Monday, January 25, 2010

“That Dog Don’t Hunt”
by John Alexander Madison
January 25, 2010

You may have heard that expression before, especially if you are from the South...but for those of you from Yorba Linda, CA let me explain. It means something is not right, something is bogus. A reference to hunting dogs, it means as they age they lose their ability to smell. They don’t work anymore, as hunting dogs.

Translation: Poor English aside, Mr. President, we ain’t buying it no more. After your improbable ascension to the White House exactly 53 weeks ago today you, and only you, must be held accountable for our nation’s economic disaster and each and every one of your failed policies.

Yet today brings us news that the President’s campaign manager, Dave Plouffe, has been hired as a political consultant to the White House as planning for the midterm elections heats up. This is the same Plouffe whose winning strategy was to “blame it on Bush.” It worked then and it seems they plan to resurrect that theme as they gear up for the 2010 midterm elections. Many political experts expect that these current plans will go up in smoke, as in “plouffe.”

Fox News reports that “the president's party is facing a stiff headwind from an electorate angry about high unemployment and what they see as ineffectual government, White House officials said. Republican Scott Brown's capture of the Massachusetts Senate seat Tuesday was a first shot in what Democrats worried would be hard-fought contests in November.”

However, if anybody is counting it is at least the fourth shot heard ‘round the world...the first being the line from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Concord Hymn” (1837), which referred to the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, then the recent New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races being #s 2 and 3.

I digress when I share with you that my father determined studying Shakespeare at a young age would be a regular appetizer for a weekly family dinner. (circa 1954 “Oh dad, come on, we’re hungry.” circa 2010 “Thanks, dad, for the great early learning experiences which continue to serve me well today.”)

One of my favorite recollections is from Bill Shakespeare’s Hamlet (Act 2, scene 2, 92-99). reminds me that in one of the funniest scenes in Hamlet, the politician Polonius, who has declared that "Brevity is the soul of wit", continues to enlarge upon Hamlet's supposed madness. The impatient Queen dryly demands "More matter with less art," that is, more substance and less rhetoric. (Translation: cut the b.s.)

Your noble son is mad:
Mad call I it, for to define true madness,
What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
But let that go.

More matter with less art.
Madam, I swear I use no art at all
That he's mad, 'tis true, 'tis true 'tis pity,
And pity 'tis 'tis true—a foolish figure,
But farewell it, for I will use no art.

So, Mr. President, we can and must learn from history. Rhetoric is boring. Americans reject socialism. Results are what matters.


The great poet and philosopher Horace once wrote “Carpe diem” which translates to "seize the day". Carpe means "pick, pluck, pluck off, gather", but Horace uses the word to mean "enjoy, make use of."

Bush (#43) messed up a bit and, Mr. President (#44), you have messed up in spades in one-eighth the time. So now it’s time to move forward with a more rationale plan to save our nation. And that plan cannot include any of your failed initiatives. Let’s seize this moment and move forward.

And as the philosopher Carrington once wrote: Yesterday is history, tomorrow your future. Move forward.

Indeed, let’s move forward together before it is too late.

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