Feb 24, 2012

February 5, 2012: Stunning Series of Upsets, A Page from Obama, Showdown in Michigan

In a stunning series of upsets, Rick Sanitarium, or Mr. Sanctimonious as he is otherwise known, won a series of victories that threaten to upset the Romney juggernaut at the moment it was starting to gain momentum.

Largely written off in the wake of a poor showing in South Carolina, the Sanitorium campaign for all practical purposes skipped the Florida primary citing lack of money and the inability to match Romney dollar for dollar in such a large media market.  Instead opting to score victories in the smaller states, the Sanitorium campaign took a page from the Obama strategy of 2008 by seeking to counterbalance the victories of the frontrunner in the large states by out organizing and winning tactical victories elsewhere.  To that end Santinorium in a surprising showing won the Colorado and Minnesota state caucuses and the Missouri primary outright.   With the final returns now in for the Iowa contest earlier in the year in which Mr. Sanctimonious eked out a narrow victory by a handful of votes, Rick Santorum has now won four states and can now be seen, albeit narrowly, as the marginal front-runner for the Rescumlican presidential nomination. 

To add insult to injury Sanitorium took Colorado, a state handily won four years ago by Romney by a margin of 5% 40-35% with Baby Huey finishing down around 13% and Ron Paul at 12%.  In Minnesota, land of Hubert Humphrey and Paul Wellstone, not to mention Jessie Ventura, Santorum won with 44.8% of those participating with Ron Paul finishing second with 27.2% and Romney a distant third at a mere 16.9%  In Missouri, a better test of strength, albeit nonbinding with no delegates at stake, Santorum carried a clear majority in a landslide scoring 55.2% to 25.3% for Romney and 12.2% for the aged Luddite from Texas.

Here is evidence of Santorum gaining strength and organizational ability but one must be a bit careful in reading the results.  In the first place Santorum won delegates by caucus, a procedure involving low participation.  The Missouri primary, because delegates are later to be chosen at county and state conventions later in the year, was merely a ‘beauty contest’, a straw poll as it were.   For this reason the Romney campaign quite rightly poured little money and organizational effort to get out the vote.  But what the campaign strategists in the Romney campaign failed to realize were the lessons of the 2008 campaign when such a strategy taken by the underdog derailed the inevitability of the nomination of Hillary Clinton.  Learning nothing from history, as Rescumlican are wont to do, the Romney camp finds itself now poised to repeat mistakes of the past and be outmaneuvered on the field of battle by a much less powerful and organized political force. 

How far Santinorium can ride this crest remains to be seen but he has now moved to the inside rail and has, at least momentarily, caught the front runner.  Romney now faces a showdown in his home state of Michigan which could well decide the fate of the son of Brigham Young.

February 1, 2012: Vulture Capitalism, Protracted Struggle, Frog in a Frying Pan

Willard “Mitt” Romney cruised to an easy victory in Florida last night crushing Baby Huey by over 15 points to win Florida’s 50 delegates to the Rescumlican National Convention. 
Here I must correct a previous error for it seems that in the interregnum between this campaign cycle and 2008 the Rescumlican Party has finally amended its rules and are now requiring proportional allocation of delegates instead of the winner-take-all in all primaries, caucuses or other contests held prior to April Fools Day.   All, except it seems, Florida where the Florida Rescumlican party moved it’s primary date up in the calendar and insisted on winner-take-all in an effort to steal the thunder in the early primaries and perhaps, in so doing, anoint a future President. 

What this means is that the Mormon will have to fight harder for the nomination and that the struggle will be protracted, perhaps long enough for a viable “I-am-not-the-Mormon” alternative to emerge.  Be that as it may, the victory last night was welcome news to the sons of Brigham Young as Romney swept Gingrich and the remaining field winning 46.42 percent of the vote to 31.93 for Gingrich, 13.34 for the faltering Santorum, 7.01 for the Luddite Ron Paul and 0.41 for the now departed Governor Rick Perry of Texas.

