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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks outside K's Hamburger Shop in Troy, Ohio, June 17, 2012. Standing with Romney are Rob Portman (L), Speaker of the House John Boehner (3rd L), his wife Ann (3rd R) and his grandchildren. REUTERS/Lar
Beware Republicans bearing gifts.
Peter Beinart thinks Mitt Romney still doesn't understand why he lost.
For Romney, however, giving poor people health care represents “the power of incumbency.” Which is to say, it’s a political bribe. Romney said so more explicitly in a conference call with donors a week after the election in which he explained that Obama had used the “old playbook” of offering goodies to certain groups—“especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community, and young people”—to lure them to the polls. Romney, by contrast, had spent the campaign “talking about big issues for the whole country: military strategy, foreign policy, a strong economy, creating jobs, and so forth.”

Whether Romney realizes it or not, the implication is clear: white and old people put aside self-interest to think about what’s best “for the whole country.” Young, black, and brown people leech off the government and flock to the polls to reelect the black president who helps them do so.

Romney isn't wrong in that elections are about gifts. Politicians have to deliver for their constituencies, and those who do the best job of delivering are the ones who get elected.

Where Romney might be wrong is the notion that only brown and young people want "gifts." All those corporate PACs aren't dumping millions into elections out of altruism. They want tax breaks and preferential treatment and policies that fuck their competitors and critics. Hence, Big Oil supports the party that will squash those Green Energy upstarts and refuses to do anything about global climate change. Wall Street wants to get those pesky regulations off their backs so they can continue making money off risky ventures, fully expecting to be bailed out next time they screw up (and there will be a next time). Defense contractors want more contracts for ships and planes and tanks that the Pentagon doesn't want, doesn't need, and have no place in modern warfare.

You see? Gifts!

Rich people want to be rewarded for their political largesse with tax cuts, special access to power brokers, and extra attention paid to their pet causes. Teabaggers want to be rewarded with crazies who scream nonsense about socialism, buy into bogus internet rumors, and engage in McCarthyist games, like Texas' Ted Cruz. Neocons want more wars, because senseless death and mayhem give them bizarre gratification. Theocons want their bigotry enshrined in law.

Gifts, gifts, gifts!

Democrats are winning because our gifts are more relevant to people's lives than theirs. We offer health care, education, a living wage, and a focus on building stronger families and communities. They appeal to the bigotries and self-interest of their shrinking base. But in both cases, it really comes down to gifts.

It's just that our gifts are better because, you know, they actually help people.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:43 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's not 'bearing gifts' it's 'being grifts' (22+ / 0-)

    You've got the (R) in the wrong place.

    You can't assassinate the character of any of modern conservative. You'd have to find where it was buried, dig it up, resurrect it, then kill it. And killing a zombie isn't really assassination, is it?

    by ontheleftcoast on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:52:58 AM PST

  •  I saw something on FB the other day that (31+ / 0-)

    puts the whole "gift" thing nicely into perspective.

    While you were busy complaining about people on food stamps buying candy bars with "your" money, Exxon just pocketed $9,000 of your tax dollars

    Conservatives seem to believe that the rich will work harder if we give them more, and the poor will work harder if we give them less. E.J. Dionne

    by blueyescryinintherain on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:53:20 AM PST

  •  Absolutely. (13+ / 0-)

    Lack of self-interest is totally what you would think of when it comes to Mitt Romney. He should get a medal for his altruism.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 10:53:35 AM PST

  •  Caution: Acquiescing to the right's terminology (4+ / 0-)

    in this case using 'gifts' and agreeing with it, however the differences are presented, is always fodder for their side in terms of propaganda. While I agree with the total of what you are saying, this will be used to say the left's constituencies are all 'takers'...just sayin'.

    •  But Democrats need to own it (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, peptabysmal, jck, PorridgeGun

      Democrats need to make it clear that "We will deliver for YOU".  And I don't think Obama gets that well enough.  It is absolutely about delivering the goods.  It's about getting your share of the pie.  

      It's not about "shared sacrifice".  THAT is the terminology that's the loser.   Because no one wants to sacrifice and no one believes sacrifice is going to be shared.

