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Mitt’s Mom on her husband, George: “He was a refugee from Mexico, on welfare…”

11:07 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

We heard the Romney family claim their Mexican heritage at last week’s RNC without mentioning that the reason their forefathers fled the United States of America was because polygamy had been made illegal in exchange for the admission of Utah to the Union. What we had not heard until today was Lenore Romney, Mitt’s mom, explain that her husband, George, despite his great wealth, had a very good understanding of people in need.

He was a refugee from Mexico, on welfare relief, for the first years of his life.

So — Mitt Romney’s dad came to America, pre-welfare reform, and was on welfare despite his Mexican heritage, without his family having contributed to the system that supported himself and his family. Why does that sound so familiar, Mexicans coming to America to steal benefits from hard-working Americans that they haven’t earned?

Mitt’s Veep Is Paul Ryan: NBC

8:37 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Interrupting Olympics coverage with a Chuck Todd Special Report, NBC announced tomorrow’s 8:45am Eastern time announcement by Mitt Romney is that Wisconsin Congressman and House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan will run as his Vice-Presidential nominee. This puts the most reliable GOP base component, the Olds, in jeopardy, as Chairman Ryan is best known among the AARP set for his proposal to end Medicare as we know it.

During FDL Late Night, Swopa provides excellent on-the-fly analysis of this most recent Romney flip-flop:

To paraphrase Woody Allen, the hardest part of being a cynic about the Romney campaign is keeping up. Deciding they have to name Mitt’s VP now — more than 2 weeks before the GOP convention, with the Olympics not over yet, and on a Saturday morning, no less! — is as pure a sign of panic as you can get. Republicans are famously obsessed with winning each and every short-term news cycle, and Team Romney must have decided that a mid-August weekend of Sunday talk shows asking whether Mitt’s candidacy is in trouble was a fate that had to be avoided at all costs.

Andrea Mitchell looked almost embarrassed to relay to Chuck Todd her news nugget of this story: relaying the news to second-time bridesmaid Tim “Bridge Fall Down” Pawlenty was Tagg Romney, the candidate’s son. Because, you know, Mitt doesn’t like to spend his time with losers.

GOP Dream Team: Cardinal Rick and Moonman Newt

9:23 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Moon Man

Gingrich Wins Another Primary (image:wikipedia)

There’s only one way for the GOP base to stop Willard’s march to tainted victory in Tampa: encourage a merger of the campaigns of Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. The last time a non-nominee announced a running mate prior to the convention was in 1976, when insurgent candidate Ronald Reagan teamed up with “running mate” Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania in a last-ditch attempt to upend Gerald Ford’s nomination for his own not-to-be presidential term.

 

All that did, essentially, was give Nelson Rockefeller the heave-ho from the Naval Observatory, elevating conservative attack dog Bob Dole to prominence with his autumn characterization of the 20th century’s existential conflicts as “Democrat wars.”

But in 2012, with the Mittmobile clunking, in fits and starts, to an increasingly tarnished brass ring, it’s probably time for the conservative rank-and-file of the GOP (otherwise known as “the GOP”) to choose: Rick or Newt?

To which I say: why not both? In the great tradition of the fluffernutter sandwich, why not combine two great ‘insurgent’ conservative tastes into a creamy delight that stands up to Mitt’s unpalatable pablum? Isn’t this a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup moment for the GOP?

A Rick/Newt ticket stands in the great 21st century traditions for “winning” GOP presidential tickets, too: an above-the-fray, slightly oddly-spoken evangelical, with earnest appeal to the wanna-have-a-beer crowd with not-too-articulate-to-be-scary folksiness and Nixonland-goes-to-JesusCamp resentments and fears. The bass note to this overarching Frothy odor of bowling shoes and AquaNet is of course the Intellectual Anchor of the GOP: the successor to Shooter Cheney’s Veepness, Newt Gingrich.

Gingrich will line up the K Street donors on their way into the campaign offices, make them stand orderly while emptying their pockets. He’ll assure the Owners’ establishment that, “sure, that young pecksniff atop the ticket might be a little sanctimonious, a little full of his own morality, with a few too many kids and too few wives — but we know the score, fellahs: just leave the money on the dresser.”

And Newt’ll be the Idea Man to Rick’s 1950s Morality Man: just keep popping off about bases on the Moon, kid janitors, glassing Tehran, and the horrors of Old Yurp. In the meantime, the cash coffers stay full and promises to America’s extraction industries get made left and right.

The last time the GOP tried a Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergen act like this, it almost worked on Election Day 2000 — and the clowns left America open to terror attack, led our nation into endless war, gave away the regulatory store, and bankrupted the middle class in only eight years. What the 1% calls VICTORY!

Surely voters’ memories aren’t that long to hold Bush & Cheney against the GOP?

