BREAKING: NJ Gov Christie Cusses Out Hurricane Sandy at Press Conference

AOTL has obtained this audio from a confrontation between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Hurricane Sandy. More as this story develops. 

And The Winner Is...

Sometimes it's good to take a break from commenting on the issues of the day. The 36 hour a day news cycle does enough of that, rehashing the same themes, many of them carelessly contrived, again and again and again to the point of saturation. From the first presidential debate until now, the main story has been "After losing the first debate, will Obama regain momentum?"

When it comes to real news on the matter, there was very little. As Maddow pointed out, it's common for the incumbent seeking reelection to flag in the first debate so Obama's "lackluster" (perfect word agreed upon by the talking heads) was not really news. It would have been news if Obama came out and kicked Romney's ass. 

Even since the primaries, (legitimate) news sources have held that this election would be very close. Now that the election is close, it's being treated as news. As far as the final outcome, it seems to me that most people have conceded for a while that Obama would pull out a victory. I put money on it a year ago. Ace prognosticator Nate Silver has consistently had an Obama win predicted at varying margins since, well, for a long enough time now to say with more than enough confidence that there is a trend. A successful Republican coup bred from desperate Republican trickery is not completely out of the question, but barring that, things are headed right where everyone expected. I must admit that Election Day will still be exciting. After all, it was exciting in 08 when an Obama victory was even more guaranteed. But gone is the organic electoral drama of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. 

Also, with headlines referencing Romney's attempt at Obama's Ohio firewall, we know where all the attention really is. Plain and simple, a Romney loss of Ohio's electoral votes would make his victory extremely difficult. Ohio has consistently been polling blue as have the majority of states Romney would need to win in order to make up for the loss of Ohio. So if Romney continues to talk about the momentum he built coming out of the first debate, let it be known that he is is talking about a past phenomenon. 

But the real winner of this election season is the word "conflate," along with its many tenses and forms. An informal definition of the word would be to glom two things together into one or somehow relate them, e.g. "Romney himself was conflating the events in Cairo and Benghazi." The word has been bandied around so much lately I don't remember what word news people used before the popularization of "conflate."

"Conflate" goes down with other words that burst on to the scene during a political season like "gravitas" which was a biggey during the 2004 elections. "Game change" (two words, I know) was something McCain needed twice during the 2008 election, first, after his initial lagging in the polls during the primaries and then after his lagging in the polls heading into the conventions in 2008. It's now the title of a book about the candidacy of Sarah Palin and its companion Emmy-winning HBO movie. Take that, conflate!

And Now, the Comedy Stylings of Mitt "yuk yuk" Romney

According to the New York Times, the Romney campaign has been preparing to create memorable debate moments with rehearsed zingers and one-liners from Romney. Oh boy. The man in Costco shirts has some ground to make up and has shown a penchant for jocularity, which is often marred by his nervous laughter. But the right zinger can live on forever, being trotted out like Christmas decorations every four years during presidential debate season. Among the favorites we still see are veep candidate Lloyd Bentsen telling Dan Quayle "You are no Jack Kennedy." ZINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGG. And then Quayle became vice president. So even if Mitt Romney doesn't win, with the right one-liner, we can look forward to seeing him being trotted out twenty years from now on a video that'll make us say "look at that 2012 hair."

Zingers in a debate are not something that you presell. They're supposed to seem spontaneous. The danger of hyping your zingers is that expectations get set high and when they come, everyone is sure to be disappointed. The only way not to disappoint is by being super-inappropriate which can be a game-changer, but not in any good way. But now Mitt has to deliver because if he doesn't, it will be the first of his campaign promises to be broken. 

Welfare = Race Baiting: Not a Conspiracy Theory

In my previous post I was pretty tough on the old GOP - tough but fair. I introduced the term chalkboardism for their propensity to desperately throw around untrue notions and conspiracy theories ala Glenn Beck in attempts to vanquish their Democratic foes. It made me wonder what someone in Tank Tea Bag would consider a left-wing conspiracy theory. Just being honest, they would consider anything they didn't want to believe a conspiracy theory because they create their own truths, but I did think of one issue in particular - the use of welfare as racial code.

As I mentioned in the previous post, the Romney campaign has ceased on a lie that Barack Obama has dropped the welfare requirement. Critics like me say that using welfare in cases like this is used to incite a certain segment of white America. Republicans deny this of course. They think they have their tracks covered. They challenge "how can it be about race when no one says anything about race." Oooo. Very tricky. Very tricky indeed. 

Well, it would be tricky except some racists just can't keep their mouths shut. Again, I refer to a previous AOTL post. In it I chronicle some Tea Party shenanigans including a Tea Party gathering in Arkansas at which the host opened with this joke (audio only). Did you click on the link and listen? Well if you didn't, here it is: 

"A black kid asks his mom, 'Mama, What's a democracy?'
"'Well son, that be when white folks work every day so us po' folks can get all our benefits.'
"'But mama, don't the white folk get mad about that?'
"'They sho' do, son. The sho' do. And that's called racism.'"

In all fairness, while the "comedienne" who delivered the joke resigned from her Tea Party group, there were plenty of people in the crowd who were comfortable with the joke as evidenced by the applause. And if you think that these attendees were the only people in America who instinctively correlate welfare with blacks, then the burden of proof is on you. It doesn't take calculus to figure out that there are people like that all over America, most of whom give white people on welfare a pass as evidenced by the fact that the joke was specifically about a BLACK family on welfare. Maybe AOTL should offer a bounty for a recording of any Tea Party group that kicks off with a joke about WHITE people on welfare. I'm guessing they don't think those are as funny. 

Those people in the room who clapped and laughed at that joke and the people like them are the lynchpin (pun intended) of the narrow coalition Romney needs to turn out and vote for him.You would have to be a real brand new type of dumbass to think that Mitt Romney and his campaign are not aware that these people with the racial raw nerve exist. Aside from blacks on welfare, these same people probably get just as ireful at the thought of private equity firms coming in and busting up their factories for scrap metal, but Obama beat Romney to the punch with that commercial bent. 

