Monthly Archives: September 2012

Romney is a Charlatan Who Can’t Convince the True Believers By: Rmuse

Throughout history and up to the present, there have been people who practice quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame, or power through some form of pretense or deception.  Whether they are called charlatans, swindlers, or mountebanks, these people often depend on ignorance and desperation to convince well-meaning people to part with their money or independence of thought, and more often than not, they use religion and greed to control their acolytes. In America, conservative ideology is tantamount to a religion that appeals to the weak-minded and faint of heart, and it is little wonder that a distinctly American religion started by a charlatan intersects perfectly with Republican ideology, and that the current Republican standard bearer, Willard Romney, is closely following the charlatan Joseph Smith’s agenda to convince Americans he should be the president.

If one stops and considers that Smith said an angel appeared and told him secret knowledge that prompted him to seek out golden plates engraved with a secret message, they may think anyone who believed him was insane. And yet, they believed it when, in the 19th Century, he translated the message using 17th Century language, and after losing the golden plates, re-translated what became the Book of Mormon. The idea that 21st Century  Mormons believe the information in Joseph Smith’s translation that flies in the face of archeological, scientific, and historical evidence is proof that a charlatan can hold sway over any people as long as they have novel information and repeat it over and over again until even seemingly intelligent human beings accept fantasy as gospel truth. Crucial to Smith’s confidence trick, was referencing just enough of another established myth, the Christian bible, to convince his followers there was validity to his Latter Day prophecies, and subsequently, the Mormon church achieved  legitimacy to its adherents.

Willard Mitt Romney learned the confidence game from Joseph Smith well, and he parlayed it into a career convincing financiers to hand over their wealth in hopes of becoming wealthier beyond their wildest dreams. Romney also convinced struggling companies that if they took on crushing debt, under Bain Capital’s management, they too would emerge as leaders of their industries and prosper if they followed Romney’s “creative destruction” method of wealth creation. Subsequently, companies faced bankruptcy, employees lost their jobs and retirement, and Romney the confidence man laughed all the way to the Cayman Islands and other offshore tax havens.

Now that Romney is campaigning for the presidency of the United States, he is using Joseph Smith’s tactic of citing historically fallacious mythos with promises of American dominance in world affairs and unrealistic economic possibilities that play well to ignorant and desperate Americans looking for a great white savior to usher in an era of wealth and prosperity. The similarities between the charlatan Smith’s scheme of prophetic fantasies and Romney’s vision of America are stunning, but instead of harkening back two thousand years, Romney is content to parrot the words of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush in hopes he can convince enough Americans to fall for his confidence game.

Throughout his campaign, Romney has expounded a failed economic fantasy, 1980s cold war rhetoric, and Reagan-era anti-government oratory to con the American people into supporting him as the Republican candidate for president.  One of the reasons Romney has had a modicum of success is because for three-and-a-half years, Republicans and their talking heads have portrayed President Obama as a raging Marxist intent on transforming America into a socialist state where government confiscates private enterprises and redistributes white people’s wealth to the poor, and dictates who succeeds and who loses. Romney has taken up the mantel of lies, misinformation, and distortions like every competent charlatan to portray himself as the man to right the ship and undo the damage he claims President Obama has done to America, and he uses many of Reagan’s talking points updated to fit 2012.

Ronald Reagan garnered support by portraying the government as the reason American’s were not wealthy and where he campaigned on the premise that “government is the problem,” Romney promises to “get government out of the way” to let businesses prosper and capitalism thrive. It worked for the charlatan Reagan, and Romney is counting on it working for him regardless that it has never worked to help anyone but corporations.

Reagan characterized welfare recipients as lazy African Americans who were draining government resources with tales ofwelfare queens driving Cadillacs” and Romney has spent no small amount of time lying about President Obama eliminating the work requirement in welfare,  that 47% of Americans were dependent on the government, and during an NAACP speech implied that they “want more free stuff.”

Where Romney parrots Ronald Reagan closely is claiming that “Russia is our number one geopolitical foe,” that prompted then-Russian President Medvedev to tell Romney to “look at his watch,” and that “regarding ideological clichés, this always alarms me, this smells of certain times in the past.”

Romney’s main problem is that he is devoid of ideas to solve the issues facing America, so he falls back on the only thing he knows; use some form of pretense or deception to trick Americans in order to obtain power, and since it worked so well as CEO of Bain Capital and for Joseph Smith in 19th Century America, it is his go-to tactic.

Joseph Smith was successful tricking a small group of true believers desperate for a savior, and his ability to garner sympathy with a captive audience. Romney is no less of a charlatan, but his main obstacle is the American people are not captive and they have little sympathy for a man born into wealth and a performance record he cannot escape. He also cannot escape the fact that just five years ago, Americans suffered through another charlatan in George W. Bush who imposed Reagan-era trickle down economic theory and deregulation that nearly destroyed the world’s economy and yet, he is resurrecting the exact same policies Americans know is the reason they are struggling in a sluggish economy. Americans also know that the President’s policies are working and it is showing in poll after poll.

