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Posts Tagged ‘Mitt Romney’

(In no particular order)

1. Tax cuts for the wealthy

2. Curtailment of female reproductive rights

3. Repeal of Health Care Reform and, ultimately, social safety nets

4. Privatization of everything (see above)

5. Crush unions

6. Start least one more war

7. Obama is an uppity —— who hates America

8. Obama is an uppity —— who hates America

9. Obama is an uppity —— who hates America

10. Obama is an uppity —— who hates America

11. Obama is an uppity —— who hates America

12. Obama is an uppity —— who hates America

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The right to vote—the very foundation of the American idea—is drenched in blood, something precious beyond value, for which men and women have fought, suffered and died. The franchise is a right once confined to white male property owners, and only after centuries of struggle was it extended to African-Americans, women, and all other citizens over the age of 18.

Now, all across the nation, Republican state governments are waging war on voting. Using the ruse of “voter fraud”—an invented non-crisis—GOP governors and legislatures, many of them installed in the 2010 elections, are ramming through Voter ID laws that may suppress turnout by several million in 2012. These laws disproportionately affect the elderly, infirm, minorities, the poor and students—most historically Democratic constituencies. In many cases, voters who have cast ballots for decades must now obtain and produce new forms of identification in order to make their voices heard. Often this requires travel and considerable cost—effectively, an unconstitutional poll tax—and a descent into Kafkaesque bureaucracy.

The goal, of course, is that millions of potentially Democratic voters will throw their hands up, surrender—and stay home on Election Day.

The goal, of course, is to defeat Barack Obama.

It’s an old story. The GOP has always sought to suppress turnout. What’s tragic is that the right wing is receiving some unexpected help—from some of our friends on the left.

Disappointed that the President has not ushered in a progressive utopia, some liberals in the media and in cyberspace are encouraging their compatriots to stay home, or perhaps, waste their votes on quixotic “Obama alternatives” like Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson.

Despite unbending opposition from GOP filibusterers in the Senate, and a radical Tea Party House, President Obama has forged a record of domestic legislative accomplishment unsurpassed since the Great Society era of Lyndon Johnson. He saved the American auto industry—and saved America from a second Great Depression.  Millions more Americans will have health coverage—saving untold lives. Gays and Lesbians can now serve openly in the military. In the area of foreign policy the Obama years have seen the end of Osama bin Laden and many  other al Qaeda leaders, the fall of Ghadafy, the end of the Iraq War and a drawdown in Afghanistan. And the Obama administration has ushered in a new era of “smart power”—an antidote to the cowboy neoconservatism that brought on one needless war, another grossly mismanaged and prolonged conflict, thousands of deaths and the accumulation of massive debt. Not to mention the diminishment of America’s standing in the world.

I do not assert for a minute that President Obama is beyond criticism. I have been frustrated at times by his over-willingness to compromise with uncompromising foes, among other things, as well as the Big Pharma deal and a failure to address adequately the foreclosure crisis. But I would take Barack Obama on his worst day before turning the country over to a radicalized, right wing Republican party.

Some liberals seem to think otherwise. They are miffed that Obama hasn’t broken up the big banks and prosecuted Wall Street malefactors who destroyed the economy. They are miffed that he hasn’t closed Gitmo, and that he signed the NDAA. They are miffed that he “caved” on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy (never mind that everyone else’s taxes would also have risen). They are miffed about his environmental record, and the Keystone Pipleline. They are miffed that he has not come out strongly for marriage equality—even though he repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and has ceased to defend DOMA.

They are miffed that he hasn’t beaten the crap out of Dick Cheney.

All those criticisms have validity. What does not is the response of some disappointed, self-styled progressives: To elect the likely GOP nominee, Willard Mitt Romney.

Oh, they haven’t come out and said it. But the liberal pundits who—like spurned lovers—daily trash the President, who urge progressives to stay home and “send a message,” or vote for a doomed third party candidate, or write in Pat Paulsen—they are essentially wearing Romney 2012 buttons.

For anyone to the left of Joe Scarborough, this is sheer folly. The notion that “they’re all alike” and that a vote for Obama is cast for  “the lesser of two evils” is patently absurd.

Look what’s happening in Congress and across the country. Not only are voting rights under siege, but…

The right wing has waged war on women’s health and reproductive rights—God help the rape or incest victim who seeks to terminate a pregnancy. Even birth control might be imperiled

Republicans advocate the destruction of social safety nets, privatization that will force many seniors and working Americans into poverty. Their “trickle down” policies have yielded historic income inequality—can you imagine what life would be like under Mitt “Bain Capital” Romney?