      •  Yeah.. but no one wants to pay for it either.. (0+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        Obama has been successful in that he has talked the GOP into letting him keep borrowing for all the goodies.. and, at the same time, to pit his constituency against the boogie man rich folks who really should be paying for all this (according to him).

        In other words.. there has been absolutely no downside to promising and delivering more and more because it's all on the credit card!  And no one will ever get the bill!

        If we did things like social democracies in Europe did things, then the middle class would be paying up the ying yang, and might feel differently about voting for the guy with the biggest promises to the biggest voting bloc.

        So.. "own it" if you like.. but some day there may come a reckoning.

        •  Either this is snark or you are an ignorant troll (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Liberal Capitalist

          I hope the former. I withhold judgment for now. That whole concept of the national "credit card" is hilariously wrong.

          Jon Husted is a dick.

          by anastasia p on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:57:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  When they stop putting needless wars on credit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          and Americans have healthcare equal to the French I'll consider worrying about the debt.   As it is I'm too busy listening to my mother complain that she's getting almost no interest on her government bonds.

          •  I was the first to rail against unpaid wars (0+ / 0-)

            which, BTW, were a drop in the bucket compared to our current mess.

            But you completely miss the point.

            The French PAY for their healthcare.  Every taxpayer pays multiple times what Americans pay.  They don't put their healthcare costs on borrowed money.

        •  Money is a figment of the imagination, much as (0+ / 0-)

          the written word is an iconic representation of speech and thought. How many units of money we use also provides a measure of relative activity and value. Still, whether as a representation or measuring tool, money ought not to be artificially constricted or rationed. It would make more sense to ration nails because steel is actually scarce. Modern currency can be generated without limits. So, rationing it is merely a power play on the part of Congress.
          Unfortunately, money is no different than any other comodity in that, when it is rationed, people start hoarding. And the hoarding leads to stagnation.

          We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

          by hannah on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:22:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah.. You keep saying so.. (0+ / 0-)

            But you have yet to come up with any reputable economist who backs you up.

            You and the internet "experts" you quote have zero credibility.  Debts will be paid.  If we get lucky and the economy soars, and revenues start pouring in, then we can pay those debts off.

            If not, your kids and mine will be slaves to government debt.  Their taxes will go, in large measure, to pay off the interest and principle of our spending and they will have that much less for their own services.

            •  Debts will be paid, but not necessarily in (0+ / 0-)

              money. And some people will continue to be exploited by people who promise compensation and don't deliver.
              It is estimated that $40 trillion in debts simply disappeared in the collapse.
              Every dollar is a debt, a certified IOU. Every person can issue personal IOUs. Whether anyone else will credit them is questionable.
              Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. "Credo" means "I believe." If you do not believe, that's your problem -- not something I can do anything about. Like Obama, I am not possessed of the Jedi Mind Meld.

              I can see, btw, why some people are upset by the combination of two principles. Binary thinkers do not get the union of forces. Togetherness is not their forte. Things have to remain in opposition. If there is no opposition, then that's a sign that one side has been destroyed. I suspect they are not nihilists because they don't aim to destroy. Resistance is enough.

              We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

              by hannah on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 01:34:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  I think this is complicated. Of course we want to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        call BS on Mitt's claim, but I don't know that we want to give up on the whole idea of un-selfish political motivation, certainly where the Left is concerned, and we don't want to give up arguing for policies on the basis that they are, precisely, good for the whole country and not just some segment or 'interest'.  

        This btw is a very old debate, between the idea of a 'Republic' formed by people coming together and at least momentarily transcending their personal interests to act for the public or general good, and the more modern (like 17th C) idea of the State existing purely to divvy up the goodies to various specific interests, based on how much pressure they can exert by way of 'civil society.'    Both conceptions are wired deeply into our own political traditions and were there from the start.  I think it's a losing game to cede the 'republican' model to the Republican party.

