The Imperfect Storm

As Hurricane Irene barreled toward the East Coast, millions of Americans whose only prior experience with tropical storms was watching that hilarious clip of Al Roker falling down on YouTube were forced to contend with a whole new definition of “a bad day.” As expected, while the old hands in the Outer Banks region of North Carolina hightailed it for higher ground, some of the city folk in New Jersey and New York City panicked like Moammar Gadhafi on the last day of the plus-size caftan sale at Kaffiyehs-R-Us.

Hurricane Irene turned out to be more hot air than rain and wind, but combined with the response to the recent earthquake near Mineral Springs, Va., which “rocked” the Mid-Atlantic, we all got to take a really good look at how well some of our fellow countrymen respond to Mother Nature’s wrath. To be fair, Irene did cause some significant damage, but in terms of devastation, she didn’t even register a “Tom Cruise” on the “Disaster Movie” scale. The storm, the earthquake and their recent predecessors, including the infamous Hurricane Katrina, inspired me to prepare a primer of my own. As you make your way through it, remember to keep one thing in mind: The fact that global warming is silly doesn’t mean natural disasters are.

1. Hurricanes are caused by:

a. A combination of low atmospheric pressure, water vapor and minimal wind shear.
b. Global warming.
c. The Tea Party.
d. George W. Bush (duh!)

2. The Virginia earthquake was caused by:

a. Tectonic activity.
b. Insufficient pledges to Pat Robertson and The 700 Club.
c. President Obama hitting his approach from the third fairway a little fat.
d. A newly discovered fault line located under Central Virginia called the “George W. Bush.” (Sure, it’s already hackneyed, but I had to work it in.)

3. If the storm’s sustained winds are above 74 miles per hour, then:

a. It’s a Category 1 hurricane.
b. We’re all going to die!
c. Al Roker is going to fall down on YouTube again.
d. Someone left the windows open at MSNBC.

4. An earthquake measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale carries a force equivalent to:

a. The “Little Boy” atomic weapon dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. (It should be noted that the Virginia Earthquake did significantly less damage, because it occurred below ground. Hence: “earthquake,” not: “skyquake.”)
b. Michelle Obama doing the “Dougie” in clogs.
c. Ed Schultz falling down the stairs.
d. An SEIU thug with a baseball bat.

5. If a major storm approaches your area, you should:

a. Tune to the local emergency broadcast frequency.
b. Buy a kite and teach your kids how to have fun with electricity.
c. Bring Fluffy in from the backyard.
d. Haul ass to the nearest electronics retailer before all the really cool stuff gets looted.

6. If authorities order you to evacuate, you should:

a. Grab the kids, throw them in the minivan and drive to Grandma’s house.
b. Do nothing. Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin will pick you up in a school bus. Probably.
c. Go to the nearest public building and blame the Federal government for not rescuing you sooner.
d. Begin planning how to invest the cash the Feds will give you for being too stupid to leave.

7. The safest place during a hurricane is:

a. Away from doors and windows in a sturdy house above the flood stage.
b. In the upstairs bathtub.
c. Saskatchewan, Canada.
d. The Superdome.

8. The safest place during an earthquake is:

a. In the nearest sturdy doorway.
b. Away from unsecured heavy objects. (Sorry, Michael Moore, you’re on your own.)
c. Saskatchewan.
d. Mars.

9. The best source of information during a hurricane is:

a. The Weather Channel.
b. NOAA weather radio.
c. The woman in line in front of you at the dry cleaners who begins every sentence with: They say…”
d. Al Gore.

10. Had the Virginia earthquake been as powerful as the 1964 Good Friday quake:

a. The age and nature of the geology in Virginia would have magnified the seismic waves, creating apocalyptic destruction.
b. Chris Matthews would have been forced to shriek even louder at Michele Bachmann.
c. President Obama would have been forced to skip the back nine.
d. It would have leveled Washington, D.C. (I didn’t say they were all bad consequences.)

Before the bell sounds, I have one more piece of knowledge to drop on you: If Jim Cantore shows up with a Weather Channel TV crew, run.

–Ben Crystal

 

No, Baby!

During Vice President Joe Biden’s trip for Chinese takeout, he managed to entangle himself in the ChiComs’ infamous “one child policy” (OCP). While addressing a crowd at Sichuan University, Biden warned of the potential approach of an entitlement crisis in the Land of the Panda:

Your policy has been one which I fully understand — I’m not second-guessing — of one child per family… The result being that you’re in a position where one wage-earner will be taking care of four retired people. Not sustainable.