Romney is a charlatan, but he is no Joseph Smith. He cannot claim any secret knowledge or that an angel visited him, so he is stuck reiterating Reagan and Bush lies hoping Americans will be tricked just one more time. Fortunately, there are still Americans who lived through both Reagan and Bush and no amount of trickery or deception will convince them that repeating their policies will do anything but drive America deeper in debt while corporations and banks get wealthier. That is where Romney is unwise, because primary to a charlatan’s success is coming up with a new trick or confidence game, and after 8 years Reagan and Bush, the quackery and deception of trickle-down economics, fear mongering of Russian aggression, and castigating welfare recipients has been proven as fallacious as the notion of Romney saving America.  

The American people have been fooled twice by Bush and Reagan, and unless Romney comes up with a new con game, they will not be fooled again, and even Joseph Smith understood that simple premise.

The Struggle Continues-RLHSR

Romney’s contempt for the ’47 percent’ By Steve Benen

Just 24 hours ago, Mitt Romney was already in a rough spot. With the presidential election seven weeks away, he was coming off a bad week in which he cravenly tried to exploit the deaths of Americans abroad for partisan gain, watched President Obama solidify his lead in the polls, and found his aides sniping at one another in the press.

By mid-morning yesterday, Team Romney was determined to get back on track, signaling shifts in strategy, a new ad campaign, and a renewed focus. Nothing to worry about, hand-wringing Republicans, campaign aides said, everything is just fine.

And then Mother Jones' David Corn reported that Romney trashed half the country in a secretly-taped fundraiser, and fleshed out additional details with Rachel last night.

In case you haven't seen the damaging quote itself, Romney, talking casually to some wealthy supporters, presented this argument:

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. So he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean, that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

The Romney campaign does not deny the legitimacy of the video or the accuracy of the quote.

Presidential candidates can get away with quite a bit during a campaign, but when a multi-millionaire talks trash about half the country while hobnobbing with other multi-millionaires, it's safe to say that candidate has a rather dramatic problem on his hands. Indeed, keep in mind, this wasn't a gaffe or an accident — this was Romney speaking his mind in ways we don't usually see. 

As this relates to tax policy, it's true that nearly half the country has no federal income tax burden (though they pay plenty of other taxes). But while Romney sees this 47 percent of Americans as lazy moochers who refuse to "take personal responsibility," the truth is we're talking about millions of seniors who've left the workforce, Americans with disabilities who can't work, students who have not yet entered the workforce, millions of low-income families, and middle-class families who take advantage of tax credits Republicans have traditionally supported.

In other words, Romney is not only expressing contempt for nearly half of the American population, he doesn't even seem to understand those he's condemning. On the contrary, the Republican candidate seems to believe these Americans are indolent schemers trying to get away with something, which is demonstrably ridiculous.

For that matter, Romney doesn't even understand the politics of the issue. In his mind, all of these people are Obama supporters, which doesn't even make any sense.

But what makes this scandal so devastating is the scope of the offense.

Romney accuses Obama of being divisive, especially when it comes to class, but here's a video of Romney castigating nearly half the country based on class. Romney's rhetoric says he wants to bring people together, but the clip shows him saying he considers it his job "not to worry about those people."

And for my money, the most damaging phrase of all is, "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility." Half the country, in Romney's eyes, is made up of slothful and pathetic losers.

As Jim Messina, the campaign manager for Obama for America, put it, "It's hard to serve as president for all Americans when you've disdainfully written off half the nation."
It's also worth keeping in mind that Romney has been accused of going years without paying federal income taxes himself — a charge that, if true, would put him in this lazy 47 percent himself. We don't know for sure, however, if the allegations are accurate because Romney refuses to release his tax returns.

Rent-A-Negro Businesses in Trouble. Democrats at Fault.

Another business has bit the dust. And they are blaming the Democrats.

The Rent-A-Negro Franchise in Charlotte, NC called a press conference to talk about the potential for closing its doors because they have not received any requests for Negroes at the Democratic Convention. The owner of the Charlotte office, Mr. Colored asked "Why can't the Democratic Convention be like the Republicant Convention? Since the Republicant National Convention had very few Negro delegates by choice, Tampa had to rush as many Negroes as they could over to the Tampa Convention Center. In fact, the Tampa Rent-A-Negro Office ran out of Negroes to rent and we had to send them some from Charlotte so they would have enough to show up at the Tampa Convention Center to be seen on TV. They showed up and then someone threw peanuts at them. They complained, Mr. Colored continued, and I told them to overlook the boorish and racist behavior because Republicants will be Republicants."

Mr. Colored said he had been in touch with the Democrats and they said "We are already diverse…and what's more We do not use the term 'Negro'. I don't know what we are going to do? Republicants like the term Negro and we do a lot of business with them although our business has been off since that Obama Man was elected President. When he is re-elected, I will probably need the government to retrain our staff, because I will go out of business."

Before he closed out the press conference, Mr. Colored asked, "Can  anyone tell me the meaning of the word diverse?"

