Sure, Massachusetts is a blue state, and the last time it voted for a Republican candidate for president was in the 1984 Reagan 49-state landslide, but Mitt Romney was Massachusetts’ governor not so very long, and the fact that he is down [PDF] by 28 percentage points — 60 percent for the president and 32 percent for Romney — in the latest statewide poll is yet more evidence that the more voters get to know Mitt Romney, the less they like him.
It is verboten for Mitt Romney or his campaign surrogates to mention the most recent Republican president by name. Instead, George W. Bush — who left office as the most unpopular president in the history of presidential polling — must be referred to in every reference as Pres. Obama’s “predecessor.”
Here is an example of Romney using the euphemism four times in one statement in mid-May:
ROMNEY: [Obama] was very critical of his predecessor for the debts his predecessor put in place. And sure it’s true you can’t blame one party or the other for all the debts this country has, because both parties in my opinion have spent too much and borrowed too much when they were in power. But he was very critical of his predecessor because the predecessor put together $4 trillion of debt over eight years. This president however — oh, by the way, he said that doing that was unpatriotic, irresponsible and unpatriotic. And he said he would cut the debt in half if he became president.Instead he doubled it, alright, he doubled it.”
And, of course, Romney is lying. Bush increased the national debt by nearly $5 trillion, and it has increased by almost exactly the same amount under Obama, in large part as a response to the financial collapse caused by the borrow-and-spend policies, anti-regulatory zeal and colossal incompetence of Bush and his Republican rubberstampers in Congress.
- Jonathan Chait dissects Republican pols’ facility at papering over facts they find to be inconvenient. They all do it but Chait fricassees the GOP’s Big Thimker, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, whose big speech at the Heritage Foundation yesterday on income equality (or whatever) turned out to be nothing more than a retread of the same manure Ryan has been spreading for years.
- In a piece titled “John Galt Clutches His Pearls,” Digby marvels at Ryan’s speech, too: “One of my favorite right wing quirks is their ability to shape-shift from Rambo to Aunt Pittypat in the blink of an eye.”
- Elizabeth Warren did not take credit for #OccupyWallStreet, despite the right-wing propaganda ministry’s claims. Dave Weigel uses the right’s “dogpiling” on Warren as a case study in how they twist Democrats’ words to bolster their narrative that liberals are elitists, vain and out of touch. (Similarly, Al Gore never said he invented the Internet.)
- If your candidate’s fumbling, befuddled debate performances are killing his campaign, what do you do? If you’re Rick Perry’s campaign team, you quietly announce that the candidate won’t be participating in any more debates. Kevin Drum reacts: “So there you have it. Perry’s not hiding from anything. He’s just choosing to stay off national TV because it makes his dimness a little too painfully obvious to voters who are trying to choose a leader of the free world. Better to focus instead on what he’s best at: attack ads and laughably flimsy policy proposals.”
- New polls out in the congressional districts find 12 seats that are ripe for Democratic pickups, including five in California: Dan Lungren (CA-7), Jeff Denham (CA-10), Elton Gallegly (CA-26), Mary Bono Mack (CA-36), Brian Bilbray (CA-52). Relatedly, the district of GOP House Rules Committee Chair David Dreier (CLOSET-1) was disappeared by California’s new nonpartisan redistricting committee. Democrats need to win 25 seats to win control of the House next year.
- Via Pork News (seriously): The GOP’s drive to install racist Arizona-style “papers please” anti-immigrant laws in the Old Confederate states could result in losses in the tens of millions in agricultural production next year. Turns out, farmers can’t find “legal” Southerners who’ll take jobs doing back-breaking farm work in the fields.
- For the tenth anniversary of the USA PATRIOT Act, I have a piece up at Gore Vidal Now tracking some of Vidal’s writing about the act, which he described as being “as despotic as anything Hitler came up with — even using much of the same language.”
It has almost gone without notice that Republicans in Congress, at the behest of their corporate masters, are fighting a system of consumer protections from abusive practices by credit-card companies, banks, mortgage lenders and other financial institutions.
– Elizabeth Warren
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will oversee the protections, was created by Congress and written into law last year. But since then, Republicans have been demanding a do-over in order to rewrite the new law to make it more palatable to their sponsors in the financial industry.
They are using the same hostage-taking, extortion-like tactics to kill these consumer protections as they have been in the budget and deficit-ceiling debates. In this instance, they are putting holds on confirmation of Pres. Obama’s nominees to head the CFPB.
And they are succeeding. They have refused to confirm Elizabeth Warren as head of the agency. Warren, the Harvard professor who was appointed by the Senate to recommend reforms after the financial crash in 2008 and subsequently by the president to create the new agency, is one of the good guys in Washington. What Repubicans have done to her is a travesty.
In an interview on CNN yesterday, Wolf Blitzer asked Warren about the political attacks on her and the consumer protection agency by Republicans: