(Via David Axelrod on Twitter.)
Was there every really any doubt that idiots grow up to be social conservatives and racists? Why bother wasting time on a study?
…why are they pushing to ‘whitewash’ the history books? ”remov[ing] references to slavery and mentions of the country’s founders being slave owners…”? ”includ[ing] the exploration of the positive aspects of American slavery, lifting the stature of Jefferson S. Davis to that of Abraham Lincoln”? ”study[ing] the “unintended consequences” of affirmative action.”? What the Fuck?
I wrote at my part-time gig elsewhere last week:
The frightening upshot of Mitt Romney’s clear path to the Republican nomination for the White House is that it might as well be the fall of 2012 right now.
Making full use of their respective, nearly limitless warchests, both the Romney and Obama campaigns will spend the next ten months carpet-bombing each other in the media in hopes of framing the presidential race in their favor.
Recognizing that the general election campaign was indeed about to begin, however mind-numbingly early, both sides spent the past few days test-driving their respective spins–specifically, with regard to Romney’s corporate-vampire past. On Wednesday, Romney took this tack (via TPM):
QUESTIONER: Did you suggest that anyone who questions the policies and practices of Wall Street and financial institutions, anyone who has questions about the distribution of wealth and power in this country, is envious? Is it about jealousy, or fairness?
ROMNEY: You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on 99 percent versus one percent, and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent, you have opened up a wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God.
Here, Mitt is betting on a long-recognized characteristic that has benefited Republicans: working-class voters can be coaxed into sympathy for policies that favor the wealthy because they personally aspire to be (or, at least, idly wish they were) wealthy themselves.
Obviously, Team Obama’s riposte sought to push a much different frame:
Our economic crisis and endemic income inequality were caused in large part by a few who put profits over people. Taking advantage of an uneven playing field, where there was one rulebook for those at the top and another for everyone else, Mitt Romney and his friends made money hand over fist while working families lost their grip on the middle-class lifestyle they earned.
Between now and November the American people will decide whether to respond to this crisis by electing a corporate raider who profited from – and promises to restore – the conditions that caused it…
Underneath this verbiage aimed at creating or destroying sympathy for the GOP economic agenda, there will be a more basic conflict at play: how good or bad the economy actually is as 2012 progresses, and whether voters think Romney has any real ability to make things better.
President Obama’s ability to influence the former is almost over, leaving the latter as the major issue to fight about. An email from Obama strategist David Axelrod to Greg Sargent provides an interesting hint about this:
Last week [Romney] said “productivity equals income.”
But the point is, it hasn’t for the typical American worker over the last three decades, and, particularly, over the last decade.
This is the central challenge of our time, and he doesn’t get it.
That’s a surprisingly wonky way to define a “central challenge” for a political campaign, but there’s a reason for it. The underlying message from Romney’s side is going to be, you may not like me or even think I’m ethical, but I know how the world of money works — and I can use that knowledge to get the economy going again.
Judging from Axelrod’s email, Team Obama has a different take. They think Romney’s flat, obviously scripted rhetoric shows (and, more importantly, will continue to show voters) that he doesn’t really get how the economy works… which opens the door for all the suspicions about only being interested in enriching himself through a rigged system.
In short, Axelrod et al. think they can win the race by betting on Romney to expose himself as not much brighter than Rick Perry or Sarah Palin. Might not be a bad plan.
…when The Rich could punish The Help with impunity…As Romney just said:
“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. If someone isn’t giving me the service I need, I want to say, you know, I’m going to go get somebody else to provide that service,”
But what he meant was…”I like being able to break the fingers of people who provide services to me…”
Now that Ron Paul is being taken semi-seriously by the Repug base, he is softening his crazy-ass positions to accommodate popular programs. Quoth the Libertarian Loony:
“It’s not constitutional, but I wouldn’t put that on the list [of things to eliminate],” he said. “You know, if we want a perfectly free society, you can’t wave a wand and get everything you want. So you have to work our way out of this.”
This guy would get chewed up and spat out by Congress. Hard to believe that he’s made it even this far!
Bad enough that we are plagued with the traditional reactionary yahoos that could be found south of the Mason-Dixon line, but the movement back to the stone age appears to be spreading. New Hampshire just overwhelmingly passed a law to allow parents to any part of a school curriculum – and force the school to provide alternatives. So much for traditional Yankee common sense and pragmatism!
Reminds me of a recent Beavis and Butthead episode, where the two boys encounter Fundees protesting the teaching of evolution in school. The lead Fundee explains that the theory of evolution is too complicated, can’t be understood – and something you can’t understand shouldn’t be taught. The two young idiots of course expand this notion to pretty much every subject in the curriculum. Assuming that they live in New Hampshire (increasingly plausible), all they need now is to have Beavis’ slut mom complain about all the subjects…and legally the New Hampshire schools would have to provide them with dumbed-down alternatives to real education!
No child left behind? Of course, just watch the dullards in NH exploit ‘social promotion’ – Reactionary style!!
It’s sad and somewhat horrifying to see US poverty hit it’s highest point in 50 years…you can watch the chickens of the Reactionary misleadership coming home to roost. On the other hand, to get a different perspective, Americans make up half of the world’s top 1% in income. More specifically:
”…people at the world’s true middle — as defined by median income — live on just $1,225 a year. (And, yes, Milanovic’s numbers are adjusted to account for different costs of living across the globe.)
In the grand scheme of things, even the poorest 5% of Americans are better off financially than two thirds of the entire world. “
Don’t assume that I’m pitching a trite “be grateful for what you have’ homily. Rather, consider how much farther we Americans have to fall. The Rich and their Reactionary tools won’t be satisfied until they’ve reduced our earnings down to the world median.