Neighborhoods the Romneys Don’t Know

“And it comes from neighborhoods we have yet to even discover,” Michael Steele, former lieutenant governor of Maryland and former head of the Republican National Committee, said Wednesday on MSNBC about the America that re-elected President Obama and that his party does not know. Steele, who’s black, was talking to host Alex Wagner, who is female and Asian-American. His party no longer looks like America, he said. America looks like you, it looks like me, he told Wagner. His party “has to take its head out of its you-know-what and understand exactly what’s going on in this country,” and realize we don’t represent all of America. “And don’t just put Marco Rubio out there and say ‘We got one.'”

Here’s the link to Steele:
Now
In 1968 Senator Robert Kennedy toured poor parts of Kentucky to help focus the nation’s attention on poverty. The trip was part of RFK’s transformation from knife-edged politician to compassionate crusader. He went to neighborhoods the majority of people in American hadn’t ever seen. Couldn’t believe existed. Didn’t want to believe existed in America.

My dear partner Lisa has said from the beginning of the presidential campaign that Mitt and Ann Romney should come to Pasco County, where we live north of Tampa, to see what the real America is like. Unemployment, 12 percent. Poverty level, 12 percent. Median household income, $44,000. Eighty percent non-Hispanic white, 12 percent Hispanic, 5 percent black. Certainly not Appalachia, but a place that’s hit hard times.

Lisa and I walked a few blocks of Port Richey on election day to get out the vote for the Obama campaign. We saw a part of our town, our state, that Romney doesn’t know. Hasn’t ever seen. Can’t comprehend. Middle America. Hurting. Small houses, many rented after the real estate crash. But many people in homes that they own. Hurting. One woman we drove to the polls had no car, no job, and a boyfriend suffering from ALS that they attribute to chemicals he was exposed to in the Gulf War. Lisa helped her decide on Obama — she voted for the first time in decades. My point to her, as we talked about her vote, was that Romney has no idea what life is like in this Port Richey neighborhood. Lisa asked the woman if she considered herself middle class. Yes, just barely, she said. Lisa asked what she thought Romney said when he was asked what a middle-class income was. Fifty thousand, the woman said. Lisa told her that Romney’s answer was $250,000. The woman was stunned. Another woman, a grandmother, whom we drove to the polls was part of five generations living in a small house. Her daughter has a good business — bail bonding. No other jobs in the house. They have a car and own the house. But they’re hurting. Struggling. This is one of the neighborhoods the GOP hasn’t even discovered yet, in Steele’s terms — and it’s far from the poorest neighborhood in our town, let alone in America.

Mitt and Ann Romney would have had their eyes opened if they’d walked with Lisa and me. But they — and too many in their party — don’t know this neighborhood, and seem not to care. Even though there were a few Romney signs in the neighborhood we walked, and we got a door slammed in our face by a Romney voter, this is the America that pays the price for Republican policies. Masquerading behind concern for the deficit, which is a huge threat to us all, Republican policies hurt these barely-middle-class people. Cuts in cops, schools, libraries, bus service, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, college loans, social services, emergency services. The Romney Ryan platform.

I’ve said many times on this blog that the real cost of No New Taxes is payed by average Americans. A recent New York Times story said crime is up in Sacramento due to deep cuts in police budgets and personnel. What a surprise.

Republicans lost the national election, although Florida’s legislature, like most in the country, stayed Republican. But the party will continue to shrink if it pays attention only to the neighborhoods where Mitt and Ann and their big contributors live. Most in Congress no longer know what the real America is like. Most people like me — privileged, white, educated, well off — don’t know the fraying neighborhoods and lives of people falling from the middle class.

“The white establishment is now the minority,” Bill O’Reilly said, right after Obama’s win, with a shocked voice. Hello, welcome to the 21st Century. But Obama’s re-election is not just about majorities and minorities. It’s about the increasing disparity between rich and poor, between Republicans like Mitt Romney and the rest of America.

