By Scotty Kowall
I am back. A little political commentary to start the year. I couldn't resist with all the politics in the news. Weekly, maybe not but back.
I had ComedyZine.com parked for the last few years and thought it was time to take it back on line.
I promise to be just as bipartisan as before and piss off both the right and left...
I have watched most of the Republican debates and the media commentary on the debates and candidates that followed.
What strikes me the most is the people who like Newt Gingrich say he is the smartest guy in the room and being a former professor he beats all the others with his intellectual wit.
Ironically that is the same thing the White House critics say they don't like about President Obama, that he is the smartest guy in the room, a former professor with intellectual wit...
Here is my take on the Republican candidates...
Newt Gingrich isn't the smartest guy in the room, he just thinks he is the smartest.
If he was the smartest guy in the room he wouldn't throw out nuggets of political gold to other candidates to use against him. The day after joining the Republican race for the nomination he accused his own party of "right-wing social engineering."
Smart guys don't have to explain their last comment or amend it or apologize for it. Smart guys don't change their positions so many times it can be used against them. Smart guys don't go on angry tirades in their concession speeches as he did in Iowa. Newt Gingrich is never the smartest guy in the room unless he is by himself...
Newt Gingrich is a good talker but that doesn't mean he makes a lot of sense. Michele Bachmann was absolutely right Gingrich was “influence peddling” for Freddie Mac. He may not have registered as a lobbyist but for all intensive purposes he was a lobbyist.
He knows, it, the American people know it and Bob Dole knows it. Yes a call back to Bob Dole. Congressman Ron Paul too was correct in that Gingrich profited off of American taxpayers. The $1.6 million Gingrich was paid by Freddie Mac was with government money. The American taxpayer bailout was in part due to Newt Gingrich. However Gingrich doesn't see it that way he considers it working in the private sector.
The problem for Gingrich is making people believe he can make Washington work when his own party removed him as Speaker of the House and while in the private sector he took money from Freddie Mac among others. Newt Gingrich being president is akin to Bernie Madoff being named U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chairman.
It is hard to be believe a Washington insider like Newt Gingrich could now lead Washington away from some of the very problems caused by Washington politicians. The challenge Gingrich now faces is explaining to the American taxpayers why it was okay for Freddie Mac to pay him $1.6 million of their money. Gingrich could make public some of his letters and e-mails to Freddie Mac to prove his advice was as a "historian" as he claims. The sooner he does it the better because his connection to Freddie Mac is not going to go away anytime soon. Ron Paul and Mitt Romney will make sure of that...
Mitt Romney is right out of central casting. If you were going to make a movie, Mitt Romney could play the part of the president. He stands tall, smiles has and good hair. He looks like every movie president but this isn't the movies and that is the problem for Romney.
Republican caucus and primary voters don't know whether Mitt Romney is true to his statements or just acting to get elected. Like his Republican counterpart Newt Gingrich, Romney has had to explain, amend or apologize for past statements. That on top of many Republican Evangelical Christians not being exactly sold on Mormonism, it makes a tough race for the former Massachusetts governor. Four years ago the Rev. Jeremiah Wright the pastor of then Senator Obama's church, the Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago became the target of Obama's opponents. Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee will make his Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the target.
Just as 4 years ago we heard of all the strange things going on at Trinity United Church of Christ, I am sure Romney's opponents will tell us of all the weird thing going on at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The debate will become whether Christians think Mormons are Christian. It could get ugly as Mormons try and explain the planet Kolob, magic underwear and the LDS Church posthumously baptizing Jewish Holocaust victims. Whether any of it is true or false, I do not know but it is out there on the web and it will become part of the debate regardless...
Ron Paul is the smartest man in the room. That is his problem since it has been a long time since Republicans voted for the smartest man as a nominee. Ron Paul has an actual plan to save money by eliminating many federal departments.
He also wants to stop giving American taxpayer money to foreign governments. Eliminating federal departments and eliminating foreign aid, you would think Republicans would love that and Ron Paul. However Ron Paul also wants to save money by closing military bases around the world and bringing the troops home.
Apparently Ron Paul doesn't think America has to have a military base in Germany to protect us from the Soviet Union and the Eastern block counties since the Soviet Union fell years ago. All of the other Republican candidates and President Obama believe in the military status quo. They all want to have American bases stationed around the world. Of course they do, many of their political contributions come from corporations that make money selling their products and services to the United States military.
