Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Notes on Politics: Chris Christie’s Head Fake, Bono’s ‘F’ Word Campaign, Occupy [Your City]

Christie a Presidential No-Go

I must admit, I was disappointed to learn that New Jersey’s outspoken governor, Chris Christie won’t be running for president . . . as he has repeatedly said he would not, despite the lure of the siren’s song emanating from the lips of those who are desperately dissatisfied with the current GOP field.

I think Christie’s a smart, tough, work-with-anybody kind of person who would’ve brought much-needed pragmatism and leadership to the race. I’ve appreciated how he’s actually fielded questions with honesty and realism – like when he was asked why he was cutting funding for public school when he was sending his own children to private school – and think it would have been refreshing to see him go toe-to-toe with Mitt Romney, who often reminds me of a car salesman, and Rick Perry, who seems as though he’d rather be anywhere than talking policy while wearing a suit and tie.

And as for all the naysayers who were griping about Christie’s weight and saying he’s a bad role model, they were outright annoying and sanctimonious. I can’t stand the sanctimony. Christie’s in the business of developing and implementing public policy, not sashaying down a catwalk in a size zero sports jacket, sprinting up and down a basketball court or running a marathon. Last time I checked, he wasn’t jonesing to become an underwear model. Would he make a good poster boy for good health? No, and he’d be the first one to admit that. But he wasn’t being considered for either of those posts. He was being considered as a potential presidential candidate based on the contents of his head, not his stomach.

One’s ‘F-Word’ Campaign

Bono’s “One” organization has released a new public service ad aimed at energizing us regular folk to be galvanized to act and pressure those with power to do something about the African famine, to intercede in some fashion. Featuring, of all people, Mike Huckabee, along with Jenna Bush, George Clooney, Kristen Davis, Michael Bloomberg, Arianna Huffington and Rob Lowe, to name a few, the ad tries to combine the shock of the “f” word (“f” standing for “famine”) with anger. It’s a dark and twisty kind of ad, clever.

Hey, it’s a lot better than rebooting “We Are the World.”


Angry About the Growing Financial Inequities Between a Small Percentage of the U.S. Population and Everyone Else? Occupy [Your City]

The hodgepodge of folks -- many of them college students and members of unions -- who have been demonstrating in New York City as part of a loose group called “Occupy Wall Street,” have called for Wall Street types, who’ve fared well in this down economy, to pay a price for their recklessness. They want jobs and a whole bunch of other things, and they see rich, corporate titans, bankers and the assorted Gordon Gekkos of the world as standing in their way. They aspire to what one newscaster called, “An American Autumn” (to complement an Arab Spring, one would guess).

As some 700 people were arrested over the weekend for blocking the Brooklyn Bridge, the movement against “corporate greed, unemployment and the role of financial institutions in the economic crisis,” as the New York Times put it, has spawned other “Occupy” groups in cities across the country including Boston, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago, with anti-corporate, anti-banker actions/protests slated for Memphis, Minneapolis and Baltimore and a ton more locales. The central organizing web page, Occupy Together was created by some of the movement’s un-leaders (they don’t have official “leaders” per se, but some leader-y type person had to put together the web site) to “provide people with information about events that are organizing, ongoing and building across the U.S. as we, the 99 percent take action against the greed and corruption of the 1 percent.”

Here’s how the “Occupy Together” movement looks to an English columnist who said we’re witnessing “the dissolution of the American Empire:”

“We are watching the beginnings of the defiant self-assertion of a new generation of Americans, a generation who are looking forward to finishing their education with no jobs, no future, but still saddled with enormous and unforgivable debt. Most, I found, were of working class or otherwise modest backgrounds, kids who did exactly what they were told they should: Studied, got into college and are now not just being punished for it, but humiliated – faced with a life of being treated as deadbeats, moral reprobates.

Is it really surprising they would like to have a word with the financial magnates who stole their future?”

So, is this the left’s answer to the conservative-leaning Tea Party? Imagine how wild it would be if the “Occupy Together” people and the Tea Party people actually got together on something . . .

1 comment:

Carson said...

Maybe the Occupy Wall Street group should get together with Bono and start a new F-word campaign. F for Financial Crisis, Fat-cats or how 'bout after the SNL skit "Fix It"!