The Story of O (Icarus, not Pegasus)

This week is one where the high flying, above it all (or, depending on your point of view, arrogant and totally self-seeking) president has over flown his carefully constructed, made up persona, and his wax wings are melting and with them his party's hold on the voters. He is not the divine winged horse, but just a kid who pasted feathers on his back , said ,"I can fly," and finds himself crashing to earth.
Just as his Attorney General, Eric Holder once again retreated from a position that was instrumental to the president's original campaign and endorsed the policies of his much derided predecessor, the President chose to throw his hat in the ring for yet another shot at the white House.


A number of people offered up suggested campaign slogans for this next round.


Among my friend bgates' suggestions are these:


*Change We Need, and That I Promised Four Years Ago, Except in the Areas Where I Continued Bush's Policies, or Where Through No Fault of My Own Things Got Worse, Because Let's Face It Not All Change is For the Better - Not That You Should Dwell

* If You Vote For Me Only Once You're a Racist

* I Am Better Off Than I Was Four Years Ago

Tom Maguire
couldn't resist offering up these gems:


We Are The BS We've Been Waiting For" ... "Hope You Didn't Expect Change" or "Keep The Change (We Want Your Folding Stuff)".  It's just too bad that "The Violent Torpedo of Truth" has been taken.


And Iowahawk tweeted lots of helpful possibilities, including this sampling:
I Finally Got Some of That Experience You Were Bitching About

You Have My Word On It: Three Wars, Tops

A Second Term Will Make a Great Topic For My 4th Autobiography

Confident Smugness For An Uncertain World

Give Me a Second Chance, And I'll Prove You Are Worthy of Me

No Matter What Crisis I Cause, I Will Remain Serenely Above It

You Can't Fool All the People All The Time, So Shoot For 50.1%[/quote]


But I think my friend Ignatz' suggestion that candidate for re-election Obama just run against the Obama who campaigned the last time is a good one.  It seems that he's now decided that all the things that he pretended to be when he bashed Bush in his last election  campaign are now  to be discarded.


The petulant presser called by Holder to announce the Administration's triple spin  double lutz on military tribunals  was obviously occasioned by Obama's calculation that with even Chuck Schumer against the notion of trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed in downtown Manhattan, the  scheme which was Holder's (and Obama's) bien pensant brainstorm was  going nowhere and it was no longer opportune to  Obama's re-election campaign to keep flogging this dead horse to appeal to the moral preeners.


Efforts by Holder to put the blame for the shift on a truculent Congress to the contrary notwithstanding, no politician of any weight bought into the notion. And only a really stupid electorate accepted the idea that the conviction of Mohammed which Holder and Obama assured us was a sure thing after a "fair trial"   would be a tribute to our justice system. To everyone else, especially those who actually studied military tribunals, it was a pointless exercise, costly in time, manpower, and the security of the citizens of New York city


Those of us not affected by unfortunate memory loss will not forget how differently the media and Euro-geniuses and Code Pink and Mother Sheehan treat this turn about on the tribunals and Libya and Afghanistan and  Gitmo.  They all now are more exposed than most blue movie stars.


With that bit of distasteful business done, Obama was ready to begin his great march forward to collect a billion dollar campaign chest.


First stop was a shindig for Al Sharpton's strange, tax dodging outfit National action Network. Certainly, that is reflective of the president's falling numbers among black voters. 


In case you are one of those unfortunates with a short attention span, Sharpton incited crowds  which murdered a young man in the Crown Heights riot and again at Freddie's Fashion Mart, and was instrumental in the Tawana Brawley hoax.  Attorney General Holder, fresh off a whitewashing of the Black Panther dismissal  also attended.


I think it's fair to say that all those who voted for Obama -- despite his association with Reverend Wright -- because  they believed he offered a post-racial future should be getting the message that he thinks that he can't count on your naiveté much longer and needs  Sharpton and Jackson  and every other race hustler to round up every vote in the progressive hellholes of America to win another term.


His next stop was before a seemingly receptive crowd to discuss his energy policy, which seems to be, as we noted last week, pay for it twice from Brazil, but for heaven's sake don't extract oil from here.


One man with ten kids complained about the rising price of gas. Obama, who earlier offered up his solution to that as keep your tires filled with air, gave an arrogant answer: He suggested the voter trade in his car for a hybrid. (They must love that in Marin County, but most of the rest of us think it is a snobbish, unrealistic answer. Perhaps he ought to confine his energy ramblings to the rich enclaves of his party. Ordinary working people know better than he does the multiplier effect of high energy costs  and the folly of  reliance on "green" energy.)


In any event, the Associated Press covered for him by scrubbing the remark from its original article, forgetting I suppose that there are other ways to document their cover up as Hot Air demonstrates:


If the press reported it, the retort would prove rather embarrassing -- which may be why the Associated Press scrubbed it from their coverage of the event.  A search for "If you're complaining about the price of gas and you're only getting 8 miles a gallon" turned up 26 hits last night at 7:15 pm ET, most of them Associated Press links or links to their affiliates. In each of those, the quote was removed in later editing, which the Bing archiving had yet to clear.


But rising gas (and food prices) were not the only things that worried voters this week. There was that war or kinetic military action (another kind of KMA which normally is short for an arrogant street expression) in Libya that was going nowhere fast.


There was a lot of first rate commentary on this keystone kops mission on the web this week, but as was the case last week, I find JMH's précis  the best:


Obama's exit strategy was already kicking in when the usual suspects framed Clinton, Power and Rice as the hawkish Amazonian cabal pushing military intervention! Our President, reluctant to put Americans at risk, but cognizant of his oh-so-American responsibility to protect the innocent, more prudently insisted on a modified limited hangout. He moved on to the U.N. and then played the NATO card, in consultation with our international partners, of course. He made the terms of U.S. engagement clear, and true to his word, "America has done what we said we would do." Et voila, his bases are covered at home and abroad, should results prove disappointing, while success will validate his multilateralist dogma. Obama doesn't do anything without a "plan."

