Wednesday, 9/14/11, Public Square

What’s so electable about Rick Perry?

Forget ideological coherence. The Republican Party, these days, is best defined as The Party of People Who Adamantly Do Not Want a Second Term for Barack Obama.

Maybe that’s harsh. But look at the numbers: 75 percent of those polled said they’d prefer a candidate with whom they disagreed on the issues if he seemed able to beat Barack Obama. That in itself is a strange statement. Party loyalty trumps loyalty to — the issues that drew you to this party in the first place.


Filed under The Public Square

57 responses to “Wednesday, 9/14/11, Public Square

  1. Rick Perry’s Price Revealed!

    Last night Michele Bachmann charged that a campaign contribution from Merck was responsible for Rick Perry’s decision to mandate HPV vaccines for girls. Perry said he was offended at the thought that he could be bought for so little, and I figured he was basically right. “It’s vanishingly unlikely that Merck’s five grand played any real role in Perry’s decision,” I wrote.

    But wait! I didn’t have the whole story. It turns out it was more like $30,000

    And wait again! Over the past five years, it turns out that Merck gave over $350,000 to the Republican Governors Association, a period in which Perry was heavily involved with the group, and the RGA in turn gave $4 million to Rick Perry.

    And wait some more! Merck’s lobbyist on the vaccine issue was Mike Toomey, Perry’s former chief of staff. Toomey recently co-founded a super PAC that plans to raise over $50 million for Perry’s campaign.

    So that’s that. Now we know what it takes to get in the door and persuade Perry to do something that violates his most deeply held principles and enrages his most zealous supporters. Five grand is indeed far too little. But 30 grand plus 350 grand plus some arm twisting from a pal with deep pockets apparently does the trick. That makes Perry a pretty expensive date. On the other hand, if it were something that didn’t violate his most deeply held principles, I imagine his price would go down.

    • Lots of interesting comments on that one. According to one person on Ron Paul’s election committee at the time, he and others paid the medical bill. A little too late, wouldn’t you say?

  2. Republican wins House race, seen as Obama rebuke

    NEW YORK (AP) – It sounded improbable on the surface that a New York City congressional district where Democrats have a 3-1 registration edge and have held office for nearly a century could even come close to electing a Republican to the U.S. House.

    But voter frustration over the sour economy and President Obama’s policies made the improbable a reality, as a Republican political novice, Bob Turner, scored an upset victory in a special election Tuesday over David Weprin, a Democratic assemblyman from a prominent local political family. The surprising results in the Brooklyn and Queens-area district portend a perilous national environment for Obama as he prepares to seek re-election next year.

    Also Tuesday, Republican Mark Amodei won a landslide victory in a U.S. House special election in Nevada, an important presidential swing state.

    • This is from last May. If yesterday’s election results are a rebuke of President Obama did this race imply a mandate in favor of Obama from the same state?

      Democrat Hochul Pulls Upset Win in New York House Race

      In a decisive victory Tuesday, Democrat Kathy Hochul defeated Republican Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, 47 percent to 43 percent, in a heavily GOP congressional district.

    • I had forgotten (already!) this district is likely going away in a year because of redistricting. I NOW remember it was one of the facts given during the Weiner debacle.


      Why GOP’s Upset New York Win Is Bad Omen For Obama. Or Not.

      Democrats may not have to worry about Turner for long. He immediately must start running for re-election. Also, his district is likely to be one of the two the state will lose as a result of the decennial reapportionment following the 2010 census.


  3. prairie pond

    It could be a rebuke for Obama, but it could also be a rebuke against the establishment, give that the loser was “a Democratic assemblyman from a prominent local political family.” Who wants to bet that “prominent political family” also means wealthy.

    I suspect some combination of anti-Obama, anti-incumbent, and anti-establishment.

    In giving the back of his hand to traditional Democratic values, and by being incredibly politically stupid, Obama may have tanked the Democratic party for a long time.

