Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Mitt’s ‘Circus’ Sends in the Clowns

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

By Emily Theroux

Come one, come all to the three-ring circus of Willard “Mitt” Romney’s “This Week in Immigration” road show! Step right up and have the time of your life!

That cornball “Greatest Show on Earth” hype was what came to mind while I listened to the Mittster’s “traveling press secretary,” Rick Gorka, an apparently sentient young man behaving eerily like a trained parrot before an assembled media gaggle. Undaunted by the attempts of reporters to elicit a different response to their repeated questions about Mitt’s immigration agenda, Gorka managed to say absolutely nothing substantive for a full seven minutes. When asked about Mitt’s considered opinion of the recent Supreme Court ruling that rendered Arizona’s notorious “Papers, Please” Act legally impotent, his laconic, gum-chewing flack echoed the Boss Man’s desultory “states’ rights” bibble-babble, as he noted, “over and over and over again.”

Willard “Lizard Boy” Romney has apparently designated the robotic Gorka as his substitute ringmaster. This inspired hire has provided the candidate with a nifty dodge from the media circus converging on “The Magical ‘Mitt-stery’ Tour” of daring escapes from accountability, mind-boggling platitudes, and broken-record ballyhoo that the campaign has devolved into. Why the calliopes and clown brigade every time the campaign stops at a new venue? Because the GOP candidate mulishly refuses to answer a potentially lethal question: What is his policy on immigration reform?

“The governor supports the right of states,” Gorka mechanically replied. “That’s all we’re going to say on this issue.”

That and Mitt’s tedious contention that President Obama has broken his campaign promise to “address” the immigration system within the first year of his presidency and, “therefore,” hasn’t made any attempt to reform it since then. Mitt jumped to the conclusion that the states have some nebulous “Tenth Amendment right” to “craft their own immigration law” when the executive branch “fails” to act. (This view also enabled dissenting Justice Antonin Scalia to “strike down the results of the Civil War,” in the words of a clever headline writer for Alternet.)

We’ve almost arrived at the main attraction: Mitt’s audacious high-wire act in the center ring. But first, send in the clowns! I think I spy Rush “Bubbles” Limbaugh, fortunately still looming in the wings – but I have no doubt he’ll swing by soon, his imposing bulk dangling from the high bar of a very slender trapeze. And mira, amigos – here comes Jan “Rosie Sunshine” Brewer! She’s got her platinum wig all in a wad because she thinks the Supremes don’t like her finger-wagging routine any more. She’s so goofy, she still thinks her side “won” when the ruling came down!

Look over there – is that Michael “Emmett Kelly” Steele, returning for Act II of his hilarious GOP stand-up routine? I barely recognized him without the villainous moustache. What’s that he’s saying – Mitt’s going to lie low for the rest of the summer, then give us some general-election “straight talk” after Labor Day to let us know, finally, what he’s decided to say he thinks about Amercia’s “illegals” quandary? What’s that about David Koch and the Super PAC puppeteers? Very funny, Pennywise!

And there’s Hizzoner, Nino “Bozo” Scalia, riding bareback on Ann Romney’s prized dressage horse. That’s some clown get-up he’s got on there – a judge’s robe! Bozo probably should have been wearing boxing gloves, because he had a big spat with the majority, who didn’t think much of his highly politicized dissenting opinion – or his brainstorm about calling down the Insane Clown Posse on all 12 million of those “alien” interlopers, chasing them back across the border, and then letting Mexico deal with them, even though they didn’t all come from Mexico. (And you’d never know that Nino himself was the son of an immigrant, would you?) Take a bow, Nino/Bozo – or get that fancy horse to do some of those little fluttery ballet steps for you! (That equine must have been pricey. Good thing Mitt could write it off as a “business expense.”)

I realize Mitt’s really teetering up there; at least he’s risk-averse enough to always use a net. (Obama’s the real daredevil, though; no net, no sissy tights, just a big stick to help him keep his balance.) What’s really scary is what Mitt’s up against, straddling “the danged fence” the way he does. If he leans too far to the right, he’s in danger of losing even more of that baffling demographic, Latino voters (which he can’t fathom until he figures out how to tell the “legal” immigrants from the “illegal” ones). And if he swings too far to the left, he’s going to fall off the back of the “Restore Our Future” campaign bus! (Odd concept, by the way – how can you “restore” something that hasn’t happened yet? Sounds like a socialist takeover, if you ask me.)

When the Romney traveling circus comes to town, prepare yourself for the awful truth: This circus is no genuine fun at all, with the exception of a little schadenfreude. (We’re laughing at you, Mitt, not with you.) This Big Top spectacle offers its share of elephants, aerialists, and clowns, and it even has its own traveling pitchman. But it’s so repetitive that it’s guaranteed to “cure insomnia,” as Martin Bashir quipped on his MSNBC show – and it’s no place to go searching for honest solutions to the serious economic dilemma this country has been tricked into by GOP hucksters. The same scam artists who flim-flammed Americans into buying what Dubya’s Great Neocon Illusionist Exposition was selling 12 years ago hope to fool the gullible into believing that Brother Mitt’s Traveling Salvation Show offers a shiny new approach to the one that drove the wagons into the ditch in the first place.

As P.T. Barnum is falsely credited with saying, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” If Mitt manages to pull a fast one on the American people and sell them his own bill of goods by talking in circles for the next four months, we’ll only have the folks who aren’t paying attention to blame (like all of those registered Democrats who stayed home in droves during the primary election for a candidate to run against Tea Party freshman Nan Hayward; if you’re reading this, which would surprise me, you know who you are).

I wonder what pearls of wisdom Mitt Romney will have to offer about Scalia’s “miscarriage” of judicial propriety, by the way?

