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Excerpt: "We have a party that's been taken over by Tea Partiers, nativists, social Darwinists, homophobes, right-wing evangelicals, and a few rich people whose only interest is to become even wealthier."

Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)
Portrait, Robert Reich, 08/16/09. (photo: Perian Flaherty)

Two Reasons Romney Is Losing

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog

25 September 12


've spent the past few days debating right-wingers - among them, Grover Norquist and Ann Coulter. This isn't my idea of fun. I do it because apparently many Americans find these people persuasive, and it seems important to try to show why they're profoundly wrong.

There are two major theories about why Romney is dropping in the polls. One is Romney is a lousy candidate, unable to connect with people or make his case.

The second is that Americans are finally beginning to see how radical the GOP has become, and are repudiating it.

Many Republicans - including some of the right-wingers I've been debating - hold to the first view, for obvious reasons. If Romney fails to make a comeback this week, I expect even more complaints from this crowd about Romney's personal failings, as well as the inadequacies of his campaign staff.

But the second explanation strikes me as more compelling. The Republican primaries, and then the Republican convention, have shown America a party far removed from the "compassionate conservatism" the GOP tried to sell in 2000. Instead, we have a party that's been taken over by Tea Partiers, nativists, social Darwinists, homophobes, right-wing evangelicals, and a few rich people whose only interest is to become even wealthier.

These regressives were there in 2000, to be sure. They lurked in the GOP in the 1990s, when Newt Gingrich took over the House. They were there in the 1980s, too, although Ronald Reagan's sunny disposition gave them cover. In truth, they've been part of the GOP for more than half a century - but never before have they held so much sway in the party, never before have they called the shots.

The second view about Romney's decline also explains the "negative coat-tail" effect - why so many Republicans around the country in Senate and House races are falling behind. Scott Brown, for example, is well-liked in Massachusetts. But his polls have been dropping in recent weeks because he's had to carry the burden of the public's increasing dislike of the Republican Party. The same is true with regard to Republican senate races in Florida, Virginia, and every other battleground state.

Romney's failing isn't that he's a bad candidate. To the contrary, he's giving this GOP exactly what it wants in a candidate. And that's exactly the problem for Romney - as it is for every other Republican candidate - because what the GOP wants is not at all what the rest of America wants.

Robert B. Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause. your social media marketing partner


A note of caution regarding our comment sections:

For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

Marc Ash
Founder, Reader Supported News

+112 # ER444 2012-09-25 08:46
Boy I hope you are right.
-98 # edge 2012-09-25 10:10
Quoting ER444:
Boy I hope you are right.

Oh he is right, so much so the Democrats don't even need bother to vote!

Thank you Bobby, please keep depressing the vote on the left!!
+69 # Billy Bob 2012-09-25 11:12
Whatever it takes huh? Since the American people don't want twit in office, the only thing you conservatives have left is to encourage people not to vote, or outright prevent them from being allowed to.

You're getting desparate.
+43 # AndreM5 2012-09-25 12:30
Not to mention undemocratic and anti-American.
-85 # edge 2012-09-25 12:42
Quoting Billy Bob:

You're getting desparate.

No, just enjoying your circle j*rk!

Everyone knows Obama, if he does not have 50% of the voters by now he aint getting 'em!

I do enjoy your wishful thinking and if the October 5th Employment Situation report is not up it will be almost impossible for Obama to say jobs are going the right way!

Yes, yes I know that the Dems will try to spin it that Bush came back in the middle of the night and made things even worse, but THE ONE has been a dismal failure and will not be re-elected.

Sorry if the truth hurts but failure is not rewarded in the USA.
+70 # bmiluski 2012-09-25 13:23
I absolutely amazes me how you people live in a different universe. We warned you about gwbush, but you called us traitors. Our predictions came true and instead of apologizing and learning from your mistake you not only deny it but you want to do it again so that the romneys of this country/world can finish what newt gingrich started... the deconstruction of American democracy.
+32 # James Smith 2012-09-25 14:00
How would you know anything about the truth? YOu haven't said one thing that's true and you make no attempt to justify your statements. Either come up with proof or slink back to your neo-con sewer.
+25 # ericlipps 2012-09-25 16:11
Quoting edge:
Quoting Billy Bob:

You're getting desparate.

No, just enjoying your circle j*rk!

Everyone knows Obama, if he does not have 50% of the voters by now he aint getting 'em!

I do enjoy your wishful thinking and if the October 5th Employment Situation report is not up it will be almost impossible for Obama to say jobs are going the right way!

Yes, yes I know that the Dems will try to spin it that Bush came back in the middle of the night and made things even worse, but THE ONE has been a dismal failure and will not be re-elected.

Sorry if the truth hurts but failure is not rewarded in the USA.

Ahem. "Failure is not rewarded"? No doubt that explains how George W. Bush, a man who was a flopperoo in every endeavor in his entire life from the military on unless bailed oout by Daddy and his friends, got to the White House.
+20 # steve_d 2012-09-25 16:45
You are very probably wrong, "edge." Virtually all electoral vote analyses have Obama in the clear lead by a fairly wide margin.

You can HOPE for CHANGE, but on election day, you'll probably be facing 4 more years of Obama. Liberals faced 8 long years of Bush, so you and other conservatives can survive too.
+10 # David Starr 2012-09-25 17:24
@edge: No, but you enjoy being a political maschocist. Hurts so good, eh?
+8 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-26 04:26
"Sorry if the truth hurts but failure is not rewarded in the USA."
Edge, you have got to be kidding!! You have lived up to your 'handle,' you have gone over the edge!

Wall street is all about rewarding failure, or haven't you been paying any sort of attention to the financial goings-on on Wall Street!

Wall Street has never met a fiduciary responsibility it deemed worthy of consideration. Where else does one get a bonus for abject failure, but on Wall Street?

The concept of "too big to fail" was advanced by Wall Street as a way of getting the people of the USA to pay for their gambling loses to the tune of over a trillion dollars. Talk about awarding failure; egad, what a racket!

