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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 11/18/2010

Machine politics

By Tom Toles

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2012 could be your year!

With the 2012 presidential field wide open, and with no clear front-runner yet extruded from the Play-D'oh! Fun Factory, you should perhaps consider once again your deferred dream of a run for the White House. Anybody can grow up to be president in this country, and serious credentials are no longer considered necessary. Do you love your country? Check! Are you fed up with the way things have been going? Check! Do you have good sense and a willingness to tell the truth? Check? Strike one for you there, but you can run anyway!

Sarah Palin is running! The press has to pretend still that maybe she isn't, but she is, and if she can be considered a serious candidate, you can be considered George Washington. She includes among her credentials that she is on Facebook! And Twitter! Do you feel that upwelling in confidence NOW? Why, you were governor of Alaska for the same number of full terms as she was!

Sure, you would need to staff up a bit, But that one guy said once that you should be president, and he no doubt is unemployed by now and could be your campaign manager. Get him before he declares his own candidacy, though! We are a fully-blossomed lottery country now. Anybody can and probably will be president, but you can't win if you don't play! Start dropping hints! --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | November 18, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Comments

Oooooh! Wiggan; you’re sooo Right. CONSERVATIVE Stalinist Fascism is the only thing that will save the USA.

Posted by: unoiamrite | November 18, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Tom, anyone can be elected. Just look at Obama. Here a closet socialist with terrorist buddies like Bill Ayers got elected with zero executive experience. He got a free pass by the liberal press who was giddy on the pipe dreams he puffed out of his bong of all hope. He deliberately remained vague on what hope and change were to maximize voter appeal. He continued the same stupid error Bush made by looking to massive government bailout as the solution to avoid the temporary pain of market correction following the burst of the real estate bubble. If you head on over to Wiki and look up federal debt as a function of GDP, you will find only 2 other presidents have ramped the debt as steeply: Bush in the last 2 years of his office, and FDR. Obama clearly never learned from the mistakes of FDR, and just vomited up all of his horrible ideas for a second meal.

Yes, this Obama who came back with nothing from China and was running up $200M/day bills in India fleeing from voter chasitisement in the midterms remains deaf to the will of the electorate.

Even HE got elected. It used to be the press would have shredded him long before he made the ballot. This press just wrote love letters, and now, rather than hold him accountable, focuses on the latest wearer of Lady Di's ring. So as long as you are liberal enough and spew forth platitudes, the lefty press will give you a free pass and even cheerlead your way to victory.

Anyone can get elected.

Posted by: Wiggan | November 18, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Umm... dudeupnorth, the emails you refer to, that describe outrageous benfits for members of Congress, were debunked many, many months ago. Putting the best construction on things, let's say you're not 'intending' to spread false rumors and are merely an unknowing victim of them. Still, you really need to check your facts. If nothing else, it reduces apoplexy (or at least direct it where it belongs) and will leave you a healthier person in body and mind.

Posted by: jonroesler | November 18, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

We’ve heard some media chatter (but probably not enough) about the terrific health care coverage that the members of Congress receive; and barely anything about the fact that by serving only one two-year stint, the departing guy “earns” a full-blown federal pension. However, there’s next-to-nada out there reminding the American public this: extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest among us is the same thing as extending the Bush Tax Cuts for – (Are we ready for a generalization?) – for every member of Congress. (Aren't they all "richies?") Given the amoral climate clouded with piggishness and greed, and prevailing everywhere these days, wouldn’t it seem pretty unreasonable for Republican Congresspersons (and okay, some of them might be closeted Democrats as well) to upset the status quo by dumping on the rest of the richies? ("OMG -- How could I show my face at the club?") The idea is contrary to human nature (Already I'm cutting them some slack.). After all is said and done, who among us would volunteer for less of their on-the-ground income?? It would seem a bit on the stupid side, even when one – (of us, out here in the disintegrating middle class) – gives it a second or third thought.