    I read an article last night that said Obama’s re-election strategy seems to be 1.The republicans are so wingnutty Americans will not put them in charge again, and 2. The republicans will never find a sane candidate who isn’t off the deep end in religious and conservative ideology, and Americans won’t elect another president like that.

    To which I can only reply, “Uh-oh. Complete control of SCOTUS, here we come.”

    • I read that you could add ‘democrats stayed home’ to the list of potential reasons the republicans won in New York.

      So we should resolve to put on a happy face and get used to living on the crumbs? Or not put on the happy face and instead just stew in our misery?

      If today’s republicans gain complete control of SCOTUS forget about equal rights for gays, women, and most who aren’t uber wealthy. It will have come full course and the country will have become an oligarchy where government functions to meet the needs of an economic elite.

      All the while no one gives a shit about Americans. Republicans want to economy to fail so that they can blame Obama and defeat him in 2012. I am starting to think that Obama wants the economy to fail too so that he can blame the Republicans and get people to reelect him in 2012.

      George Orwell couldn’t have written a more dismal scenario of a bloodless willing coup d’etat by the corporate class.

      • indypendent

        I heard this morning that this NY district has alot of Jewish voters and they are disapproving of Obama’s handling of Israel – in other words, Obama does not kiss Israel’s butt and continue to make the US be Israel’s pit bull.

        Religion has f__d up this world so much – hasn’t it?

      • By the way, I don’t intend to just ‘take it.’ If America goes down, I will go down fighting.

        No, not with guns, and not even with screaming and kicking, blaming and meanness. I am fully aware the corporate class has Americans doing their fighting for them, has ‘we the people’ at one another’s throats and I don’t intend to be their tool.

      • indypendent

        P.S. – the Democratic candidate in this race also supported gay marriage – so maybe that had something to do with the outcome?

        Nothing like getting a bunch of self-professing religious folks all foaming at the mouth over yet another social issue – huh?

      • prairie pond

        “It will have come full course and the country will have become an oligarchy where government functions to meet the needs of an economic elite.”

        Well, I think we are already there. In hindsight, it seems electing Obama and having the D’s control both branches of Congress for two years was the last time we had any real chance of stopping the oligarchy. And the fact that they ALL blew it, seemingly on purpose, may mean we never really had a chance at all. It was all illusion, and by 2008, the coup d’etat was already complete.

        One of the many reasons I’ve always loved Cynthia McKinney is that she stood on the House floor and said the stolen election of 2000, decided by SCOTUS, was “the coup d’etat of the U-nited States!”

        She was censured by the House for saying that, and her punishment was that she couldn’t speak for the rest of the day. Talk about the ultimate “sit down and STFU!” But ya know, people have been calling Cynthia crazy for a long time. Funny how she almost always ends up being right!

      • indypendent

        I think we need alot more women in Congress. Not Stepford Wives (#1, #2 or #3) but real women who have had to juggle working, raising kids, keeping the household going, making sure the kids get to school/activities and then trying to act all happy when the husband is rather ‘put out’ because she has not noticed that he moved the empty trash can from the curb that day when he arrived home from work.

        Well, bully for him.

        Without women, this ol’ world would have gone to Hell along time ago.

  4. I agree Indy that religion has once again been used to stir emotions. It has through the ages been used to whip human beings into a frenzy and make them capable of committing atrocities against one another.

    • indypendent

      My very dear friend who is a devout Catholic and I were talking about the very same thing.

      In the past few years, even my dear friend has come to realize that her beloved Church has some major problems. She is not quite so quick to defend them as she used to be.

      When I stated that I do not care if a person is Christian, Muslim or atheist – she interjected that she hated the Muslim jihadists.

      I then asked her if she hated the Catholic Spanish Inquisition killers – even though they were not labeled -jihadists.

      She sat back and looked at me and conceded that religion oftentimes is the motivation for alot of violence and killing.

  5. indypendent

    Republicans are crowing about winning that Nevada seat also.

    Shall we look closer? This district has NEVER elected a Democrat. I bet someone’s GOP mommy is so proud of her son to have won a Republican seat in a district that has elected so many other Republicans.

    Would that be like shooting fish in a barrel?

