...and for free.
#Excelsior502 - One of the many services we provide here at the Lunatic’s Asylum is the proffering of unsolicited opinion on topics various and sundry. One of my personal favorite past times is in serving up my cynical and jaundiced political views with a large side order of sarcastic invective, and the latest targets of my diseased political outlook have been the current crop of 2012 GOP contenders.
I’m licking my chops in anticipation of a 2012 GOP victory as much as the next guy, but it appears that there are some folks in this race that have less utility in that quest than a boar hog has for teats, people for whom, I should day, I have less use for than a dog has for it’s fleas.
I have been quite harsh in expressing my viewpoints thus far on Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry, and it is perhaps time to turn my venom upon the person who, in my opinion, is the least qualified in the current batch of wanna-be’s, and that would be former Utah governor and Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman.
Huntsman is one of those people who just rubs me the wrong way, but for all of the right reasons. Quite frankly, when one stops to consider the fact that others in this race, like Michele Bachmann, have even less of a reason beyond shallow politics to be involved, Huntsman leaves one wondering just why it is he has decided to do what he has done, and just who was stupid enough to give him some money to do it.
So far as I can discern Huntsman’s overall motive, it would seem that reforming the system (as they say) is not prime amongst them. The 2012 election is likely not to be simply about Barack Obama, nor is it about mainstreaming some narrow points of view, like Messrs Santorum or Paul appear to be trying; whichever republican nominee wins the selection process on their way to defeating President Marriot-Suites will have to be fully on board with a program aimed at changing our political culture for the better by:
1. Taking on the subjects of government spending, tax and regulatory reform, entitlements, and general economic and legislative processes.
2. Devote him/herself to ensuring that victory not only entails an end to the democratic party business-as-usual (tax and spend) process, but GOP business-as-usual (acting like democrats…only with a tax cut) process, too.
3. Arresting the reach of the Federal Government into the private and economic lives of its citizens and then cutting its fucking rhetorical hands off at the fucking rhetorical elbows.
4. Preparing the way for future generations of sober, intelligent, pragmatic republicans (because democrats are neither intelligent or pragmatic, and hardly ever sober)to build upon the foundations of responsible government left behind (one hopes).
It’s argumentative as to whether many of the current front-runners can actually achieve most of these things solely on their own, and it’s certainly unrealistic to expect the Pauls, Bachmanns, and Santorums of this world, speaking as they do to narrow constituencies ,to do these things at all -- even accidentally. In Huntsman’s case, it’s entirely possible that there would be a Second Coming (complete with a Puppet Show) before a President Huntsman would even get around to working up the ambition to administer to any of the considerations mentioned above, if only because Jon Huntsman doesn’t give me any indication that he considers the current state of business-as-usual as all that bad a thing.
Then again, he was the governor of Utah, which is sort of like being President of the Glee Club, and he lacks the so-called gravitas that a career that doesn’t involve just being idly rich brings with it. Without further ado, here are five reasons why Jon Huntsman Should Be Mowing My Lawn for Free instead of running for President of the United States.
1. Huntsman is a Free-Trader
Normally, this would be considered a good thing, but only if you took the words “Free Trade” at face value. Like much in American Political Life, the words “Free Trade” are not concerned with the actual business of ensuring that international trade is conducted under fair and equitable circumstances, much like the current appellation of “Liberal” has no connection with anything actually Liberal, and instead concerns itself with forcing people to do things against their will by government diktat.
The definition of Free Trade in this day and age is a misrepresentation of a program of self-destructive Globalism. In this formulation of Free Trade, America is certainly Free to send its jobs, productive capacity, and capital overseas -- where rapacious American robber barons can produce cheap crap at high prices by exploiting the availability of cheap labor and lax regulation in foreign countries. In return for being able to ship your sparkplug plant to Shanghai -- where wages are low, legal systems are a joke, and government ministers are easier to bribe -- the New American Robber Baron gets a slew of benefits all of which he has paid our elected officials to embed within Federal Law, and profit grossly at the expense of his fellow American Citizens. These benefits are:
a. The ability to dodge American taxes,
b. The ability to dodge American Labor and Environmental Law,
c. The ability to maximize profits by taking advantage of near-slave labor overseas.
