Posts tagged ‘Newt Gingrich’

Hannity Plays the Race Card

Before he died, Andrew Breitbart told the audience at CPAC that he had videos of Barack Obama that would blow the lid off his reputation. Obama, said Breitbart, would finally be vetted in a way that he wasn’t in 2008. Like a true loyal conservative, Sean Hannity played one of these videos on his show Wednesday night with commentary from two “reporters” from breitbart.com.

The video seems harmless enough. Obama, then a Harvard Law student, is seen introducing (and paying tribute to) Derrick Bell, a professor concerned, dare I say obsessed with faculty diversity.  So at first glance, nothing to see here, move along.

Now, conservatives are the first to cry foul when liberals play that “race card”. In fact, even the suggestion that racism exists prompts a charge of racism from conservatives. So the last thing you would expect is for Sean Hannity to go there. What is the problem with Obama asking his fellow students to open their hearts and minds to Derrick Bell? Bell is a proponent of Critical Race Theory (CRT) which states, among other things, that whites will only help blacks achieve equality when it is in their self-interest. I’m no expert on CRT but supposedly the self-interest slant is particularly applied to Jews. Hence there are some who label CRT antisemitic. On a more humorous note, Bell also authored a science fiction story in which white people sell blacks to space aliens in order to eliminate the deficit. Sounds to me like a mixture of Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich ideology. But I digress.

Using the old guilt by association tactic, Hannity is telling you that Obama hates white people. We’ve been down this road before with Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Only this time, with the economy in a mess and international tensions running high you would think that conservatives would focus their attack on Obama via economics and foreign affairs. But those subjects are oh so dry and boring to the average voter. Isn’t it much sexier to play the race card and tell everyone that Obama hates white people?

Supposedly there are more videos to come. Hannity is already stoking the conspiracy theorists because the video published by BuzzFeed didn’t include Obama hugging Bell. Oh yes, after those words of praise, that hug is the cherry on the sundae! When Obama was a young man, he hugged a radical. Our nation is in grave danger! Hannity also showed video of Harvard Professor Charles Ogletree saying that Obama’s tenuous connection with Bell was kept on the down low during the 2008 election season. Good heavens, more evidence that this white hating radical was implanted in the White House under the bogus cover of hope and change.

Hopefully, people will see through this race-baiting by Hannity. At this point, there is no evidence that Obama was a proponent of Critical Race Theory. All we know is that Obama was supporting Bell’s protest for faculty diversity at Harvard. When you’re not confident enough to go after the President on what matters in 2012, you reach back to 1990 and try to scare people.

My conservative friends, you can update your list of race hustlers now. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and … Sean Hannity.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

March 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm 359 comments

I Think Therefore I am Not

I’ve noticed an odd trend in conservative circles revolving around self-identification. Some folks at the conservative end of the spectrum seem to have a clear idea of what they are NOT. Unfortunately, this self perception is delusional. Two cases in point:

I spent the better part of last week confined to a hospital suffering from flu-induced pneumonia. To the hospital’s credit, they had a cable line up that could rival that of the finest hotel. Unfortunately, my liberal leanings were short circuited by the absence of MSNBC. I knew if I watched too much CNN I would only extend my hospital stay. So I did what any other political junkie in my position would have done …. I watched Fox News Channel. Whether I watched “The Five” or Neil Cavuto or Hannity, one consistent meme I heard repeated was their derogatory references to “the main stream media”. The more I heard this, the funnier it seemed. Fox News Channel consistently beats CNN and MSNBC in ratings. While I hate to admit it, they are the kings of 24 hour news coverage. More folks watch them than their competitors. So could someone please tell me how FNC is not the mainstream media? These are the outsiders? These are the underdogs? Give me a break. Of course, claiming not to be mainstream pumps up their aggrieved victim status and clearly if conservative politics has become anything of late it has become the politics of aggrievement. Still I found this self-delusion of being outside the mainstream pretty amusing.

The other example involves the GOP Presidential contenders themselves. If you left your brain in your bottom desk drawer, you would believe that these are four brave Washington outsiders. These are men who rail at big government. They are the ones who will change everything. Yet even a cursory examination reveals that three of the four are Washington institutions. Newt Gingrich, the infamous Speaker of the House from the 1990′s has since his ouster profited from Washington connections for the past 20 years. Ron Paul has been a House Representative since 1976 with about a 12 year hiatus in the late 80′s/early 90′s. For all his rhetoric and a good 30 years of Washington experience, he hasn’t moved the needle one inch toward a less intrusive Washington.

And then there is former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. Santorum has been a Washington fixture since 1991 and qualifies as an outsider now only because he lost his Senate seat in 2006. Unlike veteran Ron Paul, Santorum doesn’t even try to hide his “Washington disease”. He speaks in legislative mumbo jumbo. He talks about the bills he has championed. He talks about having to vote against conscience “to take one for the team.” He sounds like anything but a Washington outsider.

Yet each of these men would have you believe they oppose the very government that has employed them for decades. Are they fooling themselves or just trying to pull something over on the rest of us?

When you dig under the outsider rhetoric of Fox News Channel and the GOP contenders, you come to a disheartening conclusion. They’re all playing for the same team as those currently in power and real meaningful change is highly unlikely in the near future.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: smokedsalmon / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

February 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm 482 comments

Who the Hell is Saul Alinsky (and Rachel Maddow Jumps the Shark)

Who the Hell is Saul Alinsky?

