The Eight Worst Conservative Responses To Nelson Mandela’s Death

Source: Ourfuture.org

Author: Terrance Heath

” 1. “Don’t mourn for Mandela.”

In his December 6 column, WorldNetDaily editor-in-chief Joseph Farah told his readers, “Don’t mourn for Mandela.” After acknowledging that apartheid was “inarguably an evil and unjustifiable system,” Farah went on to claim that Mandela brought about a system “in which anti-white racism is so strong today that a prominent genocide watchdog group has labeled the current situation a “precursor” to the deliberate, systematic elimination of the race.”

In just a few sentences, Farah managed to make Mandela’s death all about white people. It’s impressive, in a kind of stomach-turning way.

2. “He was a great man, but he was a communist.”

Bill O’Reilly and Rick Santorum called Mandela a “great man,” but also a “communist.

Pajama’s Media got in on the fun with a headline that also called Mandela a “communist.”

It’s reminiscent of the old segregationist billboard labeling Martin Luther King Jr. a “communist.”

3. “Obamacare is like apartheid.”

Rich Santorum Insulted the memory of countless black South Africans who perished under apartheid, when he compared the Affordable Care Act to apartheid, and said Mandela would have opposed Obamacare.

Spoken like someone who has no idea what life under apartheid was like. Because a  system that demeaned, dehumanized, and degraded generations of black South Africans is exactly like a system that brings health care coverage to millions who were uninsured, because they were too poor to afford private health insurance, but not poor enough to qualify for Medicaid.

Wrong again.  South Africa has a socialized health care system.

4. Ted Cruz Slammed by Conservative Base For Honoring Mandela

It’s almost enough to make you feel sorry for Sen. Ted Cruz (R, TX). The man who held a 21-hour filibuster-about-nothing and got away with it, really stepped it when he eulogized Mandela on his Facebook page, saying that Mandela was “an inspiration for defenders of liberty around the globe… Because of his epic fight against injustice, an entire nation is now free.”

Sen. Cruz’s Facebook Fans were not amused.

To his credit, Sen. Cruz’s office defended, which currently has over 500,000 likes.

5. Gingrich Gets Slammed on Facebook

Sen. Cruz is not alone. Former House Speaker and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was slammed by Facebook commenters when he praised Mandela on his Facebook page. Gingrich later claimed to be “surprised” by the vehement reactions.

This from a guy who played the race card every chance he got during his presidential run.

Gingrich later accused the “left” of turning Mandela’s death into an opportunity to “smear” Reagan.

(N.B.: Reagan opposed sanctions against South Africa, and vetoed the law (which veto was over ridden).

6. Dick Cheney Would Still Vote To Keep Mandela In Prison

In 1986, then Rep. Dick Cheney voted against a resolution calling for the release of Nelson Mandela and the recognition of the African National Congress. In 2013, after Mandela’s death,former Vice President Dick Cheney defended his vote.

Cheney not only voted against the resolution, but voted to uphold Ronald Reagan’s veto.

7. Rush Limbaugh Used Mandela’s Death to Trash The Civil Rights Movement

It should come as no surprise that Rush Limbaugh used Mandela’s death to spew his usual brand of. On Friday, Limbaugh praised Mandela’s forgiveness, only to turn and denounce the American Civil Rights Movement.

Of course, Mandela realized that both truth and reconciliation were necessary if South Africa was to move on. Thus, after apartheid South Africa set up a restorative justice body called theTruth and Reconciliation Commission. The commission held public hearings which were a crucial part of its transition to from minority rule to a flu(sic) and equal democracy. Victims of gross human rights violations under apartheid were invited to give statements, about their experiences. Perpetrators of violence could also give testimony, and request amnesty from civil and criminal prosecution.

Maybe the U.S. needs its own Truth and Reconciliation Commission. What are the chances Limbaugh would embrace that?

8. Westboro Baptist Church Heads to South Africa

Well, we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, where we find Westboro Baptist Church trying to book flights to Johannesburg, to protest Mandela’s funeral.

Famous for picketing the funeral of dead soldiers, the church says it’s targeting Mandela’s divorce and remarriage as evidence of his “damnation.” Wait until someone tells them that Mandela was also a strong supporter of gay rights.

It’s ironic that some of the worst reactions on the right come the conservative base, in response the attempts of Republicans official to hop on the Mandela bandwagon. Republicans probably hoped that enough time had passed for most Americans to forget that conservatives stood on the wrong side of history when it mattered, on apartheid. But even the GOP base has not forgotten that conservatives called Mandela a terrorist long before they called him a hero.

In 1986, moderate Republicans were thoroughly denounced by conservatives for bucking President Reagan and supporting the Anti-Apartheid Act. Back then, conservatives like Sen. Mitch McConnell (R, KY) preached delay in overturning apartheid. But at least there were someRepublicans who understood the immorality of asking people to continue to endure injustice. Those moderates have largely disappeared from the GOP today.

That’s part of the problem conservatives have with Nelson Mandela. Opposing apartheid was just as much the right thing to do then as it is now, when it’s far easier and safer to denounced a system that was largely defeated without their help.

The other part of the problem is that things Mandela always stood for are decidedly progressive.

And that’s just to name a few.

No wonder the right doesn’t know how to deal with Nelson Mandela. In life, and in death, his legacy exposes that the American right has always stood on the wrong side of history; both American and world history.

Emphasis Mine

see: http://ourfuture.org/20131209/the-eight-worst-conservative-responses-to-nelson-mandelas-death

Why Poorer States Aren’t Buying What Romney’s Selling

The Republican party appears to be increasingly divided among class lines -the Republican Party is now divided fairly sharply along class lines as well as religious ones.

From: AlterNet

By:  Walter Dean Burnham andThomas Ferguson

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one andlove the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” — Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

As Rick Santorum exits and Newt Gingrich fades out, who would have imagined that the Gospel of St. Matthew would provide the best handle on the GOPprimaries this year?Even in 2009, it was obvious that the Republican Establishment and many of America’s richest citizens were busy laying the groundwork for a very special effort to take back the White House in 2012. After the 2010 congressional elections produced the second largest swing in the two party vote against the Democrats since 1826, the focus on 2012 became ferocious. The road, though, was bumpy. But by late last year, as one candidate after another flamed out, the hopes of most Obama opponents were settling, sometimes ruefully, on Mitt Romney.

