TJ Walker

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Mitt Romney Has a 2 in 3 Chance of beating Obama and has already won the GOP Nomination

Yes, Mitt Romney is a terrible political candidate. Sure, Santorum could embarrass Romney in Ohio. Gingrich could raise questions by winning Georgia. And Paul could upset Romney in some small caucus state.

And of course, Romney will continue to stick his foot in his mouth and say things to remind everyone he is an out of touch rich guy.

It just doesn’t matter.

On a 1 to 10 scale for candidates (with 1 being George McGovern and 10 being Ronald Reagan), Mitt Romney is, at best, a 1.2. But since all of his GOP current and former opponents are precisely negative infinity, it just doesn’t matter.

Mitt Romney has already won the GOP nomination—we all might as well come to grips with it.

So why do I claim Romney has a 2 in 3 chance of beating Obama?

For starters, contrary to popular belief, the GOP will rally around Romney. Why? Because the base of the Party is motivated by one thing only: hatred of President Obama—nothing else. Romney is irrelevant to that equation.

Some political insiders persist in spreading the idea that it would not be logical for Tea Party members and fervent conservatives to support Romney, given his numerous past liberal positions on social issues, not to mention Romneycare. Astute observers will instantly spot the flaw in the previous sentence: I used the word “logical” and “Tea Party” in the same sentence.

Remember, the Tea Party ostensibly stands for eliminating Washington of its career politicians and insiders, traditional values and is in favor of reducing government spending. So for much of the last 3 months most self-professed Tea Party members have supported Newt Gingrich, a 35 year Washington career politician who has enriched himself while making government bigger, all the while showing contempt for traditional values.

If the Tea Party can pretend to love Newt out of principle, then they will surely find a way of supporting Romney out of some other string of illogical nonsense.

Romney will have a unified party behind him.

There are three primary scenarios for the fall election.

Scenario one. The economy continues to improve. Team Obama makes no flubs. Optimism flourishes. Romney runs a lackluster, flub-filled campaign. Yes, under this scenario, Obama wins, but not by a large margin.

Scenario two. Europe’s economy takes a major tumble this summer. Unemployment numbers for the U.S. trend up in September and October. Optimism plummets. The only message that resonates with independent and moderate voters is “the economy and unemployment are awful and getting worse. Obama had a chance. Let’s try the other guy—he couldn’t be worse.” If this happens, Obama loses to Romney. The same scenario applies if China’s real estate bubble bursts or any other economic problem infects the world economic bloodstream.

Scenario Three. The economy holds, but the Roger Ailes/Fox News/Karl Rove/Rush Limbaugh/GOP message slime machine does what it does best, it creates an utterly phony issue out of thin air that destroys Obama’s credibility and allows Romney to win the White House.

Republicans might not be very good at governing, but no one can deny that they are great at sliming, vilifying and character assassinating Democrats. Here’s a quick review:

1.       1988. Michael Dukakis was destroyed because of “Willie Horton ad” nonsense regarding a furlough program that most Republican governors in the country had also implemented.

2.       1992, 1996. True, the best Democratic politician of the last 70 years, Bill Clinton, was able to prevent the GOP slime machine from destroying his campaigns. But let’s not forget, the GOP propaganda mill did convince a majority of Americans that their taxes had gone up, that the deficit was worse than ever and that the economy was shrinking in 1994. None of those things were true, but those lies resulted in the GOP takeover of the House and led the ground work for the successful Ken Starr Witch Hunt and the impeachment of Clinton in 1998.

3.       2000. We all remember how Al Gore got himself in trouble by lying, exaggerating and claiming “I invented the Internet” and that he was the inspiration for the characters in “Love Story.” The only problem is that he never actually said these things (I dare you, try to find a literal quote anywhere of Gore saying “I invented the Internet” that didn’t have its origins in a GOP press release). It turns out that the GOP message machine just created the scandal of “Gore is a liar and exaggerator” out of thin air and through constant repetition, it became a reality.

4.       2004. John Kerry, for all his flaws as a candidate (and yes, there were many) was a genuine war hero. Bush was a draft dodger and a national guardsman who appears to many to have gone AWOL. But the GOP Slime Machine created its “Swift Boat” campaign and they successfully inverted reality until most independent voters perceived Bush as the war hero and Kerry as the coward.

5.       2008 was a rare misstep for the GOP message machine. GOP slime merchants were obsessed with Hillary Clinton and just assumed she would be the Democratic Nominee. They were so excited about the prospect of reusing their greatest “Slime Hillary” hits that they weren’t thinking clearly. They thought all they’d have to do is trot out the “Hillary killed Vince Foster” nonsense or “”Hillary is a Lesbian” garbage and win. So they were uncharacteristically caught flat-footed when the unknown Obama won the nomination running against an 8 year record of Bush-GOP incompetence.

But since the 2008 campaign, the GOP slime machine has regained its footing and has continued doing what it does best: creating completely phony BS scandals about a Democratic president and then getting not only the conservative media but the mainstream media to obsess over it for months at a time. Birth certificates? Obama is a Muslim? The Administration hates Catholics? At this point, the only thing that should surprise us about the right wing message machine is if they don’t wage an all out 2-month war claiming Obama personally poisoned Andrew Breitbart.

The bottom line is that the GOP Message Machine has an excellent quarter century record of slimy accomplishment. And this machine couldn’t care less whether they or anyone else likes the GOP nominee. The only difference between 2012 and other years like 2004 or 1988 is money. This year the Republicans will have at lease several hundreds of millions of dollars more (via Super PACs) to run completely phony, BS, manufactured ads to demonize Obama.

And this is why Mitt Romney is the clear-cut, prohibitive favorite to be the next President of the United States.

TJ Walker is the founder of AmericanLP, a Democratic Super PAC.


Bailout Binging Bainster TV Ad

We at AmericanLP have created a new ad to spotlight Mitt Romney's hypocrisy on the issue of bailouts. By now, most observers have learned that Mitt Romney was against a bailout for Detroit. But what even many political insiders don't realize is that Mitt Romney has been the beneficiary of a Federal bailout of sorts. As head of Bain and Co in the early 90s (he had been brought back from Bain Capital to sort out the mess at the mother company), Romney was in charge of keeping Bain from imploding under a huge mountain of debt. In addition to firing lots of people (naturally), Romney also squeezed suppliers and other creditors. What's more, Bain had a $38 million loan from the Bank of New England, and that the Bank of New England had its own problems and had been taken over by the FDIC.