Basic tenet of Wall Street is this:
When the coin is flipped up in the air, the results are always the same; heads they win, tails you (we) lose.

The truth does not hurt if it is the truth. The truth only hurts when it is a outright lie!

Edge, what sand dune have you been burying your head in these last four years?
+43 # bmiluski 2012-09-25 13:19
Please, we democrates know better then to think that the republicans aren't going to try to steal the election. That's why we ALL plan on coming out to vote.
+7 # soularddave 2012-09-25 22:15
Quoting bmiluski:
That's why we ALL plan on coming out to vote.

0 # Michael Lee Bugg 2012-09-27 07:46
Soularddave, I wish it were that simple, paper ballots ensuring the true outcome, but if millions of likely Democratic voters don't get a ballot or even access to a machine, paper ballots won't matter. Plus, the Rethuglicans will try to intimidate voters wherever they can, and they will move polling places at the last minute, and if that is not enough they will rig voting machines or more likely the tabulators to switch a percentage of the votes from Democrats to Republicans. They are hard at work in all the Red states and Red precincts in Blue states trying to commit the ultimate 'voter fraud' - rigging the election. Democrats should be up in arms and raising Hell BEFORE the election, because as 2000 and 2004 have shown all Republicans have to do is keep it close and then steal it! Where is the outrage over this or the filthy rich trying to buy this election for idiotic selfative Republicans?
+42 # Independentgal 2012-09-25 13:42
I don't know what the "left" is doing, but there are plenty of Obama supporters who are encouraging everyone to get out and vote for Obama and also the straight Democratic ticket. I'm an Independent, but the Republican party has become so nuts that I abhor it. The thought of the right wing taking over our country is extremely frightening. We don't need fascism! If you think Mr. Reich's article will suppress the vote, you are sadly mistaken.
+11 # David Starr 2012-09-25 17:23
@edge; I've lost most of my hope that someone like yourself can be thought-provoki ng and articulate. I'm again reminded of a cave dweller pounding his chest, thumping his club on the ground and making grunting noises in attempts to point an arthritic finger at the loyal opposition.
+11 # ABen 2012-09-25 21:00
Edge (of sanity?) So you prefer the "party too patriotic for facts" and "the candidate too wealthy for taxes?" (tip of the quotation hat to the Daily Show)?
+8 # soularddave 2012-09-25 22:11
Quoting edge:
Oh he is right, so much so

Actually he's partially right. The article left out a few groups who hate Barack Obama. He omitted the looney 'birthers', and the ardent RACISTS that can't stand to see a man of color in the White House.

Add up the groups who Romney\Ryan has disenfranchised...

Young people, old people, people of color, immigrants, students, scientists, union members, people of lesser means, Women, mortgage holders, gay folks, environmentalis ts, teachers, the British, Veterans, the chronically ill, the unemployed, those needing government assistance, parents of students, and the list continues to grow with every speech.
+1 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-26 04:31
That's a big list; it nearly covers everyone. I said nearly! Here's another group they have disenfranchised ...the voter!
-6 # RMDC 2012-09-27 05:06
edge -- don't worry. Romney is taking a dive. The ruling elites still want Obama because he is more effective at carrying out their orders than Romney/Ryan would be. It is the same as in 1996 when the Reps put up Bob Dole, who also took a dive.

There are very many things that Obama can do that a repub cannot do. For one, the invasion and destruction of Libya and Syria. If Bush would have tried that, there would have been a huge protest in the US. But Obama does it and no one utters a peep.

I also think the biggest goal of the ruling elite in the next 4 years will be the transfer of social security and medicare to the private sector. There's a lot of money here that the private sector wants. If the reps tried to do this, they would not be successful. Congressional democracts would dig thier heels in. But when Obama does it, the dems will vote for it and so will the reps.

Don't worry. Obama will win and we will all be screwed.
+18 # James Smith 2012-09-25 11:13
Me, too. It seems almost impossible that a significant portion of the public could start to see the truth. Most people believe what they want to believe and facts be damned,

As H.L. Mencken said, nearly a century ago, "No one even lost an election underestimating the intelligence of the American public." That was before the teal party. What would he think now? Or would he simply emigrate in disgust?
+32 # Independentgal 2012-09-25 13:44
Thankfully, I keep reading about Republicans who've had it with this crazy party, and many of them are voting for Obama.
+86 # D12345 2012-09-25 08:52
Yes....but I must object to the reference to Reagan's "sunny disposition." The man was an actor. He knew how to project a sunny disposition.

You may recall his estrangement from all of his children...neve r saw his grandchild etc etc.

Please do not mistake any politician's persona for the person.
+107 # Barbara K 2012-09-25 09:00
Another thing: Romneyhood has no credibility. He lies every time he opens his mouth, hides his money in other countries so he doesn't have to pay taxes and support OUR country, the one that made him wealthy in the first place. He's a bully, a spoiled brat who thinks he is entitled to having everything his way. Not what we want for a president. He's more like a dictator.
+36 # bmiluski 2012-09-25 13:24
And lets not forget his buddy ryan. He not only got called out for his lies during the convention, but he just keeps repeating them. He must have so much contempt for the American people.
+27 # Regina 2012-09-25 14:04
Actually, Mitt the nitwit is just a tool for the power-hungry ultra-right, and that gang has already said that all they want in a president is someone who can sign his name wherever they direct him to do so. The dictation will come from behind the curtain, like Grover Norquist or Karl Rove.
+3 # James38 2012-09-26 06:53
And Wrongmoney looks like what he is - a slimy dishonest con-man with a penchant for perfecting his "honest nice guy" snake oil salesman grin, meanwhile sarcastically and snidely laughing all the way to the bank.
+77 # Billy Bob 2012-09-25 09:01
I don't think the repug party has "become" radical, as Reich claims. I don't think the American people are reacting to a new version of the repug party.

It has been this extreme since nixon's southern strategy, since ray-gun's voodoo economics and since newt's attacks on the last vestiges of political civility. It's part of the conservative mindset.

