Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Political Tuesdays - "Likeability"

                                                     I do not like thee, Dr. Paul,
                                                    Though fiscally you're on the ball,
                                                    Your other views are off the wall --
                                                    I do not like thee, Dr. Paul.

With that take-off on Martial and Tom Brown, I'll  lead off another Political Tuesday on the "likebility" gap.  Lots of people, including some good friends, like Ron Paul politically.  I don't.  I think he's a crank and his brand of isolationist libertarianism is a short hop away from the extreme Left.  I wouldn't vote for him unless he was the Republian nominee, and even then, I'd be researching third party possibilities.  Fortunately I don't have to.  He's had more than his fair share of attention and accomplished whatever it was he set out to do, and if I don't hear too much more from his disappointed followers about how the Republicans cheated him out of the nomination, I'll let that be my last word on the mad doctor.  May he retire and ride his bicycle in peace and health.

The word is out that Mitt Romney has a "likeability" problem.  His campaign is out to try to collect 5 million "likes" on Facebook to correct that.  Compared to President Obama, who comes off to me as a holier-than-thou scold, I have a hard time understanding this.  In the words of the prince from Enchanted, "What's not to like?"  Handsome, articulate, devoted husband, father and grandfather; he works hard and more importantly, smart; he possesses the basic fiscal competence that Obama lacks and has positioned himself to make the reforms our economy desperately needs.  No, he wasn't my first choice among the primary candidates -- that was Santorum (and even Santorum was not my "ideal" candidate... I don't know if such a creature exists).  But he was chosen as the nominee of the Republican Party in a legitimate process and received a clear majority of delegates.  If that's not exciting enough for the news media to consider him "likeable", well then, I guess they felt they needed to stir up some controversy.  And that's what they've been doing for the last few weeks, fueled by the avid help of Democratic operatives.  At the end of the day, we know that Romney manages money very well, and the Obama machine is sounding more desperate with every negative campaign.

For those readers who are still struggling with the issue of whether a Christian can vote for a Mormon, I'd defer to this excellent article.

On Obama's "likeability":  I don't "like" President Obama's policies and hope he is resoundingly defeated this November... but he seems like a "nice" enough human being that I wouldn't mind him moving into the neighborhood afterwards -- there are a few good houses for sale down the street -- and I think he'd make a good neighbor. He conducts himself with courtesy most of the time, and if he were separated from his political minders he might actually be able to find himself and discover a line of work he is good at.  I don't think that would be financial planning, and his tactics of "community organizing" are a little too thug-like for my tastes, but surely there must be something he's capable of doing well other than politics?
Before I leave off, a commenter named Anonymous left a comment on last week's political Tuesday post: "When was Bill Clinton charged with rape?"  Anonymous must be younger than I am, or maybe missed the coverage back in 1998.  NBC and the Wall Street Journal were the primary news outlets that covered the case of Juanita Broaddrick, who claimed she was raped by Bill Clinton 20 years previously.  She kept her silence, reportedly at least in part because of an intimidation campaign, and the statute of limitations ran out before the allegations were made public.  Most Clinton supporters tried to dismiss the allegations as just one more "bimbo eruption" and refused to give her story much attention.  I guess that raises the question of whether Democrats believe in "legitimate rape."  George Will, a commentator I respect greatly, considered the accusations credible and wrote, "Clinton is not the worst president the republic has had, but he is the worst person ever to have been president."  Going back to the "likeability" question, Clinton's continuing popularity in the Democratic party has always mystified me because of this.  I can't come up with anything to "like" about Clinton that is not colored by his abysmal moral failures.  But in the clear light of history, it is obvious that his politics were not as bad as they might have been.  They were not as bad as Obama's.

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