Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Flotsam - Naked Ambition Edition

Wherein DWSUWF again picks up the blogging yoke and observes the detrius that has cluttered his little island of rationality in this great blogospheric ocean during his brief hiatus.

I am back. Sort of. Despite what I said in my prior "Gone Fishing" post, this blog apparently was indeed on a complete hiatus these last five weeks, as I notice there have been no new posts since the aforementioned May 13 notification. Time flies when you are not blogging.

FWIW, I have not been fishing all this time. After returning from the Michigan fishing trip, I was home for one day before departing with my wife to France. We received an invitation from friends to join them in a villa in Provence, and it was too good to pass up. I explained all of this in the comments to that post, but recently learned that even fewer read the comments than read the posts themselves.

Regardless, having completed my mission of eating all the good food and drinking all of the good wine in France, I am now ready to once again put on the DWSUWF yoke, and start pulling the wagon of liberty toward a Federal Government that respects the social and economic freedom of its citizens. That or comment on why I cannot seem to get this wagon unstuck from the mud.

Let us start with a look at what I missed and what I learned during the blogging hiatus.

ITEM - Barack Obama is an ambitious politician who wants to be President.
Barack Obama recently declared his previous statement committing to public financing of his Presidential campaign to be inoperative. He was forced into this, in order to combat the attacks coming from the Right Wing 527 attack machine that... ummm.... apparently does not exist. At least not yet. Oh - and also because he learned during the primary campaign that he can raise more money than God. This has distressed some of his supporters, who are concerned that Obama might superficially appear to the uninitiated to resemble a self serving ambitious politician. I don't know why they would think that. I mean, why would anyone think that a successful Chicago politician who cut his political teeth by clawing and fighting his way up through the precincts and wards of the bare knuckle Chicago Democratic political machine would turn out to be the kind of politician who will say whatever he needs to say to get votes and do whatever is politically expedient to get elected? No one would think that.

ITEM - No really, Barack Obama is an ambitious politician who wants to be President.
Some Obama supporters are concerned that by saying "NAFTA is not so bad after all", he might appear to be backtracking on the strongly expressed previously held position opposing NAFTA. Said position being exactly what he needed to win support in Democratic primaries, and no longer needs now that he superficially appears to be emulating every single winning Presidential candidate of the last forty years who moved to the center in order to win the general election. Their concern is that Obama fails to understand that he is not just an ambitious politician who wants to be President, but the leader of a glorious People's Movement and Popular Uprising. Perhaps it will be easier for Progressives to deal with this turn of events if they do not think of Obama as reversing his NAFTA campaign promise made to blue collar Democrats, but rather he is fulfilling the NAFTA campaign promise he made to the Canadians.

- John McCain is an ambitious politician who wants to be President.

Some of McCain's supporters are also concerned, even though McCain reversed his position on the offshore drilling moratorium after learning that 2/3 of the electorate want to see the moratorium ended. They apparently fear that John McCain is not enough of a self-serving politician since he has not yet flip-flopped on drilling in ANWR. They have nothing to fear. John McCain has shown a perfect willingness to pander to the right, left, and center if it will help him get elected President.

ITEM - James Madison was right....
...when he wrote this in the Federalist Paper #51:
"Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."
Madison was explaining the rationale for checks, balances, and the separation of power in our constitutional government to prevent the naked ambition of our less-than-angelic leaders from running roughshod over the freedom of the governed. My view is that his argument is equally applicable to voting to maintain a divided government, so that single party rule does not run roughshod over our constitutional protections, as we saw most recently under six years of Republican single party rule.

Full Disclosure: I knew that Madison was right before I took my blogging hiatus.

ITEM - Tim Russert is dead.
This was a shocker when I heard the news. I'll miss him. He was only three years older than me, and it caused me to think carefully about my own lifestyle choices as I ate and drank my way through France. It did not cause me to modify my lifestyle choices, but I did think about them. At NBC, his colleagues also miss him, but reportedly not so much as to interfere with their own naked ambition.

ITEM - Jon Swift is not dead.
I missed blogger Jon Swift when I thought he was dead. But while I was away he came back and there no longer seems any reason to miss him. Instead I now feel bitterness that when Jon Swift disappeared, his readers sent out search parties, but when I disappeared my readers simply disappeared also. In any case, Jon Swift misses Tim Russert, but he also helps put his untimely death into perspective:
"Russert's friends and colleagues were understandably shocked by Russert's premature passing. If an overweight workaholic with diabetes and a history of coronary artery disease can suddenly die without warning, is any one of us safe?"

- This is going to take a while.

Before the hiatus, I watched theChris Matthews Hardball show religiously. I just tried to watch it for the first time in five weeks and only lasted 20 minutes. It may take me a while to ramp back up.

ITEM - Carnival Reminder
I should be back in full swing before the next edition of the Carnival of Divided Government Tres et Vîcênsimus (XXIII) - Independence Day Edition, which we will declare on or about the Fourth of July. After quickly reviewing some of the submissions so far, I notice that very few of them actually mention Divided Government. I respectfully remind any interested bloggers, that if you do not mention Divided Government in your submission to the Carnival of Divided Government, your submission will be respectfully ignored. Please submit your relevant blog article to the carnival of divided government using the carnival submission form.

Divided and Balanced.™ Now that is fair.


Dyre42 said...

I did not disappear. I dropped by every other week to see if you had returned. Additionally i gave you some link love by handing out The Pissy while you were gone. It is however worth noting that one of the recipients of The Pissy closed shop a few days after I awarded it to him.
Maybe you should rename it.

Dyre42 said...

P.S. I also have it on good authority that Jon Swift was actually laid up drunk in a bordello in Mexico the whole time. Since all of us know that you are the soul of moderation several of us (me, myself,I, and my evil twin) collectively decided that you must have been both chastely and soberly pursuing the world record for the most pounds of fish caught by a single person in a month and were well on your way to achieving that end.

mw said...

Thank your for your occasional visits and for picking up the newspapers that were collecting on the front doorstep. I'd like to sound more appreciative but am afflicted with the "Groucho Marx Syndrome ("I would never belong to any club that has such low standards that they would have me for a member." ), and cannot help but wonder why you have nothing better to do with your time than hang around an abandoned blog.

Along those lines, it is perfectly reasonable for a Pissy Recipient to immediately close down. After all, what is there left to accomplish once you have received a Pissy?

Anonymous said...

Time does indeed go faster when its not being blogged. Blogging is such an introspective activity, that it's easy to get wrapped up in it. Everyone needs a little escape now and then.

Dyre42 said...

"why you have nothing better to do with your time than hang around an abandoned blog."

It gives me something to do while I'm being spitup on by my daughter.