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Excerpt: "Romney is an almost perfect amalgam of all the great out-of-touch douchebags of our national cinema. ... He's everything we've been trained to despise, the guy who had everything handed to him, doesn't fight his own battles and insists there's only room in the lifeboat for himself – and yet the Democrats, for some reason, have had terrible trouble beating him in a popularity contest."

Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. (photo: Griffin Lotz/Rolling Stone Magazine)
Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone. (photo: Griffin Lotz/Rolling Stone Magazine)



This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine

26 September 12

 

he press everywhere is buzzing this week with premature obituaries of the Romney campaign. New polls are out suggesting that Mitt Romney's electoral path to the presidency is all but blocked. Unless someone snags an iPhone video of Obama taking a leak on Ohio State mascot Brutus Buckeye, or stealing pain meds from a Tampa retiree and sharing them with a bunch of Japanese carmakers, the game looks pretty much up – Obama's widening leads in three battleground states, Virginia, Ohio and Florida, seem to have sealed the deal.

That's left the media to speculate, with a palpable air of sadness, over where the system went wrong. Whatever you believe, many of these articles say, wherever you rest on the ideological spectrum, you should be disappointed that Obama ultimately had to run against such an incompetent challenger. Weirdly, there seems to be an expectation that presidential races should be closer, and that if one doesn't come down to the wire in an exciting photo finish, we've all missed out somehow.

Frank Bruni of The New York Times wrote a thoughtful, insightful editorial today that blames the painful, repetitive and vacuous campaign process for thinning the electoral herd and leaving us with only automatons and demented narcissists willing to climb the mountain:

Romney's bleeding has plenty to do with his intrinsic shortcomings and his shortsightedness: how does a man who has harbored presidential ambitions almost since he was a zygote create a paper trail of offshore accounts and tax returns like his?
But I wonder if we're not seeing the worst possible version of him, and if it isn't the ugly flower of the process itself. I wonder, too, what the politicians mulling 2016 make of it, and whether, God help us, we'll be looking at an even worse crop of candidates then.

The Times, meanwhile, ran a house editorial blaming Romney's general obliqueness, his willingness to stretch the truth and his inability to connect with ordinary people for his fall. David Brooks ran a column suggesting that Romney's overreliance on a message of strict market conservatism, ignoring the values message of "traditional" conservatism, was what killed him in the end.

All of these points of view have merit, I guess, but to me they're mostly irrelevant. The mere fact that Mitt Romney is even within striking distance of winning this election is an incredible testament to two things: a) the rank incompetence of the Democratic Party, which would have this and every other election for the next half century sewn up if they were a little less money-hungry and tried just a little harder to represent their ostensible constituents, and b) the power of our propaganda machine, which has conditioned all of us to accept the idea that the American population, ideologically speaking, is naturally split down the middle, whereas the real fault lines are a lot closer to the 99-1 ratio the Occupy movement has been talking about since last year.

Think about it. Four years ago, we had an economic crash that wiped out somewhere between a quarter to 40% of the world's wealth, depending on whom you believe. The crash was caused by an utterly disgusting and irresponsible class of Wall Street paper-pushers who loaded the world up with deadly leverage in pursuit of their own bonuses, then ran screaming to the government for a handout (and got it) the instant it all went south.

These people represent everything that ordinarily repels the American voter. They mostly come from privileged backgrounds. Few of them have ever worked with their hands, or done anything like hard work. They not only don't oppose the offshoring of American manufacturing jobs, they enthusiastically support it, financing the construction of new factories in places like China and India.

They've relentlessly lobbied the government to give themselves tax holidays and shelters, and have succeeded at turning the graduated income tax idea on its head by getting the IRS to accept a sprawling buffet of absurd semantic precepts, like the notions that "capital gains" and "carried interest" are somehow not the same as "income."

The people in this group inevitably support every war that America has even the slimmest chance of involving itself in, but neither they nor their children ever fight in these conflicts. They are largely irreligious and incidentally they do massive amounts of drugs, from cocaine on down, but almost never suffer any kind of criminal penalty for their behavior.

That last thing I would say is probably appropriate, except for the fact that hundreds of thousands of poor (and mostly black and Hispanic) kids get tossed by cops every year (would you believe 684,000 street stops in New York alone in 2011?) in the same city where Wall Street's finest work, and those kids do real time for possession of anything from a marijuana stem to an empty vial. How many Wall Street guys would you think would fill the jails if the police spent even one day doing aggressive, no-leniency stop-and-frisk checks outside the bars in lower Manhattan? How many Lortabs and Adderalls and little foil-wraps of coke or E would pop out of those briefcases?

For all this, when it came time to nominate a candidate for the presidency four years after the crash, the Republicans chose a man who in almost every respect perfectly represents this class of people. Mitt Romney is a rich-from-birth Ivy League product who not only has never done a hard day of work in his life – he never even saw a bad neighborhood in America until 1996, when he was 49 years old, when he went into some seedy sections of New York in search of a colleague's missing daughter ("It was a shocker," Mitt said. "The number of lost souls was astounding").

