Politics Wednesday – So Long, Mr. Santorum, and Good Riddance

I actually respect the public reason given for why Rick Santorum quit the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Parents need to be with a child they know will never make it to adolescence, not to mention adulthood. I respect him for wanting to make his ill child’s life full and happy for however long she will be with that family. There is nothing more devastating to a parent than to lose a child, and knowing since her birth that you were going to lose her, that your time with her would be short, is unfathomable.

I won’t even mention the months the family has been on the campaign trail, other, home-schooled children in tow, while Bella remained at home in the care of others.

Well, you knew the snark had to come in an some point.

In truth, campaigns are exhausting and debilitating for not just the candidate, and Bella was better off at home and not exposed to those rigors.

I don’t respect what’s probably the reason behind Santorum’s “suspension of my campaign,” which is that he was about to be rejected again by his home state. Rick, nobody thinks well of a quitter, especially one who quits when he knows he’s going to lose. Just a few weeks ago, he had a commanding lead over Willard Mitt Romney, a lead significant enough to encourage him to stay in the race and prolong it. As Republicans began to accept The Inevitable Romney, that lead shrank, then Santorum lagged behind Romney. Despite that hard shell of sanctimonious judging Santorum surrounds himself with, that had to hurt.

Of course, Santorum’s exit just encourages Newt Gingrich, who has vowed to stay in until Tampa, though what good it will do him is beyond me. Oh, wait. It’s no longer a campaign. It’s an extended book-selling, picture-with-Newt-and-Callista-selling tour, funded by people deluded enough to think Gingrich cares about them.

Ron Paul is still just your eccentric grandfather you wish you could relegate to a locked room in the house where no one can hear his backwards, racist ranting and worship of Ayn Rand. (Didja figure out why his senator son’s first name is Rand?)

And now we have the Inevitable Mitt, who stayed in his place in line, dutifully, like most Republicans, and waited his turn. Some people think this Republican penchant for “bide your time, and it’ll be your go” is somehow orderly and logical. At one time it was, but when the Republican Party was co-opted by first the pro-lifers (an oxymoron if I ever heard one) then by the wiggy Tea Party, from your perspective in line, you decide you have to lurch right as well. That’s why we got to hear Romney say he’s always been a “severe Republican.” No, Mitt, you haven’t. You were indistinguishable in some areas from a liberal Democrat, except for the whole Bain Capital, make a gazillion dollars and hide it in off-shore accounts thing.

Democrats are more like a pinball machine–bouncing from the likes of Carter to Dukakis to Mondale to Clinton to Gore to Kerry to Obama. Republicans always sneered at the disorganization (their term) of the Democratic Party, but from chaos we got President Obama, and that’s enough for me and a lot of like-minded people.

Over the weekend, when rumors of Santorum’s exit stirred, someone suggested that he should wait as all good Republicans do because in “eight years” he’ll still be younger than Romney is now. (The pundit’s assumption was that we’d have two Romney terms–fat chance of that.) After eight years, what will an older, more judgemental, more self-righteous Santorum look like? I shudder to think–except that he’ll have morphed into some Gollum-like creature no one can stomach, and that’ll be a good thing.

So, Republican Party, how’s that whole inevitability thing working for ya?

My thoughts go out to little Bella Santorum, that she may have a happy life without pain or suffering. She is the best of them.

Politics Wednesday–No KO, Again

Willard M. Romney was certain he’d score a knock-out on Super Tuesday yesterday, and, once again, he had to settle for a split decision. In the key primary–and national election–state of Ohio, Romney beat Rick Santorum by just one percentage point. Santorum won Tennessee and Oklahoma, Newt Gingrich won Georgia (not a surprise), and Romney’s hope to lock up the nomination so he can concentrate on President Obama was dashed. Yay!

Romney spun it well, but so did Santorum. And Gingrich again, as he did after Florida, gave what sounded like a victory speech–victory as in “I’m in Bizarro world where multiple third and fourth places mean I won.” Ron Paul, well, you didn’t hear a peep from him, but he’s still there, like the loony relative you don’t send invites for family functions, but he somehow finds out and shows up.

What the results show is that Romney, the pretend conservative, has difficulty winning in the deep south. His Florida and Virginia wins aside–he and Paul were the only Republicans on the ballot in the Old Dominion–Romney has trouble appealing to the voters who traditionally go for candidates to the right of Ivan the Terrible. This could mean the primary battle will extend through the spring and into the summer, if Santorum continues to do well in southern states. Gingrich and Paul show no sign of dropping out of the race any time soon, even though it’s coming down to a Romney/Santorum bout.

I initially thought, yes, let it be Santorum; Obama will cream him. Besides, there’s no way people will vote in Rick Santorum as President. Then, I remembered I felt the same way about George W. Bush, and America elected him. Twice. Granted, Santorum’s social, economic, and policy positions make W look like a, well, Massachusetts Moderate, but if the Republican base can get motivated and if progressives stay home in a huff, Santorum could… No, I won’t put it in print. Just thinking about it will give me dystopian nightmares.