Last week, I had two choices for blog topics in my head. One was a pros and cons of Barack Obama and the other was asking who the hell is Saul Alinsky. I chose the former. Then the following Friday night, not one but two left-leaning TV personalities asked essentially “who the hell is Saul Alinsky?” I chuckled to my wife that something must be in the air. What’s putting this Keyser Söze of politics into everyone’s head are the ramblings of GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich who drops Alinsky’s name with the frequency of a thirteen year old girl citing Justin Bieber. According to Gingrich, President Barack Obama is a slave to “Saul Alinsky” and we all must be afraid, be very afraid of “Saul Alinsky liberalism”. These warnings are usually greeted with whoops and hollers from Gingrich’s adoring fans, an ignorant lot who have no better idea of who Saul Alinsky is than I did, but will clap for anything anti-Obama.

So who is this Saul Alinsky? Bill Maher’s summary biography states that Alinsky liked black people, and hence is an enemy of current day Republicans. Of course that greatly oversimplifies things. Alinsky identified with the disenfranchised of all races. He essentially invented community organizing. Of course, Obama having been a community organizer must have inherited all of Saul’s evil traits. To make matters worse, about a year before he died, Alinsky wrote a book called Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals. Alinsky believed that you had to do (or threaten to do) outrageous things to get the attention of the establishment. According to the Wiki article on him, he planned to stage at various times in his career, a fart-in and a piss-in. In the former, a mass of baked bean-filled protesters would disperse themselves among a concert audience and unleash a torrent of offensive odor and sound. In the latter, well dressed black men would occupy public urinals and simply refuse to leave until demands were met. Just the mere threat of these shenanigans got the attention of the powerful.

What I don’t get from the little I’ve read about Alinsky is any sense of violence. The dude saw what he thought were disadvantaged people and rejoiced in pissing off their perceived oppressors. He was clearly an enemy of the status quo when the status quo put its heavy foot on the throat of a powerless minority. This, by the way, extended to Richard Nixon’s “silent majority”. He was just as concerned about disenfranchised whites and their vulnerability to wrong-headed leaders who would offer them the politics of hate disguised as hope.

In the context of Newt Gingrich, as Bill Maher ably points out, Alinsky is just another boogeyman designed to make you fear, distrust or outright hate Barack Obama. Nothing more, nothing less.

Rachel Maddow Jumps the Shark

Let me state two things up front. First, I like Rachel Maddow. Second I do believe in dog whistles. With that out of the way, my friend Ms. Maddow took a leap too far last night in her coverage of the Florida primary. During Newt Gingrich’s “concession speech” (Newt never actually concedes) in Florida last night, he suggested that Barack Obama stop singing, stop being the “entertainer-in-chief” and actually do his job. Out of any context, the comment would seem at least nonsensical and at worst some veiled reference to the stereotypical  “singing dancing black man” so adored (and simultaneously ridiculed)  in our pop culture. But, as always, context is everything.

A couple of weeks ago during a fund-raiser, President Obama sang the first line of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together”. I got a major kick out of it. I thought it greatly humanized him particularly when he so often comes across as remote. But let’s be honest here. When you let your guard down and show a frivolous side to America, your opponents will exploit it. Just go back to 1968 and Richard Nixon’s brief appearance on “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-in” where he said “sock it to me?” It was funny. But Nixon haters certainly like to use it in their “laugh at Nixon reel.”  The fact of the matter is Obama DID sing. So for Gingrich to tell him to stop singing and do his job was at worst evidence of Newt having no sense of humor or appreciation for a human moment. It was NOT some example of racism. It did not conjure up images of the minstrel show (as Maddow put it) in any but the most racially paranoid minds.

Former Gingrich spokesperson and current leader of the “not coordinated with Gingrich” Super PAC, Rick Tyler, bless his soul, did battle with Maddow and Al Sharpton last night. To my surprise, Tyler who once wrote the immortal words “But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich”, ably defended his candidate and made Maddow and Sharpton look pretty pathetic.

You know something? As a black man, every now and then I get a little tired of white folks defending black folks … because sometimes they just don’t know when to quit while they’re ahead.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

February 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm 85 comments

Bain: The Great Equalizer (and Other Thoughts)

Bain: The Great Equalizer

I just finished watching the thirty minute smear piece against Mitt Romney produced by Newt Gingrich’s SuperPAC. Don’t lecture me about how this isn’t Newt’s SuperPAC. We all know better and I’ll focus more on this “joke” later in the article. The glorified campaign ad “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” is fairly well destroyed by a fact check done by the Washington Post. Still, the film leaves me with two conclusions. First, Mitt Romney was a very successful leader of a company. Mitt Romney was hardly a job creator. So henceforth in the campaign instead of saying he created thousands of jobs, Mitt ought to simply say he ran a very successful enterprise and can bring that successful executive leadership to our country. Don’t mention any other companies like Staples which can be countered with examples like Ampad. Simply stick to Bain — “I ran Bain and we did damn well!”

The second conclusion I came to was that Bain, or perhaps capitalism itself, is the great equalizer. All but one of the “common folk” interviewed in the smear job was white. “When you’ve only got two gifts for your kids [at Christmas] that hurts,” says one woman who lost her job supposedly because of Bain. Mmm, how many blacks can identify with that? I’d guess a helluva lot. Another woman talked about her ten kids, two of whom are still minors who need financially stable parents. I’ve read too many conservatives tell black women in the same bind “keep your thighs together and maybe you wouldn’t have so many kids, welfare queen.” Depending on your perspective, the tragedy or the beauty of full-blown capitalism is it knows no racial or ethnic boundaries. All capitalism knows is winners and losers, the powerful and the powerless. The fact is, white or black, if you don’t sit in the corner office, you’re vulnerable. Survival of the company and share holder value is paramount. I can’t help but believe that some, not all, but some of the folks in “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” thought their whiteness insulated them and protected their comfy middle class existence. It made the rude awakening of their actual corporate insignificance all the more shocking.

