Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Gen. Stanley McChrystal Affair: A Civilian-Military Disconnect?

The recent cashiering of General Stanley McChrystal,
Allied Forces commander in Afghanistan, was neither
unprecedented nor uncalled for.

After a devastating cover piece in Rolling Stone detailing
the deeply-felt contempt felt by Gen. McChrystal and his
staff for the civilian leadership of the Allied military and
diplomatic effort in Afghanistan, President Obama had
no choice but to fire him.

You can read the original article here.

If I were President, and one of my military leaders was as
openly contemptuous of the civilian leadership as
McChrystal, that man would be immediately gone - and
immediately replaced. And I wouldn't have been as
considerate as Obama. Rather, Obama should have
ordered Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to replace him
with his second-in-command immediately, pending a
thorough housecleaning and further strategy review.

This would have accomplished several things - first of all,
it would have reinforced the notion of Chain of Command -
from general in the field, through the Secretary of Defense,
to the President. Second, it would have taken a lot of the
heat off the White House and placed it on the Pentagon,
where it belonged. Third, it would have bought time for
a necessary review, the end result of which should be a
recognition that Afghanistan is a failed venture,
to be terminated as soon as practicable.

But, as the Rolling Stone story makes clear, the Afghan
venture is rapidly becoming a Vietnam-style quagmire.
Incredibly, Stanley McChrystal appears to understand this,
but the civilians don't, including U.S. Ambassador Karl
Eichenberry, a retired three-star who at one time was
McChrystal's immediate superior. And according to
Michael Hastings, the author of the piece, the one
thing there's no shortage of in McChrystal's war is
bureaucratic infighting and one-upmanship.

Not that there aren't always powerful rivalries when
leaders with large egos are given charge of a war effort.
Even in World War II, leaders like FDR, Churchill,
Marshall and Eisenhower were often having to
intervene in squabbles between different generals,
admirals, and field marshals on matters of strategy,
tactics, and logistic support.

But the blame can't solely be placed on the generals
themselves. Anyone with "flag" or "star" rank knows
only too well that in wartime, he faces two enemies;
the enemy he's fighting, and the other generals or
commanders with whom he must compete for the
always-too-scarce resources provided to the forces
afield. It is sad but true that the most successful
commanders are almost always those who can
most successfully persuade their superiors that their
theater deserves the lion's share of the men and
materials available.

An astute general knows that failure to win the
bureaucratic war now often means defeat in the
field later. And when one's bureaucratic rivals are
civilians or politicians with little or no military,
diplomatic, or national security experience, a general
must press his case very carefully - and that includes
keeping very tight control of the "message" one brings
to one's superiors.

Which is why, for the life of me, I can't understand how
a leader as obviously intelligent and dedicated as McChrystal
could wind up as the object of a hatchet job, as the song
goes, " On the Cover of A-Rolling Stone".

Just who did he think he was talking to? Army Times?
Stars and Stripes? As almost anyone under the age of
50 knows, Rolling Stone is well- known for covering
the ins and outs of the music business, including irreverent
exposes of artists such as Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus and Lady GaGa.

But lately, Rolling Stone has taken a serious tone in reporting
matters that serious folks at the top would have preferred
be left uncovered. Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi blew the
whistle on the machinations of Goldman Sachs and the
government in his piece "The Great American Bubble
Machine" , which gave Goldman its everlasting moniker
of "The Great Vampire Squid". Rolling Stone was among the
first to report the rampant prescription drug abuse behind
the untimely death of King of Pop Michael Jackson last year.

And when handed the opportunity to affect the course of
an unpopular, poorly-justified foreign war by a journalist
reporting on events and conversations that were clearly
"off-the record", the elite, Ivy-educated 20-and 30-something
brass at Rolling Stone said "F@#k It. Publish and
let the chips fall where they may."

In such journalistic company, both McChrystal and his
staff should have kept their mouths shut, and strictly
controlled reporter Hasting's access to sensitive information.

That they apparently did neither, I feel, speaks less to their
judgment and more to their "apartness" from civilian society
than anything else. For if today's military is anything, it is
truly A Society Apart - one far less representative of America
than almost any other public institution.

