State & Local Politics

State & Local Politics

What’s next for Sarah Palin? How about a 'supercommittee' of governors?

What's next for Sarah Palin? She seems at the moment to be finding a role as a general commentator, remarking on Ron Paul's foreign policy and whatnot. That is, she seems to be at loose ends. There is much more she could do as an Alaskan, in terms of advancing regionalism and states as laboratories, as Rick Perry talks about it.

Palin’s role these past two years has been much as the La Passionara of the Tea Party movement. Seeing her at the Nashville Tea Party Congress at the beginning showed a connection to this rustic grassroots movement, which brought it to large recognition.

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Suspend elections?

North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue just came out with a startling thought about how to solve our nation’s economic woes — suspend democracy.

That’s right, in Gov. Perdue’s world, the blame for our massive debt and almost unprecedented joblessness falls on the voters.

Her theory is that voters who hold their elected officials accountable for their actions need to be taken out of the governmental system to allow politicians leeway to take whatever actions they choose, without fear of the ballot box.

I’m confident that many politicians have wondered to themselves about what it would be like not to have to worry about those pesky voters. President Obama himself recently told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China.

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Let’s hear it for the bashees

All those anti-government and press bashers, like Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman (R) and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, owe one to their governments and the media.

When the hurricane winds were endangering liberals and conservatives, and floods were damaging Democratic and Republican citizens, Tea Partyers and socialists, up and down the East Coast, government officials worked all weekend with no extra salaries to inform and protect a worried public. They always aren’t successful, but when they are, as they were this weekend, we owe them a big thank you.

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America needs a 'supercommittee' of governors

A fine mess now, Ollie. It was a mistake from the first to allow S&P, Moody’s and the others an unelected overview and a voice in the life of sovereign American states. Now, like those tragically broken school systems in Atlanta and Pennsylvania, the ones with so many erasures on tests that the odds are 3 trillion to one that they are authentic, this Congress with the lowest rating in American history calls for a “supercommittee” of its own members to repair itself.

We have just recently had a supercommittee called the Simpson/Bowles Commission. To the surprise of some, it brought quite a dignified, fair and sensible beginning. Congress ignored it and so did the president. Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia did not get the credit deserved in the debt-ceiling debate, although his opinion and that of the Gang of Six incorporated Simpson/Bowles conclusions. And as one commentator said, there is already a supercommittee to discuss these issues ... it is called the Congress.

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Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn: The new paradigm

Two stars are born this season, Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn, Westerners traveling in righteous vengeance. She with the “author of all things” watching over her and a fine horse. He with true grit. The Coen Brothers in “True Grit,” this the greatest ever movie, return us to ourselves in the Western epic we last visited in 1968 after a 40-some year skywalk. And in our time their players, Mattie Ross and Rooster Cogburn, come to resemble two new and rising stars on the political scene, Elizabeth Warren and Rick Perry, governor of Texas. In Perry, Andrew Jackson has found his avatar. In Warren, Rachel Maddow has found her anti-Palin.

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Why states' rights? America is at a sea change.

Grandma eating Alpo? This presidency will grow increasingly sordid. Will it bring a challenge?

Peggy Noonan on Friday:

“In the Old America there were a lot of bad parents ... But in the old America you knew it wasn't so bad, because the culture could bring the kids up ... Grown-ups now know you can't send the kids out to play in the culture, because the culture will leave them distorted and disturbed.”

Always in politics we expect the future to be like the immediate past, but it never is. That is generational wishing. Kennedy will be back, Reagan will be back, Clinton (Bush, Britney?) will be back because we think of them as immortals. When they ask England a hundred years hence when her drooling peasantry is rooting for potatoes why did Gordon Brown sell England’s gold in 1999, the answer will be because he, like at least half of his generation, thought Bill Clinton was a god.

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Warren for Governor

I hope that when she finishes her gig at the new consumer bureau — which, in the words today of CNN Money, is “set to sail with no captain” — Elizabeth Warren remembers where she came from. She may be an “Oklahoma grandmother,” but I hope she comes back to New England. I’d love to see her run for governor up here. Because she returns us to something we left behind some time ago: a New England work ethic. Work ethic, self-reliance and rugged individual character were synonymous with Emerson’s New England and even Thoreau’s. But we, the Irish who commandeered the neighborhood over these past hundred years, had a somewhat different approach.

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Perry adds TSA bill to special session

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) presented legislation for consideration this week in the ongoing 82nd Texas Legislature, First Called Session that would ban intrusive TSA pat-downs.

"We applaud Gov. Perry for presenting this legislation," 10th Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey said. "James Madison said states are duty bound to interpose when the federal government overreaches its constitutional limits. Nobody can argue that requiring citizens to get groped by a badged agent in order to get on an airplane doesn't step way over the line."

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A states’-rights defense against Anthony Weiner: Virginia’s HJR 542 offers a solution to New York dominance

As more portraits of the artist as a young Weiner appear on the Web, the body politic becomes increasingly frustrated. President Obama said he would retire under the circumstances. Nancy Pelosi can’t get rid of him.

McClatchy Newspapers reports that a majority of voters in Weiner’s Queens-Brooklyn congressional district think he should stay in office. But Weiner’s New York is not the New York City where Grant rests nor where the Roosevelts shook the world for more than 100 years. Nor is it Isaac Bashevis Singer's or even Yogi Berra’s or Ralph Kramden’s. It is Mick Jagger’s and Jean Genet’s and Bill Clinton’s.

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What’s next for the California GOP?

The ignominious fall of former governor and cheating husband Arnold Schwarzenegger is pretty pathetic in itself. As allegations of still more women who slept with the “governator” spring up (ahem), there’s one question that many political watchers should be asking — what’s next for the Republican Party in California?

I know what you’re thinking: “What does a Hollywood actor’s sexual peccadillos have to do with the state’s political party?” Nothing, if you look at the question that way. But let’s be honest, until Arnold Schwarzenegger came along in that 70-something person gubernatorial race over seven years ago, the state’s Republicans were floundering.

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