Monday, July 25, 2011

An Old-Fashioned Urinating Contest

OK, I'm back to blogging. My trip to Wisconsin, done for the saddest of reasons, actually was a very good visit with my extended family. I'll have more to say about that once I get settled back into my routine. To those of you who helped out with donations for my trip, a big "Thank You". Your kindness and generosity made a big difference.

While I was gone, I didn't spend much time on-line, and I stayed away from most news, the exceptions being television newscasts which were mostly local in nature. I see that the debt ceiling "crisis" is still a focus, although a terrorist attack by a right wing nutter in Norway (Norway? NORWAY?) has gotten plenty of ink and electrons as well.

And, just as important, the GOP race for 2012 continues to provide fodder for my funny bone. Just before I left, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty took a swipe at fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachman, whose campaign is beating his twelve ways to Sunday. Here's what he said about a week ago:

“I really doubt … that the nation will or should put somebody into the Oval Office as president of the United States and commander in chief who lacks substantial executive experience running a large enterprise in or out of government," Pawlenty told CNN. "Maybe they will, but I don’t think so. These are really serious times. And there hasn’t been somebody who went from the U.S. House of Representatives to the presidency I think in over 100 years. And there’s a reason for that."

Michele Bachman waited a whole week before responding, which surprised me, and here's what she had to say:

"These are serious times that require serious solutions, not more of the same. Being right on the issues is critical — it is what the American people demand. Executive experience is not an asset if it simply means bigger and more intrusive government,” Bachmann said.

The fun part of this back-and-forth is that there's a lot of truth on both sides. Bachman really hasn't accomplished much as a congress critter. She's getting a lot of attention now simply because she hopped on the Tea Party wagon early on and has become a rather articulate spokeswoman for those crazies. Pawlenty's tenure as governor was a combination of smoke and mirrors, especially when it comes to budgetary matters and is one of the reasons for this year's state shutdown while the current government tried to nail down a budget which had at least a tenuous connection to reality.

Pawlenty's campaign took note of Bachman's slam and issued a statement which pretty much hits the mark with respect to the quality of the two candidates, but finishes with another slap at the congresswoman:

"The truth is that there is very little difference between Gov. Pawlenty and Congresswoman Bachmann on their issue positions," said Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant. "The difference is that when Gov. Pawlenty was scoring conservative victories to cut spending, pass market-based health care reform, and transform a supreme court from liberal to conservative, and was elected twice in a very blue state, Congresswoman Bachmann was giving speeches and offering failed amendments, all while struggling mightily to hold onto the most Republican house seat in the state."

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney is very quietly gathering a bazillion dollars for his run, just biding his time as the pair from Minnesota continue the family feud.

Time to fire up the popcorn popper. I'm home.



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