Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Last Call

As Bon and I discussed on the podcast on Saturday, Mitt's conversion to full birther last week was no accident.  Now we get confirmation from the Romney camp that indeed the plan is damn the middle and animate as much of the asshole turnout as possible on the far right who might think that Romney isn't racist/misogynist/hateful enough to vote for him.

The battleground map has remained remarkably stable in recent months, which leaves Mr. Obama with more paths to winning 270 electoral votes and places a burden on Mr. Romney to break through in states where he so far has not. But Republicans suddenly see encouraging signs in Wisconsin after the selection of Representative Paul D. Ryan as his running mate.  Mr. Romney’s chances hinge to a large degree on running up his advantage among white voters in swing states who show deep strains of opposition to Mr. Obama but do not yet trust Mr. Romney to look out for their interests, Republican strategists say. 

Many of those voters are economically disaffected, and the Romney campaign has been trying to reach them with appeals built around an assertion that Mr. Obama is making it easier for welfare recipients to avoid work. The Romney campaign is airing an advertisement falsely charging that Mr. Obama has “quietly announced” plans to eliminate work and job training requirements for welfare beneficiaries, a message Mr. Romney’s aides said resonates with working-class voters who see government as doing nothing for them. 
The moves reflect a campaign infused with a sharper edge and overtones of class and race. On Friday, Mr. Romney said at a rally that no one had ever had to ask him about his birth certificate, and Mr. Ryan invoked his Catholicism and love of hunting. Democrats angrily said Mr. Romney’s remark associated him with the fringe “birther” camp seeking falsely to portray Mr. Obama as not American. 

In other words, the Romney camp sees that the only way forward is to play the white resentment race card as much as possible.  They literally don't have any other card to play, frankly.  Mitt Romney is that awful of a candidate, and the GOP is boldly offering the same trickled-on economics since Reagan, only repackaged and far worse for the middle and especially the lower class.  No hope, only hate.

But after all, he's just an inflatable dummy, a placeholder so that the real party bosses can have someone rubber stamp the work of crushing the last vestiges of net worth in the 95% for the bitter wine of class warfare for the wealthy.

Robot/Zombie '12.  Because You Really Hate The Black Guy(tm).

Hung Up On The Subject

David Frum gives a course in Deflection 101 when it comes to race and GOP politics as he "imagines" how white Republicans must feel (not too much of a stretch for the Canadian Frum.)  If liberals stopped pointing out how the GOP was playing the race card all the time, it wouldn't be a problem, right?

Frum's imaginary white Republican says things like:

The polls tell me that something like 100% of black Americans will vote for Barack Obama. Are they bigots because they rally to their guy? So why are we supposed to be bigots because maybe 60% of us rally to our guy?

And of course this classic:

This whole thing about us not being "diverse" enough - can we cut the crap on that? You suddenly load up the country with millions of newcomers, put them on food stamps and unemployment insurance and Medicaid and what all, put them on the voting rolls without any ID - invite them to help themselves to everything that was earned before they showed up - and what do you expect the original Americans to do?

You think we're not diverse? This is what diversity looks like: the newcomers bunching up in one party, the old stock inhabitations bunching up in the other. It's the same in Britain and in France and in Germany, and just about everywhere. You don't like it? Maybe you should have thought of that before you invited half of Mexico to move here.

Leading to this finisher:

What you want is a country where everybody looks different, and everybody thinks the same. That's what you call diversity. No thanks. You work hard, you pay your way, you quit asking for handouts, and you're American enough for me - and you'll be up there on the podium with Bobby Jindal, Allen West, Herman Cain, and Nikki Haley as a leader of the one party in this country that isn't hung up on race.

Now Frum knows folks who think this, we all do.  And if anything, Frum gives us yet another example of the Mind Of The Privileged White Person, somebody who has the luxury of never having to worry about race.  They're pissed because in 2012, race DOES matter politically, more than it ever has since the days of the civil rights movement.  When you point out that this privilege exists, people immediately get defensive and angry.  It's not a happy, pleasant thing to be forced to think about.

