2012 PRESIDENTIAL PLATFORM SURVEY
"This document is registered to the individual named below and must be accounted for during tabulation. If you choose not to participate in this official Presidential Platform Survey, sign and return this Document using the postage-paid envelope provided."
*their bolds and underlines.
Whoa! This thing looks official!
Believe it or not, I am still a registered Republican. When I re-registered Libertarian on my wedding day, they misspelled my last name, so not only am I still a Republican, the other guy living at my address with almost the exact same name is a Libertarian and we're both on the voting rolls. All I need is a photo ID for that guy and I'm a one-man voter fraud epidemic!
The fringe benefit of still being a registered Republican - other than the ability to vote for Rick Santorum in the primary just for LOL's - is that I get mail like this from the RNC and local Republican politicians. This survey looks super official, I better fill it out because I was apparently specially selected to participate in this important gathering of scientific data. (Can I still use the word "scientific" as a Republican? They need to send me an updated copy of the rule book.) Anyhew, let's begin at the beginning:
"Dear Fellow American,
What issues do you want our Republican presidential campaign to focus on in 2012 as we fight to make Barack Obama a ONE-TERM president?"
Oh, this is gonna be good!
"After compiling and modeling demographic information for the thousands of activists in our database, you were selected to represent voters in your area in the OFFICIAL 2012 Presidential Platform Survey."
I'm the worst Republican activist ever.
"The feedback you provide on this Survey will directly impact the 2012 Republican campaign to elect a president - So we can STOP the creeping socials, massive accumulation of federal debt and economic stagnation that Obama's policies have wrought on our nation."
Holy shit, I'm scared! I'm being entrusted with this monumental task of stopping this horrible, socialist, spend-o-crat who's policies have fostered private sector growth, restored the Dow to pre-recession levels and reduced government spending by 10%. This is a lot of responsibility!
"I am asking you to please give the Republican Party your input to fine-tune our strategy to expose Barack Obama's terrible record of callous disregard for the best interests of the American people as he pursued an unrelenting drive to expand the federal bureaucracy, increase tax rates, and implement radical left-wing policies."
Oh, I'll feed you, baby bird.
"Budget constraints make it impossible for the RNC to reach out to every registered Republican in your district - The answers of selected and screened participants like you will represent the views and opinions of thousands of other grassroots conservatives in your area."
My apologies in advance to the thousands of pro-choice, pro-Obamacare and anti-war conservatives who I am about to out...
"I know you understand that the future of our Party, the conservative movement and our nation all depend on making sure that Barack Obama is a ONE-TERM president."
Hmm... the three things all liberals are sworn to destroy: The Republican Party, the conservative movement AND America! It's like the Doc just handed that plutonium to the Libyans!
Then I noticed there were some "pre-survey" questions listed on the enclosed letter:
"* Do you support Republican efforts to reform entitlements, cut spending and put our nation on track to a balanced federal budget without raising taxes?"
I'll be honest, if it were possible to balance the federal budget without massively gutting medicare and social security or imposing other draconian austerity measures and not raising taxes, I would be all for it. Unfortunately, that's simply not possible, it just isn't. You can crunch the numbers all you want, but you can't reign in $14 trillion in debt through austerity alone. Look at what's happening in Greece right now and multiply that by about 3,000 and that's what you'd have in America if the Ryan budget were to be passed.
"* Do you support a full repeal of the ObamaCare healthcare legislation that Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid passed without revealing its full details, ever-rising costs and negative effects on quality, access and affordability?"
Nope! Also, as soon as actual "negative effects on quality, access and affordability" arise from ObamaCare, I reserve the right to change my opinion. However, as long as the opposite is true, I'm a fan. In fact, it doesn't go far enough, single-payer baby!
"* Barack Obama and the Democrats believe that higher tax rates and more federal spending are the keys to spurring economic growth... Do you agree?"
It worked for FDR after the great depression. It also worked in the 50's and 60's - aka that golden era the Tea Party longs to return to.
"* Do you believe President Obama has done enough to strengthen and improve border security?"
