Monday, November 19, 2012


I'm a big 007 junkie. Love the series even though the movies are often completely ridiculous. It's all about the escapism for me.

Skyfall is pretty good. I found it lagging a bit at times. Javier Bardiem plays one of the best villians in the series. Daniel Craig is the best Bond since Connery if not better in some ways.

Glad Q and Moneypenny are back. I'm also glad M's office is moving back to the traditional wood paneled office with the padded door. Although the 1965 Aston Martin DB5 has made a few cameos in recent Bond flicks (Tomorrow Never Dies and Casino Royale) it actually got a centerpiece moment which was very well done.

The whole thing felt very retro yet with a modern tinge that freshened everything up.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

2012 Election Post-Mortem

I don't believe in jumping to hasty conclusions. I do not believe the 2012 election signifies the end of the Republican Party or that we have entered a watershed moment in American demography. I don't believe American attitudes have shifted that dramatically. As we move forward we'll see if patterns continue to develop and trends emerge. I'm sure they are evolving.
However, the truth is elections come down to the candidates themselves. Mitt Romney did not lose because of a supposedly liberal media. He did not lose because of voter suppression conspiracies. He did not lose because of a hurricane or Chris Christie. He did not, as the Wall Street Journal absurdly claimed this week, because of a lack of funds. He lost because he was a weak candidate who could not even fire up his own base.
He lost because evangelicals weren't enthusiastic about a man who was once a bishop in a religion that denies the divinity of Jesus Christ. He lost because he changed his positions on just about every issue you could imagine to win votes from the right. These issues included core convictions that people simply don't change at the drop of the hat including abortion, capital punishment, gay rights and healthcare. The guy invents Romneycare (as Santorum labeled it) and then runs away from it as fast as he could.
People didn't trust the guy. He was rich by the mysterious means of venture capitalism which very few of us really understand. He refused to release his tax returns. When he released one it showed he had paid a rate 14% lower than mine...a teacher. He had bank accounts in the Caymans and Switzerland. He had no problem completely reversing himself in the middle of the primary debates. He offered Rick Perry that $10,000 bet (who does that?) and of course saw 47% of Americans as freeloading welfare leechers. In the first debate he completely denied his own budget plan which he had been touting for ten months. Then he said Jeep was moving their operations to China which the Republican CEO of Chrysler completely repudiated.
The only response Repubicans have is that Obama is worse.
And that's the problem. The Republicans have been so focused on being against Obama that they haven't been able to be for anyone. Look at the loons they had running in the primary. Santorum, Gingrich, Cain, Bachmann and Perry? Seriously? That's the best you got? Each one got their time in the sun because the Republicans wanted ABR (anybody but Romney). Then each of these loons fell on their own swords and Romney was the best alternative in a sorry lot.
I may not agree with all their positions but John Huntsman, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Mitch Daniels and Marco Rubio would all have had a better chance of beating Obama than any of those nutjobs. Think about that. Obama against any one of those guys. I'm thinking unless any of those guys had had real skeletons come out of the closet they would have mopped up against Obama. Just speculation of course.
So the essential question is what is it about the Republican Party as currently constituted that discourages their most qualified leaders to run for their party's presidential nomination? Romney would have had a chance had he not had to move his positions so far to the right to appeal to the tea party wing. His move to the right came off as disingenious and he never could shed that label of being a flip-flopper.
Obama should have lost this election. The Republicans had an open door to the White House. Demographics and party issues are interesting and perhaps important but the real reason the GOP lost is because they put up a weak candidate.
The Democrats went through the same thing back in the 1980's with Mondale and Dukakis and then Kerry in '00s. These elections weren't about seismic shifts in American attitudes. It was about a weak candidate getting beat by the stronger candidate. Only the Gore loss is a bit of an anamoly since he was the VP during an economically successful (although morally bankrupt) administration. The Democrats can always blame Nader for that one. Plus, Bush was a much stronger candidate than Romney ever hoped to be.
If I was a Republican that would give me hope. I would stop making excuses and talking about how evil Obama is. I would start looking for a candidate that can win a national election. America is a centrist nation. We don't like people on the fringes either right or left. We can handle center-right or center-left. But you gotta get a candidate out there who can people can actually get behind.