Barack Obama promised to fundamentally change America, and by God, he’s almost pulled it off. Say what you will, what he has done has been bold and fundamental.
But what he also did was light a fire that had been doused for over a century.
And that’s a hundred years, not four, so, yes, we simply cannot afford a president who can only undo the last four years. Our national soul needs to be walked back at least eighty years, when that flame on that mountain first began to flicker. And our economic and political structures, at least as far back, when a man named Calvin could be president without having to know who the king of Arabia even was.
Fixing what ails us requires rat eradication and delousing in Washington as well as immersion in the pool of exceptionalism, self-reliance and reciprocity. America need to be re-baptized in the river of Liberty,
All these things require vision, and the boldness to try the big things, then the ability to see them through.
One of the GOP candidates with vision, Rick Perry, had proven his by suggesting Congress should be put on half time…and half pay…not just to save money, mind you (which it would) but because the entire Washington political culture has become corrupt. (hold that thought.)
Now that lights my fire. That’s vision.
Another is Herman Cain, who was the first to suggest tearing-up of the entire IRS code and replacing it with a tax form that would fit on the back of a napkin. Whether you like 9-9-9 or not, that’s a giant visionary step. And following Mr Cain, Mssrs Gingrich and Perry and Mme Bachmann favor a Flat Tax/Fair Tax, which likewise does away with the current 986 million-word tax code in favor of simplicity and fairness. (I lied about the 986 million part, but the word count is way up there).
If we’re going to separate the candidates, this is how it should be done, for clearly some of the GOP candidates can’t even ante up in a poker game where the chips are counted in vision. This is why the media is trying to steer the GOP debates away from Barack Obama, (Objective #1 in our rat removal program), instead trying to trivialize them by turning them into pop quizzes, or a game of Jeopardy. “I’ll take the GDP of Terra del Fuego for $100, Alex.”
The media favors the non-risk taker(s), who, while pollsters say are more likely to beat Obama, are actually more likely to be like Obama. If you’ve ever played Hearts to 500 (a tournament, five games to a 100) then you know the guy who never takes a risk by trying to run a hand, but rather plays it safe by trying to sluff the Queen in order to win by default. The safe player, he wins by letting the risk-takers do themselves in.
He represents the Washington establishment, the corrupt Washington establishment, who will only breathe a sigh of relief should he get the nomination, for only then will they know they will still be around after 2012, no matter who wins.
Leadership and Vision
Leadership and vision are inextricably joined, for as we’ve seen in this five month long debt-ceiling debacle, the Congress is still waiting for some leader to step in to push and shove them to do the right thing, for quite frankly, they just don’t have the mustard to it on their own.
A strong president might have caused them to play their cards more boldly. They had a good hand.
The tax reform plans of Cain and Perry are that kind of bold, requiring real leadership to get through Congress, and then more leadership to supervise the replacing of the old IRS with the new.
Perry’s Congressional Restructuring Plan is equally visionary, and likewise will require enormous leadership to become enacted and implemented.
Then there’s Regulatory Reform.
I spoke with Herman Cain in last December about it and it was high on his list. We called it the
“Dirty Dozen.” I don’t think he says too much about it on the stump, in part, because much of the job of de-bureaucratizing a government has to be done with some stealth and surgical precision, to prevent wrecking. But he and Rick Perry both agree, some entire departments need to be cut with a scythe, not a scalpel. Rick Perry may have stumbled on remembering the Department of Energy, but as I just said, at least it’s on a list in his pocket. Romney doesn’t dare even considering it.
And, throw courage in the mix as well, for shutting down the Department of Education will naturally put angry people in the streets, in a violent disposition.
The Congress already wrings its hands and sweats bullets over shutting down the Christmas tree concession in Yellowstone for three days, so you can imagine the sort of spine-ectomy a new president will have to perform to get them to do something big. (Providing the president with a new batch of raw lumber in Congress is our job, and that’s also what 2012 is supposed to be about.)
If government is too Big to work well, is to too big to put into Jail?
