American politics. Disparaging terms like “playpen”, “zoo”, and others may spring to mind, especially to those who live outside the US and can view it from outside, but that is not fair. The US is a nation in search of itself, again. This is not the first time. The only real question is, what will it find when it finds itself? In any case, I could waste several posts on this topic, but I have better things to do. So I will just toss out a few comments and be done with it, at least until it forces itself back on the agenda.
Obama – His strength lies in the weakness of his opposition and that weakness is based on a lack of focus. Focus will eventually come, but Democrats may provide it before Republicans do.
The Opponent From Within – Now that Naomi Pitcairn and friends have gotten the ball rolling by singing, We paid our dues, where’s our change?, the Democratic left is moving toward its all but inevitable challenge to President Obama’s renomination. Their candidate? The best bet at the moment to actually launch a public campaign is their quadrennial lost cause, Dennis Kucinich, but someone else may step up, perhaps Naomi Pitcairn? In any case, he or she will provide an alternative for any Democrat wishing to protest Obama’s policies. That could be very damaging to the President.
Clinton – I take Hillary Clinton at her word that she has no intention of running for the Presidency in 2012. For her to be a candidate, the Party would have to come to her. She will not volunteer to let them do to her once again what they did to her in 2008. Some politicians are gluttons for punishment; some are too intelligent for that. I think Hillary has shown herself to be much too intelligent for that. But if Democrats make it clear they aren’t happy with Barack, who else of national stature do they turn to? Who else can oppose him while legitimately claiming to have done everything possible to help him? If things start to fall apart for Democrats, who else can hope to put them back together?
The Other Side – When it comes to electrifying the electorate, none of the Republicans seem up to it at the moment. After a sufficiently expensive and nasty brawl for the next year, should that be the case, the last man/woman standing might find electrification hard to come by. For now, this is an internal Party affair. The rest of us can only wait and take another look in a few months. This picture will change, perhaps more than once. For now, it’s just a blur.
Bloomberg – A man who considered a run in 2008 and now in his third term as Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg cannot be ruled out. Although, like Hillary, he insists he is not a candidate, that can change and he won’t have to resign his post to do it as she would. Plus, he’d be running as an independent with the financial means to compete from the moment he made the decision. If I were a Republican or a Democrat, I would ignore Michael Bloomberg at my own peril. Whatever, he sure would trump Trump.
Enough. There are more “odds” up there than “ends”. I intend to return my focus where it belongs and where it is every day in any case – to the global scene. America plays an important part in that scene, but only a part and not as critical as it once was, not by a long shot, regardless of what Americans might want to think.
Like Europeans, Americans are tying themselves up into knots politically, economically, and socially. How it will all play out on either side of The Pond is an open question, but the rest of the world has to get up every morning and get to work building their futures. They are doing just that. So will we, one of these days. Sooner rather than later, one hopes.
For the moment, the US is forced to chase its own tail. Eventually, it will catch it and take a good bite. When the pain subsides, maybe that will finally force it to stop, think, and act as the great nation it has been and can be again.
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