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Moral Failure = Failure

Maureen Dowd is not high on John Edwards:

[Former Edwards campaign team member Andrew] Young testified that Edwards’s rationale for not hearing details about the checks used for the “cover-up” — $1 million solicited from two wealthy donors, the late Fred Baron and the 101-year-old Bunny Mellon, who sent “Bunny money” through an interior designer with red herring notations about antique furniture — was that he didn’t want to have to lie in case he was ever sworn in as attorney general. (Another hallucination, since Barack Obama never had any intention of giving that post to a man he considered a pretty boy.)

It was a pathetic measure of his vertiginous fall that he once thought he could be the boss of the very prosecutor pushing for him to go to jail for up to 30 years and pay up to $1.5 million in fines.

Sitting behind Edwards, as Young described the fortune lavished on Rielle, was his family, who once thought he would be in White House: his 30-year-old daughter, Cate, a lawyer who is strategizing with her dad on the case; his elderly father, the former textile millworker; and his mother. His parents, disdained by Elizabeth as “hicks,” brought their own seat cushions.

Everyone’s arguing whether Edwards is a swindler or merely a swine.

While Dowd goes on to offer that Edwards is certainly a swine, it’s more interesting—well, to me—that she dishes that Obama viewed Edwards as a pretty boy. What an insult to pretty boys everywhere (plus that whole takes one to know one thing comes to mind as well).

Assuming Dowd’s guess is correct (and going Freud here), I’d speculate Obama didn’t want the media competition from Edwards. He instead went the “safe” route and picked a more traditional moral failure, Eric Holder.

Eric Stratton would have brought more forthrightness, morality, and honesty to the Administration (even if he is an ob/gyn type).

eric stratton

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The Tight and Comfortable Liberal Cocoon

How comfy cozy is the liberal cocoon? Pretty tight.

First you have Maureen Dowd—she’s the snarky one with observations generally several decades past their sell by dates—asserting Hillary Clinton is absolutely groovy.

Hillary Clinton cemented her newly cool image and set off fresh chatter about her future…

Then, you have Joe “GaffeMaster Flash” Biden saying Al Franken is a leading legal scholar.

“He has been one of the leading legal scholars,” Biden said of Franken today, according to the pool report. He also said that Franken “is deadly serious” as a senator. He made the comments while recalling concerns that then-candidate Franken could not be taken seriously as a Senate candidate given his SNL work.

The reality: Hillary is about as cool as a microwave and Franken is as sharp as a marble. Biden is somewhat less sharp than Franken; more like a Nerf marble.

Your results will not vary.

Why I Hate the Supreme Court: the Secret Thoughts of Maureen Dowd

The deepest, darkest, innermost secret thoughts of intrepid columnist and aging snark-queen Maureen Dowd.

Why did President Obama dare to bash and threaten the Supreme Court?

Has our former community organizer, argument for affirmative action, and constitutional law instructor no respect for our venerable system of checks and balances?

Nah. He’s ignorant. We all know that. We’ve known it for years. And we don’t care. What we do care about is his politics.

So the big issue is not how the President managed to pass the bar—assuming he did; after all, all the records are still sealed—but rather, regardless of his ignorance, why shouldn’t he bash the court? What have they done for him, hmm?

This despicable and conservative court is hermetically sealed in judicial la-la land, protected by their white pillars and layers of homeland security. From this sealed location, where too few in the liberal media know what they really do, why they do it, or how to influence them, they are well on their way to becoming the most divisive court in history. How so? Duh: they’re going to roll-back Obamacare.

While I long ago squandered even the semi-illusion that I am an unbiased, objective journalist, the Supreme Court is supposed to be the honest guardian of the Constitution. Instead, it’s run by law thugs dressed in black robes (and if Robert Byrd were still alive and were a member of the court, I’ll grant there would also be one white robe).

But all the fancy-pants diplomas and supposed credentials of the conservative majority cannot disguise the fact that its reasoning on the most important decisions affecting Americans seems shaped more by a political handbook than a legal brief.

Still, Barry should never have waded into the health care thicket back when the economy was teetering. Instead, his failure to bother explaining the plan was both bizarre and self-destructive, but that’s all water over the dam now. And certainly he needs a more persuasive legal case. But the Administration’s idiocy still doesn’t exempt the court, which is the burr in my thong.

