Thursday, November 15, 2012

Obama's "gifts" to actual people undermines Republicans, corporate "people" lose election

The New York Times and Los Angeles Times were allowed to listen in on a conference call Romney had with his fund-raisers post-election:
In a conference call with fund-raisers and donors to his campaign, Mr. Romney said Wednesday afternoon that the president had followed the “old playbook” of using targeted initiatives to woo specific interest groups — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people.”
“In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said, contrasting Mr. Obama’s strategy to his own of “talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs and so forth.”
Mr. Romney’s comments in the 20-minute conference call came after his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, told WISC-TV in Madison on Monday that their loss was a result of Mr. Obama’s strength in “urban areas,” an analysis that did not account for Mr. Obama’s victories in more rural states like Iowa and New Hampshire or the decrease in the number of votes for the president relative to 2008 in critical urban counties in Ohio.
“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift,” Mr. Romney said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young, college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

The president’s health care plan, he said, was also a useful tool in mobilizing black and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers: 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics.
“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity — I mean, this is huge,” Mr. Romney said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”
This dude is so friggin' clueless. All of these "gifts" are policies to help people enter and remain in the middle class. They are all designed to provide security to people so that they can become and remain productive members of our economy.

And wow it's great to hear him finally say that women are a specific interest group. We knew he thought so. Free contraceptives, woo! Here's a clue, Mitt: it's not only college-age sluts who are using contraceptives. Some women actually engage in this thing called family planning that allows them to optimally care for their families. Also, let me make a correction: the contraceptives are not free, they are covered 100% by the insurance that is either paid for or earned by an economically productive member of society.

And sure, let's just kick young people out of the health insurance market when their parents are willing and able to cover them until they are gainfully employed. It's not like college grads are having a hard time finding salaried positions with good benefits or anything. Let's just let them run around uninsured so that they wait until they are half-dead to drag their penniless asses to the ER to get super-expensive treatment for completely manageable health issues.

And why should all of those bums making only $35K a year get any help purchasing health insurance? Obviously they are lazy assholes who refuse to take responsibility for their own lives and are simply waiting for the gubment to take care of them. It's not like it's hard work to make $35K a year or anything. If they are so lame they can't even pay for unexpected  medical expenses then, well, I don't know I guess we should let them go bankrupt and lose their homes die in the gutters or something.

And those Dream Act kids? HA! Who cares that we spent 12 years and an untold amount of taxpayer money to educate them? Who cares that they are college-educated or have mastered a skilled trade or are willing to defend and serve this country that doesn't even want them? We shouldn't allow them to participate in our economy as productive, tax-paying individuals! We should make them constantly fear for their own livelihoods! They should fear deportation to a country that they may not even remember and that may not truly accept them because they are American!

Republicans have been so obsessed with lowering taxes and decreasing regulations on business because they say that uncertainty prevents growth. Not knowing what unexpected expenses or requirements may pop up causes businesses to proceed cautiously with plans to hire and expand. Well, Obama's so-called “gifts” to “special-interest groups” seek to create certainty in the economic lives of people. If you can educate yourself without fear of eternal debt, care for your health without fear of bankruptcy, take care of and earn a living for your family without pricing yourself out of daycare or even out of your own house, and fully contribute to our economy without fear of authorities, then you have a much greater degree of economic security. This could lead us into discussion on whether economy is driven by many individuals each contributing their talents and efforts, or whether it is driven by a few select individuals in some Ayn Rand-ian manner.

I suppose what it comes down to is the idea, espoused by Romney and others, that “corporations are people.” I personally disagree with this notion. But regardless of my own beliefs, even if corporations are indeed “people,” as proponents of corporate personhood would have us believe, corporate “people” should not take precedence over people “people.” Unfortunately, that’s what the Republican party has become. They are the party of corporate “people,” whereas the Democratic party is that of people “people.” This election has demonstrated that it doesn’t matter how strong corporate “people” are, how much money they pour into PACs, how they threaten the jobs of their employees, how much they fear-monger via preferred news outlets, or how many “poll” results they pull out of their asses. If the people “people” are sick and tired and riled up, they will go out there and they will vote and the will of the people “people” can indeed overpower that of corporate “people.” Now, if we can just motivate the people “people” more often, we will probably be even better off…

Monday, November 12, 2012

Post-Election Roundup

Okay, it's not really a roundup, it's just a place to dump interesting post-election stuff I happen to run into. It is by no means comprehensive. I will probably add to it as I come across more.