Are the Romneys Still Lying About Seamus?

4:22 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

(image: Pistol-packin' Mamma/flickr)

Mitt and Ann Romney want Americans to think that their dog Seamus lived a long and happy life after his harrowing 12-hour ride atop the wood-paneled station wagon.

Mr. Romney’s wife, Ann, has previously said Seamus survived the trip and went on to live to a “ripe old age.”

They embellished the story of Seamus to prove that he wasn’t harmed by Mitt’s callous treatment of him with a hose, leaving him cold and sick atop the car:

“Mitt and I love our dogs,” she said. “Seamus was our first — an Irish setter. When I wasn’t at home, Mitt let him sleep on the bed. And usually when he was riding in the car, his head was out the window. Seamus lived to a ripe old age, basking in the affection of a large family.”

So what happened to the dearly departed Seamus? The dog, which had a penchant for wandering away from the Romneys’ Boston home, ended up retiring to California with Romney’s sister, Jane, who had space for him to roam freely.

Jane Romney referred to him as “Mr. Personality.” She said he arrived at her home detesting cats and later turned into the loving protector of a litter of kittens.

But, apparently some Romney Bros are having a hard time sticking to the story their Auntie Jane has been corralled into supporting:

According to a trusted Politicker tipster, two of Mr. Romney’s sons had an off-record conversation with reporters where they revealed the dog ran away when they reached their destination on that infamous journey in 1983.

The dog is long gone, and we’ll probably never know how, where, or when Seamus passed to that Rainbow Bridge. But I bet Seamus isn’t waiting patiently there for Mitt.

Will Mitt Forswear an Indie Run?

12:16 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Will reporters ask Mitt Romney the Ron Paul question? (photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr)

Here’s a question I’d like to see asked at the next GOP candidates’ debate: Ron Paul always gets asked if he’ll promise not to run against the GOP nominee. I’d like to know if Mitt Romney will make the same promise.

Governor, will you disavow an independent candidacy should you not be the GOP nominee?

There might just be enough wholly dissatisfied GOP officeholders and establishment players, should their choce of Mitt be invalidated by primary voters, to convince Mitt that he can run somewhere in the theoretical center-right, right between bomb-throwing, dog-whistling, majority-disliked Newt Gingrich and the Socialist Devil Baby Kenyan. GOPs have already pledged not to support, donate to, or run alongside Newt. Could they prevail on Mitt to continue his campaign for the presidency into the fall?

At any rate, I’d like to see Mitt face his own campaign’s inevitability, on stage with cameras rolling. He’s no longer the front-runner; let’s find out if he’d be willing to be a spoiler in the general election. Legacy Media journalists think it’s important to press Dr Paul on this issue, but Mitt has the establishment backing — and the money — to make the case to himself. GOP voters deserve to know that the vast Romney campaign, already robust in multiple states awaiting their primary and caucus dates, won’t be turned against their own nominee.

Of course, Mitt will reply that he intends to be the nominee. But that’s much less a foregone conclusion, and its prospects fade every single day as new polls are released. Why shouldn’t he be asked to make the pledge? “Are you a sore enough loser to run against the GOP nominee, Mitt?”

Besides, the PAC-produced ads show some extraordinary clips of Romney calling himself a moderate, a progressive, not a lockstep Reagan/Bush party adherent. Mitt has the chameleon nature, the resources, the motivation, and the ambition. GOP voters had better lock him down.

Who will ask Mitt Romney if he will support the nominee of his party?

Wife-Abandonment: A GOP Nominee Tradition

4:09 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Despite the heavy lift among evangelical leaders hoping to convince their flocks that Newt Gingrich’s adultery-based serial divorces aren’t misaligned with Family Values and that Newt has earned forgiveness for his bad behavior, GOP primary voters actually have a long modern tradition of nominating wife-abandoners for the Presidency.

As GOP voters weigh the stylistic differences between Mitt and Newt, it’s important for them to understand their own party’s recent tradition, as well. Mitt Romney would break the party’s pattern of presidential picks’ — those not named Bush, at least — multiple marriages. The two Presidents Bush aside, all GOP nominees since 1980 had previously shed a spouse.

1976: The GOP experimented with putting divorce on the ticket; Appointed President Gerald Ford replaced Appointed Vice President Nelson Rockefeller (of whom, more later) with Kansas Senator Bob Dole as his Veep running mate. Four years previously, Dole had disposed of his first wife, the occupational therapist who nursed him back to health in a military hospital after his severe WW2 wounds, during the Senate recess in the summer of 1972. He arrived back in Washington a single man.

