Monday, August 15, 2011

No Surprises Here

August is traditionally the month when Congress is in recess, and nothing much happens, in political terms. Unless someone forces something to happen - as the Koch Brothers-supported AFP and other far right-wing groups did during the Summer of Hate in 2009  - it's generally a slow month for news.

Combine the usual dearth of fresh real news with overbearing heat, and add in the stress of summer vacation coming to an end. Now mix in the annual ramp-up of the school year complete with sports practices, music lessons, and every other activity helicopter parents can cram into their kids' lives, and you have a perfect recipe for a grumpy American electorate.

It's the same social pie Americans have been sitting down to in August for many years - and its effects on our collective system are as negative as always.

We weren't surprised then, at the results from the Iowa Straw Poll over the weekend. Historically, the straw poll means very little to the eventual outcome of who gets the GOP nomination. It's basically a contest to see who can buy the most voters and throw the best party - or whose supporters are the most fanatic. Think of it as a caucus with even fewer rules and organization.

Put those factors together, and you can see why it was no surprise to us when Michele Bachmann bit off a win over the weekend. It was also no surprise that Ron Paul's fanatic followers propelled him to a close second place finish - or that Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the GOP race after coming in third.

It's also not a shock that Rick Perry's official announcement that he was running came over the weekend - or that Sarah Palin didn't announce an official run for President. If she had announced, she might actually have to put some effort into the race - and it would limit her ability to make money from the stupidity of many in the media. Thankfully, others are finally echoing what we've said about Ms. Palin for some time - that her fame clock says her fifteen minutes have just about expired.

We're also not surprised the heat and stress have begun to build to a low boil for those people grousing about President Obama - especially those from the more liberal Left. There are those bored media folk jumping up and down that Obama's poll numbers have slipped here or there. Sadly, it's obvious many of them haven't done their homework, as his numbers compare favorably to, say, President Clinton at the same point in his first term.

We understand - the heat and boredom make some people lazy.

That's not to say some on the left aren't justifiably incensed with the President's over- willingness to compromise with the GOP. Still, the yowling and complaining and threatening to run a primary campaign against President Obama, as though such a thing would hurt him politically, is laughable.

A primary campaign could really only help Obama, much as it did when Hillary Clinton ran against him in 2008 - so that kind of threat from those on the left is hollow, at best. Yes, we're hoping that when Congress returns, President Obama gives them hell. No, we're not expecting he'll put members of Congress in a pro wrestling ring and give them a cosmic noogie until they learn to act like grownups, much as most Americans would love to see that happen.

For now, we're content to let Mr. Obama also take his vacation, after his bus tour through the midwest this week.

In short, while we're also tired of the heat, the humidity, and the stupidity, we're still sane enough to realize it won't be long before people will be pulling out their winter coats, longing for these last few days that signal the end of summer.

It happens every year.

No comments:

Post a Comment