Romney’s Randian perspective: the Makers and the 47 percent Takers

David Brooks in the NYTimes: “Romney’s comment is a country-club fantasy. It’s what self-satisfied millionaires say to each other. It reinforces every negative view people have about Romney.”

“The Republican Party, and apparently Mitt Romney, too, has shifted over toward a much more hyperindividualistic and atomistic social view — from the Reaganesque language of common citizenship to the libertarian language of makers and takers. There’s no way the country will trust the Republican Party to reform the welfare state if that party doesn’t have a basic commitment to provide a safety net for those who suffer for no fault of their own.

“The final thing the comment suggests is that Romney knows nothing about ambition and motivation. The formula he sketches is this: People who are forced to make it on their own have drive. People who receive benefits have dependency.

“But, of course, no middle-class parent acts as if this is true. Middle-class parents don’t deprive their children of benefits so they can learn to struggle on their own. They shower benefits on their children to give them more opportunities — so they can play sports, go on foreign trips and develop more skills.

“People are motivated when they feel competent. They are motivated when they have more opportunities. Ambition is fired by possibility, not by deprivation, as a tour through the world’s poorest regions makes clear.”

It’s interesting that some Catholic leaders have spoken out about Paul Ryan and how his love of Ayn Rand’s economic philosophy (screw the poor) actually conflicts sharply with the ethics of Christian behavior.

I wonder if the LDS Church will ever speak out about Mitt Romney‘s embrace of the same libertarian philosophy? Or his campaign of lying daily? Especially since he represents their religion so publicly.

My guess would be no – they will never speak out against Mitt. The Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would never allow that. In fact I’m sure they’re even willing to overlook the money he made with Stericycle, as long as they received the required tithe from any profits made.

Paul Ryan’s speech: the Romney campaign has officially embraced the extreme

David Corn reacts to Paul Ryan’s speech, which demonstrated that the Romney campaign is not moving to the middle but has embraced a fundamental extremism:

His message literally was: You should be on your own, left alone to define your own journey, your own happiness. (Unless of course, there is an unwanted pregnancy, even one that occurred due to rape.) “That’s the American Dream,” he contended. “That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.”

With such language—which was vetted by Romney Central Command—Ryan was not pressing the obvious case that Romney is a pragmatic Mr. Fixit who could be a competent steward of the still-struggling American economy. He was announcing that he and Romney aim to remake American society. He was essentially issuing a declaration of ideological warfare: Government is the enemy of freedom and the cause of the nation’s economic woes; it must be crushed. And, yes, taxes must be slashed for all, which would include those on the highest rungs.

[...] Ryan was selling libertarian articles of faith: Downsize the government and the welfare state, and all will be well; the economic downturn had nothing to do with corporate shenanigans or deregulation; and if the Medicare guarantee is dumped, the elderly will fare better in the free flowing corporate marketplace. Trust in this theology, he was saying, and the nation will revive—and he was not just speaking for himself. This was now the official sales pitch of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

— With Ryan Speech, Romney Campaign Goes Full Tea Party | Mother Jones

Ron Paul got his

Think Progress: Texas Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a libertarian hero, last year said that allowing Social Security to exist is akin to permitting slavery. But during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today, Paul admitted to the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein that he collects Social Security checks anyway:

STEIN: A bit of a personal question then, are you on Social Security? Do you get Social Security checks?

PAUL: I do.

STEIN: Well, I mean, is there — you just told younger generations that they should ween themselves off this social contract.

PAUL: That is true.

STEIN: But you haven’t done it yourself…Don’t you think you chould have set a good example for the future generations. You’re not the wealthiest man in congress, I know that, but you have enough means to take care of yourself in retirement…Couldn’t you have set an example?

PAUL: No. I think the programs are so designed, just as I use the post office too, I use government highways, I do that too, I use the banks, the federal reserve system, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t work to remove this in the same way on Social Security.

It’s ‘the system,’ man. So while Paul got his, he’s working to cancel yours.

“Honest” rapes: the world according to ‘Dr.’ Ron Paul

Quote

“If it’s an honest rape, that individual should go immediately to the emergency room, I would give them a shot of estrogen.” — Ron Paul on abortion


image: paxamericana

paxamericana: Dr. Paul delivering a “fake rape” baby.

10 interesting things to read this morning

1. A new analysis from Citizens for Tax Justice has determined that the Buffett rule as laid out in Obama’s SOTU could raise up to $50 billion per year to pay down the deficit, while affecting just 0.08 percent of taxpayers. — Analyzing the Buffett Rule

2. President Obama is announcing Friday morning a new proposal to limit federal student loans for students going to schools not making an effort to curb costs. There will be more details when he speaks at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. — Obama to Announce Proposal to Push Colleges to Lower Tuition

3. Watch a 1994 debate between Mittens Romney and Senate incumbent Ted Kennedy, where a partially vibrant Romney attacked Kennedy’s blind trusts, saying: “The blind trust is an age-old ruse. You give a blind trust rules. You can say to a blind trust, don’t invest in properties which would be in conflict of interest or where the seller might think they’re going to get an advantage from me.” This is completely opposite to what Romney says about HIS blind trusts today — plus, and most gratifyingly, Sen. Kennedy went on to trounce Mitt’s ass in this video and in the voting booth:

