In case you missed it…
After which destiny farted.
[via Crooks and Liars]
(Yes, that was the entire post. You should go read something else now.)[cross-posted]
Via TPM, Mitt Romney goes medieval on Rick Perry:
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Reagan’s commandment is toast, for which I say praise the FSM, hallelujah and amen!
I know it gets very serious soon, but I gotta thank Mitt for giving us this moment to sit back, put our feet up, and enjoy the show.
It seems Governor Goodhair is no longer the Shiny New Tea Party Savior anymore as his poll numbers have dropped like large painted-over rock.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way for Rick Perry.
A hard-talking embodiment of the conservative id, the Texas Governor entered the race in August and quickly shot to the front of the pack on broad appeal to the Tea Party base, and his message on job creation.
But something funny’s happening to Rick Perry on the way to what many expected to be a charge to the nomination: Namely, Rick Perry.
After a series of missteps and stumbles, most of his own making, the latest Washington Post / ABC News poll shows Perry having lost about half of his national support in the last month. The former frontrunner is now staring back up at his chief rival, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, and running neck-and-neck with the surging Herman Cain.
Now let’s keep in mind that these numbers were taken mostly before this weekend’s revelations about the name of Perry’s hunting camp in Texas. The same caveat applies to Herman Cain’s numbers too. Cain attacked Perry over the weekend, by Monday he was running away from his own statements because King Rush told him to know his role and shut his mouth. Everything you need to know about Cain there is that he complied with near neutrino-level speed.
It’s arguable that Perry’s numbers may actually improve slightly thanks to this weekend’s events. As for Cain, I expect we’ll see him back down among the also rans as soon as Chris Christie makes his announcement and becomes the next Shiny New Thing.
The back and forth over Social Security only further convinced the constituencies on the Right and Left what those respective constituencies already believed: that Social Security is/isn’t a Ponzi scheme.
This may be the new reality in a politically polarized America, but for liberals who are expected to elevate political issues beyond the talking points and frameworks of Republican demagogues, they failed miserably – and I believe they will continue to fail for three reasons: First, because all ideologues are hard-headed, and the current “base” of the Republican Party is full of ideologues; secondly, because facts that don’t align with a party’s agenda aren’t facts at all; and lastly, because it takes only one liberal to admit publicly that there are similarities between a Ponzi scheme and Social Security, and when that liberal concedes, as Matthews did, it opens a small but fatal chink in the Left’s armor that conservatives will exploit until everyone knows that “Liberals agree,” in this case, “that it’s a Ponzi scheme.”
The Left missed the point – and a great opportunity to actually elevate the debate.
Comparing Social Security to a Ponzi scheme, even if the comparison is intended to show how Social Security isn’t a Ponzi scheme, is still comparing Social Security to a fraudulent scam. It relies on a Republican framework – Perry’s framework – and it criminalizes Social Security from the start.
Who cares what Perry thinks?
How a Tea Partier defines Social Security is irrelevant. The future of the program is the issue. And that should be the framework.
Rather than battling over a definition coined by a crank, the Left needs to focus on what Social Security would become under a President Perry – or a President Romney. Despite the two candidates’ differences in rhetoric, both believe in “fixes” that lead to the program’s demise.
Both Perry and Romney have voiced their support for creating private, individual social insurance accounts – which Romney claimed in 2007 is different from “privatization,” even if it isn’t different at all. Rather than minor tweaks, which is all that will be required to extend the longevity of a program that has already worked for three-quarters of a century, Republicans prefer scrapping the entire point of Social Security: the security part.
Whereas Democrats understand the moral imperative of maintaining a program that for 75 years has helped keep senior citizens out of poverty, Republicans, in contrast, believe that if you live past a certain age and run out of the money you paid into a private retirement account, oh well. You can “live in a gutter,” as Limbaugh put it.
That is the difference between Republicans and Democrats, and that is the comparison liberals and Democrats ought to be making. Publicly. Not terms and definitions and contrasting arguments about slight similarities that even Chris Matthews can’t quite pin down, but the heartlessness of forcing senior citizens to “live in a gutter” if they live too long, if they are injured as working adults, if their spouses die, or if they’re otherwise unable to work long enough to build up a sufficient savings. Social Security is not a retirement account, it’s an anti-poverty program that provides some dignity to seniors.
Rather than letting the Right frame the argument over Social Security by forcing the Left into a battle over semantics, the Left needs to refocus the issue to its core by asking the question, “Do you believe seniors living in gutters is the future of ‘social security’?”
(read the rest of “The Meaning of ‘Ponzi scheme’ vs. The Consequences of ‘Privatization’.”)
It’s about framing. When liberals use conservative framing, we give the frame legitimacy where there is none.
A very salient point, indeed.[cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles]
Musicwise, I’m liking The Young Professionals, from dancepop:
through trancey banginess:
all the way to this:
Plus cute Jewish boys. What’s not to like?
Just a final reminder, the latest jobs thread is here.
