Jim, You’ll be Shocked

I actually more or less agree with David Brooks today! Both he and Krugman, who I also agree with today, are coming, from different angles, at the question of whether business experience is what we need or should look for in a president. Both, in different ways, conclude that business experience isn’t the best indicator of presidential worthiness. Brooks takes a more general feeling approach, concluding that other traits–political judgement, emotional security, etc.–are more important than business acumen or success. He does write “At first blush, business success would seem to be good preparation for political success.” Well, he may think so and I’d say that’s because he is a Republican. I hardly think everyone concludes that at first blush. I don’t, nor do most people I know, and nor do most on the left. In any case, I agree with his larger point; there are many things more important to look at in a candidate than business success. Krugman takes the more concrete path to criticize the businessman as politician and reminds us that unless you count failed CEO George W. Bush, the last businessman in the white house was Herbert Hoover. I think he does a good job of showing how a government and a business differ.
It is interesting to see Gingrich and others on the right going after Romney for his success in unfettered capitalism. Jon Stewart a couple nights ago had a brilliant piece about it, making fun of Gingrich for always loving unrestrained capitalism until now, when the money is giving Romney an advantage over him. They love the big money until it works against them. It will be interesting to see how the Bain thing plays out. Even righty Andrew Sullivan wrote in Salon that Bain would be Romney’s doom. All told, you have to think the Obama folks are loving it. I actually watched the 27 minute video Newt’s super pac put out called “When Mitt Romney Came to Town.” It’s very damning. If you didn’t know better, you might think the DNC had made it.
I think in the end it is all a result of the Republicans letting their party be taken over by the tea party wing. Actual Republicans didn’t want to run for president because they didn’t think they could get past the crazies in the party to win the nomination. Only Mitt, who hasn’t stopped running for years, let his momentum carry him on. And the rest are, whether they’d characterize it so or not, creations of the tea party crazies. And that is sad. Our country needs a good, honest political debate. And we’ll never get that from the current crop of Republican candidates.

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About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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