American Times

by Erik Kain

Posts from the “Election 2012” Category

Is Ron Paul secretly working for the Mitt Romney campaign?

Posted on March 1st, 2012

The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and the likeliest explanation is usually the most straightforward and least complex. So when rumors started surfacing last month that Newt Gingrich’s Super PAC sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson was supporting Newt Gingrich in order to hurt Rick Santorum and help Mitt Romney it all sounded like too much 3-dimensional chess to me. Wouldn’t it just make more sense to back Romney? Why risk hurting Romney with negative ads – something that really did happen thanks to Gingrich’s rough-and-tumble South Carolina campaign – when you could use your money to prop up Romney’s campaign? It doesn’t make sense. But it’s just one billionaire with an agenda. That doesn’t make him a brilliant political strategist. It’s…

Real life neo-Nazi runs for Congress in Illinois

Posted on February 29th, 2012

Art Jones wants to go to Washington D.C. but even as crazy as the Republican party has gotten, there’s no way it’s going to happen: “As far as I’m concerned, the Holocaust is nothing more than an international extortion racket by the Jews,” Jones said. “It’s the blackest lie in history. Millions of dollars are being made by Jews telling this tale of woe and misfortune in books, movies, plays and TV. “The more survivors, the more lies that are told.” A member of the Nationalist Socialist Party in his younger days, Jones took part in the Nazis’ march on Chicago’s Marquette Park in 1978. While he doesn’t deny nor repudiate his “past affiliations,” he says he votes Republican “90 percent of the time.” “Philosophically, I’m a National…

A post I never published about rumors of the death of Mitt’s campaign being greatly exaggerated

Posted on February 28th, 2012

So in light of Romney winning in Arizona and Michigan, I just remembered that I’d never published this piece. I wish I had, since I was right. Oh well. If wishes were bagels. I’m a terrible blogger, I guess. Who just doesn’t post something??? Anyways, here it is: According to the latest CBS News poll, Rick Santorum has a slight lead over Mitt Romney nationally. Poll results place Santorum atop the pile with 30 percent of GOP primary voters backing the former Pennsylvania senator. Clocking in at 27 percent, Romney runs a close second. Jamelle Bouie is flabbergasted: As recently as last month, I couldn’t have predicted that Rick Santorum would be leading national polls for the Republican presidential nomination. That’s not to say that I didn’t think about…

Americans don’t actually want to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act even if they say they do

Posted on February 27th, 2012

According to a new Gallup poll Americans are pretty much split evenly on whether or not we should repeal the new healthcare law. But as with any other government program, Americans are only against it in the abstract. Americans hate the mandate, largely because it’s called a mandate, but love parts of the bill that end pre-existing condition clauses. Of course, you can’t really have a system of private insurance that allows anybody to get a plan at any time without a mandate, so we’re stuck with the good and the bad. The healthcare law is a mixed bag. It doesn’t go as far as many wanted it to go – something like single payer, preferably. It changes rather than expands the role of government in providing access to…

Ron Paul wants to divide and conquer

Posted on February 27th, 2012

A new study of the GOP debates finds that Ron Paul has attacked all his Republican rivals save one: Mitt Romney. In no debate so far has Paul attacked Romney, but he’s gone after each of the other candidates. He’s also run ads attacking Romney’s rivals in states where Romney looked shaky. Why is this? I don’t have a definite answer on this, of course, but it seems to me that Paul is attempting to subvert the playing field – divide and conquer by contrasting himself with the Not-Romney candidates rather than with Romney. Perhaps he assumes that people just know he’s 180 degrees the opposite of Romney and he wants voters to understand that in fact the others, like Santorum and Gingrich, are closer…

The Koch brothers and rightwing fusionism

Posted on February 27th, 2012

The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are often painted by the left as anti-worker elites working in the shadows to undermine labor unions, the middle class, and the New Deal. This is only partly true. They are also major philanthropists whose political ideology hardly reflects on their good works, whether or not it’s your cup of tea. Besides, that political philosophy contains many good things outside of workers’ rights issues. The brothers have bankrolled anti-war and anti-war-on-drugs writing and research. Publications like reason are a mixed bag for sure, but reason-style libertarians tend to be socially liberal and represent, at least in the mainstream, a more liberal-ish version of libertarianism than is found elsewhere. And some of the work at that magazine – namely…

