Thursday, November 29, 2012

Why Republicans Are Losing the Battle They Started

by Sunnyjane

Hmph!  'Those women' who were making my Inaugural Ball gown are out of work.  Serves them right for voting for Obama!

Losing the War on Women: Do Not Resuscitate

Ignoring women is no longer a winning strategy, and Ann Romney may have been instrumental in making that point during the 2012 election cycle.  She was, for all intents and purposes, more damaging than helpful.

The Republican campaign insisted on trotting her out to win the women's vote.  But by rattling around in the echo chamber of hypocrisy, she gaffed far more than she got her point across.  The problem: she had no viable point to make.  Ann Romney was, and remains, ignorant of the broad scope of issues that concern women.  She stated in one interview that, I've been on the campaign trail for one year, and guess what women are talking about. They're talking about jobs ... That's what I'm hearing.  Well, she must have been talking about jobs for men, because this is the woman whose husband-candidate refused, throughout the entire campaign, to even say whether he was in support equal pay for women.  Women were left to assume that he did not believe that women should be paid the same as their male counterparts for performing the same job. 

In all fairness to Mrs. Mitt, she had nothing to offer women.  The Republican Party started a fight with women by legislating their healthcare options, promising to defund Planned Parenthood, drastically limiting or entirely eliminating contraceptive choices, overturning Roe vs. Wade, forcing a rape victim to carry a baby to full term, and refusing to enact the latest iteration of the Violence Against Women Act.

Neurotic Inertia Posing as Moral Rectitude

The Republican Party has not yet reconciled themselves to their loss on November 6.  Oh, to be sure, some of their, ahem, leaders are making noises that sound as if they are willing to change out of nothing but sheer desperation. I don't believe we should expect a sudden GOP flash mob performing Kumbaya in the Capital Rotunda any time soon.

The GOP implemented a great winning strategy -- for 1950
The Republicans desire -- and determination -- to govern women's issues is ingrained in their collective psyche and reflected in their legislative positions.  All eight GOP primary candidates were adamantly against abortion.  Because the Koch Brothers' brother by another mother, Herman Cain, took an early flight to Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, his view on the issue did not receive the attention it should have: He has repeatedly stated that life begins at conception, and that if he was elected President, he would sign legislation to protect the sanctity of life. He supports the defunding of Planned Parenthood, and has noted that the organization was started by someone with the stated goal of lowering the number of African-American children.  Yes, dear readers, that's exactly what he believes.  And if you have the stomach for it, you can see the other six presidential nominee hopefuls' views here:  Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich.  [Mitt Romney doubled down on his views on women's rights when he selected the most far-right anti-woman legislators in the congress, Paul Ryan.]

GOP Moralists, Wannabes and  Knuckleheads

The Republican Party will never again be a Grand Old Party until it purges itself of the current bunch of self-appointed right-wing moralists like Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Darrel Issa, etc.  While Todd Akin was roundly defeated, too many remain.  Grover Norquist would do more good for the party were he to encourage more moderate candidates to support rather than using his Gestapo tactics to force candidates to sign ridiculous no-more-taxes pledges. 

Wannabe candidates such as Richard Mourdock should not be supported, nor should people like Sarah Palin; again, memo to Norquist, see above.

When the GOP stops taking its cues from the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Donald Trump, they may be able to move forward.  Otherwise, their party will continue to be nothing more than one that is Only for white men of property, circa 1800.

Diversity 2012, Republican Style

The New Republican House Committeemen

Change We Can Believe In:  The New Women in Congress
 Future Post (perhaps)Why Democrats are Winning the War on Women  


With 55% of the women's vote, Barack Obama won a second term.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The 47%

by Blueberry T

Justice is served.

In September, the Romney/Ryan campaign was rocked by a Mother Jones report on disparaging comments that Mitt Romney made about 47% of the American people.  Romney’s 47% remark clumsily and wildly inaccurately equated Obama’s core supporters with those not paying federal income taxes and those who have benefited from government assistance.  Romney labeled this group of proclaimed moochers the “47%.”  

After the revelation by MoJo, Romney first doubled down on the remark, but later walked it back and admitted it was a “mistake.”  His “mistake” was being truthful for one of the few times during the campaign (albeit not in public).  Thanks to the secret videographer and others, people finally heard what Romney really believes about a large number of Americans.  The truth was told; the damage was done.  (Note that the tape also had a number of other damnable statements  that did not get as much attention as they deserved, including the comments about slave labor conditions at a Chinese factory that Patrick reported on during the RNC, several weeks before the MoJo article appeared.)  

