Let’s See What’s Going On With the Presidential Election.

As we know, there is a lot going on with our favorite motley crew.

By Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Michael Vadon [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
“Ben Carson by Gage Skidmore 3” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Donald Trump September 3 2015” by Michael Vadon – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons
“Chris Christie at the 2015 CPAC by Gage Skidmore” by Gage Skidmore
“Carly Fiorina by Gage Skidmore 3” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Ted Cruz by Gage Skidmore 6” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Sen. Lindsey Graham by United States Senate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Sen. Lindsey Graham by United States Senate [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
“Mike Huckabee speaking at HealthierUS Summit-uncropped” by United States Government – http://www.healthierus.gov/steps/photo/. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons
“Bobby Jindal by Gage Skidmore 4” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
By Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]
Gov. John Kasich by Michael Vadon (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ]
“Rand Paul by Gage Skidmore 8” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Former Governor George Pataki by Christopher Peterson” – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
“Ringo Starr (2007)” by Tina 63 – Own work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons
“Marco Rubio cpac 2012” by Gage Skidmore
Jim Gilmore courtesy of Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/12999393015
Jim Gilmore courtesy of Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/12999393015
“Rick Santorum CPAC FL 2011” by Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Rick Santorum. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Martin O'Malley - See page for author [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Gov. Martin O’Malley – See page for author [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
“Hillary Clinton speaking to supporters – New York Oct. 15th 2007” by Veni Markovski from New York, USA – Hillary speaking to supporters, New York. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Bernie Sanders by Gage Skidmore” by Gage Skidmore. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

(Blink, blink, blink, blink)

(Scratches head)

(Sighs.)

Forget it. I’m going to Magic Happy Bunny Land. Those who want to join me are more than welcome.

Photo courtesy of jennicatpink. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennicatpink/5643862337
Photo courtesy of jennicatpink. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jennicatpink/5643862337

Let’s Check in with the Presidential Election So Far…

With the Republicans, I would say we were at the gorilla exhibit at the zoo, but the gorillas are usually far better behaved.

image
Bobo is not impressed.

It’s the Trump show right now, and there are a cluster of people who are liking his “tell it like it is” rhetoric.  Well, what you see is what you get, and what you get is a narcissistic, pompous dickwad with an “America First” agenda who thinks any publicity is good publicity.  What some people don’t seem to get is that this is not the student body president election in high school.  Electing someone because he is popular and you like his style is not enough.  The stakes are much higher here and someone who is just going to barrel through with the “my way or the highway” attitude when dealing with all the issues will do more harm than good when we are so interconnected on a global scale.  But, hey, at least, he is entertaining.

Meanwhile the other Republican candidates, bless their souls, are trying to get everyone else to pay attention them and only demonstrating just how out of touch they are with the American people in the process.  Rand Paul took a chainsaw to the federal tax code.  OK, he may get the lumberjack vote.  Lindsay Graham destroyed his phone after Donald Trump gave out his number.  The American reaction?  Why would we want a President who still uses a flip phone?  Ted Cruz had a go at Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell for being a liar in session (A big no-no. You call your colleagues liars to the press. Silly Ted.); McConnell saw it as the attention-grabbing stunt for what it was, and we did too.  Mike Huckabee, in his critique of the Iran deal, is invoking Holocaust imagery by saying it would “basically march them (the Israelis) to the door of the oven”.  Nice to know he is keeping his usual level of tact.

Scott Walker just wants to start World War III by reneging on the whole Iran deal. All I know is that Scott Walker will be in Philadelphia today and will be sampling cheesesteaks from Pat’s and Geno’s.  Considering that both places are highly overrated and cater to the tourist crowds, he deserves whatever he eats.  I wouldn’t say I hope he chokes on it because I am not evil, but I wouldn’t mind if he receives a bit of verbal flak on behalf of the natives from my home region. Because they can give it good.