Er, Mr. Vice President, you “fully understand” the enforcement of a policy which includes forced abortions, fines and even jail time for people who produce multiple offspring without permission from the government? That’s as crazy as fining people for not buying something… ooh, awkward. I’m afraid to ask where Ol’ Plugsy comes down on the subject of slave labor, government-controlled information and mass executions of dissidents. Given Biden’s remarkable ability to blunder into rhetorical minefields, I presume his answer would be: “Whatever Mr. Kinnock says.” Besides, we already know how the ChiComs will combat the problem of a 1:4 worker-to-entitlement-collector ratio — although they’ll probably call it the “one grandparent policy,” since “shoot old people who are not Central Committee members” is a little wordy (outside the Service Employees International Union).

The ChiComs’ enforcement of the OCP isn’t Biden’s first brush with an old concept, although he might be unfamiliar with its other name: eugenics. Granted, the ChiComs have never admitted that the OCP has anything to do with racial purity, but their treatment of non-Han ethnic groups suggests it’s intended to address more than just a surplus of people who pirate Blu-ray Discs™.

History is littered with intellectual detritus which considered viable a plan culling undesirable members of the species. And not all of them were the Athenians’ badass neighbors or looked like Charlie Chaplin’s evil twin. In fact, one of Biden’s best buddies is a proponent of cutting down on the number of rugrats underfoot — as long as they’re the right color.

Former Vice President Al Gore, who may well be the last person on Earth who takes thoroughly self-discredited alarmist Paul Ehrlich seriously, is of the opinion that there are way too many brown people on the Blue Marble. In his ridiculous, forest-consuming manifesto Earth in the Balance, Gore mused Malthusian repeatedly. As recently as this June, he ventured out of one of his mansions to discuss freely available birth control for the Third World: “When that happens, then the population begins to stabilize and societies begin to make better choices.” Al wants to cut back on babies, but not the cute, pink kind. He routinely refers to his plan as “empowering women.” And what could be more empowering than a fat white guy stepping off a private jet and telling girls to dump Junior in a bucket? It’s worth noting that Gore, who lectures about nonsense like “carbon footprints” while his own are bigger than the impressions Godzilla made on Tokyo, has four kids.

Considering the racism which goes hand-in-hand with liberal thinking — whether it be a presumption that black people are incapable of fending for themselves without “affirmative action” or “Jesse Jackson,” or claiming black conservatives are “paid” to be so — I suppose it should come as no surprise that people like Biden can “understand” the OCP. It should also come as no surprise that people like Gore can think a global cure-all exists in the form of reducing the number of people in places where people use less sunscreen. However, suggesting darker-skinned folks love their children less — and, therefore, would be more likely to want fewer of them around — is monstrous.

The reality is that China’s OCP is as much about creating a controllable population which bears certain — ahem — ethnic characteristics as it is about the ChiComs trying to “live green” (or whatever). The idea that the Vice President of the United States would publicly acknowledge OCP’s validity is stupefying. The idea that a great many Democratic Party leaders believe that the OCP should be implemented globally is horrifying in its hypocrisy, albeit unsurprising. These are people who think government schools should be sacrosanct cathedrals of union-controlled indoctrination, but send their own brats to private school.

Malthus was wrong. Ehrlich was more so. The Spartans didn’t survive, and neither did Hitler. It’s possible that Gore’s repeated losses in the Presidential arena have driven him insane. Biden, who eventually issued a halfhearted retraction of his remarks, is just stupid. China’s OCP is its bastard child — and one abortion I would have cheered.

–Ben Crystal

The Getaway

For the amount of controversy it has generated, you might think President Barack Obama’s latest vacation involves 10 or so days in the sunny climes of Havana or Caracas, Venezuela. Everyone from Jon Stewart to Pat Buchanan has noticed the fact that if the President plays hooky one more time, he’s going to have to take a vacation from all the vacations he’s taking. Predictably, rather than suggest Obama hightail it back to the office and put in a little time culling the stack in the in-box, the Democratic spin machine is redlining the RPMs in response. Spend more than a few moments enduring the shrieking slander monkeys on MSNBC, and you will find yourself inundated with excuses for the President’s jaunt to the millionaire’s playground of Martha’s Vineyard (wedged in between comparing Republicans to every odious character in the annals of history short of Vlad the Impaler, of course).

