Leading From Behind in the Polls

What a welcome surprise always is a vulture sitting on the parapet outside our window, a hand-written note tightly tied around the talon from our Ninjababe Minion Emily G. Also sprach Ninjababe:

I was tempted to great your Czarness with an ol’ “What up, Czar!” and thought the better of it. So:

Dearest of Czars,

I wanted to say something about Paul Ryan this morning, but with work and other work and then first work again I didn’t have time to fully form a thought about it. But this is kind of a 3/4ths thought:

Paul Ryan is kind of the champion of fiscal responsibility. He’s been someone who conservatives and, I think, the country can rally around on that issue. I would love for him to be President (or National CFO), but I fear losing his voice of sanity in Congress. I’m concerned, I guess, that if he became President he’d become stuck in the quagmire of foreign policy and partisan politics and lose his momentum. Again it’s kind of 3/4ths of a thought.

What do you think?

Ninjababe Minion

PS: I’ll often toss bait out to co-workers at my retail job to gauge who’s paying attention to what information and where they’re getting it from. This week was tax free week in MD and my boss told me that for a couple weeks leading up to this one he’s had multiple customers tell him they’re looking forward to sticking it to the government by waiting until this week to make big purchases. Whether or not they realize the taxes they pay on clothes goes to the state, not federal government is a lesson for another day and another episode of School House Rock. (Your eavesdropping post brought this anecdote to mind.)

Boy howdy, Ms. E!

The people who would be hurt most by a Paul Ryan presidency won’t be the Democrats—it would be the district he presently represents. All Democrats would benefit from his grasp of economics (rising tide, et cetera), as would every other citizen; the problem is that the good folks in his wonderful district would miss his local touch on politics. He is a representative, after all, and therefore supports only 703,496 people right now. They would miss his focus on them; on the other hand, the rest of us would get to know him on equal footing.

This is good news. The bad news, as you point out, is that no present ever really comes close to reaching the goals he set out to achieve. Go through them if you wish, but if you read the inauguration speeches and campaign promises, you will see a pattern of a president intending to achieve A, B, and C… and then life comes at them really fast with π. George H. W. Bush wanted rebuild the world around a democratic model of global peace; that lasted a few minutes. Bill Clinton wanted to revolutionize healthcare; that blew up in his face. George W. Bush, you will recall, wanted to get America out of nation-building; how did that work out? Thank God Barack Obama is not achieving whatever his intentions were.

The closest we got was Ronald Reagan, who really did want to reignite the American brand, undo the economic effects of Carter, and end the Cold War. These were achieved, but with great difficulty. But his stated goal in his 1980 inaugural was to reduce the size of the federal government to prevent any future debt crisis and spending nightmare. Well, you know better than anyone how that turned out.

So while we might be all eager to elect Paul Ryan to end this economic nightmare of over-spending and orgiastic creation of federal positions, the Czar’s experience is that he will get side-tracked by some emergency in Iran, or some appointee of his will be exposed in a scandal, or a hurricane will somehow hit Lincoln, Nebraska, or something else out of the blue.

And in four years, we will be even worse off.

Finally, your postscript is hilarious. And good for you for testing the world around you to see if it knows as much as you. Your example is particularly compelling and even alarming. But at least people are willing to stick it to the Federal government, and in turn stick it to the State even if by accident!

A postscript of our own, if we may be so self-indulgent. Over the last few days, the Czar has heard people openly (without regard for the sensibilities of those around them) disparage President Obama in a wide variety of places. Not provoked—we just walk by and hear people complaining. He does not recall this general sense of displeasure even when Carter was President. At least once a day the Czar will expect to hear a stranger conclude that the President is an idiot, a screw-up, or unfit for the job.

This does not guarantee a vote against him, of course—but it is clear that Leading from Behind has become the phrase that defines his Presidency. What’s more, it means the Democrats are starting their campaign marketing in a Very Deep Hole. Yes, Obama is slated to spend over a billion dollars this election. He will need nearly every penny just to lift himself out to ground level. And if these random comments keep up, he might wish he had another billion to spend past that.

About The Czar of Muscovy

Божію Поспѣшествующею Милостію Мы, Дима Грозный Императоръ и Самодержецъ Всероссiйскiй, цѣсарь Московскiй. The Czar was born in the steppes of Russia in 1267, and was cheated out of total control of all Russia by upon the death of Boris Mikhailovich, who replaced Alexander Yaroslav Nevsky in 1263. However, in 1283, our Czar was passed over due to a clerical error and the rule of all Russia went to his second cousin Daniil (Даниил Александрович), whom Czar still resents. As a half-hearted apology, the Czar was awarded control over Muscovy, inconveniently located 5,000 miles away just outside Chicago. He now spends his time seething about this and writing about other stuff that bothers him.