Romney shrewdly re-negotiated the Bain loan from $38 million to $28 million. So what does that mean, exactly? Well, since the FDIC is an arm of the Federal government, that means, essentially, that the FDIC (ahem, taxpayers) ate the difference. In other words, Romney conned the government into giving him and his cronies a $10 million bailout.

Yes, this was legal for Romney to do—other business people do it all the time. But it was a bailout to the tune of $10 million, Romney did personally benefit, and it's a bit rich for Romney to be so sanctimonious about other people getting bailouts. Critics of our ad would suggest that it is unfair to imply that Romney benefited personally from the $10, million write-offs. While the money went to Bain and Co, Romney actually benefited to a much greater degree than $10 million. If Bain and Co had not gotten the bailout, it would have likely imploded. If Bain and Co had imploded, it would have likely tainted Bain Capital to such a degree that it would have been destroyed. If Bain Capital had been dismantled, Romney would have never been able to make his quarter billion that has allowed him the life of the perpetual candidate. Yes, this stuff is complicated—but that's why rich finance guys like Romney are able to play the system to their advantage.

We start the ad with images of Ronald Reagan talking about the Chicago welfare queen in a Cadillac. This was a story Reagan told over and over again in the 1976 and 1980 campaigns. Even though Reagan never specified it was a black woman, it was widely assumed by most observers across the spectrum that Reagan was in fact talking about a black woman from Chicago with 80 different fake names. (It turns out that Reagan didn't have his facts straight on this—surprise, surprise)

By showing Reagan at the beginning of the ad, we are trying to evoke the warm feelings conservative Republicans have toward Reagan and his beliefs about “welfare queens.” That is why we are literally showing what appears to be a woman driving a pink Cadillac in an inner city. We then show that in fact the “woman” is none other than Mitt Romney in drag. Romney should actually be seen as a modern day welfare queen who ripped off the government for more than any “welfare queen” from the inner city could ever imagine.
By portraying Romney this way, we are attempting to turn ugly racist beliefs on their head and make people realize that the biggest freeloaders on the government system are actually people who look like Mitt Romney.

At the end of the ad, we show Mitt Romney's vacation mansion worth $10 million. We aren't suggesting that Romney criminally stole tax dollars to buy his house illegally. But money is fungible, so any money that benefits Romney in one account can be used to purchase luxuries from any other account.

The point is that Romney and his colleagues at Bain were already wealthy by the early 1990s when the difficulties with the loan arose. Because, as we know, “corporations are people,” Romney and his cronies weren't personally liable for the full $38 million. Instead, just the corporate entity of Bain and Company was liable. But there was nothing stopping Romney or his wealthy colleagues at Bain from paying back the full $10 million out of their own pocket at the time. For that matter, Romney and his colleagues could have paid the Government back in later years, after they'd all become super, super rich.

The bottom line is Romney got the best deal he could, just because he could. And yet he belongs to a political party that says people who do that are evil parasites for not being “rugged individuals” and succeeding on their own merits.

Finally, our goal here is to make conservatives sickened by the hypocrisy of Romney taking bailouts and for moderates and independents to be disgusted by Romney for making himself richer at the expense of average taxpayers. This bailout for Romney is a perfect window into why Romney should be seen as an utterly detestable and phony candidate regardless of one's ideological position. Please take a look at the ad below.


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Is Mitt Romney "Severely Freudian?"

If you are like me, you are probably still poking your finger in your ear trying to figure out if you heard Mitt Romney correctly when he called himself  a “Severely conservative Republican.” That one goes in the gaffe hall of fame for numerous reasons. Here is a new radio ad that my organization AmericanLP has going up on ABC Radio in Michigan later this week.

Who is Mitt Romney?

Voiceover from Romney 'I was a severely conservative Republican.'

Severely conservative???

The word 'severely' is most commonly used to describe the following: Disabled, depressed, ill, limited, injured.

So, Michigan conservatives, Mitt Romney basically thinks conservatism is like a 'disease.'

If you're a moderate/independent Michigan Republican, how do you feel about a politician who doesn't believe in anything, but implies, 'I'll pretend to be a diseased extremist, even if I think it's crazy?'

Mitt Romney's father, George Romney was a great Michigan governor who always spoke his mind. He stood up to his church and GOP extremists regarding civil rights.

But Mitt Romney? Has he ever stood up for something unpopular?

Mitt Romney, he's not his father's son. Mitt Romney thinks he can 'brain wash' the rest of us.

Paid for By AmericanLP, not associated with a candidate or candidate's committee.

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 Watch AmericanLP's new video:


 What are Mitt Romney's “In-Context” Economic Views?
Mitt Romney and his campaign have complained incessantly about being quoted “out-of-context” on his economic views. In an effort to help the Romney campaign we have gathered all of his economic views in one place and organized them in a comprehensive manner in order to give voters a complete and thorough view of Romney's economic philosophy.


Bill Maher calls Mitt Romney a rapper!

Mitt Romney seems to be out of touch with the rest of America. Doesn’t look like he has the interests of the people nor the country at heart. It is not because of his wealth that we dislike Romney but rather his money loving, greedy persona that we feel uncomfortable with. In this funny soundbite taken from “Real Time with Bill Maher” Maher sheds light on his money loving attitude and even compares him to the in-your-face artists of hip hop. Take a look.

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Mitt Romney Announces "I'm not concerned about the very poor"

Mitt Romney is to be commended for his honesty. This ranks right up there with “I like being able to fire people,” and “corporations are people, my friend.” Romney has shown that while he may have the golden touch for all of his personal investment choices, he has a tin ear for politics. Romney doesn’t even bother trying to mask his contempt for non-rich Americans. Once again, Mitt Romney shows he has the same compassion level for the non-rich that the Mel Brooks’ character King Louis did when he was using live peasants for skeet shooting practice.

Here is a new ad that we are in the process of buying national cable TV news for now.

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New Bain Attack Ad against Romney to Air in Florida

One of the key issues framing the Republican primary race and one that will certainly be highlighted during the general election if Romney were to get that far is his role in Bain Capital.
The media lesson to be learned is that you must get out in front of issues that can hurt your reputation before your enemies, opponents, and in the world of business, your competitors frame the issue and you are left playing defense instead of offense.

Bain Capital has been discussed ever since Mitt Romney first entered politics in 1994. Many people believe that Bain Capital has done so many nefarious things in a complex manner and this in turn has left most voters confused by Romney's Bain connection.

The danger that the Romney camp is now faced with is that the media and his opponents have framed the issue in the following way:
1. Bain Capital would plunge a company into massive debt.
2. Bain would pull out massive fees.
3. The company would be pushed into bankruptcy.
4. Bain would then purge the company of hundreds or even thousands of workers.

