Romney moves closer to GOP Presidential Nomination
In the final debate and primaries before Super Tuesday, when Republican voters in ten states will select their candidate to face President Obama in November’s election, Mitt Romney came out on top – but only just. Romney won his home state of Michigan – the place he grew up and his father had been a three-term Governor – but the race was closer than expected as he defeated Rick Santorumby only three percentage points. The former Pennsylvania Senator had even attempted to enlist the support of Democrats in the state – Michigan has an open primary and voters can participate in either party’s ballot, regardless of their registered affiliation – a practice that was denounced as being “dirty tricks” by Romney. Despite his sudden indignation, the former Governor of Massachusetts has in the past admitted to voting in Democratic primaries against
President Clinton and Senator Ted Kennedy. The angle that Romney should have taken, was to have used this targeting of opposition voters as a concession that Democrats would rather face Santorum in the general election, as they believe him to be the weaker candidate. That tactic, rather than the hypocritical path he chose, would have strengthened Romney’s grip on the nomination.
Governor Romney also won in the other state that had its primary yesterday, Arizona, by a wide margin and will hope to gain momentum going into Super Tuesday next week. Romney is all but certain to win in Massachusetts, Vermont, Idaho and Virginia – but the main battleground will be Ohio, where Rick Santorum currently leads in the polls. Santorum is also ahead in Oklahoma and Tennessee, while Speaker Gingrich is favoured to win in his home state of Georgia. Congressman Ron Paul is continuing his campaign to amass as many delegates as possible going into the Republican Convention in August. His team is working tirelessly in the states where caucuses have already been held, but delegates are yet to be allocated between candidates, to ensure Paul receives as many as possible – the proportion he gets could far outweigh the share of the vote he received in those contests. If Romney wins in Ohio, then the race will be all but over – should he lose to Santorum, then the process could drag all the way to the convention, at which point Ron Paul would be in a strong position to play the role of “King Maker” – in exchange for some guarantees of policies a new administration would pursue.
Lou Dobbs hates Dr. Seuss
On his Fox News show last week, Lou Dobbs decried the film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax – which is released in the US this Friday – as being an attempt to indoctrinate the youth of America with the President’s green energy plan. Dobbs claimed that it was another example of liberal Hollywood demonising the “1%” and pushing Obama’s agenda through a kid’s film.
Not that I want to pour scorn on Dobbs’ conspiracy theory, but The Lorax was written more than 40 years ago and promotes such a radical message as “not cutting down trees” and “protecting nature”. Are those really now policies that only liberals would believe in – can everyone not get behind those ideas? I guess Dobbs would prefer a movie where an oil company drills in an area that had previous been protected by the Environmental Protection Agency, strikes black gold and the wealth trickles down – but not through taxation of those who profit most from the venture of course. There is also the fear that this could be just the start of a prolonged attack by the Republicans and Fox News against the works of Dr. Seuss:
Cat in the Hat – this tale is of great concern to Newt Gingrich. He is not worried that two children were left in the house on their own minded only by a fish, Gingrich is wondering why labour laws prevent these layabouts from having jobs as they did in the good old days.
Green Eggs and Ham – while the whole Republican establishment fear that this is propganda laid out to support the First Lady’s campaign to have children eat more healthily, Ron Paul is particularly concerned that the liberty of the main character has been inhibited by (possible Government employee) Sam-I-Am’s insistence that he tries a food product he does not like.
Yertle the Turtle – the victimisation of King Yertle will have Fox News up in arms. He is a job-creator – giving employment to about 200 turtles, and it would have been 5607 if he had been allowed to have his way. Yet the jealousy of Mack, who is clearly trying to form a union and is jealous because he has not worked hard enough to be king himself, brings down the whole system and socialises the pond economy. Claiming all of the turtles had rights and that everyone should be considered, not just Yertle at the very top – Mack might as well have started the Occupy Sala-Ma-Sond movement. Why couldn’t he accept that it was a pond of Kings, and soon-to be Kings…?
Grover Norquist’s Tax Pledge
All but 13 of the Republican members of Congress have signed the tax pledge created by Grover Norquist, in which they categorically state that under no circumstances will they ever raise taxes. During the debt ceiling negotiations last summer, there was gridlock in a large part due to this unwillingness to budge on the issue of tax rates – as they had signed this assurance they would not vote for anything that would increase the rates, they were unable to agree to anything except for spending cuts as the United States teetered on the brink of default. The lack of progress that was made by Congress ultimately resulted in the downgrading of the US debt by rating agencies.
Here is the text of the pledge:
Taxpayer Protection Pledge I, _____, pledge to the taxpayers of the (____ district of the) state of ______ and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.
This is nothing new, the Lobbying firm that Norquist heads, Americans for Tax Reform, have been pushing this agenda for many years. However, on Tuesday’s The Daily Show, Norquist revealed that he had the idea for this pledge when he was 12 years old. So Gridlock in Congress was the result of people signing on to the ideas of someone in 7th grade – yet that might not be the most incredible thing about it.
When I was 12 years old, I was not creating strategies for political parties – my pledge would have been that I should be allowed to stay up to watch World Cup games, even when they were in a different time-zone. Or that Tottenham Hotspur should win the League…okay I may have been solely focused on football, but at least I was not fabricating monetary policy that would eventually result in the downgrade of the US debt rating.