Tag Archives: republican party

Molehills out of mountains and vice versa

In the middle of a campaign for the most important position in the country, we should be talking about the global economy, tensions around the world such as problems in Iran, Syria and elsewhere.  We should be talking about how to best prepare ourselves for the new economic circumstances our world now inhabits or how to overhaul our tax and entitlements systems.

But we are not.

The GOP presidential nominees aren’t talking about these things.  They are focused on contraception and questions of “good and evil.”  The Republican Party, seems intent on not returning our country to a more prosperous state but to a different era.  It has become normal for politicians on both sides to wax nostalgic about “the good old days.”  Those days seems always have been in the 1950s, when — by the way, the tax rates for the highest earners was at its highest level ever.   But the current crop of candidates don’t think going back to even the 50s is enough.

I get why the Republicans feel the need to return to social and religious issues, their base loves it.  Think about what they want to talk about: contraception, religious wars, gay marriage.  Really?

Newsflash:  It’s 2012, Women can vote and most use contraception.  Gay marriage will be legal everywhere in the United States during my lifetime.  Nothing you do will change either of those facts.  Just to be as clear on this as possible — you are on the wrong side of history on these issues but that isn’t the real problem.  History doesn’t care.  The problem is by wasting everyone’s time on issues that won’t be changed at this level, we fail to talk about the policies that will.  You cheapen the process.

All of this is great for the Democrats.  And I want President Obama to win.  But as good as this is for his reelection prospects, it is bad for the country.  Presidential campaigns provide an opportunity to really examine and evaluate the state of the country and the best ways to deal with the challenges we face.  These should be lofty conversations and debates not petty bickering about social issues that were settled years ago (not to harp, but nothing Rick Santorum can do will turn that clock back).

When President Obama took office, I characterized the situation he faced as his “Himalayan problem.” All problems were so large individually but it was hard to gage their enormity when clumped together.  I misspoke, this was not his Himalayan problem, it was ours.  By choosing to focus on issues that excite  one base or another at the expense of those that impact all of us, the GOP is making molehills out of our Everest sized problems and that’s unfortunate.

Who knew Sarah Palin was such a Democrat?

You have to love Sarah Palin.  You have to love Todd Palin.  You just have to love anyone with a last name of Palin.  I know I do.  I love them a lot.

Is it her ability to distill an issue to an unrecognizable soundbite that makes no sense?  Well, as much as I love that, no.  Is it her ability to grab media attention that makes her look ridiculous?  Again yes but no.  Is it the fascination the GOP has with her and her lack of knowledge about politics or world events?  No.

I love that the Palins have endorsed Newt Gingrich because he is doing more for President Obama than David Axelrod.  And while I am at it thank you rich casino guy for funding Newt and keeping him in the race.

Look, I have said this before and I guess I am about to say it again, the GOP missed the boat when they didn’t give Jon Huntsman a real chance.  Being sane does not equal being a moderate or liberal.  And I never did thank Governor Huntsman for his comment that gay marriage “doesn’t threaten” his marriage.  Good for you, I have never understood how one marriage threatens another but what do I know?  I am a liberal Democrat who grew up in New York and San Francisco.  Oh, and I like brie and chardonnay, I am a walking stereotype.

Back to the Palins.  They have both endorsed Newt, not sure why Todd thought his endorsement matters.  Then again I am not sure why CNN felt the need to send out a news alert about Donald Trumo endorsing Romney.

The bottom line is that the GOP is giving people with no real standing so much attention and it’s a good thing for the Democrats.

I’m melting, melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!

Where to start this week?

Maybe I can start with the most disturbing story since Jerry Sandusky.  WTF?  Can we all agree that no one should abuse children?  What thought process leads someone to think taking pictures of children with blindfolds, tape and/or mouths full of semen, which they thought was “magic candy” is appropriate?  Apparently LA educator Mark Berdt thought that was just fine.  I saw an official from the area say this on CNN, “They just thought they were being blindfolded and gagged as a game.”  There is so much wrong with that statement that I am not sure where to begin.  So, I’ll end my anti-child abuse rant there.

How about Mitt Romney’s compassionate nature? Recently he told a reporter, “I don’t care about the poor, there’s a safety net for that. If it’s broken, I’ll fix it.”  I am sure the nation’s poor — and some estimates have that number as being as high as 42 million Americans — will be greatly relieved to hear that.