Our pastors tell us we are all equal before the Lord. When it comes to capitalism run amok, we in the 99% are all equal too and none of us are safe. That’s the real lesson behind the “King of Bain” campaign film. Yet, in the words of Romney, I’ll bet you “a thousand bucks” that these folks, despite what they’ve been through, given the choice between Mitt and Barack will pull the lever for Romney. What’s the matter with Kansas indeed.

The Big SuperPAC Joke

Four years ago, comedian Stephen Colbert tried to get on the presidential ballot in South Carolina and failed. Well he’s at it again this year but an intervening event has added an extra sharpness to his stunt, namely the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. For the past few months, Colbert has been collecting money into his own SuperPAC. This Thursday night, before announcing an exploratory committee into running for “President of the United States of South Carolina”, Colbert brought on his attorney to discuss what to do with his PAC. Since the law states that you cannot fund a campaign out of your own PAC, Colbert had to find someone else to run his. He chose … Jon Stewart.  For the remainder of the sketch on The Colbert Report, Stephen and Jon discussed how they would not have any communication between them regarding the conduct of this PAC as law dictates.

Behind all the silliness was a great primer on the total BS of campaign funding rules as perverted by the Citizens United decision. We all know that the folks who launched the devastating ad campaign against Newt Gingrich in Iowa with no funding limits, were associates of Mitt Romney. Similarly we know that the folks who launched “When Mitt Romney Came to Town” are cronies of Gingrich. Both claim to be independent SuperPACS. We know it ‘s  a lie. If we don’t cut through the noise, weigh the facts carefully and vote our conscience in November; if we let these SuperPAC ad campaigns overly influence us, then the big SuperPAC joke will be on us.

Killing Scientists, Really?

This week an Iranian scientist was murdered on his way to work. He had been working on Iran’s nuclear program. He was the fourth scientist to be killed in recent times. The last time I looked, scientists were not soldiers. They are not terrorists. They are not criminals. They are gainfully employed working in what is purported to be a peaceful pursuit of nuclear energy capability. No one has claimed responsibility for this murder. The leading suspects are the United States’ CIA and Israel’s Mossad. Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich has gone on record advocating these murders. All I can say is I sincerely hope the United States has nothing to do with this.

If scientists need to be killed to stop nuclear proliferation, then I suppose Einstein and Oppenheimer should have been killed long ago.

Pissing on the Enemy

Apparently four United States Marines didn’t get the memo about Abu Ghraib. Four of them are seen in a video urinating on dead members of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has condemned the behavior. But this gets me to thinking anew about why we need a draft. First, of course, with a draft the war in Afghanistan would be over by now because more parents of dead soldiers and soldiers at risk would be demanding an end to it. However I think it goes further than that. Three types of people volunteer to go to war:

  1. True patriots
  2. Folks who for whatever reason are not making it in American civilian society
  3. Sociopaths and thrill-seekers with blood-lust

I would hope the military is fairly good at screening out the third category but I’m not so sure. I’m damn sure they don’t spend much time screening out the second category. With a draft untainted by corruption the percent of folks in the military who should not be there should reflect the same types of folks in society in general. In other words, as a gross mathematical example, if 30% of Americans are true patriots then a fair draft will pull in about 30% patriots. With a volunteer army you don’t get that representative sampling that a draft encourages. I submit with a volunteer army you get more societal rejects and psychos.

Think about it. With Osama bin Laden dead, and the war in Afghanistan pretty much a waste of time and money, who would volunteer to go there now? You would either have to be blindly patriotic or have some less than ideal agenda. I know it is sacrilege to speak ill of our military, of our brave young men and women. But there is nothing brave about pissing on your enemy’s corpse. We should never forget the lessons of Abu Ghraib. War is dirty and a cross-section of the folks we are sending to fight it are not particularly clean either.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

 

January 13, 2012 at 7:07 pm 300 comments

The New RINO: A Conservative Without the Drama

Some folks, particularly many of my readers, are quick to throw the label RINO (Republican in Name Only) at any Republican not sufficiently conservative in their view. I don’t object to the practice one bit if the shoe fits. George W. Bush was a RINO. He spent the country into bankruptcy.  Lately, however, folks are confusing sensible with RINO.

Early on in the GOP primary season I expressed interest in Jon Huntsman. Just on paper, he looked like the strongest contender having both executive (Governor of Utah) experience and foreign policy (Ambassador to China) experience. I also liked the fact that he didn’t run away from climate change and evolution as scientific lines of inquiry worth exploring. Since I’m not a Republican, my analysis stopped there. I was quickly informed by several of my readers that Huntsman is a RINO and has no business anywhere near the Oval Office. Hence I was pleased to stumble upon a quiz posted by MSNBC host Joe Scarborough in Politico magazine. The quiz, copied below in its entirety compares Huntsman to the current leading contenders Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. (YIKES I feel like I’m living in an alternate universe putting Newt Gingrich and “leading contender” in the same sentence!)

