Dear Republican Candidates, You Have us all Wrong

Dear Republican candidates: You are campaigning on talking points that do not actually appeal to us. Why are you doing that? Who told you we want these things?

Dear Rick Perry: We don’t want our troops in Iraq. We don’t think President Obama was too quick to get them out. We think he was too slow. We don’t want to go back into Iraq militarily. We don’t care if Iraq’s Shiites like Iran’s Shiites and we don’t think that 18-year-old young men from Alabama and Louisiana with guns can convince them not to. And, the Iraqis don’t want them there. President Obama did not err in his negotiations. There is *no* majority in the Iraqi parliament that would vote for having US troops on Iraqi soil. Would it be the Islamic Mission (Da’wa) Party of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki? The Sadr Movement of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who has threatened violence against US troops if they remained? Would it be the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq of Cleric Ammar al-Hakim, which is close to Iran? Where are you getting this majority? Or are you just going to invade the place again?

Dear Rick Santorum: We don’t want a war with Iran right now. We are tired of wars. Only 16% of the population says it is all right to attack Iran in the short term.

Dear Mitt Romney: We don’t want tax cuts for the wealthy. Most Americans back raising taxes on the rich

Dear Rick Santorum: We don’t want birth control banned. We’re so out of step with you that we not only want birth control for ourselves, two-thirds of us just want the schools to provide birth control to our teenagers and have done with it. Even our American Catholics mostly reject the ban on birth control. We think we do have a right to privacy, which you want to take away from us. Why do you think we would like you better for this?

Dear Newt Gingrich: Actually, we don’t like virtually any of your campaign promises. But that isn’t the point. It is you that we don’t like. We think you’re a hypocrite and that you got rich off influence peddling, including to Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac. Please stop it now.

30 Responses

  1. And Michele Bachmann; you’re just a whacked-out flake that can’t even be taken seriously by a Hare Krishna, and they agree with everyone.

  2. they are talking the republican national committee, whoever decides who gets nominated ..

    there is no intent to talk to “people”

  3. Well said, JC. You left out one thing . . .

    Dear Republican candidates (all of you): You are wasting an inordinate amount of time & of the citizenry’s limited attention span babbling about the evils of same-sex marriage & other moral issues that should remain private, when the overriding concerns of the majority of American voters are the economy & the availability of jobs. Why not devote more time to expounding on constructive ideas that will truly stimulate America’s economy & lower the unemployment rate?

    And, by the way, Juan, why no criticism of Ron Paul? Do you feel that he’s now the Republican candidate of the least consequence & therefore, may as well be ignored? Or do you feel that his talking points are more in sync with the collective opinions & preferences of the American populace than are those of the other candidates?

  4. Dear lord…Rick Perry wants back into Iraq? It appears the trasmission line if from AIPAC’s mouth to Rick Perry’s ear. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but who in there right mind would want to re-enter our troops into a bloodbath that poses no threat to our country? He wants to justify the 5000 dead soldiers by having more die. He is a freaking madman!

  5. Prof Cole,

    You need to write a “Dear Barack Obama” column also. How about some of these as starters:

    No indefinite military detention and military prisons

    Withdraw all troops from ME/NA/CA and how about Japan, Korea, Germany, Uganda, Nigeria, et. al.

    Cut national security spending to the OECD average

    Start doing something for the 99% instead of the 1% for a “change”. Bailing out banks (including Fannie/Freddie) does not solve any problem, it is kicking the debt can down the road.

    Single payer health insurance.

    Abolish health care profiteering with reimbursement models like Canada or Europe.

    …Need any more ideas?

    Unfortunately, Prof. Cole, there is a continuum of most policies from Bush to Obama.

    And ultimately there is going to be little difference for most Americans between Obama’s policies and these republican nut-jobs, unless you think things like Rick Santorum’s gay marriage policies really make than much of a difference.

  6. Partly right. But recognize that the Obama is a tool of Wall Street, kowtows to Israel, is an interventionist liberal-style, an “uplifter” and a centralizer.

