The Campaign for President 2012

20 Oct

I have been neglecting my punditry duties, I suppose, by deliberately and completely ignoring the Republican debates. There have been many, and I’ve watched the news reports summarizing them, and I’ve been following the media focus as it swung from Gingrich to Bachmann to Perry to Cain to Romney (more or less).

I’m not going to be voting for any of these people under any circumstances, so any attention I pay to them is purely academic. The only heartening thing for me is that Jon Huntsman is in the race, and he seems to be the last of the “sane centrist Republican” Mohicans. The last of that Bill Weld, Christie Whitman type Republicans who are fiscally responsible, smart, open to new ideas, and didn’t gay-bait or scare people by screaming “SHARIA LAW” every three secons.

Cain has gained traction with his 9-9-9 tax reform proposal, which would raise taxes on every American except the wealthy. It’s a Republican’s wet dream, that. (They love to remind you that 47% of Americans are too poor to pay federal income taxes – they do, however, pay state sales, income, and other taxes). Except part of that “9” is a federal consumption tax, which would act like the Canadian GST, only 2 points higher. If Cain’s plan became law, we here in Erie County would pay 17 3/4% sales tax, and Cain’s plan.  I can’t imagine a more regressive and punitive tax on the middle class and poor.  Well, maybe the idea that someone making $12,000 per year needs to pay the same tax rate as someone making $120,000 or $1,200,000 per year.  Hell, even Grover Norquist dislikes Cain’s idea.

In any event, I’ll be paying more attention shortly, and here are a couple of videos that I found interesting.

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44 Responses to “The Campaign for President 2012”

  1. Brian Castner October 20, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    I think (other than Huntsman) Romney is actually the last sane centrist Republican standing. It’s hard to see it beneath the layers of conservative rhetoric adopted to make him more competitive in the primaries, but in his heart of hearts, I think Romney is a NE moderate businessman who started state mandated healthcare and whose private Mormonism leads him to want to leave religion out of government. That’s probably the best someone like me can hope for (half truths and slipperiness aside).

  2. MJC October 20, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    The Tea Partiers who constantly and erroneously scream that the poor “pay no taxes” are in for a further shock. Under a “fair tax” system, the poor would get rebate checks that would eliminate their tax obligations altogether. It is the working and middle classes who would then end up paying the exact same amount as the wealthy.

    But, I say that we give them what they want. I actually think we need a national conversation on converting to a sales/use tax system. Not saying I necessarily approve of it, or that it would even work, but it is worth debating.

  3. Black Rock Lifer October 20, 2011 at 9:20 am #

    @1- Agree Romney and Hunstman are the only credible candidates but the far right and especially the religous right will not back Romney in the end. The conservatives hate him and the fundamentalist Christians can’t get past the Mormon thing. Looks like the Republicans might have to actually govern and compromise in Obama’s second term.

  4. Buck Turgidson October 20, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    I could see Gingrich and Romney being the last two standing. That is assuming all of Gingrich’s dirty laundry has already been aired. He’s slowly climbing in the polls as flavors of the month rise and fall. These primary runs are like college football…if you’re going to mess up, do it early in the race/season.
    The anti-Romneys are trying to find their horse, and they may ultimately settle on an establishment guy.

  5. Chris Charvella October 20, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    I have been neglecting my punditry duties, I suppose, by deliberately and completely ignoring the Republican debates.

    You didn’t miss much. In any given debate, Bachmann talked about Jesus, her four thousand kids and her totally not-gay husband. Cain tried hard to rationalize his Five Toppings for a Better America tax plan. Perry did his George W. Bush with a bigger dick bit. Santorum kept comparing gay people to napkins…or something. Huntsman and Paul were totally ignored (in Hunstman’s case he found something better to do 3000 miles away during the Vegas debate.) Romney attempted to remain sane while wondering what the hell he did to deserve this.

    The only way to make these things watchable is to play the Obamacare drinking game with a bottle of Cuervo and a bag of lemons.

  6. Sean C. October 20, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    This is the best GOP has to offer? It’s almost as if they’re looking top each candidate’s narrow minded, out of touch, craziness with each candidacy declaration. Ron Paul might be old but he’s closer to Earth than Herman Cain and Michele Bauchmann. I guess he isn’t as sensational as the others.

  7. Bbill October 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm #

    COOPER: Congressman Paul, you called his plan dangerous today.

    PAUL: Oh, it is, because it raises revenues,

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1110/18/se.05.html

    You’d think that was a slip of the tongue, but what if it’s not? Other than that, Ron Paul seems to be channeling Stengelese pretty effectively.

  8. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    he seems to be the last of the “sane centrist Republican”

    You wouldn’t know a centrist if 1000 of them stood in front of you waving. The brand of leftist politics around here is just as skewed as Bachmann’s or Santorums idea of a perfect America. Just the other side of the coin.