The logic behind their choice was simple and compelling: With the American economy stuck in the mud of the Great Recession, the time was ripe for a campaign centered on economics. With his glittering track record in private equity on Wall Street at Bain Capital before he entered politics, Romney stood out from the rest of the Republican field. He was someone who could convincingly lead a campaign targeted on the economy and jobs. The rush to his standard accelerated after he dramatically embraced many neo-conservative foreign policy positions and advisers.

The result was a shower of campaign money and generally favorable press. With a small army of super-rich supporters lining up to fund his super-PACs (including several who tried clumsily to hide their identities behind various corporate shells) and the rest of his fundraising racing ahead, Romney’s nomination looked inevitable. He could drown the rest of the field in a shower of attack ads.

But his campaign’s single-minded focus on economics ran squarely against the grain of the “holy owned subsidiary” that GOP elites had built up over decades to shift the focus of public discussion from their elite interests in deregulation and the upward redistribution of income through an emphasis on wedge issues like abortion and gay rights. In Iowa, Romney did indeed blow away all his main campaign challengers with a volley of expensive TV ads. But evangelical and conservative Catholic opponents coalesced around the last alternative to Romney who was still standing, Rick Santorum, to deny Romney a decisive victory.

Then came Newt Gingrich, the blast from the past who changed everything. Facing elimination in South Carolina, but retaining just enough ties to really big money briefly to float a super-PAC of his own, Gingrich boldly decided to breach the informal rhetorical conventions of GOP primaries.

The GOP’s “Occupy” Moment

He began to bite the hands that had fed him and so many others in the party for decades. Turning his legendary attack skills from Democrats on Republicans, the former Speaker of the House attacked private equity, bailouts, and federal largess to the super-rich. Rick Perry, and other Republicans, including some self-proclaimed Tea Party leaders followed. Santorum, too, drifted along with the new populist current, though far more circumspectly and only after distancing himself from Gingrich’s strident attacks.

The Republican Party’s “Occupy Wall Street” moment did not last long. Thanks to a powerful documentary attacking private equity that his super-PAC promoted and his willingness to throw red meat to voters in TV debates, Gingrich won in South Carolina.

But the reaction among moneyed party elites was fierceRush Limbaugh, theWall Street JournalNational Review, the president of Americans for Prosperity and angry business leaders hit back. A top Perry supporter in South Carolina, Colonial Group president Barry Wynn, abandoned the Texas governor’s already fading campaign and endorsed Romney, specifically citing the disrespect for free enterprise.

Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam Adelson, who had long been close to Gingrich, continued supporting the former Speaker. But as she dispatched another $5 million for the former Speaker’s super-PAC, Miriam Adelson admonished the Gingrich campaign that the money was to be used to “to continue the pro-Newt message…rather than attack Mr. Romney.”

But on the campaign trail Gingrich is hardly Gingrich if he can’t attack. Forced to switch tactics, he started pushing a far-fetched plan to bring down oil prices to $2.50 a gallon. By comparison with the slashing attacks on private equity and unfair taxes, this was a very weak brew. We do not think it at all far-fetched to suggest that his dependence on his donors was a major factor in Gingrich’s subsequent tailspin.

Santorum, whose campaign was also heavily dependent on super-PAC funding from a handful of super-rich donors, walked a careful line. He attacked Romney for supporting the Wall Street bailout. The millionaire former senator also guardedly talked up an alleged affinity for blue-collar workers, while generally sticking with themes more beloved of his donors, such as attacking the Environmental Protection Agency and pushing an energy policy of “drill, baby, drill.”

After the Fires

As the campaign’s sound and fury die down, one might wonder what remains of the GOP’s “Populist Moment.”

Like the frozen lava from past volcanic eruptions, the trained eye can easily perceive traces of the great explosion. Consider the two figures below. Figure 1 relates the percentage of the Romney vote in the GOP primaries to a measure of the strength of evangelical Protestantism in states. (Our measure relies on data from a religious census released in the year 2000 used in an earlier paper rather than voter self reports from polls.) The negative relationship is clear: votes for Romney, in the aggregate, fall as the percentage of evangelicals rises in states.

That is no surprise. Yet, as we look forward to the general election, there is a second relationship that is at least equally interesting. Many have noticed that within states, Romney does better in high-income areas. Figure 2 suggests that this relationship also holds between states: Romney’s voting percentage rises directly with a state’s median income. Or in other words, poor states find Romney resistible.

Social scientists and anyone who is inquisitive will naturally ask what happens if you consider both of these measures together. The answer, alas, is that with only 19 data points, you can’t say anything definitive. There is just not enough information to parse the importance of each. (In statistics, the problem is known as “multicollinearity.”)But stopping there misses a key point, we think. The county maps and polls testifying to the importance of income in predicting the Romney vote within states (the latter have been oddly missing in some newspaper presentations) all suggest that the Republican Party is now divided fairly sharply along class lines as well as religious ones.

In the general election, this may be important. Right now GOP adherents are trumpeting their confidence that the “flock” (as many evangelical ministers might say) will all return to the fold, united in their desire to defeat President Obama. Many of them, in fact, are likely to do this. But we are hardly alone in observing that turnout in the GOP primaries has been mediocre. In a few states, turnout rose above the levels of 2008, but overall, turnout is down.

In the general election, moreover, Romney will have to reach well beyond his base, to independents and those less predisposed toward all things Republican. By contrast with past GOP nominees Romney’s appeal looks modest, limited largely to affluent voters. One may doubt that his endorsement of the Ryan budget will do much to broaden that appeal, either. To win in November, he is likely to need a stupefying large amount of money and a really good Etch-a-Sketch.

Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.alternet.org/story/154917/why_poorer_states_aren%27t_buying_what_romney%27s_selling?page=entire

Republicans and the Culture Wars: Why It Won’t Work This Year

Not long ago, Republicans could turn to issues like guns and gays when the going got tough. But Michelle Cottle says none of today’s candidates has the makings of a culture warrior.