It was stunning to hear Justice Scalia talking like a Senate whipper-snapper during oral arguments last week on the constitutionality of the health care law (I guess ignore my earlier comment that the court is hermetically sealed). And, sounding like a Republican opposition-research brown shirt, he dropped politically charged terms like “Cornhusker Kickback,” referring to a sweetheart deal that was only a part of the run-up to the law. Doesn’t anyone understand only the President is allowed to use politically charged terms? (Ezra Klein even told me it’s in the oath of office.)

If Scalia is so brilliant, why is he drawing a parallel between buying health care and buying broccoli? Couldn’t he make a sophisticated point about a cable TV monosopy or monopoly or whatever it is?

The justices want to be above it all, beyond reproach or criticism. But why should they be when it too many of them were appointed by conservative drek?

And I’m still smarting from 2000, when the court’s Republican majority ignored the will of the people and instead ruled with the law. The result? We missed out on having President Gore—even if he is a sex poodle—and instead had to suffer from the George W. Bush induced Hurricane Katrina and all that other stuff as well. You know: war, the economy, massive unemployment and all that.

Regarding the 2000 election case, Anthony Lewis, a man I’m willing to quote when he helps my cause, wrote, “Not making Gore president, with such disregard for the media, invites us to treat the court’s aura of reason as an illusion.”

The 2010 House takeover by Republicans—voters are such idiots unless they vote Democrat—have shown what a fiasco the Citizens United decision is, with self-interested sugar daddies and wealthy cronies overwhelming the traditional Democrat process of vote early and vote often. The only ones who really should have a voice are the media, with our own self-interested (and enlightened) sugar daddies and our own wealthy (and enlightened) cronies. Otherwise, it’s too close to being fair.

On Monday, the court astoundingly ruled — 5 Republican appointees to 4 Democratic appointees — to give police carte blanche on strip-searches, even for minor offenses such as sexual assault by a former president from Arkansas (you know who you are), driving while blind, or violating federal anti-bazooka laws. Justice Stephen Breyer’s ice cream warning that wholesale strip-searches were “a serious downer for former presidents from Arkansas” fell on deaf ears. So much for the conservatives’ obsession with their so-called “liberty.” (Yes, those are sneer quotes.)

The Supreme Court mirrors the setup on Fox News: yes, there are liberals who make arguments, but they appear to be complete idiots, incapable of making sense, failing to draw on President Obama’s transcripted speeches or DNC talking points, and are far too often relegated to the background.

Just as in Teddy Kennedy’s Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings, the liberals on the court focus on what feels good (or bad) and the conservatives focus on the constitution. John Roberts Jr.’s benign beige facade is deceiving; he’s a crimson tide partisan, more cloaked than the ideologically rigid and often venomous Scalia (who reminds me of the Emperor in Star Wars).

Just as Scalia voted to bypass that little thing called the media’s mob power and crown W. president, so he expressed phooey-ennui at the idea that, even if parts of the health care law are struck down, some provisions could be saved: “You really want us to go through these 2,700 pages?” he asked, adding: “Are you stupid?”

Well I’ve been accused of being stupid and it hurts.

Inexplicably mute 20 years after he lied his way onto the court, Clarence Thomas, a black man I despise, proving I’m not ideologically rigid, didn’t ask a single question during oral arguments for one of the biggest cases in the court’s history. The fact he could sit there and listen is simply beyond my credulity.

When the Supreme Court building across from the Capitol opened in 1935, the architect, Cass Gilbert, played up the pomp, wanting to reflect the court’s role as the national ideal of justice.

With conservatives on that court trying to block F.D.R., and with Roosevelt prepared to make up his version of the Constitution as he went, the New Yorker columnist Howard Brubaker noted that the new citadel had “fine big windows to throw the New Deal out of.”

Now conservative justices may throw Obama’s hard-won and above-the-law law out of those fine big windows.

Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and the insufferable Samuel Alito were nurtured in the conservative Federalist Society, which asserts that “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.” But it isn’t fair to overturn a major law passed by Congress in the middle of an election. The majority’s political motives seem as dark as my own soul and that’s pretty dark.

Finally, if I’ve made my word count, I’m off to lunch. Otherwise, I’ll stick in a paragraph about Dick Cheney.

(If you must, read the original here.)

Ghastly Outdated Party To Crush Dems?

By MORONICA DOWD

(If you must, read the original here.)

WASHINGTON

IT’S finally sinking in.

We Democrats are getting ready to harvest the Obama whirlwind, savaging the Big D brand in ways that will long resonate: think 2010 on steroids and then put that on turbo.

Does it really have to be this way? Based on core Democrat principles, yes.

“Look. Democrats are for government. Big government, bigger government, huge government, bloated government of any kind. Borrowed government, corrupt government, international, federal, state, county, parish, city, whatever. It’s good. It’s all good. All government is good. Except Republican-led government,” DNC strategist Alicia Tubeiktomy told me mournfully. “If John Dillinger was alive at this moment, he’d go into government and not into robbing banks. Why? Because that’s where the money is, that’s why. But if we lose to the Republicans, that’s all likely to change.”

She said many Democrats are “coming to grips with a much weaker economy, weakened foreign policy and worsened foreign relations, reduced personal freedom, diminished buying power, greater unemployment, shocking energy costs, and ridiculous government debt” and that Democrats are going through the six stages of political grief. “We’re at No. 4,” she said. (Political sadness.) “We’ve still got one to go.” (Political acceptance.) “And then comes step six. The end.” (Political annihilation.)

No matter if the contenders in the Republican primaries are stepping all over one another trying to be everything not Barry, Democrats everywhere are now beginning to see that Obamaworld is set to destroy their political futures. And the media, you ask? Yes, they’re in the tank, but all they’re seeing Jimmy Carter with more melanin.

In fact, it seems President Obama has caused deranged conservatives, now broadly defined as anyone who fails to see the President as the greatest leader since Abraham Lincoln, to reclaim America. However, these deranged conservatives — they view Obama as an “idiot with initiative” — are wrong. Rather, based on his record, they should view him as an idiot with initiative with melanin.

Newt Gingrich, a Vietnam-era war wimp who supported George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq, had the gall to tell a crowd at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., that defeating Obama — “the most inept president in modern American history” — was “important” because “he is totally inept.” Excuse me? Who killed bin Laden? And remotely from the White House video-teleconference center at that?

How can the despicable big nasty otherwise known as the Catholic Church still be represented in the public arena by warm, caring, loving Catholic Democrats who would never want to burden a woman with a disease like a child? These people are my heroes, people like Nancy Pelosi, Charles Rangel, and John Kerry.

Still, not all is well. “All this social ram-jam, along with the economic policies of Joe Friggin’ Stalin, makes the Democrats look like we aren’t a modern party,” James Carville told CNN’s Erin Burnett, fretting about the President’s initiatives. “Doesn’t he understand that there is no free lunch; that it’s an economic fallacy?”

Following a speech in Boston on Thursday, even John Kerry recoiled at his own party: “I used to be a Democrat, then a liberal, and now I’m a progressive. Regardless of name, I look at us and I’m telling you, it would seem we’re nothing but a bunch of leftist idiots. Was everything we thought we knew wrong? Economically, all we can do is to try and let the media demolish the Republican candidates and to hope no one shows up to vote.”

Despite all the massive Obama and Democrat failures, they aren’t enough to keep me from slinging some anecdotal mud. For example, Alan Simpson, a gay ranch hand and former U.S. Senator from Wyoming, recently called Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum “rigid and homoerotic,” after seeing him in a men’s room at Reagan National, one of his (Simpson, not Santorum) favorite watering holes. Arlen Specter, who was a Democrat and then a Republican and then a Democrat (again) and finally, an ex-politician, told MSNBC: “Mitt Romney is a disgraceful flip-flopper. What he instead needs is what I had: total ideological flexibility.”

Democrats have a growing panic at the thought that Republicans will soon be directing their fire on the President’s signature economic accomplishments instead of one another and are stricken at the thought of giving back the Senate as well as even more House seats than were lost in 2010. More and more, Democrats openly yearn for a fresh presidential candidate and are even talking of Joe Biden, who could perhaps parlay his plagiarism and Senatorial experiences into presidential victory. Or maybe not.

Democrat jitters have increased exponentially as they’ve watched Obama’s fundraising limited to only two significant categories: George Soros and Hollywood. And despite the President’s taxpayer-funded Super Bowl ad, virtually no one in America believes the vacuous babble about “Detroit being back” or that because we’re at halftime in an American Depression, we need to “stay the course.” The President, sans teleprompter, looked especially unpresidential (despite the raucous applause) when he blurted out that “Michelle really loved it that they lengthened the Aspen airport to accommodate Air Force One” at a recent fundraiser held at Leonardo Dicaprio’s mansion.

Obama’s multiple slips threaten to give back all that Ted Kennedy, a dead man, once told the Chappaquiddick Chamber of Commerce: “If we can limit ourselves to being the party of crony capitalists, corrupt union and government leaders, and the vast welfare state, we should remain relevant for a good long time.”

Obama, whose name comes from the Latin root “deranged Democrat zealot,” has recently gone on The View to make his case for a second term: “I understand many Americans are suffering as a direct result of my policies, legislation, and bureaucracy, but I need them to all forget all that and focus on Hope and Change. If for any reason that doesn’t work, think about Winning the Future.”

Democrats, knowing they’ve indebted the American people with bills that can’t be paid and promises that can’t be kept while still managing to move the country backwards by every meaningful positive statistic are in danger of going the way of the Whigs and the Bull Moose party: living posthumously; drafting preferential legislation for women, minorities, and green energy; favorable jobs programs and benefits for illegal immigrants; and, celebrating the success of public education.

It’s all quite sad, but the only thing that would be worse would be Republican governance.

Religious Rick’s Fantastic Fanaticism

By Moronica Dowd

(If you must, read the original here)

Rick Santorum has been called a latter-day Savonarola.

Note: Savonarola is some sort of obscure reference from the 1400s. My editor suggested we use it with the idea it would increase my intellectual gravitas. It was a good call. Originally, I had called Santorum a latter-day Nazi.

Why do I call Santorum any name at all or for that matter, even give him the time of day? Isn’t it obvious? With the Romney and Gingrich fades, Santorum is now a credible threat to my President’s re-election and I must therefore perform my ad hominem duties. For what it’s worth, my editor also pointed out that because of these ridiculous reductio ad hitlerum rules, I instead need to call Santorum a small-town mullah. It’ll have to do.

With that out of the way, Rick Santorum is a small-town mullah.

“Obama has his sights on the United States of America,” the conservative presidential candidate warned in 2008. “Obama is attacking the great institutions of America, using those vices of envy, government power, slothfulness, vanity, and even sensuality to attack the American tradition.”

When did sensuality become a vice? Next he’ll be banning one of the leading men from my childhood, Rudolph Valentino.

Santorum is not merely engaged in a culture war, but “a spiritual war,” as he called it four years ago. “Obama has his sights on what you would think he would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country — the United States of America,” he told students at Ave Maria University in Florida. He added that mainline Protestantism in this country “is in shambles. It is gone from the world of Christianity as I see it.”

The “Obama phenomenon” hit, one Democratic campaigner told me, when there are “soul wounds” in America like Bush-fatigue or even more so, with someone like John McCain leading the Republican ticket. Santorum, who is considered “mondo Catholic” has even obliquely and unfavorably compared President Obama to Hitler (didn’t he get the reductio ad hitlerum memo?) and accused him (Obama, not Hitler) of having “bogus theology.”

Santorum didn’t go as far as evangelist Franklin Graham, who having observed the President for three full years, doubted the president’s Christianity on “My Mourning Joe.”

Mullah Rick (yes, we checked. Muslim references are still OK) even told ABC News’s Jake Tapper that he disagreed with some Supreme Court decisions. And, in October, he said that contraception “has become a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Oh, behave!

Senator Sanitarium, as he was dubbed by the culturally-significant “The Simpsons,” sometimes tries to temper his retrogressive sermons so as not to drive away women who don’t automatically vote Democrat (and therefore deserve to serve out their days hand-scrubbing crumbling linoleum floors, barefoot and with child on hip, and wearing 70s era clothes). He shockingly told The Washington Post that, while he doesn’t want to fund contraception through the Abort America! franchises, he wouldn’t ban it: “The idea that I’m coming after your birth control is absurd. I was making a statement about my moral beliefs, but I won’t impose them on anyone else in this case.”

That doesn’t comfort me because as I mentioned, Santorum has become a threat to my President and action, more action, must be taken. I’ve spent a career (note how I deftly made the emphasis on my career versus my lifetime?) watching candidates deny they would do things to interns including the patron saints of male control–in a good way in these cases–Bill Clinton and JFK. What did they do? They went on to fulfill their personal desires (but hey, they’re Democrats… it isn’t that big a deal. Hypocrisy only works one way. Let it go, Republicans, let it go).

The AOL/Huffington Post–an excellent and highly recommended source for all your information needs, should the Times fold, fail to achieve a bailout, and I find myself in the need for work–reports that Santorum told Philadelphia Magazine in 1995 that he “was basically pro-choice all my life, until I ran for Congress.” Then, he said, he read the “scientific literature.”

It simply isn’t possible that anyone could believe such pap, so Santorum must have cynically decided electoral gold lies in the ruthless exploitation of social and cultural wedge issues (and unlike anyone who embraces the opposing side of these issues, all that is good and right). Unlike the Bushes, who are to blame for all wrong in the world, Santorum has no hit squad; instead, he confronts things himself.

