Monday, January 17, 2011

Hunting with John Thune

By Bernie Quigley

For The Hill on 1/16/11

As Jason Lee Loughton awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. To learn more go to Kafka or better yet, Dostoyevsky’s “The Undergroud Man.” It cannot be explained on Dr. Phil’s couch without moral treason to the living and the dead.

When CPAC meets in early February it should consider this to be the zero vortex from which things end and begin again. Politics and culture, as in Einstein’s theory of time and space, must either expand or contract. It can’t stand still. And this tragic incident brought to center again she who will not go away, Sarah Palin. But there are other things for CPAC2011 to consider; problems that challenge our existence: A $202 trillion debt, the Red Army, the end of the world.

“Let’s get real,” Laurence Kotlikoff wrote last summer for Bloomberg. “The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.” Kotlikoff, a professor at Boston University says that based on the Congressional Budget Office’s date, he calculates a gargantuan fiscal gap of $202 trillion, more than 15 times the official debt.

StockSage market analyst reports that Marc Faber of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report says “ . . . there is potential for geopolitical tensions between China and India as they compete for natural resources (oil, water).” Faber pointed out that China and India share the Brahmaputra River. Faber might have noticed that at the 60th year celebration of the People’s Republic, Hu Jintao was wearing a Mao suit. Will this the end of free market cooperation? Will China now press ahead with a stronger regional and national profile? Will the Red Army rise to power?

The world is said to end this December. So says ancient Mayan prophecy (on the internet!). Prophecy does not end things, but the sudden widespread belief in eschatological visions of doom does suggest a failure of the collective will. Hemingway’s “The Sun Also Rises” and Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” were both published in 1925 thereabouts. They were icons of helplessness, impotence and impending doom, wildly popular in their day and still relevant in our day. Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” was published in 1925 and 1926. Stocks crashed in 1929.

But Sarah Palin, that is really the big issue in 2011. Because whatever doesn’t kill her makes her stronger.

Sarah Palin has, with Ron Paul, Judge Andrew Napolitano and Texas Governor Rick Perry, built a new cultural and political zeitgeist in the last two years. Senator John Thune of South Dakota, a potential Presidential candidate in 2012, is a perfect fit for it. Thune will speak at CPAC2011.

Last year at CPAC a clear division emerged among conservatives. Liberty-minded conservatives dominated in numbers and set the tone for the event. In CPAC’s important straw poll Ron Paul won with35% while the standard bearer of traditional Republicans, Mitt Romney, took only 25%. As CBS reported Friday that their new poll found that 77 percent of Americans want to cut spending and just nine percent call for raising taxes, the new themes are having an impact.

Thune represents a new force in America politics and a new generation. Here in the New Hampshire woods acrimony runs long, deep and bitter: “I’d rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than ride in a car with Ted Kennedy” can be seen daily on bumper stickers.

Time to turn the corner. Time to turn to the new generation.

I’d rather go hunting with John Thune.

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