Thursday, November 1, 2012

Why is this man Romney even close?

Okay, I'm breathing again--raggedly, to be honest, but I'm seeing clearly and whatever fun writing I was so longing for last week will just have to wait.  Mitt Romney is closing in on the home stretch and I can't stand it.  What can I say that will change that?  We all know there is nothing I can say that will change anything this monumental and incomprehensible.  But I repeat: I can't stand it.

In any other true-life scenario, a man like Mitt Romney -- a confirmed liar, a clueless anti-populist, a shameless waffler -- would be laughed out of the political arena, never to be taken seriously again.  Considering the climate we live in, dire and dangerous to all but a few lucky souls, there shouldn't have been a moment when a man like Mitt Romney (or his running mate, the even more egregious Paul Ryan) would have been seen as anybody's choice to lead us out of this mess.

But a map of red states vs. blue states tells the tale:  The campaign against Obama and the Democrats has been hugely successful; the obfuscation and near-obliteration of the Romney/Ryan misdeeds equally so.

It's a billionaires' election to win or lose, and Romney is their puppet.  It clearly doesn't matter what he says or does.  They run the show, and they've managed the impossible -- they've convinced enough voters that Barack Obama is their enemy; someone to fear, a man who only pretends to be a True American while attempting to hide his nefarious dark side.

It's the New Century--maybe the strangest we've ever seen--and we live with the voters we have.  They call themselves "the values voters", without ever fully understanding that "values" means much more than anti-abortion or religious freedom or balanced budgets or the color of our president's skin.   It means a clear-eyed look at which servants of the people can best move us away from vulture capitalism and back into whatever concept of democratic freedoms and obligations work best for our society.

As of a few days ago, more voters believed Romney can do more for the economy than Obama has or will.   Why?  Because Romney was a businessman and apparently knows more about how business runs.

This is the same Romney who bought and sold companies, making millions off of the acquisitions with no thought to what it did to the communities that were disrupted by the actions of his group.

This is the same Romney who fought to keep his tax returns from going public, who hides his money in numerous off-shore accounts, who thrives because "ruthless" is legal and the name of the game.

This is the same Romney who saw FEMA as one of those Fed entities best relegated to the states or better yet, private enterprise, using the word "immoral" to effectively brand it obsolete.  Astonishing.  (Now his handlers say he didn't mean it that way.  Apparently that's good enough for even those Romney voters who live in areas battered by Hurricane Sandy.  He's still running neck and neck with President Obama.  Really.)

This is what the potential future president had to say:
"Every time you have an occasion to take something from the federal government and send it back to the states, that's the right direction," Romney said at a debate last June. "And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that's even better."

Asked by moderator John King of CNN whether that would include disaster relief, Romney said: "We cannot afford to do those things without jeopardizing the future for our kids. It is simply immoral, in my view, for us to continue to rack up larger and larger debts and pass them on to our kids."
So, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, because they finally realized that sounded really, really awful, his handlers had Romney issuing what looks like a reversal but is actually code for, "Okay, we'll keep the idea of FEMA because you people just don't get it, but the bulk of the money is still going to go to state and local governments, because even though I want to be the biggie in Big Government, Big Government is a bad, bad thing."

Here's Romney's written statement from Wednesday, when the storm was still stormin':
 "I believe that FEMA plays a key role in working with states and localities to prepare for and respond to natural disasters. As president, I will ensure FEMA has the funding it needs to fulfill its mission, while directing maximum resources to the first responders who work tirelessly to help those in need, because states and localities are in the best position to get aid to the individuals and communities affected by natural disasters."
 No mention of what FEMA's mission will be under FEMA-haters Romney and Ryan, but it's not hard to imagine.  Centralized emergency relief apparently goes against every fiber of their beings, and no thing and no body is going to change that.

Well, okay, all that, but what drives me to this today is what has been keeping me awake, fuming.

It's this:  
Romney's phony food drive.  Photo: Stephen Crowley/ NYT
In the immediate aftermath of a raging, deadly storm, the presidential wannabee participated in a crass, phony, political opportunity dressed as "disaster relief", designed for no other reason than to make him look good in certain swing states.  (The Red Cross, downers that they are, said early on, "Don't send supplies, send money."  Spoilsports.)

 So, heedless of real needs, Romney's pack set up a hasty relief station and then went to WalMart to buy the appropriate props to make it look like they were actually concerned with the citizens of the storm.  They spent $5,000 on emergency supplies like diapers, toilet paper and canned goods to hand out to long lines of Romney voters who could then hand them back to Romney in front of the cameras. (Stunning, isn't it, that those Romney voters didn't think to donate their own emergency supplies?  But then, in order to be a Romney voter, one would have to be as clueless as he is.)