He has a $250 million fortune, but he appears to pay well under half the maximum tax rate, thanks to those absurd semantic distinctions that even Ronald Reagan dismissed as meaningless and counterproductive. He has used offshore tax havens for himself and his wife, and his company, Bain Capital, has both eliminated jobs in the name of efficiency (often using these cuts to pay for payments to his own company) and moved American jobs overseas.

The point is, Mitt Romney's natural constituency should be about 1% of the population. If you restrict that pool to "likely voters," he might naturally appeal to 2%. Maybe 3%.

If the clichés are true and the presidential race always comes down to which candidate the American people "wants to have a beer with," how many Americans will choose to sit at the bar with the coiffed Wall Street multimillionaire who fires your sister, unapologetically pays half your tax rate, keeps his money stashed in Cayman Islands partnerships or Swiss accounts in his wife's name, cheerfully encourages finance-industry bailouts while bashing "entitlements" like Medicare, waves a pom-pom while your kids go fight and die in hell-holes like Afghanistan and Iraq and generally speaking has never even visited the country that most of the rest of us call the United States, except to make sure that it's paying its bills to him on time?

Romney is an almost perfect amalgam of all the great out-of-touch douchebags of our national cinema: he's Gregg Marmalaard from Animal House mixed with Billy Zane's sneering, tux-wearing Cal character in Titanic to pussy-ass Prince Humperdinck to Roy Stalin to Gordon Gekko (he's literally Gordon Gekko). He's everything we've been trained to despise, the guy who had everything handed to him, doesn't fight his own battles and insists there's only room in the lifeboat for himself – and yet the Democrats, for some reason, have had terrible trouble beating him in a popularity contest.

The fact that Barack Obama needed a Himalayan mountain range of cash and some rather extreme last-minute incompetence on Romney's part to pull safely ahead in this race is what really speaks to the brokenness of this system. Bruni of the Times is right that the process scares away qualified candidates who could have given Obama a better run for all that money. But what he misses is that the brutal campaign process, with its two years of nearly constant media abuse and "gotcha" watch-dogging, serves mainly to select out any candidate who is considered anything like a threat to the corrupt political establishment – and that selection process is the only thing that has kept this race close.

Barack Obama is hardly a complete Wall Street stooge. The country's most powerful bankers seem genuinely to hate his guts, mainly because they're delusional and are sincerely offended by anyone who dares to even generally criticize them for being greedy or ethically suspect, as Obama has with his occasional broadsides against "fat cat bankers" and so on.

On the other hand, Obama's policy choices in the last four years have made it impossible for him to run aggressively against the corruption and greed and generally self-obsessed, almost cinematic douchiness that Romney represents.

With 300 million possible entrants in the race, how did we end up with two guys who would both refuse to bring a single case against a Wall Street bank during a period of epic corruption? How did we end up with two guys who refuse to repeal the carried-interest tax break? How did we end with two guys who supported a vast program of bailouts with virtually no conditions attached to them? Citigroup has had so many people running policy in the Obama White House, they should open a branch in the Roosevelt Room. It's not as bad as it would be in a Romney presidency, but it comes close.

If this race had even one guy running in it who didn't take money from all the usual quarters and actually represented the economic interests of ordinary people, it wouldn't be close. It shouldn't be close. If one percent of the country controls forty percent of the country's wealth – and that trend is moving rapidly in the direction of more inequality with each successive year – what kind of split should we have, given that at least one of the candidates enthusiastically and unapologetically represents the interests of that one percent?

To me the biggest reason the split isn't bigger is the news media, which wants a close race mainly for selfish commercial reasons – it's better theater and sells more ads. Most people in the news business have been conditioned to believe that national elections should be close.

This conditioning leads to all sorts of problems and journalistic mischief, like a tendency of pundits to give equal weight to opposing views in situations where one of those views is actually completely moronic and illegitimate, a similar tendency to overlook or downplay glaring flaws in a candidate just because one of the two major parties has blessed him or her with its support (Sarah Palin is a classic example), and the more subtly dangerous tendency to describe races as "hotly contested" or "neck and neck" in nearly all situations regardless of reality, which not only has the effect of legitimizing both candidates but leaves people with the mistaken impression that the candidates are fierce ideological opposites, when in fact they aren't, or at least aren't always. This last media habit is the biggest reason that we don't hear about the areas where candidates like Romney and Obama agree, which come mostly in the hardcore economic issues.

It's obviously simplistic to say that in a country where the wealth divide is as big as it is in America, elections should always be landslide victories for the candidate who represents the broke-and-struggling sector of the population. All sorts of non-economic factors, from social issues to the personal magnetism of the candidates, can tighten the races. And just because someone happens to represent the very rich, well, that doesn't automatically disqualify him or her from higher office; he or she might have a vision for the whole country that is captivating (such a candidacy, however, would be more feasible during a time when the very rich were less completely besotted with corruption).