Romney is basing his entire presidential claim on his ability to “create jobs” and his record at Bain Capital. He's not running on his record as Governor of Massachusetts. So if voters view Romney's Bain record in exclusively negative terms, then Romney's rationale for running for President is completely destroyed.

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What the Hell is going on with the Republican Party?

To Democrats, moderates, progressives, liberals and independents, i.e. 60% of America; it is, indeed, a confusing political time. While many of us want Obama to win re-election, most of us concede that any incumbent President running for re-election with 8.5% unemployment is highly vulnerable and likely to be defeated. So it just seems weird that that the Republicans don’t seem to be treating this whole election-thing seriously.
What’s going on?
Yes, Obama is vulnerable. But the Republicans are flocking to Newt Gingrich. A man with near 100% name ID among likely voters and near 60% unfavorable ratings. 60%! It’s almost as if Obama pulled a reverse Watergate, broke into the GOP headquarters, drugged the chairman and had a Mission Impossible style replacement mask put on James Carville who took over things just to screw with Republicans.
But that doesn’t quite seem plausible, so here are two other theories.
1.    Insanity rage. Anyone beyond a certain age has known friends or family members who were perfectly sane and rational for their entire life and then simply snapped. If it can happen to individuals, it can happen to an entire political party. Sometimes severe trauma can do it. Sometimes it’s just blind rage. We’ve all seen people who are so blinded by rage in a bitter divorce that they reject the mild mannered, efficient lawyer who can draw up a quick property settlement with minimum fees and hassle. Sure, their ex-spouse will get a lot, but your friend will get more this way than if any other way is pursued. By contrast, there is the person who says, “I don’t care if I have to spend 150% of my $5 million network! I don’t care if I become homeless and have to beg on the streets for the rest of my life! I would rather starve to death than give my spouse a single penny!” So this person hires a lawyer who is skilled at lengthy depositions, hiring private eyes, and firing lots of nuisance law suits. Mission accomplished. Ex- spouse gets nothing. Your friend ends up bankrupt and living in a box on the street.
In this scenario, Republicans are so filled with intense, utter blind rage of Obama, all they care about is finding the one person who can attack, vilify and trash-talk Obama the most forcefully. Well, no one can seriously dispute that Gingrich is uniquely talented for that. Republicans hate Obama so much all they care about is inflicting pain. That’s why they don’t care about any of New Gingrich’s shortcomings. That’s why the various so-called family values coalitions rally around the thrice-married, serial adulterous Gingrich against the once-married, idyllic family man Obama. That’s why Tea Party members who hate career politicians who get rich off of lobbying and stay in Washington for 35 years don’t care about Gingrich's Freddie Mac contracts.
News Flash: it just doesn’t matter! Newt Gingrich can publicly marry 5 wives at the same time, he can have a live pay-per-view webcast sexually assaulting an underage boy paid for by the National Endowment by the Arts and it just won’t matter. The only thing that matters is hating and trashing Obama, and Gingrich is the best there is among official candidates. Of course if Republicans really had their way, the ticket would be Ann Coulter/Rush Limbaugh in 2012 (who knows, maybe a brokered convention will create that ticket).
Republicans are taking the attitude that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. And since Obama is the enemy and Gingrich trashes Obama better than anyone, Gingrich is Obama’s worst enemy therefore Gingrich is the Republican’s #1 friend.
# 2
The second scenario has a slightly different beginning, but then blends into the same result. In this scenario, the cause of Republicans flocking to an unelectable scoundrel like Newt Gingrich is the result of Republicans now living in a hermetically sealed bubble. This is a media bubble, geographic bubble, religious bubble, and social bubble.
First, the media. Thanks to the continued rise of Fox News, and conservative websites, plus the steady influence of talk radio, it is now possible for a person to be a news junkie, consider himself to be extraordinarily well-informed, and NEVER hear anything positive about President Obama. In the conservative media universe, where most Republicans now get most of their news, the dominant world view is that President Obama is the worst president in the history of the country. Obama is the most corrupt, least talented and most disastrous leader in the history of the world. Obamacare is the single worst act of public policy ever created. Obama is a foreign-born Muslim socialist who through some fluke slipped into the White House accidently. Now that his hideous flaws have been revealed daily for almost 4 years, Obama will be voted out of office, perhaps by a 95% margin, and sent back on a boat to Africa, where he came from and where he belongs.
It is now possible to hear that worldview perpetuated from a variety of media sources that (if you are a conservative Republican) you trust and admire. Furthermore, it is now easy to surround yourself with friends who all share your beliefs. And everyone at your Christian, suburban, white, Protestant church shares your worldview. And everyone in your neighborhood does too.
So imagine a world where every single trusted media source from the Wall Street Journal, to Fox to Newsmax all agree that Obama will be easily defeated because he is the worst president ever. And every friend you have feels the same. And everyone you work with feels the same. And everyone at your church feels the same. Suddenly, it becomes quite difficult to imagine any reality in which Obama is not the worst President ever and destined to an electoral defeat of epic proportion.
In this bubble, the whole concept of a GOP candidate’s “electability” seems quaint and, frankly, irrelevant. In this view, Newt Gingrich is eminently electable because any and every Republican over the age of 35 and born in America (ha, take that Obama!) is electable.
Electability is relative. Since conservatives cannot conceive any circumstances where Obama could b e re-elected, then of course Gingrich is electable. In this sense, Gingrich is “thin” for a presidential candidate, if your comparison pool consists of William Howard Taft and Newt Gingrich.
So why can Romney never be acceptable to a majority of Conservative Republicans today? Quite simply, the problem with Romney is that he does not hate Obama. Romney isn’t willing to call Obama a monster. For Christ’s sake, Romney isn’t even willing to call Obama a socialist or a communist! (He only hints at it). The problem conservatives have with Romney is that they suspect, deep down, that Romney secretly likes and respects Obama and that is the most despicable thing they can think of in a GOP presidential candidate.
Conservatives believe that Romney is bland and milk toast candidates like that don’t win elections, because they end up like John McCain and Bob Dole. So to the conservative Republican trapped in the conservative bubble, Romney is actually less electable than Newt Gingrich. And all the polls that show Romney is eminently more acceptable to moderates, independents, and conservative Democrats? They all come from the liberal media and conservatives are too smart to fall for setup tricks from the evil liberal media!
So what do conservatives really want? They want a debate between Obama and Gingrich. And in that debate, they want Gingrich to turn to Obama and sneer “Please get your skinny black ass back on a boat and go back to Kenya where you belong. And don’t even think of stepping back into the White House again unless you are willing to swap your grass skirt for a butler’s uniform so you can fetch me my tea!”
This is what conservatives mean when they say Gingrich can “beat” Obama in a debate. And when Gingrich does deliver that sound bite, he will have won that 40% of conservative America forever. He will be their lord and savior. But in the process, Gingrich will alienate every single moderate, independent, and conservative Democrat in the nation, thus guaranteeing an Obama landslide victory along with a Democratic sweep of the House and Senate and a possible Democratic re-alignment that could last a generation.
Some of you may be asking, isn’t there the chance that conservatives simply have policy differences with Obama? Uh, no. this is entirely personal. Regarding foreign policy, Obama has killed Bin Laden and largely continued Bush’s wars and fight against terrorism. Liberals have a problem with Obama’s foreign policy, not conservatives.
What about domestic policy? Obama repudiated what every liberal asked for: a single-payer government run universal health care plan. Instead, Obama enacted the Nixon health care plan along with all of the Heritage foundation-advocated mandates. As former Reagan Administration official, Jack Kemp-Ron Paul adviser Bruce Bartlett has written, Obama has governed like a “moderate-conservative Republican.”
No, the problems Republicans have with Obama are not political, they are personal (and yes, racial).
So what should Democratic supporters of President Obama do these days when having conversations with Gingrich-supporting Republicans? Here is what I recommend:
1.    Whatever you do, don’t tell them we want them to nominate Newt Gingrich and that we think Gingrich will be really easy to beat because he is the most detestable national political figure of the last 20 years.
2.    When Republicans say “Newt is a great debater and will destroy Obama in the fall debates,” just smile and say “Newt sure has done well against Romney and the others in the primary debates.” Do not point out that if Newt bashes the media or attacks Obama as the “food stamp” president in a fall debate that he will look like a complete ass to the independent voters who will decide the election.
3.    When more headlines pop up claiming that Gingrich has 60% unfavorably ratings and is, in fact, less popular than Charles Manson, Republicans will counter that this is just liberal media spin and that, in fact, Newt is highly electable. Bite your tongue. Do not correct your Republican friends. Instead, simply say, “Any incumbent running at a time of high unemployment will have a hard time winning re-election.
4.    When Republicans ponder who Newt should pick as his running mate, please suggest Ann Coulter, or, better yet, Sarah Palin! If you are going to go over-the-top, go all the way!