By 1975, Senator Dole had acquired a Watergate apartment that came fully equipped, including new wife Elizabeth Dole, whom he’d met spring 1972. Dole’s personal history wasn’t viewed as contributory to Ford’s loss, although his discussion of “Democrat Wars” — one of which he served and was wounded in — lent him the reputation, never shed, of a partisan bomb-thrower.

Practically unknown at the time, but an intriguing footnote, was that Gerald Ford had delayed his marriage to wife Betty when he first sought his Congressional seat because he didn’t know how voters would react to his marrying a divorced ex-dancer. That year, both GOP ticket-holders’ families had divorce in their past, one recent and one distant.

1980: Ronald Reagan, he of the dysfunctional family values, had been previously married to actress Jane Wyman before he locked in the special skills of the ambitious Nancy Davis.

Reagan’s tax-cut religion, grandfatherly befuddlement and nasty hippie-bashing charmed the GOP base, who have subsequently elevated him to undeserved small-government tax-cutter sainthood. He is now the icon of the party who wouldn’t ever nominate him. But Ronald Reagan also set the trend of nominees with colorful marital histories, embraced by the base.

1984: Reagan Redux

1988: GHWBush, whose wife Barbara Pierce tolerated peccadilloes but wasn’t about to be replaced, lending as she did a certain presidential sheen, albeit drenched in melancholia, to his ambitions.

1992: Bush Redux

1996: Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole topped the ticket. See 1976, above.

2000: Little Bush becomes the country’s first SCOTUS-selected occupant of the Oval Office.

2004: Shrub Redux

2008: Vietnam War Hero John McCain defeats marital-fidelity exemplars Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee for the GOP’s nomination. McCain had returned from his Hanoi war prison only to quickly dispose of his disfigured accident-victim first wife, who in his unplanned absence had raised their children, been through painful physical rehab, gained some weight and lost six inches in height after painful operations to repair her legs.

His history was spotlighted every time chic beer heiress and Wife Number Two Cindy Hensley appeared with him, dripping with money that financed his rise in GOP circles. The GOP base mumbled about having a RINO atop the ticket, but ignored his adulterous marital history as unimportant and, critically, forgiven in some unexplained way.

Let’s reflect, though, shall we? GOP voters now find themselves almost 48 years from the GOP nominating convention at the San Francisco Cow Palace. There, wealthy divorce’ and Governor of New York Nelson Rockefeller, having lost the presidential nomination to Barry Goldwater, insisted on his right to speak to the delegates who then booed and hissed (and, by some reports, spat at) him for 16 minutes. Rockefeller was reviled by the Goldwater Family Values Party because of his divorce from the mother of his five children and quick remarriage to a just-divorced staffer named, unhappily, “Happy.” The Rockefellers put the spotlight on the two-suddenly-broken-homes issue by giving birth shortly before the hotly contested California primary, which Rockefeller narrowly lost.

Additionally, Rocky had been publicly denounced by Connecticut Senator Prescott Bush, Hitler-backer and self-appointed marital moral arbiter, father and grandfather of the later Presidents Bush.

That was the last time the re-marital history of a potential nominee hurt his chances, though. It was, coincidentally, the last public paroxysm the GOP displayed at its nominating convention. I remember it, and the reaction across America to it. Rockefeller’s treatment at the hands of his party’s delegates was an ugly episode. It has never been equaled.

And, apparently, the Family Values that animated it have been turned upside down.

Now, divorce is a requirement to be nominated for president by the GOP — if your last name isn’t Bush. I wonder: can Mitt Romney successfully buck his party’s penchant for men who’ve disposed of their wives? Or will the GOP go with what they know, and double-down (if you’ll pardon the expression) with the twice-divorced former Speaker?

Don’t be fooled by anguished Villager pundits and cable news talking heads who despair over whether the GOP base will accept Newt Gingrich’s “colorful marital history.” Far from a disqualification, it’s a prerequisite.

It’s not a bug; it’s a feature.

Let’s see…. what else was true when our Constitution was written, Mitt?

10:25 am in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Mitt Romney, stepping knee-deep into the Santorum while speaking with a gay Viet Nam veteran in New Hampshire as he tries to save his floundering campaign:

Yesterday, the so-called “moderate” or quasi-”mainstream” candidate from the Republican Clown Car, Willard, told a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire, he favored repealing that state’s marriage equality law. He told a 63-year old gay Vietnam vet– remember, Romney was a draft-dodger who fled to Paris to preach Mormonism during the war– that “Actually, I think at the time the Constitution was written marriage was between a man and a woman and I don’t believe the Supreme Court has changed that.”

Lots of folks have pointed out that at the time the Constitution was written slavery was legal.

But you know what hadn’t even been invented when the Constitution was written?

Mormons.

Body Spray Dave: You’re Fired! — if you call Romney “weird.”

