciate the question. But as it happens, the real world has been keeping me more than busy, and because I care about your interest in my posts, I won’t post those details here, except that the last 2 months have included substantial performances by the IRS, my wife’s SUV, my daughter’s social identity crisis, a bit of intra-office warfare with a few hostile colleagues, a hospital visit and an unpleasantly thorough follow-up, and my dogs taking out the satellite cable for a couple days. In other words, same old same old but more concentrated.

I’ve also been trying to come up with a post that does something better than repeat what someone else has already written, and to do better than waste your reading time with my post. So far I suspect the present effort is not getting it done. But, the writing muse having become more of an insistent harpy in the past few days, I am posting a few thoughts here. Please accept my apologies in advance if I am boring and uninspired. After all, if you wanted that, you’d be at MSNBC.

So here we are, end of the month almost, and the elections went pretty much as we should have expected. That is, the Democrats threw away control of the House and tried to toss out Senate control too, but the Republicans as usual found a way to be almost as foolish and arrogant as their fellow politicians from Hades. Which reminds me, the MSM was sort of right in saying that Americans were angry at incumbents – yes, they were more upset at Democrats than Republicans, but that’s not to say the average American thought he was handing control to anyone who thought the way Reagan did, just that the Democrats had proven they were even worse than the Republicans. That explains the results – folks didn’t want the Democrats to run Congress, but they were far from happy about the Republicans getting back into the driver’s seat.

Which brings us to the Tea Party. Generally, the Tea Party meant three things in this election – their candidates had a lot of support from grass-roots movements, which may or may not happen again in 2012, the Tea Party candidates who won focused on economic issues and avoided bizarre distractions, and we have yet to truly understand and define the identity, scope, and limits of the Tea Party Movement. It’s not going to replace either of the two established national parties, but it can reform the system.

Consider Sarah Palin. She’s smart, charismatic, and has a solid grasp of the issues, but she is not Presidential material. ** Sigh ** I know how that sounds, but hear me out. Look at our crop of contenders from the 2008 episode of “So You Think You Can POTUS”. John “Military” McCain, Mitt “Governor” Romney, Mike “Flat Tax” Huckabee, Rudy “9/11 Mayor” Giuliani, Ron “Conspiracy” Paul, Fred “Quitter” Thompson, and Duncan “no-name” Hunter. Anyone there strike you as the next Gipper? Or even the next W?

No.

Sarah Palin has undeniable skills. As a writer, speaker, motivator, activist … the list is long. But we need a specific skill set to not only win the White House in 2012, but to effectively govern, especially since the Congress, even in Republican hands, is essentially an ill-behaved bunch of self-serving con men. We need a President capable of leading Congress to do the right thing, preventing them from going off course, and with the diplomacy and tact to get them to back him on the most important points. Bush was able to do this in military policy, but not domestic issues. Reagan was a legendary leader and motivator, but even he could not get the part united on all of the major issues. What I’m getting at, is you need to have a President who focuses on your top job, is thick-skinned yet humble, and able to line up the country for the right cause. Reagan saved the nation that way, W held us together that way, they both paid a price for it, and we need our next President to be made of the same stuff. Palin is a great individual, but while Alaska is a big state it’s not preparation for tackling the federal government. She’s tough enough to take on the kingpins of corruption, but in single combat as a champion, not a general in the war. Palin can focus attention on issues, but her solutions have not been fully developed or expressed in a way that stands up to attacks from the left. She’s a star player for America, but not it’s coach.

The question still remains, who is that leader we need? The clock is now running to set up the 2012 campaign to set the nation back on the right course.

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