Sanctimonious Santorum — Obama’s best bet for re-election

In 1964, as a newly-minted undergraduate with more enthusiasm than sense, I joined the quixotic effort to elect conservative Republican Barry Goldwater President of the United States.

Four years later, with less enthusiasm — too much had happened  — but with determination, I worked to push Eugene McCarthy (no relation to Tail Gunner Joe) to the Democratic nomination.

And in 1972, with the promise of LBJ’s Great Society horribly diminished by unending war in Vietnam, from the safety of the Great White North I hoped against hope for the triumph of George McGovern over Richard Nixon, whose personal letter (“Greetings from the President of the United States: You are ordered to report for induction to …”) started the sequence of events that led me north.

What do these forty going on fifty year old political campaigns have to do with today’s subject? Continue reading

Newtlear warfare — how the rich get our votes

Newt Gingrich? That Newt Gingrich? And good ol’ boy Mitt Romney, who thinks that $373,000 in speaking fees isn’t really much money? Or Rick Santorum, who hopes that America will find the moral will to bomb the crap out of the Middle East? Or Ron Paul, whose solution to the worst economic crisis in 80 years is to dismantle the government?

After the South Carolina primary, it’s time to ask the question: How do they do it?

How do Republican politicians keep getting themselves votes despite the overwhelming evidence that their policies, foreign and domestic, are disastrous? What makes so many poor and used-to-be-middle-class voters fly in the face of their own needs and rally round the flag of the fat cats? Continue reading