1. Who said, “I will preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose. I am not going to change pro-choice laws in any way”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

2. Who bragged about being a moderate with this comment, “There is a new synthesis evolving with the classic moderate wing of the party, where as a former Rockefeller state chairman, I’ve spent most of my life”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

3. Who starred in a 2007 global warming commercial with Nancy Pelosi that was sponsored by Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

4. Who once famously said, “I don’t line up with the NRA”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

5. Who was paid $312,000 by ethanol interests and then said ethanol is good for national security and for the economy?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

6. Which candidate bragged about not being a Republican during the Reagan presidency and promised that if elected he would not “return to Reagan-Bush policies”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

7. Which candidate told Planned Parenthood that he supported state funding of abortion?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

8. Which candidate has consistently supported the type of individual mandates for health insurance that conservatives are trying to overturn through court challenges to Obamacare? (Trick question: Two of three are correct answers.)

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

9. Which candidate went on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and called Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan “radical” and “right-wing social engineering”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

10. Which candidate is the only GOP presidential contender to come out in full support of the Ryan plan?

A. Mitt Romney
B. Newt Gingrich
C. Jon Huntsman

11. Which candidate bragged to CNN that he’s “the most seriously professorial politician since Woodrow Wilson”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

12. Which candidate told Planned Parenthood that he supported the “substance” of the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

13. Which candidate said of the Medicare prescription drug plan that was the largest expansion of entitlements since the Great Society, “Every conservative member of Congress should vote for this Medicare bill. Obstructionist conservatives can always find reasons to vote no”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

14. Which candidate attacked Steve Largent, Tom Coburn and other conservatives as “the Perfectionist Caucus,” while giving his last speech as speaker in support of Dick Gephardt and Dave Obey’s colossal Omnibus Bill of 1998?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

15. Which candidate was ranked by Cato Institute in 2008 one of the most fiscally conservative governors in America?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

16. Which candidate was cited by the Pew Center for running the “best-managed” state, hailed by Forbes magazine as the “most fiscally fit” and ranked first in the country for job creation?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

17. Whose economic plan does The Wall Street Journal consider the most impressive and conservative of the Republican presidential field?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

18. The American Conservative wrote this about which GOP candidate, “For the past two decades a ‘moderate’ Republican was one who didn’t generally side with his party on three issues: taxes, guns and abortion. [This candidate’s] record on those isn’t just to the right of the moderates. It is to the right of most conservatives”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

19. Which candidate was praised in a Club for Growth report for reforming health care with “no individual mandate, no employer mandate and no provision for a massive expansion of subsidized care unlike Obamacare or Romney’s plan”?

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

20. Who are the real RINOs here? (Feel free to circle two.)

A. Mitt Romney

B. Newt Gingrich

C. Jon Huntsman

Answers: 1) A; 2) B; 3) B; 4) A; 5) B; 6) A; 7) A; 8.) A and B; 9) B; 10) C; 11) B; 12) A; 13) B; 14) B; 15) C; 16) C; 17) C; 18) C; 19) C; 20) you decide.

via Opinion: Who is the real RINO? – Joe Scarborough – POLITICO.com.

Clearly, at least from this quiz, the only candidate of the three who is NOT a RINO is Jon Huntsman. So, you have to ask yourself why is Huntsman labeled so by so many? Could it be that unlike Gingrich, Huntsman doesn’t talk about the President’s Kenyan anti-colonialist background? Perhaps it is because Huntsman, unlike Gingrich,  doesn’t identify liberalism as the most dangerous phenomenon in America since World War II Nazism? Could it be that unlike Romney, Huntsman has not been anointed by the establishment and certainly no one anointed by the establishment could possibly be a RINO.

The fact that Jon Huntsman has been virtually ignored by his party and the potential primary voters  tells me that his party is not really serious about leading us out of this crisis. The GOP electorate have so far only shown interest in opportunists and drama queens. If that trend does not change, the GOP does not deserve your vote in November of 2012.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

November 30, 2011 at 7:05 pm 629 comments

The GOP Slate and the Week We Lost Our Weiner

The GOP Slate

OK, let’s be honest, the first GOP candidate debate on Fox about a month ago was a joke. It included at least one candidate, Gary Johnson, who we know will never be President of the United States (Gary who?) and it did not include some heavy hitters, namely Romney and Gingrich through no fault of Fox but just bad timing. So let’s ignore that debacle and turn our attention toward the real first GOP candidate debate carried on CNN last Monday. The debate itself was clumsy with “average Americans” asking the questions. We don’t need average Americans who have no TV presence asking questions. I would have preferred a panel of journalists but then let’s not forget, this is the Palin Era where journalists are to be bypassed. The opening statements were also gag-worthy as each candidate tried to one-up the other on how much successful intercourse they’d had: “I’m the father of three”, “I’m the mother of five and foster-mother of 630″. Finally there were the series of “this or that” questions designed to lighten the mood and make the candidates more human. I was fully prepared for the moderator, John King to ask Herman Cain “Tupac or Biggie?”

Here is my quick review of the roster:

Rick Santorum: One word — Google. Really. Can any man whose last name ranks first on Google as the definition of  “The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex” expect to one day be President of the United States? Gay activist Dan Savage’s evil bit of brilliance in launching a contest to concoct a gay-oriented definition for Rick’s last name permanently makes him a punchline. I will give Santorum credit, however for consistency. He is against abortion even in the case of rape and incest. As I’ve written before, this is the ONLY pro-life stance that has any integrity. As for Rick’s performance in the debate, nothing newsworthy. Just another “red-blooded American” appealing to the far right base.