Policies that continue to favor those who already have it made, at the expense of those who don’t, can’t continue. That’s part of what people said with their votes on Tuesday. And Michael Steele may have gotten the message.

– Bruce Benidt

(Photo from LATimes.com)

58 Responses

  1. Obama won with less than a 2% advantage. You’re misapplying data again.

    • Demography, Newt.

      The danger (personal fear) is that Bill and Newt might become a minority within their own party….

      • Demographics – how about this stat … 3 million white repubs didn’t turn out. Obama didn’t get them either.

        Though rich, Romney didn’t have the advantage of being able to:

        – Eliminate the work requirement for 100 million medicaid and foodstamp recipients 30 days before the election
        – Hand out free cellphones and plans worth $1.6 billion to 12.5 Americans

        Chimpunks, ducks and seals also will do tasks and tricks if you feed them enough.

      • Get your facts straight, Newt:

        the “Obama phone” thing is bullshit.

        http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/cellphone.asp

        (love your post modern approach to the truth….)

    • Republicans have won the popular vote for President just once in the past 6 elections– that is since 1992.

      If you don’t see a problem with that, great. But unless you (and the GOP) are prepared to do something about it, resign yourself to a permanent minority status.

    • Newt, these are the numbers I’m talking about, that show the changes in America and the Republicans’ inability to keep up — From NBC:

      “As the Obama campaign had assumed more than a year ago, the white portion of the electorate dropped to 72%, and the president won just 39% of that vote. But he carried a whopping 93% of black voters (representing 13% of the electorate), 71% of Latinos (representing 10%), and also 73% of Asians (3%). What’s more, despite all the predictions that youth turnout would be down, voters 18-29 made up 19% of last night’s voting population — up from 18% four years ago — and President Obama took 60% from that group.”

      And, Newt, women, who are 53% of the electorate, went for Obama 55 – 44, despite one poll late in the game that showed, mistakenly, that Romney had closed the gap.

      Many Republicans, including Mitt Romney, are blaming their loss on Sandy and Christie. I hope they continue to do that. I’d say Romney lost because the policies and values of the right wing of the Republican Party hurt all the groups above.

      I can’t find numbers yet, but the group Romney did best with, I’m sure, are white males with incomes above $250,000. His peeps.

      • To me, Romney let his party ruin the women’s vote. Not that I think women – at least those women who work or don’t give devotion three times a day – should vote Republican. Too much of the Focus on the Family, Promise Keepers and their ilk still see women as inferior. Had a guy come to the DFL tent at the Anoka County Fair five years ago complaining that the Bible doesn’t allow women to lead men. He was complaining about Hillary Clinton. He was talking loud enough that just random women, wandering by, stopped and gave him an earful. I didn’t have to say a word. He crept off eventually,

        But the Republicans didn’t even try to minimize this “women are inferior” stuff until the last week of the campaign with some ads of professional women. Instead they were trying to have conversations about how rapists might be allowed to pay child support. They let some of these Tea Party yahoos – and I am being most generous – flap their gums about stuff that is centuries old and sounded stupid then.

        In short, the Republicans lost as much as the Democrats won by alienating blacks as societal leeches, Latinos as lazy illegals with anchor babies, and women as wombs with the ability to walk and just enough brains to drive the minivan.

        And then they had the audacity to target my wife, who earns bonuses bigger than many people’s annual salaries, with stuff saying if she wants to protect “her marriage” she better vote for the marriage amendment. The whole piece was insulting. Either the Republicans don’t have women reviewing these things because we don’t want to “bother the little lady” or those that are involved have bought into the Focus on the Family/Promise Keeper/men run the family stuff so much they actually believe it.

        Any man who has to use religion to suggest he’s better than his wife, isn’t.

      • Bruce: The GOP’s “inability to keep up”?

        If anything, it’s Obama who’s trending downward….

        Obama garned 3 million FEWER votes this year than he did in 2008. His margin of victory was 5% lower this time a well. So to frame it as a GOP “inability to keep” up is spurious. if anything, the GOP gained ground in this presidential race.

      • Newt:

        just a few days ago you were predicting a Romney Romp, now you are saying that the GOP won because Obama’s victory wasn’t quite as overwhelming as last time? Despite the economy? Seriously?

        Look, I’m not trying to convince you to change your ways. By all means, I would prefer it is the GOP continued to become the party of old white men, and fade into irrelevance.

        Go for it. I dare you!

        ;-)

      • Good point, PM. The economy. Just an isolated externality having nothing to do with the incumbent president.

        As I stated previously, 4 years from now everyone will be invoking Bush again. It’s the Dem’s go-to excuse that they can whip out for the next 50 years. It absolves them of any responsibility. Silly me.

  2. Serious question: What happened to Dems in the 2010 election?

  3. Yup–I think Steele (as I recall often a self-parody in the past) finally nailed it big time. Thanks for the link. Great post.

  4. Bruce: Obviously you need to spend less time with “the takers” in modern America. Instead of mewling veteran/parasites lapping up VA benefits and Social Security, and pot-head students doing keg stands on federal student loans, get down to Naples and talk real productivity with a hedge fund manager running a “small business”.

    • On my way to Naples, with Reince Priebus. He’s going on a listening tour of the poor people in Naples — those whose mansions are across the street from the Gulf, not right on the water.

      • Those Naples people – they didn’t build that.

      • I suppose you are right, Newt–I imagine that a bunch of illegal aliens built those mansions. Takers who voted illegally for Obama, no doubt……

      • The War on Achievement is in full stride in this forum. Listen to your angry, envious selves. Naples homeowners have somehow wronged Bruce and he aims to get his pound of flesh from them. Wow.

  5. So now the story is that Romney and his entire camp thought that they were going to win:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/11/gop-tries-to-piece-together-what-went-wrong.html

    What does it say that they got the story co completely wrong? Did they believe their own propaganda? Or was it propaganda–maybe they were completely sincere, and rather than being devious they were deluded.

    Which is worse–people who know the reality of the situation and lie about it in the hopes of changing it, or those who have deluded themselves about the nature of that reality, or those who can not recognize reality?

    I assumed that Romney and company were devious–deliberate liars who were willing to do whatever it took to get elected. Was i wrong? were they just stupid instead?

  6. Got the following forwarded to me by a wealthy Californian. Naturally.
    ———————————
    Dear Red States:

    We’re ticked off at your Neanderthal attitudes and politics and we’ve decided we’re leaving.

    We in New York intend to form our own country and we’re taking the other Blue States with us.

    In case you aren’t aware that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and the rest of the Northeast.

    We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation and especially to the people of the new country of The Enlightened States of America (E.S.A).

    To sum up briefly:

    You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states.

    We get stem cell research and the best beaches.

    We get Andrew Cuomo and Elizabeth Warren. You get Bobby Jindal and Todd Akin.

    We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand.

    We get Intel, Apple, Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

    We get Harvard. You get Ol’ Miss.

    We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs.

    You get Alabama.

    We keep the two-thirds of the total federal tax revenue that we’re paying now. You get to make the red states pay their own way.

    Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than the Christian Coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single moms.

    With the Blue States in hand we will have firm control of 80% of the country’s fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation’s fresh fruit, 95% of America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at state dinners) 90% of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the US low sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.

    With the Red States you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92% of all US mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.

    We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.

    38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we’re discussing the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% say that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.

    We’re taking the good weed too. You can have that crap they grow in Mexico.

    Sincerely,

    Citizen of the Enlightened States of America

    —– P.S. It’s humor. Right?——

  7. Ellen – that’s a deal I’d take without hesitation! The only qualifier being that the new nation of Liberalistan could not be allowed to tax Prosperistan. Where do I sign?

