Aug 9, 2012

Summer Politics Worth of Staycation Laze [with an update!]

 Update, 8/11. What Delightful News!

Two days after I posted (below), Romney announced his VP pick, Paul Ryan! This is an unforced error by him. Perhaps it isn't in the order of Mac's Sarah Palin four years ago, but I think this will make it easier for the Dems to draw the distinction between sanity and the extremist elements in the GOP.

Ryan has drawn up a budget that gives tax breaks to the super-rich while cutting essential services to the poor & middle class. Every time the public is made aware of the Ryan plan's priorities it is greatly opposed, even by many Republicans! This is crucial, because he's a star in the GOP. He is of the ideological camp of the tea party conservatives that seem to control the party. This camp--with their ideas, policies, and personalities--is not popular on the national level. This is not where the country is nor where it's moving into!

The principle do-no-harm in picking a VP has been violated by Mitt. He will allow (hopefully) the Dems to draw a clear distinction and bring much national attention to the Congressional leadership of the conservatives. Ryan and other tea party leaders in Congress can do crazy stuff because they come from safe districts, but their nuttery is not good for national politics. Ryan, as R's # 2 heighten this contrast and brings forth what the Congressional Repubs actually want to do--which is not popular!

I do not think the wave of 2010--which was very bad for Dems--will occur again this year. Actually, I'm betting on the opposite, thinking that once the country will settle on re-electing Obama, that Romney's negative net [I don't remember if the GOP had a candidate whose negatives were higher than his positives, ever] will persist, and that turnout will be more suppressed on the Republican side, the Dems can hold the Senate and challenge the GOP for control of the House. Yes, I think now the House is in play.

No one can safely predict electoral outcomes, but I'm willing to say that this election will be a blowout, in the Electoral College at least!  I said the same thing earlier in the summer of 2008, and repeated it while the GOP and Sarah Palin were riding high around their convention time. I argued why the country was ready to move in a new direction and that McCain was the old guard, more of the same Bush-like crap.  As for Palin, I argued she'd be a dead weight and a negative the more the public got to actually know her. I'm repeating the same argument for Ryan now.

See you later; enjoy this fast-moving summer.


Let's talk politics before this summer is over and the dynamic changes after Labor Day and the two parties' nominating conventions. So, here are a few things: the nominating show, the economy, the problem with the base of the GOP, and looking into the magic bowl while chewing coca leaves... (or, something like that).

Invite or not Sarah Palin to speak at the GOP convention?
The Repubs are having their show in a couple weeks and Romney has vowed to pick his VP before then. The first rule is do-no-harm. The VP choice rarely adds anything to the ticket but it can be a drag as Sarah Palin demonstrated. At best, in an evenly matched prez field the VP can add a slight margin in his state (if it's competitive; Alaska wasn't in 2008, which was another mistake by McCain), and may add a very few more votes in a couple other states.

Here's the problem with Romney and the GOP: They are out of the mainstream. Most of their main policy proposals--as articulated on the state level, in Congress, and their affiliated tea parties--are not in line with the vast majority of Americans. Worse, if these policies and social issues stands are further explained to the public, their approval drops even lower. Worst, is that the country is moving away from them.

Romney was/is (?) a moderate, or someone who's a businessman and cares little about the social issues that don't affect his wealthy class. Yet, he wants to be president but unfortunately for him (and many other centrist Repubs) he has to go through a very conservative activist base. So, he flips-flops. He was for gun control, same-sex rights, choice, mandated health coverage, etc. He now had to denounce those views to be viable in today's GOP. 

The Chick-fil-A gay bashing issue is indicative of Romney's impossible conundrum. He avoided taking a position (as he has on many other social issues), because he can't have it both ways--he can't alienate the American public nor he can afford to turn away his activist but very conservative base. However, that inane leader of the Catholic League Donohue--who reflects the views of may social conservatives regardless of their particular denomination--has said that they're pondering sitting this election out, because they fear is confirmed they cannot trust Romney to be a social conservative!

Elections are decided on turnout to a great extend and it doesn't look good for Romney right now. Even as a known quality, even after having a Dem prez in office, Mittens was receiving fewer votes in the competitive primaries earlier this year than 4 years ago when he was losing to Mac! One might have expected a higher mobilization wave against the "Muslim Kenyan" in the Oval Office, but it's either because Anti-Christ's hold of the executive doesn't seem as too threatening or that Obama's centrist style is acceptable to most voters. Barry Hussein seems to have a much higher "likeability" index than Mittens!

As for the economy, people are pessimistic--they've been hurting since 2008--but not quite blaming Obama for the entirety of the misery. They don't see a good alternative in Mittens either. So, I suppose O's positives will hover around 50%, good enough for reelection, barring any major disaster before November.

It's often said that Americans don't really pay attention to politics in the summer. Maybe the don't follow the details {do they other times?} but impressions still are being formed about the major candidates. Two issues that aren't going away is how R made money at Bain Capital and his tax returns. The latter creates the impression that he's out of touch, that he's hiding something by not releasing older tax records. I think this is a case of double damnation--releasing the records or not.   

Even if Harry Reid--who claimed that a former Mitt associate said R didn't pay any taxes for 10 years--is wrong, I assume that most Americans wouldn't like it that a multi-millionaire pays half the rate most of us do. Yes, it's an issue with me as well. I'm in the so-called middle class and my tax rates are twice as Romney's 12.99% of his last tax return! I don't care how he gets his income. Well, actually I work hard while he collects dividends and interest from his vast fortunes. There's something seriously wrong with this picture.

And, the Repubs want to keep the Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy, which is another point the Dems must keep reminding everyone. Even billionaire Warren Buffet [clearly a ..traitor to his class] said that the rich always ask for more money so they can spend more and thus create more jobs! Obviously a ridiculous claim but one adopted by the GOP that wants to convince us the trickle down effect is rain and not the wealthy pissing on us.