Monday, September 24, 2012

American Century



Count how many times Romney says "American Century" in the second clip from this huffpost link.  He seems to think we are losing our place in the world and criticizes China for trying to become an economic and military superpower, as if there is only room for one in the world.  His language is bellicose, and his criticisms of Obama harsh, which is why Obama point blank asked if Romney is trying to incite another war.

It seems that Romney is letting himself be steered by the religious conservative rump of the party, rather than by the neoconservatives, which is why Bill Kristol and others have called him out in recent weeks, especially for his remarks during the unrest in Benghazi.   Huntsman has repeatedly questioned Romney's foreign policy statements, but it seems Huntsman remains firmly in the Republican camp, given his political aspirations for 2016.  Here is Huntsman recently on Morning Joe.  Scroll past the prattle over Mike Barnicle's pink shirt.

I keep hoping that at some point we can come to terms with our notion of American exceptionalism and the devastating consequences of having adopted this as a post-WWII foreign policy.  We made the 20th century the "American Century."  We carry on the Truman Doctrine, having substituted "Islamicism" for Communism.  Obama has tried to strike a balance in his foreign policy, but it is one that doesn't seem to be resonating either in North Africa, the Middle East or in the United States.  As a result, Romney has chosen to incite more unrest in the electorate, both at home and abroad with his outlandish statements.


31 comments:

  1. Here's a general accounting of Romney's charitable contributions from what can only be regarded as a non-biased source,

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/edwindurgy/2012/05/17/an-inside-look-at-the-millions-mitt-romney-has-given-away/

    note that the bulk of these contributions either directly or indirectly go the Church of Latter Day Saints.

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  2. I wonder why no one is making a fuss about that. Seems like the taxpayer is subsidizing the church, which is extremely political (as are many others) -- for example its millions of tax free dollars pumped into California to stop same-sex marriage.

    If you are going to get tax-free millions at least it should go to helping someone, not furthering the political agenda of the church.

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  3. I'm surprised too as this seems rather blatant. The Tyler Charitable Foundation looks like a shell used to funnel more money to the LDS, as it greatly exceeds his 10% tithe. The LDS is a very powerful church.

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  4. Good ol' Mitt, he's such a kidder,

    http://news.yahoo.com/why-plane-windows-dont-roll-down-romney-221323006.html

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  5. Here's an interesting historical tidbit:

    http://www.tnr.com/article/107721/which-us-president-does-romney-most-resemble-hint-its-not-republican

    (While I'm willing to give him some slack given that his wife appeared to be in danger, that window story is yet more proof that pundits have confused Romney's wealth with his intelligence.)

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    1. The interesting part is that TR apparently held Cleveland in high regard. What for, I don't know, as he also stood resolutely behind the gold standard.

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  6. I see in an update at the yahoo site that Romney claims the window comment was meant as a joke. As was the "I don't have to show my birth certificate in Ohio" comment. And as I recall, there was another whopper he later claimed he was joking about -- not to mention holding down some assumed gay teenager in high school to cut off his hair Just a youthful prank.

    As you note, that Mitt Romney -- he's such a joker.

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  7. I guess that's why he's slipping further and further behind each day,

    The surveys put Barack Obama ahead by 10 points in Ohio (53-43 percent), nine in Florida (53-44), and 12 in Pennsylvania (54-42). We can apply all sorts of disclaimers here about how any or all of the polls could be outliers, how Pennsylvania probably isn’t a swing state, or how focusing on individual state polls may not be the best way to understand the flow of the national race. But taken together, they represent the latest piece of evidence that Obama is the clear leader and offer some insight into how he’s built and maintained his advantage.

    http://tinyurl.com/c3gknah

    He's also falling behind in Virginia, and to make matters worse he's now downplaying the debate. Maybe he should just forfeit the election and save the taxpayer a ton of money.

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  8. I’ve heard American Exceptionalism defined in different ways, most eerily as a belief that America has a divine mission to remake the world in its image. That sounds disconcertingly like a new incarnation of manifest destiny. When Romney gets on that kick, he sounds like an anachronism, unless he's just a huckster making a pitch to the right wing which seems on a mission to undo half a century of liberal reforms.

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  9. Actually, anon, I think that is right in line with Romney and his beliefs. From what I've read about its history, and the times from which it came (which is right in line with rise of American Exceptionalism), the Mormon Church believes that America is the Promised Land.

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    1. Could be, but the entire right wing seems lost in the past. At Tea party events, there's always a few dressed up like George Washington, knee-high breeches, buckled shoes, and tricorn hats. They're on some kind of a trip.

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  10. I sure hope all those polls are actual voters, not supporters. I'll be manning or personing(?) the phones.

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  11. Romney shows no sign of the political instincts he had when he was Governor or even four years ago against McCain. Playing to his base with no outline of a policy is not a winning strategy against an incumbent. He seems to have no game plan other than to stay at what’s obviously not working for him. Simply inexplicable.

    Hope he sticks with it.


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  12. Me, too!

    And yes, I think Republicans these days are longing for the 50s before anyone other than white men had civil rights. Those were the good old days. Of course, the tax structure was very different then ... they might want to reconsider.

    (Is that you Bo or do we have a couple anons?)

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  13. He's trying to extend beyond his base now, but it just looks like he is playing at opposite ends with no center,

    http://news.yahoo.com/romney-talks-polls-character-assassination-promotes-role-mass-014157036--abc-news-politics.html

    It seems that his internal polls aren't looking so good either.

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  14. At every crucial point, Romney has failed to deliver. He should have had the primaries wrapped up after Iowa, instead he ended in a delegate tie with a complete dumbass, Santorum. He should have wiped Gingrich off the map, instead he was pummeled in South Carolina. He couldn't even put away Ron Paul, who stuck around all the way to the convention and managed to win Maine.