What's happening is that the American people are finally rejecting it outright. They aren't just reacting to the t-party (which is nothing more than the latest re-branding of the far right). People are rejecting the entire history of modern conservative ideology and what it has done to this country.

Zombie nixon, and zombie ray-gun wouldn't do any better than romney has done in this election.

People are finally ready to put the ideas of Joe McCarthy, and Herbert Hoover behind us. This has been a long time coming.

Think about it. Who else COULD the repug party have nominated that would have done any better? As bad as he is, twit romney is the most palatable candidate American conservatism had to offer.
+29 # natalierosen 2012-09-25 10:31
I AGREE totally with Billy Bob. It is what I have been blogging and talking about for a LONG time. Romney is NOT a disappointment to the Republican Party he is EMBLEMATIC of it. Perhaps in Romney's heart (IF he has one) his core beliefs are not as extreme unless he truly has NO core beliefs but will believe that moon is made of green cheese if the Tea Party bosses say it is then if that is the case we know demographics are changing. This white remnant of the old south Dixicrats morphed into Nixon's so called Moral Majority and his southern strategy gone wild then the Republican party is singing HOPEFULLY its own death knell.

America never has been about extremes of either poles just ask the New Left SDS of the Sixties to see what happened to them!
+23 # MHAS 2012-09-25 11:29
"America never has been about extremes of either poles just ask the New Left SDS of the Sixties to see what happened to them!" Look where the rejection of the left has gotten us. The far left is and was called "extreme" because we have this myth that there is such a thing as a "center" where the moderate and reasonable reside. With regards to economics, that center has shifted further and further to the right over the decades. What is reasonable and moderate about a status quo ("the center") and a system in which wealth is highly concentrated, working people and students are swimming in debt and powerless due to suppressed wages, the environment is being pillaged and ecosystems destroyed, health care is a commodity, education is a commodity and viewed as job training (and completely corporatized), and we are all reduced to consumers rather than citizens? This is fascism in its theoretical sense---corpora tism. Radical means root--that one sees all problems as stemming in some sense from the root--from a system and its rationalization s--- it does not mean extreme or violent. It's a recognition the system is failing all of us--humans and the biosphere. We had better become radicals soon or we will become extinct.
+14 # Billy Bob 2012-09-25 12:54
That was very well put. What the media wants to sell us as "extremist" about left-wing ideals closely matches what most Americans actually believe. The left doesn't own much of the media, so we have to think strategically to cut through the propaganda. The fact that we can affectively argue our viewpoint is probably the most powerful tool we have.

I also agree with your view of the so-called "center".
+15 # Billy Bob 2012-09-25 13:03
Thank you. Good comments. I think the problem with percieved extremes is perception. The extreme right really is extreme and has an extremist agenda that is radically different from what the majoirty of Americans want. When the left is perceived to be just as extreme, it's usually because we don't have the control of the money and media to paint our own image. The left's main problem is (in my opinion) strategic. Afterall, what we want is largely what the majority of Americans want, but somehow many of these same individuals will self-identify as "conservative". Yes, they're profoundly ignorant, but we have to deal with that fact and somehow get through to them anyway. We can't do it by being more conservative. We also can't do it by allowing ourselves to be portrayed as a false equivalency to the t-baggers.

It's really complicated, but it's pretty obvious to me that people like you and MHAS could educate our politicians in strategy.
+35 # AndreM5 2012-09-25 10:37
Well, I am not as convinced as you seem to be. In any case, I my hope is for 60% of the voters, which would be a landslide that could carry the Senate and a chunk of the House. I remain convinced that 25% of the country (not necessarily of voters) are the extremists you mention, unavailable to persuasion or fact-based arguments. They will not put McCarthy, Reagan, Romney, Shrub or racism behind them ever.
+15 # Billy Bob 2012-09-25 11:07
Of course. You're right. But that 25% is a small fraction. It used to be bigger. That 25% can't win elections. Recently, the hard right was still squeaking by, largely due to the lack of involvement by the left and by the indifference or ignorance of the so-called "middle". These people have seen enough of what that 25% has in mind for this country and are finally trying to stop them.

You're right. That 25% will probably always be there. But I think they've finally pissed off the rest of us to the point where we won't tolerate their attempts to dictate our future for us.
+43 # PhilO 2012-09-25 09:33
No one can say so much in so few words.
PS "RRR" = "Robert Reich Rocks"
+33 # Buddha 2012-09-25 09:50
What I find hilarious to hear are the comments from the GOP that if they loose this election, that it means that they weren't "far enough to the Right", and that they just need different people carrying their banner. It never enters their skull that their entire platform is the problem, except when they realize they have to disenfranchise and attack demographically growing minorities to try to hold onto power for another election cycle or two.
+6 # soularddave 2012-09-25 22:26
I think it wouldn't hurt to RECALL some of the more radical t-party Rethuglicans early. Why let them continue on with their anti-everything agenda.

Let's get Congress moving again!
+35 # tswhiskers 2012-09-25 10:01
The Republican Party now appears as a wolf in sheep's clothing as more of the public see that what they voted for was not what they wanted. They increasingly see the undemocratic nature of the Rep. agenda and are appalled at it. They see the "small government" policies morphing into the antiabortion, antiprivacy policies of VA, PA and other Rep. governed states. They see the "freedom" preached by the Reps. as encroaching on the right of citizen to vote, if their party affiliation, skin color or age threaten those same Reps. They see a party which is increasingly unable to hide its true constituency, the very rich, and its willingness to impoverish the majority thereby enriching the already obscenely wealthy. Finally Americans have awakened from their sleep of willful ignorance to the realities of Rep. policies and politics. I was afraid it would not happen until the Reps. had overwhelmed our govt. so that it was too late and policies such as those now existing in the state of Michigan might be used as a model for governing the states. We have been in danger of losing many of our democratic institutions. Yes, our lives are busy and we all have more immediate concerns, but we have been granted a gift, a huge warning re the transitory nature of democratic govt. and the need to be continually watchful that our democracy not be gradually destroyed so that those with wealth and power can continue to govern for their own benefit to the detriment of the rest of us.
+18 # David Starr 2012-09-25 10:05
Quoting: "There are two major theories about why Romney is dropping in the polls. One is Romney is a lousy candidate, unable to connect with people or make his case.

