Mitt Romney has decided to go all-in against the middle class by selecting Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan is the author of the infamous budget plan that decimates the middle class, turns Medicare into a voucher program, and yet increases spending on Defense contractors and other corporate giveaways.
Not surprisingly, Paul Ryan has been bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers, whose lobbying arms fund and organize the tea party. So it’s no big surprise that the Romney Ryan plan increases middle class taxes in order to pay for more tax breaks for the super-rich and increases the debt.
Perfect. Democrats will love it.
At least Romney has made clear that he thinks giving more chances for the 1% to hide their money offshore and allowing more loopholes for the supercorporations to ship jobs and money overseas will somehow, despite history and logic, create the jobs that they haven’t created during all this time to date.
What does the Ryan pick mean for the campaigns?
Ezra Klein at the Washington Post captures this nicely…
Let the games begin.
By now everyone has heard of Hilary Rosen and her comments related to Mitt Romney’s touting of his wife Ann as his go-to person on women’s economic issues. The Rosen comment is a perfect example of how the Republican party has devolved into abject dishonesty. After her comment the Republicans immediately extracted it from its context and created a completely new – and false – meaning for it, which they then have been browbeating to death. The goal is to distract from the original point.
So no, Rosen wasn’t saying anything against mothers, women, or any of the other straw men (or straw women) that the GOP has created out of whole cloth. She wasn’t even chastising Ann Romney for her choice to be a full time mom. Her point was directly, clearly, and unambiguously about the hypocrisy of Mitt Romney’s touting of his wife as some sort of mentor on “women’s economic issues.”
That concept is, of course, ludicrous. Mrs. Romney has zero experience dealing with “women’s economic issues.” She has enjoyed an economic life of comfort, attending private schools when young and then being considerably wealthy for most of her adult life (can we say “dressage”). She chose to be a stay at home mom to their five children and has endured serious medical issues, and done so with aplomb. Everyone acknowledges both her contributions and her tribulations. That isn’t the point.
The point is that she has had the major advantage of not having to worry about money while facing these motherhood and medical issues. “Women’s economic issues” were never even relevant to her decision-making or her ability to successfully raise a family. The same cannot be said for the other 99.9% of women and families. For the “not fabulously wealthy” of us, being a stay at home mom is not always a choice; it may simply be that day care costs would exceed the income generated from working outside the home. For most people a two-income family is a necessity, not a choice (even Mitt has admitted this as he sought to restrict funding for young mothers). And as far as Mrs. Romney’s medical issues, most people would have had to worry about both the costs of insurance coverage and the very real possibility that they would be dumped by their carrier for having the audacity to actually make a claim. Mrs. Romney did not have this concern.
In fact, Mitt Romney wasn’t even being serious when he said that he turns to his wife for “women’s economic issues.” He was merely trying to deflect an awkward question for which he knew he didn’t have an answer – why is the Republican party so arrogantly hostile to women? [The same can be said of the party being arrogantly hostile to gays, non-Christians, anyone not the super-rich, minorities, and a whole host of other groups that make up, well, the vast majority of Americans.]
It is this jokingly-offered ludicrous attempt at deflection to which Ms. Rosen was alluding when she made her comment. Romney’s stumbling assertion that a rich woman with no real economic concerns would be his source of insight for “women’s economic issues.”
But not wanting to miss a political opportunity, the Republicans took advantage of Rosen’s statement to create their lie and saturate the media with it. Their goal was to use a dishonestly reinterpreted comment by one of the thousands of self-avowed “strategists” as a means of distracting from the Republican party’s constant attacks on women’s rights.
Remember that prior to this fake controversy arising it was the Republicans who were spending considerable time arguing against something as basic as a women’s right to contraception. It is the Republicans who have been trying to roll back the legal right of women to make their own reproductive choices. It is the Republicans who have gone so far as to pass a law saying that women are pregnant two weeks before they even have sex, and that they must undergo an invasive medical procedure and be forced to adhere to the wishes of politicians prior to making the already difficult choice to do something they have the legal right to do. And those are only the most recent examples. The Republican party has a long history of attacking the very issues that allow most women to participate in the American dream. The very “women’s economic issues” Mitt Romney ridiculously asserted his wife is his source of guidance.
It’s clear why the Republicans have jumped at Rosen’s statement and intentionally reinterpreted it in their usual dishonest way – they recognize that American women are tired of having their rights attacked by Republican politicians and extremist religious zealots.
Andrew Breitbart is dead. The infamous conservative web antagonist died just after midnight this morning. What killed Breitbart? He was only 43 years old. The family says he “passed away unexpectedly from natural causes.” Suddenly. “Unexpectedly.”
Breitbart was the master of attack journalism. Heavy on the attack, light on the “journalism.” The more outrageous the attack the more ad space he sold and the richer and more influential he became. The tea party loved this guy. The people he attacked did not. Especially when Breitbart got his facts wrong. Which he did often. Too often.
According to the statement from his lawyer:
Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.
It’s unclear if the “boldly” part refers to his web attacks or something else. In any case, a 43 year man is now dead. Unexpectedly.
Ron Paul tried, but just missed beating Mitt Romney in the Maine caucuses. The margin was probably due to the fact the voting has been going on for a week (i.e., started before Romney got embarrassed on Tuesday) and the caucuses for Washington County were postponed due to a major snowstorm. Meanwhile, “severely conservative” Romney also won the meaningless straw poll at the end of the CPAC conference, beating out Rick Santorum as Ron Paul slid into fourth.
So with Saturday’s two wins Romney gets exactly the same number of delegates that Santorum got with his three wins on Tuesday. Which is, of course, zero, zilch, nada, null. The actual delegate choices come later in some cases and are non-binding in others, which makes one wonder why they spend so much time and money to hold these dog and pony shows.
In any case, this is good news for Romney since losing either or both of today’s non-events would paint him as a serial loser. And that really isn’t a good paint job for the campaign bus heading into a general election. Winning at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, aka, a conservative lobbying event, was actually quite a good outcome for Romney considering two important details. First, Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll the last two years, and second, it means Romney’s newest bizarre verbal gaffe didn’t hurt him too much. At least with the white guys in the room.
When PGH first heard that Mitt had emphasized his “severely conservative” ideology we were as confused as everyone else. “Highly” conservative? Maybe. “Largely” conservative? Sort of. “Always” conservative? Umm, no. But “severely” has essentially no positive meaning in this context. PGH’s first thought was “time to fire the speech writer.” Seriously. But then this was apparently an ad lib by the Mitt, and since the Republican party has fired pretty much everyone else that was running already, we guess Mitt is safe for now. [Though Gingrich seems to have had a belly bouncing guffaw that Romney had said something even more nonsensical than Michele Bachmann, aka, “the perfect candidate.”]
So Romney survives another day in his inexorably slow bumpy road to the nomination. The next few states (Arizona and Michigan on February 28 and Washington on March 3) seem to be tailor made for him. Notably, Daddy was Governor of Michigan, though this must be balanced against Mitt’s stated desire to have let the automobile industry in Detroit fail and millions of jobs go down the tubes. Who knows, Santorum could surprise everyone and do well in those states. Then comes Super Tuesday on March 6 when there are some substantial delegates available in a wide variety of states – pretty much something for everyone. Even Gingrich has Georgia (though not Virginia).
If Mitt can win all of the above then it’s finally over. If the results look like a blindfolded drunk dart thrower than at least the media have something to talk about. Because, after all, isn’t that the real reason they have these primaries and caucuses anyway – to give the media something to talk about for that boring two years leading up to an election?