Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

People Move Mountains

People move mountains.

Over the past 4 years, I have taken to pen and keyboard to write my thoughts–however disjointed, misguided or ill-conceived they might be–and to share them, for your consumption and debate. The topics we have discussed have maintained a mostly-political bent, but have touched on the religious, spiritual, economic, social and deeper human issues that I have faced or witnessed others face around the world.

For years, I have thought of myself as a writer. This small piece of the Internet, and its tagline–“Long runs, legendary musings and an insatiable quest for knowledge”–was my attempt to “learn through writing.” Perhaps better stated, I had hoped to take a position, argue it, and through the various work to back up that position through the gamut of opposing remarks and stances, learn a lot more about the issues themselves, the country we live in and the people who comprise her.

What I have learned is that I am part of the problem.

The Obama-Romney Debate

Mitt Romney has called his win tonight in almost-hometown New Hampshire an “historic night.” Congratulations on being another Harvard-educated old dude to win the New Hampshire primary. You’re right, it’s historic.

One of the things we like to do here is message and write strategy. Mitt is busy annointing himself as the GOP nominee for a pretty important job–the GOP’s “Chosen One” to defeat a guy a plurality of conservative Republicans believe isn’t an American citizen. Undoubtedly, though, he will actually be forced to go toe-to-toe with the current leader of the free world: President Barack Obama. Forgive the foreshadowing, but if you don’t mind, we’ve scripted a bit of what that might sound like:

The Bay State Curse?

What do Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, John Kerry and Mitt Romney all have in common? Obviously, they are politicians from the state of Massachusetts who have sought or are seeking the presidency.

Since John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960, however, no Bay State politician has been behind the bid desk in the Oval Office. The bastion of the Northeast and–as we are often nostalgically reminded these days–site of the Boston Tea Party, what has happened to the state’s national political prestige?

Let America Be America Again

As I was walking around town this weekend–on September 11th, no less–I came across the following by celebrated poet Langston Hughes.

Whether or not it is useful to view the present through the literary prism of our past is debateable, but I provide this for our mutual edification:

Let America Be America Again

By Langston Hughes

9/11: It's Personal

There will be no shortage of television specials, newspaper editorials and conversations around hallowed grounds this weekend asking the question: “Where were you?”

The shared sorrow of national tragedy has a way of unifying, as it did after that fateful day in September 2001: we remember the innocent men, women and children who did not deserve such a premature fate; we remember the heroes who ran into unbelievable danger to help people they didn’t even know; we remember the heroes who were never able to run back out.

And while it may be pertinent to look back on where we were, it is equally important to look forward to where we are going.

Palin the Independent? What 1912 Can Tell Us About 2012.

A wildly popular Republican boldly breaks ranks with the party establishment and runs as a third-party candidate.

In 1912, that popular Republican was former President Theodore Roosevelt. Disgruntled after the lackluster presidency of William Howard Taft–and unable to accrue enough delegates at the nominating convention after alienating Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin and the party establishment–Roosevelt formed the Progressive, or famous Bull-Moose, Party.

One hundred years later, could we be experiencing a repeat?

Amid an already-crowded GOP presidential field, former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin may soon make an announcement about her own intentions regarding the 2012 race. Many–including former Bush acolyte Karl Rove–believe she will throw her hat in the ring.

But with a few mainstream front-runners already appealing to most Republican primary-goers–Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, at least–does Palin have a shot at her party’s nod? Or must she form her own third-party–an Alaskan-tinted, mama-grizzly version of the Bull-Moose Party of yore–to achieve her presidential aspirations?

Texas Gov. Rick Perry: An Opposition Campaign Primer

Ah! Fresh meat!

That’s what’s on the mind of political pundits this week as they come down off the high of the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames. With nothing to report until–well–something unpredictable happens, or until the Iowa caucuses in January, the media and blogosphere will gush with pedantics about this outsider to the GOP fratricide-fest that has been the 2012 presidential nominating process thus far.

Unless something extraordinary happens, Texas Governor Rick Perry will be the GOP and Tea Party presidential nominee in 2012. He’s the darling of the extreme right and can be stomached by party moderates who know Mitt Romney has no chance of winning the top spot on the ticket without flip-flopping on nearly all of his social positions. So, no big deal, we’re looking at Rick Perry.

Here is some friendly advice that an opposing campaign should follow–Republican, Democrat or Independent:

What Happens in a Bad Economy?

Politicians like to talk in abstractions.

Come to think of it, they like to argue and obfuscate in abstractions, as well. They campaign in abstractions and make abstract pledges until those abstractions turn into something tangible, like a subprime lending crisis or a downgrade from a particular private rating agency.

We spend so much time wading through abstractions that we cannot get to the meat of the issues that face us today. Enough of that.

What really happens in a bad economy? And what is the public’s role during these tough times?

"…Shall Not Perish From This Earth."

It has been a tough news weekend for the United States.

I’ve been blocking out news coverage today and cringing every time I hear a partisan or pundit prognosticate about the decline of America, or our supposed shuffle closer to doomsday.

My heart breaks hard every time I think about the selfless men and women we lost in Afghanistan this weekend. Brothers and sisters alike, it seems almost trivial to sit here tonight and type–a freedom they have won for me–while so many are facing grim realities and long, tense moments of combat half a world away.

It’s easy to lose focus of who you are and what you stand for in times like these.