Meanwhile, there is Jeb! Bush who is trying to tell everyone to get along and stop all this infighting, which is admirable.  But then when he opens his mouth to address an issue, he is 12-years behind the times.  Phasing out Medicare when private healthcare costs are skyrocketing?  Riiiiiiiiight. His gilded upbringing is showing through in spades here.

So what is going on with the Democrats?  They are doing more conventional campaigning and letting the Republicans duke it out in their steel cage match.  It’s the smartest move on their parts, as far as electability.  Hillary Clinton just made a speech on climate change in Nashua, NH, but nothing of substance came of it. To be honest, I am not holding out any hope for her. I have always wanted a female president ever since I was watching Free to Be…You and Me in elementary school, but she is the political equivalent of a cheap American chocolate bunny. Hollow and leaves a foul taste in your mouth. Bernie Sanders is trying to hold Hillary’s feet to the fire like he was setting out to do, but she is still being rather evasive about her goals at this point on a lot of key issues. I understand the campaign strategy, but the country wants to know who can demonstrate proper leadership. Lingering in the background when the country is in flux only shows you are a slave to opinion polls.

To sum it up, I think Bobo should put his hat in the ring.

That’s Not What We Wanted.

I had fun at the expense of the Republicans yesterday and their dozens of ego-driven Presidential candidates.  In all fairness, let’s try to keep the books balanced here and bring the Democrats into the fold.

If I can make any generalizations about our two Name Brand party Presidential candidates, it’s this.  With a Republican candidate, what you see is basically what you get.  And what you get is basically an asshole who sometimes does the right things.  With a Democratic candidate, it seems like you don’t know what you are getting.  Most party loyalists hope there is that possibility that perhaps, just perhaps, this one could have a heart or a sense of social justice.  The jaded voters already know that the end result is going to be yet another asshole who sometimes does the right things.

In the end, you just hope whoever gets elected happens to throw the breadcrumbs that you want your way.

Segueing from breadcrumbs, if we were to have some sort of comedic hijinx with the Democrats, it would be more of a cooking competition like Master Chef.  Why?  Because if they are asked to make particular dishes with specific ingredients, they would completely, utterly screw them up.

“Hillary, we asked you to make orange sorbet.”

“I know.  I did.”

“It melted.”

“Bernie Sanders was hogging the ice cream maker.  Some socialist he is.”

“This doesn’t even taste like orange.”

“Republicans tampering with subsidies and a drought caused an orange shortage in Florida and California respectively.”

“It’s lemon water!  There isn’t even sugar in it!”

“The sugar will increase your risk for diabetes.  I should know.  I tried to do something about healthcare years ago before Obama came into the picture.  This orange sorbet is what you really wanted and needed.”

“But it’s LEMON WATER!”

It's supposed to look like this, Hillary.   http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/colors/images/34691824/title/orange-sorbet-photo
It’s supposed to look like this, Hillary. http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/colors/images/34691824/title/orange-sorbet-photo

I’m not singling out Hillary.  Insert almost any other Democrat into that scenario, and you would get the same snow job.

But the reason why things keep running is that sometimes politicians do make good decisions because we hold their feet to the fire. We, the people, just have to turn the flames up more.

“I Hope I Get It!”

It’s June of 2015, and the Republican Presidential candidate roster is longer than the list of people Kanye West offended.  We have to find a way to narrow this bunch down, or our debates are going to become even more tedious than the Oscars.  Well, they are already. Not even Neil Patrick Harris can save us.

2008-0903-RATM-pan02
What the Republican Presidential field looks like. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

But I believe I have a solution, and it does have a fabulous sort of quality that NPH would probably endorse, I hope.   For those of you who love musicals, you would know A Chorus Line.  For those of you who don’t, all you need to know is the basic plot line.  A choreographer (who is off stage) is auditioning 17 dancers for said chorus line, and the dancers pour out their guts and life stories in the process in order to get this elusive work.

You can see where I am going with this.  Of course, I would be the auditioner in this case because it is my idea.  I also have no love for the Republicans or the Democrats, so no one can accuse me of bias.  The questions are already forming in my head.

“Where did you hide the moderate Republicans’ bodies?”