From: Daily Beast

By: Michelle Cottle

“You know the Republican Party is going through a rough patch when it can’t even conduct a proper culture war. Once upon a time, the GOP knew how to pick a compelling values issue, or at least demagogue one in a way that was guaranteed to make the Democrats look like a pack of sneering, godless Francophiles. Partial-birth abortion—now there was a winner. Ditto gun rights. And, man on man, did conservatives milk the gay-marriage issue for all it was worth, back when it was worth something.But of late, the party seems to be losing its touch. Oh, sure, Republicans have enjoyed watching President Obama’s tussle with the Catholic Church over insurance coverage for contraception. Indeed, many party leaders rushed to pile on, tossing about phrases like “freedom of conscience” and “war on religion.”As a broader political proposition, however, getting labeled the party that wants to limit access to contraception is less ballsy than flat-out nuts. Neither does the situation seem likely to rectify itself any time soon. The staunch conservatism of the Republican base notwithstanding, not one of the party’s remaining presidential contenders has the makings of a competent culture warrior.Newt Gingrich? Please. God may have forgiven the speaker’s sins, but, if the polls are any indication, American women are still pretty steamed. The minute Newt opened his mouth to lecture the general electorate on family values he’d likely get a kitten heel to the crotch.Ron Paul has the longest marriage and most grandfatherly manner of the bunch, but his libertarianism is poorly suited to arguing that government should be messing around in people’s private lives. (And listening to him out of the trail, it’s pretty clear that social issues aren’t what blow the good doctor’s gown around.)Romney, with his picture-perfect family and squeaky-clean lifestyle, should be a terrific values crusader. Alas, he is Mormon and so must be careful about steering the race toward matters of faith, lest someone push him to have an in-depth chat about the LDS Church’s fondness for baptizing dead Jews.Then there’s Rick Santorum, who, by all rights, should dominate the values battlefield. He’s got the loving wife, the passel of kids, the goofy-dad vibe. And, let’s face it, the man has never met a policy issue he didn’t see through the prism of family values. Tax reform? Regulatory reform? Deficit spending? As Rick tells it, the first step toward addressing any of these problems is to reinstate the ban on sodomy.On pure piety points, no one can beat Rick. We’re talking here about a guy who has said he would use the presidential bully pulpit to warn of how contraception tempts even married couples to get busy in ways contrary to God’s will. This, of course, is part of the problem. Opposing abortion is one thing. Opposing contraception even among married folks doesn’t make Rick seem like a paragon of moral virtue so much as a refugee from the 16th century.But it’s not just that the senator’s positions are out of touch with the mainstream electorate (a mere 8 percent of Americans think birth control is immoral; 84 percent of U.S. Catholics think you can use it and still be a good Catholic). It’s that the guy is simultaneously too pious and too pathetic.Take his views on gay rights. Plenty of people object to gay marriage, but Santorum has long come across as a bit of a clown on the entire subject of homosexuality. It’s some combination of his whiny manner and his slightly-too-colorful blatherings about how “sodomy” is kinda like polygamy or incest but not quite so bad as man-on-dog action. With that kind of commentary, small wonder Dan Savage decided to execute his devastating lexical takedown of the senator.Perhaps saddest of all, when things get uncomfortable, Santorum crumbles. Pressed recently about a section of his 2005 book, It Takes a Family, that laments “radical feminists” undermining the family by pushing women to work outside the home, the senator pleaded ignorance and claimed the bit had been written by his wife.To be sure, this whole Serious Candidate business is new to Santorum. Still, this is no way to run a culture war.

Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Michelle Cottle is a Washington reporter for The Daily Beast.

For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/18/republican-and-the-culture-wars-why-it-won-t-work-this-year.html

Don’t be fooled by the Newt-Mitt-Rick show

Reagan began this counterrevolution three decades ago. Its aim was to employ the state to shift the balance of political forces to the side of the most reactionary sections of the capitalist class.

From: Peoples World

By: Sam Webb

Emphasis Mine

“Listening to the exchanges among the main Republican presidential candidates, it is easy to think that the debates are a television “reality show.”

Newt attacks Mitt for his role at the private equity firm Bain Capital. Mitt assails Newt for his ties to Fannie Mae and his dismal performance as speaker of the House in the 1990s. And Rick Santorum when he gets a word in edgewise claims that neither Romney nor Gingrich is the real deal, that is, a true conservative. That tag belongs to him, he says – only he has a franchise on it.

Oops! I almost failed to mention Ron Paul, who is no better than the frontrunners, but he is more of a footnote in the primary contests at this point.

But there is more to these debates than political theater, more than attack and counterattack. What is striking, but goes unnoticed in this clashing free-for-all, is the similarity in basic policy positions of the leading Republican presidential hopefuls.

When it comes to rapid and broad expansion of domestic oil and gas exploration regardless of environmental damage, they are for it.

When it comes to deregulation and discredited “free market solutions,” they want it.

When it comes to broad-scale privatization of education, they support it.

When it comes to tax breaks for the wealthiest, they can’t get enough of it .

When it comes to repeal of Roe v. Wade and with it women’s reproductive rights, they are chomping at the bit to do it.

When it comes to aggressive projection of military power in the Middle East and elsewhere, they strongly advocate it.

When it comes to stacking the courts with right-wing judges, they champion it.

When it comes to the elimination of racial and gender inequalitythey want none of it.

When it comes to drastic slashing of the federal budget, they are all for it.

When it comes to immigrant and gay rights, they are against it.

When it comes to overturning the Obama health care act, they salivate over it.

When it comes to disempowering people’s organizations, they are determined to do it.

When it comes to climate change, they deny it.

And when it comes to economic relief … on jobs, foreclosures and food insecurity … they do nothing about it.

In other words, even though they trade charges and counter-charges (usually true), Romney, Gingrich and Santorum (and Ron Paul too with a few variations) are of like mind. They are on the same page.

If any one of them is elected and if the Republicans gain control of Congress, they will set out to complete and consolidate the counterrevolution that Ronald Reagan initiated.

Reagan began this counterrevolution three decades ago. Its aim was to employ the state to shift the balance of political forces to the side of the most reactionary sections of the capitalist class.

Everything that was won by an aroused people over the course of the 20th century was to be eliminated hook, line and sinker. Nothing of the edifice of rights and social gains was to be left standing. The people were to be rendered impoverished as well as defenseless against the monster of a corporate-controlled market and state.

Beneath the discordant sounds of the current Republican Party debates lies a shared vision that would throw the country back to the Gilded Age when corporate elites did as they pleased and the people had no rights that corporate capital had to respect.

Some suggest that there is no difference in vision between President Obama on the one hand and Romney, Gingrich and Santorum on the other. But this is not only wrongheaded, but also politically dangerous.

Only yesterday I read an article by Chris Hedges that goes in that direction.