Romney’s recent comments about President Obama winning votes of blacks, Hispanics and young voters because he gives them “gifts” proves that the 47% comment was not a mistake; it reflects what Mitt Romney really believes.  He, with his very privileged life, massive wealth and advantages that he gained through his status rather than his abilities, is so out-of-touch that he does not know how far from reality his dismissive attitudes toward many Americans are.  Many Republicans, who extolled his virtues mere weeks ago, are roundly criticizing this latest remark.  

Never mind that it is the GOP that has showered the wealthy, Big Oil, banks and other constituencies with massive taxpayer giveaways.  

Now, finally, there is poetic justice.  It turns out that the “47%” to which Mitt Romney disparagingly referred, in the video released by Mother Jones in September, actually represents Mitt Romney voters.  Our reader Linda1961 alerted us that Wikipedia now reports Romney’s percentage of the vote has fallen below the 47.5% threshold, following the consistent downward trend since Election Day.  Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) of the Cook Political Report, who has been keeping a detailed spreadsheet of all the vote counts, shows the total at 47.503%, and the trend is continuing downward, meaning that Romney's vote total will round to 47% of the presidential ballots that were cast.

This outcome restores my faith in divine retribution!  ;-D

And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to express my huge gratitude to AnneOnyMouse670 and to James Carter IV, as well as MoJo, for their actions that made this information publicly available, to Patrick and Kathleen and our readers for our community's progressiveness, and for everyone who VOTED, especially those who overcame serious obstacles to do so. 

UPDATE:  Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report now reports that "the moment that many have been waiting for has arrived," as his spreadsheet total now shows Romney below 47.5%.  

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Kathleen

Capital Area Food Bank, Washington, November 21

Thanksgiving is not a celebration that Patrick and myself usually celebrate but due to our many new, and old, American friends it is one that we have come to appreciate. We even had the opportunity a few years back to celebrate our first ever Thanksgiving with our American friends the Chatman family which gave us a real insight into how Thanksgiving is celebrated by real American families. 

Thanksgiving this year, for many of us who gather here at Politicalgates,  is accompanied by a collective sigh of relief. The relief that President Obama, supported by his family, political friends and many, many people around the globe, is still in charge of what is unarguably the most important leadership job on the planet. How important that fact is became crystal clear when within a very short time after the election the State of Israel and the State of Palestine renewed their lack of tolerance of the "other" and began bombing each other yet again. 

Many innocent people died during those so called "exchanges". Most of the deaths occurring on the Palestinian side because for one thing Israel obviously has many more weapons at its disposal. Regardless, and also because the modern war machine is a much more sophisticated model, this now means that it is citizens and their homes who are "legitimately targeted and who are suffering more than ever. War would now seem to be about which nation or state can bring down the will of the people fastest by directly attacking civilian populations. These days soldiers seem to rarely die in such attacks, instead they are deliverers of misery with the sorry excuse that they are sure that the enemy is either hiding in certain buildings or deliberately occupying them in order to deter the other side from targeting them. A sorry excuse when such supposedly occupied buildings are bombed in any case.........killing many innocents in the process. 

Fortunately, President Obama was able to send Hillary Clinton to Israel and a new unsteady ceasefire has been arranged, although many of us, and most especially the relatives of those who died, wish that the President had done so much sooner, I shudder to think how a Mitt Romney administration would have handled the situation as he himself is not exactly known for his diplomacy or tact. 

Unfortunately, tensions between the two States remain super high and the United Kingdom is still advising against travel to the area. To be perfectly honest I have little confidence that the present truce as it stands will hold for very long as there do seem to be ungodly forces on both sides full of hellish intent to destroy each other. There must be a permanent solution to the Palestinian Question and now is the perfect time for President Obama to truly show his mettle. I myself will be disappointed in him if he does not announce that he himself will meet with the leaders on both sides very soon and that a solution must be obtained. To start with the borders between Israel and Gaza need to be reopened. If the siege on Gaza is stopped then the a cessation of the sporadic rocket attacks on Israel should follow. 

So this Thanksgiving let's hope, and yes even pray, that President Obama and Hillary Clinton recognise that this moment is an opportunity for them both to shine a light and that that light should be one of lasting and enduring peace. 