In this formulation, a Free Trader gets to produce t-shirts in Nicaragua where workers have no rights, there are no established wage scales, and where the only environmental law is “don’t shit in your own living room -- assuming one might have a living room inside a cardboard-and-tin shanty on the edge of a garbage dump with wall-to-wall dysentery", that is. In return, he gets to ship his produced-for 14-cents t-shirts to America with a reduced import tariff and the ability to put a “Made in America” sticker upon it, and sell it for $9.95, making an exorbitant profit. And then, utilizing the banking and tax regulations he has paid Congress to produce, offshore that profit back into his “foreign subsidiary” (the storefront in Managua where the t-shirts are made), thus avoiding the sting of U.S. corporate taxes.
In defense of his wholly outrageous action, the Free Trader explains it away as a matter of providing American consumers with the best quality for the lowest price, or in terms of delivering shareholder value, both of which are supposed to be good for the American People (normally, these would be good, but this system reduces American’s ability to buy those products as it puts them out of work). He (The Free Trader) then cries poormouth and screams for a new round of tax cuts, special benefits, set-asides, and reduction of regulatory hurdles so that he can squeeze every last penny out of the whole thing.
American workers – who cannot compete with coolie labor, pay 40% or more of their income to a government who then wastes it upon eye drops, band aids, and Disney-style theme parks for Haitians -- lose their jobs, savings, and purchasing power, and capital that might re-employ them flows outwards to make Nicaragua a better place to live than Detroit. Or at least one might think that; one of the supposed benefits of NAFTA, the Free-Trader Holy Grail, was that it would keep Mexicans employed in Mexico and, therefore, on their side of the fence.
Didn’t quite work out that way, did it?
The Free Traders are, under the guise of economic conservatism, undercutting their own country and citizens for personal gain. Most Free Trade agreements signed by Congress are no such thing, mostly allowing finished products (constructed with American investment) to return here with lower tariffs, and little to no safeguards or standards regarding quality, in return for campaign contributions. If you doubt this, take a good look at the recent recalls of all sorts of Chinese made products made with lead paints, deadly chemicals, and poor quality control that allows them to fly apart at high speed, and then take a gander at all the Wall Street pointy heads who are still insisting that investment in ‘emerging markets’ is a good thing juxtaposed against the Rogues Gallery of dimwits they have supported for President and Nancy Pelosi’s ‘ethical’ Congress.
Of the major elements in recent American economic collapse, the most egregious have occurred under democratic stewardship: NAFTA, CAFTA, repeal of the Glass-Steagell Act, failure to audit Fannie And Freddie. All were done (or undone) under the false-flags of “What’s good for business is Good For America”, or ‘Don’t rock the boat”.
Free Trade is no such thing; for if it was, then we’d be able to sell Pontiacs with the steering wheel on the wrong side in Singapore in greater numbers, while importing fewer plastic ashtrays that spontaneously explode upon contact with air.
Huntsman beats the Free Trade drum with a vigor that could only be generated by someone with an extensive portfolio constructed with the fruits of American-style Free Trade, that is, by the collusion of bought-and-paid-for elected officials, bribed ministers in foreign countries, avoidance of domestic taxes and fees, cheap labor, and the poor quality control and liability systems of the sort to be found in Kazakhstan, meeting the extensive bank account of someone who inherited large sums of money from his probably even less-scrupulous ancestors. All put to good use in picking which foxes get to guard the henhouse of course.
Huntsman doesn’t understand business in the conventional sense of making and selling things, as much as he understands it in terms of a managerial system in which those best poised and prepared to manipulate the system in their own favor win biggest.
If there’s anything those Occupy ______ protesters have to say that’s even remotely worth listening to, it’s this: Corporatism is one of the factors in the decline of America, and its genesis lies not only in greedy Wall Street Bankers, but in Stupid Politicians, as well. And when the two are allowed to combine in the fashion that they have been for the last 25 years, the end result is both predictable and shameful.