However, while the President and his family enjoy their vacation time in “The Vineyard,” a retreat for New England blue bloods which is nearly as lily-white as Buckingham Palace on Boxing Day, I will refrain from joining in the chorus demanding Obama focus more on the welfare of the nation and less on saving par from the bunker. After all, Obama is highly unlikely to inflict further damage on the rest of us if he’s preoccupied with deciding which wine goes best with lobster. As long as Obama avoids doing his job, how much worse off can we possibly be?

In the past month alone, Standard & Poor’s downgraded our national sovereign credit rating to “at least you’re not Belarus.” The national debt, if expressed in dollar bills, would make a stack which stretches from here to the Oort Cloud. (For victims of teachers’ unions: That’s, like, totally mega far away! OMG!) The national unemployment rate is nearly five points higher than it was the day Obama took office. And the dollar has declined in value to somewhere between Charmin™ and coupons for 50 percent off your next meal at the local E-coli King.

Meanwhile, Obama has dealt a stunning blow to those who believe in the sovereign borders of the United States. Just before departing D.C., he announced a plan to suspend deportations of illegal aliens. His edict circumvents both the courts and Congress, a fiat decree of what amounts to general amnesty. The only upside to Obama’s decision to validate the illegal parking of the millions of illegals squatting within our borders involves cheaper landscaping for his Martha’s Vineyard cronies and extra votes for Democrats in Chicago.

In the Mideast, the so-called “Arab Spring” so roundly cheered by liberals has produced the very real possibility of an Islamofascist government takeover in the Arab world’s most populous country, Egypt. While Obama settled into his luxe Massachusetts digs, “someone” used Egyptian territory to launch a terrorist attack on Israel. Given Obama’s vague hostility toward our most redoubtable Mideast ally, perhaps it should come as no surprise that he didn’t react. Venturing deeper into the Muslim world, we find the Russians — whose President Putin termed the United States “a parasite” — negotiating to build more nuclear power plants in the Islamofascist regime of Iran.

Back on the home front, if the graffiti left on Ohio contractor John King’s car is anything to go by, the union thugs have stopped slashing tires, throwing bricks through windows and beating up old people. Instead, if the bullet lodged in King’s arm is anything to go by, they have started shooting. I suppose the Democrats’ aversion to the 2nd Amendment was more of a guideline than an actual rule.

Even some of Obama’s most dedicated fans are showing signs of turning from parrots to boo-birds. The Godmother of the Rodney King riots, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, took a break last week from avoiding an ethics trial to exhort a crowd of disaffected black voters to “unleash us” to attack the President over the black unemployment rate, which is nearly double the national average. Granted, Obama need hardly sweat over the votes of people who consider Maxine Waters worthy of attention, but the fact that Waters publicly expressed dissatisfaction with “The One” is bad news for Barack.

Do us all a favor, Mr. President. Ignore the complaints. Stay on vacation. Work on your latest memoirs. Get a head start on the next chapter in your life. It’s going to start next year either way.

–Ben Crystal

Out Of Iowa

The dust from the Ames Straw Poll and corndog eating contest continues to settle, and the outflow from a big weekend in politics is decidedly worth a gander. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who skipped the main festivities, cast a long shadow over the rows with his announcement that he would seek the GOP Presidential nomination. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty cast a much shorter shadow with his announcement that he would no longer be seeking the same. Congressman Ron Paul of Texas finished a strong second in the contest and was finally recognized for what he has become: a real, viable and serious candidate for the nation’s top office. And President Barack Obama took a break from his exhaustive vacation schedule to squeeze in a taxpayer-funded bus tour through the hinterlands to remind people that the nation’s economic woes would be mere memory were it not for a string of bad luck which is in no way his fault.

Meanwhile, back in Iowa, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who won the Straw Poll, also won the corndog-eating contest, if a now-infamous picture of her is anything to go by. A decidedly non-conservative friend of mine (who’s not even American! Egads!) sent a link to the shot of the Congresswoman chowing down on that ubiquitous Hawkeye State treat. I presume he intended to poke fun at the Congresswoman, but I think I can speak for most of the men who have seen the photo in question when I say: “Works for me.”

Think about it. Liberals despise Michele Bachmann as if she’s Sarah Palin, 2.0. They scurry through Byzantine logical alleyways in an effort to portray her as crazy, stupid or both. Democratic Party mouthpiece Chris Matthews spends so much time shrieking at her that the untrained observer might think he’s carrying a torch for the congresswoman. Liberal glossy Newsweek even took a low-angle poke at her with a recent cover story which did everything but hold up a sign saying: “Look at the crazy lady!”

