Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

Prep School Bully Gets a Wedgie

November 7, 2012

I’m glad that Mitt Romney lost, partly for reasons I discussed in a previous post, and partly because I won’t have to spend the next four years looking at his smug, arrogant face. I also like the fact that this is a thumb in the eye to Rupert Murdoch, whose propaganda machine did everything in its power to prevent Obama’s re-election. Since Obama has been good to Murdoch’s Wall Street friends, one can only suppose that race is the reason for Murdoch’s antipathy. The same goes for the Koch brothers and their Tea Party zombies.

Romney was arguably the most feckless presidential nominee since Barry Goldwater. Try as he might, he could hide that fact that his worldview is essentially that of a prep school bully. One striking giveaway was his comments about the London Olympics. The man just brims over with sneering condescension towards other people, particularly foreigners. Mind you, the reason Romney was nominated was because the other candidates were considered to be even more inept. At this point, one must whether the Republican Party has any future. It seems to be kept on life support by Fox News.

This election indicates that the U.S. is becoming more socially liberal. Marijuana was legalized in Washington and Colorado. Same-sex marriage was legalized in Washington, Maine, and Maryland. Unfortunately, the U.S. doesn’t seem to be becoming more progressive on economic and foreign policy issues. We still a lot of work to do.

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Barack Obama and the Persistence of the Old Regime

October 26, 2012

The Atlantic Monthly has dared to suggest what none have so far dared to say: that President Barack Obama should be impeached for the murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. There is, of course, zero possibility of this actually happening, but the idea is worth raising if only to show what a sham our democracy is. The Republicans are not going to make an issue out of this, no doubt because they don’t see anything wrong with what the President did. For all their huffing and puffing, the Republicans are not really an opposition party. (It would be more accurate to call them an obstruction party.) Certainly Romney would have done the same thing Obama did.

The historical trend has always been to give more and more power to the executive branch. There was a brief push back against this during the Watergate scandal, but that is ancient history now. The idea that the president is not above the law is now regarded as one of those quaint fads of the 1970’s, along with leisure suits and bell-bottom pants.

Consider, for example, how often the president is referred to as the “commander-in-chief”. This is misleading. The president is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. He is not the commander-in-chief of anything else. Reporters and pundits must surely be aware of this, but they use the term anyway, even though they must know that many people are not kwowledgeable about the Constitution. (And why aren’t they? That’s a question that will have to be addressed at another time.) One must seriously question their motives for doing this.

For the Left, there is nothing to recommend Obama. He has better positions on women’s reproductive rights than Romney does, but that is about it. Yet it can be argued that a defeat for Obama would be a triumph for the forces of reaction in this country. Every president gets criticized, but both the quality and the quantity of the criticism aimed at Obama are different from that aimed at previous presidents. Bill Clinton was the subject of paroxysms of paranoia on the right, but the attacks on him mostly had to do with real matters: Clinton’s marital infidelities, the accusations of sexual harassment (which were plausible), his involvement with the Whitewater scandal, and the slightly suspicious death of Vince Foster. Yet the accusations against Obama have nothing to do with reality. We’re told that Obama ia a Muslim, that he associates with terrorists, that he wants to create death panels and put people in re-education camps. There are accusations of a “missing” birth certificate that isn’t missing. This summer a movie was shown in theaters all across the country that argues that Obama is a “Kenyan nationalist” who wants to undermine the U.S. power in the world. (In fact, Obama has gone out of his way to try to shore up the U.S.’s empire.) It’s not hard to see that this is all tied to Obama’s race. Some people are incensed that a black man – the Other – now occupies the White House. Donald Trump, for angrily demands that Obama release his college transcripts. It is inconceivable to Trump that a black man could be more successful and better educated than he is. (I think it fair to say that most black people are better educated than Donald Trump.)

It has often been noted that the so-called blue state/red state divide bears a striking resemblance to the North/South divide of the Civil War. Race is at the center of both these divides, although people were more honest about this in 1861. The Republican Party has absorbed, and in turn been taken over by, the Old Democratic Party of Jim Crow. It is perhaps significant that in recent years, the idea of secession, once confined to a handful of crackpots, has crept its way into mainstream discourse. (The nitwits at CounterPunch bear some responsibility for this.) Romney is too smart to believe the Tea Party’s nonsense, but he pandered to them during the primaries, and a Romney victory will be seen as a win for them.

