Archive for the ‘Mitt Romney’ Category

John McCain: The GOP’s Wizard Of Oz?

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

John McCain seems to be the GOP frontrunner…a position he has rarely held while aspiring to be the Republican presidential nominee. Following his victory in Florida, McCain and his campaign seem to have accepted the esteemed moniker. His apparent inevitability is troubling to many establishment conservatives and a number of evangelicals. As I watched the Senator in the GOP debate from the Ronald Reagan Library, I couldn’t help but notice the emergence of what I would characterize as the leading edge of his desire to release a blend of pent-up bitterness and spiteful and surly bravado.

Let me be clear, I don’t seek to disparage the Senator or his debate performance. I’m sure he and his fellow candidates must be tired. Nonetheless, McCain’s temperament has long been a topic of discussion…and a reason for pause. Last evening, in my opinion, I observed a man who has longed for the authority and the opportunity to speak his mind without the filters politicians so often employ. It left me wondering if I was watching a man who, upon attaining the presidency, might shed his subtle sophistry in favor of an unbridled style of authoritarianism.

Stay with me for a moment. McCain has made a career of portraying himself as a “straight talking” politician who is amenable to reaching across the aisle. When he’s done so, it’s often been to the chagrin of his fellow Republicans. On the surface, that’s an admirable trait and one that seems to have served the Senator well…especially with the mainstream media…the tool he often utilizes to assuage the animosity and skepticism his actions have generated amongst his peers. In my estimation, whether it’s a demonstration of sincerity or a carefully executed strategy is open to debate.

Now consider the 2000 GOP primary and the character assassination and personal assaults John McCain endured at the hands of his adversary, George W. Bush. If one can believe the media reports, the attacks were understandably quite hurtful to the Senator…and they are thought to have played a significant role in derailing his presidential aspirations.

Next, think about a man who spent over five years in captivity…a man forced to hold his tongue and bide his time in the face of adversity. Such treatment can undoubtedly alter one’s relational skills and interaction style…as well as lead one to adopt a strategy that I would equate with treading water. Essentially, it’s a recognition that survival is the fundamental objective…and that may mean saying what is expected or demanded in order to keep one’s head above water…until one has the opportunity to do otherwise. As such, John McCain certainly understands what it means to tarry.

As I’ve watched the run up to the 2008 election, I’ve felt that McCain has made a number of strategic decisions intended to afford him another shot at the prize he seeks…the presidency. His campaigning for the reelection of George Bush struck me as an attempt to receive the party’s presidential baton…in spite of his dislike of his former adversary. His subsequent forays into mending fences with the evangelicals he once assailed were more of the same. As best I can tell, in most instances, these mea culpa moments took place absent the dialogue one would expect to accompany a difficult reconciliation.

At the same time, my sense is his memory is akin to that attributed to an elephant. Hence he never forgets a slight, a fight, an insult, or a defeat. Like with his time as a prisoner of war, McCain has spent the last seven years plotting his escape from the subservience he resents and his ascendancy to the authority he craves. The phenomenon isn’t unique to prisoners of war. The same often exists in spouses who stay in abusive relationships until they can envision and enact their escape and exact their revenge.

His occasional episodes of vitriolic derision directed at his primary opponents may offer a glimpse of what lies beneath the affable surface he labors to demonstrate. The measured and halting nature of his recent speeches…delivered with a structured and rhythmic cadence…suggest an alternative stream of thought is on the verge of surfacing…and ample energy must be diverted to keep it at bay until the opportune moment.

His palpable dislike of Mitt Romney prompts other concerns and considerations. One, McCain is apt to see Romney’s flip-flopping campaign as a usurpation of the McCain “go along to get along” style. Two, the occasionally uncensored animosity aimed at Romney supports the psychological concept of projection…which essentially posits we’re prone to recognize and resent in others that which we have failed to expunge from our own suspect identity.

John McCain may well win the GOP nomination…and that may occur as a function of voter’s calculating he is best suited to defeat the nominee of the Democrats. If my hypothesis is correct, the more proximate McCain finds himself to his quintessential objective, the more difficult it will be to suppress the psychological scars that power his psyche. If this happens, the intervening months between his nomination and the November election may pull back the curtains and expose him as little more than the GOP’s angry, though impotent, wizard.

The following graphic is a tongue-in-cheek summarization of the above observations.

John McCain - The GOP's Wizard?

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

“Mittens” Romney Plays Cat & Mouse With A Reporter

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

I want to see Mitt Romney’s dictionary. Given his frequent reliance on third tier definitions to justify his many inaccurate remarks, it has to be awfully ragged. In the following video, reporter Glen Johnson confronts Romney on his assertion that he doesn’t have lobbyists running his campaign. Mitt attempts to nuance the definition of “running his campaign” with regards to Ron Kaufman, a Romney operative who is a well-known and well-connected lobbyist.

