Day: February 7, 2012

Rick Santorum Surges To Significance: What This Means For The GOP

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has had a good night, winning the Missouri Primary and the Minnesota Caucuses, and at this writing, also leading in the Colorado Caucuses.

If this happens, that he wins all three states, then Santorum has won four states (Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado), to Mitt Romney’s three states (New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada), and Newt Gingrich’s one state (South Carolina).

It means that Rick Santorum must be taken seriously, as possibly the true conservative challenger to Mitt Romney, instead of Newt Gingrich. It means that Santorum has won three Midwestern states, the area of the country usually considered prime and needed territory for a Republican win.

It means also that the Republican battle for the Presidential nomination will drag on for a long time, and that Super Tuesday on March 6, could be the decisive day in the battle.

All this ultimately helps Barack Obama, and for political junkies like the author, it keeps politics interesting!

Barack Obama Accepts The SuperPAC He Wanted To Avoid: Only Way To Compete!

President Obama’s campaign term has decided, reluctantly, that they will have to accept a SuperPAC to raise money for their re-election campaign, or lose the edge for the election.

Proud of the fact that 98 percent of their campaign funds raised have been by small contributors, including this author, with an average per contribution of $55, the reality still exists that the competition of the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove and others forming massive SuperPacs, plus the SuperPacs of Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, represent a threat to the survival of the Obama Presidency, because there simply is not enough money being raised to compete with the plans for hundreds of millions of dollars of concerted attacks on everything that the Obama Administration believed in, has accomplished, and hopes to achieve.

It is simply reality that, despite the justified criticism of the Citizens United Case of the Supreme Court in 2010, which allowed this campaign monstrosity to develop, that the temporary situation requires that both sides play the same game, with the hope that after the election, there can be found some way that the Citizens United Case can be overcome in future political campaigns.

If one stands on ceremony, plays a puritanical game, the result will be a tragedy for the nation as the right wing seizes power and destroys everything that has been accomplished since the New Deal of FDR and the Great Society of Lyndon B. Johnson, which, if that happened, would set us back an entire century!

Health Care, Women’s Health Rights, And Churches And Synagogues

The Obama Health Care legislation has come under attack on a new front: that hospitals and universities and other institutions connected to religious groups, other than actual church or synagogue properties, are being required to provide contraceptive and abortion services to women who work for those institutions, outraging the Catholic Church, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Evangelical Christian groups that oppose such practices.

An exemption for churches and synagogues has not been enough to appease these religious groups, and it threatens the support of these groups for the Obama re-election campaign, but if the Obama Administration abandons the rights of women of all religious persuasions and denies them such services, they could also lose support among women who want these services covered.

It is clear that a majority of Catholic women ignore the teachings of their own church, while it is not clear that the same is true for Orthodox Jews, Mormons, and Evangelical Christians.

So this presents a quandary for Obama, and is being called an attack on religion, rather than an issue of an attack on women’s health and basic human rights to control their own bodies. Rather than have to follow the teachings of groups that are dominated by men, many millions of women want to determine their own futures, and not be controlled by their employers as to what health coverage they have.

The likelihood is that Obama will cave in on this to the religious groups, but a true profile in courage would be to make it clear there is religious freedom in this country, but it should not dictate health services available to women in the name of religious liberty.

One does not have to accept contraceptives or pursue abortion, but women should have the freedom, no matter what their religion or no religion, to pursue their own freedom, separate from organized religious institutions trying to control their destiny. They should not be required to quit their employment to have freedom of choice.

Iraq War Veterans Parades In New York City And Elsewhere Very Appropriate Now!

St. Louis, Missouri became the first city to host an Iraq War Veterans Parade to honor the soldiers who fought bravely for our country in the nearly nine year war in that country.

New York City has shown reluctance, led by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to host such a party, as the war in Afghanistan continues, but veterans groups are calling for parades not only in New York City but elsewhere, and there is nothing wrong with that.

As it is, the White House will be hosting 200 invited veterans at a special dinner to honor the veterans, but why should not the average citizen be able to demonstrate their patriotism and respect for those who fought, those wounded, and those killed in the line of duty now, rather than in an undetermined future when the Afghanistan War ends?

Honoring our soldiers is the least we can do, as they protected us and fought for the principles of our country. So let’s see a parade very soon in New York City and elsewhere!

First Presidential Election Since 1944 With No Military Background Of Candidates

Since 1948, in every presidential election, at least one, if not both of the final candidates for the Presidency, has been in the military in some way.

Thomas E. Dewey and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1944 were the last combination of candidates who had not been, ironically in the midst of World War II.

But now in 2012, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have not served in the military, and neither have Rick Santorum nor Newt Gingrich. Ron Paul did serve in the military, but he has failed to catch on, despite the passionate support of his followers.

So in the midst of military involvement in Afghanistan, and possible challenges from Iran and other nations, our next President will have had no connection with the armed services personally.

The Secretive Mitt Romney: An Enigma Wrapped Inside Of A Mystery

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been running for President for the past six years, but we hardly know him.

His time in public office was limited to one four year term, and he did not exactly endear his state to his personality. Polls indicated he would have problems being re-elected in 2006.

While running for President in 2008 and 2012, his opponents found him to be the least engaging, friendly and approachable of all of their competitors. He was not well liked!

He refuses to talk much about his religion, as if to do so might convince us that a Mormon should not be President. So he is reluctant to let us learn about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and that is a failure to communicate which is actually tragic.

He has told us little about his family history voluntarily, and hardly talks about his father, George Romney, who he much admired, but refuses to be as open as his dad was about his tax returns. He also shields his sons from too much being investigated, even though they are all full grown adults with careers and families.

His refusal to release more financial information is a sign of secretiveness, almost of being on the defensive, making one wonder if there are aspects of his financial background that he feels a need to hide.

He has wealthy financial backers, but does not wish to reveal them in depth.

He refuses to reveal his real feelings about anything, and if he became President in 2013, there is no way to know what kind of President he would be–a moderate, a traditional conservative, or a far right winger if the Congress were to be controlled by Tea Party radicals. Would he fight for anything with commitment, or just cave in to powerful forces in either party which might control the Congress?

No one really knows Mitt Romney and his core, and is unlikely to know even if he is President, as he would likely be a blank slate, hard to pinpoint.

Mitt Romney is a mystery, an unknown quantity, who is stiff, plastic, uncomfortable around people. He would be hard to warm up to, and for the average American to connect to on a personal basis.

The last two losing Republican Presidential candidates, Bob Dole in 1996 and John McCain in 2008, both had extensive experience in government and years of news coverage, and gave a feeling that we knew them much better, and in some ways were likeable and approachable.

Mitt Romney remains an enigma wrapped inside of a mystery, not likely to be revealed to the American people by Election Day!