Gimmicks Abound

There’s a realm of politics that comes out in the ease of a type of Populist sounding “Common Sense” political gimmick — ideas that are meant to be easily understood memes, and not really programmatic solutions to anything.  Think Sarah Palin and “I sold it on ebay”.

They are coming out

I.  Tim Pawlenty and the “Google Test”, in his “Better Deal”:

Pawlenty would in turn drastically cut spending, including some possible cuts or privatizations/eliminations of services that people have taken for granted. “Now there’s some obvious targets. We can start by what I call ‘The Google Test.’ If you can find a service or a good available on Google, or the Internet, then the federal government probably doesn’t need to be providing that good or service,” said Pawlenty. “The post office, the government printing office, Amtrak, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and others, were all built for a time in our country and a different chapter in our economy, when the private sector didn’t adequately provide those services. But that’s no longer the case.”

I am pretty sure you can find mercenaries on the Internet, meaning Pawlenty would have us do away with the Military.  “But that is not what Tim Pawlenty meant”.  I don’t even know how to go about explaining the absurdity of this statement — It does seem like the government needs to restructure the model of the Post Office (though it is of such a slight program that it is hard for me to figure how it’d be on my political radar — ie: if a politician harps on it, I’d wonder about their Priorities.)  We get a sense in Pawlenty’s simplistic framework of the shifting Creeping standard of a  ‘Creeping Socialism.”

II.  Herman Cain and the Great Wall of China.

“I just got back from China. Ever heard of the Great Wall of China? It looks pretty sturdy. And that sucker is real high. I think we can build one if we want to! We have put a man on the moon, we can build a fence! Now, my fence might be part Great Wall and part electrical technology…It will be a twenty foot wall, barbed wire, electrified on the top, and on this side of the fence, I’ll have that moat that President Obama talked about. And I would put those alligators in that moat!”

Thank you, Pat Buchanan.  No, Herman Cain’s campaign isn’t going anywhere — though, it’ll excite some “Tea Party”ers in the meantime.
Also, isn’t that a rather expensive project — something which would definitely dwarf the supposed “Illegal Immigrations taking up services” budget?

III.  Herman Cain and the Three Page Bill Limit.

Engage the people. Don’t try to pass a 2,700 page bill — and even they didn’t read it! You and I didn’t have time to read it. We’re too busy trying to live — send our kids to school. That’s why I am only going to allow small bills — three pages. You’ll have time to read that one over the dinner table. What does Herman Cain, President Cain talking about in this particular bill?

As this points out, “one of the few bills” of that type was the much maligned TARP Act.  As further pointed out here, it is impossible to figure how that “Great Wall of China on the Mexican Border” bill can possibly be pulled in under three pages?
What Cain really wants is a bill that fits into a sound-byte.

IV.  Lest I forget, Newt Gingrich and his damned Ego-Mania, a Political Gimmick in its own right.

The literati sent out their minions to do their bidding. Washington cannot tolerate threats from outsiders who might disrupt their comfortable world. The firefight started when the cowardly sensed weakness. They fired timidly at first, then the sheep not wanting to be dropped from the establishment’s cocktail party invite list unloaded their entire clip, firing without taking aim their distortions and falsehoods. Now they are left exposed by their bylines and handles. But surely they had killed him off. This is the way it always worked. A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught. But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces. –  Newt Gingrich
And, apparently, there was slain Gingrich.  But the fight continues.  Gingrich has more of this to give us.:
Let me say, on the record:  any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood.”

V.  The reason Mitt Romney’s acknowledgement of Climate Change — ie: Global Warming — is a gimmick is because his battle cry against it ends right there.  Romeny is guilty of a different genre of campaign annoyances — the buffoonish hyperbolic rhetoric — was on display with “We are only inches away from ceasing to be a free market economy.”  It’s nothing a good three page bill wouldn’t solve.

Leave a Reply