Drawing its recruits principally from the working and
middle classes, its commissioned and non-commissioned
career leadership is now almost exclusively 2nd, 3rd and 4th
generation military. While it is rare for the sons or daughters
of the "elite" to serve, it is not at all unusual to see a career
military man, enlisted or officer, with one or more children
serving. And this is especially reflected in the Service
Academies, where 80% of the class of 2012 (the last year
for which statistics are available), at Annapolis and West
Point comes from career military families.

Given this self-selected isolation, and subject to a civilian
leadership to whom concepts such as Duty, Honor, and Country
seem both quaint and naive, it's not hard to understand some
friction and resentment on the part of those who serve. And
for the most part, the vast majority of serving men and women
honorably keep their resentments, if any, to themselves.

But sooner or later, the "Civilian-Military Disconnect" is going
to blow up in the faces of a dissipated and self-absorbed civilian
leadership more interested in personal financial advancement
than the welfare of the country they serve.

And if and when that should happen, the results will
not be pretty. We will have more to say on this issue in a
future piece.

The GOP: The Triumph of "Just Saying No"

The Grand Old Party may have finally hit on a winning

By playing to growing concerns among voters of debt and
deficits, as well as Tea-Party-fueled resentment of expensive
and ineffective Government, the Republicans at one stroke
have managed to turn the tables on an embattled Obama
Administration and Democratic Congress.

By "Just Saying No" to extensions of unemployment insurance,
aid to the states, a Medicare "Doc Fix", and a variety of tax cuts
for small business, the GOP may finally have found its partisan
voice - a voice it was in danger of losing to the decentralized and
un-coordinated Tea Party movement.

And this was a very large win. For eight weeks, the Senate
Republicans forced the Democrats to negotiate with themselves
on the "price" of this aid package.

First, it started at $ 80 Billion - all funded by additional debt.
Then, it was $50 Billion - funded partly by new debt and partly
by unspent "stimulus" funds. Finally, it was $33 Billion - mostly
unemployment insurance, funded by a grab bag of tax increases,
spending cuts, stimulus money, and additional borrowing.

And very shrewdly, each time the Democrats made a concession,
the stronger the Republican opposition became. For, with this
"win" , the Republicans can sail into November pointing to two
signal accomplishments - they have drawn a line on additional
deficit spending, and they have highlighted the inability of
the Obama Administration and its Democratic majority in
Congress to deliver on relieving the genuine economic distress
of much of America.

And this message is going mostly unchallenged by the think
tanks, the "Liberal Media", and left-of-center thinkers generally.

Twenty or thirty years ago, this would have been unheard of.
Cut off the benefits of the unemployed? The "media" would have
been calling for demonstrations in the streets and widespread
civil disobedience. No aid to the states? The New York Times
and the Washington Post would have been up in arms about the
Nation's "Unmet Social Needs". And the "Doc Fix" and the other
programs? The beneficiaries of those programs are mostly in
Middle America - that great expanse between the coasts whose
inhabitants are viewed by both liberals and conservatives
with disdain and contempt.

What happened in the intervening time period? Three things.

First of all, the success of Bill Clinton and his embrace of
"Free Markets", "Trickle-Down Economics" and "Free Trade".
Compared with the utter failure of the last Democratic President
Jimmy Carter, the "New Realities" to Democrats became clear.
Market Economics had won the day. Deregulation of competition
and financial markets was the new watchword. A rising tide
would lift all boats - even the boats of the chronically
disadvantaged. Even the despised George Bush continued
in this same vein. While the Democrats rightly excoriated
him about plunging the nation into two unwinnable wars,
on economics the Democrats gave Bush a free pass;
the no-questions-asked bailouts of Wall Street, GM and
Chrysler passed with substantial Democratic support.

Second , there was the unusual ascent of Barack Obama to the
Presidency. He successfully defeated the all-but -crowned
Democratic nominee Hilary Clinton by casting himself as a
center-right, non-ideological alternative,thus winning
both the nomination and the Presidency not so much by the
overwhelming support of Blacks and Hispanics but by
convincing the non-ideological "center" that he was a
pragmatic, practical choice for difficult times.

Third, there was the increasing personal wealth of many
so-called liberals. Rising economic tides had brought many
obscure academics and writers to new levels of personal wealth.
Tenured left-of-center Economics professors began to earn
unheard-of sums for speaking engagements and consultancies
to Wall Street banks and hedge funds - in some cases, earning
more in one speech than their salaries from Academia. And then
there was the phenomenon of "liberal" lawmakers retiring from
politics to new careers as lobbyists for well-funded special interests.