But when one of the candidates is Mitt Romney, the race shouldn't be close. You'll hear differently in the coming weeks from the news media, which will spend a lot of time scratching its figurative beard while it argues that a 54-46 split, or however this thing ends up (and they'll call anything above 53% for Obama a rout, I would guess), is evidence that the system is broken. But what we probably should be wondering is why it was ever close at all.



Matt Taibbi is a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. He’s the author of five books, most recently The Great Derangement and Griftopia, and a winner of the National Magazine Award for commentary.

 

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+57 # walthe310 2012-09-26 07:35
Mitt's losing or already lost, and Bill O'Reilly has some advice for him. Label Barack Obama a socialist. As if name calling is the best GOP strategy left. How pathetic have our politics and our politicians have become.
 
 
+29 # HowardMH 2012-09-26 11:49
The problem is not the stupid politicians but the millions of stupid imbeciles that vote for them, because of all the political ads that are telling the stupid people what to do – and the stupid people are continually doing it.
When you have someone this dumb that is running for president of the US and is such a close race and the idiots are still supporting him – no wonder this country is going to hell in a hand basket
Do you honestly know anyone over the age of 10 that has flown on an airplane that could make a statement this insane?
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/24/mitt-romney-airplane-windows_n_1910930.html
 
 
+8 # Artemis 2012-09-29 06:35
Same as in Italy, where with great sadness we had to admit, it's not Berlusconi, it's the Italians. Shameful and scary that people can become so mindless, egocentric, warped (we put some of it down to their TV, which is similar to TV in the US, and to the media, controlled by...guess who?).
But just take a look at the comments and postings in the Jerusalem Post, Ynet and Ma'ariv. Oh boy! At least the Italians aren't so poisonous.
 
 
+12 # popeye47 2012-09-26 18:02
I am glad that the Rs picked such a arrogant pompous rich person as their candidate for president. If the Rs had picked anyone halfway moderate they would have won hands down.

Anyway Romney has fulfilled his destiny by giving away the election by various means. It has become so comical that I don't have to read the comics anymore to get some laughs. Just watch Romney.
 
 
+7 # genierae 2012-09-29 07:47
Those conservative Republicans such as Jeb Bush, sat out the primaries and allowed Mitt Romney to win the nomination, and maybe this was deliberate so that President Obama would win a second term. He would have been hard to beat, as an incumbent who brought us back from the brink, and this way Tea Partiers will be slapped down and thrown out, leaving the way clear for sane Republicans to take the field again. It sort of makes a kind of cockeyed sense, they get rid of the Tea Party and take revenge on Romney, whom none of them like, at the same time.
 
 
+46 # DavidtheLiberal 2012-09-26 07:41
The news media likes a close race, and will make it as close a race as they can given whatever polls are out there.
 
 
+76 # LeeBlack 2012-09-26 08:00
I hope Democrats/Liber als don't get complacent - the Tea Party delivers voters, the ad money is effective when getting support from certain groups, Rove can still come up with an October Surprise.
 
 
+4 # unitedwestand 2012-09-29 22:26
Agreed, then there is always voter suppression and vote flipping we have to worry about. I know some that are thinking of protest voting and that I'm sure the Repubs hope for, I'm not going to participate in that action. Matt is right, the polls should not be this close if people remember what the GOP did to this country during the horrible 8 years of GWB. I don't forget that the 2000 and maybe the 2004 elections were stolen. If the GWB era had had positive results, maybe I could forgive and forget, but they didn't and I won't.
 
 
+30 # PGreen 2012-09-26 08:07
Ironically, there are good arguments against Obama policies-- from the Left. The Republican party (and Romney) will never make them because they support these policies more than the president. The protection of the interests of the elite-- and the restriction of the national narrative to topics acceptable to those interests-- is paramount.
 
 
+37 # futhark 2012-09-26 10:13
Many of those who supported Barack Obama in 2008 were expecting a 180 degree turn away from the Cheney/Bush Administration policies. Instead, Mr. Obama retained the Cheney/Bush Secretary of Defense, appointed Wall Street insiders to his staff, kept pushing the surveillance state apparatus agenda (PATRIOT Act, NDAA), kept Guantanamo open, and ramped up the drone attacks. It's like he was trying to out-neocon the neocons. That's no way to attract voters who are looking for a candidate who will stand up for peace and justice.
 
 
+9 # JSRaleigh 2012-09-26 12:09
Quoting futhark:
Many of those who supported Barack Obama in 2008 were expecting a 180 degree turn away from the Cheney/Bush Administration policies.


You should have looked at Obama's record as the bluest of Blue Dog Democrats in the Senate.
 
 
+18 # futhark 2012-09-26 19:21
I did. After his vote favoring the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), I was determined to vote for an alternative candidate. I don't regret my vote for Cynthia McKinney in the least. I cheered Mr. Obama's election initially, but have been disappointed, but not surprised, by his performance since, especially after his May, 2008, "Indefinite Detention" speech at the National Archives.
 