If this were the only incident of Romney mincing words, one might be inclined to disregard this latest episode. However, one would have to be blind to miss that the well-heeled and carefully coifed candidate has done so on numerous occasions; not to mention the fact that he recently unveiled his umpteenth stump strategy as a non-establishment, change agent, Washington outsider. While the former governor is adept at covering his tracks, I suspect these tactics are wearing thin and appear far too coy for a number of voters.

I’m reminded of the GOP’s frequent efforts to pejoratively peg Democratic candidates. They labeled John Kerry a “flip flopper” and they spent years attaching “Slick Willie” to President Clinton. With that in mind, I think its time to tag Romney with an appropriate alias.

A number of pundits have referred to Romney by his actual first name, Willard, and others have taken to calling the GOP candidate Mittens (think here kitty, kitty). Nonetheless, the existing choices just don’t seem to capture Romney’s political essence.

I think a concerted effort is warranted to help accurately identify and appropriately describe candidate Romney. In looking for a starting point, I couldn’t help but recall Jon Lovitz’ Saturday Night Live character, “Tommy Flanagan…The Pathological Liar”.

Feel free to offer your suggestions in the comments and maybe we can start a list and have readers pick a favorite.

Also, don’t hesitate to propose some new versions of existing words that define Romney’s willingness to finesse the truth. The one that immediately came to mind is a “mittrepresentation”…which could easily be substituted for misrepresentation. Obviously, this would also work for misinformation, resulting in the word “mittinformation”.

Romney Confrontation At Staples

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Michigan Republicans are Morons

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

Just in case anyone noticed, I haven’t been writing much lately on my blog. I’m not in a funk or suffering block - in fact it’s just the opposite: There has be SOOOOOOOOO many things to write about that I’m just in a malaise. I don’t know where to begin! There’s just been so much stupidity, so much irony, so many idiots to write about, I just couldn’t peg any one story as more inspirationally insipid than any other. But then I woke up this morning to something so stupendously stupid, so immensely ironic, that I just couldn’t take it anymore. My Stupid Bone immediately started tingling. I had found the story, and it is by far the stupidest story I’ve seen in a long, long time.

From the Detroit Free Press…

MITT ROMNEY TAKES MICHIGAN

Yes, Mitt Romney won the Michigan GOP primary. Mitt Romney.

Amazing.

“Tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism,” Romney told cheering supporters in Southfield shortly after his victory was called.

Ah, “optimism.” Where would we be without it? After all, would we have invaded Iraq unless the Iraqis had their rose petals ready to shower upon us? Would the economy be so strong if we hadn’t merrily assumed that it would be? Good ol’ optimism. In the GOP world optimism is a tangible entity that moves markets, wins wars, and grows economies. It’s all those Negative Nabobs that cause market crashes, lose wars, and ruin economies. How dare those cynical anti-sycophants spoil the party!

Republicans have special magical oral powers, ya’ know. Remember, Reagan Tore Down That Wall and defeated the Evil Empire with his Super Reagan Rhetoric Breath! It was George Dubya Bush who kept us safe from the villainous Ter’rists of AL QAEDA (Association of Longbeards Quagmire And Evil Destructive Annililists) with his Strength of a Thousand Unilateralists Power! Yes, in the Republican Comic Book Universe it’s not what you do, it’s what you say and think. In fact, it’s best to simply not do anything - do not act, do not question, and certainly never critique - for the world is moved by the sanguine surety of Pollyanna positivism. If something isn’t going well, just ignore it, and it will go away. If it doesn’t go away, then just don’t talk about it, and then it won’t matter anyway.

It’s like their religion. As I recently wrote in a new set of lyrics I’ve been working on; It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you think inside. And if you think it real hard, you go to heaven when you die.

After squandering leads in the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, the victory was a desperately needed one for Romney, whose father George was a three-term governor of Michigan in the 1960s and ran American Motors.

Ah yes, American Motors. How could the people of Michigan forget that fine company, makers of such top quality brands as the Hornet, Rambler, Pacer and Gremlin! Sadly, and probably because people just weren’t optimistic enough, AMC is no longer with us. But the legend lives on with Mitt Romney, the man who will bring the sort of innovation, quality, and of course positive thinking that made AMC the great car company that it was. And Mitt will do the same for the people of Michigan, because if there’s one thing they need, it’s a return to AMC’s automaking philosophy!

From Salon…

All week, Romney and John McCain have been feuding over whether the auto industry represents Michigan’s past, or its future. On Saturday, at a town hall meeting in blue-collar Warren, McCain gave his supporters some of his straight talk, telling them, “The jobs that are leaving the state of Michigan have left and are not coming back. We’re going to try to create new jobs.”

To replace the old lifestyle of building internal combustion engines, McCain proposed research in hybrid motors, battery-powered cars and hydrogen fuel cells. He also wants to open job retraining centers in the state’s community colleges. “Our future is ahead of us in Michigan,” he said. “Let’s not look back. Let’s look forward. We’ll restore Michigan back to its preeminent place in America and the world.”

To Romney, McCain’s approach isn’t futurism, it’s pessimism. In Southfield, he had a one-word retort: “Baloney.”