We’re all used to the liberals’ desperate hatred of people who don’t talk with their eyes closed — especially if those people are women and even more especially if they’re women who look like women. But why are Democrats so horrified by the idea of a badass soccer-mommy type (who’s fairly attractive) wielding White House power? They certainly thought it was acceptable from 1993-2001 (except for the attractive part, of course — maybe I’m onto something here). Including Obama, the past four Presidents have been: a skinny, jug-eared pansy; a clean-shaven version of Yosemite Sam; Larry the Cable Guy with better hair; and a doppelganger for Mr. Rogers, respectively. Their foreign policy accomplishments have included: costive shooting war, costive shooting war, costive shooting war and costive shooting war, respectively. Pardon the overt chauvinism, but maybe a decent-looking broad with a temper is a better choice. Think of it, President Bachmann hikes up the hemlines a bit, and peace breaks out in the Middle East, Russia crawls back into its bottle and China stops running people over with tanks and starts doing that spiritual tai chi with the Falun Gong and churning out more counterfeit golf clubs.

On the home front, the aforementioned gang of four former Commanders in Chief certainly didn’t manage to sustain an economic happy face, either. Obama is so breathtakingly incompetent on matters of finance that he’s actually managed to accomplish the dubious feat of making people wistful for Jimmy Carter’s Presidency. The uber-conservative Bachmann might not win any fans at the Service Employees International Union banquet, but they’d be able to afford better champagne.

Before you all dismiss this piece as an endorsement of Bachmann’s candidacy, let me point out that I’m merely demonstrating the availability of better alternatives to another four years of listening to Barack Obama blaming his failures on everything except space aliens (or lack thereof, according to Paul Krugman). Plus, she won in Iowa. However, while the Ames Straw Poll — a pay-to-play beauty pageant with all the electoral validity of a prom queen ballot — ended up in Bachmann’s column, note the man who finished right behind her: Congressman Ron Paul.  Paul has suddenly been “discovered” by the corporate media and is one of the more intelligent human beings to run for the Presidency in decades. And Mitt Romney — who still makes me a bit nervous — is out-polling Obama at the national level.

Of course, as demonstrated by his weird little bus tour, Obama is all flake, no corn.

–Ben Crystal

Just A Jealous Guy

Most of us will agree that American elections tend to run about as smoothly as a Detroit-built automobile with bald tires. But some of us seem to be missing the real reason our balloting is more Chrysler (ranked by Consumer Reports as the least reliable brand) than Scion (ranked most reliable). Last week, NAACP President Ben Jealous, in Los Angeles to address the group’s 102nd annual convention, railed against voter ID laws, claiming that efforts to ensure ballots are not cast fraudulently are racist.

According to Jealous, voter ID laws are among “the last existing legal pillars of Jim Crow” and are pressed by “the worst and most racist elements” among conservatives. Of course, Jealous also thinks jailing cop-killers like Mumia Abu-Jamal and Troy Davis is racist; but I suspect Mr. Jealous thinks late newspaper delivery, runny eggs and bald tires are racist, as well.

How unfortunate for Mr. Jealous and his increasingly irrelevant organization that situational irony is paying a visit. While the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People excoriated the racist conspiracies that are voter ID laws, Mississippi NAACP officer Lessadolla Sowers peered through the bars of a prison cell, staring down a five-year prison term for convictions on 10 counts of voter fraud.

That’s right, kids. While Jealous castigated conservatives over efforts to introduce voter ID laws to prevent exactly what Sowers did to earn a stretch in the pokey, Sowers began a stretch in the pokey for doing exactly what voter ID laws are designed to prevent. And while I suggested that situational irony is merely paying a visit, it has actually moved in, put up its feet and raided the fridge. For all Jealous’ bluster in L.A. last week, Lessadolla’s lament is hardly the only example of the NAACP and similar liberal groups proving their opponents’ cases.

Elsewhere last week, three Democrats in Wake County, N.C., were placed on $10,000 bond each after admitting to combining for six pro-Obama votes during the 2008 election. Even a teachers’ union victim will recognize that kind of bad arithmetic. It should be noted that North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue vetoed the most-recent attempt by the North Carolina State Legislature to institute a voter-ID law.