Combine the new wealth with the well-documented cultural
contempt of many liberals for "the ordinary people" of "flyover
America", and the new paradigm of "socially liberal but fiscally
conservative" becomes completely understandable.

Put more bluntly, the sellout of liberalism by liberals for
personal gain was now complete.

And the Republicans changed also. Ditching the social and
religious conservatives as both ignorant and unreliable,
the GOP became unapologetically the party of Big Capital:
The Party of Wall Street and the hedge funds, The Party of
Big Pharma and Big Oil, The Party of Transnational
Corporations busy outsourcing and offshoring American
jobs, all in the name of "Free Markets" and "Capitalism".
And to their utter delight, they found that they had more
in common with their liberal colleagues than with other
Americans; how to get their kids into the "right" elite
schools, how to get in on the right hedge fund deal, how
to extract this private benefit or that from a compliant
government, how to make sure that their kids got a
scarce career-launching job or internship.

Bottom line: Their are only two classes of Americans
any more. The rich of both left and right, and the rest of us.

And in my opinion, that's not a recipe for continuing
social peace or order. Up until now, the American People
have been remarkably patient. Ten percent unemployment
is not pleasant, but we've always grown out of it before.

Not this time. In a year, unemployment will be 20% and rising,
the divide between rich and poor will be even greater, and the
first organized armed revolts since the Civil War may break out.

Mark Twain said History doesn't often repeat itself but that it
does rhyme. And the rhyme we would be repeating
would not be Philadelphia 1776, but Paris 1789.

These will be interesting times indeed.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sharron Angle: An Uphill Fight Until November

Now comes the hard part for Sharron Angle.

Having won the Republican nomination for the
Senate seat now held by Majority Leader Harry
Reid, Ms. Angle must now take on the mammoth
and well-funded Reid organization to prevail
in November.

And judging from what we have seen so far, it
isn't going to be easy.

First of all, the majority leader has only begun
to spend the $16 million he currently has in the
bank for the fall campaign. Another $9 million
is on the way (adding up to the predicted $25
million war chest), and already the effects are
very noticeable.

Reid signs and billboards are everywhere
overnight. The radio and TV airwaves are full
of Reid commercials, extolling the many "things"
good ol' Harry has done for Nevada. And this is just the
opening salvo.

The negative ads attacking Angle have yet to start.

And on the surface, there's plenty of material for them
to pick from. Angle's stated positions include the abolition
of Social Security, Medicare, the Departments of Energy
and Education and the IRS. Her other positions include
the abolition of the Federal Reserve, a return to the gold
standard, and reinstituting Prohibition.

Not exactly a "mainstream" conservative agenda - but
one calculated to appeal to the tin-hat and wingnut

And Ms. Angle shows few signs of "moderating" her
message. Despite a quick trip to Washington to meet
with top GOP operatives Dick Armey and Roger Ailes,
who advised her to downplay the "Tea Party" aspect of
her campaign, she promptly returned to Nevada to state
that we may need a "Second Amendment" solution to our
problems if things don't improve.

While this may play well to the "God and Guns" segment
of the electorate, it doesn't exactly sit well with mainstream
voters, who are far more worried about jobs and the economy
than taking to the streets with rifles and shotguns.

And this is starting to show up in some high-profile defections
from top GOP officeholders. The Republican mayor of Reno,
Bob Cashell, has come out for Reid, as has State Senate Majority
Leader Sig Rogich, who heads up the statewide "Republicans
For Reid" effort. Moreover, there are rumors that Sue Lowden,
of "cluckers for checkups" fame, may leave the GOP and endorse
Reid in the fall.

Add to this the fact that the big casino operators and mining
interests are all firmly in the Reid camp and Ms. Angle may
be outgunned on all sides.

But she has probably one one card to play - and that is to make
the election a referendum on Harry Reid himself - to make the
whole campaign one of Harry Reid vs. the little guy.

If I were Sharron Angles' campaign manager, I would be asking
just how Harry Reid's ties to big casino and mining interests,
his coziness with Big Government and Big Public Employee
Unions, and his slavish devotion to a far-left Democratic agenda
are going to help Nevada with its current 14.7% unemployment
rate and nation-leading foreclosure rate.

As a Senate Majority Leader he hasn't been particularly effective;
I can't imagine a Lyndon Johnson or even a Tom Daschle letting
himself get rolled on a badly-needed extension of unemployment
and Medicare benefits by members of his own party.

