A Draperesque Vision of America

MittRomney as Don DraperCan an anti-woman, anti-black, anti-senior, anti-sick, anti-worker, anti-unemployed, anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-education, anti-union, anti-peace, anti-environment, anti-science, anti-Wall-Street-reform, anti-Geneva-Convention, anti-world presidential candidate win?*

That seems unfair. Let me re-phrase it. Can a candidate wishing to robo-sign teapublican legislation to return us to some mythological Don Draperesque vision of America win against this incumbent president?**

Man, those early sixties were good times. When everyone was happy, white, middle class and smoked. The women were valium-laced and the men were drunk. And why not? The bomb was going to kill us anyway.

There were some good things. Not so many people or cars. Neighborhoods were safe for kids to play. People visited each other. Phone calls were important and brief. Photos were special. The air was clean. The difference between a poor man and one well-to-do was only a thousand dollars. The store on the corner was owned by the person who worked in the store on the corner. We believed what people said on television.

And then we found out. What they said on television was not true. Everyone wasn’t happy. Nor white. And certainly not middle class. Our schools were not equal. Our society wasn’t fair. Each small town was a fiefdom of power, corruption and meanness. Smoking was an addiction that killed you and they sold it to us anyway. Diet drugs didn’t keep you skinny. Booze didn’t help anything. Our parents loved in the American way, but mostly saved the good stuff for themselves. And the war just went on and on and on. And people kept dying.

With all do respect to Beaver, Opie and Willard, I’d rather we didn’t go back. Every step forward was measured in somebody’s blood. And really, we haven’t gone that far.

The 1959 Rambler with MittThe Rambler candidate of the old establishment Republican party, Willard Mitt Romney, appears to be the nominee – it is his turn. It took Romney more than $100 million to beat Santorum, Gingrich, Bachmann, Perry, Huntsman, Cain and Paul. When Santorum dropped out, Romney had only won four primaries by 50% or more – Massachusetts; Virginia (only Paul and Romney were on the ballot); Puerto Rico; and Washington, DC. Hardly a mandate. People don’t seem to like him. Must take after his dad.

You can’t pick up a paper or watch the news these days without learning of a new poll that makes this race seem close. How can that be? You have an unpopular candidate surrounded by the same advisors spewing the same talking points on policy that got us into the biggest mess of our lifetimes. Over and over again we are promised that we need to have more faith. We need to believe in the markets. We need to set the markets free. That the corporations know best. The bigger they are the more they know and we couldn’t possibly understand. That is why the government shouldn’t regulate them. The markets will take care us just like they always have. But first the corporate owners, the unimaginably wealthy, need a little more money. Just lower the tax rates a bit more. The poor would just waste it and the middle class don’t know they don’t have it. Another tax break and the rich will quit being scared, come out of their vast mansions and trickle on us.

Have enough people forgotten what it was like to live during the Bush years and what they did to us to give them four more years? The same advisors, the same talking points, the same sabres rattled, the same promise of trickling on us. How can a any voter expect the outcome to be different?

These people lied to us for war. They used our love for this country to enrich their friends, squander our wealth, waste a generation and kill many tens of thousands of people.

Have the Republicans found enough people to vote against their interests or is it possible there are that many voters who are just unwilling to admit how wrong they have been all along?

Sounds implausable, doesn’t it? It was less than four years ago that a one-term senator named Barack Hussein Obama took the nomination from Hillary Clinton and went on to beat John McCain. Of course, people like Barack Obama.

 


 

* For simplicity, the most recent candidate Mitt Romney was used. Were all versions of candidate Mitt Romney used, a more accurate lede would be: “Can a candidate who goes both ways on old women, working or unemployed, regardless of immigration status, country of origin, ethnic background, or religion; science, torture, war, banking regulation and or the future of the world, win the presidential election?” And that shouldn’t be correct.