But if we are really going to send the rats packing, can we afford to allow the worst of them to leave town unpunished, as George W Bush did to Hillary and many others in the Clinton White House? To leave, hide out, then try to return?
Some simply need to go to jail, only, for reasons having to do with that absence of a spine, it’s clear congressional investigators are unable to summon the courage to say this even in whispers.
Still, if we all agree that DC is filled with corruption it is filled crime, not just bad politics.
Is the Department of Justice too big to jail?
In the Fast and Furious/Gun Walker projects, crimes have been committed, both operationally and in the cover up. The cover-up now runs about four tiers deep, from the highest office in DOJ (that’s Eric Holder) down to regional BATF offices that oversaw the illegal gun trafficking.
A lot of hands are dirty, and they have closed ranks. More specifically, they have been allowed to close ranks, in part because the GOP investigators in Congress are pursuing these acts as if they were political indiscretions rather than crimes. They convey no sense of deep indignation, proceeding as if playing a simple game of political gotcha, allowing the media to portray these acts in the same way.
They treat these crimes, as infamously quoted by Janet Reno during the Branch Davidian hearings, as problems of process, not wrong-doing.
Neither are the Departments of Energy and Interior too big to go to jail.
Solyndra represents a massive pool of political payoffs to select presidential supporters. Crony capitalism it’s called. Political graft is what it really is. Green Energy programs are clearly designed for political graft. For bunco artists.
But overall US oil policy is of an even higher order of criminality, for it allows world oil prices themselves to be manipulated, and insider-trading to occur at the highest levels, with no conceivable logical or practical upside. In recent days Obama and Salazar have delayed until after the 2012 election the TransCanada Keystone pipeline, and only today, the Department of Agriculture postponed the auction to lease the Utica shale deposits in Ohio for six months. Total cost? At least 250,000 jobs. But millions have been made and lost in each of these deals, with the government picking the winners. Follow the money, just as you followed the money when deep rigs in the Gulf were shut down, then went to Brazil where guess who, George Soros was waiting with open arms. Ken Salazar and Obama have defied court order to lift the moratorium on new off-shore drilling permits. Again, follow the money.
In a piece I’m saving for later, you will find that most cabinet-level positions are yes-men and women, dolts who only do as they are told, while real policy is being made by people beneath them, as Webb Hubbell boldly boasted about Janet Reno. Putting near-incompetents into key cabinet posts was a bold and visionary act first put forward by Bill Clinton. And it was done so in order to be able to misdirect public attention away from the real activities of the departments. Many of those activities were criminal, as we are seeing now, and money and power is at the bottom of it.
Is Dodd-Frank too big to Jail? Fanny Mae-Freddie Mac?
Dodd-Frank was legislation passed during the lame duck session of Congress after the electoral massacre of 2010, designed specifically to protect members of Congress from the fraud and deceit they had perpetrated in the housing market bubble and subsequent crash, 2006-2008. Someday someone will write a Pulitzer Prize-winning book detailing all these things in fast-action Robert Ludlum fashion. In fact it is being written now. Only it can never be published, nor for that matter, finished, until all the criminal parties are exposed and brought to justice. Key Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac officers played major roles, as do select members of the Congressional Black Caucus, and of course, good old Chris Dodd, who sold out for a lousy low-interest loan from Countrywide, and Charles Schumer for starting the run on IndyMac. (These were cheap payoffs.)
Is Legal Insider Trading an Oxymoron? Ask Nancy Pelosi.
Many, many members of Congress, Republican and Democrat alike are enjoying the benefits of insider trading while ordinary citizens are sitting in jail for having engaged in the same activities. Nancy Pelosi says that is because Congress has been exempted from these laws. Oh really?. Can Congress actually exempt itself from sexual assault as well? Ask Chris Dodd. How about solicitation? Ask Barney Frank? Can pedophilia be far behind?
Iran-Conta will have nothing on the investigations the new visionary president will launch if he really wants to eradicate the vermin inside Washington. Personally, I would postpone all other forms of recreation just to be able to watch.
If there is to be a big vision among these candidates, let’s insure Justice is a part of that vision.