Republican Voters of South Carolina

The Democratic Party and President Obama’s re-election brain trust are doing cartwheels and giving each other high-fives over the news that Newt Gingrich is surging in the polls in Florida and won the South Carolina primary.

“Thank you, thank you, and thank you.  We couldn’t have done it better ourselves! You have just voted for a candidate who is viewed unfavorably by 60% of American voters according to the non-partisan Public Policy Polling organization! If there is less popular American politician not currently serving time in prison, we are not aware of one. We are hoping and praying that other Republican Primary voters follow your example and vote for Newt “open marriage” “grandiose” “dump your wives as soon as they get sick” Gingrich in future primaries.

We believe voters selected Newt for Two Reasons: 1. By calling Obama the “Food stamp President” Gingrich let voters know that he shares their belief that a black man should not be allowed to be in the White House unless he is a butler. 2. When Newt showers liberals and the media with contempt, he’s damn good at it. You really get the idea that Newt hates and resents liberals. Whereas voters get the feeling that Romney personally likes liberals and the media and gets along with them most of the time.

If the GOP does nominate Gingrich, Obama’s re-election is virtually guaranteed. Obama could appoint Willie Horton as Secretary of Defense and turn Camp David into a crack house and still easily beat the cartoonishly detestable Newt Gingrich in a general election.”

French Speaking Mitt Romney Attack Ad Targets SC Voters

AmericanLP released its first TV ad, “French Romney” back in December. This ad showed footage of Mitt Romney speaking French during the 2002 Olympics. In text, the ad scrolled verbatim quotes from Romney stating all of his past liberal positions on controversial issues in a way that is similar to movie translations. Talking Points Memo called it “the funniest ad of the primaries” and “reminiscent of Woody Allen’s ‘What’s Up, Tiger Lily?’” The ad was showcased in most major media outlets and was aired on CBS News. The video also quickly went viral with more than 100,000 views on YouTube.

The purpose  of the ad was twofold: 1. we wished to spotlight the anti-intellectualism of the GOP and mock its disdain for internationalism and 2. we were mocking Romney for all of his flip-flops over the years from liberal positions to conservative positions.

To the average listener, the fact that the ad was, in part, a joke, became abundantly obvious after watching it for 2 seconds, where one could clearly understand Mitt Romney saying “Salt Lake City” repeatedly” even if one didn’t understand French. However, the knee-jerk response of many Republicans and conservatives was outrage and condemnation of our ad. They were “shocked!” and “outraged” that someone could suggest that Republicans don’t love foreign language speaking candidates. Further, they were horrified that someone could suggest something about a GOP candidate that wasn’t literally consistent with their current positions.

We take great pride in the recent events of this past week, with the Newt Gingrich Campaign airing a similar TV ad (  In this ad, Newt makes the case that people should vote against Romney, in part, because Sen. John Kerry spoke French and Romney speaks French (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) so it must really, really, be a bad thing to do. (And don’t even think of pointing out that New Gingrich is fluent in French or that proves you are a part of the liberal media establishment bent on destroying civilization).

The GOP, a once great national political party, has sadly become a hostage of the know-nothings. As Bill Maher calls them, they are the “Stupid Party.” Candidates who appear smart are quickly punished at the polls. Every time Jon Huntsman speaks Mandarin he losses another 5000 voters.

Secretly smart candidates have to pretend they don’t believe in things like science, evolution or math in order to pander to the “know-nothings” who have taken over the Republican Party. We at AmericanLP are trying to be helpful to the American voters by highlighting this problem.

As such, we have produced a new TV ad specific to the South Carolina primary “French Romney Part Deux.”

In this ad we again show Romney speaking French and we highlight two issues near and dear to South Carolina voters, abortion and homosexuality. We have helpfully provided verbatim quotes of Mitt Romney on the issues to help educate voters.

This new ad launches in South Carolina this week on WLTX (CBS) and WACH (FOX).

Romney's Plastic Nature Makes for an Inauthentic Candidate

Unlike Mitt Romney’s political beliefs my feelings on Romney have never flip flopped. I never trusted his views because I never actually believed that he believed them. Romney has provided us with years of evidence that he is inauthentic at best and generally perceived as plastic.