    If Obama is your guy he is as far from the center as could be, as intractable as can be and as much a liar as Bush ever was even more. A fine example of Obama’s idea of centrism is CLASS. His own administration’s actuarial says no way. His own HHS Secretary say’s no way. But he is not willing to back down. So what if it ends up bankrupting the system.

    • Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

      OH OK
      THANKS

    • Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 1:36 pm #

      A fine example of Obama’s idea of centrism is CLASS. His own administration’s actuarial says no way. His own HHS Secretary say’s no way. But he is not willing to back down. So what if it ends up bankrupting the system.

      Tell me, what is CLASS supposed to do?

  9. MJC October 20, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    It refers to English class, something that the writer apparently skipped.

    Anyone who thinks that Obama is a liberal is blinded by either racism or partisanship.

  10. jimd October 20, 2011 at 3:06 pm #

    This has to be the dumbest post I’ve seen in awhile. If President Obama isn’t a centrist why is his base so pissed off at him? Why did Dennis Kucinich float the idea of impeachment over the Libya intervention? The trouble with the right (and I’ve been a registered Republican for 39 years or so) is that it speaks to a thimble full of like minded people. Moderates have been squeezed out. Anyone willing to work with the other side for the good of the country have been squeezed out. All that’s left are religious zealots and people with myopic views of life. Hence the dead air you see standing on stage. Anyone who thinks President Obama hasn’t bent over backwards to accommodate these people is delusional.

  11. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    Tell me, what is CLASS supposed to do?

    CLASS Community Living Assistance Services and Supports.

    It was part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 more commonly knows as Obama Care. It was a Long Term Care component of the law. The main argument was that it would create 100’s of billions in savings that allowed Obama to say his health care reform would save money and reduce costs. Supposedly young people would voluntarily start paying into a government sponsored long term insurance fund. They took the number of young people and calculated they would pay $300 or more per month into the fund. It was based on a ridiculous concept that only works in academia. Sensible Republicans at the time said it will never work. Last week Kathleen Sebilius (Obama’s HHS Secretary) announced they would drop it because it would not work. Obama then came out and said no way they are going through with it. Sebilius was speaking as a centrist who understands reality. Obama was speaking as hard core lefty who wants more government control.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2011/10/14/its-official-class-obamacares-long-term-care-entitlement-to-be-suspended-indefinitely/

    This was in all the papers last week, maybe it was buried under Ralph Bucky and you just did not get a chance to get to this part of the news. Please Bedenko save yourself some time and ignore the debates. Most of the people who read your posts are brainwashed anyways and it will not make a bit of difference.

    • Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      Yeah, I did see it. I wanted to determine your ability to Google things.

      1. So, the purpose of CLASS is to help reduce the burden on families and cost to government of long term care. Currently, Medicaid (which is the big bogeyman for all Republicans) finds as its heaviest financial burden the cost of long term nursing care. Given that nursing home care costs hundreds per day, what families find themselves doing is jettisoning mom & dad’s assets to render them Medicaid-eligible (i.e., poor) so that the government will cover the cost of Medicaid. Billions per year are spent on this legal sham. If you had bothered to read the Forbes link you provided, you’d have found that your conservative brethren echo my words:

      One-third of all Medicaid spending is for long-term care, much of it to middle- and upper-income retirees who transfer their assets to other family members in order to appear poor and qualify for the program. It’s a huge and growing burden for fiscally-challenged state governments.

      2. Under normal circumstances, a reasonable – dare I say “centrist”, if not conservative – thing to do would be to find an alternative way for people to hedge against possible future nursing home or long term care costs by paying into a large pool to save costs. CLASS won’t work because it’s not mandatory, and you can’t scale it. It’s a shame, really, because any system is better than the current one, which oftentimes bankrupts families in order to pay for care. You’re some sort of “conservative”, yet you support a system that costs billions in public money annually, oftentimes to families who are forced essentially to feign poverty.

      3. If Sebelius announced that they would drop CLASS and she’s “a centrist who understands reality”, why is it that Obama “then came out and said no way they are going through with it” is a “hard core lefty who wants more government control”. By the way, if the CLASS program was so “young people would voluntarily start paying into a government sponsored long term insurance fund” [emphasis mine], how does a voluntary program denote “government control”? It doesn’t.

      4. As others have pointed out, Obama is precisely a centrist President. That’s why he is almost as despised on the hard left as he is on the hard right.

      5. The CLASS program had to be scrapped because under “Obamacare”, it had to be fiscally solvent for 75 years, looking forward. Because of its voluntary nature, that guarantee couldn’t be met, and it was scrapped. A “hard core leftist” would probably disregard such minutiae.