    And then this guy arrogantly tried to say his victory was about the economy. Excuse me, folks, but if you’ve elected nothing but Republicans for all these years – then the economy crashed in 2008 under GWB – so let’s not say it is only about the economy.

    But don’t fret – the Nevada Governor endorsed Rick Perry yesterday also. He says Rick Perry knows how to create jobs. Well, that’s good because the last time I checked, Nevada has a very high unemployment rate and they have had how many Republican governors?

    Things that make you go hmmmmm…

  6. If the republicans defeat Obama and their guy/gal doesn’t get the economy clicking on all cylinders quickly will it still be the democrats fault?

    I think so!

    • indypendent

      Democrats should then just be the Party of NO – and we’ll see how long that lasts.

      But that does require having an unbendable backbone …

      Seriously though, if Rick Perry gets in and tries to undo all of the social safety nets for people – then what would Democrats have to lose by being the Party of NO?

      Nothing at all and they might just achieve a new goal – postponing the total destruction of America.

      • I’m so tired of the blame game. I’m even more tired of the circumstances that make it possible and predictable. It gets none of us anywhere. We are good tools, aren’t we?

        I like that you sat and talked with your friend and the two of you came to many of the same conclusions.

        That’s where I think America has an advantage if we could just use it!

      • indypendent

        My dear friend is also a dyed-in-the-wool Tea Party Republican.

        If we can sit down and come to an agreement on the basics – why can’t our elected officials?

        But, of course, controversy keeps those elected officials in their seats of power. The trick is to keep the two camps feuding and while that is going on endlessly, the elected officials are accumulating quite a hefty little pension for themselves – at taxpayers’ expense.

    • There would also be a dose of ‘s/he isn’t a real republican‘ added to the blame game. I’ll bet we’d hear more than once, “The media choose our nominee.”

      So predictable. Solves nothing.

      • indypendent

        I think another factor is the corporate-owned media we have today. And the fact the media is 24/7 incessant cranking out the given talking points.

        But at the end of the day – we would all learn a valuable lesson if we would simply ‘follow the money’.

        That trail will tell you all you need to know – without the overpaid, ego-inflated media mouthpieces.

  7. We have heard over and over that privatization is better, that private companies can do things cheaper than the government can. Here is the proof that they cannot.

    Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Private Contractors

    A study conducted by the Project for Government Oversight (POGO) found that on average the U.S. government pays private contractors more than twice what it pays federal workers for a number of public services. The disparity amounts to billions of dollars in overpayment each year.

  8. Americans don’t have a chance when people like this man are allowed to make decisions that affect us!


    With Record Number Of Americans Falling Into Poverty, Rand Paul Says The Poor Are Getting Rich

    As the Ranking Member of the Senate Health subcommittee, Paul offered a dissertation-length statement on how the correlation between poverty and death is only found in the Third World and to claim such a connection within the U.S. is nothing more than “socialism” and “tyranny.”

    • WSClark

      I feel so much better now that Rand Paul has reassured me that dem poor folk will be rich before you know it. All we have to do is sit back and wait and poverty will just be a thing of the past.

    • indypendent

      I have to keep myself from throwing something when I hear a Republicans make the claim that the American poor are so much wealthier than the global poor.

      Huh? It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that if the cost of living is so high and your wages are minimum, or if you have no job at all, then you are poor by any definition.

      While it may true that the poor get more money in welfare checks – just how much does that money buy in our society – that is where the rubber hits the road.

      But I don’t expect someone like Rand Paul to understand the correlation between wages and cost of living.

      I suspect Rand has never had to worry where his next meal was coming from – or how much taxpayer money he can get from taking his Medicaid and Medicare patients.

      Life is much prettier on the side of the fence where money is never in short supply.

    • New data shows 1 in 7 Kansans classified as poor

      WASHINGTON, DC (AP) — A newly released report shows that 1 in 7 people in Kansas are poor.

      The Census Bureau’s annual report released Tuesday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of U.S. households for 2010, when joblessness hovered above 9 percent for a second year.

