Archive for the ‘2012 Elections’ Category
This is from Andrew Sullivan. I saw this cartoon, and all I could think was: holy shit.
This is totally wrong. I don’t mean “wrong” wrong; it is just a political cartoon, and they have been ugly for as long as there have been presidents. Such efforts at satire are welcome in making one’s political point, TRC partakes in such efforts regularly. (This cartoon, however, is much closer to “wrong” wrong, in my humble opinion).
I do think, however, that this image of Obama the Pimp and Sandra Fluke the Prostitute does not bode well for the upcoming presidential election. I worry that what we were fighting about, the appropriate mechanism to provide contraception and the impact of that mechanism on constitutionally protected rights, has already been sacrificed on the altar of insanity. Not a great sign of things to come.
And finally, poor Ms. Fluke. She participated in our civic process by standing up for what she believes, and look how she has been repaid.
Happy International Women’s Day.
In case you were wondering what is at stake in the 2012 election, here is Rick Santorum during his Super Tuesday speech last night:
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the beginning of the end of freedom in America. Once the government has control of your life, then they got you…We’re at a time in this country when freedom is at stake and you are all blessed, as I am, to be here at a time when your country needs you, to be here at a time, like the original founders of this country, who signed that Declaration of Independence, to be here at a time when freedom was at stake and people were willing to go out and do heroic and courageous things to win that victory.
It’s Rick Santorum or a complete loss of freedom in America. At least he has perspective.
President Obama has been presented with a great luxury. While the Republican candidates for President are finding new ways to draw (political) blood, the President can remain free from the muck. The muck will of course come to him, but the longer the GOP folks fight amongst themselves, the more time Obama has to remind America why he inspired them in the first place: he is an awfully engaging, powerful campaigner. When full campaign mode comes, it won’t be easy for President Obama, obviously. There will be a terrible, ugly fight. Just as Liberals shouldn’t get too over-confident as Santorum and Romney say stupid thing after stupid thing, the GOP shouldn’t forget who they are running against.
Just thinking strictly politically, if I were a Republican, I would worry that one these two:
will eventually have to engage with this guy:
Here’s an article that seeks to make sense of the apocalyptic tone of the GOP 2012 Primary and Presidential Election strategy. Essentially, the piece looks at the changing demographics in the US–that we are and will continue to become less-white and more educated, and sees the voting bloc for today’s GOP shrinking into the future. As a result, the current form of conservatism of the past 40 years is getting desperate to remain relevant.
What that means, and how it will play out, remains to be seen. As the author surmises, it could mean that this election will be the last chance this current manifestation of the Republican Party has to survive. I’m not endorsing this view of the future. But it’s an worth considering.
So TRC recommends 2012 or Never, by Jonathon Chait, for NY Magazine.
Obama’s election dramatized the degree to which this long-standing political dynamic had been flipped on its head. In the aftermath of George McGovern’s 1972 defeat, neoconservative intellectual Jeane Kirkpatrick disdainfully identified his voters as “intellectuals enamored with righteousness and possibility, college students, for whom perfectionism is an occupational hazard; portions of the upper classes freed from concern with economic self-interest,” and so on, curiously neglecting to include racial minorities. All of them were, in essence, people who heard a term like “real American” and understood that in some way it did not apply to them. Today, cosmopolitan liberals may still feel like an embattled sect—they certainly describe their political fights in those terms—but time has transformed their rump minority into a collective majority. As conservative strategists will tell you, there are now more of “them” than “us.” What’s more, the disparity will continue to grow indefinitely. Obama actually lost the over-45-year-old vote in 2008, gaining his entire victory margin from younger voters—more racially diverse, better educated, less religious, and more socially and economically liberal.
Portents of this future were surely rendered all the more vivid by the startling reality that the man presiding over the new majority just happened to be, himself, young, urban, hip, and black. When jubilant supporters of Obama gathered in Grant Park on Election Night in 2008, Republicans saw a glimpse of their own political mortality. And a galvanizing picture of just what their new rulers would look like.
