Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Carville--Now And Then

On the right, you see James Carville in his better days. I always found him to be somewhat lizard-like, but his transformation has been amazing. On the left you see Mr. Carville today, post-Obama election, post-BP oil spill. He is not a happy camper, and it appears to be affecting him phsyically as well as verbally.

Previously, Carville's nastiest vitriol was aimed at conservatives, Republicans, and women who preserve their stained dresses. Today, as a Louisianan, his sights are set on one Barack Obama and the anticapitalist eco-freaks in his administration. The same man who previously worked so hard to elect Barack Obama (after Hillary was out of the race) has now been mugged by the reality we conservatives knew all along--Barack Obama is form without substance and a "leader" who can talk about his predecessor's failure to react to a crisis, but now makes Bush look like the picture-perfect leader.

This might not all be so striking if it weren't for the fact that both crises occurred in the same part of the country. And in both cases, Carville came out swinging to attack the president he felt wasn't helping his chosen home state of Louisiana. The Democrats have long uttered the mantra "all politics is local." But we rarely get to see a highly-partisan political operative dissemble entirely for that very reason.

Bush was Carville's target during hurricane Katrina, even though he knew full well that Bush did everything possible both before and during the crisis to protect New Orleans and the gulf region within his Constitutional authority. Carville knew full well that the negligence of the New Orleans mayor and the boo-hooing governor of Louisiana were major roadblocks to Bush action. Until the governor stopped boo-hooing, declared an official emergency, and called the President to help, anything Bush did would have been an extra-constitutional invasion of a sovereign state by the central government.

Now the shoe is on Carville's other foot, and it's apparently a very painful fit (if the volume of his screeching is any indication). On CNN's Anderson Cooper show, Carville moaned: "People here have been so let down. The levies . . . the federal government let us down . . . Now the government comes in. . . and say 'just blanket stop everything out there.' It's killing the economy here." Sorry, Mr. Carville, but you and your Clintonites set this up when they took up the anti-oil drilling position on your watch. We couldn't even be allowed to drill on dry land, in a remote, mosquito-infested piece of Alaska. What did you expect to happen when your fellow-travelers had a big excuse for a moratorium in deep gulf waters?

It's also interesting that Carville is in high dudgeon largely about the economic impact of the administration decision to stop all drilling for a minimum of 90 days. Guess he didn't notice that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal had predicted the victory of the eco-freaks, though Jindal seemed to be a great deal more concerned with the human and wildlife tragedy that was unfolding. And unlike both Obama and Carville, Jindal is actually doing everything within his power to avert further disaster, while the Democrats are too busy talking about it and trying to make political hay out of it. Unlike his predecessor who waited for days after Katrina nearly drowned New Orleans, Jindal not only exercised his emergency powers at the earliest opportunity, but he took a risk in declaring an additional emergency as hurricane-force winds approached the spill site and the Louisiana shore.

The economic impact of Obama inaction at the beginning and foolish action now is horrendous, and Carville is right in pointing it out in no uncertain terms. He is joined by fellow Democratic US Senator from Louisiana Mary Landrieu and Democratic House Member Gene Green of Houston, Texas. Though they are all concerned with the human and ecological disaster, all see the moratorium as throwing salt on the wound by doing serious damage to the gulf economies at a time when money and jobs are most needed. Louisiana State University estimates that the moratorium will damage the four gulf states of Texas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi to the tune of $2.1 billion.

At the end of the Anderson Cooper interview, Carville was nearly hysterical. His last statement was: "They don't have the foggiest idea about life here, they don't have the foggiest notion of what's going on. The federal government is about to kill us." This may come as a surprise to a political operative like Carville, but those of us who never held government jobs and have never been Washington insiders could have told him that. For decades, we have watched the distant central government in DC systematically destroy federalism and ruin the economy in complete disregard for the human toll. I guess it all depends on whose ox is being gored.


38 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

truly uncanny!

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

You are so right about Carville. He is one of a kind. Loyal to a fault. I wouldn't exactly call him the honored enemy, but he comes damn close.

If he didn't believe in Big Government, he would be an asset. As is, he is woefully underutilized in the Obama Administration. We are so lucky that he has been sidelined in Louisiana.

I love Rush's impression of him. Rush always ends whatever faux rant of Carville's with, "WHERE'S MY GUMBO!!!!"

BevfromNYC said...