Word of the Day: Chalkboardism

- Obama is working behind the scenes to raise gas prices (Mitch McConnell)
- Hillary Clinton's staff includes infiltrators of the Muslim Brotherhood (Michele Bachmann)
- There is reason to believe that Barack Obama was born in Kenya (Donald Trump)
- Fast and Furious was an operation created to increase support for gun control (Darrell Issa)
- Obama's Kenyan anti-colonial father is a predictive model for Obama's rage (Newt Gingrich)
- 78-81 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives are members of the Communist party (Allen West)
- Barack Obama is attempting to eliminate the Second Amendment (Wayne LaPierre)
- Barack Obama has removed the work requirement from welfare to get support from his base (Mitt Romney)
- 47% of Americans don't take responsibility for their own lives (Mitt Romney)
- There is a conspiracy among pollsters to skew polls for Obama and against Romney (Dick Morris)

Above is a collection of lies and conspiracy theories that have been espoused by high-profile Republican party affiliates over the past year or two. The support for these lies are not limited to the single attribute following the lies, for example, Sean Hannity has plenty of Republican company in believing that global warming is a hoax. While Gingrich is probably more famous for talking up the “predictive model” on Obama’s rage, that idea originated in the writings of right-wing kook Dinesh D’souza. Several Republicans including RNC chair Reince Priebus have backed up the claims that Obama has dropped the work requirement from welfare to shore up his base.

Why do they lie? Followers of AOTL have seen all of the reasons drawn out in previous posts, but here they are again.

As I have repeated before, the GOP is the control freak party. For the most part they have an infantile belief in an American Garden of Eden where God created Republicans who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and who fought the Revolutionary War. It explains their "we were here first and all this stuff is ours" attitude. As part of this fantasy, even Republican elected officials take as their priority, not governing, but beating Democrats (per Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “our number one priority is defeating Barack Obama”). 

Republicans therefore believe that everything they do is in the name of the Founding Fathers and the Constitution so lying in the name of victory is completely justified “under God, with liberty and justice for all.” It's about attempting to control the debate. As most climate change deniers see it, if Republicans concede that global warming exists then they are giving CONTROL of the dialog to the Democrats. By the same logic, if you make up lies or conspiracy theories about Barack Obama being born in Kenya, it THEORETICALLY weakens Obama's leadership position which, in the end is a good thing for America, so they think. Their hope is that more and more stooges will repeat this nonsense in hopes of it reaching a tipping point.

This was the basis for Glenn Beck's chalkboard and the mumbo jumbo he threw upon it like “communism” and “liberation theocracy” hoping some of it would stick. For this reason I will (derisively) call  this conspiracy theory approach to politics CHALKBOARDISM. Of course, you don’t have to be Glenn Beck to engage in chalkboardism. You only have to be as nefarious in your intentions. But it’s not like leaders in the Republican party had a get-together like a bunch of girls at a sleepover where they said “we hate Obama, so much because he’s so stupid and we should do stuff to destroy him like lie about him all the time” or did they?

There are varying degrees to which the chalkboardisms are effective. In most cases it only serves to self-satisfy since the mischaracterizations tend to spread only among those who are already in the Tea Bag tank. No one else absorbs it, and this is not giving credit to people for having good discretion for the things they choose to believe. It is a criticism of how little attention people pay to what is being said. But when the quality of the debate comes down to speed falsification, is it worth a public that pays attention? This goody-two-shoes would argue yes because if people paid attention, Rick Santorum would not be able to get away with much of the things he says and he shouldn't.

The most critical of the recent Republican lies was the Romney claim that Obama dropped the welfare requirement to appease his base. This was not just a throw-out line to see who would lick it up. This was the basis for an ad Romney ran. With every other demographic lined up in the Obama column, Romney has needed to assure a healthy turnout of white working class voters, thus the welfare ad. The gist of that spot is that while white people are hard at work, black people are laying on their ass sucking up tax dollars and those white workers should be angry enough to vote for Mitt Romney who is going to make it better (if you think this is a left-wing conspiracy theory please see my next post). Romney can deny any racial undertones in the ad because he doesn’t mention race, but the ad is effective at arousing antisocial sentiments nevertheless. It’s a lie to stir racial resentment and it’s immoral. Romney approved that message.

The optimist in me hopes that the Republican pattern of mendacity is so obvious that everyone sees it, but if I really had faith in my optimistic side I wouldn’t be writing this. What would be the point of calling out something everybody knows. Even as I (optimistically) intend to inform, it brings up one consistent mechanism that mitigates the foul behavior from the right. If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times: “Both sides do it.” Those words right there are the call of the obliviati, people who don’t pay attention, but still want to be fair. Part of what makes them oblivious is the fact that in order to be fair you have to know the facts. If you’re on a jury, you can’t get up before the trial and claim that the defendant AND the prosecution are both guilty and then call it a day. Anyone who says “it’s both sides” without putting up any real and comparable facts is doing as much a disservice to the national discourse as the liars themselves.

While talking politics with my good friend Ray three weeks ago he asked why it was we couldn’t have an honest debate anymore in this country. I responded “You can’t have an honest debate when one side refuses to be honest.” Then I repeated it. Then I typed it as a memo on my phone. Three weeks later I’m finally writing this post. Granted this wasn’t a rush job, I was so determined to finally get this finished that I sent a friend (not Ray) away when he showed up at my door with a case of beer earlier today. But that’s another story altogether.

Romney 2.0.1 Driver Patch Revision

With the most popular question within the Romney campaign being “what did he say now,” Romney-Ryan has become adept at drafting resets, relaunches, new versions, and reimaginings. These do-overs always get marred by the next Romney fumble, and the cycle goes on. Following the discovery or his assertion that 47% of the American people don’t take personal responsibility for themselves, Romney has crafted yet another creative way forward. As you see, this initiative is more of a list of public relations moves rather than risky policy statements. Ahead on the Left has obtained a copy of Romney’s latest attempt to get his campaign on track. Here is what we can expect to see from Romney this upcoming week:
(Click on document to enlarge)

The Economy is Lagging So Romney Must Be Awesome!?

I'm eager to know what it is about Mitt Romney that has made a portion of the electorate's squishy center believe that his skill at turning over the nation's economic engine is better than Barack Obama's. That is to say that I am hoping that there is something that makes them think Romney is better. I hope their criteria is more than just the fact that Romney is "someone else." 

I wonder if these centrists have fallen for the argument that because Romney has created wealth for himself and others, he will somehow produce wealth for the nation. It is probably the most compelling argument Romney has going for him, but not one that stands up to scrutiny. Businessmen have not had a good record as successful presidents. Using the term "businessman" loosely turns up these names: Harding, Hoover, Truman, Carter, Bush, and Bush. With the exception of Truman who was a men's clothier for two years before going bankrupt, none of these names are equated with golden eras. As a matter of fact, most of them are equated with recession, depression, malaise, and downturns in no particular order. 

