Tag Archives: Mitt Romney

So much for GOP minority outreach?

Republicans across the country had high hopes that Mitt Romney was their man, that they would take back the White House from those dreaded Democrats in the 2012 presidential election.

Then the minority vote came in overwhelmingly for the ticket led by President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. The GOP then vowed to institute its outreach to the minority community.

Oops! Then along comes a Nevada state assemblyman to say he’d vote to bring back slavery if his constituents told him they wanted it.

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/nevada-republican-would-allow-slavery

End of outreach … maybe.

Assemblyman Jim Wheeler said he was being “facetious.” That means he didn’t actually mean it. He was joking. He meant it as, what, a put-on?

No one is laughing about it.

It is utterly astounding that someone would make such a statement, even if he or she is offering it as some kind of sick joke.

A Facebook friend shared with me a quote attributed to the great Irish statesman and political philosopher Edmund Burke:

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”

Assemblyman Wheeler has demonstrated that he possesses neither judgment nor an ability to serve.

He has delivered a terrible body blow to the Republican Party’s effort to re-brand itself.

Banish non-scientific ‘polls’

I detest those instant “polls” that seek — ostensibly, at least — to gauge public opinion on contemporary issues.

The Amarillo Globe-News today posted one such “poll” question on one of its opinion pages. It asks readers whether they agree with Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst’s view that the House of Representatives should impeach President Obama.

OK. Let’s see. The Texas Panhandle in two presidential elections has given the president about 20 percent of the vote. Eighty percent of the vote went for Republicans John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012. The tea party wing of the GOP — the party’s most strident voice at the moment — is entrenched firmly in this part of an extremely Republican state.

I’ll take a wild guess that when the results of this “poll” are tabulated, we’ll get roughly a 90 percent approval rating for Dewhurst’s call for a presidential impeachment.

This is just one example. The media do this kind of thing all the time. They ask for immediate responses to pressing national issues. TV networks do it. The one that just slays me comes from a liberal TV talk show host, Ed Shultz, whose MSNBC program “The Ed Show” asks viewers to send in their answers to questions relating to the topic of the evening.

A question might go something like this: Do you agree that the Republican Party is looking after the best interest of rich people while ignoring the needs of poor folks? The answers usually come back about 95 to 5 percent “yes.”

OK, I embellished that question … but not by very much.

These “polls” merely feed into people’s anger, their frustration and they serve no useful purpose other than to gin up responses on websites.

They provide not a bit of useful information.

I just wish the media would stop playing these games.

A few words about presidential prerogative

I have posted a blog that calls attention to the results of the 2012 presidential election.

The Affordable Care Act was the unwritten issue on the ballot, along with President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Obama was re-elected. Romney sought to make the ACA an issue in the election. He failed.

The earlier blog note drew some attention from a friend who said we should honor the views of the 435 House of Reps members, most of whom ran on the issue of smaller government. I took issue with my friend.

I have long believed in presidential prerogative. We elect only one individual at-large in this country: the president. The vice president is elected too, of course, but that person’s fortunes depend on the person at the top of the ticket. Presidents occasionally make decisions with which I disagree, such as appointments to the Supreme Court. But that’s their call, given that voters elect them knowing what they’re getting. If a president tilts to the left, we can expect liberal judges; if they tilt to the right, we expect conservative judges. The majority speaks and the president is able to pick qualified individuals with whom he feels comfortable.

Thus, given that President Obama was re-elected it is my view that we need to take a different approach to settling this ACA debate. How about, as another friend suggested, tinker with the law, amend it, fix what’s wrong with it — as Congress did with Medicare — and make it better?

It makes no sense for Congress to seek to defund a law that it approved in 2010. The Supreme Court received a challenge to the law’s constitutionality; it chose to hear the case and then it ruled, narrowly, that the law meets constitutional muster. The ACA stands.

Of course, some ACA foes in Congress had the nerve to suggest that a slim majority of non-elected judges didn’t actually mean the law is constitutional. They forgot that the Constitution gives the court to make those rulings and doesn’t stipulate that it must be any margin greater than a simple majority.

So, now that the law still stands, the president has the authority to implement it. Yes, the Constitution also grants Congress the right to pull money from the law. However, I get back to my original point: The 2012 presidential election seemed to have settled the Affordable Care Act debate when Barack Obama got more votes than Mitt Romney and was allowed to remain president of the United States.

As the saying goes: Elections have consequences.

Voters have decided: ‘Obamacare’ should stay

It occurs to me that congressional Republicans’ attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act flies directly against the prevailing political winds that blew fairly strongly nearly a year ago.

That was when President Barack Obama won re-election to a second term in the White House after fending off a relentless campaign against the ACA by the Republican nominee for president, Mitt Romney.

Thus, the ACA was on the ballot in 2012. It arguably was Romney’s signature issue in his campaign against the president.

How did it turn out?

* Barack Obama won re-election with 332 electoral votes; Romney captured 206.