For some reason I cannot understand, Grover Norquist holds immense power in the modern Republican Party. If Grover tells Republicans to sign their name on a sheet of paper promising to do what Grover Norquist says is best for the country, for the most part candidates and officials sign their name to that paper. They may say otherwise, but they don’t act otherwise.
Norquist holds a lot of sway in the party. He’s not the ultimate arbiter of power and all things conservative, but still, he’s a force. And his opinions on the Republican presidential candidates matters.
So what is Norquist looking for a in a president? Here is at CPAC.
Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States. This is a change for Republicans: the House and Senate doing the work with the president signing bills. His job is to be captain of the team, to sign the legislation that has already been prepared.
All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it.
Yep. When choosing the quote leader of the free world unquote, we need someone who will do what he is told and will not attempt to be a leader or an autonomous human being with ideas to improve the nation. No. Pick someone with hands. Because the only thing that matters to Grover Norquist is that Obama loses to any Republican who will take Grover Norquist’s orders.
I assume Norquist has Romney in mind, since Romney is not a fully autonomous human anyway, but is a well oiled deliverer of adviser determined talking points. Or so it seems.
This may be a relatively politically astute position, designed to craft future policy to decrease Americans tax burdens, but it is still toxic to the health of the nation. Putting your faith solely in congress, let alone THIS congress, will not be good for anyone.
Anyway. Conservatives, Grover Norquist is poison to your party and our country, and following him too closely will not help your cause. Don’t let him drive you in to the ground.
By now you’ve heard about Rick Santorum’s very big day yesterday. Rick Santorum won MN, MO, and CO. It is a big night for him, and a big result for the GOP Primary campaign. How it will affect the remainder of the race remains to be seen.
But TRC wonders about if the fluctuations are still in process. I wonder if we should read more in to Rick Santorum’s surge than we did Rick Perry’s. Is it more likely that Santorum will be nominated because his upswing is happening during the contests rather than before them? I’m not sure. The foul taste to the conservative caucus goer that is Mitt Romney obviously still remains, but how important will that be when we walk away from the caucuses and get into the voting booth in non-Midwestern/Southeastern states? It’s still hard to see Rick Santorum being the the nominee picked to compete against Barack Obama. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t be.
Also interesting, in the three states that held contests yesterday, where no delegates were awarded, Rick Santorum totaled 186,973 votes (these vote counts will likely change. These are the totals Wed morning at 8.30). 138, 957 in the non-primary in MO, 26,580 in CO‘s caucus, and 21,463 in MN‘s caucus. I don’t point this out to diminish Santorum’s victories–what his victories mean will be up the Republicans to decide–but only to highlight that we are still dealing with a very small number of voters, awarding a very small number of votes that are potentially of little importance by the time March 6 rolls around. We shall see.
TRC does not know hot to feel about the possibility that our home state could be the springboard for Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign. His continued success only helps President Obama’s re-election campaign, in our opinion. And were he to win the nomination, well, that would even further help Obama’s chances in November. So thinks TRC.*
However, as far as TRC is concerned, Santorum is terrible. Just awful. Blech. Frankly, I do not want Minnesota to be the state that brings this man’s campaign to life. But it looks like Mr. Santorum is going to win our state. Oh well. I will give props to Santorum for his visit to the Bemidji factory that makes the sweater vests for which is he so famous. That story did make me smile. Unfortunately, that was the same swing through MN in which he said that God has “spefically blessed” the United States. Then I remembered: Oh yeah, this guy is awful.
We’ll have to wait until tonight to see what happens and how Minnesotans respond to the GOP extravaganza.
What the MN results will mean for Santorum is being bandied about by the pros. If you are interested. It’s fun to see Minnesota’s caucuses getting attention and making a splash in the process.
Is Santorum’s Surge in Minnesota a Sign of Things to Come? Huff Po.
Romney Braces for Santorum Threat as Minnesota Vote Looms. San Francisco Chronicle.
What Rick Santorum can win on Tuesday. Washington Post.
And for the local coverage, which is better than these, GOP Candidates blitz MN in caucus free for all. Star Tribune.
