Posts Tagged ‘Politics’
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:
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 hope that Rep. Allen West, the outspoken Florida Tea Party darling, does not win reelection to the United States House of Representatives. It’s not so much because he is a Tea Party darling who imbues almost everything about politics that I find, well, gross. I can live with that.
No the reason I hope that he is removed from his position as elected representative in the US Congress is because he said this to our President:
Take your message of equality of achievement, take your message of economic dependency, take your message of enslaving the entrepreneurial will and spirit of the American people somewhere else. You can take it to Europe, you can take it to the bottom of the sea, you can take it to the North Pole, but get the hell out of the United States of America.
This may not be that bad. I don’t know. I’m sure this kind of thing is a winning political statement. It is probably market-tested to annoy people like me, who value equality and fairness. It is probably work-shopped to drive us fucking insane. Well, it worked. And I don’t care if you meant it to drive me crazy. I hope voters remove you from Congress.
After which, you are more than welcome to stay in the US.
A major media outlet finds it necessary to write this sentence:
Obama is a Christian, but hasn’t been able to persuade many Republicans that he is, despite going to church and praising Jesus Christ publicly.
Help me understand how this is possible? We have a Christian president, who displayed during the 2008 election that he was very much at home talking about Jesus Christ and his personal faith. But our country chooses not to believe him. Why?
I’m told that it’s not racism, and I don’t want it to be racism. I don’t want it to be xenophobia, or religious intolerance, or any such nonsense. But 18% of Republicans is a lot of people. Those kind of numbers are not easily cast aside as some kind of fringe nonsense. That’s millions of people disregarding reality to support a fantasy based on…what?
And yes, Rick Santorum, it is your responsibility to correct your supporters who are telling lies.
Today is the New Hampshire Primary. The day New Hampshire will vote for Mitt Romney, and the suspense for TRC will be: How well will Jon Huntsman do? That’s the only interesting part of today, besides the infighting and the crybabying and the general fun of political muckety-muck.
And muckety-muck there has been in N.H.
Gingrich is going crazy with his anti-Mitt railings. It is clear Mr. Gingrich’s pledge to run a clean campaign does not extend beyond the realization that voters don’t much like him, and to be successful, he’s going to have be a douche. Want proof? Check out Newt’s latest campaign website: Stop Romney’s Pious Baloney. Yeah. It’s essentially Newt barf in interweb form.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Santorum is getting his day in the sun: where rampant homophobia and anti-gay behavior should be rejected. Which, at least in part, it has been by the New Hampshire voters. And in return, Rick Santorum has turned sarcastic and bitter regarding the young people who find him distasteful. Well, at least he’s consistent (somebody will say, as they vote for him). Note to Santorum: you can’t claim to respect the dignity of the GLBT community, while wanting to outlaw gay sex and comparing their relationships to polygamy, or worse. Sorry.
Apparently Mitt Romney takes pleasure in firing people. That’s not a surprise, he’s a many times over millionaire who got his fortune by letting businesses go bankrupt. He’s the picture of the wealthy man becoming so by deciding the fates of others. Sure, some of those people got jobs at companies that succeeded, others had their places closed down and lost jobs. Don’t pretend otherwise. This is how Mitt Romney got rich. For this, he is the target of everyone’s ire. Which is just fine, if a bit, you know, disingenuous.
Huntsman seems highly reasonable, prepared for important issues, and relatively likable. Naturally, he’s failing. But there has been signs of hope for today. Hopefully New Hampshire can give him some momentum to make a run at it. He’s a reasonable man in a clown school.
Ron Paul is still doing what he does: rousing the rabble. Rick Perry is still somewhere, I think, waiting for New Hampshire to end so he can do in South Carolina what Paul does so well everywhere else.
I think that’s everyone. Have fun Granite Staters.
Oh Rick Santorum. I don’t want to continue blogging about you, but so badly I do. So two great notes on Rick Santorum.
- Rick Santorum was recently quoted during a campaign stop as saying: “I don’t want to make the lives of black people better by giving them other people’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn their money and provide for themselves and their families.” That upset some in the black community, because it essentially equates black life with life on welfare. Very nice.But now Rick Santorum has looked at the evidence, and upon further review, he has determined that is not what he said at all! According to Santorum: ““I’ve looked at that quote, in fact I looked at the video…In fact, I’m pretty confident I didn’t say black. What I think — I started to say a word and then sort of changed and it sort of — blah — mumbled it and sort of changed my thought.”So, you said “black”, which would make sense in a sentence, or you said ”blah” which is much better. And to be fair, it doesn’t sound like “black” in the video. I heard Bligh, which of course would make sense if Santorum isn’t too eager to help Lt. Bligh, famously stern commander of the Bounty, whose actions led to a mutiny of historical fame.
