Conservatives, I know you don't like Barry O. I know you think he's the Marxist, socialist anti-Christ, sent from a secret satanic ritual in Kenya to destroy our country and everything it stands for. I know you blame him for everything bad that's happened to our country, including all the stuff that started a year before Bush left office and the policies of his two-term presidency that led to it. I know you think he's the architect of the dismantling of the American dream. I know you blame him for the earthquakes and tsunamis and gays and abortions and type 2 diabetes, but listen... Michele Bachmann? Mitt Romney? Rick Perry?
"I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I'm not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it's an interesting coincidence." - Michele Bachmann, on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president, April 28, 2009.
"If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." - Michele Bachmann, Jan. 2005
"I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?" - Michelle Bachmann, apparently unaware of a time in American history called "The McCarthy Era."
She's being called a Republican front runner right now. Really? Her supporters say that she has a palpable charisma, a natural ability to "ignite the base" and a solid grasp of the issues that conservative voters care about. Is that just a fancy way of saying she's a decent-looking MILF who panders to the ignorant masses by dumbing down her rhetoric and distorting facts and history to suit her agenda and obsesses at an almost unhealthy level about the looming menace of the "vast, homosexual agenda?"
What about Mitt Romney? He's being called the "most serious" front runner candidate by those Republicans who actually have enough sense to realize what a joke Bachmann is, but apparently not enough to recognize that "less terrible" doesn't mean the same thing as "much better."
"I saw my father march with Martin Luther King." - Mitt Romney. His campaign later admitted they didn't march on the same day or even in the same city.
"PETA is not happy that my dog likes fresh air." - Mitt Romney, on strapping his dog to the top of his car.
"I purchased a gun when I was a young man. I've been a hunter pretty much all my life." - Mitt Romney. His campaign later said he'd only been hunting twice in his life, once when he was 15, and once in 2006 at a Republican fundraiser.
So, he doesn't distort American history, just his own personal history. He makes up stories about being a hawkish hunter type, because apparently Republicans respect men who can kill animals for sport. Most of all though, he has two huge skeletons in his closet... well, maybe "skeletons" isn't the right term... more like two "freshly killed bodies" in his closet. First, he is campaigning on the strength of his business acumen. He points to his financial success and executive experience as proof of his ability to "create jobs" and lead the country into economic prosperity. The glaring problem with that is that his most successful company, Bain Capital, made it's money by buying distressed companies, dismantling them and laying off their entire workforce, then selling off the pieces to the highest bidder. He essentially made his fortune (the part of it he didn't inherit from his father, that is) by putting middle-class Americans out of work and eliminating their jobs entirely. He did this to the tune of several hundred million dollars in net worth. It's hard to run on the strength of your ability to "create jobs" and bolster the middle class when you made your fortune by killing jobs and forcing tens of thousands of middle-class Americans onto unemployment. Second, and most troubling for the conservative hopeful, is the fact that his government-run healthcare system, that he signed into law as Governor of Mass. was the direct model upon which "Obamacare" was created. It's kind of hard to criticize the single most controversial move your opponent has made while president when he was inspired completely by you in doing it. Not only that, but "Romneycare" has been successful in Mass. It's been great for the state and hasn't created any of the financial catastrophes that critics of "Obamacare" insist will result from it's passage. When Obama wants to defend the logistics of his much-maligned national healthcare reform legislation, he needs only point to the proven success of the exact same formula by his strongest-polling male primary challenger.
Now, I'm no umpire, but it looks like 0 and 2, conservatives...
Which brings us to strike 3 - Rick Perry.
"Texas created more jobs in 2008 than the rest of the states - combined." - Rick Perry. Completely false. According to the State Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas created a net total of 80,000 new jobs in 2008. This figure is reached by taking the number of new jobs created and subtracting the number of previously existing jobs that were lost. Just in California, one of the states hardest hit by the housing market crash and sporting a nation-leading unemployment rate in the central valley, net job creation increased by 50,000 in 2008.
"The foundation for future prosperity is built on the bedrock of good jobs and great schools. We are building a strong foundation one job at a time and one educated Texan at a time." - Rick Perry. Under Rick Perry's governorship, the unemployment rate in Texas has risen. The overall prosperity growth in Texas is the 8th worst in the nation. The only figure that Texas actually leads the nation in is the number and percentage of minimum wage jobs. In education, Texas is ranked 35th in the nation in education reform. It was given a C- by the American Legislative Exchange Council.
"The people who illegally cross into the country are from countries that have very close ties to al Qaeda, whether it's Yemen or Afghanistan, Pakistan, China. It is an absolute national disgrace." - Rick Perry. An amazing quote from the governor of the largest state that borders Mexico.
"We can't have deficit spending in Texas. You have to balance your budget every two years." - Rick Perry. While governor, Perry took more federal relief (i.e. "bailout/stimulus") money from the federal government than any other state in the country in order to help relieve the state's massive budget deficit.