I have also learned that Thanksgiving in America is followed by another tradition, Black Friday. Black Friday is a day during which many Americans can, if they so wish, "shop until they drop" in shops where huge discounts are on offer. Others choose not to participate and instead in the spirit of Thanksgiving contribute to charities of their choice. You can find reputable and trustworthy charitable organisations to contribute to at the Charity Navigator. Their link is here. 

Graphic found on Facebook

Have a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving everyone. 


UPDATE by Patrick:

Hi everyone, I would like to make an update, which is not directly related to Thanksgiving, but still pretty interesting, I believe.

During the last days, Andrew Sullivan published some fascinating posts, or should I better say he published a considerable number of fascinating readers' opinions about the amount of medals that American soldiers can obtain these days during their time of service. This highly entertaining discussion was sparked by the fairly gigantic amount of ribbons which General Petraeus displays on his chest during official occasions. Apparently there is a certain "inflation" of medals in the US Services these days (as opposed to earlier times), as the long discussion reveals, which can be read in full at Andrew Sullivan's blog here, and several of his readers voiced their hesitation to wear all their earned ribbons due to the inflationary nature of some of them.

One of Andrew Sullivan's readers writes:

You observed that so many journalists stand in the presence of men like Petraeus with "open jaws and worshipping eyes." That brings to mind the military's cultural shift in its medals, ribbons, and badges.

Consider these portraits of Generals Petraeus and Eisenhower. Petraeus is wearing over 30 ribbons and badges on his uniform. I'm sure he earned each of them. But of that 30, how many civilians will notice that only one item was for heroism (Bronze Star with "V")? Eisenhower earned only ten U.S. decorations (plus countless foreign ones), and - as was the custom of the day - typically wore only three or four at a time. 

So few of us have military experience. We see a solider decked out with all kinds of razz-mataz and we assume he's a modern Audie Murphy, a Rambo ten times over. But the truth is, most accoutrements merely denote successful completion of an assignment, or time spent overseas - not necessarily in combat. Servicemembers can even earn a ribbon for volunteerism in their personal lives. 

Too many in America stand in awe of the military partly because the awards and decorations system has become so inflated. We used to hesitate to adorn soldiers with ribbons, medals, and the like - it smacked of European symbols of nobility. The pendulum has swung too far toward over-recognition of service. We ought to chasten ourselves, put the brakes on this ridiculous, clown-like boastfulness where every troop looks like a Libyan field marshal. But with so many of us slack-jawed at the sight of a soldier, who among us has the political courage to scale back on the excess that creates this over-adulation of the soldier in the first place?

This particular discussion was also triggered by an angry commentary by Republican Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal ("We are becoming a conceited nitwit society, pushy and self-aggrandizing. No one is ashamed to brag now. And show off.").

In case you are interested: The medals by General Petraeus which he wears on his uniform can be seen on this high-resolution photo and can be compared with the details of the awards he has received.

Screenshots from Andrew Sullivan:

However, not every medal is awarded for "good behaviour" or just for "being there", of course, but medals are also awarded for real bravery. On this occasion I would like to mention a story from May 2010 which I came across only a short while ago: Several American soldiers received the German Gold Cross, the highest German military medal for bravery, which is very rarely awarded, for rescuing German soldiers who were on a mission in Afghanistan.

From the ISAF website:

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan - Under an overcast sky, on the same airfield where they carried wounded German Soldiers to safety only 5 weeks before, 14 U.S. Soldiers were awarded the highest German medal for bravery, May 12.

International Security Assistance Force Chief of Staff German Army Lt. Gen. Bruno Kasdorf, presented the German Gold Cross of Honor medals to the medical evacuation helicopter pilots and crew from the 5th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, Katterbach, Germany. 

The German Gold Cross is equivalent to the U.S. Medal of honor, only four other German Soldiers have ever been awarded it. The medal is for outstanding deeds at the risk of one's life. 

The aircrew rescued eleven German Soldiers who had come under attack by insurgents during a dismounted patrol outside the Chahar Dara district, southwest of Kunduz, on Apr. 2. 

"It is an honor for me to day to hand over these badges to the U.S. servicemembers, who risked their lives to bring their German wounded comrades to safety," Kasdorf said.

On that day, the German Soldiers had been on a foot patrol searching for IEDs when insurgents attacked them with small arms fire and rocket propelled grenades.

