There are crazy people in the world, and many of them are in politics. In the past few weeks, we have had the opportunity to view the traveling insane asylum that is the clash of blundering campaigns for the next GOP Presidential nomination. It's imperative to draw attention to the litany of inane declarations made up to this point in order to illustrate just how completely out of touch these people are with the American middle class. And I don't mean out of touch like "You're such a square, old man! I'm outta here!" I mean out of touch like asking these GOP candidates to address the needs of the middle class is like asking your dog to take the SAT.
I'm Not Rich, Dad. I'm My Brother.
When someone asked Newt Gingrich about buying a summer home in New Hampshire, he responded, "No, I can't afford things like that. I'm not rich." Newt Gingrich has an estimated net worth of close to $7 million, and last year he made $2.6 million. The average American salary is around $40K/year.
If making 65 times the salary of the average American isn't enough to make you rich, apparently it makes you forget to pretend that you think it's enough to make you rich.
Newt, it's OK that you're rich. But it should be enough for the average voter, regardless of party affiliation, to refuse even the remote possibility of Gingrich as a candidate simply because he makes OVER TWO AND A HALF MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR and insanely thinks he's not rich. That is the equivalent of me walking up to a person, kicking that person in the crotch, and then saying "I'm not rich."
Pot Calling the Kettle African-American
Mitt Romney recently called President Obama a "job killer" and "crony capitalist" despite the fact that Romney himself lobbied for the FDIC to forgive $10 million of debt owed by his former company, Bain & Co. in 1991.
Romney also addressed a former American Pad & Paper Co. employee who lost his job after Bain took the company over by saying that he had helped create over 100,000 jobs. When pressed, the Romney camp had to admit that his claims of creating over that number of jobs while at Bain are largely bogus.
A Bain spokesperson said that the figure of 100,000 is based on current employment figures, not the period when Romney worked at Bain.
I'm willing to give Romney a few points for brashness, but his declaration is akin to me bragging about making 400,000 babies every time I ejaculate. Truth be told, not all of those babies actually became people under my watch... and that number doesn't even address all of the babies that were laid off due to masturbation.
Romney is so oblivious to the state of things in this country, that he considers himself to be a part of the middle class. At a town hall meeting in Miami, Romney said that "those who have been hurt by the Obama economy... the great middle class. The 80 to 90 percent of us in this country." For the record, with a net worth estimated between $190-250 million, Romney is approximately as wealthy as the 7th and 8th richest members of Congress, slightly ahead of Senator Jay Rockefeller, and a quantum leap from the "80 to 90 percent" he referred to.
Romney's warped perspective is also reflected in his latest tax plan which he says would cut taxes for the middle class. Predictably, it mostly benefits those making over a million dollars a year.
It's time to accept this as a fact: The GOP thinks that "middle-class" means "I only make a couple million yearly." As far as they're concerned, nobody else below that really exists.
If you need to take a second to go punch a rainbow, go ahead. I'll wait.
Stop Saying I'm Surging!
It's not every election cycle that we have a presidential candidate with a last name whose definition isn't safe to google at work (You've been warned... ) but here we are with Rick "Santorum" Santorum.
When asked about President Obama's view on abortion, Santorum stated "...I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say, 'we're going to decide who are people and who are not people.'"
Well... that's just crazy talk.
After implying that Obama should be pro-life because he's black, Santorum took the opportunity to clarify his comments and dig even deeper:
"I am disappointed that President Obama, who rightfully fights for civil rights, refuses to recognize the
civil rights of the unborn in this country."
While Santorum may be disappointed in Obama's stance on civil rights for the unborn, I'm disappointed in the media for not challenging Santorum's stance on civil rights of gay men and women, or as they're called, the already born.
(Dear conservatives, please quit trying to defend your anti-gay rights stance. There is only one defense: You're a bigot. End story. Thank you.)
Regarding Medicaid, Santorum said that he doesn't want "... to make black people's lives better" by giving them taxpayer money. Once the media backlash from his generalized association of race and social programs hit, Santorum later said that he's pretty sure he didn't say "black people" but "blah people"...
...which clearly makes much more sense. After all, blah is the new black.
So, we can all rest assured that Santorum will continue to be a champion for the rights of Blah People everywhere for years to come. (Gay people, don't even think for one second that you could pass for blah.)
It's All Ages, Ladies!
We all know that Rick Perry loves God and guns... but did you know that he doesn't know the voting age in America? Apparently, Rick misspoke when he implied that the voting age was 21. Would you trust a bartender that thought the drinking age was 18? I mean, sure, he'll get you drunk your freshman year, but he probably goes by the name "Scooter" and he's going to run up extra charges on your debit card.
If that simple instance doesn't sufficiently express Perry's lack of connection with the voters, how about only being able to remember two of the three government agencies he wants to cut during the GOP debates? Perry would be able to remember the name of the agency if its elimination were actually vital to the health of our country, rather than just an arbitrary political talking point, but I wouldn't trust this guy to change his oil regularly, much less carry the nuclear football.
Again, my intent is not to nit-pick at verbal gaffes, but rather to stress just how out of touch with our country these politicians truly are. Americans need to fully understand how wealthy and separately unequal these people are from the voting public, which would be fine if they were committed to the middle class. But when it comes to these GOP candidates, it's not a question of whether or not they will help the middle class because it's clear that they wouldn't have any idea what to do even if they wanted to support the middle class. Asking Mitt Romney to lower your taxes is like asking Jerry Sandusky to walk past a military academy without breaking into a cold sweat. He'll smile and pretend like he's doing it, but it just won't happen.
It's so sad to look at the Iowa caucus and think, "Ron Paul is the only one out there who isn't an idiot or insane."
Is that all it takes to get a party nomination these days?