Perry pulled out of the race just prior to the South Carolina vote sensing his support evaporate as Gingrich sucked all the scum out of the pond.  As he departed he gave voice to a refrain that, if Romney should prevail, will reverberate from the mountains of the pacific coast to the canyons on the now occupied Wall Street.  Perry, gasping his last words, said that Romney, in his days with Bain Capital, proved himself to be not a great creator of jobs and economic growth but a practitioner of a vulgar form of “vulture capitalism” that proved on close examination to be a mere parasite sucking the blood out of the national economy. This is a charge of some substance and will dog the Romney campaign throughout the primaries as the tea baggers and ideological purists excoriate his record and, should he eventually emerge the Rescumlican nominee, the campaign in the general election as the liberals and the political center turn their guns on him. 

Perhaps Willard has no legs.  The critique of Romney’s economic record has spilled beyond his record as a public official which will be, in due coarse, problematic enough.  For in the Florida debates Willard was continually bombarded about his personal taxes.

Every time Willard is asked about is personal taxes he begins to jump like a frog in a frying pan.  Finally, after repeated inquiries his said that he pays “something like 15%” of his income in income taxes.  In truth it is more like 13.5% while the average schlock pays 18% in federal income taxes.  How is it that the Mitt pays less in income tax than his secretary?  Because, it turns out, almost all of his income is now derived from investments and capital gains which are taxed not at the old rate of 45% but 15%.  With deductions the Vulture Capitalist has been able to pear it down further to 13.5%.  This is the reason that the Son of Brigham Young has been so reticent about his fortune.  There have been some attempts to draw attention to this at subsequent Rescumlican debates but there is a problem here.

The problem for Baby Huey and the others is that Mitt stands before the nation not as the Greed Meister in their eyes but as a living demonstration of the success their several revisions of the tax code have made possible.  Romney is, in a word, simply a living symbol of  the success of Rescumlican economic policy.  The peculiar problem for Baby Huey, however, is that under proposals put forth by le infant terrible Romney would be relieved of his tax burdens for Gingrich and other Rescumlicans would eliminate income from investment and capital gains altogether.  This awkwardness serves to dampen the Romney critique in the primaries but his critics in the general election, being less greedy, will offer no such quarter. 

The question, which the primary in Florida had hoped to solve, is: do any of these fools have what it takes to prevail in November?  In the meantime the skillet keeps boiling as one frog after another pokes out his ugly head. 

January 22, 2012: Baby Huey’s Cesspool, Heresy Itself, Citizens Divided.

The sting of the citizens united vs. the Federal Election Commission, was felt last night as the returns of the South Carolina presidential primary came in.  With the infusion of millions of dollars from a billionaire Las Vegas casino owner and with 40.4% of the vote, Newt “Baby Huey” Gingrich defeated the nominal GOP frontrunner Willard “Mitt” Romney by nearly 13 percentage points 40.4% to 27.9 in a stunning upset that has once again cast doubts among party leaders that they are indeed backing the right horse. 

Willard, of course, saw it coming.  Four years ago he had the endorsements of over 200 state and county Republican officials as he attempted to administer a quick coup de grace
to the struggling McCain campaign by winning big in Baptist country.  It didn’t work.
This time around with the support of the newly elected female governor of the state and not much else, he decided instead to run a much scaled-down effort here and concentrate his time, money and organization in the upcoming Florida Primary where his prospects appear much more favorable.  This was not met favorably by his former supports who, quite properly, felt that he had slighted them.  Many former Romney supporters and organizers voiced complaints but remained neutral allowing Mitt to enjoy a 12 point lead over Gingrich just days before the election.  It all evaporated with the massive infusion of mega-bucks as Newt’s political action committee began to swing into action. Mitt decided to cut his looses for he  does not need to win every Southern primary or caucus but he does, if he is to become a truly national candidate, must win somewhere in the South.  So he took his lumps in the Palmetto State with an eye to the upcoming Florida contest.