In the meantime, President Obama is all over the place taking care of business, surveying the damage, assuring everybody that our government will do what it's supposed to do.  It will take care of what needs taking care of.  FEMA is working at its efficient best.  Mayors and governors in the affected states are effusive in their praise of FEMA and the actions of the president. (Note to Chris Christie:  Ever thought of joining the Democrats?  The Republicans won't even speak your name anymore. And they have long memories.)

Christie and Obama with Hurricane Sandy survivors
This is what true leadership looks like.  This is what big government does best.  This is who we're supposed to be.  This is what we need to fight to keep.  And yet as I write this, Mitt Romney--undeserving to the nth degree and then some--has a real chance at winning the presidency.

So that's it.  I can barely breathe, not because of the pneumonia, but because of what I just wrote.  The very thought of my country going the way of Romney/Ryan after all they've done to try and hurt us makes me crazy.

All I can do is yell.

I can't stand it.


  1. Their new century doesn't want to be delivered from the arms of vulture capitalism.

    It wants all of US tied to the RR tracks awaiting the capitalism train to come flying by.

    Thanks for your reporting. Great writing!

    It's the New Century--maybe the strangest we've ever seen--and we live with the voters we have. They call themselves "the values voters", without ever fully understanding that "values" means much more than anti-abortion or religious freedom or balanced budgets or the color of our president's skin. It means a clear-eyed look at which servants of the people can best move us away from vulture capitalism and back into whatever concept of democratic freedoms and obligations work best for our society.

    1. Welcome, Suzan, and thanks for commenting. If the new century doesn't want to be delivered we'll just have to drag it kicking and screaming toward a more just America--the America we should always have been.

      We have to get rid of "Citizens United" first and that means re-electing Obama so he can appoint Supreme Court justices who aren't in the thrall of Big Business.

      It has to start with us.

  2. The thing I don't understand is that most of these politicians (RMoney included) proclaim to be christians especially those on the right. I seem to remember seeing something about "Thou shalt not bear false witness". Could it be that they truly believe their BULLSHIT????????????

    1. Kulkuri, I have many family members and friends who will not be jarred from their belief that it's their Christian duty to vote Republican. When they're confronted with Romney/Ryan's lies they've been conditioned to believe it's all a conspiracy. They hear that unbelievable crap in their churches--something that just floors me.

      They tend not to listen to speeches (where they might learn the truth) and choose, instead, to filter everything through Fox News. I don't argue with them much because it's such a waste of breath, and because in all other ways I value their friendship. But I will never, ever understand that side of them.

    2. it works to show them links to words from the candidates mouths... and this is what I wrote in response to a friend who was yelling that Obama was not Christian...."Being Christian is more than a word. It is caring for others, making sure they are fed and have homes and healthcare. The Republican candidate not only wants to take away a woman's right to choose, he wants to take away the healthcare she would need to make sure the baby made a safe journey into this world. He would take away unemployment benefits, for those having troubles in this economy. He would end Medicare, social security and drastically cut education benefits. He would stop encouraging research and development of green, solar and wind resources and he would have no qualms about sending our men to die in another war - be it Libya or Iran. ... all while claiming to be a Christian . Look at everything Obama has done. He is a Christian and he says it not in yelling it as loud as he can. He says it by his deeds.
      October 28 at 7:14pm · Like · 1
      Romney is also for deregulation which we have seen the results of in recent history,,,, our mortgage meltdown was due to deregulation. The recent outbreaks of Salmonella, fungal contaminations in the injections, e. coli outbreaks all are due to deregulation and the defunding of our inspection process forced by the Republicans. Once again the only one fighting to keep us safe- showing those Christian values is Obama.

  3. No, I think they believe the ends justifies the means....lying is okay in the furtherance of their goals.

    1. m, that's so true of the politicians but why do Republican voters go along? Lying is never okay--especially when it works to harm millions of people who desperately want to believe that the people they vote for are looking out for their best interests.

      With the Republicans, our troubles will increase, and it's not as if they're not saying that themselves. Every program they've threatened to cut will do great harm to the majority of the populace but they announce it with great pride and their audiences cheer. And then they go out and vote against themselves.

      It's just nuts.

