Tag Archives: 2012 GOP primaries

Thoughts on the First Debate: More Reasons to Be Careful of What You Vote Against

 

“Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

I did not watch the Presidential debate Wednesday night. Not one minute of it. Neither did I watch the coverage of the debates by any news outlets, liberal or conservative. Somehow I think that doing so in such a poisonous political climate is bad for the soul. However while watching the Major League Baseball Channel I did occasionally check my Twitter feed and Facebook timeline.

What I saw on those made me really glad that I didn’t watch. I made a comment on my Facebook page that I wasn’t going to watch 90 minutes of political spin. The current debate formats used by every news network ensure that not only the candidates get to spin their stories but “spin rooms” are set up so all of the candidates surrogates can spin the debates. The media, liberal and conservative, mainstream, lame stream and weak stream love the spin rooms because for them this is money and power.

So I didn’t watch. I talked to a few friends today and got their take and finally this evening I watched some coverage of the aftermath and did a little reading. I got the message. Mitt Romney “won” the debate by flipping the etch-a-sketch. After months of pandering to the hard right he flipped to the center with enough force that it almost made the President’s head spin. It was like he was the old Massachusetts Governor Romney again, the one that he cast aside to win the nomination. From the pictures of the debate that I saw as well as the few clips that I watched tonight on appearance Romney stole the show. But I wonder how short lived the post debate “Romney kicked the lazy, incompetent, disengaged, protected not a real President’s” ass will last.

What really got to me about the responses I read last night in real time on Twitter and Facebook was the absolute willingness of the most extreme partisans on both sides to say the most hateful and outlandish things about the other candidate or their positions.  Not only was much of it hateful, but some was positively racist. Yes there were some that were trying to stay on actual policies but most seemed content to act like drunk football fans dissing the other team and some of the nastiest of the bunch were Christian clergy.

I wonder when people who really didn’t like Romney but supported him because they thought that he supported their interests will do when they see that when push comes to shove he, like so many politicians will toss them over the side to get elected. We know that in the primaries that many in the GOP, especially in the more Libertarian Tea Party and Social Conservative Evangelical Christian and Roman Catholic circles at best were tepid in their support of Romney if not outright hostile to his candidacy. But after they couldn’t nominate a non-Mormon anti-Mitt they gathered around Romney because of their opposition to Obama.

To me it now looks like Romney is doing the proverbial side step and is about to do whatever he needs to do or say to win the election, even if it means offending various GOP constituencies. Personally I don’t blame him if he does. Some of the things that he endured from people in his own party during the primaries, especially from Evangelical Christian leaders were shocking. The religious intolerance alone from some Evangelical leaders was frightening. So if Romney is able to turn this around and win I doubt that he will remain beholden to such people for long.  Unlike some I don’t think that Romney is running simply to help his fellow rich people. I think that he sees the Presidency as the pinnacle of personal success and if he is elected I know that he will want to go down in history as a great President. I may disagree with many of his policies and even some of the things that he has done, but I don’t think that he is in the race to lose, or should he win to fail as President.

That will be the ultimate irony of the campaign. That united by hate for a President tat they do not deem legitimate, that many find repugnant simply because of his race that they elect a man that will use them to get elected and then toss them and their agendas aside.

If nothing else Romney is a smart and ruthless businessman who is willing to play a zero sum game to win and should he be elected to do whatever he needs to do to be successful. He understands Machiavelli and he is willing to do the things that he needs to do to win.  In Massachusetts that meant universal health care and being “soft” on birth control and abortion. He also did what he needed to do to balance the state budget including revenue increases. Before the convention every time he or one of his staff tried to move toward the center in even the smallest way they were smacked down by the right wing of their party and conservative ideologues. Judging from the transcripts of what Romney said last night it sounded to me like he has now made that move. He will still try to placate some on the right but be certain he will do whatever he needs to win now, especially since he is trailing in the battleground states where he cannot win without moving to the center.

I have always said that people need to be careful of what they are voting against because they just might get it. My guess is the no matter candidate wins the election in November that the religious partisans of the Christian right will be the losers. They will have sold their soul for the sake of their political power and will come out on the short end of the equation. I think Jesus mentioned something somewhere about those that gain the world but lose their soul….

Those are just some thoughts after all, one of these guys is going to be the next President and whether or not he is “our” candidate he will still be President. So be careful what you vote against, you just may get it.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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The Pain of Bain Will Always be the Same

I don’t know why but I have been amazed to see the Romney campaign turn into a total train wreck this week.  I really didn’t expect it but to me it looks like the wheels seem to be coming off with the continuing and expanding revelations of Romney’s involvement with Bain Capital. Documents from Bain signed by Romney point to a real possibility that Romney is not telling the whole story about his activity as owner, CEO and sole stockholder of Bain. These include filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission interviews, statements and even the paperwork for his residency for his 2002 campaign for the office of Governor of Massachusetts all of which point to him being less than honest in how he represents that time. Likewise there are the issues of Swiss and Cayman Islands bank accounts and unwillingness to disclose more than last year’s tax records.

Thus it was hard not to shake my head in amazement when Romney went of five different networks to say that that he “left any responsibility whatsoever, any effort, any involvement whatsoever in the management of Bain Capital after February of 1999.”  What got me was not just the words, but his facial expressions and body language, it was not believable.

