I don’t know about you, but at least when Michele Bachmann was still in the hunt I found some comic relief in the GOP clusterfuck of presidential politics. Not anymore. Now we’re left to endure three of the biggest asshats on the planet. Realistically speaking, it comes down to Mitt and Newt. (Frankly, their names alone are a colossal embarrassment.) And it appears that it’s going to be a literal dog fight to the end. Santorum is just blowing it out his ass, metaphorically speaking. However, as long as he remains in the race, we’ll have to endure his smarmy and irritating presence. But the hubris of Gingrich and Romney is all consuming and knows no bounds. (It should be noted that hubris was a crime in ancient Athens. Too bad it isn’t in these here United States.)
Every single thing about Newt is a giant WTF? First, we have his comments about abolishing child labor laws. What a great idea! Hell, if poor kids can be the janitors in their schools, not only might they gain pride in their school but they’ll also learn the value of working for a living. Wow! That’s forward thinking. More recently, Newt volunteered to break with GOP tradition and attend an NAACP meeting so that he can urge blacks to demand pay checks rather than food stamps. (Does he seriously believe that only people of color are out of work and receive food stamps? I’m here to tell him otherwise. I was on food stamps myself not so long ago. As a matter of fact, I was homeless, another unfortunate reality of modern American life that is not reserved strictly for black folks.) You might think these comments are about as ridiculous as Newt can get, but believe me when I tell you that as the presidential contest matures the shit that comes out of his word hole gets better and better.
Newt recently participated in a conference call with the cream of the right-wing Christian extremist crop, including Don Wildmon, the founder of the SPLC-certified hate group, the American Family Association where he declared that marriage is between a man and a woman. He then declared:
“This is a historic doctrine driven deep into the Bible, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, and it’s a perfect example of what I mean by the rise of paganism. The effort to create alternatives to marriage between a man and a woman are perfectly natural pagan behaviors, but they are a fundamental violation of our civilization.”
Whoa. Let’s just slow it down a bit. Since he’s such a biblical expert and has such incredible right-wing Christian nut case connections, I have a few questions for Newt. What does the Bible say about serial cheaters? How about marital infidelity? How about ‘open’ marriage? Oh, right. Sorry about that. My error. Gingrich did not say marriage was for one man and one woman. He was careful about that because he doesn’t want to limit his options. I’m pretty sure in Newt’s mind it doesn’t matter if he gets married several hundred times as long as he marries a woman. And, oh yes, don’t forget that the pressures of worrying about the state of the nation may have driven him to do things that were wrong. (I’m paraphrasing here, but that was the excuse Newt gave for his extra-marital dalliances.)
During the Florida debate, Newt also explained how his faith would play a role in running the country. According to Newt, the country needs leaders who will turn to God because no mere mortal could handle the enormous responsibilities of running this country without God’s guidance. He also stated that part of the reason he’s running is that there’s a war against Christianity going on in this country and he wants to rectify that. I don’t know about you, but I think Newt’s full of shit. I believe the exact opposite is going on. I think Christianity is waging a war against the rest of us — in particular, women. In fact, I think that religion plays too great a role in the governing of this country, and I believe that if churches are going to lobby for legislation and try to take women’s rights away, they ought not to be tax exempt. I say it’s high time to take that little benefit away. Believe me, I have no problem whatsoever with freedom of religion, and I don’t want to take anyone’s rights away. I just want them to keep it to themselves, don’t shove it down my throat, and keep it the hell out of government. That was the way our founding fathers intended it to be. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
But the absolute best of Newt so far is his promise to colonize the fucking moon by 2020. (Yes, by my calculation that would be by the end of his second term. The thought of eight years with this loser is almost too much to bear.) Any idea why this is one of Newt’s goals? I don’t want you to believe that there’s anything lofty behind it, like a commitment to technology or anything. It’s much more basic than that. Frankly, he just wants to stick it to the Chinese. Yes, he wants to get there before China does. Maybe that’s because China basically owns us. I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in the space program. I always have been. However, given our present economic situation, pouring billions of dollars into this effort isn’t just misguided. It’s plain stupid.