The radical GOP has also waged war on unions and workers—advocating not only the elimination of the minimum wage and workplace rights, but a rollback of child labor laws. Yes, for the love of God, child labor laws.

A Republican-dominated government would  see the end of myriad environmental and safety regulations—making Barack Obama look like Bill McKibben.

LGBT? Tough. If the GOP has its way, DADT will be reinstated and marriage equality will become a hopeless cause—and Dan Choi can chain himself to the White House gates till Doomsday

Disappointed with Obama’s record on civil liberties? Try your luck with a GOP administration.

What of the Supreme Court? Imagine the ramifications if Romney appoints two more conservatives: A 7-2 right wing majority that, for many of us, will last the rest of our lives.

And, lest we forget, foreign policy: Mitt Romney will bet you 10 grand that within the next four years we will be at war with Iran—or Syria, or someone else—if he’s elected.

Elections have consequences. Several hundred fewer liberal Ralph Nader voters in 2000 might have saved us the Bush years. A bit less liberal apathy in 2010—especially at the state level—might have spared us Scott Walker, John Kasich, Rick Snyder and Rick Scott, not to mention a House full of teabagging wingnuts.

Liberals, before you stay home or throw your vote away, think. Would you rather press President Obama for the next four years—or surrender the country to the Dark Side.

That’s what I call “caving.”

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In 1976, shortly after Jimmy Carter was elected president and the post-Watergate GOP lay in ruins, there was an episode of All in the Family in which Archie and Meathead argue over the election. Archie, of course, has the last word—and the final line of the show:

“Yeah—we’ll you’re gonna get Reagan in ’80!!!”

It was meant, of course, as a laugh line—pathetic and absurd. And—whether enhanced in the studio or not—it achieved the desired guffaws, chortles, et. al.

Well, we know how that one turned out.

I’m reminded of that episode today, as Newt Gingrich surges to the top of the GOP pack. Many of my fellow liberals in the media are crowing, rubbing their hands in glee, and all but doing a victory dance—a year early—over the prospect of corrupt, caddish Newtie going up against President Obama. Rachel Maddow—whom I love dearly—crows about it most every night. Pundit after pundit—Republicans included—dismiss Gingrich as unelectable.

Maybe they’re right. They probably are. Newt’s bubble may burst well before Iowa.

But please, Democrats, liberal and otherwise: Don’t spike the ball yet. Despite his titanic flaws, we might still get Gingrich in ’12.

I say this not only because I’m superstitious and constitutionally pessimistic—on Election Night 2008, I sat with my wife in a Barnes & Noble café until I’d learned from the barista that Obama had won Pennsylvania and Ohio, and only then raced home to watch the returns, and savor Keith Olbermann’s announcement of my candidate’s resounding victory.

I clung to this pessimism because I simply did not think this country would elect a black man named Barack Hussein Obama. This despite all the polls, despite the fact that some weeks before the election, a friend of mine who’d appeared on a show with GOP strategist Ed Rollins, had relayed to me that a disgusted Rollins had said off-camera, “It’s over.”

But even leaving aside my own neuroses, there are plenty of reasons to be very afraid. The President could be undone, Newt notwithstanding, by any number of factors, such as

  1. GOP economic sabotage continuing to work
  2. The Europe mess
  3. FOX news—and friends; yes, they were there in ’08, but the propaganda and disinformation juggernaut is larger, more virulent than ever. And remember, there was no Tea Party in 2008.
  4. The other mainstream media: They’re sloppy, lazy and terrified of being labeled “liberal.” Hence the false equivalencies, etc.
  5. Citizen’s United, which has given ALEC, Rove et. al., unlimited influence. Next time liberals bash Obama for going to a big-ticket fundraiser, keep this in mind. We’d love to get money out of politics—but for the moment, it’s very much here.
  6. Race: A recent study concluded that Obama lost 5 points because of racism. Do the math. And Newt Gingrich, an angry old white guy, is the perfect candidate to channel Caucasian hate and rage.
  7. Voter Suppression: One of the dire consequences of the 2010 elections has been the dominance of the Right Wing agenda on the state and local level. Using the ruse of near nonexistent voter fraud, there is a coordinated—and downright evil—attempt by Republicans to make it difficult for minorities, the elderly and young people to vote. Of course, this chiefly affects constituencies far more likely to vote for Barack Obama
  8. Liberal self-sabotage: I am not one of those people who says that one must never criticize the President. I disagree with many of the things he’s done. But at some point before the election, Cenk Ugyur, Bernie Sanders (my favorite Senator), Cornel West, Tavis Smiley and all those aggrieved lefty bloggers had better lighten up. Liberal disaffection and apathy may well have played a role in the 2010 debacle. That was disastrous. In 2012 it could be catastrophic. The GOP is doing enough to suppress Democratic turnout. Let’s not abet them. If Romney or Gingrich wins, you will beg for Obama on his worst day
  9. Maybe Newt isn’t so unelectable: Americans tend to have short memories, and believe in second (or third) chances. Perhaps even for someone who got kicked out of Congress, did shady deals, supports child labor, and dumped his cancer-stricken wife on her hospital bed. What Newt has going for him is the appearance of strength. Americans like that—more, perhaps, than the cringing, dissembling, waffling displays of Willard Mitt Romney.
  10. Wild cards, domestic or international