As to the specific positions that the most recent candidate Mitt Romney takes:

  • He is not anti-woman. Along with the trees in Michigan, he reportedly likes women. He simply believes they should work unpaid in their homes and should not have control over their bodies – instead, asking their husbands. In the case of a single woman, they should ask their church for guidance about body issues and such.
  • Nor is he anti-black. He just believes people of color should trust their state and local government to protect their rights and that businesses and schools should be colorblind. If there’s discrimination, anyone should fix that in the voting booth.
  • Nor is he anti-senior. He just believes that all of us should work more years before we get to become seniors and then be ready to live on less, while paying more, a lot more, for healthcare.
  • Nor is he anti-sick. In fact, he really would like more sick people. That will make the free market work more efficiently and bring the cost of healthcare way down. Until then, sick people should save their money and be more responsible.
  • Nor is he anti-worker. He just likes to fire people. And he doesn’t think we need a living wage – the markets can determine that much better.
  • Nor is he anti-unemployed. He just thinks they should get a job and unemployment benefits are keeping them from finding one (they should have saved their money). And that we don’t need another government program that gets people back to work. That won’t create permanent jobs. The best thing for our economy would be for it to hit bottom. That’s when the free market will work best. Once we lower the tax rate for the rich, raise the bottom tax rate and get rid of all the regulations, everyone will be working and working and working. Once everyone has been foreclosed on, housing will take off again.
  • Nor is he anti-poor. He knows they are taken care of. That there are government programs for the poor and if those programs don’t work, he’ll fix them.
  • Nor is he anti-immigrant. He just thinks it is better for them to come here legally, unless they were fleeing Castro. And that anyone here without documents should have their property seized and be deported. If they have children who speak English and are willing to fight in our wars and survive, those children should be allowed to apply for citizenship.
  • Nor is he anti-gay. Not since prep school. He even had a gay person on his staff for a while. He just doesn’t believe they should have rights protected under the Constitution.
  • Nor is he anti-Muslim. He just wouldn’t hire a Muslim to work in a Romney administration because there are not enough Muslims in the US to worry about pissing off.
  • Nor is he anti-education. He just would get rid of the Department of Education and let the states take care of teaching our children. They know best.
  • Nor is he anti-union. Oops. Yes, he is. He believes that workers shouldn’t be allowed to organize and he recommends companies with union workers use bankruptcy to reduce their obligations for pensions and wages.
  • Nor is he anti-peace. He just thinks we should go back into Iraq. Stay in Afghanistan. Help in Syria. Keep Iran for nukes by any means necessary. Ditto North Korea. The “Soviet Union” is our biggest enemy. And that Jesus is coming back to Missouri.
  • Nor is he anti-environment. He just believes that the free markets will protect our air and water from pollution. That we should open more federal lands, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf to drilling but wind farms off the Cape is bad. That oil companies can self-regulate.
  • Nor is he anti-science. Except that he is against Newt’s moon base plans, he just believes the typical Republican evolution is a theory, no proof we caused the climate change, etc.
  • Nor is he anti-Wall-Street-reform. Oops, again. Yes he is.
  • Nor is he anti-Geneva-Convention. Ditto.
  • Nor is he anti-world. He does like Israel and Canada.

One footnote on the footnote, once I subtracted registered voters of each alienated group, all that was left for Romney was .01%, which may just be enough to win.

** Romney’s vision does not include the progressive and higher taxes on the wealth, or the regulated financial industry we had during the sixties. Not to suggest this is a Goldwater vs. Kennedy rematch. Paraphrasing Lloyd Bentsen: Mitt Romney is no Barry Goldwater.

15 thoughts on “A Draperesque Vision of America

  1. Trevor Irvin

    The republican base is now ignorant enough that they don’t realize,
    or possibly don’t mind, that they are being “trickled on.”

    Like my Momma used to say, “You can’t do a damned thing
    with stupid.”

     

    Good piece Lee,

    T

    Reply
  2. Hannah

    In the bifurcated instinct-driven mind, to be for something is to be against its opposite and vice versa.  This has the additional advantage of confusing your enemies, of which there are multitudes. It’s  my considerate opinion that, if they’re real, it’s actually the duplicity that creates them.
    What logical people expect is that people will change and the appearance of consistency must be a mistake. But, fact seems to be that creatures of habit simply do the same thing over and over, regardless of the results, because results is not something they even think about.  People, who don’t think, cannot expect and vice versa.

    Reply
  3. Drill_baby

    The project of progressive liberal Democrat leftism is failing all around you and this is what you’re writing about. Really?