But I don't think that Sharron Angle is the solution - she's so
extreme that even Sarah Palin has avoided her. And while the
"Tea Partiers" may have had their feel-good moment in getting
her nominated, I think they are going to come up way short
in the fall.

And when Harry Reid exposes her "Club For Growth" backers
as apologists for multinational corporations (including BP),
the game will be all but over.

Anyhow, we'll see. A lot will happen between now and

Saturday, June 19, 2010

California's "Mama Grizzlies" - Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina

When Sarah Palin said that 2010 would be the year of
the Republican "Mama Grizzlies" , she wasn't kidding.

What she was referring to was the rise of conservative
Republican Women in this year's electoral contests.
And, there have been a number of very surprising
"Mama Grizzly" wins.

First there was the upset win in the South Carolina
Republican gubernatorial primary by Palin-endorsed
Nikki Haley. In deep-red-state South Carolina, winning
the Republican primary makes the attractive daughter
of Indian immigrants the odds-on favorite in November.

Next, there was the out-of-nowhere win by Tea Partier
Sharron Angle in the Nevada Primary to face Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid in the fall. However, as Ms.
Angle's somewhat extreme views become better known,
she may face an uphill fight in November against the
well-financed Reid.

But the biggest "Mama Grizzly" winners on Primary Day
were the California female multi-millionaire tech
CEO's - Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.

Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO now Republican
nominee for Governor, spent an unprecedented $71 Million
in the primary, and is prepared to spend up to $50 million
more in the general election contest against former Governor
Jerry Brown, making her campaign the most expensive
in California history. But, as a virtual unknown outside
corporate CEO circles, she contends that this was necessary
to succeed in the nation's most competitive and expensive
political media market.

Touting her experience in the business world as someone
who will "Get Things Done" for California, Whitman
has brought a raft of top-flight GOP endorsements to her
side, including Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney. Her
campaign manager is none other than former Republican
Governor and Senator Pete Wilson. And even though she
has been self-financed thus far, contributions from
GOP-affiliated PACS have been pouring in, as well as
money from the Republican National Committee and
the National Republican Governor's Conference.

Should she accept and spend all this money, hers will be
the second-most expensive Republican campaign in history,
behind only John McCain's 2008 Presidential bid.

And she will probably need to spend it all to win. Both parties
have identified the California gubernatorial race as one of
the most important in the nation, and former Governor
Brown will also be receiving major financial help from the
Democratic party. But, running in one of the most
liberal states in the union, with a built-in 60%-40%
disadvantage in voter registration, Whitman will
need to make a compelling case for change to go to
Sacramento. And I'm not sure that she can do it.

To begin with, most of California's problems do
not come from the Governor's mansion - rather, they
originate in a dysfunctional legislature which grinds
itself to gridlocked impotence every session in battles
between an extremely liberal Democratic majority
and an extremely conservative, compromise-hating
Republican minority.

In such an atmosphere, it's no surprise that California
has not produced a timely budget in the last seven years,
it's no surprise that the state is virtually broke, and it's no
surprise that the state has the nation's highest taxes, the
nation's worst business and regulatory climate, and a
bloated state bureaucracy almost third-world-like in
its incompetence and inefficiency.

Given this background, it's hard to see how Meg can
make a difference; if elected, she'll find out very quickly
that she cannot push around legislators and bureaucrats
like she did her employees. And Jerry Brown, well known
as "Governor Moonbeam" during his previous eight years
as Governor, might not do much better. But he'll at least
have the advantage of a legislative majority and the full
support of the highly-partisan state bureaucracy.

Given a "choice" of who is more likely to get necessary
change to stick in California, I would reluctantly have to
say Jerry Brown.

And this brings us to the other "Mama Grizzly" on the
California ticket - former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly
Fiorina, the Republican nominee for The Senate against
incumbent Barbara Boxer.

With Sen. Boxer's thin record of accomplishment in the
Senate, and her admittedly prickly and unpersonable
persona, she should be a vulnerable target. And, in
pre-primary matchups, she trailed all likely Republican
challengers - except Fiorina.

However, given her huge personal war chest (she spent
$19 million in her campaign), and a timely endorsement
from Sarah Palin, she easily beat underfunded true
conservative former legislator and Congressman
Tom Campbell, whose pre-primary polls showed him
beating Boxer 53%-47% in a general election contest.

