Robert Becker

Robert Becker
Location
California, United States
Birthday
January 01
Bio
Educated at Rutgers College (BA) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D, English) I left university teaching (Northwestern, U. Chicago) for business, founding and heading SOTA Industries, high end audio company from '80 to '92; from '92-02 I did marketing consulting & writing; from '02 until now, I scribble on politics and culture, looking for the wit in the shadows.

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Salon.com
NOVEMBER 9, 2011 9:11PM

First Round: Lesser of Two Evils

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By Robert S. Becker


Dumbfounded Herman Cain finds he’s not in Kansas anymore – storm-tossed and dislodged from his outsider “good guy” candidacy to frontrow Wicked Witch of the West.  A third, now visible victim of his puffed up, manly prowess testified Monday, dispensing the ugly skywriting that foretells a political drenching.  Overplaying his 15 minutes of infamy, Cain’s political honeymoon as straight-shooting restaurant wiz, quick-baked with sham character claims, is cycloning away. 
 
Even if he stumbles along, what standing could he have now with women, let alone good churchgoing folks?  His vacuous non-solutions have been discredited far and wide, leaving only “good character” on his resume.  Now he’s a defensive sex predator who harassed women with overtures so crude he must have thought himself irresistible.
 
Topping off serial sexual belligerency is his serial tunnel vision – with such a transparently inept cover-up the focus shifts from his character flaws to his basic intelligence: is he simply dumbfounded or just dumb?  Here’s the classic rightwing vanity campaign, scornful of relevant knowledge, savvy organization in key states, even fundraising success.  Serves him right for ignorance about China’s nuclear arms, a blunder so monumental
the NY Times’ Timothy Egan quipped with more wit than accuracy that Herman makes “Sarah Palin, with her eagle-eyed view of Russia from Alaska, sound like a Council of Foreign Relations scholar on a gasbag high.”   Well, not even Homer Simpson does that.
 
Living by Sound Bites Alone

 
The curious result – post-decline and fall of small fry Trump, Bachmann, and Pawlenty – or larger fish, like Gingrich, Huckabee, and Perry – catapults the cultist shape-shifter Mitt Romney into default center stage.  Curious because for the evangelical-Tea Party base, he’s the least popular, least trusted, one-time frontrunner since that guy named Romney lost to McCain in ’08.  Things are bad for the fringe when the unstable McCain outshines this gang of non-achievers.  Indeed, before the nation opts for the lesser of major party evils – as hardened realists put it – rightwing primitives must select the lesser, or this year least unhinged, from a gang of miscreants.  No easy task when mentally-challenged zealots rush to anoint the next political messiah, however indistinguishable by sound bites alone from the newly disgraced loser.
 
What could outlast Cain is the injury that Tea Party-FOX apologists inflict on infamous Family Values wedge politics.  Hypocrisy on display, the right defends the indefensible by assailing now multiple victims.  What if five more surface?  No doubt Bible-bangers covet the 2500 year-old decree that women should obey men, servicing whatever appetite-driven patriarchs demand.  You’d think, though, even clods like Cain relied on less appalling come-ons – so bad there’s more than poetic justice when he’s brought down less by prowess than crudeness.  Presumably, were the female targets more willing, harassment would dissipate.  But charmless, dumb, and abusive together – what firepower for a pizza Casanova.
 
Historically, Democrats snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Not this time, for rarely have so many idiot candidates done so much to help re-elect the dubious wizard in the White House.  However shredded is the curtain obscuring his corporate-loving, entrenched theatre of betrayal, President Obama the Lucky may cruise into a second term.  Or rather, be handed a second term when the dilemma isn’t the lesser of two evils but one lesser evil vs. a certifiable, terrifying agent of disruption.  Palin or Bachmann or Cain aren’t just dangerous because they broadcast false, evil propaganda inflamed by regressive politics – but because they test the democratic majority – and whether it’s still capable of separating the Sanity + Evil Connivance incumbent from Insanity + Evil Connivance challengers.  Really, there are key distinctions enough Democrats will not ponder long – and the less time mulling over the actual Obama record, the better for this presidency.    
 