Huntsman’s version of Free Trade is not an economic boon for America: it’s an economic boon to Jon Huntsman and other super-rich doofuses like him. Quite frankly, Huntsman has never held a job that didn’t involve administering to his family fortune, or in government, and this makes him unqualified to pontificate about what’s “good for business”.
2. Huntsman is a Mormon
While this does not bother me, personally, it bothers a whole lot of other people who view Mormons as the next-best-thing to convicted child molester. Many people who will gladly tell you that “God commands me to love my fellow man” are the same people who will then discriminate against , even hate, their fellow men just because their competing versions of the New Testament are contradictory or incompatible.
Jon Huntsman, much like Mitt Romney, will have severe problems in winning a primary in the American South, and should either actually win one, it will be such as to embolden democrats to make a play for a southern state or two that they currently consider out of their league, believing those states to be in play. Nothing divides people more than religion, especially when you get into those “my Jesus is better than your Jesus” pissing matches which mean absolutely jack shit to anyone not currently funding Reverend Mudd’s Biloxi Tabernacle and Bait Shop with their entire life savings because the good Reverend Doctor insists that the Lord will take him if he can’t raise the necessary $32 million.
It’s also entirely probable that Huntsman’s rise in politics has been entirely due to the Mormon Vote in his home state of Utah, which is not exactly a mean political feat. Mormons will vote for their own kind in much the same way African-Americans do (unless your name is Alan Keyes or Herman Cain, and your sort of Blackness is not their sort of Blackness), reflexively, automatically, without engaging in critical thinking, because of the “Us-vs.-Them” (Mormons vs. Non-Mormons) nature of politics in that state.
At home, Jon Huntsman has his own, built-in voting bloc; nationally, he couldn’t win an election in another state short of offering booze and hookers at the polling places, and in many places the vote for Huntsman might still be contingent upon whether or not the voter and the hooker were biologically related or not.
A Huntsman candidacy just doesn’t fly nationally. The only reason the Other Mormon, Romney, has gained any traction is because he’s the ex-governor of a Northeastern State where religion doesn’t count for much, few people actually know Romney’s a Mormon, and for whom the majority could care a Tinker’s Cuss. Not so below the Mason-Dixon.
By the way, Huntsman and Romney are third cousins, just in case you didn’t know.
3. Huntsman Has Advocated in Favor of Gay Marriage and Believes in Man-Made Global Warming…
…which just warms the cockles of every good, God-fearin’ conservative’s (small ‘c’ intentional) heart.
You might as well come out in favor of public puppy burning, incest, free drugs at taxpayer’s expense, and unfettered public defecation.
These issues make Huntsman a non-starter in many republican precincts (and to Independents, there are more vital economic and political issues that take precedence), and both are extremely stupid issues to bring up in the context of the current state of American politics. Anyone dumb enough to announce to a room full of Iowa conservatives (small ‘c’ intentional) that they support Bob and Doug’s right to enjoy a condo in the gated community of their choice, complete with a set of adopted Chinese twins and shared health benefits, and that this is a matter of civil rights, is someone too stupid to be President. Even Barack Obama won’t go that far!
I believe both of these positions to be simple opportunism, an attempt to gather ‘political moderates’ to Huntsman’s tent, a move that some GOP candidates just can’t help but make, if only for appearances sake. In that case, then, Huntsman’s positions are phony and self-serving.
We already have enough stupid and phony people in Washington, D.C., thank you very much. We shouldn’t send any more.
Huntsman’s advocacy for Gay marriage is probably a stealth attempt to eventually allow the bigamy that some especially-fervent Mormon’s seem to love so much. If you allow Gays to marry, why not allow bigamy, right?