        I'd say the republican (or "good for the general public") idea is even trying to sneak back into Kos' post here, near the end:

        Democrats are winning because our gifts are more relevant to people's lives than theirs. We offer health care, education, a living wage, and a focus on building stronger families and communities. They appeal to the bigotries and self-interest of their shrinking base.
        But if it's really just about "gifts, gifts, gifts", then their gifts are no less "relevant" to people's lives; they're just relevant to fewer people's lives.  Which is fine, but I think it's a meager basis for a politics.  I think we need to keep arguing that healthcare, living wage and education are better policies than the GWOT, the theocon state and Big Oil subsidies because they're better for the whole country, not just because they have somewhat broader constituencies.
        •  You have to make it personal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, bartcopfan

          You need to convince people that the common good is in THEIR interest not that it's an altruistic goal.  You need to convince people that government is effective.

          Like I was arguing with someone about snowplows in DC.  He says they can't afford them.  I say they can't afford not to have them.  A national capital needs to work.  

          I'm sitting here retired in my cold blue city and glad I didn't have to make the effort to go to work today with 10 inches of snow but the plow has been down my 2 block street THREE times in the last 24 hours even though only our 2 blocks need the street.  Because the snow plow cleared the street, the garbage truck picked up the garbage, the mailman delivered the mail, the kids went to school and the neighbors went to work and all manner of commerce continues because the government is delivering effective essential services.  

          These are not gifts, this is civilization.

          •  I think that's very well put--the common good is (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            in everyone's interest.  Civilization is in everyone's interest.  I'd say that's what gets obscured with the language of "gifts".   But it IS tricky, because although we do still (vaguely) live in a democratic republic, we also live in a vast, modern bureaucratic state where civil society DOES serve to allocate the state's resources based on the demands of the loudest interests.  So the game in this country is usually to define your own interests as 'general' and your opponents' interests as 'special'.  That's what Mitt was doing.  I can see why Kos might want to duck out of that game completely, having watched it play out for so long.  But I don't think we can, without unraveling basic ideas like public or civilization.  Or snowplowing...

            (fortunately the snow isn't sticking today in St Louis, but I feel for those further north and east)

            •  I suppose my "me generation" gets some blame (0+ / 0-)

              My mother's WWII generation totally gets the common good argument.   It was the narrative of their lives.  We lost that narrative in both the left and right during the 60's and 70's and without it the right has been able to hijack the narrative to the point that we have the gun nuts living in their fantasy gunslinger shoot out at the OK corral world. It was the "It's a Wonderful Life" story.  People used to just totally get this.  Nothing like watching movies from the 30's and 40's to see how the narrative has changed.  Now, it's "Survivor" - who can we throw off the island next.

          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

            and while I might choose to live on a private road and pay for it to be plowed, having MY road plowed does zero good if nobody ELSE has plowed the roads, or if the main highways are impassable.

            Its the inter-connectivity that people forget.

            No man is an island. Truer now than ever before.

    •  Disagree totally (0+ / 0-)

      Talking about "gifts" to the wealthy is a winner on all levels. Stop being a scare baby.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:56:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The biggest 'takers' in all this (0+ / 0-)

      are those with the most tax breaks.

      The multinationals that make billions and pay no taxes.

      The oil companies that get subsidized.

      The defense contractors who do work that should be done by the military.

      And the billionaires who pay low, low tax rates because of loopholes.

      They get WAY more than the piddly stipends that most poor people get. Big oil gets what, 4 BILLION a year? That would likely pay for college for a large chunk of students, or at least reduce the cost by a good bit.

      Or it would cover healthcare for most of the country.

      Or build high speed rail in at least a few places.

      Or provide wifi for everybody.

      The poor (a good chunk of them are working, too) comparatively don't get much. And anything you give them WILL be spent, and not just shoved away somewhere or sent to offshore accounts.

    •  "takers" and "makers" in Con lingo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have a special meaning.

      takers = people who take orders

      makers = people who make others do things

      Sometimes the makers have to resort to bribes; if they're lucky "encouragement" will do.

      People have to be encouraged to work if they don't want to starve. If there were no people who make others do things, the whole economy would stop. In the olden days, what is now called "encouragement," used to be called "demand." The command economies of Eurasia sort of put the kabosh on such direct language. So, the MBA programs came up with a more gracious lingo.