I believe that the Republican strategy of making the American economy so shitty that immigrants would rather stay in their home countries and take their chances has been such a huge success that increasing border security even further is just an unnecessary expense at this point, better spent reducing the deficit without having to raise taxes on the rich - I mean, since "reining in government spending" is supposed to be a cornerstone of "true" conservatism and all...
"* Do you support expanding offshore drilling and increasing exploration for domestic oil and gas reserves to lessen our dependence on imported fuels?"
I support both increased domestic production and a comprehensive investment plan to promote the development of alternative fuels and renewable energy. This is why I support the Obama administration's policies - which have led to a 20% increase in domestic oil production and massive investment in developing green energy.
What follows is another full page of anti-Obama BS - stuff about how he's made us more dependent on foreign oil, despite the fact our oil consumption is down 10% as a nation, how he's been on a campaign of appeasement, even though that, too, has been shot in the head, killed and dumped in the middle of the ocean. I don't want to bore you with all the gory details... besides, we haven't even got to the actual survey yet! So, without further ado...
Section I - Presidential Performance and Issues
"1. Do you believe Barack Obama has used the presidency and the powers of his office to look out for the concerns and interest of Americans like you?"
"2. Do you agree or disagree with the statement below?
'President Obama inherited an economy losing 800,000 jobs a month and averted a worse economic mess while passing health care reform, saving the auto industry, killing Osama bin Laden, and winding down the war in Iraq. He has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected."
I strongly agree, but only because all of those things are documented facts.
"3. How important is it to voters in your state for Republican candidates to give attention to the following issues during the 2012 campaigns?
Strengthening border security"
Personally, I would say "somewhat important", because I do believe that having good and efficient border security is important and because I also strongly support immigration reform that relies on a solid border policy to be effective. However, the stronger of an issue that Republicans treat immigration as in California, the worse they do here, so I would say "very important" so they can completely lose the Latino vote.
"Defending the Constitution"
No bullshit, I think this is a HUGELY important issue for any presidential candidate to be concerned with, hence why I don't want to let a Tea Party conservative anywhere near the White House.
"Reducing federal spending"
Very Important. We should start by ending the war in Afghanistan and heavily reducing defense spending - which currently makes up 20% of the entire federal budget. It would also help to end subsidies for profitable industries, like the oil industry, and stop giving handouts to the banks and barons who made record profits during the recession while the rest of the country foot the bill.
"Keeping taxes low"
I think it's very important to keep taxes low on the middle-class, who are struggling the most in the current economy. As there is no possible way to adequately reduce the deficit without increasing tax revenue, either the wealthiest 1% are going to have to pay a little more, or the other 99% are and I think those who are most able to shoulder the extra responsibility should do so, rather than pushing it onto those who are already struggling the most.
"Exposing Obama's radical left-wing policies"
You mean stuff like increasing oil production, sticking to the Bush timeline in Iraq, not raising taxes once in the last 3 years, reducing the size of government by 10% and continuing all of the post-9/11 security legislation, like the Patriot Act? Yeah, that's some real radical, Saul Alinsky shit!
As a fan of health care reform, I am not interested in this at all. However, the more Republicans force conversations about ObamaCare, the more truth about what ObamaCare really is that gets revealed and I'm all about people having all the facts before they make a decision, so by all means, keep promoting a discussion that results in the debunking of the GOP's myths about ObamaCare.
"Expanding domestic exploration for oil and gas"
Obama's already been doing this, so I'm all for giving him the opportunity to point that out on the campaign trail.
"Stimulating job creation in the private sector"
Another thing Obama has already done, so yes, talk about this more too.
"Reining in government employees' unions"
Still blaming the recession on unions, eh? That seems to have worked well so far, so yeah, keep it up!
"Demanding free and open trade to get U.S. manufacturing growing"
I'm curious how making it easier for countries like China to ship their goods here will spur domestic manufacturing growth. It must be one of those Republican equations that only make sense if you don't think about it too much, kind of like the trickle-down economic model.
Section II - Economic Issues
*This should be good.
