Andrew Sullivan Exemplifies the Two-Party Trap


Andrew Sullivan comments on Romney’s unprecedented swing after the first presidential election. Sullivan spends the first several paragraphs enviously describing just how much of a Big Deal this is for Romney: Before the debate, Obama had a 51 – 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 – 45 lead but even more shocking to Sullivan is that Obama lost 18 points among women voters overnight.

Yet, what Sullivan studiously avoids saying is that Romney won the debate. The debate led to a massive turnaround for Romney that Sullivan himself labels “unprecedented” but Romney did not win the debate. That would imply legitimacy to Romney’s lead and suggest that he may actually be the better candidate – at least in the eyes of everyone who watched the debate.

Instead of deriving a conclusion based on the facts, Sullivan resorts to an emotional reaction, stating: “Lies work when they are unrebutted live on stage.” Romney cheated and Obama is the victim. Nevermind that Sullivan can never tell us what, exactly, it is that Romney lied about. Even after Sullivan mourns at length over Obama’s arrogance and incompetence he still manages to overcome the cognitive dissonance to end with a rally cry to overcome the “lies and propaganda”, to fight the “extremism” of Romney, and to support Obama’s “reality-based government.” In one paragraph Obama is an arrogant, incompetent president who will never give his supporters the kind of leadership that they deserve but in the next he is our only savior, our only hope, our shining light.

And that just about perfectly sums up the two-party trap. Your candidate simply is not fit to lead anyone, much less a nation, but it does not matter because the other candidate is worse (hint: the other candidate is always worse). So you’d better knuckle under in the one case of national crisis because if you don’t vote for “your” candidate, if you vote third-party or not at all, you’re actually voting for the other guy – you monster. The trap, of course, is that the temporary crisis is never temporary and as we are suckered into voting the lesser evil into office every election cycle our “lesser evils” just keep getting worse and worse.

The polarizing divide and conquer tactics used today, however, are not new. In the 1800 election Jefferson was accused of being the anti-christ and his opponents claimed that if he were elected our children would be coerced into singing heretical hymns out of fear, everyone’s Bible’s would be burned and America’s wives and daughters would be made the victims of legal prostitution. Citizens buried their Bibles or hid them in wells out of fear that Jefferson would send in troops to confiscate them. That never happened. Today, we must vote Romney because “the Catholic Faith hangs in the balance” as one friend of mine put it.

Andrew Sullivan is probably right though: Romney probably did lie. He has a long history of lying and duplicity. Of course, so does Obama who broke almost every campaign promise that he made four years ago. One of his greatest draws four years ago was his proposed foreign policy: to close Guantanamo Bay, end our wars abroad and bring our troops home. In fact, he did the opposite, doubling down on Bush’s failed policies. We’ve even gone from unconstitutional wiretappings under Bush to unconstitutional assassinations under Obama. So, as far as I’m concerned, whether or not Romney lied in the debates is of little consequence. First, because both Romney and Obama are established liars anyway and, second, Obama did nothing to refute the supposed lies as Sullivan himself admits.

I think that the reason that Sullivan has such a hard time coming to grips with Romney’s comeback is that he has swallowed the media narrative that paints the left and right parties as diametrically opposed forces with one as savior and the other as brainless idiots who will doom us all. In fact,once you depart from the rhetoric, Obama and Romney are nearly identical.

Sullivan laments that if Romney is elected then “We’re back to Bush-Cheney, but more extreme.” But isn’t that exactly what Obama has done as I mentioned above? It is this blind party loyalty that allows Sullivan to call Obama arrogant, incompetent and self-destructive in one sentence and then praise him as America’s only hope against (apparently supremely evil) Romney the next.

Here’s a news flash: both candidates are liars and opportunists who agree more than they disagree and, because they’re supposed to serve us, we should always be very critical of them, demand more from both candidates and refrain from supporting either until they shape up, if ever. To support terrible candidates simply because you are afraid of how much worse the other one might be serves only to further the corruption of our political system. We’re simply digging a bigger hole for ourselves.

Oh, also, lets call a spade a spade. I may not like Romney but he hands-down won the debate. Any disinterested observer can see that clear as day.

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The Corporate Oligarchy


War is Peace

Ignorance is Freedom

Pride is Virtue

And two indistinct “choices” is Democracy

One of these men is the savior of our country; the other is a brainless idiot who hates everything that makes America great. But which is which depends entirely on whether you are a Republican or a Democrat because both men are driven by the same corporatist principles and political demagoguery.

Here’s the facts: both candidates support aggressive warfare, sanctions, and interventionist foreign policy, both oppose an audit of the Federal Reserve and think that Ben Bernanke is doing a “good job”, both want Gauntanamo open and expanded, both believe that the President has the authority to order the assassination of anyone (including American citizens) without trial, both supported the TARP bailouts, they share the same financial backers (mostly Wall Street and central banks – yes, the same ones we bailed out), they both have a long pro-choice record, both supported mandated health insurance, both have violated Americans’ religious freedom: Romney forced Catholic hospitals to dispense the Morning After Pill and Obama forces employers to cover birth control on employee insurance plans against their consciences.

That sound you hear is Romney clapping.

Both have shown an irrational level of loyalty to Israel, putting Israel’s interest before even our own at the expense of our own security and morals; both support torture and the death penalty, and while Obama supports gay marriage and euthanasia Romney is indifferent on these issues at best.

You got us. We’re the same.

Regardless of which of these men secure power come November big government, the systematic erosion of freedom and collectivism win and Americans lose.

I happen to like most Americans – but central planners, bureaucrats, and demagogues? Not so much. That’s why I’m going to vote for candidates that actually represent the former and not people like Obama and Romney who stand for the latter.

Follow The Money Trail: The Top Donors For Each Presidential Candidate


Reposted from The Daily Paul:

A Short Analysis of the Top Donors for each Presidential Candidate:

NOTE: These are individual donors, and don’t include super-PACS. When you make a political donation, you have to state what company you work for, and that is how this is compiled. These are not the companies themselves donating, but the individuals who work for those companies. For example, in 2008, people who work for Goldman Sachs, gave over $1 Million to Obama, and were his top donor. In 2012, Mitt Romney’s top donor, is, you guessed it, people who work for Goldman Sachs, at $575,000 and counting.

Also the lists provided are the top 20 donors for each candidate.

First I will make a few observations in regards to the numbers about each candidate, and then feel free to peruse the specifics, below:

Obama 2012:

In the $3,290,000 raised so far from the top 20 companies whose employees so far have made individual donations to Obama:

$560,000, or 17%, has come from technology firms;
$794,000, or 24%, has come from Big Academia;
$1,008,000, or 31%, has come from big lobbying firms.

Of course, these lobbyists, have the usual list of clients, you might expect, from all the “Bigs”.

This is extraordinary: Almost 1/3 of all the personal donations to Obama in this top 20 block, have come from lobbyists and their firms.

Remember his 2008 campaign about promising to end special interests?

Right.

Romney 2012:

In the $4,723,000 raised so far from the top 20 companies whose employees so far have made individual donations to Romney:

Fully $3,760,000 of that, or 80%…has come from Wall Street firms.

Of those top 20 firms whose employees have donated so far $4.72 Million, to Romney, those same firms received, in the 2008 bailouts stolen from the American taxpayer (which of course both Romney and Obama supported), an estimated $335 Billion dollars in bailout money!

Infused with $335 Billion of cash taken from the backs of taxpayers?? No wonder they are able to ‘afford’ to donate so much!

Ron Paul 2012:

In the $675,000 raised so far from the top 20 companies whose employees so far have made individual donations to Dr. Paul:

$157,000, or 24%, has come from technology firms;
$73,000, or 11%, has come from government contractors
$338,000, or 50%, has come from active duty military.

So, let me get this straight:

1) The biggest donors to Obama in 2008, were the Banksters.

2) The biggest donors to Obama in 2012, are lobbyists…for the Banksters.

3) The biggest donors to Mitt Romney in 2012, by a huge majority, are the Banksters…and the lobbyists who represent them.

4) The biggest donors to Ron Paul in 2012, fully 50% in this sample of the top 20, are from the United States active duty military. You know, the military guys and gals, who are throwing their support behind the guy who is supposedly so “weak” on foreign policy.

5) Go figure.

————————————————-

Here is the breakdown of all the top donors of the candidates (all data here courtesy of opensecrets.org):

Obama’s top donors:

Microsoft $348 K

DLA Piper $298 K
(International lobbying firm with clients from defense contractors like Raytheon to big pharma Pfizer to various health care / insurance firms)

U of California $262 K

Sidley Austin LLP $240 K
(Lobbying firm that has included many Big Pharma clients, as well as the Federal Reserve).

