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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And The VP is …

As I write this Friday night MSNBC reports three reliable sources saying Paul Ryan is the VP pick for Romney. CNN is being more cautious in their reporting. Fox is hedging its bets also.

I’ll update this post tomorrow morning after Romney announces his running mate at 8:45 am EDT.

Update 8/11/12

MSNBC got it right and this morning at about 9:15 Eastern time, Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his Vice Presidential running mate. Upon his introduction, Ryan came bounding down the stairs of the USS Wisconsin (now a museum), the picture of vigor and vitality. He looked genuinely thrilled to be there. In fact, unlike his benefactor, Ryan looked genuine all the way around. Not a false note in body language nor delivery. His speech had just the right balance of gravity, optimism and pride of country.

Debt, Doubt and Despair

I love it when politicians (or their speech writers) find these neat alliterative phrases to capture the moment. There is no arguing with the debt part of the equation. There can also be little doubt that a good portion of the country is filled with doubt and despair. After Ryan’s speech, I played Obama’s introduction of Biden four years ago and I could not help but feel a bit sad. Ryan’s description of our country is not far from the truth and no one who believed in Barack Obama four years ago could have imagined that debt, doubt and despair could remotely describe our country in 2012.

We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes

Right when Ryan’s just about got you by the throat and you’re ready to say “dammit, I’m tired of waiting for a recovery, it’s time for a change”, he tosses out that well worn conservative cop-out for keeping the poor, poor and the rich, rich. When Ryan says America promises equal opportunities, someone needs to ask him does America make good on that promise? The implicit message of Ryan is that there is an equal playing field and the outcomes are not equal by virtue of inadequacies in those who do not make it. It’s that old Herman Cain chestnut “if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself.”  Obviously self-reliance is a great virtue but what the liberal sees that the conservative fails to see is that there are systemic societal forces that interfere with self-reliance. There are many no-opportunity-zones in this country where there is little hope of escaping poverty.

I will be more impressed with Paul Ryan when he tells me how he is going to make good on that promise of equal opportunity. Once he and Mitt implement that plan, and opportunities  really become equal, then I can make peace with the lack of equal outcomes.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Photo by United States Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Must Be ACORN (Plus My Endorsement)

Must be ACORN

When the news came down today that the Iowa caucus results announced earlier this month were bogus, Republicans across the country were outraged. Tallies from eight precincts are hopelessly lost. Santorum is as of today, the winner of the caucus but we’ll really never know who won.

George Will said, “This is a travesty of justice!”

Erick Erickson cried, “Voter fraud such as this cannot stand!”

Andrew Breitbart exclaimed, “It’s a Catholic conspiracy against the Mormons!”

Rush Limbaugh belched, “This, my friends, is just another nail in the coffin of a free America, hammered in by socialist saboteurs.”

Well, actually none of those quotes are real. I made them all up. In fact, there doesn’t appear to be a single Republican upset that the Iowa caucus resembled an election in a banana republic or perhaps Afghanistan or Iraq. No outrage or finger-pointing. Just an “oh well, maybe Santorum really won, maybe he didn’t.”

Remember this in November when the GOP screams voter fraud upon Obama’s reelection.

My Endorsement

I am making history today by offering a limited endorsement. This endorsement only extends to the South Carolina primary but make no mistake, this endorsement is sincere.

This Saturday I am urging all primary voters in South Carolina to vote for …

Herman Cain

Yes, you read that right. Earlier this week, comedian Stephen Colbert made the point that he could not get on the presidential ballot in South Carolina even if he wanted to. Deadlines have long since passed. But he made the equally valid point that Herman Cain, despite dropping out of the race, cannot get off the ballot. So with a wink and a nod, Colbert suggested that a vote for Cain is a vote for Colbert.

I am fully with Colbert on this one. It’s time we made South Carolina a true protest vote. A vote for Cain/Colbert is a statement that:

  1. We are tired of this clown car masquerading as serious contenders for the presidency and
  2. We are disgusted with what the Citizens United decision has wrought, where money equals speech and corporate and lobbyist interests now have the biggest voice.

Using his, wups, I mean Jon Stewart’s Super PAC money, Colbert has launched several ads in South Carolina to get his point across including the Cain as Colbert vote initiative.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Citizens of South Carolina, go out on Saturday and vote for Herman Cain knowing that a vote for Cain is a vote for Colbert and a vote for Colbert is a vote to stop the insanity!

Respectfully,
Rutherford

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