      Nationally, nearly 1 in 6 people were classified as poor.

      Meanwhile, the share of Americans without health coverage rose from 16.1 percent to 16.3 percent – or 49.9 million people – after the Census Bureau made revisions to numbers of the uninsured.

      That is due mostly to continued losses of employer-provided health insurance in the weakened economy.

      In Kansas, 12.7 percent of residents lacked insurance.

      • indypendent

        I have often said that Repubilcans cannot be shamed into doing what is right by all Americans.

        And that disgusting behavior at the Tea Party GOP debate on Monday night when they yelleed to let that hypothetical uninsured man in the coma die – proved my conclusion about the Republicans.

        This is a group of people who have been so driven by their narrow agenda and their demonization of their perceived enemies that they have crossed that line of common decency – common humanity.

        It is quite scary to think these are the people that also profess to be such good moral Christians.

      • It should be pointed out that Wolf Blitzer did mention that the hypothetical 30-year-old man had chosen not to pay $500 or $600 each month for insurance. My reply to that would be to ask why it’s so damned high. There’s also the question of why he chose not to.

        Still, I doubt if it mattered to those shouting for a hypothetical death for the hypothetical man. They believe that they, too, will be among the elite and rich someday, because that’s what the American Dream promised them, and they’ve been climbing that ladder–stepping on others–all their lives to get there. Why should they care if someone dies? Unless it’s them or one of theirs, it’s one less person to battle for the top rungs of the ladder.

      • indypendent

        wicked – I have worked in the nursing home business for a lot of years. I have seen some family members who are never there to visit their loved ones until they are on their death bed and then they come out of the woodwork – because they want to be sure to get their share first.

        I remember one sad case. This old man was dying from cancer and in walks a man and woman claiming to be this man’s nephew and niece. No one had ever heard of these two people before they walked through the front door of the nursing home.

        These two vultures (they do not deserve to be called humans) paced back and forth in this poor man’s room talking about how they had to get the grave dug and come to an agreement on how they are going to sell this man’s house and split the money – and this man was in the bed dying.

        Then immediately after the man died, the nephew was in my supervisor’s office demanding that she call the doctor to pronounce his uncle dead.

        The doctor was called and he said he was coming to the nursing home in the next hour. This doctor’s office was a few blocks down the road and I actually witnessed this arrogant nephew drive down to the doctor’s office and dragged the doctor back to the nursing home to pronounce his uncle dead.

        So, you see, there are vultures (I refuse to call them humans) that are capable of such callousness. They only think about money.

        I hope there is a special Hell for vultures…..

    • prairie pond

      Those food-chillin’ mf’ers!

  9. indypendent

    WSClark….All we have to do is sit back and wait and poverty will just be a thing of the past.

    I am not naive enough to think there will never be poverty in our society – but I want my government to assure that every American has the resources and the opportunity to not be poor.

    And they do this by making sure there are jobs for people – living wage jobs.

    But you know what – there are corporations that are dependent on the poverty of America to make their profits. Case in point – Section 8 housing. Look around at these apartment complexes – some of them are big corporations and why do you think they seek to service Section 8 – a guaranteed check from the government every month, that’s why.

    And in alot of cases, these landlords are paid more in Section 8 than they would if they had to actually compete in the market to fill their vacancies with self-pay tenants.

    But I don’t want the govennment to stop helping people with Section 8 housing unless they are going to make sure there are living wage jobs available for people to survive.

    It seems like America is always throwing money at some problem but the problem never gets resolved. But, like I said above, that money lands in some pretty big corporations’ hands – and they are LOVIN it…

    • indypendent

      Personally, I think if our society would benefit greatly if people worked, took care of their families and thent these people would feel good about themselves and that would translate into pride in our country.

      I am tired of people feeling they are ‘entitled’ to whatever they want. This goes for the wealthy, as well as the poor.

      At what point does our society have to tip into the favor of the wealthy before the civil war starts?