Voting for Romney because of his business experience takes very little into consideration. For example, what if Congress got out of the way and let Obama spend money on his work/infrastructure plans? Republicans say they oppose this because "SPENDING IS OUT OF CONTROL!" Of course to them, spending was not out of control until the second Barack Obama took office. Republicans act as if our national debt did not exist until Inauguration Day, 2009. They were all curiously quiet when Dick Cheney said in the 2004 vice presidential debate "deficits don't matter." The fact is, between a stalled economy and our debt, the stalled economy takes precedence. Spending money to put people to work so they can in turn spend money is much smarter than closing up shop in the name of debt reduction. You WILL stimulate the economy and eventually reduce debt through the right spending, but you can NOT increase employment through austerity. The fact that Republicans argue the opposite is what feeds the belief that they are intentionally trying to stymie any recovery. 

If Mitt Romney were president, he would have two options. He could turn around and enact those types of programs Obama is pushing for, or he could stick to his Republican prescription of more tax cuts. We have never seen simultaneous prosperity and debt reduction through the latter. It's been almost ten years since the Bush tax cuts went into effect and the most obvious result they have had has been their toll on our budget. And biz whiz Mitt Romney thinks that more tax cuts will get us back on track? People who support Mitt Romney and his logic deserve Mitt Romney. Fortunately for the rest of us, odds of them getting what they deserve are getting slimmer. 

A Better Late Than Never Review of the Republican Convention

Curiously, two names that were barely mentioned at the Republican National Convention were George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. At least Romney received an invitation. Barack Obama was slandered about once a minute, but as they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

The Republican party is a big tent as Republicans say when they act like they want to be more inclusive. It is a big tent that’s come along way. The sign outside must have said “5 blacks allowed.” Of course, one of those blacks had peanuts thrown on her by an attendee who commented “that’s how we treat animals.” No Republican has uttered a word about this, but if they did they would dutifully point out that the same exact thing happens at Democratic (sorry, Democrat) conventions, only there blacks actually throw the peanuts on whites.

It was a show-stopper when Oprah possessed the body of Ann Romney who came out to speak on behalf of her husband saying things like “I love youuuuuu womeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!” and “Mitt wasn’t handed success. He built iiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!” The latter was a variation of this year’s “drill baby, drill” and we know how successful that slogan was. Ann was assigned the double duty of reaching out to women and humanizing Mitt. It was said by some that she should have concentrated on one or the other, but even then, the outcome of zero sum would have probably have been the same. It would have merely allowed her to spend more time doing a half-assed job at whichever. The stories she told of their courtship were pretty underwhelming.

Ann Romney was followed by Chris Christie who talks like he’s got a gun in your face. Okay, so your mother took three buses to get to work. Just don’t shoot me! The word is that people like his tone. They find it real. I find it real off-putting.

Christie and other Republican governors talked mainly about themselves. Guys like Ohio guv John Kasich boasted about how well his state was doing economically, which conflicted with the overall message that Obama effed up the economy. Everyone talked about how their family immigrated here with nothing but holes in their pockets and a dream in their heart so apparently they now have the moral high ground to decide that the wealthy deserve more breaks and the middle class should pay for it.

Paul Ryan did his most important bit for the campaign yet by delivering a speech some say consisted of lies. The truth is that Ryan was intentionally deceptive, leaving out important elements of his telling of events for the purpose of making Barack Obama the villain and Paul Ryan the hero. Oh the skilled orator he was, Ryan delivered his deceptions with the earnestness of a high schooler delivering a Model U.N. speech. Ryan's fact challenged summary of the past four years led the headlines the next day. That just led to more digging which has turned up that Ryan lied about his finish time in a marathon he ran over 20 years ago. Add this to Ryan's claims he never requested Stimulus funds in spite of the existence of signed letters in which he requests Stimulus funds and one can see the impulse of a few people to do a jig in Chicago. 

One of the things polls and pundits dictated Romney put on his convention laundry list was to convey he was made of heart and not hardware. Like Barack Obama and his accomplishments, Mitt Romney does not wear his good deeds on his sleeve. This precipitated an awkward parade of members from his community coming forward to attest to all the nice stuff Romney did for them. There’s no reason to doubt any of the testimony given, but neutral people are more convinced when they are shown and not told.

One key to winning the presidency is to be less fodder than the other guy for the late night funny folks. Mitt avoided flubbing for the most part, but it was Clint Eastwood who really sent things a-Twitter with his comedy routine.  Clint became a surrogate gaffer for the Romney campaign and while Mitt didn’t take the initial heat, he gaffed by association. In all truth, Eastwood did nothing wrong. In another venue it would have just been more funny and less jaw-dropping. Being that it happened at a political convention, judgment tends to be on the puritanical side. Maybe it was his stuttering. Maybe it was his suggestion that the president is profane. Maybe it was that it was prop comedy or that it was a comedy routine at all. Word is that the performance got the Palin vetting, which is to say they had a warm body and a good feeling that things would just work out until something otherwise happened.

The moments during and immediately after Eastwood were like a slow poisoning. Only those with their finger on the pulse were aware that something wasn’t right. As for the floor of convention, he brought down the house, but those were all people who hate Obama, for the most part. I know I found the whole thing surreal and the MSNBC panel had a WTF response. For better or worse it was the Twitter response that delivered the verdict that the Eastwood routine was a near mortal blow.

While the Eastwood appearance was in the process of becoming a controversy, the remaining hour of the convention passed with Marco Rubio introducing Mitt Romney, again by talking about himself and his family’s immigrant past and predictably likening Obama’s America with Castro’s Cuba.

Finally, it was Mitt’s turn. The biggest risk Romney took was walking through the crowd like the president does during a state of the union address, shaking hands on his way to the stage. The speech itself was risk-free and perfunctory signaling Romney’s strategy to let any victory come not from any boldness on Romney’s part, but from the perception of Obama’s failure – that and the oodles of super pac money that will assist his campaign.