However, unlike Meg Whitman, Fiorina's corporate
record of accomplishment is decidedly mixed. Her
stormy tenure as CEO of Hewlett-Packard was marked
by the botched acquisition of rival computer maker
Compaq, the layoff of 25,000 loyal, longtime H-P
employees, the subsequent outsourcing and offshoring
of another 20,000 H-P positions, a 50% decline in H-P's
stock price, and loss of market share in all of H-P's important
businesses. Ultimately, it took the intervention of the Hewlett
and Packard families with H-P's board to hand Fiorina her
walking papers and multimillion-dollar golden parachute.

That Boxer's campaign people rated Fiorina the candidate
they would most prefer to face in the general election doesn't
help either.

And this points up the biggest problem that both of California's
"Mama Grizzlies" face - they are both too corporate and too far
removed from the struggles of California's overtaxed and
overstressed electorate to be credible "tribunes of the people".
Neither is an authentic conservative - and in an era when the
legitimacy of Corporate America is very much in question,
"Corporate" experience is very much a coin of doubtful value.

This is not to say that the Democrats are any better - Barbara
Boxer is well-known as the Senate's "Queen of Mean", with a
heartfelt and documented contempt for ordinary people
only an elitist could love. And Jerry Brown wasn't called
"Governor Moonbeam" for nothing - some his positions on
the issues went beyond the quixotic to the downright
bizarre. And this time around, he's referred to as
"Governor Moonbat" (as in "Bat@#*t Crazy").

You have to feel sorry for Californians - with such a beautiful
state, perfect climate, and a unique culture the whole world
wants to emulate you would think that they would produce
political leaders to match. But they haven't. And in these
two important races, they won't be choosing between
"the lesser of two evils" - rather they'll be embracing
"The Evil of Two Lessers".

Friday, June 18, 2010

Back On The Blog

It's been an interesting week.

I've had about a week off, but now it's time to go
Back To The Blog.

Last week, I took a much-needed few days off to attend a
family reunion in Monterey, CA. In that I had waited just
a bit too long to get a cheap airline ticket from Las Vegas
(I could have flown on a last minute Priceline deal, but it
would have entailed a four-hour wait in Salt Lake City in
each direction), I decided instead to drive.

From Las Vegas to Monterey ( actually Salinas), is about
591 miles, so I was expecting a pleasant eight or nine
hour jaunt. Loading up my trusty Jeep with my overnight
bag and some bottled water, I set out across the Nevada
desert to Barstow - the first refueling point and the takeoff
for Central California.

Heading west on California Highway 58, you transit
through miles of Joshua Tree scrubland, past the town
of Boron with its tribute to the "Twenty-Mule-Team" of
Death Valley Days fame, and skirt the town of Mojave,
with its airport a sea of mothballed retired airliners.
Then, you start to climb up out of the Antelope Valley
toward the town of Tehachapi and its world-famous
railroad grade of switchbacks and tunnels, which parallels
the highway and offers a spectacular view of mountains
and bristle pines, with air so cool you can turn off your
air conditioning, even in the middle of June.

Crossing the Tehachapi summit, you descend into the
Bakersfield area, where despite the much-advertised
water restrictions, Big Agriculture appears to be
thriving. Motoring past miles and miles of orange and
almond groves, you arrive at the city of Bakersfield,
home of country music stars Buck Owens and Merle

A running California joke is that if for some reason
you want to impress people that you are "country",
or "a redneck", or a "hick", you don't have to pretend
that you are from Arkansas, Tennessee or Oklahoma -
just say you're from Bakersfield or Fresno and they'll
get it. And judging from the number of pickup trucks
and farm vehicles I saw, it's probably accurate.

Heading North on California 99 - the main artery of
the San Joaquin Valley, you leave Bakersfield looking
for Highway 41 and the Wasco exit. Turning onto 41,
you pass Wasco and more miles and miles of almond
orchards and alfalfa fields until finally you get to
open rangeland, with real cattle and cowboys on
horseback. Finally you come to the little hamlet
of Lost Hills where Interstate 5 cross the 41. This
is the next refueling stop and now it's time for lunch
and stretching the legs.