It sounded militant and righteous, but if taken seriously it’s a fool’s errand and will isolate the left from the broad currents of American politics this year. And nobody who cares about social progress should want to do that.”

see:http://peoplesworld.org/don-t-be-fooled-by-the-newt-mitt-rick-show/

Why Is There So Much God in Our Politics? The Religious Right’s Theocratic Plan for the 2012 Election

“; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” (Article VI, Constitution of the United States.

From: Church and State magazine, via AlterNet

N.B.: “; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”  (Article VI, Constitution of the United States.

By: Rob Boston

“He’s been married three times and is an admitted adulterer, features that would seem to make Newt Gingrich an unlikely standard-bearer for the hyper-moralistic brigades of the Religious Right. But with a little mental gymnastics, all things are possible.

“Maybe the guy in the race that would make the best president is on his third marriage,” Steve Deace, a prominent Religious Right leader in Iowa, recently mused to writer Michelle Goldberg of “The Daily Beast” website. “How do we reconcile that?”

One way is to do what Deace did and compare Gingrich with King David, the Old Testament figure who committed adultery with another man’s wife but later repented.

“I see a lot of parallels between King David and Newt Gingrich, two extraordinary men gifted by God, whose lives include very high highs and very low lows,” Deace added.

The rise of Gingrich, whose campaign was on life support as recently as the summer, has stunned many political analysts. Once again, they may have underestimated the Religious Right.

In an unusually religion-soaked primary season, faith has been front and center for months, as a crowded field of GOP hopefuls seeks to assure conservative Christians that they’re ready to hoist the banner for faith and family, as the Religious Right defines those terms.

The Almighty has frequently been pressed into service. Addressing a crowd of young Republicans in Atlanta Nov. 12, businessman Herman Cain, who has since suspended his campaign, announced that God told him to run for president.

“I had to do a lot of praying for this one, more praying than I have ever done before in my life,” Cain said. “And when I finally realized that it was God saying that this is what I needed to do, I was like Moses: ‘You have got the wrong man, Lord. Are you sure?’… Once I made the decision, I did not look back.”

But there was a problem: Cain was the fourth Republican candidate to claim God’s blessing. The deity also convinced U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) to run and gave a green light to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. For good measure, God assured Karen Santorum, wife of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, that her husband should also be in the race.

God, it is said, works in mysterious ways. Those who claim to serve God – or, in this case, the Religious Right – usually work in more predictable ways. And this campaign season has seen the Religious Right playing its appointed role: purging the Republican Party of moderates and working to keep the candidates as closely aligned with its theocratic vision as possible.

It would be easy to argue that the Religious Right is seeking to dominate the GOP race – and is doing a pretty good job of it. For months, political pundits ensconced in Washington, D.C., insisted that the race was really no race at all. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would be the nominee, they declared.

Just one problem: Republican voters hadn’t signed off on that deal. As summer blended into fall, poll watchers noted with interest that Romney rarely cracked 25 percent support in any national poll. Furthermore, other candidates were constantly nipping at his heels and sometimes overtaking him.

In late summer, Perry briefly topped Romney in national polls before self-destructing due to a string of debate gaffes. Cain then took the lead, before he tumbled over allegations of sexual harassment and infidelity and announced on Dec. 3 that he was suspending his campaign. By that point, Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, had leaped ahead.

It didn’t take a CNN political analyst to figure out what was going on: Romney’s support just wasn’t that deep, and the candidate hadn’t generated much genuine enthusiasm. Among Religious Right voters especially, the Mormon who served one term as governor of a bluer-than-blue state was looking like a crap shoot. Some Religious Right activists signed onto Romney’s campaign seeing him as the most likely person to depose President Barack Obama, whom they despise. But plenty of others continued to press for a purer candidate.

For their part, most of the GOP contenders worked hard to win Religious Right support. In October, every major hopeful spoke at the Values Voter Summit, an annual confab held by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and other groups. (See “Bombast, Bigotry and the Bible,” November 2011 Church & State.)

On Nov. 19, the Religious Right significantly upped the ante. Three groups – the Iowa-based Family Leader, the National Organization for Marriage and CitizenLink (the overtly political arm of Focus on the Family) – sponsored a forum on “values” issues at First Federated Church in Des Moines.

For more than two hours, six candidates focused on Religious Right concerns: abortion, same-sex marriage, the role of religion in public life and so on. The moderator, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, also gave each candidate a chance to explain his or her Christian faith and tell personal stories about times when they’ve had to rely on God.

Romney, perhaps having no desire to spend two hours explaining Mormon theology to a crowd of fundamentalist Christians, skipped the event. But the other attendees were eager for the chance to assure Religious Right voters of their solidarity. Highlights included Gingrich’s assertion that no atheist is fit to be president and several candidates’ tearful retellings of medical emergencies they faced.

Aside from the forum, Religious Right forces are active across the country but especially in Iowa, where the movement’s foot soldiers have a headlock on the state Republican Party apparatus. In many other politically critical states, Religious Right groups are moving aggressively to implement “get-out-the-vote” programs to increase turnout by far-right church-goers.

Former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed, having failed as a political consultant and a novelist, has gone back to his roots and is now running the Faith & Freedom Coalition. Backed by right-wing fat cats, Reed has vowed to contact 29 million religious conservative and Tea Party voters in 2012. While notorious for exaggerating, Reed’s operation is being lauded as the bridge between Religious Right voters and the anti-government Tea Party brigades.

Some new faces are also on the scene. The Response, a Pentecostal-themed movement that gave a boost to Perry by holding a massive Houston prayer rally shortly before he announced, is striving to go nationwide. The group, which has a distinctly theocratic dominionist character, held a prayer event in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, shortly before the Iowa caucuses. Although pitched as a call for national revival, the rally’s close proximity to the nation’s first voting event of 2012 raised eyebrows.

In addition, a group of wealthy venture capitalists in northern California is bankrolling United in Purpose, a group that vows to register five million far-right Christians for the 2012 election. Like Reed, the Silicon Valley-funded group pins its hopes on a sophisticated voter ID program that claims to track people by how they’ve voted in the past and by their magazine subscriptions and even the purchases they’ve made online.

United in Purpose has been flogging a video called “One Nation Under God,” which it is urging supporters to show at local events. The video features “Christian nation” advocate David Barton, Focus on the Family founder James C. Dobson and anti-abortion activist Lila Rose, but the only candidate it gives air time to is Gingrich.

The group also plans to target conservative pastors.

“They’re the shepherds of the flock,” Bill Dallas, the group’s head, told the Los Angeles Times. “It’s a great mass media channel.”