“What do you have as far as credible differences from the other candidates apart from your haircut?”

“Why the hell do you want to be President in the first place?  What is wrong with you?”

After I assess the answers and choose the candidates, I will have them put on glittery costumes and perform “One”.  Of course, they will get rehearsal time and work with a choreographer.

If they want to really be President, they will do it. If these people expect us to swallow their foolishness, they can humble themselves in the process too.

It’s either this option or wrestling Lucha Libre-style.

Looking for Nigel

Mary Turner does an excellent job of using her photojournalistic skills to show just how Nigel Farage and his team touched almost 4 million to get them to vote for UKIP. They connected to people on a grass roots level. Very eloquently written and visually engaging.

‘I know what you want, you want a book.’

‘Umm, well…’ I started to say.

But standing in front of me on this unexpectedly sunny day in January, with the UK election still seeming a distant mirage, was Gobby, legendary former BBC producer for 30 years, lesser known as Paul Lambert and now Nigel Farage’s ‘Director of Communications’. And as countless heavyweight political leaders have found before this small photographer – when faced down by this man, it is generally best not to argue.

SmallNigelPics_0016Unravelling flags with Beryl, Cliffsend Village Hall, March 31st 2015

I agreed that having spent the previous few months spent photographing migrants in Calais I was an unlikely candidate to be asking to document the UK Independence Party and their leader Nigel Farage’s 2015 election campaign, but it felt important to me to try and understand their point of view. One way or another they said yes. We…

View original post 2,354 more words

The Day After. What Happened?

The people have spoken, and they want the Conservatives (Tories) in the House of Commons.  Scotland overwhelmingly wants the Scottish National Party (SNP) to represent their interests, and Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are left crying in their pints and nibbling on their Twiglets.

The PG Tips monkey likes Twiglets during his benders.
The PG Tips monkey likes Twiglets during his benders.

So what happened?

Like an American who hasn’t lived in England for 20 years is able to tell you this?

I realize I don’t know everything, but from what I read and from the outside looking in, it seems several factors were involved:

1)  Labour did not make their case effectively.  It wasn’t enough to put their campaign promises on a huge limestone tablet like the Ten Commandments.  Their manifesto was vague.  The voters did not trust that they had the skills to handle the economy, especially with talk of going back to the borrow/spend model.  Ed Miliband did not come across as leadership material.  Even though they increased about 1.5% of the vote, they lost 26 seats.

2)  To piggyback on #1, Scotland has traditionally been Labour-ruled but completely lost all of their seats to the SNP.  Only one Scottish constituency did not vote SNP, and it voted Tory.  The Scottish people are obviously tired of playing by the rules of the parties established in England and want to do things their own way.

3)  The voters took more of their frustrations out on the Liberal Democrats.  The Lib Dems started out with 57 seats and are now left with 8.  After the university funding debacle, it was obvious that Nick Clegg and his crew were sitting ducks in Parliament.  Everyone knew they were going to lose seats, but this was devastating.

4)  The “shy Tory voters,” as the media has dubbed them. Evidently, there are branches of Tory Supporters Anonymous that I am not aware of.

“My name is Trevor, and I am a Tory voter.”

“Hello, Trevor.”

There were plenty of voters who were undecided or did not want to say that they were voting Conservative.  So when it came time for the undecided to vote, it was easier to “pick the devil you know”.

5)  Some of the pundits on the BBC last night discussed the Tories’ scare tactics in the campaign.  Be afraid of immigration.  Be afraid of a Labour/SNP coalition.  I don’t know though.  Aren’t scare tactics standard political strategy?

The Boffin summed it up by saying that the losing political leaders are basically left like this.

So what are your thoughts?  What am I missing?

It’s Election Day!

There isn’t much more to say than what the Boffin and I said in our three election primer posts earlier this week.  All I want to tell the British voters is I hope your candidate wins.  And if he or she doesn’t win, I hope the winner has better hair and more tact than the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

This is usual look.  I'm serious.  Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
This is his usual look. I’m serious. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.