The volume of fire was so intense that the American MedEvac helicopters couldn't land on their first attempt. 

"I was the responsible person on the ground for getting the helicopters to the landing zone," German Paratrooper Master Sgt. Patrick Bonneik, said. "My biggest concern was that they would leave us.

"You could see the sparks coming off the helo [from small arms fire]," the joint terminal attack controller said. 

Rocket propelled grenades passed under one of the helicopters by 10 yards, added the bearded Bonneik. 

The helicopters were able to land on their second attempt. They continued their rescue mission under fire as they flew the wounded German troops back to the PRT Kunduz base.



Watch this moving video:

So we say a big "Thank You" to the Americans who put their life at risk to rescue the German soldiers, and I am sure that they will wear this ribbon without any hesitation!

This one ("Bundeswehr Cross of Honour in Gold, Special Version for Outstanding Deeds"):

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Sarah Palin Adversary Andrew Halcro Reveals The Possible Bombshell That Has Been Dropped On Palin's Dairygate Pals

By Kathleen

Photo Credit

Andrew Halcro last week promised to drop an FBI fraud investigation bombshell on Sarah Palin's Dairygate cronies. If the rumours of an FBI investigation are true then this will be very welcome news to those good people whose names and business reputations were sullied by Palin and her administration in the months leading up to the state bailout of the then Matanuska Maid Dairy. Good people such as Joe Van Treek who was the CEO of Matanuska Maid. 

Today on his blog Halcro writes: 

November 19, 2012: The Palin era dairy bailout seemed like such a bad idea back in 2007. Bailing out an industry that couldn't stand on it's own two feet. Appointing unqualified cronies to key positions and then allowing them to give away state agriculture loans without guarantees or proper collatteral. But today, rumors are abound that the FBI has come knocking.
Several of my long time confidential sources stated last week that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is knee deep in trying to unwind some of the financial activity surrounding the use of federal government grants awarded to the Matanuska Creamery.
"Something is going on with an FBI investigation regarding the federal grant funds.  The FBI has been contacting folks about checks they were given with cash back," read an email I received from one long time dairy source.
"It appears the FBI Investigation is focused on one of the major shareholders," a follow up email read from yet another agriculture insider.
If these allegations are true then it is very possible that an investigation will reveal far more than the initial claims. In his in-depth report Halcro describes exactly how public money has been thrown at the dairy industry despite the fact that repeated loans have not been paid back. He points out that equipment which has never been paid for is nevertheless being sold off in order to help pay back some of those very loans. 
The issues surrounding Dairygate are complicated but Halcro's report goes a long way to unravel some of the issues surrounding the controversy. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How Social Security Cheats Retirees -- And It's Legal!

by Sunnyjane


This year, thirty-six million retired American workers are receiving Social Security benefits totaling almost forty-five billion dollars.  And unless they've done a lot of research on the subject, or experienced the shock of finding out the truth, they probably don't know they're being swindled -- lawfully.

There has been the usual election campaign chatter this year about the necessary evil of entitlement reform, but no one on either side dared be too specific on the issue.  In 2011, however, we got the full force of Republican plans on cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, thanks to Paul Ryan's Path to Disparity Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal.  [Excuse me a moment while I hurl.]

One of the shiniest jewels in this piece of twaddle legislation is to privatize Social Security, i.e., put your Social Security premiums (which come out of your check every pay day) in the hands of private insurance companies so they can make more money.  Of course, that means Wall Street would end up with forty-five billion dollars to fiddle with every year.  That's called a Path to Poverty: A Blueprint for Middle-Class Disaster.   And, of course, he'd like to send retirees a voucher for their health care to do away with Medicare.  More than likely the same insurance company would take care of that, as your Medicare premium (oh, yes, you continue to pay for Medicare after retirement), is taken out of your Social Security check before you ever see it.

But this post is not about lowering benefits or raising the age of retirement eligibility.  This is how we're getting cheated now, and will continue to be cheated unless these little known laws are changed. 

Retiring Too Early

I'm not talking about taking early retirement or waiting several years to get the maximum benefit.  This is not about years, it's about days.  Social Security will not pay you for the month in which you retire.  So, if you retire on the 15th day of April, you get nothing from Social Security for the remainder of April.  It's best to continue working until the last day of April, regardless of what day that falls on.  Should April 30 fall on a Monday, retire that day; do not work out the week, because then you will not be paid anything for May.  At least you're getting a paycheck for the rest of April.