In Ohio (the site of the infamous 2004 incident in which a manufactured Democratic talking point led to howls of injustice over the election results) the NAACP was pegged for dozens of verified instances of electoral fraud, including at least one instance in Lake County, Ohio, of the old Democratic ploy: the voting corpse.

I would be remiss in leaving out the supposedly-defunct Democrat group ACORN and its fairly remarkable record of vote-rigging, a record which followed that august group into its “new” iteration earlier this year with a conviction in Nevada.

If I actually recounted the details of every confirmed case of Democrat-leaning groups and individuals turning voting into three-card monte, I would run out of bandwidth faster than the local salons run out of relaxer every time Al Sharpton comes to town.

Obtaining basic, legal identification isn’t particularly complicated. In fact, you have to work to fall completely off the grid. If you succeed, maybe voting isn’t really something you’re cut out for. Do we really want to exhaust ourselves chasing down every moody loner, crack-addled scarecrow and backwoods psychopath to ensure they’ve cast their ballots? “Pardon me, Mr. Nihilist V. Anarchyston. Will you participate in the election and… um… what’s with all the fertilizer?”

And the Democratic rhetoric that voter ID laws are a racist attempt to suppress minority (read: Democratic) turnout is belied by those pesky facts that never seem to make it into a Ben Jealous sermon. Studies by the University of Delaware and the University of Missouri and a 2006 study in which 37 schools participated showed that, in some cases, turnout actually increased in Democratic-majority counties where voter ID requirements were implemented.

Voting isn’t complicated. Stupid and/or illiterate people vote; consider Detroit. The very fate of the Nation depends on a legitimate electorate exercising legitimate balloting. Again, consider Detroit. Ben Jealous and the NAACP say voter ID laws inherently contrast with that exercise. But Ben Jealous and the NAACP are not going anywhere, so I say we keep voter ID laws around for a while.

–Ben Crystal

Cracks In The Wall

You might have missed it amid the roar of Democratic rage over the past couple weeks, but someone said something interesting that disappeared in the din. Super-liberal activist Ralph Nader took a break from his eternal campaign to make the world safe at any speed to suggest that President Barack Obama may well have parked his proverbial Corvair in a very tight spot. According to Nader, a challenger to Obama is essentially guaranteed to emerge from the great mommy’s basement that is the holding tank for Democratic Presidential candidates: “I would guess that the chances of there being a challenge to Obama in the primary are almost 100 percent.”

While Nader didn’t let on to any specific inside knowledge about the identity of the potential Democratic mutineer, the fact that he’s dropping broad hints describe the development of further cracks in the Democratic monolith. A left-of-Friedrich Engels candidate in each election from 1996 to 2008, Nader may just be trying to boost back-catalog sales of his odd treatises.  But his statement ought to raise a few eyebrows as 2012 looms on the electoral horizon.

As anyone who reads more than The New York Times knows, Obama’s Administration is staggering like a punch-drunk prizefighter. The man hailed by the Democrats as the next-best thing to a savior has disintegrated under the pressures of Presidential duty. Epic economic and diplomatic disasters, paired with the rise of well-organized conservative opposition groups, have exposed him as the neophyte he is, rather than the heroic figure he was touted to be.

Even on the left, the rumblings of dissatisfaction are growing louder. Democratic mouthpiece Bill Maher, who generally describes women in, ahem, less-than-gentlemanly tones, chaired an impromptu panel of fellow liberals on a subject which ought to give Obama real pause: Hillary Clinton 2012.

Maher suggested Obama has inspired little more than “buyer’s remorse,” a far cry from the now-laughable “Hope and Change.” He went on to opine that the current Secretary of State and erstwhile Obama primary challenger Hillary Clinton might have a leg up on Obama because: “She knows how to deal with difficult men.” Not to mention difficult interns in blue dresses.

Meanwhile, The Times offered another dim assessment of the President’s acumen. In his essay “What Happened to Obama,” Emory University professor Drew Westen suddenly discovered the same reality conservatives have been trumpeting since at least 2007:

Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted “present” (instead of “yea” or “nay”) 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues.

Welcome to the club, Professor; better late than never.

And consider the potentially impending candidacy of former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. While Gravel would likely be yet another mosquito on the windshield of Presidential politics (again), it’s worthwhile to note that he has collaborated with none other than Ralph Nader. Gravel’s possible entry is another solid indicator that Obama has lost the support of the tinfoil-hat brigadiers of the very far left, virtually all of whom were solidly in the Obama camp in 2008.