The story here in South Carolina is the emergence not of Santorum, who finished well down in the pack despite the recent endorsements by fundamentalist religious organizations,  but the rise instead of Newt Gingrich.  There are three reasons, it appears to this commentator, for his sudden emergence.

First he can be seen as sort of a ‘favorite son’ inasmuch as the former House Speaker represented a district in neighboring Georgia.  Second it is clear that the recent religious endorsements have not come in time for Santorum to make effective use of them.  Time as well as money are needed to build an organization and gain a place on the stage.  Gingrich, for reasons of greater familiarity in the region--if not the nation--therefore became the de jure “I am not the Mormon” of the moment.  How long he can hold that position is unclear but one suspects not long for the Lutheran turned Baptist, turned Catholic (1) womanizer will not, it seems to me, remain long in the fundamentalist intestines but will rapidly be expelled.  It is one thing to leave an established heresy in order to be ‘born again’ into Southern Baptism; it is heresy itself--in Southren eyes to reject Southern Baptism in order to embrace the ‘cult’ that is the Roman Catholic Church.  Third was the timely infusion of cash in an otherwise strapped campaign.  But what the emergence of Baby Huey demonstrates most clearly is not the pernicious influence of the citizens united decision but the fact that the idiot wrong has not yet been able to organize around a suitable alternative to the Mormon.  What Citizens United accomplished last night was not so much to raise the spectre of Baby Huey once again astride the American political landscape as in the terrible days of yore but to keep the “I-am-not-the-Mormon” movement alive.  I giving new life to bigotry and intolerance it has accomplished what its authors intended it to do, that is to keep the citizens divided. 


1. See Newt Gingrich at Widepedia. Com

January 11, 2012: New Hampshire Speaks, Hollow Victory, On to South Carolina

The good people of New Hampshire spoke again last night.  In America’s first of its quadrennial Presidential primaries, the Granite state awarded favorite son Willard “Mitt” Romney the victory with 39.4% of the vote, followed by the Luddite Ron Paul with 22.8%  Governor Huntsman with 16.8%, Baby Huey with 9.4% and last, and certainly least, the great nullifier Rick Perry with 0.7%. 

The significance of  the New Hampshire Primary has diminished somewhat over the last few years with the advent of the nearly two-score more such contests since the reforms of the late sixties.  It was further diminished this season by the contest being dominated by Romney who, as governor of neighboring Massachusetts, can be seen as a favorite son inasmuch as the Boston media market dominates the state.  Nevertheless it is a victory, though somewhat diminished one, for not only was he expected to win the state but did so with fewer votes than four years ago.  Perhaps the vigor and enthusiasm on the idiot wrong is on the wane.  Only time will tell.  In any case it is a ‘hollow’ victory for one so well entrenched and well funded to end up short of 40% of the total.  The real challenge for Romney will begin with the upcoming contest in South Carolina. 

The Primary in South Carolina, coming as it does immediately following the New Hampshire results and before the rest of the southern contests, is positioned to be the southern response to the northern results.  As a consequence it has been, since its inception in 1980, of such consequence that every successful Rescumlican candidate for the presidency has entered the White House only after winning this contest.  This has been a national tragedy.

South Carolina, home of the likes of John Calhoun and Strom Thermond, midwife of nullification and mother to secession.  It was here that the first steps toward disunion were taken, here that the first shots in the bloody civil war were fired, and here that the modern creed of nullification--in the form of opting out of the national health care--were first given voice.  The state motto for neighboring North Carolina is “First in Flight”--referring, of course, to Kitty Hawk.  The state motto for South Carolina should be “First in Treason”.
Certainly Andrew Jackson, judging from his threats to hang his Vice President John C. Calhoun over ‘nullification” would have seen it that way.  In any case it is here, the battle ground scarred by the ’dixiecrat’ resistance to the end of ’Jim Crow’ and, more recently,  the scorched earth strategies of George W. Bush in his smear of John McCain, that we now turn.  For the sad truth, it seems, is that to enter the White House the Mormon must first wade into the cesspool of American Politics and emerge somehow clean.

And so its now on to South Carolina.