Michele Bachmann: It looks like I must abandon my wait for Bachmann’s fall. The Congresswoman from Minnesota just keeps rising and her debate performance, while not brilliant, was hardly the dumb-ass display we might have expected from someone who thinks Lexington-Concord took place in New Hampshire and our founding fathers ended slavery. One could see in this performance a cheer leader for the Tea Party with a degree of gravitas missing from her most closely aligned associate, Sarah Palin. In this sexist world of ours, Palin is almost too pretty. You, and I mean you Rich Lowry, want to bed Palin. But while Bachmann is a reasonably attractive woman, when you look at her you think of a mother, not a lover and you see someone who truly wants to be relevant. You can imagine Bachmann bouncing back from gaffes by doing a bit of study to avoid them in the future. Her best moment was when she referred to Obama as “someone far more eloquent than I” and then hanged him on his own words. I cannot believe I’m saying this but we need to keep our eye on Bachmann.

Newt Gingrich: Fresh from his campaign staff quitting en masse, Newt used the debate to lecture America in his usual nonsensical professorial way. Most telling was his intro where he departed from the pattern of very personal introductions (see reference to successful procreation above) and chose instead to open with a policy statement. This makes sense since Newt Gingrich is a serial adulterer with no moral standing. Like Santorum, but for different reasons, Newt is now a punchline. Time to move on.

Mitt Romney: Making the first debate appearance of his campaign, Romney acquitted himself well. Most pundits gave the night to him with Bachmann a close second. I am probably in the minority on this but I think Romney has made a good distinction between what he did in Massachusetts and what Obama has done on a federal level with health care reform. To me the strongest part of his argument is that dealing with health care should not be a federal responsibility, but should rest with the States. This makes anything he did in Massachusetts his prerogative. I also got a kick out of his assertion that Obama never called him to consult on HCR. If only Obama had called Romney, “Obamacare” might have gone down better! Sadly though, Mitt still looks like Michael Scott from NBC’s “The Office”, that boss who wants so desperately to fit in with his underlings and fails miserably. Pundits have said, he reminds you of the dude who laid you off yesterday.

Tim Pawlenty: Yes there are those who want to give him the rap accolade T-Paw but I simply call him “Punk Ass Beeyotch” (the Notorious P.A.B.). Just a day earlier on Fox News he coined the devastating term “Obamneycare” forever tying Mitt Romney to Barack Obama. When given the opportunity to hammer home his assault with Romney standing next to him, Pawlenty showed us the kind of leadership we can expect in the White House — he punted. I think Romney is a bit taller than Tim and maybe could have kicked his ass. Maybe that was too intimidating? Imagine President Pawlenty talking smack about Ahmadinejad and then entering into negotiations with him where P.A.B. capitulates on everything. The truth is Tim is a wimpy soft-spoken man who does his best to fake tough and fails. The debate only confirmed what I already thought … Pawlenty is a non-starter.

Ron Paul: I’m sorry but despite his racist past, I cannot resist watching Ron Paul in a debate. Whether it’s telling the truth about the war on drugs or on our wars in general, Paul is always a refreshing breath of air. He is the only candidate who actually suggests concrete policy changes that are truly radical, that take us in a new direction. And of course, America being what it is, he will never get elected talking like that.

Herman Cain: Normally I’d launch into a racially charged diatribe about the only black candidate being placed at the far right of the assembled candidates, physically marginalized from the get-go but it does not matter where you place Cain on the stage, the man brings that “I know nothing about the issues” Palin appeal to the masses and it has earned him big points in most recent polls.  Essentially Cain’s performance could have been matched by any one of the folks who regularly comment on this blog. He is a “regular guy” successful business man who, like Palin, uses his ignorance of politics as a badge of honor. (Of course, with Palin it’s a bizarre sort of badge to wear since she has been in politics much of her adult life.) His approach is, what have career politicians done for you lately? He made some murky remarks about not wanting Muslims to serve in his administration but he seemed to step it back a bit to make a distinction about radical Muslims. (Of course, Newt took that opportunity to double down on the Islamaphobia.)  Like Bachmann, Cain seems to be willing to learn and he made attempts at specific policy prescriptions. I would not totally rule out a Cain VP slot.

In the batting cage were three people who could mix things up a bit. The will-she-won’t-she Sarah Palin is still undecided on a Presidential run and her recent SarahPAC funded vacation did nothing to clarify her intentions. I am still hoping she runs just to see her and Bachmann face off on stage! The punditocracy claims that Pawlenty’s stumble last Monday night opens the door for Texas Governor Rick Perry to enter the race. I find the idea of secessionist running for President highly amusing. And besides, look at the last President Texas gave us. Last but not least there is Jon Huntsman who will announce his run in the next few days. Huntsman is what many of my readers call a RINO. He does not pass the far right conservative litmus test. Even more interesting, he must walk that fine line of opposing Obama and defending his own employment under Obama as Chinese Ambassador. On the bright side, the dude speaks fluent Mandarin, so he isn’t a dumb-ass. On the less bright side, he opens his pre-campaign by reminding people that he was in the never-heard-of rock band Wizard while invoking images of “Easy Rider” and being stoned in the 60′s on your motor cycle. While cryptic, it sure is original. I will be watching Huntsman closely as the man who could possibly beat Obama.

weiner with all the fixins

The Week We Lost Our Weiner

If you see the progressives in your neighborhood dressed in black this week it is because they are in mourning. On June 16, after a three-week roller coaster ride of lies, revealing photos and high school worthy word-plays, New York Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner finally gave into mounting pressure and resigned. The circus atmosphere at his resignation speech was entirely consistent with a scandal devoid of any sense of dignity.