Hint: If your employer allows you to accumulate vacation days for which you can receive cash when you retire, start doing that immediately.  As you'll see going forward, you'll need it.  Just remember that a vacation lump sum is taxed just like salary, so your bundle will be reduced accordingly.

I'm Retired!  Now, Where's My Check?

So you retired at the end of April and should get your check at the beginning of May, right?  Not so fast, dear readers!  The Social Security Administration pays retirees for the previous month, which means you will not receive May's payment until June.  And, adding insult to injury, your SS check is scheduled according to the date of the birth date on which you were born; it does not automatically appear on June 1.  If you were born between the 1st and the 10th of the month, your check will arrive on the second Wednesday of June; this is irritating.  If you were born between the 11th and the 20th, you will receive a check on the third Wednesday of June; you could be reaching desperation point by now.  If you were born between the 21st and the 31st, you can expect your check on the fourth Wednesday; by now, you may be shit out of luck on the bill-paying side of things!

Hint: Since there's absolutely nothing you can do about the day on which you were born, this is where your vacation dollars would come in handy.  By now you have missed out on money in May and, perhaps, a lot of money in June.  Since fifty percent of retirees depend solely on Social Security to live, they're already in the hole, and they will never recoup that loss.  Utility providers have no empathy for your plight, nor do mortgage companies or landlords.

Even in Death, You Get Ripped Off
There's even more indignity when you shuffle off this mortal coil.  Why?  Because Social Security pays you nothing for the month in which you die.  There's a nice little paragraph for survivors and/or executors of your will.
If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. For example, if the person dies in July, you must return the benefit paid in August.

I suppose the lawmakers just assumed that you didn't accumulate any bills during that month.  Surely this law was made by a Republican congress, don't you think?

Hint:  Don't die.

OK, perhaps that's not reasonable.  But your heirs will be responsible for paying for your funeral -- and for all your bills -- if you have not saved an adequate amount to cover those expenses.  Don't think they can just snub their noses at these bills; your estate can be sued for outstanding liabilities.

Dinosaurus Republicanus

You philosophically oppose government welfare plans, but you cash your Social Security checks religiously.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Oh the irony: Senator John McCain says that Susan Rice is "not qualified" to become the next US Secretary of State, and receives a forceful reply by an angry President Obama - BONUS: A "Spiegel" cover picture you surely will like!

By Patrick

After the election is before the election, and the first voices of the shellshocked Republicans start to emerge again. Well, they could not be quiet forever, could they, those funny Republicans!

Senator John McCain got himself back in the spotlight while trying to make a stand against the possible nomination of Susan Rice for US Secretary of State - and proves that he has no sense for irony whatsoever. Susan Rice is supremely qualified for the position of US Secretary of State, as we already discussed in the comments of the previous post - excerpt from Wikipedia:

Rice was born in Washington, D.C. to Emmett J. Rice (1919–2011), Cornell University economics professor and the second black governor of the Federal Reserve System[2] and education policy scholar Lois Dickson Fitt, currently at the Brookings Institution. Her parents divorced during her youth. Her brother, John Rice, received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and is the founder of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, an organization which develops top minority talent for leadership roles in the business and non-profit sector. She is not related to Condoleezza Rice.

Rice was a three-sport athlete, student council president, and valedictorian at National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C., a private day girls' school. She played point guard in basketball and directed the offense, acquiring the nickname "Spo", short for "Sportin'".

Rice said that her parents taught her to "never use race as an excuse or advantage", and as a young girl she "dreamed of becoming the first U.S. Senator from the District of Columbia". She also held "lingering fears" that her accomplishments would be diminished by people who attributed them to affirmative action. After her father's death in 2011, she said, “He believed segregation had constrained him from being all he could be. The psychological hangover of that took him decades to overcome. His most fervent wish was that we not have that psychological baggage.”

Rice attended Stanford University, where she received a Truman Scholarship, and graduated with a B.A. in history in 1986. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, Rice attended New College, Oxford, where she earned a M.Phil. in 1988 and D.Phil. in 1990. The Chatham House-British International Studies Association honored her dissertation titled "Commonwealth Initiative in Zimbabwe, 1979-1980: Implication for International Peacekeeping" as the UK's most distinguished in international relations.

In addition, she had various roles within the Clinton administration and currently serves as the US Ambassador to the United Nations.