 
+11 # akh752 2012-09-28 12:29
YOu make some good points. However, you need to drop "kept Guantanamo open" from your list. That was Congress's doing after President Obama ordered the prisoners to be transferred to the US for trial.
 
 
+10 # lisamoskow 2012-09-26 08:11
Sigh!
 
 
-86 # phantomww 2012-09-26 08:18
"He's everything we've been trained to despise,"

He has it exactly right. You libs have all been "trained" just like good little monkeys and lemmings. Or more like Pavlov and his dogs. Must be nice to be so well "trained" to hate the rich and successful. Of course, once you are trained and have the govt take care of all of your needs and wants then you don't have to think for yourself and if you fail at something then you can always just blame someone else. After all, it can't be your fault.

I would end this with a ROFLMAO but the truth is just too sad for America.
 
 
+33 # ericsongs 2012-09-26 10:22
Quoting phantomww:
...Or more like Pavlov and his dogs. Must be nice to be so well "trained" to hate the rich and successful. ...

Your volley made me think about this. There are plenty of rich people to admire. I think that what we really object to is the methods. When a system that clearly relies on the efforts of the under-classes being "pumped-up", but the upper-classes rename the procedure to "trickle-down", that becomes merely pissing on our heads and claiming you are rainmakers.
There are also plenty of successful people to admire. Neil Armstrong was a successful person, who rightly, threw off the praise for his own contribution and returned to teaching for the remainder of his professional life.
I don't think we hate you for what you do - it is what you don't do and still take credit for it.
 
 
+38 # reiverpacific 2012-09-26 10:40
Quoting phantomww:

He has it exactly right. You libs have all been "trained" just like good little monkeys and lemmings. Or more like Pavlov and his dogs. Must be nice to be so well "trained" to hate the rich and successful. Of course, once you are trained and have the govt take care of all of your needs and wants then you don't have to think for yourself and if you fail at something then you can always just blame someone else. After all, it can't be your fault.

I would end this with a ROFLMAO but the truth is just too sad for America.


Au contraire o' blinkered one.
It's the reactionary right who tend to march in lockstep with the status-quo plutocrats, never looking outside the box that their greed and power-addicted leaders have constructed for them to prevent them trying to better themselves -but who hold up the carrot of "see you can be rich too, if you vote for us", one of the biggest myths ever perpetrated down the years of this country's history.
I don't give a Baboon's red bum, nor feel envy if someone is rich; -I'd like to be better off myself, having had spells of relative prosperity. But I expect the wealthy to pay their share into the community chest of common good versus hiding it overseas or shipping jobs to sweatshops.
And don't give me any crap about their philanthropy; they wouldn't give a dime if they couldn't get a tax break.
Face it, mostly they get wealth the old fashioned way; they inherit it!
 
 
-21 # phantomww 2012-09-26 18:37
river,
It must be nice to live in a dream world like yours. Nice that you never let facts get in your way.
Ex, your comment that "you can be rich too..." is a myth. So according to you a poor kid from Arkansas can never get rich (don't tell Bill Clinton). Or a poor half black kid from HI can never get rich (don't tell Obama). In fact, Obama himself said only in America can "this" happen. How about all the rich athletes from poor and middle class homes? Did they inherit it? How about Gates and Jobs? Did they inherit it? How about John Kerry, did he inherit it? Oops, that's right, he married wealth. How about all of the libs in Hollywood making movies and music, did they inherit it?
Now I do admit that you are right about the Kennedy's who did inherit it but they are dems so that doesn't count because they are "good" rich people.
As for donating, ever hear about Carnegie and what he gave away? That was BEFORE income taxes or deductions?
So, too bad facts just destroy your "reality".
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-09-27 15:40
Quoting phantomww:
river,
It must be nice to live in a dream world like yours. Nice that you never let facts get in your way.
Ex, your comment that "you can be rich too..." is a myth. So according to you a poor kid from Arkansas can never get rich (don't tell Bill Clinton). Or a poor half black kid from HI can never get rich (don't tell Obama). In fact, Obama himself said only in America can "this" happen. How about all the rich athletes from poor and middle class homes? Did they inherit it? How about Gates and Jobs? Did they inherit it? How about John Kerry, did he inherit it? Oops, that's right, he married wealth. How about all of the libs in Hollywood making movies and music, did they inherit it?
Now I do admit that you are right about the Kennedy's who did inherit it but they are dems so that doesn't count because they are "good" rich people.
As for donating, ever hear about Carnegie and what he gave away? That was BEFORE income taxes or deductions?
So, too bad facts just destroy your "reality".

It's you who are living in a dream world -I'll bet that you think you are living in a democracy- but I'm not going to bandy words with an intractable reactionary.
Of course there are those who get rich with exceptional talents and a bit of luck -or maybe like Rove and Reagan, are willing to be finks for the real power-brokers but even they are not the
 
 
-18 # phantomww 2012-09-27 17:22
Actually, I think we live in a Republic, not a democracy. I don't blame you for not wanting to bandy words with me because you are almost always wrong.