Then there’s Mitt, the poster boy for the Buffett Rule. Mitt doesn’t really want to talk about the fact that he’s a Mormon. Every time it comes up, his competition accuses him of being in a “cult,” so he’d just as soon keep a lid on it. He doesn’t mind talking about money, though. It was recently revealed that Mitt has a boatload of money in offshore accounts. According to him, it isn’t because he wanted to avoid paying taxes. Nope. The money is there because he made some family investments. Now, I think Mitt truly believes that we were all born last night. Do you believe that? I think Mitt is one of the classic members of the Multi-Millionaire Boys Club and he’ll avoid paying his fair share whenever he can. I don’t view any of his offshore accounts as ‘investments.’ Let’s keep one lurid detail in mind: By his own admission, Mitt is in the 15% tax bracket. Any idea what the average income is for those in that 15% bracket? That tax bracket belongs to those earning under $34,000 a year. Multi-millionaires like Mitt belong in the 35% tax bracket. In all fairness, Mitt isn’t the only wealthy person on the planet to escape paying his fair share. But the fact that Romney, a presidential candidate, is paying so little and is so glib about defending himself, is more than astonishing. It’s disgraceful. It’s time to turn the Buffett Rule into law.
Mitt’s not shy. He’ll tell you he doesn’t give a rat’s ass about the very poor. According to him, there’s a safety net for those people. Really? I can tell you from personal experience that the ‘safety net’ he’s referring to has always had huge holes in it, but even more now with our desperate economic condition. We don’t have to worry about that because Mitt says, “If it needs repair, I’ll fix it.” Sure he will. He hasn’t got a fucking clue how to fix it, and he won’t lift a finger to fix it once he’s elected, I can assure you. Because in order to fix it, the very rich will have to pay their fair share. Mitt’s net worth is somewhere between $190 and $250 million, and he’s paying a piddly little 15% in taxes year on year. He isn’t going to offer up any of his personal wealth to fix it. So, if he isn’t worried about the very poor, who is he worried about. Why, of course, the middle class! And that’s a load of bull as well because the very rich not paying their fair share is what has led to the economic woes of the middle class in this country. Do the math, Mitt.
Mitt likes to tell the public that he doesn’t discriminate against the LGBT community, even though he remains steadfastly opposed to same-sex marriage and has vowed to introduce a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage if elected. A look at Romney’s tax records (those that he has released) shows he gave 7% of his income to the Mormon church in 2010 (about $1.5 million) and 12.4% in 2011 (or $2.6 million). We all know how instrumental the Mormon church was in passing Prop 8 back in 2008. Of course, we don’t know how much Romney gave the Mormon church back then because he has refused to release those tax records. No doubt, his contributions helped. Of course, the Mormons weren’t alone in their anti-LGBT efforts. They had help from Christian evangelicals and the Catholic-backed National Organization for Marriage (NOM). For good measure, Romney has signed on to NOMs anti-gay marriage pledge.
Like Newt, Mitt also hobnobs with the Christian evangelicals. That way he has all the bases covered in his pandering to right-wing interests. In January, he participated in a conference call with Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, echoing the false GOP battle cry over the secular (read: liberal) assault on religion, marriage and life.
So, this is evidently the cream of the GOP crop for the 2012 campaign. Two asshats whose idea of governing amounts to slashing and burning domestic programs while helping the ultra-rich hang on to their millions. And while they’re doing that, they’ve got their Bibles open and are legislating morality on a broad scale. Nothing like a little multitasking. With this competition for the Oval Office, Barack Obama doesn’t have to do a damned thing except talk a good tale. He barely has to break a sweat, and he certainly doesn’t have to deliver on anything he talked about in his State of the Union speech between now and November. Trust me. It’s not that he deserves to be re-elected. He doesn’t. More than any other election year in recent memory, he’s the lesser of several evils.