"4. Do you believe that President Obama's policies have helped make the economy better, had no impact on the economy, or made the economy worse?"
Unemployment is down from when Bush left office, job growth is up, the Dow is back to where it was and jobless claims are the lowest they've been since 2008. That all seems like positive stuff to me.
"5. President Obama has indicated that if reelected, he will fight to increase tax rates on individuals and families he considers to be "wealthy." Do you support Obama's position?"
I'm not a fan of raising taxes, believe it or not. When I support Obama's plan to return to the 39% Clinton-era tax rate for the richest 1% - a 2% increase from the current tax rate - I see that as an unpleasant necessity, not something to celebrate. Obama has clearly stated the income level he considers "wealthy" for the sake of his proposed tax increase - people earning over $1 million per year - and I would say that people in that income bracket are more able to afford a 2% tax increase than those making less than $1 million a year. So, while I would prefer a government that operates within its budget - and will fully support any efforts to mandate that fiscal responsibility through legislation - I accept that getting out of the mess that we're in now will require sacrifice from all Americans. The poor will have to sacrifice through austerity cuts to essential services, the middle-class have sacrificed through lower wages, higher costs and seeing their home values go in the toilet. In my opinion, the rich are getting off easy with only a 2% tax increase.
"6. Do you believe Congress should block President Obama's efforts to raise the federal debt ceiling for borrowing and demand real cuts to federal spending?"
Ah, the old debt ceiling debate. I mean, hey, it's the issue that first drove the congressional approval rating into the single digits, why not remind everybody about it again?
"7. Are you concerned about inflation undercutting your savings, devaluing your home and increasing your cost of living?"
Yes. However, I'm also worried about unregulated investors completely wiping out my savings, banks wrecking the market and destroying the value of my home and market speculators driving up gas prices and adversely impacting my cost of living. Especially since all that stuff is happening NOW and Republicans want to change the laws to make it even easier to do all three of them.
"8. Do you believe that the policies of Barack Obama have helped create good jobs and improved the economy in your area?"
This is kind of a trick question, since I believe Obama's policies have encouraged private sector job creation, but the private sector job creators aren't particularly interested in creating jobs in my area, apparently. You can't force the market, I mean, that would be socialism, after all. So, I suppose that, since President Obama is clearly NOT a socialist, who is forcing private businesses to build and hire in underserved areas to create more jobs where they are needed, that his policies of allowing the private sector to conduct business freely have not improved the economy in my area, but it has improved the economy in the areas of the country where private businesses are booming.
"9. Do you support a federal Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to stop deficit spending in Washington?"
No, because of my answer to question #3, remember? "How important is defending the Constitution?" It's pretty important. Important enough that I don't support every wacko conservative effort to amend it left and right to advance their agenda. I didn't support the anti-flag burning amendment, I didn't support the anti-gay marriage amendment, I didn't support the personhood amendment and I don't support the balanced budget amendment. Get your shit together like adults, congress, stop acting as if you're so irreparably corrupt and incompetent that you can only do your jobs if the CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES is permanently amended to force you to do it! You're all holders of advanced graduate degrees, most of you are doctors, lawyers and businessmen. Stop pretending to be a bunch of fucking idiots just so you can purposefully erode public confidence and perpetuate voter apathy. Lastly, conservatives, please stop trying over and over again to amend the Constitution in order to advance your ignorant, self-righteous platform while having the colossal balls to constantly accuse Democrats and President Obama of trying to trample all over the same Constitution you keep trying to fuck with.
Section III - Entitlement Spending
*Oh snap, the "precious"!
"10. Would you support a phased-in increase in the retirement/eligibility age for Social Security benefits that would not affect anyone over the age of 50?"
Well, since I'm under the age of 50, no. Tell you what, you can fuck with Social Security all you want if you just give me back all the money I've already paid in. Deal?
"11. Do you support reforming the way the government pays for Medicare for future retirees - while preserving the existing program and options for those who now utilize it?"