And then it was over. The assessment was much like the assessments of everything else Mitt Romney has done in this race which was lukewarm at best. Poll trackers are chomping at the bit looking for Mitt’s bounce and thus far, all indications there is little if any. Some say to wait a little longer, but it fits with Mitt’s designation as a guy that doesn’t strike chords.  That’s cool for a guy that runs companies, but in electoral politics the rich guy that won’t let anyone see his taxes needs to show more than placeholder emotions. Romney did not do that. Now we begin the Democratic convention which will be capped off with speeches by working class hero Joe Biden and chord striker Barack Obama.  Though most people are locked in as to whom they are supporting in this election and it is a close race, more people like Barack Obama personally. More people will be inclined to watch his speech and that event is not likely to be overshadowed by an iconic coot with an empty chair. 



Universal Pictures

I've been an Eastwood fan for over 40 years and his performance on the last night of the RNC has left me ambivalent. As a Democrat, I am happy because Eastwood embarrassed both himself and his party. As a fan of Eastwood and the characters that he made legendary I can't help, but see the contradictions of the man campaigning for a party as non-inclusive as the GOP.

In High Plains Drifter he was The Stanger, hired by townspeople to protect them from the three released convicted felons bent on revenge. He is told by town elders, anything he wants is his. Eastwood is his own man. A couple of scenes stick out to me.

In the general store there is an old Native American man with two small children. The storekeeper tells them to leave. The Stranger takes a stack of blankets and loads the old man down. He gives the children all the candy they can hold. The storekeeper can do nothing.

Later in the saloon he makes Mordecai, a little person who has been picked on and used for any undesirable job in town the mayor.

I don't think that Eastwood or the GOP realizes The Stranger stood up not for the townspeople, but for those who couldn't or weren't powerful enough to protect themselves. This is counter to the message and actions of the current Republican party.

In Unforgiven, his character Will Munny makes sure that Sally Two Trees, the widow of Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman) gets a share of the bounty the men were after.

Seeing Eastwood's rambling improv with the chair reminds me of another icon who was past his prime. The over-sized suit looked like it had been picked out by Richard Nixon.

As a boy I heard my father, uncles and grandfathers rave about Willie Mays. They told me about the overhead catch he made off the bat of Vic Wertz in the Polo Grounds during the 1954 World Series. The Willie Mays I grew up watching who was 42 in 1973 stumbled around the outfield trying to catch fly balls he wouldn't have broke a sweat catching during his heyday. 

The Repubs need to realize that even though Eastwood is an icon, they need to re-watch some of his movies to see what The Stranger and Will Munny represent. He is more than just "Dirty Harry."

To close it out, I remember a story about the late Cary Grant. He was told by someone that every man wanted to be like Cary Grant. Grant replied, "So would I."

Paul Ryan's Hair: Before and After

As long as all the talk from the Republican National Convention is on the comedy stylings of Eastwood and Chair, it affords me the occasion to be just as petty. I do have a review of the week in the works, but while that is simmering, I would like to address something a little less pithy. I'm talking about Paul Ryan's hair.

I have never been into style or fashion, which makes it more peculiar that for me, the most notable feature of Paul Ryan (pre-Romney-Ryan) was his hairstyle. It totally fit with what we knew of Ryan's political persona. The above portrait on the left is typical of the veep nominee's do prior to his elevation to the next person to lose the race for the vice presidency. Notice the proximity of the hair part, running about an inch to an inch and a half off the centerline of his scalp. There are many ways to describe this look: Hokey, nostalgic, kooky, Norman Rockwell, strange, 1930s, old timey, cultish, holdback, offbeat, patronizing, 1830s, Third Reichy, cornball, supercilious, quaint, sanctimonious, aberrant, etc.

So, I'm no fan of Paul Ryan or his politics and I have always figured that line he hacked just askew off his widow's peak was a metaphor for his personality. "How can I get people to respect me as a real jerk from the past" I imagine him asking himself one day in the mirror. If that was what he was going for, hang a "Mission Accomplished" banner over his pate.

Just watch this now famous propaganda video. In it, Ryan extolls the virtues of Ayn Rand's philosophy of a humanity void of humanity.

The only other hairstyle appropriate for tossing this chum has horns rising out of it.

The reason Ryan finds himself running against Joe Biden now is because of his fan base among hardcore modern Republicans. Republicans love the austere persona Ryan has adopted since a Democrat with a Kenyan father was elected president. Everyone knows, but does not talk about Ryan and the Republicans' desire to shut down America as long as they are not in control. Ryan has become a star of that cabal by talking up more tax cuts and spending cuts, a fierce combo which guarantees a cessation of any agenda, and not to mention an economic standstill which puts any sitting president on the spot.

Ryan is a poster boy for Republican activism, but as Romney needs to shift to the center, optics matter. Ryan can continue to believe the same crazy crap, but I'm guessing that hardcore fuddy-duddy look had to go. It's just like how the list of speakers at the convention was far more moderate than the actual platform. In the same fashion, Ryan had to moderate his hardline hair into something a little less scary and freakish. When Ryan was (erroneously) introduced as the next president of the United States he was sporting the less severe coif we see on the right side of the above photo. Whereas the left photo says "I don't care about your problems unless you're rich," the photo on the right says "Let's all barbecue."

The old hairstyle was fine for Paul Ryan, the suddenly severely fiscally conservative chairman of the House Budget Committee, but there was no way he could address the nation as the VP nominee for the GOP looking like the ghost of Simon Legree. It just is not a sympathetic look. If you rant to the nation about how much more wicked Barack Obama is than you are with that passe hair part that looks like it was combed with shard of glass, people will know you are lying. If you want to lie and get away with it, your odds are better if you bring the parting of the hair closer to zero degrees latitude.

I believe the hair was addressed in the vetting process. Five bucks says the "before" hair was a deal breaker. Someone in the Romney campaign knew it looked like Ryan was wearing his a-hole on his sleeve and gave a "lose the strangeness" ultimatum. One Fantastic Sam's visit later, the Pride of Janesville was ready to go. As a proper toady Ryan kept his mouth shut on Romney's own hair issues, and for that matter, the fact that Romney walks like he still has Gingrich's foot up his butt.

Oh-Six Redux? Ways of Shutting Down a Republican House

The 109th Congress didn’t end well for the Republicans. It began with Republican majorities in both houses to complement the George W. Bush White House. Though Bush had been reelected in 2004, faith in his leadership had immediately begun to erode after the election with such catastrophes as the attempt to privatize social security, Hurricane Katrina, the Iraq War, Republican discord on immigration, etc. In Congress, House Republicans and staffers were getting nabbed and sentenced for their involvement with convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay had stepped down in 2005 following an investigation into money laundering for which he was later convicted. And then it was revealed that Mark Foley, a Republican House member from Florida had been flirting inappropriately with underage male House pages.