Have a nice day anyway.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2012-09-28 16:44
Quoting phantomww:
Actually, I think we live in a Republic, not a democracy. I don't blame you for not wanting to bandy words with me because you are almost always wrong.

Have a nice day anyway.

I meant that I don't care to waste time by rattlin' an empty, rusty tin can of a closed mind in the thrall of the corporate state. Only a narcissist accuses others of "almost always being wrong" without coming up with a valid debate point.
And by the way, it's "Reiver". Yer reading and interpretive skills are seemingly as blunted as your reasoning capacity.
I'm done with this little exchange as you are apparently a wanderer in the wilderness of reactionary cliché. All else is persiflage.
Have a nice journey in the wilderness of whatever your journey is, me ould sweetheart.
 
 
-11 # phantomww 2012-09-28 20:52
Actually river it is a typing issue not a reading issue. In case you didn't notice I had come up with valid debating points where I pointed out that your comments were wrong by providing actual facts.
but then this is typical when I try to debate a lib. I provide facts to counter their comments and they call names and run away.
Have a nice day in la la land
 
 
+22 # Independentgal 2012-09-26 11:08
I don't know where you get the idea that those of us who are not right wing hate the rich and successful. There are plenty of non-Republicans who are very rich and very successful. However, they care more about the country as a whole, not just the super rich and the large corporations. What they despise are those who don't care about the country and who are prone to fascist propaganda that would give power to those who would strip this country bare of any semblance of a democracy. Maybe you want a theocracy, oligarchy, or fascist form of government. Not I.
 
 
-25 # phantomww 2012-09-26 18:43
Actually, I want a limited federal government like that created in the US Constitution. Not what we have today where every aspect of my daily life is infringed on by government to include what type of light bulb and toilet I can have. Give me a break.
It is libs who want the all powerful federal govt to "take care" of us like little children. "Please Mr President, give me food, a job, free education, free health care, take care of my retirement, don't let people smoke near me, give me a house, a cell phone etc."
So according to you only non-Republicans who are rich are ok. I guess when Soros destroyed the British pound and hurt all those poor Brits, that was ok because he is not an "evil republican"? Whatever.
 
 
+17 # molesoul 2012-09-27 06:48
"I don't mind you being rich. I mind you BUYING MY GOVERNMENT!"
anonymous protester's sign
 
 
-18 # phantomww 2012-09-27 08:20
Does the protestor also protest when unions (especially public employee unions) buy his/her government also?

Wonder if the protestor is upset about Soros buying liberal dems politicians or just upset when the Kock brothers do it?

Maybe the protestor should stop protesting and become rich and buy his/her government back.
 
 
+17 # ericlipps 2012-09-26 13:46
Quoting phantomww:
"He's everything we've been trained to despise,"

He has it exactly right. You libs have all been "trained" just like good little monkeys and lemmings. Or more like Pavlov and his dogs. Must be nice to be so well "trained" to hate the rich and successful. Of course, once you are trained and have the govt take care of all of your needs and wants then you don't have to think for yourself and if you fail at something then you can always just blame someone else. After all, it can't be your fault.

I would end this with a ROFLMAO but the truth is just too sad for America.

Of course, once you can blame brainwashed "libs" for the despicability of your favored party's ticket, whatever folliows can't be YOUR fault. If Obama wins and things don't improve, it's lberals' fault; if Romney is elected and things don't improve, it's because liberals are sabotaging him. If Romney's elected and things do improve, clearly it's all because of him, while if Obama is re-elected and things improve, it's because of George W. Bush or perhaps Ronald Reagan. Nice scam you've got going.
 
 
-15 # phantomww 2012-09-26 18:47
Kind of like the scam you are running in that since the economy will recover at some point in time, you can give credit to Obama when it does even if his actions delayed the recovery.

If Obama wins and things don't improve, of course it is the libs fault because they would have been in power for 8 years. If Romney wins and it doesn't improve, it would depend on why is doesn't but if he does not do things to improve it then it would be his fault.
Of course, if it does not improve Obama can always just keep blaming Bush. I can see it now, Obama wins, economy still sucks, Dems win in 2016 and whoever that is still blames Bush.
IF Obama is such a great leader then why can't he undo what Bush did? Reagan undid what Carter did?
 
 
0 # overanddone 2012-09-27 02:20
By raing taxes
 
 
+3 # phantomww 2012-09-27 08:16
Top tax rate in 1981 (Reagan first year) was 69.13%. Top tax rate in 1988 (Reagan last year following TRA 1986) was 28%.

Seems like a tax cute to me.
 
 
+8 # maddave 2012-09-26 21:30
Well, lookee here! It's Gary from Spring Valley ---visiting his vitriol, frustration and anger upon us once again. How was your Yom Kippur, Gary? Obviously your atonement hasn't successful. I'm sorry, but don't dispair! Sometimes it takes a while.

