Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Personal Aside: Super-Tuesday with All the Trimmings.
Under the weather a bit yesterdaysorry. Back in good form today.
Some thoughts written last night before many of the final-final returns are in.
1. It is a great joy to see that the old Republican party elites are not picking the nominees. Even if my candidate, Mitt Romney, didnt do well, it is of great satisfaction to me to see that here in Illinois, the candidate all the panjandrums agreed on with Big Buffo Jim Thompson pronouncing that this candidate is my kind of Republican Rudy Giuliani flopped as did John Connally, leaving the GOP head honchos stranded in 1980.
2. Likewise it is a joy to see that the arrogant so-called pundits of talk
radio did not triumph. Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity tried to use their leverage to lead the party by the noseIngraham amazingly saying though a lawyer that she will not vote for McCain. Not to mention Ann Coulter who has pledged to campaign for Hillary if McCain is the nominee. Limbaugh opposed McCain and Huckabee and deeply strove to have their audiences follow their lead. In South Carolina McCain and Huckabee drew 63% of the conservative vote, a clear repudiation of these pundits.
Not long ago I wrote what I thought was a balanced piece, saying that Limbaugh is very eloquent and that I agree with him about 90% of the timebut that I felt his adamant attacks on McCain and Huckabee, reading them out of the conservative faction, showed that Limbaugh is after all a broadcaster who has not had political experience. A friend of mine wrote to say that Mark Levin hassince Levin worked in the Justice Department. My friends, what I mean by political experience is not a job in the bureaucracy of the bowels of government. What I mean by political experience is the experience of carrying a precinct or working a piece of legislation through to passage through the arts of compromise. Compromise is a dirty word for Rushand that is because he is isolated in that glass booth before the golden EIB microphone, from political negotiations. Laura has been a speech-writer in the Reagan White Houses domestic affairs division, was a law clerk for Clarence Thomas. Very nice and very impressive as she earns possibly seven figures annually as a talk show host. But that is not political experience.
What do I mean by political experience. Will you excuse me if I point to myself because of the experiences I have had? Shameless egotism I know. At 27 I had the job of strategizing for the Republicans in the Minnesota legislature that was dominated by Democrats. At 29 I had to advise a Republican congressman on how to get his farm agenda through a Democratic Ag committee and Democratic congress. At 30 I watched raptly as the very senior congressman I served showed me how to get his foreign affairs resolutions and programs through a Democratic House.
At 33 I went to work as a press secretary to a governor and worked with others to strategize how to get his legislative program through a Democratic House and Senate. At 37 I went to work for a corporation and designed its legislative program, supervising how it could be passed through Congress and in various state legislatures in states where we had plants. At 39 I went to the Commerce department as an assistant secretary where I was required to design my own program in minority business and work to get it passed. At 41 I was number three in the Peace Corps and charged with the job of getting the Peace Corps appropriations through. Then back to the corporation with lobbying work from which I retired in 1991. As a diversion as chairman of an anti-vote fraud organization I battled with the El Supremo Mayor Daley on anti-vote fraud legislation and got walloped.
Am I bragging? God, I hope not because its Lent. I think not because my won-loss record against odds was very average, not spectacular. But thats what I mean by political experience. It is very-very easy to earn $20 million a year like Rush and define what is white and black. Just yesterday I heard him say he is proud that he is not in the Beltway. Well, hurrah for him. But maybe it would have been better for his listeners if he had had some experience rather than running his mouth. Essentially while I still buy him at 90% I think he ought to get out of his air conditioned studio and mingle with lawmakers, trying to get something passed or defeated. Thats what I mean by political experience. Your comments now.