Thursday, January 26, 2012

Full, Unconcealed Panic

Erick Erickson at RedState practically begs for a new candidate to take on Obama:
[T]his election is more volatile than any we have seen in a very long time because the party leaders, after years of learning to corral its base activists have now lost control and lost the respect of the base.

The deadly consequence is a cage match between the base and the establishment both of whom are backing two deeply, deeply flawed candidates with the odds heavily against them in a general election.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is time for both sides to let the scales fall from their eyes and in a bit of sanity rethink this thing.  Time is short, but there is still time.  Surely there is someone out there that both the Romney supporters and Newt supporters can agree on who is not named either or Newt.

... So maybe we ought to to all find someone who we all kind of like instead of heading to Tampa in August all licking wounds and pretending to rally to the man the voters chose between the evils of two real lessers.

Italics mine.  The GOP is in full panic mode right now.  "Surely there is someone out there (!!!)"  Erickson is not stating fact; he's pleading to anyone who will listen to enroll another candidate to restore some respect to the party.  The question is, just whom might that candidate be?  Jeb Bush?  Uh, not another one of those.  Mitch Daniels?  His wife won't let him. John Thune?  Excuse me, who?    

Let's face it: in its zeal to move further to the right while under the delusion that the voting populace is mostly a collection of far-right wingnuts, the Republican Party has been decimated, reduced to a collection of (mostly) far-right wingnuts.  They have no one compelling to offer who isn't also radically out of step with the great majority of people in this nation.  That means any up-and-comer who was a darling of the Tea Party in 2010 (and remains so now and into the near future) will have to make a serious dash toward the center to appeal to independents in 2016.  After this election that Erickson rightly characterizes as volatile, and after otherwise intelligent people right of center realize that their President can and does govern with them in mind too, the urgency of finding a Great White (Christian) Hope to take back the country will begin to fade.  However, it could just as easily mean the creation of the "Wingnut" Party, as I've predicted for months.  Either way, I believe as many others do that the GOP needs to be soundly crushed this November for any progress to be made in improving partisan relations on every level.

Given Erickson's somewhat limited influence, it's pretty apparent that the GOP has ceded this election.  The best they can hope for is a candidate who will not hurt the party down-ticket.  As Erickson writes:
I am part of the base that will do everything I can to defeat Mitt Romney because I believe he will be a disastrous nominee who will cost us the House, the Senate, the White House, and consequently the Supreme Court.  There are Mitt supporters who feel the same about Newt, Rick Santorum, and Ron Paul.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Quote of the Day

"You kind of get your panties in a wad and you may say things that you regret later. And I think that that’s what Chris Christie did." -- Sarah Palin, reacting to NJ Governor Chris Christie's comments about how Newt Gingrich has embarrased the Republican Party.  Pot, meet kettle.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Down to Four

Rick Perry will announce his withdrawal from the race today, before he faces more embarrassment in the South Carolina primary.  The last couple of weeks have seen Perry get a little more vocal, a little less bumbling, but the damage was completely done well ahead of his dismal performance in Iowa.  One of the most spectacular crash-and-burn failures I can remember.

CNN reports that Perry will endorse Gingrich, not Romney.  Not surprising: a loser supporting another loser.  But, combined, their poll numbers in South Carolina don't equal Romney's.

Once Gingrich quits, he'll probably endorse Santorum, but that will backfire as it becomes clearer who will be the nominee of the party -- Romney.

Obama must be pissing himself with abject fear at having to debate Romney in the general.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The friggin' New York Post reports on some pretty damning stuff regarding the companies purchased by Romney's Bain Capital:
*Bain in 1988 put $5 million down to buy Stage Stores, and in the mid-'90s took it public, collecting $100 million from stock offerings. Stage filed for bankruptcy in 2000.
* Bain in 1992 bought American Pad & Paper (AMPAD), investing $5 million, and collected $100 million from dividends. The business filed for bankruptcy in 2000.
* Bain in 1993 invested $60 million when buying GS Industries, and received $65 million from dividends. GS filed for bankruptcy in 2001.
* Bain in 1997 invested $46 million when buying Details, and made $93 million from stock offerings. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2003.
Four companies, $116 million invested, $358 million returned (average annual return roughly 132%), four subsequent bankruptcies.  Yeah, that's a job creator!  This needs to be in every ad about the economy/jobs created by all of Romney's opponents.  He'll eventually get nominated, but with this stuff floating out there for the next six months, he'll have a lot of 'splainin' to do!