Google $212 K
Harvard $195 K
Comcast $181 K

Skadden Arps, et al $154 K
“Lobbyists working for Skadden, Arps represent some of the largest political players outside of elected office, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Steel. And it’s the firm’s individual employees, as well as their immediate family members, who come out in droves for Democrats. Together, they routinely help the firm rank at the top of the lawyers and lobbyists industry in terms of campaign contributions.”
– OpenSecrets.org

Morgan & Morgan $136 K
US Department of State $132 K
Time Warner $130 K

US Government $127 K
Stanford University $123 K
Kaiser Permanente $112 K

National Amusements, Inc $110 K
Columbia University $109 K
Mayer Brown, LLP $109 K
(Lobbying firm)

Wilmerhale LLP $107 K
(Lobbying firm)

Finally one of the many lobbying firms who are the top backers of Obama, willing to actually admit their clients.

http://www.wilmerhale.com/about/representativeclients/

Among Wilmerhale’s clients…are a good corporatist bunch:

Bayer
Boeing
Citigroup
Deutsche Bank
General Electric
Goldman Sachs
JP Morgan Chase
Millennium Pharmaceuticals
Monsanto
Morgan Stanley
Pfizer
Procter & Gamble
UBS

University of Chicago $105 K

Jones Day $100 K
(Lobbying firm)

ROMNEY 2012:

FIRST number: Top donors to Romney 2012.
SECOND number: How much bailout money those companies received in 2008:

Goldman Sachs $574 K $13 Billion
Bank of America $399 K $15 Billion
JP Morgan Chase $394 K $25 Billion
Morgan Stanley $374 K $107 Billion
Credit Suisse $318 K $500 Million
Citigroup $302 K $25 Billion

Kirkland & Ellis $249 K
(Lobbying firm whos clients include Big Pharma, Big Energy, Big Medical, and yes, you guessed it: Morgan Stanley, UBS, etc.)

Barclays $229 K $48 Billion

Pricewaterhouse/
Coopers $209 K
(Accounting firm darling of Wall Street)

Wells Fargo $205 K $25 Billion

HIG Capital $191K

UBS AG $191 K $75 Billion

Blackstone Group $183 K
Bain Capital $149 K
Marriot International $133 K
EMC Corp $129 K

Citadel Investment
Group $128 K $1 Billion

Elliot Management $118 K
Deloitte LLP $125 K
(Accounting firm with clients such as Morgan Stanley and Monsanto)

Bain & Co $123 K

Top donors to Ron Paul 2012:

US Army $108 K
US Air Force $84 K
US Navy $84 K
Google $42 K
US Dept. of Defense $34 K
Microsoft $29 K
US Marine Corps $28 K
Boeing $27 K
IBM Corporation $27 K
Lockheed Martin $24 K
Northrop Grumman $22 K
Intel Corporation $21 K
US Government $21 K
Rangingwire Enterprise
Solutions $20 K
Corriente Advisors $20 K
Oracle Corporation $18 K
Verizon $17 K
US Postal Service $17 K
FedEx Corp $16 K
AT&T $16 K

~Chris
May 27, 2012

P.S. Have a meaningful Memorial Day…and remember the fallen, please.

Data taken from OpenSecrets.org. Great website!

Vote For What You Believe In and Not Against What You Don’t


Voting for Romney because you fear Obama being re-elected is to fear Obama more than God.

It might as well have Romney's face on it for all that he stands for.

Romney really isn’t all that different than Obama and if you don’t like Romney then don’t vote for him. “Strategic” voting is just the political establishment co-opting your vote – so vote on principle, vote for someone, and don’t merely vote against someone.

The ‘Inevitability’ Vote


Thomas Sowell on why Romney is “winning” for precisely all the wrong reasons:

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/293782/inevitability-vote-thomas-sowell

Romney spends more money on his campaign than all of his rivals combined yet he can barely keep ahead of decidedly underdog Santorum. Why? Because Santorum has a vision, one that resonates with many people and, no matter how objectively flawed that vision may be, that’s more than flip-flopping, robotic Romney has. The one thing Romney has is the perception of “inevitability” and all the Republican votes that that buys. If Romney, with all of his money and “inevitability” can barely compete with the less organized, underfunded Santorum how can he possibly compete against a better funded, better organized, more charismatic and more visionary opponent like Obama? He won’t; he will be crushed.

As Thomas Sowell puts it:

The biggest fighting issue for Republicans is Obamacare. Can the author of Romneycare as governor of Massachusetts make that an effective issue by splitting hairs over state versus federal mandates? Can a man who has been defensive about his own wealth fight off the standard class warfare of Barack Obama, who can push all the demagogic buttons against Mitt Romney as one of the 1 percenters?

It is truer in this election than in most that “it takes a candidate to beat a candidate.” And that candidate has to offer both himself and his vision. Massive ad campaigns against rivals is not a vision.

Some, like President Bush 41, disdained “the vision thing” — and he lost the presidency that he had inherited from Ronald Reagan, lost it to a virtual unknown from Arkansas.

The vision matters, more than the polls and even more than incumbency in the White House.

Moral of the story: vote ideologically, not strategically. Because “inevitability” is a mirage.

Ron Paul 2012.