    P.S. Your nation gets also Mexico as part of the deal. There seems to be a great afinity by your people to have a nation without borders or rules.

  8. Haha. That is funny….a wealthy Californian. Is there anything different? Given the fact the state is spending itself into oblivion and now just voted to run tax rates to the moon in an attempt to pay for it, well, I don’t know many people who can afford to live there. I predict the state will fall into the sea….by way of bankrupting itself….long before an earthquake carries it out to sea.

    I’m not too upset at the election outcome. I truly believe neither the administration, Congress or either party has the political will to do what’s best for the country long term.

    Barack Obama had one thing right when he told Eric Cantor that elections have consequences…..until the next election. A politician’s job revolves around getting re-elected.

    All the liberals who wet themselves decrying corporate profits and castigate companies for doing what is profitable in the short term conventiently overlook that when it comes to politicians.

    No, Obama isn’t running anymore, but doing what’s right for the country doesn’t necessarily jibe with doing what will leave him a lasting legacy among liberals, which is to follow liberal tenants.

    Liberals want to spend and tax and convervatives want to reduce taxes and spend. There was a time, I think, that both parties did want to do what was right for the future or when they worked together to do that.

    The last time was the Republican Congress and Bill Clinton. Other than that, you have to go back to Eisenhower, I believe, or even Truman to find fiscal responsiblity and politicians who cared about more than the next election cycle.

    I don’t think we as a people….and consequently our politicians as our representatives, have the courage to do what is right for the vast majority.

    Every economic group wants its pet programs, projects and benefits. Liberals accuse conservatives of being selfish but in the same breath want to cut nothing from any of its core base groups and want to increase what they have instead.

    There is no doubt that taxes will most likely have to increase if we are ever going to get back to fiscal responsibility, but it won’t be the wealthy who will bear the burden. First, because the numbers won’t work. There isn’t enough money even at Clinton tax rates. Second, they will find ways to legally avoid the taxes.

    We are all going to have to give up shit (pardon my Irish) if we are ever going to get back on track. The question is, does anyone have the will, the vision and the determination? I’m an optimist, but I have some serious doubts.

    • Re: “Liberals want to spend and tax and convervatives want to reduce taxes and spend. There was a time, I think, that both parties did want to do what was right for the future or when they worked together to do that.”

      What if Obama offered $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases. That sounds like compromise to me. Obama gives and GOPers give, right? That’s what compromising is all about.

      Well, President Obama has already offered a deficit reduction proposal that contained $2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases, but the Republicans rejected it because it didn’t give them 100% of what they wanted on the tax side. (By the way, during the campaign, Romney said he wouldn’t accept $10 in spending cuts for $1 in tax increase!)

      The point: On the deficit, Obama has compromised, and then some. So it’sinaccurate to say that “neither side has been willing to compromise.” ONE side has refused to compromise — the side saying “no taxes, period.”

      • Joe, perhaps you should have studied what Obama offered more closely. A trillion in cuts was going to be winding down the two wars, which were planned all along. Another trillion was to come from the agreement to raise the debt ceiling. It adopted future spending caps that may or may not ever take place. Much of the other cuts were increases in fees, not taxes, but they were not spending cuts.

        The fact is, there was very little true spending cuts in his budget Please point out to me where there were substantial, meaningful. Adding in wars already planned to be winded down, increased fees and future spending caps and proposing them as current cuts to get $3 or so in spending cuts for every $1 raised in taxes is just phony math. Congress knows it and so does anyone else who looks at it seriously.

        Calling something a spending cut does not make it so, especially if it merely slows the growth of the spending or raises fees.

        The art of any deal, it is said, is negotiation. But it has to be serious and meaningful negotiation. Obama said during a press conference back in 2010 that he wanted to reduce federal spending to Eisenhower era levels. Well, that would be about 18 percent of GDP.

        Show me the numbers, baby.

      • Joe: “What if Obama offered $1 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases.”