"The second is that Americans are finally beginning to see how radical the GOP has become, and are repudiating it."

Mr. Reich, there's certainly more than two ways. Please count the ways.

The current tendencies in the Grossly Obese Party have probably been there indefintely, hiding under the surface of GOP "moderation." They've now come from up and onto the surface. This is a showing of the GOP's true colors, harkening back to the Guilded Age.
-2 # grouchy 2012-09-25 10:06
But the Mittster sure is pretty!
+6 # Ray Kondrasuk 2012-09-25 10:20
No! Romney leads in all polls! says Mike Huckabee.

I stumbled across his claim of biased polling this morning as I was about to retune my dial to Wisconsin Public Radio.

Huckabee's smooth, professional voice disguised the "rightie" station I'd tuned into last night for the Packers game; I'd forgotten that I'd switched frequencies.

"They're polling more Democrats than Republicans, so no wonder" says the Arkansas bass-player.

But then, look at the source.

Is Mike right?
+33 # lincolnimp 2012-09-25 10:24
You forgot to mention the war on women. That's good for inclusion in the groups the GOP has alienated.
-56 # Vern Radul 2012-09-25 10:28
He'd probably be doing much, much better if he wasn't so much like Obama.
+17 # Billy Bob 2012-09-25 11:10
Are you suggesting romney isn't conservative enough? Or are you suggesting that conservative voters would suddenly embrace a liberal if romney pretended to be on?

Explain what you think twit should do to defeat the President. I'd like to hear your strategy.
-7 # Vern Radul 2012-09-25 19:26
He could refuse wall street and corporate campaign financing and repudiate the Neocon/PNAC foreign policy wetdream of full spectrum world military domination that Obama has been falling all over himself to try to enable the past three years. Guaranteeing to veto the NDAA and its indefinite detention provisions that Obama signed into law would probably help too, as would making a firm commitment to prosecute the financial sector criminals that crashed the economy rather than rewarding them with the trillions Obama gave them in return for bankrolling him one more time would probably skyrocket him in the polls.

In short, he could make it clear that he intends to work for the American people rather than for corporate puppeteers.

He could just be an honest guy in other words, and he'd leave Obama in the dust.

But lets get real. Romney would never do any of that. He wants to be just like Obama too much.
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 08:12
That's hilarious! So let me get this straight. The "strategy" you propose would be for someone SO FAR TO THE RIGHT of President Obama that it's pretty clear he wants to start a war with IRAN, and SO FAR TO THE RIGHT of the President that he wants to destroy Social Security and Medicare, while ending all federal college loans...

for someone so outrageously far to the right of the President to SUDDENLY make a 180-degree turn and pretend he's a left-winger!?!?

Talk about being a human "etch-a-sketch" ! Do you think anybody would buy it? If he were "being honest" as you say, he'd admit that he's more embedded with Wall Street and the neo-con/PNAC agenda than ANY other candidate!

+2 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 08:12

If we were all being honest we'd admit that President Romney WILL:

go to war with IRAN (a country with more people than Iraq and Afghanistan combined)

try to end Social Security

try to end Medicare

fight hard for much more invasive government powers that Obama hasn't even dreamt of.

If WE were being honest... But let's get real. You would never do that. Your objective is to divert votes away from Obama as much as possible by any means necessary. Your objective is to get the honest mitt romney, who honestly wants to make things a whole hell of a lot worse, into office. Otherwise, there would be absolutely no strategic logic behind undermining votes for the only candidate standing in the way of the coming war with Iran.
-3 # Vern Radul 2012-09-26 09:21
You figure he's such a weakling that a blog comment is going to bring him down, do you?

Gee, and I though I had a low opinion of the guy.

Take it easy on him Billy Bob, he's not your boyfriend.

He's just another lying politician. All these two party scam guys are all the same. A dime a dozen.

Maybe you should look for someone with more integrity who isn't so weak to throw your support to.
-1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 09:49
I'm sorry. I didn't realize I was dealing with the entire 7th grade class. I thought we were trying to have an adult conversation here.

With an attitude like yours, what's the point of adding your comments at all?
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 09:57
By the way, why would a "progressive" such as yourself joke about homosexuality that way? I'm a man. The President's a man. Therefore your "joke" was about homosexuality.

I think part of your mask just slipped off.

Is it possible you have a CONSERVATIVE agenda?
-2 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 10:55
Are you giving me thumbs down because I didn't appreciate the joke about homosexuality?
+18 # James Smith 2012-09-25 11:16
Exactly how is he like Obama? That's an accusation without proof or substance.
-8 # Vern Radul 2012-09-25 18:11
Well, he's not even remotely close to as good a liar and con man as Obama is, I'll grant you that, but I think he's just as much of a corporate tool.

He could never have convinced you that you'd supported anything remotely resembling anything progressive while conning you into cheering for the effective Bush third term that Obama's given you the past three and half years.

He's also too transparent and doesn't have the oratorical skills to deceive the way Obama can effortlessly, although he tries hard.

You would have seen right through him and been screaming for his impeachment.
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 08:39
With all of the President's "oratorical" skills he has so far managed to prevent the repug party from starting ANOTHER WAR WITH IRAN.
Romney clearly wants one.

The President clearly does not, or it would already be happening. And, he's taken a lot of heat for that fact from Romney himself.

The looming WAR WITH IRAN has always been part of the PNAC agenda. Make no mistake. It's on their "to-do" list. In fact, it's been on the repug playbook since the early '90s. They needed "another Pearl Harbor" to get it started, and once they had one of their own in power they were able to look the other way and allow it to happen. The "C" in "PNAC" stands for "CENTURY". The repug/PNAC plan is to involve us a global war for the next 100 years. We "NEED" to do this to keep the oil flowing.

