Political Nutz

Observations on the pathetic state of American politics

Monthly Archives: February 2012

Mr. Santorum’s Working “Snobs”

Religious zealot Rick Santorum now thinks that college education isn’t just a waste of time.  According to the crazed presidential hopeful higher ed also creates listless, liberally indoctrinated freeloaders who just hang around campus waiting to vote for Democrats every four years. Except that, golly gee, the facts are quite the contrary.  Those folks with a four-year college degree have half the unemployment rate of their high-school only colleagues and earn about $400 more per week.

I wonder what President Rick thinks of his own parents who both benefited from (or are suffering under) significant doses of higher and professional education. And Mr. Santorum himself holds B.A., and M.B.A and law degrees.  I guess he’s well-acquainted with snobbery.

As Steve and Cokie Roberts note in their column, the Senator’s personal history

…does not make Santorum a snob. It makes him a hypocrite, a pandering hypocrite who is trying to ignite a culture war for his own political advantage.

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Auto Bailout Worked; USA Today, Chicago Sun-Times Say So

This is my last post on the government loans to the American auto companies.  I can’t resist noting that even the conservative pundits at USA Today admit it has been a good thing in the long-term and that the Republicon candidates should just say so and move on.

Oh geez!  That would require them to tell the truth. Never Mind.

I also note that the Chicago Sun-Times makes the same point, calling on Romney et al. to dump the “bailout blarney” and admit it worked.  The editorial particularly scolds Romney’s revisionist view of the state of things circa 2008:

In Tuesday’s Detroit News op-ed, Romney defends his opposition to the bailout in 2008, saying the bailout was nothing more than “crony capitalism” — a reward for union bosses. He argues that a managed bankruptcy, an idea that he implies the president got from him, was all that was necessary.

That is fantastical. Detroit in 2008 had been looking high and low for a big infusion of private capital, but the stock market was in a free fall and nobody was interested.

Nobody….

Moreover, the Obama-engineered bankruptcy, far from being a cash cow for unions, forced them to accept a two-tier wage system, reduced health-care benefits and plant closings — meaning fewer union jobs.

Romney Math

I’ve been wondering when the Republicons would get around to attacking the arts. With all the attention on sex I guess they’ve been a little distracted lately.  I don’t know why this is coming up now since Mr. Romney has stated his anti-culture position several times in the past.  Anyway, he proposed to cut federal funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities by half, to save…. let’s see, something like $80 million dollars and use that as part of his plan to cut federal spending by $500 billion.  If my calculator is correct the NEH/NEA would contribute 0.06% to Mitt’s proposed savings.  Oh, and at the same time he plans to increase defense spending by 4% which would add over $32 billion in costs.

So by Mr. Romney’s calculations, $32 billion = $80 million. No wonder this guy got out of business to get into politics.

I could respect these kinds of positions if they were honestly presented.  Could not, Mr. Romney just say “I don’t think we should support the arts and humanities with taxpayer dollars. I ‘d rather spend your money bombing infidels half-way around the world and give the rest to my wealthy friends.”  That would be honest. But trying to justify these kinds of cuts as a way to balance the budget is ludicrous.

Interestingly, Mr. Romney doesn’t suggest cutting any of the $4 billion in subsidies we pay each year to the big oil companies.  Taking some of that back would make a real dent in the federal deficit and we could still send our kids to the art museum on Saturday.

Why Jeb Bush isn’t Running

I figured that the next President Bush in waiting, little brother Jeb Bush, was just waiting for 2016.  But it looks like he has other reasons for not being in the mix for 2012: he can’t find the right party.  Here’s what he had to say last week in a speech in Texas:

I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective

And don’t miss Maureen Dowd‘s observations on how still other Republicans are seeing a new definition for the Ghastly Outdated Party.

Gail Collins Nails It Again

The NY Times’ Gail Collins is a terrific columnist: witty and funny.  But she also often calls out key questions that  others tend to gloss over.  In today’s co-blog with David Brooks she asks this question:

I’m being driven crazy by people who are obsessed with limiting the scope of government, but feel perfectly free to demand that government get involved in women’s most personal choices. How can they argue that the states have no right to meddle ineducation, then cheer for the states to pass laws telling a doctor to perform a stupendously invasive procedure like a pelvic ultrasound on an unwilling patient who wants to get a first trimester abortion?

Well, Gail, the GOP doesn’t see any problem there.  They see the federal government as an extension some kind of ultra right Christian theology whose goal is to manage how you act in the bedroom, what kind of medical treatment you get and what god you worship.  Oh, and they want to be sure the super-rich don’t pay too much in taxes.

Mullah Rick

Maureen Dowd‘s piece on Rick Santorum is just too good.  She succeeds in summarizing “Mullah Rick’s” religious fanaticism is just over 800 words.  And she asks a more general question that many of us have often wondered about:

Why is it that Republicans don’t want government involved when it comes to the economy … but do want government involved when it comes to telling people how to live their lives?

Republican Hipocrisy. So What’s New?

Pundit E.J. Dionne today offers a pointed critique of the current GOP world view.  This is of course not hard to do but Dionne does a splendid job of outlining the Republican duplicity. My favorite line is:

Begin by asking yourself why so many conservative politicians say they’re anti-government but spend long careers in office drawing paychecks from the taxpayers. Also: Why do they bash government largesse while seeking as much of it as they can get for their constituents and friendly interest groups?

 

Santorum Off the Deep End; This Guy is Scary

I'm holier than you

The more I listen to and read about Rick Santorum the more he frightens me.  He’s a religious zealot and I wonder what kind of controls he would attempt to put in place given the powers to do so.  He’s been criticizing President Obama for not being Christian-enough, not following the Bible closely enough. What in the world does any of this have to do with running the country?  Is he saying we can’t have a Jewish president? Or an agnostic?  Or someone who’s just not very interested in religion?  It sure sounds like it. And how arrogant is it that Mr. Santorum thinks he gets to judge the sincerity of someone else’s religious beliefs?

Today I see he’s suggesting that just maybe there should be a ban on prenatal medical tests because these may lead to abortions.  I guess he doesn’t care about the lives that these tests often save.

So under a President Santorum I envision an America where there are religious tests for public office holders and where women have no right to make their own decisions about medical treatment.  Like I say, a scary guy.

There are some Rational Republicans Out There

…they’re just not running for office.  In an opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor, physicist Steven K. Brierley describes his quest for a Republican Party that stays away from religious fanaticism and works across the aisle to find solutions to the nation’s problems, the same GOP I remember even during the tumultuous decades of the 60s and  70s.  It’s a good read that I doubt any currently in-office Republican agrees with.

Romney and those Greedy Paupers

Mitt Romney should just stop talking until his acceptance speech in August.  He just continues to say stupid things as if he has some compelling need to ensure us he’s totally out of touch with how most people live.  Here’s a link to Gail Collins‘ witty piece summarizing Mitt’s latest foot-in-mouth incident.