But atonement isn't everything! Having the ability to psychoanalyze the less desirable 47% of America's citizens has to be difficult & distracting. And on top of that you envision the motives and character of all 148,050,000 of us. What a spectacular feat ---not unlike what one encounters hourly on the Rush's EIB Network . . . and in skinhead convocation. It's difficult humble when possessed with such a gift, such talent. .

As for your comments about we liberals' being trained monkeys; hating the rich & successful; mooching off of others & the government; failing; and then blaming others . . . It sounds like you're well experienced in those areas. All I can say is "stick with your meds, Gary" and hope that tomorrow will be brighter.
 
 
-13 # phantomww 2012-09-27 09:52
mad,
Where do you get that I am mad or frustrated? Is that projection on your part? After all, it was not I who wrote in the article that people have been trained to hate the rich, it was the liberal writer. I just expanded on his comment. As for Yom Kippur, it was nice here in Spring Valley, low to middle 80's and clear skies. Great weather in CA.
Not sure what I need to atone for so I guess it will take even longer. I guess you think I need to atone for wanting to have a federal government that is limited in scope as described in the constitution.
BTW, I don't see what the issue about the 47% is. Are you telling me that 47% of those voting will not vote for Obama regardless of what Romney says or does? Is it not a fact that both sides normally get around 47% and that the election swings on the remaining 6%.
Just curious, what could Romeny say or do that would get you to vote for him? If the answer is nothing then he was right to not spend any time or money trying to convince you to vote for him. Just like Obama is right (politically) to not spend time on the 47% who will not vote for him.
 
 
+9 # maddave 2012-09-27 11:04
Your question:
Quote:Just curious, what could Romeny say or do that would get you to vote for him? Unquote
My answer:
Anything that the hard facts later do not refute OR something indicating that he may be in touch with WE The People.
 
 
-14 # phantomww 2012-09-27 10:26
Dave,

You accuse me of being angry yet you are the one who has "mad" in his screen name. Why are you so mad that you felt the need to include that in you name?

Of course, there are 2 definitions of "mad". One is when someone is angry and the other is when someone is crazy.

So, what is it Dave? Are you mad or crazy?

I think maybe you should check your meds and stop with the projection.

Time to go teach class. Be back later.
 
 
+40 # heidihej 2012-09-26 08:41
I agree for the most part, but you don't even mention RACE.mthere is a faction of this country, the deep south in particular, who just can't bring themselves to see a black president as legitimate. This is significant, and can't be put on democratic ineptitude. I agree wholeheartedly about the dearth of enforcement against Wall Street, which gives me severe heartburn.
 
 
+32 # maddave 2012-09-26 08:42
The (presumably invisible) 800 pound gorilla sitting at the table is Obama's race. Given a fair campaign finance system PLUS a full-body color transplant, it would already be "all over".

As it is --- as LeeBlack so wisely noted --- we can still be skewered upon the pike of our own complacency and buried under anonymous super pac money.

So, let's keep on truckin' and turnin' out those voters and their votes. For what's at stake, we can stand on our heads for another forty days!


- accurw0bama would now be ahead by 20+ points and would carry all 50 states in November.
 
 
-9 # phantomww 2012-09-27 09:57
I guess when you guys can't defend Obama on his record, or he can't either then your best options is to go to the lib dems playbook and throw the race card. Afterall, who could not like Obama's policies that give us 8% plus unemployment, unrest in the Middle East (thought they were supposed to love us now that Bush is gone), GITMO still open, NDAA passed giving any president massive powers to limit our freedoms, etc. How is that hope and change working out for you. BTW, small point and you have not done this but plese don't refer to me as a Repub because I am an independant who can think for himself and decide which party/person to vote for and not just be a mindnumbed robot (on either side).
Have a nice day.
 
 
+21 # ericsongs 2012-09-26 08:46
I still think that there are no contradictions this time around either. In 2008, Palin assured the loss that the repubs wanted at the time (after trashing the economy) and Robme Romney will assure GOP loss once again in 2012.
All of their eggs are being carefully placed in the Jeb Bush 2016 basket for a horrendous future under a final Bush Regime. The New Dark Ages do cometh.
 
 
+7 # SMoonz 2012-09-26 09:30
It wouldn't be the final Bush regime. They're grooming Jeb's son George P. Bush for politics as well.
 
 
-14 # James Marcus 2012-09-26 08:48
I know. Crazy. So, shoot me.
Romney and all the other Primary Republican nominees, are NUTS, to a one. Suspiciously so. Yup, another 'conspiracy Theory'
The 'Bankstas' have financed all these loonies. ALL. (yes, Obama, too)
Obama is their man. Doesn't he 'Look Good' next to these jerks?
Obama is a looser and a LIAR. Horrendous record. But he 'looks good' now, next to these guys.
And he is The Banksta's Boy
The 'campaign' is all a charade, prior to his second term.
 
