Quote of the Day

Borowitz on Bush Library

“A George W. Bush Library is like a Mel Gibson Synagogue.” –Andy Borowitz

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Quote of the Day

“Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I wish mental health care were as easy to get as, say, a gun.” –Andy Borowitz

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Quote of the Day

“Maybe this is crazy, but I think the right to own a gun is trumped by the right not to be shot by one.”  –Andy Borowitz

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The Choice This Year Is Between A Center-Left Democratic Party And Far Right Republican Party

If Democrats are to have a chance at retaining the White House and possibly controlling both houses of Congress, it is necessary to get out the message to voters who have voted Republican in the past that this is not the same Republican Party. It has moved so far to the extreme right that it is no longer the Republican Party of Ronald Reagan or Barry Goldwater. Rather than being the party of William F. Buckley, Jr., the Republican Party is now dominated by the type of far right wing extremists that Buckley once fought to exclude from the conservative movement. Today two columnists who often push for a centrist agenda discussed the extremism of today’s Republican Party.

Barack Obama has called the Republican economic plan Romney Hood, or Robin Hood in reverse. Matt Miller has another name for the GOP: Drawbridge Republicans:

Mitt Romney came from wealth and went on to build his own quarter-of-a-billion dollar fortune. Paul Ryan, who has never worked a day in the private sector (outside a few months in the family firm) reports a net worth of as much as $7 million, thanks to trusts and inheritances from his and his wife’s family.

Wealthy political candidates are nothing new, of course. But we’ve never had two wealthy candidates on a national ticket whose top priority is to reduce already low taxes on the well-to-do while raising taxes on everyone else — even as they propose to slash programs that serve the poor, or that (like college aid) create chances for the lowly born to rise.

Call them the Drawbridge Republicans. As the moniker implies, these are wealthy Republicans who have no qualms about pulling up the drawbridge behind them. Such sentiments used to be reserved for the political fringe. The most prominent example was Steve Forbes, whose twin obsessions during his vanity presidential runs in 1996 and 2000 — marginal tax rates and inflation — were precisely what you’d expect from an heir in a cocoon…

Today’s Drawbridge Republicans can’t be bothered. Yes, when their political back is to the wall — as Romney’s increasingly is — they’ll slap together a page of bullet points and dub it “a plan for the middle class.” But this is only under duress. The rest of the time they seem blissfully unaware of how off-key they sound. As the humorist Andy Borowitz tweeted the other day, “As a general matter, it’s a bad idea to talk about austerity if you just had a horse lose in the Olympics.”

Contrast conservative Prime Minister (and heir) David Cameron’s decision to defer his plans to lower the top 50 percent marginal rate in the UK. “When you’re taking the country through difficult times and difficult decisions,” Cameron said, “you’ve got to take the country with you. That means permanently trying to make the argument that what you’re doing is fair and seen to be fair.” As his spokesman added: “We need to ask those with the broadest shoulders to contribute the most.”

Now that’s a conservative ruling class with a conscience! Can anyone imagine Romney and Ryan saying the same?

Thomas Friedman’s column is about the need for a conservative party, quoting some conservatives who hold reasonable conservative positions as opposed to the extremist positions now held by the Republicans. Friedman, who often calls for centrist policies, now realizes that he is far more likely to see centrist policies from Barack Obama than the current Republican Party, with the extremism of the GOP preventing the government from passing reasonable solutions to today’s problems:

We are not going to make any progress on our biggest problems without a compromise between the center-right and center-left. But, for that, we need the center-right conservatives, not the radicals, to be running the G.O.P., as well as the center-left in the Democratic Party. Over the course of his presidency, Obama has proposed center-left solutions to all four of these challenges. I wish he had pushed some in a bigger, consistent, more daring and more forceful manner — and made them the centerpiece of his campaign. Nevertheless, if the G.O.P. were in a different place, either a second-term Obama or a first-term Romney would have a real chance at making progress on all four. As things stand now, though, there is little hope this campaign will give the winner any basis for governing. Too bad — a presidential campaign is a terrible thing to waste.

This is an important message to get out. This election is not a choice between a liberal Democratic Party and a conservative Republican Party. It is a choice between a center-left Democratic Party and an extremely far right Republican Party. The middle of the road is not somewhere between the Democrats and Republicans–it is near where the Democrats stand on most issues and far from where the Republicans now are. Those who seek centrist, or even old Republican ideas, are more likely to find their views represented by Democrats than Republicans if they go beyond all the misinformation being spread by the far right.

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Quote of the Day

“In Romney’s world, corporations are people, people are robots, and dogs are luggage.” –Andy Borowitz

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“BREAKING: Fox News Wins Pulitzer for Fiction” –Andy Borowitz

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Quote of the Day

“NHPrimary Trivia: The Republican candidates have not spoken to a black person since Herman Cain dropped out.” –Andy Borowitz

Bonus Quote going back to Iowa:

“Say what you will about the margin of Romney’s victory, but 8 votes is still 6 more than Rick Perry can count.” –Andy Borowitz

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Conservative Group Backs Rick Santorum

Mitt Romney remains the most likely candidate to win the Republican nomination, but there has been another event which could lead to the less likely scenario I discussed after the Iowa caucus which makes Rick Santorum the nominee. A group of social conservative activists met in Texas and, after three ballots, voted to back Rick Santorum. If, and this is a big if, conservative voters in Republican primaries were to fall in line behind this endorsement, Santorum could win.

There are obviously many obstacles in Santorum’s way. Romney is helped tremendously by the fragmentation of the conservative vote. Newt Gingrich, who did poorly in the first two contests, is running closest to Romney in many polls in South Carolina and does not appear likely to leave the race. Andy Borowitz calculates that “Newt Gingrich has now been in the race longer than any of his marriages” and, based upon his past behavior, does not believe Newt will leave the race unless it gets cancer.

Ron Paul, whose support is increasing in South Carolina,  is helping Mitt Romney by accumulating a block of delegates which are irrelevant towards choosing an actual nominee. It is not clear what Paul’s end game is, but I certainly do not see him throwing his delegates to Santorum.

There is a question as to whether this is the right year for Santorum, who is far better known for his reactionary views on social issues in a year in which economic issues dominate. However, as Republican economic policy consists primarily of repeating ideas which never work in the real world, it shouldn’t be difficulty for Santorum to learn to speak to Republican voters on the economy. Santorum might also be hindered by a Dan Quayle level of intellect, but that did not stop Republican voters from nominating George W. Bush.

A big question remains as to whether any of the more conservative candidates can emerge to the point where they can come in first place when the nomination battle moves to the winner-take-all stage in April. Even if a single conservative cannot beat Romney consistently, if different ones manage to beat him in different states there is a chance, although small, that the campaign could even be taken to the convention.

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Quote of the Day

Newt Gingrich is called the “intellectual” of the GOP field because he does not have drunk blackouts or visibly drool. –Andy Borowitz

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Quote of the Day

“Based on their applause for abolishing healthcare and ordering executions, Tea Party voters are solidly pro-dying” –Andy Borowitz

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