Romney, I believe, will be the nominee, after a long, protracted process that will leave him emotionally spent, and the President will be fresh as a daisy. The polls look good for the President now, but it’s March. We’ve got eight months to go, and we can’t take a single thing for granted. As the Republicans disinter the rotting corpse of the War Against Women and flail its stink about, we need to remember that few Republicans with national presence denounced Rush Limbaugh’s odious words about Susan Fluke; we need to remember that Republicans brought up the Blunt Amendment, which would allow any employer to not cover any medical procedure or medication for any one for any reason. (That was defeated, thank goodness.)

I can’t list all the things we need to remember come Election Day in November, but as a progressive who has been disappointed by some of the President’s policies, I know he has my vote. The alternative is just too dark and reactionary to consider.


One of my readers who thinks I’m an “ultra-feminist” (I am, but it doesn’t bother me.) can stop reading here, so his blood pressure doesn’t elevate.

The shenanigans of the Virginia Legislature–personhood bills, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, etc.–have made national news. Our reactionary-laden legislature seems determined to return us to the 1950’s in terms of many things, chief of which is women’s right to decide what to do with their bodies. It’s something men do without thought–who to fuck, when to fuck, whether to use protection or not–and for some reason don’t want women to do. To protest the legislature’s actions, several hundred men and women held a silent protest this past Saturday at Virginia’s capitol building in Richmond. Several of them stood on the Capitol’s front steps. The governor claims he didn’t send in SWAT, but it’s obvious he did. The police arrested people who were doing nothing except sitting and standing, handcuffed them, and locked them in a bus for nine hours for something that is normally a ticketable offense. (Hello, America; wake up and smell the police state.)

Last weekend at the Richmond protest, there was one sign that said it all for me, that reflects my sense of deja vu, my feelings about having to fight–yet again–to make sure women have the same choices men do, and here it is:

Comments and Such

On the proposed bill in the Georgia legislature which would make it a crime to have an abortion or a miscarriage, either of which would be punishable by life in prison or the death penalty–Really? Are you nuts? Aren’t you the same rightwingnut jobs who are worried about Sharia law taking over the U.S.? If you want to get a glimpse of a world amid such laws as this, read Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

On Karl Rove wanting to hold the Obama Administration accountable for FOIA responses: During the eight years when Rove was whatever he was in the White House, government agencies were told that FOIA responses were not a priority. When 9/11 happened that gave them justification. Almost anything was classified as “national security” and didn’t have to be answered. Before the Bush 2 Administration, we were held accountable up the line to the agency Administrator for timely FOIA responses. This is the height of hypocrisy and, well, craven.

On Donald Trump going “birther”: I’ve never had any admiration whatsoever for this particular capitalist, but after his questioning whether Obama was really born here just shows that he’s nuts and anyone who votes for him is likewise.

On bombing the crap out of Libya: I still don’t know how I feel about this. I don’t want to knee-jerk to the usual progressive position because bombing the crap out of Milosevic’s army got the point across about ethnic cleansing. However, cruise missiles are expensive, especially when you think about how many teachers that money could hire.

On Ann “Give Me a Radiation Vaccine” Coulter and Andrew “Selective Video Editing” Breitbart indicating that the Presidency is “beneath” She Who Shall Not Be Named: Am I in Superman’s Bizarro World? I can’t think of anyone who would diminish the institution of the Presidency more than the Half Governor of Alaska, and I thought Bush 2 did a good job of it.

On Ron and/or Rand Paul running for President: Welcome to the fascist Ayn Rand-verse and returning high-volume flush toilets to the market. No, Ayn Rand’s books are not great literature. They’re fascist trash, and I’m not waiting for John Galt.

On the first anniversary of the passage of health care reform: Thanks for removing the pre-existing condition block, thanks for letting kids stay on their parents’ insurance until they’re 26, thanks for making certain insurance companies can’t drop kids who get sick, and all the other positive aspects contained in the law. Now, let’s work on improving it by passing single-payer health insurance.

On Congress’ record of job production since the Repubs took over: Mr. Boehner, where are the effing jobs? Get your heads out of culture warfare and do the people’s business.

On “unaffiliated” being the fastest-growing religious group: Thank God! (That was a joke.)

On pictures of U.S. soldiers posing with the bodies of dead civilians: Gentlemen–and I use that term loosely–you disgrace your uniform and your country with these juvenile stunts, though I understand you’ve been conditioned not to think of the enemy as human beings. They are, and think how your mother would feel if a Talib posed with your body as if it were a trophy, because idiotic stunts like yours will only affect your fellow soldiers. I have a few more words for you: dishonorable discharge and Levinworth.

On the death of Elizabeth Taylor: Seventy-nine was too young, and she’ll always be timeless to me as Velvet Brown in National Velvet. She was, as some have said, the last Star, and her talent and her humanity were immeasurable. If I believed in heaven, I’d say she and Richard Burton were having a longed for, grand reunion about now.