* Obama’s popular vote totaled 65,915,257 votes; Romney garnered 60,932,235 votes. That’s a margin of nearly 5 million ballots.

* The president failed to carry only two states that he won in 2008, North Carolina and Indiana. The rest of them remained in his camp.

I’ll certainly concede that the president’s electoral vote margin and his popular vote margin both were less than when he was elected to his first term in 2008. For that I blame the economy, which was in free fall when Obama took office and didn’t turn around quickly enough to suit many Americans. It has turned, though, thanks in part to some aggressive efforts from the Obama economics team to jump-start it.

All of this occurred after Romney kept pledging to repeal the ACA on his first day in office. Didn’t the former Massachusetts governor say he’d issue an executive order suspending “Obamacare” right after he took office this past January? Didn’t he make that firm pledge repeatedly along the campaign trail?

Well, it didn’t work out for him.

Yes, some have said Romney wasn’t the best messenger to deliver that pledge for Republicans, given that he signed a similar law that guaranteed health insurance for residents of the state he governed.

The larger point, however, is that American voters had a chance to send the president packing this past November but chose to keep him on the job. His legislative accomplishment remains the Affordable Care Act and the voters, with their ballots, have affirmed a law that is just about to take effect.

Sen. Cruz a moderate? On immigration?

Ted Cruz has developed a small, but possibly dangerous, crack in his hardliner’s armor.

It involves immigration and the junior U.S. senator from Texas may find himself on the outs with the very Republican Party base that helped elect him to the office in November 2012.

http://www.texastribune.org/2013/09/13/immigration-cruz-aims-middle-ground/

The tea party wing of the party hates any kind of immigration reform. Cruz, a first-generation American — he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father — sees immigration a bit differently than those who up to this point have worshiped every word that comes out of his mouth.

Cruz says he supports granting legal status for those already in this country illegally and wants to make it easier for them to gain citizenship. Hey, isn’t that Sen. Marco Rubio’s take on immigration, and hasn’t the Florida Republican gotten into trouble with the tea party base in his state over that very thing?

“I have said many times that I want to see common-sense immigration reform pass,” Cruz told the Texas Tribune. “I think most Americans want to see the problem fixed.”

Sure enough. But the tea party crowd that supports Cruz wants to “fix” the problem by rounding up undocumented immigrants and deporting them. Or, as GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said during the 2012 campaign, make life so miserable here in the United States that they could “self-deport” themselves back to the countries of their birth.

Political reality may be about to smack Ted Cruz right in the face.

We’re polling ourselves to sleep

This just in: Hillary Rodham Clinton might win Georgia’s electoral votes if the election were held today.

Got that? But here’s the kicker. The next presidential election ain’t happening until November 2016. That’s more than three years from now. As the saying goes, it might be a dozen lifetimes away from now. Heck, it might be a hundred, or a thousand lifetimes.

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/georgia-2016-poll-hillary-clinton-95343.html?hp=l3

It’s all kind of interesting, I suppose, to release these polls on the spot. But they matter not one little bit in the grand scheme.

HRC might not run. I’m betting she will, though, especially when she sees polls that show her putting places like Georgia in play. President Obama lost the state in 2012, but not by landslide proportions.

So much of this polling just feeds the frustration some of us out here in Flyover Country have about the national political media. They’re obsessed with the horse race aspect of these campaigns. Yes, they do cover the issues — such as what candidates say about the economy, national defense, the environment, the big stuff.

The public seems to demand so much of this horse race coverage that the media fall into the trap of reporting on all these polls even when there still are years remaining until the next election.

Enough of the polling, already.

Explain those fears, Mitt

Mitt Romney talked some sense in trying to curb some congressional Republicans’ enthusiasm for shutting down the government while defunding the Affordable Care Act.

Bravo, Mitt! The right-wing rogues within his party — the folks who never quite trusted the centrist-leaning former Massachusetts governor — are out of control. They’re the tea party new guys who don’t quite understand the consequence that will cascade down on them if they succeed in shuttering the federal government.

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/07/19914511-romney-re-enters-gop-fray?lite

But then Romney veered off into a strange little tangent about what has happened since President Obama’s re-election — in which he defeated Romney by nearly 5 million votes.

“I must admit. It has been hard to watch or read the news,” he said. “What we feared would happen, is happening.”

What?

I kind of wish Romney would go into detail about what is happening that upsets him so much, or what is happening that would have been different if President Romney were at the helm.

Let’s see: We’ve added about a million jobs since Obama’s re-election; unemployment is down to 7.4 percent, which isn’t great but it surely is a lot better than the 9 percent jobless rate the president inherited when he took office in January 2009; the budget deficit has been slashed significantly; we’re continuing to kill terrorists around the world.

Have we reached a state of geopolitical nirvana? Of course not. The Obama administration has committed some serious mistakes. Those errors, though, do not rise to the level of “scandal” that’s being portrayed in the right-wing mainstream media.

My threshold question to Mitt, though, is this: How would any of this been different had you been in charge?