  7. Hold back the advice and save the blog space. They’re making themselves unelectable to informed people. Unfortunately, most Republican voters are woefully uninformed.

  8. Best politically ‘plain talk’ I’ve read in decades.

    Each discussion is short, to the point and easy to understand even to someone like me who is politically ignorant and not too educated.

    Please follow with ‘plain talk’ on:

    1. Obama

    2. The Democrats

    3. The financial world including the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department, Wall Street, bankers and all the other idiot financial experts that allowed and allow banks to use mortgages and other loans to create assets based on nothing and to loan out 9 times the amount of each asset. Excuse my errors.

    After watching the 5 parts of YouTube “Web of Debt – Ellen Brown” at link to youtube.com and reading pros and cons by others I got confused.

    1. Does America need the Federal Reserve, its banking system and its experts to lead America further into financial disaster?

    2. Why do Americans pay the Federal Reserve to print money?

    3. Why America’s only state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota fiscally sound and doing well?

    4. Are derivatives just a way to gamble with the hard earned savings of Americans?

    Sounds like America’s banking system keeps Americans and America in debt for life.

    Please, Professor Cole more ‘plain talk’.

    • John, you got the essence.

      May I suggest, if you don’t already do so, that you “follow the money,” the real path, in my estimation, to understanding what’s afoot, with the assistance of people like Matt Taibbi, whose distillations (with style and mordant humor) you can find on the bitstream pages of Rolling Stone Magazine, link to rollingstone.com, and of course in his several recent books.

      This is all about creating a system that, like “high speed trading” and “speculation,” one part of the game, kind of guarantees a constant and increasing transfer, as in “theft,” of the Real Wealth that the world’s working people create every day, into the shameless, avaricious paws of a bunch of self-centered smart-asses — people who are all about self-indulgence to what ought to be an embarrassing extreme, who know, in their meaningless little souls, that they only go around once, that it’s just a game, and that there are no consequences in this life, certainly, for activities that, but for their audacity and scale and the ability to pay legislators to have those actions declared “not illegal” and to terrorize prosecutors with “Dream Teams” of hired guns and the pressures of Great Influence, would constitute grounds for incarceration in one of America’s privatized prisons, where lesser mortals are jailed and then leased out to various industries that now have really cheap slave labor available, and the pubic treasury to absorb the cost of the “slave quarters” and food.

      And yes, there’s a derivative “contract” being inked electronically every few minutes of every day, a “bet,” and these SOBs are blunt about calling them that in their trade press, in a casino where the guys in tuxes with the titty-babes hanging on them know that the waiters and drink servers will have to slave the rest of their lives to pump up the coffers of REAL money that they can then raid to “make good” the “losses” of the freakin’ COUNTERFEIT “notional dollars,” losses that are guaranteed to one degree or another in every one of those “transactions.”

      “We” are mostly too stupid to recognize that a “notional dollar,” of the QUADRILLIONS that now “exist” in bitspace, generated by people who proudly proclaim that they literally “MAKE money,” is worthless, not “legal tender” of the sort that working people have to actually EARN in order to pay the electric bill or buy gasoline to get to work or for food and shelter and their uniforms. So there’s a layer of the economy that is happy to launder that Funny Munny, to take it in exchange for private jets and Paradise Islands and mega-yachts and the rest of the indicia of perfect indulgence, and that is the extent of the “trickle-down” you still hear the shills for the Makers of Money trying to peddle to the rest of us.

      We say “Obama,” or for that matter “Romney,” committing the sad self-defeating serial idiocy of personification and reification and hypostatisation, link to en.wikipedia.org, but remember he is just the figurehead for a whole army of people who are their own sub-species of Vampire Squids, wrapped around our faces and sucking the life and vitality and future out of us.

  9. Thanks for this excellent analysis of the mainstream GOP candidates. The unspoken implication here is that Ron Paul’s foreign policy, derided as “crazy” and “extreme” by corporate media, is actually the most reasonable and the closest to the views held by the American public.