Push Comes to Shove, Good vs. Evil

 
Consider: the incumbent will channel three-quarters of a billion bucks to make two simple arguments: 1) we likeable folks (68% still agree) did as well as humanly possible under impossible burdens, not one caused by us; plus 2) the other guy answers to his brainwashed FATE (Faith-Alone-TEa Party), a subsidiary of Citizens United-Koch Bros.-Chamber of Commerce –advised no doubt by the likes of Rumsfeld, Cheney and Karl Rove.  Who doubts the eventual nub comes down to Good vs. Evil – which side is really endorsed by the anti-Christ?  
 
We’ve already decimated once paramount lines between church and state.  At the rate we’re going, even the thin line between religion and politics is jeopardized.  Votes and elections then won’t be for candidates or parties but projections of whose right side some God is on.  In any war, moral or otherwise, God must eventually favor one side.
 
Cronyism in Heaven?

 
Of course, this president survives by continually avoiding in-depth commitments to any principle.  That’s what "devoutly non-ideological" means, two ends against the middle.  Is Obama for or against the current power structure in Iraq, those stubborn officials sending us packing?  Is he truly supportive of Mid-east governments, or popular uprisings for that matter?  How does he really feel towards Israel, our quixotic ally?  Why won’t he, like other Democrats, side with public unions under siege?  Will Obama nod to OWS protesters, expressing pain he can play on – or stand by brave protesters?  Right.
 
Waiting for Obama on the OWS invokes waiting for Godot.  Eventual Obama voters may well sigh, “Imagining Godot as hope and change beats conceding defeat and the end of workable government." Of course, for the right, there’s no question whether its God-ot arrives, along with the Rapture.  I suspect evangelicals believe in their faith-driven hearts of hearts the Final Judgment will tabulate whether there’s D or an R or an A (for agnostic) after every sinner’s name. 
 
And you thought politics was just fun and games.  What if Republican cronyism extends to heaven?

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'our quixotic ally,' or did you mean 'our evil twin?'

romney looks good in this crowd, and might beat obama, as some polls suggest. if he does, you probably won't notice the difference. when you are committed to voting for the lesser of two evils, game-theory soon presents you with two very evil choices.
I agree Romney looked stronger than the rest of the pack - but I dont think the big money is with him - Romney is too much his own man for them - Obama is their boy. I agree with Dr. Becker -Better a sure thing than a loose cannon. As far as projecting power - Obama is no wimp - just not a big talker.

Romney seems both healthy and sane - but not presidential.

OWS is a middle up movement - Obama has the bottom vote with our without them - If they shape up and act more bottom up - he will have to pay more attention - but as of yet I do not see the numbers - I wish OWS got it - but after years of working cross the divided left lines - I do not see it happening easily or swiftly.

I feel better knowing that Romney is looking more like the guy. We will not look as dumb as we are if this is the horse. Win or Lose, he is better at the gate than either JM or baby bush -and might be better for the average American than Obama - who, as I argued in my last comment, like Clinton - is more about making himself than making a nation.
Thanks, Snowden:

Romney will have no trouble with money, nor has he. And he is enough of a Rethug that he won't disturb the big players -- it's not as if he any more principles than Obama, after all. Yes, Obama would be fine, though who knows what happens to a "liberal" Democrat in his second term?

Aren't nearly all modern protest movements "middle up"? There hasn't been a bottom up in America since ? Draft riots? Labor in the 19th C? Our poor tend to be passive (and often plagued with medical problems, shorter lives, etc.).

Yes, a Romney Obama fight will be nasty but cleaner than with the nitwits. I don't argue that Obama is self-interested, above all, but what politician isn't -- E. Warren or Dean, maybe. Good comment. and I am Robert, not Dr. to my friendly commenters.