Thursday, October 04, 2012

A Strong Performance Based on Lies

Upon immediate conclusion of the first Presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney,  a fair assessment would suggest Mitt Romney turned in a stronger performance.  Out of the gate, Romney roiled Moderator Jim Lehrer and was assertive, even animated, with a list of talking point from which he didn't stray.  For his part, President Obama's disinterest was palpable and he missed or chose not to go after Romney on flagrant lies.   I can't recall seeing a debate more poorly moderated than this one, which made it incumbent on Obama to jump in when Lehrer didn't.  We didn't see that tonight.


What we did hear is lie after lie from Romney.  Be it Medicare, tax cuts, revenue, the uninsured, pre-existing conditions, Romney's answers don't match what he said a year ago, a month ago, a day ago or even 24 hours ago. Nothing new here, Romney is a candidate who will say or be anything to get votes.  It was Obama's job to go after him and he either let it slide or wasn't forceful enough.

It's little consolation to Obama supporters tonight that the President had facts on his side.  He allowed Romney to skate away on lies, non answers and streams of numbers which don't add up.  Expect this record to be corrected in Round Two. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Gosh, Darnit, They Don't Like Me!

Williard Mitt Romney has been running for President for almost 6 years!  He 
was vanquished early in the 2008 election cycle by Senator John McCain 
but, undeterred, and knowing the Republican Party loves giving second 
chances to losers, Romney waged a comeback, and ultimately prevailed, to 
become the GOP's 2012 nominee, not because GOP Primary voters supported him, but 
because of a very weak field of flawed contenders, who were systemically 
eliminated by Romney's one great strength, big money donors.  Though Romney 
stands before us today as the GOP's Presidential nominee, that wealth of 
resources has failed, to this day, to buy him what can't be bought.  
Likability!  

By all appearances, Mitt Romney is a loving husband, father and 
grandfather.  No doubt, he's well regarded in his Mormon Church, which he 
diligently supports with time and millions of dollars in charitable 
contributions and the same is probably true with his partners at his former 
company, Bain Capital.  This is also a very very small, rarefied and 
insular world and the only one where Mitt Romney demonstrates any level of 
relatability or connectivity.  Take him out of any of these comfort zones, and 
put him with people who are not blood relatives, church members or business 
associates and Romney's awkward, unbalanced, gaffe prone, uninspired and not 
likable!  

Mitt Romney was the "frontrunner" at the start of the 2012 GOP Primary, yet 
with each state's election, the GOP base tried desperately to turn Romney 
back.  The base voters and, particularly, social conservatives, kept voting 
for anyone but Mitt.  He was able to hang on, not because of any 
groundswell of support, but lots of money.  As the money reality set in, and 
opponents dropped out, so did resignation among the GOP faithful.  It no longer 
mattered that they didn't like Romney. All that mattered was hatred of the 
current President.  The obvious problem here is hatred doesn't win elections.  
A likable candidate is necessary!

Mitt Romney is a means to an end which will not happen.  He's basically 
met his financial match in Barack Obama, so money isn't enough.  With the right 
candidate, we may have had a real contest on issues.  Instead, we are left with an 
awkward opponent who, on paper, is good enough, and smart enough but, by gosh, no one
likes him.  And when all hopes are cast on defeating the one you hate with 
someone you don't like, you're headed for defeat.  Darnit! 

Sunday, September 02, 2012

One Country, Two Realities

The 2012 Presidential Election is little more than 60 days away and, make no mistake, Americans are living in two different worlds.  Be it family gatherings, events, online activities, social networking or just talking to people every day, things known to be true are perpetually denied by others as false and there seems to be nothing you can say, or facts you can provide, which will move someone whose beliefs are flat out wrong.  As long as this distorted reality bolsters a position, for or against, an already held belief,  that's sufficient, nor is there any desire to know what's real or true.  In essence, willful ignorance!

A Democratic Republic requires engaged citizenry and lively discourse.  We have different ideas on the role of government so we either align with the party which best represents our views, or don't align at all, opting to choose each time, for each office.  Regardless of how we choose, it's reasonable to expect that facts are not in dispute yet, increasingly, they are and it's gotten so bad, I almost expect to be standing in front of a red, white and blue American flag with 50 stars, while someone whispers from behind, "no, there are 10 stars."  It's truly this unreal! 


