Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: December 2011

It’s the story of a libertarian isolationist–– who favors the legalization of drugs and pot––posing as a Republican presidential candidate. Right! As implausible as it sounds, Andrew Sullivan discusses the fact that Paul does as well as Romney and better than Gingrich when pitted against Obama:

The man who is the target of a massive smear-job in the current National Review, and whose possible victory in Iowa has already been deemed irrelevant by the national media … is now second only to Romney in match-ups with Obama next fall. Gingrich would lose to Obama by 9 points, Perry by 12.5 points, Bachmann by 14.7 but Paul would only lose by 7.7.

CNN’s poll yesterday is even more striking. It finds Romney and Paul tied behind Obama at 7 points behind. Compare that with Gingrich’s 16 point deficit. So, in one national poll, Ron Paul does the best against Obama in the fall.

I understand why many do not support Ron Paul. What I do not understand is why he is not taken seriously by his own party. He is the most electable not-Romney. And, yes, I do concede he is not ready for government in the usual sense. But that’s his point:

I would be a different kind of president. I wouldn’t be looking for more power. Everybody wants to be a powerful executive and run things. I, as a president, wouldn’t want to run the world.

My point is less that he would be the best president than that he is currently the best medicine for the GOP’s degeneracy – and therefore the body politic’s.

 

Advertisements

News flash: Rick Perry is not ashamed to admit he’s a Christian. Wow! That’s impressive!! Except, it’s not. Because Michelle Bachman is not ashamed to admit she’s a Christian. Likewise, Rick Santorum is not covering up the fact he is a practicing Catholic. Newt Gingrich has joined a wide smattering of Christian churches: from Baptist to Roman Catholic and is totally down with the Risen Lord. Mitt Romney has done his best to try to confess he is a Christian (although most of the Religious Right is not so sure). Former candidate Herman Cain has made no secret of his Christianity, imperfect as it may be. John Huntsman is an avowed Mormon which he thinks makes him a Christian (see Mitt Romney). And what about Barrack Obama? He has also made kind of a big deal about his belief that Jesus died for his sins. And Joe Biden? Another ashes-on-the-forehead Catholic. So why does Perry run an ad like this? Because there are a lot of church-going voters that think the government is hell bent on Christian persecution, taking God out of the pledge of allegiance and taking Christ out of Christmas. And these nervous Christians are looking for a Saviour (having not found one, apparrently). Rick Perry could be the answer. Paul Waldman writes:

You’ll seldom see a more pure distillation of the religious right’s persecution complex than this ad. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” Perry says, as though Christians are an oppressed minority and he’s displaying his courage by saying he is one. “But you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know that there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As president, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion.” It goes on from there.

You may not have noticed “Obama’s war on religion,” and you might be puzzled by the assertion that “our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas.” But that’s because you’re an elitist liberal, and you’ve closed your eyes to the way the government brings its heavy boot down on the neck of Christians.

One has to understand that as ridiculous as these claims sound, the voters Perry is pleading with absolutely believe them to be true. And this is the most direct attempt by any of the candidates to go after those votes, to say to Christian conservatives, “I will be your sectarian candidate.” You hate gays? I’m your man. You want America to be more Christian? Come on board.

Recently, GOP strategist Frank Luntz gave Republican leaders a workshop on how to speak about the Occupy movement.

1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’

“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’

“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’

“Everyone in this room talks about ‘jobs,'” Luntz said. “Watch this.”

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a “job.” Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a “career.” Almost every hand was raised.

“So why are we talking about jobs?”

5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’

“It’s not about ‘government spending.’ It’s about ‘waste.’ That’s what makes people angry.”

6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’

“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’

“First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ . . . ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’

Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”

9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’

“There isn’t an American today in November of 2011 who doesn’t think they’ve already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to ‘sacrifice,’ they’re going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how ‘we’re all in this together.’ We either succeed together or we fail together.”

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”

BONUS:

Don’t say ‘bonus!’

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a “bonus.”

“If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you’re going to make people angry. It’s ‘pay for performance.'”

1. Don’t say ‘capitalism.’

“I’m trying to get that word removed and we’re replacing it with either ‘economic freedom’ or ‘free market,’ ” Luntz said. “The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we’re seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we’ve got a problem.”

2. Don’t say that the government ‘taxes the rich.’ Instead, tell them that the government ‘takes from the rich.’

“If you talk about raising taxes on the rich,” the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But  “if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes.”

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the ‘middle class.’ Call them ‘hardworking taxpayers.’

“They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the ‘middle class’ and the public will say, I’m not sure about that. But defending ‘hardworking taxpayers’ and Republicans have the advantage.”

4. Don’t talk about ‘jobs.’ Talk about ‘careers.’

“Everyone in this room talks about ‘jobs,'” Luntz said. “Watch this.”

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a “job.” Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a “career.” Almost every hand was raised.

“So why are we talking about jobs?”

5. Don’t say ‘government spending.’ Call it ‘waste.’

“It’s not about ‘government spending.’ It’s about ‘waste.’ That’s what makes people angry.”

6. Don’t ever say you’re willing to ‘compromise.’

“If you talk about ‘compromise,’ they’ll say you’re selling out. Your side doesn’t want you to ‘compromise.’ What you use in that to replace it with is ‘cooperation.’ It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you’re selling out those principles.”

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: ‘I get it.’

“First off, here are three words for you all: ‘I get it.’ . . . ‘I get that you’re angry. I get that you’ve seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system.”

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

8. Out: ‘Entrepreneur.’ In: ‘Job creator.’

Use the phrases “small business owners” and “job creators” instead of “entrepreneurs” and “innovators.”

9. Don’t ever ask anyone to ‘sacrifice.’

“There isn’t an American today in November of 2011 who doesn’t think they’ve already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to ‘sacrifice,’ they’re going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how ‘we’re all in this together.’ We either succeed together or we fail together.”

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, “You shouldn’t be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it’s the policies over the past few years that have created this problem.”

BONUS:

Don’t say ‘bonus!’

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a “bonus.”

“If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you’re going to make people angry. It’s ‘pay for performance.'”

Why do wealthy businessmen run for President? For one, it’s a free country. Two, running for high office ain’t free–it helps to have money and rich pals. Three, in a weak economy business sense is seen as a virtue. Four, voters love the idea of Washington outsiders and political outsiders are better yet. But finally, and most important, rich dudes have ginormous egos. They think they can do anything. Many also crave attention (this is what they share with most people who run for the office). Which brings us to Herman Cain. What moron runs for office after cutting off a 13-year affair? Well, remember the giant ego and the “hey-look-at-me” syndrome. Of course, maybe the guy is innocent. Maybe he just loves paying white chicks hush money. And maybe, Jerry Sandusky is just a sucker for “horse play.” So we await today’s decision. Will he push ahead? Or will he think of his wife and family and withdraw? Not sure. But one thing is sure. Thinking or his wife and family is not the man’s strong suit. I’m just sayin’.