      We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

      by hannah on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:15:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I felt nauseous when I read "Peter Beinart" in (5+ / 0-)

    ... your first sentence -- he of the toady, "more-muscular-foreign-policy," invade [INSERT MIDDLE EASTERN COUNTRY NAME HERE] lame-ass, Third Way squad -- but even he makes a valid point once in a (great) while.

    Ironically, didn't he favor extending the Bush tax cuts (yet again)?

  •  Romney keeps digging deeper. (6+ / 0-)

    The only thing better will be a Bush running in 16.  


    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:19:01 AM PST

  •  I don't see how much "winning" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    going on here. Even with a preponderance of elections lately in the "Yay" column, we're still getting jobbed, time and time again, with no end in sight.

    "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

    by bryduck on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:43:59 AM PST

  •  History best teacher, the best always .... (0+ / 0-)

    built / rebuilt infrastructure and balanced wealth and land inequalities

    The greatest emperors of rome did such and 1 was pretty openly gay and considered in the top 5 emperor due to rebuilding roads and aquaducts, building theaters and fountains and baths ( for public hygiene/ health) , and redistributed lands from the larger owners to soldiers etc

    any who didnt ended up mere footnotes in the history books

  •  During the GOP primaries, I feared Romney (4+ / 0-)

    would be nominated.

    Then I saw HE WAS THE GIFT!!!

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:47:52 AM PST

    •  Kind of... (0+ / 0-)

      although I have to admit to myself that without the 47% comments it would have been a lot closer if not a different outcome entirely. Romney was probably the repub's best chance. Who would have done better?

      •  You make a good point. (0+ / 0-)

        And that is the reason I feared him initially.

        Someone here has a sig line about how with all of his incaring, coldness, lack of depth, lack of understanding, 47%, etc etc etc, he STILL came pretty close...and that is frightening!

        Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

        by Floyd Blue on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 04:28:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Delivering "Gifts" vs. Empty Promises (0+ / 0-)

    Don't underestimate the power of what President Obama has actually done vs. the emptiness of Romney's various promises. It's very easy to promise "gifts" (and Romney was the king of making these empty promises during the campaign); it's quite another to actually DELIVER on them, something President Obama has done time and time again.

  •  Most Republicans still don't understand why they (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun, annominous

    lost, either. That is good. Hopefully a few more cycles go by before they do.

    •  Apparently most Dems still don't know why they WON (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It wasn't Kabuki theatrics, helping dig their teahadist opponents out of the ditch they dug for themselves, and certainly not using Medicare and Social Security as grand bargaining chips. If that were the case, we'd have President Romney and Senators Akin and Mourdock to put up with.

      Its frustrating watching the White House brain trust and the Democratic leadership piss away their advantage.

  •  Not only are our "gifts" better (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but they help more people. And, you know, we live in a democracy where votes are at least ostensibly allocated on the basis of persons, not dollars.

    A candidate faces a huge mathematical hurdle when he tries to appeal to the 1% at the expense of the 99%. Even Karl Rove's math can't turn that into a majority electoral win.

    ad astra per alia porci

    by harrije on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:50:58 AM PST

  •  greatest gift I got (4+ / 0-)

    My vote got me a president I am proud of.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:52:32 AM PST

  •  And don't forget gifts to the wimminz! nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter
  •  Ugh. My bad senator is in that picture. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter

    The one we have to defeat in 2016. That is SO long off. He manages to look uncrazy but he votes in lockstep with his party's extremists.

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:55:25 AM PST

  •  Whenever a wingnut (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter, mmacdDE

    accuses a democrat of promoting policies just to get votes, I tell them that they are just doing their job and responding to their constituency. The wingers don't like to hear that.

    These capitalists generally act harmoniously and in concert, to fleece the people... -Abraham Lincoln

    by HugoDog on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 11:59:16 AM PST

  •  Greatest gift to Obama was Romney's 47% speech. (4+ / 0-)
  •  Voters pay taxes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    even those of us in the miserable 47%.  That means we pay the salaries of those assholes who are protected from the sequester -- those assholes who will keep their entire salaries, health insurance, pensions and perqs.

    We are not looking for gifts -- we are looking for basic return on our investment in government -- a collective investment which should require a decent distribution of benefits.