Leaving Lost Hills and its surrounding oil fields (the
area resembles nothing so much as West Texas with
the oil derricks and bobbing pumps), you stay on
41 all the way to the picturesque town of Paso Robles,
with its surrounding wineries and green fields of
broccoli and asparagus. Leaving Paso Robles,
you head north on US Highway 101, and cover the
last ninety miles to the Salinas-Monterey area,
the Salad Capital of California.

After a pleasant three days in Monterey, we retraced
the same route back to Vegas, the trusty ol' Jeep riding
the road as if on rails and putting out a respectable 22
mpg at 75 miles per hour without even breathing hard.
Upon arriving back in Vegas, I found a small assignment
waiting for me. Now that that is out of the way, it's Back
On The Blog - with lots to talk about.

First topic up will be the rise of California's two Republican
Mama Grizzlies - Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina, running
for Governor and The Senate respectively. Both are hugely
wealthy ex-tech CEO's, and both are intent on using their
accumulated fortunes to attain office.

In my view, the record of wealthy ex-CEO's succeeding
in government is decidedly mixed, as the skill sets
required to be a CEO and a success in government are not
the same. But, that is a topic we'll examine in the next

All in all, it's good to be home - and good to be Back On The Blog.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eye on Nevada: Sharron Angle Surges Forward !

What is probably the most-watched political contest in the
Nation will be decided tomorrow.

And, against all odds, it appears that Northern Nevada's
Sharron Angle will get the nod to go up against embattled
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

When I first wrote in these pages three months ago about
Reid's travails, I predicted that the GOP would quickly coalesce
around either Sue Lowden, former State Senate Majority leader
and State GOP Chair, or behind businessman Danny Tarkanian,
the son of UNLV coaching legend Jerry Tarkanian.

Both are attractive, articulate candidates and early polls
showed both leading Reid by statistically significant margins.
At that time, Sharron Angle was a minor candidate of the
Libertarian fringe, with virtually no name recognition in
Clark County or the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

Therefore, I didn't even mention her as a factor in the
race. And, like all pundits both famous and obscure, I
do sometimes Get It Wrong.

In the past three months, Sharron Angle has shot from
obscurity to leading the polls, not only in the Primary
contest but against Harry Reid in the general election.
The Reno Gazette has her leading Reid 47% - 41%, while
the larger Las Vegas Review-Journal poll has Angle leading
Reid 44%-41%, (Tarkanian also leads Reid 45% - 41%) .

And in the primary, the polls break down this way:

Angle - 32%

Tarkanian - 24%

Lowden - 23%

Minor candidates and undecided - 21%

Clearly an outstanding result for an outstanding and
unwavering conservative. But, she has had some
important help along the way.

First, the Tea Party Express (the closest thing to a
national Tea Party organization), endorsed her at its
Washington conference in April. This brought the Angle
campaign national-level organizational talent and badly
needed funding. Next, the Club For Growth came aboard
with more money and organizational help.

And then, Divine Providence struck.

As we previously reported, Sue Lowden's campaign
almost totally self-destructed over "Cluckers For Checkups";
the wildly humorous soundbite that transformed Lowden
from political leader to an object of national ridicule overnight.
Incredibly, when given the opportunity to "walk back"
her comments in a friendly media forum, she instead
expanded on them and went on to opine as to how "barter"
could be acceptable health care reform.

Exposed as an out-of-touch Establishment elitist, her
campaign never recovered - indeed, in both statewide polls,
she now trails Reid 46%-41%.

But, there's a lot of time between now and the General
Election. Harry Reid has amassed $9 million of the
estimated $25 million he will need for the general
election, and he has made it clear to Democratic
audiences that he will "vaporize" any opponent
with a tidal wave of attack ads. And Sharron Angle
has just enough "libertarian" baggage (abolish
Social Security, The Fed, The IRS), to provide some
grist for Reid's mill.

But to many Nevadans, that may not matter. In
their eyes, Harry Reid has gone from Representing
Nevada in Washington to Representing Washington
in Nevada.

And when it comes to things like the economy,
joblessness, and foreclosures, Reid isn't just useless -
he's rapidly becoming irrelevant, along with the vast
majority of incumbents of both parties.

It's not news that we badly need change in Washington;
and I am now convinced beyond a doubt that re-electing
incumbents is not the way to get it. With only a few
exceptions, I am recommending that whenever you
encounter an incumbent on a ballot for any national,
state or local office You Vote For The Other Guy.

When things get this bad, some new faces couldn't
possibly do any worse.