“The odd man out, in the Republican contest in Michigan, will be Mike Huckabee who is exploring the outer geographical limits of fundamentalist appeal. He will discover that those of us who hail from Ludington’s old fourth ward like our whiskey strong, our talk straight, our women loose, and our children and our politics without benefit of clergy.” ---from the “Quotations of Chairman Joe”
I wrote these words about the candidacy of Mike Huckabee in my post dated January 14. 2008
The same fate awaited Rick Santorum this time around in the Michigan and Ohio primaries. Romney had besmirched himself years earlier by writing in the Detroit News that, with regard to the then pending auto industry rescue, Detroit should be allowed to go bankrupt. That kind of tone deafness to the interests of the people has brought previous and constant embarrassment ranging from his critical remarks concerning the dress of his supporters at NASCAR races, his criticism of donuts baked for him on a campaign stop, and his remarks about liking to fire people and not paying a penny more in tax than he is required to by law. Romney worked to ingratiate himself by speaking before a nearly empty Ford Field in Detroit about how beautiful the lakes are and that the “trees in Michigan are just the right height”. Ever the political whore, his efforts might have gone for naught had it not been for the ham-handed and self-destructive efforts of his only remaining foe.
In the race to see who could lose Michigan, Santorum began by saying that he nearly “puked” when he read John Kennedy’s speech in Houston Texas about the separation of church and state. Then followed a series of right-wing fundamentalist statements about abolishing birth control; witnessing once again predictable breaking of Southern Fundamentalist populism upon the forbidding rocks of the outer geographical limits of Fundamentalist appeal. The result was that in the process of losing both the Michigan and Ohio primaries, he lost the Catholic vote as well. The way was now cleared for the previously unthinkable to happen: the party of the Fundamentalist Christian wrong is about to nominate for president a former bishop of the Mormon Church. This paradox has left us with the “odd man out-front”.
Santorum was quite right when he said that Romney is the wrong man to take on the Democrats over health care since what emerged from the ugly days of conservative brown-shirt politics was a law that simply duplicated what Romney himself had done in Massachusetts. What Santorum didn’t say but what other rivals for the nomination like Rick Perry of Texas and Newt Gingrich did say was that Romney represents a form of crony, exploitive, risk-averse Capitalism that Perry promptly and aptly dubbed “Vulture Capitalism”, the modern Capitalist ethic in its most nefarious form. As such, Romney stands as a poster boy for not what is right with the system, but what is wrong with it. The result has been that the former Governor of Massachusetts who gave the state universal health care, and reduced the rate of its job creation to 47th among the 50 states, has been left to run from his record as an elected official and reduce his campaign to a series of meaningless platitudes hoping against hope that the memory of the electorate is short and that the voters don’t look too closely.
Meanwhile a note to the flat-earth leaders of the Rescumlican Party: Senator James Inhofe (Rescumlican Oklahoma) has long ridiculed the scientific evidence of Global Warming, or Climate Change as it is now called. He has stood in the well of the Senate and said that Climate Change is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated upon the American people. Yesterday the temperature at Oklahoma City reached 112 degrees, and is expected to top 114 today, an all-time record. In fact the temps at Oklahoma City were expected to top 110 degrees for three straight days. A week ago, it was announced by the weather bureau that over 41,000 new high temperature marks were set this year in the United States alone, and that 2012 will be the warmest year on record. Senator Inhofe I want you to spend this recess speaking to your constituents, not in some air-conditioned arena but out in the open sun where you can tell your supporters with a straight face that this isn’t happening. As an added benefit perhaps after you have stood sweating in the heat your head will become, like the earth you stand on, completely baked.