    I'm really sick of everyone in government right now.

    " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:03:01 PM PST

  •  We win. . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter, mmacdDE

    Because -- unlike the GOP -- we understand that this country is not a fucking balance sheet.

    Sometimes, you do things not because of profit, but because they're simply the right things to do. Conservative America is totally incapable of understanding this concept.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:06:43 PM PST

  •  Democrats are better than GOP WRT ordinary (0+ / 0-)

    Americans, but that's not a very high hurdle.

    Most of the polls I've seen indicate Americans dislike Democrats but despise Republicans.

    Sounds about right.

    At some point, either the GOP will decide it should stop being a gift to the Democratic party, or some third (and/or fourth and/or fifth) party will finally rise up to take its place.

    "We deserve to be rich. You deserve to be poor" is not an effective campaign platform.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:08:12 PM PST

  •  If by "gifts" Romney means (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter, mmacdDE

    Subsidies for mega-corporations that don't need them, tax breaks for millionaires who don't need them, obscene salaries and bonuses for CEO's who run their companies into the ground, then he's spot on!

    "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

    by rocksout on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:08:55 PM PST

  •  As far as Romney is concerned (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    isn't the greatest skill as a businessman the ability to bullshit your way into a job you're not qualified for? By his own measure, Obama beat him at his own game, therefore, he should be lauded, correct?

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:11:41 PM PST

  •  I got a gift for Romney. (0+ / 0-)

    Shut the freak up!

    Republicans - they measure our national success by corporate profit margin, not the well being of the citizens.

    by egarratt on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:12:01 PM PST

  •  Now, wait a damn minute ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... do you mean, when my local car dealer runs those July 4th ads with all those spangled stars and foreworks graphics and flies flags all over the lot and erects a giant Uncle Sam windsock and he wears a red,white and blue tie on TV, he's not just being patriotic?

    Surely, you're wrong about this.

  •  He's Like A Dog With A 47% Bone..... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blukat, annominous, mmacdDE

    Romney just can't let it go.  He clearly hasn't learned a thing from his humiliating defeat.  He still believes Obama won because he's giving free stuff (ie Obamacare) to Latinos.

    And Ann Romney is blaming the media.  It's not them, it's not their policies, it's not Mitt's lame campaign, it's not because Republicans believed their bogus's because the media was against them & Obama's free gifts to minorities.

    No soul searching, no lessons learned.  Goody!

  •  I didn't vote for the President (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    based on what was in it for me specifically. I voted for him based on what was in it for us.

    As far as I can tell, that's the fundamental difference between Democratic and Republican voters.

    The GOP and their base are still enthralled by and have never had a problem with the question "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?"

    Yet it has always been the wrong question for a nation that strives to be great.

    The question should always be "Are we better off, all of us?"

    The constitution calls for a more perfect Union, not economic isolationists.

    Even the staunchest libertarian or conservative should see the enlightened self-interest in making sure that everyone is better off. It would reduce the needs for "gifts," if more people had a living wage and access to affordable education and healthcare.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:15:39 PM PST

    •  good point... Romney is projecting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The reason he'd vote for one candidate or another is that they'd "give him stuff".

      So, when he thinks "why would someone vote for a Democrat?"... he falsely assumes Democratic voters have the same selfish motivations that he does.

      Freedom isn't free. So quit whining and pay your taxes.

      by walk2live on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:09:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Romney... (0+ / 0-) just relaying the worn Republican saw about how the "culture of dependency" has given rise to a parasitical throng of America-hating voters.

    And don't think Romney is going to buy into your listed items of what teabaggers, Wall Street & billionaire batshit crazies want.

    The aforementioned are doing their patriotic deed of fucking up our government.

    And to Romney & his ilk, any willing participant in fucking up the American government is a patriot of the highest order.

    I'm worse at what I do best/ And for this gift I feel blessed. - Kurt Cobain

    by wyvern on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:16:50 PM PST

  •  This was always a dumb argument (0+ / 0-)

    Most people who vote don't do it because there's nothing better to do on Election day.  

    Every time a GOPer says something like this it should be shot down fast.  Because they will keep saying it.    