“I hear people say, ‘It’s gone, those jobs are gone, transportation’s gone, it’s not coming back,’” he said. “I’m going to fight for every single job. I’m going to rebuild the industry. I’m going to take burdens off the back of the auto industry.”

Romney criticized federal fuel efficiency standards — passed last year over the objection of Michigan’s congressional delegation — which require cars and light trucks to average 35 miles per gallon by 2020. He’s also been slamming McCain for supporting a tax on energy companies that exceed certain levels of carbon dioxide emissions.

At a speech to the Detroit Economic Club on Monday, Romney told an admiring audience that “Washington has to stop loading Detroit down with unfunded mandates. Of course fleet mileage needs to rise, but discontinuous CAFE [Corporate Average Fuel Economy] leaps, uncoordinated with the domestic manufacturers, and absent consideration of competitiveness, kills jobs and imperils an industry.” Romney also proposed spending $20 billion a year on “energy research, fuel technology, materials science, and automotive technology.”

But government regulation isn’t killing Michigan’s auto industry, nor is government neglect. Labor costs are. General Motors, especially, is getting crushed by the health benefits it pays its workers. The company and its 150,000 employees are paying the medical bills for 350,000 retirees, a cost to the company of more than $5 billion a year. If Romney wants to bring auto plants back to Michigan, he’ll have to fund research into a shop rat who works for $2 an hour, never gets sick, and dies on retirement day.

If the people of Michigan are so fucking stupid as to think that Mitt Romney can “rebuild the industry” - ignoring the healthcare crisis, ignoring the need to modernize the American auto fleet, and ignoring the trade deficit - with Optimism, then those wacky Scientologists are right: “psychotropic or street drugs damage a person physically, mentally and spiritually. They decrease awareness and hinder abilities. They are a “solution” to some other problem and themselves become a problem.” Prozac and crack must be very popular amongst republican Michganders.

No state has suffered modern deindustrialization more than Michigan. Free Trade, healthcare costs, and an auto industry that uncannily finds ways to kill itself at every chance have left Michigan in a perpetual recession for years, regardless of the state of the rest of the union. Its unemployment rate holds steady well above the national average. Detroit is a ghost town. The last time I visited, the only people I saw on the streets were gang members in full uniform dress, right out in the open. George Romney, Roger Smith, and the rest of the corporate scoundrels left Michigan to die while lining their pockets with the blood money left on the auto plant floors, while the Powers That Be sat back and took their campaign donations.

Yet somehow the republicans of Michigan decided ol’ Mitty, the prototypical GOP establishment guy, was their guy. They believe Romney is going to return Michigan to the days of yore, when being a Blue Collar Man was something to be proud of and not just an old forgotten Styx song. How will he do it? That doesn’t matter. He’s going to be Positive and Optimistic and all will be well. No need to modernize the fleet, make it more competitive and responsible. No need to address trade agreements that have sent the four-to-five thousand manufacturers that go into any automobile into the Third World sweatshops and subsidized First World competitors. No need to nationalize healthcare and lop off more overhead than the price of steel to build a car. No, Mitt Romney has a better idea. He “will not rest until Michigan is back.” Yes folks, Mitt Romney will save Michigan - with insomnia. Insomnia, Positivism and Optimism - the IPO of GOP rhetoric.

Michigan republicans are morons.

JMJ

Presidential Politics: Iowa In Pictures

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

Given my own level of ambivalence at this particular juncture in the Presidential campaign (aside from supporting the eventual Democratic nominee), I decided to offer my own commentary on the Iowa primary in pictures.

Feel free to offer your own observations.

The Prince Of Prayer Nails One

Mike Huckabee Nails One

The Diva Comes Out On Top

Barack Obama Diva Power

Hair Today - Gone Tomorrow

John Edwards & Mitt Romney: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Not The Last Leg For Hillary

Not Enough Support For Hillary

Iowa Dishes Rudy, Rudy…Far Too Fruity

Rudy Giuliani: Far Too Fruity

Cross-posted at Thought Theater

Mitt the Mormon and Other Tales

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Mormon MittOf all the empty-issues in the presidential campaign, perhaps one of the emptiest is Mitt’s Mormonism. Like most of Moroni’s Minions, he wears his religion on his sleeve. That’s no different than Huckleberry the Hounded spouting off about how pious he is in his equally odd beliefs. It seems to me that thinking the world is 10,000 years old isn’t any loonier than migrating a barren salt bed that’s not fit for much other than world speed-record attempts. Muslims believe pork chops will send them to hell and snake handlers think that if they only believe enough, they’ll survive bites from poisonous copperheads - a belief mostly shared by those who haven’t had their faith tested yet. Catholics think the snake handlers are crazy, but the Mighty Miter thinks it’s OK to hide child molesters. Shakers were celibate, which isn’t exactly a growth position sect-wise. So, go figure.

All belief systems have crazy ideas, atheists included. All that proves is that if God created us, he really needs a better quality control system and if he didn’t, Darwin was right and we’ve evolved from a shallow gene pool with lots of broken DNA. How else would you describe a world that requires chipmunks?

(more…)


Fish.Travel