Making Sense of all this Madness

This is not exactly a rant, but I’m trying to make some sense out of the madness that defines U.S. politics.  I thought I’d start with some statements that I believe cut through the rhetoric and get right to the point or at least my point.

  • The only people who really care about the 8.2% unemployment rate are the unemployed.  The rest, DEMS and GOP alike use the statistic for political advantage.
  • The people who care most about the Affordable Care Act, A/K/A Obamacare are the uninsured.
  • The only people who support voter ID laws are desperate Republicans who hope to prevent the uninsured and unemployed from voting.
  • The word TAX is used to fear monger.  Ironically, it was the ability to tax that helped transform the country from a loose confederation to a united group of states.
  • The people who care most about income inequality are the very rich who have the most to lose and whose interests both parties have always protected.
  • Capitalism through “free” market enterprise means to get as rich as possible by any means necessary.  Bain Capital is the classic textbook example.  Profit over people.
  • Deficit reduction via spending cuts is code for privatization.
  • Politicians who deny climate change have been bought out by the energy industry who profit wildly from the drilling, fracking, mining and burning of fossil fuels that are significantly responsible for global warming which has brought about catastrophic weather extremes.  This world view is one of profit over the environment and ultimately over people when there’s no environment left.  How crazy is that?


Why Romney Could Lose

Most political pundits believe that Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination easily.  There aren’t many scenarios out there that could change the calculus.  The other GOP candidates have thrown everything at Mitt in the last few weeks, but not much has stuck. However, the “vulture” capitalist label may follow him from state to state and at some point he is going to have to assure the American people that he cares as much about people as he does his best friend, the corporation.  If actions speak louder than words, than Mitt has a lot of explaining to do to account for the 15,000 jobs lost from companies Romney bought with Bain and liquidated.

The fiercely anti-Obama crowd will vote for whoever the GOP nominee turns out to be, but that candidate may not be Romney, for one simple reason – he’s not very likable. Voters may tolerate his flip flops, his vulture capitalist tendencies and not be bothered by his Mormonism. But they might not be able to stomach his elitist attitude and smug arrogance, which I predict will do him in. The Senator from MA, John Kerry had a similar image problem, undeserved I think, but he came across as stiff, stuffy and elite, even though he spoke passionately about the middle class. GW Bush on the other hand, as dumb as he sounded most of the time, actually connected better with people with his down home country charm.  Ironically, he too comes from a family of privilege and wealth and had an elite Ivy league education, though you’d never know it.

If Mitt wants to win the nomination and seriously compete, he’d better enroll in charm school, learn some folksy phrases, study GW and Bill Clinton’s campaign playbook, look up the word phony in Catcher in the Rye and stop ironing the jeans.