4. What, Exactly, Has Jon Huntsman Ever Accomplished?
Besides three awesome daughters (Abby, please call me. Although I already have a girlfriend, I’d be happy to accept you as a Sister-Wife!), Huntsman’s accomplishments read as follows: assistant to Ronald Reagan (who refused to fetch his own coffee, methinks), Ambassador to China and Indonesia (Ambassadorships usually go to high-level political donors, not always to the best-qualified people), Governor of a state where being a Mormon automatically assures you of at least 51% of the vote, and inheriting a vast fortune by virtue of being born.
While even these slim pickings are considerably more substantial than Barack Obama’s resume (his consists of being half-black and having had two bullshit biographies written for him by a terrorist), it’s hardly worth stacking up against many others in the current field: Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain can at least claim to have worked for a living once (putting them up on Obama, too), Gingrich can boast of having a long record of Congressional experience and books to his credit, and even Romney can show an actual career in the business world for his efforts. Not so Huntsman, whom so far as I can tell hasn’t worked a day in his life that wasn’t connected to either maintaining the family fortune, or to the Mormon Missions.
But hey, he was once in a rock band, so that’s something…unfortunately, he was a keyboard player, and we all know what prima donnas they all are. Oh, and Haley Barbour called him a conservative…once. If Haley Barbour is your sort of conservative (small ‘c’ intentional) then you probably opted for John McCain over Rudy Giuliani. More fool you.
So, if Jon Huntsman wants a real job for the first time in his life, maybe he should set his sights a little bit lower: He can come mow my lawn, and in the process discourage those Central American coolies that NAFTA was to keep at home from crossing the border in great waves. Huntsman can mow my lawn in order to see what work is really like, and since he needs the experience of being able to relate to the Common Man, I figure it’s all a Fair Trade – I get cheap labor, he gets the experience of a real job, and through it all, America’s economy is helped in that esoteric, nebulous, mysterious way that an unequal arrangement of labor, capital, and perceived-vs.-real value is supposed to bring in the Free Trader ‘s eyes. At Minimum Wage, of course.
Let’s see how he likes getting screwed over by the very policies his ilk advocates for a change.
5. We DO have other choices, you know:
A vote for a Free Trading, Gay-Marriage-supporting, no-talent, No-Office-Daddy’s-Money-Couldn’t-Buy nebbish who can’t even garner more media attention than Rick Santorum is, objectively, a vote for President Frequent-Flyer-Miles, no matter how you slice it.
Huntsman’s candidacy is not about change at all, not even in the abysmal way Obama’s Change You Can Believe In changed anything; what we need is the Change That Has Been Urgently Required, and it will require someone other than one perfectly satisfied with the Status Quo…with Gay Marriage, to boot. Huntsman stands for a certain republican (small ‘r’ intentional) mindset that has little to do with America, and more to do with ensuring he gets to continue to draw dividends from his cancer-producing plant (they’re actually creating cancers for export there, I figure) in Bangladesh.
If you’re happy with the state of America’s economy – Free trade policies in which Americans are put out of work and foreign competitors are granted unfettered access to our markets, where massive trade imbalances are considered a feature and not a bug by the few who benefit, where the legal status of marriage is turned upside down and it’s traditional value is spit upon, where the ‘struggle’ for homosexuals to have their diseased lifestyle choice normalized simply to avoid the stigma of activities and attitudes which the vast majority consider morally repugnant, and where a complete dipshit with little obvious talent can rise to the top of America’s Heap – then vote for Jon Huntsman. He’ll bring you all the NAFTA, WTO, G-20, China-is-an-emerging-market bullshit you can handle, all the while shipping more jobs overseas and importing more illegal aliens along with the lost-cost, Wal-Mart-quality penicillin, steel, and sub-standard auto parts you can handle.
Yessirree, a vote for Jon Huntsman not only promises to prolong our economic agony by continuing some of the policies that made it possible, it promises to complete the process of disintegration by ensuring that the rat poison we all take to end our suffering is simply chock full of ingredients that made their way past those otherwise notoriously-scrupulous Peruvian Quality Control Checkers, purchased with borrowed Chinese money.
Anyone but Huntsman, please.
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