What emerges for me from Weinergate is one overriding thing: rank hypocrisy. Everywhere you looked during this scandal you saw a hypocrite:

The Media: The mainstream media said they desperately wanted to get to serious business and Weiner was a distraction but they kept leading their broadcasts with him. A prime suspect was Chris Matthews who declared some relief on Friday that Weiner had resigned so things like the debt ceiling could be discussed, but who with final editorial judgment over his show, decided to lead with Weiner on every show for almost two weeks.

The Democratic Party: From Nancy Pelosi to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Dem’s claimed they wanted Weiner to resign so he could “heal”. We all know that is plain and utter bullcrap. They don’t give one’s rat’s ass if Weiner heals. They want their anti-GOP talking points to take center stage again and not be overshadowed by one Congressman’s proclivity for exhibitionism.

The Republican Party: The party that gave us Larry Craig and David Vitter should do only one thing when a sex scandal emerges. STFU. Enough said.

The man himself: While it is true that Weiner never played the “family values” card like so many of his Republican counterparts, he was an outspoken advocate for moral causes, health care reform most notably. While no one is perfect, it does seem to me rank hypocrisy to talk about honesty and virtue in politics and then betray everyone around you with brazenly stupid behavior that you then try to lie to get out of.  The scandal makes a mockery out of one of Weiner’s finest moments when he talked about political courage.

What a terrible waste.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

Image: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

June 18, 2011 at 3:51 pm 563 comments

It’s Not Adultery When You Make Love to America

Some of the talking heads particularly on MSNBC are in an uproar over remarks Newt Gingrich made to The Brody File on CBN regarding his past marital infidelities. Chris Matthews and Mika Brzezinski looked about to have a brain aneurysm over Gingrich’s claim that “how passionately I feel about this country” and that “I worked far too hard” led him to be unfaithful to his wife.

The folks on TV cannot wrap their liberal talking heads around this statement by Newt. Clearly they have no understanding of psychology. Newt Gingrich was (and is) in love with the United States of America. Clearly he was not able to make love to the entire nation. So he needed a proxy. That’s all there is folks. The woman with whom Newt cheated on his cancer suffering wife was simply a proxy for America. Newt was making love to America. The only way he could have fulfilled this need any better was to make love to a woman named America. Perhaps America Ferrera?

Newt made love to a proxy for America. What could possibly be more patriotic than that?

Who’s with me?

Newt in 2012!
Newt in 2012!
Newt in 2012!

Elect Newt in 2012 and let him screw America all over again!

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

March 10, 2011 at 6:30 pm 128 comments

Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way (To GOP Sanity)

Washington Post political writer and frequent “This Week” panelist, George F. Will just bought himself an excommunication from the Republican party and perhaps the conservative movement as a whole. Like few of his peers, David Frum comes to mind, Will dared to speak truth about the insanity that is far right-wing politics and its damaging effect on GOP chances in 2012.

The trigger for Will’s excellent column in Sunday’s paper was damn-fool Mike Huckabee’s assertion that Obama’s fictional biography of growing up in Kenya influenced his world outlook to the detriment of the United States. Will writes:

If pessimism is not creeping on little cat’s feet into Republicans’ thinking about their 2012 presidential prospects, that is another reason for pessimism. This is because it indicates they do not understand that sensible Americans, who pay scant attention to presidential politics at this point in the electoral cycle, must nevertheless be detecting vibrations of weirdness emanating from people associated with the party.

The most recent vibrator is Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas …

via George F. Will – Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and the spotlight-chasing candidates of 2012.

Huckabee was “provoked” into his preposterous hypothesis by radio show host Steve Malzberg questioning just how much do we really know about “this guy” Obama. Will goes on to say:

Republicans should understand that when self-described conservatives such as Malzberg voice question-rants like the one above and Republicans do not recoil from them, the conservative party is indirectly injured. As it is directly when Newt Gingrich, who seems to be theatrically tiptoeing toward a presidential candidacy, speculates about Obama having a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” mentality.

To the notion that Obama has a “Kenyan, anti-colonial” worldview, the sensible response is: If only. Obama’s natural habitat is as American as the nearest faculty club; he is a distillation of America’s academic mentality; he is as American as the other professor-president, Woodrow Wilson. A question for former history professor Gingrich: Why implicate Kenya?

Then Will elegantly and directly delivers the coup de grâce:

Let us not mince words. There are at most five plausible Republican presidents on the horizon – Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former Utah governor and departing ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts governor Romney and former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty.

So the Republican winnowing process is far advanced. But the nominee may emerge much diminished by involvement in a process cluttered with careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates to whom the sensible American majority would never entrust a lemonade stand, much less nuclear weapons.

And to be clear, when Will references “careless, delusional, egomaniacal, spotlight-chasing candidates”, he is referring to Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to name a few doozies.

Sadly, the already lost members of the far right will label George Will a traitor in much the same way they dismiss David Frum. Yet the fact remains that Will and Frum are two of too few folks on the conservative side willing to call out the loonies. It is safe to say that by November of 2012, our country will have made insufficient progress for Obama’s reelection to be a slam dunk. The one way to ensure Obama’s reelection is for the GOP to ignore the voice of George Will. Judging from the popularity of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, liberals like me are counting on Will being ignored and another four years of Barack Obama being an inevitability.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

March 8, 2011 at 1:41 am 79 comments

My (Very) Early Predictions for GOP 2012

Inspired by a comment I made in one of my comment threads, fellow blogger Alfie prognosticated about whether or not Barack Obama will be challenged in 2012 by a Democrat. I thought I would return the favor by conjecturing on the GOP side of the 2012 Presidential race.