        This question demonstrates the Dems’ ignorance of economics. You could tax the entire wealth (not just incomes) of top income earners and even scratch he surface of the federal debt. Spending is that much out of control.

      • Mike, after reading a little bit, I agree with you that Obama is exaggerating the extent of the spending cuts offered. But the fact remains, Obama has offered some spending cuts, and Republicans have accepted no tax increases. There is not an equivalency in willingness to compromise.

        Newt, tax rates on the wealthy are at a 50 year low, so they can be part of the solution.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/jun/29/barack-obama/barack-obama-says-tax-rates-are-lowest-1950s-ceos-/

      • Two things:

        PM: I have your six pack of Furious for you. How, when and where shall I deliver it. And I insist. I always pay off my bets, which thankfully are few and far between because I hate to gamble.

        Second: Happy Veteran’s Day. To anyone who posts on here or is reading and happens to be a veteran:

        Thank You.

      • Joe – raising taxes on the rich is merely an act of symbolism. It doesn’t go even 1/100th of the way to eliminating the deficit. Substantive policymakers know that SPENDING is the real problem. Dems are stuck in campaign mode even after election.Time to pull up their big boy pants and govern.

        American politics has been entirely predicated on avoidance or deferral of pain (aka reality). I say we let the plane hit the mountain this time. No more continuing resolutions (aka deferral of reality).

      • Newt:

        So if it is only symbolic, why not go along, and expose the hollowness of Obama’s argument? Seriously. Bill Kristol says that raising taxes on the millionaires will not hurt the country ( http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/kristol-raising-taxes-on-millionaires-wont-kill-country ), so why won’t you go along and expose Obama’s false argument?

        Mike:

        I’d love to get together with you. I’ll buy you a drink as you deliver the Surly– I am moderately flexible as to when and where (evenings are often fine, but i could do lunch as well) (i live in S. Minneapolis, near Lake Harriet and can come up w/ lots of good ideas for restaurants and/or bars) so give me some ideas as tom times that work for you, and we will make it happen!

        Looking forward to it!

      • I just did expose the hollowness of Obama’s faux argument. What the hell is wrong with you?

        Let me repeat: Taxing the rich completely out of existence wouldn’t begin to solve the deficit.

        Because you people live in a world of symbolism, you succeed in politics but fail at governance.

        America badly needs politicians who live in reality. The campaign is over.

      • “If all Bush tax cuts were allowed to expire, it would cut the deficit by 54%, or $226 billion, in 2015. …allowing taxes to go up (only) for households earning income above $250,000 a year, the take would be $54 billion in 2015 (or 13% of the projected $418 billion 2015 budget shortfall) or $115 billion in 2030 (or 9% of the projected $1,345 billion budget shortfall in 2030).”

        13% is a nice beginning on deficit reduction.

        from:

        http://www.economicpolicyresearch.org/deficit-commission-project/246-the-deficit-vs-the-bush-tax-cuts.html

      • Sorry PM, but the US debt presently is $12 TRILLION. You’re talking chump change.

        You could loot entire the fortunes of everyone in the top 25% and still not scratch the surface of the problem.

        This tax-the-rich ploy might feel good, but it doesn’t come close to addressing the real problem – spending. C’mon down from your treehouse.

      • Newt, now you are being stupid again–remember, you were talking about the deficit, not the debt–they are two very different things, and your point was that “

      • PM:

        Most evenings work well, for me, as well. My email is michaelkennedy82@gmail.com. Why don’t you shoot me an email and we can pick a day…..grab a bite and a drink, and I will bring along the Surly.

      • No – I am talking about debt (“deficit” was a typo). The trade deficit is almost irrelevant in comparison.

