View 736 Wednesday, August 08, 2012
On the road, with dialup. All’s well at home although Sable wonders where we went and it’s very hot in Los Angeles. She’s in good hands with our friends who house sit for us when we’re away.
I’m trying to get back to speed. Just at the moment I am at the end of a dialup account, which makes that rather difficult, but the good news is that I feel better and seem to have a bit more energy. I think I picked up some kind of summer slump ailment which I am getting over.
The Obama camp is now demanding Romney’s tax returns, or anything else they can find so they can look for something to denounce Romney for. They can’t believe that he doesn’t have a few mistresses, or some stolen money,k or unpaid taxes, or perhaps he misstated one of his grades and it won’t match his transcript or maybe he stole the cheese from a farmer’s rat trap, or something anything really.
One obvious answer to this would be to ask to see some of Mr. Obama’s documents, such as his grade transcripts or his Harvard application, or the essay that got him promoted to President of the Harvard Law Review (even though the Review never published it) or his Columbia records or even attendance records or some sign that he was actually there, The temptation to make those demands must be high in the Obama camp. So far they aren’t doing it.
Mr. Romney is going to insist that Mr. Obama run on his record. Mr. Obama’s supporters say this is a dirty trick. They don’t have much of a record to run on, so they have to attack. You can only get so much mileage out of giving a kill order after denying it several times, And it’s hard to brag about the Proscription List of American citizens to be killed on sight. Who’s on it? Do they deserve to be on it? Who is competent to decide who should be on a proscription list? it is not really a constitutionally defined office. As Cicero told the soldier who was to execute him without trial, “There is nothing proper about what you are about to do, young man.” So there is a limit to what you can claim for your kill record, and things go downhill from there. Tougher to run on the progress made in Iraq in the last three years, or in Afghanistan, But turning to the economy is even harder if you want a record to run on. There has been plenty of stimulus but not much response, and Government investments haven’t done much for infrastructure and haven’t produced much sustainable energy. Policy wonks wonk away but the results are thin on the ground. So try to provoke Romney into doing something outrageous like – well, like treat questions directed to him as a man who actually ran Olympic Games. Ask if he thought Britain was ready, and getting the truthful response that yes, pretty well, but you know there are always glitches and things you wish you had thought of and now we can stop listening and pounce! He’s blackguarding our friends.
But so far Romney hasn’t played into their hand.
It’s pretty clear that the Romney strategy now is to avoid mucking things up, and not to respond to most of the Obama camp’s increasingly shrill charges, some of which begin to sound like ravings. Of course the notion is to let a thousand skunk cabbages bloom, and those which become really foul can be disowned. Meanwhile, the steady beat will discourage voters and many of those who have decided they don’t want to vote for Mr. Obama may call a pox on both houses and stay home. The unions continue to get out the vote and the absentee ballots and whatever boxes of votes that can be discovered the day after election day – or a week after if needed – and this will result in the reelection.
It’s possible. Of course it works only if the voters let it. They figure that people who will be so disgusted that they’ll stay home were lost to Obama to begin with. That’s a desperation strategy and it is contemptuous of the American People.
People in this country generally get about the government they deserve: those who will neither govern themselves nor be involved in supervising those they choose to govern for them are always astonished when the inevitable happens to them. If that’s what they wanted, they should have picked a good hereditary aristocracy. Actually that is close to what we are doing now, with unionized public service bureaus with very good pay. The career of policeman begins to sound quite good. Fireman may be even better. Lifetime pay and health care, and a good chance to get at least one of your kids into it. And those are the elites, who have to, and mostly do, actually perform well in difficult jobs. But police and fire are not exempt from Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy, and certainly city and county cubicle workers aren’t. India knows a very great deal about that sort of thing with the “Permit Raj” years (which are still very much in power in some states in India even now).
But that’s enough gloom for the evening. I have some confidence in the American people: the political campaign has reached the stomach turning point, but we’ll see it through. And I can’t wait for November.
© 2012, jerrypournelle. All rights reserved.