Romney to The 99%: You're Just Jealous

In an interview with The Today Show's Matt Lauer after the New Hampshire primary, Mitt Romney encapsulates the entire concerns of the Occupy movement and those who agree with or support it as "the politics of envy."  What a callous statement that is!  He goes on to say that the discussion over income and wealth/power inequality in this country is one we ought to have, but in "quiet rooms" rather than in public settings.  Basically, he's admitting that the top 1% are cowards.  Is this why he still won't release his tax returns?

I'm really interested to see how this argument plays out with the public during the general election. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Time for a Third Pary?

As I've written here countless times, I believe that the GOP presidential failure in 2008, which revealed a big divide in that party between small-c conservative "Buckleyite" moderates and the hard-core, far-right ideologues dominated by the Christianists, would result in a schism that would eventual create a third party.  Sullivan compiles a couple of thoughts on the subject here, indicating that Americans are largely ready for a third party.  But they have it wrong.  What pollsters see as "independents" is really a mish-mash of people who only call themselves independents because they don't want party affiliation for whatever reason.  There's nothing there to coalesce into a party, because there are far left elements and far right elements.  If anything comes from the large body of so-called independents, it will be multiple parties, at least two.  Once there is a third party, there will be more to follow.

You'll never get Libertarians to that level.  Their reputation as isolationist nutjobs is nearly cemented, thanks to the press coverage of Ron Paul.  Not to say that Paul has nothing of substance to say.  But there's a huge conflict within his message that doesn't offer leadership; merely, a fountain of ideas to be refined so that all Americans can get behind them.

My bet is that Christianists are first out of the gate with a third party, incorporating far-right social issues with the prosperity gospel and Dominionism to make a claim for national leadership.  All they need right now is a charismatic leader who sounds more reasonable than insane.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fantastic Point about Ron Paul

Courtesy of Andrew Sullivan and Robert Wright.  Wright's main point:
If a lack of moral imagination is indeed the core problem with America's foreign policy, and Ron Paul is unique among presidential candidates in trying to fight it, I think you have to say he's doing something great.

Andrew's point:
When your foreign policy is based entirely on abstract arguments about America and ideology, and not also on figuring out how your foe might act rationally (and the Iranian regime has acted quite rationally in its own self-interest since it began), [it] can lead to fatal error.

Literally Praying for a Santorum Nomination

Tonight I will hit my knees to beg our omnipotent creator to give Rick Santorum the strength, through increased funding and organization, to see the primary process all the way to the convention, where the delegates finally admit that they so dislike Romney that they're willing to nominate Santorum to run against Obama.  Conor Friedersdorf likes the Democrats' chances if that happens:
[C]onsider Santorum, who has no executive experience, served two terms in the House and one term in the Senate, and then lost his bid for reelection by 18 points. His unpopularity was due partly to the fact that he manages to articulate his positions in the most alienating, unlikable terms imaginable. More than even Newt Gingrich or Rick Perry, a Santorum candidacy would rally Democrats and independents back around the president who has disappointed them. Santorum's position on contraception is so extreme that it'd likely cost him even if only Catholics showed up to vote for the general election. And his foreign-policy views would arguably do more to empower the neo-con wing of the Republican Party than did George W. Bush.

Should Santorum get the nomination and his true colors revealed for all to see, I predict a Johnson/Goldwater-like result in the 2012 election.  There simply aren't enough Americans who are willing to elect a radical theocon fascist like Senator Frothy Mix.

Thanks for comin', Shelly, buh-bye!

First time in history that Michele Bachmann has done something I agree with and support.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Moment of Truth in Iowa

More than three years ago, I predicted that the Republican Party, believing that it lost the election to Barack Obama and the Democrats because they weren't conservative enough, would splinter into at least two, perhaps three, distinct groups.

In Iowa tomorrow, voters in that very religiously conservative state will select their favorite among the seven remaining Republican candidates.  And here are the top three: Mitt Romney, the socially moderate (he ain't foolin' anyone) fiscal conservative who has the support of many in the establishment wing of the party; Ron Paul, the heavily libertarian constitutionalist with the crazy conspiracy theories and no love for the Civil Rights Act of 1964; and Rick Santorum, a radical theocon who wants to outlaw abortion in all cases and strip already married gay couples of their marital status by constitutional amendment.

I believe my prediction has come true.  Should Romney win tomorrow, as is largely expected, he will have a pretty easy go of it for the remainder of the season.  If Paul finishes a strong second or even wins, watch the establishment take a flame thrower to his campaign such that he launches a third-party run.  Should Santorum finish strong, watch the Christianists and Tea Partiers run with that all the way to Super Tuesday, believing in their chances to dominate, once and for all, the party they have tried to dominate since 1968.