What follows in no particular order are some of the names already being bandied about for Republican nominees. I’ll grade them on likelihood of winning nomination if they decided to run and likelihood of beating Obama on a five point scale. 5 = Extremely likely, 1 = there’s a better chance of finding Nicole Simpson’s “real” killer.

Sarah Palin

We might as well get the elephant in the room over with. Palin is comparatively young, extremely savvy about controlling the media which she claims to disdain, and very charismatic as evidenced by the huge crowds she attracts on a regular basis. It is very hard to tell how brave her fellow Republicans will be in challenging her in the primaries should she choose to run. If they attack her too sharply they will alienate a major contingent of the dissatisfied electorate. She has proven that she will not buckle down and become knowledgeable on the issues. Still, I’m not sure this would seal her doom during primary season. In the general election, Obama (or any other Democrat for that matter) will clean her clock.
Nomination: 4
Election: 1

Tim Pawlenty

Watching paint dry is a more exciting experience than watching Pawlenty. With more interesting characters from which to choose, Pawlenty does not stand a chance.
Nomination: 2
Election: 1

Bobby Jindal

Bobby’s Republican response to one of Obama’s early Congressional addresses in 2009 was so awkward and embarrassing that it is hard to believe he could be a compelling challenger. He has been accurately compared to Kenneth the page in the sitcom “30 Rock”. This is another non-starter.
Nomination: 2
Election: 1

Dick Cheney

While the former Vice President has sworn he will not seek higher office, his nomination would present a choice of polar opposites for the American people. A Venn diagram depicting Cheney’s views vs Obama’s views would be two circles side by side with zero overlap. Cheney would get 100% of registered Republicans, Obama 100% of registered Democrats and then the fascinating exercise would be to see where the independents line up. For sheer drama, I’d pick Cheney as the next GOP candidate. One interesting question would be how much would his health play a role in his electability?
Nomination: 4
Election: 3

Mitt Romney

Since it is highly unlikely that we will have a booming economy in late 2011 and early 2012, Mitt Romney is the GOP’s economy pinch hitter. Romney, a successful businessman who saved the 2002 Winter Olympics games from financial ruin can claim some dollars and cents credibility. He also does very well in every GOP straw poll that has been conducted recently (CPAC and SRLC to name two). He has two major problems from my perspective. If health care reform is as polarizing in 2012 as it is now, Romney has some explaining to do since he championed a similar health care plan in Massachusetts while he was Governor. The “I was for it before I was against it” approach has not fared well in American politics. It also falls into Romney’s reputation as flip-flopper, firmly established during the 2008 primaries. In the general election, I think his Mormonism will definitely hurt him. My guess is that atheists find Mormonism the most detestable of faiths based on their history of racism. I suspect a good many Christians also don’t consider Mormonism a legit religion.
Nomination: 4
Election: 2

Ron Paul

Ron Paul does not stand a snowball’s chance in hell of getting nominated much less elected. There is a simple reason why. He is truly the only one on the GOP side bucking the status quo. While America talks a good line about wanting change, the truth is the average American is change-averse. The further we get into Barack Obama’s presidency the more convinced I am of this. The change that Americans wanted to believe in when they elected Obama was really just a desire to return to normalcy (Warren Harding anyone?), i.e. getting back to work. That’s not real change. That’s just restoration of the status quo. Among Ron Paul’s more radical ideas is to bring virtually all our military forces home. He claims we currently are acting like an empire with troops installed all over the world. I have to tell you I like Paul if for no other reason than that he says stuff that is unpopular with the establishment. He also has a strong base among conservative youth. Still I don’t think he can galvanize enough support to be successful.
Nomination: 1
Election: 1

Newt Gingrich

It seems Newt wants to resurrect 1994′s Contract with America. While Newt is capable of the dumbass statement, such as when he told Jon Stewart that shoe bomber Richard Reid was an American citizen (he was not), overall Newt presents an intelligent alternative to an otherwise dullard bunch. One suspects that if Newt ran he would come to the table with concrete ideas. On the other hand, Newt has a bit of Hillary Clinton disease. When Hillary ran for the Democratic nomination she reminded everyone of the 90′s and there was a sense of been there done that. I think Newt has the same problem. He’s not fresh. Since Republicans have no problem with hypocrisy, the fact that he cheated on his wife while trying to get Bill Clinton impeached for fellatio will not hurt him in the primaries. However in the general election, I’m not sure various independent liberal groups will be so kind.
Nomination: 3
Election: 2

Jeb Bush

A good many people say that Jeb was the Bush son who should have been President. I can only base my opinion of him on the few times I’ve seen him speak and the fact that he was a very popular Florida Governor. He also speaks fluent Spanish, America’s second language. I’m impressed with what I’ve seen of Jeb so far. He is soft-spoken which gives him an air of intelligence. He lacks the dumbass swagger of his older brother George W. However he has one major obstacle — his brother George W. If the sour taste of Bush has faded from the American tongue or been replaced by the sour taste of Obama, then I truly think Jeb has a shot at it. He would have to walk the delicate line of “I’m not my brother” while not outright dissing his kin. If he can get past that obstacle, I think he has a chance. (Let’s not forget America’s infatuation with making history. If elected, Jeb would make George 41 the only President to have two sons become President.)
Nomination: 4
Election: 3

Tom Coburn

I haven’t heard anyone talk about Tom Coburn, Republican Senator from Oklahoma as a Presidential hopeful but I’m tossing his hat in the ring anyway. When Obama held his health care summit this winter, only two Republicans came to the table with intelligent sounding talking points. One was Paul Ryan, a numbers wonk. The other was Tom Coburn who at least appeared to be there to suggest alternatives and carve out a solution. Recently Coburn made waves at a town hall meeting when he accused Fox News of sensationalizing the health care debate and defended House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In an age of brain-dead partisan politics, Coburn impresses me as a “fair and balanced” solution man. His having been an anti-abortion obstetrician and Baptist deacon should only improve his cred among Republicans. Despite my general liking for the man, I’m not sure he has the charisma to survive a Republican primary or general election.
Nomination: 2
Election: 2

Now, I must reiterate that I would not vote for any of the above. Now it’s your turn. Which of these candidates would get your vote in either the primary or the general?

