Extreme Vetting – Why I am Endorsing No One this Year

Republican nominee, Donald Trump has famously called for “extreme vetting” of new immigrants and refugees coming to America. It occurs to me that the time has come for extreme vetting of nominees for the office of President of the United States.

We are told by the media that presidential candidates take great pains to vet their VP nominee. Chris Christie’s background was so toxic in 2012 that Mitt Romney passed  him over for VP. (Christie returned the favor by spending most of his GOP convention speech talking about himself.) But who vets the top of the ticket? How would that vetting work?

The Constitution restricts the presidency on only age and citizenship. My guess is the founders wanted the office open to any patriotic American (white men in the late 18th century and any damn fool today). Should prior political experience be a requirement? Four of our presidents got elected with no prior political experience. Based on their service, no definitive causality can be constructed between political experience and success. Zachary Taylor was mediocre and the second elected Whig in a row to die in office. Ulysses S. Grant’s reputation has improved after many years of historical perspective but he’s still not ranked among our best. Herbert Hoover is associated with the worst financial crisis ever suffered by our country. Dwight D. Eisenhower presided over America’s post World War boom and the birth of suburbia. Grant and Eisenhower prove you can have a decent to excellent presidency without prior political experience.

Should some moral test be applied? This is wrought with peril as morality is a shifting target. Trump’s lewd comments caught on tape were uttered 11 years ago in an America increasingly sexualized, prior to the onslaught of the political correctness movement. I am not justifying his behavior but our reaction to it is tempered by the times we are living in. Consider this. Donald Trump boasted about the ability to grab a woman’s “pussy” if he wanted to. Back in the late 1990’s, President Bill Clinton actually inserted a cigar into Monica Lewinsky’s vagina before putting it in his own mouth. Lewinsky was his employee. It was the definition of workplace harassment.  Liberals with their hair on fire right now do not move me one iota. It’s the height of hypocrisy.

It appears that in the past, the primary voters did the vetting and did a decent job of it. In 2012, Herman Cain was a laughing-stock. He rose in the polls for a millisecond and then deservedly slipped back down before leaving the race in scandal. But something strange happened this year. Reince Priebus, GOP Chairman, probably thought Donald entering the race would do no harm and bring a bit of publicity to the party before Jeb Bush was nominated. Things didn’t work out that way. An ignorant electorate conditioned by American Idol, had a massive brain fart and Donald J. Trump, reality star, became the party’s nominee.

Things were only marginally better on the Democrat party side. A woman who has been chased by scandal after scandal, who endangered national security in her one and only Federal appointment (if you don’t count “HillaryCare”), who betrayed the fundamentals of feminism by attacking the victims of her husband’s predatory behavior, who betrayed the progressive agenda with her cozying up to Wall Street (revealed this past Friday but overshadowed by Trump’s pussy scandal), is the chosen nominee of the party. A vote for her is a vote for four years of guaranteed Nixonian paranoia and shenanigans. A vote for Hillary also gives her husband Bill a partial third term in the oval office. The man who once told America “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky” while he was using her vagina as a humidor.

So neither gets my vote. For several weeks I toyed with voting for Gary Johnson. Unfortunately, Gary has proven to be a nincompoop. My principle in this election has been to not vote for the lesser of two evils. I want to vote for someone I can believe in. I’m not voting FOR someone as a vote AGAINST someone else.

So I have settled on a decision I first considered several months ago. I am boycotting the 2016 presidential election on the grounds that every candidate being offered is unfit to hold the office of President of the United States. I will vote down-ticket only. I will let the rest of America deal with the pile of shit they brought upon us in the presidential primary season. I will hope that in 2020, some form of extreme vetting saves us from our current predicament.

What do you think? The bar is open.