    Ron Paul is the only major political figure who believes that America’s murderous imperial adventure must stop in order to save our nation from moral and economic ruin.

    Sad that no one on the left who holds those beliefs has been able to attain a position of prominence. Many voters have decided to stomach Ron Paul’s views on domestic and environmental policy (far more odious than the newsletters) and are supporting him because he appears to be the best, last hope to stop endless war and the military/industrial complex.

  10. Professor Cole,

    Great letters, but I did not see one to Ron Paul.

  11. On the economic points, what Americans overall want is not very important to Republicans, or even Democrats. What is important to politicians is pleasing the plutocrats who make the donations which fund the attack ads. If the sharp decline of Gingrich is really due to these ads (and not to people remembering or finding out what Gingrich is actually like), this is an example of how they can make a big change very quickly, and probably cause people to ignore real issues. They may also cause independent voters to ignore the radical positions a Republican candidate has taken to get his party’s nomination.

  12. “President Obama did not err in his negotiations.”

    Um, what? No arguemnt with the rest of your premise, but President Obama was negotiating to keep is in Iraq. It was the failure of those negotaitions that led to the Bush-Maliki agreement prevailing and us leaving Iraq on schedule.

  13. There is a gap opening up between what ordinary people think is right and what they think is necessary for survival. They have been convinced, by massive propaganda efforts reaching into every area of their lives, that their compassion towards the poor, their tolerance for diversity, their yearning for peace, all the individual matters on which they express liberal preferences to pollsters, somehow is to blame for the country’s weakness and their struggle to pay their bills.

    I first noticed this in college when I had a class project to analyze data from a 1980 Texas voters’ survey. It clearly showed that Texans, even Texas Republicans, had different policy positions than Reagan, the man they voted into power.

    I think they wanted a President who would overrule them. They were being harangued into feeling guilty about the better angels of their nature, but they were being presented with a solution: give power to a leader who will restore order by wisely doing things you disagree with. Then you and your beliefs can exist in some quiet corner with no consequences whatsoever.

    Of course, Reagan’s puppetmasters had planned this for years, since the chaos of 1968. They knew the people disagreed with even their short-term agenda, but if the people would trust a good actor over their own consciences, the tax cuts and deregulation would get in place to create massive inequality to pay for more propaganda. Once people were convinced that Reagan saved America, their beliefs would begin to wither and sour into his very image. That accomplished, all that is needed to drive the public further right is the manufacturing of more budget crises – whereas in the past financial crises rightly drove voters to the left. If things are bad, we must kick more of the lazy and defective off the lifeboat – but we don’t want to bloody our own hands with the task. Each GOP nominee in turn hints that he will do that dirty work, helped by the 20% of the population that relishes it, but we will surely not be among those sacrificed.

    I hear it’s Canada’s turn for processing right now.

    • Anyone who believes Ron Paul would “Stop the War Machine” or “reduce the Imperial bootprint” has to have been sleeping when “hypocrisy” and “delusion” and Machiavelli were being discussed in class. That theme is nothing but one more table in his franchised game of Three Card Monte. link to en.wikipedia.org

  14. Koch brothers are backing the Tea Party. Koch has held many fund raiser for Mittens. The tea party movement was high-jacked a long time ago.

    It is going to take people from many walks of life and political opinions to stop what is being put in motion with Mitt Romney.

    • Nothing was ever highjacked. The Tea Party was funded and owned by the Koch Brothers and their like from the beginning. It was never grass roots but well-funded and coordinated astroturf.

  15. Just a correction, I was watching Rick Santorum a few days ago on tv and he was questioned about his stance towards birth control. He said that while he was personally opposed to birth control, that was not something he’d regulate for the American people because those would be their own personal decisions, although he has frequently said that he doesn’t believe in a “right to privacy” under the consitution (whether he applies this solely to marriage or other realms as well, only he knows).