Again, since I'm not a retiree yet, no. I do not support gutting Medicare and Social Security just so that millionaires don't have to pay 2 more cents on the dollar in taxes. I do not support gutting Medicare and Social Security just so that oil companies can keep their billions in subsidies. I do not support gutting Medicare and Social Security so that we can keep dumping billions of dollars into a war-for-profit in the middle east and an overly-bloated defense spending budget.
"12. Should retirees be exempt from property tax increases on their residence?"
This seems like a weird pander for the senior vote, but actually, I would support this, but only for retirees that have to live on Social Security benefits.
"13. Would you support allowing individuals under the age of 50 to opt to put a portion of their Social Security withholdings into private accounts that they control, but cannot access without penalty until their retirement?"
Given the inevitable fate of Social Security, I would support allowing people my age the option of investing that money into accounts that might actually be there when we retire - but only if our government also imposes strictly-enforced regulations on the market that money will be invested in to prevent the next Bernie Madoff from bailing to Switzerland with $3 trillion worth of American retirement accounts. Can you guarantee that in your fantasy world of glorious de-regulation, Republicans?
Section IV - National Security Issues
"14. Has the Obama Administration done enough to counter Iran's drive to acquire a nuclear weapon?"
"15. Should the United States demand that Pakistan reform its military and intelligence agencies in order to receive military aid funds?"
"16. Do you want our elected leaders to make stopping illegal immigration a matter of national security?"
Do I want real, effective immigration reform and a strong and comprehensive border security policy? Yes. Do I want fear-mongering and pandering to ignorance and prejudices to foster a xenophobic state of paranoia? No.
"17. Do you believe Obama's strategy of treating all countries as equals to the United States has strengthened our security and weakened the resolve of our enemies?"
Yes. I believe that letting other countries know that we will treat them as equals strengthens our relationships with our allies and I believe that letting our enemies know we won't underestimate them lets them know that if they mess with the United States, they do so at their own peril. On a side note, since when is treating people from other countries as equals a bad thing? Oh wait, I forgot, I'm talking to the 50ft, electrified border fence party...
"18. Do you agree that it is time to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan?"
"19. Do you believe that the United States has done enough to ensure that Chinese markets are open and fair for imports from our nation?"
I don't think the problem with China is what we're importing there, unless you count jobs.
Section V - Health Care Issues
*aka "ObamaCare sucks, do you agree?"
"20. Do you support immediate and total repeal of the ObamaCare health care legislation?"
I sure don't! I support further reforms! Single-payer!
"21. Has the government and news media provided enough information to ensure that citizens have a good understanding of the composition, impact and costs of the Democrat-passed ObamaCare health care legislation?"
I would say no. I think there should be more said about the tens of millions of Americans who have coverage now and who wouldn't have coverage under the old system or the system that Republicans have vowed to return us to.
"22. Are you concerned that Barack Obama and the Democrats intend for their ObamaCare legislation to eventually lead to the creation of "single-payer" government run health insurance and health care system?"
My only concern is that Republicans are trying to stop it from happening.
"23. Do you believe you can receive the same quality of health care and accessibility to quality care through a federal government run health care system?"
If it's good enough for our soldiers and elected officials, then it's good enough for me.
Section VI - Value Issues
*aka "Fags and abortions are destroying America, yes or no?"
"24. Do you support President Obama's unprecedented decision to ignore federal law and order his Justice Department to stop enforcing and defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)?"
You mean, am I glad that the president is focusing government resources on things that are more important to my daily life than keeping gay people from being treated like everyone else? Yes, I support a president who has his priorities straight.
"25. Do you support the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe vs. Wade to allow states to regulate/restrict abortion as they see fit?"
I support Roe vs. Wade. I also support living in the present and dealing with present-day issues, so that we may move forward as a society. It's called progress, which I know is a dirty word to conservatives, but I can't help it. I'm trying to live in the present and think about the future, I don't have the luxury of being able to fight to re-write history.
"26. Do you believe life begins at conception?"
No, I am reasonably educated.
"27. Should federal funds be provided to non-profit organizations whose primary function is conducting abortions?"