  4. My thoughts exactly. I share links with my Republican friends when they start fussing about Obama's lies??? showing so they can see Romney with their own eyes,,, and then I ask what makes a person a Christian? Is it yelling it the loudest, or is is by your actions? Which party is yanking heath care, unemployment benefits, help with housing and student loans; the list goes on and on. But what really makes me crazy is that they reach for reasons- any reason no matter how crazy - to justify their hate and demonization of Obama. I would be so embarrassed if I was a FOX news listener to realize the manipulation of the facts that goes on there.. in particular this Libya stuff. I have smart people passing true nasty items filled with hate around about Obama literally thinking he was sitting in his living room watching Navy Seals die..??? Insane.

  5. ... but just to finish, I too have close friends and relatives who are truly broken hearted because they really believe that voting for the Democrats is voting for sin and evil. It is the weirdest thing because in the next breath they are repeating talking points about gay marriage, and abortion rights which in all honesty are non issues- just used to stir up the base, and hateful emotions-. When I show them their candidate is literally lying with clips from his own mouth, they seem to be shocked. They do not look at anything except what is fed to them by FOX. It is very scary.

    1. It's so frustating, I know. They really want to believe that Obama is evil because they travel in groups that push that.

      Thought you all might be interested in this piece. I'm a practicing heathen myself, but I love Slacktivist, who writes for Patheos--a Christian site that works hard to debunk and disavow the so-called Christian Right. This post is called "Election Predictions from the Sub-Christian Right". They're just loony!

    2. Sadly the one time I tried to talk to my sister (during the first election) this kind of site, plus much worse, is what appeared in a deluge in my inbox...she was honestly sincere along with all her policeman co-workers that Obama was going to end our world, and no matter what has happened in between, she still believes it. By the Way, it drives me crazy that no one will mention that the deficits are due to the wars. In NC where I am, they keep running ad after ad indicting Obama because he has spent and spent and increased the deficit. Why is it so hard to put up a simple chart showing that he has slowed spending, to debunk this "thought" that Romney keeps slamming down our throats- or better yet, just run a commericial of the YouTube video showing Romneys Flip-flops!

  6. Honestly, I think that while the Democrats have certain demographic trends in their favor, those trends are more than offset by the money advantage that the Republicans have and that the Supreme Court is bent on helping them maximize. Obama's campaign is great, but he'll eke out a popular win -- and unless some serious campaign finance reform happens, it will be very hard for another Democrat to win the presidency after Obama.

    1. It sickens me that this presidential election is costing over a billion dollars when so many people are hurting because their incomes have dwindled or died, their houses are no longer their homes, and their hopes have been dashed through circumstances not of thir choosing and beyond their control.

      The Republican leaders keep talking about how social programs have to be cut or killed because "we can't afford it" (even calling that kind of spending "immoral") but nobody bats an eye at a billion dollars worth of politicking.

  7. Thanks for the Krugman article, Anon. That is it in a nutshell, but Republican voters have somehow missed it:

    "The Jobs Act would have been just what the doctor ordered.

    But the bill went nowhere, of course, blocked by Republicans in Congress. And now, having prevented Mr. Obama from implementing any of his policies, those same Republicans are pointing to disappointing job numbers and declaring that the president’s policies have failed.

    Think of it as a two-part strategy. First, obstruct any and all efforts to strengthen the economy, then exploit the economy’s weakness for political gain. If this strategy sounds cynical, that’s because it is. Yet it’s the G.O.P.’s best chance for victory in November."

    The Republican leaders have practically shouted it from the rooftops: They will not work with Obama! They will destroy all programs that even smack of Obama! And their constituents lap it up and reward them with money and votes. Incredible.

  8. The facts are.....the republicans are fighting a war using every dirty stinking trick in the book, they are going for blood and the democrats are having a rational intelligent conversation, giving the electret too much credit in the brains department. The democrats have to call the republicans out on all their lies and expose their stradegy.

    1. Republicans=dirty tricks. Democrats=no fair! So what's new?

      Yes, it would be wonderful if more Democrats went for the jugular, but it would be even better if the press/media did their jobs and worked relentlessly to expose the lies.

      It could work if everybody did their jobs and took those people down whenever they opened their mouths. Because every time they open their mouths a lie comes out.

  9. Well, the election is over, and Thanksgiving is almost over. And I am truly thankful Obama won. I will never understand why Romney came so close to winning. His flip-flops, his lack of content, his distain for and lack of connection to ordinary Americans was on full display for all to see, and people still voted for him.

    1. Me, too, Anon. It made Thanksgiving all the more meaningful. Of course, the Republicans won't turn tail and admit that Obama won a mandate--it only made them angrier and more willing to do anything to win in 2014 and 2016.

      Hoping the people have finally seen through them. I don't know how much more they need to throw at them before they see who the true enemy really is.


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