Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Klown Kollege

I found that the Los Angeles Times has a pretty good snarkmeister on staff, Paul Whitefield. His post on the 2012 presidential campaign had me chuckling this morning as he quite accurately assesses the tactics and strategies of both President Obama and the GOP cast of "Keystone Kampaigners" so far, with the election still more than a year away.

It's what he had to say about the Republican candidates that really set the tone:

Give them the gift of an incumbent president presiding over a listless, jobless economy, and what do they do with it?

They take shots at Mormons, letting the religion be called a cult and non-Christian. Or they deride people protesting today's corporate greedfest as "jealous" Americans who "play the victim card" and want to "take somebody else's" Cadillac. And when a GOP debate crowd boos a gay soldier or calls to let someone without health insurance die, the candidates go mute.

Plus, they don't trust their front-runner. However, they also don't much care for their rear-runners. Witness how quickly political fortunes turn in today's GOP: Rick Perry went from toast of the party to Mr. BBQ Beef to Texas toast in, well, a New York minute.

And when they finally do get around to talking about jobs, their solution is to cut taxes. Making rich people even richer might win you hearts and minds (and money) on Wall Street, but down on Main Street -- where the jobs used to be before those rich folks shipped them off to China -- it doesn't play as well.

Last night's debate in New Hampshire, which happened after Whitefield wrote his column, pretty much validated what he had to say. It must be tough to be a Republican voter right now, but we Democrats have to be uneasy with what he had to say about the other side of the coin, President Obama and his administration the last three years.

Which brings us to question No. 2 and President Hope and Change, who has given us too little of the former and not enough of the latter.

There aren’t enough jobs being created. So the president does what Washington has always done: He creates a job-creation panel. Which creates jobs for people like Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive of American Express, and Jim McNerney, chief executive of Boeing, and, for diversity's sake, Xerox's chief executive, Ursula Burns.

And they know about jobs, all right: They know how to make them disappear. For example, as The Times' Alana Semuels reported, American Express, shortly before Chenault's appointment to the panel, "closed a facility in North Carolina and eliminated 550 jobs, or about 1% of the company's workforce."

Those are our choices for 2012. I guess it's not so funny after all.

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