Why is it that Republicans don’t want government involved when it comes to the economy (opposing the auto bailouts) but they also want government to quit telling people how to live their lives by having freedom, the law as king, and free markets? It’s a mystery to me.

Can’t Santorum instead become hooah for men like Obama, LBJ, and Jimmy Carter who heroically helped create dependency, unemployment, inflation, the fatherless European welfare state, and massive government debt? Santorum, it seems, has become successful simply because he’s not ashamed to admit that he wants to take the country backward (of course, he defines “backward” as “not Obama, LBJ, or Carter”).

A potential threat to my Vice President is Virginia’s governor, Bob McDonnell, touted as a Republican vice presidential prospect. This week, pro-abortion forces made the Virginia Legislature pause on its way to passing a bill forcing women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound. Abortion favoring Democratic Delegate Latrell Sprewell hotly argued that the bill might “reduce abortions among women and people of color,” adding “I cannot believe that you would disrespect unborn children… I mean fetuses, in a manner reminiscent of a TSA screening,” he chided colleagues. “This legislation is simply mean-spirited, and it is bullying, bullying quite unlike the President’s decision to force Catholic institutions to fund abortions against their beliefs.”

In the meantime, the Democratic-controlled Maryland House of Delegates just passed a bill that would allow homosexual marriage, state-sanctioned incest, polygamy, and bestiality. Conversely, the Republican-controlled Virginia Legislature passed a bill allowing private adoption agencies to keep these heroic homosexuals, it’s-all-in-the-family types, way-open marriages, and “Here, Rover” folks from lovingly share their homes with full-term fetuses… I mean, children.

The Potomac River of my mind seems to become more divided every day.

Even A Blind Pig Finds A Truffle

Maureen Dowd generally epitomizes the following:

  • Even a snarky blind pig finds a truffle.
  • Even a snarky blind squirrel finds an acorn.
  • Even a snarky stopped clock is right twice a day.

The truffle/acorn/time of day Maureen has finally found is that Obama is…well, a clue bag.

In an interview with Fareed Zakaria for this week’s Time cover story, the president is maddeningly naïve.

snip (to the traditional Dowd snark).

Despite what his rivals say, the president and the first lady do believe in American exceptionalism — their own, and they feel overassaulted and underappreciated.

We disappointed them.

snip (to the massive disconnect between Obama-think and reality).

They [the Obama cronies, as best epitomized by Michelle and Barak] still believed, as their friend Valerie Jarrett once said, that Obama was “just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

snip (to…well, more of the massive disconnect between Obama-think and reality).

[Jodi] Kantor writes that the Obamas, feeling misunderstood, burrowed into “self-imposed exile” — a “bubble within the bubble” — with their small circle of Chicago friends, who reinforced the idea that “the American public just did not appreciate their exceptional leader.”

Way to find the truffle, Maureen! Keep looking!

Man in the Mirror

(If you must, read Maureen Dowd’s original column here)

By MORONICA DOWD

WASHINGTON

The unlikely man fatale (get it, fat-ale?) from Jersey waddled into a Trenton news conference and broke a lot of hearts.

Watching Chris Christie hold court for an hour, it’s hard to know whether you want to hug him or slap him. You can put me in the slap column even though there’s something both lovable and irritating about the man: think adorable puppy that keeps soiling the floor.

It’s not Christie’s old Clintonesque puffed up body that’s off-putting. It’s not the old Clintonesque puffed up id that’s off-putting. It’s the puffed up Clintonesque ego.

He skipped the line that he was not ready to be president and made it clear that, oh, yeah, he’s just one of any number of people who are ready to make sure Obama is “a one-termer,” but he can’t afford to be in a romance to win Republicans or long-been-back-on-the-market independents just now.

He wants to stay with his state — “New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you’re stuck with me” — and doesn’t want to be a dilettante quitter like grizzly-vixen Sarah Palin.

The Uncontained and full of himself Christie asserted that Contained and self-evidently emptied Obama has “failed the leadership test.” But the brain-of-clay president benefits from Republican erotomania about the New Jersey governor; all that unfulfilled longing underscores the inadequacy of the G.O.P. field, to which the unbiased media will again turn our attentions. But it would sure have been fun to have a fat Republican candidate.

Tuesday’s show was designed to be a humble bow off the large stage for the triple XL governor. But he practically needed a fork lift to displace his ego. Asked about criticism that’s he’s too liberal for his party, he shot back without comment, grazing a camera man and a cub reporter from Jackson, Mississippi.

Some suggested Christie’s weight made him too fat to be elected president. But he was fat enough to be elected by the mega-blue New Jersey voters, aided in large part not by his girth, but riding the storm surge of the failed Obama experiment. So what’s that say for the current crop of Republican presidential candidates?

We’re fated to yearn for qualities in presidents that we found missing in the last one, so Americans are once again intrigued by competence and leadership.

When Obama’s handlers burst him onto the scene, his lithe frame signaled youth and energy and a sort of worldly malnourishment. He seemed well-read and well-briefed, yet he traveled light in the loafers, a true metrosexual with an airy gate and a sleek look. He nibbled at food and drank Black Forest Berry Honest Tea, avoiding all the campaign junk the rest of us inhaled. Obama instead smoked Marlboros but didn’t inhale.

But his not-George-Bush-not-Hillary-Clinton ploy was just a reflection of his card-carrying membership in the left’s technocratic priesthood —a vacuous intellectual and policy dustbin for today’s starving economy. He’s a basket case who surrounds himself with head cases, even when they have helped wreck the economy he says he’s trying to save.

Christie looks less interested in head cases than in cases of Guinness Stout with a heaping-helping of cheese steak and salt water taffy on the side. The Republican’s girth seems reassuring in lean times. Studies have shown that during slumping economies, blind men find plumper women more attractive. So why shouldn’t blinded voters find plumper pols more appealing?

New books by Ron Suskind and Jeffrey Sachs suggest President Obama willingly allowed himself to be captured by the crony capitalists, a green jobs agenda, and unions that hurt America. Americans who have been hurt want to identify the villains, but Obama is loath to target villains and prefers to target America’s small towns, cities, and in some cases, its states.

Christie can be a bully, but that may seem better than the alternative: a president who is a clueless wimp. The Jersey governor loves to identify villains, from state legislators resisting his will (“drunks”) to teachers resisting a pay freeze (“using children for political purposes”) to me (“just ignorant”).

As Roy Romano wrote in Newsweak last year, Christie’s background as a prosecutor instilled a Manichaean instinct: “Christie uses the bully pulpit to make his opponents look foolish. They are the villains; he is the hero. To my knowledge, he’s the first to ever do such a thing.”

People are longing for a president who can understand their pain, mix it up, and get improvements — not one who gazes at his teleprompter, avoids policies benefiting Americans, disdains Congress, wastes time golfing, cedes the space program to the Chinese, and fails to do anything useful.

Our nuanced president sticks to gray, non-toxic crayons, while the no-nonsense governor, as Joe Scabborrow noted, “draws using primary colors.” Christie said he spent the weekend trying to “see whether I could look in the mirror and make that call.” Because he’s too fat to get a good view, he says he’s going to “tear off the rearview mirror.”

The same can’t be said for jilted, lovesick Democrats, still looking in the rearview mirror for a challenger to Obama and finding only the usual suspects, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and anyone associated with the Kennedys.

Obama’s Re-election Goes Tango Uniform

What do Bill Clinton and Barack Obama have in common? Very little.

By MORONICA DOWD (if you must, read the original here)

WHETHER Bill Clinton is being helpful or trolling for jailbait is never entirely clear. But the former president often manages to show the current president just how to get things done.

In July, when Barack Obama was languishing by the phone, yearning to hear from John Boehner on the elusive Grand Bargain, the Big Id advised blowing off the Constitution and unilaterally raising the debt ceiling.

Clinton will often forcefully — and feelingly (I ought to know) — frame the argument for Obama that would help his re-election efforts in a way that Obama himself, once hailed as Dear Reader, can’t seem to handle.

On Sunday talk shows, Bill adroitly defended Barry Oh against Dick Cheney’s sly, but on-target jab that Hillary would make a less-bad Democratic nominee in 2012.

And, on Tuesday in New York, as the talking heads talked about whether President Obama provoked a “women” problem by letting the West Wing become a frat house, Clinton pulled out a large bag of roofies and showed how easy it is to get a roomful of women purring.

While Obama tried to get the credit for Libya at the U.N. and make nice with Turkey, Bill kicked off his Clinton Love Initiative with a visit to Rachael Ray’s cooking show.

Looking sharp in a two-piece velvet track suit and matching bling, Bill charmed the women in the audience with tales of his new pagan diet, his fantasy to be ‘band-aide’ for the “Glee Unchained” tour, and his painful recollection of being a chubby 63-year-old.

“The world we live in glorifies people who are skinnier and longer-legged than most of us could ever be,” he empathetically told his thick and short-legged listeners.

Asked what he would be doing if he were president again for one day, he replied to cheers: “I would add federal holidays recognizing the contributions of homosexuals, Hollywood, and Hispanics towards American culture, dissolve the blue dress in hydrochloric acid, and try and remain out of the way of economic process.” When Ray wondered what superpower Clinton would want, he replied with a wink: “I think you know the answer to that, Rachael.”

When a woman in the audience asked if he’d do “Dancing With The Porn Stars,” he said they had petitioned him but that he was not yet camera ready. “Still, I would like to master my domain,” he said, adding: “Last night, Hillary said to me, ‘You know, when I’m not secretary of state anymore, we should take pole-dancing lessons.’ ”

While the audience swooned, Obama has more serious female problems.

The suggestion in Ron Suskind’s new book, “How’d We Have Any Confidence In These Men?,” that the president focused so much on the guys in his West Wing that it created problems with some top women, is not a new one.

Everyone thought Obama would crack open the cloistered club of officials and columnists that forms with a new White House, but it was soon obvious he couldn’t manage his own staff. Especially with Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers and the dropped-on-his-head-as-an-infant Robert Gibbs around, the atmosphere often played to a “Rocky Horror Picture Show” culture. Here, even Rahm was not a completely comfy fit, given that he struggled to sustain a high falsetto, Summers preferred sequined denim to the more-needed glittered latex, and Gibbs turned out to be allergic to fishnet stockings.

Still, it’s beyond strange that a man whose father ran away, who was raised in large part by his grandmother, who has been told he has two daughters, and who married Chewbacca’s younger sister could create an Oval man-cave where some women felt uncomfortable.

Or maybe after being surrounded by women, he just wanted to escape. This president in particular, has to be careful to make sure he doesn’t lose his own feminine side, even if takes help from men who have a full complement of it, like Joe ”Snooky” Biden and David “The Dominatrix” Axelrod.

Obama now concedes that he made up the narrative that brought him to the White House. Suskind’s book suggests he went astray in the traditional Chicago way: following Wall Street suck-up Tim Geithner; getting in bed with the gluttonous green jobs industry; having no idea of how the economy works.

Now the president is trapped in two damaging story lines. Is he too weak and stupid to do the job? Or is he too immature and inexperienced?

Obama’s major problem is to now convince voters that he’s competent when they have all sorts of evidence to the contrary. In a way, his relationship with Americans is like a dysfunctional sitcom marriage: we’re the practical, smart, good-looking ones that can only roll our eyes at the inept suggestions of bumbling spouse/clown-in-chief.

So will our national sitcom be cancelled after a short four-year experiment or will it instead make a successful “Three’s Company”-like run? 

Scary Perry and the Anti-intellectuals Threaten America

Why grades and colleges should be the distinguishing criteria in the 2012 presidential election.

By MAUREEN DOWDY (if you must, read the original here)

IN Westerns, there are two American archetypes that are often played against each other.

There’s the nerdish Eastern lawyer who lacks the skills or stomach for little but the familiar gentrified living. He’s often contrasted with the tough and honest Western rancher who has little patience for such incompetency.

This duality was vividly illustrated in John Ford’s 1962 classic “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”

In the movie, Jimmy Stewart plays an in-way-over-his-head attorney who heads west but ends up years later as a U.S. senator after gaining fame for shooting the bad man Liberty Valance (played by Lee Marvin). John Wayne plays the rancher, a rugged individual who is later revealed to have actually shot Valance as he knew the hapless Stewart was incapable of handling the task. Ford’s movie is a powerful and illustrative reflection of the reality we may soon face where if given half-a-chance, another “rugged individual” is certain to shoot our nation, perhaps lethally.

At the cusp of the 2012 presidential race, we have a cultural collision featuring a strong, smart, and experienced Democrat president (a lawyer at that) enjoying unprecedented success in the rough and tumble world of Washington. He faces off against a square-shouldered troglodyte Republican cowboy who offers no appreciation for our worldly, suave, Marlboro smoking, certified-organic arugula eating Democrat president.

Rick Perry, from the West Texas town of Paint Creek, is no John Wayne: we know that to be true because a Google search reveals Perry was born in 1950 and Wayne was born in 1907. But Perry still inexplicably wears a pair of cowboy boots with the legend “Liberty” stitched on (perhaps not as a salute to freedom, but more likely a nod to the evil antagonist Liberty Valance in Ford’s classic).  Not content with just wearing boots, Perry also plays up effete-versus-mesquite stereotypes in his second-grade manifesto, “Cowboy Up, America!” This is in stark contrast to our subtle and nuanced scholar-in-chief who boldly placed his powerful intellectual credentials on full display with his profound and movingly ghost-written hagiography “The Bodaciousness of Me.”

Trashing the so-blue-they’re-really-reds People’s Republic of Massachusetts, Perry writes: “They have government-run health care, human-to-animal marriage, and elected John Kerry and Barney Frank repeatedly — even after both had been declared clinically brain-dead! Texans, on the other hand, elect folks like me, the guy who packs a Magnum Research 45-70, and shoots the face off the coyote that threatened his daughter’s pot-bellied pig.”

At a recent campaign event, Perry even offered, “I’m actually for gun control — I use both hands, especially with that big Magnum Research and my backup, a Smith & Wesson .500.”

In Lynchburg, Va. to speak to students at Liberty University, Perry made light of his bad grades at Texas A&M when he should have hung his head in shame.   Studying to be a veterinarian, he stumbled on chemistry and made a D one semester and an F in another. “Four semesters of organic chemistry drove me into the arms of the Air Force,” said Perry, who went on to become an Air Force pilot, a career move reflecting a deep and disturbing militaristic streak, and one befitting the mind and motor-skills of a true simpleton.

“His other D’s,” said objective Perry-observer, scholar, and writer Richard Oppel, “included courses in the principles of economics, Shakespeare, ‘Feeds & Feeding,’ veterinary anatomy and a course called ‘Red Meats and You.’ ” Perry even got a C in phys ed. Please: our current law-school-graduate-in-Chief no doubt has a better P.E. grade to offer, even as he’s refusing to release it out of personal modesty. Plus, Obama almost certainly earned straight A’s in teleprompter, Keynesian economics, and unconstitutional law.

Perry conceded that he “struggled” with college, and told the 13,000 young people in Lynchburg that in high school, he had graduated “in the top 10 of my graduating class — of 13.”   Even my own stilted and unwitty pseudo-intellectualism looks brilliant compared to Perry’s insignificant barn-yard exploits of leading a physically gigantic and populous state, getting government out of the way of job creation, enacting lawsuit-endangering tort reform, and corresponding regulatory roll-back (along with a terrifying dose of personal freedom thrown in along the way).

Because of guys like Rick Perry, our education system is going to hell. Average SAT scores are falling because we don’t transfer enough money to teachers’ unions and we’re spending only about $10,000 per student per year.  Also, America is slipping down the list of nations for college completion, a threat to our many college bureaucrats. And with all this going on all around him, Rick Perry can still somehow not take himself too seriously.  Contrast this to our own lovely lawgiver who has brilliantly led the country into unprecedented economic achievement, improved governmental integrity and transparency, and who possesses myriad foreign policy accomplishments.

And speaking of accomplishments, it seems the Texas governor may have helped his former chief of staff who went to lobby for a pharmaceutical company that donated to Perry.  So while Perry may have a rudimentary knowledge of the arithmetic of back scratching, it can in no way compare to our bold and experienced regulator-in-chief with his recent crony-capitalism LightSquared and Solyndra exploits.

Finally, Perry even had the nerve to tell the Liberty students, “God uses broken people to reach a broken world.” Does he not understand the constitutional requirement to separate church and state and freedom from religion?  And can such an offering be taken as other than a bold-faced insult to our known-to-be-spotless-lamb and not-a-crook almighty-in-chief?

This all means the Republicans are the “How great is it to be stupid” party. The right wing of the party offers a Farrelly Brothers “Dumb and Dumber” primary in which evolution somehow lacks explanatory power.  Meanwhile, Democrats have the proven science of intrusive government intervention under the leadership of a real-life Jar Jar Binks.

Having grown up with a crush on John Edwards, John Murtha, and grand dragon Robert Byrd for their manly intellectual prowess, integrity, and homemade sex-tapes, it’s terrifying for me to think the G.O.P.’s message may be resonating with the American public. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann (neither of who have anything to do with this column and who I despise in a ‘mirror, mirror, on the wall’ fashion) probably don’t even know how to read. And should I be wrong on their ability to read, they likely spend their time looking at vulgar and popular newspapers and magazines instead of using the job creating benefits of having their staffs prepare detailed briefings for their use or taking advantage of this thing called the internet

Some say the occupational hazard of democracy is the know-nothing media or the sycophancy of that media. Because I’m a part of it, I disagree and for the political future of our brilliant intellectual-and-savior-in-chief, I hope you do, too.