      I really think there is a class war coming. The choice will be the working class Americans win back their country or these corporatists will get what they really want – to go back to the Plantation Days of slavery but this time, the Plantation Masters will not even have to house, feed or clothe the slaves. These are the people that – like that hypothetic uninsured man in the coman – will die.

      And corporatists don’t care whose body takes the dead person’s place – any warm body will do.

  10. 38 Senators Stuck to Their Guns, Voted ‘Nay’ on Hurricane Irene Disaster Aid

    U.S Senate Roll Call Votes 112th Congress- 1st Session

    Alexander (R-TN), Nay
    Ayotte (R-NH), Nay
    Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
    Boozman (R-AR), Nay
    Burr (R-NC), Nay
    Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
    Coats (R-IN), Nay
    Coburn (R-OK), Nay
    Cochran (R-MS), Nay
    Corker (R-TN), Nay
    Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
    Crapo (R-ID), Nay
    DeMint (R-SC), Nay
    Enzi (R-WY), Nay
    Graham (R-SC), Nay
    Grassley (R-IA), Nay
    Hatch (R-UT), Nay
    Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
    Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
    Isakson (R-GA), Nay
    Johanns (R-NE), Nay
    Johnson (R-WI), Nay
    Kirk (R-IL), Nay
    Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
    Lee (R-UT), Nay
    Lugar (R-IN), Nay
    McCain (R-AZ), Nay
    McConnell (R-KY), Nay
    Moran (R-KS), Nay
    Murkowski (R-AK), Nay
    Paul (R-KY), Nay
    Portman (R-OH), Nay
    Risch (R-ID), Nay
    Roberts (R-KS), Nay
    Sessions (R-AL), Nay
    Shelby (R-AL), Nay
    Thune (R-SD), Nay
    Wicker (R-MS), Nay

    In case you didn’t notice, there is not a single Democratic senator on this list. Every single Democrat, and many Republicans, voted in favor of providing disaster relief to those affected by Hurricane Irene.

    • indypendent

      Names should be remembered the next time these folks want more funding for their corporate masters and/or war mongering.

      Then the Democrats can become the Party of NO WAY in HELL

  11. Don’t believe the lies when you hear the republicans tell you no one knows what is in The American Jobs Act.

  12. WSClark

    As I noted a few days ago, I am beginning to believe that President Obama will be defeated for reelection and we will be stuck with an insufferable Tea Party President. The tide has turned, the GOP’ers will obstruct any attempt by the Democrats to make positive changes to effect the economy and the disrespect by the right wing directed at the president grows by the day. Some are once again calling for impeachment, even though there are no high crimes or misdemeanors for a basis for indictment.

    The Left tends to sit back and look at a situation like this and wring their hands and shake their heads moaning about how unfair it all is. Well, the Republicans have never played fair and it is not going to change anytime soon. If the Democrats want to continue to be a viable party and a voice for those negatively impacted by the Right, we had better stand up and learn to fight.

    Just one example: Some on the Right are calling for a National Sales Tax to replace the income tax. Who will get nailed the most by that change?

    The poor, the middle class and those on Social Security.

    Who will benefit most from that change?

    The folks in the upper brackets.

    Same stuff, different day, new packaging. Unless we are willing to stand up for all Americans, the Republican Party will take what is left of America and give it to the rich and the corporations.

    Bet on it.

    • indypendent

      Another bet – if we get a Tea Party president, the next midterm election will be overwhelmingly for Democrats.

      Because there is no way in Hell any Republican is going to fulfill their promise of creating jobs – their corporate masters will not permit such high treason.

      And Americans are a fickle bunch – we want everything instanteously and their only question is – what have you done for me lately?

      • indypendent

        BTW – If that Tea Party Republican starts a war with Iran – you can bet your last dollar that the Grand Old Party will be swiftly kicked to the curb in 2014.

        Americans are tired of wars – especially when our tax dollars are being spent to bomb some hellhole country and then we turn around and rebuild their infrastructure, their schools, their hospitals and give them free health care.

        Americans are tired of the B.S.

  13. indypendent

    I was talking with a Republican today who told me straight up that he has had it with the GOP. He also did not have kind words for the Democratic Party.

