After Iowa: It’s Mitt and Rick!

 A win by the skin of his teeth

 A Fanatic or Charlatan: Pick Your Poison

In an election  which, according to the New York Times, offered the voters in the Iowa Republican Caucuses a choice between “right, far right, and far far right” each candidate took more and more ridiculous positions in order to convince voters that they are the one.  In an election where we have seen many shooting stars who flared up on the right of Mitt Romney and then burn out on the way down to earth.  After the first primary we can see these fallen stars moving off into obscurity as they read the handwriting on the wall telling them it’s over.

From the look of things Silly Ricky Perry, the swashbuckling Texas cowboy who turned out to be all hat and no cattle, seems to be throwing his hands in the air and acting like he no longer cares.  And despite an attempt at bravado Michelle Bachman, the hysterical verbal arsonist from Minnesota who constantly refers to American history, although she knows less about it than a cow knows about playing the piano, is singing her silly swansong as I write.

This heartless witch, a shameless shill for the plutocrats, is wrapping herself in the cloak of Jesus Christ even as she calls for kicking the sick to the curb and starving the hungry!  Since this sacrilege offends an un-churched heathen like me, I am forced to wonder why the “prophetic” Christian theologian Corny West so silent in the face of this outrageous blasphemy?

Mad Mickie and her Momma 

A boisterous, hilarious, buffoon, sure hate to see her go 

Ron Paul, the undercover Klan lover from Texas, will probably trudge on because he has a motley band of true believers who are the kind of fanatics that in a different cultural milieu would be suicide bombers.  But he is on a path to nowhere.  The tragedy of Congressman Paul is that he is the only person in the presidential race – including President Obama – that is willing to speak frankly about American foreign policy.  This is the source of his appeal to many of the enthusiastic youths who are working tireless for him.

Nowhere is this clearer than in his recent endorsement by Santorum’s nephew John Carver, a University of Pittsburg student, on the January third edition of “The Daily Caller,” a libertarian blog. “It is because of this inability of status quo politicians to recognize the importance of our individual liberties that I have been drawn to Ron Paul.” Says Santorum’s nephew in an article titled “The Trouble With My Uncle, “Unlike my uncle, he does not believe that the American people are incapable of forming decisions. He believes that an individual is more powerful than any group (a notion our founding fathers also believed in).

Carver goes on to say: “Another important reason I support Ron Paul is his position on foreign policy. He is the only candidate willing to bring our troops home, not only from the Middle East, but from around the world.” This sort of disillusionment with establishment politicians of both parties, buoyed by the mumbo jumbo Congressman Paul spouts about the Federal Reserve System, appeals to a wide variety of kooks, crazies and economic illiterates.  This is in the nature of things, because Paul is a kook and a crazy economic illiterate!

So we are left with The Mittster, Newt The Poot and Sick Rick.  Of these three stooges it is hard to fathom how the other two will manage to arrest the ascension of The Mittster.  His money, organization, willingness to say anything to gain political advantage, and support of the Plutocrats – which is to say the Republican establishment – give him advantages over his adversaries that appear to be insurmountable.

My reluctance to award the race to The Mittster at this point is based on the fact that the mathematics do not support such a conclusion.  For instance, Bachman has dropped out, and should Newt and Perry follow, their supporters might very well jump on the Santorum band wagon as the far right alternative to “The Mittster.”  This could prove Romney’s Waterloo.  So I’m hedging my bets on the winner of this contest and watch the game play out.

Newt “The Poot” Gingrich, like Herman “Sugar” Cane, appears to have entered the Republican race to sell books and increase his public profile, which would translate into mad dollars.  Hence these mugs were totally unprepared to run real campaigns nationwide.  Silly Ricky, who burst on the national scene like a white Texas Tornado, has the money but not the brains.  So we are left, it seems, with Mitt Romney and Rick Santorium, both of whom were kicked to the curb by the voters in their last statewide elections.

In The Mittster we have an unrepentant member of the “one percent” that has ravished the nation’s wealth and resources so thoroughly that 80% of us are on the brink of financial ruin, without “Obamacare” one catastrophic illness would send us to the poorhouse.  Ironically, the Reactionary Republican sloganeers are going to rue the day they ever decided to bestow the sobriquet “Obamacare” on this great entitlement of the American people.

Now that Chilly B, who is the greatest orator in American politics – so long as he is not matched with some of those preachers and lawyers in the Congressional Black Caucus – has decided to take that name and own it!!!  What, pray tell, is the flacks in the Grand Obstructionist Party to say when the President says defiantly: “Yes Obama Cares! The question is: Why don’t you!”

Yet Mitt clueless has the unmitigated gall to announce that his first act would be to repeal the Affordable Health Care Act, President Obama’s magnificent gift to the American people, which was originally his idea.   This is the mark of a charlatan!  And the sleaze factor increases so long as The Mittster behaves like a dope dealer when asked about his income and taxes.  As my grandfather George would say: “Dat boy’s a liar and a fink, his feet stink, and he don’t love Jesus!”  The kindest thing that can be honestly said about Mitt is that he is a political Chameleon; Newt has called him a liar!  Although Newt’s assessment may be closer to the truth, it is a comic case of the pot maligning the kettle!