It also becomes fantastical when Barack Obama, is mentioned.  There are so many lies and distortions believed, memorized and repeated about our 44th President, I can only imagine the volumes Snopes.com has amassed in the last 4 years.  Who he is, what he is, where he was born, his faith, allegiance, what he said, what he did and didn't do, and with whom?  No matter how many times  the facts are laid bare, they are ignored.  Nothing penetrates, nothing resonates and, hence, another reality, mostly born of hate.

This other reality goes far beyond the President and rears its head on almost any politically charged issue.and it's gotten to the point where the goal is no longer to find facts but to sow divisions.  Our goal has always been the formation of a more perfect union.   What happened to truths that were self-evident, instead being dismissed out of hand?   That's what bound us!  Can we agree on that because multiple realities will ultimately serve to tear the greatest experiment in the history of the world apart!


 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Raging Against Ryan's Lying

It's been a week since presumptive GOP Presidential nominee Mitt Romney tapped Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate for Vice President, and we've borne witness to a very disturbing development. Mr. Ryan has a proclivity for lying. It's a harsh assessment but the only reasonable one which can be made based on his own words and activities which directly dispute one another. Consider that on the campaign trail, Mr. Ryan doesn't miss a chance to tell supporters that President Obama has cut roughly $700 Billion from Medicare, jeopardizing this program for Seniors. In the famous Paul Ryan budget he produced as budget committee chairman in the House, Ryan cuts the same $700 Billion from Medicare. There's a huge difference on how the cut is applied. Obama takes the funds from Insurers who've been subsidized for Medicare Advantage programs, along with Hospitals and providers, in spending going forward, and applies the funds to the Affordable Health Care Act. Part of that application goes directly to closing the Prescription drug "Donut Hole" for Seniors. In the Ryan budget proposal, the $700 Billion is used for deficit reduction. We can debate which use of $700 Billion is preferable but, make no mistake, Ryan is pulling just as much money out of Medicare as Obama, yet he's telling Seniors he's not. This is a lie! Paul Ryan has raged against the Obama Stimulus since it was proposed and he voted against it. He claimed it wouldn't work and claims it didn't work. Just about every reputable economist says otherwise. This week, Ryan denied he requested stimulus cash, yet we now learn Ryan wrote various letters requesting stimulus cash, and received millions for his District. Paul Ryan was also found on the campaign trail raging against China as a currency manipulator, yet Ryan has spent his career in the House opposing bills intended to crack down on currency manipulation by China as well as unfair trade practices. Which leads us to today, and Paul Ryan raging again against President Obama for a General Motors plant in his District closing down in 2008. Barack Obama did not become President until January 20, 2009. This closure happened under George W. Bush. There can be no honest debate on the issues when one of the participants resorts to flagrant lying. Seems this is a carryover from Paul Ryan's recent activities in the House, where he's held up as this policy wonk and leader, yet walks out of Simpson Bowles. No earnest legislator would do that which puts the lie to the seriousness of Ryan. And it's this lying, just under the surface, and in plain view, about which we all have reason to Rage.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney's latest Etch-a Sketch: Movement Conservatism