Very likely, nothing new. Move along, folks. The show is over. Nothing to see here.

In circus lingo, a “fireball outfit” is a traveling circus that earns a reputation for swindling patrons. If that’s indeed what’s been going on during this comedy of errors, the voters should demand their money back and ride the bums out of town on a rail when they show up at the next whistle stop with their hands out.

The GOP Campaign, in Black and White

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Why does this man scare so many Republicans? Hint: It may not be his economic policies.

By Bob Gaydos

Stay with me here. I’m going to try to connect the dots between the Supreme Court’s absurd decision on Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission and the on-the-face-of-it foolish view of many poor to middle-class white Americans that the Republican Party represents the best hope for their future and the future of America, which is why they intend to vote for Mitt Romney.

The journey will visit the wild frontier of the birthers, the loony world of Jeremiah Wright, the penthouses of the billionaire super PACS, the righteous kingdom of Rick Santorum, the go-back-where-you-came-from land of Mitt Romney, W’s fantasy factory, the Civil War, Montana, the Occupy Movement and “welfare queens.”

Yes, racism is bound to come up.

Citizens United, of course, is the 5-4 ruling that gave corporations the same rights as individuals in donating to political action committees. They can give as much as they want and the super PACs created by this free-flowing stream of wealth can mount massive media campaigns, not so much to promote their candidate as to steamroller the opponents. This was evident in the street fight that recently passed for a Republican presidential primary. It amounted to dueling super PAC campaigns in various states. Romney won because he had the most money, not because more Republican voters liked him. They still can’t stand him. They just fear Barack Obama more.

Which is Dot Number One. This was made clear when the first thing conservative Republicans in Congress said upon Obama’s election was that they would dedicate the next four years to making sure he served only one term. Instead of, you know, we’ll try to work with him in governing the country so that maybe he’ll understand where we differ, etc.

So we have had a string of “no” votes on anything Obama proposed, public officials (and the ridiculous Donald Trump) questioning whether the president was really born in the United States even after being shown a copy of his birth certificate, innuendo that he was a Muslim (because of his name) and, just recently again, efforts to link him with his freaky former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

The Wright red herring was eliminated, or so we thought, four years ago, but one of those super-rich PACs recently tried to launch a TV campaign making the false link again. This time the behind-the-scenes directors were going to hire a well-spoken conservative black conservative to attack Obama, a well-spoken black non-conservative. You know, to prove that it was not a racially motivated effort. Romney got shamed into sort of denouncing this plan.

The Trump birther campaign was dug up in Arizona, naturally, when the secretary of state of that forlorn place said he might keep the president off the ballot this year if he did not get proof he was born in this country. The fact that he’s been running it for three-and-a-half years apparently didn’t matter, not when you can stir up resentments among some white voters.

Make no mistake, fear and resentment are at the crux of much of the Republican campaign against Obama. As much as they may argue that the campaign is about the economy and even though working class whites reportedly favor Romney over Obama by nearly two to one when asked who would be best for their financial interests, common sense says that many of those people understand that lowering taxes on the rich, making college loans more expensive and making affordable health care harder to get is not a plan that helps their interests.

So something else is influencing their vote.

It was not a fluke that Rick Santorum’s campaign gathered momentum when he started speaking out against gay marriage, against women’s contraceptive rights, against welfare for blacks. That’s right. Of course, this was only done in safely white enclaves, like Sioux City, Iowa. As reported in The Guardian, Santorum told a mostly white campaign rally there: “I don’t want to make black people’s lives better by giving them somebody else’s money. I want to give them the opportunity to go out and earn the money.” He got cheers.

Now, the population of Sioux City is 2.9 percent black. Food stamp use in the area is up more than 25 percent in the last five years, with white recipients outnumbering blacks nine to one. So, what was his message, hope or resentment?

Romney, of course, has tried to portray Obama as responsible for encouraging a free flow of undocumented people across the border with Mexico. But Obama has supported strong enforcement along the border and deportation of undesirable illegals. He does support a plan to allow millions already in this country and contributing to the community to follow a path to citizenship, but so did George W. Bush. He just never had the guts to stick with his instincts in this matter.

This kind of color-coded campaigning began for Republicans in the South under President Richard Nixon and has steadily drawn older, white, poor and middle class voters away from Democrats, who have tended to disparage and dismiss the defectors rather than acknowledging their religious and cultural differences and trying to come to some agreement on economic issues. In the end, that might well be a losing effort. More to the point, it may be an unnecessary one.

Republicans, who came to power in this country leading the fight to end slavery, appear to have come down on the wrong side of history in several areas in their simple-minded effort to regain control of the government and the rewards that entails. Gay marriage is an obvious one example. In the near future, the whole white vs. black scare strategy will also be outdated. Latest census figures revealed that, for the first time in U.S. history, nonwhite babies outnumbered white babies. If the minorities abide by the conservatives’ pro-life, no-contraceptives philosophy so ardently espoused by Romney, Santorum et al, minorities will soon be a majority in America. Mixed race marriages will join same-gender marriages as routine. Immigrants of every stripe will continue to become part of the fabric of America and gain more positions of influence. Younger voters — like those leading the Occupy movement — will recognize what the super PACs and super banks have tried to do by throwing tons of money at politicians who will spread whatever message they want, whether it makes sense or not, as long as it keeps government out of their affairs.

And, oh yes, the Montana Supreme Court recently rejected the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United, saying that longstanding Montana law supersedes it. Other states are joining the legal fight. Even some conservative Republicans are beginning to doubt the wisdom of giving all that power to unregulated rich people. Which sort of describes Mitt Romney.

bob@zestoforange.com