Why do we still care what Donald Trump thinks about anything?  Rumor has it, he will endorse Newt Gingrich.  Why do we care?  Oh, right, we’re stupid.

(FYI, if you are not familiar with that quote it from The Wizard of Oz, a movie about which I have written before.  Side note: has anyone heard the story of the suicide on the set that is supposed to be in the film?  Used to scare the crap out of me.  And I was in college when said scaring took place.  Of course I am afraid of velociraptors, so clearly something is not right with me.)

Newt, Newt, Newt, you really need to stop believing your own press releases

Newt Gingrich’s second 15 minutes seems to be coming to a close.  The self-proclaimed ‘ideas’ person who offered to debate Mitt Romney anytime, anywhere, seemed strangely out of place at tonight’s Florida debate. (My prediction about his candidacy can be found here.)   Newt’s problem has always been that he really believes his own press releases.  He doesn’t need to really prepare for debates or interviews because he is just that smart.  He is always going to be the smartest person in the room, except he really isn’t.  He also doesn’t seem to understand that while our attention spans are short, some of us remember what he was like when he had actual power.

Newt’s resurgence as the GOP frontrunner says more about how the party faithful feel about Mitt Romney than anything else.  Truthfully, I would welcome a Gingrich-Obama matchup because Newt just cannot help himself — his affinity for self destruction is legendary. He would have everyone believe that he is a Ronald Reagan clone who single handedly balanced the budget and is responsible for every GOP achievement since he was born.  Funny, I don’t think Speaker John Boehner feels the same way.

Oh, thanks for a giant fuck you to the residents of Washington, DC.  You want to send people to the moon and let them become a state but don’t want us to have a vote in Congress?  Nice, Newt, nice.

The inexplicable Donald Trump

…or “Then they were down to two.”

Even Larry King was intrigued by the Donald's do.

First Newt Gingrich sais he would happily participate in the debate Donald Trump is hosting with NewsMax on December 27. Then the Donald did a round of interviews proclaiming himself the ultimate king-maker and representative of millions (Millions! Check his web sites if you don’t believe him!Note to Mr. Trump, oer your standards the cast of Jersey Shore is qualified to pick the nominee for a major party for the most important job in the country.) before things began to unravel. Rick Santorum agreed to take part but then, one by one, Jon Huntsman, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Perry and the also inexplicable Michele Bachmann declined the invite. Reince Priebus, perhaps the first adult to emerge in a while, said that his support of this train wreck would amount to “malpractice” on his part. Well put, sir.

And for the record, Jon Huntsman was the first to decline and for someone with as much experience dealing with criticism and being in the public eye, the Donald has an amazingly thin skin. Trump called Huntsman’s comments that he “will not kiss his ring or any part of his anatomy” “offensive.” Yeah, Donald, your circus is offensive. That you are still harping on President Obama’s birth certificate — after you said you would drop it once you saw the ‘long form’ version — is offensive. What’s really shameful (and I am part of the problem here but watching him crash and burn twice is truly delicious) is the attention you continue to get and the fact that you are using the job interview to be leader of the free world just another way to get publicity for your reality show. Even the Situation has more class (not much).

All of this leaves me a little perplexed.  Why do we care what the Donald thinks about anything?  We know he likes himself a lot.  A lot more than anyone should.  His official bio describes him this way:

“Donald J. Trump has become the most recognized businessman in the world, and the Trump brand is readily acknowledged as representing the gold standard around the globe. As the pre-eminent developer of quality real estate, his acumen is unrivaled, and the diversity of his interests has set a new paradigm in the world of business. His commitment to excellence is legendary, and his work as a philanthropist is an integral part of his ethos. He is the archetypal businessman, and an icon of New York.”  You can read more of this brilliant rewriting of history here.

I don’t dislike the Donald but when I was growing up in NY, his life was a sideshow for the bulk of the time I was there.  First of all, he didn’t start his business, he inherited a successful one from his family.  He has a remarkable talent for self-aggrandizement but inflates his net worth an downplays his failures (to his credit, a Trump bankrupcy looks very different from most other people’s).  He is great at self-promotion but does that make him qualified to do anything but promote his reality show?