I've dubbed Rick Perry "George W. Bush for dummies." Think GW's fiscal policies were too responsible? Think GW's tolerance of gays and Muslims was too lenient? Think GW's evangelical rhetoric wasn't strong enough? Ask your doctor if Rick Perry is right for you! Perry has outright lied about his fiscal and budget-balancing success in Texas. The only reason he can claim any semblance of fiscal "success" there is because he accepted more federal stimulus money than any other governor in the country. Unemployment is up in Texas and has risen at a rate higher than the national average. Overall economic growth as a percentage of GDP is far below the national average. Educational progress and reform is below average. And, in spite of all this, Rick Perry still insists he's done great things for the state of Texas, and will do those same great things in Washington.
Oh, and there's also the fact that his evangelical rhetoric makes Bush look like an agnostic...
He's called himself a "prophet" and legislates very much from the pulpit. He, along with Bachmann, Romney and basically all of the other Republican presidential hopefuls, is an avowed climate change denier. Like the others, he is a regressionist. Like the others, he is strongly anti-gay, anti-choice, pro-corporate, anti-labor and, of course, anti-immigrant. He makes GW look like a moderate.
When you take all of the current Republican presidential hopefuls, and you look at their unified ignorance in their stances on climate change, in their anti-scientific bias, in their anti-gay agenda, their anti-immigration position, their anti-labor platform, their revisionist approach to constitutional history, our founding fathers and original intent... I mean, Michele Bachmann insists that John Q. Adams was a founding father, even though he was 8 when the declaration of independence was drafted and 16 when the revolutionary war ended. Founding son? Maybe. Founding father? Sorry Michele, all the kings horses and all the kings men couldn't edit wikipedia enough to put your distortion of history back together again.
That's another thing, if you have to have a legion of blindly loyal sycophants feverishly attempt to change wikipedia pages in order to re-write history to support your blatantly inaccurate statements, at what point do we have to take a step back and say "So, this is what we get?"
"So, this is what we get?" A hypocritical "constitutional scholar" who re-writes history to excuse her ignorance of basic facts, refuses to admit she was just flat out wrong even when presented with overwhelming evidence, takes government handouts and profits from them, both directly and indirectly, then lies about it in interviews, even though her income is public record and clearly shows the truth? A woman who is so irrationally anti-gay that she believed she was being "held hostage" in a bathroom simply because a lesbian constituent approached her there and wanted to ask her some questions about her politics, and had to "break out and run away" before they could impose their "gay agenda" on her?
"So, this is what we get?" Another hypocrite, who lies about his "everyman" experience, who inherited a fortune from his father that he grew exponentially by killing jobs and putting thousands of middle-class men and women into the unemployment line. Who created the universal healthcare system that Obama used as the model for "Obamacare" which he then criticized as being a bad idea that will result in fiscal disaster, in spite of the data from his own state proving the opposite? A guy who has no idea what it's like to be a struggling, middle-class worker in this country, because he's never had to worry about paying the mortgage or the utility bill a day in his life, yet claims to be on the side of the working man?
"So, this is what we get?" A hyper-evangelical who flat out lies about his fiscal success while governor of a state that has statistically done worse each year than the year before since he took office? A man who takes credit for balancing the budget, without mentioning it was only possible because he accepted more bailout money than any other governor? A guy who, in every negative way possible, is George W Bush on steroids?
The only guy in the whole lot who says anything even remotely intelligent is Ron Paul, and so, of course, he's fated to be marginalized to the fringe and not even break the top 5 for yet another primary election. I don't know what it is about you conservatives that you like idiots so much. I don't know why you value religious zealotry over basic intelligence, a sense of logic or the ability to get past the second round of "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" I don't know why you look at a moron like Bachmann, a phony like Romney or a lying nut like Perry and think they best represent your values and where you want to see our country go for at least 4 years. Sure, there are other candidates, like Jon Huntsman, another conservative Mormon, like Romney, only less charismatic. Rick Santorum, all the self-aggrandizing chutzpah of Rick Perry with half the personality. Or Herman Cain, the token black guy, who's greatest contribution to the race so far has been to pull the race card on Jon Stewart for mocking his own speaking voice on The Daily Show. I won't even mention Newt Gingrich, because, like Sarah Palin, he's only in this thing to see how much money he can make on the deal. Neither of those two are serious candidates, and I'm not sure if it's to Gingrich's credit that at least he pretended like he wanted to run by announcing his candidacy or to Palin's credit that she didn't make an announcement so she could still keep her job on the Fox News payroll. Either way, the only thing those two are running for is airtime and a paycheck, so they're non-factors.
I gotta say, Republicans, if this is the best you got, you're gonna be in for some serious disappointment in 2012.