- Even better (and by better I mean much, much worse) than Mr. Blah is “Mr. Santorum: Jesus Candidate.” Presumably of course, he meant himself, rather than, I don’t know, the Joseph Smith Candidate? (Hint: That means Mitt Romney, Reminder: Mitt Romney is a Mormon, Reminder 2: Real Christians consider Mormonism cultish). Anyway. At a Q&A in New Hampshire, Santorum was told: ““We don’t need a Jesus candidate, we need an economic candidate.” Of course, that must be true, because our nation is in an economic crisis, and since the United States is not and can never be a Christian Nation, having a “Jesus Candidate” is not terribly appropriate role for the Chief Executive. Mr. Santorum of course disputes my interpretation of this, and responded: “My answer to that was we always need a Jesus candidate.We need someone who believes in something more than themselves and not just the economy. When we say, ‘God bless America,’ do we mean it or do we just say it?”This is a very peculiar response, and one that makes my spine twinge. We emphatically do NOT need a Jesus Candidate for President. Religious Candidates are fine, and in fact are probably quite necessary. Everyone should believe in something more than themselves, as trite and meaningless as such a statement is. But a Jesus Candidate is a terrible idea, runs in clear opposition to the founding of this nation (BOOM, take that originalists), and should be openly rejected even by Christians.
A friend of mine recently asked what it would take to decide to pull my support for President Obama in 2012. I don’t know what the answer is, but there is one. He was essentially asking: What does it mean to support a politician? This is a serious question. No person is right on all the issues, of course. And whether you know it or not, no politician gets all your views right. We have to make compromises in our lives all the time, and supporting politicians is an area where no one can walk without compromise.
Ta-Nehisi Coates took this up yesterday, continuing a conversation he’s been having about Ron Paul (among other things), in a post titled Saviorism. Coates speaks candidly about what it means to support Obama (citing Glenn Greenwald), what it means to support Paul, and what compromises he cannot make. Here’s Coates:
In this democracy we take the things we like about a candidate, weigh them against the things we don’t and then compare them to the field. Calculations, even among ostensible allies differ. This is understandable. In that vein, it is not the fact of supporting Ron Paul that gives me angst–it is the notion that his long record of statements on minorities (from the newsletters to the King holiday to the TSA workers) somehow have very little political import or meaning.
I obviously like a lot of what Ron Paul says on the drug war, on wars period, on national security policy. But I can’t really support a president who is dangerously ignorant of the basic facts of American history (watch the video.) I can’t ever support a president who is pro-life. (I have explained why here.) I can’t ever support a president who thinks America would have been better without the Civil Rights Act. To be blunt, I just don’t have that luxury.
I like this. This is the kind of honesty that is lacking in the theater we put on in American Politics (and often at TRC). At the end of the day, disaffected liberals, can you support Obama or not? Can evangelicals put off by Romney come to support him or not? We weigh these things constantly, and we come out somewhere on the scale. Some people rationalize such a compromise, and make an acceptable candidate the longed for savior of the Nation. Obviously this occurred with Candidate Obama, but it was not new to 2008. Why put such effort in? Anyone in politics is going to have baggage, is going to have a different view than you on some of your important issues. At least, if they are honest, they should. And we all stick to our guns when we have to. At least, if we are honest, we should.
For example: A lot of people could never, ever vote for a candidate that is pro-choice. Abortion, for a lot of Americans, is the end-all issue. But those voters will often support candidates who favor capital punishment. I don’t get that. I find that highly contradictory. But I don’t really have to get it. Why does that matter in their political worldview?
Likewise, I wouldn’t vote for a candidate that supports bringing religion into government in a way that blurs the already too blurry lines between church and state. Someone that further creates a theological argument for educational policy, or wants to see religious beliefs enshrined in constitutional amendments. That’s a line I wouldn’t cross. Well, probably. If I’m honest with myself in the voting booth, it still might come down to who the alternative is.
At a recent birthday party for Mrs. TRC, I had a loud argument about how dissatisfied I am with President Obama’s eagerness to engage in military conflict, especially in the use of unmanned drones to bomb nations where people live, but don’t get on television. I find that a terrible practice. But I can support Obama for president, and write about why I admire his presidency, and support his reelection. I am perfectly content holding those two positions at the same time. Because Obama was never going to be a savior, and he was not the prophet of a new America. If you thought he was, that is as much your own fault as it is his. You chose to ignore the political, and actual reality of life: the world is really fucking complicated, and we have to live in it anyways.
As Coates puts it: Those are my calculations. You have your own to make. I urge you to them with wide-eyes, without equivocation and minimization of your candidates flaws, and away from expectations of prophecy and the messianic. All the prophets are dead.