Federal funds should not be used to fund abortions. However, federal funds should absolutely be used to fund health care providers so that all Americans can have access to affordable medical care. I know this is about Planned Parenthood though, and the claim of their "primary function" being abortion is a flat-out lie, so for the sake of that argument, yes, I support Planned Parenthood.
"28. Do you support allowing parents to use government vouchers to send their children to the school of their choice be it public, parochial or private?"
If parents want to send their kids to religious, indoctrination mills, then they can pay for that themselves. Federal funds should only be used for education that's based in reality. That being said, if a private school has a federally-approved curriculum and a parent would like to send their child there instead of the local public school, then they should get a voucher equal to what the government would have spent on that student at the public school. I'm all for whatever improves the quality of education in this country.
Section VII - The 2012 Campaign
*Thank God, almost done!
"29. Should the national Republican Party only support candidates who adhere to our conservative principles of low taxes, small government, strong values and unwavering defense of our Constitutional freedoms?"
If by "low taxes" you mean just for the rich, if by "small government" you mean except for our huge, bloated military and massive subsidization of the best-connected lobbies, if by "strong values" you mean being anti-gay and anti-abortion, but in favor of killing everyone else, so long as they look "suspicious" and if by "unwavering defense of our Constitutional freedoms" you mean continuing to propose more asinine, reactionary amendments and re-write history to change American from a secular democracy to a Christian theocracy, then no, I don't support the conservative perversion of "values".
"30. Do you believe the Republican Party needs to do a better job of exposing the Obama record and his radical liberal agenda?"
Yes, because so far it's consisted almost entirely of just making shit up out of thin air and that's been really easy for Obama to pick apart. Perhaps you could try attacking the stuff he's actually done? Oh, but then you'd have to admit his policies are working and that's sort of counterproductive to your goals...
"31. Are you committed to helping ensure that in 2012, the Obama-era of radical liberalism, reckless spending and embarrassing foreign policy comes to an end?"
First of all, 31 questions? Not just 30? Your inability to resolve on a whole number screws with my OCD and shall cost you dearly!
Second, radical liberalism? Dude is GW Bush-lite at best, with just a sprinkling of moderate Democrat social policy. Reckless spending? Ask Bush about that, since we still haven't figured out how to pay for Medicare D or the tax cuts he used to wipe out Clinton's surplus back in 2000. I mean, other than pretending that's all part of Obama's deficit that is, which seems to be the main Republican plan for paying for all of Bush's reckless conservative spending.
As for the embarrassing foreign policy stuff... please. Any party that got Bush elected isn't allowed to talk about "embarrassing foreign policy". Playing cowboy on the world stage didn't exactly make us a ton of friends or earn us any wealth of respect.
So, I was finally done with this survey! Time to slap that sucker into the enclosed, self-addressed, stamped envelope and send it back to the RNC and wait for hilarity to ensue! Then I saw this:
___ YES! I want to help elect the next Republican President and yadda yadda yadda... I am enclosing a personal contribution of:
(cash amounts here)
___ NO. I don't want to participate in the survey, blah blah blah... However, I still want to help you guys out, so here's:
(cash amounts here)
___ NO. I don't want to participate, but I'm returning this Document with a sponsoring contribution of $15 to help cover tabulating my Survey.
THE FUCK? YOU DIDN'T CARE ABOUT MY OPINIONS AT ALL, REPUBLICAN PARTY! YOU JUST WANTED MY MONEY! SERIOUSLY, $15 TO "HELP" COVER THE COST OF HAVING SOME MINIMUM-WAGE SCHLUB FEED THESE FORMS INTO A SCANTRON? EAT MY SHIT, REINCE PRIEBUS!
Section VIII - Please place any additional comments here:
It's almost worth the $15 just on the chance someone at the RNC might actually read what I'd like to write here. However, I think I'd rather give the money to Obama instead. Hell, I'd rather give the money to a guy on the corner pretending to be a homeless vet so he can get meth money. In fact, times are tough for my unpaid blogger ass, people should be sending ME $15 for all the work I put into this piece of shit.
Seriously, give me $15 you greedy fucks.