Turkey and Egypt prepare to go to war against Israel just as a heavily Jewish district in New York elects a Republican to Congress for the first time since the Harding administration. Unions commit blatant destruction and violence (often against other unions) as the economy flatlines.
In recent days, a surprising number of scandals have opened up. There is the "Fast and Furious" scandal by which the Department of Justice gave weapons to foreign gangs and people died, including government agents whose job is to stop that stuff. All the evidence points to a desire to introduce gun control through backdoor means at some high level, but that is a self-evidently ludicrous accusation for which the evidence is... more than circumstantial. What possible other explanation could there be for not tracking the weapons? Like Anthony Weiner's delusional assumption that lying about his email account being hacked would cover for his wang tweeting complete strangers, weapons are not things you want to lose and there isn't anything else someone could gain from such a scheme.
Then there's Solyndra, where Obama and Biden gave millions of dollars (remember when that used to be a lot?) to a buddy for green energy jobs. They did the paperwork and got things moving smoothly, showed up to public events, put their mouths where our money was. It went bust because a business plan that sounded good to Obama and Biden didn't work so well in reality. It's the closest they've ever been to running a real business.
Y'know, I bet oil companies are among the biggest investors in alternate energy sources, because if and when science discovers superior energy sources and technology to petroleum-based industry, it'll put the oil companies out of business. They might as well get in on the ground floor of the new era. I doubt too many of these innovations will come from the tree-huggers anyway.
Another company came out with similar revelations today, including that the White House influenced an Air Force general to change his testimony.
This is what government corruption and cronyism looks like. Quite possibly it's inevitable regardless of which side is charge, but if that's the case then it benefits the country much more when the people who keep goods cheap and plentiful aren't penalized for being more successful. They don't owe the government nearly as much as big government advocates insist. Rick Perry won applause when he promised to make the government as unobtrusive as possible.
I'm not following the Republican primaries and rarely do more than skim summaries, but I'm impressed at the way they're all going at it with intellectual vigor. They're throwing hard punches at each other and suffering misstatements or contradictions or jarring viewpoints. So do the summaries I skim. "You're wrong because of A, B and C!" "Oh yeah, what about X, Y and Z?" It's intellectual diversity that we haven't seen in a long time on the political stage.
Massachusetts elected a Republican to the Senate for the first time in decades who specifically campaigned on voting against Obamacare. 2010 wiped out Democratic control of the House and now a Republican has been elected to the seat where Anthony Weiner sat. Hopefully it's been cleaned off. The left keeps demanding special elections, as if to give the voters another chance to make the correct decision this time. They waste resources trying to defeat propositions that are the government's only hope for fiscal surival and each loss seems to embolden them further. The longer it takes for them to accept this, the worse they will make things for themselves (and everybody else).
I think what's really surprising the administration of "leading from behind" is that things didn't go to plan. Obama was always expected to be in full campaign mode fourteen months before the election, it was just taken as a given he'd be championing his successes instead of being reduced to "If you love me, you've gotta help me pass this bill" as he said to an audience of several thousand today.
The bill in question is basically all the things Congress refused to do immediately when he took office and languished while they concentrated on the things they did do immediately (Obamacare). It would be like him demanding Congress close Gitmo. Or pass the Free Trade agreements that are still sitting on his desk where they've been for months. Obama's repeating "pass the bill now" because he doesn't know what else to say.
It's not about the bill, it's about "if you love me, you've gotta..." bullshit that no thinking person should fall for and people who do usually deserve what they get. None of Obama's allies in the House rushed on it, so a Republican stole the title ("American Jobs Bill") for a one-line bill, a tax cut. That's funny. The Senate will be moving on it whenever the Senate gets to it. The bipartisan supercommittee will eventually decide how to pay for it.
"If you love me, you've gotta help me pass this bill." So people whose regard for him is only admiration or respect are exempt from helping him pass the bill. Mind you he was speaking to college students, and I'm sure they hear a lot of "if you love me, you've gotta...' Either way, they're not going to be much help passing a bill, regardless of what this "Constitutional scholar" thinks.
Either way, his Presidency's over unless he can stir up the black vote something fierce. It's not a foregone conclusion, but my 'who's going to win' sense is tingling. I can certainly imagine he'd like a real vacation and it's rumored that he may be having issues with depression.
I'm not impressed by critics from the left. They don't make the slightest effort to protest Gitmo or bombing Libya the way they protested GWB so their objections were purely political and renders much of what they say about anything irrelevant. Further, Obama has clearly been giving everything he has to govern from as far to the left as possible. That he hasn't succeeded by the left's standards has less to do with Obama and more to do with those standards. You might as well chastise him for not flapping his arms and flying like a bird. It's not doable. Obama caved and the Democrats have caved in the various debt/budget arguments because they don't have a leg to stand on. They can't explain to their core constituencies that the goal just isn't possible, so they need to surrender to anyone willing to offer terms.
From January '09 through January '11, raising the debt ceiling was a failure of leadership and no one was in charged anyway, so House Republicans were suddenly holding hostages this summer? How does that work? This is an enormous case of willful denial. It will be interesting to see how many Democrats/liberals/leftists have succumbed to this uncritical defense of Obama and how deep that self-deception runs. They want Obama to talk tougher. He's been looking for an ass to kick the whole time. He's Lebron, he's got this. He's a better speechwriter than his speecherwriters. At least he used to be.
Now he's reduced to running to the crowds and chanting "pass this bill", pleading "if you love me..."