      • Newt: misdirection, red herrings and deliberate obfuscation will not get you out of this. You never meant the trade deficit–that simply isn’t credible as a typo, and no one makes that mistake (even you are not that stupid). your references were clear and unambiguous– to the (annual) federal budget deficit. Which is different than the federal debt (the debt is the total collection of annual budget deficits, plus accumulated current interest). Needless to say, while these two things are related, they are vastly different numbers. Further, NO ONE talks about the impact of tax hikes and spending cuts (things that are enacted on an annual basis) reducing the federal debt (much less the trade deficit)–they talk about them as ways to reduce the annual budget deficits–just as you have been doing.

        Bottom line–I proved you wrong. your point was wrong. Take it like a ……well, whatever, but grow up and take some responsibility here.

        Mike:

        I’ll get in touch. Looking forward to it!

  9. This just in: Tea Party doesn’t really exist.

    After Congress chapped their lips on the Tea Party’s collective cracker-white asses for two solid years, it’s now: “I’m sorry; do I know you?”

    Apparently they’ve just discovered – shock of shocks – the Tea Party is just the 21st Century name for redneck or hillbilly or cornbilly in much of the Midwest.

    This from a Tea Party mailing my alter ego gets.

    John Boehner Just Denied You Exist
    ________________________________________
    “Well, listen, I think this has been the most misreported story of my two years’ tenure. We don’t have a tea party caucus to speak of in the House.”
    – Speaker John Boehner, ABC news, November 8, 2012

    This is not about Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney is a good man, a good father, and a good American.

    This is about the Beltway GOP establishment that picks losing candidates, runs losing campaigns – and now denies that you exist.

    Mitt Romney is gone. Our problem is still here. Because the beltway GOP establishment is still here – and still doesn’t get it.

    This is the same GOP establishment that:
    • ŸAllowed spending to go UP during the 2 years of power and control we gave them in Congress
    • Raised the debt ceiling after heavy opposition from the American people
    • Refused to utter the words “tea party” once during the entire GOP convention
    • Opened the door to tax hikes – this week – with President Obama
    • Said – this week – “Mr. President, this is your moment. We’re ready to be led”
    • Said – this week – “Obamacare is the law of the land”
    • This week – denied we exist

    While you were breaking your back on this election, often with no sleep, to help save this country – the GOP establishment was cooking up a scheme to blame you for their failures.

    We knew they would try to blame you. So we hit them first.

    There is no way I will let the establishment blame you for their losses.

    Here is a story of a true Patriot:

    In Southern California, Tea Party Patriot Linda Dorr had a lady who volunteered to help us save the country by making phone calls to undecided voters in Ohio. Our volunteer had a mild stroke. Two weeks later, she was back volunteering and making phone calls into Ohio to get out the vote.

    That’s who we are.

    Until we face the establishment in the eye and realize that we can’t count on either of these political parties to save our country, our country will continue this slide to European-style socialism. There are those in the establishment who care more about their own power, prestige, and position than they do about defending the ideals and values that made America great. We must be willing to call the establishment out and remind them that the founding principles that made America great are the same ones that will solve America’s greatest challenges.

    We must be willing to lead. We are the last Patriots standing.

    The Washington DC establishment may be angry at me for defending you and our supporters, and stopping them from blaming you for their losses. I won’t apologize for standing up for you, and I won’t back down.

    You ARE the last best hope for America and I will keep fighting alongside each and every one of you to restore our Constitution and America’s greatness.

    -Jenny Beth Martin and the National Support Team

  10. To listen to Jeremy you’d think Obama won by substantially more than 2%.

    We also have that shining liberal beacon on the hill to look for inspiration … California. How can the rest of America be more like California? Ah ha ha ha ha …

    • Newt. He. Won.

    • Apparently, more votes were cast for house Democrats than for house Republicans….. so the Democrats won the popular vote for president, for senate, and for the House.

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/11/09/house-democrats-got-more-votes-than-house-republicans-yet-boehner-says-hes-got-a-mandate/

      Sweeping the board sounds like a win to me.

      (how was the Dom, Newt?)