    Reply
    1. Lee Leslie

      Drill_baby -- that project you write about, I would I’d like to know more. No matter who I contact or where I seek information about the “project of progressive liberal Democrat,” I only find conservatives with any information -- which makes left out. Would you mind writing me off-line about how I learn more and determine if want to be a part of it? Doubtful, of course, if it is falling all around me. But if they have meetings, maybe hold hands and sing Kumbaya or have a tee-shirt or something, maybe so.

      Reply
      1. Drill_baby

         You know, the project to live under a government guaranteed safety net — free healthcare that is unaffordable at any cost. New companies won’t hire because they have no idea the healthcare costs for new employees. The project that says we can tax whoever we choose in whatever amount without consequences, and plunder our way to prosperity. The project that says we can have the government  steal other people’s property because we don’t like the cars they drive, jobs they have or how they dress. Look at California, just four months ago, the state projected a $9BN deficit that’s now projected at $16BN. The government thought it could provide all the public union salary and pensions it wanted, including extensive medical care — but guess what? A sham house of cards. The economy turned south and people with money are leaving faster than the tax man can count them. Same thing is happening in France and Greece. People are running from the Socialist horror show evolving in a continent of 500MN that barely had to pay for its own military since 1945. The project going on in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. The project of government looting and plunder, incompetence and failure. The project of endless misery and statism. That project.

        Reply
        1. Lee Leslie

          So you referring to the past 60+ years where everything was going pretty well, peace, prosperity and all that stuff. Until Newt along with a host of others forced Bill to undo what was left of the banking regulations that had protected us from great depressions -- and get rid of welfare as we knew it. Then along came the rest of the Republican project to go to expand our empire by war via lying to the people and not pay for it, pass an unfunded Medicaid prescription bill; give tax cuts to the wealthy; pass unfunded no child left behind, pressure Fannie and Freddie over the edge; push through the patriot act; etc., etc. until this President had to pick up the pieces with a Republican House that is in lockstep doing everything they can to force our country into default and make sure there is no recovery. 

          In California, I presume you are referencing what Arnold’s years left on the front steps of the Governor’s mansion for Jerry Brown to step in? In Europe, where France and Greece just voted out the conservative horror show and Germany and England may well do the same? And you think, somehow that Cuba (under sanctions for 50 years), Venezuela (a populist government that Bush and Bolton attempted to overthrow) and landlocked Bolivia are somehow postcard examples of your “project of progressive liberal Democrat leftism”? Thanks, now tell me when and where they meet and get me a link to the website so I can buy a bumber sticker.

          Reply
          1. Drill_baby

            It’s odd that you and I agree on certain things but your view is entirely political whereas mine is based upon core principles and certain mathematical empirical certainties related to economics. That is, you cannot put an infinite claim on the federal fisc to pay unlimited taxpayer funds to middle class Americans to maintain their standard of living from when they retire at 60, grow increasingly unwell and then and die at 85. They are running this experiment in Europe and it is failing. So to your point about bad Republican ideas that extend the insolvent welfare state — I am for eliminating them. I don’t care who passed the program, if it’s wasteful get rid of it. And probably a good 50 percent of government expenditure is completely wasted. Iraq War? Well, whatever. That’s water under the bridge but if you’re side is still campaigning on that — you’re preaching to a shrinking choir. How did Obama end those wars and still grow the deficit 3x from where Bush left it. My point about Bolivia, Cuba and Venezuela being model American progressive Democrats is this: all those dictatorships became popular on a platform of class warfare and “spreading the wealth.” This is Obama’s campaign in a nutshell: class warfare, racial/gender/sexual grievance-peddling and “Bush’s fault.” I’m sure I can find you an “Obama 2012” bumper sticker that says some, if not all, of that on it. Though I’m sure you’re driving around though with your “99%er” grievance vanity plate already.