This raises a critical issue for the Left. Should the racism of Obama’s opponents be considered the most critical issue in this election? I haven’t made up my own mind about this, but I think it is a question that the Left should consider.

Barack Obama Wants to Compromise with You Whether You Like It or Not

October 14, 2012


Obama thinks to himself, “Why doesn’t he like me? I try so hard to be nice to him. Doesn’t he like my bipartisanship?”

Many liberals expressed disappointment – and in some cases even shock – at Obama’s weak performance in the first debate. Over at Gawker, Mobutu Sese Seko (not his real name, in case you’re wondering) has pointed out that Obama’s performance was precisely what we should have expected:

    After spending five years watching a diffident political compromiser campaign for and occupy the White House, Democrats were still shocked that Wednesday’s debate didn’t reveal Barack Obama: Political Nut-Cutter.

Liberals still haven’t realized that the secret behind Obama’s extraordinarily rapid political rise is that he is a non-threatening black man. (True, Tea Partiers find him threatening, but these same people would be terrified at the sight of Trayvon Martin coming towards them with a bag of Skittles.) Remember Jesse Jackson? He wasn’t’ really all that radical. (He liked capitalism.) Yet white Americans reacted towards him almost as if he were a Mau Mau threatening to send them to the gas chambers. For all his reasonableness and articulateness, Jackson was too much of a rough diamond for whites to feel comfortable with him. They applauded when Bill Clinton criticized Jackson for merely being on a panel with Sister Souljah (whose views weren’t any more radical than Jeremiah Wright’s.)

Obama, on the other hand, was polished to an unblemished smoothness by the time he spent at places such as Harvard Law School. He is bland, but without being boring (no easy feat, you must admit). The worst thing I can recall him saying about anyone is his “she’s likable enough” comment about Hillary Clinton. (An extremely mild comment, especially considering that he was talking about Hillary Clinton.)

A corollary of Obama’s smoothness is his eagerness to please people who will do absolutely nothing for him. When Obama was at Harvard Law School, a group of liberal and left-wing students, some of them black, expended considerable effort to get him appointed as the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review. Obama then returned the favor by appointing right-wingers to the editorial board, to the bafflement and even anger of his supporters.

This is the man that liberals expect to be the scourge of the Right.

Some Thoughts on the Republican Convention

September 2, 2012


“You shoulda seen it. The corn dog was this big! And I ate the whole thing!” The audience roars its approval.

You’ve got to admire the discipline of the Republican Party. They managed to make it through their three-day convention with only a few racist incidents. Truly, this is a party ready to rule.

In his keynote speech, Chris Christie, the morbidly obese governor of New Jersey, bragged about how his state has had a balanced budget three years in a row. This drew rapturous applause from the audience. Of course, Christie neglected to mention that New Jersey’s economy is doing worse than the rest of the country’s. After all, balanced budgets don’t create economic prosperity. Had Christie mentioned this fact, though, it would not have mattered to the delegates. For Republicans, a balanced budget is the Holy Grail of public policy. It is the ultimate goal of their holy quest. Strange to say, the last three Republican presidents failed to have balance budgets, an unfortunate result of their enthusiasm for foreign adventures and tax cuts for their friends. Ah, human frailty.

There has been a lot of grousing about all the lies that Paul Ryan told in his acceptance speech. Well, what do you expect the poor guy to do? Do you really think people are going to get excited about the prospect of paying higher taxes just so that rich people – er, I mean job creators – can pay lower taxes? So, instead Ryan takes us into an alternate reality, complete with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.

As for Clint Eastwood’s much maligned speech, I actually found it entertaining. My only criticism is that instead of an empty chair, he should have had a ventriloquist dummy that looked like Obama. That would have worked more smoothly. I noticed that when Eastwood mentioned that Obama has been going around to colleges and universities to talk about student loans, the crowd laughed uproariously. I guess there is nothing that old white people find funnier than the thought of the younger generation drowning in debt.

Romney’s speech was simply dull and dishonest, which was appropriate for the occasion.