Archive for the ‘2012 Campaign’ Category

I confess to the temptation, when writing about this subject, to write too much. But I won’t because the argument for a third party is simple. Whether a Republican or a Democrat sits in the White House, working class people get screwed. That doesn’t mean I’m unhappy with the election results; quite the contrary. Romney and his fascist/theocratic supporters scared the crap out of me. However, don’t forget for a minute that it was Bill Clinton who pushed hard for NAFTA and Obama who pushed for a free trade agreement with Colombia, Panama and South Korea. In the case of NAFTA the result has been the loss of nearly one million jobs, a wage race to the bottom, and a trade deficit with Mexico. School is still out with respect to Colombia, Panama and South Korea but it’s unlikely to be any different with respect to lost jobs and continued downward pressure on wages.

So this is a class struggle pure and simple, and the Democratic party and the White House need to know that its two fastest growing constituencies, African Americans and Latinos, will not go quietly into the night after elections are over.  As Paul Krugman said, “This newly effective coalition could be shattered if taken for granted.”

Without this coalition no Democrat will ever again sit in the White House.  That makes a third party not only viable but necessary.

 

Is it possible that Mitt Romney can he put his foot in his mouth as often as he does by accident? I‘m not saying he’s trying to do it, but it’s gotten so bad that you can’t that you can’t precede the word gaff with the word latest because it probably isn’t the latest as soon as you write it.

Here’s a recent…though not the latest :)…example: In Virginia the other day Romney spoke about his compassion  for people citing his Massachusetts’ health care law as evidence. Shockingly, he went on to say that this wasn’t something he could talk about during the primaries because it wouldn’t have been “effective.” What does that mean?…that he had to duck what he actually did?

There are possible explanations for this. One is that he’s losing his grip on reality and his wife, of all people, might have elevated the probability of this explanation.  Anne Romney, as originally reported by Reuters, said “her biggest concern if her husband becomes president was his ‘mental well-being.’” Maybe she’s concerned about his current mental well-being, too.

Another explanation is one that David Brooks, the conservative op-ed writer for the NYT suggested in a recent column. He said that Mitt’s problem is that he has no overarching political ideology to serve as his political…and verbal…compass. That observation is dead on as far as it goes, but it fails to illuminate an ideology that does fuel Mitt’s quest for the White House: he believes that his wealth and privilege entitles him to the job of president the same way it entitled Bain Capital to “harvest” companies without regard to the human costs, or tell the American people that he won’t disclose any more tax returns because the people have seen enough, or tell a room full of his rich investors that 47% of the American people suck.

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But now it’s coming apart and it’s putting great stress on him and his campaign. The polls show that more and more Americans see Mitt for what he is: a political opportunist who will say anything he needs to say to close the deal. He reminds me of some liquored-up dude telling a woman at 2 AM that he’ll love her in the morning, but  isn’t around for the wake-up call.

Good luck, Mitt!

The continuing unrest in Europe demands answers to fundamental questions.

  • Why must the people shoulder the immense pain of austerity when they neither caused the financial collapse nor did they profit from it?
  • What difference is there between Europe’s austerity measures and Paul Ryan’s draconian budget?
  • Isn’t it time that the fat cats who run the world’s financial system heard a very loud and clear message from the people that goes something like this: NO MORE!

Instead of the people eating trickle-down cake it’s time for fat cats and banksters to feel the people’s’ trickle-up pain.

Moderate Republicans in Washington no longer exist.

In today’s Republican Party the Tea Party and big money rule, while the middle class loses, women lose, seniors lose, education loses, the environment loses, cities lose, health care loses, Latinos lose, unions lose and, most importantly, America loses.

Make no mistake about it, this election is about power and the Republicans will do anything they can, including Jim-Crow style voter suppression, to win it all: the White House, the House and even the Senate. If that happens corporations will decide what’s best for you and me, and a packed Supreme Court will doom America to generations of ultra-right-wing policies.

Personally, I will fight that with everything I have and I implore you do to the same. Talk to your friends. Tell them how you feel and why their vote for all Democratic candidates is so very, very important. And reach out to moderate Republicans. The party that they once knew has been hijacked by extremists with whom they have nothing in common.

This is not just another election. Thank you for caring about all Americans. Thank you for fighting back!