    Rick Santorum HAS however a lot of other controversies that a person could point out, for instance Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington actually compiled a report about why he was one of Washington’s most corrupt officials. He’s been invovled/highly supported/sponsored bills like the National Weather Service Duties Act of 2005 where he basically said that he wanted to take weather findings out of the public’s eye and make it primarily for government use only. He’s even been quoted calling global warming “junk science”!

    Santorum can though be blasted for ideas like his vast misrepresentation of information (ie weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq) or for him sponsoring bills like the Iran 2005 one where even in the midst of this terrible recession in America, he’s sending over $10 million to Iran to promote American propoganda!!! So many republicans had issues with the 1.5$ allotment towards NPR, but what about this $10 million towards putting up posters and ads in Iran- Santorum’s idea??

    • Weasel words. He wants to overturn Griswold and has supported state laws with that implication. Fundies lie.

  16. Who’s “we”? There’s a lot of those “we” folks who are simply interested in removing that “colored guy” from the office of POTUS. Sad but true.

  17. With the exception of Jon Huntsman, the numbing stupidity of the participants in last night’s debate when it came to foreign policy left me shaking my head in wonder. Talking points over informed discussion, empty rhetoric, silly declarations and an altogether unfamiliarity with the details of the region. Dolts on parade

  18. well through article i said to myself this must be tyue democracy we are lacking…. thank you for the lesson!!!

  19. The question may be who is going to be the ideological successor to Ronald Reagan? Newt wants that title but Santorum may be closer to it.

    Many political pundits believe Ron Paul being nominated may guarantee an Obama re-election, so Democratic crossovers -as the GOP did with Jesse Jackson in 1984 – are a distinct possibility.

    • They’ve been looking for another Reagan since the real one fled one step ahead of his Alzheimer’s (and yes, Reagan was a better president after he started losing the ability to remember why he hated Commies so much). Remember when they were fluffing up Dan Quayle as the heir? Then they embraced Bush Jr. and paid the price. But each time a right-wing tyrant fails, he is instantly disavowed by the movement for the crime of not being extreme enough. So Bush is now officially no longer a conservative. Which clears the decks for even more extreme mutants and gimmicks; the female Reagan, the black Reagan, the Catholic Reagan, etc. etc.

      Until you destroy the myth of Reagan’s competence, the public will keep believing that they must keep following this course even when they feel uneasy about the policies.

  20. How many of the basically rational majority will remember the GOP candidates current crazy talk once one of them becomes the challenger and suddenly starts changing their promises and forgetting their previous positions so as to appeal to the mainstream?

    Once the final GOP candidate begins to moderate his positions to have a hope of being elected president will the press keep reminding the voters of his current insane positions, or will the fourth estate simply pretend the last few mad months never happened? Will it all disappear down the memory hole?

  21. For the one he left out:

    Dear Ron Paul, spare us your phony libertarianism. We won’t like the War on (Some or Any) Drugs other oppressive programs of our government if they are simply devolved to the 50 states and we don’t want your Christian Reconstructionist friends anywhere near power.

    Also Dear Rick Santorum, we were not inspired by your dead granpa story, but appalled. We don’t want to dig coal until we drop dead and the times when people had to weren’t the good old days.

    • The two greatest lies told by the libertarians are (1) that free enterprise ever actually existed anywhere in the past and (2) that America was a “free” society when it had weak federal government and the rich could get away with murder.

      It is strange that no one points this out, but Americans, unlike Europeans, have forgotten how oppressive the institutions were that shared power before big government. Essentially power was shared between kings, landlords and churchmen, with plenty of overlap between their memberships, and each did horrible things. As recently as 90 years ago, large swathes of America were controlled by a white terrorist militia, blacks were falsely arrested and sold by local governments to well-connected businessmen to perform temporary slave labor, governors used the National Guard to murder strikers for the rich, whites and Asians could not marry in California, and local censorship boards dominated by local clergy cut up movies and banned books everywhere.

      Free for what kind of American, Ron? This must be why he never talks about the past when he’s trying to suck in the young.

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