James Carville has actually come up in my opinion of him. I never thought he would publically dress down his own leader. But then, he is married to Mary Matalin.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: I always wondered if Carville was Gollum. Now I'm sure. Have you ever seen the two of them together in the same place? No? Case closed. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: If I could find anything to admire about Carville, it would be his inability to be subtle. He says what he thinks. We could use a few more of those in the Republican Party. I must admit to a bit of schadenfreude watching him discover that maybe top-down government from Washington may not be such a hot idea after all.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: It's the civilizing influence of a woman in the house. I knew it would work its magic on him sooner or later.

LL said...

The basilisk face of Carville blasting Obama is comic opera at its finest.

He ranted and raved for barack hussein obama and now he has him in all his incompetent glory.

There are a lot of lives impacted by obama's foolish dithering with the Gulf Oil Crisis and to that extend, Carville is correct. I wonder if he'll turn into a Republican?

AND if he does, will he look less reptilian?

LawHawkRFD said...

LL: Well said. The old proverb holds true: Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.

AndrewPrice said...

I wonder how much this has to do with them setting up a run by someone like Hillary?

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: The rumor-mill is hot and heavy with conjecture about a Hillary run against Obama. It would probably be her last chance (she ain't gettin' any younger), there is still plenty of bad blood between the Clinton and Obama factions, and Carville is nothing if not loyal to the Clintons. It really will be interesting to see how this develops. I'm not ready to declare it a plan, but it has all the makings of one. Carville could be the perfect stalking-horse.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I don't see it happening, BUT this might be a good sign that Hillary is keeping an oar in the water. Carville could be basically testing the waters for her, to see if she could run to Obama's left.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: This could be a repeat of the Ted Kennedy wade into the electoral pond against Carter. In that instance, it was Kennedy who got drowned. It's hard to unseat a sitting President of your own party, as Kennedy found out to his chagrin. But at least he had the Senate seat to fall back on. Hillary might be more cautious since she would have to resign as Secretary of State to take Obama on, and would have nothing tangible to fall back on.

patti said...

i've always said that only when the libbies get hit hard on their stupid policy decisions will you hear them squeal against the machine. looks like we have a squealer. mary must have to hold her tongue until it bleeds!

and the resemblance is uncanny!

StanH said...

I’m a sick man Lawhawk. I so enjoy watching democrats eat their own. Seeing the sanctimonious “Cue Ball Carville” …tearing into the boy king is especially fun. When that cat gets on a tear, you need to set up a spittle screen…yuck!

He is most certainly a Clinton devotee, but I don’t think a Hillary run is his angle, he’s a Cajun, he cares about Louisiana. The delicious part he’s being mauled by his own dog…happy - happy, joy - joy…

LawHawkRFD said...

Patti: It is amazing how uncaring the supposedly humanity-loving Democrats can be until something hits them personally. Carville swooped in and started building a little empire in New Orleans, figuring he'd cash in on the money being tossed around in unmonitored "renewal" funds. This is hurting the state he lives and thrives in, but more importantly, it's hurting him personally. So NOW he wakes up. But if it wakes him up to the disaster that Obama is, so be it.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: I must admit that I can't pretend that I'm not enjoying their internal warfare. I have a very un-Christian attitude toward the Obamas and the Clintons. It's like watching a fight between a tarantula and a snake--I'm not sure who to root for.

He's only half-Cajun, so he's a little late getting to the battlefront.

He and Begala came up with "it's the economy, stupid" that served Bubba Clinton so well. Guess now he's finding out just how true that is.

StanH said...

Ahhh…Begala & Carville the plurality political team. I think Clinton won with 43%, if the fools hadn’t voted Perot…like me…I’m sorry! …George H. W. Bush would have won handily. They engineered ’94 so their much ballyhooed political expertise, I’ve always questioned - - of coarse ’96 was Dick Morris and his triangleization strategy.

What’s the other half? I believe he’s a full Louisianan?

rlaWTX said...

OK - I'll have to read this later -- But I have to comment on that picture! I can't believe I never saw that resemblence before!!!!

(gotta get back to workin'!)

BevfromNYC said...

StanH: Don't feel bad. I voted for Perot too...

StanH said...