I do find the putative menage a trois in this narrative a little hard to credit. The press has suddenly rediscovered Samantha Power, but Hillary (the monster!) has always been window dressing. Her recent, not-so-subtle public ruminations on retirement sure sound like she knows she's being hung out to dry. In contrast, Susan Rice has thoroughly embraced her superfluous existence by representing U.S. interests on the international cocktail circuit, in preference to the Security Council. She was just hauled in so that Obama could hover above the actual multilateral fray, as is his wont.

In any case, Obama's fallback position is entirely predictable: I have always said, clearly, that kinetic engagement, alone, would never be sufficient to the cause. As we continue to use all the tools at our disposal, America can be proud of what we have already accomplished in lives saved and messages sent. The road before us is long and I never said it would be easy. Don't falter now, Ohio! Elect me again, North Carolina! This is the moment to renew our commitment to a more perfect world. They will try to tell you we can't get there, because that's what they do. But guess what? I'm still standing, and we're still here, Florida, to tell them that, together, si!


Although my friend Ranger's view is shorter but equally accurate accurate in my eyes:


We went to war with no plan to force a victory, and here we are.

Basically, a repeat of the Yugoslav crisis. Funny, but we let Europe lead on that one too.

BTW, I am sure we will soon hear from someone high up in the administration that "You go to Kinetic Military Action with the Rebels you have, not the Rebels you wish you had."


For sheer enjoyment, however, nothing could beat the Supreme Court race in Wisconsin. There, relying on the AP unofficial returns, not the precinct-by-precinct reports given to AOL and others on election eve, the media awarded a razor thin victory to the union supported candidate, Kloppenburg. She, in turn, raced to the cameras, not waiting for the official tally or even a certification of the election to claim victory:


In her original statement she expressed confidence that  her margin of victory "would hold."


Later in the day she released an official victory statement:


"We owe Justice Prosser our gratitude for his more than 30 years of public service. Wisconsin voters have spoken and I am grateful for, and humbled by, their confidence and trust. I will be independent and impartial and I will decide cases based on the facts and the law. As I have traveled the State, people tell me they believe partisan politics do not belong in our Courts.  I look forward to bringing new blood to the Supreme Court and focusing my energy on the important work Wisconsin residents elect Supreme Court justices to do."

I don't think it churlish to suggest this judicial candidate's actions  were injudicious. In any event that's exactly what they proved to be hours later when it appeared that a data entry error meant that an approximately 7500 votes for her opponent, Prosser, had not been entered in the tally the AP was given though AOL, which got the precinct county directly from the precinct in question (Brookfield in Waukesha County). An error in tabulating had been made. Early the next day as the Waukesha poll workers were doing their official tally, they recognized the error and announced it later that afternoon to a disappointed press.


At the news conference with Nickolaus, Ramona Kitzinger, the Democrat on the Waukesha County Board of Canvassers, said: "We went over everything and made sure all the numbers jibed up and they did."

As a Democrat, she said, "I'm not going to stand here and tell you something that's not true."

Kristine Schmidt, the clerk in the city of Brookfield, said in a separate interview that she shared the results with the news media on Tuesday night.

She said she also sent the results twice to the county. After the first results were sent, she said county officials requested a second set of data because they wanted results tabulated in a certain format with fewer columns.

"We sent it to the county and called the county to make sure they got it," Schmidt said.

Nickolaus explained that when she got Brookfield's results the second time in the correct format, she failed to save it. So when she totaled the results for the unofficial final report Tuesday night, Brookfield's total was not included.

She discovered the error Wednesday, when she transferred her data to a state computer program for the canvassers' review. Brookfield's results showed a zero. The Board of Canvassers started its work at noon Wednesday, but Nickolaus said she didn't report the blunder because everything had to be verified first.


So now it's now between Richard Trumka and  Democrat machine on one hand and  the three election clerks--Schmidt, Nikolaus and Kitzinger-on the other and I know who I'd credit.


(When we lived in Wisconsin my mother served as a poll worker. Then you had to pass an exam to do that. There were in place impeccable procedures to assure a fair count and tally.) In recent years the votes in Kenosha, Racine and Milwaukee have been corrupted, in large part because former Governor Doyle vetoed all efforts to demand voter I.D. and prior registration and thereby facilitated vote theft, especially in large urban areas where the voters and poll workers were perhaps unlikely to know each other or care much about fraud. 


Waukesha is not that sort of place and on Thursday the Wisconsin Senate voted to put the ID bill in a position where it could not be amended. The bill will also require  a 28 day residency to vote. Earlier efforts to do this failed because it had a fiscal component and the fleebaggers  duck and run  action thus precluded action on the bill.)


But luckily for us, the press ran unthinkingly with the unofficial AP tally and so we had the amusing sight of Chris Matthews, Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune and Ken Vogel a Politico writer opining on the significance of the vote, how the unions won brilliantly and Walker and the Republicans were toast just as the chyron announcing the new vote totals ran across the bottom of the screen as derekahunter captured it:

James Taranto of the WSJ has the final word on the Wisconsin race:


"One of the most important reforms is that union dues will become voluntary. State and local government will no longer take money out of their employees' paychecks and hand it over to the unions. This is likely to be the last Wisconsin election in which the Democrats have the advantage of support from organizations with the power to raise campaign funds coercively.

The unions' show of muscle in this week's election was not unimpressive, even though it was insufficient to the task at hand. Starved of the nourishment of forcibly collected dues, they may look like a 98-pound weakling by 2012."