Why Mitt Romney? “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to hold a pen” — Grover Norquist

The GOP has selected Romney as their presidential candidate exactly because of what Bryan Fischer publicly mocked him for recently: “if Mitt Romney can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted by a conservative radio talk show host in Middle America, then how is he going to stand up to the Chinese? How is he going to stand up to Putin? How is he going to stand up to North Korea if he can be pushed around by a yokel like me? 

Paul Krugman explains why that quality is a perfect choice for the establishment Republicans — Mitt’s the candidate who will do and say anything, the one who can be pushed around, intimidated, coerced, co-opted:

[Paul Krugman] said Romney would be wedded to Ryan’s economic policy prescriptions which have become too entrenched on the right: Above all, massive tax cuts for the rich and draconian spending cuts on programs for the less fortunate, which Krugman argues will amount to an “upward distribution of income plan.”

“You’re never going to get people in the Republican Party accepting the idea that unemployment and food stamps insurance are expansionary,” he said. “That they are actually policies that are good for employment. They’re too wedded to the notion that the undeserving poor … are the cause of unemployment. So I think they’re basically incapable of doing what needs to be done to support this economy.”

[...] Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, arguably the most influential outside figure among modern Republicans, says Romney’s role would be to rubber-stamp Ryan’s agenda.

“We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget,” he told New York magazine. “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.” Of course, the GOP would still have to deal with rebelling Democrats, but a president on board with the broader approach would open up a major opportunity to advance at least parts of Ryan’s vision.

Read all: Electing Romney Is Like Electing Paul Ryan 

The GOP just needs an empty, wooden horse (Romney) to get elected — they’ll be the Trojans hiding inside, gripping their Paul Ryan Budget (tax cuts for the rich – austerity for the rest of us).

image: destroythegop

Morning Bunker Report: Monday 5.7.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—


MITT ROMNEY on the other hand, is proposing the exact opposite. His tax plan would give massive tax cuts to the rich. (The top 0.1% for example, would recieved a $264,000 tax cut.) Meanwhile, in a closed-door fundraiser, Romney revealed he planned to make massive reductions in education spending. He is also proposing cutting funding for infrastructure, including the possible elimination of the Department of Housing and Urban development. — ThinkProgress

THE REPUBLICANS who control the House are using cuts to food aid, health care and social services like Meals on Wheels to protect the Pentagon from a wave of budget cuts come January. The reductions, while controversial, are but a fraction of what Republicans called for in the broader, nonbinding budget plan they passed in March. Totaling a little more than $300 billion over a decade, the new cuts are aimed less at tackling $1 trillion-plus government deficits and more at preventing cuts to troop levels and military modernization. The House Budget Committee meets Monday to officially act on the measure, the product of six separate House panels. It faces a likely floor vote Thursday. — MiamiHerald

FOX NEWS: Murdoch’s most toxic legacy — My complaint is that Fox pretends very hard to be something it is not, and in the process contributes to the corrosive cynicism that has polarized our public discourse. I doubt that people at Fox News really believe their programming is “fair and balanced” — that’s just a slogan for the suckers — but they probably are convinced that what they have created is the conservative counterweight to a media elite long marinated in liberal bias. They believe that they are doing exactly what other serious news organizations do; they just do it for an audience that had been left out before Fox came along. [...] In the digital era of do-it-yourself news consumption, it is easier than ever to assemble an information diet that simply confirms your prejudices. Traditional news organizations, for all their shortcomings, see it as their mission to provide — and test — the information you need to form intelligent opinions. We aim to challenge lazy assumptions. Fox panders to them. — Bill Keller

MICHELE BACHMANN makes shit up on CBS’ Face the Nation — Bachmann: “Actually, if you look at the 2010 elections, women went Republican. They didn’t go Democrat, and they will this time as well, because women are more concerned about the economy and jobs for themselves, for their husbands, for their children, and that’s not happened because Obama’s broken his promises.”— ThinkProgress

  • FORMER VERMONT GOVERNOR HOWARD DEAN responds — “Michele Bachmann has never had much command of the facts and that shows us exactly why… women are terrified of what the Republicans are talking about. They’re talking about basically stripping away their ability to have insurance pay for their birth control pills. Latinos are terrified of the Republicans because they seem to have a total tin ear when it comes to the basic needs of treating people with dignity. And the average American thinks that Mitt Romney doesn’t care about them. Here’s a guy that’s building, during a campaign, a mansion in Malibu with an elevator for his car. He had a Swiss bank account and invested in the Cayman Islands. I don’t think we’ve ever elected a president who’s invested in the Cayman Islands as a tax dodge before. This candidacy is a shipwreck, and for Michele Bachmann to go out there and claim that women are going to vote for Mitt Romney is perfectly ridiculous.” — Raw Story

JOHN MCCAIN STILL (hilariously / sadly?) trying to convince us he chose Palin in 2008 because of her ‘qualifications’ — Speaking about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney selecting of a vice presidential running mate, McCain said on ABC’s “This Week” that the “primary, absolute, most important aspect is if something happened to him, would that person be well qualified to take that place?” “I happen to believe that was the … primary factor on my decision in 2008,” McCain said, “and I know it will be Mitt’s.” — POLITICO | Seriously. Just STFU, McCain. [image: TBogg]

RON PAUL supporters are causing Mitt Romney major headaches in Nevada and Maine. 