Unfortunately, that lying Democrat has been trying to use federal money to fund ALTERNATIVE FUELS. He's fueled a lot of right-wing anger for that, but what the hell, right? Romney would surely put billions into wind farms and solar farms!!! HILARIOUS!!!

+3 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 08:39

President Gore wouldn't have sat back and allowed 9/11 to happen to further the PNAC agenda. He wouldn't have done everything in his power to start two wars for oil with another BIGGER one just around the corner.

THAT'S why the repug party donated millions of dollars to NADER'S campaign to divert 93,000 votes away from him in Florida ALONE! What if those 93,000 had voted for "the lesser of two evils"? President Gore would have created a FAR different trajectory for U.S. history than bush jr. did.


Furthermore, with all of President Obama's "lying" he has been able to keep repugs from DESTROYING MEDICARE, MEDICAID and SOCIAL SECURITY. Anybody who'd try to divert votes away from the President at this point would HAVE to be in bed with the repuglican demands that we end those programs.

So far, that "lying" President has stood in the way of the wishes of Romney and Ryan. But, you'd end that, wouldn't you?

So far, he's stood in the way of the next step of the PNAC agenda and has (albeit too timidly) started to dismantle some of their goals for Iraq and Afghanistan. But, you'd end that, wouldn't you?

+2 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 08:40

When in all of human history has a profound AND LASTING change happened for the better suddenly, with the election of one President? I'll give you a hint: NEVER. F.D.R. (the greatest President this country ever elected) was only capable of undoing much of the Great Depression temporarily. The right-wing is never far out of control. They've been methodically undoing any progress he made ever since. THEY NEVER GIVE IN.

When repugs are elected, they don't stand on their past "accomplishment s". They have a bold and agressive agenda to make things much much much worse. Right now, President Obama is the only thing standing in their way. OWS can't stop them, and neither can a 3rd party candidate. That's reality.

At this point, electing a Democrat who isn't liberal enough is like sandbagging to save our homes from a flood of conservative ideology. When the flood is coming, the last thing we need is to listen to someone unwilling to help, but constantly bitching about how we should have prevented this from happening in the first place. Right now, it's time to GET OFF OUR ASSES AND WORK TOGETHER.

Unless your real goal is to elect the Twit.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 09:05
RSN, I finished by reply to antemedius right after the one above that you displayed. PLEASE display it soon. Timeliness matters in these kinds of debates. There were many further points I made and I don't want them to be discarded. If you disagree with my post and have a reason not to display it, at least email me with an explanation A.S.A.P. so I can fix it and it can be seen.

Antemedius' argument shouldn't go unresponded to. His objective is to discourage voting and I believe thousands of people read these articles. It's important.
+1 # MHAS 2012-09-26 13:31
Billy B, I agree w/ your fundamental point that R&R would be worse. They're a real danger to the country. I'd add that much of Obama's Repub opposition are racists and sexists and the symbolism of having a black president is not irrelevant. However, I think one needs not overstate the degree to which Obama is our sandbag.

Here are some comments from Charles Ferguson, who made Inside Job:

+3 # MHAS 2012-09-26 13:32 Billy B.

I'd take them much further in saying that Obama's environmental/c limate change record has been abysmal, apart from the inadequate improvements on CAFE and very modest support for alternative energy. He has promoted fracking (which is exempt from the Clean Water Act), has mindbogglingly permitted a run on exploration for oil in the Arctic; the "Game Over" XL Pipeline is likely to happen; his response to the Gulf Oil spill has been appalling, mountaintop removal for coal has continued unabated, and many endangered species have become less protected under his watch. He is not just "not liberal enough." The substantive effects of his policies are extremely deleterious. Not to mention his abrogation of responsibility to hold the previous admin accountable for their litany of crimes. Not all of his failures can be blamed on Repub obstruction. Many are his own policies. A pretty leaky sandbag. As soon as he is elected, we need to form a strong opposition. OWS needs to keep building.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 15:24
I agree with everything you just said. Check out my pre-election season comments and you'll see that. My strategic attitude about the fact that it would be suicide to allow romney anywhere near the White House isn't an endorsement of Obama. We haven't had a real Democrat in the White House since Carter and you can see what the media did to him.

Sometimes the lesser of two evils is all we have. When I said "not liberal enough" that's exactly what I'm refering to. To me, "not liberal enough" IS an insult. I don't take Obama's record as a closet conservative who only exposed this fact after 2008 lightly. It pisses me off. I also know there's not a whole hell of a lot we can do to fix it with this one election.

OWS could get closer to a GENERAL STRIKE. A Democrat in the White House would be forced to listen. A repug would start shooting people. There are things that can be done after the election is over. If romney's in power, expect the "patriot" act and NDAA to be expanded even further to make this impossible.

+2 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 15:25

There's an old poster my brother had of an eagle swooping down to eat a mouse. The mouse WILL be eaten. It still gives the eagle the finger. That's my attitude about politics. Right now, the conservative faction is the eagle. The American left is the mouse. Obama is the finger.

2016 is just around the corner and I have a hunch the right will nominate someone like Huntsman. If they do, the Democratic Party will HAVE to respond with a true liberal.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 15:39
+2 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 15:44
Sorry to harp on, but I'm sure you remember the complaints about Gore being way too conservative to represent the Democratic Party and why we should all vote for Nader as a protest vote. This is what bothers me.