Republicans Transcend Birtherism and Embrace Brazen Racism By: Rmuse September 1, 2012 (PoliticusUsa)

One of the finest lines in the Declaration of Independence is “all men are created equal” and even though Thomas Jefferson failed to put that sentiment in practice in his personal life, it is a noble concept.  Jefferson’s intent was that every person starts out equal, but American history has shown that all men are not equal and it has nothing to do with their achievements or station in life, but because of genetics that no human being has control over and cannot possibly change.  There is no legitimate reason why, in many cultures, dark-skinned people are looked down upon, but there are, of course, religious mythos that claims god cursed dark races for some imagined sleight against his edicts. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 appeared to show that most Americans had overcome their aversion to African Americans, but there was always an undercurrent of racial animus that has grown exponentially over the past three years, and Republicans have stoked racial resentment as their path to victory in the general election.

Throughout the Republican primary race, one after another presidential contender appealed to racists by implying that President Obama is guilty of taking something that belongs to white people and giving it to lazy African Americans, and it is nearly indisputable that the party’s standard bearer going into the November election is making this election about race. Willard Romney is having difficulty running on his record as a vulture capitalist, governor of Massachusetts, or head of the 2002 winter Olympics, so he has made a calculated decision to use brazen racism as his campaign strategy, and coupled with Republican-controlled states restricting African Americans from voting, there can be little doubt he and the GOP is determined to win the election on race alone.

As more Americans learn Romney’s economic plan is giving the wealthy resources he plans to steal from middle-class and poor Americans, and that he advocates for preventing women from making their own reproductive choices, he is resorting to the only thing Republicans have left; appeal to angry white males as a path to victory. Senator Lindsey Graham reiterated that point this week when he said, “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business,” and instead of reaching out to Latino, African Americans, women, and gays, Republicans are attempting to resurrect negative racial stereotypes and bigotry to grow the “angry white guy” demographic, and Willard is at the forefront of the Republican effort. The natural inclination is to blame Romney’s racism and bigotry on his upbringing in the Mormon cult, and it likely is a contributing factor, but the truth is his policies are so abhorrent to most Americans that there is little else for him to campaign on. What is disturbing is that he is not just appealing to racial resentment in the party faithful that went on quietly in the past; he has made it the issue of his campaign.

Willard cannot run on ending Medicare, ending programs that help the poor, restricting women’s health care decisions, dirty energy, giving everything to millionaires and billionaires, perpetual war, or ending social commitments to seniors, but apparently he can run on the idea that Americans no longer have a responsibility to care for each other; especially dark-skinned people. Romney is being helped in part by teabaggers, who adhere to racial and bigoted sentiments, and it is extremely unfortunate but at this point being a bigot and racist is part and parcel of what it means to be a Republican. The Republican primary gave all the evidence Americans need to understand that, for whatever reason, Republicans are counting on white supremacy, racial resentment, and bigotry to carry the day.

Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and even Rush Limbaugh have proffered the notion that President Obama is giving reparations to African Americans and it started during the healthcare reform debate. Recently, Limbaugh claimed that Romney’s fallacious “welfare to work” ad is successful because “working class whites” don’t like “slothful welfare recipients,” and suggested using “bags of money” to shore up levees around New Orleans so poor people would drown when they made off with the money. Limbaugh said it would help the GOP “get rid of Democrats,” because everyone knows that all African Americans are Democrats. After Romney’s speech to the NAACP, he addressed a group of conservatives and bragged that he told African Americans if they want “more free stuff,” vote for the other guy.

The sad fact is, it is not just Romney using race as a campaign issue, and based on the despicable voter suppression tactics in Republican-controlled states that specifically target African Americans, the problem is endemic in the Republican Party. In Florida, a former Republican Party chairman said, “I was upset the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting, and how minority outreach programs were not fit for the Republican Party.” In Texas, a three-panel of Federal judges recently voted unanimously that the new Photo ID law discriminates against low-income individuals, especially blacks and Hispanics, and rejected Texas’ voter ID law. Willard Romney said, “I like Voter ID laws by the way… more of them,” and he knows they disproportionately disenfranchise African-Americans, but at the rate he has been demeaning African Americans, he knows they would never vote for him anyway so why not suppress their right to vote. In Georgia, the sponsor of a voter ID bill explained the rationale of her bill to the justice department that “if black people in her district are not paid to vote, they don’t go to the polls,” and that if fewer blacks vote as a result of the new law, it is only because it would end such voting fraud that study after study has proven is virtually non-existent.

What is happening in the Republican Party transcends dog-whistle racism and birtherism; they are brazen racists counting on vengeful bigots to help them win an election and it defames the entire country. One has to wonder that if Romney were to win in November, how he expects to govern when he has deliberately and with malice aforethought demeaned, disenfranchised, and alienated more than half the population? Despite the Republican racism, there are indications that Americans are disgusted at the abject bigotry being played as campaign strategy, and they will be heard in November when they reject hate that permeates the Republican Party. Lindsey Graham is right that Republicans are not “generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term” and it is a testament to most Americans who are not angry white guys, and it may be the first bit of hope for this country after a long, Republican, racist campaign.

When you get down to it, Racism and racist politics are the "Republicant" Strategies…their only strategies.  The Struggle Continues…RLHSR.