Indeed, pastors who lead fundamentalist flocks are under quite a bit of scrutiny this election season. Outfits like the Family Research Council and the Faith & Freedom Coalition will be targeting pastors for political action, urging them to exhort congregants on their Christian duty to vote. Pastors will also be asked to distribute biased “voter guides” produced by groups like the Faith & Freedom Coalition that purport to objectively compare candidates’ views but in reality always portray the GOP office-seeker favorably.

Some organizations are going beyond that. For several years now, the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Religious Right legal group founded by TV and radio preachers, has been prodding pastors to openly defy federal law by endorsing or opposing candidates from the pulpit. Every fall, the ADF sponsors “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” a day during which pastors are urged to intervene in elections.

The ADF, a $35-million-a-year operation based in Scottsdale, Ariz., claims that more than 500 pastors took part in the project in 2011, and the group is aiming for even more in 2012, when “Pulpit Freedom Sunday” will take place on Oct. 7.

What does all of this Religious Right involvement mean for American politics? Although many Americans may not realize it, the theocratic right has had a profound effect on the political system and has helped reshape the American political landscape.

More than 30 years ago, when the modern version of the Religious Right was launched, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and other leaders talked openly about taking over the Republican Party. They soon began doing it. During the heyday of TV preacher Pat Robertson’s Christian Coalition, political analysts used to track the growth of the Religious Right in the states, noting that its shock troops held a controlling interest in many state GOP branches.

Now firmly entrenched in the party apparatus, Religious Right operatives have become a force that cannot be ignored. Republican hopefuls on the national stage bypass this movement at their peril. (It’s no coincidence that one former GOP presidential candidate who refused to continually kowtow to the Religious Right, former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, was mired in the single digits before quitting the race.)

At the national level, the Religious Right has helped push the GOP much farther to the right, acting as a screen that filters out moderates.

Thanks largely to the Religious Right, liberal Republicans are an all- but-extinct species. Even moderates are becoming scarce in the party. While this wasn’t all the Religious Right’s doing, the movement certainly played a key role through its constant promotion of “culture war” issues.

This year, Religious Right groups had hoped to coalesce early behind a single candidate and propel him or her to the nomination. For a number of reasons, it didn’t work out. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, a favorite of the Religious Right, decided to sit out the race. Some candidates, notably Bachmann when she was in the race and Santorum, aggressively wooed the Religious Right by putting culture war issues at the crux of their campaign but are perceived as unlikely to prevail over Obama.

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) actually has a fairly strong record in support of Religious Right issues but his libertarian focus on shrinking the size of the federal government and anti-war stance hurt him with fundamentalists.

That left Romney by default – until Gingrich began to rise. But the former speaker has yet to seal the deal, and some in the Religious Right remain skeptical.

In late November, Gingrich got some unsolicited advice from Richard Land, a lobbyist with the Southern Baptist Convention. Land warned Gingrich, a convert to Roman Catholicism, that evangelical women are concerned over his matrimonial track record.

“You need to make it as clear as you possibly can that you deeply regret your past actions and that you do understand the anguish and suffering they caused others including your former spouses,” wrote Land in an open letter to Gingrich. “Make it as clear as you can that you have apologized for the hurt your actions caused and that you have learned from your past misdeeds.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, also believes Gingrich has some work to do. Gingrich has been on a tear attacking “secular socialism” for months and blasting courts for upholding church-state separation – he has even proposed impeaching certain federal judges – but Perkins told Fox News that the former speaker needs to stress social issues even more so religious conservatives will realize he’s sincere.

Ironically, the internal divisions among the Religious Right may do exactly what they don’t want: provide a boost to Obama. In the lead-up to the 2008 election, followers of the Religious Right splintered over the flock of GOP candidates. U.S. Sen. John McCain captured the nomination but failed to generate significant enthusiasm among the far right. Obama’s team, meanwhile, did aggressive outreach to religious groups and even managed to peel off some evangelical support.

Obama is employing the same strategy again. In October, Obama met with top leaders of the National Association of Evangelicals at the White House. He has also met with leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, a key constituency whose membership includes a lot of swing voters.

In late November, Democratic leaders held a press conference in Washington, during which they vowed to aggressively reach out to religious groups and voters.

The Daily Caller, a conservative website, reported that U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who heads up religious outreach for the party, said, “As we organize going forward to next year there will be significant efforts on our part to reconnect the fundamentals of our policies to the teachings that we all learned, be it in the Old Testament or the New Testament.”

Clyburn added that in the past, Democrats “were so strong in our doctrine that there ought to be a separation of church and state, that we often took it to an extreme, and I think that’s how we got disconnected [from voters].”

Americans United Executive Director Barry W. Lynn said he regrets the Religious Right’s influence over the presidential campaign and U.S. political life. The culture war obsessions of the Religious Right, Lynn said, don’t reflect the concerns of most Americans.

“Our nation faces many serious problems, but a lack of religion in our political system isn’t one of them,” remarked Lynn. “In fact, this election has already become deeply entangled with religion, with four candidates now claiming that God told them to run. Enough is enough.”

Rob Boston is the assistant director of communications for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which publishes Church and State magazine.

Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.alternet.org/story/153685/why_is_there_so_much_god_in_our_politics_the_religious_right%27s_theocratic_plan_for_the_2012_election?akid=8157.123424.Pq9QR6&rd=1&t=12

Could the GOP Collapse on the Payroll Tax be a Turning Point Moment?

“The Republican leadership’s collapse in the battle over extending the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits could also be a turning point moment that shifts the political momentum just as we enter the pivotal 2012 election year.

From: HuffPost

By: Robert Creamer

“In recent American politics, every major shift in political momentum has resulted from an iconic battle.

In 1995 the tide of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” was reversed when Speaker Newt Gingrich and his new Republican House majority shut down the government in a battle over their attempts to cut Medicare to give tax breaks to the rich (sound familiar). The shutdown ended with – what pundits universally scored — as a victory for President Clinton. That legislative victory began Clinton’s march to overwhelming re-election victory in 1996.

In 2010, Democrats passed President Obama’s landmark health care reform. But they lost the battle for public opinion – and base motivation. That turned the political tide that had propelled President Obama to victory in 2008 and ultimately led to the drubbing Democrats took in the 2010 mid terms.

The Republican leadership’s collapse in the battle over extending the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits could also be a turning point moment that shifts the political momentum just as we enter the pivotal 2012 election year.

