The Rick Santorum Hype

Let’s be honest here.  Rick Santorum is just the latest right wing Republican Evangelical nutjob to rise to temporary prominence in what can be laughingly called the Republican presidential race.  And like the four before him he will surely sink like a stone within two weeks, if not sooner.  Willard Mitt Romney has the Republican machine behind him. All of these paper opponents thrown at him are just for the media’s sake. After all who will tune into the political radio and TV shows or watch the “debates” and their commercials if the race is already over?

But even more insidious than this is the reason behind why the entities who control Republican politics are allowing these Evangelical upstarts to stand on their tippy-toes against Romney.  They know there is white-hot hate for Romney within this religious sect who do turn out en masse to vote at every election. If they stay home in November, President Obama wins in a walk. So, they have no choice but to allow these “Christian” candidates to briefly grab the spotlight only to be brought down by scandal or lack of votes.  This way, the Evangelical voters are somewhat-willingly herded towards Romney as the only viable candidate left who has a chance to beat Obama.  But those entities know Romney hasn’t a chance in hell of defeating Obama in a fair and square election, hence the proliferation of voter suppression laws nationwide in the swing states. Smart, huh?

The Iowa caucus means absolutely nothing, as did the Iowa Straw Poll before it. Iowa means nothing other than just another marketing tool for the media and fundraising and income-generating tool for failed Republican politicians. Just shy of 122,000 votes were cast in Iowa last Tuesday.  Out of those 122,000 ballots, just 30,000 had Santorum’s name on them. Every political pundit from Fox to NPR to MSNBC to CNN to Current TV making a big deal out of this is acting out of self-interest for the reasons I explained above.

Bottom line: just like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry before him, Santorum is too crazy to be elected President–and like them we’re talking dangerous crazy here.  From thinkprogress.org here are his Top 10 Most Outrageous Campaign Statements:

1) ANNUL ALL SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: Arguing that gay relationships “destabilize” society, Santorum wouldn’t offer any legal protections to gay relationships and has pledged to annul all same-sex marriages if elected president. During his 99-country tour of Iowa, Santorum frequently compared same-sex relationships to inanimate objects like trees, basketballs, beer, and paper towels and even tried to blame the economic crisis on gay people. As Santorum explained back in August, religious people have a constitutional right to discriminate against gays: “We have a right the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that’s above a right that’s actually in the Constitution, and that’s of sexual liberty. And I think that’s a wrong, that’s a destructive element.”

2) ‘I’M FOR INCOME INEQUALITY’: “They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality,” Santorum said during an event in Pella, Iowa in December. “I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.”

3) CONTRACEPTION IS ‘A LICENSE TO DO THINGS’: Santorum has pledged to repeal all federal funding for contraception and allow the states to outlaw birth control, insisting that “it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

4) GAY SOLDIERS ‘CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS’: During an appearance on Fox News Sunday in October, Santorum defended his support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by arguing that gay soldiers would disrupt the military because “they’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people.” He also suggested that “there are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore.”

5) OBAMA SHOULD OPPOSE ABORTION BECAUSE HE’S BLACK: During an appearance on Christian television in January, Santorum said he was surprised that President Obama didn’t know when life began — given his skin color. “I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people,” he explained.

6) WE DON’T NEED FOOD STAMPS BECAUSE OBESITY RATES ARE SO HIGH: Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa in December, Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary.

7) ABORTION EXCEPTIONS TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH ARE ‘PHONY’: While discussing his track record as a champion of the partial birth abortion ban in June, Santorum dismissed exceptions other senators wanted to carve out to protect the life and health of mothers, calling such exceptions “phony.” “They wanted a health exception, which of course is a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective,” he said.

8) HEALTH REFORM WILL KILL MY CHILD: Santorum, who claims that Obamacare motivated him to run for president, told reporters in April that his daughter Bella — who was born with a genetic abnormality — wouldn’t survive in a country with “socialized medicine.” “Children like Bella are not given the treatment that other children are given.”

9) UNINSURED AMERICANS SHOULD SPEND LESS ON CELL-PHONE BILLS: During a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register in August, Santorum said that people who can’t afford health care should stop whining about the high costs of medical treatments and medications and spend less on non essentials. Answering a question about the uninsured, Santorum explained that health care, like a car, is a luxury resource that is rationed by society and recalled the story of a woman who said she was spending $200 a month on life-saving prescriptions. Santorum told her to stop complaining and instead lower her cable and cell phone bills.

10) INSURERS SHOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Santorum sounded like a representative from the health insurance industry when he addressed a small group of high school students in Merrimack, New Hampshire in December. The former Pennsylvania senator not only defended insurers for denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, he also argued that individuals who are sick should pay higher premiums because they cost more money to insure.

Plus: watch the following video clip: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/01/03/396428/santorums-racist-welfare-rant/

Santorum clearly DID say “black people” despite his attempted spin claiming he actually slurred the word since he was trying to change the word in mid-pronunciation. Oh really? If you were, Rick, what word were you attempting to change “black” into to hide your overt racism?

Rick Santorum is unelectable even as a Vice President nominee and the powers behind the Republican Party know this. They know that while Santorum rants against abortion it will be brought out that his wife Karen had a midterm abortion in 1996. But being a typical hypocritical Republican, abortion is fine for his wife but not for anyone else. Apparently she is an example of an un-phony abortion exception.