      6. I’d care about your insults if you weren’t an utter cretin. Fortunately, you are exactly that.

  12. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    OH OK
    THANKS

    What a rapier like wit you have

  13. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    jimd

    Both parties have been taken over by the extremes of their parties.

    Dennis Kucinch (who is an honorable, good man true to his convictions) wanted to Impeach the president because he did not get approval from congress before going into Libya. It had nothing to do with ideology, Kucinich was just abiding by the constitution. If more reps in congress acted as him we would have a much better system.

  14. MJC October 20, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    I have no problem with arguing that Obamacare will be a failure. He allowed lobbyists to write the law and completely caved (as usual) to corporate and/or GOP interests.

    None of this proves that is a “lefty”. Rather, it proves just the opposite. If he was a lefty he would have fought for a single payer system that would have actually ensured coverage for all Americans and would have reduced overall health costs.

    Again, people like to assume that Black Democrats MUST be communists hellbent on providing giveaways to poor people. (Read: “other blacks”.)

  15. Chris Charvella October 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    We have one party in this country that is consistently right of center, insists on tax cuts for the wealthiest of the wealthy while ignoring the needs of poor citizens and is ridiculously hawkish when it comes to military incursions into sovereign nations. These people are called Democrats.

  16. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Yeah, I did see it. I wanted to determine your ability to Google things

    Yeah Right

    As others have pointed out, Obama is precisely a centrist President. That’s why he is almost as despised on the hard left as he is on the hard right.

    He is despised on the left because he screwed up just as bad for them. He made a lot of promises that he wishes he could keep, but once reality set in (or most likely he was lying all along just to get elected).

    He wanted a public option and even with a unstoppable senate (Dennis Kucinich supported that 110%) and congress he could not get it. His left supporters are pissed about that. He wants to close GITMO but can’t because he does not know what to do with them. It is possible to go on and on.

    The problem is that he is a failure as a President and a Leader. He failed the left, not for lack of trying and the right just never agreed with him on much. The left are ticked off at him because he could not get what he wanted through because of his poor leadership not because his policies are conservative or centrist.

    • Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

      He wanted a public option and caved on that: makes him a centrist.
      He wanted to close GITMO but decided against it: makes him a centrist.
      He caved to conservative Democrats and Republicans: makes him a centrist.

      Typical for a Obama-hater troll, you’ve completely ignored my points about the un-sustainability and extreme public cost of how we pay for long term care nowadays. I know that the Republican solution is to “let ’em die”, but I think that, given that this remains a civilized western pluralist democratic republic, we might be able to conjure up something less extreme.

    • Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 4:44 pm #

      Here are all the ways in which Obama has been a failure.

  17. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    Chris you are right we are a center right nation.

    However Obama is not a center or right president. The only thing he has been right leaning on is use of military, how sad.

  18. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    I don’t know about being an Obama hating troll, I am becoming a Bedenko hating troll. I understand and agree with many of your points on CLASS, just disagree on the parts that because it failed that he is a centrist.

    Failing on leftists policies does not make him a centrist. It just makes him a failure. It just gets your base mad at your leadership abilities.

  19. Chris Charvella October 20, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

    No, we are not a center right nation. We have people who run for federal office who think they need to appeal to the 20% of their constituents who will hate their guts no matter what they do. The political gene pool has been weakened by substandard thinking and weakness amongst the political class.

  20. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

    Alan if you are pointing at the publisher of the Daily Kos to prove we are not a centrist nation you are in deeper than I thought. Just because he published it “The Hill” does not change his ideology. Do you know who Markos Moulitsas (sp) is? Does Google work on your browser?

  21. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Chris, if we are not a center right nation then how can you believe We have one party in this country that is consistently right of center? How does this mono party keep winning elections?

  22. Chris Charvella October 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I’m talking about the politicians, not the voters. It’s no small wonder Democrats and non-affiliated progressives don’t bother to vote. No one running for office cares to represent them.

  23. Starbuck October 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    I didn’t think I’d be saying this a few months ago, but Gingrich doesn’t seem like a bad choice. Clintonesque personal life issues aside, he’s had as much or more well reasoned substance about issues as anybody in the debates and on his web site. I won’t mind seeing Romney and him be the two finalists remaining before all the Super Tuesdays and have some 1-on-1 debates.

  24. Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Let me just circle back to this gem

    You wouldn’t know a centrist if 1000 of them stood in front of you waving…

    …If Obama is your guy he is as far from the center as could be, as intractable as can be and as much a liar as Bush ever was even more. A fine example of Obama’s idea of centrism is CLASS. His own administration’s actuarial says no way. His own HHS Secretary say’s no way. But he is not willing to back down. So what if it ends up bankrupting the system.

    So far, we’ve learned: 

    1. That Obama is quite “tractable”

    2. That Obama has, in fact, backed down from the CLASS program.

    3. That the links in paragraphs 1 and 2, which I’ve used to rebut your original allegations, come from your own comments. 