1:23 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Keeping a meme aloft is hard work in America’s constantly shifting political landscape. David “Axe” Axelrod must have thought the “Mitt’s weird!” message was in danger of sinking below the waves of Minnesota Not-Nice during yesterday’s FOX/GOP (but I repeat myself) debate in Iowa.

So Body Spray Dave did what all good campaign advisers do: he went on Morning Joke to “tamp down” the rumors that the Obama campaign, bereft of a decent economy or a motivated base, would organize itself around Mitt’s weirdness. With Michael Steele and, later, MJoe:

STEELE: Do you think taking it to the level of referring to Romney or any of the Republican candidates as “weird,” is that more personal or is that more a reality in terms of an issue you want to talk about? How do you guys plan to really define this discussion if the team is already throwing out stuff, we want to show America he’s weird. How about we just speak to the issues?

AXELROD: Michael, lets you and I make common cause right now. No one on my team believes that. And anyone who purports to be a source within the Obama camp who used that term and some of the other terms that were in that story according to unnamed sources should be ripped out of whoever’s Rolodex considers them sources. That doesn’t reflect our thinking. We have real legitimate differences with Mitt Romney, some of which I just spoke about.
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SCARBOROUGH: If the President found out or you found out or the Chief of Staff found out that somebody working for President Obama was trying to take that tack, would you all fire them?

AXELROD: I would — if someone used words like ‘weird,’ I would certainly do that, yes.

Which means that sound you hear is about a dozen Rolodex cards getting torn up (is there an app for that? because people don’t actually have Rolodexes anymore, right?) in about a hundred different “newsrooms.”

Is this simply an attempt by Body Spray Dave to keep the meme aloft another news cycle, going into the crucial weekend of the Iowa straw poll? Or does he really not want the folks who revealed Team Obama’s re-election strategy to Politico talking to the media any longer?

Was This Mitt’s “Eight Houses” Moment?

7:32 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Rich assholes usually win the GOP nomination.

When’s the last time one didn’t, really?

But they are supposed to be rich assholes, not pose as regular folks. These rich assholes are supposed to know how many houses they own (thanks, Cindy McCain, for Ace’s most memorable moment of 2008) and they are supposed to be briefed on what a grocery scanner is.

But rich assholes look idiotic trying to make “jokes” about unemployment. Romney has already criticized Barack Obama for calling unemployed Americans “bumps in the road” (he didn’t) so Mitt’s faux pas with unemployed Floridians rings really false.

Here’s a hint, Mitt: no one believes you’re unemployed. We all know you’re a rich asshole who doesn’t NEED a job to support your family. And that specific job you said you have your eye on isn’t going to be yours as long as your condescending sense of “humor” keeps peeking through that facade.

Jane Hamsher’s right: Romney’s not “the guy who looks like he fired your dad.” Romney IS the guy who fired your dad.

Debate Winner: Bachmann

7:22 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

If you’re like me — and I imagine you are, unless you are a straight middle aged man posing as a lesbian blogger — you expected to tune in to tonight’s John-King-wishes-he-had-lights-and-buzzers debacle on CNN hoping to see Michele Bachmann go completely off the rails, screeching about Obamacare’s secret funding for abortion clinics and Sharia law governing Hillary Clinton’s discussions with Bennie Netanyahoo.

Well, that didn’t exactly happen, now did it?

Bachmann looked composed, sounded intelligent, got her bio out there (were you surprised commentator David Gergen did not know about the Bachmann’s double-dozen foster kids? Who’s not paying attention now, David?) and managed not to screw up big-time. She even kept her eye on the operating camera, which we know from her State of the State of the State of the Union speech to America can be a challenge.

Even Anderson Cooper had to give the Congresswoman points for “time-management” in terms of her child-rearing duodecathlon.

By not embarrassing herself in front of New Hampshire GOP voters in the hall, the national media, and political junkies watching everywhere, Michele Bachmann won the debate. She did well, I think, and accomplished four unspoken goals:

1. She demolished Frothy Mixture, the has-been to her right.
2. She sparkled unlike the Tiffany Debtor, the has-been to her left.
3. She probably kept Snowbillie Grifterella out of the race entirely.
4. She showed she runs with the leaders, being favorably mentioned by every single one of the men on stage tonight.

The leaders for the GOP nomination are now Romney, Cain, and Bachmann. I think Pawlenty screwed the pooch tonight, looking argumentative, bland, and unsure of himself all at the same time. Cain managed to get out from under his “no Muslims need apply” unforced error by blaming the media, repeatedly, for misquoting him, always popular with GOPs.

And Ron Paul was, well, he was Ron Paul. I continue to be amazed that someone with that speaking voice has succeeded for so long in politics, but I guess his policies have a certain appeal to the AynRandians.

What was your take on tonight’s Goat Rodeo Launch?