Visual source: Newseum
Contrary to conservative hopes, media pundits and voters alike won’t soon forget Mitt Romney’s fundraiser remarks in which he throws 47% of Americans by the wayside. Paul Krugman in The New York Times analyzes Romney’s remarks as part of the larger Republican philosophy:
Where does this disdain for workers come from? Some of it, obviously, reflects the influence of money in politics: big-money donors, like the ones Mr. Romney was speaking to when he went off on half the nation, don’t live paycheck to paycheck. But it also reflects the extent to which the G.O.P. has been taken over by an Ayn Rand-type vision of society, in which a handful of heroic businessmen are responsible for all economic good, while the rest of us are just along for the ride.
In the eyes of those who share this vision, the wealthy deserve special treatment, and not just in the form of low taxes. They must also receive respect, indeed deference, at all times. That’s why even the slightest hint from the president that the rich might not be all that — that, say, some bankers may have behaved badly, or that even “job creators” depend on government-built infrastructure — elicits frantic cries that Mr. Obama is a socialist.
Now, such sentiments aren’t new; “Atlas Shrugged” was, after all, published in 1957. In the past, however, even Republican politicians who privately shared the elite’s contempt for the masses knew enough to keep it to themselves and managed to fake some appreciation for ordinary workers. At this point, however, the party’s contempt for the working class is apparently too complete, too pervasive to hide.
Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post paints the battlelines:
In an elegant dining room where the self-satisfaction was thick enough to cut with a knife, Romney made clear that he sees this election as “us” vs. “them” — wealthy Republicans vs. the unwashed hordes, makers vs. takers. Romney believes half of America is lazy, dependent and, frankly, not too bright.
Voters will soon have the opportunity to show him we’re not as stupid as he thinks.
Eliot Spitzer at Slate:
[W]hat is the intellectual framework for Romney? It is the world of Robert Nozick and Ayn Rand, a world of such diminished government that only the efforts of the individual are to be valued, a world in which the collective effort represented by government is derided.
In opposition to Romney’s world view is that of John Rawls and John Maynard Keynes. They provide the intellectual guideposts for post-World War II America and its prosperity. They do believe in redistribution: Those who are affluent can and should help those who are not. They believe it is in fact government’s responsibility to manage this effort in a way that promotes growth and overall prosperity. This has been—and should be—a core of our national identity. Those who receive the hand up are not to be denigrated: They are every bit as much a part of our community as anybody else, and will one day return the favor to others who are in a moment of need.
We should articulate this world view loudly and clearly. We should not be shy about declaring it. It is right morally and philosophically, and it has worked to build a bigger, stronger nation.
Meanwhile, Daniel Drezner, writing in The New York Times, argues that foreign policy shouldn’t be ignored by voters and the media:
America remains the world’s pre-eminent power. This means that whenever something happens somewhere in the world, the expectation is that the United States will be part of the policy solution. When presidents are reluctant to intervene, they are attacked by domestic and foreign adversaries as being weak, passive or “leading from behind.”
It’s precisely because presidents have so much more leeway to do what they want in the global realm that I now vote based on foreign policy. Mistakes in international affairs can lead to incalculable losses in blood and treasure. Paradoxically, if Americans suddenly started to vote based on national security issues, presidents would have to start to care about the domestic political consequences of their overseas actions.
Who knows, they might just start redirecting their efforts to problems at home.
E.J. Dionne analyzes last night’s MA-Sen debate:
What happened tonight to the Scott Brown who had endeared himself to a lot of Massachusetts voters by being a nice guy? The incumbent Republican senator, who has fallen behind Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in some recent polls, opened tonight’s debate in Boston by attacking her, and he stayed on the attack all night.
My hunch is that whatever points he scored off Warren were more than wiped away by a tone that Rep. Barney Frank, a Warren supporter, accurately described on Rachel Maddow’s show as “snarky.” In his effort to derail Warren in a debate, Brown may have undermined one of the most important aspects of his get-along-with-everybody brand.
Elizabeth Flock reports at US News:
Are the presidential debates in danger of becoming as scripted as professional wrestling?
Wednesday afternoon, the Commission on Presidential Debates quietly posted a press release announcing the topics for the first presidential debate in Denver on October 3. What the commission didn’t say is that this may be the first time in history presidential candidates have been given the topics of a debate ahead of time.
“We had been thinking about this for awhile,” says CPD executive director Janet Brown. “CPD’s intention is to have the candidates come prepared for a more in-depth conversation.”
When was the last time you saw a presidential debate that wasn’t essentially dueling press conferences?
Here are the released topics that were released so that candidates could be “prepared” for an “in-depth” conversation:
The Economy – I
The Economy – II
The Economy – III
The Role of Government
Never would have guessed those would make the short list, right?
Source: Daily Kos