In 1980, incumbent President Jimmy Carter faced a primary challenge from then-Senator Ted Kennedy. Kennedy, believing that Carter’s malaise-filled four years in the White House had opened the door for a run at the title, failed to swing the Democrats to his side. Kennedy’s candidacy severely weakened the already-teetering Carter Presidency and played at least a part in handing the Oval Office keys to the Republicans for the next 12 years.

I’ll admit there are a few Republican candidates who would hardly be my first choice for the highest office in the land (I’m looking at you, Jon Huntsman). But compared to Obama, even Huntsman is Teddy Roosevelt by comparison. It would appear some of the Democrats are starting to learn the same lesson.

–Ben Crystal

A Poor Standard

I must admit, as appalling as I find most of what the Democrats pass off as political rhetoric, I do enjoy when they start repeating talking points in perfect unison. Granted, the port side of the body politic generally presents an outward face as seamless as Representative Nancy Pelosi post-Botox®, but there are moments when Democratic leaders, mouthpieces and sock puppets in the corporate media literally sound like they are all reading off the same teleprompter.

Witness, if you will, the aftermath of Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade America’s credit rating from AAA to AA+. Liberals immediately blamed the fiscal fail on the Tea Party in specific and the GOP in general.

President Obama’s lackey David Axelrod told the doddering Bob Schieffer on what’s left of CBS’s venerable Face the Nation: “The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade.”

Axelrod’s sentiments received a resounding echo from his table mate, former Democratic National Committee Chairman, former Vermont Governor and bellowing lunatic Howard Dean: “I think they’ve been smoking some of that tea, not just drinking it.”

Gee thanks, guys. We were all waiting with bated breath for the pronouncements of a White House hack and the ex-Governor of Ben and Jerry’s. As for “smoking it,” perhaps someone at the DNC should tell Governor Dean that he, of all people, should refrain from making “smoking” jokes. We all saw your Iowa meltdown in 2004, Governor Dean. I certainly hope that was drug-induced.

Meanwhile, noted yachtsman and 2004 Presidential loser Senator John Kerry emerged from below to pronounce to the remaining viewers of NBC’s once-relevant Meet the Press: “I believe this is, without question, the Tea Party downgrade.” Thanks for the input, Senator Kerry. I believe you are still the second-most important Senator from Massachusetts.

The reality of the S&P downgrade is that we’re no longer as fiscally respectable as The Netherlands, and are instead relegated to slumming with such reprobates as New Zealand.  According to S&P, our national credit rating dipped because the deficit-reduction plan passed last week didn’t cover enough bases to reassure markets that our fiscal situation was entirely stable. The Democrats — sans President Obama, who was cutting a 50th birthday rug with Al Sharpton — raced out to proffer desperate attempts to shift the blame to someone other than Obama.

However, we can dismiss the Democrats’ wailing for what it is: simple political maneuvering to avoid the electoral disaster that awaits them in 2012. Consider S&P’s logic:

We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

Translation: “Stop spending like you’re auditioning to be Donald Trump’s next ex-wife, or you may have to pawn the title on Air Force One.” Well aware that anything Obama might sign would be as devoid of logic as, well, the scheme Obama signed, S&P responded with deserved skepticism.

While the Democrats were shrieking about conservative intransigence, Senator Lindsay Graham, who is only mildly more conservative than Axelrod, Dean and Obama, actually made a sensible remark: “The Tea Party hasn’t destroyed Washington… Washington was destroyed before the Tea Party got there.” Note to Democrats far and wide: If Lindsay Graham is schooling you on fiscal matters, you’ve been downgraded to remedial-level economics.

The Democrats have always been long on promises and short on plans. Throughout the entire debt-ceiling debate, they deployed defamation, but offered no direction beyond tired class-warfare applause lines. There are some cracks appearing in the liberal wall, however. While the vast majority is holding fast to the “blame the GOP” talking point, one or two liberal lackeys have evidently wandered off the reservation. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner claimed the S&P had “no justifiable rationale” for the downgrade. I suspect Obama and his minions didn’t stop to think that by claiming the S&P’s logic was inherently flawed, Geithner precludes the Democratic argument that the Tea Party is responsible.

Now, in the face of the first credit rating downgrade in American history, the Democrats are blaming both conservatives and S&P for a debtor’s prison they designed and built themselves. Unfortunately, they expect us to serve their sentence for them.

–Ben Crystal