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

OBAMA CAMP: You’re damn right we take credit for killing bin Laden  — The Obama re-election campaign doesn’t appear fazed by attacks from the right about “politicizing” the killing of Osama bin Laden, and on Sunday remained on offense over what it said was one of the president’s accomplishments. “The president hasn’t been spiking the ball,” said President Obama’s senior campaign adviser David Axelrod on ABC’s This Week. “This was the one-year anniversary. It’s part of his record. And it’s certainly a legitimate part of his record to talk about.” Axelrod said Obama followed through with his promise that catching the al-Qaeda leader would be a top priority. “And then he ordered a mission that was — was, frankly, risky, dangerous,” he said. “Bob Gates said it was one of the most courageous, one of the gutsiest decisions he’s ever seen a president make. And it turned out successfully.” Axelrod was responding to an outside conservative group’s ad — hailed by Karl Rove and widely discussed in the conservative blogosphere — that utilizes ominous music to sharply attack Obama for taking credit for the killing of Bin Laden on the first anniversary last week. “Heroes don’t seek credit,” the ad said. “Heroes don’t politicize their acts of valor.” “Yes, it’s the swift boating of the president,” the leader of the group told Mother Jones. Republicans were particularly peeved that Obama’s campaign commercial about the killing quoted 2007 remarks from his likely opponent Mitt Romney saying it’s “not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars” to catch bin Laden. — TPM

  • ONE YEAR AGO, President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden, ending a near-decade-long manhunt. Amid U.S. celebrations, it was largely forgotten that the delay in getting the terrorist leader resulted from blunders by George W. Bush and his neocon advisers, Robert Parry wrote in 2011. [...] Though it remains unclear what the long-term consequences of this action will be, Obama’s success – after years of Bush’s failure – does suggest one important lesson: U.S. officials would be well advised to ignore the special pleadings of the neocons who remain highly influential inside Official Washington. The neocons, along with other Bush advisers, exploited the 9/11 tragedy to justify a policy of inserting U.S. military forces into the heart of the Arab world to the detriment of bringing the masterminds of 9/11 to justice. That miscalculation did horrendous damage to both the United States and the people of the Middle East. It also allowed Osama bin Laden to remain at large for more than nine years. — Consortiumnews

LEARNING FROM THE MISTAKES OF OTHERS?

Hollande versus Sarkozy via Flickr FRENCH ELECTIONS: “Mr. Normal” defeats “President of the Rich” — The defeat of the most unpopular French president ever to run for re-election was not simply the result of the global financial crisis or eurozone debt turmoil. It was also down to the intense public dislike of the man seen as “President of the Rich” who had swept to victory in 2007 with a huge mandate to change France. Most French people felt he had failed to deliver his promises, and he was criticised for his ostentatious display of wealth, favouring the rich and leaving behind him more than 2.8 million unemployed. Political analysts said anti-Sarkozyism had become a cultural phenomenon in France. The turnout was high, estimated at around 80%. Hollande is the first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand’s re-election in 1988. Thousands of cheering supporters, including many intellectuals and arts figures, massed at Paris’s Place de la Bastille, a flashpoint of the 1789 French revolution, where the left celebrated Mitterrand’s first historic victory in 1981. [...] Hollande’s manifesto is based on scrapping Sarkozy’s tax breaks for the rich and levying more from high earners to finance what he deems essential spending, including creating 60,000 posts in France’s under-performing school system. He has pledged to keep the public deficit capped but for his delicate balancing act to work he needs a swift return to growth in France, despite economists warning of over-optimistic official growth forecasts that need to be trimmed. — Raw Story 

  • GREECE ALSO rejects austerity — In a major upset that will not be welcomed by the crisis-plagued country’s eurozone partners, the two forces that had agreed to enact unpopular belt-tightening in return for rescue funds appeared headed for a beating, with none being able to form a government. After nearly 40 years of dominating the Greek political scene, the centre-right New Democracy and socialist Pasok saw support drop dramatically in favour of parties that had virulently opposed the tough austerity dictated by international creditors. — Raw Story
  • FOUR YEARS LATER and apparently the “give rich assholes free money” strategy isn’t work out so well. — Duncan Black
  • THE GERMANS will cling to their fantasies of prosperity through pain, and will insist that continuing with their failed strategy is the only responsible thing to do. But it seems that they will no longer have unquestioning support from the Élysée Palace. And that, believe it or not, means that both the euro and the European project now have a better chance of surviving than they did a few days ago. — Paul Krugman

THE FRENCH ELECTION offers good and bad news for Obama. “For President Obama, the sight of Nicolas Sarkozy, a fellow member of the Presidential class of 2007-2008, being sent packing by French voters will bring mixed feelings…When the campaign turns to questions of economics, what is happening in Europe should provide Obama with plenty of arguments with which to flay his opponents. Republicans say they want to slash government spending and focus on the deficit regardless of the immediate economic situation. The Europeans have carried out that experiment, and, to say the least, it hasn’t turned out very well. From this side of the Atlantic, the American economic recovery seems pretty impressive. After more than three years of economic stagnation, most Europeans would gladly take G.D.P. growth of two-to-three per cent and an unemployment rate of eight per cent.” — John Cassidy in The New Yorker.

WOMEN ARE the richer sex, if by “richer” you mean “making less money.”

I wrote about this subject on Equal Pay Day, before I came across Bryce Covert’s fabulous Nation post “How to Close the Gender Wage Gap In Just Seven Easy* Steps.” (Do read it for serious policy ideas written with verve.) One of her steps: raise the minimum wage. See? Easy! — Are Women the Richer Sex?