    In fact, he stated what I think most of us feel – the entire political system is corrupted – so there are only varying degrees of which party is worse.

    I got to thinking when I left this man’s office as to how many other people feel the same way?

    I know I am certainly in that group. I’ve said several times on this blog that I am not in favor of everything Obama has done or said. But if the choice is between Obama or a Tea Party Republican – I’ll take Obama and do it with a smile.

    But would I like to see someone brand new to the political scene that has no ties to any special interests and/or corporate masters – Hell Yes…

    So what can we do to change that??

  14. I forgot to mention and post this earlier. Too much going on for me to remember everything.

    Elizabeth Warren announces bid for Senate seat in Massachusetts

    This lady is awesomely brilliant when it comes to numbers and understanding what it’s like for common people.

    • indypendent

      I saw her on Rachel Maddow tonight. I agree – this lady is great.

      Rachel announced that Scott Brown’s campaign had already bought the rights to a website named queenelizabeth – so I guess they are trying to make fun of Ellizabeth?

      But I liked Elizabeth Warren’s response to what Rachel said – she said she has fought all her life to do what is right – so let the name calling begin.

      This is one lady that will not back down..

      • WSClark

        Liz Warren should buy the rights to – if the Cons want to play, the Dems better learn to play just a little harder.

        Miami had the ball, fourth and goal at New England’s half yard line. Their fourth down play failed and Brady, Welker and Company answered with a 99 1/2 yard touchdown pass.

        Why go small when you can have it all? Dems have been playing small for far too long, including President Obama. In my not so humble opinion, Barack Obama’s biggest failure is failing to recognize that the Tea Cons don’t care about doin’ the right thing – they only care about defeating the Democrats at any cost.

      • Gotta say I agree with you, Will. Obama doesn’t seem to have the fight in him that’s needed. Trying to meet someone in the middle who won’t take a step in that direction is foolish, and it’s cost the people of this country a lot. I thought just after Obama took office that the Dems were beginning to grow backbones. I was wrong. And that includes the president, I’m sorry to say.

        I don’t see Elizabeth Warren backing down. To anybody.

  15. indypendent

    Look what I just discovered…..Televangelist Pat Robertson thinks Alzheimers is justification for divorce – because, after all, Alzheimers is a kind of a death.

    I wonder if Nancy Reagan is going to condemn this idiotic statement?

    • indypendent

      P.S. – I’ve dealt with people who have Alzheimers and it is a 24/7 thankless job and it is very difficult to deal with this situation.

      But now we have a so-called morally superior Christian (?) leader telling people to divorce their spouse because they have Alzheimers?

      Don’t you just love it when he said that the man should divorce the spouse and just start over?

      WTF… I guess it really is just all about the men in their fantasy world…

      • WSClark

        Jeez, and the Holy Rollin’ Right says that GAY MARRIAGE will destroy traditional marriage.


      • indypendent

        But, but….God has given Pat special privileges to speak for Him – so it is okay to dump your spouse – unless, of course that spouse is gay. In that case, God hates you.

        The day God tells me that Pat Robertson is his spokesman, that’s the day I will give a crap what Pattie says or thinks.

        In other words – the twelfth of never!!!

  16. I see Alan Grayson is running for Congress again in Florida. I’d vote for him in a New York minute. I’d also vote for Bernie Sanders for president. These two, Elizabeth Warren, and the now embarrassed Weiner have been the only Dems who have shown any intestinal fortitude at all. The rest all need to grow a pair.

  17. prairie pond

    All great posts, guys. I still like Pelosi, too. She has at least half a pair if not a full pair?

    I still think while she was speaker, the repukes had dirt on her, via phone taps, or they threatened her with the Wellstone treatment, and that’s why impeachment and war crimes investigations were off the table.

    But she’s still a better leader in the House than Steny f’n Hoyer or any of the the other DLC types. I like Nancy!

    • indypendent

      I think impeachment and war crimes investigations were always off the table – because the really slick ones always get away – don’t they?

      We will never know the whole truth ………