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

April 14, 2010 at 12:47 pm 112 comments

Lessons Learned from Election Night 2009

With 20/20 hindsight, nothing that transpired last night at the polls should have surprised anyone. Let’s look at some of the lessons learned:

It’s the Economy, Stupid

None of us can forget that day in late September of 2008 when John McCain said he would suspend his campaign until the economic crisis had passed. In particular, he was suggesting that his upcoming debate with Barack Obama be cancelled. Obama responded that a President needed to be able to do more than one thing at one time. Well, ten months into his first term, one has to wonder if Obama has taken on too much at one time. Last night’s election of Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia signal that there is one overwhelming concern among average Americans and that is jobs, jobs, jobs. McDonnell ran with the moniker “Bob’s for jobs” and Christie promised to lower taxes. I think it’s fair to say that most people aren’t connecting health care reform with improving the economy. Unless we escalate our war on terror on a par with one of our old World Wars, we won’t see the “war industry” employing lots of people the way it did in the 30′s and 40′s. The push to go green has not yet produced substantial employment opportunities. So with Obama focused on health care, Afghanistan and climate change, many Americans are left scratching their heads on where the jobs are coming from. These gubernatorial elections should send a message to the White House that some economy/job focus needs to happen fast … and show results fast.

Don’t Take Moves from the Republican Playbook

2008 was the year of campaign silly season, led by the Republicans who threw every ridiculous charge at Obama that they could (charges that persist ten months after his inauguration). Sadly, neither the Corzine nor the Deeds campaigns learned that, particularly in serious times, you don’t run trivial campaigns. Corzine made fun of Christie’s weight and ran nasty ads about supposed criminal wrong doing gone unpunished. Deeds made a big stink about some paper McDonnell had written over 20 years ago. If you can’t battle your opponent on current issues, you ought not to be running.

Wash off the Wall Street Stink

This one is easy. Americans hate fat cat wall street veterans with a passion right now. Corzine’s history as head of Goldman Sachs might not have hurt him in his first run, but now it is virtually the kiss of death unless you have a very good story to tell in the “now”. With a very low approval rating, Corzine’s current story couldn’t wash away the Wall Street stink.

Don’t Embrace Endorsements from Ass Hats

In the NY-23 race, the minute Doug Hoffman got his Facebook endorsement from Sarah Palin, he should have known it was over before it started. Then Glenn Beck jumped on the band wagon. Before you know it, Hoffman was being lauded as the Tea Party Candidate. When Republican Dede Scozzafava got pushed out of the race, she had the good sense (and the courage) to back the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens. Hoffman didn’t understand that when people are hurting they want a serious representative to take up their cause in Washington. They don’t want a perceived wingnut. Of course, it is no surprise that Hoffman eagerly accepted the support of Palin. He was essentially a male version of Palin: totally ignorant about the local issues important to his potential constituents. Of course it didn’t help that he was a carpet-bagger. But even carpet-baggers like Hillary Clinton could succeed with hard work, learning about their adopted home, as she did with New York. Hoffman was not that smart.

The RINO You Have is Better than the Wingnut You Don’t

The fact is Newt Gingrich was right this time. Sure Scozzafava was not chosen in the ideal way (i.e. by primary) but the bottom line is no matter how liberal she was, she was unlikely to buck the Republican caucus in the House all that often. She would have been a reasonably reliable vote. Now thanks to the interference of Palin, Beck, Pawlenty, Armey and others, the 23rd district will send a Democrat to the House for the first time since 1873. This should be a wake up call to the GOP that moderation is not a bad thing.

Liberals are Lazy

Without the galvanizing motivation of putting a ground breaking President in the White House, liberals sat on their asses last night. You can’t win if you don’t play.

The Age of the Referen-dumb

If we had decided civil rights for blacks and women by referendum, we would probably still have a Jim Crow south  and women not voting today. Why in the world are the equal rights of homosexuals being decided by “popular” vote? The gay activist groups need to get this issue before the courts quickly so that eventually the Supreme Court can rule marriage discrimination unconstitutional and be done with it.

The overall lesson learned this year is that voters are not interested in right-wing or left-wing extremism or trivia. They are looking to people to solve problems and the biggest problem right now is finding employment and keeping your home. It’s a bi-partisan lesson that better be learned by both parties as we move into 2010.

Respectfully,
Rutherford

WordPress.com Political Blogger Alliance

November 4, 2009 at 3:02 pm 136 comments


April 2014
M T W T F S S
« Mar    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  
Bookmark and Share

Categories

Rutherford on Twitter

The Rutherford Lawson Blog is a member of

WordPress Political Blogger

My Sister Site

Town Called Dobson Daily Preview
AddThis Feed Button
http://www.blog4mobile.com/

Recent BlogCatalog Readers

View My Profile View My Profile View My Profile

Archives


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 713 other followers