Tag Archives: 2012 election

Strange Endorsements

In what universe does the Salt Lake Tribune endorse President Obama while The Tennessean endorses Mitt Romney?

Seriously, WTF, Tennessean?

Explaining its endorsement, the Salt Lake Tribune editorial board writes in a piece headlined “Too Many Mitts”:

Sadly, it is not the only Romney, as his campaign for the White House has made abundantly clear, first in his servile courtship of the tea party in order to win the nomination, and now as the party’s shape-shifting nominee. From his embrace of the party’s radical right wing, to subsequent portrayals of himself as a moderate champion of the middle class, Romney has raised the most frequently asked question of the campaign: “Who is this guy, really, and what in the world does he truly believe?”

The evidence suggests no clear answer, or at least one that would survive Romney’s next speech or sound bite. Politicians routinely tailor their words to suit an audience. Romney, though, is shameless, lavishing vastly diverse audiences with words, any words, they would trade their votes to hear.

Ouch. Ironically, that’s pretty much the gist of the Tennessean‘s piece, too. The editors write:

Romney has famously flip-flopped on abortion rights, the need for Planned Parenthood, access to contraceptives and health care reform in general, which disproportionately affects single mothers and lower-income women. During his bruising primary campaign he veered to the right; in the debates, he has swung back to his moderate stances as governor of Massachusetts.

The Romney who was governor reflected the attitudes shared by a majority of Americans; this is where he should stay, if elected, and resist pressure from the “tea-vangelicals” in his party who want to take this country back to the repressed 1950s.

Again, WTF? Both editorial boards see Romney as a shameless political opportunist, yet they come to different conclusions. Why is that? I think The Tennessean‘s final sentence speaks volumes:

Be the man who governed Massachusetts, and you’ll reunite America.

Oh. Right, the guy who governed a strongly Democratic state with a strongly Democratic legislature. You think he’s going to show up when it’s time to move in to the White House? With the Tea Party and John Birchers controlling the Republican Party and Fox News and Drudge controlling the news cycle and the Koch boys controlling the purse strings? You guys seriously think there’s going to be a return to reason in this country? That “moderate Massachusetts Mitt” is who you’re gonna get? Really? That is some magical thinking right there.

This is what’s wrong with newspapers like The Tennessean and the mainstream media in general. They’re so completely, hilariously out of touch. Sure, we’d all love to go back to the days when Tip O’Neill had drinks with Ronald Reagan and everyone was nice and civil to each other and people didn’t draw Hitler mustaches on the president’s picture. But news flash: those days are gone and they won’t be back. Also, there is no Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny is a fraud.

Sorry.

So, to the folks who sit on The Tennessean editorial board, I have a news flash for you: There will be no reuniting of America, not under a Republican president or a Democratic one! Why? Because the failure is not in our leaders but our institutions. Until that is fixed, the foot-dragging and fillibustering and recalcitrance will continue.

Our government is corrupted by money — the “politico-industrial complex” I wrote about last week. These people need our country divided for their game to work. The money comes from flooding everyone’s inbox with hysterical e-mails about how that Scary Mooslim Kenyan Usurper Obama is going to ban Jesus and force abortions on teenage virgins while handing the White House over to the United Nations. That’s where the money is, and companies like Gannett are profiting from it because someone needs to broadcast the scary-voiced announcer dude spreading all of those lies about the candidates.

I mean, come on. These editorial boards are supposed to be filled with smart people. I can’t believe it takes a dang housewife in suburban Nashville to explain how the world works to these folks. Talk about your institutional failures!

And since I’m on the topic, let me point out that our weak-kneed, bottom-line-conscious media helped create this scenario in the first place. The Tennessean is the paper which opened its editorial pages to crackpots and crazies, because they wanted to present “both sides of the issue” (even though some issues really have only one side). They’re the ones who opened their editorial pages to professional astroturfers and corporate shills – repeatedly. It’s not like there’s much credibility left over there, anyway.

You guys mainstreamed the crazy. You gave it a microphone and normalized it. This partisan rancor is as much the media’s fault as anyone’s. Don’t whine about how the country needs to be “reunited” and we need a “return to civility.” For that to happen we need a grown-up to admit that one of our political parties is barking mad. The media had its chance to serve as truth arbiter but that ship sailed when they let “death panels” and “a bureaucrat coming between you and your doctor” substitute for factual policy discussions during the healthcare “debate.”

So don’t cry for me, Argentina. And by all means, don’t tell me Mitt Romney is the guy who’s gonna fix this mess. The very fact that The Tennessean would suggest Multiple Choice Mitt as the solution to this problem it created tells me everything I need to know about our dying newspaper industry.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Media, Nashville, Tennessee

Factories Full Of Women

This video about Mitt Romney’s China dealings is making the rounds:

Around the 0:45 mark you can hear Romney talking about a tour he took of a Chinese factory. You hear him talk about how awful the living conditions are in these factories, how many hours a day these people work, the crappy wages, and how they live 12 girls crammed into one room, with one tiny bathroom serving 10 rooms. And how the factory is surrounded by a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. Take it away, Mitt:

And we said, “Gosh I can’t believe how you keep these girls in. And they said, ‘No, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in! Because people want so badly to come work in this factory that we have to keep them out or they’ll just come in here and start working and try to get compensated! This is to keep people out!'”

