More generally, a long primary season is a very bad thing for the Republican Party. At this point, Barack Obama's best, and perhaps only, strategy for re-election is to make this a "two futures" choice, in which the extremism of the GOP gets as much attention as the current state of the economy. Nothing will play into this strategy quite like months of Republican candidates barnstorming through Tea Party-dominated state primaries accusing each other of being reasonable instead of right.
The "quick-kill" scenario may be the only way out of this trap, and only Mitt Romney can trigger it by hunkering down for an intense holiday-season drive through the right-to-life fundraising banquets and local-supporter potluck dinners of Iowa. We'll soon know whether he has the stomach for it.
Friday, November 4, 2011
Monday, October 31, 2011
Alex Lundry is the director of research at the Republican firm TargetPoint Consulting, which specializes in segmenting and targeting voters based on their consumer and social behavior. Some months ago I asked Lundry what one piece of information, apart from partisan registration, he would most want to know about someone to predict whether he or she usually votes Republican or Democratic. He didn't hesitate for more than a moment. "Whether there is a Bible present in their home," he said.
Great to hear our progressive leaders touting the Pope, huh? Even if the Pope's statement about restoring politics' primacy (?!?) sounds like something outta Chantal Mouffe.
This false idolatry produced a nation gripped by massive unemployment, a nation in which destructive income inequality has risen beyond robber baron levels, a nation where greed has been perverted from sin to good, a nation where politicians genuflect to money changers, not majority citizens.
Salvation for the majority is not more failed trickle-down economics or more deregulation so that Wall Street can resume committing unfettered wagering. Redemption is political and economic systems devoted to serving the common good, not the affluent few.
These concepts -- that governments should protect majorities and that the international financial collapse is an opportunity to transform the system into one supporting a more fraternal and just human family -- are contained in a report released last week by the Pope's Council for Justice and Peace. It says:The economic and financial crisis which the world is going through calls everyone, individuals and peoples, to examine in depth the principles and the cultural and moral values at the basis of social coexistence.
Those values mandate economic and political systems that transcend "personal utility for the good of the community," the report says, then adds:The primacy of the spiritual and of ethics needs to be restored and, with them, the primacy of politics, which is responsible for the common good - over the economy and finance.