After Santorum fades it will finally be Ron Paul’s turn in the artificial sun.  Jon Huntsman will remain left out in the cold. He’s Mormon anyway and Romney has already taken that slot.

Just to unmask the Santorum media hype, in New Hampshire, reporters covering his campaign stops still outnumber voters coming to check him out. What does that tell you?

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Stupid Is As Stupid Runs (For President)

Upon reading Thomas Frank’s “The Wrecking Crew” it becomes crystal clear why the current slate of Republican candidates—with the exceptions of Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich—are either politically incompetent, stupid, or both.  It all started with the election of Ronald Reagan, a moderately intelligent fellow, as President. He had been told he had won the lead in a new TV show about the White House called “The West Wing”–18 years before the show was actually brought to TV by Aaron Sorkin.  All the Republicans needed to do was surround him with professional political operatives and D.C. insiders and he was a lock for eight years.

Then the Republicans made the fatal error of getting a real brainiac professional political operative and D.C. insider, George H.W. Bush, elected President but he crashed and burned after just one term and was followed by a pseudo-Democratic president into office.  The Republicans said, “Whoa, we’ll never do THAT again!” and set about looking for a suitably stupid political incompetent who they could surround with professional political operatives and D.C. insiders. Voila–George W. Bush.  Along the way they learned how to steal elections by rigging state election results in Florida in 2000 and then getting their hand-picked  U.S. Supreme Court justices majority to appoint their candidate President. Refining the election rigging techniques they learned in 2000, they perfected it in Oho in 2004 to retain Bush in office. Boom—eight years of Georgie boy and the process was patented.

As Ronald Reagan once said from a line written for him, “The best minds are not in government.  If any were, business would steal them away.” And therein lies the core Republican philosophy of governing: you install incompetents and partisan shills in all agency and department head positions on down to the lowest filing clerk and janitor. (And President Newt Gingrich would give those graveyard shift janitor jobs to elementary school children).  In order to get a job in the Reagan administration, you only needed to do two things: wear a “I’m a neo-conny for Ronnie” button, and send your resume through the Koch-owned Heritage Foundation.  As Lyn Nofziger, Reagan’s political affairs director said in 1981, “We have told members of the Cabinet we expect them to help us place people who are competent.  As far as we are concerned, anyone who supported Reagan is competent.”

Young Grover Norquist was more overtly partisan when he said in 1984: “First, we want to remove liberal personnel form the political process. Then we want to capture those positions of power and influence for conservatives.” So, no liberals allowed at all in government, no matter how well they did their jobs.

In 2007 under the George W. Bush Administration, Monica Goodling, fresh out of Pat Robertson Regent University Law School, was installed into the Justice Department and helped fire nine highly experienced U.S. attorneys and blocked other federal hires purely on the basis that they weren’t Bush “men” (or women), so to speak. In fact, anyone who displayed the slightest tendency towards competency was banished to “the hall of zombies” where, according to Hugh Kaufman of the Environmental Protection Agency, “…you’re at a desk, and you don’t do anything of substance. Most of the career bureaucrats in Washington in [the Bush] administration are in the hall of zombies.”  Fills you full of confidence in your federal government, don’t it?

You see, Republicans like ‘em partisan and stupid because experienced, competent people in government get things done, which makes the populace like their government getting things done. And Republicans don’t like government getting things done.   This explains why Michael Powell, son of Colin, was promoted by G.W. Bush to chairman of the FCC, and why Michael Brown, a lawyer and ex-Judges and Stewards Commissioner for the International Arabian Horse Association, was also placed in charge by Bush of FEMA.  Brown was forced out of his job with the IAHA and we all know he resigned in ignominy from FEMA for his incompetence in handling aid and assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims in 2005.  Hmmm, Michael Powell also resigned in 2005 and fell out of the FCC (eventually) into the waiting arms of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association as their president.  Wonder if some underground mass RNC communication was sent to all Bush administration agency heads saying, “The jig is up! Amscray!”

The title of of a 1928 article that appeared in Nation’s Business, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce magazine said it all: “A Plea for Inefficiency in Government”.  If you keep government dumbed down, that opens the door to outsourcing and privatizing federal services to the private sector, which means big profits for the private sector. Big profits for the private sector is what makes the Republican world go ‘round. This is why Paul Ryan and his handlers want to privatize the Social Security and Medicare programs. This is why Ron Paul wants to eliminate all federal health insurance programs so that you either pay to play or you die.  This is why Rick Perry wants to privatize all oil drilling because it would make big profits for the oil companies who keep him in the Texas governor’s chair. Of course none of this explains Herman Cain’s or Michele Bachmann’s stands on the issues because even they don’t understand what they stand for if it hasn’t been explained to them.  Even Huntsman appears to be throwing in a couple of “er’s” and “uh’s” before he speaks in an effort to dumb himself down in the eyes of the Republican National Committee.

The Republicans had a real problem with Barack Obama because here was a Democrat who was extremely politically competent and intelligent. So, they adapted their primary play and used Fox to frame Obama as one of their own–politically incompetent and stupid. However, this made him qualified to be President until they threw in he was also a Democrat AND a native of Kenya AND a communist socialist which immediately disqualified him and made him the illegally-elected President of the United States (as opposed to George W. Bush who had been the legally appointed President of the United States).

So, there you have it, the reason why the Republican candidates appear to be so abysmally lame and stupid. In some cases, their images are being carefully crafted for them. In others, they’re self-made men (and woman).