The real problem in the GOP isn't the racism (and it's certainly there) but the complete failure to deal with the assumption of privilege.   People don't want to discuss it.  They don't want to go there, because it's something by and large that white Americans have the privilege to turn off if they don't want to think about it, unlike basically every person of color.  It's a party of a few, awful racist assholes and a whole bunch of enablers.

Having said that, the Democrats aren't angels either.  There's all kids of assumption of privilege by white liberals too.  But one side at least has leaders, activists, and rank and file members who want to work through to ugly bits.  The other?  The other side doesn't like to even acknowledge it exists.

I personally think Frum's being too cute by half up there, and the major issue is you have a difficult time telling if Frum is being snide or serious, whether his screed is parody or real (and the difference between the two is microscopic, frankly.)  That however doesn't change the point that this really is how an awful lot of white Republicans think...and more than a few white Democrats.

In Which Tweety Remembers Which Side He's On

MSNBC's Chris Matthews, on Morning Joe, talking to RNC chair Reince Priebus.  99 times out of 100 this would be Priebus getting serviced by the court eunuch, but apparently Tweety rolled 00 on the dice Monday morning and decided he had a small shred of journalistic decency left.

“That cheap shot about ‘I don’t have a problem with my birth certificate’ was awful,” Matthews said of GOP hopeful Mitt Romney’s Friday embrace of the birther notion that President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. “It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card.”

This stuff about getting rid of the work requirement for welfare is dishonest, everyone has pointed out that it’s dishonest,” he continued. “And you are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it, but the fact is, you’re side is playing that card. You start talking about work requirements, you know what game you’re playing, everybody knows what game you’re playing. It’s a race card.”

“And this thing about birthers — yeah, if you’re name’s Romney, you were well born, you went to prep school, you can brag about it. And this [Barack Obama] guy, he’s got an African name, he’s got to live with it. … This is absurdity! Making fun of this guy’s birth certificate issue when it was never a real issue, except on the right wing.”

Priebus goes on to take shots at Matthews, but to his credit, Matthews just melts his face off.   It took long enough, but if Priebus has lost Tweety, maybe there's hope after all for the Village.

Maybe.  Also, it doesn't stop Matthews from being 100% right in his rant, too.

Go figure.

Chris Bag Of Backstabbed

Looks like the NY Post has decided that New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie has to pay for his remarks about Mitt Romney.  Et, tu, Chris?

Gov. Chris Christie wasn’t willing to give up the New Jersey statehouse to be Mitt Romney’s running mate because he doubted they’d win, The Post has learned.

Romney’s top aides had demanded Christie step down as the state’s chief executive because if he didn’t, strict pay-to-play laws would have restricted the nation’s largest banks from donating to the campaign — since those banks do business with New Jersey.

But Christie adamantly refused to sacrifice his post, believing that being Romney’s running mate wasn’t worth the gamble.

“[Christie] felt, at one point, that [President] Obama could lose this. And, look, there still is that chance. But he knows, right now, you have to say it’s unlikely,” one source said.

Yeah, I can see Chris here not wanting to give up the Governor's Mansion, but here's the wacky part.  The Romney camp is scrambling to say this isn't true.

The Romney campaign on Monday denied a new report that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn't want to leave his current post to run on Mitt Romney's ticket because he was concerned they'd lose.

The New York Post reported Monday that Romney aides, in courting Christie to be Romney's running mate, told him he'd have to step down to avoid ethics problems -- namely, so that banks that do business with New Jersey could donate to the campaign. The Post said Christie did not want to step down, doubting the Romney team could win.

But Romney campaign strategist Russ Schriefer told Fox News that he personally spoke with Christie, who called the story "totally untrue." 

Two battling Rupert Murdoch media outlets with conflicting stories?  Something's amiss here on the Jersey Shore, and it's not just Snooki being a new mom.

My money's on driving interest in Christie's keynote speech for the convention this week.  No publicity like free publicity.  Must not be expecting good ratings.

We'll see.