Based on this premise, the Super PAC that I founded, AmericanLP, put our resources behind creating ads that mock Mitt Romney. Some of you might remember these ads from the way we crowd sourced ideas and concepts in the past.

As part of our January “Messing with Mitt” campaign we will begin airing two new attack ads in New Hampshire. The ads are designed to mock GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney by highlighting his “plastic” nature. “Mitt Romney v. Ken doll” is a new 30 second TV ad produced to highlight the inauthentic nature of Romney’s political beliefs. A second ad, “Stretch Romney” will also be aired to highlight the lack of core political values held by Romney. The first dozen airings of the commercials will begin airing on WMUR TV in Manchester after Saturday night’s debate.

Republican and Democrats across the spectrum can agree on one thing: Mitt Romney appears to have no core convictions. While Romney might be bright, disciplined, hard-working and successful, he doesn’t have any true and sound personal beliefs. There is something profoundly inauthentic and unreal about a man who will change his position on any issue, any time, and always from less popular positions to more popular positions. There is one word that continually pops up any time political observers gather to discuss Mitt Romney: ‘Plastic.’ We want Republican Party voters as well as Democrats and Independents to start viewing Romney as a comical character so devoid of authenticity and core values that he is fundamentally unfit for the Presidency.
Click here to watch the ads and to find out more about the super PAC AmericanLP.

Can You Help Pick the Best Attack Ad Against Mitt Romney?

While none of us Progressive Democrats applaud the Citizens United case unleashing Super PACs, it is a fact of life. So we can either play by the rules as they are at this moment, or we can sit still like little lambs waiting to be slaughtered.
So I’ve started a new Democratic Super PAC devoted to helping Obama and all Democrats have a better chance of wining this year. We’ve created three new ads and I’d like your help in deciding which one to put on the air on New Hampshire TV stations this week.

The Republicans might huddle with Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers in secret back rooms to decide strategy, but I am trying to create a participatory, crowd-sourced PAC that can tap the best of pro-democratic minds.

First, here are our assumptions:

1.    Romney is the greatest threat to Obama.
2.    Romney is still the likeliest GOP nominee.
3.    If we can attack Romney causing him to fail at getting the GOP nomination, that would be a huge benefit for Obama because all of the other GOP candidates would be weaker in a general election.
4.    If we attack Romney now, and he still wins the GOP nomination, we can still help Obama if we begin to lay the ground work for general election voters holding negative views toward Romney.
5.    Romney has already been attacked for being a flip-flopper, so we can’t just do the same old thing.
6.    While attacking Romney for being a rich guy who looks out for the top 1% may help in the general election, that message might actually help Romney in a GOP primary.
7.    Based on reading a variety of polling data and anecdotal conversations with many conservatives and GOP strategists, the number one negative on Romney is that he is inauthentic and, in a word, “plastic.”
8.    We have decided to create a series of negative ads that attempt to brand Romney as literally “plastic” through the metaphor of dolls.

We initially crowd-sourced the idea at Daily Kos a week ago and the community suggested a couple of ideas beyond our initial idea of “GI Joe.” These ideas included “Ken Doll” and “Stretch Armstrong.”

So we’ve put together 3 ads (below) and we’d like you to vote on which one you think would be most effective with Republican voters as well as general election voters. Whatever ad gets the most support, we are committed to putting on the air in New Hampshire this week.

While the ads use humor and can appear childish, please realize that we are deadly serious. We are trying to have an impact on public opinion toward Mitt Romney and we are trying to connect at both an intellectual and emotional level. So please give us feedback on which ad you prefer and feel free to give script or production suggestions too. But please, spare us any tedious diatribes on how our approach isn’t intellectual or fact-based enough for your tastes.

Also, please feel free to put your money where your mouth is. If you like an ad and want to see it get more air time, Please click here and donate, even if it’s $3.

Here are the three ads.

Everything you need to know about Ron Paul

As a typical egotistical, arrogant, columnist/blogger, I usually think I can express my viewpoints better than anyone else. But when it comes to summing up the Ron Paul situation, the conservative blogger Erick Erikson says everything anyone needs to know.

This is from Erick’s column today in

“Let me get this straight.

Twenty years ago someone put some crazy, racist stuff in newsletters bearing Ron Paul’s name and written in the first person as if they were from Ron Paul.

Ron Paul never read them.

Ten years ago, when confronted with some of the crazy stuff (I’m trying really hard not to use “crazy s**t” here), Ron Paul says he wrote them, but they must be taken in their whole context to understand them.

Fast forward to the present and Ron Paul never wrote them, does not know who wrote them, cannot recall the names of anyone who worked for him who might have written them, is shocked to learn he made big money off them, and people think this guy has the qualifications to be President of the United States?

Letting someone write bat crap crazy stuff under your name, not knowing who they are or what they are doing, profiting from them, then taking responsibility before denying responsibility is credible?!

If we’re to take Ron Paul at his word, maybe we need to get him an Alzheimer’s test. he is old. Hell, if pigs did fly and he did get elected President, he’d be 81 at the end of his first term.”

Eric may normally be wrong about, well, everything, but he sure nails this perfectly

Ron Paul's misguided media anger

Ron Paul is doing a lousy job of handling the spotlight into the racist writings of his old newsletters. By walking off the set of CNN he made a molehill into a mountain. Paul needs to understand that you can’t run for President and then try to control the media by telling them what they can and can’t ask questions about.

The more Paul looks angry at the media for asking questions about the racist rantings in his old newsletters, the more it looks like he has something to hide regarding the sorts of racists he appeals to.

For a long time, Ron Paul got a free pass from the media. He was the cool, quirky guy who had the guts and independence to stand up against the war and a lot of other Republican sacred cows. But he got a free ride because no one thought he had a chance of winning the nomination. Now that he’s first or second in the polls, reporters are doing their jobs. And a part of that job is looking at a candidate’s record and that includes a record of mailing openly racist and anti-Semitic newsletters with your name on them and profiting from that sort of filth.

Paul plays the quirky curmudgeon on TV debates and his followers love that, but if he really wants to capitalize on his newfound success in the polls he’s going to have to learn how to answer questions from the media. Even questions he doesn’t like.

Paul could learn from John McCain. McCain had a problem with the Keating Five scandal in his past. He solved it by answering every single question from reporters and by talking about it and apologizing for hour after hour after hour until reporters were sick of hearing about it. That’s how you put a scandal to rest.