 
+8 # SMoonz 2012-09-26 09:34
You are definitely right. Romney was thrown in as Obama's opponent to guarantee 4 more years.
There is no way Romney could win. If you watch his speeches, statements, interviews, it is like he is throwing the election. The man says the most idiotic things to make people angry and basically does whatever it takes to look bad. Even then, this election is somewhat close. I say close, only because it is not going to be a landslide but I can tell you that Obama has this election won.
It is all a charade to make everyone think we have 2 options when we really don't.
 
 
+11 # mairalargo 2012-09-26 09:00
If journalists w/devotion to veracity (thank you Matt!), not party, could say what they write to an iPhone generation w/as much prime-time hype as Rush or Honey Boo Boo, Rmoney would have stayed as distant as an offshore account.

The double-edged sword of technology has expanded the quality of life as much as killed its collective intelligence. When some guy in a suit & sunglasses can get the attention of a nation doing some stupid (Gonda?) dance, yet just as many people don't know the name of their own states Senators, whose jobs affect their daily lives... therein lies the answer.

I used to think government rescinding the rights of citizens to bear arms was the only act possible that would wake up a nation to revolt in unison against the machine- not anymore. Take away their cell phones (which more people have than guns), and watch the peasants revolt.
 
 
+6 # Smokey 2012-09-26 09:25
Oh, well.... It's still the same answer.... Romney will probably be defeated - although nothing is definite in politics - but we'll wind up with a conservative Congress even if the Democrats win the show.... Why the poor performance for the Democrats? It's not racism - except for some misguided voters in Appalachia - because most of the racists won't vote for a liberal Democrat even if he looks and sounds like Jimmy Carter at a Sunday school convention... The big issue in America is still JOBS..... Unemployment figures are much too high and industrial jobs - and even some of the service jobs - are being exported to authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam... So lots of unemployed voters think, "Romney smells like a stinker but we're not getting much from Obama. Maybe we should try Romney. How can things get any worse?" Yeah, it's naive thinking. It's wrong. Still, this is the reality that Democrats need to face.
 
 
+6 # angelfish 2012-09-26 09:28
You're right, Matt. the ReTHUGlcans have become so morally bankrupt, decent RePublicans have fled in droves. People like phantomww have become the arbiters of all that IS the ReTHUGlican Party these days. I can't understand WHY they hate Americans. I certainly don't hate Rich people. I DO intensely dislike Mega-Wealthy RICH people who USE fools like phantomww to spout their Bull-Puckey, however! I would REALLY appreciate it if they just came out and admitted that there is NO Christianity in them. They are anathema to EVERYTHING Christ preached! So please, Register, help everyone you know to do the same, get appropriate I.D. for your State and GET to the Polls on November 6th and never, EVER vote ReTHUGlican!
 
 
+9 # mayordoug 2012-09-26 09:35
It is EXTREMELY disappointing that we no longer have a "fourth estate", a journalistic commitment to disseminating FACT while rooting out corruption. I guess that duty died with the rest of the "American Dream".
 
 
+12 # stonecutter 2012-09-26 09:41
In the universe of pop music, they called Sinatra "The Voice". IMO, in the present universe of political punditry Matt Taibbi is "The Voice". There are some terrific pundits writing and blogging all over the place, but Taibbi's blend of facts, style and blunt assessment of the bad guys, his focus on the semiotics of market capitalism, financial predation and biblical greed, floats my boat better than most, especially when it comes to his chronicles of dystopian Wall Street psychopathy.

Trouble is so few really read or listen, let alone understand. Why didn't Rocky Anderson or Gary Johnson or Buddy Roemer get any more than a whiff of traction in this election cycle, let alone less than perfunctory media exposure? We're encased in this "broken" two-party system like a mummy in his sarcophagus, and with the notable exception in my lifetime of the inimitable Ross Perot in 1992, we haven't been able to break out (I can still hear his dire prophetic warnings about NAFTA and globalism, offered up in his alto Texas twang). Nader's progressive run in 2000 served only to tip the election toward Bush, although some on the left will dispute this fact 'til death. A third party candidate must rise up from a solid, well-funded, universally legitimized third party base; otherwise, he or she is doomed by the exigencies of the current rigged system, in which both candidates are slopping from the same financial trough of big-dollar donors and bundlers. Show me the money!
 
 
+9 # 4yourinformation 2012-09-26 10:18
I've said it before and here I go again....the corporate media is the most despicable group of whores there is. If they actually did their jobs for US instead of the pathological douchebags that they seem to protect, this contest would be much more widened than it is, as Matt described.

And even with Obama's record...this should be true.

With a GENUINE objective media, we would have a whole different pallet of candidates, FAR to the left on BOTH sides. We would have mulit-party elections with all kinds of choices.

The reason we don't is that the political media whore keep the status quo and they do it well.

THERE WILL BE A RECKONING!
 
 
+12 # Regina 2012-09-26 10:29
Poll counts are meaningless in the face of the RGA's conspiracy to prevent likely Democratic voters from casting their ballots at their superblocked polls on 11/6. Democrats must not take current poll counts seriously -- they must mobilize to take every possible measure against the New Dixie Poll Tax.
 