    His great foreign trip was an abysmal failure, starting with his ridiculous comments of the London Olympics and ending with his absurd assessment of the Israel-Palestine situation.

    You would think he would have tried to patch things up before the convention, instead he shut out all his primary opponents and left it up to the Tea Party to write the platform, which they gleefully did, providing him with a completely untenable base.

    Not only did he fail to gain a "bounce" from the convention, he quickly lost ground with his videotaped comments and other "gaffes" that just keep coming.

    Does all this deter the Republican presidential candidate? No. He tells a tepid rally in Westerville that he will win Ohio.

    Of course, you can always count on the media to try to make a horse race out of this yet, even with all the polling numbers showing Obama with a convincing lead in virtually all the so-called battleground states. Even in states Romney appeared to have locked up, his numbers are slipping. In Arizona, Purple Strategies (a conservative polling group) only has him up by 3 points.

    It would take a major blunder on Obama's part at this point for Romney to have any shot at the White House.

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  15. I sure hope you're right. I take nothing for granted. But then I see Mitt Romney bumper stickers, so know there are people out there who plan to vote for him.

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  16. Sweet Jesus!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SclDiN-lcYE&feature=share

    I guess we'll never know what Romney's "American Century" would have been like ; )

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  17. I saw that clip and Joe's reaction last night -- pretty good! The weird thing is that Romney solicits the crowd's chanting. Isn't he great?! etc. But then feels threatened when they respond.

    The one thing that might be good from all of this is that Americans like winners. If they sniff defeat (like in the video) they will all jump ship. I hope, I hope, I hope.

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  18. Anything can happen, but there is a "stench" about Romney that smells of defeat. The look on Ryan's face is priceless, as he seems to be steering Romney back toward the crowd.

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  19. This is very telling, Obama has regained the lead in North Carolina,

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/nc/north_carolina_romney_vs_obama-1784.html

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  20. The Republicans of course claim the polls are wrong, but the one I found interesting tonight is that this is a secret campaign to discourage voting. That's like sitting in on all the strategy sessions to suppress voters around the country and saying -- see, the Democrats are doing it too! Unbelievable!

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  21. They've gone out of their way to try to disenfranchise voters this time around with their new voter ID laws and trying to curb early elections. But, where Romney comes up short is lacking the troops on the ground to get the vote out. One article says that Obama's big success in Ohio and other key states has been in mobilizing ground forces.

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    1. I have often thought about the meeting of strategists in 2009 wondering how in the world Obama got elected. A big chunk of the answer (amongst many possible responses) was large young and African American turnout. So they ask, how do we discourage turnout next time? It cannot be a coincidence that so many states implemented similar laws at the same time.

      But what struck me about Limbaugh et al.'s comment was that it uses the old Republican strategy of blaming the opposition for what you are doing. Amazing in this case.

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    2. Oh yeah, and, as you note, early voting.

      Having worked get out the vote efforts in 2008, that was a real strategic breakthrough for Obama. If you can get people to the polls early and check them off your list, the number of people you need to call gets smaller and smaller. And you ensure their vote is in rather than take a chance of something coming up election day, which happens for a lot for students.

      Or, as in the case of Ohio in 2004, they put out only two voting booths in a college district so that students would give up and go home. To me that was real voter fraud.

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  22. In this age of media transparency where you can easily fact check pretty much everything that comes out of a politician's mouth, it is amazing to me how a large cross section of our country can be so gullible. The Republicans have been peddling this nonsense for decades and it simply doesn't add up. Not that Democrats have been very true to their word either, but the Republican Party is truly a political party in denial, treating their agenda as an article of faith, not reason.

    I suppose this comes with having welcomed the religious conservative fold into their party. They must have saw it is a "godsend" in the 80s but now the old Republican guard has to wonder what the hell is going on.

    I would like to think this represents the nadir of the Republican Party, having once been a Republican myself, but it is hard to say. The Tea Party continues to get their candidates in state legislatures and in Congress, so you have to think they feel pretty good about themselves. One wonders how much longer this party can hold together as it caters to opposite ends of the extremes -- a pro-business, anti-tax neocon wing that has no interest in the common man and a religious right wing which perceives itself as the common man.

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    1. And yet here in Montana one of the worst of the bunch, Dennis Rehberg, is currently leading in the polls for Senate. Never was there a more republican's republican but people here seem to like that ....

      But we assume people pay attention to these things. Most are just easily swayed by talk of freedom and no taxes and they want to take away your guns. I fear it really is that simple.

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    2. It is just astounding that conservatives fall prey to the snake oil salesmen time and time again. I assume it is due to a generally low level of intellectual curiosity.

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  23. What makes European politics work is that there isn't such an extreme distance between political parties. There is more continuity between one government and the next. You only find the kind of political "extremism" in the United States in developing countries. We have very nearly reached the point of anarchy with actual secession movements in several states.

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  24. For Bo/Anon: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/09/21/homer-simpsons-take-on-obamacare/?tid=pm_business_pop

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  25. I know I'm always promoting Moyers, but this week's was particularly chilling.

    http://billmoyers.com/segment/united-states-of-alec/

    I've always believed that the number of anti-union and anti-vote legislation being introduced around the country was no coincidence -- it felt like a conspiracy of some sort -- but I never could figure out how people like the Koch bros. could do it. Never connected the dots back to ALEC. Amazing.

    I have a friend who was in the legislature here and he says they were active even then. It is so pervasive, it almost makes you want to give up!

    Moyers is from the LBJ generation. I sure hope there's someone in line to take his place who has the same national profile and respect.

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