GP Rep Claims First Lady has a "Large Posterior"

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner R Wisconsin is getting the biggest press coverage of his life. He’s on the front page of the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and, basically, everywhere else. Did he finally author earth-shattering legislation after 33 years in Congress? Nope. He said the First Lady has a “Large Posterior.”

A Democratic operative recently overheard Sensenbrenner on the telephone in an airport lounge saying the following:

“She (the First Lady) lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.”

That quickly made its way into the press and it is dominating news coverage as I write this. The Congressman’s office did not deny the statement and said he would be sending an apology to the First Lady.

First, full disclosure. Sensenbrenner is not my kind of politician. I am not a fan. In fact, I was friendly with close relatives of his 30 years ago in college who assured me than that Sensenbrenner was a bit of a boob and considered an embarrassment, the “black sheep of the family.”

So it gives me great joy to see him publicly humiliated.

Still…I am worried that any single comment a public official ever says on a private phone call is now considered fodder for embarrassing tabloid coverage. It just doesn’t seem, well, or fair. Do we really want to eliminate anyone from public office who has told a non-PC joke or has made less than flattering, candid remarks about someone?

This episode again reaffirms my belief in my wisdom for not pursuing a career in public office!

A public space in a public airport is not exactly a private talk in a private home. Still, how many of us haven’t had a cell phone conversation in a public place where we thought no one could hear us and we said some indelicate things?

I think the media needs to be very careful about adopting the new rule of “anything embarrassing ever said on a public phone call by a public official is now fair game” or it could lead us down the road of a British style intercepting of phone calls.

Now, in the Sensenbrenner Affair, all of these issues become moot for the simple reason that he apparently made the same statement about the First Lady to a constituent in a church a few weeks ago. The phone call in question was talking about the possibility that the media might be running with the story anyway.

So in this case, the media is completely in the clear and did the right thing. So we can all have a good laugh at Sensenbrenner’s expense. The story is additionally savory given that Sensenbrenner’s complaining about the size of the First lady’s “posterior” is roughly the equivalent of the sun complaining about how big and bright the moon is.

PS. I will take to dinner the first reader who sends me an unflattering, un-retouched photo of Jim Sensenbrenner in a bathing suit. Then we can have a true comparison on “posteriors.”

How Conservatives Really Control the Media

How Conservatives Really Control the Media

Sean Hannity calling President Obama on Fox News Channel a “socialist” every night in prime time on the Fox News Chanel is only the visible tip of the conservative propaganda iceberg. The Right’s real power lies in its ability to shape the narrative and define what is fair and out of bounds for the rest of the media.

Last week MSNBC reported the following:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say ‘Keep America American’ anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”

Within hours, so-called liberals at MSNBC like Chris Matthews and Al Sharpton were falling over themselves to see who could offer the most debasing, abject apology to Mitt Romney.

Predictably, the rest of the so-called mainstream media and more of the “Liberal Media Establishment” weighed in on the issue, all to denounce MSNBC and to portray Romney as an innocent victim.

As recent as last night, Bill O’Reilly and fellow right-wing media ideologist Bernard Goldberg hashed over the affair in Prime Time. The focus of their debate was whether NBC did enough in their apologizing or whether they were still evil because of their so-called liberal bias.

The otherwise normally sensible describes the story this way:

“It turns out, the (MSNBC’s) story was not exactly true. …”

There is only one little problem with all of this hysteria. MSNBC’s story that Romney said “keep America American” and that this was a phrase used by the Klan appears to be 100% factual and truthful!

The Romney campaign initially refused to respond to this story for two days. Finally, they claimed that Romney never said “Keep America, American.” They claim he said “Keep America, America.” The central point of evidence is a video you can see here.

When I play the video to various people, most claim they hear Romney saying “Keep America American” (I definitely do). But to be fair, a few do hear Romney saying “Keep America America.” But here’s what isn’t a close call. The Los Angeles Times reporter on December 9, 2011 reported that Romney said this: “We have on one side a president who wants to transform America into a European-style nation, and you have on the other hand someone like myself that wants to turn around America and keep America American with the principals that made us the greatest nation on Earth. And I will do that with your help.”

Was the reporter ever contacted by the Romney campaign demanding a retraction? Are there comments on the LATimes website at the time of the story (this was before the controversy broke out)?

No and no.

So now we are supposed to believe that The Los Angeles Times reporter just makes up stuff and that most people who hear Romney on this video with their own ears saying “Keep America American” should disbelieve their own ears and instead put their trust in the Romney campaign’s press release.

This stretches credulity.

Another school of thought in most of the media reporters is that MSNBC was horribly irresponsible for not providing more context to the story, presumably to cast Romney in a more favorable light.

Fair enough; let’s parse the phrase “Keep America American.” After all, it truly would be unfair to pick a random phrase like “I love America” or “I am a vegetarian” and show that the Klan or a Nazi had once used the phrase. But “Keep America American” is not that general. It’s not a phrase that easily floats from everyone’s mouth. The phrase had a specific meaning in the 1920s and it has one today. The similarity is that in both cases, what it means is this “My ideas and principles are good and the ideals and values of people who oppose us are bad. And these ideas are bad because they got their ideas from other countries and other parts of the world. We should reject their ideas and values not just because they are bad but specifically because their ideas originated from other parts of the world.”

It doesn't matter how you slice or dice it, the phrase “Keep America American” is a rhetorical cheap shot used by demagogues in the act of committing demagoguery. No, it doesn’t mean Romney is a closet Klansman, but it does mean he uses rhetorical cheap shots that have a long tradition and it’s fair game to point out their tradition.

So are we being unfair to Romney for looking at the phrase he used and inferring one set of ideas when he was really  implying something else? NO. Just look at the full quote above. Romney is rejecting Obama and his ideas, specifically because Obama’s ideas are European. That’s what makes them bad, they aren’t from America—get it?

What O’Reilly and all of the right wing echo chamber have been doing for the last week is tending to the media landscape. And what they have done, to a remarkable degree of success, is to say that any suggestion of racism among prominent republicans is out of bounds. In the conservative media establishment’s worldview, there is no such thing as racism among conservatives. Only liberals can be racist. Therefore any story that hints at or suggests that a conservative is racist is inherently wrong and demands an immediate denunciation and retraction.

This bit of zeitgeist shaping was done with such efficiency and collaboration that it left the other side helpless.

In the conservative world view, it is quite Ok to brand Obama a “socialist” or even a “communist” if he does something so radical as suggesting Richard Nixon’s healthcare plan. Never mind that socialism and communism are hated ideologies by most Americans and is represented by regimes such as Cambodia’s where 7 million people were slaughtered by a genocidal communist. No, that’s considered completely fair, and normal because, well, because that’s what every conservative gets away with in the media every day.