Rick Santorum hates religion but he hates puppies even more

Posted on February 26th, 2012

What a silly over-the-top thing to say. It’s the sort of rhetoric that is ruining this country, damnit, and this is the greatest country on earth. Why, it’s a little bit like saying that the whole separation of Church and State thing we have baked into our constitution is out-dated, like Rick Santorum said on This Week: I don’t believe in an America where the separation between church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and visions of our country. This is stupid on so many levels. Obviously the church is just one of many special interest groups that really does have some say…

America is one hell of a country, according to Rick Santorum

Posted on February 21st, 2012

“The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heav’n of hell, a hell of heav’n.” ~from Paradise Lost “This is not a political war at all,” Rick Santorum told Catholic students at Ave Maria college. “This is not a cultural war. This is a spiritual war. And the Father of Lies has his sights on what you would think the Father of Lies would have his sights on: a good, decent, powerful, influential country – the United States of America. If you were Satan, who would you attack in this day and age. There is no one else to go after other than the United States and that has been the case now for almost two hundred years, once America’s…

Santorum calls Foster Friess’s Bayer aspirin comment a “bad joke”

Posted on February 16th, 2012

Rosie Gray, writing at BuzzFeed, chatted up Rick Santorum about the unfortunate comments his SuperPAC backer, Foster Friess, made about contraception earlier: Rick Santorum wasn’t very amused by his friend and super PAC backer Foster Friess’ comment today about using aspirin as birth control. Today on MSNBC, Friess said “Back in my days they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives,” adding, “The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.” Asked about the quote outside the Oakland County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner here in Novi, Santorum wasn’t at first aware of the incident — but when it was described to him, he told BuzzFeed “I’m not responsible for every bad joke one of my supporters makes.” Friess will be appearing on…

Santorum benefactor Foster Friess tells women to put an aspirin between their knees to use as contraception

Posted on February 16th, 2012

I don’t know if Foster Friess, the billionaire supporter of Rick Santorum, is representative of all of Santorum’s supporters, but I get the feeling he is. Which is great, because if Santorum wins the nomination, that means that all Barack Obama has to do is role tape of this sort of bad crazy and he’s sure to win: “Here we have millions of our fellow Americans unemployed. We have jihadist camps being set up in Latin America, which Rick has been warning about, and people seem to be so preoccupied with sex. I think it says something about our culture,” Friess said. “We maybe need a massive therapy session so we can concentrate on what the real issues are.” He continued: “On this contraceptive…

Our immigration policy is anti-family

Posted on February 15th, 2012

The story of Felipe Montes is horrifying but not an isolated incident. Montes, who had lived in the United States for nine years before being deported, left behind his wife Marie and their three children. Their youngest had just been born a couple months earlier, and Marie had fallen ill. She survived on disability with Felipe gone. And, of course, the story only gets worse from there:  Less than two months after their baby was born, just two weeks after Felipe was loaded onto a plane and deported to Mexico, the Allegheny County child welfare department took the children from Marie and put them in foster care. Allegheny County has already convinced a judge to end family reunification efforts with Marie Montes. She wants…

‘George Romney deserved a better son’

Posted on February 15th, 2012

This exchange between Mitt Romney’s father – then Michigan governor George Romney – and Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee at the time, is fascinating. Actually, it’s especially fascinating given that Ron Paul is in the race against Romney-the-younger this time around, and Paul shares many of Goldwater’s more unfortunate views on the Civil Rights Act. He also has some of the same dubious associations. Don’t get me wrong, I still think Ron Paul comes off as a heck of a lot less crazy than someone like Santorum, and leaps and bounds more honest than Romney, but the Ron Paul newsletters raise many of the same concerns about Paul’s past choices as George Romney raises about some of Goldwater’s associations. Meanwhile, Mitt Romney displays none…

Ron Paul winning delegates despite losses

Posted on February 12th, 2012

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Mistermix captions the above video: [I]t turns out that Ron Paul has another reason to be smiling ever time he announces that he “lost” a straw poll. His supporters are being elected as delegates in bigger numbers than the straw poll totals indicate. It works like this: Romney, Santorum and Gingrich supporters vote in the straw poll, then leave. Paul supporters vote in the poll and stay around for the county business meeting to be elected delegates. Because those delegates are completely loyal to Paul, not to the straw poll results, Paul, not Romney, Gingrich or Santorum, might actually be winning the caucuses. So, who the hell knows how many delegates any Republican has…

