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Race to the Bottom

February 13, 2012 - John Stack

In the 2008 presidential election, President Obama won the electoral college vote by a tally of 365-173. With the current state of affairs in the GOP, that will look like a close race compared to 2012.

The GOP/Tea Party/Conservatives seem to have a knack for jumping on the wrong side of just about everything the voters of America believe in. And they are getting worse! For the Repulican leaders – John Boehner and Mitch McConnell – their approval ratings are taking monthly lower hits. While the Democratic leaders (Pelosi and Reid) are, while low, not changing much. And this is the time where all we hear is the GOP bandwagon, because they are waging a GOP primary. Most of the rhetoric is based upon ‘I hate Obama more’, yet it is the GOP favorability which continues to fall. Obama still is sticking around 50% where all the other leaders struggle to even stay within spitting distance of 30% favorability. Of the four remaining GOP candidates, none is even above 30% favorable rating! Who is going to vote them in? You can’t win by relying on just the white, male, Catholic/Evangelical pro-life crowd! They are all ready in the pocket! When a hitter can hit fastballs really well, but has trouble with curveballs, a good coach doesn’t tell the hitter to only practice hitting fastballs!

You wonder exactly who it was Romney was trying to persuade last week. He came down strongly in the Komen/Planned Parenthood debate. 3 weeks ago, Komen had incredibly high favorability ratings. Who could dislike the Komen mission? Purely for women’s breast cancer research. Non-partisan, apolitical. Then, they chose to pick a silly fight with Planned Parenthood. Then America found out where people REALLY stand. Cutting funding (albeit a relatively small $750,000 out of a billion dollar budget) for breast exams based basically on the VP of Komen’s staunch anti-abortion views. The backlash was sudden and powerful. The fallout from Komen was disastrous. The VP in question resigned. Pro-choice USA got a monster boost when real people saw what happens when ideologues try to highjack good policy. Romney jumped right in saying Komen should NOT be funding Planned Parenthood in any way. I understand Romney feels he needs to build up some anti-choice cred, being that JUST THIS DECADE he was pro-choice pro-Planned Parenthood and needs to build on his Conservative talking points (while virtually no one actually thinks Romney IS pro-life, but that he would govern as Prolife). But, all this did was knock his approval ratings from the mid thirties to the mid twenties. Planned Parenthood holds a very broad based level of support. For women, it is extremely high. This might get Romeny one or 2 more delegates to the GOP convention, but he just lost a few hundred thousand votes for the general election. And if you don’t think Romney will be hammered, and hammered HARD by the Obama campaign this fall, you aren’t paying attention. The Obama group isn’t even in campaign mode, and they are being handed winning talking points by the GOP. In the general election, of course Romney will try to soften his stance, but the damage is done.

This weekend, Mitch McConnell also took his shot at moving the GOP into more inelectability mode. He came out hard on Obama’s contraception mandate. Saying it is unconstitutional, blah blah blah. As he is claiming that ‘forcing’ companies to cover contraception is an unfair intrusion into American lives, he ignores all other parts of the program. The health care coverage includes many many mandates of which insurance companies must cover. Is he against pre-natal screening? Is he against coverage of doctor’s visits? No, he’s not. He wants to claim it is government forcing companies to do something but ignores every other mandate. He claims they have enough votes in Congress to overturn this decision (although Obama would veto it). He seems to believe that showing the GOP is against contraception is a winning decision. Except that NINETY NINE percent of all sexually active women have tried contraception in some way. That’s right, 99%!! He says it is immoral, awful, etc etc. Except that 99% of women have tried contraception. This includes millions of pro-lifers, evangelical, nearly every single Catholic! He may fool some of the people, but he can’t fool everyone. When the GOP is trying to tell everyone they are focused on ‘Jobs’ ‘The economy’ yet spend all their capital on wedge social issues, and ones that are doomed from the start, not everyone is that dumb.

Then we have the anti-intellectuals. Who got the biggest crowds at CPAC? Some big shot politician or policy maker? No..It was the Winker herself. That’s who the Conservatives love. No one wants to hear Santorum’s extreme right views or Paul’s crazy Conservative ideas. They want a bubblehead who probably still thinks she can see Russia from her kitchen window and that should count for something. How about our local politic writer ? Claims that scientists have been ‘wrong about Pluto’ for however long and this proves scientists can’t be trusted. Uh. Rick/Right Wing Conservative – Pluto hasn’t changed. We still know what size it is, shape, density, orbit, etc. We’ve known for decades. They changed the rationale for planetary inclusion. Nothing about Pluto changed AT ALL. I no one has ever seen an electron. Yet, as I type this blog, our theories about how electricity and electrons work are the reason my computer works. Why my lights work. Why my vehicle starts in the morning. All based upon scientific theory. If we do find the Higgs Boson, or don’t, my car will still start. My computer will still process information. And my lights will work when I flick the switch. But, I admit it’s all based upon theories. Ar4 conservatives going to stop using their computers? Stop using electronic trading accounts? Stop driving cars because they feel the theories of electricity and of the standard model are just theories? Did Jobs and Gates choose to not start up their companies because they said everything electronic was a theory and therefore shouldn’t continue on? Sorry GOP anti-intellectuals. You can go on believing the music from your radio is actually caused by a very small man inside the box in your car because that is something proveable. I will take my electronics, my computer , my global warming and all other ‘theories’ and run with them when the science is based upon the scientific method, consensus belief and experimentation, and not on political ideology.

In 9 months, I see the GOP hoping for a close 2-1 defeat that McCain had with Obama in 2008


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