Saturday, June 18, 2011

Chapter 34. Pusillanimous Pawlenty

"Haagen Dazs could put his picture on vanilla," Bill O'Reilly quipped to fellow Fox newsman Chris Wallace on the June 10 O'Reilly Factor program.  The "his" in their conversation was former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

What an insult to vanilla ice cream.  After all, it's smooth; Pawlenty often looks like the socially clueless dad from a 90's sitcom, as he did while responding to the slight, to Wallace a couple of days later.  Vanilla ice cream is consistent; Pawlenty is an example of the so-called moderate Republican whose modus operandi is triangulating answers to major policy issues, then parsing, mincing, or downright denying when the politically correct vector has moved. 

In 2007 Pawlenty signed on to a regional cap and trade scheme; in 2008 he joined then-Arizona Governor Janet 'Big Sis' Napolitano in a radio ad sponsored by the Environmental Defense Fund to promote climate change fiction; and in 2009 he was touting wind energy and ethanol at a farm event "with a down-home message tailored to his rural audience."  Yet, just this week he attempted to shove all of this down the memory hole in in interview on CNBC Squawk Box, in responding to a cap and trade question by Jack Welch, saying that he had "flirted with it for sure, but I've just admitted my mistake."  During the first Republican debate on May 5, Pawlenty said the issue was one of his "clunkers."

Back in 2007 Pawlenty signed into Minnesota state law the Omnibus Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill, which "provided funding for the Health Care Transformation Task Force, a panel of health care experts charged with exploring ways to reduce health care spending, improve quality, and ensure that Minnesota develops a universal health care plan by 2011." (Kaiser Foundation Report)  By 2010, the Governor had backed off the idea, and on June 12 coined the phrase "Obamney care" as a shot across the bow of Mitt Romney's candidacy for president.  But, true to fashion when given the chance to fire again during the televised CNN Republican debate the very next day, he sputtered and withered and ended his bid to become the 45th President of the United States.

Good.  The Republican Party needs a quick and ruthless winnowing fan to separate the candidates from the candy asses, if they are to unseat a President who reportedly will raise $1,000,000,000 to spend on re-election.

Quotient out.

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