  •  Most people in the world don't think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annominous, FiredUpInCA

    basic health care is a gift. They think it is just something that everyone should have. Like a roof over one's head and food and clothing.

    By calling it a "gift" they can then push it into that "entitlement" bs.

    The guy lost because most people are wise now that medical care can be provided to all and it won't destroy the country.

    I think the most important thing is to continue to get information out. Knowledge is a powerful tool. Might be why they don't like education for all either.

    •  Want to add (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I believe that when we take care of all people in our society, it makes our society better.

      And by people I do not include corporations in that. Until a woman has to carry it nine months and go through labor to birth one, they are not people.

  •  Not Gifts - Policy (0+ / 0-)

    People support and vote for the candidate whose policy goals are in line with their desires. That is the entire point of representational Democracy. Romney framing it as "gifts" is a lame attempt to portray the desires of ordinary voters as invalid while try to pretend that the polices his supporters expect him to implement is something other then what it is.

    Of course Romney understands this perfectly. He is just upset that he lives in a nation where one person equals one vote instead of one dollar equaling one vote. At the end of the day he doesn't believe in our system of government because he has no interest in what the majority of Americans want.

    •  lol--I had a venture-capitalist bro-in-law who (0+ / 0-)

      loved to argue politics, at family gatherings & esp after a few drinks.  It usually took about 3 exchanges to get him to admit that he actually had no use for democracy, and would rather live in a monarchy.  "As long as you could be king," his wife would add.    That's always the rub.  The funny thing is that (unlike Mitt) this guy himself was totally rags-to-riches, having been born in a little shack in Wyoming.  He could not grasp the idea that in a monarchy he'd have been a peasant.

  •  we should rename Presidential Elections (0+ / 0-)

    to ... Santa Claus Competitions.

  •  In my considered opinion, self-centered (0+ / 0-)

    people do not know where their self-interest lies. As a result, their behavior is often self-destructive. Also, having no basis for comparison, the self-centered also do not know where anyone else's interest lies. If they presume to know, they are wrong.

    For example, we the people who subscribe to the Constitution of the U.S. are not looking for gifts from the agents we select and elect. Rather, the agents of government are hired to carry out certain duties and obligations for which they get paid and which the citizens are entitled to get. Citizens are entitled to be served by public officials. The functions they have taken an oath to perform are not acts of charity, nor matters of grace.

    The Cons seem to think that a Constitutional Republic is merely a secular state, whose rotating sovereign is selected by ballot instead of DNA. That the people govern makes no sense to them because in their minds the essence of society is a hierarchy. That governmental authority flows from the bottom up and not from the top down is probably incomprehensible to the authoritarian mentality. Consent, if it exists in their world view, is coerced.
    That is, the consent of the governed has to be exacted. People have to sign on the dotted line, if they are to be recognized. Moreover, once consent has been extracted, it can't be gotten back.

    It was disengenuous of Dubya and McCain to decry that the U.S. is not a dictatorship. What they meant to admit is that it's not a permanent, but a rotating dictatorship. Caliing for leadership is just resorting to a euphemism as usual.
    Decrying that Barack Obama is not a leader is doubly disengenuous. But, it does reveal a constant Con concern. Their base is fickle and if the base flips to Obama, the Cons' cause is lost.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 01:06:25 PM PST

  •  Mitt Romney, America's Guardian Angel (0+ / 0-)

    Every time a bell rings another Republican gets its wingnuttery. RING, RING.

    We love you too, Ann.

    ego sum ergo ego eram

    by glb3 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:42:44 PM PST

  •  Repubs clearly decided on this... (0+ / 0-)

    racist formulation as a talking point. Basically, if they lose to a liberal, it's because brown people and young people just want government hand-outs. What bugs me is that reporters don't stop them and say, "wait a minute, healthcare reform still relies on the private market. It's no freebie. In fact, you get charged if you don't participate." Or, "wait a minute, what about all the white voters who didn't vote for you? Women for instance. Women all want freebies too?"  Don't let them get away with this bullshit analysis.

    The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

    by LiberalLady on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 07:22:14 PM PST

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