The latter scandal was the clincher. It was gritty stuff people could sink their teeth into. All the other impropriety was the highbrow stuff for the Charlie Rose crowd to understand. It’s not that people did not know that Jack Abramoff existed. They had heard the name. They knew he was at the center of a Republican scandal, but that saga was defined by so many ins and outs involving laws and governance and… BOOOOOORING! The general public was obediently angry because of this series of political wrongdoing, but in the taste of Americans, it was far from intrigue. On the other hand Mark Foley was People Magazine material. Mark Foley made it concrete for flat-headed, bolt-necked Americans – Republican Congress, baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad.

I want to take this moment to point out that this is not needless disparaging of the average voter. I genuinely believe that if you were to specifically survey angry Americans over what disgusted them about Congress, your ledger would be ink starved. The most common reason given for dissatisfaction would be ripped from the latest poll citing “a majority of Americans don’t think Congress understands their problems” or “a majority of Americans think Congress is corrupt.” Only a small minority of people can address why they are ever fed up with Congress or politics with any specificity whatsoever. As a result, Congress, specifically Republican led Congresses get to underperform in an environment of great permissiveness. Americans don’t understand the boring day to day dysfunction of Congress so they grouse and bear it until something really juicy like Mark Foley comes along. It’s not until that juicy item emerges that people understand the importance of letting go of the party in charge.

Before Mark Foleygate, it was discussed that a Democratic takeover of the House was possible, but  after all the recounts in the 2006 election, it was both houses that went to the Democrats. Democrats were given a go of it in the House from then until 2011 when the House flipped back to Republican leadership. The Democratic tenure was scandal free. The House, Senate, and White House worked together to pass landmark stimulative legislation including that which saved the American auto industry and that which created jobs in every Congressional district, even those represented by members who were adamantly opposed to the legislation.  Nancy Pelosi was regarded by many as one of the most effective Speakers of the House in history. Not only did bills pass, but those bills were aimed at the interest of the American middle class. After all that, Dems in the House were swept out. Clearly, it does not take the same momentum to oust Democrats as it does to oust Republicans.

And here we are two years later with Congress getting its lowest approval ratings ever. The 112th Congress has been defined by a recalcitrant and uncooperative Republican majority that fears any compromise with a Democratic president would be a victory for him and therefore lead to his reelection. The 112th Congress has passed one viable jobs bill since 2010 and spent the rest of its time passing bills it knows has no chance of passing in the Democratic senate. They have held multiple votes to repeal Obamacare including one following the Supreme Court decision finding Obamacare’s individual mandate constitutional. for the first time in history, the House was prepared to vote down an increase in the national debt limit with the nefarious noncredible goal of portraying the Democratic president as the most profligate spender to ever sit in the Oval Office. Republican Toadies such as Paul Ryan who had rubber-stamped ill-advised fiscal policy under George W. Bush including tax cuts and deficit spending had all of a sudden become outraged with federal spending to the point where they would risk everything including the nation’s credit rating before working with the president. Speaker of the House John Boehner, a born dealmaker has found himself at odds with his Majority Leader, who is led by the most extreme Republican House members. For the House of Representatives, the 112th Congress has been an abject failure.

Yet, amid all of this affrontery to our traditions of governing, no one has been forecasting another flip in House Leadership except for Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi who may have been just be making overtures of optimism as a party leader. And then on one Sunday, we got the People Magazine double whammy scandals for the masses. An anti-choice Republican in Missouri running to unseat Claire McCaskill in the senate declared in a taped interview that a woman’s body has ways of shutting down a pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape.” Then it was reported that a week after Republicans in Congress tried to tank the credit rating of the U.S., a group of them went on a fact-finding mission to Israel which involved one night of revelry in which a member of the delegation ended up wasted skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee in the company of other members’ families.

As for indiscretion number one, I find it hard to believe that someone capable of making a statement so stupid has gotten as far as he had in his political career. The candidate, Todd Akin has been in Congress since 2001. He’s also a proponent of overturning the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which people in his district apparently don’t care about. To me, that’s way over the line as well, but I get it. I’m a little on the liberal side. Where there is consensus between me and the establishment Republicans is that you can’t 1) use the term “legitimate rape” in an electoral forum and 2) you can’t follow up your use of the term “legitimate rape” with a made up explanation of how women secrete natural spermacides in the case of said “legitimate rape” or whatever. This guy may still be popular in his own district at this point, but statewide, bets are on that he is toast. For the more moderate parts of Missouri (don’t laugh) Akin has failed the test of wisdom. There may be those Missourians who believe the Voting Rights Act should be repealed, but that Missouri also needs representation that won’t make them look like 100% ignoramuses.

The Republican party has dumped Akin like a Taco Bell crap. Akin is no help to a party that is trying skulk away from the notion that it is conducting a war on women. They aren’t just afraid of what will happen in Missouri, but how his presence will begin to effect the election in general. It is a particularly bad sign seeing as how Akin’s views on abortion are acutely similar to those of Paul Ryan. This does not hit a ten on the Mark Foley scale because it does not involve salacious behavior, but this item is not hard to comprehend for the flat-headed zombie mainstream. The media flood resulting from this boob’s “legitimate rape” flap is enough to make any swing congressional voter say “Republicans, baaaaaaaaaaaad.”

As for the Holy land hullabaloo, it lives as a head shaker. There is no overall outrage and it probably rates a three to four on the Foley scale, but the timing of the revelation has the same effect as another punch in a boxers combo. Having this being reported at the same time as the Akin offense fatigues the Republican brand all the more. In 2006 it took an aggregation of uncoordinated idiocy to get people fed up with the Republican brand. It is an idiocy to which Republicans are particularly prone. It’s not that Democrats don’t err. It’s that Republicans, by their criticisms of their opponents, set the bar so high for themselves and then fall further and harder when they stumble. Let’s take the BS hurled at Barack Obama regarding Mid-East policy. He has been considered an easy target for perhaps being a tougher negotiator than Israeli PM Netanyahu bargained for. He is described by some Republicans as being insulting and disrespectful to our closest ally in the Middle East. Then a Republican in Israel on official business gets drunk and goes skinny dipping. Was that insulting and disrespectful? Well, there was a reason why members of the delegation were dressed down by their majority leader upon their return.

