Sunday, February 19, 2012


Tom Friedman increasingly seems like your crazy uncle in the attic -- yes, even more than usual. He's obsessed with the notion that a third-party presidential candidate court take America by storm, inspiring us with soul-stirring exhortations on the subject of ... er, um, fiscal prudence. Friedman has now found his white knight:

I know what I'd pay good money to see: an intelligent independent candidate just taking part in the presidential debates, because it would make both Obama and his Republican opponent better. One independent I'd like to see play that role is David Walker.

Walker was the country's chief auditor, serving from 1998 to 2008 as the U.S. comptroller general. He is currently the chief executive of the Comeback America Initiative (, a nonpartisan group dedicated to getting America's fiscal house in order. Walker ... came in second to Hillary Clinton in a reader poll that Politico conducted last October for favorite Third Party candidate....

Oh, yeah, that -- a poll so believable that Politico wouldn't even release the raw vote totals. All we know is that Politico put a few people on the online ballot and readers nominated a few others, among them Walker. Walker then scored 19% of the vote in the ten-candidate field, ahead of folks such as David Petraeus, Condi Rice, Jon Huntsman, and Mike Bloomberg, but far behind Hillary (25%). Walker apparently generates enthusiasm in certain corners:

"A fiscal beast!" tweeted Walker voter @MichaelEylerts.

Yeah, that's what America wants in parlous times: a former comptroller general who's "a fiscal beast." (As for his champion, that would be this Michael Eylerts: the pink-cheeked "inaugural Vice-President of 'No Labels at the Florida State University'" and "a former digital media intern for No Labels," who "has grown tired of hyper-partisanship, ideological extremism and fiscal insecurity." So, um, here's a very young man who's thrown in his lot with the much-mocked No-Party Party, which makes him representative of ... what sector of the American electorate exactly?)

As for Walker himself, you can read here about the "fiscal wake-up tour" he was conducting back in ... 2007. He was hoping to influence the 2008 election. Guess what? You've never heard of him. Neither had I until I read his name in Friedman's column. Nobody read or discussed his 2010 book, Comeback America.

Gosh, you'd think those great believers in fiscal responsibility, the teabaggers, would have flocked to this guy! But gosh, guess what? They didn't -- presumably because he didn't say our problems are all the fault of liberal socialist Kenyan Alinskyites. (Oh, and he does think we need to rase taxes. Next!)

Friedman keeps telling us that America has a deep hunger to hear this message, and today he reminds us that there's a guy who's been actively pushing this message for years, in a fairly high-profile way -- that link above about the "fiscal wake-up tour" was from 60 Minutes -- and still it's had no impact.

Look, we Americans don't want to blame ourselves -- we want to blame others. Sometimes we're right to feel that way. (We liberals weren't the ones who supported fighting the Iraq War while simultaneously cutting taxes. Nor did we request the removal of all effective oversight from Wall Street.) Nobody wants this eat-your-vegetables message -- we want someone else to start eating vegeatables first.


The New York Crank said...

In the same piece today, Friedman referred to Obama as "left of center."

Left of center of what? Does Friedman have any idea where the center is? Does he even know his left from his right?

Why are we even listening to a man who spent over a year telling us in so many of his columns that the earth is flat. (Yes, I know he was only using it as a metaphor, but the metaphors a man choses tells us a lot about where his head is. His is in the 12th Century.)

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Ten Bears said...

parlous? Nice!

Out here in Oregon, No Party means no party.

Raenelle said...

Friedman is simply reflecting the biases and ideology of the class to which he belongs. Marxist explanations of the world are scary accurate lately.

Danp said...

Walker is a hero to Paulistas. Nuff said.

Linkmeister said...

Walker is one of Pete Peterson's fair-haired boys, working for one or another of Peterson's safety-net destroying foundations.

'Nuff said.

Kevin Hayden said...

Friedman has many odd celeb posters in his mansion that he masturbates to. Yet none of his emissions have yet reached his condom.