But no one is ever allowed to compare any extreme Republican rhetoric with, say, fascists or racists. That’s considered automatically beyond the pale. There is an un-written rule imposed by the conservative media establishment and accepted by even liberal mainstream media:

“Thou shalt not accuse any Republican of doing anything even mildly racist or even racist-friendly unless you can capture video tape of the republican saying ‘I hate all black people and want to string them all up and kill them!’”

The result is a media climate where any ambitious, smart reporter pulls his/her punches when reporting on Republicans. Don’t report anything that can tie a Republican to an extremist cause or organization, even if the facts bear it out. Instead, use that time to report that Obama isn’t a citizen or that Bill Clinton made a fortune on Whitewater or that House Democrats want to wage “class warfare” because they want to raises taxes to the same rates they were in 1994.

The strongest form of power is away the subtlest and Conservatives have both overt and subtle power to get the media, all the media, to sell their propaganda.

The Ultimate Anti-Newt TV Ad

In case Newt Gingrich does get the GOP nomination, my group, AmericanLP, wants to be ready. So we are in planning stages for casting and shooting a commercial like the one below. Please contact me if you know anyone who would be interested in starring in the ad.

Open Casting call for White Woman age30-45 who fits this personal description willing to appear in national broadcast TV ad

:60 TV Ad

(Emotional instrumental background music)

Middle-aged woman speaking right into camera

“Newt Gingrich is absolutely right when he says nobody but Christ is perfect and that everyone deserves forgiveness.  Still…

 My own father cheated on my mother and left us for a younger woman…those were hard times.

A few years ago, my own husband left me for a younger woman…we’ve had some really hard times.

So what am I supposed to tell my son now about how to treat women? Newt Gingrich has twice as many ex-wives as all previous Presidents of the United States combined. It’s been well-documented that Newt has repeatedly and flagrantly cheated on numerous wives. It seems like Newt has used women and tossed them aside his whole life.

What kind of message does it send to my son that you can screw and screw over as many women as you can get your hands on your entire life, and then, at age 70, which is how old Gingrich would be in his first year, claim that you’ve “matured” and be given the highest honor in the world by serving as President? I want a president I can look up to as the best of what we’re all about, not the worst.

I’m not saying we have to go back to the 1950s, but can’t we have some standards? Committing adultery is one of the 10 commandments. Is it really enough to say, ‘sorry, I’ve matured?’ Where do we draw the line? Are we going to elect convicted murders or rapists, just because they say, ‘I realize that I was less than perfect and now that I’m 70 I promise not to murder anymore?’

I want a President I can look up to, not someone who reminds me of the worst betrayals in my life.”

More info at  and

Is Mitt Romney Too Smart for the Republican Base?

A lot has been written about Mitt Romney’s flip flopping on important philosophical and public policy issues, but does he have a greater problem with the GOP electorate? Perhaps Romney appears too smart, as in the intellectual variety.

You don’t have to be Bill Maher (he calls the GOP the “stupid party”) to acknowledge that during the last dozen years or so the party has not rewarded intellectualism. George W. Bush in 2000 liked to convey the idea that he was so unworldly that he’d never left the country (even though he had.)

In 2004, Republicans went so far as to mock John Kerry for the outrageous sin of knowing how to speak French (if you think I’m joking, here is the ad

Is Mitt Romney the new John Kerry? Or worse, from the perspective of GOP primary voters, the new Barack Obama?

It is true that Newt Gingrich fancies himself a world-class thinker and intellect. But with Newt, his intellect appears to be focused on ways to stick it to Democrats and liberals. Witness Gingrich’s recent announcement that he would appoint John Bolton as Secretary of State. That was a wildly clever piece of political strategy designed to make Fox News conservatives become euphoric and for liberals and Democrats everywhere to lose their lunch.

Mitt Romney never would have come up with an idea like this.

Romney appears to want to use his considerable intellect to use the government and solve problems whether it was his state-run healthcare plan as governor or his 2359 point plan to improve the economy once he is president. In this regard, Romney seems a lot less like Newt Gingrich or even George W. Bush and a lot more like another former Massachusetts governor, Michael Dukakis.

Democratic leaning pundits and political types all believe Romney would be the toughest GOP opponent to face Obama because Romney seems to be someone who is like what Democratic leaning pundits and insiders consider themselves to be: highly intelligent, well educated, smart, pragmatic, and with the ability and talents to make government “work.”

For many conservatives, (when they aren’t over-dramatically calling Obama a Socialist or Communist) the Democrat’ vision of Romney is too close to what Republicans consider Obama to be.

For too long Romney’s message seems to be “I’m not in favor of that bad old big government Democratic Obamacare, I’m in favor of a Republican-flavored state-run health care system.” Ironically, what Romney doesn’t seem bright enough to understand is that the GOP electorate is looking for a candidate who can passionately and vehemently denounce any and all government involvement with healthcare (while continuing to run Medicare and covering prescriptions, of course).

Romney’s implied message is that he is so smart that he can make government run smarter and more efficiently and toward more conservative goals. What he isn’t smart enough to realize is that GOP base currently buys into the message that government is inherently bad and the goal should not be to improve it or make it better. Instead, the only legitimate goal of a Republican official in power is to take the government and, in Grover Norquist’s words, “drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

Romney couldn’t say he wants to drown government any more convincingly than if he claimed he loved to watch professional wrestling in his free time. Prediction: we are going to see more and more Republicans and outsiders attacking Romney in the coming weeks not for being a flip-flopper, but for being too smart. One short hand way of doing that is highlighting Romney speaking French, something he’s really good at since he spent 2 years on a Mormon mission there. Here is a new ad about to hit Iowa and New Hampshire that shows and then mocks Romney for his French fluency:

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Who Won the Republican Debate Last Night?

Here is the breakdown:

Newt Gingrich—Newt had horrible moments and great moments. When Newt goes on and on explaining why he was paid $1.6 million by a federal entity to NOT be a lobbyist, he doesn’t pass the laugh test. And when he prattles on about what a celebrity he is and how he can make $60,000 a speech he makes Mitt Romney look like a full-time homeless advocate. But Newt also had great moments. Let’s face it; there is no one better in the Republican field at expressing contempt for Obama, Liberals and the judiciary than Newt. There is a huge faction of the GOP that feels contempt for all things Democratic and Newt oozes their contempt better than Oprah exudes empathy for housewives. Newt held his own for the evening.