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The Second Term Curse

You have to go back to January 20, 1961 to find a US President who didn’t screw the pooch in his second term. Nixon had Watergate and resignation. Reagan had Iran-Contra and taped testimony that made him look old and feeble (foreshadowing the Alzheimer’s that would eventually take his life). Clinton had Monica Lewinsky and an impeachment trial. George W. Bush had Hurricane Katrina and a financial meltdown that at least for the time being puts his presidency among the ranks of Buchanan, Harding and Hoover.

I can’t speak for all liberals but both times that I voted for Barack Obama I never dreamed his second term would melt down like those before him. There are two schools of thought about Obama. One claims he is an evil thug (turn to Fox News for that story). Another says he is asleep at the wheel. I tend to believe the latter. This is a man who, for reasons that escape me, still has not learned that the presidency is about leadership. It’s about knowing what the hell is going on around you. It’s about activity, not just passively relying on your daily briefing. As a non-sports fan, I’ll risk using a sports metaphor and say that Obama seems to think the MVP on the basketball team is the dude who can pass the ball to the best shooter. Obama never seems to go for the slam dunk himself. He passes to Pelosi (look at ACA) or he passes to Biden (gun control). Now he’s got three “scandals” on his hands that he needs to take the lead on if he is to maintain any credibility.

Benghazi up until this week was a tragedy exploited for political gain. Then a memo from one of Hillary Clinton’s flunkies surfaced that spelled out the petty politics at the heart of the matter. No, contrary to the opinion of Republicans who are in permanent denial about the implausibility of a Mitt Romney presidency, there was no attempt to tamp down the terrorist aspect for the sake of Obama’s reelection. The memo from Victoria Nuland (which has been in the hands of Congress for some time but strangely only surfaced this past week) spells out the reason for sanitizing the CIA talking points. She wanted to save face for the State Department. So the American people were lied to over petty office politics. Not even big stakes electoral politics. The equivalent of the software development team spinning the bad message from the testing team about the lousy code they produce.  Had the GOP proceeded with moderation, the memo could have seen the light of day sooner and Nuland could have been fired as the appropriate sacrificial lamb for the lie perpetrated on the American people. Bottom line, despite the overplay by the GOP, the truth about the Benghazi talking points are a supreme insult to the memory of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The IRS is caught targeting right-wing groups for added scrutiny. Something right out of the Nixon playbook, although as I said earlier, I doubt this goes as far up as Obama. I think Obama is innocently or willfully ignorant of the shenanigans going on around him. Now let’s be perfectly clear, some of the groups targeted ARE full of horse manure, applying for tax exempt status as a community service when they are a pure political organization. The problem is that they were targeted based on profiling. It’s like pulling over the black guy cos you think he’s more likely to have committed a crime. It’s immoral. It’s indefensible.

The Justice department is caught listening in on the calls of the Associated Press, encompassing the conversations of some 100 journalists, at least some of whom are talking with confidential informants. The excuse is that Eric Holder and company were cracking down on leaks that could endanger national security. But let’s be honest here. Washington is hardly leak proof when it comes to national security, particularly if the leak makes the administration look tough on terrorism. Where I come from, conservatives intimidate the press, not liberals. But then again, where I come from conservatives drone-kill innocent 16-year-old boys, not liberals.

What the hell is going on?

And the best my beloved news source MSNBC can do is say “all the presidents have done it” or “Nixon did it” or “Bush did it and where was the Republican outcry then?” Are you kidding me? The best you can do in defense of this presidency is say he is just like every lousy president before him? Didn’t we hope for more?

I don’t know where we go from here. Obama clearly needs to fire a few folks. Credibility needs to be restored. And MSNBC needs to catch up with the rest of the press who are not so enamored of our historic President right now. We need to be honest and say this stuff stinks to high heaven and we need to clean it up. Stop making excuses. Stop covering up. One common theme to the second term curse is that the cover up is always worse than the crime. Obama better wake the hell up and start managing his administration or he will find himself right down there with Bush, Buchanan, Harding and Hoover.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Real Voter Fraud

My fellow liberals are understandably upset about various Republican state legislatures passing laws that will restrict voting access to typically disenfranchised people. These laws disproportionately limit votes that would probably be for Democrats. The premise behind the stricter laws is to stamp out that dreaded boogeyman VOTER FRAUD. Of course, we wouldn’t want to remind these legislators that the occurrence of voter fraud is miniscule.

