Maybe it's his hair, but now that Donald Trump has muscled his way into the upcoming presidential race, I can't help thinking about a popular television show from 40 years ago, "The Mod Squad," a show that was billed as "three young outsiders who fight crime as undercover agents of the police."
We've come a long way, baby! Trump, Palin, and party are, of course, the complete antithesis of the "Mod Squad."
There are, of course, several important differences. For openers, among the candidates currently vying for first place on the Republican ticket, there are no people of color. There was a person of color, Michael Steele, who was chair of the Republican party, but he got bumped. Oh, and also, Michele Bachmann isn't a blonde, or if she is, her hairdresser isn't talking.
But, alas, there is one similarity. Homeland Security, and high tech policing, are every bit as omnipresent in this administration as they were in the Bush years, and there is no pretention of dismantling the highly developed infrastructure of electronic surveillance, so in effect, government officials of both parties, may be seen as working undercover for enforcement of a new kind of "law and order" ushered in by the so-called Patriot Act.
One thing should be crystal clear after weeks of nonstop media coverage of Paul Ryan lipsynching Ronald Reagan, about the only thing we can expect from the Republican party in the coming years is skillful recycling of an economic policy that served as fertilizer for the economic collapse from which it's taking so long to recover.
So, a modern day version of the 1973 TV show might instead be called "The Poop Squad" as the neo-conservative agenda radical right wing agenda ushered in by tea party favorites like Rand Paul, Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Newt Gingrich, Dick Armey, is nothing more than a political form of the Herpes virus which both appears and disappears without rhyme or reason.
All the emphasis on the authenticity of Mr. Obama's birth certificate is, after all, only so much manure thrown in the path of an oncoming train to deflect attention away from the dubious legitimacy of a message that can only deflate day by day. The only thing the birther movement has been able to establish is just how irrelevant their message is to all the many who are hurting in this country.
Witness, for instance, their outdated, and wildly disproven, claim that raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans will be bad for job creation. After George W. Bush cut taxes dramatically on the upper 2% of the population, how much job creation did we see in this country? Zip.
More importantly, virtually every national poll conducted since the president made his state of the budget speech about a week ago shows that just about the only folks who don't want to raise taxes on the rich happen to work in Congress, and almost 100% of them are of Palin's party. MSNBC reported last night that something like two-thirds of independents, more than 90% of Democrats, and more than half of Republicans want to raise taxes on the wealthy as a way to trim the deficit.
Oh, and make no mistake, while Sarah Palin may not be running for president in 2012, or at any other time, she is now the face of the Republican Party.
Whatever else on might say about House speaker John Boehner, he sure knows how to stick to the script, a script that Sarah Palin, Dick Armey, and the born again Birchers wrote.
Savor the irony, too, when a congressman from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, in a state that has now become synonymous with attempted union busting, has the temerity to look to trickle-down Reaganomics as a paradigm for deficit reduction, and lowering taxes on the upper 2% as a stimulus for business, per the George W. Bush model, two presidents who ran record deficits.
Surely, Rep. Ryan remembers how Reagan crushed the air traffic controller's union. We are now living with the consequences of that kind of union busting. Every time an air traffic controller falls asleep on the job, think of it as a tip of the hat to Ronald Reagan.
What's even more scary is the underlying thought processes of someone like Ryan that all we need to do is reverse the New Deal, rein in spending on social programs, "privatize" which is essentially code for a return to complete deregulation, and the economy will stabilize.
And, while Trump made millions saying "You're fired," it is doubtful that we'd hear a chorus of "You're hired" should he to take the wheel at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
As for Ms. Bachmann, the national debt would probably diminish rapidly by reason of a simple misplacement of decimals. The Pentagon budget would increase exponentially by a simple misplacement of decimals, and the commander-in-chief would soon be able to see Beijing from the White House lawn.
So that leaves Pawlenty and Romney. Pawlenty might have a chance, but he doesn't go to the same hairdresser as Mr. Trump. As for Mitt Romney, by the time the "mad squad" gets done, he'll look like the only rational voice in the race, and with Romney the Supreme Court's recent ruling, Citizens United, which effectively officially corporatizes the U.S. will be a done deal.
During the upcoming presidential campaign season, we may then see not only the Ryans, Trumps, Pauls and Bachmanns out with their pooper scoopers at those Sunday morning press conferences, but those blue dog Democrats who secretly line up behind them by failing to speak out strongly enough for those values that have emboldened The Poop Squad to try to strip what remains of the New Deal.