Riiiiight. Mitt Romney is either dumber than a box of hammers or he thinks his audience is.

I wonder if he thinks this is a plan for American workers? I’ll bet he does.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, China, Mitt Romney

Dear Katherine Fenton: Please Pay Attention

Just to prove that I was 100% correct in this post, it appears that Katherine Fenton, the teacher who asked the question about gender pay equity which resulted in Romney’s “binders full of women” response, is still undecided!

Yes, it’s true. She told Andrea Mitchell she “wanted to know their future plans,” not what they’ve done in the past. I guess she hasn’t heard that old bromide that “past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.” But fair enough.

So I’m going to explain it to her very simply and carefully. Here we go.

Dear Ms. Fenton:

Mitt Romney’s solution to the gender pay gap is an executive Joy Book. President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law and made sure women don’t have to pay more for an insurance policy that covers their contraceptive needs. Because you shouldn’t have to pay more for your insurance policy just because you’re a woman.

It seems the choice is very simple. It also seems that one person answered your question Tuesday night and one person did not. So please pay attention because this shit is important.

Love,

Southern Beale

P.S. If, on the other hand, you’re justing holding out for a reality TV show and trying to milk your 15 minutes of fame for all it’s worth, never mind.

[UPDATE]:

The meme that wouldn’t die. This is just so hilarious, I had to share.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, feminism

Mark Halperin, Hack Of The Day

Mark Halperin’s “Binders Of Women” Tweet this morning earns him my Hack Of The Day award:

Romney seriously botched a response to a debate question and Halperin knows it. Oh joy, ladies! Romney’s “solution” to the gender pay gap is letting women go home at 5 o’clock to cook dinner! Yay! Problem solved!

Everyone watching knew Romney had messed up. No wonder the meme went viral in seconds. The debate had barely moved on to the next question before the Tumblr site was launched. It’s been a trending topic on Twitter since last night. This was not engineered by Democratic Party operatives, hell they’re not that good. This thing exploded organically across all of the social networks and rightfully so, because Romney screwed up. Poor Mark Halperin is trying to undo some of the damage by pretending it’s not authentic, which is pathetic.

But what I find really hilarious is Halperin’s use of the term “MSM,” as if somehow a Time magazine editor-at-large and MSNBC senior political analyst isn’t part of the mainstream media.

Idiot.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Media

Obama’s Night

I’m still waking up here, working on my first cup of coffee. But a few observations about last night’s debate: President Obama was definitely the clear winner, hands down. Mitt Romney’s answers to most of the questions was to just restate the question and then go on long diatribes blaming Obama for the problem presented in the question. He never actually provided his solution to most questions. When he did, his statements were riddled with obvious factual errors and lies. Romney’s lack of substance and prevaricating was far more obvious this time than last, in my opinion.

Right out of the box Romney tried to bulldoze over Candy Crowley, arguing with her, talking over her, and demanding to use more than his allotted amount of time. He even argued about which question he was supposed to answer. He looked like an ass. Obama did a little bit of this too and he shouldn’t have, but Romney was by far the entitled Daddy Warbucks in the room, demanding that the help seat him at his regular table right now, dammit! Don’t you people know who I am? That’s how Romney came off.

From the get-go, Romney decided to chuck all of the agreed-upon rules out the window. It’s a real turnoff when anyone does it, but Romney came off as a bully, and he played right into Obama’s argument that Romney and his buddies want to play by a different set of rules. As Chris Matthews so beautifully observed after it was all over, “Mitt Romney is the guy on the plane who won’t turn off his phone.” It’s true. He’s the guy who doesn’t think the rules apply to him. We all know that guy, he’s the asshole customer you hate to have in your section, the unreasonable client who spends every meeting belittling you. Yeah, we all know that guy and we all hate him.

Romney floundered and flailed when asked such simple questions as, what would you do to fix the gender pay gap? Romney’s non-response was to talk about how as governor he asked his staff to find women for his cabinet — and within minutes, “Binders Full Of Women” was on Tumblr.

But hands-down my favorite moment was when Romney was asked how he’s different from George W. Bush. Romney completely ignored that question and whined to Crowley about how he didn’t get a chance to address something about China from two questions ago. It was hilarious, and it opened the door to Obama’s response that at least George W. Bush didn’t want to turn Medicare into a voucher system or try to get immigrants to “self-deport.” It was hilarious because as we all know, there is no difference between Romney and Bush. Romney’s advisors are all straight out of the Bush Administration. Romney and Ryan have not articulated any idea that is in any way different from what the Bush Administration advocated: tax cuts and deregulation. It’s been the Republican Party mantra for decades. It’s all they’ve got, it’s the same ol’ shit, repackaged. It failed, and we all know it. Republicans need new ideas but they’re incapable of generating any, since their think tanks and idea factories are simply disguised propaganda mills.