 
+5 # JSRaleigh 2012-09-26 12:07
Quoting Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone Magazine:
It's not as bad as it would be in a Romney presidency, but it comes close.


That's a hell of an endorsement for Obama. Damned with fain praise indeed.

I think it under-states just how bad a Romeny Presidency will really be for the 99%. I'll be vote for Obama again in November, but I'm not one of those who thinks he's going to suddenly come all over progressive in a second term.

I'm afraid an Obama second term will be an even greater betrayal of the working class than his first term was.
 
 
+13 # janie1893 2012-09-26 12:41
1.---change the voting system so the individual can directly vote for a candidate.

2.---cap the amount that can be spent on a campaign so candidates cannot buy their way into office.
 
 
+13 # lexy677 2012-09-26 13:18
Why WHY is NOBODY ready to accept the fact that it is the "insecurity" of white males that makes this contest "close" and that they have been completely responsible for the massive transfer of wealth to the 1% over the last 40 years?; They EVEN VOTED 56% to 46% for McCain/Palin and now support Romney 58% to 42% for Obama. They gave us Reagan & George Bush. Stupidity cowardice and lack of "real" self-esteem; that's their problem.
 
 
+8 # elmont 2012-09-26 13:20
Matt, you da man!
 
 
+7 # MHAS 2012-09-26 13:45
Matt wrote: "If this race had even one guy running in it who didn't take money from all the usual quarters and actually represented the economic interests of ordinary people, it wouldn't be close. It shouldn't be close." Jill Stein is running and is just such a person but if she gets a fraction of the votes she deserves, Dems will blame her for Mitt's election as they did Nader for W's. The media and debate commission make sure no one knows she exists...and Matt's right with them. She would never get near a nomination from the Dems just as people like Rep Pete Stark have been ostacized by the Dems...no serious 99% rep need apply.
 
 
+5 # Archie1954 2012-09-26 13:55
I simply put it down to the American electorate's willful ignorance!
 
 
+6 # MHAS 2012-09-26 14:45
Matt writes: "If this race had even one guy running in it who didn't take money from all the usual quarters and actually represented the economic interests of ordinary people, it wouldn't be close. It shouldn't be close." Jill Stein is just such a candidate. Never heard of her? The MSM, Presidential Debate Commission (and our own Matt Taibbi) are making sure that remains the case. The Dems demonizing of Nader has insured we accept the choice between a socially moderate corporatist and a far-right corporatist. Stein would never catch a wiff of the Dem nomination. She'd be ostracized just as Pete Stark has been. No serious 99% reps need apply.
 
 
+5 # speedboy 2012-09-27 00:51
If GOP sphincters are up-tight over Obama, what would happen if they faced someone like Taibbi who was willing to call their bluff. I'm sure they would blow a gasket!!!
 
 
+6 # overanddone 2012-09-27 01:46
Bloomberg's Jesse Drucker in a story that broke at 4:00 a.m.: "In January 1999, a trust set up by Mitt Romney for his children and grandchildren reaped a 1,000 percent return on the sale of shares in Internet advertising firm DoubleClick ... If Romney had given the cash directly, he could have owed a gift tax at a rate as high as 55 percent. He avoided gift and estate taxes by using a type of generation-skip ping trust known to tax planners by the nickname: 'I Dig It.' ...
"While Romney's tax avoidance is both legal and common among high-net-worth individuals, it has become increasingly awkward for his candidacy since the disclosure of his remarks at a May fundraiser. He said that the nearly one-half of Americans who pay no income taxes are 'dependent upon government' and 'believe that they are victims.' ... 'People like Mitt Romney make a lot of money, but they pay very little income tax,' said Victor Fleischer, a tax law professor at the University of Colorado who has written extensively about private equity and taxes. 'Then by dodging the estate and gift tax, they are able to build dynastic wealth.
These DoubleClick documents really show that tax planning in action'"
 
 
+8 # molesoul 2012-09-27 06:43
The root of all evil in politics is, of course, MONEY. We have a polical system that is DEPENDENT on wealthy individual and corporate FUNDERS who contribute large sums to campaign coffers, independent political ads, and lobbying. These FUNDERS are not THE PEOPLE (i.e., the 99%).
This is why we only get viable candidates from the two parties. This is why the issues that Congress considers, the people who have access to members, and the legislation that gets passed (and that fails to pass) are skewed toward favoring the Funders.
If you want to see this changed, join the growing grasroots movement to GET BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS.
Rootstrikers, founded by Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig, is one of dozens of organizations fighting to restore power over American politics and government to THE PEOPLE. Move to Amend, Public Citizen, and Common Cause are a few of the others. Check out their websites. Read Lessig's book, Republic Lost. It isn't a lost cause if WE THE PEOPLE start taking action.
 
 
+5 # wleming 2012-09-28 14:30
bravo matt, now about that tv show they won't allow you.... capitalism loathes democracy and romney loathes people. pefect fit.
 

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