It was Joe Scarborough, a Republican himself who referred to the Republicans as the stupid party earlier this week. I think that gives me some wiggle room to generalize so here we go. Republicans are kitchen-sink throwers. They fight dirty and are willing to say anything to try to control the national debate and mood. They talk as if anything they say to bolster their peevish opposition will fly. To say that they hold themselves to a lower standard would imply that they have standards at all. When Nancy Pelosi said she believed Democrats would retake the house this year, maybe she was counting on a certain Republican pattern that we can start setting our watches to. That pattern is a recipe of many unsexy missteps like fiscal hawk Paul Ryan (soon) falling on the sword with which he fought for higher deficits in supporting the budgets of George W. Bush. Add to that a gaffe such as a guy in Missouri coining the term “legitimate rape” and a party’s credibility crumbles. And with 70 days left to go, Pelosi is rubbing her hands and licking her lips for the next inevitable sexy ooops from Party Right. People are worrying that Akin could be the straw that broke the elephant’s back, but a little insurance would be great. What else could possibly happen between now and then?

AOTL Screening: The Warning

This Frontline documentary details how smart people let the crash of 2008 happen and how the one woman who tried to single-handedly avoid crises like this was drummed out by them. It should make you mean mad as Ma Joad would say.
[Seems Frontline has removed the video, but left the link below]

Watch The Warning on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE.

Paul Ryan Introduces the Elderly Strategy

In the so-called budget plan named for him, Paul Ryan was sure not to immediately gut Medicare. Have no doubt, if he could end it tomorrow, he would. But as one of the “thinkers” of the Republican party, he just would not want to lose the geriatric vote for the Republicans the way Civil Rights lost the South for Democrats. So his solution was to phase it out eventually. Very courageous.

Why wouldn’t Democrats make commercials showing a presumable Paul Ryan throwing Granny off a cliff? Medicare serves a need and the Paul Ryan plan does not take that need seriously. Tax cuts for the rich, another main component of Ryanomics did not make it easier for the aging workforce to save for their retirement. As a matter of fact, the last installment of tax cuts ended up with a good chunk of the middle class getting their retirements decimated in the Great Recession. The good news is that rich people continued to get richer!

The con of Ryannomics is the stuff of good fiction. The economy collapses under his product with the middle class taking the brunt and he keeps on selling that product with new and improved features to screw those who are not wealthy.

The flow of old people is not going to stop. The fact that middle class retirees need government assistance isn’t going to change by killing Medicare. If Paul Ryan gets his way, people of his generation who were not fortunate enough to have been elected to Congress (or pay for college with their dead Dad’s social security benefit) will not get the care they need and die in their children’s homes in droves, if they are lucky. Otherwise they will die alone. Perhaps in the street. If it’s good enough for North Korea, it seems good enough for Kim Jong Paul.

If  the Republican Party thinks they can avoid Democrats creating an  Elderly Strategy centered around Paul Ryan’s Ayn Rand philosophy, they are huffing. You can’t just put an expiration date on Medicare and think no one will notice. First of all, Medicare recipients of today don’t appreciate anyone else’s lack of appreciation of a program on which they depend. Even if they’ll be dead by the time Ryan’s end to Medicare as we know it arrives, they still get the feeling that Ryan sees them as worthless leaches he would throw into the streets if he didn’t need their vote.

Second, Even if Paul Ryan gets his way, people under the age of 55 will be 65 soon enough. It won’t take long for them to realize their Ryan-style vouchers do not cover their health costs. If Democrats are smart, they will let no one forget what Republicans have done (or tried to do) to Medicare. Republicans can claim that these are only scare tactics, but just because they are scare tactics does not make the charge false. Paul Ryan’s zeal for prioritizing the wealthy who can take care of themselves while eliminating the social compact has blinded him to the fact that people who have worked hard all their lives will not get the health care they need when they need it most. As a result, many will die.

And the Elderly Strategy is born. Thanks Paul Ryan. Enjoy your career as a Fox News Commentator. 

The Tea Party Isn't Racist, Just Conservative

This Talking Points Memo article is titled "Tennessee Tea Partiers to GOP Gov: Stop Employing Muslims, Gays, Democrats."

This week Tea Party Caucus chair Michele Bachmann and her comrades fingered State Department worker Huma Abedin as a Muslim Brotherhood infiltrator. Abedin is in fact Muslim.

An Arkansas Tea Party leader made the following joke at a Tea Party rally in June:
"A black kid asks his mom, 'Mama, what's a democracy?'
"'Well, son, that be when white folks work every day so us po' folks can get all our benefits.'
"'But mama, don't the white folk get mad about that?'
"'They sho do, son. And that's called racism.'"
The audio, including the applause following the joke can be heard here.

The joke dynamic above suggests one of two scenarios. Either those Arkansas Tea Baggers don't think that most relief benefits are collected by white people or they know it, but think it's okay. It is ignorance in the former case and hypocrisy in the latter. Either way, both mindsets are predicated on supremacy.

It's the same kind of supremacy that makes people think it is okay to draw up purge lists for the Tennessee governor based on sexual orientation and religion/ethnicity. Rather than define their objections by their hatred, the Tennessee Tea Baggers chalk up their objections to the governor's "consistent lack of conservative values."So I stand corrected. From now on, per the Tea Party, I will use the word "conservative" instead of "racist."

Say "Mitt Romney's Rich" Five Times Fast

Mysterious Mitt has spoken, and the one thing he isn't flip-flopping  on (so far) is that he won't divulge any more tax returns than already promised. 

"The Opposition research of the Obama campaign is looking for anything they can use to distract from the failure of the president to reignite our economy... And I'm simply not enthusiastic about giving them hundreds or thousands of more pages to pick through, distort and lie about" Romney said. 

The second part of Romney's statement is what should put a curious look on your face. Here are a few other things Romney could be saying there:
 -"And I'm simply not that good enough to run against him."
-"And if this is how he's pummeling me when I don't release my taxes, imagine how he's going to pummel me when I DO!"
-"And I'm simply not enthusiastic about revealing what I'm trying to conceal."

It's a really hollow excuse. The Obama campaign doesn't need tax returns if they just wanted something to "distort and lie about." They could "distort and lie" about anything. That's what's great about lying and distorting, but by pressing Romney for his tax returns, they are taking the path of least resistance. They won't need to devote any energy to lying or distorting because according to Romney's steadfastness, there is a doozy of a whopper in Mitt's 1040s. 