Posted by: dudeupnorth | November 18, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Toles, how did you got your grubby paws on the secret memo about our energy plan that we were only leaking to Fox and the Washington Times? Don't you know that you aren't supposed to let on that talk of balancing the budget is just talk? We have to keep the mooks believing that it's for real, you know, just like for the last fifty years. As Lee Atwater explained, the whole point, the only point, to "budget-cutting" is that "Blacks get hurt worse."

Anyway, you left out the wind power component from all of our hot air.

Posted by: Antibogotes | November 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I suppose the real problem is that many voters take an election for POTUS or for Senators no more seriously than they would take the "Dancing For The Stars" competition. If you like the candidate or someone related to the candidate, vote for that candidate--no considerations of competency are required. There may be less new to this than most of us think. But with 24 hour/day news where ratings are more important than honest reporting, and with the Internet where people can post the most vile lies with impunity (indeed, they are often rewarded for their lies), we're probably getting exactly what we deserve. The electorate seems to lazy to conduct the due diligence required to find out what the actual issues are, much less what the options are to deal with the issues. So, we have people saying that AGW is not a problem ( science tells us differently ) , that Obama was not born in the U.S. ( his birth certificate has been posted online ) , that Obama is a Muslim ( he thinks he's a Christian, not that it should matter ) , that Obama is a socialist, communist, Marxist, leftist, and that Palin is unqualified for the presidency (hey, people do get something right).

No doubt I have heard the "anyone can be president" line throughout my life. But I was always sane enough to understand that that was hyperbole. Life is difficult for all but a pampered few--people seem to forget this fact and expect things to made right for them. It's a brutal, hard existence during our short lives. Nothing can be done about that. When the end comes, we die quickly and painfully, or slowly and painfully. But everyone we have known, know now, or will know, will certainly die. Cheers!

Posted by: ptgrunner | November 18, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"...will cause the pendulum to swing back farther left, and we'll elect some "real" progressives in the next election cycle and perhaps finally start moving toward an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable future. Hopefully it won't be too late. We're getting down to the wire."
____________________

Funny, isn't this the same situation in PG county, Kalifornia and NYS? PG County and Kalifornia aren't exactly models of "sustainability", when it comes to fiscal responsibility, are they? Don't know much about NYS's current condition, but I do remember that Cuomo Sr. did not give tax breaks to Smith Corona during the height of the "1991" recession, so SC shut down their plant and moved the whole operation to Mexico, as Brother and others had years before. Little Falls, NY was in shambles back then, too, with acres of factories that had, obviously, been closed for at least a decade by then.

Yep, THAT's a sustainable future to believe in! Afterall, can't get any greener than an entire country with no manufacturing base, people out of work so that they can't pay their power bills, so no need to run as many power plants. Yep, the demoncraps idea of sustainability is quite frightening.

Posted by: ATrueChristian | November 18, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

and we'll elect some "real" progressives~~~

I don't know of any...care to name, names?

Posted by: bertzel | November 18, 2010 11:07 AM |

Well, TT says anyone can be president now, right? So...I'll throw my hat in the ring. "Vote Prairie Dog, 2016!" :-)

Seriously, I don't know who would step up. Feingold is unemployed now, so there's a possibility. Kucinich is unelectable, but has some good ideas. I'm hoping that some new rising progressive stars start to pop up as the country moves farther and farther to the right. Once we snap back from that silliness, there would be some new folks in place to move in and actually start governing for the people and the planet, and not for the corporations. It upsets me that blue collar folks don't see how they're being manipulated by a bunch of people out to enrich their own pockets, while claiming to be "of the people". But...that's a story for another post.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | November 18, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

and we'll elect some "real" progressives~~~

I don't know of any...care to name, names?

Posted by: bertzel | November 18, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

If Sara wins the White House, it will be Dubya Redux. In essence, you'll have a puppet at the pulpit, with more powerful men running the show, only telling her what they think she needs to know for a press conference (however it may be harder with a dress vs a suit coat to hide the radio receiver on her back, ala Bush), and the real decisions will be made elsewhere.