Basically, Romney is a big phony, and last night he looked it.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election

First Draft Tuesday

I have a minor rant up about tonight’s debate.

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Romney’s Tax Plan

Finally, those elusive details we’ve all been waiting for.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election

First Draft Tuesday

Another rich asshole threatens to Go Galt and the butthurt rains down on the hoi polloi. Check it out here.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, economy

The L Word

Sorry I haven’t updated in a while, I’ve been busy with some other stuff. And I’m trying to finish up a project this week so blogging may be light.

But I am just really confused about why the press is letting Mitt Romney get away with outright, repeated lies. My confusion is prompted by this post over at Blue Virginia. They link to Paul Krugman telling ABC News that

“The press just doesn’t know how to handle flat-out untruths,” he said.

And, you know, bullshit. Am I the only one who remembers our glorious media calling Al Gore a liar over every little thing he said and didn’t say, but they pretended he said? After Al Gore’s first debate with George W. Bush — ABC News ran this atrocious hit piece. This was 12 years ago yesterday, people. The headline:

Al Gore Prone to Exaggeration

The lede:

This just in: Al Gore has a penchant for exaggeration.

ABC called Gore a liar over that stupid Texas wildfires/FEMA thing. It’s so lame it’s not even worth rehashing, but ABC was wrong and the point is, it’s a stupid thing anyway. But Mitt Romney can outright lie about everything that matters — his tax plan, his Medicare plan, the reason domestic coal production is down, etc. etc. etc. — and it’s fucking crickets.

So don’t tell me the media doesn’t know how to handle lies. They call Democrats liars all the time, even when we aren’t lying and yes, when we do. It seems what they don’t know how to handle are Republican liars. Especially presidential ones.

I’m going to crawl back in my hole now.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election, Media, media fairness, media manipulation

Debate Thoughts

[UPDATE]:

Romney campaign already forced to walk back at least one erroneous claim. I’m sure more will follow.

But really, what is the point of any of this, then? If a candidate is just going to stand in front of a podium and openly lie because he knows there won’t be any accountability for at least 24 hours and by then most people won’t be paying attention … well, then? What’s the damn point? It means the whole thing is Kabuki. Why even bother?

———————————

Just some quick thoughts about last night. I thought the biggest loser of the evening was Jim Lehrer and this debate format. It gave Mitt Romney an opportunity to lie with impunity, and it gave President Obama a chance to ramble and never make a point.

Fact-checkers will nail Romney on his blatant lies and mischaracterizations, but Obama is already getting nailed for being too vague and lacking spark. Hard to argue with either of those characterizations, too. No one came out a winner last night and Jim Lehrer is being mocked for letting himself get steamrolled. What a major fail all the way around.

President Obama missed some great opportunities to call Romney on his lies. Talk about pulling your punches! I mean, how do you let Romney get away with saying — repeatedly — that his tax plan doesn’t reward the wealthy with a big tax cut? It’s on his own damn website!

Make permanent, across-the-board 20 percent cut in marginal rates

and

Eliminate the Death Tax

That’s not a tax cut for the wealthy? The estate tax (i.e., “death tax”) only affects estates over $5 million. That’s not the wealthy?

Obama should have called him on this stuff. Romney’s most egregious claims, like that $716 billion in Medicare cuts thing, was never answered. Why didn’t Obama just say, “those same cuts are in Paul Ryan’s budget, which the House Republicans passed and which you said you’d implement. You know that.”

I mean, Romney out and out lied, repeatedly, and Obama let him. Romney Etch-A-Sketched himself into a moderate position, presented himself as an aisle-crosser, which is laughable, especially after those devastating 47% remarks. Obama never called him on it, maybe he didn’t want to look like the “angry black man,” maybe he didn’t want to look weak by being on the defense. I don’t know. But he shouldn’t have let it happen.

Mitt Romney, meanwhile, looked like a London oil trader coming off a three-day crack binge. He was pasty, white, twitchy and blinky. Someone on the Romney campaign needs to find that Univision makeup artist because Romney looked like he’d been doused in lemon juice and left in the sun too long.

The Mitt Romney who was on display up last night was a craven political opportunist, a man who will say and do absolutely anything to win. If he thought promising every citizen a red-toed frog would win him votes, he’d have done it in a heartbeat.

Romney is a completely unprincipled character, a man who stands for nothing and falls for anything. That’s his biggest weakness and nothing I saw last night changed that opinion. If anything, he reinforced it. But that’s just me.

Anyway, if there’s one takeaway from last night it’s this: Obama wants to kill welfare for Exxon Mobil; Romney wants to kill Big Bird. Let’s just hold on to that meme for a while.

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Filed under 2012 presidential election