TRC will be sure to cover the results of the Minnesota Caucuses tomorrow. It will likely have something to say about how Santorum won, and how that doesn’t really matter, and will include jokes at Santorum’s expense.
*As a liberal, I will note that over-confidence is often our weakness.
This political spot was aired in Michigan during the Super Bowl yesterday. Which means a lot of people saw it.
It is amazing that a political team can watch this video and no one said, “Sir, I’m not so sure this is a good idea.”
How about instead, Pete Hoekstra, you make your case that Rep. Debbi Stabenow’s policies are sending money and jobs abroad without appealing to imagery that belittles the Chinese with 1950s depictions of foreign individuals (you thought using that music was good for you?). This may not be “racist,” I’ll let others determine that. But this ad is, at best, terrible, and at worst, extremely anti-China.
Apparently the Hoekstra campaigned considered the possibility that this ad would be seen as racist. “We were aware of the possibility that [Democrats would] raise the race issue.” Yes. Only Democrats speak out against xenophobia. He also claimed the “ad was not insensitive to Chinese Americans.” Because that decision is up to Pete Hoekstra.
In defending his political ad on Monday, the Hoekstra campaign said: “This is about as fact-checked and accurate you can get.” Indeed. In the future, you don’t need your fact-checkers to back up an add that has no factual information and instead just makes bland statements about sending jobs to China.
Also: Here’s Andrew Sullivan with a worthy quip:
Of all the representations of a Chinese person to make an enemy of the American worker, Hoekstra had to pick a peasant girl? Not a financial tycoon in Shanghai, or a factory owner in Guangzhou? Damn those peasants for trying to escape abject poverty!
I’m familiar with Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg from my days out in Missoula. He’s a western conservative, and upholds a lot of that Western Conservatism. Needless to say, he was not terribly popular in the Environmental Studies Graduate Department.
He’s now running for senate against Sen. Jon Tester, who I met in D.C. and was quite impressed with. Tester also emanates Western-ness, but of a different ilk. Both Tester and Rehberg are multi-generational farmers in Montana, and give you that sense–if you are from the Midwest–of The West.
Anyway. One of the things Rehberg wants to do in the Senate is change child labor laws regarding what children are allowed to do on their family farms. Rehberg wants to relax the laws, to enable kids to do more tasks. A rule change, it should be noted, that Tester also supports. And Tester probably makes a good spokesman for child farm labor, having lost three fingers in a meat-grinder at 9 years old in the family butcher shop.
I don’ t know much about these rules, beyond joking about child labor regulations while spending summers on a farm back in my early teens. They were jokes we kids loved, but no so much the farmers. But something Rehberg said caught my eye.
Talking about his ranching operation, Rehberg said:
“I don’t rope and I don’t tie and I don’t brand with a hot iron,” he went on, adding that he uses modern equipment that he said is virtually incapable of hurting children.
“You can’t get hurt,” Rehberg fumed. “It’s impossible. You could have a five-year-old out there running it.”…
“I’ve come to the conclusion in my 11 years in Congress that it isn’t necessarily a difference in philosophy between Republicans and Democrats — there’s a difference in philosophy between urban and rural,” Rehberg said.”
That is two very fascinating sentiments. One of which is relatively insightful and the other, well, probably more insulting to ranchers.
The rural and urban divide, like the divide between rich and poor, is becoming (if it hasn’t always been) a defining characteristic of contemporary American life. And the ‘old ways,’ for lack of a better term, should not be ignored by urban lawmakers. Which isn’t to say we should allow children to be put in danger to protect tradition.
It is only to say, such things are complicated and need recognizing.
Things have officially gotten crazy in Florida. From a robocall making the rounds in Florida, on behalf of Newt Gingrich:
Holocaust survivors, who for the first time, were forced to eat non-kosher, because Romney thought $5 was too much to pay for our grandparents to eat kosher. Where is Mitt Romney’s compassion for our seniors?
I’m not sure what this is symptomatic of: The stupidity of robocalling as a campaign tool or the willingness of Gingrich supporters to do anything (ANYTHING!) to defeat Mitt Romney. Either way.