Mitt Romney-Mitt was Mitt, calm, cool and collected. He didn’t make any $10,000 betting blunders but he also didn’t land any strong blows toward Gingrich. Romney’s worst moment was when Fox’s Chris Wallace read chapter and verse on all the liberal positions Romney has expressed, specifically on gay rights. Watching Romney dance away from his past while claiming to not be dancing away from his past is always a fun show, and it’s a reminder why the majority of the conservative party does not trust or like Romney.

Jon Huntsman—Jon opened really strongly. He gave a nice slam against Donald Trump and not turning himself into a pretzel by pandering to interest groups or The Donald. It was a clever jab at both Newt and Romney. Huntsman also gave a great message on banking reform that was both conservative and populist and courageous. He didn’t do or say much of anytime else of interest in the debate. Still, more and more eyes are looking at Huntsman as party leaders hope and pray that Gingrich will collapse and the Party will have to move on to the next non-Mitt.

Ron Paul—Ron was consistent, as always. Yes, Paul had some of the biggest applause lines of the night. And he also had people gasping at his foreign policy views. Paul was audacious and honest when he labeled Gingrich's cashing in on Freddie Mac as “Fascism.” Every liberal Democrat and moderate in the country fell in love with Paul when he labeled Gingrich’s money-making escapades “Fascism.” Unfortunately for Paul, they don’t get to vote in Republican primaries or caucuses.

Rick Perry—Rick has a good night anytime he can remember his name. Perry had some sprightly moments and got in the sound bite of the night claiming he wants to be like “Tim Tebow.” Had Perry debated like this in his first few debates, chances are he’d still be the front-runner. But now, Perry just seems like a “Forrest Gump” character, albeit one who doesn’t like gays.
Michele Bachmann—Michelle had a good night and fired off some great shots against Newt. Her problem is that both the high brow and the low brow wings of the Republican Party have written her off. She’s never recovered from earlier demagogic stumbles and it just doesn’t matter what she does in debates any longer.

Rick Santorum—Rick still looks and sounds like a 2-term congressman. On paper, Santorum could and should be a frontrunner (at least for 3 weeks) but he has all the charisma of a three-week old tuna fish sandwich.

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MSNBC Becomes Apologist for Mitt Romney's Klan Quotes

Right-wing lunacy has won again! MSNBC yesterday forced itself to apologize for telling the truth about Mitt Romney’s rhetorical ties to the Ku Klux Klan.
Here’s the background: The good folks at reported that Mitt Romney has again used the phrase “keep America American” in a recent speech. The journalists at the site then factually noted that this was a phrase widely used by Ku Klux Klansman in the 1920 and was even used in their recruitment literature. Further, it was noted that Romney has a nasty habit of smearing Obama on any policy disagreement by claiming Obama “wants to transform America into a European style nation.” Get it, Obama is un-American if he wants, say, basic health care common to, say, Austria. Yet conservatives who routinely cite their belief in a field of economics founded in, say, Austria, are claimed by Romney and other conservatives to be good, right-thinking Americans.
Next, here is what MSNBC reported yesterday:

“So you may not hear Mitt Romney say “Keep America American” anymore, because it was a rallying cry for the KKK group, and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews, and the progressive AMERICAblog was the first to catch on to that.”
As Americablog has since pointed out, MSNBC merely reported two indisputable facts: 1. The phrase Keep America American” was a phrase widely used by the Klan. 2. Romney has used this phrase and is unlikely to use it again.
I will give a free dinner on me to any reader who can point out the factual errors in that report. Typically, when news organizations make obsequious apologies, it is for getting facts wrong, not getting facts 100% right, as in this case.

So how did the ostensibly pro-Democratic Chris Matthews react to this news report? Here’s what Matthews said:
“It was irresponsible and incendiary of us to do this and it showed an appalling lack of judgment. We apologize; we really do, to the Romney Campaign.”

So in the Chris Matthews/MSNBC worldview, it’s not irresponsible or incendiary for a presidential candidate of the conservative party to pander to conservative white voters by using the rhetoric of the Klan. It is irresponsible and incendiary of a news organization to report well-documented facts that might make a Republican candidate look bad.
Nor does Matthews think it is incendiary for Romney to say things like this: “he (Obama) takes his political inspiration from Europe, and from the socialist-democrats in Europe.”
This is insanity!

Of course I can understand MSNBC’s position. After all, why spend valuable time reporting actual facts about Republican Presidential candidates when it’s so much more fun to report “debates” on utter nonsense on how Obama was born in Kenya,  how Obama is a Muslim, and how Obama wages class warfare and numerous other right-wing memes.
Romney, to his credit, is basically the only Republican candidate who hasn’t called Obama a socialist or communist. So we are supposed to grade him as the enlightened one and so it’s supposed to be unfair to make him look bad on these sorts of things. After all, nobody, myself included, really things that Romney is a bigot or endorses Klan philosophies. But the problem is that a lot of dangerous demagogues of the past didn’t really believe their own demagoguery. They used it because it worked.

It’s important to note that people who knew George Wallace didn’t think he was really a racist. It’s just that in his first gubernatorial Wallace ran as a liberal, integrationist on race relations and lost. So he simply switched positions for pragmatic reasons and vowed that he would “never be out-nigg*!d again.” Hmm…a pragmatic politician who first ran as a liberal and then moved right out of pragmatic concerns…sound familiar?

We are supposed to give Romney a pass because compared to the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/Mark Levin/Sean Hannity/Herman Cain/Newt Gingrich demagogues on the right who routinely traffic in socialistic/communistic/un-American slurs, Romney looks like a flaming liberal. But that is a low bar indeed.

This whole sordid episode is a perfect example of how the right-wing establishment has completely taken over the media in the US. Fox News is merely the clubhouse. But make no mistake about it, the ten gazillion right wing “think tanks,” media criticism institutes, talk show hosts, bloggers and pundits, have been “working the refs” (as right-winger William Kristol once conceded) for so long that all mainstream reporters and hosts and even supposed Democratic host and pundits have been cowed.

We now live in world where the only valid criticism of politicians is when it is directed at Democrats. Criticism of Republicans is, ipso facto, illegitimate and therefore must be retracted immediately, as happened yesterday.
I’m half-way tempted to produce a 30-second anti-Romney attack TV ad using footage of his “keep America American” sound bites and then juxtaposing it with quotes and a voiceover from KKK literature, but given, shall we say, the “proclivities” of the Tea Party, that might actually help Romney win the nomination.