Order a large popcorn if you're going to follow this story because it will be good. Even in a best case scenario for Romney where he coughs up the paper and there's nothing to hide, it still looks weird. That is where Obama should be hitting him now just in case this was all a red herring. It should be pointed out how Romney is stonewalling the people he is running to serve and how his penchant for obfuscation shows a lack of character and leadership.

And that's the best case scenario. If Romney refuses to show his taxes, he is toast even if unemployment goes up to 20 percent. He most likely knows this which is why he is probably just looking for a way to figure out how he can put it all on the table with the best spin possible. Whatever he is hiding, whether there's a year or two that he didn't pay taxes or that son Taggart is a pre-op human, he needs to reveal it in the best possible light instead of just letting the press have at it.

Good luck to him. He's going to need it. After all the effort to pass those voter ID laws, and keep the economy on ice, it all may have been for nothing. This is not one of those things that could go either way in the mind of the public. If a majority of people already think that Mitt Romney should show us his taxes, chances are that same majority, if not more aren't going to like what Romney is hiding. By the time the Republican convention comes around they may be looking for a way for Romney not to show up. Things are not looking good for the arrogant one.

Is it November yet?

Tax Talk

While the you-know-whos continue their short-sighted and greedy campaign to make taxing the rich taboo, here is some encouraging reading and media for people with logical economic sense. Enjoy.

Mama's Fancy Boy

Be prepared for the latest Republican rose-colored lens scam. I've heard it twice today in response to Obama's aggressive Bain attacks. Two prominent Republican women acknowledge the money Obama has spent to air the attack ads in swing states. Then they claim that the ads have had no effect because Obama and Romney are stuck in a statistical dead-heat nationwide. But here's the truth they are leaving out; when you look at recent polls in those states where Obama is running the ads, Obama is ahead. What's more is twice as many people in those states think Bain is a reason to oppose Romney than a reason to support him. 

I agree more with James Carville than I do with his very wrong wife Mary Matalin that Romney will have to throw Bain on the crap heap as a result of it gaining so many negative connotations. As Illinois Senator Dick Durbin said earlier today, Romney is running from Bain like a scalded cat. Romney has already abandoned his governorship as proof of experience after having fellow Republicans trash his record during the primaries. What else is there? His award for Best Patrician Underbite in prep school? His being named Mama's Fancy Boy during an outing when she and he wore matching khaki? I can't wait.

Is is November yet?

Base Appeal

David Corn of Mother Jones puts it best when he describes Republican ideology as religion. I think he puts it best because that is the way that I have described it myself. Republicans have shifted so far to the right that they have become calcified. It is hard to tell which ones are just toeing a line and which ones believe what they say when they say "taxes are bad" and "the auto bailout was bad" and "the middle class can only grow if you coddle the wealthy."

Let's look at what would happen if smart people like John Boehner and Mitt Romney ever tried for a second to talk sense. Perhaps they'd want to test the waters by ADMITTING that the largest tax increase in U.S. history was simultaneous with the largest economic expansion in U.S. history. Perhaps they'd want to experiment by ADMITTING higher taxes did not prevent "job creators" from "creating jobs." Perhaps they'd want to survey the ramifications of ADMITTING having the lowest tax rates in over 60 years has had no effect on spurring employment. Perhaps they'd want to have a look see of the implications of ADMITTING the connection their party has been making between taxes and "job creation" is bullshit. 

What would happen is that they would be drummed out of the party and into oblivion. Again, today's Republican party is not about being right. It's about control. In the case of the "job creators" blather they have created a flawed doctrine and as with any doctrine, it does not have to be right to be relevant. It just has to be adhered to by enough people. And that is the problem for the GOP. This "job creator" mess is only adhered to by the Republican base. No one else is buying it. Just check out these polls.

Mitt: Offense? Defense? The Fence

This is not about any of Mitt Romney's opinions, because apparently he doesn't have any in this election cycle. That's by design. Romney, thought he could come out with his patrician underbite and tease Barack Obama into defeat while avoiding issues, policy, and his own past. That strategy depended largely on Obama bringing NO attention to Romney's position on the issues, his policy ideas, and most importantly, Romney's past.

A million Bain attack ads later, Mitt Romney has become Mitt Possum. He's got nothing to say in his defense. Now that Romney's offshore cash and Swiss bank accounts are turning into the stuff of Democratic pile-ons, Romney is in denial. He knows that the worst place to be as a candidate is on the defensive, yet when you are being attacked, you have to respond. If Romney responds to the allegations of him being a wealthy, outsourcing, vulture, Swiss bank account-having, job destroying, flip-flopping, economy wrecker it will be an acknowledgement that he is being put on the defensive. But if he acts as if no one is making these charges, he maintains the upper hand. He stays in control of the debate. Right? Right?

Is it November yet?

This Oughtta Help... Nunca

This is a screenshot from Mitt Romney's webpage devoted to winning over Latinos. It's entitled "JUNTOS CON ROMNEY." That means "together with Romeny" as in "let's all get in line together with Romney so he can check our papers since he digs Arizona's immigration law. Nice try Mitt, but you gotta do what you gotta do. That reminds me - where's your black people's page, "HoMEEezzz haNgin' WIT ROMROM"? Or what about your page for women, "BYtChES be wANtin' ULtRAsOUNDS fOr ROMROM 'casuse He BE piMPIN"? Mitt knows that Latinos like Spanish, Blacks like to butcher English and all women like black guys. 

Message to Barack Obama: You can't compete with this guy. Regardless of the shade of blood, be it one percent blue or plebeian maroon, he's got his finger on the pulse. A'IGHT?

Obamacare? Nobodycares

After having Obamacare upheld by SCOTUS, I'm not going to take this opportunity to gloat, but to criticize Obama for the ignorance of the American people. The majority of Americans don't like the Affordable Care Act because of what they heard from the Grand Hysterical Party. What they do like are the individual components of the act when asked about those components. Why the disconnect? Because Obama had the nerve to hide the details of Obamacare in the legislation he didn't write. How the hell are the People supposed to have access to public information? He should have known that even the boiled down details made available in the press/media were completely inaccessible to average Americans unless the curiosity fairy made rounds one night giving everyone a hunger for knowledge of the matters that effect their lives. What does he think this is, Europe? We're the independent citizens of the best country in the world. Spoon feed us, putz!