  25. MJC October 20, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I am not following this – Is Obama a leftist because he failed to implement leftist policies?

    Would I be correct in also deeming John Boehner a leftist? Because that guy has not accomplished passing a single leftist piece of legislation!

    Obama never supported the public option. He paid lip service and then dropped it quickly once the right started to complain. Pretty much like everything else.

  26. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm #

    I can understand why Obama and leftist are having a hard time right now with logic like this:

    Would I be correct in also deeming John Boehner a leftist? Because that guy has not accomplished passing a single leftist piece of legislation!

    I am sure you really understand, just do not want to admit that a failed leftist is still a leftist. If Boehner were a conservative (which is often in question) and he failed getting his legislation through then he would still be a conservative just a bad one.

  27. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    @27 Bedenko

    That poll is from March of 2009!!! Not sure if you were aware of the elections in November 2010, but the nation elected many conservatives since then. Maybe when you can Google those elections. they took over congress, won 7 senate seats, many governorships, many statehouses. Very liberal Wisconsin voted enough in to tick off the unions that they spent 30 million dollars to try an unsuccessful recall.

    It may have been trending left, in early 2009, but when the country got a good look at unchecked liberalism (or in your opinion unchecked centrists) the moved away in droves.

    • Alan Bedenko October 20, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

      If this was such a center-right country, one would figure there’d be a concomitant center-right movement. There isn’t.

  28. estabon October 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    I’d argue that the majority of the country is pretty much middle of the road. Unfortunately the process in which the parties select their candidates relies upon the fringe elements both right and left because those are generally the most active in the process. Its difficult to win a nomination as a centrist since the center (majority) don’t participate in the nominating process because they are too busy getting along with their daily lives.

  29. jimd October 20, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    @15, Allen I cannot agree. I find myself gravitating to the left because the right has been co-opted by insane people. This whole thread bears out my point. After the shame we endured as a result of the Bush administration, normal people would not consider a Republican president for a generation. But alas, here we are trying to make one of these lunatics seem plausible. If you would like to make the point that both parties have been taken over by corporate America, I’m with you. However if the issue is who is more extreme, there is no argument it is the right.

  30. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    @estabon,

    That is a good point. Wining the party takes a movement to the direction that will get you the most votes in the process. Then a movement to the center. Areas of the country are different ideology. The message that works in Texas does not work in New York. Because the primary process is a state by state system you also need to refine your message to your strategy to win the parties nomination.

    Once you have won the party nomination there are different strategies. The most popular misconception is that you must run to the middle. The so called Nixon strategy. While that is a winnable strategy you can also increase your base. Both Bush and Obama did this. Bush with the aid of Karl Rove went out and got every evangelic christian they could round up. Obama with Plouffe increased the African American base from 90% to about 97% then went after enough of the middle to get him across the line. Both were successful.

  31. Jaquandor October 20, 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    Isn’t it cute when people hate your blog SO MUCH that they Just. Can’t Stop. Commenting. Lest. A. Single. One. Of. Their. Party’s. Talking. Points. Go. Unsaid!

  32. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    @37 jimd

    Insanity is in the eye of the accuser. Unlike what Alan Bedenko and some others think I have no problem with Liberalism. I respect someone like Dennis Kucinch or Barney Frank because they have their beliefs and stay consistent. You know where they stand. We need all ideologies to help keep us honest and in checks and balances.

    Alan Bedenko, now there is a creator of insanity. He is a liberal who wants to convince you he is a centrist. (There is nothing wrong with being a lefty) He writes inflammatory posts and uses words like “concomitant”. He is a walking irony, I can admire him and think he is a jerk at he same time. A lot like the politicians we find insane.

  33. Allen Miller October 20, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    @39

    Who says I hate this blog? I actually enjoy it,or else you are right I would not come back. Lefties sure love to throw the hate word around. I am surprised you didn’t accuse me of being racists.

    Here you go, a Centrist democrat is quitting and saying Obama is not one.

    http://hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com/archives/2011/10/cardoza-to-anno.php

    • Alan Bedenko October 21, 2011 at 4:41 am #

      You must be allergic to facts.

      Cardoza said nothing about Obama’s centrism, or lack thereof. He said,

      he was “dismayed” by the administration’s “failure to understand and effectively address the current housing foreclosure crisis.”

  34. Ward October 21, 2011 at 6:33 am #

    So, apparently we have a new definition of “centrist”:
    “Less leftist than Maxine Waters, Dennis Kucinich and Markos Moulitsas.”

    Congratulations, Little Barry–you’re a “centrist”! Except, why is your approval rating among independent voters 36 percent?

  35. jimd October 21, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    Allen, like porn, one knows insanity when one sees it.

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