Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Virtue of Admitting Defeat

In an interesting development for energy war watchers, the great and powerful Google admitted today that it can't overturn the laws of economics, physics or thermodynamics, by abandoning grand plans to get into the renewable energy racket. Now if only "clean energy" gurus in Washington has enough humility to admit defeat and invest themselves in more worthwhile pursuits.

That won't happen, of course, and for a very revealing reason. Google, although amazingly profitable, remains a business, subject to the dictates of profit and loss. If it's wasting shareholder money on unprofitable and futile ventures, sooner or later the sinking bottom line will force a course correction, as it did in this case. But no such rules apply to the federal government, which is why it's so reckless, wasteful and dangerous to our pocketbooks. Unlike Google, it has a seemingly-endless supply of money and time to squander in pursuit of energy police panaceas and pipedreams, ala Solyndra. And nothing short of total bankruptcy will apparently change its ways.

Google is doing the smart thing by admitting defeat. But government never admits defeat -- all its failures, in fact, become excuses to spend even more on the fruitless, the forlorn and the phony. How much better off we taxpayers would be if the people in Washington had just a modicum of the smarts and humility Google just showed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Cain Scrutiny

Two factors may help Herman Cain weather the first major political storm of his candidacy.

The first is that many folks predisposed to support Cain also have serious doubts about the objectivity, credibility and honesty of the liberal media elite pushing the story. The "mainstream" media is widely perceived to have an agenda -- justifiably, in my opinion -- that's hostile to conservatives and libertarians. People on the right, if they haven't actively tuned-out the MSM, simply aren't going to allow a media cabal to drag their candidate down -- at least not without hard, damning evidence that the man is a genuine demon.

Second, Cain seems to be benefiting from what might be called The Clinton Effect.

The former president set the bar so low in terms of presidential behavior, personal mores and salacious sexual adventures that almost anyone can easily clear it, inoculating candidates like Cain against the damage that certain revelations might formerly have inflicted. Clinton's continuing popularity with certain Americans -- the fact that he still struts upon the national stage as a lecherous elder statesman -- tells politicians that a sexual scandal does not have to spell political ruin. On the contrary, you can sodomize an intern in the Oval Office coat closet and still live out your days as the political celebrity, with the media hanging on your every pronouncement.

But Republicans are different, some will say. "Values voters" don't tolerate such nonsense. They have higher standards. Such scandals still can damage candidates on the right, since Republicans still expect something more from their leaders than someone who can run the welfare state spoils system.

Yes, but maybe that's changing, as conservatives, libertarians and even RINO Republicans recognize that there's something far more dangerous to the Republic than a candidate with a loose tongue, wondering eye or history of divorce -- which is having a dangerous, left-wing ideologue like Barack Obama in the White House for 4 more years. When the survival of the Republic is at stake, winning becomes more important than nitpicking and moral preening. Certain character flaws can (and must) be overlooked in a candidate who can knock-off Obama and reverse this country's toboggan ride toward fiscal and economic ruin.

Maybe this time Republicans are so determined to win that they aren't going to allow rank hypocrites on the other side, and in elite media circles, torpedo viable candidates and turn their value voting tendencies against them. The stakes are much higher, and clearer, this time around. They fear Barack Obama and his radical policies more than they fret over minor alleged character flaws in their candidates.