Monday, June 13, 2011

Post Season or Pre-Season?

The long NHL season is coming to a close soon.  Game 6 for the Stanley Cup Finals is being played tonight in Boston, with the Canucks looking to close out the series on enemy ice.  It’s been a bloody battle, and the momentum shifts have made this a must-watch series for true fans of the game.  Sadly, we are approaching the end of the series, but the outcome may not be decided this evening.  I don’t know what will happen, but I can make one prediction – this series is going the distance.  Game 7 will be Wednesday night from Vancouver, and the Sedin twins will drink the Cup.

I will not be watching the must-watch game live tonight.  I will record it so I can watch the CNN GOP candidate debate live from Manchester, NH.  The nomination contest will also be a bloody battle, with momentum shifts that will make this a must-watch series for true fans of the game.  I don’t know what will happen during this pre-season match up tonight, but I can make predictions for each contestant: 
Newt Gingrich will be ignored by the field.  He is “dead man walking” in this campaign, and any lame attempt by Newt to blame his troubles on the pesky media bias of reporting factual information about his staff implosion will be brushed off with pity.  Worse than that, his invisible performance tonight might even negatively impact his book and DVD sales.

Michelle Bachmann will not say anything substantive, and that will be a victory for her since expectations of coherence are so low.  I expect a ‘liberal’ use of the words “constitutional”, “liberty”, “Obamacare”, and “freedom”, and I also expect the text of a future SNL skit to roll out of her mouth at some point.

Rick Santorum will not be asked if he considers himself the Sam Brownback of the 2012 nominating season.  Brownback, as you all recall, was the 2008 staunch religious conservative driven to obscurity by the cruel winds of electoral politics (translation: no one voted for him).  This will be Rick Santorum by mid-December 2011.

Tim Pawlenty will raise the stakes for all the contestants with his plan to reducing revenue by $11.6 trillion over the next 10 years through irresponsible tax cuts that he fantasizes will generate growth so profound that the Fed would never allow it to occur.  He is practically double dog daring another candidate to one-up his proposal.  Which candidate will profess his love for America by vowing to destroy it?   Pawlenty will have visions of grandeur, pretend he is alone on stage with Romney, and attack him exclusively.  If you want to make a name for yourself, pick on the lead dog.

Herman Cain will not (but should be) be asked to defend his statement this week that he would only hire Muslims into his administration if they sign a loyalty oath to the Constitution.  That would be fun to hear, since the Constitution explicitly bans religious tests as a condition of serving within the U.S. government.  Article VI, paragraph 3 states “…no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”  By signing the oath to the Constitution, the signer would be violating the Constitution.  Discuss.

Mr. Cain will definitely be asked about his statement that he would not sign any bill more than 3 pages long.  He did not clarify the paper or font size of those pages, or define the width of the margins for each page.  As any elementary student knows, the smaller the font size, the fewer the pages.  Hopefully the questioner will point out that the Constitution is more than 3 pages (about 12 pages), and would not pass his new test.  I would go further – unless you want the courts to decide the enforcement and enactment details of every law, you’ll need some bills to provide a little more detail than 3 pages will cover.  If this is what passes for innovative thinking, Cain should stick with coming up with new places to hide more cheese on a pizza.

I predict that Gary Johnson will be ignored again.  See, I am already ignoring him.

Ron Paul will not say anything new that he hasn’t said a hundred times already.  If knowing where a candidate stands on the issues is important to you, Ron Paul is your guy.  He hasn’t changed much in 30 years.

Mitt Romney will focus all his rhetoric on the President.  He will attempt to rise above the fray and play the role of presumptive nominee.  History is on his side.  The Republicans love to nominate their past losers to the top of the ticket in future years (see Nixon (lost to Kennedy), Reagan (lost nomination to Ford), HW Bush (lost nomination to Reagan), and McCain (lost nomination to W)).  George W was the exception, but you could argue that he was the make-up selection for his dad losing to Clinton. 
I hope Romney is asked about the Vermont law signed May 26th that establishes a single payer system in Vermont effective 2014.  As a supporter of state specific health care solutions, he should be on board, right?  States rights!  We will not hear, but I’d like to hear a discussion around the topic of deregulation – candidates, which is more costly to business and creates greater ‘uncertainty’ - 50 different state health plans or one unified national plan?

I predict that thousands of college students will become dangerously intoxicated playing the Romney drinking game (take a shot every time Romney uses the words “strong” or “strength”). 
No one will be asked why they all support the economic policy of reducing taxes on the wealthy in the hope that this approach will actually increase revenue and create jobs, when the exact opposite occurred from 2001 through 2008.  No one will be asked why they support policies that will increase unemployment in the short term (the Republican ‘European style’ austerity plans) with the hope that employment will increase in the long term.   No one will be asked what specific policies they will push to encourage or incent businesses to spend the cash they are sitting on already (you know, the business cash reserves that have accumulated in spite of Obama being so ‘anti-business’). 
I cannot predict whether or not there will be any Weiner questions, but I do predict that someone will make a poor attempt at Weiner humor.  (Shouldn’t Schwarzenegger send Weiner a thank you card for getting him off the front pages?)

In the NBA, we have a winner, and thankfully it is the good guys from Dallas instead of those bad boys from South Beach.  The long season of basketball is over, the NHL season will be over soon, but the political season hasn’t even opened the regular season.  That happens in Iowa next January.   It will be April before we have a nominee, and November before we know if he/she is a real winner. 
It’s a long season. 

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