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  1.  (10833.1)
    Romney keeps his vigour by bathing in the blood of altar boys.
  2.  (10833.2)
    @Finagle - I'd be happy to see the Republican party shrivel up, but I'm not prepared to bet on it. Too much money supporting it. I'm also not so sure it'd be a good thing. Once upon a time I actively wished for the civil-libertarian wing of the Republican party to take it over, or split off and then replace it, because then we'd only have to fight over economic policy, not bill-of-rights matters of personal freedom and privacy. But today I fear that the uncivil-libertarian wing would fill that role instead, and I find few redeeming ideas in the faction that (for example) places the right to discriminate above the right not to be discriminated against.
  3.  (10833.3)
    Romney does have a disturbingly youthful appearance for his age. I'll actually give (partial) credit to Mormonism for this; abstaining from caffeine, ethanol, nicotine, THC, etc. is probably pretty good for you. But part of what disturbs me is that the public doesn't seem to realize just how old he is (only 7 years younger than McCain was when he ran against Obama). There's this photoshopped campaign snapshot of a woman and her preadolescent boys misspelling Rmoney's name, which keeps getting presented as "Romney's family", even though his actual sons are all old enough to remember Disco.
  4.  (10833.4)
    I think we're more likely to see a splinter off the Democrat party while the GOP shrivles. The GOP started going crazy after Nixon and started dragging the whole of the political discussion to the right. Now, and it's something that became clear under Clinton, the Democrats are becoming a centrist, pro-corporate party with none of the 60s & 70s squeamishness around military action.

    The US doesn't have a functioning Left wing party. While this election could burn the GOP as a federal matter down to its current Teabagger population, it's as likely to end the notion of the Democrats being traditional liberals. Twelve years from now we could see a shift where the Democrats become a centre-right party in response to its liberal and environmental oriented support breaking off to drive policy to face growing environmental and social justice issues the.

    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2012
    See, here's the thing, I don't want the GOP to go away. We need conservatives to keep liberals in check because Liberals Gone Wild! isn't exactly a healthy political practice when it comes to the pocket book (on civil rights they go as fucking nuts as they want). I just wish we could somehow carve out the religious nutbags and the people who think ignorance is excellence.
    • CommentTimeSep 18th 2012
    GOP aren't conservatives any more. Every plank of their platform is radical. The current Democratic party is actually conservative. There are no liberals on the stage. Losing the GOP would just mean conservatism (balanced budget, sane, measured foreign policy, social safety net designed to funnel people back into the private sector) would be ascendant in the form of the current Democratic party.

    Might make some room for some actual liberals to get a word in.
  5.  (10833.7)
    Israel scares the fuck out of me. Question - why DOES America give Israel so much aid?

    I have never, and I mean never, been able to figure that one out, and I live here. Nobody has ever been able to explain why we're so heavily invested in that country. That we are is undeniable, but the reason? I've never heard anything that makes sense.
  6.  (10833.8)
    It doesn't make sense. It's because the hardcore evangelical Christians believe that for the Second Coming to happen, Israel needs to be run by the Jews. They'll make noise about it being because Israel is the only stable US friendly democracy in the region, but it doesn't really hold water because the reason so many countries in the Middle East are hostile to the US is because of our support of Israel, if they really wanted US friendly governments there they'd be in favour of leaving Israel to their own devices instead of continuing to send them money and weapons (though at this point cutting Israel off would in all likelihood lead to nuclear war in the Middle East, so we're kind of stuck. On the other hand, the Power of God repelling an attack on Israel is supposed to be one of the signs of the pending Apocalypse (at least as far as those awful Left Behind books interpret it), so by actively preventing Israel becoming involved in another overt war we're stymieing the Second Coming instead of ensuring it, but nobody ever accused the hardcore bible-thumpers of being consistent, logical thinkers).

    It's all about the Rapture.
  7.  (10833.9)
    Fundie Christians support Israel because it's supposed to play a role in Armaggeddon. Mainstream Christians support Israel because it's where Jesus and Moses lived, and they want it in the "correct" hands (Christians would be better, but Jews are close enough). Liberal Americans support Israel because they feel so bad about the Holocaust, which – when you get right down to it – is why the modern state of Israel exists in the first place: Western guilt.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    I'm not very well versed in the modern history of Israel (I mean the United Nations basically invented it in the 1940's right? If anyone can give me an abbreviated history lesson, I will be interested to read it) but surely the US' closeness with it these days is mostly rooted in it's strategic significance? I assume they must have a lot of military bases there. You've gotta land your planes somewhere if you're gonna go and mess around with Iraq etc.

    Middle Eastern countries aren't only hostile towards the US because of their support for Israel. I mean it's the fucking terrifying icing on the shit cake but take it away and the US is still a very big, very powerful country with a very visible culture that is entirely at odds with their own, that they think can cause moral degradation of their own people. A country that also repeatedly manipulates their politics and invades them/their neighbours.

    I've read several articles over the past few months saying that if anyone is ever going to attack Iran, it will be in October, just before the US election. Which... well lets hope that's not true.
      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    It's a few years old now, but former US senator James Abourezk wrote a biting analysis of the US government's support of Israel. It's available here.
    • CommentAuthorFlabyo
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    @badbear - I'd say Israel isn't that important to the US as a place to launch air strikes from. They have bases in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Uzbekistan and plenty of carriers in the gulf itself, all much nearer to Iran than an Israeli base would be.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012 edited
    More from Mittens "Foot in Mouth" Romey: 'I Say That Jokingly, But It Would Be Helpful To Be Latino'.
      CommentAuthorAlan Tyson
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    Anybody else see the press conference Mr. Romney immediately called after that video went viral? Man, talk about backpedaling uphill on a unicycle. I actually do feel a little bad for the guy. That must have been about as much fun as having a tooth removed via the asshole.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    I have to wonder why he said it. Did he mean that being a minority might help him, dog-whistling that it's Obama's race that got him into office? I have to wonder how, given the anti-Latino/Hispanic theme of the GOP of the most recent years, he'd think that'd help him any.
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    Re: An attack on Iran - based on the predictions in the article linked to below, such action would be a massively risky way to shore up Obama's popularity before the election.
  8.  (10833.17)
    @RenThing: Romney figures that looking like a Mexican, but talking like an "American", would give him the votes of both Latinos and Republicans.
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    The Latino comment was absolutely an affirmative action dig. Among the many pathetic things coming out of the republican tent these days is the laughable spectacle of multi-millionaires expressing open jealousy of minorities and the poor.

    I believe Romney is sincere in his belief that he has somehow had less advantages than a black or Latino person. It's hilariously pitiful.
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeSep 19th 2012
    My ex-girlfriend's late father (who was by no means a wealthy man) used to propose a toast - "I wonder what the poor people are doing right now. On the other hand, who gives a shit?" (It works better if you say it in a thick Belfast accent.)

    So, yeah. Romney does the same thing, only without a trace of irony. At All.

    Anecdotally, I was watching an episode of Mad Men, where they referenced Romney's father failed Presidential bid in the 60's. Henry Francis, aide to Gov. Rockefeller, says on the phone - "No, the governor's not going to Michigan. Because I don't want him on the same stage as Romney. Because Romney's a clown, that's why!" Oh, how I laughed.
    • CommentAuthorbadbear
    • CommentTimeSep 20th 2012 edited
    My favourite transatlantic political commentator Ian Leslie on why Mittens' comments probably won't cost him as much as we want it to.

    Thanks to City Creed and Curb for the Iran/Israel links. Off to read them now...
    (edit: That James Abourezk letter is awesome and very enlightening.)

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