Scalia cost President Gore several hundred votes to get bush in office. Nader cost President Gore 93,000 votes. Scalia could not have fudged that many "hanging chads".
+1 # MHAS 2012-09-26 18:35
I agree with many of your comments. I just take issue with scapegoating Nader. To do so is to learn the wrong lessons and requires blinders to the plethora of factors that lead to the 2000 result, starting with major civil rights violations. Moreover, that election was so badly run by Gore. It really should have been a landslide for him. The lesson Dems took was to demonize and suppress their progressive opposition and move further to the right. The assertion that Nader stole votes is very undemocratic and presumptuous. How many Nader supporters voted for Gore? Many Nader voters would have joined the tens of millions who did not vote at all had Nader not run...or they'd have written him in. Moreover, Nader supporters created a vote-swap campaign whereby Nader supporters in swing states voted for Gore, while Gore supporters promised to vote for Nader in nonswing states. I am sure Wall St was very happy that Dems scapegoated and ostracized Nader. He was the only voice in that election calling them out.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 20:14
I never said Nader "stole" votes. But he did "cost" the election. The pursuit of "perfection" prevented President Gore from happening. The 93,000 Florida voters who voted for Nader could not have been fudged into the bush column if they had voted for Gore.

I agree that many of them would only vote for Nader or nobody. That's the problem. Gore would have given us a much better decade than bush did.

The unwillingness to compromise is directly responsible for that. Florida was the mother of all swing states and Nader continued to campaign there until 2 days before the election. Michael Moore was working for his campaign at the time, and even he was turned off by this.

It may shock you but there were not 93,000 "hanging chads" in dispute. If those people had voted for Gore instead Gore WOULD have been in the White House. There's no getting around that fact, REGARDLESS what the Supreme Court did to prevent the counting of the final 700 or so ballots in question.

+1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 20:15

You agree with many of my comments. I agree with many of your comments. Yet we continue to argue. This is what makes right-wingers LOVE fighting the left. We have them beat by the numbers, yet we lose too frequently. It's because we can't work together.

I'm sorry, but at this point, the only way we can work together is by supporting Obama and not a 3rd party candidate. It would be nice if we had other realistic options, but we don't.
+14 # Bill Clements 2012-09-25 10:33
Reich is spot on again. The only thing I might add, and in this I agree with David Brooks: Romney, as we know, is pretty much a tabula rasa, a hollow man, but he's really much more of a moderate than an extreme conservative. Still, he's been forced to appeal to that side of the Republican base in order to garner their support. So, he's giving the red meat side of the GOP what they want in a candidate and not so much what the moderates want.
+7 # Kiwikid 2012-09-25 15:27
That's how Romney has been able to slip through, Bill. He's been all things to all people. He's made a show of appearing to stand for everything (depending on who he's with at the time) and actually standing for nothing. Except, perhaps, himself. His real difficulties will start if he ever gets to sit in the big chair, which is looking increasingly unlikely.
+2 # Cliff 2012-09-25 20:54
I just watched a bunch of videos of Romney speaking for pro-choice most solidly over and over, and then at the end admitting that he always voted pro-life. So he is either a flip-flopper or a liar. But I agree that the far right thought he was a well-spoken moderate.
+2 # Regina 2012-09-26 13:19
Romney is a stooge for whoever would propel him into the White House, his salivating dream for years. He'll swear allegiance to any side of any issue that retains their support for his ascension. He is committed to sign anything the R/T-party bosses -- Rove et al. -- tell him to; those bills would be written by the congressional majorities the same cabal is trying to elect. David Brooks is a forlorn "philosopher" whose columns are all nostalgia and no substance.
+25 # pagrad 2012-09-25 10:38
Any high school student, who has studied Economics, knows Republican philosophy doesn’t work.  One doesn’t need to be an Einstein who said: “Only a fool would do the same thing over and over and over again, and expect a different outcome.”
Anyone who votes for an American Republican Party candidate is not thinking rationally and not
 logically.  Such a person is not just misguided; they have not received a credible education.
+37 # tuandon 2012-09-25 10:47
I just hope Mr. Reich's assessment is right. I have never seen a candidate who has left me so cold, feeling that he absolutely has NO idea how to identify with us working folk. I do feel sorry that he had to beg his parents for a school loan, and he and Ann had to sell some stocks, though. My my, what suffering.
+15 # Barbara K 2012-09-25 11:28
tuandon: His dad gave him a Million dollars for college. Don't you wish your dad had done that for you? I wish my dad could have given me a Million dollars for college.
+3 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-26 05:04
Barbara K:

That's why he felt so comfortable with telling future college students that if they needed money for college they should borrow it from their parents! Talk about a supermarket scan out event a la Bush I.

I'm waiting for Romney's clueless remarks to enter into the lexicon of modern political conversation; such as "he adMITTed he was wrong," or "he's a forMITTable candidate." Or how about this one: "He MITTigated the situation and made it worse."

SubMITT your own suggestions and we'll have a little contest. It's much better to laugh than to cry.
+2 # Barbara K 2012-09-26 17:37
BeaDeeBunker: lol I would like to reMITT some unMITTigatedly gallish transMITTants to you, but adMITTedly, I think you have them covered.
Have a great day
0 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-26 18:56
You got some real good ones in there, Barbara; you grok my sense of humor.
I still haven't come up with the knock out punch; the one to go on the button that will MITTisize him for good!

You too have as nice a day as you can, under the circumstances.
+15 # 2012-09-25 10:55
I think the truth is "all of the above".
Romney is a terrible candidate that is parroting the party line and the majority are starting to realize the party line makes little sense.
+12 # Realist1948 2012-09-25 11:14
IMHO one of Romney's biggest problems is his total lack of any consistent message with specific policies or programs. He either fails to give specific plans and programs, or else he provides specific details that contradict what he has said in the past. Case in point: Romney recently suggested that peopple without health insurance can always go to emergency rooms for treatment. But in a 2007 interview with Glenn Beck, Romney called the fact that people without insurance were able to get "free care" in emergency rooms "a form of socialism."