By Maureen Dowd in the New York Times:

Team Romney has every reason to be shellshocked. Its candidate, after all, resoundingly won the election of the country he was wooing.
Mitt Romney is the president of white male America.
Romney and Tea Party loonies dismissed half the country as chattel and moochers who did not belong in their “traditional” America. But the more they insulted the president with birther cracks, the more they tried to force chastity belts on women, and the more they made Hispanics, blacks and gays feel like the help, the more these groups burned to prove that, knitted together, they could give the dead-enders of white male domination the boot.
Romney was still running in an illusory country where husbands told wives how to vote, and the wives who worked had better get home in time to cook dinner. But in the real country, many wives were urging husbands not to vote for a Brylcreemed boss out of a ’50s boardroom whose party was helping to revive a 50-year-old debate over contraception.

By David Brooks in the New York Times:
During the 2012 campaign, Republicans kept circling back to the spot where government expansion threatens personal initiative: you didn’t build that; makers versus takers; the supposed dependency of the 47 percent. Again and again, Republicans argued that the vital essence of the country is threatened by overweening government.
These economic values played well in places with a lot of Protestant dissenters and their cultural heirs. They struck chords with people whose imaginations are inspired by the frontier experience.
But, each year, there are more Americans whose cultural roots lie elsewhere. Each year, there are more people from different cultures, with different attitudes toward authority, different attitudes about individualism, different ideas about what makes people enterprising.
More important, people in these groups are facing problems not captured by the fundamental Republican equation: more government = less vitality.
The Pew Research Center does excellent research on Asian-American and Hispanic values. Two findings jump out. First, people in these groups have an awesome commitment to work. By most measures, members of these groups value industriousness more than whites.
Second, they are also tremendously appreciative of government. In survey after survey, they embrace the idea that some government programs can incite hard work, not undermine it; enhance opportunity, not crush it.
Moreover, when they look at the things that undermine the work ethic and threaten their chances to succeed, it’s often not government. It’s a modern economy in which you can work more productively, but your wages still don’t rise. It’s a bloated financial sector that just sent the world into turmoil. It’s a university system that is indispensable but unaffordable. It’s chaotic neighborhoods that can’t be cured by withdrawing government programs.

The New Civil Rights Movement points tells of 22 states filing petitions to secede the U.S. Of course you know good ol' Texas is on the list. The Texas petition reads:
Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.
The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government's neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it's citizens' standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
As of Nov 12 at 1:54 pm, there are 23,401 signatures. If petition has 25,000 signatures within 30 days, a member of the executive branch must respond to it. Let me respond for them: "Good luck securing your border!"

blue milk links to a couple of articles worthy of contemplation.

Ken Rudin of Political Junkie has a good summary of the whole election.
Obama finished with 332 electoral votes — 62 more than the 270 needed to put him over the top. (Romney received 206.)
And what accounts for this result? According to leaders of the Tea Party and others on the right, the reason why the GOP suffered on Nov. 6 is because Romney was too moderate.
Hahahaha! Um, I think not. He goes on to illustrate all of the crappy teabaggers that lost in the Senate race, then points out (much like everyone else) the demographic shift that is underway:
Obama won women by 11 points. He took 71 percent of Latinos, 73 percent of Asians, 93 percent of blacks. Sixty percent of voters under 30. Once upon a time, winning the white vote by a 61-39 percentage — as Romney did — would be enough for victory. Those days may be gone.
And of course there's the fact that Romney was just an incredibly weak candidate:
In the eyes of many, there never was the sense of who the authentic Mitt Romney really was. It was a problem for him when he squared off against his fellow Republicans and it was a problem in the fall. It wasn't that he was too moderate, or too conservative. It was a question of which was the real Romney.

Romney's defeat and the amazingly dramatic response to it by his supporters has prompted the formation of White People Mourning Romney, where you can see pictures of Republicans looking sad, horrified, and utterly defeated when the election results were in. Awesome.

And here you can see the 20 best Obama Memes, and celebrate that we have four more years to inspire even more awesomeness.

This guy Eric Garland wrote a "Letter to a future Republican strategist regarding white people." Hilarious while also sadly true.