Monday, October 17, 2011

Rick Santorum at the Gay Bar

Naturally, SNL didn't spend too much time on Old Ricky when they did their own spin on the numerous Republican debates on Saturday, but you shouldn't let that stop you from watching this hilarious video:

Rick Santorum hasn't seen it, but that didn't stop him from responding:

I'd hardly call the harmless jab of sticking a fake Santorum in a gay bar (and then making him seem unhappy to be there) a "hammering from the left," but I'm not trying to ride the victim train to the presidency. I mean, it's not like SNL redefined his name to mean the grossest thing they could think of and then spammed the Internet until that redefinition was pretty much the only thing that came up when you Googled the guy or anything. That would be way meaner.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Santorum Gets Wiped Up By...

...Chris Wallace?

Um. Wow. Way to stick it to Rick on gay rights, Fox News reporter Chris Wallace. You should really watch the whole interview, which can be found here.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go defrost Hell.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Is Occupy Wall Street a Liberal Tea Party? If It Is, Can It Be More?

First, I want to apologize for not having posted in quite some time. When the debt ceiling deal went through, I went through a period where just thinking about politics made me feel somewhat ill. I've gotten past that, though, and am happy to be back.

Getting past that, the two biggest pieces of news in the Republican presidential campaign over the past couple of weeks have been the rise of Herman Cain, which I think is a boring story of the moment, and Occupy Wall Street, which I find much more interesting. I think pretty much every Republican candidate for president has discussed Occupy Wall Street over the past week, including our good friend Rick Santorum (who was surprisingly one of the most understanding towards Occupy Wall Street, although he of course disagreed with their pro-government intervention viewpoint.)

I must say that I'm a bit torn by Occupy Wall Street, and find that most people who are covering the event, no matter how much they support it, are. In particular, the media on the left tend to be torn about whether this is a liberal Tea Party or not. When conservatives denounce Occupy Wall Street, liberals call them hypocrites because there isn't that much difference between what the Tea Party has done and what Occupy Wall Street is doing. However, when moderates and conservatives say Occupy Wall Street is like the Tea Party, a lot of us on the left try and say how Occupy Wall Street is more or different.

I see too many similarities between the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street to not see them as two sides of the same coin. This is not meant as a put down of Occupy Wall Street. Like the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street has taken people who feel disaffected and giving them a voice. For the biggest dissimilarity between the two groups, the individuals at Occupy Wall Street actually are the people who have been most hurt by the economic downturn of 2008: college graduates who have entered the job market to find no jobs, laid off individuals who have found it impossible to find new jobs, people who have had their homes foreclosed upon because their homes lost half their value in the last five years, and union members. That is a significant difference, especially in the morality behind the message. But there is another similarity that is stronger to me: both groups have very broad, somewhat muddled messages.

The Tea Party is well known for making broad pronunciations of limited government and strict constitutional construction, without describing what that means or turning that into specific policy proposals aside from calling for no taxes or repealing the Affordable Care Act. Similarly, the only message that Occupy Wall Street has sent out about their goals was a very broad, nonspecific list that was essentially a rundown of far left goals. Indeed, Keith Olbermann, whom I typically enjoy, touted how nonspecific Occupy Wall Street's list was as a strength because it showed how irretrievably broken the American economy is.

And that's where Occupy Wall Street shares a major flaw with the Tea Party. It is actually pretty easy to get a bunch of people who are mad and feeling disenfranchised together to complain about what's wrong. It's a lot harder to come to a consensus about specific policies to take to improve matters. That takes hard work. If Occupy Wall Street wants to be taken more seriously, they need a specific set of policy initiatives they support. And those initiatives have to be realistic. Getting to those initiatives might be difficult. But it's necessary.

If I was active in Occupy Wall Street leadership, I'd suggest naming 5 specific pieces of legislation we wanted enacted at the federal level. Personally, my five would be: (1) return of federal income tax rates on the top two tax brackets to Clinton-era levels; (2) the abolition of the lower tax rate for capital gains taxes; (3) elimination of subsidies for oil production in its entirety and agricultural enterprises that have over a certain amount of revenue; (4) $1 trillion over the next ten years that goes directly to much needed infrastructure improvements; and (5) the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. If I was adding a sixth wish list item that would require a Constitutional Amendment, it would be support of a Constitutional Amendment that explicitly states that a corporation is not a person and, which would eliminated Citizens United.

I know a lot of people like Occupy Wall Street the way it is right now. There are a lot of things I like about it as well. But I think doing the hard work to come to consensus to make proposals for beneficial and realistic legislation will both make Occupy Wall Street more effective and relevant far into the future.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Santorum on the Fringe

Popular politician Rick Santorum thinks President Obama should distance himself from the Occupy Wall Street folks (via The Hill):
This is the hard core of the Democratic Party, which, if I were Barack Obama — and I'm not giving advice to the president — I would certainly distance myself from," Santorum, who is running to replace Obama in 2012, said Friday on CNBC. "He's got those folks, what he's having problems with is the rest of America who's suffering because he's been listening too much to those folks."
I mean, I could get into the complexities and inefficiencies of the two-party political system we've got here in the US, because it really does mean that fringe movements have a louder voice than they probably deserve, but I feel more compelled to suggest that perhaps the Republicans should think about distancing themselves from the Tea Party first. I mean, if you want to talk about policies that make Americans suffer, you have to start with lack of universal health coverage, the restriction of reproductive rights, and the taxation of the poor to subsidize the rich. These are all things that the Tea Party, and Rick Santorum, support. And I'd like to think that "the rest of America" isn't really into that. Hopefully.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Santorum is High Maintenance

I can't be the only one who has noticed this. The dude is whiny as hell. First it's "ew, gay people, y'all are perves and should stop doing anything ever," then it was "most Republicans, y u no liek me?" Now it's "MOOOOOM! Tell Google to stop picking on me." With all this complaining, Rick Santorum has done an excellent job of painting himself as an innocent victim. Which, you know, is exactly what everyone wants in a president. . . .

Oh wait.

I realize that Santorum probably can't afford proper handlers due to the fact that nobody with any sense would ever give him a dime, but it's amazing to me that the staff he does have thinks that it's advantageous to allow their presidential candidate to display this level helplessness. I mean, what happens if he gets elected and people want to put pressure on him to make decisions? Will he be able to handle it? If his decision backfires, will he stand by it or will he blame some third-party for bullying him, the president, into making a decision he didn't truly support?

Even when he's trying to look presidential, Rick just looks sad.

This apparent weakness of character is actually pretty far down the line of issues with Rick Santorum - he has no discernible good qualities - but I do think it warrants attention because it's something that should make even his most ardent supporters think twice. Surely the extreme social conservatives would rather have a bully than a victim in their corner. And the fact of the matter is that Rick Santorum hasn't actually been a bully for about eight years.

Why? Because we beat him. And we're a website about poopy lube started by a sex advice columnist. Honestly.