Rick Santorum is the prodigal son trying to come back home after selling out his peeps. However while much of the punditocracy is swooning over his nostalgic commentary about his grandfather’s hands, especially those who are sentimental about their immigrant roots; the elected representatives of organized labor ain’t buying it.  Although his record on labor matters are wildly liberal compared to everybody else in the Republican presidential race, the AF of L-CIO gives him a lifetime rating of 13%.   Yet even this tepid showing is going to cost Santorum dearly with the Tea Party types – whom he presumes to represent – once The Mittster’s propaganda machine targets him.

Silly Santorum!


A Bonafide Fanatic

Of course Santorum’s wacky ideas about human sexuality and reproduction, in which he says doctors who perform abortions should be tried for murder, and has pledged to work to ban contraceptives when he becomes President, will surely win him big props from the far right evangelical crowd of all colors, as well as conservative Catholics and Orthodox Jews: but it is scaring the hell out of everybody else!

Then there is Santorum’s pledge to reinstate “Don’t ask don’t Tell” in the military when a gay Marine, fighting on the front lines overseas, was booed when he spoke on a telecast at a Republican debate.  Instead of coming to this American heroe’s defense Sick rick smacked him in the face!

It was the most shameful episode in a parade of shameful episodes in this Republican primary race. That should be enough to keep Santorum in the game for a while, and it will be interesting to see how Mitt Romney handles these questions involving basic questions of women’s health and reproductive rights – considering that he had a pretty progressive record on these matters as Governor of Massachusetts, a highly civilized state where science is respected and education is revered.

From where I sit, it’s gonna be fun to watch as the Republicans cannibalize each other in a verbal blood bath!  Who can say what tomorrow will bring, ESPECIALLY AS Newt begins to launch broadside on The Mittster – from what we have seen this will include exposing the jobs killed and workers thrown on the streets by deals Romney made as an investment banker at Bain Capital.

“There will be a great debate in the Republican Party before we are prepared to have a great debate with Barack Obama,” says Newt, who has made it clear that he is ready to join with his good friend Rick to bring Mitt down.  As I write Republican primary voters seemed ready to settle for a fanatic or a charlatan.  And since I’m betting my money on the certainty that either one of these jokers will be dog meat for Chilly B. in the coming elections: I’m jumping for joy over here!  If I could break dance I’d be spinning on my head as I write!!

Playthell Benjamin

Harlem New York

Janurary 4, 2012


Part II

Will the Republicans Survive Iowa?


        The Silver Lothrio and his home wreckng Hussy!               

 Candid Reflections on the Republican Primary

In order to understand why the things Republican candidates say while vying for their party’s nomination in Iowa sound so crazy to New Yorkers, one must take into account that we live in a large and diverse country  divided into urban, suburban and rural communities. The differences in racial demographics, religious tolerance and lifestyle shape our vision of what America is…or ought to be.  The issue of gun ownership, for example, clearly illustrates this difference

In rural America guns in the home are as common as cooking pots; whereas in urban America it is harder to legally buy a gun than to walk on water. Pro-gun Republicans argue that in rural America and the suburbs guns are used for hunting and protection of life and property; it is in the nation’s cities that guns are employed by criminals to wreak mayhem and commit crimes against their fellow citizens.

Hence rural lawmakers, heeding the demands of their constituents, refuse to pass any law restricting gun ownership.   They routinely dismiss desperate pleas for gun control laws from the Mayors of big cities, whose streets have been turned into free fire zones, arguing that “the cities have a cultural problem.”  It is a thinly veiled reference to the racial composition of the cities vs. suburban and rural America.

Republicans in suburban and rural areas tend to be White, Christian fundamentalists, suspicious of science, hostile to the federal government and closet racists.  They mostly get their vision of the world from FOX News, despite a recent study showing that people who rely on FOX for news are the dumbest people in America.   Iowa is 91% white, 88 of its 99 counties are classified as rural, and evangelical Christians are a powerful force among the GOP base there.  Hence the candidates believe they must dumb down to compete.

That’s why a former tax attorney with the IRS like Michelle Bachman can promise to get rid of taxes.  And a Harvard educated man like Mitt Romney, or a former history Professor like Newt Gingrich, talk as if they don’t believe in science or government regulation and shamelessly misrepresent their political records as if they assume the voters are stupid.  All are prisoners of the gun lobby.  Hence the things they say sound crazy to us because …well they are crazy!

The Iowa caucuses are a remarkable exercise of the democratic process, politicians vying to become the most powerful person on earth come out in the sticks and virtually grovel for the votes of farmers, farmhands, school teachers, waitresses, domestic workers, housewives etc. Then in a series of small gatherings of friends and neighbors, they cast their vote to select the candidate for the next President of the United States.

It is the Apex of participatory democracy. The problem for Republicans however,  is the crazy stuff they are saying to appeal to backward Yahoos in this primary will fly like a lead balloon when the Democrats confront them with it in the general election.  Perhaps even in Iowa, giving Barack another victory in that mostly rural state, mostly white state.  And that’s a good thing for America!


Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New york

December 3, 2012

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