Archive for June, 2011

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THE TRAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

June 7, 2011

I must first apologize to Peter Max, the cover artist for the Beatles’ “Magical Mystery Tour” album, for distorting his very famous artwork. I just couldn’t resist. 🙂

As “Pundit World” goes wild with speculation about the line-up of possible Republican candidates competing for the presidential nomination, it is obvious that many good Republicans / Conservatives are not running until 2016, when the field will be wide open in both parties. There are two possible exceptions to the “wide open” theory on the Democratic side: (1) Joe Biden: though I seriously doubt he’ll want to start a campaign when he’s almost 74 yerars old. (2) Hillary Clinton: who has said she is done with public service after she retires as Secretary of State. But, she will only be 69 at that time and she could be convinced by Bill and the party to run, since she did so well in the 2008 primary. I’m sure she would have President Obama’s support.

Real Republicans can’t be happy about the current field of candidates. I know – I used to be a Republican. The tragedy of the “tour” that will be roaming the countryside in this election season is the ridiculous lack of substance in the rhetoric and actions of its members.

“She wasn’t invited. We heard yesterday she came out with a press release she was coming to Rolling Thunder,” Ted Shpak (national legislative director of Rolling Thunder), told Andrea Mitchell (MSNBC). He had no idea Palin was coming until it was posted on her website.  Her intrusion into Mitt Romney’s announcement was another distasteful and disrespectful ploy for attention. Already, her “vacation” is annoying people. Yet, media covers every step and syllable. (I will never understand the fascination it has with this woman.)

So who are the members of this tour – so far?

SARAH PALIN is not running for president, like many of the pundits now seem to be reporting. How do I know? She has a multi-year deal with FOX. While she continues to receive a paycheck from them, she can’t run. It’s against federal regulations. When she stops cashing in, I’ll reconsider my words. (She earns a reported  $1 million a year with this deal. The presidency only pays $450,000.) Her recent home purchase in Arizona may well be to establish residence for a gubernatorial run. 

 

 

RON PAUL is not running for president. Yes, he announced, but he knows he can’t win and doesn’t want to win. His goal is to be a “king-maker” in the election, which is also what Palin is doing. Both will give their opinions of the other candidates to garner media attention and fatten their political coffers. Bottom line: neither will say anything that will shift Republicans’ thinking in the voting booth.

 

 

MICHELE BACHMANN, who hasn’t announced as of this post, will not get the nomination if she does announce, because she has no chance of beating President Obama in the general election. There’s so much video of her saying stupid, nonsensical and nonfactual statements that political ads against her will write themselves.

 

 

 

As this tour continues, we will see HERMAN CAIN, who is slowly going off a cliff. In an interview with Scott Keyes (Think Progress), he was asked if he would ever hire a person of the Muslim faith. He said “no” and went on to say, There is this creeping attempt, there is this attempt to gradually ease Sharia law and the Muslim faith into our government. It does not belong in our government. This is what happened in Europe. And little by little, to try and be politically correct, they made this little change, they made this little change. And now they’ve got a social problem that they don’t know what to do with hardly.” He also added, “And I get upset when the Muslims in this country, some of them, try to force their Sharia law onto the rest of us.” His Muslim-based fear may garner some attention from the far right, but most Republicans know he is not qualified to be President. He has never been elected to any office and has no experience running a campaign. If you think he has a chance because he’s black, I have two words for you: Michael Steele.

 

RICK SANTORUM? Google “Santorum.” (I hope you haven’t just eaten.) Once you’ve digested that little-known fact, know that Rick Santorum puts homosexuality in the same category as child molestation, incest, sodomy and bestiality. In his words (taken from an Associated Press interview), “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.” He also believes the right to privacy does not exist in our Constitution. Statements like these might help him with the far right of the Evangelical movement, but not in a general election.

 

FRED KARGER has no chance of winning the Republican nomination – he’s openly gay.

 

 

 

 

DONALD TRUMP teased the media again by saying he might still consider running, but that’s all it was. He’s locked into a contract with NBC for “The Apprentice.” Game over, Donald. You’ve been trumped.