There are other hazards, of course. At bottom, I believe—much as I genuinely love Joe Biden—that the only way to ensure the President’s reelection is for him to run with Hillary Clinton. He’d take heat for having her bail him out. But I believe it would secure most every swing state.

That’s not going to happen. In my heart, I believe the President will be reelected anyway.

But in the meantime, don’t gloat over Gingrich.

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First, the Losers:

1) Herman Cain, obviously.

2) The GOP: Just one more embarrassment spilling out of the clown car.

3) The Koch Brothers: Herm‘s their employee.

4) The American People—Because of the fact that, scandal or not, for a few more news cycles Herman Cain will be discussed as a real presidential candidate.

and the winners:

1) Herman Cain —he’ll play the victim, sell more books, get the Fox gig and maybe even Dancing With the Stars

2) Rick Perry — The anti Romney vote has nowhere else to go; if he can suck up Cain’s RWNJ voters in Iowa, S.C and Fla., he can make a righty run at the Mittster.

3) Mitt Romney— Perry is incompetent and even if he temporarily absorbs Herm’s wingnuts, he’ll find a way to f— it up; the rest of the clowns make even Mitt—the spineless, oily, flip-flopping, plutocratic weasel—look statesmanlike.

4) The media—Another nice, sensational story to keep them from covering issues that matter to the American people.

5) President Obama—Every day, and in every way, the GOP freak show makes him look better and better.

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In the latest expression of voter dissatisfaction with the Republican Presidential field, Roman emperor Caligula has edged ahead of Mitt Romney for second place behind Herman Cain, according to a poll of Iowa GOP voters conducted by the Family News Service.

Caligula drew 24 percent, within two points of Cain, and two points ahead of Romney, in a sampling of 1,000 likely voters. Newt Gingrich followed with 10 percent, while Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann were tied at 7 percent. Incitatus, Caligula’s horse, polled at 2  percent, one up on Jon Huntsman.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.

Caligula’s sudden rise is somewhat surprising, given his licentiousness and Paganism– as Iowa is a state where GOP voters tend toward social conservatism. But according to Family News Service pollster Bland Blakely, “His tough stands on immigration and teachers unions, as well as his vow to repeal Obamacare  have earned him a close look.

“But above all, he’s executed a lot of people, which plays very well with the base.”

Caligula will meet with Donald Trump this coming Wednesday

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Dear Mr. President,

I apologize for having been out of touch lately. Life has intruded and I’ve taken a break from my blog. But recent events, and the looming 2012 election have roused me from my slumber.

I needn’t tell you, or any reasonable person, that the sane wing of the Republican Party (and there is one) is being held hostage by its ignorant, fanatical, lunatic fringe—the Mo Brookses, Allen Wests, Joe Walshes, Paul Brouns, Louie Gohmerts and, of course, Michele Bachmanns—known loosely as the Tea Party. And, since the GOP controls the House, thanks in part to catastrophic Democratic and moderate-independent apathy in 2010, these inbred nutbags—and I say that with tough love— have a gun to the entire nation’s left temple.

It is considered vile to casually invoke 9/11; I’ve criticized plenty of people for comparing you and other Democrats to terrorists, merely, for example, because you believe every person’s life is equally precious—regardless of investment portfolio—and that, therefore, we are all equally entitled to the best health care. But the analogy here, amid the trumped up “debt ceiling fight,” is inescapable. Just as the al- Qaeda fanatics flew planes into the World Trade Center, symbol of American corporate and commercial power, the Tea Partyists are on a suicide mission to take down the entire U.S. economy, either in the service of their hysterical Ayn Randian ideology, a belief that the world is only 6,000 years old and that the moon landing was staged, or simply because they figure that you will go down in the wreckage and that we’ll have a white president in heaven. (Harold Camping, if possible.)