If my Republican friends really want to worry about voter fraud, I’d like to turn their attention to a fraud that goes unnoticed every election. Very simply it is the phenomenon of very stupid people entering the voting booth.

My story actually begins with my own stupidity. The other day I was looking at a map of the proposed Keystone pipeline extension which had a solid line and a dotted line on it. I was having trouble understanding the difference. Like an idiot, I had neglected to notice the legend at the bottom of the map. My almost-eight year old 2nd grader explained the map to me when my wife prompted her to. I then updated my Facebook status to say “The verdict is in. I am not smarter than a 2nd grader.”

Things got worse however later in the day. The Lawson family gathered around the warm glow of the television to watch the game show Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?. For the uninitiated, contestants on this show try to win money by answering questions in topics taught in the first through fifth grades. Each contestant gets the help of one actual fifth grader from a panel that appears in each episode. With that backdrop, the following transpired. Mind you, I am NOT making this up.

The question: Which President of the United States served immediately before Franklin Delano Roosevelt? (Answer: Herbert Hoover)

The contestant thought aloud, “Well, IF Roosevelt served more than one term, then maybe the President who served before Roosevelt was Roosevelt himself?” The host, Jeff Foxworthy was kind enough to tell the woman that there are no trick questions on the show. I could see at this point, things were not going to end well. IF? One of the most well-known facts about Roosevelt was that he was elected four times, the only President with that distinction. Clearly this fact had escaped our poor contestant.

After pushing her brain to its limit she called on her fifth grade partner for assistance. Sadly the young girl was not the best exemplar of our educational system. Her answer was “Abraham Lincoln”. At this point, I went into shock. Lincoln was long dead before Roosevelt was even born. Their terms were not even in the same century. But forgiving man that I am, I gave the poor fifth grader a pass and blamed her teachers for her utter ignorance.

Our adult contestant now had the option to use the fifth grader’s answer or come up with her own. She wisely chose to reject “Abraham Lincoln”. The furrows in her forehead deepened. She descended into intense meditation. And then it came to her. She had arrived at her answer. Her answer was …

JAMES MADISON

Gasping for air, I asked my wife to call the paramedics. Just when I thought the lady recognized the utter impossibility of Lincoln, she picked a President even earlier than Lincoln. In fact, she picked the fourth President of the United States. Could the fourth POTUS possibly have served in the 1930’s? So three possibilities come to mind. She either knew nothing about Madison, or nothing about Roosevelt, or nothing about either. She was a grown-ass woman! She was incapable of making a guess that contained even the slightest hint of deductive reasoning. Had she said Calvin Coolidge, I could have said ok … early 20th century President. Had she said Harry Truman, I could’ve said ok, she’s got a good time frame there and just got the men in the wrong order. But no, her answer was the answer of a blindingly stupid person.

And now the real tragedy … this woman can vote. It makes you wonder just how many of the folks who enter the voting booth cannot discern their anus from a hole in the ground. And if it is true that much of America is dumb-as-a-post stupid, what does that say about the leaders we choose? Is it any wonder we have a Congress that repeatedly makes a spectacle of itself in incompetence? And while I still support our President, is it any wonder that we demanded virtually no relevant experience from him before electing him to the Presidency? Is it any wonder that the current slate of Republican Presidential wanna-be’s appear to be answering a casting call for Saturday Night Live?

The real voter fraud going on in America is that folks who can’t tell the difference between a SALT treaty and a salt shaker are choosing the man or woman who gives the “go” on a nuclear strike. Sadly, while we can legally ask you to produce all sorts of identification to prove you are who you say you are at the ballot box, we can’t legally ensure you won’t put James Madison as a write in candidate on the ballot.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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