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Gas Pains

Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.

Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

Elections, Politics, President Obama, Governor Romney, Shooting Yourself In The Foot

Most every election I make it a point to vote early.  It’s certainly convenient and besides – I usually have my mind made-up long before the polls open. 

Not so this year.  This has been an exceedingly tough election decision to make.  For a while I thought I had it all figured out.  But then I began to have second thoughts.  Maybe I read too much.  Or perhaps I‘ve been over-analyzing candidates Romney and Obama.  (Not so much Thompson and Baldwin.)  I'd like to think I've done a good job of tuning-out most of the broadcast advertising, recycled the gibbering fliers along with their grainy black and white photos that have been spilling from my post box and made daily use of my caller ID, voicemail and spam filter.  I’m going to keep mulling-over my decision and probably won’t make it until Tuesday when I actually draw the line connecting the arrows.

To be fair - the current occupant of the White House inherited the biggest mess of an economy since the Great Depression.  A balance sheet recession like the one we suffered takes years to recover-from.  And I think he did a fair job of pulling our bacon out of the fire.  Anybody that tells you otherwise is a barstool economist.  He’s also done a remarkable job in drawing down our troops in Iraq.  Osama bin Laden is food for the fishes and while some people cringe at the use of drone technology I take no issue with killing terrorists by remote control.  Obama has done a better job of this than any of his predecessors.  And this voting member of the NRA will tell you that Obama has been a boon to firearm and ammunition sales and all the while he hasn’t lifted a finger to change the rules.

Finally, I am better-off than I was before he took office.  All of this counts for something.

Nevertheless, the President squandered any opportunity to craft meaningful reform to our tax code and our spending priorities.  Every last vestige of political capital was expended on health insurance reform.  I’m not saying that isn’t important – I’m just saying it falls somewhere further down the list of priorities that includes job creation, tax reform and the budget.  Finally, we’re still in Afghanistan.  And the moment we’re gone that failed nation will predictably slip into chaos and tribal warfare.  What an incredible waste of lives and treasure.

Then there’s the guy who aspires to become the occupant of the White House.  Oddly enough he is likely the only person who can keep our nutty House of Representatives from causing any further damage beyond what they’ve already done.  I’m serious.  The Republican House has taken leave of their senses.  They are analogous to someone drawing a firearm from their holster and announcing in a very loud voice:

Stand back!  I am going to shoot myself in the foot!  The far right foot.  I'll show you a thing or two.  Watch this!

After the debt ceiling debacle of 2011 I began to wonder if the lunatics had taken over the asylum.  Their recklessness was a seriously-crazy manifestation of a propensity for self-destruction.  After observing the whacked-out carnival sideshow of the Republican primary I was convinced of it.  No wonder that Romney prevailed as the only individual with an ounce of brains and a modicum of sense. 

But you have to wonder which Romney is the real Romney.  Is it the Mitt Romney that was Governor of Massachusetts - the only other person to have signed into law an individual health insurance mandate?  Or is it the Romney who lurched to the right and groveled to curry favor with the basest of the Republican base?  Or is it the Romney that has recently lurched to the middle?  Which Mitt Romney would be President?

If you listen to the recent Mitt Romney you might just get the impression that he could possibly be capable of accomplishing something.  Don’t believe anybody that tells you he's going to balance the budget.  Anybody that believes that nonsense is a barstool bean counter.  But I’d settle for someone who could actually make something like Simpson-Bowles come to fruition.  So maybe Mitt from the Middle is the real deal?  Hard to say.  If the lunatics actually had a winning game plan Mitt would be crowing from the rooftop the lunatic mantra of the seductive Muslim from Kenya who was diligently working to transform this nation into a socialist state.  In four short years.  He’d probably also be brandishing a sidearm and shouting:   Stand back!  I am going to shoot myself in the foot!  The far right foot.  I'll show you how I am going to govern.  Watch this!

But he's not spouting such nonsense.  He's trying very hard to appeal to reasonable voters.

It’s a strange world indeed when you seriously consider a candidate who might be the only guy who could stop the lunatics running the asylum from throwing your bacon back in the fire.  And the last thing I want to do is shoot myself in the foot.

What do you think?

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