I don’t get it. I don’t understand how pre-tea-party Republicans can stand what happening in their party. Let’s just imagine for a moment that Mitt Romney is rational, more like he was as governor of Massachusetts. Of course it’s impossible to know precisely what he believes any more since he changes his tune faster than a teenager can hit the buttons on a car radio. But, put that aside. Everyone knows that the tea-party rules the Republican Party. Do you think that Mitt Romney can swim against that tide? Do you think that he will even try to when even a suggestion of compromise unleashes a tidal wave of push back from right-wing zealots? No way. That’s why I don’t get it. Certainly, rational Republicans know what’s happened over the past 4 years:

  • Before President Obama even took office plans were under way by the Republican leadership…including Paul Ryan…to limit Obama to one term by making him look bad.
  • Obstructionism started on Obama’s first day in office because he was politically vulnerable: his name is Barack Hussein Obama, he is and uppity black man and his wife is an angry black woman who does terrorist fist bumps.  In other words, he symbolized the demographic changes sweeping the nation. He had to be stopped.
  • Everything Obama tried to do…even things that had been recommended in the past by Republicans…was obstructed. Super majorities became the rule of the day.
  • The right-wing communication machine hammered him unmercifully as being not one of us, and as someone who didn’t understand America. It didn’t help that people throughout the world perceived him as a change agent, a fact that fed right into the right-wing’s xenophobic view that he didn’t like America.
  • Political differences were stoked to the level of political hatred. Listen to how Romney supporters talk about the president. He’s the enemy, not a political option.

Why doesn’t this stuff matter? Have the “crazies,” as Chris Christie calls them, taken over the party as well as the minds of reasonable Republicans? How could Obama possibly be a worse choice than a tea-party controlled puppet in the White House?

Frankly, I could be a lot happier than I am with the President, but I will vote for him and work as best I can to support his campaign. On the other side I desperately fear that America will descend into fascism and theocracy if Romney wins. For the majority of Americans, and for the planet we live on, that will be tragic.

Imagine being very, very sick. Your chest hurts, you can’t catch your breath and every step feels like your last. With shaking hands, you dial 911 and, before long, you’re doing the emergency room thing.

Too bad, because the hospital you’re in has a dispute going on. Two groups of doctors, each having its own approach to patient treatment, are locked in a bitter struggle for prominence. No matter what one group does to provide patient care, the other group steps in to stop. The way the obstructionists see it, better patients should die than allow the caring group to look good. Outrageous, isn’t it. Except the very same strategy guides today’s Republican politics. The people don’t matter. The country doesn’t matter. Only beating Obama and gaining control of the government matters.

The poor don’t matter, either; nor does the middle class, or hungry children, education, pollution, financial regulation, women’s reproductive rights or even voting rights. Nothing matters but winning. That is why I wake up every day anxious to talk to anyone who will listen about the perils our nation faces from people who wrap themselves in the flag, carry a cross and who don’t give a damn about anything but themselves.

The people of America deserve better and unless we get better our democracy will be on life support.

While I enjoyed hearing from the Democratic candidates in NJ-10…Ron Rice, Jr., Wayne Smith, Nia Gill, and Donald Payne…they didn’t have much to say. Oh, they spoke about how qualified they are, their legislative experience, the depth of their political connections and the strength of their endorsements as though those things are going to solve the intractable problems that beset the district. Rather, here is what I wanted to hear.

NJ-10 is an urban district with a weak economic base and high unemployment. At best, our labor force is undertrained and undereducated so the prospect of finding a decent job for many of our citizens is bleak. Crime, even if the numbers are heading in the right direction, looms as a problem in many neighborhoods. Our schools fall far short of giving most of our kids even a reasonable shot at the American Dream.

This is reality in NJ-10. It is a place where local politicians manage situations rather than lead the way to something better.

I want to go to Congress not to curry favor with the political elite and pick up a few crumbs, but to put a face on a level of despair that causes many of our citizens to wake up in the morning with no reasonable expectation that the day will be any better than yesterday. I want to make my colleagues in Washington uncomfortable with the knowledge that, for many people, the system doesn’t work. And to solve our problems we need to cast aside sacred ideological cows and unchallenged assumptions so that we can reinvent cities that can meet the needs of their residents.

Send me to Washington and I will take each one of you with me.