These people must be stopped. And after wracking my brain, I’ve realized that the answer has been staring me in the face since November 2008. And it finally struck me this week: When you more or less endorsed the Gang of Six deficit reduction strategy, a GOP aide immediately proclaimed that you’d doomed the plan just by praising it. We’ve long known that if you discovered a cure for cancer, the GOP would attack you for endangering the medical, pharmaceutical and funereal industries. If Obama is for it, we’re against it.

So how best to undo the Tea Party? Embrace it. Sing the praises of Loopy Louie and Batshit Bachmann. Just as you may have given Mitt Romney the kiss of death by praising his health care program, wrap your arms around the Teasters and give them a big , sloppy smooch. Borrow one of those Lady Liberty hats from Mrs. Clarence Thomas and slip on an “I Heart Grover Norquist” T-shirt. Let Jane Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald  and Adam Green and Ed Schultz go medieval on you. That will only help (especially if they’re in on the plot, then they can lay it on extra thick).

I you say “Up,” they say “Down.” If you say, “For the love of God, don’t let us default,” they’ll say “Default, shmefault—what, us worry?” So, if you want to drive them even more nuts than they already are, and consign their dangerously psychotic ideology to the dustbin of history, agree with them. Give them some love.

And question your own birth certificate while you’re at it.

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Well, the “lamestream media” are at it again. While channel-surfing today, I caught the “CNN Political Ticker” and wouldn’t you know it, the first item on the list was Sarah Palin‘s Narcissipalooza Bus Tour of the Northeast, where she will likely encounter hostile crowds but, more to the point, hordes of, well, lamestream media. You know, the ones Palin trashes—and whose attention she so ravenously seeks.

I have never seen this mystical charisma Palin is supposed to have. Aside from the fact that she’s a know-nothing hate-monger, she delivers her inane babble in a strident screech that assaults the senses. Of course, the real reason the lamestreamers cover her so reflexively and religiously is that Palin is a perpetual trainwreck, with every earth-shatteringly stupid run-on sentence, every manufactured slight and drama. She’s a “mean girl,” an amoral, petulant, vindictive, self-absorbed adolescent—and these days that’s media gold.

In any event, after the Palin item, CNN’s ticker went on to tell us something or other about Mitt Romney going to New Hampshire. Or maybe it was Iowa–he’s a pathological flip-flopper, after all. Someone who was still listening might set me straight. The point is, that Palin, who has not declared her candidacy for anything, got top billing, while the Mittster got sloppy seconds.

Now, Lawrence O’Donnell and other sharp political minds have pointed out that the odds that Sarah Palin actually will run for President are next to nil. Beyond her base—the extremist Ignoramiat—her approval numbers (especially post-“blood libel”) are in the outhouse. What’s more, holding high public office would mean she’d actually have to learn something and, worse still, do some work. Gone would be the professional celebrity, the reality show, the obscene speaking fees.

But, as Lawrence also reminded us, as long as Palin pretends to maybe possibly kinda sorta run for POTUS—or something—she’ll continue to command the notice she so desperately craves, as well as the big bucks. It had to be killing SarahPac to see Donald Trump, Paul Ryan and the actual GOP Presidential hopefuls—Newt, Mitt, T-Paw and Palin’s stunt-double, Michele Bachmann— hoover up all that press coverage in recent weeks. Not to mention President Obama, that anti-American pal of terrorists who—what was it again? Oh, right, he killed Osama bin Laden. It got so bad that Newsweek actually ran a story titled “Is Sarah Palin Over?”

Well, electorally, she was done long ago. But as a celebrity, not so much. And now, Sarah Palin is back, with not only the bus tour, but a self-produced “documentary” on—what else?—Sarah Palin. And right now, that’s driving the rest of the GOP hopefuls—and strategic geniuses like Karl Rove—as batshit as Bachmann.

I used to beg my journalistic colleagues to ignore Palin; and, yes, I was enjoying her absence. But even as my soul cringes at her return, the Democrat in me welcomes it with open arms, knowing that Mitt, T-Paw and whoever else are pulling out tufts of hair and grinding their teeth to nubs, as SarahPac’s greedy fame-whoring overshadows their efforts to capture press and public interest. The more Palin makes herself the face of the GOP, the better.

Along with Paul Ryan and that rogue’s gallery of Republican swing-state governors—Rick Scott, Scott Walker, John Kasich and Rick Snyder—Sarah Palin is one of Barack Obama’s greatest assets.

So, Sarah, reload, hit the road and babble on….

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