All of Ron Paul's Republican rivals are so sure Iran has or will have nuclear weapons that they are ready to bomb Iran immediately, regardless of cost or how they would pay for a war with Iran. Ron Paul would rather use diplomacy than bombs, his Republican rivals would rather bomb and ask questions later, mainly they imply because of Israel. That may sound good on a TV sound byte but if the US bombed Iran, they might provoke Iran to attack Israel and cause more problems than good for Israel. I have heard Ron Paul state that if Israel wants to bomb Iran that is their business, they don't need America's approval. They are a sovereign nation and can do what they want.
The Republican base being so militaristic makes a tough race for Ron Paul. He also faces stiff competition from the mainstream media.
All of the media, cable and broadcast networks have an obvious bias against Ron Paul.
They always have and they always will. You can see it every time he gets interviewed, the questions are loaded and misleading. Bob Schieffer to Chris Mathews all have loaded questions and misleading statements when it comes to Ron Paul. There is a reason why the media dislikes Ron Paul. He rails against many of the things that the media makes money from.
The news media gets higher television ratings and one could assume more advertising money during times of war. Many of the advertisers on the television networks are from pharmaceutical companies, the very same pharmaceutical companies that Ron Paul rails against. Ron Paul is the only candidate that can't be bought. All the other candidates both Democrat and Republican are owned by big corporations or unions, the only difference is which companies own them.
Republicans are owned by pharmaceutical and military companies as well as others, Democrats are owned by the unions, so-called green companies as well as others. Ron Paul has a difficult race not only does he have to go against his Republican rivals but he has to go against the corporate interests and the media they own...
Rick Santorum is the Christian candidate, not that the others aren't Christian, they are, well maybe not Romney but Rick Santorum is all about religion although one could argue the same for Michelle Bachmann. Rick Santorum is a homeschooling dad. Michele Bachmann a homeschooling mom. Homeschooling is preferred by religious Christians because they fear their children would be taught science and other dangerous ideas in public schools. God knows we wouldn't want our children to grow up to be scientists.
Santorum also makes marriage between a man and a woman part of his campaign. He has this abiding fear that gay sex would lead to as Santorum states it, "man on dog." I am sure Rick Santorum will get the vote of every heterosexual dog owner worried that his dog might go gay.
Both Santorum and Bachmann seem to get their marching orders from God or at least they think it is from God. We recently had a president that said God spoke to him. That president George W. Bush led America into a costly war with Iraq. Bush thought God spoke to him, sadly it turned out to be Dick Cheney whispering into Bush's ear. Both Santorum and Bachmann are very pro-war, ready to attack Iran regardless the cost. Santorum is also big government. While senator he voted for the federal government to intercede into a private legal matter of Terri Schiavo's family. He voted to increase Medicare prescription drug benefits. He voted for federal unfunded mandate No Child Left Behind Act.
Rick Santorum is a big spending Republican, that is of course the major difference between Santorum and Bachmann. Michelle Bachmann came into the Congress on a wave of the anti-spending Tea Party. She voted against increasing the debt ceiling. She voted against science and technology funding, which makes sense since she is both anti-spending and anti-science. Bachmann is pro-war but she never says how she would pay for her wars including her war with Iran in which she recently said she would deploy Patriot missiles, ballistic missiles and other weapon systems in the U.S. and the Middle East. Both Santorum and Bachmann are loved by the religious Christians, Santorum more so than Bachmann considering her disappointing finish in Iowa led her to suspend of her campaign. Santorum may have a more difficult time gaining votes among the more secular people.
Rick Perry too is a favorite of the religious right but his bumbling absent-mindedness is troubling for anyone looking to pick someone ready to go toe to toe with President Obama...
Jon Huntsman is a relic of the past Republican Party, from a day when moderate Republicans had a chance at winning the nomination. Compared to the Tea Party, Huntsman is a big spender who wants to reorient the Department of Education in a time many Republicans want get rid of it. Like most Republicans running for president he is for a strong military but never explains how he would pay for it. He wants to "end too-big-to-fail" corporations but at the same time end Dodd-Frank regulatory rules. The only way to "end too-big-to-fail" is more government regulations.
Jon Huntsman is a plain vanilla candidate that has three things going against him. He doesn't get people excited. He worked for President Obama as an ambassador to China. He, like Mitt Romney is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am not making a judgment on the Mormon Church, just a judgment on the media and people that vote. After the last presidential election we saw Jeremiah Wright and the Trinity United Church of Christ on television 24 hours a day in a very unflattering way. If Romney or Huntsman get the nomination, get ready for all kinds of stories on the Mormon Church, some true, some not so true. If you don't believe it, I have a bridge to sell you on the planet Kolob...
When you look at the current field of Republican presidential candidates, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman, you have to imagine Governor Haley Barbour is back in Mississippi sipping on a Mississippi mudslide, thinking what could have been had he joined the race...
COPYRIGHT 2012, SCOTTY KOWALL
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED