Tag Archives: election

Trifecta of crappitude

Today is one of those days, where like the planets align to put you in a shit mood.

I’m on the tail-end of what is my fifth menstrual cycle in five years.  Pregnancy & breastfeeding is pretty good for holding Aunt Flo at bay.  But man, once she weasels her way back into your life she smacks you upside the head and kicks your ass.

I’m sick.  Not sick enough to be bedridden, but enough that I’m in a fog and I’m a lung cookie factory.

Today is also the tenth anniversary of my mom’s death.  So I can’t help but participate in the reflection that such an anniversary propagates, and it’s not exactly a mood enhancer.

Luckily my life’s not completely in the toilet (even if between the lung cookies and the hygiene needs I feel like I’m in the bathroom more than I’m not).  This week is the week I do my once-quarterly consulting work for my old company, so I’ve got stuff to keep me busy and the kids are spending a bunch of time at their grandparents’, so it’s been relatively calm and quiet this week.  Plus the consulting work means I get a sweet little paycheck in a couple weeks, which I’m tempted to deposit completely in my IRA and go on a stock spending spree.  The account in general may be in the shitter but there are some SWEET deals to be had on Wall Street right now.  This in general is conducive to optimism.  And of course the whole how-lucky-I-am facts around having a great husband and awesome kids.  As much as situations are conspiring to try to make me have a shitty day, it’s hard to stay down for long.  That’s definitely saying something, right?

Does “executive experience” equate to Presidential success? Part 3

You can click on the page “Executive Experience: Is it important?” above to see all the previous posts on this topic.

#8 – Martin Van Buren. He was a Secretary of State and a Vice President, which do not qualify him… but was governor of New York state for like 3 months. So that counts! Van Buren was instrumental in building the political system as it exists today, which is quite noteworthy. Historians, however, do not hold him, as a President, in very high regard. The United States went through a really bad economic depression during his tenure, and his insistence on clinging to his strong beliefs in Jeffersonian and Jacksonian democratic ideals prevented him from taking actions as President to ease the depression. Also, despite his leadership in the political arena, he somehow could not manage to get the Congress to pass any sort of measure to try to ease the depression until three years into it. His impotency seem to be his greatest presidential legacy. So… EE: yes. Good: no.

#9 — William Henry Harrison. I simply don’t have the heart to try to count him. It’s way too hard to assess the value of his presidency when he died 32 days into it. Perhaps had he kept his coat on at his inauguration I’d have more to write about. Thus WHH gets a pass. What’s interesting to note is that beyond this reputation regarding his unfortunate demise, I realized I didn’t know a thing about him. He became a national hero as a general in the War of 1812, and before that has been governor of the Indian territory (present-day Illinois and Indiana) during which he managed to finagle the Native Americans out of thousands of acres of land for little to no compensation. His presidential campaign was notable for two reasons. First, it was the first ‘modern’ political campaign. Although WHH was from what might have been the wealthiest family in Virginia, his handlers managed to create an image of him as a commoner, a man of and for the people. Second, he was the first Whig elected to office.

#10 – John Tyler. Tyler was the first VP to take over the role of president because of the president’s death. Before his 32 days as VP, his experience included being a lawyer, governor, and senator. It may be Tyler’s greatest presidential accomplishment that he managed to become president after WHH’s death at all; there was a lot of confusion over the wording in the Constitution regarding the succession of the veep should the president die, and not everyone thought that it meant Tyler should become the de facto president. His presidency also included the entry of Texas as a state… and little else. He was stubborn and uncompromising and thus just didn’t get much done. Plus as a slave-owning aristocrat he was mostly out of touch with everyone in the country except other slave-owning aristocrats. So… EE: yes; Good: no.

Ten down, 33 to go! But alas I must pick up Lane from preschool.

History in the making, whether you like it or not

I have to give props to John McCain. He just picked Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate. Yeah, she’s a chick.

As far as Republicans go, I have to say John McCain doesn’t give me the dry heaves. Sure, he graduated 894th out of 899 from his class at Annapolis (and probably only got in because daddy and granddaddy were admirals). Sure, he cheated on his disabled first wife when he came home from being a POW and she’d been in a car accident and she wasn’t the stunning beauty he’d left behind to go to war. And that whole “you’re rich if you make over $5 million a year” claim was a bit nauseating. Still, I can give him props too. That whole POW thing. That he still supports his ex-wife financially (and voluntarily so) that she may get the best treatment. He may be a bit crazy but I think deep down he’s got a good heart and he loves this country. If he won, I wouldn’t get the sense of impending doom that I got when W won both times. I wouldn’t be happy, and I certainly don’t want him to win, but I do think he’s a notch or two above a George W. Bush/Cheney administration.

And you just gotta love this VP pick. I’m not naive enough to think that he did it to ensure a history-making winning ticket no matter who wins, though that is very cool. I can see this for what it obviously is — direct pandering to the hoards of undecided Hillary Clinton supporters who are thinking about not voting for Barack Obama because they are “disenfranchised with the primary process” (aka they are sore losers). The McCain camp obviously things these hoards want to get behind a woman — ANY woman — and were thus more than happy to offer one up for them. I find this kind of insulting, because it assumes (and perhaps rightly so for at least some of the Hillary supporters) that the only reason they liked Hillary is because she has a vagina. I hope at least some of her now disenfranchised supporters liked her for more than that, had more reason than than to offer her their support. But maybe not.

Anyway, despite the motivation for the choice, it does make me happy to see an election where we’re going to end up with an historic result. I’m so, so glad for it. It renews my hope.