Here’s why:

1). Since the President launched his campaign for the American Jobs Act, he has driven Congressional Republicans into a political box canyon with very few avenues of escape. The jobs campaign has made it clearer and clearer to the voters that the “do nothing Republican Congress” bears responsibility for preventing the President from taking steps that would create jobs.

Until the payroll tax/unemployment victory, the President had failed to persuade the Republican dominated Congress to pass any provision of the bill – save one aimed at helping veterans. But the polling shows that the public has become more and more disgusted by Congressional intransigence. Since 64% of Americans believe that Congress is run entirely by the Republicans (and from the stand point of stopping legislation itis managed entirely by Republicans), the overall unhappiness with Congress has translated into distain for the “do nothing Republican Congress”.

Congress now has lower approval ratings (11% in the latest poll) than at any time in modern history. Senator Michael Bennett presented data on the Senate floor that showed that Congress is less popular than BP during the gulf oil spill. It is way less popular than Nixon during Watergate. About the same number of Americans have a positive view of Congress as support America becoming a Communist nation. That makes it the worst time imaginable for House Republicans to throw a political tantrum that threatened to increase the tax burden of everyday Americans by $40 per paycheck — $1,000 next year – right after Christmas.

Last weekend, the Senate Republican Leader thought he had blazed a path for Republicans that led out of that political box canyon – at least in so far as the extension of the payroll tax holiday and unemployment. The bi-partisan agreement to temporarily extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment insurance seemed to give Republicans a face saving option that – at least temporarily — took them off the political hook. But Tea Party stalwarts in the House threatened to mutiny if Boehner went along – and all week – there the House Republicans sat, at the bottom of that canyon with no escape.

House Republicans bet that the President and Democrats were desperate enough to extend the payroll tax and unemployment that they could hold those provisions hostage the way they had held hostage the debt ceiling in August. In an act of unfathomable political ineptitude, they failed to appreciate that this time, Democrats occupied vastly higher political ground.

Failure to continue the payroll tax holiday would have immediately decreased the take home pay of 160 million Americans. By refusing to agree to the compromise that had passed the Senate with an overwhelming bi-partisan majority, House Republicans made it certain that they would have been held responsible.

They might as well have hung out a huge flashing sign in Times Square that said: “Republicans are responsible for cutting your take home pay and eliminating your unemployment benefits.”

Even the conservative editorial page of the Wall Street Journal called on them to throw in the towel.

Democrats had every incentive to hang tough. In the end by refusing to take the escape hatch opened for them by McConnell, the nation watched House Republicans dragged kicking and screaming to support the President’s popular payroll and unemployment extensions.

The outcome of the battle was unambiguous. No one could doubt who stood up for the economic interests of the middle class and who did not. And no one could doubt who won and who lost.

National Journal reported that:

House Republicans on Thursday crumpled under the weight of White House and public pressure and have agreed to pass a two-month extension of the 2 percent payroll-tax cut, Republican and Democratic sources told National Journal.

In the end, Republican intransigence transformed a moment that would have been a modest win for President Obama into an iconic victory.

2). Strength and victory are enormous political assets. Going into the New Year, they now belong to the President and the Democrats.

One of the reasons why the debt ceiling battle inflicted political damage on President Obama is that it made him appear ineffectual – a powerful figure who had been ensnared and held hostage by the Lilliputian pettiness of hundreds of swarming Tea Party ideological zealots.

In the last few months — as he campaigned for the American Jobs Act — he has shaken free of those bonds. Now voters have just watched James Bond or Indiana Jones escape and turn the tables on his adversary.

Great stories are about a protagonist who meets and overcomes a challenge and is victorious. The capitulation of the House Tea Party Republicans is so important because it feels like the beginning of that kind of heroic narrative.

Even today most Americans believe that George Bush and the big Wall Street Banks – not by President Obama — caused the economic crisis. Swing voters have never lost their fondness for the President and don’t doubt his sincerity. But they had begun to doubt his effectiveness. They have had increasing doubts that Obama was up to the challenge of leading them back to economic prosperity.

The narrative set in motion by the events of the last several weeks could be a turning point in voter perception. It could well begin to convince skeptical voters that Obama is precisely the kind of leader they thought he was back in 2008 – a guy with the ability to lead them out of adversity – a leader with the strength, patience, skill, will and resoluteness to lead them to victory.

That now contrasts with the sheer political incompetence of the House Republican Leadership that allowed themselves to be cornered and now find themselves in political disarray. And it certainly contrasts with the political circus we have been watching in the Republican Presidential primary campaign.

3). This victory will inspire the dispirited Democratic base.

Inspiration is the feeling of empowerment – the feeling that you are part of something larger than yourself and can personally play a significant role in achieving that goal. It comes from feeling that together you can overcome challenges and win.

Nothing will do more to inspire committed Democrats than the sight of their leader — President Obama – out maneuvering the House Republicans and forcing them into complete capitulation.

The events of the last several weeks will send a jolt of electricity through the Progressive community.

The right is counting on Progressives to be demoralized and dispirited in the coming election. The President’s victory on the payroll tax and unemployment will make it ever more likely that they will be wrong.

4). When you have them on the run, that’s the time to chase them.

The most important thing about the outcome of the battle over the payroll tax and unemployment is that it shifts the political momentum at a critical time. Momentum is an independent variable in any competitive activity – including politics.

In a football or basketball game you can feel the momentum shift. The tide of battle is all about momentum. The same is true in politics. And in politics it is even more important because the “spectators” are also the players – the voters.

People follow – and vote — for winners. The bandwagon effect is enormously important in political decision-making. Human beings like to travel in packs. They like to be at the center of the mainstream. Momentum shifts affect their perceptions of the mainstream.

For the last two years, the right wing has been on the offensive. Its Tea Party shock troops took the battle to Democratic Members of Congress. In the Mid-Terms Democrats were routed in district after district.

Now the tide has turned. And when the tide turns -when you have them on the run – that’s the time to chase them.

We won’t know for sure until next November whether this moment will take on the same iconic importance as Clinton’s battle with Gingrich in 1995. But there is no doubt that the political wind has shifted. It’s up to Progressives to make the most of it.”

Robert Creamer is a long-time political organizer and strategist, and author of the book: Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win, available on Amazon.com. He is a partner in Democracy Partnersand a Senior Strategist for Americans United for Change. Follow him on Twitter @rbcreamer.


Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-creamer/why-gop-collapse-on-the-p_b_1167491.html

The Great GOP Primary Crash and Burn: 5 Republican Would-Be Saviors Flame Out in Hilarious Ways

The GOP’s “anyone but Romney” strategy has backfired.

From AlterNet, by Brad Reed

“In a normal democracy, a competent opposition party would have no difficulty in defeating Barack Obama next year.

After all, unemployment is still around 9 percent, economic growth is sluggish at best and the Democratic base feels disenchanted with the hope and change they voted into office a mere three years ago. A competent opposition party shouldn’t have to nominate a superlative candidate in this environment; instead it can win by simply nominating someone with decent hair, who can string together words in a language vaguely resembling English and who has no obvious debilitating mental illnesses.

For Republicans, this generic good-hair, able-to-talk, not-overtly-insane candidate is Mitt Romney. But there’s just one problem with this scenario: The Republican base hates Mitt Romney. The reasons for this are pretty obvious since Romney’s work establishing a universal health care system in Massachusetts provided the main blueprint for Obamacare, the healthcare law passed in 2010 that the GOP base feels is the ultimate symbol of an overreaching and tyrannical government. And that’s in addition to Romney’s assorted flip-flops on issues such as abortion and gay rights that have given social conservatives fits over the years. In fact, Multiple Choice Mitt is such a notorious opportunist that his entire political career can be summed up by paraphrasing a classic Snoop Dogg song: “Take a stance when it’s popular, but drop it when it’s not, drop it when it’s not.”

So the Republican base has spent the past year looking for someone, anyone, who can be the anti-Mitt Romney in the GOP primary. The problem is that the GOP has been unable to find even one half-normal human to stand in against him. The result has been a hysterical roller-coaster of a primary season where new candidates rise rapidly as GOP “front runners” for a month before flaming out in spectacular and hilarious ways. In this article we’ll chronicle the assorted saviors that Republican voters have fallen in love with for brief periods of time before quickly recoiling in horror upon realizing they’ve become smitten with a unelectable lunatic.

Failed Savior #1: Donald Trump.

How he rose: Ugh. Remember this? Trump’s major appeal to the GOP base was akin to G.G. Alin’s appeal to teenage boys: They loved him because he would say whatever the hell he wanted no matter how many media squares would get offended. Want to publicly question the validity of Barack Obama’s birth certificate? Trump went there. Want to speculate that Obama was hiding his birth certificate because it listed him as a Muslim? Yeah, that was Trump territory, too. Want to imply that Obama only got accepted into Columbia and Harvard Law due to the dread specter of affirmative action? Trump was your guy.

The result was that Trump depressingly surged to the head of the GOP pack in April, according to a CNN poll. But the Donald’s rapid rise in the polls was only matched by his epic crash less than two weeks later.

How he fell: It became more difficult for Trump to publicly crow about his birther credentials after Obama actually released his long-form birth certificate. Making matters worse, the release of Obama’s birth certificate came just days before Trump attended the White House correspondents’ dinner where he was roasted relentlessly both by the president and by comedian Seth Meyers.

This sort of public humiliation took away a lot of Trump’s mojo since he was no longer viewed as an all-American bad boy with the guts to speak truth to power. Instead he was seen, correctly, as a clown. He announced that he was not going to run for the presidency shortly afterward.

Failed Savior #2: Newt Gingrich

How he rose: The very idea of Newt Gingrich being a legit presidential candidate should be enough to violate at least 23 different laws of quantum mechanics and collapse our universe into a tiny puddle of cosmic gloop. But the GOP field in 2011 is a warped incarnation of Andy Warhol’s vision of the future where every has-been right-wing crank is allowed to nationally humiliate himself for 15 minutes.

At any rate, Newt’s entire appeal, if it can be called that, was that he’s supposed to be a “man of ideas.” It doesn’t matter that most of his ideas involved going to war with Iran or privatizing Medicare — in the current GOP field anyone who put on shoes without causing themselves critical bodily harm is considered a visionary. So Newt was to be the primary race’s leading intellectual, which is about as useful an honor as being named the world’s most well-hung eunuch.

How he fell: He was Newt. That’s pretty much all there was to it and it was entirely predictable to anyone who knows his history.

Let’s go over the grisly recap: Newt got in trouble during the very first week of his campaign when he sought to flash his “Man of Ideas” credentials by critiquing Paul Ryan’s Satanic Randroid plan to boot seniors off Medicare and force them into the private insurance market. For many conservatives this was like standing up in the middle of a church and shouting out, “Man, this Jesus dude ain’t all that, people.”

Newt had to backtrack pretty quickly after this heresy and he did indeed back away from his statements in the only way he knows how: Through shameless bullshitting. You see Newt can never just say he’s sorry and be done with it. No, that’s something that shows weakness and if people start thinking Newt is weak then dark-skinned foreigners all over the world will start pointing and laughing at him and implying that he is lacking in the manhood department. So instead of apologizing, Newt went on the attack against the media by saying it was now out of bounds to accurately quote his criticism of Ryan’s plan.

No, seriously, he actually said this: “Any ad which quotes what I said on Sunday is a falsehood, because I have said publicly those words were inaccurate and unfortunate.”

And just as the nation had stopped laughing about this, Gingrich flack Rick Tyler added insult to injury by putting out a statement portraying Newt as a noble paragon in the style of Ulysses and William Wallace who would lead America to its former standard of greatness through the sheer force of his magical ideas.

“A lesser person could not have survived the first few minutes of the onslaught,” wrote Tyler of the torrent of mockery directed at his boss. “But out of the billowing smoke and dust of tweets and trivia emerged Gingrich, once again ready to lead those who won’t be intimidated by the political elite and are ready to take on the challenges America faces.”

Whoooa, slow down there, Homer. I don’t recall the part in the Odyssey where Ulysses decides to divorce Penelope when she’s struck with an illness so he can go shack up with a hot young Siren.

N,B.: As of 17 Nov, he is still surviving – see below.

Failed Savior #3: Michele Bachmann

How she rose: Ah, why not? With Trump and Gingrich out of the picture, Bachmann was there to fill the “anyone-but-Romney” void for a brief time. Bachmann had all the credentials the base was looking for: A born-again Christian who supported outlandish conspiracy theories and who called Obama anti-American before it was cool. So over the summer Bachmann got her brief period in the spotlight and regularly came in second place in many national polls.

As I said, why not?