One can think what they want of President Obama. One can call him an Anti-American Atheist, Communist, Socialist, Liberation Theology loving, pork eating, beer drinking Moslem. One can oppose every one of his policies.  One can even believe that he is the son of a Vulcan explorer and an earth mother that was beamed from Kenya to Hawaii so he be President and through the UN bring about a treaty that would cause the earth to cede its independence to a United Federation of Planets in a future alternate universe and one can vote against him for a multitude of reasons but one cannot ignore that Romney has serious character issues that are red flags that his supporters should pay attention to before they come back to haunt them.  Simply put I think anyone who fought against the Romney nomination and now backs him simply because he is not Obama is in for trouble.

Now nobody should be surprised by how the script is playing out. In fact almost every opponent of Romney’s in the GOP primaries warned us of this. They ran the anti-Bain commercials, they talked about Romneycare they pointed out every chink in the armor of a Romney campaign and got carpet bombed by Romney for doing so. In fact some even called Romney a “liar.” The problem was that none of them had the money or organization or the support of Wall Street and the Multi-National corporations that Romney had and his PACS destroyed them. He took no prisoners.

Rick Perry was blasted out by Romney early but he made these comments:

“I happen to think that companies like Bain Capital could have come in and helped these companies if they truly were venture capitalists, but they’re not — they’re vulture capitalists.”

“While you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation. … You failed as the governor of Massachusetts.”

“If you are a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina to tell you he feels your pain. Because he caused it.”

“I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he’d have enough of them to hand out.”

Rick Santorum, arguably the most populist of the Republican candidates and the only one that mounted a real challenge to Romney said that Romney was “the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.” 

Santorum also said:

“If Mitt Romney’s an economic heavyweight, we’re in trouble, because he was 47th out of 50 in job creation in the state of Massachusetts when he was governor. He may have had some success at making money for himself and his partners at Bain Capital, and I give him a lot of credit for doing so, but that’s a very different thing than going out and creating an atmosphere for people to create — that create jobs.”

Newt Gingrich got off the Romneyvation early and got blasted but he tore some holes in Romney’s campaign:

“I just think he ought to be honest with the American people and try to win as the real Mitt Romney, not try to invent a poll-driven, consultant-guided version that goes around with talking points, and I think he ought to be candid. I don’t think he’s being candid and that will be a major issue. From here on out from the rest of this campaign, the country has to decide: Do you really want a Massachusetts moderate who won’t level with you to run against Barack Obama who, frankly, will just tear him apart? He will not survive against the Obama machine.”

“We are not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a stockholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together and understand what this is all about.”

Michelle Bachmann said:

“He can’t beat Obama because his policy is the basis of Obamacare. The signature issue of Obama is Obamacare. You can’t have a candidate who has given the blueprint for Obamacare. It’s too identical. It’s not going to happen.” 

“He’s been very inconsistent on his positions. He’s been on both sides of the abortion issue, on both sides of the issue with same-sex marriage … he was for the TARP bill, the $700 billion bailout and the global warming initiatives.”

Former Utah Governor, Ambassador to China and fellow Mormon said of Romney:

“I think Romney will show leadership on the economy, but on the trust deficit, I don’t see a whole lot of leadership.”

And the only GOP candidate still in the hunt, Ron Paul ran this ad:

“Mitt Romney can’t fight against Obamacare because he supported the same mandates and government takeovers as governor of Massachusetts.  Romney can’t stand up against more bailouts because he supported them. He can’t lead the charge to shrink the government because he has grown it. Romney’s record is liberal and putting him up against Obama is a recipe for defeat.”

By the way did you notice that none of these people are Democrats? That should speak volumes.

One of two things are going to happen and please do not say that you were not warned. Either the wheels will continue to come off and Romney’s campaign will blow up leading to a defeat in November. That may also impact Congressional races because people may be so disgusted by their candidate that they don’t show up. They may not vote for Obama but they will not support Romney.

The other possibility is that hatred for Obama will cause people that cannot stand Romney to vote for him anyway and that he will win the election. Obama haters will rejoice until they realize that they voted in a man who still remembers what they said about him and only sees them as a means to the become President. They are simply votes to be bought and the bottom line is all that matters.  That is his history as a businessman and governor. He may not be a good politician but underneath that perfect head of hair he is a ruthless businessman, just asked those that ran against him in the GOP primaries this year.

When that happens those that opposed and denigrated Romney during the primaries should not expect for Romney to treat them well.  This is especially true for the Evangelicals who just a couple months ago were calling Romney a member of a religious cult.  Romney will govern based on what he wants, not what they want. Instead of four years of a lame duck Obama administration they will have either have Romney for eight years or end up with a different Democrat in the White House in 2016 and it will destroy the Republican Party.

Alan Keyes, who I never agree with made a comment that while I may not completely agree with probably needs to be heeded by religious conservatives whose hatred of Obama has driven them into Romney’s camp. If they believe like Keyes that Obama is evil then they need to look at what the results of their hatred of him may bring about:

 “As I tried to point out in 2008, the lesser of evils is still evil. No matter how such an election turns out, people content to choose between Satan and Beelzebub have made clear their willingness to let things go to hell. Moreover, the nature of their choice is so clear to them that they practically boast of the passionate hatred that impels them to it. With this practical boast they become the willing, proud accomplices of the very evil they profess to hate.”

People need to be careful what they ask for because they just might get it.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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