Every sperm is sacred

Posted on February 10th, 2012

Now that death panels are a thing of the distant past, the real threat to liberty in this country is apparently the pill, something that we’ve had for over half a century and that a majority of us thought was a fairly settled debate. Of course, since the right is adamantly opposed to providing life-saving universal access to healthcare we instead get yet another front in the culture wars. Now the administration has changed course in the right direction on the contraception mandate: Today, the White House did the right thing for women, public health and human rights.  Despite deep concerns, including my own, based on what transpired in the past under health reform, the White House has decided on a plan to address the birth…

What Obama’s Up Against

Posted on February 9th, 2012

Nate Silver thinks the GOP primary is going to be a long, protracted race, noting that it bears a “resemblance to something like the 1984 Democratic contest or the 1976 Republican race.” Mondale won in 1984, and Ford beat Reagan in 1976, but both primaries were close calls, and neither Mondale nor Ford inspired their respective parties. Still, I’m not sure either one had as abysmal an outlook as presumed front-runner Mitt Romney does in this race: Meanwhile, the two not-Romney candidates – Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum – are nipping at Romney’s heels making sure that neither one has any real chance at stealing the nomination. And of course Ron Paul has his base of support which will likely neither grow nor dwindle in…

Santorum sweeps Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado further fragmenting the not-Romney camp

Posted on February 8th, 2012

When you think about it, there’s really only three candidates in the race: Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and not-Romney. Santorum pulled a string of wins in Minnesota, Missouri, and Colorado Tuesday evening, but it may as well have been Gingrich. The point is someone other than Romney (or Paul, for that matter) won. Now this means two things. First – a problem for Romney. Second – a problem for not-Romney. Here’s Romney’s problem: his favorability is capsizing and his unfavorability is shooting through the roof. The problem for not-Romney is that not-Romney is not one, but rather two candidates neither of whom appears ready to drop out of the race. If not-Romney were just Newt Gingrich or just Rick Santorum, not-Romney could start raising serious…

Sarah Palin wants back into the spotlight – but only on the losing side

Posted on January 31st, 2012

“I think that with $17 million purchasing some ads and some false narrative it was very, very difficult for Newt Gingrich and the other candidates to counter that bombardment of advertisements,” Palin said Tuesday night on Fox News. Yes, Palin has been popping up on Facebook and the conservative media circuit again, touting the former speaker and slamming Mitt Romney at every available opportunity. The Grizzly wants a piece of the action, apparently, having fallen so far out of the spotlight. Romney’s big win in Florida is just another excuse from the half-term former Alaskan governor to insert herself in the political circus once again. What’s in it for Palin? The same thing that was always in it for her: the spotlight and the…

Newt Gingrich and Conservative Inc Take On the Establishment in Florida

Posted on January 31st, 2012

Florida voters are heading to the polls today. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich have been battling it out in a fierce primary battle, but Newt’s initial lead in the state slipped badly after two lackluster debate performances and a flood of negative ads. Nate Silver’s final forecast for the state gives Romney a towering fifteen point lead over the former speaker as voters shamble toward the voting booth. Yet Gingrich remains defiant, feisty, a fighter – depending on the news article you’re reading. Everyone agrees: in the face of almost certain defeat, Gingrich is staring into the steely eyes of defeat unflinchingly. As if he has some other choice. What puzzles me about coverage of a moment like this is how obvious it is. Naturally…

The Political Circus We Deserve

Posted on January 30th, 2012

The political circus may have finally come into its own this primary season. We’ve all heard that phrase before of course. Last September the president used it in his jobs speech when he urged congress to “stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy.” H.L. Mencken once wrote that “A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.” Elections are inherently competitive, and for those who care about the outcomes of our democratic process, the stakes are compelling – entertaining even. But it’s hard to recall a time when the sport of politics has been so aptly described as a political circus. A sports game? Sure. A circus – 2012 is already taking the cake. Indeed, for reasons partly…

Gingrich’s gift to the media: a primary bloodbath

Posted on January 30th, 2012

Newt Gingrich isn’t going to stop, even if Romney beats him bloody in Florida. Don’t get me wrong, the former speaker is finished. He’s not going to topple the party establishment. He doesn’t represent the hope and change he pretends to represent. He’s no transformational figure at all. The reason the GOP elites dislike Gingrich isn’t because he’s too conservative it’s because he’s a disgrace to the Republican Party. His personal life is an embarrassment and his lobbying for Fannie and Freddie is just one of many toxic items in his record. By comparison, Romney is squeaky clean even with a mini-Obamacare in his past. As far as we know he’s been a faithful husband and father. His Mormonism is problematic, and for some reason…