Rick Perry is running for President, but it is worth asking: President of what?.
His campaign rhetoric, policy solutions, views of American history, the Constitution and our laws are all distinctly Confederate. He finds Federal spending on education, infrastructure, and a safety net to be outside of his understanding of the Constitution. Rights for workers, environmental protection and any regulations that interfere in the God given right of our Galtian Overlords to take whatever they want, whenever they want it are also at odds with his views. It is the CSA Constitution that frames Perry’s understanding of Constitutional law and his founding fathers are more Davis, Forrest and Lee than those fellas from 1776. This is why it is fair to ask which Country does Perry want to be President of: the CSA or the USA? I think the answer is pretty clear.
Perry talks in neo-Confederate code and a majority of Wingnutopia loves that shit. The majority of voters in any Republican Primary will be Tea-Party-Neo-Confederates. They are the base that will choose the nominee and Perry has them in his pocket.
In the footsteps of the Confederate elites of old, Perry uses code words–and sometimes blunt language–to pump up fear that minorities are threatening to steal the privileges of white people. He uses this fear as tool to bamboozle the gullible into supporting policies that hurt them. Look at Texas with all those low wage jobs, bad schools and laws designed to help oligarchs steal your labor, savings and health. Folks should be in revolt, but instead they line up to buy the shit sandwich. The wingnut base of the Republican Party will support almost anything if it is presented with some White privilege protection code-talking and wrapped up with a Jesus-loves-this-shit-too pretty ribbon. Telling fools what they want to hear is Perry’s special skill–and he is pretty good at it.
Rick Perry has won the Modern Confederate Party Primary. And he has won the “Who will save us from that Black Man in the White House” primary. These wins give him majority support of the Republican Party base.
Winning the Republican Party Nomination for President is now his to lose.
Old Jeff Davis must be smiling.
Instead, Perry headed to Fredericksburg, Texas to attend a “call to action” retreat/fundraiser, where he was slated to hobknob with religious nutbag and self-styled historian David Barton.
From Joy-Ann Reid at The Grio:
Barton was among a group of Texas conservatives who in 2010 sought to revise that state’s textbooks to promote their view that the notion of a constitutional separation of church and state is a myth, and that students should be taught a version of American history that blends theology with themes of a constant clash of civilizations between Christians and Muslims.
According to a Washington Monthly article in January 2010, Barton, the former head of the Texas Republican Party, and Peter Marshall, who the article described as “a Massachusetts-based preacher who has argued that California wildfires and Hurricane Katrina were God’s punishment for tolerating gays,” had even more ideas in mind when they testified before the Texas Education Assembly. Per the Washington Monthly:
Barton and Peter Marshall initially tried to purge the standards of key figures of the civil rights era, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall, though they were forced to back down amid a deafening public uproar. They have since resorted to a more subtle tack; while they concede that people like Martin Luther King Jr. deserve a place in history, they argue that they shouldn’t be given credit for advancing the rights of minorities.
As Barton put it, “Only majorities can expand political rights in America’s constitutional society.” Ergo, any rights people of color have were handed to them by whites–in his view, mostly white Republican men.
I watched Joy Reid make an excellent point on Al Sharpton’s show, and that is (in my words): If right-wing nutbags are going to keep pounding the Jeremiah Wright/”Goddamn America!” drum (and you know they will, even though they can’t explain how Barack Obama is simultaneously a secret Muslim and an America-hating Christian), then Democrats need to make sure that Rick Perry is held accountable for the racist and utterly absurd views of his BFF, David Barton.
This is your Republican party, people.
Drink it in. Let the crazy wash over you.
My head is still exploding.
[via The Grio]
[cross-posted at ABLC][Well gee whiz, gentlemen. This here black lady is somewhat touched by the “ZOMG! ABL COME BACK!” posts. And of course I can never resist the opportunity to PISS OFF the TROLLS with my OBNOXIOUS FORMATTING and ever-looming threat of closed threads AND BUTTHURT. So here’s a post on Rick Perry that seems to have gotten some traction at ABLC (and yer damn right I just created a new category, John Cole!) Yes, yes, I know… it’s an old post. “SEE?! SHE DOESN’T EVEN RESPECT THE JUICE TO WRITE SOMETHING ORIGINAL!” they cried. And ABL laughed because trolls are hilarious. She also to stopped talking about herself in the third person because frankly, it’s weird. Oh, and for the record, I’m not a lesbian (not that there’s anything wrong with it), I’m not bipolar (duh and/or hello! I have a fucking brain tumor in my head!) and I fracking love They Might Be Giants. Who said black people don’t have little birdhice in their souls? What are you, racist or somethin’? Dang! I trust everyone is doing swimmingly. As for me, I am cross-posting at the Grio, and I’m actually getting paid for my next post (on Maxine Waters’ Jobs Townhall in Crenshaw tomorrow) which is awesome because no one’s ever paid me to write anything before. So that gets a big fat “huzzah!” Um, what else. I guess that’s it. Eat your peas, people. -ABLxx]