But the old maverick John McCain tries to shoot from hip and declares that Susan Rice is "not qualified":

The "Democratic Underground" gave the appropriate reply to John McCain:

Yes, that's John McCain with Sarah Palin - whose name became a synonym for a "hopelessly dumb politician."

President Barack Obama was not happy about John McCain's remarks. You could even say that became very angry, and minced no words in his forceful reply to John McCain:

My impression is that the "new Barack Obama" will be much tougher than the "old" one.

After all, America's patience with the obstructive, irrational and plainly dumb Republicans has run out.

My prediction is that Susan Rice will become the next Secretary of State.



Recently I reported about a rather depressing cover story by the German magazine "Der Spiegel" about the "decline" of America. This week also has a rather interesting cover story - and I am sure you will like this cover much better:

"Charisma - The Secret of the Special Aura"

Inside, there is a great picture of Michelle Obama:

"The Fire From Within

Barack Obama found it again, Angela Merkel will probably never have it: Charisma, the power to move others, to form our world and not only to administer it. Can the magic be learned? By Matthias Matussek"

So Barack and Michelle Obama will be able to "radiate" for four more years - good news for America!

And somebody really should explain to John McCain the meaning of the word "irony!"



Already an update! It turns out that there is somebody else who does not know irony: Sarah Palin, arguably the most unbearable woman in America. She and John McCain should get together again - I think they really have something in common.

Sarah, the clueless housewife from Alaska, just released the following statement on facebook:

Who is running our country? We've got a CIA Director sharing security info with his mistress using an unsecure gmail account. We've got the delusional Susan Rice blaming the death of an ambassador on a Youtube video. We've got Iran firing on one of our drones a week before the election. We've got the White House either ignorant of or covering up all of this. Who is minding the store? Everywhere we look we see the rank incompetence or corruption of the people who are supposedly running our country and our major institutions. Let's hope that responsible reporters at Obama's press conference today ask the right questions Americans deserve answers to.

Here's my question for the president: As our nation's chief executive you claim to be unaware of the most important and tragic situations we're facing; so, as a former chief executive, I'd like to know how long it takes for your staff to tell you things like: "Sir, your CIA Director is under investigation"?

- Sarah Palin

"We've got a CIA Director sharing security info with his mistress using an unsecure gmail account."

Says the woman who "routinely" used private email accounts, especially several yahoo email accounts, for state business while being Governor of Alaska.

See also herehere and here.

Oh the irony!

Why did the Republicans lose the election again...?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Election 2012 Postmortem: How "It's Our Turn" Died

by Sunnyjane

The Day the Universe Hiccuped and the GOP Went Nuts

According to whichever online horoscopes they'd been tracking, or whichever dead psychics they'd been channeling, the Republicans somehow thought they had the 2012 election in the bag.  After all, they had suckered buckets o'money out of donors who didn't even like the candidate.  They had wiz-kid internal pollster (heh) Karl Rove promising them the sun, the moon, and the stars that Mitt Romney would not only win the presidency, but would keep the House in GOP control and deliver a Senate majority to top things off.  

It's hard to tell what voodoo formula Karl Rove was using to concoct a numbers scenario that convinced the candidate, the campaign, and the cash contributors that in the early morning hours of November 7, there would appear before them a President-Elect Romney.  As everyone knows, the candidate is a spreadsheet guy: Show me the bottom line, don't bother me with how we get there. 

Is it just coincidental that so many Republican governors ended up in swing statesHardly.  It was obviously all part of the Grand Plan to make Barack Obama a one-term president.  As it turned out, the President lost only one, North Carolina, which happened to be governed by a Democrat.  How's that for irony?

Of the other eight battleground states -- Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin -- seven have an agent-in-place Tea Party or Republican governor. (New Hampshire is governed by Democrat John Lynch, who will be replaced in January by Democrat Maggie Hassan.)  And where did most of the voter suppression occur?  That's right, dear readers, in those swing states.  And as far as voter suppression goes, we can throw in Pennsylvania for good measure.

But on paper, it must have seemed a great strategy for a Republican victory.  So certain were they of victory that they predicted a -- wait for it -- LANDSLIDE for their candidate.

Goodness!  What could possibly go wrong?

A Flawed Campaign for a Flawed Candidate

Mitt Romney came into the 2012 election cycle via Bain Capital and the Massachusetts governorship.  At Bain, he achieved great success, mainly by taking over American businesses and outsourcing them to China, which turned out not to be such a great reputation for the I know how to create jobs image he tried so hard to promote.  