By the end of Bush II, Americans had no faith in him, he had taken the country into a deep hole while the rich got richer. And in 2006 and 2008, the pendulum swung back left. If Sara gets in office, the same thing will happen, and this time the cliff she and her regime drive us over will cause the pendulum to swing back farther left, and we'll elect some "real" progressives in the next election cycle and perhaps finally start moving toward an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable future. Hopefully it won't be too late. We're getting down to the wire.

Posted by: PrairieDog60 | November 18, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

~~~The same couple of hundred people who control most of the wealth of this country and sit on the boards of all the major corporations, are still in charge and will continue to be no matter who is elected.
Government is just a sideshow to distract people.
Posted by: Capn0ok~~

I agree, which is why we have the 'clowns' we have throwing their hats in the ring...scary really isn't it.
all we need now is the opportunity to vote via cell phone.
Perhaps there is truth in that 'ole Mayan Prophecy.

Posted by: bertzel | November 18, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm..no wonder there are so many expats living in Central America. Given the possible candidates running in 2012 on the right, Central America is beginning to look very good for my retirement!!

Posted by: cmarston99 | November 18, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The same couple of hundred people who control most of the wealth of this country and sit on the boards of all the major corporations, are still in charge and will continue to be no matter who is elected.
Government is just a sideshow to distract people.

Posted by: Capn0ok | November 18, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Anybody can grow up to be president in this country, and serious credentials are no longer considered necessary." At last! A serious admission from Looney Tunes Tommy that his false messiah is seriously flawed. Will wonders never cease.

Posted by: jpost1 | November 18, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Democrats run a crumbling Prince George County, Democrats run the crumbling DC Metro, Democrats forced Obamacare on the people, Democrats still believe in the manmade global warming hoax...see a trend here?

Posted by: jornolibist | November 18, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

JFK was considered a "kid President".

Posted by: chaunceygardener | November 18, 2010 12:11 AM | Report abuse

OK, now someone will chime in about W being a 40 year old idiot... Right you are... Can we let it go now, and move on?

Posted by: chaunceygardener | November 18, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I know 40 year olds that are infantile. I read about 12 year olds that are geniuses. The 35 year old requirement for President may seem arbitrary, but it is necessary. A 12 year old genius does not have life experience. A 40 year old idiot is un-electable. The system works.

Posted by: chaunceygardener | November 17, 2010 11:56 PM | Report abuse

You know, I wonder why there's still a minimum age to be president, or at least why it's 35. I mean, we probably don't want to elect some kid, but it just seems such an arbitrary number pulled from nowhere for this day and age. Why not 30? Or even lower? Hell, why not 18? That's voting age, after all. Sure, I can't name an 18-year-old I'd vote for, but so what?

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | November 17, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

We've already experienced what you describe and the proof is residing in the White House as we speak! It's true, anybody can grow up to be President...

Posted by: birddogbobby | November 17, 2010 10:20 PM | Report abuse

In 2012 Hillary will run and win Bill a third term which would be much better than Jimmy's third term.

Posted by: billybeer6 | November 17, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Ha,ha, ha!!!
Toles, you've got a link AND humor!! Such a winning combination!
People Magazine comes to mind!

By the way, you forgot to mention The Donald, Trump that is...

Posted by: bertzel | November 17, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

OK, Toles, you started it. Step up to the plate and throw your hat in the ring!

Posted by: ebtnut | November 17, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure if this prospect scares me or not. Got to think about the implications for us.

I'm reading Bush's book, Decision Points. We barely survived his administration -- the jury is still out on that -- so maybe we can survive anything from Sarah.

Interested or fearful? I'm still working on it.

Posted by: goodgovernment | November 17, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The Dems should nominate a burdizzo.

Posted by: duke5 | November 17, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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