Oh yeah Bev! …my wife and I went all out for Perot, too our eternal shame. Fifty lashes with a wet noodle : (

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Don't feel bad. I fell for the whole routine, and voted for Clinton. I never made the mistake of trusting the Democrats again. I also wrote a short tract on the necessity of a third party (Perot). I also never made that mistake again. Short of a huge and palpable change in the American people, we have to work within the parties we have or risk another arrogant plurality President like Clinton. On the other hand, Bush I also reinforced the idea in me that we can't continue to nominate Republicans who are just poor versions of Democrats. We can't continue to nominate candidates because "it's their turn." And we can't continue to nominate candidates who couldn't run a campaign for dog catcher.

LawHawkRFD said...

rlaWTX: I look forward to your comments. The side-by-side is amazing, isn't it?

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Oops, I didn't see your comment before responding to Stan, but--I came within inches of voting for Perot but bought the "restoration of the traditional Democratic Party" argument and voted for Clinton. That's a large part of why I'm a Republican today.

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: Although I made the mistake of voting for Clinton the first time, I used one of their Southernisms the next time to remind me not to make the same mistake twice: "Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me."

ScottDS said...

I can't say I have a dog in this fight but I've been waiting for the right blog entry to post this clip.

It's from a British news/quiz show called Have I Got News For You. It airs on the BBC, twice a year in sets of ten episodes. They mistakenly refer to Carville as "Senator" but it's interesting to get a reaction from across the pond. And the show is often hilarious.

Skip to 8:30.

LawHawkRFD said...

Scott: Thanks. Sounds funny. I'll take a look.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--Now that it has turned out that Carville is Gollum, does that make Clinton or Obama Sauron?

LawHawkRFD said...

HamiltonsGhost: Hillary is Saruman, Obama is Sauron.

CalFederalist said...

LawHawk. Are you sure Carville isn't just constipated?

LawHawkRFD said...

CalFed: Well, he is getting up there in years. He's only a few months younger than I am (oops, major revelation). I'm sure he could use a little Metamucil, but I don't think it will do much for his sweet nature.

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk: Perot - I made a mistake voting for Perot and take full responsibility for Clinton winning with only 43% of the vote. It would take extraordinary circumstances for me to support a third party candidate again. That being said, I happened to like Perot's platform. Hey, don't you think he looks like he could be Gollum/Carville's billionaire uncle?

Writer X said...

Carville belongs in a straitjacket! I can't watch him. The constant spittle is a turnoff.

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: Yes, and I'm guessing he even sounds like Gollum's billionaire uncle, Scrooge McGollum. Every time I heard Perot talk, I gave up the slight idea that I might vote for him. He reminded me of the old joke: "Country music speaks to the heart, but unfortunately it has to go through the ears first." Still, his "giant sucking sound" about money and jobs leaving the US are as true today as they were then. Can I vote for him retroactively?

LawHawkRFD said...

WriterX: He only looks and sprays that way 90% of the time. The other 10% is when he's demanding to know where his dawg is so he can beat him.

StanH said...

That’s a good saying Lawhawk! …and Bubba would be pleased! He’d say something to the effect of, “that ol boy makes sense.” LOL! Another good one for Clinton or Barry, I’ve written before, “hell! …he’d clime a tree to tell a lie, when he could tell the truth standing on the ground.” And it would be followed up by a, “Lord have mercy,” or some such. “Ya’ll come back now, …ya hear.” Night all!

LawHawkRFD said...

Stan: My favorite Southernism from a famous Democrat was Carter's "Lordy, Lordy, Jim Jack Gordy." To this day I have no idea what it means, but it's alliterative as hell.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--Carville was Clinton's bulldog, but he was also part of the triangulation crowd that caused Clinton to move to the center after his disastrous attempt at Hillarycare. It wasn't a principled position, but at least he helped Clinton to see he couldn't govern without the help of Republicans and moderate conservatives. Obama has his attack dogs, but nobody like Carville to tell him he's committing political suicide.

LawHawkRFD said...

HamiltonsGhost: Carville was good at "staged rage." It was a great tactic. Rouse the troops and get the opposition so incensed at what you're saying and how you're saying it that it gets them distracted from the real "defendant" (Clinton). But Carville did indeed have that practical side that we didn't see much of on TV. Obama's people have only the obnoxiousness and will-to-power without the practical knowledge of how to play nicely with the other kids. It's going to be Obama's downfall.

And I suppose I should add that after studying him for twenty years, I can tell when Carville's acting. He wasn't acting when he launched at Obama and the damage that's being done to Louisiana.

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