          2. Lee Leslie

            No one that I know in the “project of progressive liberal Democrat” is seeking an infinite claim, nor do I know anyone who can maintain a middle class standard of living on social security and medicare. Nor do I know anyone in the project that doesn’t think it needs to be changed.
            But before we start reacting to your mathematical empiricals, lets look at a couple things not often discussed in how we got here: 1) income inequity -- Nick Hanauer concludes that “if the median household income had kept pace the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000” -- consider how that would alter things. 2) immigration reform -- we need more people paying in, why not resolve the work status of the 12+ million who cannot legally pay in?; etc.
            We should also debate some of the practical changes: should we stop pretending there is a “trust fund” and how would that affect the cost of debt and more transparent budgeting?; should we get rid of the income cap (adjusting the rate)?; how would a means test affect solvency? Shouldn’t we look at where medicare money is being spent and find more efficient methods to deliver those services (especially end of life care)?; Life expectancy has increased, should the retirement age be raised? Would lowering the age for Medicare buy-in (non-subsidized and/or for a profit) extend solvency and what would be the effect on the private market (most health insurers don’t want to make a market in 55+)?; Should we look at federalizing (at fair market value) the purchase of some prescription patents to lower overall cost in the system?; etc.
            You continue to reference experiments in “Europe” as if that was one government -- as you know, those economies in Europe that are doing well have different results than those economies that are not.
            I’m not an Obama apologist -- while the Iraq war is over, the war machine just moved to Afghanistan and Yemen with no “peace” dividend -- whatever there will be, will likely be applied to the forced cut next year. But to your question on the the deficit, click here: http://likethedew.com/img/CauseOfDeficit.jpg to view a tidy little chart from TPM.
            BTW, I don’t have a vanity plate.

          3. Drill_baby

            Dropping the old Nick Hanauer card, eh. Well played, sir. Well Otis MacElrainey once told me the secret to spin gold from straw. It was over a bottle of 100 year old old tequila — the good stuff with the mescaline — but the worm in the bottle didn’t take very good notes. Income equality is a problem solved by a productive economy with free trade and commerce. Certainly not “federalizing (at fair market value) the purchase of…” [insert list here]. What I don’t get about progressive Democrats is that they keep complaining about the same problems, pass government solutions for them, and then the problem is just as bad or worse and the government’s program is insolvent. Can we just chop everything off at the knees and try again. Oh, and the “Bush tax cuts” are now the “Obama tax cuts.” I’ll take a $1 increase in taxes for a $2 decrease in spending. That’s a fair deal considering Obama tripled. U.S. State and fed governments collected $5.1Trillion last year. If they can’t make do with that — everyone needs to be fired and we can start over from scratch.

          4. Lee Leslie

            1 to 2 sounds fine, now all we have to negotiate is who pays more and who’s paid less and over what period of time. It is easy to fix if you have the people who aren’t running or protecting people running for an election. It is why the super committee failed. But I do believe there is a real chance moderates of parties might pick up Simpson Bowles again before the election and might get some traction from the left -- just sayin’. Thanks for stopping by.

          5. Lee Leslie

            No one that I know in the “project of progressive liberal Democrat” is seeking an infinite claim, nor do I know anyone who can maintain a middle class standard of living on social security and medicare. Nor do I know anyone in the project that doesn’t think it needs to be changed.
            But before we start reacting to your mathematical empiricals, lets look at a couple things not often discussed in how we got here: 1) income inequity -- Nick Hanauer concludes that “if the median household income had kept pace the economy since 1970, it would now be nearly $92,000, not $50,000” -- consider how that would alter things. 2) immigration reform -- we need more people paying in, why not resolve the work status of the 12+ million who cannot legally pay in?; etc.
            We should also debate some of the practical changes: should we stop pretending there is a “trust fund” and how would that affect the cost of debt and more transparent budgeting?; should we get rid of the income cap (adjusting the rate)?; how would a means test affect solvency? Shouldn’t we look at where medicare money is being spent and find more efficient methods to deliver those services (especially end of life care)?; Life expectancy has increased, should the retirement age be raised? Would lowering the age for Medicare buy-in (non-subsidized and/or for a profit) extend solvency and what would be the effect on the private market (most health insurers don’t want to make a market in 55+)?; Should we look at federalizing (at fair market value) the purchase of some prescription patents to lower overall cost in the system?; etc.
            You continue to reference experiments in “Europe” as if that was one government -- as you know, those economies in Europe that are doing well have different results than those economies that are not.
            I’m not an Obama apologist -- while the Iraq war is over, the war machine just moved to Afghanistan and Yemen with no “peace” dividend -- whatever there will be, will likely be applied to the forced cut next year. But to your question on the the deficit, click here: http://likethedew.com/img/CauseOfDeficit.jpg to view a tidy little chart from TPM.
            BTW, I don’t have a vanity plate.

Leave a Reply