    • Newt, my post had nothing to do with Obama, other than what some Tea Party folks might think of him. My post was about those bozo Tea Party folks.

      When Reagan won in the 1980s, he gave lip service – and not much more – to the social conservatives, holy rollers and the misguide uber-patriots to get them to vote for him. The problem is, that group never believed, or understood, they were being used.

      I bring up as proof: abortion. At three times during the last 30 years, the Republicans had the presidency and majorities that gave them the opportunity to do something about it. Total action: NOTHING. Country club and Wall Street Republicans don’t give a damn. If abortion was illegal for them, they’d just send their daughter for a “long weekend in Toronto.” And do you really think the rich in the Hamptons spend their Sunday morning in church? Not likely, unless the golf course is next door, they got a good tee time and they know the minister is brief.

      The problem is, in the last decade, the Tea Party and Pentecostal high-and-mighties became the tail that started to wag the dog. This group of bigoted nitwits started to run the party, taking over from the Wall Street and country club Republicans, pushing impossible leaders like Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Do you see the money following either one of those?

      Now that same group gave themselves a label and worked their ass off this election, Boehner basically admits; we were never really about the Tea Party.

      Good luck getting them back in 2014.

      Of course, what started it all was Reagan and he was a Californian and you know how much trouble they are (see accompanying rants.)

  11. The GOP has no brand, so to speak, anymore. What does it stand for?

    I think the Tea Party helped destroy any centrist positions in this election cycle for the R’s. They are just plain wacky.

    So did Grover Norquist and his pig-headedness. So did all of the so-called leaders who kissed his ring and promised not to think but just to follow him. So did Rush Limbaugh and his big mouth.

    So did 2 misogynist nut-jobs, one of whom believes there are “legitimate rapes” and that babies conceived in this way are gifts from God and the other of whom believes the body has a way of naturally getting rid of fetuses implanted during rape.

    And let’s not forget the laws put on the books by good R’s that forced women to have inter-vaginal ultra-sounds and another that defined “the moment when a micro blot of sperm hits a blob of ovum as “life,” totally subject to male control.

    But “life” isn’t much of an argument when one is speaking of gun control and the needless deaths in America every year because of our out-of-control gun culture. Or the record number of death sentences that have taken place in Texas this year. Or the “lives” of hungry children in America.

    I’m now about to be jumped on for crying the typical liberal rants. But you know what? They’re true.

    Mike: You’re also right. We have no leaders tough enough to say, “You elected me to lead on your behalf, using my best judgment. So here’s how I’m going to vote.”

    • I saw my state Senator Barb Goodwin last night. As people are lining up around her, giving advice ranging from practical to hilarious, I kind of butted in and said: “I only want one thing. I want you to do what’s best. That’s why we elected you.” The rest of the Democrats around me looked kind like I was nuts.

  12. My prediction Ellen: We are in for four more years like the last eight years, intractable positions, nothing much gets done but a shit train more spending with money we don’t have and politicians, Obama included, who have no resolve to stop it.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that if greed is the only thing corporate chiefs are guilty of…then their moral ground is a lot higher than most politicians who not only take money from special interest groups to further their ambitions and power but they lie….about their opponents, about economics about…well almost everything.

    I saw Obama and Romney either outright lie or totally misrepresent positions, facts and even history. A high point of the campaign was when Bill Clinton advised listeners in a crowd not elect a liar as president. Hmmm.

    Several friends of mine don’t bother even voting. I’m not that jaded…yet, and don’t worry my liberal friends, I’d feel the same way if we had a president named Romney.

    What I find disturbing among voters today is that their man or woman is cast as either a miracle worker or a satanic accomplice.

    They are neither. They do what they do. Institute policies that will garner them enough votes to get re-elected. It’s quite simple really, and we think they are doing what’s in our best interest. It’s nice to see that most adults still harbor child-like fantasies.

    • It’s hard to sign on with your nihilism, Mike. It’s convenient and certainly labor saving, witness your pouting friends. I would agree that they reflect our values and aspirations, albeit distorted by moneyed interests. But still, I think we still generally get the government we deserve.

      But there were, and are, very real distinctions to be drawn between these two candidates and their visions for the country. And it was these differences that formed the basis of people’s choices, your sniffing superciliousness notwithstanding.

  13. Jim: You are one of the adults of whom I speak. You are totally enamored with your guy, much like a high school crush, convinced that your party and ideology can save the poor, rehabilitate criminals, save the environment, and make the world equal.

    What word did I use….oh yeah… fantasy. I never said there were no differences between the candidates.

    Thanks for incorrectly interpreting my point. What I said was the end result is likely to be the same. Continue living in your world of idealism.

    • Yes, it’s all meaningless, a wasted exercise, six of one/half dozen of the other,the end result the same no matter who was elected. I took your sweeping point and I disagree. And, no, Mike, I have never lionized Obama here. In fact, I have criticized him. But then you’re a man prone to gross projection, for example, accusing me of the rhetorical excesses (in your mind alone) of Erik. “Typical liberal,”being your crutch.

      • Jim: For your own self respect, please stop projecting what you want to believe I said with what I actually said. I didn’t say there were no objective and moral truths. I never said there was no reason to believe in the system. Quite the contrary, They exist. I just don’t happen to believe that in the last eight years we have had any leaders who have had any will to live up to them. You can feel free to disagree, but the record speaks for itself. About my predicition, time will tell.

  14. By the way, Jim, learn the meaning of the word nihilism. You either grossly misused it or you do not understand the simple sentences I wrote and consequently, the points I made.

    • Mike:

      Learn the meaning of word “figurative.” Yes, true, I don’t think you’re an actual nihilist. But your contention that the election results will matter not a whit is dead on arrival.

      Voters had a legitimate choice between two distinct candidates. And the consequences of that choice are ensuing. The politics surrounding the budget, immigration, at least the rhetoric, is already “evolving.” Even your man, Sean Hannity has come 180 degrees on immigration:

      “”We’ve gotta get rid of the immigration issue altogether. It’s simple for me to fix it. I think you control the border first, you create a pathway for those people that are here, you don’t say you gotta home. And that is a position that I’ve evolved on. Because you know what–it just–it’s gotta be resolved. The majority of people here–if some people have criminal records you can send’ em home–but if people are here, law-abiding, participating, four years, their kids are born here… first secure the border, pathway to citizenship… then it’s done. But you can’t let the problem continue. It’s gotta stop.”

      Something else would be happening had Romney won as Obama has.

  15. Jim, Jim, Jim. Where in that vast, cranial expanse of yours do you conjure up the notion I’ve ever even watched Sean Hannity?

    Sean Hannity is against immigration….ergo, all conservatives oppose immigration. Really? Is this your complex, critical thinking at work? I believe you to be a pretty intelligent guy so why would you extrapolate a silly premise like that?

    It doesn’t advance your argument and makes you look petulant and small minded.

    Many conservatives, the Wall Street Journal included, are wild supporters of immigration, as am I. It is what makes this country great. One of our greatest imports is foreign students, who come here to our universities and often end up staying. Same is true of the Latinos, Asians and others who come here to work and do jobs that many Americans won’t do.

    Then there is the cultural diversity that adds so much to our society. Yes, some small minds oppose immigration. But I know liberals who oppose it, too.

    Not every liberal supports immigration and not every conservative is against it.

    You get on my case for the “typical liberal” stereotype. Yes. I sometimes mistakenly stereotype liberals and I shouldn’t. But I have seen hypocrites on this page who spew venal verbal assaults on all conservatives in the south as backward, hillbilly and next to inhuman.

    What a flagrant display of insecurity, thin skin and total intolerance. Aren’t liberals supposed to be reasoned, accepting and of the opinon that all are equal. Oh, sorry, there I go again, stereotyping. Shame on me.

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