Romney's only consistent message is that he thinks he could do a better job than Obama. Romney is the political equivalent of the typical Monday morning quarterback.
+10 # Majikman 2012-09-25 11:27
This is stunning, given the corporate media's support for the repugs and their distortion and lies.
On this site we sneer at the stupidity of the electorate when in actuality there are very few with the time to search out the truth and challenge the repug dogma. Now the people are being smacked upside the head with a 2x4 and it's beginning to sink in.
Telling struggling workers they are moochers was a pivotal moment. Greedy billionaires efforts to bust unions by messing with Joe 6-pack's sacred ritual of sports can't escape even the most ardent "conservative".
Dominoes is such a fun spectator sport.
+13 # DLT888 2012-09-25 11:42
From what I have seen regarding this country and Repukians is that the people have been slowly waking up. That rightfully elected Repukian for President was Bush the First. Therefore, since 1988, in the past 24 years, people (sans stealing elections) have not elected a Repukican for President and they aren't going to start now. The Repukes KNOW THIS and that is why they try to buy the office and engage in rampant and shameless electoral fraud. They are DYING as a party because they are no longer a party -- they are only for an elite few. They are getting more and more desperate.
+10 # Gootarama 2012-09-25 12:00
Boy is Reich right on target. I happened to watch The ABC News with George Stephanopolous on Sunday morning and Reich was on with 4 or 5 others including Ann Coulter. I don't understand why she gets so much exposure on regular media when she clearly belongs on Fox. She's just a right wing flame thrower with a shrill voice. You could tell Reich was somewhat frustrated by her incessant rant. She may write books to sell to the T-Baggers, but Robert Reich is more knowledgeable and articulate.
+11 # Shipton 2012-09-25 12:05
If, on Nov 7th, Barack Obama is President by a landslide THEN and only then have Mitt and the Tea Party lost. Anything less than a landslide means we did not repudiate anything. I live in Wyoming, the republicans here have been R's for all their lives, generations in a lot of cases. They will vote for Twit & Co. no matter what they say and do. In the words of one, "We need to get that N****R out of the White House." All the writers at RSN can tell us why Twit & Co. are losing. The problem is, they haven't lost, yet.
0 # James38 2012-09-26 07:02
Essential point, Shipton. Overconfidence and laxness about getting to the polls could tip the country back into the horror show of W-dom.

I recommend the book "Conservatives Without conscience" by John Dean. He gives a fascinating look at the development of the Authoritarian Arch-Conservati ve Republican Party.
+2 # MindDoc 2012-09-25 12:29
Great summary of "where we're at", in terms of demographics and alternative world views. Many great comments - so I won't repeat how scary the new 3 R's are, nor the power of disinformation/ lies which sustain those who welcome it, say on Fox).

@Barbara K - I don't think he'd be a good dictator, the dream of many a GOP elitist (think: W saying outright that it would be so much easier if the US was a dictatorship - with him in charge). "Successful" dictators have absolute power - and no US President can work in isolation or control all the nation's laws. Besides, even dictators need some "core" beliefs, and mingle with 'the people'. (Could you imagine Romney in a tent like Qadaffi? Unscripted?)

I for one *hope* to G-d that Reich is Right (as in correct), and there really is a mass awakening to the Tea/$/1% emperor's lack of substantive clothing. (Yes, more an emperor than a dictator.)

It's hard not to imagine knowledgeable human beings (among the 97% or so not insulated from 'real life') not clearly voting NO to the would-be emperor & entourage- enough! We will not take our country back to more regressive times.

If we were honest and put "The collective minds of Fox/Rove/Ryan/N orquist/Adelson /Koch and a pledge to never ask the 1% to contribute fairly" on the ballot, against "The Obama you know, and who we can push to stay on track to help We the (human) People" - The choice *might* be clear.
+7 # dbriz 2012-09-25 12:35
Bob Reich is right...and wrong.

Folks are correctly turned off by the stilted, robotic, anachronistic-l ike performance of Romney.

I suspect as well that his Mormonism, while admirably not in the political spotlight, is working against him in GOP religious right strongholds.

And it should be noted that the GOP has been outmaneuvered by the Dem's on the class warfare issue of the rich vs the rest of us.

That said however, the Obamabot posters would do well to contemplate the fact that even though he appears a shoo-in at this point, this does not translate into anything like 2008.

Polls continue to tell us that voters are far from pleased or happy with Obama's performance.

The general public is not nearly so willing to forgive and forget that under Obama we have seen the wars, bailouts, civil liberties restrictions, unitary executive decisions, high unemployment rates and national debt issues continue.

There exists the feeling that neither is a good choice, just that Obama is the better of the bad choices.

So dear Obamabots, I would caution not to get too cocksure about any "mandates" coming from this election. As bad a campaign as the GOP has run, they are still likely to keep the House and, though less sure than it appeared 6 months ago, they are not out of the running for control of the Senate.

