Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Tom Friedman Moment

This one guy knows everything.  Find him.

The sins of Thomas Friedman can be distilled into two things.  First, he's terrible at research.  He tends to have preconceived ideas and then goes out and finds facts to support those ideas, frequently in the form of some cab driver or street vendor who imparts some pearl of wisdom that happens to gibe exactly with what Friedman wants to say.  His second sin is that he's just a crappy writer.  He trucks in cliches and bad metaphors.

Anyway, here's my Friedman moment.  At the great New Year's Eve bash, we meet up every year with friends and family from all over the country.  One of them, Thing Two's godfather, is a troglodyte conservative who like to be as politically incorrect as possible.  He enjoys tweaking everyone's sensibilities with outlandish statements.

But no statement was more outlandish than when he said he was probably going to vote for Obama.  Most of it is that he's reasonably intelligent and reality based in his decisions making.  He looks at the GOP field and shakes his head in disgust.  He admitted that he didn't even vote for the top line in 2008.  He wanted to vote for McCain, but he couldn't because of Palin's place on the ticket.

If anything, we've seen a "Palinization" of the GOP in the intervening four years.  It's all red meat and jingoistic slogans and thought-free policy.  It's Mitt Romney saying he'd veto the DREAM Act.  It's anything that Ron Paul says.  It's Santorum and Bachmann's entire policy position.  It would be Perry's, too, if he could articulate what it is he stands for.

Now, the plural of anecdote is not data.  One guy's opinion is not a trend.  But that a fairly good ol' boy, SEC fanatic, Southern conservative would even consider voting for Obama over Romney is pretty interesting to me.  It will be interesting as Romney locks up the nomination, what happens to those members of the GOP voting bloc who simply can't abide by him.  Either for the positions he took six years ago, or the positions he took six days ago.

If you're an Eisenhower Republican, what the hell do you do with the modern GOP?

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