How she fell: There was no real defining moment that marked Bachmann’s slide in the polls, which leads me to believe that the GOP faithful slowly started getting spooked about Bachmann’s electability. To be fair, this is a very legitimate concern since she comes off as a cross between Dana Carvey’s Church Lady character and Charles Manson. You see, many people generally like politicians who talk about their religious faith because it makes them feel as though their leaders identify with them culturally. But if a candidate seems convinced that she’s actually receiving messages from God about whom to appoint to her campaign staff, voters start to get concerned.

While Bachmann has been known to say a lot of loopy things over the years, she first really started to freak out the normals when she attacked Rick Perry because he mandated girls in Texas schools get HPV vaccinations to prevent them from contracting cervical cancer. Although Bachmann could have reasonably attacked this policy as a prime example of Perry’s crony capitalism, she decided to go Full Metal Wingnut and suggest that the vaccine could be responsible for causing mental retardation in children. The medical community was quick to condemn Bachmann’s remarks since they had precisely zero basis in reality.

“There are people out there who, because of this kind of misinformation, aren’t going to get their daughter immunized,” said Dr. Kenneth Alexander, a pediatric infectious disease expert at the University of Chicago Medical Center, during an interview with Rueters. “As a result, there will be more people who die from cervical cancer.”

To sum up: If you watch enough Michele Bachmann, you can legitimately see her starting a war with the entire Middle East in an attempt to kickstart the Rapture.

Failed Savior #4: Rick Perry

How he rose: For a wee bit it looked as though Rick Perry was the perfect Republican candidate: He was a three-term governor of deep-red Texas, he’d executed lots and lots and lots of people, he wrote a book describing Social Security as a Ponzi scheme, and to top it off, he had good hair. Perry’s entrance into the race in August immediately shook up the field and he surged to the head of national polls, topping Mitt Romney by more than 10 points in late August.

But then something bad happened to Perry: He began to talk.

How he fell: As evidenced by George W. Bush, Republican voters don’t put too much stock in being articulate. At the same time, a candidate should be able to put words together in such a manner that people can at least guess the type of language he’s trying to speak. Sadly, this task has proven to be far too difficult for Perry to handle.

For example: At this point in the campaign season, anyone over the age of five can come up with a stinging critique of Mitt Romney’s serial flip-flops over the years. Hell, just point out that he’s running against Obamacare despite signing a law in Massachusetts that was essentially the same piece of legislation. It’s not at all difficult.

But when Perry tried to execute this extremely simple maneuver he… well, I’ll just let the man himself say it:

“I think Americans just sometimes don’t know which Mitt Romney they’re dealing with. Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of against the Second Amendment before he was for the Second Amendment? Was it before he was before the social programs from the standpoint of he was for standing up for Roe versus Wade before he was against verse, uh, Roe versus Wade? He was for Race to the Top, he’s, uh, for Obamacare and now he’s against it.”

And there are other problems for Perry as well: When asked what he’d do if terrorists within Pakistan acquired nuclear weapons he said he’d call India to “make sure they know they’re an ally of the United States.” Yeah, I’m sure the first things the Indian government would want in that situation is a friendly pick-me-up phone call. Perry also said that “sharing a border with Mexico” was the primary reason his state has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country. And unlike Perry, we’ll never forget the time he couldn’t remember which three federal agencies he’d abolish upon becoming president.

Even in our currently debased political culture that sort of thing just won’t cut it. Americans may not like voting for high-fallutin’ intellectuals much, but we thankfully still have enough sense to support candidates that are marginally smarter than ficus plants.

Savior #5: Herman Cain

How he rose: As a Tea Party favorite who has never held political office, Herman Cain can credibly claim to be a Washington outsider who has never taken part in the dirty profession of governing. And it must be said, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and the National Restaurant Association has a certain goofy charm to him at first. He comes across as a lighthearted guy with a good sense of humor and he has a knack for catchy slogans. Let’s face it, his “9-9-9” tax plan, as absurdly regressive and unworkable as it is, rolls off the tongue much easier than, say, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

How he fell: Well, four women have accused Cain of sexually harassing them. That’s never a good thing. Nor was it good when Cain said he was unaware if the National Restaurant Association had paid out any settlements to two of his accusers despite the fact that they both received settlements of roughly a year’s pay. It was also not good when Cain quickly backtracked and said that he knew there was an agreement between the association and his accusers, but that the agreement was not the same thing as a settlement.

“When I first heard the word ‘settlement,’ I thought legal settlement,” Cain said. “My recollection later is that there was an agreement. So, I made an assumption about the word ‘settlement’ that was legal. I didn’t think there was a legal settlement, but an agreement. Remember, this happened 12 years ago.”

And, uh, OK.

But alleged sexual improprieties aren’t Cain’s only problem. He also apparently never dreamed that he’d be considered a GOP frontrunner and thus has never bothered to read very much about current events. When asked about Obama’s war in Libya recently, Cain replied thusly: “Okay, Libya. President Obama supported the uprising, correct? President Obama called for the removal of Gaddafi? Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say yes, I agree, or no, I didn’t agree. I do not agree with the way he handled it for the following reason. Nope, that’s a different one. I’ve got to go back, and see. Got all this stuff twirling around in my head.”

Watching the video of this answer almost made me feel sorry for Cain until I remembered that he’s not a hungover frat boy getting picked on by a professor at an 8am history class but is, in fact, a grown man running for president of the United States. Holy Mother of God.

Failed Savior #6: Newt Gingrich

How he rose: The very idea of Newt Gingrich being a legit presidential candidate should be enough to violate at least 23 different laws of quantum mech… Wait a minute, didn’t I already write this part? Yes, I did. But I had to write it again because after his initial implosion this past summer Newt is apparently getting a second look and has surged in the polls.

There’s no point in writing anymore about this because you know he’ll screw it up and GOP voters will soon be reduced to begging Alan Keyes to hop in the race. So at this point, I’d like to announce my candidacy for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. As president I will repeal Obamacare, cut taxes for job creators and reassert America’s military might. And sure, these positions might not gel with positions I once held as recently as this morning, but c’mon Republicans: At least I’m not Mitt Romney.”

Brad Reed is a writer living in Boston. His work has previously appeared in the American Prospect Online, and he blogs frequently at Sadly, No!.

Emphasis Mine

see:http://www.alternet.org/story/153097/the_great_gop_primary_crash_and_burn%3A_5_republican_would-be_saviors_flame_out_in_hilarious_ways?akid=7864.123424.JYduCI&rd=1&t=2