4. The newly-released GDP numbers fell a little short of expectations, but given the larger trajectory, it was at least encouraging to see the domestic economy moving in the right direction in the final three months of 2011. [...] Here’s a chart showing GDP numbers by quarter since the Great Recession began. The red columns show the economy under the Bush administration; the blue columns show the economy under the Obama administration.  —  Economy shows signs of life

5. “If President Obama is the food stamp president, then Bush was the planes flying into the buildings president.” — Bill Maher, HBO’s Real Time

6. Goodbye to unions, goodbye to the middle class: the percentage of workers represented by a union dipped slightly in 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said on Friday, as organized labor came under attack in states once considered union strongholds, including Wisconsin and Ohio. — Union membership slipped further as attacks came in 2011

7. Romney is also obviously shameless, a mushy walking inconsistency, and is also quite a facile liar. But he is incredibly disciplined. It ought to be humiliating news that after a year of campaigning and seventeen debates, Romney had to go find a debate coach, so that he might arrange the syllables coming out of his mouth in such a way that he sounds at last like a man one wouldn’t be ashamed to vote for… — Facile Mitt Aims for Newt in One Fell Floridian Thwack

8. The Obama administration announced Friday a new inquiry to investigate fraud in the mortgage-backed securities market, whose billion-dollar implosion helped trigger the global financial crisis. — White House announces investigation of subprime mortgage fraud

9. A full 100 percent of economists agreed that permanently raising the federal tax rate by 1 percent for those in the top income tax bracket would increase federal tax revenue over the next 10 years. By contrast, only 66 percent of the general public agreed that this was the case, with just 50 percent of Republicans concurring and 80 percent of Democrats. The misconception could partly explain why there’s such aversion to tax increases. — Ezra Klein: Average Americans don’t think like economists

10. The security camera video of Kentucky Senator Rand Paul’s encounter with Nashville airport TSA agents is here, complete with wacky libertarian captions, so now you can make your own determination about how full of shit he was when he told his communications manager he was being detained by the TSA. Our verdict: still totally full of shit… Maybe Rand Paul speaks in a kind of old-timey way, and uses “detained” to just mean “slowed down…” — Video Shows Exactly How Full of Shit Rand Paul Was About Being ‘Detained’

Remember that uniformed war vet who appeared with Ron Paul on Tuesday night?

Sure, that Army reservist should have known better. But RON PAUL, a congressman for 30 years, should have definitely known better than to use this young man for political purposes, knowing he’d get into hot water. Thanks, Uncle Ron — support the troops! 

Pandering Ron Paul for President

“Here’s why Paul has absolutely no chance of ever becoming president: Americans were not ready to vote for a 72-year-old President McCain in 2008, so they’re sure not ready to vote for a 77-year-old President Paul in 2012.”

Why his silly campaign launch today really matters for 2012

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Plus? If I’m not mistaken, the Legalize Heroin‘ fans are still considered the fringe in America. Not a big base. And I won’t call Paul a “Truther” because he says he’s not — but I WILL say he has pandered to Truthers in the past. I’m not even going to get into his historical racist crap (coincidence he used $5 million of his remaining 2008 campaign funds to start the tea party?) or his phony less-government-unless-you-have-a uterus pandering to the fundies.

For those who do support Paul, apparently they also believe in recycling — which is a good thing. They can use that sign again in 2016: 

PaulRonSupprtrAmendedSignJoeMartin5-10-11CNeibergallAP

Political revisionism FYI

Thanks to Rand Paul, arguments from the fringe became mainstream Republican talking points, which were easily defeated with historical facts.

Talking Points Memo:

The idea that the modern day Democratic Party is the political party that really has blood on its hands from opposing integration is being advanced more frequently these days among some conservatives, but mostly at the fringes of the Republican Party. Until now. No longer is it just fringe revisionism.

In its defense of Rand Paul’s libertarian opposition to the Civil Rights Acts, the National Republican Senatorial Committee made this “idea” an official party talking point yesterday. NRSC spokesperson Brian Walsh blasted an email to reporters, writing: “As a side note, I would point out the irony – which seems to have been lost in some of the news coverage — that the same party seeking to manufacture this issue today, is in fact the same political party which led the filibuster against the Civil Rights Act in 1964.”

So there you have it right out in the open. The modern political party with a bad track record on civil rights is … the Democratic Party.

We got in touch with Princeton historian Sean Wilentz to expound on this point. Like anyone else who knows the real history of the last half century, Wilentz isn’t buying the revisionism:

Everybody knows that in 1964, a proud southern Democratic President, Lyndon Johnson, pushed hard to secure the Civil Rights Bill, with the aid of a coalition of northern Democrats and Republicans. This sent the defeated segregationist Southern Democrats (led by Strom Thurmond) fleeing into the Republican Party, where its remnants, along with a younger generation of extremist conservative white southerners, including Rand Paul, still reside.


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