Today, with the selection of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as his running mate, GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has completed a personal metamorphosis the likes of which we've never seen on the National stage. A man who not that long ago supported the choices of women, facilities which provided health care services for women with few options, who claimed to be more supportive of gay rights than former Senator Ted Kennedy, who backed comprehensive immigration reform, who acknowledged climate change was real and who fervently believed in the Individual Mandate as necessary to provide health insurance coverage to all the people of the state he governed, Romney has selected a running mate who affirms all of which he now opposes, giving Republicans the "Movement Conservative" ticket they have long sought, though the error of this "victory" will soon become apparent. Mitt Romney's deficiencies as a Presidential candidate are obvious and his biggest problem remains the party he represents wanted to give their nomination to literally anyone but him, and came oh so close to doing so. Since becoming the presumptive GOP nominee, it's been one gaffe after another and Romney's trailing President Obama in most National polls as well as the all important swing state battlegrounds. Just weeks before the Republican Convention, Romney made the calculated decision to go full bore with someone considered a standard bearer of movement conservatism. With the U.S.S. Wisconsin as the backdrop, Romney introduced the next President....ooops, his Vice Presidential selection, Paul Ryan. What does Congressman Ryan bring to the GOP ticket? Excitement for fiscal libertarians and social conservatives, who were already going to vote for Romney, regardless of who he chose. This excitement also comes at considerable cost. Ryan's campaigning abilities at this level are unknown. He's never run for statewide office and the Congressional district he represents is substantially filled with generations of Ryans and their friends, making him untested as a candidate outside of little Janesville, WI. Ryan is the architect of a budget plan which completely changes both Social Security and Medicare as we know them, turning the latter into a Voucher program which will cost this ticket votes among Senior Citizens. Like Romney, Ryan appears to have little or no ability to appeal to african-american or hispanic voters. The GOP, for all intents and purposes, has written off the former. They can't write off the latter and win a National election. Ryan's zero ratings with groups which advocate for women's choices and health will make it virtually impossible for this ticket to broaden its appeal to women across the board. Obama is way ahead with females and the Ryan pick will widen the gap. The Etch-a-Sketch Mitt Romney handed us today will be his last. There are no do-overs with a Vice Presidential pick. At least 1/2 a dozen candidates could have delivered more ethnic voters, more women, more seniors, more possibilities. Romney chose a Movement to which he didn't subscribe, probably still doesn't and that movement is in opposition to the beliefs of the majority and their desires for leadership and governance.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rosengate, a shameless, unforced error!

After spending 3 decades in Washington D.C., it's expected that any good political operative knows how and when (if at all), to broach a hot button issue without handing a hobbled opposition an explosive device. CNN Contributor Hillary Rosen failed the test last night and, hence, our latest political scandal about the hard work of Motherhood.

To make matters worse, and no apologies in advance for offending anyone, as a Gay woman who made the choice to adopt 2 children, thereby necessitating she work outside the home, Rosen's experience should not imply that the millions of Mothers who have stayed home temporarily, or permanently, to tend to that all important job of being a Mother, did so because they had multi-million dollar bank accounts. Many of us gave up careers, 2nd incomes and lived within scaled back means, or even frugally, because we made a determination that Motherhood was that important, and we wanted to live it and be hands on parents.

Admittedly, there are also millions of women who don't have choices, due to divorce and death, or unemployment situation, and every one of these Mothers should be commended for the very difficult task of balancing Motherhood and work. But let's not confuse this necessity with women without means choosing to have children out of wedlock, necessitating work. Making that decision, you leave yourself with no choices, and don't blame Ann Romney for that or any other Mother who chose to focus solely on marriage and motherhood.

There are many questions Mitt Romney needs to succinctly answer with regard to women and compensation, care, contraception and personal choices. All are legit and handing those questions off to his wife, or female surrogates, is not going to cut it. But backhandedly demeaning a woman who, by all accounts, appears to be a very good wife and mother hands the Romney team another a bat when they were down for the count.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Proud Heart Humbled in Michigan

That Mitt Romney barely eeked out a win last night in a state he calls home, bearing trees of the right height, but gaping holes in their cover, illustrates what happens when a challenger best positioned to change the landscape, loses sight of the forest, and knocks over supporting limbs.

Macomb County, Michigan,home of the "Reagan Democrats," a natural constituency for Rick Santorum's hard work, "ground up" message, provided ample fruit for Santorum to pick off from wavering heights. Instead of focusing like a laser on the economy, Santorum went off the clear trail, ultimately, laying waste at the feet of a President Kennedy, forever revered by working class, catholic voters as an uncommon, rich man who shared their religious beliefs but stood up for all working Americans.

Rick Santorum had Michigan in his palms, and a pride filled heart allowed her to slip right out of his hands. Their is no honor before humility and Santorum's inability to remain humble in a frontrunner position is why he lost last night and the remaining brush in his path will prove insurmountable!