In an attempt to gain some required political creds, Romney ran for governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and won.  He had promised job creation and touted that he knew how to solve budget problems.  On these two issues alone, Democrats and Independents voted for him.  However, it soon became apparent to not only those two factions, but to loyal Republicans, that Mitt Romney was full of crap.  By the end of his term, Massachusetts had fallen to 47th in jobs growth, manufacturing fell to third in the nation, and start-up businesses fell by ten percent, consistently lagging behind the national average.  For the unkindest cut of all, Governor Romney outsourced government jobs to India and China.

During the primaries, we began to see a Mitt Romney that no one particularly cared for, and his unlikeability factor increased exponentially after he clinched the nomination.  He came across as crude, entitled, and unapproachable to all but his own clique of One Percenters. Exposing the American electorate to wife Ann didn't do anything to diminish the image that was rapidly emerging in the developing solution of voters' minds.  In fact, people began to dislike Ann as much as they did her husband.  In the same interview in which Mitt said, Start packing to the question on what he had to say to President Obama, Ann told the nation that It's Mitt's's our turn.  That probably would have been quickly forgotten in the chatter of a vigorous campaign had she not continued her verbal assaults, such as You people when talking about Mitt's refusal to release more of his tax returns; There are going to be cuts made to a lot of programs people aren't going to like; I don't consider myself wealthyI love the fact that there are women out there who don't have a choice and must go to work; etc.  American women were not seduced by this privileged woman who pretended to understand and sympathize with their issues.

It also didn't add to Mitt's charm or credibility factors when he boldly stated in the second debate that parents are to blame for their children's violent tendencies, and then his son, Tagg, announced the next day that he had wanted to rush the stage and punch the President.   Hmmm...

But never mind, the campaign said, Mitt was definitely going to win this thing!  So, what went wrong?

It Was The Message, Stupid.  In the seemingly never-ending Republican primary season, Romney did his damnedest to out-conservative the other severely conservative candidates.   
Except for diehard racists and the majority of  evangelical and Mormon worshipers,   Mitt Romney had irritated, insulted, ridiculed, and lied to every core constituency he needed to win the presidency in 2012: young voters, college students,  senior citizens, women, LGBTs, African Americans, Latinos, the poor, single parents, and the middle class.  And, pet owners and animal lovers in general.

Mitt Romney's stump speeches and campaign ads were full of lies -- many of which he kept repeating: Jeep was going to China.  The President had gutted Medicare by $716B and had taken away the welfare-to-work requirements. Steve Benen of The Maddow Blog has spent much of 2012 chronicling Mitt Romney's lies; these writings alone are worthy of a book on how the 2012 Republican candidate conducted his campaign.

A fact Romney and his campaign failed to comprehend: Americans do not appreciate being lied to.  Nor do they appreciate their intelligence being insulted.

Faith-Based Voting Will Get Us Where We Want to Go

Oh, really?

And, the icing on Rove's cake:

An Idiot Abroad

This pretty much sums up the adequacy of Mitt Romney to be the Republican presidential candidate:

A (Very) Brief Look at the Vice Presidential Candidate

Like with Sarah Palin in 2008, America dodged a bullet with the lying, know-nothing fool, Paul Ryan.

Here a Conspiracy, There a Conspiracy...

In a fit of complete nuttiness, I had actually contemplated the notion of adding to this post some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories that floated around during President Obama's first term in office.  When reality presented itself, I realized it would take approximately sixteen posts to adequately present them all.  However, it took the genius of Rachel Maddow  to brilliantly address the entire issue in only 206 words: 

Ohio really did go to President Obama last night.  And he really did win.  And he really was born in Hawaii.  And he really is legitimately President of the United States – again.  And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month.

And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy.  And the polls were not skewed to over sample Democrats.  And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad.  Nate Silver was doing math.

And Climate Change is real.  And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes.  And evolution is a thing.  And Benghazi was an attack on us, it was not a scandal by us.  And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns.  And taxes have not gone up.  And the deficit is dropping, actually.  And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction.  And the Moon landing was real.  And FEMA is not building concentration camps.  And UN election observers are not taking over Texas.  And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as communism.


And here endeth the coverage of the non-election of Willard Mitt Romney.  Democracy is in safe hands again.