Might be wise to put a hold on the death notice of the GOP
+9 # TomThumb 2012-09-25 13:11
As it currently exists, the US is a fascist state. It is pseudo- democratic, in other words there is a facade of democracy. A narrative, or mythology which requires propaganda and some bending of the establishment to maintain. It is crypto-fascist. Facsism being a an authoritarian esatblishment, that has replaced nobility, that operates under the assumption that those who have money and power have it for some nebulous reason, social darwinism, the will of God, predestination, etc. Under this theory, the purpose of the state is to maintain this, more or less.
However, even fascist states realize that to maintain a docile population, they have to ensure health care so people aren't dying in the streets. Bismarck, who started the German healthcare system and social security, wanted universal healthcare along with universal conscription to assure a steady supply of healthy conscripts. The same applies to universal education, but also assures a steady stream of educated workers to supply a modern workforce. This is not socialism, at least not as it was originally convieved. Nobody can accuse Bismarck of being a socialist.
What the Republicans want to do is go back to some state that has no allegiance, except to large formations of capital, public or private. This was last tried on large scale in Russia with so called shock therapy. Even the US population, not known for its intelligence, can see through this. Tommy Rimes
+11 # Janice 2012-09-25 13:34
Do not even think of not voting. Over conficence is not wise. We all need to vote and get Obama re-elected.
+11 # Corvette-Bob 2012-09-25 14:50
I am not sure if Mitt Romney is exactly what the Republican party wishes. But I do believe if Mitt Romney ever gave specifics as to what he wants to do he would lose for sure. Consequently, he must not provide any specifics to his plans because with every detail he would lose votes. So he is forced to talk in vague terms and harp on negative comments about the job that Obama is doing. His plans if you look closely would result in a landslide defeat if they were ever advertly stated by the candidate.
+6 # castaway5555 2012-09-25 16:42
Most Americans see themselves as millionaires temporarily on the downside, so they buy the message of wealth. But when seen and heard up close, as in Romney, it's an ugly message, without compassion, not very bright, and utterly greedy. Americans are mostly populists, and will not take kindly to a man who thinks they're parasites. Americans work hard, including the poor. The t-bags are themselves mostly poor, but also white and old, pissed off at everything different from them, and they love guns, and they're willing to stay poor as long as they can have their guns. The anti-choice Jesus-crowd will gladly sell their soul to anyone who "opposes the rights of a women to choose." And these folks are not winning any friends; they're an ugly, angry, vengeful crowd intent on guns and misogyny.
+2 # James38 2012-09-26 07:07
Yes, castaway, but remind everybody you know to get out and vote for Obama.
+6 # Cliff 2012-09-25 21:01
Polls can be wrong. Depending on whether you poll over the Internet, by phone or cell phone, you will get different results. I firmly believe that Obama is in the lead, but DON'T sit on your ass when early-voting time comes around. VOTE EARLY, get your smart friends to VOTE EARLY.
+1 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-26 05:46
Just finished reading Ray Bradbury's classic book, "FAHRENHEIT 451"
I am ashamed to say that I never read it until now. I had heard of it, but never read it. I urge everyone who posts to, or reads RSN to read this very important book written in 1953. It was prescient then, and very relevant today.

As far as the theme of this comment page, I would like to remind everyone that polls (they should be abolished IMHO), voter percentages, and trends are somewhat meaningless, since our Presidential electoral system is still controlled by the Electoral College. We are a State-wide, winner-take-all system, and regardless of what percentage of eligible voters actually vote, even it gets down to 10% or lower, it's still a legitimate election, according to our laws and the results of the Electoral College vote.

This is how the 'game' is played, and we should all be aware of this HUGE elephant-in-the -room (and I don't mean the GOP mascot) standing around, totally ignored by most would be pundits.
+2 # James38 2012-09-26 07:20
Yea verily, BeaDee!!! Thanks for pointing this essential issue out again. We need to keep hammering on the necessity of ridding ourselves of the absurdity of the Electoral College. Since I lived for a long time in Puerto Rico, I am intensely aware of one result of that crazy institution. It totally denies and destroys the idea of One Citizen One Vote. We have literally millions of US Citizens who are disenfranchised by the Electoral College. If you don't live in a State, you cannot vote for President or Vice President, and you do not have a voting representative in Congress. All US citizens living in Puerto Rico, Guam, Saint Thomas and Saint Croix, and any other country are second class citizens - NO direct voice in national elections at all.

The only voting system that can be called fair or democratic or reasonable would be a total vote count for Presidential Elections. Every vote counted equally, and all citizens allowed to vote.

The Electoral College is a totally corrupt and fraudulent system that contradicts everything the US stands for. It allows the possibility of a candidate who lost the election to win the election. How utterly stupid and corrupt is that? And the US has the gall to tell other countries that it is an example of democracy and freedom? Ha Ha. The Electoral College makes American Democracy an oxymoron.
0 # dbriz 2012-09-26 09:18
Well now, you have apparently not studied you history or you would be aware that the FF's were quite negative about the idea of pure democracy.

So much did they fear the "tyranny of the majority" that they took great pains to develop what has come to be called "representative democracy" based upon a "federal system" in which power is to be shared between the states and national government.

Your argument is with the FF's and the Constitution.

It is certainly amendable so have at it, but your statement that the EC " a totally corrupt and fraudulent system that contradicts everything the US stands for..." is hyperbole.

It may or may not be an anachronism, but it was put in place for very specific reasons and it would do us well to contemplate those reasons before shooting from the hip.
+1 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-09-26 18:49
The FFs also were very clear on just who could vote and who could not vote:
Non-land owners;
their property, namely slaves;
natives, those pesky savages who occupied the land thousands of years before the colonists came and 'discovered' said land;

But we forgive them, mostly, because they did have a rather progressive idea for that time period in history, but they were new at this and were bound to make mistakes along the way. They also provided for a way to change the rules. This rule is one that should be changed, because it has become corrupt and fraudulent, not totally, but it does not meet the needs of the nation as the nation has progressed. It has allowed certain powerful groups, the modern day landed gentry, to game the system. I don't think the FFs, deep down, had that in mind, do you?
0 # dbriz 2012-09-27 10:20
You answer your question in your first paragraph.

A few thoughts:

There is nothing to "forgive" them for. It is sophistry to judge historical figures by 21st century mores.

They were no more or less, "bound to make mistakes..." than are we in our era. The "mistakes" you assume them to have made would have prevented the Constitution being ratified.

Matter of personal opinion, they were for the most part well rounded in classical education, grounded in Greek and Roman literature and the great philosophers of the Enlightenment.

In other words, likely much better educated for their time and place than those who would serve as voters and political leaders today.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-09-26 09:00
I would like to propose that any 3rd party liberal enlist in the miltary if romney is elected.

You should be on the front lines fighting in the war against Iran. Additionally, your unwillingness to compromise to prevent the greater evil will come in handy when your superiors are telling you to torture and kill children so romney's friends in the oil industry can go on enriching themselves at our planet's expense.

Who knows? Maybe by not compromising you can undo romney's coming war. You'll have to do it from an undisclosed site where you yourself will be tortured, but that's a small price to pay for not voting for the lesser of two evils.

When Social Security and Medicare are clearly no longer in existence, I'd like those of you too old for the military to pledge most of your income to pay the health care and living costs for those Americans who can't do it for themselves and would have still been covered if the lesser of two evils had been elected.

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