A Blimp, A Verb, And 9/11

Ron Paul took time out of his busy schedule digging gold and burning pictures of Ben Bernanke on Sunday to remind us why he has no chance of ever being President of anything other than the Crazy Asshole Club Of America.

“Somebody — rather nationally —- said the other day on the Internet 'if those Paul people had been in charge Osama Bin Laden would still be alive.' But you know what I think the answer is? So would the 3000 people killed on 9/11 still be alive!” 

Gosh Ron, I'm sure all the 9/11 families are glad to hear that.  If it's not the Pareto 80/20 rule, Ron Paul Corollary getting in his way (20% of what Ron Paul says is sane, 80% is nucking futs) it's his preening smug ego that still wouldn't earn my vote.

I'm glad this jackass will finally be out of Congress in January.

Happy Trails To You!

Former South Carolina GOP Gov. Mark "Hiking the Appalachian Trail" Sanford has popped the question to his Argentinian mistress (and soulmate) Maria Belen Chapur at a restaurant in Palermo.

According to the Argentinian newspaper Clarín, Sanford arrived early to the Bella Italia Grill in Palermo for a lunch date last week with Maria Belen Chapur, handed a waiter a bag containing the engagement ring and told him to “make up a good story” for her while he hid in the stall.

When Chapur arrived, she was told she had won a prize for being the restaurant’s 100th customer of the day. Though she reportedly didn’t know what to make of the story, Sanford soon emerged to spring his proposal, which she accepted.

CNN published photos of Sanford with Chapur Sunday, citing a source “close to” the former governor, along with a statement confirming the engagement.

“I’m both happy and excited for what that means,” he said. “I have long expressed my feelings for her, she’s a wonderful person. My closest friends have met and love her, and I look forward to introducing her to still many more that have yet to do so.”

Oh, you remember Mark, right?

Republicans began placing Sanford in high-profile positions three years ago to groom him for a leadership role, before he seemingly vanished that June; while reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, it turned out he had been visiting Chapur in Argentina without telling his staff, or his wife.

Sanford resigned from both his governorship and as leader of the Republican Governors Association and became a national punchline. He was succeeded by Nikki Haley, his former protege.

Eh, Sanford will be back eventually.  Don't count him out for 2014 when Sen. Lindsey Graham is up for re-election.  I'm betting South Carolina Republicans would much rather have Sanford than Graham in DC.

Romney Is The Undercard, Folks

Move over, Robot/Zombie ‘12.  The real players at the RNC are the ones not running for office at all.

Nevada billionaire and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are getting ready to create more political buzz. They have decided to attend this week’s Republican convention, CNN has learned. 
They are expected to arrive in Tampa on Monday, one source with knowledge of their plans told CNN, and will undoubtedly draw a lot of attention.
The couple will take in much of the convention activity and are expected to listen to many of the speeches, especially ones by Mitt and Ann Romney.

Least they could do is look in on the candidate they paid tens of millions for.  And if you don’t know much about Sheldon Adelson’s wife Miriam, well you should meet her.

Another possible stop for them is the “Woman Up!” Pavilion here in Tampa named in honor of Miriam Adelson. The pavilion will be the scene for a series of events and policy discussions this week and is sponsored by the YG Network, a non-profit organization aimed at supporting conservative political positions and those politicians who support them. The Woman Up! effort was launched to emphasize issues key to women. 
“Dr. Adelson is a passionate and successful woman who has balanced work and family life remarkably, and we are honored to welcome her to this effort,” Mary Anne Carter, executive director of the YG Network’s ‘Woman Up!” effort, said in a statement last week. “A renowned medical doctor, Miriam Adelson’s experiences in the Israeli Army, as a working mom, and a philanthropist equip her with a unique understanding of the challenges that women from all walks of life face.”

Uh-huh.  And it turns out the YG Network is exactly what you would expect, full of press releases about “liberal schemes” and imploring that the best thing for women in America is to cut taxes on people like the Adelsons, because this will free up money to go to deserving conservative women or something rather than those awful liberal ones, otherwise, well, everyone will have to suffer instead, you see.

Women from all walks of life have their own pavilions at the conventions, right?


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