 

 

 

 

NEWT GINGRICH is self-destructing. Three examples: (1) He called President Obama the most successful food-stamp president this country has ever seen. (Goodbye unemployed, under-employed and minorities). While there has been a significant rise in the use of food stamps due to the recession, it began in 2007, long before Obama became president. (2) He called the Paul Ryan Budget Plan “social engineering” on a Meet the Press interview and then quickly back-tracked the next day, telling media to not quote him. Six weeks prior to that interview, he praised the plan. (3) He flipped on the issue of helping  Libya. When first asked, he stated we should go into Libya, criticising Obama for not doing so and suggesting he was weak on foreign policy. Then, when the president did go in to help the rebels, he said that was a mistake – that we should never have done so.  Newt is yesterday’s news. He brings nothing new or substantive to the 2012 race.

This leaves the inevitable two:

MITT ROMNEY will have to separate his Massachusetts Healthcare Law from that of the President Obama’s, since many features are shared by both. But this will probably not be the biggest issue. His challenge with true Conservatives is his flip from Pro-Choice to Pro-Life, his Mormon faith, and lack of favor from the Tea Party, whose grip on the GOP is baffling, to say the least.

 

 

 

TIM PAWLENTY left the state of Minnesota in a fiscal mess, although he touts a very different story on the stump. Otherwise, he probably fits the mold of what Republicans / Conservatives are looking for – more so than Romney. He does not want to cut the Pentagon budget, he wants to cut jobs in the public sector (the same sector that employed him for eight years), especially union jobs, and has used some “creative” accounting in a failed attempt to reduce the state’s budget deficit which included a $58 million dollar reduction in education. In case you’re wondering, the I-35 West bridge collapse in Minneapolis on August 1, 2008, that killed 13 people, was the result of a design flaw, not a lack of infrastructure funding, like some on the left have reported.

 

There may be one potential candidate that could surprise everyone and is currently not a member of this tour. JON HUNTSMAN was President Obama’s Ambassador to China. He does move away from the Republican Party on global-warming and other issues, which may be a problem in the primaries. But he’s smart, moderate and knowledgeable.

 

 

 

Q: Knowing all this, why aren’t more qualified candidates running?

A: They don’t want to run against a president that has accomplished as much as President Obama. Their records would pale by comparison.

The current Republicans in the House and Senate can only boast about what they have blocked – which is quite a list. They ran on a platform of creating jobs in 2010, criticizing the president for the slow economy (which had been tanking rapidly for nearly two years before he took office)  but they’ve passed nothing that helps the dwindling middle class.  In the House of Representatives, where they have the majority, they have passed no legislation to help the economy recover. We keep hearing words like “job creating” and “job creators” which mean nothing without defining what and who these words refer to. Instead, they’ve focused on legislation they know will never become law: repealing the Healthcare bill, defunding Planned Parenthood, the attempt to defund National Public Radio, defunding public funding for presidential campaigns, and passing a bill that says the government cannot fund abortions, which is already law. It’s called “The Hyde Amendment” and it was passed over 30 years ago.

President Obama, on the other hand, has quite a list of accomplishments. Once you read the list on the first page, skim through the rest. You’ll see that this president is working hard to resurrect and protect the middle class, which is the only way to put our economy on solid ground. Remember the 1990’s? A tax increase of only 3.5% on the wealthiest Americans, the Pay-Go Bill and a $160 billion stimulous (part of the 1994 budget) resulted in 22 million new private-sector jobs, a balanced budget, debt reduction and a $200 billion budget surplus all in just eight years from 1993 to 2001. Republicans and Democrats were split 50-50 in the Senate on the budget bill and the vice president had to come in and cast the tie-breaking vote – a vote that Republicans said would ruin our economy because taxes were being raised on their wealthy constituents. But don’t expect to hear any of these truths from tour members.

To be sure, the “Tragical Mystery Tour” is coming to take you away… from common sense and facts. You’ll hear falsehoods and misrepresentations by its members stating they know better than our president, how to heal the economy. But they will mysteriously exclude details. They will offer a “new elixir,” knowing it is exactly the same recipe that has been swallowed many times over the last thirty years – without success. This “concoction” only exacerbates our country’s condition. It does nothing to heal it.

Hopefully, one of these Republicans will actually offer a new idea, a fresh thought, a constructive, forward-thinking plan with merit – one that doesn’t punish the middle class, the elderly and the poor.

Right now, I don’t see it.

Sincerely,

www.MichaelKontras.com

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