Oh Mitt, They're Getting to Know Ye?

Though the headlines are reporting a "tight race" nationally between Romney and Obama, those headlines are chasing the wrong ball. The real test is the numbers that show Obama with an eight point lead in the wishy-washy states. This clenches Romney's buttcheeks because this is where the Obama campaign is concentrating on their portrayal of Romney as the Bain Outsourcer in a series of ads that Team Romney are finding damaging. The only thing one can conclude is that as close as the headlines say the race is, Obama is in control of the message. 

Mystified Republicans have been quaking while Romney gets the ball spiked in his face again and again. They are wondering why Romney isn't fighting back. Well, finally, this week, Romney, Tagg that is, offered an excuse as to his father's paralysis:

"You'll see us hit back pretty hard. We're biding our time." and "We're catching up in cash on hand. If we're going to get outspent in June or October, I'd rather it be June."

I'm curious if Politico reported his words correctly though. How could they hear him so clearly from underneath the huge white flag he was trying to hoist above his head. To me, Taggmey was signing defeat. The message was muddled with indications of poorly advised political decision-making and complete unlikelihoods. 

Biding our time? I can appreciate Tagg for trying to make it sound like Pops is in control, but essentially what he is saying is Pops is in control of getting his ass kicked. Conventional wisdom and common sense is on the side of Obama. In politics, you define your opponent before your opponent has a chance to define themselves and you. Romney's difficulty is that he starts out from a position of unlikability making it only easier for people's dislike of him to only grow. Not only that, as the non-incumbent, he has more work to do to introduce himself to the American people. Not only that, people like Obama more than they like Romney. 

If Romney bides his time while Obama hammers him on his business experience, he is allowing more negative ideas of him to cement in the minds of voters. When someone hits you with a vital blow in politics you have to hit back hard and fast. That's politics 101. You don't bide your time. The only reason you would bide your time is if you just don't have a defense. That's what Tagg was signaling. 

The Romney campaign is saying: We've got a plan. What's our plan? Our plan is this that we are about to say now that this sentence is finished. Get ready because here comes our plan which is... drumroll please! What no drum? Well we need a drum to announce the plan, but it has to be the right drum, because this is going to be some plan!

Is it November yet?

A Surrogate of One (rated R for language)

Here’s a model of partisan debate between the gop and the dems from the 1980s to a time not too far ago: Democratic partisans would be winning on an issue. That is to say they would have the support of a majority of Americans behind them. Let’s say the winning issue was “kids should eat less sugar.” Of course kids should eat less sugar, but if control-obsessed conservatives went along with the issue, it would mean (to them) ceding a victory since it was a Democratic initiative in the first place. So instead of giving away an easy victory by agreeing with Democrats, the Party that Lincoln Would be Ashamed of would scuttle it all by accusing the Democrats of being “soft on vegetables.” Instead of sticking to their message, Democrats would go on the defensive and try to prove that they weren’t soft on vegetables resulting in an abandonment of an issue they could have won if they had just had enough backbone not to be scared off message. The Republicans would take a bunch of money from Big Sugar and use that to beat more Democrats.

Nothing like a little redux as Barack Obama runs for reelection without the help of any real surrogates. As Obama was getting some traction going after Mitt Romney for being a Bain Capital vulture, a coterie of  cowardly Democrats disavowed the Leader of the Party’s message. They were scared of being associated with what Obama was saying, and the worst part is that no one from the other side even had to do anything. Democrats, including a former two term president actually self-wedgied. They self-swirlied. They became a Republican’s wet dream: Democrats that are predisposed to scaring themselves off message. It’s not a big deal that those Dems revealed their own lack of fortitude, but to not have the back of the president who was on the winning side of a message was repulsive.

The likes of shithole mayor Corey Booker were scolding Obama’s Bain angle as if Booker was the teacher and Obama was a fifth grade scamp. WTF? And it seemed for a while as if Obama was scared away from using Mitt’s “business experience” against him, but no. Obama is like the Marvel character Blade, the half human, half vampire vampire fighter. It’s like Obama has enough Republican in him to successfully fight Republicans. The Bain strategy is out of the Republican playbook – take Romney’s strength and use it against him. The Bain ads are back up and playing in the strategic markets. Wherever there’s a white man who didn’t go to college, who is living close to the margins, but wouldn’t vote for a black guy in a million years, there’s a Bain ad. Wherever there’s a dude who worked for a company for years and then suddenly got fired when a private equity company liquidated his firm, there’s a Bain ad. Wherever people live in a place that looks like the “Silence of the Lambs” scene where Jodi Foster is investigating the disappearance of Fredrica Bimmel, there’s a Bain ad.

Romney’s only comeback to this attack is that “Obama wants to punish success,” but that line’s got no grip on anyone outside of the people carrying water for the 1%. When it comes to the contest of which candidate more people see as out of touch, Romney wins! He’s the one that don’t get it, with his patrician underbite and shit.

Someone was recently deriding Obama for the fact that he isn’t grooming any underlings to follow up after him. No wonder. Fewer people in Romney’s own party like him yet he seems to get more respect. At least there’s no one sabotaging his strategy. Obama is probably in the process of looking for someone to take under his wing. It’s just that the frisking procedure takes so friggin’ long. Before you take on an apprentice, you’d like to know that said apprentice won’t go on the Sunday morning shows and talk shit about you. It’s insulting, especially when you know what you are doing is right. You would think that the guy who killed Bin Laden could get some props from his own party. How many times has Corey Booker been elected president? Exactly.

I have no doubt at the amount of shouting and cursing going on at the Romney campaign HQ coming from Romney himself. Obama is bringing up just what Romney dared not thought anyone would have the balls to call attention to – his record. “Of all the nerve” must be what Romney is thinking as this strategy sinks in. For him it must be frustratingly effective. It does no good to think about how effective the message would be if high-profile Obama “supporters” pitched in. They have their motivations, which may include trying to stay in the good graces of the fat cats. Whatever their situation, we may have a Little Red Hen going on in the barnyard. The leader of the Democratic party has an idea, direction, and goal, but he can’t seem to get the rest of the farm animals to get on board. When Obama wins a second term, the shirkers and wusses will be filled with congratulations and hopes of selective senility. I’m sure Obama is a better man than me and when that time comes, he won’t tell them to go fuck themselves.