It’s 2000 Again in South Carolina

Polls ask your opinion about something.  Push polls try to tell you something, usually something detrimental about a political opponent, in the form of a question.

Back in 2000, after John McCain won the New Hampshire primary, George W. Bush’s campaign was feeling desperate, so they did this push poll in South Carolina — “Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”  McCain and his wife Cindy have an adopted daughter, Bridget, from Bangladesh, whom Cindy met while visiting Mother Teresa’s orphanage.  McCain lost South Carolina and the GOP nomination.

So now, with the special election for Congress in South Carolina’s First District this Tuesday, a push poll is asking voters “What you think of Elizabeth Colbert Busch if I told you she had had an abortion?”

Colbert Busch is of course the Dem running against admitted liar and adulterer Mark Sanford.

I already thought Sanford couldn’t be more of a snake.  Silly me.



Mitt Is Bush 41

I keep reading comparisons between Mitt and Bob Dole.  Historically, that makes sense because Dole ran in 1996 against an incumbent Dem, Bill Clinton, who had suffered major losses in the preceding congressional races of 1994.

But I think personality-wise, Mitt is more like Bush 41 and comes with his out-of-touch, rich guy, patrician liabilities.  Bush won in 1988 because the country wanted a third Reagan term.  When he ran in 1992, no longer wrapped in the Reagan mantle, voters didn’t like him.

Bush was distrusted by conservatives in his second run because he’d broken his “Read my lips, no new taxes” pledge.  Mitt suffers from that same mistrust because of his flip-flops and prior support for abortion and gay rights when he ran in Massachusetts.  He’s also the father of the individual health care mandate that conservatives used to support, but now believe is unconstitutional.

Less ideological voters turned against Bush in 1992 because his preppie persona contrasted poorly with Clinton’s warmth and folkiness.  The tax thing didn’t bother them as much as Bush himself did.

My theory of presidential elections is that the less preppie-seeming guy always wins.

Both Mitt and President Obama went to very fancy prep schools (the President got a scholarship), but Mitt has led a much more privileged, sheltered life, and it shows.  He can’t manage to sound convincing when he proclaims his concern for the middle class.  He’s never spent a day of his life as an actual member of the middle class.

What happens when two preppies run against each other?  Al Gore and Bush 43 both went to very elite prep schools.  But Bush managed to come across as more down-home Texas than high-flown Andover.

The less preppie guy wins — Obama beats Mitt.

Still Crazy After All These Years

Newt Gingrich’s whining about Mitt Romney’s Super PAC’s negative ads reminds me of his shutting down the government when he was Speaker of the House because he felt President Clinton “snubbed” him on the flight to Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral.

Those negative ads were garden-variety politics as usual, nothing compared to what Karl Rove and George W. Bush did to John McCain in South Carolina in 2000 when they panicked after losing New Hampshire.

Newt’s over-the-top, outraged reaction to Mitt shows that there is no “new” Newt, that he hasn’t changed at all.  He’s just as petty and self-absorbed and temperamentally unsuited to be president as he was in 1995.  He has no sense of proportion and takes everything much too personally to function well in the Oval Office.

Amphibian newts have very thin, sensitive skin.  Newt’s mom named him well.

Keep This Guy Out of the White House!

David Brooks has a column in the NYT today praising Mitt “I’m Also Unemployed” Romney and his advisers.  Brooks specifically mentions chief economic adviser R. Glenn Hubbard as part of “the gold standard of adviser teams.”

Really?  Hubbard was Bush 43’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, a man who pushed the Bush tax cuts, not just the pre-9/11 ones, but the 2003 cuts, despite our having to pay for two wars.  Hubbard was a huge fan of deregulation and derivatives.  In other words, Hubbard is high on the list of those who deserve blame for the economic collapse.

I don’t want him anywhere near the White House again.  Mr. Brooks, all that glitters is not gold.

Who Moved the GOP’s Cheese?

Instead of focusing on fixing programs like Social Security and Medicare, the Republican Party suddenly is arguing these programs are somehow unAmerican and unconstitutional.  Rick Perry calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme and a monstrous lie.  Michele Bachmann declares we have to wean people off Social Security.  Marco Rubio claims these programs have weakened us as a people.  Paul Ryan wants to end Medicare as we know it.

This hasn’t been the party’s position before.  Ronald Reagan reformed Social Security, he didn’t seek to destroy it.  George W. Bush grafted a new prescription drug entitlement onto Medicare.  Now extremists have taken over the party, and their views are presented as the new mainstream, the new normal.  If you disagree, you aren’t a Republican anymore.  Who are these people?  Where did they get this authority?  Their fringe views don’t represent most rank-and-file Republicans, let alone most Americans.

The truth is that we are not victims of a Ponzi scheme, we are victims of our own government’s theft when it comes to Social Security.  There should be $2.6 trillion sitting in the Social Security trust fund, enough to last till 2036, but the government has spent that money.  Where is your Social Security?  It went to Iraq and Afghanistan.

We need to prevent another Great Depression, not fight the battles of the last one.

The Republican Party seems determined to drag us back to the 19th century, rather than face the challenges of the 21st.  What will they oppose next — indoor plumbing?